By Niels Viaene

The Gentry tournament circuit

The Gentry tournament circuit is focused around two Gentry Opens that take place around rotation and about halfway through the year. That means there is an April edition and a September edition. These are the only Competitive events the League runs and are a way for us to carry our format out a lot wider. You can find a link to the upcoming edition here.

The Gentry Invitational

In order to highlight the Gentry Open and the metagame and decks you might expect there, we host an Invitational in the time leading up to it. For that event we invite 8 players to play a single elimination event after eating a meal together. This event is about as casual and relaxed as it gets, with nothing on the line to win but bragging rights. For this edition, we had the following players:

Sander De Quick has won the last edition of the Gentry open in september 2018, securing him the first slot in this Invitational. Alan Schuer and Yens Goethals got their slots by being in the lead of the Outpost Gent and Magic Arena Leaderboard respectively. All the other inductees earned their spot by popular vote: Lars Meeussen took the Open vote after Pascal Vieren and Emma Mangodt could not make it, Thijs Weytens replaced Tom De Wael who was kept from attending due to illness, Mats Clays was a clear winner in the St Niklaas Community vote, as was Johan Meys in the ‘Other Community’, hailing from Merksem, a small but very stable community that deserves some attention at this point. And then finally, Kobe took home the wild card after scoring high in a lot of other categories and being an interesting deckbuilder and analythical mind of the format.

The Metagame

At the time the Gentry Invitational was hosted most attention has gone out to Guildgates, with Gates Ablaze, Gatebreaker Ram and Gate Colossus pay-off cards that break parity in Gentry. Sander analysed this perfectly when he explained the design filosophy that created them: These cards are balanced in Standard because they force you to play a subpar manabase that cannot compete in versatility and speed with the different rare lands. In Gentry, however, Guildgates and the other set of dual lands that enter the battlefield tapped, are backbones and foundations of the format, giving these cards no drawback to speak of.

In the other corner, we have mono red burn, which got a giant power booster in Ravnica Allegiance with the Spectacular Skewer the Critics and Light up the Stage. There has been a lot of testing with the different shells and subtypes of the deck, with Light up the Stage and Flame of Keld dividing the two camps for the longest time until people started realising that putting them in a deck together gave the most afgressive deck in the format some of the most efficient card advantage as well.

Does that mean there is nothing else? Of course not. It just means that when making a new deck in Gentry, it would be wise to prepare for these two decks as counterparts to the metagame. And, most importantly, both have weaknesses against different white cards in Ixalan’s Binding and Revitalize and Healing Grace.

The pairings and the decks

For this edition of the Invitational it was chosen to reveal the bracket of pairings before the decks were locked in, letting people the choice to guess what their opponents would most likely play, bluff around that choice for their deck. The following bracket was shared before decks needed to be confirmed:

And these are the decks the players chose to register for the event.

Mats Clays
Spectacle Black

Mats is a competitive player with a long history in the game and has a name of showing up with very simple yet streamlined decks. He did not disappoint in this regard, showing up with a monoblack disruption deck that is honed and preboarded to deal with control lists and slow decks.

Lands (24)
22 Swamp
Memorial to Folly

Creatures (26)
Footlight Fiend
Dusk Legion Zealot
Burglar Rat
Plaguecrafter
Midnight Reaper
Ravenous Chupacabra
Spawn of Mayhem
Demon of Catastrophes
Blade Juggler
Doom Whisperer

Other (10)
Fungal Infection
Duress
Abnormal Endurance
Drill Bit
Sideboard (15)
Fountain of Renewal
Moment of Craving
Dead Revels
Vicious Offering
Duress
Abnormal Endurance
Ill-Gotten Inheritance

Lars Meeussen
Thousand-Year Reclamation

Lars replaced Emma Mangodt and in an effort to honor her slot, he chose to play a deck designed and optimized by Emma. Rather than going for a slow grinding finish this deck aims to end in a big storm.

Lands (25)
Azorius Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Island
Forest
Mountain

Creatures (1)
Niv-Mizzet, Parun

Other (34)
Circuitous Route
Dawn of Hope
Devious Cover-Up
Expansion // Explosion
Gates Ablaze
Growth Spiral
Guild Summit
Invert // Invent
Opt
Recollect
Revitalize
Shock
Spell Pierce
Thousand-Year Storm
Wilderness Reclamation
Sideboard (15)
Blink of an Eye
Crushing Canopy
Healing Grace
Negate
Shock
Spell Pierce

Thijs Weytens
Nexus Reclamation

Thijs was a last minute replacement for Tom De Wael, who fell ill just days before the event. He has been championing the Temur Gates Control deck up to now but chose to show up with a Wilderness Reclamation List that is very focused on Nexus of Fate, forgoing all copies of Gates Ablaze in favor of Murmuring Mystics.

Lands (24)
Izzet Guildgate
Gruul Guildate
Simic Guildgate
Memorial To Genius
Forest
Island

Creatures (2)
Murmuring Mystic

Other (34)
Nexus of Fate
Expansion // Explosion
Precognitive Perception
Invert // Invert
Chemister’s Insight
Opt
Growth Spiral
Blink of an Eye
Cancel
Root Snare
Shimmer of Possibility
Wilderness Reclamation
Search for Azcanta
Sideboard (15)
Skitter Eel
Negate
Spell Pierce
Crushing Canopy
Druid of the Cowl
Dimir Informant

Kobe Keymeulen
Nexus Reclamation

Kobe showed up with a Wilderness Reclamation deck as well, him being probably the first person to build and play the deck in the Gent community. He opts for a secondary win condition in Electrodominace + Fight with Fire, both which can be found with a single Invert // Invent, giving a possible one-hit knock-out on turn 6!

Lands (24)
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Forest
Mountain
Island

Creatures (1)
Gate Colossus

Other (35)
Blink of an Eye
Chemister’s Insight
Devious Cover-Up
Electrodominance
Expansion // Explosion
Growth Spiral
Invert // Invent
Nexus of Fate
Opt
Root Snare
Spell Pierce
Fight with Fire
Gates Ablaze
Recollect
Shimmer of Possibility
Search for Azcanta
Wilderness Reclamation
Sideboard (15)
Crushing Canopy
Dual Shot
Gaea’s Blessing
Negate
Ravenous Daggertooth
Shivan Fire

Yens Goethals
Temur Gates

Yens descended upon us from the Magic Arena Leaderboard and may have been a bit impacted by card availability and familiarity with the best-of-3 format. He used Thijs’ article on Temur Gate Control as his guide and entered the tournament with the 75 below. There is nothing super innovative or fancy here, just good old solid deckbuilding.

Lands (26)
Azorius Guildgate
Island
Forest
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Simic Guildgate

Creatures (8)
Gate Colossus
Gatebreaker Ram
Hydroid Krasis

Other (26)
Gates Ablaze
Growth Spiral
Shimmer of Possibility
Opt
Negate
Open the Gates
Guild Summit
Vivien Ried
Teferi, hero of dominaria
Ral, izzet viceroy
Sideboard (15)
Revitalize
naturalize
negate
syncopate
shivan fire
squire's devotion
essence scatter

Johan Meys
Monored Goblins

Johan was going to be an unknown factor in this event no matter what, coming from a very isolated community in Merksem, no one else had an idea what is played there or what kinds of decks Johan himself would prefer. He ended up bringing Goblins, an archetype unheard of up to now, supported by Calvacade of Calamity. After the match it was clear the deck had huge potential but needed some polishing, showing some mana issues and a lack of hasty finishers, both of which can be addressed by adding Goblin Warchief to the deck.

Lands (20)
20 Mountain

Creatures (19)
Tin Street Dodger
Fanatical Firebrand
Skirk Prospector
Legion Warboss
Siege-Gang Commander
Goblin Chainwhirler
Gobling Instigator
Clamor Shaman

Other (21)
The Flame of Keld
Burn Bright
Skewer the Critics
Calvacade of Calamity
Goblin Gathering
Electrodominance
Lightning Strike
Sideboard (14)
Mountain
Cosmotronic Wave
Smelt
Lightning Strike
Radiating Lightning
Shock

Alan Schuer
Monored

Coming into the event, Alan was seen as the biggest constant in the Gent community. Everybody was sure that he would show up with his trusty Monored burn deck. There was discussion he might throw a curveball and take advantage of people that would change their deck choice and composition because they knew they would be facing off against him but in the end, the world made sense, and Alan came to bring down fiery justice.

Lands (21)
21 Mountain

Creatures (14)
Fanatical Firebrand
Ghitu Lavarunner
Viashino Pyromancer
Goblin Chainwhirler
Rekindling Phoenix

Other (25)
Shock
Lightning Strike
The Flame of Keld
Light Up the Stage
Risk Factor
Skewer the Critics
Wizard's Lightning
Experimental Frenzy
Sideboard (15)
Deface
Shivan Fire
Act of Treason
Bombard
Burning-Tree Vandal
Radiating Lightning

Sander De Quick
Guildgate Control

Of all the players in this event, Sander probably took it the most serious and showed up with a Jeskai Gates Control deck that was geared towards beating both other Gates decks and Mono red. For everybody looking to have a strong and versatile deck in the current metagame, look no further.

Lands (24)
Azorius Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Plains
Island
Mountain

Creatures (3)
Gate Colossus
Niv-Mizzet, Parun
Dream Eater

Other (33)
Essence Scatter
Lawmage's Binding
Negate
Quench
Syncopate
Gates Ablaze
Ixalan's Binding
Chemister's Insight
Shivan Fire
Spell Pierce
Sphinx's Insight
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Search for Azcanta
Sideboard (15)
Healing Grace
Faerie Duelist
Invoke the divine
Negate
Shivan Fire
Gates Ablaze
Gate Colossus
Revitalize

The actual event

The event was streamed on twitch.tv and is now available on our Youtube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow if you want to stay up to date with all the developments in Gentry Land as we have an Open coming up that will deliver plenty of content as well.

Have fun!
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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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