Pro Tour Amonkhet Top8
- Dr. Hans Joachim Höh
Will there be two top decks in the new Standard, or just one?
The field has been reduced to eight players, who remain to play today. Early on during yesterday's coverage I thought they were actively preventing Mardu to be shown on camera, but the deck seems to have indeed been badly positioned in the new metagame. Four Marvel decks and three Zombie variants claimed the top spots, allowing one B/G Energy deck to take the remaining spot. So it is clear which cards will gain the most value today and tomorrow, namely the mythics in the two big decks: Aetherworks Marvel, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and to a lesser extend Relentless Dead because the B/W Zombie version doesn't use that or any other mythic rare in the main deck.
Interestingly the quarterfinal match-ups are three times Zombies vs. Marvel and B/G vs. Marvel, which means that it is theoretically possible that the story-line of two equally strong top decks could suddenly take two very different turns. If all Marvel players win their first round the format will be perceived very differently than in the scenario in which they all lose or in which there is a more even distribution. Although that doesn't make much sense from a scientifically perspective (due to the small amount of games), this is how the human mind likes to interpret things.
Long-term I would expect Marvel to be the better deck, because it is more flexible (due to using more colors) and therefore should have an easier time to adjust to the Zombie decks than the other way round. The Top8 might play out differently though because W/B Zombies and B/G Energy finished in first and second place after the Swiss, giving them the initiative for the elimination rounds, which might be just the edge they need to beat the Marvel decks before they are fully set up. Only Martin Müller is bringing the full 4 Chandra, Flamecaller to the table, which is one of the best ways to annihilate an out of control Zombie board. This tech may become the norm after the Pro Tour, but the other Marvel players may have more trouble in their quarterfinal matches.
Despite playing last, there is one more factor potentially helping the record of the Marvel decks: The two Hall of Famers in the top8 are both playing Marvel, and their experience and familiarization to playing in the Sunday spotlight can make a difference.
Either way, selling Zombie and Marvel cards today or tomorrow should net you some good money, but if one of those decks gets crushed in the quarterfinals, you want to sell the cards in that deck fast, while increasing your prices for the contents of the other deck.