Rees’ Pieces #12: PT Dragons of Tarkir

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Magic the Gathering, Rees' Pieces, Uncategorized
As I write this I've just finished watching the finals of Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. As much as I was cheering for Shota Yasooka to take the title, he was the last in line to get ran over by RG aggro and Pro Tour DTK champion Martin Dang. Dangs been on a tear recently just coming off of a win at Grand Prix Liverpool a month or so back. Congratulations to Martin.

Dang

Running up to this event I've been more excited than for any Pro Tour I can remember. Dragons brought a load of new interesting cards into the format and the possibilities seemed crazy. While there have been a couple off Standard tournaments since release no-one was really breaking new ground, the super teams trying to break the format saved all of their best for the Pro Tour. Everyone new that the format was still very undiscovered, a paradise for brewers and deckbuilders everywhere. Let's have a look at what's made it big in Brussels:

I think the biggest story coming out of the Swiss is the success of blue control decks, either Blue/Black, Blue/White or Esper and that's the majority of what I'd like to discuss today. These decks got a bunch of new tools from Dragons of Tarkir, I'll just run you through the list of new Toys they have to play with:

Dragonlord Ojutai

Ojutai
This guys been seeing more and more play since release, in both UW and Esper control and then even in other decks as a high quality finisher. It protects itself until you find a way to protect it and can start swinging in to gain card advantage and finish off your opponent. The clock this guy lays down is very real, and the pressure it applies against other slow decks is great as it both hits them and draws you cards while only being exposed to removal when you want it to be.

 

Dragonlord Silumgar

Dragonlord Silumgar
Not seeing a lot of play straight after coming out, we saw it as a one of in Reid Dukes Sultai Reanimator deck from the Invitational a few weeks ago. While it wasn't played by a lot of the control decks this weekend Shota Yasooka played two copies main deck and it really did some work. In the top 8 we saw him play one to steal a Surrak the Hunt Caller, giving it haste to attack for lethal. Its immune to a lot of the cheap removal in the format, allowing it to stabilize by itself against a lot of aggro decks, but then also does a huge job in the midrange and control decks stealing planeswalkers or powerful creatures while providing a big flying blocker with deathtouch they have to get around.

 

Anticipate

Anticipate
This ones a tricky one. There were 3 UB control decks in the top 8, one splashing white for Ojutai. Of these Andre Ohlschwager was the only one to play 4 copies of Anticipate in his main deck; both Andrew Sullivan and Shota Yasooka choosing not to play the card at all. Its a very good magic card, but a lot of the time in the control decks we've seen you just need raw card advantage to pull you ahead or stabilize and you need to be casting Bile Blights and Ultimate Prices early in the game. It does a good job of smoothing out your draws though, and will almost always give you a good card for the situation out of the 3 you see. Taking land off of it is completely fine early game so don't be afraid to.

 

Foul Tongue Invocation

foul

This is the first of the 'dragon reveal' cycle that I'm going to talk about, and these cards really broke out in a big way at the Pro Tour. Firstly its an instant speed edict effect which the format was lacking, helping out against decks like UW/x Heroic with all of their protection spells or Abzan Aggro with its plethora of hard to handle creatures like Rakshasa Deathdealer of Fleecemane Lion. The life gain is super relevant though helping you buy more time to get to late game where you can start casting Dig Through Times, Perilous Vaults and Crux of Fates. Especially against Mono Red or RG aggro decks where they're playing Hordeling Outbursts and Dragon Fodder the life gain helps this card still be relevant even if they have plenty of 1/1s to sacrifice.

 

Silumgars Scorn

Scorn

I just mentioned how the Dragon Reveal cycle has proved to be very good, and this is arguably the best. Counterspell is back! Kinda. If your opponents playing on curve this is a virtual counterspell, and if they want to pay around it they give you more time to just find the dragon to turn it into an actual counterspell. This card might be one of the most defining in the new standard format (and tilting people's great too).

 

Icefall Regent

I(cefall

This dragon was far from the most hyped up from Dragons of Tarkir (which is fair given the cycle of mythic Dragonlords), but it proved to be a all-star in Shota's deck. With all the 'dragon reveal' cards it gives you an incentive to play a bunch more dragons and you can't really jam 4 copies of Silumgar (either) without making the deck real clunky. It does a reasonable job of protecting itself from removal making your opponent really commit to dealing with it, and the Dungeon Geist ability helps you stabilize vs aggro decks trying to run you over.

 

Dragonlords Prerogative

prerog

As far as mirror breakers go this is a damn good one. While 6 mana for 4 cards is a tad underwhelming against a lot of the field in a control mirror this card is insane. With the ability to make it uncounterable revealing a Dragon, its just an 'I win the game' card against other control decks where you just want more cards than your opponent. Again, a six mana draw spell isn't exactly what you want against Mono Red or Abzan Aggro but playing a couple in your 75 seems like a good idea.

 

I can't really talk about decks from the Pro Tour without discussing the winning deck right? So here's Martin Dangs RG aggro list:

Maindeck
4 Foundry Street Denizen
1 Frenzied Goblin
2 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Lightning Berserker
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Atarka's Command
1 Become Immense
4 Lightning Strike
4 Stoke the Flames
4 Wild Slash
4 Mana Confluence
1 Temple of Abandon
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Forest
10 Mountain

Sideboard
2 Goblin Rabblemaster, 4 Eidolon of the Great Revel, 1 Goblin Heelcutter, 1 Destructive Revelry, 2 Hall of Triumph, 4 Roast, 1 Scouring Sands

It looks like a fairly typical mono red deck splashing green for 4 copies of Atarka's Command and a Become Immense main deck. This kind of deck really preys on the slower decks in the format, as you can see from his top 8 matches.  The two new cards that I'd like to focus on from the deck are Atarka's Command and Zurgo Bellstriker. Command is excellent in this deck (Dang described it as 'the best card') going to the dome, pumping your team or stopping the life gain from a Siege Rhino or Nyleas Disciple the card just does everything you want, and is the real reason you're splashing green in your otherwise Mono Red deck.

AtarkasZurgo

Zurgo is another important card. It gives you a 2 power 1 drop on turn 1 and also allows you to play it as a threat without commiting to the board later. Traditionally this deck has fantastic game 1s, and then post board the opponent brings in their Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrows and you have a much tougher time winning games 2 and 3. Now because of all the Dash creatures in the deck it really allows you to play into these with impunity. Going 1 drop into T2 dash guy and their Drown in Sorrow is just a one for one removal spell. Dangs deck looks to be really well positioned going forward, and definitely one to look out for.

Once again that's it for me for now, thanks for reading and I hope I've given you some kind of insight into the new control cards from Dragons of Tarkir and they're functions in decks going forwards.

Alastair

Rees’ Pieces #2: Alastair Inspects the Standard Market.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Magic the Gathering, Product News
1/11/14 Price Update

Hi everyone, I'm back again with another finance article covering the ups and downs of standard cards from the past week. I'm going to start off by patting the clever of you who 'speculated' on Thoughtseizes as they've finally started to creep up again; currently at £17.99 with foils clocking in at £44.99. If you were hoping to grab a set of foils while they are still not too expensive you are swiftly running out of time.

Last week we had a long list of pit traps and false floors with price drops all over the shop. Unfortunately the bad weathers not done yet:
First on our series of losers is Dig through Time. Coming out at £4 each and suddenly shooting up to £14 it managed to keep that price for a few weeks but has now dropped down to £10.49 each. Bloodstained Mire, rejected behind his brothers has now gone down under £10. At this point a great deal of Kahns of Tarkir has been opened so having a majority of the rares holding prices over the £10 threshold for much longer is unrealistic. I would expect the other non-blue fetches to follow in Mires downward path and drop also.

Bloodstained Mire


 

Despite putting a couple of results up in modern daily events as well as winning the latest Pro Tour, Siege Rhino has actually dropped in price down to £5.99. Following suit are commander all star Clever Impersonator; down to £4.49, and Black Aggro sweethear Bloodsoaked Champion; now at £4.49. Utter End also fell, now at the low low price of £3.49. I breifly mentioned how some of the green devotion cards had started dropping and the treand continues with Rattleclaw now at £3.49. Its worth noting that both Rhino and Mystic have recently been given away as Buy a Box and Game Day Promo cards.

Khan or Khan't?

The Khans of Tarkir have had a reasonable impact on standard since the set's come out. On the first weekend we saw Narset do some work out of the sideboard in the Jeskai Tempo deck, and Anafenza had a great showing at the Pro Tour. It's about time we had a check up and see how the Clan leaders are doing:
- Currently winning the Clan War is Anafenza the Foremost, weighing in at £7.99 with foils going up to £14.99
- Next up, clocking in second in the great race is Sidisi Brood Tyrant, at £5.99 with a foil setting you back £10.99
- Middle of the pack is the mighty Surrak Dragonclaw currently at the cheap price of £3.59 going up to the cost of £12 for a foil, probably because of his power in commander.
- Despite seeing play as a one of or two of in a bunch of Jeskai tempo decks you can pick up a Narset Enlightened Master for a meager £2.49. You might think that sharing your treasured knowledge actually makes you worth less, however a foil copy of Narset is still £13.49. If you ever let somone attack with one in EDH you'll see why.
- Letting his down his clan completely, though probably at least partially due to his printing in Speed vs Cunning Zurgo Helmsmasher is only £2.25 with technically 3 printings. As you can get a foil one either out of the duel deck or as a prerelease promo a foil is only £4.49.
Wrap Up
Again its been a weak week for the standard market with not much at all to brag or write home about, and the format seems relatively defined so a shake up seems unlikely. We can still hope though; thats it from me this week so thanks for reading and I'll see  you next time
Alastair

 

REES!
Rees is a magic expert, but sadly also a magiciser; he can never commit to one deck. Maybe one day he will settle down.

New Stuff! 27/2/11

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Magic the Gathering, News, Product News

Quite a few new items in this week. First I'll start with the excellent new hobby accessory instant mold;


 



We will be selling 6 sticks of Instant Mold for £10.79. It can apparently easily make smaller pieces of equipment such as melta guns and jetpacks. You can also make miniatures from it, but I am not sure if the detail will carry over. Only one way to find out!


 


We also received the Dystopian Wars second wave of fighters and bombers for all four nations.



The Infinity starter sets and rulebooks came in, and the Malifaux rulebook.  I am also glad to announce the complete range for both systems is available to order in and will be priced at 10% off the RRP.


The much awaited expansion to Deathwatch, Rites of Battle, arrived. Where you can now be a Chaplain or Dreadnought and fight Warhound Titans!  Deathwatch RPG is also back in stock.


The February releases for Privateer Press arrived (such as Valachev and the the Black Frost Shard) and the complete range of P3 paints! Magic the Gathering Event Decks arrived, along with the Blood of Martyrs expansion book for Dark Heresy.


Another busy week next week the Orcs and Goblins launch is in and our first Blood and Oil since the nationals is on this Sunday.



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MTG gets Stacked & the Deathwatch are Reborn

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Custom Rule Sets, Fenriryan's Blog, Magic the Gathering
Wolf Watchwatcher 2

Im basically back to fighting fit, but for safe side I have ensconsed myself at my PC rather than strained myself (other than cleaning out several pet cages, hoovering, wahsing up, storing stuff up attic... Oh the relaxation) and have writen my 2nd blog-bite about Magic The Gathering, looking at the Stack. Find it on Wolf's Eye View now.

Also, I have uploaded my first version of a Deathwtach codex Im working on. Heavily modified from 5th Ed Movies Marines to be more Codexesque in stats but with some fun new additions, tricks and weapon power ups to befit, it is a WIP that I hope to have ready for a play test by end of April.
Im working through the weapons, then vehsicles, then special rles before I properly work on the points costs, but I am aiming for 1 HQ, 2-3 Troops, 1-3 Elites or Heavy Support at 2000pts - you'll see what that actually gets you when you read it, d/l it from this link or the Home Grown Rules page.

Wolf Watcher 1

Magic Lessons for you!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Fenriryan's Blog, Magic the Gathering
Wolf Watchwatcher 2

Im off work till further notice due to a raging Viral infection (if you start feeling like a sore throat, go get checked out - it aint fun!) so i have decided to occupy myself a sbest I can.

Alas going out in the horrid weather to finally start spraying and painting my WH Quest monsters is out of the picture, so I thought Id use my blog for good, so if you swing on by to Wolfs Eye View you can read the first in a series of articles I am going to write about Magic the Gathering to give you all some food for thought, starting with the core sterotypes of each of the 5 colours for you to bear in mind.

The next one is going to go over Deck Building theory, and over the course of the next few weeks, I will also look at the Stack and all it means to you, some common jargon you'll hear and read alot and wtf it all means, and other little useful bits.

So if you have any questions or something flicks a switch in your mind, raise it like a Black Deck player with too much mana and we'll set about it.

Mean time, Im also gonna start writing up my elemntally skewed dungeon crawler game rule set Ive been unable to shake from my already fragile psyke....

Sick Wolf howling off....

Wolf Watcher 1