By Niels Viaene

At his point in time, Cycling has been agreed upon to be the ‘best’ deck in the format. But that also means that decks designed to do well against these Lurrus shells are poised to take home the top slots leading up to Peter Jönsson taking the top seed in the Leaderboard this week.

We had 29 players in the event on May 12th, let’s go over the 4-0 lists below.

4-0 Quinten Cauwelier
Lurrus Cycling

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

Deck (60)
Drannith Healer
Drannith Stinger
Flourishing Fox
Valiant Rescuer
Raking Claws
Footfall Crater
Startling Development
Go for Blood
Memory Leak
Zenith Flare
Frostveil Ambush
Boon of the Wish-Giver
11 Plains
Sacred Foundry
Savai Triome
Raugrin Triome
Sideboard (15)
Lurrus of the Dream Den
Light of Hope
Scorching Dragonfire
Shredded Sails
Cosmotronic Wave

The top cat of the format currently manages another 4-0 finish. There were 2 more on 3-1. Making this a top contender still. The core of cycling with Zenith Flare and Lurrus of the Dream Den is still the archetype with the highest win rate in Gentry, but a predator has entered the fray.

4-0 Thijs Weytens
Gates Control

Deck (60)
Gatebreaker Ram
Growth Spiral
Gate Colossus
Guild Summit
Gates Ablaze
Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
Simic Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Arboreal Grazer
Dimir Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Notion Rain
Cry of the Carnarium
Narset, Parter of Veils
Orzhov Guildgate
Drown in the Loch
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Sideboard (15)
Scrabbling Claws
Healer of the Glade
Essence Scatter
Reave Soul
Return to Nature
Ashiok, Dream Render

Thijs brought an old nemesis to the table and showed that Gates, even with the nerfs to some of its pay-off cards is still a contender you cannot leave by the wayside. He is leading the pack for a troop of control decks that are capable of fighting back against Lurrus with Cry of the Carnarium and have the Negate ready to stop Zenith Flare.

3-1 Ruben Simoens
Mono-Red Obosh

Companion (1)
Obosh, the Preypiercer

Deck (60)
Scorch Spitter
22 Mountain
Grim Initiate
Tin Street Dodger
Anax, Hardened in the Forge
Heraldic Banner
Bonecrusher Giant
Phoenix of Ash
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Legion Warboss
Skewer the Critics
Sideboard (15)
Obosh, the Preypiercer
Blazing Volley
Irreverent Revelers
Act of Treason
Torch Courier

Another archetype that pushed multiple people in the 3-1 range is mono red Obosh. Ruben finished highest. It seems this deck has what it takes as well but a vulnerability to Cry of the Carnarium is likely holding it back.

Looking at the Leaderboard

William, our previous leader, tumbles to a 6th place but remains at only 11 points from that top slot. We are starting to see a race solidify between the top contenders, but keep in mind, there will be a point where we only look at the 5 top finishes, and we might have some people rising through the ranks pretty quickly while our top players remain stagnant.

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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