Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week I’ve got a short rundown of my first day here in Italy, along with some incredibly fun and awesome Standard technology I’d like to share. You ready for some goodness? Let’s go!
As for my time here in Italy, it has been just incredible. Apart from the absolute ass-kicking I got on my taxi ride to the hotel (40 Euros!), it has been spectacular. I wore myself out on the first day getting the footage you see above, visiting the Colosseum, Roman Forums, and Vatican with my other reporter-at-arms Bill Stark.
I wish I could relay to you how awe-inspiring this place is. Everything is huge and impressive and beautiful. The most beautiful of all, of course, was the Sistine Chapel. I know this is a bit redundant, but gorgeous just doesn’t describe Michelangelo’s masterwork. The entire room is covered, from about eight feet upwards, with the most incredibly rich and beautiful paintings I’ve ever seen. The footage you see above was actually done clandestinely in hopes that the (many) guards standing around wouldn’t notice I had my camera on and pressed to my chest. I was under the impression it was the Adam’s hand touching God thing with maybe a few paintings around it, but not the entire room! I’ve never been so speechless before.
After that, of course, we get to the Magic. And boy, were there some surprises lurking. The first big reveal was Emeria Angel. You should be picking up her, Honor of the Pure, and Lotus Cobra (yes, Lotus Cobra) before their prices go a-spiking. Now Lotus Cobra doesn’t have that much room to grow, but I would imagine it climbing back to $30 with ease. The “PT Junk” deck, the G/W/B Lotus Cobra / Knight of the Reliquary deck is No Joke, and many people did well with it. Emeria Angel has proven to be quite the powerhouse when combined with fetchlands, Lotus Cobra, and of course topping out with Baneslayer Angel. The Honor of the Pure is there to ensure that Emeria Angel doesn’t die to Lightning Bolt, produces 2/2 fliers, and it makes your Baneslayers bigger than theirs.
The coolest deck of the tournament, of course, was from Conley Woods. This guy’s decks are just incredible, and he knocked it out of the pack with his Magical Christmas Land deck featuring Lotus Cobra, 4 Khalni Heart Expedition, 4 Harrow, 4 Violent Ultimatum (!), 4 Mold Shambler (!), and finishers including 2 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, and I believe 3 Rampaging Baloths.
But the kicker was the sideboard. He showed it to me and I saw two Islands and a Swamp… and I’m like, um, what are you doing Conley? Then I keep looking and see… 4 Cruel Ultimatum! It gets no better than this, folks. The only guy who ran a copy of Sorin Markov at Pro Tour: Austin has done it again.
Other goodies include the Joel Calafell deck that Archive Traps people right out of the game (a ‘traditional’ Turbo Fog deck that uses Howling Mines, Font of Mythos, Jace Beleren, etc), and the 4-Color monstrosity of a deck that Gabriel Nassif piloted to 3-3. Two awesome stories with that deck: The first was when he curved on Turn 7 with Cruel Ultimatum and Turn 8 with Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. The second is when he had three Wall of Denial out, along with Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, and chose to not steal his opponent’s Baneslayer Angel with Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker but instead built up and used his ultimate ability instead. You know you’re getting destroyed when your opponent doesn’t Control Magic your Baneslayer Angel when they have ample time and ability to do so.
As for some unfortunate news, the Eldrazi Green deck seems to have fallen out of favor, with my buddy Todd Anderson running 2-4 with the deck. It appears that while the games were close, Boros Bushwhacker was a problem for the deck, and some timely topdecks from his opponents kept him away from a few wins. I’m sure he’ll be chatting about it in an upcoming article and can tell you about it then. Until then, don’t go nuts on Nissa Revane just yet, but do recognize that she is by no means a ‘crappy’ planeswalker and should be regarded as one of the best cards from Zendikar.
Another interesting story comes from Brian Kibler, whose Boros Bushwhacker deck was both fascinating and intriguing, running no Teetering Peaks or Kor Skyfishers, instead opting for a more aggressive landfall strategy with Terramorphic Expanses and running a 1-of Elspeth, Knight-Errant and Akrasan Squire. He finished 4-2 on the day. He was, of course, running Baneslayer Angels, but this time in the sideboard, to fly in and save the day as needed.
To wrap up this week I caught an interview with Conley Woods himself talking about his “Magical Christmasland” deck, I thought you guys would appreciate it:
Until next time Magic players, this is Evan Erwin, live from Rome… tapping the cards and spending time in Italy, so you don’t have to!
Evan “misterorange” Erwin
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
twitter dot com slash misterorange
facebook dot com slash misterorange