Hello All, this past weekend started off the standard PPTQ season off with 3 events over Saturday and Sunday, myself and a few of the other Monctonian Comic Hunter players went to the Sunday event in Halifax. Unfortunately outside of Bobby Leblanc our records could have been a lot better. I decided to go into the event playing Abzan control of the Owen Turtenwald Variety, and the list I played was virtually the exact list he played at worlds. I feel the deck is very strong but when you have to Mul to 5 a lot Against aggressive strategies and combo’s your on tilt before the game even starts. With that I quickly went 0/2 before getting a win against the mirror. I followed that win with another against Bobby Bourque, and lost again in the last round against Mardu Midrange. Bobby Bourque decided to play G/R Devotion as he was more comfortable with the list over burn, while burn was the strategy Nick Bourque decided to play but in the end I believe his record was 3/2 putting him just out of top 8. Bobby Leblanc decided to go into the event with Rally Elves which is a sweet deck, the deck uses a lot of come into play effects the best being life loss from Siege Rhino and Shaman of the Pack. Now add Chord of Calling and Rally the Ancestors into the deck making all of those playable creatures into returning nightmares. Congrats anyway Bobby on another PPTQ top 8.
Now for the good stuff, my new favourite spoilers! Greenwarden of Marusa could see play in various green decks, the first that comes to mind would be an Abzan Control list. The Greenwarden would act as another Den protector later in the game while giving the deck another threat, and still getting another card back from the graveyard. If there is a green Midrange deck then I will expect to see at least one copy of the Greenwarden in the main deck.
The new set of common lands feel like they could all see play in the appropriate decks for them. The blue and black lands Skyline Cascade and Mortuary Mire, give control strategies an un-counterable effect that could mean victory when otherwise would be defeat. While the red and white common lands Sandstone Bridge and Looming Spires, would pump and give vigilance or first strike both of which can be of use in aggressive strategies. The green land Fertile Thicket is an interesting card and could be a great addition to decks using green that need to hit there land drops.
A card that I am on the fence about would have to be Painful Truths, this could end up being a great card in Abzan strategies where these decks have the ability to mitigate some of the life loss. The issue with Painful Truths is, would you cut Abzan Charm for it? In my head that is a definite no. Then in the other control decks it gives a great early draw spell but depending on where the Metagame goes the loss of life might be too significant, especially with post rotation happening and the expectation of significant numbers of aggressive decks to be floating around as typical of any rotational standard metagame.
Scatter to the winds feels like a great late game counter spell assuming one is ahead turning a land into a 3/3. I think this could give control access to win conditions without having to really play any, which can be said for all the Awaken cards. Here is a quick list using what I feel are the better Awaken cards spoiled so far using Ruinous Path, Scatter to the Winds and Planar Outburst, another awaken card worth mentioning is Part the Waterveil, the reason I haven’t included Part the Waterveil is its mana cost the awaken being 9 Mana seems a little rough:
4 Arashin Cleric
3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
3 Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 Awfully Awry
4 Clash of wills
4 Scatter to the Winds
2 Painful Truth
4 Ruinous Path
3 Planar Outburst
3 Dig Through Time
4 Flooded strand
4 Polluted Delta
4 Prairie Stream
4 Sunken Hollow
3 Shambling Vent
1 Skyline Cascade
Another card that has been spoiled that I like is Awfully Awry, which if we have a lot of creature based strategies especially if the decks are running Den Protector then the power level of this card goes up a fair bit. If the format goes to a more controlly metagame then Awfully Awry becomes worse and probably wont see a lot of play.
Drana, Liberator of Malikir feels very good with cards like Hangerback Walker or any deck that goes wide with creatures. Simply due to the fact that she has First Strike and as long as your other creatures don’t have First Strike they will get there +1/+1 counter before inflicting there damage. Abzan aggressive strategies could be getting a bunch of power houses.
Most of the Eldrazi have not really peeked my interest but Sire of Stagnation definitely gets my attention. whenever a land comes into play under our opponents side causes them to mill 2 and us to draw 2 cards?! Getting this guy onto the table the earlier you can the better.
With that I wont be able to play until after release of Battle for Zendikar, but it is my plan to keep going over potential options for deck lists for rotation. I’ll also be working on a limited article for this set to help figure out where I would go in a sealed or draft event. So hope to see you when I can and hopefully I’ll be ready for GP Quebec when I can finally play again.