Recapping the Pro Tour

Stu Somers
August 04, 2017

It feels like forever since I have been able to write an article that can cover a major Magic tournament in a timely fashion. Writing bi-weekly your schedule sometimes does not align with the stars and it feels like for the past few months it has been that way. Fortunately, we had PT Kyoto this past weekend and it was full of excitement. Granted, I think most of the excitement came from the player based stories and not so much the game play, but we will get into that. Look at this list of last minute achievements reached at this Pro Tour:

  • Martin Juza comes from behind to win Draft Master
  • Christian Calcano hits Platinum for the first time after narrowly missing back-to-back T8s
  • Peach Garden Oath is fully represented in Worlds
  • Sam Black needed to reach the Semis coming in to go to Worlds and achieves that
  • With the T8, Sam Black and Seth Manfield both should have locked up Hall of Fame spots
  • Steve Rubin wins his last match to lock Platinum again (Ok, I am biased on that one)
  • Paulo Vitor Doma De Rosa not only comes from down 0-2 to win his Quarterfinals, but wins Player of the Year by winning the whole tournament

That is a lot! I am sure I missed plenty of other stories such as the World Magic Cup finals, first time players getting on the train, other players achieving or falling short of their goals, but I wanted to get into the decks of the tournament. Well, I should say THE deck of the tournament. Ramunap Red was all over the field, including 6 of the 8 Top 8 spots.

Some would say it RUIN-ed the tournament - editor 

Ramunap RedPaulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa1st Bomat Courier Falkenrath Gorger Village Messenger Earthshaker Khenra Kari Zev, Skyship Raider Ahn-Crop Crasher Hazoret the Fervent Mountain Ramunap Ruins Scavenger Grounds Sunscorched Desert Chandra, Torch of Defiance Shock Abrade Chandra's Defeat Oath of Chandra Aethersphere Harvester Pia Nalaar Savage Alliance Chandra, Torch of Defiance Sand Strangler Glorybringer

There are so many 4-ofs, it is a great thing to see. This deck has it all really, life-gain in a red deck, Flame-Tongue Kavu out of the Sideboard, the ability to move into a more midrange style deck in the mirror. It is no surprise this deck dominated the tournament. The best part of this deck is that it is super cheap to build, although I do think that means we will see it take up a large percent of the metagame without really putting up the results.

The MTGO PTQ during the Pro Tour did not have a single red deck show up until 10th place. Instead you had Mono-Black Zombies taking up the top 3 spots in the tournament. You had decks like Mono Black Eldrazi and Mono White Life Gain appearing, making it very hostile to Red Aggro decks. Here is the Mono White Life Gain deck that looked especially interesting:

Mono White LifegainYamakiller42888 Thraben Inspector Glory-Bound Initiate Lone Rider Aerial Responder Gisela, the Broken Blade Odric, Lunarch Marshal Crested Sunmare Desert of the True Plains Aethersphere Harvester Always Watching Stasis Snare Cast Out Cast Out Fragmentize Solemnity Stasis Snare Cast Out Gideon's Intervention Gideon, Ally of Zendikar Fumigate Dusk // Dawn

This is another deck that is not messing around when it comes to Mono Red. Aerial Responder,Glory-Bound Initiate and Aethersphere Harvester all make it incredibly hard for the red deck to put a clock on its opponent. With such a hateful maindeck against Red, there is not much need for sideboard slots against it, so it is free to focus on the other aggro decks and more control decks in the format with its sideboard.

I think this week will be VERY interesting as far as metagames are concerned. You have Grand Prix Minneapolis and a SCG Standard Classic that will give us some more results.

  • There will be 2 different things going on that are going to directly impact the metagames: 1) Ramunap Red is VERY cheap and I think a lot of people have been itching to play a top tier red deck for a while
  • People are going to overcompensate to deal with the red decks.


Personally, I would be on a Black-Green deck that Steve Rubin advocated which would look something like this from his Pro Tour deck:

BG ConstrictorSteve Rubin42890 Walking Ballista Grim Flayer Winding Constrictor Rishkar, Peema Renegade Tireless Tracker Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet Verdurous Gearhulk Blooming Marsh Evolving Wilds Forest Hashep Oasis Hissing Quagmire Swamp Liliana, the Last Hope Nissa, Voice of Zendikar Fatal Push Fatal Push Dissenter's Deliverance Grasp of Darkness Gifted Aetherborn Grasp of Darkness Transgress the Mind Dispossess Tireless Tracker Gonti, Lord of Luxury Ishkanah, Grafwidow Ob Nixilis Reignited Never // Return

He advocates for a few changes to compensate for the uptick in red decks running around the metagame. I would think having some cheaper removal and maindeck life gain over a few of the narrower artifact hate cards would be a good place to start for adjustments. Just know that Zombies and Black Green will also show up so do not go too far overboard with the tweaks.


That is all from me this week. No matter where you are playing or what game you are playing, I hope you have a great time and manage to win all your matches!


-Stu Somers

@ssomers55 on twitter