Focus on the Pro Tour: The New Extended (and Some Newly Found Scars)

For those of you that follow the Pro Tour, this will be slightly outdated news- but not all of it, perhaps! As you probably know, this year’s Extended is wildly different than the last. Not since Dual Lands rotated out of Extended has the format felt so… different. The four Block paradigm was made, according to several WotC statements (most recently by Zac Hill in this video), to make cards from recent sets relevant for a longer period than 1-2 years. It seems to have happened, but as mentioned in the video, some cards get the limelight that never saw it in Standard. Beyond Extended shenanigans (and the possible foundation building for this winter’s PTQ season), PT: Amsterdam also featured some Magic 2011 Draft warfare. This is especially interesting as M11 is the weapon of choice for Magic Online Limited (and the payout for Standard events). (Check out two Draft Viewers for Pod 1 competitors: Draft 1, Draft 2.)

Top 8 Inbound!

Before we take a brief gander at Extended or M11 Draft, let’s focus on what everyone wants to talk about- the Top 8! Wow, wow, wow… Kai Budde is back! Many believe that Budde is going to give Finkel a run for his money as the title of “Most Successful Magic Player Ever,” but only tomorrow will tell. For those so inclined, the PT Top 8 will be streamed at 4:45 AM Eastern on the WotC Event Coverage Page for Pro Tour Amsterdam.

This event’s Top 8 is stacked with talent! Not only is the German Juggernaut Kai Budde present, but many other top MTG players are also in the ranks. Everyone’s favorite Control mage, Guillame Wafo-Tapo is in his fourth career Pro Tour Top 8 with a familiar archetype- Teachings Control. Magic Online ringer turned pro Brad Nelson (you might know him as ffFreak) and Brian “Dragonmaster” Kibler are both wielding (despite the Tree Lord’s hefty backside) blazingly fast Doran, the Siege Tower Aggro decks. Paul Rietzl, a recent addition to Sunday stage mainstays, ran the same Nassif-approved White Weenie(!!) deck that Budde used to roll nine unsuspecting (or unresisting) opponents. The MTGO Extended metagame was also represented with PT Top 8 fixture Marijn Lybaert’s Merfolk. Even former US National king Michael Jacob decided to join the lineup, running a Chapin-brewed Grixis Control concoction. Sadly, Scapeshift (and MTGOAcademy contributors _Shipitholla and Rhythmik) did not make it to Sunday- next time, boys! (The full Day 2 Extended metagame can be found on the WotC Coverage page.)

Scars of Mirrodin Sneak Peak!

Did we say that everyone wanted to talk about Kai Budde and the Top 8? Our bad… everyone really wants to talk about the newly spoiled Scars of Mirrodin cards! Thanks to Starcitygames for uploading the pictures from the Assault on Mirrodin afterparty to their Facebook page and MtGColorPie for taking pictures and uploading them to Twitter. Cheers and Enjoy! — The MTGOAcademy Staff

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The New Elspeth, Casting Cost: 3WW

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Mox Opal, Casting Cost: 0

  1. Nice selection of spoilers. The Mox will surely be a hot card in Vintage and the name tag and mythic rarity will make this a chase card for sure.

  2. As an artifact nerd, I have to say that these spoilers are pretty exciting to see. Thanks for posting them.

  3. From a Singleton perspective- both Planeswalkers have me excited! The Mox, Elspeth and Memnite are all interesting constructed cards… I want this set to come out so I can start thinking about Standard!

  4. I wonder how good a 0 mana 1/1 is. Probably not good enough, but it’s very interesting that they’re trying a 0-mana creature that’s not 0/x.

  5. Venser and Elspeth will definitely be awesome cards, but as for the mox I’m not sure it’ll be Vintage playable. I have played plenty of Vintage games where I didn’t have 3 mox or arties out on the battlefield making the mox a dead card. It’ll definitely be good in an affinity deck though. If it wasn’t Legendary I would consider using it in Vintage since 4 of those + 5 mox + lotus + petal = at least 11 artifacts a good chance of getting 3, but sadly its not :( oh well.

  6. @KillerOwen Mox derp counts itself for the metalcraft activation, so you really only need two other artifacts. Between having a few artifact lands, playing the original moxen and possibly diamond or chrome, lotus, sol ring and perhaps a few other cheap artifacts, it seems it could be cast with relative ease. The fact that it’s legendary is just lazy design though.

  7. @ Cody: The Vintage decks I play don’t run any chrome since they are week compared to the power, and I never use any artifact lands unless I’m running like Tezz. Mox might be a 1 of but I wouldn’t be going crazy for it. In Vintage you want to play your artifacts and be able to use them right away Opal won’t guarantee that. I expect some decks to run it especial decks like MUD, but I will hold off for now.

  8. T1 – Memnite, Orinthopter, Mox, plains, Steel Overseer. Seems good.

    Elspeth looks ridiculous.

  9. Best of luck!I really hope you are able to tlcake this series, provide the numerous MTGOers out there in your same shoes with a sense of shared experience (valuable in overcoming the frustration) *and* meet your goals.