This week in Magic: A Pro Tour Origins Top 5 List


Welcome back to another edition of “This week in Magic.” Did you miss me? It’s okay, I won’t tell everyone what you said. I missed you too! As I write this, Pro Tour Origins is currently underway. While the first part of the tournament is a Draft format, the real interesting part will be the Standard portions. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to put together another Top 5 list. This time we’ll talk about the Top 5 cards from Origins that I think will make an impact on the Pro Tour. So, get your hands, and, maybe, your wallets ready for a fun ride.


5. Languish

This is a card that has gotten a lot of hype since it was spoiled. Much of that hype, though, has been that it wasn’t Damnation that was reprinted, but people will make do. The effects of the spell have not been ignored even though the people didn’t get what they wanted. Languish is one of the best spells right now for the early aggressive games that Abzan Aggro, Elves, and Mono Red can whip out.


The best spell we’ve had thus far had been Drown in Sorrow. However, for one more mana, we get double the power. As for the ability to scry, I’m sure many players will be happy to make that exchange. Languish also allows for many things to just make the cut such as Siege Rhino. This means that the control or midrange versions of Abzan will be able to benefit from a spell like this.


Now I’m sure you’re saying something like, “Why is this any good? I thought we had Crux?” Well we do, and, in some cases, some deck lists have included some kind of combination of both spells. Still, let me stress that in some instances, that one mana difference can mean a lot.


So keep an eye on this spells, as Abzan is a very popular choice.


4. Thopter Spy Network

It made it’s debut a couple of weeks back and has made a few appearances in several control lists. It may not be a four-of yet, but I’m sure it will soon enough. This card is destined for the long game.


So what makes this card so good? First of all, it provides steady supply of blockers if needed. It also does provide a steady supply of attackers, but I think it’s safe to say, in a control deck, it’ll most likely be providing the previous. As for the second ability on the card, with other spells creating possible thopters early on, this can provide for some much needed card drawing the turn you and it. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a thopter that the Sky Network makes to draw you a card, it could be one you’ve already had in play.


I think if Thopter Spy Network cost less or made an addition thopter this would be a spell you would definitely need four copies of. However, it only makes one and still costs four mana. I think, right not, two is a good number.


3. Hangarback Walker

I’ve been seeing this card fly off the shelves since it was seen on camera in action. I initially didn’t think much of this card. However, I failed to realize that you can continue to put +1/+1 counters on it for only one mana. Therefore, the shenanigans can begin on turn two.


One of the best qualities about this card is that it is another cheap and efficient artifact creatures. So far, this set has opened the door for some powerful artifact focused decklists in the future.


Don’t forget that Magic 2015 is still a legal set in Standard until the fall. Therefore, spells like Ensoul Artifact and Shrapnel Blast can be used in conjunction with the Walker. One of the best combinations I’ve seen thus far from the Pro Tour has been an end of turn Shrapnel Blast, sacrificing the Walker, dealing five damage and leaving three tokens. On the following turn, swing with your three tokens. That’s essentially eight damage with barely lifting a finger.


2. Liliana, Heretical Healer

With Rally decks becoming popular and Mono Black tying to make a combat, I think it would be no surprise that Liliana would be on this list. While she may not look like an incredible creature on paper, she is just too good at the three-spot to ignore. I know some of you may have said getting a creature to die while she’s in play is hard, try telling that to a Rally player. Thanks to creatures like Nantuko Husk, even if you’re opponent won’t help you with a block, you can always sac a creature to the husk with Lilly in play.


What else can we say about her? She has two black mana symbols in her casting cost. For those of you striving for that Mono Black deck, this makes her just that much more important in your lists.


As for her planeswalker abilities, I think she has some of the most powerful right now in Standard. It’s one thing if I have no card, but I like it even more if my opponent has no cards. Just one activation of her first ability really opens the door for her second ability. With five loyalty, you have many choices of creatures to take. Which one will it be?


1. Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy

He is just a Merfolk Looter. Merfolk. Looter. However, he’s a Merolk Looter that can turn into a Planeswalker. I guess that’s biggest difference between him and a Merfolk Looter. The first thought, I’m sure, many people had was, “How the heck am I going to get five cards into my graveyard before he dies?” It was at that moment that people forgot that a card like Satyr Wayfinder existed even though it had been played in the top tier decks for many months at this point.


Up to now, Jace has made a serious impact on the format. He’s turned, what people though was a defunct deck, Jeskai Control into a deck again. His loot ability makes it that much easier to achieve delving with Treasure Cruise or Dig Though Time a little bit easier. One of the best plays I saw with Jace was blacking with him, activating his ability, and then flipping him into a Planeswalker. I can’t believe something that small was overlooked.


What about the other side of Jace; the Planeswalker side? On paper, his abilities are very lackluster. In fact, I know many people who thought he was not very good. Having now played him, players are coming saying that while he is not Jace, The Mindsculptor, he is a toolbox of tricks.


Well that’s it for now. Is there something you disagree with? Is there something I missed? Let me know! Sound off in the comment section below. See you all next week!


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!



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