By Niels Viaene
Regardless of what happens, the 6th event in the tournament series is always a special one. Because only your best 5 events count, from here on out, things start settling and we see who is really positioned well to go deep in the season. Due to the other Arena seasons starting big and tempering down towards the end, the people in the early lead were heavily favored since the points won scales on attendance.
With 22 players, the 6th episode was to largest event in the season. This was thanks to some people returning to Arena Gentry but also to 3 new players trying their hand at our favorite budget format. One even took it upon themself to build a new deck since they had entered with a Standard deck.
4-0 Nathan Gotlib
Nathan has been a little treasure in the community, bringing a new and original deck to every single event he has participated in so far, and he is currently 6 for 6 in the season!
His deck, even though it does not feature blue, the ubiquitous control color, falls definitely under that moniker. He has answers to anything and packs a bunch of very hard to answer cards to finish his opponents. The maindeck Underworld Dreams and Revenge of Ravens does show an almost awkward concession though. Either of these cards is going to be mostly dead in any given match-up but he needs them to be there in game 1 to make sure they have their impact before the enchantment hate comes out of the sideboard.
This deck is for real, but requires a lot of insight in both the working of the deck and that of your opponent to pilot well and will have some very awkward game 1’s where a bunch of possibly dead cards and only a few Thrill of Possibility to filter through them might make you more frustrated than you are prepared to handle.
4-0 Robbe Schildermans
On te other side of the deck spectrum we have Robbe’s Dimir Rogues. An archetype that has firmly taken its seat in the metagame but is truggling with very inconsistent results, often both in the hands of people that do really well and those that do really poor.
The deck has one of the strongest God hands on the play but can struggle if it is forced to interact with decks that have better pressure or a stronger card advantage engine. Don’t sleep on this deck, however, it looks like there will always be a Rogues deck waiting for your 3-0 match in the current meta.
3-1 Jamal Arman
Jamal gets a highlight here for being the top 3-1 player and sporting another pillar of the metagame in Izzet Control. The deck has a clear battle plan and flexible answers, making it a solid choice for a metagame that is still very much up in the air. The ‘accidental’ exile clauses on both of their marquee removal spells is responsible for keeping a bunch of the recursion decks that are popping up in check.
Jamal is also one of three first time players we saw in this event and I hope to see him return for another taste of victory.
3-1 Thijs Weytens
Thijs brought mono-white aggro, together with mono red, THE aggro deck of the current metagame. Its plan is straightforward and simple, especially in the hyper aggressive version Thijs chose to run here. Definitely a good choice if you want to get into gentry without worrying too much about what your opponent brings to the table, I just hope you do not run into too many Pestilent Hazes.
3-1 Thomas Conmy
The deck just keeps putting up good results, it seems like the black splash for some removal is really all this deck needed to get pushed over the edge. This deck can be scary to play against unconditional removal heavy decks, but if you like building that huge stack of triggers and really push your advantage, then this is the deck for you.
3-1 Renzo Verkooren
People have been trying to find the perfect cocktail of ramp and ramp targets, to varying success. Here Renzo brings a new iteration to the table, accentuated by that Merfolk Secretkeeper and Drown in the Loch Combo. Renzo did say he is planning on reworking it away from that duo, though, so expect new things in the future.
Out of 22 players, 8 players brought blue-based control, 3 players played purely linear aggro decks, and 11 players brought strategies focused on midrange advantages through ramp or card advantage engines. When looking at the 3-1 or better lists they are slightly skewed towards control but that is also usually paired with more experienced competitive players.
Nathan has shown there is still room for innovation, and I for one look forward to what else is coming out of the pipeline.
With events ramping up in attendance, things are staying very interesting in the leaderboard, people at the top right now risk falling behind if this trend keeps up as we went from a maximum of 18 points to be gained to 30 points. That also means some of the people that did well in this tournament threaten to make a run for those top slots if and when they fill their 5 events. So if Jamal, Thomas and Renzo continue to do well in similarly sized events, they will be overtaking the current top players easily.
As a reminder, this event is running until a new set comes out in January, and is the longest season we have had so far, so nothing is lost! Did you read this but have no idea what event we are talking about, go to MTGMelee.com and if you want to connect with the rest of the community, go to facebook or discord. There will always be people there waiting to help you.
See you next Tuesday,