By Niels Viaene
In the second edition of the Gentry Leaderboard, people came prepared with a deck that rivals Gates in power and draw, but in the end, they failed to capitalize on their plan. Laurent took home the title
Laurent forgot half of his sideboard and still took home the title in this event. His version of Gates hails back to another time, where Hydroid Krasis and Mass Manipulation were still seen as some of the best choices for the deck. He proves here that blasts from the past hurt just as much as shiny new toys, though.
Dylan brought the next generation of Elemental decks focusing even harder on card advantage. The addition of Scampering Scorcher allows them to trigger Risen Reef three times while Teferi’s Time Twist offers both protection against Gates Ablaze and a way to reuse triggers. Oko has been banned in the meantime but there is a slew of rares ready and waiting to take its place in this deck.
Sander De Quick
Look to Sander to have the most tested and optimized version of the deck he is playing. And he will be playing one of the decks that either is top of the meta or poised to become it. He is the spiritual father behind Neoform Elementals and has been optimizing Gates since they came out.
In this version he has adopted Narset, Parter of Veils to address the ‘2nd Draw’ decks that are gaining in popularity while having some hints of what he feels are issues for the deck. Duress in the maindeck is a clear nod towards a fear for hard Control decks, while that single No Escape could be hanging out to push the percentage in the mirror match just a little higher.
Alan is playing a hybrid version of the old and new Elemental decks, adopting Scampering Scorcher, but leaving the Yarok, the Desecrator in. A few times, that Yarok would have been the key to catching up with an opponent, but it ended up never working out quite as he hoped.
For both Gates and Elementals we see a generational shift here. The metagame is maturing and these top decks are adjusting to the changes around them. At the event Izzet decks featuring Crackling Drake was the most played archetype but I still can’t shake the feeling there is a lot left to discover. There were two mill decks, a mono blue one that failed and an Esper build that had game. The Artifact shell, featuring All that Glitters and Gingerbrute showed it can beat anything in a race, and boros has proven not to be dead, as I predicted in an earlier article.
May your brews break gates, and quench elements,