By Niels Viaene

4 different decks made it to the top 4 decks of the last Leaderboard. In the end Rakdos Sacrifice featuring the Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven Combo took the top seed and solidifies itself as a top contender in Gentry right now. The deck has a lot of development space left and Ian said he had ideas for optimizations so don’t just copy his list.

You can find all coverage of this event here:

Ian Ide
Winner
Rakdos Sacrifice

Main Deck (60)
Evolving Wilds
Bloodfall Caves
Mountain
14 Swamp
Cauldron Familiar
Footlight Fiend
Priest of Forgotten Gods
Ayara, First of Locthwain
Mayhem devils
Rankle, Master of Pranks
Cavalier of Night
Syr Konrad, the Grim
Claim the Firstborn
Witch’s Oven
Duress
Shock
Spark Harvest
Heartfire
Thrill of Possibilities
Act of Treason
Dead Revels
Sideboard (13)
Duress
Act of Treason
Scorching Dragonfire
Cosmotronic Wave
Foreboding Fruit
Forever Young
Bake into a Pie
Heartfire

Is it turning into a tradition not to have a complete sideboard and winning a Leaderboard? It shows these events are still testing grounds for the format and that a good deck combined with tight play has what it takes to take the top spot.
Ian introduces a new deck to the metagame, one that folds to Cry of the Carnarium. Is this the destabilizing shift we will be seeing in the meta?

Alan Schuer
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
Neoform
Teferi’s Time Twister
Scorching Dragonfire
Sideboard (15)
Healer of the Glade
Negate
Return to Nature
Cosmotronic Wave
Unsummon
Sagittar’s Volley

The story of Alan’s deck is in small optimizations. He kept the Scamperinng Scorcher change from last time but joined the bandwagon on Teferi’s Time Twister. He also dropped the Opts to make room for Scorching Dragonfire in the main deck, giving the deck a way to interact more. Especially in the Cat meta, threatening an Exile effect is very valuable. That freed up space in his sideboard for Unsummon, a tempo Tool that has been becoming increasingly common in wats to fight Gates.

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
Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Ugin, the Ineffable
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Return to Nature
Spark Harvest
Duress
Disdainful Stroke
Undercity’s Embrace
Soul Salvage
Quench

Where Alan showed slight evolution, Sander brought the true and tried strategy. Changing only the Oko because it was banned, into a Garruk, Cursed Huntsman and making minor tweaks in his sideboard. The boogeyman is and remains the boogeyman…

Kerem Mazly
Semi-Finalist
UBwr

Main Deck (60)
Dismal Backwater
Scoured Barrens
Tranquil Cove
Bloodfall Caves
Orzhov Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Island
Swamp
Witching Well
Epic Downfall
Disenchant
Negate
Golden Egge
Guild Globe
Prison Realm
Mortify
Cry of the Carnarium
Ill-Gotten Inheritance
Chemister’s Insight
Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Dance of the Mance
Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Sideboard (15)
Witching Well
Duress
Clear the Mind
Negate
Disennchantt
Ill-Gotten Inheritance

Holy moly… Kerem has shown us here that there is a very different way of attacking the metagame. Pack all the answers you need to address the top dogs in the format into one deck and hope you get to crush them all day long. Whether it is Gates you are up against, and you need Exile effects like Prison Realm and Epic Downfall to get rid of Gate Colossus and Planeswalkers, or Exiling sweeper effects like Cry of the Carnarium against Elementals and Cat Oven, you are ready to go. Just hope you don’t run into a steady stream of 3/3’s, a big hexproof Creature, or a deck like UR, that has near infinity rebuild potential.

Conclusion

This edition of the Leaderboard really shakes up the metagame. Cat-Oven Combo is the real deal, and Kerem showed the metagame is ripe for a dedicated Control deck to rise and take matches away from people. In the meantime spoilers have started for Theros Beyond Death, so who knows what is yet to come….

May your innovations be elegant or defining,
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.

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