Whoa! I did not see that coming! After 16 grueling rounds and the three rounds of top 8, just one mage remained – Gerry Thompson is your Pro Tour Amonkhet champion! Pro Tours are always exhilarating to watch. Gerry’s big win and Christian Calcano’s well deserved top 8 appearance were among the many highlights of the weekend. Although only a few weeks ago it seemed Mardu would be top dog in a 4-Color Copycat-less world, no copies of Mardu made it to top 8 and two decks emerged as the real winners: Zombies and Temur Marvel.
But before we dive into some of the top 8 decks let’s have a look at this particular piece of information:
This is a very meticulous and calculated breakdown of the Pro Tour, and I’m actually surprised how thorough this analysis is and that Wizards’ would want to publish this information. Some important notes:
- Flamecaller Marvel was one of the most popular and best performing decks with an overall win percentage of 66.2%.
- Flamecaller Marvel, Spell-Heavy Marvel, and Mono-Black Zombies had favored win percentages against Mardu.
- Flamecaller Marvel had a 75.9% win percentage against opposing Marvel strategies
- White-Black Zombies only had a 28.1% win percentage against Mardu while Mono-Black Zombies had a 58.8% win percentage.
From this data we can see Flamecaller Marvel being the deck with the highest win percentage, especially against opposing Marvel decks. Even though it didn’t win the tournament, Flamecaller Marvel stood out as the highest winning deck.
Flamecaller Marvel by Martin Müller at Pro Tour Amonkhet – 4th
Chandra, Flamecaller finally gets some more time in the sun! I think this card was a great choice for the weekend, and props to Team Genesis for coming up with this tech. Chandra is very versatile – it’s a threat against control decks and other Marvel decks and can provide a source to throw away extra copies of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger which can get uselessly stranded in your hand.
The other big advantage of Chandra, Flamecaller is the -X ability, which comes in handy against Mardu’s smaller creatures and wiping away hordes of zombies. Even though Zombies won the Pro Tour, I still think this is the best deck to play, and the data proves to back this up. Maybe some slight changes can be made to prepare for the vast majority of people playing Marvel and Zombies at the upcoming Grand Prix.
I can’t not talk about the winning decklist, however.
Mono-Black Zombies by Gerry Thompson at Pro Tour Amonkhet – 1st
I was unsure about how powerful Zombies was going into the tournament, but I was sure at least there would be a sizable number of copies in the event. There’s not too much to say about this list – it’s a powerful streamlined strategy. You make a lot of zombies and turn them sideways. You get value out of creating zombies with Cryptbreaker and drawing cards.
I really respected Gerry T’s play in the top 8, especially in situations where he showed patience, choosing between drawing cards off of Cryptbreaker or chipping away at his opponent’s life total. Unlike Mardu, Zombies’ mana is consistent and except for Liliana’s Mastery, the deck has a pretty low and aggressive curve.
Here are some cards to look out for in the coming weeks:
With Zombies winning the Pro Tour, Descend is your one-stop shop at clearing a board of Dread Wanderer and Relentless Dead with ease. I’ve always liked this card as a Marvel target. Could Bant or a white splash make a comeback?
This was already included in many Marvel players’ maindecks. I think it could become a mainstay – it’s only really useless against Zombies, but in which case you get a cycle out of it at the very least.
I really want to see this guy make a comeback in the spell-heavy Marvel decks, especially since a flip wipes away any Zombie tokens. Post-board, Zombies wants to cut its dead cards like Fatal Push and Grasp of Darkness, but they don’t always cut Dark Salvation, however. Thing in the Ice is always a very exciting card, I hope to see some in the near future (maybe in my own sideboard!).
I think this card can become a mainstay in Marvel and Mardu maindecks alike. It’s somewhat dead against Marvel decks, but many play Servant of the Conduit, and the rest have Rogue Refiner as well. One-mana interaction for an early Metallic Mimic or Relentless Dead can be crucial in stopping overwhelming Zombie hordes when you’re in dire need of time.
I’m not sure if any deck can defeat the power of Marvel or an enormous board full of Zombies. Flamecaller Marvel stands out as my deck of choice since it statically shows to have the best win percentage all around.
On a side-note, I won a PPTQ this past weekend! Remember to choose your battles wisely kids, as I was able to emerge victorious in a 10-person Standard event. Mardu was my weapon of choice and I was able to ride Heart of Kiran to a RPTQ qualification. However, I’m still unsure of what deck I’ll end up playing this coming weekend at GP Montreal. I like Marvel, but I’m sure to run into a bevy of mirror matches throughout the weekend, and I’d rather not play Zombies (mostly because I don’t own the cards). Maybe Heart of Kiran can give me a ride to top 8, or perhaps I’ll find my success in a rogue strategy…time to channel my inner Mike Flores.
I’m excited to be battling in the upcoming SCG Invitational and RPTQ! Gonna make those tournaments count and grab that Pro Tour qualification.
Looking for an exciting Standard midrange decklist? Look no further! Austin Mansell goes through a Standard Delirium decklist that splashes a third color for some exciting Amonkhet cards and planeswalkers.
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