This Friday will mark the beginning of the next Magic the Gathering Pro Tour. Some more casual Magic players may not realize that for over a decade Wizards of the Coast (Magic's parent company) has been holding massive tournaments with up to $250,000 in prize payouts several times a year. These tournaments always coincide with the release of the last expansion, this Pro Tour being for "Dragons of Tarkir". The Tournament is always split format meaning the players compete in both Limited and Constructed matches. My last few posts have been more Limited based but this week I'm going deep on what I think is going to make a splash in the Standard portion!
Since the release of 'Dragons' we've had a couple glimpses into what the Standard meta-game may look like at the Pro Tour. Starcity Games has hosted two major open series tournaments, an Invitational, and there is always the MTGO dailies to look at. I always like looking at these results because they give us a good look at what we can expect at our local FNM's or online in 8 Man queues, but if I've learned anything from the past few years of Magic it's that the pro's always keep their best deck tech under wraps until the Pro Tour.
That Being said, let's take a look at a couple decks that have done well over the past few weeks. Last weekend was the SCG Standard Open Syracuse, which solidified one card as a Standard powerhouse:
Thunderbreak Regent showed up in all three of the RG decks that showed up in the top 8, and if anyone watched the stream they would have seen it do a lot of work in CVM's winning deck. The ability to play a 4/4 body that guarantees at least three points of damage is another tool that these RG decks were given, and it seems like it may be what pushes this deck over the top into tier 1 territory. I do think we are going to see this card show up on the top tables at the Pro Tour, and most likely at the hands of Brian Kibler.
Now this guy is just a sure thing. Abzan has been a consistently Tier 1 strategy since Khans was printed, and regardless of what shell you're playing you want four Rhino's. Lately the more controlling strategies have been putting up results while the more aggro approach have taken a backseat. This card has already taken a Pro Tour victory and I would not be surprised if happened again this time. The card is just the definition of efficient, a 4/5 for 4 with an upside is just great, and when the upside is a free Lightning Helix it's even better.
WILD CARD! Now I am a white weenie guy at heart, and I really would love to be surprised and see some white based aggro decks show up. I know if there is a deck that exists out there Craig Wescoe will most likely be the one to find it and play it, and I'll definitely be checking out his 75 as soon as I can find it. I'm not sure if the pieces for a white weenies type strategy even exist right now, at least one that is powerful enough to compete with cards like Thunderbreak Regent and Siege Rhino, but people are smart and I can hold on to my dreams.
What do you guys think will make top 8 this weekend? I'd love to hear! Also remember to check out the Pro Tour on Twitch this weekend!