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 Marien
Winner
RUGB Gates

Main deck (60)
Dimir Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Forest
Mountain
Island
Arboreal Grazer
Hydroid Krasis
Gatebreaker Ram
Niv-Mizzet, Parun
Meteor Golem
Gate Colossus
Opt
Growth Spiral
Scorching Dragonfire
Gates Ablaze
Guild Summit
Mass Manipulation
Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Sideboard (7)
Duress
Negate

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 Botten
Finalist
Temur Elementals

Main deck (60)
Forest
Island
Mountain
Thornwood Falls
Rugged Highland
Swiftwater Cliffs
Leafkin Druid
Risen Reef
Cloudkin
Scampering Scorcher
Yarok’s Wavecrasher
Omnath, Locus of the Roil
Cavalier of Flame
Syr Elenora
Rumbling Ruin
Unsummon
Neoform
Scorching Dragonfire
Teferi’s Time Twist
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Finale of Devastation
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Unsummon
No Escape
Run Away Together
Return to Nature
Kasmina’s Transmutation

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
Semi-Finalist
RUGB Gates

Main deck (60)
Simic Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Island
Forest
Arboreal Grazer
Gatebreaker Ram
Gate Colossus
Duress
Growth Spiral
Scorching Dragonfire
Narset, Parter of Veils
Guild Summit
Gates Ablaze
No Escape
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Ugin, the Ineffable
Sideboard (14)
Negate
Return to Nature
Spark Harvest
Healer of the Glade
Duress
Disdainful Stroke
Undercity’s Embrace
Soul Salvage

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 Schuer
Semi-Finalist
Temur Elementals

Main deck (60)
Thornwood Falls
Rugged Highlands
Swiftwater Cliffs
Bloodfell Caves
Forest
Island
Leafkin Druid
Creeping Trailblazer
Risen Reef
Cloudkin Seer
Thicket Crusher
Scampering Scorcher
Omnath, Locus of the Roil
Yarok, the Desecrated
Cavalier of Flame
Cavalier of Gales
Opt
Neoform
Applied Biomancy
Sideboard (15)
Healer of the Glade
Negate
Return to Nature
Cosmotronic Wave
Scorching Dragonfire
Sagittar’s Volley

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.

Conclusion

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.

I am still looking for Cavalcade of Calamity and the combo of Witch’s Oven and Cauldron Familiar to break the current stalemate, but that is going to take some brewing from a few people.

May your brews break gates, and quench elements,
Niels Viaene

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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.