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New set makes big splash at Pro Tour: Oath of the Gatewatch

The Eldrazi have taken over the world! At least, it seems that way after Pro Tour: Oath of the Gatewatch this weekend. Congrats to Jiachen Tao who ended up winning with a Blue-Red Eldrazi build.

Pro Tour:OGW was held in Atlanta on Feb. 5-7.  This Modern PT was the first big Modern tournament since the Splinter Twin ban. And, as we all expected, the format changed. Only, I don’t think everyone expected Eldrazi to be as big as they were.

Most of the chatter I heard about on podcasts like Monday Night Magic and The Girlfriend Bracket was the possibility of Infect and Tron to take over the format. While both decks were represented, none of them made the top 8.

Instead, the top 8 was made up of two Affinity decks and six Eldrazi decks. Yes, I said SIX.

You can check those out here.

First, understand I am no pro player, nor am I a player with any sort of big tournament cred so take this for what it’s worth, Modern is not busted right now. No, Eldrazi are not overtaking Modern as hard as people are clamoring.

Yes, they had an amazing showing at this PT, but this is one tournament. Give it time, we will see this shake out. Please, Wizards, do not do an emergency ban. Let the players figure out how to beat these decks.

Let’s talk about the decks, most specifically the cards that made the most impact.

I think it’s pretty great Oath of the Gatewatch had such an impact on this PT – many of which Zane wrote about here.

Let’s take a look at these cards.

First up Thought-Knot Seer. In Zane’s article, he compared the card to Vendilion Clique. Interestingly enough, Ian Duke of Magic RandD said this card was modelled after Clique. Good call, Zane!

Of the six Eldrazi decks in the top 8, all of them were running Thought-Knot. This card made an impression on the main stage, for sure. Including, if you saw it, Luis Scott-Vargas’ amazing top deck of the card against eventual Pro Tour Winner Jiachen Tao.

When this card came into play it made an immediate impact. Especially when the opponent was holding on to one card for the next turn to get closer to a win. Suddenly they are forced to exile the card. Sure, they get it back if Thought-Knot Seer leaves the battlefield but, often times it was too late.

Reality Smasher’s impact was felt when it was dropped on turn three. Especially if there was an Eldrazi Mimic in play. We will get to that one in a second.Eldrazi+Mimic+%5BOGW%5D

Reality Smasher is a beast. A 5/5 for 4C that forces your opponent to lose a card if they want to kill it with spells is just nasty. Again, all six decks were running this new OGW card.

Another OGW in all six decks was the aforementioned Eldrazi Mimic. Eldrazi Mimic is a 2/1 for 2 that has a trigger that reads, “Whenever another colorless creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may change Eldrazi Mimic’s base power and toughness to that creature’s power and toughness until the end of turn.”

This card spells bad news for anyone. When on turn one, you play it, follow it with another on turn 2, then drop a Reality Smasher on turn three and swing for 15! Wow!

Seeing play in five of the six top 8 Eldrazi decks was Matter Reshaper. I know, when I first opened this card at my prerelease, I said it was going to be good. So far I am right.Image

Matter Reshaper seemed to always put that one card the players needed into their hand at the right time. So much so it seemed some players may have been trying to play around it.

Landing in four out of six sideboards was the uncommon Warping Wai. I never saw this card get played, so I am not sure if it had an impact on the immediate play. Still, it was another OGW card that made the final list for several players.

So there you have it, the OGW cards seeing the most play in the top 8 of Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch. Did you watch coverage this weekend? Did you see anything especially cool? Let us know!


Patrick is the Publisher of The Forge Herald. He can be reached at pcossel@gmail.com


© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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