By Niels Viaene
Smack dab in the middle of a second wave, the twelfth season of Gentry has started on Arena. This is the longest season of the year, running all the way into January, good for 15 or 16 events! So far nothing has changed from how we ran the second split of the previous season and we intend to keep it that way all the way into the April edition of the Gentry Open.
We have had a prelude and the first two events so far. The prelude was just to try out some new things and did not count towards the leaderboard. The two events have been processed and is available in the usual place. Both leaderboard events had 15 players, with new players still coming in and discovering Gentry for themselves. A independent organizer has also picked up Gentry and seems to be interested in having a monthly event, so that might be a nice source of decklists and strategy as well.
Let’s have a look at some of the notable decklists…
Prelude 4-0 Izzet Control
Izzet Control looks like it is one of the strongest surviving archetypes. The combination of Improbable alliance and Ominous Seas offers difficult to answer threats and leaves a lot of room for the deck to play around a lot of different strategies. There are some new toys as well, but Teddie had not implemented these at this point. Cinderclasm is leading that charge and will surely find its way into these decklists if the metagame calls for sweepers.
Prelude 3-1 Omnath Ramp
Alan’s tested way of porting decks from Standard to Gentry made him bring ramp to the fray. Leaning on Elvish Visionary and Beanstalk Giant makes for a less explosive variant of the deck, but one with a lot more staying power than we have seen before.
Prelude 3-1 Mono-Red
If anything, Thanh showed us that Seven Dwarves is at a power level that is competitive in Gentry. Even finding just the second dwarf gets you a couple 3/3’s for 2 mana and leaves mane open for interaction with your opponents’ cheap threats. I am personally not sold on the cycling subtheme, but there is definitely still a place in Gentry for Anax, Hardened in the Forge supported by little friends. Which flavor of Mono-red will end up the best remains to be seen, because Chandra’s Pyreling is not something you should sleep on either.
Episode 1: 4-0 Dimir Rogues
Porting another Standard deck, Alan brought Rogues to the first event that mattered to the leaderboard and easily swept it. It reminds us very strongly of the monoblue aggro deck that won a Gentry Open in the hands of Steven Naudts, albeit with a stronger flash angle to it.
Episode 1: 3-1 Mono-Black Aristocrats
The Aristocrat deck did not lose that much in rotation, Mayhem Devil being the biggest loss, but Bastion of Remembrance does a good job of replacing it. The deck has become slower than it was and is missing some resilience since it is still missing the Cat + Oven Combo but it is definitely still viable. Whether this version, or a version adding red for Weaponise the monsters will end up on top is something that remains to be seen.
Episode 1: 3-1 Dimir Control
Sander De Quick
As the perpetual control player, everyone expected Sander to show up with a tuned and updated version of Dimir Control. He did not disappoint, and brought a light mill version of the deck that leans on Drown in the Loch and Into the Story to pull ahead in the fight. Milling is not so much a goal as a means to an end in this deck, having very little intention to win by depleting your entire graveyard.
Sander did say that the Secretkeepers have been underperforming for him, though, so look out for updated versions popping up.
Episode 1: 3-1 Rakdos Party Aggro
The ‘party’ mechanic seems something tailormade for Gentry in many ways but it has not really found a home just yet. Thanh managed a 3-1 finish with this very aggressive take on the archetype while hiding some lategame surprises in Archfiend’s Vessel plus Call of the Death-Dweller. I wonder how many times that turned out to be relevant, as it is a rather big concession to you uncommon slots and he does not really have much in the way of enabling it. A more straight forward aggro approach might be more interesting. Time will tell!
Episode 2: 4-0 Dimir Mill
Where mill was a tool for Sander earlier, here it is the strategy and the weapon to go for the win. Teddie fully aims to reduce your deck to zero cards and win that way. Ruin Crab with Evolving Wilds supported with Teferi’s Tutelage and power draw in the form of Into the Story and Frantic Inventory will make sure that graveyard keeps growing. Dedicating extra slots to this means he has a less strong control suit but the game plan is just so much harder to deal with.
Episode 2: 3-1 Jund Ramp
As a new player to the Gentry community, Cyril brought in a deck that might just end up being the template for Ramp decks to come. Adding in the Mutate package does expose him harder to something Ramp decks are naturally weak to, which is getting your big threats taken out by removal, making it a rough match-up against Black Control decks especially.
Episode 2: 3-1 Mono-White Aggro
Going for something straightforward and simple can pay off greatly, and Thanh is the currently the king of showing that theorem off. He went from playing moo red to a feature to playing mono white to a feature in this article. Here he shows that small aggressive creatures with a bunch of interesting protective or evasive abilities supported by team-wide buffs is still an amazing way to pressure your opponents.
Seasoned Hallowblade, in particular, could become one very influential card in the metagame, as there is no marquee exiling or -x/-x removal spell currently played in the format, making this a near unkillable threat.
That is all we have for now. It seems like the metagame is exploring different options with dimir Rogues, Dimir Mill, Izzet Control, Ramp and straight aggro getting a slice of the action.
Things are far from solved, though, as we see a lot of people still trying fresh new things like Gruul Landfall, Simic kicker, Warrior aggro, Selesnya tokens, Grixis Control and Cleric Midrange just a win away from being featured here too. Let’s see what else the metagame brings!
Hoping to get to feature your brews in future news,
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