This week in Magic: Getting ready for another tournament weekend


Welcome to another edition of “This week in Magic.” This weekend, the SCG Open will be taking place in Worcester. The question is how many of you have prepared thus far? I know I have, but I won’t be making an appearance this weekend, unfortunately. If I did though, there are a couple of decks I’d consider playing. For this week’s topic, we’ll cover those decks and why I think they give you the best shot of doing well this weekend.


Abzan Aggro

The first deck of choice has to be Abzan Aggro. I’ve been playing this deck for such a long time. I’ve also gone through quite a number of versions that I’ve lost count. However, this latest version may be the best one yet. It seems to find a nice balance between aggro and control. I guess that would make it somewhat midrange. Here’s a quick look at what my list looks like:


4 Hangarback Walker
4 Anafenza, the Foremost
4 Siege Rhino
4 Den Protector
4 Fleecemane Lion
3 Abzan Charm
3 Dromoka’s Command
2 Wingmate Roc
2 Hero’s Downfall
2 Ultimate Price
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
3 Temple of Malady
3 Temple of Silence
4 Windswept Heath
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
3 Caves of Koilos
3 Llanowar Wastes
2 Forest
2 Plains
1 Temple of Plenty
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth


Side Board

1 Ultimate Price
3 Tragic Arrogance
2 Self-Inflicted Wound
3 Thoughtseize
2 Herald of Torment
2 Duress
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion


This will most likely be one of the most popular decks at the tournament this weekend. The older versions of this deck used to pack four copies of Ultimate Price due to the overabundance of GR Dragons, GW, and Mono Green. However, if GP Prague was any indication, Ultimate Price is a bad choice right now. That’s why you’re seeing it cut down to two and the re-introduction of Hero’s Downfall.


den protector

While playtesting, I found Den Protector to be a great addition to the deck, but there where times where I found myself having to dedicate a lot of mana to this card. Still, it’s ability to bring back a spell like Dromoka’s Command or Heroic Downfall or even Thoughtseize from the sideboard can be critical and really hurt your opponent. If you’re not in the mood to face potential mirror matches all day, you may want to consider playing the next deck.


Jesakai Control

The next deck we’re going to go over is Jeskai Control. Here is the list that Mike Sigrist played at the World Championships this year:


4 Lightning Strike
4 Mantis Rider
4 Soulfire Grand Master
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
3 Dig Through Time
3 Valorous Stance
2 Goblin Rabblemaster
2 Stoke the Flames
2 Stormbreath Dragon
2 Ojutai’s Command
2 Wild Slash
1 Roast
1 Jeskai Charm
1 Magma Spray
4 Mystic Monastery
4 Flooded Strand
3 Temple of Triumph
3 Temple of Epiphany
3 Shivan Reef
3 Battlefield Forge
2 Island
2 Plains
1 Mountain


Side Board

1 Valorous Stance
2 Disdainful Stroke
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
3 Arashin Cleric
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Tragic Arrogance
1 Negate
2 Mastery of the Unseen
1 Glare of Heresy
1 End Hostilities


I played tested against this deck with UR Thopters and Abzan Aggro. I had a hard time with both decks. However, I’m sure my opponent was cheating in some way (I’m kidding of course). Needless to say, it just seemed like he had an answer for everything I played.



The keys to this deck are Jace and Mantis Rider. Jace is something that you must remove as soon as it hits the battlefield. Why is it so good? Well, it can easily dig for an answer if needed. It’s a cheap and efficient blocker. If timed well, it can block and then flip into a planeswalker. Once it’s turned into it’s better half, the game can really take a turn for the worse if you’re on the wrong side of things. It’s +1 ability to give a creature -2/-0 doesn’t look that great on paper, but put to the test, and it’s really annoying for someone trying to kill it or it’s controller.


Snapcaster Mage is an amazing card, so you can only guess how good that ability on Jace makes it. I died numerous times to being hit with a lightning strike twice in one turn, and, even worse, dying by Stoke the Flames twice in one turn. To add insult to injury, a Soulfire Grand Master gains them not just three life, but six and not just four life, but eight.


Well, that’s it for this week. Remember to take time tonight to prepare for tomorrow. Make sure to get plenty of rest. Don’t forget to bring a pen and some paper. If you need any cards, make sure you get there early. Things tend to sell out quickly especially if they’re in popular decks. My guess is that Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Hangerback Walkers may be on low supply.


Whatever deck you choose, good luck!


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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