By Niels Viaene

Just on the brink of M21, 20 players logged into Arena to duke it out. In many ways this event has showed that the metagame is settling in its diversity , we don’t really see completely new decks emerge and nothing looks truly dominant. Tweaks is the name of the game this week, with peeple trying out new cards in old decks.

4-0 Patricia Johnson
Dimir Control

Deck (60)
Mystic Sanctuary
Pharika’s Libation
Island
Witching Well
Swamp
Narset, Parter of Veils
Duress
Cry of the Carnarium
Dismal Backwater
Dimir Guildgate
Drown in the Loch
Thought Erasure
Lochmere Serpent
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Essence Scatter
Negate
Tyrant’s Scorn
Thought Collapse
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
Ugin, the Ineffable
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Mystical Dispute
Chemister’s Insight
Sideboard (15)
Pharika’s Libation
Duress
Dead Weight
Negate
Dark Bargain
Reave Soul
Spark Harvest
Whisper Agent
Devious Cover-Up

It is with great pleasure that I get to mention Patricia here, better know as the cuban mtger. She has brought a different deck to each event she has played in even without having any local community to rely on. More over, she has now started organizing her own events on MTGMelee.

For this event, she sided with her nemesis, Dimir Control, and chose to go for a very conservative and creatureless approach, save for the Lochmere Serpent. Patricia was the only undefeated player at the end of 4 rounds, scoring 30 points and climbing up the ladder with this great finish.

3-1 Renzo Verkooren
Orzhov Midrange

Deck (60)
Swamp
Plains
Scoured Barrens
Orzhov Guildgate
Dire Tactics
Omen of the Sun
Consecrate
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper
Gideon Blackblade
Ajani, Strength of the Pride
Foreboding Fruit
Blade Juggler
Healer’s Hawk
Ajani’s Pridemate
Impassioned Orator
Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted
Bloodthirsty Aerialist
Banishing Light
Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis
Final Payment
Sideboard (15)
Pharika’s Libation
Duress
Revoke Existence
Murder
Spark Harvest
Suffocating Fumes
Ill-Gotten Inheritance

Just like last week, an Orzhov deck almost managed to take the top slot in the tournament. And just like last week, it uses the Lifegain core to put pressure while having access to just enough disruption to make things hell for its opponent. Historically, Orzhov has been a scary threat to control decks . Is that the case here as well?

3-1 Jens Alden
Sultai Yorion

Companion (1)
Yorion, Sky Nomad

Deck (80)
Omen of the Sea
Swamp
Cloudkin Seer
Portal of Sanctuary
Spark Harvest
Island
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Healer of the Glade
Forest
Leafkin Druid
Dismal Backwater
Jungle Hollow
Acolyte of Affliction
Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
Thornwood Falls
Risen Reef
Meteor Golem
Ugin, the Ineffable
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
Ilysian Caryatid
Witching Well
Evolving Wilds
Neoform
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Yorion, Sky Nomad
Negate
Burglar Rat
Duress
Suffocating Fumes

3 Sultai Elementals lists got 3-1 results (congrats Alan on getting that monkey off your back), but Jens deserves a highlight here for his version. Squeezing Yorion was not enough for this Swedish player, and he plays Acolyte of Affliction to return it to hand and Portal of Sanctuary to dig all the value. It also means that his board never gets static, the worst feeling for an Elementals player to have.

3-1 Peter Steenbeke
Izzet Tempo

Deck (60)
Mountain
Island
Nadir Kraken
Go for Blood
Sprite Dragon
Swiftwater Cliffs
Ominous Seas
God-Eternal Kefnet
Omen of the Sea
Fire Prophecy
Thrill of Possibility
Niv-Mizzet, Parun
Opt
Izzet Guildgate
Irencrag Pyromancer
Improbable Alliance
Reconnaissance Mission
Flame Sweep
Merchant of the Vale
Negate
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Kasmina’s Transmutation
Stern Dismissal
Scorching Dragonfire
Shredded Sails
Disdainful Stroke
Essence Scatter
Quench

The last archetype going 3-1 or better is Izzet Tempo in the hands of Peter. He adds Sprite Dragon on top of his full sets of Ominous Seas and Improbably Alliance, this is the second time we see the deck without Crackling Drake, which is surprising considering they used to be the namesake of the deck.

Other archetypes

A few interesting archetypes showed up as well, but all of them struggled to perform better than 2-2. The reason, I would still like to highlight them is because they are poised to drastically improve once Core Set 21 is released this week.

Temur Reclamation

Deck (60)
Wilderness Reclamation
Forest
Thornwood Falls
Evolving Wilds
Arboreal Grazer
Mountain
Island
Nightpack Ambusher
Shark Typhoon
Neutralize
Negate
Quench
Chemister’s Insight
Expansion
Narset, Parter of Veils
Scorching Dragonfire
Opt
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
Growth Spiral
Swiftwater Cliffs
Flame Sweep
Rugged Highlands
Swiftwater Cliffs
Essence Scatter
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Essence Scatter
Shock
Return to Nature
Devious Cover-Up
Didn’t Say Please
Stern Dismissal
Arboreal Grazer
Narset, Parter of Veils

“Esper” Artifacts

Deck (60)
Witching Well
20 Island
Corridor Monitor
Renowned Weaponsmith
Dance of the Manse
Arcanist’s Owl
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
Scalding Cauldron
Golden Egg
Guild Globe
Shambling Suit
Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge
Mystic Sanctuary
Mystic Forge
Ugin, the Ineffable
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Essence Scatter
Devious Cover-Up
Stern Dismissal
Capture Sphere

Azorius Birds

Deck (60)
Healer’s Hawk
Plains
Empyrean Eagle
13 Island
Faerie Duelist
Faerie Miscreant
Faerie Vandal
Sephara, Sky’s Blade
Spectral Sailor
Skycat Sovereign
Teferi, Time Raveler
Dream Trawler
Rally of Wings
Winged Words
Cloudkin Seer
Triumphant Surge
Sideboard (15)
Disenchant
No Escape
Unsummon
Pacifism

Are these foreboding fruits of what is to come? Only time will tell!

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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