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Author‘s Note: This is is a live post, meaning I will be adding on to it as things change. Please excuse any typos. I’m writing this quickly to provide the fastest info possible. All prices use TCGPlayer Market Price.
Thursday Morning, February 6th
Here we go! We’re on the verge of PT Phoenix and it’s like we’re sitting down to watch part two of a movie after a cliffhanger-ending. All the Pioneer action in Brussels and Nagoya left us with some unanswered questions.
– Are Sultai and Spirits the best decks?
– Can Black White Auras continue to post strong results?
– What impact will UB Inverter have on the format?
What about Niv-Mizzet? Or Breach Combo? Will these post results in Phoenix? I know one player who’s hoping that Breach combo puts up a solid result, you might have heard of him, Luis Scott Vargas. This morning on Twitter LSV made his decklist and deck choice known.
Decklist – https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/2743571#paper
Other players are doing the same and as I find them, I’ll list them here (links are to tweets not decklists):
Dylan Donegan – UB Inverter (4 Jaces)
Michael Sigrist – UB Inverter
Pete Ingram – UB Inverter
Seth Manfield – Lotus Field / Breach
William Jensen – Lotus Field / Breach
More to come…
Saturday Morning, February 8th
Day one of PT Phoenix is in the books and all the decklists are now available. Last week, the story was the break-out of the Dimir Inverter, deck. Now, the story has changed, and all eyes have shifted to the Lotus Breach combo deck. The deck is showing a staggering 68.7% win-percentage.
Graphic from https://mtgmeta.io/tournaments/815
Needless to say, LSV is happy with his choice.
Here are some cards to watch from the deck. It’s hard to call out one of these as “the” card to buy. Underworld Breach sees play in many formats so it has the highest ceiling. We always have to consider the possibility of a ban. Fae of Wishes is the penny-stock option. The storybook foils have the most potential to go up but keep in mind, the play profile of Fae of Wishes is pretty shallow.
Lotus Field – $7.54, $11.38 F
Underworld Breach – 3.70, 5.87 F, 6.93 E, $39.15 EF
Fae of Wishes – .62, .92 F, $1.52 S, $4.78 SF
Thespian’s Stage – $2.46, $14.67 F
I want to share some data here, but I have little to say about it. It’s stuff to keep in mind as we evaluate day-two of the tournament. Let’s start with a look at the top of the standings at the end of day one.
These are the top cards played in Phoenix based on the MTGGoldfish stats.
On the Up
It looks like a couple of cards from our last live-journal are starting to rise! This is a good exit point for Gideon since I don’t see any mono-white at the top of the Tournament. You could also hold Gideon waiting for it to mature with the Pioneer format. The risk with this option is that Gideon could become irrelevant. I would continue to hold Uro, it looks like they are heading for $35.
Gideon of the Trials – $6.55, $7.99 F
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath – $29.26, $33.65 F
That’s all for now, I’m hyped for day-two!
Saturday Night, February 8th
Day two of PT Phoenix has concluded and we now have a Top 8! For anyone who’s been watching the coverage, there’s no surprise that there are many Lotus Breach Combo and Dimir Inverter decks!
Allen Wu – Lotus Breach Combo
Jacob Wilson – Sultai Delirium
Austin Bursavich – Azorius Control
Pete Ingram – Dimir Inverter
Corey Burkhart – Dimir Inverter
William Huey Jensen – Lotus Breach Combo
Tomas Ashton – Bant Spirits
Zachary Kiihne – Mono-Red Aggro
Card to Watch
Here are a couple of cards that looked very good on coverage today.
Pack Rat – $4.93, $8.02 F, $8.85 SLF
This was a powerful sideboard card out of the Dimir Inverter deck. It also has a very low supply special edition in the Secret Lair version. The issue with this card is that it seems to only be good in the Dimir Inverter deck. If that deck catches a ban, then an investment in these will hurt.
Murderous Rider – $6.31, $6.60 F, $6.98 S, $12.87 SF
Unlike Pack Rat, this card relies less on context and stands on its raw power. This weekend it’s been a key piece of the Delirium toolbox. Speaking of which, the next card seems poised to see more play as the format evolves.
Traverse the Ulvenwald – $4.62, $10.45 F
This has already gone up a little bit. I expect it to continue if Emrakul, the Promised End stays in the format. I would pick up copies now if this kind of strategy appeals to you.
Damping Sphere – $1.62, $13.03 F
I don’t like highlighting uncommon from high supply sets like Dominaria, but Damping Sphere is different. It has found its way into Modern, and Dominaria is out of print, so it seems positioned to grow. I’m looking to nab a couple of foil copies for under $10 for my sideboards.
Absorb – $5.93, $4.97 F (This has not caught up yet)
I didn’t see this next card on coverage, but it made a steep climb recently. With a copy of Azorius Control in the top 8, I don’t expect this card to go down. It’s also worth noting that Azorius Control is good in Standard right now, so this could be adding to the demand.
Market movement has been slow this weekend. I expect it’s because of all the data from last weekend. It’s going to take some time for the community to absorb what’s happened and make purchasing decisions. As this happens, we should see some more activity. I hope that these live journals have put you ahead of the trends and that you have been able to buy the cards you need at affordable prices. I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at the Top 8 and the Sunday market.
Sunday Night, February 9th
We now have a winner of PT Phoenix. Corey Burkhart took it down with Dimir Inverter.
One of the innovations of his list is the 3 Pack Rats in the sideboard. We’ve been seeing 1-2 of these but not three! If you’re playing this deck, now may be a good time to pick up your Pack Rats. I nabbed three of the Secret Lair versions.
With the dust settling from the tournament, there’s some ban-talk in the air. The tone seems to be that both Dimir Inverter and Lotus Breach need to be knocked down a peg. Many people agree that Dig Through Time seems like a good ban target. I would avoid buying or trading for that card if you can.
As if there wasn’t enough action for one weekend, we also have some Pioneer results from the GP. Here’s what the top 8 looked like.
Ben Weitz – Mono-Red Eldrazi
Andrew Lopez – Dimir Inverter
Kyle Henriksen – Bant Spirits
Isaac Sears – Dimir Inverter
Joseph Artz – Dimir Inverter
Max Milechman – Dimir Inverter
Stephen Peters – Bant Spirits
Jonathan Rosum – Dimir Inverter
Ben took it down with his innovative Mono-Red deck.
The key innovation here is adding Eldrazi to the deck. Eldrazi Obligator in the main deck and Thought-Knot Seer in the sideboard. Both are great against Dimir Inverter and the Thought-Knot Seers seem very important in the Lotus Breach match-up. These innovations are powered by the playset of Mutavaults and Battlefield Forge which help cast the Eldrazi’s colorless-mana requirements. Let’s take a look at some of the cards from the Mono-Red deck.
Eldrazi Obligator – .33, $1.48 F
This is a card with deep stock and it’s metagame dependent. It’s not going to make anyone money, but mono-red players get to enjoy some technology on the cheap.
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider – .25, .37 F
This card has wider applications than Obligator, but the stock is also deep. It’s in the same boat as Obligator.
Thought-Knot Seer – $7.23, $17.91 F
I could see this card hit $10 as the Pioneer format matures. This is a great sideboard card for mono-colored decks who need game against combo decks.
Bonecrusher Giant – $3.34, $3.21 F, $3.97 S, $7.02 SF
This has pretty low stock for being a recent set rare. At this rate, we can expect this card to hold its value and even continue to creep up.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell – $3.42, $3.68 F, $8.96 E, $26.44 EF
Torbran has secured a spot in the mono-red decks in Pioneer. It makes sense for people looking to play the archetype to pick these up soon.
Rampaging Ferocidon – $3.92, $8.09 F
I’m not sure what to make of this card. It’s stock levels are medium. The price seems stubborn, and I’d love to hear your take on this in the comments. Is it a buy?
Battlefield Forge (Magic Origins) – $2.06, $2.40 F
The stock on this card is surprisingly low. I presume it’s because of budget commander players looking for an affordable manabase. If this version of the deck sticks, I could see this land trending upward in price.
It’s refreshing to see how fast the Pioneer meta can shift and correct. As a deck builder, this is an exciting time. That’s a wrap on the weekend! We’ll be watching these cards and market movements in the MTG Finance channel on our Discord server. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there! Thank you for supporting me on Patreon.
< 3 JM