Safe Bets for Pro Tour Eldritch Moon

I’m not a gambling man.

I once put five dollars in a pokie machine, pushed some buttons, watched the balance count down to zero, and thought “I could have bought a drink with that…” I haven’t touched a pokie machine since.

I’m not a big fan of losing. But I digress.

If I had to pick what sort of decks we’d see this weekend at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, I wouldn’t be trying to pick the rogue deck, or the next big thing, and trying to beat it. I’m just not that good. Instead, I’d be looking at what I believe to be the best decks going in, and try to beat those instead. With that said, here’s my safe bets for the Pro Tour this weekend:

Bant Company

Creatures (27)
3 Duskwatch Recruiter
2 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Reflector Mage
3 Selfless Spirit
4 Spell Queller
4 Sylvan Advocate
3 Tireless Tracker
2 Archangel Avacyn
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

Spells (8)
4 Collected Company
4 Dromoka’s Command
Lands (25)
3 Forest
1 Island
4 Plains
1 Wastes
3 Canopy Vista
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Lumbering Falls
3 Prairie Stream
4 Yavimaya Coast

Sideboard (15)
3 Lambholt Pacifist
1 Tireless Tracker
2 Negate
1 Ojutai’s Command
2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
2 Tamiyo, Field Researcher
2 Declaration in Stone
2 Tragic Arrogance

This is very likely going to be the boogie man coming in to this Pro Tour. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be played – on the contrary. Many teams will settle on just trying to perfect this list and shore up its mirror match if they don’t feel like they can find a deck that will beat it.

UW Spirits

Creatures (21)
2 Bygone Bishop
4 Mausoleum Wanderer
2 Nebelgast Herald
4 Rattlechains
3 Selfless Spirit
4 Spell Queller
2 Archangel Avacyn

Spells (15)
4 Always Watching
2 Clash of Wills
2 Essence Flux
2 Ojutai’s Command
2 Secure the Wastes
3 Declaration in Stone
Lands (24)
7 Island
7 Plains
2 Evolving Wilds
4 Port Town
4 Prairie Stream

Sideboard (15)
1 Selfless Spirit
2 Stasis Snare
2 Blessed Alliance
2 Negate
1 Ojutai’s Command
1 Secure the Wastes
2 Summary Dismissal
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Tragic Arrogance

I’ve been high on this deck since the first time I touched a Spell Queller at the pre release. I’ve since spent a considerable amount of my time thinking about this deck, and I honestly think that a more spell heavy/aggro-control version of the deck is the one for me. It plays out like the flash decks from Innistrad/Return to Ravnica, and feels similar to Faeries decks. The versions that are doing well at the moment, however, are much more creature heavy.

WR Humans

Creatures (31)
3 Anointer of Champions
4 Dragon Hunter
3 Expedition Envoy
2 Hanweir Militia Captain
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Town Gossipmonger
3 Kytheon, Hero of Akros

Spells (11)
4 Always Watching
3 Gryff’s Boon
4 Declaration in Stone
Lands (18)
14 Plains
4 Battlefield Forge

Sideboard (15)
1 Hanweir Militia Captain
4 Reckless Bushwhacker
1 Gryff’s Boon
1 Silkwrap
2 Stasis Snare
2 Repel the Abominable
4 Needle Spires

Some form of the White Humans list will undoubtedly make an appearance. Whether it’s the Wu version playing Reflector Mage and Dragonlord Ojutai with counterspells, or the Wr version playing Reckless Bushwhacker for explosive power remains to be seen.

GW Tokens

Creatures (12)
4 Hangarback Walker
4 Sylvan Advocate
4 Archangel Avacyn

Planeswalkers (8)
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
4 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar

Spells (15)
2 Evolutionary Leap
4 Dromoka’s Command
4 Oath of Nissa
2 Declaration in Stone
3 Tragic Arrogance
Lands (25)
9 Forest
7 Plains
4 Canopy Vista
4 Fortified Village
1 Westvale Abbey

Sideboard (15)
2 Lambholt Pacifist
2 Tireless Tracker
1 Quarantine Field
2 Stasis Snare
1 Aerial Volley
1 Clip Wings
2 Linvala, the Preserver
2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
2 Declaration in Stone

GW Tokens had a stranglehold of the format for a while, but it’s never really gone any where. It’s still a very strong contender. It took down SGC Baltimore last weekend with a top 32 (and subsequently top 8) absolutely stacked with Bant Company, so it may still be the best deck going.

Final Thoughts
So what do we learn by looking at these decks? The most striking thing is how much White there is. White is extremely powerful right now. All of these decks run some number of Archangel Avacyn and/or Declaration in Stone in their 75. Does that mean that White will be a cornerstone of the winning deck? That remains to be seen. I think it’s a pretty safe bet, however, that White will be front and centre at the Pro Tour this weekend.

Coverage for the Pro Tour Eldritch Moon begins at 9am Sydney time. You can watch it live here.

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