GP Los Angeles 2016

There were two Grand Prix on the weekend, but one was overshadowed by a massive problem with the tournament software and the pairings, so today I want to look at GP Los Angeles only.

There were two Grand Prix on the weekend, but one was overshadowed by a massive problem with the tournament software and the pairings, so today I want to look at GP Los Angeles only.

The biggest fish in the pond

Merfolk won Los Angeles, but it wasn't just due to variance! The deck put 8 players into the Top100 after day1, four of which were in the top32 after day2 – and that is in addition to the winning list of Simon Slutsky. The metagame has become a little more blue recently, making Islandwalk a bit more powerful, but there has to be another reason for the success of the Fish-people. There are still 4 Spreading Seas in all Merfolk main decks, so it can't be just because everybody is using Islands now. Buying into the winning deck right after an event is rarely a good idea, but even if you insist on buying your fish while it is fresh, I wouldn't touch Æther Vial or Cavern of Souls as they should be high on Wizards “reprint radar”, even if they won't be in EMA. The various lords and Master of Waves are a better investment.

Dack Fayden, Liliana, Nissa?

There is a huge difference between a card costing three and a card costing four mana. This is especially true in non-Standard formats, where mana acceleration can start on turn one already, potentially jump-starting one player to three mana on their second turn. That is why I was talking about Nissa, Voice of Zendikar's potential in Modern already back in January. By now Modern has slowed down a little, and players have embraced her power in Standard, so it was only a matter of time for Nissa to show up in Modern as well. Matthew Nass put up a deep run into day2 with G/W Tokens, coming extremely close to the top8. He finished in 15th place, with great tiebreakers and only one win short to make the final cut. G/W Tokens is a transition enabler for new players from Standard to Modern and definitely an interesting archetype, which we might see get further developed in the future. Getting played in Modern and Standard normally should push Nissa's price upwards, but we just received this news on last Monday:

“Relive the battle between Zendikar's protector and its would-be destroyer. Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis pits two of the Multiverse's most powerful Planeswalkers against one another - just as they were in Magic Story. Releases September 2, 2016.”

We don't know for sure whether these Duel Decks will contain exactly this Nissa, but it would make a lot of sense to reprint the two versions from the Battle for Zendikar block, instead of designing new versions or reprinting older ones.

Various new tech

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet has proven to be a viable Modern card. It is seeing play as a 2-of in various Jund lists, despite being a little slow. It is great against slower decks, or decks with very few removal spells, combing nicely with Jund's own plethora of removal, or Liliana of the Veil's -2 to take over the board. Make sure to pick these up after they rotate out of Standard if you don't have any already, or sold them into the Standard hype.

Dreadbore has become a standard 1-of in Jund Midrange and Grixis Control as a clean answer to Nahirikul.

When in doubt: Tentacles

Summoning Eldrazi creatures is still a viable plan in Modern, when you replace your playset of broken (and banned) lands with some “fair” mana accelerators, like Noble Hierarch. Keep sitting on those Eldrazi cards, as their price will only go up over the years – considering that they are relevant for Modern, Legacy, and as we recently saw in Frankfurt even Vintage!

I will be back with more Modern articles soon. Right now it is time to delve into all the Eternal Masters news...


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malz77(2016-05-30 08:40)

Is Grand Architect / Pili-Pala the next great combo we will see in modern?

bloodball(2016-05-23 20:50)

for the commander cards i think the price will certainly quite drop. don't know about the others. it is a very limited set..