Raise Your Standards – Pro Tour Innovations

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This past weekend was the Pro Tour and Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa took home the championship with his Ramunap Red deck.  Congratulations go out to PVDDR!  Much has already been written about his deck, so we’ll take a look at other decks from the Pro Tour that performed well and see what kinds of innovation we can find.  We’ll also take a look at recent results from MTGO to see if there are any cool things to find there.

Six of the top eight decks at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation were Ramunap Red decks, and each of them was slightly different from the others.  Of those six decks, Wing Chun Yam’s deck statistically performed the best; however it was not the best performing Ramunap Red deck of the tournament.  That honor goes to Arne Huschenbeth who went undefeated through all ten rounds of constructed play.  Unfortunately for Arne, each day of Pro Tour play also includes three rounds of draft, and he went 0-3 on day 1 and 1-2 on day 2, which earned him 46th place overall.  That’s still quite impressive, so let’s take a look at the only undefeated deck from this Pro Tour.

 

Ramunap Red – (by Arne Huschenbeth)Hazoret the Fervent

Creatures

Spells

Lands

Sideboard

 

Looking at this list it has a lot of similarities to the other Ramunap Red decks from the top 8.  This deck wants to play a very quick and aggressive game 1, opting to go lighter on the land count in order to have more playable cards early on.  After sideboarding, the deck usually goes up in lands by boarding in the two copies of Scavenger Grounds.  That allows some of the 1-drop creatures to come out and have them replaced by bigger threats like Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance.  If matches end up going to a third game, it can become difficult for your opponent to know which version of the deck you’ve opted for, the quick aggro variety or the more grindy version.  Keep that in mind when sideboarding.

Another deck from the Pro Tour that showed signs of innovation was played by Elias Klocker.  He went 7-3 in the constructed rounds and it’s called Black-Green Rite.  Let’s take a look at it.

 

Black-Green Rite – (by Elias Klocker)Zulaport Cutthroat

Creatures

SpellsCryptolith Rite

Lands

Sideboard

 

What can I say about this deck?  At its heart, this deck wants to play out like an “Aristocrats” deck, by creating a steady stream of creatures that can be sacrificed for value.  I think this deck looks like a blast to play, even though it looks like it demands quite a bit of concentration from its player.  It’s important to sequence things correctly for each play to be optimal, so if you want a challenge, this is the deck for you.

The final deck I want to look at today also went 7-3 in the constructed rounds at the Pro Tour in the hands of Scott Lipp.  The exact same 75-card list recently went 5-0 in a MTGO league and was piloted by LuisMJ.  It’s a deck called Mono-White Eldrazi.

 

Mono White EldraziEldrazi Displacer

Planeswalkers

Creatures

SpellsWalking Ballista

Lands

Sideboard

 

Here’s a deck looking to squeeze value out of Eldrazi creatures while they’re still legal in Standard.  Matter Reshaper is a creature you don’t mind losing (as long as it isn’t being exiled), since it can potentially replace itself.  Thought-Knot Seer is still a very powerful way to remove troublesome cards from your opponent’s hand while providing a big body on the battlefield.  Eldrazi Displacer does an amazing job at triggering beneficial ETB (enter the battlefield) effects you may have or at removing annoying blockers on your opponent’s side of the board.  I’m hoping to see more of this deck in Standard’s future.

Wrapping Up

This weekend the final Game Day tournaments as we know them will take place.  Whether you’re playing one of the sweet decks we looked at above or another deck of your choosing, I wish you the best of luck.  Let me know how you did.  You can reach me by leaving a comment below, on Twitter @mikelikesmtg, or by emailing me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  And, as always, be sure to come back next week for another episode of Raise Your Standards, where we’ll look for innovative decks being played in Standard.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes

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Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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