Top 5 Players of the Weekend
5. Lawrence Vess
Like many, Lawrence Vess brought Mardu Vehicles to #SCGATL and joined four other players in the Top 8 on the same deck. Vess, however, was the highest-placing player to leverage the power of Gideon+of+the+Trials. What was one of the most hyped cards out of Amonkhet, Gideon of Trials saw zero camera time – and wasn’t included in the majority of the Top-64 Mardu Vehicles decklists. Vess opted for a split of three copies of the newest Gideon and three copies of the busted Gideon%2C+Ally+of+Zendikar that has ruled Standard since its introduction to the format. While Vess did lose his quarterfinal Mardu mirror against Sam Kahla, he showed the strength of the newest iteration of Gideon. Check out Vess’ Mardu Vehicles decklist Felidar+Guardian received an emergency ban on Wednesday, leaving many players scrambling to find a new deck for #SCGATL. DeCandio kept at improving his build following the cat’s demise, ending up on what looked like the strongest build of B/G post-Amonkhet. DeCandio earned his fifth Open Top 8 and put on the biggest show of the 14 B/G Delirium players on Day 2. DeCandio’s bid for a third Open title come to a quick end when he fell to friend and travel companion, Ryan McDonough on Mardu Vehicles in the quarterfinals. Check out DeCandio’s B/G Delirium decklist Night+Market+Lookout and Gifted+Aetherborn. Scherer went 5-2 against Mardu Vehicles on the weekend, including his win-and-in match against Andrew Jessup in Round 15. Scherer got use Bone+Picker, Dread+Wanderer, and Never / Return all from Amonkhet, while showing off the power of a Bone+Picker on the second turn following a Fatal+Push on an opposing creature. Scherer’s deck performed well in the known matchups going into the weekend, but struggled against Aetherworks+Marvel and his quarterfinal loss against W/R Humans in the hands of Zach Stern. Check out Scherer’s Mono-Black Aggro decklist Always+Watching to take advantage of the ability. While many put two and two together, Zach Stern put it to work, not only combining Glory-Bound+Initiate with Always+Watching, but also Glorybringer. Stern also got a boost from Honored+Crop-Captain from the newest set, while getting plenty of mileage out of Hanweir+Battlements. Stern’s build also ran more lands than previous builds of W/R Humans, allowing him to go up the curve to play Gideon%2C+Ally+of+Zendikar and the already mentioned Glorybringer more reliably. Stern took down Caleb+Scherer on Mono-Black Aggro in the quarterfinals before falling to Andrew Jessup on Mardu Vehicles in the semifinals. Check out Stern’s W/R Humans decklist Felidar+Guardian got the axe on Wednesday, Jessup had to find a new deck for #SCGATL. Jessup messed around with multiple decks on Thursday before coming to the conclusion that nothing would be better than his team’s build of Mardu Vehicles he tweaked on Friday. Jessup showed off Cut / Ribbons in the long game while also opting to leave Glorybringer out of his deck. Instead, Jessup had two copies of Archangel+Avacyn and went with a two-two split of Walking+Ballista and Thalia%2C+Heretic+Cathar over Veteran+Motorist. Jessup made the Swiss portion of another Open look like a breeze as he cruised into the elimination rounds as the Top seed for the second time in a row following the Legacy Worcester Open. Once in the Top 8, Jessup took down Sean Crum in a mirror match in the quarterfinals, Zach Stern on W/R Humans in the semis, and Ryan McDonough in another mirror in the finals. The win is a huge relief to the Team MGG member, as this was his fifth finals appearance in an Open. Check out Jessup’s Mardu Vehicles decklist here.