By Niels Viaene

Due to circumstances, the most recent Open, which will take place this Sunday, September 13th, has only just been announced, so let’s not waste any time getting everyone up to date with what they might in the current Gentry metagame. You can find the link to the facebook announcement here. The actual event will be hosted on MTGMelee here.

Dimir Control
Sander De Quick

Deck (60)
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Dismal Backwater
Dimir Guildgate
Lochmere Serpent
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Chemister’s Insight
Omen of the Sea
Narset, Parter of Veils
Essence Scatter
Grasp of Darkness
Swamp
Eliminate
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Mystical Dispute
Negate
Nightveil Predator
Mystic Sanctuary
Island
Didn’t Say Please
Frantic Inventory
Murder
Sideboard (15)
Duress
Whisper Agent
Thought Distortion
Devious Cover-Up
Teferi’s Tutelage
Cry of the Carnarium
Faerie Duelist

Dimir control is generally seen as the least fun part of the current metagame. That said, it’s share has been dramatically dropping in recent times but that might be due to the metagame diversifying again, making it harder for control decks to find the perfect answers.

Mono-Red Cavalcade
Peter Steenbeke

Deck (60)
22 Mountain
Shock
Scorch Spitter
Chandra’s Pyreling
Anax, Hardened in the Forge
Blisterspit Gremlin
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Embercleave
Cavalcade of Calamity
Skewer the Critics
Chandra’s Spitfire
Burning Prophet
Runaway Steam-Kin
Experimental Frenzy
Rimrock Knight
Sideboard (15)
Burning Prophet
Scorching Dragonfire
Blazing Volley
Shredded Sails
Act of Treason
Heartfire
Infuriate

When Core Set 2020 hit, it brought a few great additions to the Cavalcade shell but it took more than 2 months for someone to actually throw them together and wreck a tournament with it. The deck is straightforward to play yet rewards people for playing well while being extremely punishing for people keeping a slow or noninteractive hand. It has historically been a strong choice for a Gentry Open but tends to struggle towards the end.

Rakdos Sacrifice
Jelle Lauwers

Deck (60)
12 Swamp
Serrated Scorpion
Village Rites
Whisper Squad
Bastion of Remembrance
Light Up the Stage
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Weaponize the Monsters
Mountain
Heartfire
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
Mayhem Devil
Bloodfell Caves
Claim the Firstborn
Grim Initiate
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Woe Strider
Theater of Horrors
Sideboard (15)
Act of Treason
Duress
Spark Harvest
Aid the Fallen
Pharika’s Libation
Shredded Sails

When Cauldron Familiar got banned, a lot of people thought the sacrifice archetype was done for but nothing seemed less true. While this BR version has been the best performing version, there are still some leaning back on Lurrus. of the dream Den, going mono-Black or pairing Black and White. This strategy has a lot of support right now and I would not be surprised for this to make a resurgence at the Open.

Elementals
Peter Jönsson

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
Suffocating Fumes

The Sultai version you see above is generally considered to be the strongest shell for the trigger-happy Elementals to go to battle but son’ sleep on the more explosive Temur version that Alan Schuer brought to the table a bunch of times. It was once considered one of the best decks in the format but has been overshadowed by others. That also means the hate for is has been disappearing from people’s decks and sideboard. Perhaps the time for the kill is now?

Izzet Aggro/Tempo/Control
Ward Beutels

Deck (60)
Opt
Island
Shock
Mountain
God-Eternal Kefnet
Opt
Izzet Guildgate
Sprite Dragon
Winged Words
Flame Sweep
Crackling Drake
Swiftwater Cliffs
Irencrag Pyromancer
Ominous Seas
Niv-Mizzet, Parun
The Royal Scions
Lofty Denial
Experimental Overload
Frantic Inventory
Sideboard (15)
Raking Claws
Scorching Dragonfire
Negate
Essence Scatter

The Izzet cardpool is so incredibly deep right now that it can support all three of the above archetypes. Ward’s deck above fits the ‘Tempo’ moniker best but in the end individual card choices shift things around very quickly. In the past, Izzet has been a color combination that has repeatedly been called overshadowed and then came through anyway. I fully expect to see people bringing hard Control versions of this deck to the event and doing very well with them.

Season of Growth Auras
Tom De Wael

Deck (60)
Llanowar Visionary
23 Forest
Barkhide Troll
Destiny Spinner
Leafkin Druid
Season of Growth
Warbriar Blessing
Setessan Training
Hydra’s Growth
Setessan Champion
Wardscale Crocodile
Garruk, Unleashed
The Great Henge
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
Sideboard (15)
Life Goes On
Ram Through
Return to Nature
Ranger’s Guile

Season of Growth was a staple in the earlier parts of this season but sort of got pushed back to oblivion when Control decks started to find the answers to them and never really came back when those Control decks started waning in presence. Whether you are playing a mono-Green version, like Tom here, or splashing white for extra protection, the deck can put a lot of pressure on your opponent in the form of very hard to answer threats.

Golgari Midrange
Renzo Verkooren

Deck (60)
Elder Gargaroth
Swamp
Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage
Forest
Golgari Findbroker
Rankle, Master of Pranks
Agonizing Remorse
Fierce Witchstalker
Destiny Spinner
Llanowar Visionary
Blade Juggler
Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate
Golgari Guildgate
Jungle Hollow
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Omen of the Dead
Eliminate
Netcaster Spider
Questing Beast
Barkhide Troll
Sideboard (15)
Duress
Mind Rot
Mire’s Grasp
Return to Nature
Murder
Suffocating Fumes
Netcaster Spider
Finishing Blow

Renzo showed up at an event bringing a deck full of creatures that are hard to answer, or replace themselves. It proved to be too much for Control decks to overcome and just too big for aggro decks to get through. The deck never got developed further after the metagame adjusted to it but there is definitely a strong 75 to be found in this philosophy.

Other

One of the coolest things about Gentry is the wide-open options it allows you in your deck choice. There are many more decks than what is mentioned above here. You can search the Gentry Magic League on MTGMelee for many many more decklists and archetypes, whether that is Boros Cycling, Mono-White and Orzhov Lifegain strategies, Gruul Aggro and Midrange options, Azorius Control, Azorius flyers, Mono-Black Control and disruption, Mono-Blue aggro, Yorion Control builds, Mill strategies, or Ramp builds.

If you can’t make it to the Gentry Open or you prefer not to play in it, you can follow what is going on at the live stream.

May your deck be original, and your Gentry Open be fun,
Niels Viaene

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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