Pro Tour Amonkhet Top8

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.


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MKM-Insight(16.05.2017 15:29)

I usually don't recommend all the cards from any given deck. Most people prefer to go wide instead of deep on one specific deck or format. Obviously, you should have bought playsets of all Zombie cards as an active Standard player. On the other hand if you don't want the cards to play, but to just sell or trade them later, then you might only want to know the most effective card to invest into from a specific deck like Zombies. Lili's Mastery has gained value as well, but it is always better to look into mythics instead of rares, and it is also better to look into rares that aren't from currently drafted sets. That is why Diregraf Colossus and Cryptbreaker gained more value, despite being required exactly as often as Mastery. Liliana's Mastery still has some potential to rise, but don't expect it to go as high as those other Zombie cards due to new copies getting listed all the time.

malz77(16.05.2017 09:13)

You mentioned Liliana's Mastery in the Pre Pro Tour Amonkhet article, but you didn't recommend it here. What are your thoughts?