Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pro Tour Dark Ascension Aftermath: Videos, Fantasy Score and Budget Top Decks

The Pro Tour has been over for quite a few days and it was the first time I manage to watch high Tournament-level Magic videos over YouTube. In case you missed it or the links are too small to noticed,  you'll find all the links on the top half of this page, above the tournament playoff table. Being able to watch Jon Finkel play is fantastic!

My Fantasy Score was 1933 and I ranked 1311. The results are here. The cards I called wrongly were non-basic land, artifact, sorcery and Planeswalker. I went for Moorland Haunt but I totally missed out that UW is going to be very popular with Humans and Delvers. For Artifact, I chose Ratchet Bomb over Swords of War and Peace because I went with the thought that both Offensive (in sideboard) and Defensive decks will use it but it only came second to the Swords. My sorcery was Green Sun Zenith which should be Ponder. Lastly, I called the wrong Garruk.

Anyway, the most important things I want to point out in this post relates to the "Top 98"decks of the Pro Tour. I hope I did not miscount as it is an awful long scroll down the page. These came in with 18 points and above. Other than the many Wolf-Runs and Delvers and Humans, I found a few Hellrider/Huntmaster GR decks (Ctr+f to search for Hellrider). I reckon they are the centerpiece because they are 4-ofs in the deck. It looks like creature beatdown with burn and I'm guessing it is a midgame-focused deck? I'm also liking the UB control deck run by Lukas Jaklovsky and Robert Jurkovic (look for their names), which I read came in 9th and 10th, I think. The most compelling information that I dug from all that scrutinizing is that there are decks that do not have a single Mythic rare!

The information might not be something new as I have not read a whole lot of top deck lists from top tournament but for the budget-consiouse players, this deck-lists are definitely very attractive. However, they all have blue and contain Snapcaster Mages so... Look for Bernd Brendmhl's UR Delver deck and Jon Finkel's Delver-Spirits, which is credited as Sam Black's creation. Delver-Spirits in particular are Top 8 decks.

It is important to note this variant of Delver do seem to be built specifically to go against other standard Delver decks, hence Swords were replaced with Artifact/Enchantment-hate mainboard. It still does well overall as the core of Delver is still in there. There is another similarly built deck I remember seeing over at a StarCity Games tournament that had around 2 Geist of Saint Traft. Very importantly, you cannot dismiss the fact that the 2 decks that made it to Top 8 were run by Magic Hall of Fame-rs (Read: Magic Pros of the highest level, therefore other player's experience may vary). I still believe this Delver-Spirits deck will be fairly powerful and worth building.