Thoughts on the Pro Tour

Written by Joshua Claytor on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

Thoughts on the Pro Tour

Joshua Claytor

Joshua is the current content manager of Legitmtg.com and Puremtgo.com.

The Pro Tour was this weekend, and normally, I’m excited as gosh darn heck to buy some cards on MTGO to battle Standard, this tour fell flat for me. Mardu Vehicles is a great deck I am sure, but with the elimination of the Pro Tour Gauntlet on MTGO, it is a deck that I will never play. It just does not interest me. I’m not a huge three color aggro deck fan. BG Constrictor looks interesting, and I really like Brad Nelson’s list, mainly because it’s one of the cheaper BG lists on MTGO.

With the uncertainty surrounding MTGO, it is hard to spend a lot of tickets on playsets. I know that they wrote an article about MTGO not going away for a while, but without a well defined plan of what is happening, I think uncertainty is to be expected. It’s hard to want to give them money for cards when they might lose all value with Magic Digital Next. I don’t think that that is in the plan for MTGO, but at the same time, I’m sure as hell not going to spend 100 tickets on a playset of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. I’m not going to spend 90 tickets on Heart of Kiran. 107 on Grim Flayers? No thank you MTGO! I have a hard enough time spending 55 on a set of Torrential Gearhulk, especially now that they are poorly positioned in the metagame. Heck 55 on a set of Walking Ballistas seems like a pretty poor investment as well if you’re not in a BG deck.

On top of this, we’ve been promised another round of bannings in a few weeks. While a lot can change between now and then, I don’t want to buy into Mardu Vehicles and watch the best Gideon deck get sent to hell on the banhammer. Could it be fine without Gideon? Sure, but that’s a lot of money to spend and be worried about in the interim. I personally am over the opinion that right now Standard does not need to have any other cards banned, but that variable makes me a bit more unlikely to buy in to the format. I mean what is to say that copy cat does not breakthrough the oppressive metagame after the bannings? Would WotC make a ban just because it might happen? Would they ban the walker or the creature?

Also I can’t believe that they admitted that they missed the interaction between Felidar Guardian and Saheeli Rai.

So I do not like how the metagame shaped up after the Pro Tour. It did not entertain me. Finally because of the state of MTGO and potential bannings I am wary of what Standard decks to put on my account.

Fortunately I have been able to put a couple of decks on my account, and have my eyes set on a couple of more decks in the format as well. I’ve actually started to rebuild my MTGO collection based around two four drop artifacts, Aetherflux Reservoir and Aetherworks Marvel.

Bai Hualin played a version of Aetherflux Reservoir list to a day two finish, but only finished the event with 18 points. We have the list thanks to a feature that was written on the deck by Meghan Wolff. You can find her article here. Let’s take a look at the list.

This deck really benefited with the addition of Aether Revolt into the card pool. It’s been around since Kaladesh, but with an additional 0 drop in Ornithopter it has another blocker to get to the mid-game. Sram, Senior Edificer is outstanding in the deck, allowing you to draw cards off of the 0 drop equipment, but also getting I guess a double draw after Paradoxical Outcome is cast. Reverse Engineer lets us turn those trinkets into cards, and Metallic Rebuke turns those trinkets into cheap counter magic. Whir of Invention may be the most important card to the deck, as it uses those trinkets to search up Aetherflux Reservoir, which allows us to gain the life we need to either go off or have the time to find what we need to go off.

The sideboard I feel could use some work, as the the Ballistas do not make a ton of sense to me. It’s not like combat should win you many games, but I think Bastion Inventor is a better way to go about using combat to win. Fumigate also seems to control creatures better than Ballista as well. The deck is weak to the same stuff that copy cat is weak too, so I’d like to see more countermagic to deal with opposing hand disruption and countermagic out of the board.

The deck is a lot of fun though.

The other deck that caught my eye is based on Aetherworks Marvel, which after the banning of Emrakul, the Promised End was presumed dead I guess.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is a pretty good card to bring out with Marvel still. Kozilek, the Great Distortion is a pretty beefy body too. Let’s take a look at this six win list from the Pro Tour!

This is a fairly stock list of Marvel, and one that was adjusted to deal with the bannings before the Pro Tour. Whir of Invention makes an appearance here, and it’s fairly super because you take those puzzleknots and turn them into a tutor for Aetherworks Marvel. Inspiring Statuary shows up as well, as it helps cast drawn copies of your giant Eldrazi. Other than that (and I guess a Baral’s Expertise) we’re looking at a known deck.

These two decks were the ones that caught my eye from the Pro Tour. As I have grown older, and I guess more away from the game, decks that I would have played without issue (looking at you Mardu Vehicles) have become more of a drag for me, and the stuff that I play now is I guess trying to be a baller on a budget. I want to be competitive, but I also want to make sure that my light bill remains paid!

With that said, I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and thanks a lot for checking out the site!

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