What a weekend! First off, Congrats to Brian Kibler, who once again showed us why he’s the best and won the tournament. As I was unable to attend the event, not unlike many of you, I consoled myself by following the action over at the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Coverage, and it was everything I could ask for. The touted live feed for the matches were much better than I thought they would be, using a combination of top-down cameras and an “over-the-shoulder” camera view that really did a lot in making me feel like I was right there in the mix with the players.
I also liked how the deck highlight videos were handled with Dark Ascension-infused lists and latest tech discussions. One of the videos I looked at was a Mono-Black deck running the expected full slots of Gravecrawler and Geralf’s Messenger with the interesting tech choices of Fume Spitter, to activate his deck’s many morbid abilities, and Porcelain Legionnaire, to handle anything protected from black (namely Mirran Crusader and anyone equipped with Sword of Feast and Famine). I personally thought the Porcelain Legionnaire would be better off in the side deck, but the deck’s creator must’ve run into anti-black issues more often than it would seem. The interview was very professionally handled and the video production value was high.
The Top 8 Decklists were probably the most exciting for me, and for people who wanted to see how much impact the cards from Dark Ascension would have at the top tables, which, judging by the lists wasn’t game-changing. Most of the new cards were used in upgrading the oldies but goodies, namely Wolf-Run Ramp and Delver decks. The innovation might be found in Top 64 lists which would be populated with the riskier, but unpolished strategies.
The winning Wolf-Run Ramp deck which featured Huntmaster of the Fells also had quite an effect on the secondary market, essentially doubling the price of a card many people weren’t sure how to evaluate, far less put a price on. This card’s value may actually eventually exceed that of Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, who many people were enthusiastic about, but failed to show at the top tables.
All in all, I really felt that Wizards of the Coast had a big event on their hands and went as far as they could to relay that and the intangible feeling of excitement to us sitting at home watching the events unfold. I’m very impressed with this Pro Tour and am excited for any other upcoming events in the future, which I believe will revolve around the soon to be released Avacyn Restored set.