Team events are not my cup of tea. I understand that I am in the minority here, but as a digital only player, there are nearly zero chances for someone like me to be able to play in them. I could one day get in to a super league, but I am not nearly good enough, entertaining enough, or important enough to get the chance to play in one of them, so I am not exactly holding my breath. I am glad that team events exist though. People enjoy them, and while I am not the target audience for a team event, be it limited or constructed, anything that gets people to play more Magic is outstanding!
It’s just a bummer after a new set though! I want to see the hot new tech, and I can’t really see that in a constructed team event, though it is much easier when the format goes across three, like the StarCity one did with Standard, Modern and Legacy. Unified constructed over one format, like the Magic World Cup is a bigger drag for the tech hungry consumer, such as myself. While paper Magic was all about team events, at least in Grand Prix and StarCity world, we did have some solid Standard results come in, be it from the BigMagic event in Japan, the StarCity Classic, or most relevant to me, the MTGO PTQ.
Team5C took down the PTQ with a sweet GW beatdown deck, and emerged out of a top eight that featured zero copies of Hazoret the Fervant or The Scarab God. If you want to look at the lists you can see them here, but I am going to present the winning list today. It is very close to the Abzan Legends deck I presented last week, but obviously drops the black for better mana, though mana in Standard seems to be pretty good right now.
Starting off with four Llanowar Elves the deck looks to take advantage of that speed boost to play some of the best cards it can off curve. Having the ability to play Lyra Dawnbringer on turn four instead of turn five is super powerful, but even something like a 3/4 Thrashing Brontodon on turn two can stop opposing aggro decks in their tracks! If we don’t get an explosive elf start, Merfolk Branchwalker is a wonderful two drop and much like Walking Ballista, it plays incredibly well with Rishkar, Peema Renegade, which in turn, allows us to either flood the board with the other threats in the deck, like Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy or Aethersphere Harvester, or continue to play our top end threats. Shalai, Voice of Plenty makes our creatures much harder to deal with, and gives them a nice Gavony Township style boost as we continue to go wide.
Treasure Map is a super unique card in what amounts to an aggro deck. It’s a nice way to smooth out the draws and when we reach the later stages of the game, it will help us draw out of any potential flood issues. Ixalan’s Binding gives us a nearly permanent answer to any problematic permanent, ranging from Planeswalkers to Vehicles to indestructible creatures. Allowing us to get rid of gods easily or a Glorybringer which they can’t just simply play again is a small upgrade over something like Cast Away though the flash it has does bring something nice to the table. Speaking of flash enchantments, the last piece of removal in the deck is Seal Away. This new Journey to Nowhere is great against nearly everything but a creature with vigilance or hexproof.
Standard is still evolving, this ptq was won by GW beatdown, the StarCity Classic was won by GB Snakes, and the BigMagic event was won by BR aggro. The StarCity event showed us that UW Control has legs, and the upcoming Pro Tour will more than likely change everything up! I personally can’t wait to see how the format plays out with Dominaria.
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