By Niels Viaene

On April 28th, the first edition of the Gentry Arena Leaderboard took place. This is currently the only leaderboard that is active due to COVID-19 measures.

32 people were part of the event, both established players and new names, and most importantly, both local and international, intercontinental even. We welcomed several players from North America that will be representing their region in the Leaderboard as well.

That said, a lot of people have not selected their region yet. You can still do so on this google form. If you play in your second event without selecting a region, you will be put under ‘other’.

After 4 rounds, 2 players stood undefeated, and both played the same deck, a clear contender for the new best deck in the format: Lurrus Cycling.

4-0 Renzo Verkooren

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

Deck (60)
Zenith Flare
Mountain
Startling Development
Flourishing Fox
Drannith Stinger
Drannith Healer
Valiant Rescuer
Go for Blood
Footfall Crater
Fire Prophecy
Memory Leak
Plains
Raking Claws
Hushbringer
Frostveil Ambush
Sideboard (15)
Shock
Revoke Existence
Scorching Dragonfire
Reptilian Reflection
Lurrus of the Dream Den
Deafening Clarion
Irencrag Pyromancer

4-0 Willian Jackson

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

Deck (60)
Go for Blood
Drannith Stinger
Flourishing Fox
Drannith Healer
Valiant Rescuer
Sacred Foundry
Mountain
Plains
Footfall Crater
Memory Leak
Coordinated Charge
Frostveil Ambush
Startling Development
Zenith Flare
Wind-Scarred Crag
Raugrin Triome
Raking Claws
Savai Triome
Sideboard (15)
Shock
Scorching Dragonfire
Lurrus of the Dream Den
Shredded Sails
Disenchant
Raise the Alarm

The contenders

Boros cycling is not the end of the story, though. Ikoria moved a lot of things in the world of Gentry. At first, it seemed like every deck not feature a companion is ow unplayable, but several people have shown that Control shells and UR spells can fight back. Any deck that has access to sweepers and some removal has a fair chance as well in this format.

3-1 Teddy Andersen

Deck (60)
Cry of the Carnarium
Chemister’s Insight
Into the Story
Narset, Parter of Veils
Dimir Guildgate
Murder
Merfolk Secretkeeper
Dismal Backwater
Drown in the Loch
Omen of the Sea
Reave Soul
Swamp
Island
Ugin, the Ineffable
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Lochmere Serpent
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Thought Collapse
Essence Scatter
Sideboard (15)
Pharika’s Libation
Negate
Suffocating Fumes
Disdainful Stroke
Duress
Clear the Mind
Essence Scatter
Murder

Teddy stayed on top of the standing until the last round, showing that dedicated control is far from dead.

3-1 Jelle Lauwers

Deck (60)
Glass Casket
11 Island
Banishing Light
Archon of Sun’s Grace
Realm-Cloaked Giant
Mystic Sanctuary
Opt
Plains
Negate
Omen of the Sea
Omen of the Sun
Thirst for Meaning
Chemister’s Insight
Essence Scatter
Tranquil Cove
Teferi, Time Raveler
The Birth of Meletis
Ominous Seas
Gideon’s Triumph
Evolving Wilds
Dream Trawler
Essence Scatter
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Mystical Dispute
Keep Safe
Disdainful Stroke
Righteous Blow
Omen of the Sun
Clear the Mind
Riptide Turtle
True Love’s Kiss
Narset, Parter of Veils
Disenchant

Jelle chose to pair blue, the core control color with the flexibility of white rather than the destructive power of black to the same record.

3-1 Mark Dragstra

Deck (60)
Opt
Mountain
Ominous Seas
Shock
Flame Sweep
Island
Cathartic Reunion
The Royal Scions
Fire Prophecy
Swiftwater Cliffs
God-Eternal Kefnet
Crackling Drake
Thrill of Possibility
Storm’s Wrath
Maximize Velocity
Izzet Guildgate
Rielle, the Everwise
Unsummon
Sideboard (15)
Ashiok, Dream Render
Flame Sweep
Kasmina’s Transmutation
Chandra’s Pyrohelix
Unsummon
Essence Scatter
Negate

And finally, we have Mark, bringing the Gentry tested and true combination of Red and Blue to the fray in a more tempo oriented approach. All of these decks have something in common, though, they either have a companion, or a plan against a companion, and it seems that for the foreseeable future, that is going to be what Gentry is about.

There are still plenty of other options, though. Gates, Food, and Mono red are far from gone and Monowhite has received some extra tools to fight in this metagame while being better situated in general. For now, things look balanced, but we keep our eye out for the impact that companions have on our little format.

In the meantime, we are cruising towards the second edition of the leaderboard. It is now a weekly event, and only your top 5 finished will count towards your points, making this the first edition that does not actively punish people for not grinding out the entire series. It also makes it possible to join in later and still have a chance at participating at the top level.

See you at the leaderboard event,
Niels

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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