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Staciwa Wins Grand Prix Vienna

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The letter I!t has been an amazing weekend full of exciting Magic here in Vienna, Austria. 1,465 players entered the tournament on Saturday, 205 escaped Day 1's grueling nine rounds with records of 7-2 and returned on Sunday, but at the very end only eight players stood above the rest and headed to the play-offs. Those eight included both the 13th ranked player in the world Jérémy Dezani as well as number 10 Stanislav Cifka, though when the smoke cleared, little-known Polish player Marcin Staciwa was the last man standing. He had started the Grand Prix with a remarkable 12-0 run and actually only lost one match throughout the course of the event.

Like so many, Staciwa had chosen Mono-Blue Devotion which, while certainly not new, was the big story of the weekend. Five of the six 9-0 players ran Mono-Blue, it was the deck most represented in Day 2, and it put the most players in the Top 8. Standard at the moment appears to be firmly in the grip of mono-colored devotion decks. With the Standard qualifier season for Pro Tour Journey Into Nyx beginning next week and with the upcoming Grand Prix in Dallas/Fort Worth also in the Standard format, we'll soon get more input as to what the best deck is. Previous Grand Prix made the case for Mono-Black Devotion; this one emphatically argued for Mono-Blue, as not a single Gray Merchant of Asphodel made it to the Top 16, as opposed to 28 copies of Thassa, God of the Sea.

Until next time, we say good bye and ... Congratulations to Marcin Staciwa, champion of Grand Prix Vienna 2013!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Robin Dolar   Robin Dolar, 2-1        
8 Oliver Polak-Rottmann   Robin Dolar, 2-1
       
4 (13) Jeremy Dezani   (13) Jeremy Dezani, 2-0   Marcin Staciwa, 2-1
5 (10) Stanislav Cifka    
       
2 Marcin Staciwa   Marcin Staciwa, 2-1
7 Johan Prinzell   Marcin Staciwa, 2-0
       
3 Niklas Kaltenböck   Niklas Kaltenböck, 2-1
6 Manuel Cecilia    









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  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Vienna provided by Tim Willoughby, Raphael Levy, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming at twitch.tv/magic.


EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
 1.   Marcin Staciwa $3,500
 2.   Robin Dolar $2,300
 3.  Niklas Kaltenböck $1,500
 4.  (13) Jeremy Dezani $1,500
 5.  (10) Stanislav Cifka $1,000
 6.  Manuel Cecilia $1,000
 7.  Johan Prinzell $1,000
 8.  Oliver Polack-Rottman $1,000
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  • Top 8 Decklists

    by Frank Karsten

  • Jeremy Dezani
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 8





    Stanislav Cifka
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 8



    Niklas Kaltenböck
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 8





     

  • Top 16 Decklists

    by Frank Karsten

  • Petr Sochurek (9th, 13-2, Mono Blue Devotion)
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 16



    Dominik Prosek (11th, 12-3, Mono Blue Devotion)
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 16


    Andreas Ganz (12th, 12-3, Black Control splashing white)
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 16


    Valentin Mackl (13th, 12-3, Mono Blue Devotion)
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 16


    Tomas Kuchta (14th, 12-3, Mono Blue Devotion)
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 16


    Fabrice Karoune (15th, 12-3, Esper Control)
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 16


    Marios Angelopoulos (16th, 12-3, Esper Control)
    Grand Prix Vienna - Top 16




     

  • Top 8 Profiles

    by Frank Karsten


  • Jérémy Dezani

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Paris/Orleans in France
    Occupation:Magic/Tennis


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Four GP Top 8s with one win, and Pro Tour Theros champion.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    Mono Blue. This deck gave me $40,000, so I couldn't reasonably make another choice.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    No change; I love my build choices.

    What is the most important card in your deck:
    In general, Master of Waves and Thassa, God of the Sea. Against Mono Black, Bident of Thassa; it's a crazy card in this matchup.




    Robin Dolar

    Age: 21
    Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Pro Tour Return to Ravnica Top 25, Grand Prix Lisbon Top 16.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    Esper Control, because I think it's well-positioned against Mono Black and Mono Blue.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    No changes.

    What is the most important card in your deck:
    Pack Rat.




    Marcin Staciwa

    Age: 27
    Hometown: Koszalin, Poland
    Occupation: Engineer


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Seven straight Premier Event wins back in Version 2 of MTGO.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    Mono Blue Devotion. It's easy to play and hard to beat.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    No idea.

    What is the most important card in your deck:
    Thassa, God of the Sea.




    Oliver Polak-Rottmann

    Age: 25
    Hometown: Vienna, Austria
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    17th at Pro Tour San Diego 2013, Austrian National Champion 2008.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    Mono Blue Devotion—best deck in the format.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    No changes.

    What is the most important card in your deck:
    Master of Waves.




    Manuel Cecilia

    Age: 28
    Hometown: Udine, Italy
    Occupation: Gym trainer


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    Rw Devotion. My friend Boucha told me to play it.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    Nothing. It is good just like that.

    What is the most important card in your deck:
    Burning-Tree Emissary into Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.




    Stanislav Cifka

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Cesky Krumlov 1, Czech Republic
    Occupation:Magic


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Platinum level for the last two years, Pro Tour Return to Ravnica winner.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    UW Control. The only bad matchups are other Sphinx's Revelation decks, and they are less popular than they should be at the moment.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    None.

    What is the most important card in your deck:
    Last Breath.




    Niklas Kaltenböck

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Graz, Austria
    Occupation: Student, work for people with special needs


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    White Weenie with a splash for Boros Charm. I don't play Constructed normally, so I don't know the format, so aggro was the way to go for me. I chose it because it punishes slow draws and Brave the Elements is awesome.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    Definitely cut Wear & Tear and Renounce the Guilds for something else. Maybe 1 Abrupt Decay (for bluffing reasons, flip it before every match).

    What is the most important card in your deck:
    Brave the Elements.




    Johan Prinzell

    Age: 31
    Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None to speak of.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it:
    Red devotion with a white splash. With 4 Chained to the Rocks and 4 Mizzium Mortars it has a good game versus Mono Blue. With 4 Assemble the Legion in the sideboard it has a good matchup versus Mono Black. I expected lots of these decks.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them:
    4 Burning-Tree Emissary; in retrospect 3 was just a mistake.

    What is the most important card in you deck:
    Mizzium Mortars.






     

  • Quarterfinal Round-up

    by Tobi Henke


  • Manuel Cecilia (Red Devotion) vs. Niklas Kaltenböck (White Weenie)

    In the first quarterfinal to finish, Manuel Cecilia's red devotion deck met Niklas Kaltenböck's White Weenie. The latter was the aggressor in the match-up, but in the first game Cecilia managed to stabilize with the help of Chained to the Rocks, Ash Zealot, Boros Reckoner, and Stormbreath Dragon. And when he overloaded Mizzium Mortars and Kaltenböck had no Brave the Elements, that was game one.

    In the second game, Kaltenböck had a quick start with Dryad Militant, Daring Skyjek, Mutavault, and Brave the Elements, and that was all it took for him to even the score.

    For the third game, Kaltenböck had an even faster opening, with Dryad Militant and two Boros Elites on turn two, while Cecilia began the game with two copies of Temple of Triumph. When Kaltenböck attacked for 8 on turn three and cast a third Boros Elite, Cecilia simply conceded before even taking his turn or having cast a single spell.

    Manuel Cecilia 1-2 Niklas Kaltenböck


    Oliver Polak-Rottmann (Mono-Blue Devotion) vs. Robin Dolar (Blue-White-Black Control)

    Polak-Rottmann was screwed on a single Island for about seven turns in the first game. By then, Dolar had easily dealt with all Cloudfin Raptors and Judge's Familiar and was happily using Jace, Architect of Thought to assemble an unbeatable hand. Polak-Rottmann conceded without ever playing a second land.

    Judge's Familiar, Frostburn Weird, and Tidebinder Mage quickly took Dolar to 10 in the second game. Dolar used Azorius Charm hoping to draw a second source of white mana for his Supreme Verdict, and even in the face of a second Tidebinder Mage, he simply refused to "waste" his Detention Sphere on creatures which would die to Supreme Verdict anyway. When his deck only gave him a tapped Temple of Silence, that decision proved fatal.

    In the deciding game, something interesting happened. Polak-Rottmann played around mass removal and he also had boarded against control, so he was caught off guard when Dolar suddenly went on the offense with Pack Rat. Polak-Rottmann soon found himself on the back foot, and then, dead.

    Oliver Polak-Rottmann 1-2 Robin Dolar


    (13) Jérémy Dezani (Mono-Blue Devotion) vs. (10) Stanislav Cifka (Blue-White Control)

    In the most high-profile match of the quarterfinals, Pro Tour Return to Ravnica champion Stanislav Cifka faced Pro Tour Theros champion Jérémy Dezani. Despite Azorius Charm, Dissolve, and Elspeth, Sun's Champion, Cifka was unable to stabilize against Dezani's aggression and lost game one. His tokens didn't help against Dezani's fliers and even Supreme Verdict wouldn't have helped against Dezani's Mutavaults.

    The second game was a constant back-and-forth, with Dezani continuously putting Cifka under pressure. Here, he even added another angle of attack in the form of Jace, Memory Adept. Between the planeswalker, the creatures, and Mutavault, Cifka finally ran out of answers and had to admit defeat.

    Jérémy Dezani 2-0 Stanislav Cifka


    Johan Prinzell (Red Devotion) vs. Marcin Staciwa (Mono-Blue Devotion)

    Staciwa started strong into the first game with two Cloudfin Raptors, Judge's Familiar, and Tidebinder Mage. He also had two copies of Master of Waves in hand, unfortunately though, he didn't draw a third land. When lands finally showed up after what seemed like ages, the first Master was Chained to the Rocks and the second was simply raced by Stormbreath Dragon.

    Tidebinder Mage took care of Prinzell's first creature, Domestication took care of Boros Reckoner, and Master of Waves created five tokens. All was looking good for Staciwa in the second game. Until he missed his opportunity to cast Rapid Hybridization on his turn which gave Prinzell the ability to cast Chandra, Pyromaster off Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, reveal Mizzium Mortars with the planeswalker, and overload the spell with the help of a second Nykthos. Not to worry though. A second Master of Waves still took the game for Staciwa.

    The final game was just brutal: On curve, Staciwa cast Cloudfin Raptor, Tidebinder Mage, Tidebinder Mage, and Domestication on Boros Reckoner. The red deck never stood a chance against the tide ...

    Johan Prinzell 1-2 Marcin Staciwa




     

  • Sunday, 6:47 p.m. - Semifinal Round-up

    by Frank Karsten

  • Robin Dolar (Esper) vs No. 13 Jeremy Dezani (Mono Blue)

    No. 13 Jeremy Dezani (left) vs. Robin Dolar (right)

    Jeremy Dezani, who is ranked 13 in the Top 25, had won the previous Pro Tour with Mono Blue Devotion. Today, he is hoping to ride Master of Waves and Thassa, God of the Sea to another victory. In his way stands Robin Dolar, whose Esper Control deck notably contains Supreme Verdict and Detention Sphere to break up the devotion synergies, and some surprise creatures from his sideboard.

    In game 1, Dezani applied early pressure with two Frostburn Weird, but Dolar had the Verdict to clear the board. Dezani's follow-up plays were impressive: Master of Waves; Jace, Architect of Thought, and Bident of Thassa. Dolar tried to fight back, but he was on the backfoot the entire game. Indeed, against the powerful 4-drops from the blue deck, he was fighting an uphill battle. Eventually, the card advantage provided by Bident of Thassa overpowered Dolar.

    In game 2, Dezani only had a Judge's Familiar on his first three turns. He then started on his powerful 4-drops, but both his Master of Waves and Jace, Architect of Thought were countered by Gainsay. And then Pack Rat resolved. Dolar's hand quickly turned into Rat tokens, and it wasn't long until there were 5 Rats on the battlefield. Dezani, no longer afraid of Supreme Verdict, flooded his board with creatures in defence, but it was not enough: Dolar had Detention Sphere to take out Thassa, God of the Sea, and the rest of Dezani's creatures were no match for the Rat force.

    In game 3, Dezani got out three Judge's Familar by his second turn, but Dolar had the perfect answer: Detention Sphere. Killing three birds with one Sphere is even better than killing two birds with one stone. Indeed, a three-for-one on turn three is always a good way to start game three. As the game progressed, Dezani stuck Jace, Memory Adept with Frostburn Weird to defend it, but Dolar again had Pack Rat. The first one started as a 1/1. The next ones were 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, and suddenly Dezani's blockers looked way to small in comparison. It took a while and some chump blocks, but eventually the Pack Rat from the sideboard handed Dolar the game, and the match.

    Rob Dolar defeats Jeremy Dezani 2-1 and advances to the finals!

    Niklas Kaltenböck (White Weenie) vs Marcin Staciwa (Mono Blue)

    Marcin Staciwa (left) vs Niklas Kaltenböck (right)

    This semifinals pitted together two players in their first Grand Prix Top 8. Having come so far, they didn't want to make any misplays. Both took their time to do the combat math and to methodically go over all the options.

    In game 1, both players had dream starts. Staciwa had turn 1 Cloudfin Raptor, turn 2 Tidebinder Mage, turn 3 Thassa, God of the Sea, and turn 4 Master of Waves. Kaltenböck, in the meantime, had turn 1 Soldier of the Pantheon, turn 2 Precinct Captain, turn 3 Ajani, Caller of Pride, and turn 4 Soldier of the Pantheon plus Boros Elite. The game turned into a close damage race, in which Staciwa had to keep Brave the Elements and Boros Charm in mind at all times. But in the end, the blue deck's nut draw proved stronger than the white one.

    In game 2, Kaltenböck showed why he deserved to be in the Top 8. He started off with Boros Elite on turn 1 and Precinct Captain on turn 2. Staciwa, in the meantime, went Island, Cloudfin Raptor on turn 1 and Island, Cloudfin Raptor, go on turn 2. On Kaltenböck's third turn, he played Ajani, Caller of the Pride, pumped up his Precinct Captain, and then went into the think tank. As Staciwa said afterwards, "most players would have just attacked with the Boros Elite there." But Kaltenböck, who was facing two 0/1 Raptors and an open blue mana, was terribly afraid of Rapid Hybridization—a card that he knew Staciwa was playing three copies of—and didn't attack with his 1/1. "I thought he wouldn't keep such a double Cloudfin Raptor hand without a Rapid Hybridization," Kaltenböck said afterwards. As it turned out, Staciwa was indeed holding the Hybridization (which he ended up casting on his own Cloudfin Raptor after blocking Precinct Captain) so Kaltenböck's decision not to block was a great one. Unfortunately, however, it wasn't good enough to win the match. Master of Waves and Nightveil Specter came down for Staciwa, and the blue player slowly but steadily took over with bigger and more creatures. The game was close, with tough combat situations, and a single combat trick from Kaltenböck could've swung it around. But in the end, Staciwa was able to attack for lethal damage, and Kaltenböck extended the hand.

    Marcin Staciwa triumphs over Niklas Kaltenböck 2-0 and advances to the finals!




     

  • Finals - Marcin Staciwa (Mono-Blue Devotion) vs. Robin Dolar (Blue-White-Black Control)

    by Tobi Henke

  • This was it. 1,465 players had entered the Grand Prix early Saturday morning, now only two remained. One of them was newcomer Marcin Staciwa from Poland who earlier had earned the title of last undefeated player in the tournament and was now one match away from taking the trophy too. Opposite him sat Slovenian Robin Dolar who had come close to the Top 8 several times but had always fallen short of the limelight. This time he was apparently determined to make it count.

    The match-up here was Mono-Blue Devotion piloted by Staciwa versus Dolar's Esper deck; Dolar had faced this foe several times throughout the weekend, most recently in the quarterfinal as well as in the semifinal, so he clearly knew how to win this battle.

    Game 1

    Staciwa managed to place some smaller creatures on the battklefield, but his Thassa, God of the Sea which would have translated that into some "real" damage was stopped by Dissolve. Stuck on three lands, Staciwa was unable to apply the pressure he needed to and Jace, Architect of Thought bought Dolar an insane amount of time. When Staciwa finally did get some threats on the table, it was already too late. Dolar cleared the board with Supreme Verdict and soon took full and final control of the game.

    Robin Dolar

    Staciwa shrugged as he picked up his cards, "I kept two lands ..."

    Game 2

    This went much better for Staciwa. Cloudfin Raptor, Frostburn Weird, Thassa, God of the Sea, and Bident of Thassa came down on turns one through four and beatings followed. However, Dolar had Azorius Charm for Thassa and Supreme Verdict for the rest.


    He then killed Nightveil Specter with Devour Flesh and Frostburn Weird with Doom Blade. Without any support, the replayed Thassa, God of the Sea now looked rather unimpressive. However, help was on its way. Another Frostburn Weird stuck around and again allowed Thassa to apply some beatings. Thassa and Weird were then joined by a Frog Lizard courtesy of Rapid Hybridization, cast on Thassa at the end of Dolar's turn. Staciwa attacked and drew three cards, while Dolar only survived with the help of Sphinx's Revelation, and only barely so at 2 life.

    The Revelation had not revealed any answers, whereas Staciwa's Jace, Architect of Thought came up with even more questions. Soon the players were off to one final game to decide the winner of the tournament.

    Game 3

    This was a long and very grindy affair. Staciwa took an early lead when Dolar missed his land drop on turn three. He found a third land one turn later but again missed on out on his fourth as Judge's Familiar and Frostburn Weird took him to 10, then 7. The crowd, especially the Polish spectators rooting for their countrymen, became restless.

    All this time, Staciwa had kept two lands untapped to cast Gainsay and now he used it on Dolar's Dimir Charm preventing Dolar from manipulating the top three cards of his library. Dolar still found a Temple of Deceit on top of his library, though, and took out Frostburn Weird with Detention Sphere.

    Judge's Familiar took Dolar to 6 and Staciwa cast Thassa, which Dolar exiled with another Detention Sphere. He went to 5 from another Familiar attack, this time preceded by Bident of Thassa for an extra card. Then Dolar's Jace, Architect of Thought put a stop to the 1/1 beatdown. However, Staciwa's own Jace provided yet more extra cards and Dolar's Jace couldn't quite keep up. When Staciwa cast more threats, Supreme Verdict cleared the table but Mutavault continued the beatdown putting Dolar at 2 and netting its master yet another extra card via Bident of Thassa. Staciwa also cast a Cloudfin Raptor and, at the end of his turn, the players fought over Sphinx's Revelation with one Gainsay each, with the end result of Dolar going back to 5. Rapid Hybridization at end of his turn in turn turned the 0/1 Cloudfin Raptor into a 3/3 token and the attack with this and Mutavault killed Jace and brought Dolar down to 4.

    Marcin Staciwa

    Staciwa cast another Raptor and and another Thassa; Dolar cast another two Detention Spheres to exile Thassa and Staciwa's 3/3 token. However, Staciwa was able to evolve Cloudfin Raptor to 2/3 and together with Mutavault, finally, after what seemed like ages, delivered the lethal blow.

    The crowd erupted into cheers as Staciwa took hold of his trophy.

    Congratulations to Marcin Staciwa, champion of Grand Prix Vienna 2013!




     

  • Top 5 Cards

    by Tobi Henke and Frank Karsten

  • These were the cards that shaped the tournament, that sparked discussions and were the most debated, the cards that won games and turned Grand Prix Vienna into an event to remember ...



    Gray Merchant of Asphodel

    Notably not in the Top 5 is this cornerstone of Mono Black Devotion. It was everywhere this weekend, and then nowhere. Over 20% of the players in Day 2 had made it to Sunday with some variant of Black Devotion, but when the dust settled, there were no copies of Gray Merchant of Asphodel in the Top 16. None at all! Sure, there was Andreas Ganz, who played a black control deck with a white splash, but it didn't contain any copies of the black devotion creature.

    So even though last weekend's Grand Prix in Albuquerque was dominated and won by Black Devotion decks, the players in Vienna had already adjusted to that. Everyone had come up with a different strategy to beat Black Devotion, be it with Blood Baron of Vizkopa, a tweaked version of Azorius control, or Red Devotion splashing for Assemble the Legion. One way or another, Gray Merchant of Asphodel was unable to make it to the top ranks in Vienna, and that surprising absence is one of the main stories to come out of this Grand Prix.





    5.) Burning-Tree Emissary

    A key component of any Green or Red devotion deck in Standard, Burning-Tree Emissary was responsible for some crazy draws this weekend, especially when combined with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. It allows you to dump your hand in play very early on, it fixes your mana, and it turns on powerful devotion synergies.

    One deck containing Burning-Tree Emissary is Red Devotion—a deck that had fallen slightly out of favor since Pro Tour Theros, but saw a resurgence this weekend, as both Manuel Cecilia and Johan Prinzell took it to a Top 8 finish. We also shouldn't forget Sascha Weilguni, who played Burning-Tree Emissary in his Green Devotion deck and narrowly missed Top 8 on tiebreakers. All of these players showed that there is more to devotion than just Blue and Black.





    4.) Last Breath

    Called one of the break-out cards of the tournament, Last Breath may just have been the big innovation of the weekend, even if only 13 copies of the card ended up in the Top 16. Andreas Ganz almost made it to the Top 8 with a mostly black deck which even went so far as to splash for the card, and Stanislav Cifka made it all the way to the quarterfinal with his take on Blue-White Control which included four Last Breaths.

    It is the only two-mana removal spell able to kill Nightveil Specter, Master of Waves, Frostburn Weird, and an early Pack Rat. It's cheap, it's efficient, and it's very thorough, moving troublesome creatures even beyond the reach of Whip of Erebos. And all weekend, we've been hearing stories of players who targeted their own creatures, just to gain the life. Stanislav Cifka could even combine Last Breath with his Archangel of Thune. Thanks to all that versatility, Last Breath is likely here to stay.





    3.) Pack Rat

    This weekend, Pack Rat made its presence known. It was the card to beat back in Return to Ravnica Limited, but it has also found its way into Standard. By now, four copies have become the standard for Mono Black Devotion, and we've seen many matches come down to the mathematics of Pack Rat. It is one of the most important cards in the Mono Black mirror match, and it can quickly create an unmanageable Rat army against Mono Blue Devotion.

    And the thing is, Pack Rat has even find its way into unexpected places, such as the sideboard of Esper control: Robin Dolar made it all the way to the finals with three copies of Pack Rat in the sideboard. In both the quarterfinals against Oliver Polak-Rottmann and in the semifinals against Jeremy Dezani, he showed how powerful it can be against Mono Blue Devotion. In both matches, his opponents were taking it slow, playing around mass removal, when they were caught off guard when Dolar suddenly went on the offense with Pack Rat. What also helped is that Pack Rat cannot be countered by Gainsay.







    2.) Domestication

    Mono-Blue Devotion was everywhere this weekend. It put five people on undefeated records after Day 1; it was the most-played deck on Day 2; it put the most people into the Top 8; and it eventually took the trophy. If you're playing a popular deck like Mono Blue Devotion, you need to be ready and have a plan for the mirror match.

    Next to Gainsay, Domestication was the weapon of choice for players looking to gain an edge in the mirror match. With Domestication, you can steal Nightveil Specter and Master of Waves and defeat your opponent with his own card. Moreover, if both players have Thassa, God of the Sea in play, you can steal your opponent's copy and immediately sacrifice it to the legend rule. And it's not only great in the mirror match. Having two or three Domestications in one's sideboard appears to be the standard in Standard nowadays, and we would suggest not leaving home without them!





    1.) Bident of Thassa

    As already mentioned, waves of Mono Blue players flooded the tournament, and most of them came equipped with their God's weapon. Over the course of the weekend, Bident of Thassa was responsible for animating Thassa itself and many amazing come-backs. No. 13 Jeremy Dezani, for instance, expertly used Bident of Thassa to draw himself out of it seemingly unwinnable situations in multiple games, allowing him to post another Grand Prix Top 8. The main strength of Bident of Thassa is that it can turn even the tiniest creature into a must-answer threat. And for many control decks, it can be very difficult to beat Mutavault plus Bident of Thassa.

    Moreover, Bident of Thassa was arguably the card that decided the finals. In the hands of Marcin Staciwa from Poland, it replenished his hand turn after turn. His opponent Robin Dolar couldn't keep up, even with Sphinx's Revelation. After the finals ended, we heard players arguing that Bident of Thassa had replaced Sphinx's Revelation as the premier card draw spell in Standard.




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