By Niels Viaene
Let’s get it out of the way, this event was rushed for different reasons, and that may have caused some people not be able to join it or prepare for it as they had wished. For that, I am sorry. But when faced with the choice to have it now, in the form it had, or risk not having it at all I do not regret with the path I have chosen to take.
Once registration was done, 19 people were still in the event. That is just 2 players over the minimum of 17 to be able to give away the prizes we had prepared for it. The winner gets €20 in card market coupons, the finalist gets €10, and the semifinalists will win €5.
The biggest surprise, though, was the metagame we were presented with:
1 Azorius Control
5 Dimir Control
1 Grixis Control
1 Izzet Aggro
2 Izzet Midrange
1 Izzet Control
2 Jund Ramp
1 Mono-B Control
1 Orzhov Lifegain
2 Rakdos Sacrifice
1 Selesnya Auras
1 Temur Adventures
This might be the very first time we see a Gentry Open that has 0 Mono-Red decks going for the top slot. The rest does not seem that surprising, with Dimir and Izzet taking up large portions of the metagame, but boy, had things changed when we hit the top 4!
Emma Mangodt VS Fabio Aramini
Rakdos Sacrifice VS Mono-B Control
Emma has been a mainstay of Gentry for quite a while now, she has been invited to more Invitationals than she was able to play. Besides that, she influenced a lot of the more creative deck design we have seen.
Fabio is a new entry to the community, this was his first time playing in one of our Gentry events but I assume he hails from the Italian community that has started doing Gentry events as well. He brought a colleague along that stranded in the swiss part of the event and in the beginning, there were a lot of his friends cheering for him in the swiss as well. It is super cool to see new people come into our format with his much enthusiasm!
Emma’s deck is part of a corner of the metagame that we have seen very much in flux since Lurrus started costing 3 mana extra to put in your hand. People went Mono Black, Orzhov or Rakdos usually and could scale themselves very easily in the combo-control-aggro triangle. A very flexible archetype that has a lot to offer.
Fabio brought a deck many people have tried to bring into Gentry, a discard based Black deck. He did not go for Gray Merchant of Asphodel, as many people did, also freeing him up from playing Blood for Bones and Yarok’s Fenlurker. This allowed him to play better removal spells and discard spells and will surely have helped him get through matches.
Ward Beutels VS Renzo Verkooren
Izzet Tempo VS Jund Ramp
Ward is an old-time casual Magic player that really came back into the game thanks to the Bredene events. He dates back to the bar where I spend more of my formative years playing Magic and it is great to see him stepping into the limelight with this finish.
Renzo is shaping up to be a cornerstone of the Gentry Community, and way overdue for a slot in the Invitational (as soon as that is possible). Especially only he has been tearing it up on the leaderboard and is the only player wit a bye that managed to convert it into a top 4 finish, just to show that a bye alone is not enough to get there.
Ward played Izzet Midrange/Tempo, an archetype he and the community is very familiar with. It is often seen as a softer version of Control with way more finishing power and blow-out Rares, especially against Dimir, as we saw him dispatch Sander’s Dimir Control deck in the quarter finale.
Renzo is probably one of the people that spend most time preparing for this event, the result of it was showing up with a completely new deck borrowing parts from Golgari Midrange and the different Mutate decks we have seen. Those decks never really pushed to gain a sizeable part of the metagame, which also means he blindsided a lot of the conventional strategies.
We do not have Coverage of this semifinal, but we can show Ward playing against Sander’s Dimir Control in the Quarter finals.
And, of coursse, the Finale. No spoilers, just watch the video below 😉
See you soon for Gentry Season XII,