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Pro Tour Born of the Gods Preview

Pro Tour Born of the Gods kicks off in just a few hours in Valencia, Spain. There’s a lot going on at the PT, so I’ve put together a little primer on the event. I’ll provide a quick run-down of the PT structure, the Modern metagame, Born of the Gods/Theros/Theros draft, and what each ChannelFireball player is looking for at this event beyond the Top 8.

You’ll be able to follow Wizards’ video coverage of the Pro Tour all weekend long (broadcast schedule), and we’ll be updating the team pages for Team ChannelFireball, Team ChannelFireball: The Pantheon, Team Woo, and the rest of our contributors competing at the event with records and other information.

Pro Tour Broadcast Schedule:

broadcast schedule

Don’t miss Florian Koch’s Pro Tour Born of the Gods Special, a great opportunity to get to know some of the biggest names you’ll see competing this weekend.

And a more historical look at the Pro Tour, “How the Pro Tour Saved Magic,” and extract from Titus Chalk’s new eBook, So Do You Wear a Cape?

 

Table of Contents

I. Pro Tour Structure
II. Modern Metagame Primer
III. BTT Draft Primer
IV. ChannelFireball Player Pro Point Goals

 

Pro Tour Structure

The structure of the Pro Tour is simple—broken down into 3 days, the event alternates between Draft, Constructed, Draft, Constructed, and then Constructed for the Top 8.

Day 1, 8 Rounds: BTT Draft, then 3 rounds played, paired only within their pod.
5 rounds of Modern

A record of 4-4 is required to advance to Day 2, although 3 losses is generally considered the maximum to Top 8 a Pro Tour. Players at 4-4 can generally be considered out of contention (but there’s still plenty to play for!).

Day 2, 8 Rounds: BTT Draft, 3 rounds, then 5 more rounds of Modern.

At Pro Tour Theros, 12-3-1 was a hard cutoff for Top 8, the same was true at PT Dragon’s Maze, two 12-4s made Top 8 at PT Gatecrash, and three 12-4s made Top 8 at PT Return to Ravnica. So as you can see, it’s not a hard rule, but even when players at 12-4 made it, only a portion of them did so. Generally, 3 is the Magic (get it?) number.

Day 3, Top 8: 3 single-elimination rounds of Modern.

Here are the prizes, once we have a Champion and final standings:

prize structure

Table of Contents

 

Modern Metagame

Modern is an interesting format for the Pro Tour. Unlike Block Constructed, Standard, and old-school Extended, Modern is non-rotating. That means the format only changes when new cards are added, and in such a deep pool, new cards don’t typically impact much. Born of the Gods was no exception.

Thus, Wizards has tried a novel approach to shaking up a format: utilizing the ban list. By banning cards that have become exceedingly popular, and unbanning cards that seems safe to reintroduce, Wizards can recreate the sense of a “new format” for every Modern Pro Tour. In this case, they chose to ban [ccProd]Deathrite Shaman[/ccProd], and unban [ccProd]Bitterblossom[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Wild Nacatl[/ccProd].

The important things to note about these changes in regards to the metagame are that Deathrite Shaman powered Jund, and did an incredible job of keeping graveyard-based decks down (even if they weren’t great, it was just sort of collateral damage). Bitterblossom enables Faeries, which preys on decks that rely on (relatively) expensive sorcery speed spells. Wild Nacatl just attacks, but it also kills a whole turn faster than any other commonly-played 1-drop. This means everything to a deck like Zoo, and should bring every possible variety out of the woodwork.

For the metagame breakdown, I’ve sorted the decks by the paper-rock-scissors Combo, Aggro, and Control, although as you’ll see these categorizations are necessarily a little loose. First of all, there really is no control deck in Modern, so you have to get creative when you decide which decks actually play that role. Moreover, even though I’ve put Melira under Combo, it still wins many of its games by being a decent beatdown deck, and even though I listed Gifts as “control,” it clearly wins via a combo.

Just click on a deck to see an example list (all lists were pulled from Magic Online events):

Combo

Melira Pod
Kiki-Pod
Splinter Twin
Infect
Storm
Ad Nauseum
Tron
Living End

Aggro

Zoo
Affinity
Hexproof
Merfolk

Control

UWR
Jund
Gifts
Faeries

Modern is pretty wide open right now, and there are plenty of other lists that I saw, but only in single iterations: graveyard-based decks, Eggs variants, and even crazier combinations. These are the decks I’d expect to see the most, and we’ll see what new decks crop up!

Table of Contents

 

Born of the Gods/Theros/Theros Draft

At PT Gatecrash, when the draft format changed from Triple-Return to Ravnica draft to GTC/GTC/GTC, players were faced with a radically different environment that was dramatically faster, and the nature of the powerful Gatecrash guilds forced you to cut those colors as hard as possible in Pack 1.

Luckily for me and my deadline, that’s not close to the case with Born of the Gods/Theros/Theros, since we’re back to normal block structure. What was important is still important: Heroic is good but can be difficult to build well, removal is scarce, and bestowing your way to a large monster is still the name of the game. White, green, and black are all good base colors, blue is excellent but not deep, and red is better than it was in triple-THS, but still the worst color overall. Expect to see players draft much the way they did in triple-THS, staying open and favoring those colors, looking for the same basic archetypes:

• White-based heroic
• Base-black devotion
• Green good stuff
• Red aggro
• Blue combined with any of the above

I talked to Grand Prix Oakland 2013 Finalist Philip Yam, and he gave me his picks for the best commons and uncommons in each color.

Best common in each color:

White – [ccProd]Akroan Skyguard[/ccProd] Blue – [ccProd]Retraction Helix[/ccProd] Black – [ccProd]Asphyxiate[/ccProd] Red – [ccProd]Fall of the Hammer[/ccProd] Green – [ccProd]Pheres-Band Tromper[/ccProd]

Best uncommon in each color:

White – [ccProd]Ornitharch[/ccProd] Blue – [ccProd]Siren of the Fanged Coast[/ccProd] Black – [ccProd]Bile Blight[/ccProd] Red – [ccProd]Akroan Conscriptor[/ccProd] Green – [ccProd]Raised by Wolves[/ccProd]

Table of Contents

 

ChannelFireball Player Pro Point Goals

Naturally, every player on the Pro Tour wants to reach the Top 8. That honor is unfortunately reserved for only 8 players, so it’s inevitable that many players will need to set their sights on more attainable goals at some point in the tournament.

With that in mind, I’ve set each player’s alternate goal to being on track for Platinum. The benefits of Platinum are clear, with appearance fees, travel, and prestige, but keep in mind of course that not every player will care about Platinum as much as his peers.

For each player, I’ve listed the finish that will lock them for Platinum at this PT, and what I deem a respectable finish. Since there are 3 PTs, there’s a lot of room to maneuver, but for PT Born of the Gods I’ve determined that a good goal would put the player “on track” to reach Platinum. By “on track,” I mean a finish that would put them 1/3 of the way there or better.

If you’re following a few specific players, this should give you a good idea of where they want to end up if they pick up that 4th loss.

Remember that every player gets 3 points just for showing up to a PT, and that future GPs are totally excluded from this chart.

Here’s the prize structure, again, for reference:

prize structure

And goals per player:

TeamCFB

TeamCFB

TeamCFB: The Pantheon

TeamCFBP

Contributors

Contributors

I hope you enjoyed this and found it helpful—Enjoy the Pro Tour, and go #TeamCFB and #TeamCFBP!

Table of Contents

Appendix – Deck Lists

 

Faeries

 


osmanozguney (1st Place)
Modern Premier #6737458 on 02/16/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

UWR

 


heraklinos1989 (2nd Place)
Modern Premier #6737467 on 02/17/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Gifts

 


Swori (11th Place)
Modern Premier #6737421 on 02/15/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Jund

 


osmanozguney (5th Place)
Modern Premier #6737421 on 02/15/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Merfolk

 


Suczi (12th Place)
Modern Premier #6737421 on 02/15/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Zoo

 


i_b_TRUE (5th Place)
Modern Premier #6737467 on 02/17/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Affinity

 


Yunhao_Wu_CHN (3rd Place)
Modern Premier #6737458 on 02/16/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Melira Pod

 


quikidk (6th Place)
Modern Premier #6737458 on 02/16/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Kiki-Pod

 


Zwischenzug (1st Place)
Modern Premier #6737467 on 02/17/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Ad Nauseum

 


the_royce (3-1)
Modern Daily #6737349 on 02/13/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Scapeshift

 


tsuru (12th Place)
Modern Premier #6737458 on 02/16/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Twin

 


Dolcas555 (10th Place)
Modern Premier #6737458 on 02/16/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Tron

 


zemant (4th Place)
Modern Premier #6737467 on 02/17/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Living End

 


Piuvan (4-0)
Modern Daily #6737373 on 02/14/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Storm

 


umbrageous (10th Place)
Modern Premier #6737421 on 02/15/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Hexproof

 


KillerKipNL (15th Place)
Modern Premier #6737458 on 02/16/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

 

Infect

 


Everlast1990 (1st Place)
Modern Premier #6737421 on 02/15/2014

Back to Metagame Breakdown

[Editor’s Note: This article incorrectly identified the draft format at Pro Tour Gatecrash as GTC/RTR/RTR]

Discussion

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