Parks and Fields – a Team Elspeth update (a deck for M10 Standard)

Did you know that a pulse is a legume crop harvested primarily for the dry grain?
I bet you didn’t.
I’ve recently enjoyed playing variations on my green/white Team Elspeth list, which features a number of card-advantage-oriented green and white cards, and which does remarkably well except against token-oriented builds (which is a long way of saying it gets run over by Kithkin). That issue, along with concerns about the possibility of just losing to a resolved Baneslayer due to a lack of removal in the main deck, has had me considering maindecking mass removal (ugly) or splashing in other colors.
So far, the red splash isn’t working out so well, but a black splash shows some promise.
Click through to the extended for a new deck list and some discussion of the deck.

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Live block constructed champs from GenCon

ggslive will be running live video coverage of today’s Alara Block Constructed champs at their ustream channel, starting at 7pm EST today (one hour from now!). I recommend checking in – they’ve done some great coverage of two PTQ top eights so far (which you can also watch, in archived form, at the same ustream channel).

PT: Home Town 2010 (2010 Pro Tour schedule)

The Pro Tour Schedule for 2010 is up, and it includes a return trip to my home town. Sounds like time for another PT trip, qualified or not!
Here’s the article about it and here’s a quick rundown:
San Diego, February 19-21, Standard and booster draft, qualifiers are Limited and start October 3rd (Zendikar!)
San Juan, May 28-30, Block and booster draft, qualifiers are Extended (yay) and start January 2nd
Amsterdam, September 3-5, Extended and booster draft, qualifiers are Standard and start April 17th
Worlds is in Chiba, December 9-12, and will, we assume, feature the usual set of quirky formats
…and as a final note, there will be online qualifiers for the Pro Tour this time around.

Two lists, two losses per list – a winning Team Elspeth variant and a not-so-winning one

This weekend saw another Standard $5K at our excellent local game center, Superstars. If you’re within striking range of the SF Bay Area, I recommend coming out to the next one. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s great seeing what everyone has decided to bring to the table. Plus, we have the best judges around.
I went to the Friday evening early-bird qualifier and last night’s last-chance qualifier, going 0-2 in the first and 4-2 (and one place out of making it to today’s top 32) in the second. This saw me running two variants on the Team Elspeth build I used in last week’s $1K. I thought I’d tuned it for the first tournament, and then decided to really retune it for yesterday. I’m happy with how that turned out.
Click through to the extended entry for two deck lists, and some tournament reporting as well.

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The latest Decks of the Week has gone up, collecting PTQ top eight decklists from Boston, Edmonton, Phoenix, and Portland. There’s some good material in there.
This time around, the tournaments were taken down by Merfolk, Faeries, Five-Color Control, and, well, Faeries.
Just in case you thought the deck was dead.
Click through to the extended entry for some quick notables and comments from each PTQ.

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Chandra on your side

One interesting tidbit I picked up in last weekend’s $1K was the appearance of Chandra Nalaar as a sideboard card in Cascade Jund decks.
Her purpose?
Killing Chameleon Colossus.
Chandra seems like a reasonable player in this role. Your opponent taps out (or at least “out enough,” not having four extra mana sources up and ready) to play the Colossus, and you drop Chandra, burn it out, and then have an active planeswalker on the field that now switches over to incremental offense, pinging the opponent until they either deal with it, lose to it, or you need to cash in some of her loyalty to kill another creature.
I have no idea how this played out in practice, as the one Cascade Jund deck I ran up against didn’t bring it in against me (or at least never got to play it against me), and I probably wasn’t really the “target audience” for that sideboard tech, anyway. Still, I thought it was an interesting choice, and a rare opportunity to see the “worst” planeswalker in action.
For the record, I think Sarkhan Vol probably wins “worst” at the moment.

Team Elspeth – a (winning) M10 Standard deck

I split in the finals of today’s $1K at Superstars using a last-minute version of a deck that I’ve been pondering through the week leading up to this tournament. The deck operated exactly as planned throughout the tournament, and I think I’d happily recommend it for Standard tournaments in the next week or so, given the current play environment.
More on that, along with a deck list and tournament report, in the extended entry.

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