Oops, he did it again! Tom Ross took down back-to-back Starcitygames.com Standard Opens with W/r Humans, changing only some of the deck that won him the Standard Open in Atlanta. He was joined in the top 8 by two more copies of W/r Humans, piloted by Lucas Kiefer and Pro Tour champion Charles Gindy, and one copy each of Naya Midrange, Abzan Seasons Past, W/U Aggro, G/W Tokens, and 4-Color Rites. Even outside of Tom Ross and Charles Gindy, this top 8 had some big names, which suggests that this Standard format isn’t easily solvable, and it’s very skill-intensive. Jeff Hoogland, Brennan DeCandio, Gerry Thompson, and Danny Jessup are all known quantities on the Open series and the pro circuit.
Despite the diversity of the top 8, the top 32 was littered with G/W Tokens, more Humans, and various flavors of Eldrazi decks. Bant Humans, which was touted as the new deck to take over the metagame, could not crack the top 8, but had three copies break the top 16. Even though the major players of the format did show up en mass when we look beyond the top 8, five different archetypes in top 8 shows us where the format is headed. No longer can we consider it dominated by Bant Company, G/W Tokens, and various Cryptolith Rite decks. Instead, Grand Prix Pittsburgh and the Standard events that follow it will likely be some of the most diverse Standard tournaments in recent memory. Expect to see a large amount of W/r Humans, G/W Tokens, and Bant Humans.
If you are planning on playing one of these decks in the coming weeks, here’s some advice to keep in mind: your deck will be receiving a lot of sideboard hate. For both Humans decks, expect Radiant Flames and Languish en mass. For G/W Tokens, expect people to be packing Virulent Plague. The second word of advice I have is this: practice the mirror match . . . a lot. All three of these mirror matches are very skill-intensive, and you can gain a big edge in the tournament if you have mastered the mirror match.
This weekend has Grand Prix Pittsburgh and Grand Prix Taipei which feature Standard, as well as the Starcitygames.com Modern Open in Dallas. It will be another great weekend of Magic to look forward to! Don’t miss the Standard and Modern articles that Spellsnare.com will have coming out over the course of the week!
Until next time.