By Niels Viaene
21 players logged in for the 12th edition of the Gentry Weekly, the second of the M21 half of the season. One new player came in, welcome Matthew Lee to the community. As far as p[layers go, the big story was that the ‘other half’ of the competitive community joined in for this event, but we also had a bunch of people that were there for the first event not showing up. That means that those that did well in both took a sizable lead. Much like last split, we will see that lead diminish as we go into the 6th and 7th events, neutralizing the advantage these players had. It is still a good time to jump in the Leaderboard if you are interested, as there will be 11 events in total, and only your best 5 will count for your final score.
4-0 Peter Steenbeke
Peter brought his card advantage focused version of Lurrus. A very different deck from the one I brought last week in mono-black. In the above deck, the focus is very heavily on setting up a cycle around the ability of Lurrus, and protecting the nightmare kitty. The deck does not put up[ as much pressure as the mono-black version does, but has a lot more interaction and protection as a pay-off.
4-0 Kristof Van Holsbeeck
This is clearly a pet deck for Kristof, and one he has had great results with so far. Barring those Swift Responses, no updates with M21 have been made. It is interesting how little attention people have to this deck, and choose to focus on the Cry of the Carnarium sporting Dimir Control decks, when this deck has put up crazy results. Admittedly, it did so in the hands of a former Belgian champion, but still.
3-1 Renzo Verkooren
When looking at the 3-1 slot, it seems like finding the best Growth Spiral deck is the subtheme of this week’s event. Renzo went with a dedicated Ramp-Control Shell aiming to jam a big planeswalker with protection ahead of the curve as his path to victory.
3-1 Sander De Quick
Sander took Growth Spiral back to it’s Gentry core, pairing it up with Gatebreaker Ram as both protection and distraction from his planeswalkers. I am sure it “accidentally” won a game here and there as well. This really is not a ramp deck in the way Renzo designed his deck, even though a lot in the two decks aligns.
3-1 Niels Viaene
It looks like reclamation decks are here to stay. Niels’ deck leans heaily on the design by Robbe Schildermans. Some changes were made but the deck needs a bunch of optimisations. For example, there is no Sorcery for Invert//Invest to find, a flearly suboptimal design choice.
3-1 Jens Goethals
Our final 3-1 player is on Izzet Dragons, an archetype that can be build in many different ways (we have an article coming up shortly to illustrate). This version, with Riddleform, Light up the Stage and Infuriate might be one of the most aggressive shells we have ever seen for the deck and is sure to bring a smile to the face of Thijs Weytens, our resident Izzet specialist.
Looking at top-performing decks can give you an idea of what to prepare for, but seeing how popular decks are doing can teach you what is going on. In that regard, the big story is Mono-black Lurrus being unable to give any of its 3 pilots more than 2 wins. I warned people the win-chance for this deck teeters on a very thin edge but even with the adjustments made, people struggled.
Temur Reclamation had 4 players choosing to play the deck, but they struggled even worse, as they were unable to secure 2 wins per player across the board.
Dimir Control decks have all disappeared and have been replaced by people adding green to the shell in a myriad of different ways.
My only conclusion is that the format is still very much in flux, new decks are rising to the top to contend with established archetypes. Who will come out the victor is yet to be seen.