By Niels Viaene

The 7th edition of the Gentry Weekly was heavily marked by changes happening to the Corona measures in Europe. It was the second day bars and restaurants were allowed to open and people were allowed to refresh their “bubble” with 10 new people.

Due to this, only 18 people joined the event, but that did not stop it from being the most diverse event in many ways, propelling a winner to the top with a new deck and featuring many new builds to look at.

4-0 Tom De Wael
Mono Green Bogles

Deck (60)
Arboreal Grazer
22 Forest
Barkhide Troll
Destiny Spinner
Leafkin Druid
Season of Growth
Warbriar Blessing
Setessan Training
Hydra’s Growth
Setessan Champion
Wardscale Crocodile
Ugin, the Ineffable
The Great Henge
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
Sideboard (15)
Healer of the Glade
Ram Through
Return to Nature
Crushing Canopy

Tom decided to cut White completely from the archetype that usually turns to that color for both protection and Finishing power. Instead of All that Glitters, we see Hydra’s Growth. Karametra’s Blessing is no longer needed when your creatures have Hexproof Built in.

This also makes this deck immune to Cry of the Carnarium and Destiny Spinner even protects against control decks. All in all a great choice if you want to beat pesky control players.

Tom did say he has cut the Arboreal Grazer in the meantume, to make room for 2 extra lands and 2 mana dorks.

3-1 Jan Ceusters
Izzet Control

Deck (60)
Opt
10 Island
Omen of the Sea
Ominous Seas
Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor
Shark Typhoon
Fire Prophecy
Mountain
Thrill of Possibility
Flame Sweep
Irencrag Pyromancer
Merchant of the Vale
Mad Ratter
Swiftwater Cliffs
Swiftwater Cliffs
Improbable Alliance
The Royal Scions
Niv-Mizzet, Parun
Cloudkin Seer
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Didn’t Say Please
Flame Sweep
Shock
Quench
Cloudkin Seer
Satyr’s Cunning

No the kind of deck we would usually highlight, but Jan put such an original spin on this deck that we just had to take a look. There are no Crackling Drakes to be found but there is a lot of pay-off for drawing extra cards.

The deck is super pro active in game 1 but can switch into a heavy control focus for post sideboarded games. This gives Jan the option of choosing his angle for attack against any deck and must have given many an opponent head aches, wondering what he would be bringing to the table for the next game.

3-1 Robbe Schildermans
Umori Temur Control

Companion (1)
Umori, the Collector

Deck (60)
Essence Scatter
Commence the Endgame
Negate
Island
Forest
Scorching Dragonfire
Mountain
Flame Sweep
Expansion
Quench
Chemister’s Insight
Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor
Thornwood Falls
Rugged Highlands
Swiftwater Cliffs
Mystical Dispute
Devious Cover-Up
Evolving Wilds
Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi
Hypothesizzle
Growth Spiral
Sideboard (15)
Umori, the Collector
Negate
Mystical Dispute
Return to Nature
Fire Prophecy
Essence Scatter
Disdainful Stroke
Flame Sweep

Robbe is back with his trusty Umori naming instants, but this time he has left the black mana we saw last week and decided to play green instead. His main reason to do so was to be able to play Growth Spiral, allowing him to keep open his mana and still developing his board if needed.

I saw Robbe was working on making a Sorcery Umori build next, so it looks like this innovator has not finished wreaking havoc with his uncommon deck choice.

3-1 Niels Kok
Gruul Aggro

Deck (60)
Ilysian Caryatid
Forest
Kronch Wrangler
Nessian Hornbeetle
Warden of the Chained
Fierce Witchstalker
Frenzied Arynx
Proud Wildbonder
Quartzwood Crasher
Domri, Anarch of Bolas
Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner
Mountain
Rugged Highlands
Gruul Guildgate
God-Eternal Rhonas
Ram Through
Rhythm of the Wild
Sideboard (15)
Scorching Dragonfire
Crushing Canopy
Cosmotronic Wave
Shredded Sails
Rhythm of the Wild

Niels brought the beats in a bad bad way, choosing to go for the most finishing power heavy build you can go, aiming to overload all interaction his opponents can muster. The Rhythm of the Wild hiding in his sideboard is an interesting choice, showing he did not expect a strong presence from Control at this event, and it looks he was right.

3-1 Peter Jönsson
Sultai Elementals

Deck (60)
Thornwood Falls
Cloudkin Seer
Frost Lynx
Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Risen Reef
Forest
Yarok, the Desecrated
Swamp
Island
Acolyte of Affliction
Neoform
Healer of the Glade
Dismal Backwater
Jungle Hollow
Meteor Golem
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
Leafkin Druid
Evolving Wilds
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
Parcelbeast
Spark Harvest
Sideboard (15)
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Wilt
Negate
Duress
Destiny Spinner
Pharika’s Libation

Elementals is a deck we usually in temur colors. Peter does not care for the explosiveness red gives with Scampering Scorcher and Cavalier of Flame, instead choosing to go with black, and Yarok, the Desecrated. The inclusion of Parcelbeast as a card advantage buddy for Risen Reef is part of a phylosophy that ends with him playing a copy of Jace, Wielder of Mysteries for an alternate win condition that is sure tho have caught many an opponent off guard.

3-1 Quinten Cauwelier
Boros Cycling

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream Den

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

This deck was hit first by a Gentry nerf, upshifting Zenith Flare to rare status and then by a Standard nerf, essentially making Companions 3 mana more expensive. And it does not matter… The deck still managed to take a seat in the top deck for this event. Savai Thundermane seems to have fitted itself into the uncommon slot that Flare used to take, and with all the draw power this deck has, it manages to find the rare Flare enough to steal away the occasional victory.

The deck seems to be in a healthy place now, let’s hope it stays that way as it is an easy to build and interesting to master deck that really suits a newer player getting their feet wet in the format.

The Meta

Above we saw ALL decks that made top 3, not just the interesting ones, like I do otherwise. That means, no Control anywhere near to top slots. It was the most popular archetype in this event though, tieing with Elementals at 3 each. Control was the worst performing one, with two players unable to take even a single win off their opponents.

That said, the strong control players were missing in this event, and most expect them to come back with a vengeance this Saturday, when there are actual prizes on the line again in the Gentry Monthly.

The Leaderboard

Since this event was much smaller than previous ones, and the top of the leaderboard is saturated with people that performed well in bigger events, very little happened as far as changes go. Let’s hope this is due to Covid-19, and that we can go back to the regular attendance soon.

May your brews be spicy and functional,
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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