The past two Saturdays Win Condition Games hosted standard events for the monthly Win Condition Cup qualifier and a Star City Games Standard Invitation Qualifier. These events saw some of the best players in the area competing. The events saw a wide variety of decks featuring new War of the Spark Cards.

Saturday, May 4 saw the 4th Win Condition Cup Qualifier of the season. This month’s qualifier featured standards deck with War of the Sparks cards for the first time. Below are the top 8 decks of the day and a review of some of the deck performances.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Win Condition Cup, Win Condition Games in Kennesaw, GA launched the Win Condition Cup in 2018 as the first Atlanta-area tournament series culminating with a $3,000 cash prize event. The Win Condition Cup finale event is an invite-only tournament where 24 of the top players in the area battle it out for their share of $3,000 and bragging rights. The invitational will consist of three rounds of standard, followed by three rounds of modern, and a star-studded standard Top 8.

Aggro decks dominated the decks played. Five of the Top 8 decks were aggro based with two Gruul decks leading the way. The new Ral, Storm Conduit Expansion/Explosion deck placed second showing the power of this new deck.

The Gruul decks added Domri, Anarch of Bolas, Chandra Fire Artisan, and Sarkhan the Masterless to the main deck to add additional power to the deck. Domri’s static ability giving +1/0 to all creatures and his +1 ability that makes creature spells uncounterable gives a needed boost that allowed the removal of Rhythm of the Wild from the deck. Chandra’s ability to get an additional card each turn helps to speed through the deck and get out additional threats. Finally, Sarkhan’s ability to turn other planeswalkers into 4/4 dragons or using his minus ability to create a 4/4 dragon token adds additional pressure and can end games quickly. Overall, the deck has tremendous power.

Gruul Aggro

Creatures (23)
Dire Fleet Daredevil
Goblin Chainwhirler
Growth-Chamber Guardian
Gruul Spellbreaker
Zhur-Taa Goblin
Rekindling Phoenix

Planeswalkers (7)
Chandra, Fire Artisan
Domri, Anarch of Bolas
Sarkhan the Masterless

Lands (24)
Forest
Mountain
Gruul Guildgate
Rootbound Crag
Stomping Ground
Unclaimed Territory
Blood Crypt

Spells (6)
Status/Staue
Lightning Strike
Shock
Sideboard (15)
Legion Warboss
Cindervines
Collision
Fiery Cannonade
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds
Lava Coil
Status/Statue

The Ral, Storm Conduit Expansion/Explosion deck uses Ral static ability to create an infinite combination. Ral’s static ability does one point of damage for each instant or sorcery cast. To get the combo off, you cast a one cost instant or sorcery than cast expansion to copy the spell. To complete the combo, cast a second expansion copying the first expansion. This creates an infinite copy loop that will allow you to do any amount of damage to your opponent. The limitation to the deck is that you must have two Expansion/Explosions to make the combination work.

Ral, Storm Conduit Expansion/Explosion

Spells (31)
Opt
Shock
Search for Azcanta
Chemister’s Insight
Wilderness Reclamation
Growth Spiral
Fiery cannonade
Jaya’s Greeting
Ral’s Outburst
Expansion // Explosion

Planeswalkers (3)
Ral, Storm Conduit

Lands (25)
Island
Mountain
Steam Vents
Sulfur Falls
Hinderland Harbor
Breeding Pools
Stomping Ground
Blast Zone
Rootbound Craig
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Crushing Canopy
Fiery Cannonade
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
Biogenic Ooze
Niv-Mizzet, Parun

Saturday, May 11 Win Condition games hosted a Star City Games Invitational Qualifier event. This event saw a new deck that was not part of the previous weekend’s Metagame. The breakthrough deck was Bant Midrange piloted by Drake Sasser to first place at the event. Of the 44 players, 5 played Bant Midrange while Mono-Red had 9 players, and 5 Esper Control decks.

Bant Midrange

Creatures (28)
Deputy of Detention
Frilled Mystic
Growth-Chamber Guardian
Hydroid Krasis
Incubation Druid
Knight of Autumn
Llanowar Elves
God-Eternal Oketra
Shalai, Voice of Plenty

Planeswalkers (7)
Teferi, Time Raveler
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds

Lands (25)
Forest
Breeding Pool
Glacial Fortress
Hallowed Fountain
Hinterland Harbor
Sunpetal Grove
Temple Garden
Sideboard (15)
Thorn Lieutenant
Baffling End
Prison Realm
Disdainful Stroke
Dovin’s Veto
The Wanderer
Vivien Reid
Time Wipe

The Bant Midrange deck was a favorite of pro players last week. The deck utilized new planeswalkers Teferi, Time Raveler and Vivien, Champion of the Wilds to disrupt the play of his opponents. He used Teferi, Time Raveler to limit when his opponents could play cards and Vivien, Champion of the Wilds ability to give his creatures flash so he could drop creatures on his opponents turn. The creature package for took the core creatures Sultai/Simic midrange deck from Ravnica Allegiance and added Deputy of Detention, God-Eternal Oketra, and Shalai, Voice of Plenty to the deck.

Deputy of Detention’s ability to take a permanent off the board gives added removal. Shalai, Voice of Plenty’s ability to give you and your creatures hexproof cripples decks like Mono-Red that rely on direct damage to eliminate creates and to lower a person’s life total. Finally, God-Eternal Oketra provides a finisher to the deck and a token generating engine in the late game. Every time you case a creature spell with Oketra on the field a 4/4 zombie token is generated. This usually provides lethal threats that aggro decks can’t deal with and control decks have difficulty removing. It will be interesting to see how the deck performs over the next few weeks.

Finally, Mono-Red showed well at the event with three of the top 8 decks. All three decks used the standard creature package along with Chandra, Fire Artisan. The decks diverged in their spell packages. Each did use 4 Lightning Strikes, 4 Shocks, and 4 Light Up the Stage, but differed from there. 7th place finisher Christopher Mahaffey’s spell packages some used 2 Skewer the Critics and 2 Wizard’s Lightning with 4 Chandra, Fire Artisan. Alex Hon utilized 2 Experimental Frenzy, 3 Wizard’s Lightning, and 3 Chandra, Fire Artisan. Michael Olson’s second place deck used 1 Experimental Frenzy, 4 Wizard’s Lightning, and 3 Chandra, Fire Artisan. It will be interesting to see the Mono-Red deck continue to evolve over the next few weeks to deal with the increasing number of midrange and control decks in the format. Below is Michael Olson’s second place Mono-Red deck list.

Mono Red

Creatures (20)
Fanatical Firebrand
Ghitu Lavarunner
Goblin Chainwhirler
Runaway Steam-Kin
Viashino Pyromancer

Planeswalkers (3)
Chandra, Fire Artisan

Lands (20)
20 Mountain

Spells (17)
Experimental Frenzy
Lightning Strike
Shock
Wizard’s Lightning
Light Up the Stage
Sideboard (15)
Dire Fleet Daredevil
Legion Warboss
Experimental Frenzy
Risk Factor
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Lava Coil

Until next time, good luck playing your, win condition.