By Niels Viaene

26 players eventually settled down to play the second installment of the Gentry Arena Leaderboard. This edition was also going to lock in all people that participated for the second time in their region.

That leaderboard has now been updated and boy o boy is there a story developing there. The second-largest region and holder of the champion slot currently is…

Americas!

AMERICAS!

I can only hope this instills something in the local communities to rally and bring those top slots to their own region. And then in return motivates our American friends to retake the territory. But that is not what this article is about. We are here to share the undefeated and 3-1 lists with you.

4-0 Robbe Schildermans
Belgium – Ghent

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

Deck (60)
Alseid of Life’s Bounty
10 Swamp
Vampire of the Dire Moon
11 Plains
Resolute Watchdog
Priest of Forgotten Gods
Omen of the Dead
Lampad of Death’s Vigil
Impassioned Orator
Ajani’s Pridemate
Healer’s Hawk
Castle Locthwain
Dead Weight
Spark Harvest
Final Payment
Dawn of Hope
Soul-Guide Lantern
Sideboard (15)
Lurrus of the Dream Den
Mire’s Grasp
Final Payment
Duress
Revoke Existence
Lampad of Death’s Vigil
Spark Harvest

Robbe’s decklist is a fine metagame tool. He managed to find a balance between playing arguable the most broken strategy currently (Lurrus) and incorporating a tool to fight back against fellow nightmare cats with maindeck Soul-Guide Lantern to shut down both recursion shenanigans and lethal Zenith Flares. He chooses for mix that optimises pressure and disruption and ended up in the top seed this event for it.

4-0 William Jackson
Americas

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
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

William is what many people are calling the new ‘best deck’ of the metagame, Boros Cycling. They aim to build advantage through swarming with Valliant Rescuer and pinging with Drannith Stinger to finish their opponent off with Zenith Flare or Flourishing Fox. A well placed Cry of the Carnarium and Negate will butcher this strategy though, so maybe the metagame just needs some time to adapt to this new threat.

3-1 Jelle Lauwers
Belgium – Merksem

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
Tranquil Cove
Teferi, Time Raveler
The Birth of Meletis
Ominous Seas
Azorius Guildgate
Dream Trawler
Essence Scatter
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Keep Safe
Disdainful Stroke
Righteous Blow
Omen of the Sun
Clear the Mind
Essence Scatter
Narset, Parter of Veils
Disenchant
Light of Hope

Jelle went with a new player on the blocks that aims to have answers to everything that is thrown at them and then try to win the game. This is a very classic approach to Control in the traditional colors so there should be no surprise that this deck can do well in the hands of a good player. The better they know what they are up against, the better this deck can be built and played, so don’t sleep on control as a potential deck to face or play!

3-1 Kristof Van Holsbeeck
Belgium – Bredene

Deck (60)
Essence Scatter
11 Island
The Birth of Meletis
Banishing Light
Gideon’s Triumph
Omen of the Sun
Tranquil Cove
Realm-Cloaked Giant
Mystic Sanctuary
Opt
Plains
Chemister’s Insight
Archon of Sun’s Grace
Neutralize
Omen of the Sea
Quench
Sky Tether
Thirst for Meaning
Dream Trawler
Time Wipe
Evolving Wilds
Devious Cover-Up
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Disdainful Stroke
Divine Arrow
Omen of the Sun
Disenchant
Riptide Turtle
Mystical Dispute
True Love’s Kiss
Devious Cover-Up

Another good player and again the Azorius Control deck. Here we see the combo of Realm-Cloaked Giant and Time Wipe to sort of ‘cheat’ an extra rare into your deck. The many overlaps with the previous deck should be a great base for you to build on. The deck can be very flexible and a surprising card choice can go a long way.

That also means there are 4 players from different regions in the top 4!

3-1 Ruben Simoens
Belgium – Ghent

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

Deck (60)
Cauldron Familiar
Swamp
Witch’s Oven
Fiend Artisan
Hateful Eidolon
Priest of Forgotten Gods
Serrated Scorpion
Whisper Squad
Mire’s Grasp
Burglar Rat
Orzhov Guildgate
Scoured Barrens
Plains
Lampad of Death’s Vigil
Hunted Witness
Castle Locthwain
Kaya’s Ghostform
Cruel Celebrant
Dead Weight
Sideboard (15)
Lurrus of the Dream Den
Dead Weight
Spark Harvest
Omen of the Dead
Disenchant
Mire’s Grasp

Here we see another take on the strategy that went 4-0 in the hands of Robbe. Notable missing are the dedication to the mirror match that Robbe chose to focus on. Is this what caused the difference in performance? Only time will tell.

3-1 Kobe Keymeulen
Belgium – Ghent

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

Deck (60)
Flourishing Fox
Plains
Savai Thundermane
Valiant Rescuer
Drannith Healer
Drannith Stinger
Mountain
Underworld Breach
Startling Development
Footfall Crater
Frostveil Ambush
Coordinated Charge
Unbreakable Formation
Zenith Flare
Raking Claws
Go for Blood
Shredded Sails
Memory Leak
Sideboard (15)
Lurrus of the Dream Den
Dawn of Hope
Scorching Dragonfire
Fire Prophecy
Shock
Blazing Volley
Revoke Existence
Shredded Sails

Kobe introduces some new tech here in Underworld Breach. As the deck is notoriously hard to pick rares for, this option is interesting as it gives you another way to recur your key cards, but this time including the Zenith you often desperately need for the kill. The fact you can use it to replay Lurrus and that way replay the breach is just extra value in a deck that is already stocked full of value.

3-1 Andries Regniers
Belgium – Ghent

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

Deck (60)
Zenith Flare
Memory Leak
Plains
Valiant Rescuer
Drannith Healer
Flourishing Fox
Frostveil Ambush
Startling Development
Footfall Crater
Wind-Scarred Crag
Mountain
Drannith Stinger
Go for Blood
Scorching Dragonfire
Temple of Triumph
Raking Claws
Sideboard (15)
Lurrus of the Dream Den
Shredded Sails
Light of Hope
Mythos of Vadrok
Shock
Act of Treason
Heliod’s Intervention

Andries is playing Lurrus Cycling as well. And this looks like the most ‘stock version’ of the three so far. He has not a single impactful rare in his 60 and is all-in on the linear plan of cycling and finding the Zenith for the kill.

3-1 Ruben Naudts
Belgium – St. Niklaas

Deck (60)
Crackling Drake
Ominous Seas
Shock
Opt
Raking Claws
Swiftwater Cliffs
Izzet Guildgate
Mountain
Island
Cathartic Reunion
Unsummon
Flame Sweep
Fire Prophecy
Sprite Dragon
God-Eternal Kefnet
Rielle, the Everwise
The Royal Scions
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Chandra’s Pyrohelix
Kasmina’s Transmutation
Unsummon
Essence Scatter
Scorching Dragonfire

UR Spells is an archetype that is keeping up its name of the best-kept secret in Gentry. At all times it seems playable and it currently has a lot of flexibility in how you build it. Here we see Ominous Seas in the slot that used to be Improbable Alliance as one of those options. The ‘correct’ choice will depend on the metagame, and with Lurrus making sweepers and cheap interaction very important, getting a few 8/8’s might be better than many 1/1’s.

3-1 Peter Jönsson
Sweden – Malmö

Deck (60)
Murder
Swamp
Didn’t Say Please
Island
Devious Cover-Up
Essence Scatter
Narset, Parter of Veils
Cry of the Carnarium
Omen of the Sea
Chemister’s Insight
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Ugin, the Ineffable
Shark Typhoon
Dimir Guildgate
Dismal Backwater
Dimir Guildgate
Nightveil Predator
Sideboard (15)
Pharika’s Libation
Duress
Negate
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Spark Harvest
Sorin’s Thirst

Our final player that finished 3-1 hails from another region, representing the first large group of Gentry players outside of Belgium, Sweden. He brought what many think is the answer to the current metagame. Dimir Control has started making waves in the metagame even before Ikoria and is now situated even better with that Cry of the Carnariu plus Negate package that can dismantle many opponents. After sideboarding they can load up on disruption or more specific answers and shore up pretty much any match-up. A hard but rewarding deck to master.

That wraps up the top-performing decks of the second Leaderboard event. I hope this gives you inspiration or information you need to build or adjust your deck, ready to take the next event down. This weekend, we have a Gentry Monthly, a free event giving away prizes to the top 8, up to a €25 voucher to cardmarket series. And of course, on Tuesday, there is the next Leaderboard event! All of these will be featured live on the stream as well, so even if you can’t play, you get to feel like you are part of the experience!

I hope to see you there,
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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