Pro Tour Dark Ascension was the first time readers and fans at home had the chance to play along via the fantasy Pro Tour on Facebook. The rules were simple: pick a lineup of which card you thought would be most played amongst a wide variety of categories, then select a tie-breaker: your favorite player. Did you participate? If so, here are the winning cards based on most played in Standard decks that earned at least 18 match points (six wins) throughout the weekend.
The top card in the slot was Garruk, Primal Hunter. Popular in a number of Wolf Run archetypes and green decks in general, being a member of the third most played archetype in the tournament was a big help for Garruk. In second place was Liliana of the Veil.
Small Creature (0-2 Converted Mana Cost)
No surprises here; two of the top archetypes on the weekend were Humans and Delver, and both played white and blue. One of the creatures they shared? Snapcaster Mage, which takes the top slot in this category. It got a boost for being popular in Esper style control as well. The runner-up, again no surprises, was Delver of Secrets.
Medium Creature (3-4 Converted Mana Cost)
Once again blue-white wins the category with another creature that saw play in both White Weenie style Human decks and blue-white Delver. That creature? Geist of Saint Traft. It was followed by Hero of Bladehold, though the 3/4 didn't see as much play in Delver builds as Geist did.
Large Creature (5+ Converted Mana Cost)
Weenie creatures were the most popular type here in Honolulu, but the third most played archetype featured a host of heavy hitters. Chief amongst them from the Kessig Wolf Run deck? Primeval Titan, a critical part of the deck which allows green-red players to fetch up the namesake land as well as Inkmoth Nexus. The runner-up in the category is a large creature by mana cost but not size: Acidic Slime.
As we move from creatures to non-permanents it should surprise no one that the top winner was blue. Mana Leak took top honors here, and historically has been a popular inclusion at Pro Tours. Even a decade ago during the card's first printing in Stronghold you could find pros unable to afford three additional mana for their important spells and placing them in the graveyard instead of on the battlefield. In second place was Vapor Snag, a card that is a bit surprising. It was a popular "removal" spell for Delver players, explaining its success.
The top sorcery was Ponder, but it played almost the same role as Gitaxian Probe which came in second. Both helped players smooth out their draws and dig to relevant threats with the tradeoff that Ponder could dig deeper while Probe cost less and could give you important information about your opponent's plans.
With all of the creatures running rampant at this Pro Tour it's no surprise that the top enchantment is a removal spell. Oblivion Ring can fix whatever ails you (unless said ailment is an Inkmoth Nexus being pumped by Kessig Wolf Run) and plenty of players here in Hawaii took that medicine in the hopes of winning the championship trophy. Honor of the Pure was second, useful for pumping Humans and Spirits alike in the White Weenie decks.
Because so many players opted to play white this weekend, Sword of War and Peace easily takes this title. It was such a hot commodity this weekend that dealers quickly found themselves unable to deal with customer requests for them. The second most popular artifact was Ratchet Bomb which combines well with Glissa, the Traitor to keep token decks contained.
Last but not least we come to those valuable but unsung heroes of the Pro Tour: lands. While some players chose lands that could attack (Inkmoth Nexus, Moorland Haunt), lands that could pitch in to help their attackers (Gavony Township, Kessig Wolf Run), or even lands that could serve as answers (Ghost Quarter), the top played lands were "boring" mana-producers: Seachrome Coast followed by Glacial Fortress.
For more information about the Fantasy Pro Tour (and to find out how you can potentially participate in the future), visit the official Fantasy Pro Tour online.