As most of you hopefully know, we had the Gentry Open last weekend. 45 people showed up to throw down and it was a doozy. For those of you that weren’t there, did not watch live and don’t want spoilers, go look at it first. After that, we will take a look at the metagame and I will share the top 8 decklists.

Now that you’ve seen some of the matches you might want to know what else was played in the event:

BG Counters 8
GRx Energy 6
WUR Blink/Revolt 2
BUR Improvise 2
BUR Control 2
UR Tides 2
UR Artificers 2
WUR Control 2
BR Vampires 2
BR Vehicles 1
WR Vehicles 1
BRG Ramp 1
Ug Ramp 1
Red Deck Wins 1
WUB Blink 1
WURG Blink 1
WUBR Blink 1
UR Control 1
UB Aggro 1
UR Eldrazi 1
WB Tokens 1
WBG Revolt/Delirium 1
WBG Revolt/Counters 1
WBG Revolt 1
UR Intruder 1
URG Emerge 1

The demise of BG Counters?

Image.jpegLeading up to the event the consensus had become that Black Green Counters, a deck centered around Winding Constrictor, is the best all-round deck that is currently available. It has decent early game, an amazing mid and late game, great mana with Attune with Aether, and a lot of possibilities to interact with and disrupt other decks.

It seems a lot of people agreed with this as 8 people showed up with Scrounging Bandar, Ridgescale Tusker and Longtusk Cub up their sleeve. Taking a look a little deeper we saw both players that have been playing the deck for a while and band-wagoners, people that did not find a deck to play and decided to play “the best deck”.

Turns out that playing a deck, even a deck they call the best, in an event where everybody has prepared for weeks in order to beat you was not a good idea. None of the BG Counters players made it into the top 8.

The Third Dog

image-7There is a belgian saying that goes : “When two dogs are fighting for a bone, the third one runs off with it.” That dog is RG Energy, a deck that ruled Gentry for months until Aether Revolt came into the fray and pushed it out of the lime light. It struck back with a vengeance, though, with a game plan that can beat BG Counters with speed and a possible explosiveness using Uncaged Fury that can finish off an unsuspecting opponent out of seemingly nowhere.

6 players brought the deck, 2 of them got to top 8 and one of them went all the way in the hands of Alan Schuer, the player who undoubtedly has more experience with this deck than any 3 other players combined.

In the end the deck has a lot of the qualities mentioned in the BG Counters description while packing a mean punch to finish games, a quality that definitely caused some unexpected autographs on result slips. The deck forces you to return pressure, otherwise you just lose when they amass Blossoming Defense, Uncaged Fury and another pump spell. On the other hand, by doing so you generally are leaving yourself vulnerable to a more conventional aggro plan. Playing against this deck can feel a lot like trying to defuse a bomb without knowing if it is a timer that you need to rush or a tripwire you need to tiptoe around.

Blinking to the top

image-5Blink decks are centered around Felidar Guardian and various creatures with good “enters the battlefield” triggers like Cloudblazer, Vengeful Rebel and Maverick Thopterist. They aim to reuse abilities again and again in order to either grind out a win with incremental advantages (which the black and green versions are very good at) or a (near) infinite combo creating tons of thopter tokesn with Whirler virtuoso that throw in Saheeli Rai and Decoction Module.

These are probably the subjectively most fun decks to play as you constantly have something to do and can try to trick your opponent at every point in the game. That is, if you like dealing with convoluted and difficult board states.

Quite a few Blink players snuck into the top 8, and with it sneakily being the third most played type of deck (once you combine all the sub categories) this is one you will need to keep in the back of your head in months to come. It is also the type of deck that tends to improve as sets get added in a way that is a lot more drastic than other decks. It just takes one crazy card with an insane “enters the battlefield” ability to allow this deck type to break through and dominate Gentry.

I typed the previous paragraph before the Cat was banned but I am still leaving it in as Michael Milis proved you can play a Blink deck without Felidar Guardian and do well. The deck becomes more a control deck as it can no longer threaten wins out of nowhere.

That diversity, though!

I am only taking time to look at the three most played decks in the event. But those only make up around 40% of the metagame. Other than these there are 21 decks I felt deserved to be separately mentioned. We call Gentry a deckbuilder’s paradise and these numbers fortify that notion yet again.

image-2There is one sneaky card that deserves special mention, though, and that is Hidden Stockpile. This card, which is played almost exclusively in Gentry, has spawned a lot of decks already. All decks that play white and black and have a Revolt or token focus tend to play the full 4 cards and I am looking forward to seeing what else the card can support, so far almost all the decks a extremely grindy (decks that win very slowly by piling up tiny little advantages overmultiple turns) but I spotted a card in Amonkhet that might speed up what Stockpile can do considerably. Look forward to seeing it in action at an event near you really soon or have it featured in a deck tech type article.

Rise of the pro player

It was hard not to notice there were quite a few people in the event that are rather new to the format. On one hand, those were new players actually getting into the game fresh, on the other, Gentry has attracted quite a few players that one can consider Magic pro players. At least one National Champion, one Grand Prix top 8 competitor and one Pro Tour top 8 competitor were in the event and brought interesting decks.

As you now know, however, in the end it was a regular of “the League of new and beginning Magic players” that took home the title and 36 boosters of cards, proving once and for all that familiarity with the format should not be overlooked.

Decklists of the top 8 players

Quarter finalist Chovan Jaroslav

UBR Control

Lands (21)
Cinder Barrens
Evolving Wilds
Island
Mountain
Swamp

Creatures (13)
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Gifted Aetherborn
Self-Assembler
Dukhara Peafowl
Consulate Skygate

Other Spells (26)
Liliana, the Last Hope
Chandra, Flamecaller
Ob Nixilis Reignited
Fatal Push
Unlicensed Disintegration
Incendiary Sabotage
Diabolic Tutor
Renegade Map
Prophetic Prism
Shock
Universal Solvent
Sideboard (15)
Succumb to Temptation
Fortuitous Find
Fen Hauler
Negate
Plains
Fragmentize

Quarter Finalist Chistophe Grégoir

WBG Revolt/Delirium

Lands (19)
Evolving Wilds
Swamp
Forest
Plains

Creatures (11)
Grim Flayer
Moldgraf Scavenger
Gifted Aetherborn
Renegade Rallier

Other Spells (30)
Renegade Map
Terrarion
Angelic Purge
Liliana, the Last Hope
Ob Nixilis Reignited
Sorin, Grim Nemesis
Fatal Push
Unbridled Growth
Dead Weight
Hidden Stockpile
Vessel of Nascency
Sideboard (15)
Forest
Appetite for the Unnatural
Oblivion Strike
Metalspinner's Puzzleknot
Self-Assembler
Vessel of Malignity
Commencement of Festivities
Mire's Malice
Natural State

Quarter Finalist Mats Clays

RGu Energy

Lands (21)
15 Forest
Evolving Wilds
Mountain

Creatures (25)
Longtusk Cub
Voltaic Brawler
Servant of the Conduit
Thriving Rhino
Aetherstream Leopard
Spontaneous Artist
Bristling Hydra
Walking Ballista
Riparian Tiger
Verdurous Gearhulk

Other Spells (13)
Attune with Aether
Harnessed Lightning
Vines of the Recluse
Highspire Infusion
Arlinn Kord
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Chandra's Pyrohelix
Natural State
Destructive Tampering
Plummet
Island

Quarter Finalist Tom Vandevelde

UBR Improvise

Lands (22)
Evolving Wilds
Mountain
Island
Swamp
Cinder Barrens
Submerged Boneyard
Plains

Creatures (4)
Maverick Thopterist

Other Spells (34)
Renegade Map
Terrarion
Prophetic Prism
Metallic Rebuke
Reverse Engineer
Dead Weight
Fatal Push
Murderous Compulsion
Tezzeret's Touch
Ob Nixilis Reignited
Liliana, the Last Hope
Chandra, Flamecaller
Sorin, Grim Nemesis
Sideboard (15)
Dead Weight
Negate
Dispel
Dhund Operative
Reverse Engineer
Fragmentize
Boiling Earth
Murderous Compulsion

Semi Finalist Jelle Gyselinck

WUR Blink

Lands (19)
Mountain
Island
Plains
Highland Lake

Creatures (17)
Maverick Thopterist
Cloudblazer
Felidar Guardian
Whirler Virtuoso
Thraben Inspector

Other Spells (23)
Renegade Map
Prophetic Prism
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Panharmonicon
Oath of Chandra
Angelic Purge
Metallic Rebuke
Harnessed Lightning
Terrarion
Shock
Sideboard (15)
Fragmentize
Decommission
Select for Inspection
Fortified Rampart
Dispelt
Negate
Revoke Privileges
Shock

Semi Finalist Michael Milis

WUB Blink

Lands (22)
Forsaken Sanctuary
 Swamp
Island
Evolving Wilds
Plains

Creatures (19)
Noxious Gearhulk
Linvala, the Preserver
Spell Queller
Gonti, Lord of Luxury
Thraben Inspector
Deadeye Harpooner
Cloudblazer
Vengeful Rebel

Other Spells (19)
Dead Weight
Displace
Prophetic Prism
Acrobatic Maneuver
Renegade Map
Fatal Push
Sideboard (15)
Dead Weight
Tightening Coils
Decommission
Negate
Wretched Gryff
Fourth Bridge Prowler

Finalist Sander De Canck

BR Vehicles

Lands (19)
Cinder Barrens
Mountain
Swamp

Creatures (21)
Inventor's Apprentice
Night Market Lookout
Aether Chaser
Forerunner of Slaughter
Weldfast Engineer
Scrapheap Scrounger
Pia Nalaar
Bomat Courier

Other Spells (21)
Heart of Kiran
Shock
Renegade Map
Sky Skiff
Incendiary Flow
Renegade Freighter
Unlicensed Disintegration
Sideboard (15)
Self-Assembler
Dhund Operative
Welding Sparks
Grotesque Mutation
Oblivion Strike
Swamp
Mountain

Champion Alan Schuer

RG Energy

Lands (22)
15 Forest
Mountain

Creatures (20)
Longtusk Cub
Voltaic Brawler
Servant of the Conduit
Aetherstream Leopard
Thriving Rhino
Spontaneous Artist
Bristling Hydra
Verdurous Gearhulk

Other Spells (18)
Attune with Aether
Blossoming Defense
Harnessed Lightning
Highspire Infusion
Uncaged Fury
Arlinn Kord
Nissa, Vital Force
Sideboard (15)
Riparian Tiger
Shock
Appetite for the Unnatural
Rabid Bite
Larger Than Life
Destructive Tampering

Conclusion and looking onward

The Gentry Open was a smashing success in many ways. We almost had a record attendance at 45 players, players were having fun, the stream has been improved yet again and the format seems as healthy as ever. We had a few highly anticipated guest trying their hand at Gentry but in the end it was Alan Schuer, our very own Gentry enthusiast that rose to the top and placed his name in the pantheon of Open winners alongside Jelle Gyselinck and Michiel van den Bussche.

With this event, the leaderboard will be reset, another Invitational is being planned as we race towards the next Open to take place when Ixalan is looming on the horizon. Before that, we have Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation to throw a massive wrench into the fine machinery that is Kaladesh Gentry.

There is also a Gentry side event taking place on Sunday June 4th at GP Amsterdam that will award a bye for the next Gentry Open. It is a big chance for every Gentry enthusiast to show a larger audience just how cool our format is. Expect posts and reminders as this event closes in.

On August 14th we have the GentryBQ, expect more details for this event as the date closes in as well.

And last but definitely not least: We are moving the site over to Gentrymagic.com in order to have more flexibility and features in the future. For now the sites will mirror eachother but in the near future the .wordpress will be removed.

But that is not all, there is plenty more exciting stuff going on behind the scenes that we can’t talk about yet. Just know things are going to get a whole lot more awesome in the months to come. 😉

I hope you are just as stoked as I am,
Niels

mm

Niels Viaene came into contact with Magic first through the Kazz & Zakk starter set in 1996, but it wouldn’t be until 2000, around the time Prophecy came out that he actually started playing magic thanks to his nephew. Niels’ Magic career has been a roller coaster up to now, including Grand Prix Paris 2009 top 8, Pro Tour San Diego 2010 top 8, becoming a L3 Magic Judge in 2015 and managing the community effort that is the League of New and Beginning Magic: the Gathering Players, the birthing ground for Gentry since 2012. All this comes from a deep love for the game that is far from diminishing.

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