GP Pittsburgh aftermath
- Dr. Hans Joachim Höh
Grand Prix Pittsburgh has come and gone without a revolution in the Standard format.
Grand Prix Pittsburgh has come and gone without a revolution in the Standard format - the top dog has changed though. Before the Pro Tour I thought nothing would beat B/G, but Mardu vehicles managed to do so. This may have been a fluke though. Mardu wasn't really on the radar yet, so B/G players were incorrectly not maximizing their early game and their number of Fatal Pushes at the Pro Tour. Once you know what you have to deal with, B/G can and did adjust and dominated the Top32, Top8 and won the GP just a week later.
There are still a lot of different B/G versions and some new experimental tech, but nothing that is financially very exciting.
Sylvan Advocate is back in the spotlight, so you could consider moving your remaining copies if this gains back a little value – maybe the last time before rotation.
I am also happy to see three decks in the Top8 run Gifted Aetherborn (2,3, and 4 copies respectively), but only because I talked about this as a potential 2-drop of choice and was embarrassed when it didn't see play at the PT. Obviously there is no money to be made with that uncommon card. His bigger brother Gonti, Lord of Luxury is showing up as well in small numbers, but that is probably not enough for the card to move significantly.
What is on the move despite only seeing play in the energy variant of B/G is
Players have been burnt so many times by card drawing 2/1s that ended up not living up to the power of their role model Dark Confidant, but this variant is decent. Getting copies at the current price will not hurt and could still pay off easily.
Greenbelt Rampager has bottomed out and should be a decent buy as well given the confidence players have in the Siphoner and the energy variant in general. These cards could see another spike if the energy mechanic were continued on other cards after this block.
The price of Walking Ballista has stabilized as well. By now the card's power is widely accepted and players have started to experiment with it not only in Vintage with Mishra's Workshop, but also in Modern, where it can team up with some new and some old school counter theme cards.
Brian DeMars just wrote about an “Abzan Affinity deck”, which squeezes maximum value from Ballista, Hangarback Walker, Arcbound Ravager and even Arcbound Worker with Winding Constrictor and Hardened Scales. Nissa, Scavenging Ooze, and Dromoka's Command generate even more +1/+1 counters, while providing other useful effects as well. This may not be the best possible version yet, but it shows the brewing potential of Ballista. Owning a playset makes sense across multiple formats, which always bodes well for the long-term value of a card as well.
Next up is Modern. We have to discuss a relevant Wizards announcement, upcoming GPs and MM17. Stay tuned!