StarCityGames.com Open Series: Detroit has come to an end, #SCGDET is complete and the trophies have been dispensed. Brad Eier and Bobby Kovacs are Detroit’s first Standard and Legacy Open champions with Zombies and Lands, respectively. Expect to see these decks making waves in the coming weeks!
The Series continues in Seattle next weekend, with @SCGLive hosts Joey Pasco and Marshall Sutcliffe commentating the event. Be sure to give Marshall a warm welcome to our airwaves on #SCGSEA!
“Chris Andersen put me somewhere against this deck,” Bobby said. “...I hate this deck, man.” Apparently scared of the little green men, it seemed that Caleb had the advantage against Bobby. His edge increased with his top seed, which put him on the play.
With nearly identical decklists, Caleb Durward and Chris Andersen sat down for an Elves mirror.
It was the third Top 4 for Chris in two weekends—would he break through to the finals at the
expense of perennial bridesmaid Caleb Durward?
Dredge and RUG Delver are two of the more popular decks in Legacy, with RUG dominating
the metagame in recent months while Dredge sniped the occasional Top 8 slot from an
unsuspecting player or two. Jeremy had the Delvers, while Justin came with Golgari Grave-Troll.
Playing for an outside shot at Top 8 and to lock Top 16 this round, Davis Merced met Teresa
Buss in the final Swiss round. His mono-black deck was suited to creature opponents, and Teresa
was playing Legacy’s creature deck du jour—Maverick. Could she overcome the disadvantage?
Ari was playing Storm—an unusual choice for him. Would he be able to overcompensate for his
considerable inexperience and overcome Bryan’s U/W Counterbalance deck? On a more serious
note, Ari sat down knowing he faced a tough matchup against Bryan, and knowing that Bryan
had enough experience playing Storm to not trip up.
Yes, it has Delver of Secrets. Yes, it has Death’s Shadow. Yes, it is a Legacy deck. No, Nicholas
is not insane! You may remember Nicholas from his strong work with Manaless Dredge on
the StarCityGames.com Open Series last year, including a finals appearance after a day of
Neither of these friends expected to overcome their semifinal matchups, but both of the
underdogs came out on top after all! They each knew the matchup well. “This is the one time
I’ve wished that I was playing Blade Splicers,” Kevin admitted. He also noted he’d never
sideboarded in his Celestial Purges in the Standard Open, but was pretty happy to have them
“Why aren’t you playing Ari’s list? There are only two Lingering Souls in Ari’s deck,” Kevin
asked. “Because I like my list better!” Chris immediately replied. Kevin would have to get
through all those Spirits to take Chris down, but if he did then a slot in the finals awaited him.
Chris Morgan made it into the Top 8 with a unique Grixis list, packing plenty of Titans and
Olivia Voldarens in conjunction with a lot of removal. He faced Ari Lax, one of the more
seasoned members of this Top 8, whose Esper Midrange deck was the toast of the tournament.
Two friends found themselves matched for Top 8 in the final round of the tournament, with jabs
and jests to follow. Chris was “the enemy” on U/W Delver, making Brad’s undead horde of
craven Zombies into unlikely heroes!
One of the most frequent matchups at the top tables has been the Esper Midrange versus U/W Delver pairing, and this match featured a top pilot of each archetype. Chris started 7-0 with Esper but had just taken a loss—he needed a win for Top 8. In the same boat, Ryan came with Delver of Secrets.
Among the players piloting Esper Midrange, Ari Lax has begun to distinguish himself. On seven wins, he needed two more to have a shot at drawing for Top 8. Phillip Fortner was in the same position with Zombies, an archetype he has championed for months.
A number of the best players in the room are playing eerily similar decks... and some groups
even developed them independently! Chris Andersen is one of the handful of top magicians on
Esper Midrange, splashing black into the U/W Midrange shell popularized by Sam Black just a
few weeks ago.
One of the breakout Standard decks at the Indianapolis Invitational was Frites, piloted notably by Brad Nelson to a 4-0 start and by Brian Braun-Duin to a Top 8 finish. Brad’s brainchild exploited a hole in the metagame, one he’d been aiming at since the release of Avacyn Restored when he first brewed up a Reanimator deck: people just weren’t respecting a big man in the early game!