Hi all, hands up who’s looking forward to the Pro Tour this weekend!
Yeah, me too! You’ve probably heard at this point about the Fantasy Pro Tour promotion they’re pushing with it. You haven’t? Okay, here’s how it goes (those who know can skip ahead to the next paragraph): Go install the Fantasy Pro Tour Facebook App (make sure you’re logged into Facebook), you have the option of choosing some cards in Standard to be your team, one of each card type plus a Planeswalker tie-breaker.
For each time the card appears in the top-performing decks of the Pro Tour you get some amount of points according to which card type it is. – e.g. a deck with 4-of your Sorcery will give you 8 points by itself.
Planeswalker – [card]Sorin, Lord of Innistrad[/card]
The key, I think, to the Fantasy Pro Tour is finding cards which will be in a few different deck archetypes and will be a 3-4 of in each of them. Sorin is a good example of this, already seeing play in WB(x) control decks that revolve around planeswalkers, and WB token decks. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, the only other legitimate pick here is [card]Garruk Relentless[/card] and I just don’t see that card doing as well in what I expect the metagame to be like. For that reason, and because people like playing with new toys, I pick Sorin.
Large Creature – [card]Primeval Titan[/card]
Who else to turn to except the big bad? This card is a 4-of in all the [card]Kessig Wolf Run[/card] decks and sometimes sees play as a 1-of in the [card]Birthing Pod[/card] or Green-Red Kibler decks. There aren’t really many other expensive creatures seeing play right now anyway, possibly [card]Sun Titan[/card] and [card]Grave Titan[/card] but that’s about it. People aren’t spending more than 4 mana on their creatures these days.
Medium Creature – [card]Mirran Crusader[/card]
I’m less sure of this one. A part of me wants to pick [card]Geist of St. Traft[/card] but people are beginning to cut him from the [card]Seachrome Coast[/card] decks and he gets a lot worse vs my choice of small creature. The other decent choice that springs to mind is [card]Daybreak Ranger[/card] but I don’t think it goes in enough decks – the different green 3-drops all demand different deck types so you won’t score many points for them. I’m willing to just take a flier here and see if people metagame using [card]Mirran Crusader[/card].
Small Creature – [card]Strangleroot Geist[/card]
This card is bonkers! It also will see play in basically all the green aggressive decks as a 4-of, so is a sure choice. It will be in the Green-Red Kibler decks, the Green-x Birthing Pod decks, the mono-green Dungrove Elder decks. This will probably be the MVP of the weekend. The only other small creature which I think comes close is [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card]. [card]Llanowar Elves[/card], [card]Birds of Paradise[/card], [card]Delver of Secrets[/card], and [card]Invisible Stalker[/card] feel like they’ll see some play but in strictly smaller numbers than [card]Strangleroot Geist[/card] and [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card], I feel.
Instant – [card]Mana Leak[/card]
Hey, gotta push the website somehow :) It probably got even worse but the card is still eminently playable and I really don’t see any other instant seeing play in more than one deck (unless I missed something horrendously). I looked through the whole of the spoiler to try to ensure I didn’t miss anything but it’s possible I just overlooked something.
Sorcery – [card]Lingering Souls[/card]
This is another push on the Sorin decks, but also any deck which plays this card will play 4. Ferociously powerful and has plenty of support right now, making 4 flying guys for 5 mana would be good but getting to stagger it is excellent. Works well with my next card too :)
Enchantment – [card]Honor of the Pure[/card]
Another card which is a 0- or 4-of. I think it is better than [card]Intangible Virtue[/card] even in the decks which want both because you don’t only play token creatures. There are also decks that aren’t so token-heavy but want to be playing [card]Glorious Anthem[/card] so I can really see a lot of this card going around. The other option I think is [card]Oblivion Ring[/card] but that isn’t a 4-of in all the decks that want it so I think Honor is a safer bet.
Artifact – [card]Ratchet Bomb[/card]
Basically, all those sweet cards I was talking about before ([card]Lingering Souls[/card], Werewolves, [card]Delver of Secrets[/card]) are highly attackable by this little beaut. I don’t think it’ll be a 4-of in many decks, but not many artifacts will be anyway. What it does do is slot nicely into a bunch of different decks and a lot of sideboards so I expect to accumulate points across the board with this.
Non-basic Land – [card]Seachrome Coast[/card]
Currently a 4-of in a few different decks, I don’t think people will be too persuaded to walk away from it. Possible [card]Evolving Wilds[/card] will see more play but I think you have to be quite quick onto the board at the moment and so taking a turn to fix a basic land is probably a losing strategy. I’m happy to be proved wrong though.
Pro Tour Player Tiebreaker – [card]Luis Scott-Vargas[/card]
Mr Consistent, how could I not vote for a fellow pun afficionado? LSV always scores well at PTs so this is a safe bet really.
Overall, how well do I think I will do? Quite well I think, but unlikely to win. The reason for this is that the winning strategy is probably to go all-in on some new highly popular deck (I wonder how the Channel Fireball crew vote themselves) and picking all the 4-ofs in it.
By picking cards from all these different decks I’m kind of betting against myself. It’s usually called `hedging‘ in the betting world and ensures low variance at the cost of big swings. For that reason I won’t have the highest score of all my friends, but I expect to be up there – who’re you voting for?