Hello and welcome to the first article of my series: Mythical Magic! Today I will breakdown Grand Prix Minneapolis. As many of us know, last week’s Pro Tour Kyoto was dominated by Ramunap Red aggro deck. So in my consideration people were going to be gearing up with this deck or against this deck in Minneapolis. Ramunap Red was actually beaten by Mono-Black Zombies lists this last weekend and it was not a real surprise to me. Zombies is kind of a linear deck which has very good sense of what it does: good curve, removal here and there, maybe drop Liliana’s Mastery to pump up the board for the win.
I already talked about Ramunap Red right after the Pro Tour and said that this deck will not be dominating for long. It is common to see aggro deck ruling in a new Standard environment but the way I see it, Standard meta-game will continue to shift back and forth with decks like Zombies, BG Constrictor etc. Black has very good removal in the body of Grasp of Darkness and Fatal push. Also Liliana, The Last Hope makes sure that 1-toughness red creatures don’t spend too much time on the battlefield.
I really like to remind, that looking at the Top 32 decks is maybe even more beneficial than only looking at the Top 8, because usually the players in Top 32 that don’t make it to Top 8 are one win away from that, so the decks they are piloting are usually pretty good and balanced. So in the Top 8 of the GP Minneapolis Mono-Black Zombies took the trophy in the Hands of Steve Locke. There was only one Ramunap Red deck, but two Mardu Vehicles, one BR Control and three BG Constrictor decks. So if we delve deeper in to the meta-game we see the following: only one Ramunap Red, but ELEVEN Mono-Black Zombies in the Top 9-32, which in my mind is kinda crazy after seeing the Ramunap Red controlling the Pro Tour just a week ago.
This the deck of Steve Locke played in Grand Prix Minneapolis
1 Aethersphere Harvester
As we take a look of Steve Locke’s list, we see a pretty aggro based deck that can survive a bit better in the long game compared to Ramunap Red. The weakness in my mind of the Ramunap Red is the rebuilding of board state if your side gets sweeped. So no wonder that a bit more midrange options are mixed in in form of Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. These might be just sideboard options or even in the main board, but I would not play more than two copies of Chandra personally. Straight midrange Mono Red Eldrazi is a good option in the future before rotation, by adding Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher to main board.
So let’s take a look of Corey Baumeister’s BG Constrictor deck:
In my mind this is quite marvelous midrange deck. It has the removal of black in the form of Grasp of Darkness and Fatal push, just like in the Mono-Black Zombies. But Constrictor decks also run the +1/+1 theme of green. With the namesake of the deck, with Winding Constrictor your creatures become huge fast!
So whether you will go for Ramunap Red with a bit of midrange, Mono-black Zombies or BG Constrictor, I think you can’t go wrong in the current meta before rotation. It is really interesting how will the meta shift when Ixalan is released. It has to be also remembered that without a good pilot, no deck is a champion on it’s own. Then again, good pilot needs a competent deck to succeed in a environment like a Grand Prix or Pro Tour.
This has been the first article in my Mythical Magic series, I hope that you all have enjoyed this episode. I look forward the next time you tune in to read more great articles on MTG Deck Techs! If you have any comments or questions, you can contact me via e-mail: email@example.com