Pro Tour: Phyrexia?
For a Pro Tour billed around Phyrexia: All Will Be One, the main event is severely lacking in cards from Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Still, though, the new cards that did make an appearance were either pivotal to the playability of the deck they are in, put it work to shore up its bad matchups, or at least gave it a bump of a few percentage points by providing a mainboard boost or at least cleaning up the manabase. Let’s take a look at the All Will Be One cards that made the biggest splash at the Pioneer Pro Tour!
The Allied Fast Lands
Of course, good mana is good, and the rare lands are usually the most impactful cards (for Pioneer) in any new set. In fact, every single one of the Allied Fast Lands printed in Phyrexia: All Will Be One were represented at the Pioneer Pro Tour.
Razorverge Thicket saw the most diverse representation, being played in Selesnya Auras, Abzan Greasefang, Selesnya Angels and Selesnya Company – mostly as a four-of. Blackcleave Cliffs saw play in Rakdos Midrange and Rakdos Sacrifice, as a two, three or four-of in both archetypes. Copperline Gorge only showed up in Gruul Vehicles, but it was in every Gruul Vehicles deck that was registered for the Pro Tour. Seachrome Coast was a four-of in both Azorius Spirits and Azorius Powerstones, and Darkslick Shores was a four-of in the few Dimir Control builds that were registered.
Skrelv, Defector Mite
Pioneer’s new Toxic Mother of Runes was well-represented at the Pioneer Pro Tour, seeing up to four-of play in Selesnya Auras, Orzhov Auras and Mono-White Humans.
Skrelv was not included alongside other Toxic cards anywhere; rather, the friendly bug was used in aggressive decks to protect creatures covered in Auras or pumped-up Humans from spot removal. Also relevant is Skrelv’s Legendary Creature status, as it allows mana ramp via Mox Amber – a route taken by a couple of the Auras players this weekend.
Migloz, Maze Crusher
Migloz was registered in almost every Gruul Vehicles deck, most commonly as a two-of. Migloz is fine as a base 4/4 for three mana (it crews Esika’s Chariot and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship), but it also has built-in evasion, pump and artifact and enchantment removal.
Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines
Though a one-of in all cases, Elesh Norn did see play this weekend, in both Engimatic Incarnation and the several iterations of Five-Color Bring to Light.
While there aren’t a ton of enter-the-battlefield effects to double in Omnath to Light, Enigmatic Incarnation is basically ETB tribal, and is one of the only decks that can get immediate value from Elesh Norn the turn that she comes down – whether it is cast from hand or tutored out with Enigmatic Incarnation.
Lukka, Bound To Ruin
The new Lukka (fake Domri) showed up in mainboards and sideboards throughout Gruul Vehicles decks registered for the Pro Tour. Lukka can create a token that crew Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, add Green/Red to cast a creature spell, or deal damage to creatures and planeswalkers based on your most powerful creature’s power.
Seeing more sideboard play seems right, but a few Gruul Boat players thought he deserved space in the maindeck – and they are in the Pro Tour and I am not, so.
Ossification in Mono-White Humans maindeck
Sword of Forge and Frontier in Mono-White Humans sideboard
Cankerbloom in Jund Citadel sideboard
A playset of Thru, Breaker of Silence in the sideboard of one player’s Gruul Boat deck
So, All Will Be One might not have had the biggest impact on the Pioneer meta in time for the Pro Tour, but there is, of course, still time for some of the cards to make a splash in Pioneer in general. Plus, Selesnya Auras had the best Day One of all, and that deck was largely made possible by Razoverge Thicket and certainly got a boost from Skrelv, Defector Mite. If Selesnya Auras continues its warpath, we will likely be singing a different tune about the new set’s impact on the Pro Tour. Stay tuned!