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!

Semifinal 1
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.

Deck (60)
Mountain
Serrated Scorpion
Village Rites
Whisper Squad
Bastion of Remembrance
Priest of Forgotten Gods
Bolas’s Citadel
Weaponize the Monsters
Heartfire
Heartfire
Dreadhorde Arcanist
Mayhem Devil
Bloodfell Caves
Claim the Firstborn
Grim Initiate
Call of the Death-Dweller
Rankle, Master of Pranks
12 Swamp
Sideboard (15)
Act of Treason
Duress
Spark Harvest
Pharika’s Libation
Shredded Sails

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.

Deck (60)
Burglar Rat
Duress
21 Swamp
Reaper of Night
Heartless Act
Witch’s Cottage
Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage
Cry of the Carnarium
Agonizing Remorse
Liliana’s Steward
Clackbridge Troll
Liliana, Waker of the Dead
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Doom Whisperer
Sideboard (15)
Grasp of Darkness
Fetid Imp
Kaya’s Ghostform
Dead Weight
Finishing Blow

Semifinal 2
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.

Deck (60)
Opt
Island
Shock
Mountain
God-Eternal Kefnet
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)
Unsummon
Scorching Dragonfire
Negate
Essence Scatter

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.

Deck (60)
Arboreal Grazer
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Llanowar Visionary
Eliminate
Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Polukranos, Unchained
Paradise Druid
Beanstalk Giant
Cultivate
Migratory Greathorn
Fierce Witchstalker
Agonizing Remorse
Boneyard Lurker
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Auspicious Starrix
Scorching Dragonfire
Mountain
Forest
Swamp
Bloodfell Caves
Rugged Highlands
Jungle Hollow
Sideboard (15)
Duress
Scorching Dragonfire
Pharika’s Libation
Blazing Volley
Return to Nature
Trufflesnout

We do not have Coverage of this semifinal, but we can show Ward playing against Sander’s Dimir Control in the Quarter finals.

Finale

And, of coursse, the Finale. No spoilers, just watch the video below 😉

See you soon for Gentry Season XII,

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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