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Anteri Strikes Gold in Manchester

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The letter T!he stars of Nyx shone brightly for Fabrizio Anteri here at Grand Prix in Manchester as the Venezuelan claimed his second Grand Prix trophy in three weeks. With previous Top 8s at Grand Prix in Warsaw, Antwerp, and London, where he is currently living, Anteri had already established himself as one of the household names on the European circuit; now he's firmly enshrined in the pantheon of back-to-back Grand Prix winners.

The format this weekend has been Theros Block Constructed, and while Pro Tour Journey into Nyx had certainly set the stage for this Grand Prix, players yet managed to come up with new and exciting ideas. Some combined Dictate of Kruphix and Scourge of Fleets to create a wholly new deck, others added more Ajani, Mentor of Heroes to existing archetypes to gain an edge in midrange mirrors largely decided by planeswalkers. Purphoros, God of the Forge was brought to the fore, as was Revel of the Fallen God. Top 8 competitors Nikolas Labahn and Sebastian Knörr even unearthed mono-black, in two distinct versions at that, one aggressive, one very much control-oriented. With just over half the players in the Top 8 running Courser of Kruphix, there was more variety on display than many had imagined possible.

In the end, however, it was Fabrizio Anteri combining the format's all stars Sylvan Caryatid, Courser of Kruphix with black removal and blue's planeswalkers and Prognostic Sphinx in the trusty BUG Control who crushed all opposition. With this finish, he reached Gold in the Pro Players Club and secured his ticket to the World Magic Cup as the English national team's captain. When talking about levels, the story of Valentin Mackl may also not be left out here, as the Austrian, in his fourth Grand Prix Top 8 of the season, earned a much-needed invite to Pro Tour Magic 2015 in Portland to conclude the season with at least a Gold level as well.

Today, the golden trophy belongs to one man though. Congratulations to Fabrizio Anteri, champion of Grand Prix Manchester 2014!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Sebastian Knoerr   Sebastian Knoerr, 2-1        
8 Juan Carlo Adebo Diaz   Fabrizio Anteri, 2-1
       
4 Fabrizio Anteri   Fabrizio Anteri, 2-1   Fabrizio Anteri, 2-1
5 Marcio Carvalho    
       
2 Bradley Barclay   Tamas Glied, 2-0
7 Tamas Glied   Tamas Glied, 2-1
       
3 Nikolas Labahn   Valentin Mackl, 2-1
6 Valentin Mackl    











EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
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  • Top 16 Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Peter Whitfield (Top 16)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed


    Gabor Kocsis (Top 16)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed



    Samuele Estratti (Top 16)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed


    Max Sjöblom (Top 16)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed


    Adam Bajerowicz (Top 16)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed





     

  • Top 8 Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Sebastian Knörr (Top 8)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed



    Nikolas Labahn (Top 8)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed



    Tamás Glied (Top 8)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed


    Juan Carlos Adebo Díaz (Top 8)
    Grand Prix Manchester 2014 – Theros Block Constructed






     

  • Top 8 Profiles

    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Bradley Barclay

    Age: 27
    Hometown: Dundee, Scotland


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    World Cup Top 8 2012.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    BUG. It's a control deck.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Maybe add a land.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Prognostic Sphinx.




    Tamás Glied

    Age: 20
    Hometown: Budapest, Hungary


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    MOCS Top 4, three Pro Tour Top 75s, Team Worlds runner-up.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Red-Green Elspeth. It's pretty good.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    None.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Sylvan Caryatid.




    Valentin Mackl

    Age: 22 today
    Hometown: Vienna, Austria
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Three Top 8s and about seven Top 16s at Grand Prix this season.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Red-green-white because of Patrick Dickmann.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    At least another Ajani, Mentor of Heroes in the main deck and some sideboard changes.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Elspeth, Sun's Champion/Sylvan Caryatid




    Nikolas Labahn

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Aachen, Germany
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Highlander Cup champion, two Pro Tour Qualifier wins.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Mono-Black Devotion. It's fun and good in a metagame full of Courser of Kruphix. Thanks to Dominik and Simon Görtzen for cards and testing with me!

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Less Pharika's Cure in the sideboard, more Erebos, God of the Dead and Drown in Sorrow.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Whip of Erebos/Pyxis of Pandemonium.




    Sebastian Knörr

    Age: 25
    Hometown: Essen, Germany
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Some money finishes.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Mono-Black Aggro. It's horribly underrated.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    None.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Mogis's Marauder.




    Marcio Alexandre Pinto De Carvalho

    Age: 28, sadly
    Hometown: Lisbon, Portugal
    Occupation: Durdling


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Six Grand Prix Top 8s, two Pro Tour Top 8s.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Red-Green-White Aggro because I didn't have four Temple of Malady; wanted to play Black-Green-White Constellation.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Purphoros, God of the Forge main deck. It's the sickest card in the entire block.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Elspeth, Sun's Champion.




    Juan Carlos Adebo Díaz

    Age: 36
    Hometown: Málaga, Spain
    Occupation: Industrial engineer


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Shark Games Store best player.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Red-White Heroic. I had no time to test the format and it looked like my kind of deck.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Prefer instant tricks over Ordeal and Mogis's Warhound.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Any early creature. Maybe Akroan Crusader, it's so hard to race.




    Fabrizio Anteri

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
    Occupation: If I win today, I'll just try to go pro.


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Lost last round of Pro Tour Journey into Nyx to Owen Turtenwald, in a match for fame and glory.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    BUG Control. The longer games go, the more likely people are to make mistakes. And BUG makes sure games go very long.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    I took my chances not having a good match-up against aggro with my list and didn't pay for it. So I'm happy with my 75.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Prognostic Sphinx.






     

  • Quarterfinal Roundup

    by Frank Karsten


  • Juan Carlos Adebo Diaz (RW Heroic) vs Sebastien Knoerr (Mono Black Aggro)

    In Game 1, Knoerr had a great start with Thoughtseize on turn one, Pain Seer on turn two, and Master of the Feast on turn three. Abedo Diaz fought back by making lots of 1/1 tokens with Launch the Fleet, but fell to the 5/5 flyer.

    In Game 2, Abedo Diaz boosted his army with Phalanx Leader, while Knoerr was stuck on two lands. Knoerr quickly lost to an onslaught of 1/1s with lots of +1/+1 counters on them.

    In Game 3, Knoerr used discard spells to strip Abdedo Diaz of creatures, and then upped the pressure with Tormented Hero and Mogis's Marauder. Stuck with lots of enchantments and pump spells in hand, Abedo Diaz was unable to find a creature in time to claw back into the game.

    Juan Carlos Adebo Diaz 1 - Sebastien Knoerr 2


    Fabrizio Anteri (BUG) – Marcio Carvalho (RGW Midrange)

    In Game 1, Anteri curved out reasonably with Courser of Kruphix; Kiora, the Crashing Wave; and Prognostic Sphinx, while Carvalho was stuck with 3 Elspeth, Sun's Champion and 2 Brimaz, King of Oreskos in hand without a second white source in play.

    In Game 2, Carvalho had a quick start with Sylvan Caryatid on turn 2; Xenagos, the Reveler on turn 3; and two Fleecemane Lion on turn 4. When he made both of them monstrous on turn 5, the game was over.

    In Game 3, there was an initial flurry of planeswalkers, creatures, and removal spells. After the dust settled, Anteri had Prognostic Sphinx, while Carvalho had Elspeth, Sun's Champion. As it turns out, when these cards go head-to-head, the flyer wins out, in no small part due to the ability to set up great draw steps turn after turn.

    Fabrizio Anteri 2 – Marcio Carvalho 1


    Bradley Barclay (BUG) - Tamas Glied (RGW Midrange)

    Game 1 was a long, drawn-out grindfest in which Glied's Elspeth, Sun's Champion played a crucial role: It first took down Reaper of the Wilds, and then made tokens that eventually killed Kiora, the Crashing Wave. A couple turns later, an interesting situation arose. Glied had Xenagos, the Reveler; a bunch of 2/2 Satyr tokens; Stormbreath Dragon; and various other creatures in play. If he would activate the +1 ability on Xenagos, then he could get enough mana to make Stormbreath Dragon monstrous and attack all-out for exactly enough damage. If he would activate the +0 ability on Xenagos, then the addition of the 2/2 token would not be sufficient to make his attack lethal. There was some confusion between the players as to whether Glied had activated the +0 ability or not, especially given that Glied had a Satyr token in hand. To resolve this situation, head judge Kevin Desprez was called in. After talking to both players, he ruled that merely having a token in hand doesn't imply a commitment to activating the +0 ability. Glied was allowed to activate the +1 ability and won right away.

    Game 2 was over more quickly. Basically, haste creatures and Elspeth, Sun's Champion match up well against Kiora, the Crashing Wave and Reaper of the Wilds.

    Bradley Barclay 0 - Tamas Glied 2


    Valentin Mackl (RGW Midrange) - Nikolas Labahn (Mono Black Devotion)

    In Game 1, Labahn used 3 Thoughtseize, 1 Brain Maggot, and 1 Disciple of Phenax to completely strip Mackl off of any relevant spells. Eventually, Labahn locked up the game with Herald of Torment and Abhorrent Overlord.

    In Game 2, Labahn once again had 2 Thoughtseize, but was unable to prevent Mackl from resolving an early Xenagos, the Reveler. A lot of Satyr tokens came out to party and handed Mackl the game.

    In Game 3, it was a removal slugfest on both sides, with multiple copies of Silence the Believers and Banishing Light killing creatures left and right. Yet, Mackl managed to stick Xenagos, the Reveler and Stormbreath Dragon, and they eventually took him to victory.

    Valentin Mackl 2 - Nikolas Labahn 1




     

  • Semifinal - Sebastian Knörr vs. Fabrizio Anteri

    by Tobi Henke

  • Fabrizio Anteri had been on a run in recent months. He had placed third at last year's Grand Prix in London, second at Grand Prix Antwerp, and finally had taken home the trophy three weeks ago in Warsaw. Would this be his second Grand Prix title? He had already secured Gold level with his Top 8 here, as well as his spot at the Magic World Cup (playing for his country of residence England), and was now looking to go pro.

    Fabrizio Anteri

    Facing him in this semifinal was Sebastian Knörr, an up-and-coming player from Germany, who had managed to qualify for Pro Tour Journey into Nyx. While he failed to finish anywhere close to the top at that event, he did gain valuable insight into the Block Constructed format.

    At this Grand Prix he was running a mono-black aggro deck he called "horribly underrated." That may well have been true, seeing as he had actually beat every single one of the other players in this Top 4 during the Swiss rounds. Anteri came equipped with a much more common deck in BUG Control.

    Game 1

    Knörr led with Gnarled Scarhide and Tormented Hero, but had both his Mogis's Marauder as well as Hero's Downfall discarded by a pair of Thoughtseizes. However, the early beatdown plus lifeloss took a big bite out of Anteri's lifetotal.

    Sebastian Knörr

    While Anteri tried to recover with Courser of Kruphix, Knörr redoubled his grip on the game with another Mogis's Marauder and another Hero's Downfall as well as a Pain Seer. Anteri went to 10, then 4, then 5 thanks to another Courser of Kruphix, then 1, but ultimately he could not stem the tide and lost a rather one-sided first duel.

    Sebastian Knörr 1-0 Fabrizio Anteri

    Game 2

    Anteri had boarded in Silence the Believers, Unravel the Æther, Dark Betrayal, two copies of each of Drown in Sorrow and Feast of Dreams, altering the balance of the match-up considerably.


    And it was a completely different story indeed. Unravel the Æther traded with Brain Maggot, Thoughtseize with Mogis's Marauder, Feast of Dreams with Master of the Feast, Hero's Downfall with another Mogis's Marauder. Knörr never managed to mount a sizeable offense. He did succeed in keeping Prognostic Sphinx and Reaper of the Wilds off the table, via Thoughtseize and Hero's Downfall respectively, but at some point Anteri could land a Courser of Kruphix and that stuck around.

    The Courser recouped about 10 points of life and generated about seven extra cards throughout the game, and it was only a matter of time before further copies of Anteri's larger threats took the game.

    Sebastian Knörr 1-1 Fabrizio Anteri

    Game 3

    In an anticlimactic end to the match, Knörr mulliganed into a six-card hand without a single land, then had to keep a less than stellar five: Swamp, Gnarled Scarhide, Pain Seer, Odunos River Trawler, Hero's Downfall. When he finally drew his second Swamp on about turn four, Anteri killed Scarhide plus Pain Seer via Drown in Sorrow. And by the time Knörr found his third, Reaper of the Wilds and Prognostic Sphinx were already poised to take over the game.

    Sebastian Knörr 1-2 Fabrizio Anteri




     

  • Semifinal - Valentin Mackl vs. Tamás Glied

    by Tom Reeve

  • Two young players with some strong finishes to their names, Valentin Mackl and Tamás Glied are both winners already this weekend. Valentin's performance has him locked up for Gold in the Pro Players Club, while Tamás has picked up Silver. That means that while neither player came into this event with an invitation to the next Pro Tour, both will leave with one. Both were piloting white-green-red decks, Mackl with Fleecemane Lion and Brimaz, King of Oreskos, while Glied was running more of a midrange build with additional acceleration and burn.

    Game 1

    Mackl won the die roll, but was inconvenienced by a mulligan. Soon a pair of Sylvan Caryatids were facing off, but Mackl's attempt to really jump ahead with Xenagos, the Reveler was thwarted by a Lightning Strike from Glied. Glied then dropped the hammer – Stormbreath Dragon took a chunk out of Mackl, and a couple of turns of struggling later, he succumbed to the (now 7/7) flying beast.

    Valentin Mackl

    "Not good!" Mackl was, for some reason, not entirely happy about the draconic beating he'd just received, and studied Glied's decklist as he flicked through his sideboard. "You know, you have to lose, you have to catch your flight!" Such possible inconveniences weren't enough to deter Glied, who was in the process of adding some serious spice to his deck – Revel of the Fallen God, Fated Conflagration, Glare of Heresy and Banishing Light would bring a mix of late-game power and powerful removal to the remaining games.

    "If you beat me now, you become the official Austrian-crusher!" Mackl explained that in a past Pro Tour Qualifier in the Czech Republic, Glied had defeated three different Austrian players in the Top 8 to earn his invitation. Could he make it a fourth here in the Grand Prix Manchester Top 8?

    Tamás Glied 1-0 Valentin Mackl

    Game 2

    It was Glied's turn to mulligan this time; then again, Mackl had agonized over his own decision. Would he be able to build up some momentum in this second game, or would Glied be able to thwart him once more and advance to the final?

    Tamás Glied

    Two cards down, Glied could only answer the first of Mackl's copies of Brimaz, King of Oreskos, although a Courser helped him recover at least one card, a Temple of Plenty hitting play from the top of his library. Glied could answer the first of Mackl's five-casting cost threats as well, but after Mackl's Stormbreath Dragon fell, the Ajani, Mentor of Heroes that replaced it drew a grimace. Elspeth, Sun's Champion joined Ajani, and Glied's lands were no help. Revel of the Fallen God and his own Elspeth let Glied keep up in terms of numbers, but Mackl was threatening to ultimate Elspeth first and finish the game in a single attack. Glied sent his team into Elspeth, trying to bait Mackl into blocking, but the Austrian let everything through, then pumped his own tokens once more with Ajani, getting through for lethal damage.

    Tamás Glied 1-1 Valentin Mackl

    Game 3

    Mackl, after spending a few seconds with his head in his hands, decided to keep for the final game. Both of his early Temple scrys sent cards to the bottom, while Glied developed his manabase with a pair of Caryatids. Elspeth from Glied, Banishing Light from Mackl, then a backbreaking turn of Xenagos into Banishing Light right back from Glied, and the game was already threatening to spiral out of control for Mackl. "Threatening" only lasted a turn, as Revel of the Fallen God drove four hasty nails into Mackl's coffin ...

    "Wait a second, let me cheat first!" Valentin attempted a Jedi mind trick, his last-ditch attempt to stay in the game. He reached into his sideboard for an Anger of the Gods, producing it with a flourish. Sadly, in his sideboard it would have to stay, and Tamás Glied advanced to the final!

    Tamás Glied 2-1 Valentin Mackl




     

  • Finals - Tamas Glied (RGW Midrange) vs Fabrizio Anteri (BUG Control)

    by Frank Karsten

  • Fabrizio Anteri has had an incredible season so far. Having finished 3rd at Grand Prix London, 2nd at Grand Prix Antwerp, and 1st at Grand Prix Warsaw, he is finding himself in another Grand Prix final. A win would mean not only allow him to hoist his second Grand Prix trophy in a month, but would also lock up the Gold level that would qualify him for all the Pro Tours in the next season.

    Tamas Glied has not had a season as amazing as Anteri, but he has been in plenty of high-level tournaments over the years: He has a MOCS Top 4, three Pro Tour Top 75s, and a Team Worlds Top 2 finish to his name, and he is more than eager to add a Grand Prix win to his resume.


    As far as decks are concerned, it's a matchup we've seen all weekend---BUG Control versus RGW Midrange---and the jury is still out on who the favorite is. BUG has the lower mana curve and the better removal spells, but RGW can ramp into bigger threats quickly. Let's find out how the games go!

    Game 1

    Glied got to play first and started with a Forest on his first turn. Anteri's turn-1 Thoughtseize revealed the following six cards:

    Forest, Forest, Voyaging Satyr, Destructive Revelry, Courser of Kruphix, and Xenagos, the Reveler.

    Anteri chose Courser of Kruphix, leaving Glied with two problems: the lack of a non-green mana source and a low amount of action spells.

    Fabrizio Anteri

    As it turned out, Anteri was able to deal with the first problem, but not the second: The top of his deck gave him Temple of Abandon, but hardly any relevant non-land spells. After Anteri destroyed Xenagos with Hero's Downfall, Glied was out of threats.

    Anteri, meanwhile, had more than enough business spells: he got ahead with Prognostic Sphinx and Kiora, the Crashing Wave, and Glied scooped up his cards just when Kiora was about to go ultimate.

    Tamas Glied 0 - Fabrizio Anteri 1

    Anteri's sideboard strategy

    In: +1 Read the Bones +2 Psychic Intrusion +1 Unravel the Æther +1 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

    Out: -1 Silence the Believers -1 Kiora, the Crashing Wave -1 Sylvan Caryatid -2 Reaper of the Wilds

    Glied's sideboard strategy

    In: +2 Arbor Colossus +1 Banishing Light +2 Fated Conflagration +3 Purphoros, God of the Forge +2 Revel of the Fallen God

    Out: -2 Magma Jet -4 Lightning Strike -2 Destructive Revelry -2 Polis Crusher

    Game 2

    This was a long, drawn-out affair with the usual flurry of threats and answers. However, the late game had several interesting moments.

    A key play was that Anteri managed to snag Revel of the Fallen God with Psychic Intrusion. The 4 tokens provided a nice defensive army to protect his Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, which threatened to lock up the game.

    Tamas Glied

    Anteri made the choice of ticking up his Ashiok even though Glied's Courser of Kruphix revealed a less-than-threatening land on top. Anteri was hoping to snag a big creature with Ashiok, but inadvertently improved Glied's draw step: Thanks to the Ashiok activation, Glied drew Banishing Light rather than a land and was actually able to take out the planeswalker.

    Next, the top of Glied's deck revealed Elspeth, Sun's Champion, which allowed him to come back from a tough spot. A couple turns later, Anteri hadn't found an answer to Elspeth, and when the planeswalker gave all of Glied's creatures +2/+2 and flying, the game was over.

    Tamas Glied 1 - Fabrizio Anteri 1

    Game 3

    Glied had to mulligan down to 5 cards and kept Forest, Temple of Plenty, Voyaging Satyr, and 2 copies of Xenagos, the Reveler.

    Anteri, however, used 2 Thoughtseize to strip Glied's hand, and upped the stakes by ramping into a turn-4 Prognostic Sphinx. The 3/5 flyer was able to take out a planeswalker while setting up Anteri's draw steps, and Glied was unable to come back from that point.

    Tamas Glied 1 - Fabrizio Anteri 2

    Fabrizio Anteri does it again and takes home another Grand Prix trophy!




     

  • Top 5 Cards

    by Frank Karsten & Tobi Henke

  • These were the cards that shaped the tournament, that sparked discussions and were the most debated, the cards that won games and turned Grand Prix Manchester into an event to remember ...



    5. Scourge of Fleets

    Release the Kraken! A full team of English players showed up with an innovative deck that aimed to land Dictate of Kruphix early on and lock up the game with Scourge the Fleets and Whelming Wave later on. Most of them sank during the swiss rounds, but Daniel Entwisle finished in 30th place with the deck. Scourge the Fleets doesn't care what is on the other side of the table. It could be a Prognostic Sphinx with hexproof. It could be nine 1/1 Soldier tokens from Elspeth, Sun's Champion. Or it could be an indestructible Fleecemane Lion. Doesn't matter; Scourge the Fleets will bounce everything equally well. And its creature type comes in handy for Whelming Wave!





    4. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

    Expecting a tournament filled with green midrange decks, most players wanted to tune their decks for the mirror matches. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes is a great way to do just that, as can go over the top of what other people are doing and can give you some card advantage at any stage of the game. On Saturday morning, the card dealers already mentioned Ajani as part of their bestseller lists. Later on Saturday, Matej Zatlkaj said that he expected this to be a breakout tournament for the planeswalker. And when the Top 8 was announced, there were multiple decks with Ajani left standing. Top 8 competitor Valentin Mackl mentioned that he would have liked to have had even more Ajani in his main deck, so this planeswalker may have a promising future.





    3. Herald of Torment

    The event saw a resurgence of mono-black decks which many players, after their bad showing at Pro Tour Journey into Nyx, had written off already. All too soon because, as it turned out, there still was some life left in the undead. Both Sebastian Knörr and Nikolas Labahn utilized the lack of Dark Betrayals in other people's sideboards to clinch a berth in the playoffs. While running wildly different versions of mono-black, one very aggressive, the other very control-oriented, both their decks included Herald of Torment, heralding the universal appeal of the card. Pro Tour champion Samuele Estratti even put it into his black-green-white midrange deck with the express purpose to bestow it upon Courser of Kruphix and kill an opposing Elspeth, Sun's Champion.





    2. Fleecemane Lion

    If it weren't for the ubiquitous Sylvan Caryatid, Fleecemane Lion might be the best two-drop in the format. It can attack into Caryatid, it dodges Drown in Sorrow and Magma Jet, and it is still a good draw in the late-game as well. While the power of Fleecemane Lion was already showcased by Patrick Chapin in Atlanta, this weekend has shown that the 3/3 fits in Naya as well. Both Valentin Mackl and Marcio Carvalho made it to the Top 8 with four Fleecemane Lions in their Naya decks, and the Lion stories don't stop there: Craig Jones was raising eyebrows all weekend by making Fleecemane Lion monstrous and bestowing Chromanticore on it, safe from Silence the Believers due to the Lion's hexproof. Roar!





    1. Courser of Kruphix

    To be honest, though, Courser of Kruphix and his smaller sidekick Sylvan Caryatid were the most influential and dominant cards of the tournament by far. 73% of all players who had made it to the second day of competition here in Manchester had Courser of Kruphix in their decks and many a game began with the one-two punch, or rather one-two block, of Caryatid and Courser. Certainly one of the central building blocks of the block, it will be particularly interesting to see whether Theros's midrange decks can translate to the Standard format after the rotation in the fall.






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