This past weekend the SCG Open Series came to our hometown of Syracuse, NY. Unsurprisingly Jeskai Planeswalkers and Mono-Red were the only decks left standing at the end of the weekend. This tournament had a major impact on sales with six of the Top 10 cards being from the winning decklist. Let's take a look at what made the cut.
Our number 10 card is currently sitting in the sideboard of almost every deck that can play it. With Jeskai Planeswalkers and Mono-Red at the top of the meta, Dovin's Veto has no end of noncreature spells to counter.
I've talked about this Teferi a number of times in this series; it is a powerful control card that is being tested out in a large variety of decks. Last week, CoolStuffInc.com's Michael Flores wrote an article claiming that it was the best card in Standard. Most of the article pointed out how at its worst, Teferi, Time Raveler is still better than most other cards with similar effects. He determined that when evaluating the newest Teferi, its worst-case scenario is more important than its potential ceiling.
One of the few cards in the Top 10 that didn't see play at SCG Syracuse was Krenko, and just like last week, Commander seems to be the main factor in Krenko being here. EDHREC's Mason Brantley released an article last week on how underrated the card is currently. While some might argue that this Krenko is worse than the previous version, I have to disagree. The two cards support different playstyles and will many times win in different ways. Krenko, Mob Boss was a combo commander. There's rarely a need to attack with Mob Boss as the tokens will be doing the heavy lifting, and these decks often win without even needing combat damage. Impact Tremors and Goblin Bombardment get past blockers and avoid your opponents' combat spells like Settle the Wreckage and Aetherize. Krenko Tin Street Kingpin wins through attacking with high power. Winning through commander damage is much more likely as you'll be attacking often and using cards like Whispersilk Cloak and Glaring Spotlight to make sure Krenko gets through unscathed. The recently spoiled Goblin Matron may also be boosting sales of Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin as well.
In three- and four-color planeswalker decks, Interplanar Beacon is essential for an efficient manabase. The one-for-one mana fixing makes sure that you can cast your planeswalkers on curve, and the lifegain helps you stay in the game while you set up your battlefield.
Narset's showing this past weekend was incredible. A total of 22 Narsets were in the Top 8 decklists, most of which were running a playset in the maindeck. Narset has probably been the most widely used card from War of the Spark thus far and it's easy to see why. Repeatable card advantage has been recognized as a vital aspect of the game ever since Jayemdae Tome in Alpha, and getting that while shutting off your opponent's ability to produce card advantage is too strong of a static ability to be ignored in any format.
I talked about Karn in last week's episode and since then, it has climbed up from number 9 to number 5. During the Open, Eli Kassis played Simic Ramp that runs three Karns mainboard and has an artifact package in the sideboard built to counter the most popular decks in the current meta. During the deck tech Eli explained what cards Karn can grab and what they are best against. I'll run through them quickly in case you didn't get a chance to tune into the stream.
Mizzium Tank didn't show up in the Top 8 over the weekend but interestingly what makes it powerful is actually what it doesn't interact with. Modeled after Halcyon Glaze from original Ravnica, Mizzium Tank is normally an artifact and only becomes a creature when you cast a noncreature spell. This allows it to get around sweepers, sorcery-speed creature removal, and on top of that it can't be stolen with Mind Control-type spells or reanimation spells.
Another piece of the Jeskai Planeswalkers deck, Saheeli is at the bottom of the curve for planeswalkers. The deck doesn't play a single creature, so every spell you cast is guaranteed to give you a Servo Token as long as Saheeli is on the battlefield. Those 1/1s can chump block to protect your bigger planeswalkers or swing in at your opponent's walkers with a wide attack to get around blockers.
One deck that has been seeing play but didn't quite make it into the Top 8 was Four-Color Dreadhorde. It's basically a pile of powerful planeswalkers and creatures that you can use and reuse throughout the game with both Command the Dreadhorde and Tamiyo, Collector of Tales bringing threats back over and over. The mana in this deck can occasionally give you trouble, but Interplanar Beacon and Paradise Druid will typically be enough to fix that issue.
Sarkhan, the Masterless is a bomb in the Jeskai Planeswalkers deck. The Dragon Token is huge for the cost and its plus ability is a powerful finisher when you've got a couple planeswalkers on the battlefield. The 4/4 Dragon is especially strong in the planeswalker matchups as it can fly over blockers and deal enough damage to (at the very least) turn off minus abilities. Many times it can kill the planeswalker outright.
And that's it for our Top 10 this week. The next major event coming up is Modern and with the newest surge of Modern Horizons spoilers, we might be seeing some Modern cards making their way back into our Top 10. I'm still holding out hope for Shardless Agent.