By Niels Viaene

The second entry of the current split was another one where Tom showed the 6 other players that an aggressive game plan is definitely still viable in Gentry, especially when the control players start gunning for eachother rather than non-control decks.

4-0 Tom De Wael
Mono-White Bogles

Companion (1)
Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Deck (60)
Alseid of Life’s Bounty
Karametra’s Blessing
Sentinel’s Eyes
Selfless Savior
All That Glitters
Speaker of the Heavens
Daxos, Blessed by the Sun
Feat of Resistance
Luminarch Aspirant
Faerie Guidemother
22 Plains
Sideboard (15)
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Revoke Existence
Divine Arrow

The Bogles archetype aims to make a single extremely hard-hitting threat and protect for the couple of turns it needs to finish the game. Tom went all-in on this theme rather than trying to diversify where he puts his threats by playing the full set of both Selfless Savior AND Alseid of Life’s Bounty. The big threat is All that Glitters onto an evasive one drop. Gingerbrute has been the best combo for that purpose, adding to the artifact count in addition to having a very rare evasive ability.

The Companion is there to try and go for a second round, though with how this deck is build, that will not come into play often. Just having a single extra card and threatening that rebuild will often be anough to put opponents in a really bad position.

3-1 Cyril Germain
Grixis Control

Deck (60)
Scorching Dragonfire
The Royal Scions
Silundi Vision
Sprite Dragon
Improbable Alliance
Rain of Revelation
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Frantic Inventory
Shark Typhoon
Feed the Swarm
Swiftwater Cliffs
Lofty Denial
Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor
Fire Prophecy
Dismal Backwater
Bloodfell Caves
Into the Roil
Sideboard (15)
Blazing Volley
Feed the Swarm
Essence Scatter
Revenge of Ravens

Cyril took second place with his, at this point, stock Grixis list. What is notable is that Cyril is not often seen playing Gentry and still managed to go deep in the event with a deck that kind of requires you to know what is going on. The open decklist nature of the online events allow this to be possible.

This deck is still the measuring stick of the format, with possible answers to anything you can throw at it. The comnbination of counterspells and relatively “free” exiling rather than putting things in the graveyard has kept many other archetypes under control. Tom showed that being extremely linear is a good strategy against these kinda of decks, as they need to have so many different answers available it becomes easy fighting back against the few that threaten you.

3-1 Teddie Andersson
Dimir Control

Deck (60)
Ruin Crab
Drown in the Loch
Into the Story
Evolving Wilds
Omen of the Sea
Frantic Inventory
Didn’t Say Please
Grasp of Darkness
Feed the Swarm
Dismal Backwater
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Lochmere Serpent
Shark Typhoon
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Radiant Fountain
Teferi’s Tutelage
Sideboard (15)
Feed the Swarm
Suffocating Fumes
Grasp of Darkness

Some Control players, like Teddie here, opt to go for a strategy without red and one that does not rely on creatures for the finishing blow. This invalidates a lot of interaction players have in their decks, especially in game 1. On top of that, you get a more stable mana base than the Grixis builds. Currently, the archetype is performing slightly worse than the Grixis builds and Izzet builds, but that is only a slight metagame shift away from turning upside down. What shift would that be? Well, the one where aggressive decks start becoming a target again, and the mismatch in creature interaction becomes a bigger advantage for these creatureless Dimir decks.

The Metagame

The rest of the 3-1 Club was my Mono-Red Sactifice, Jelle’s Rakdos Sacrifice, and Thijs’ Grixis control. Control as a whole returned to the metagame with a vengeance, putting in 8 players out of 17, but barely managed to have a positive win rate. The metagame seems quite open again, even with Green based value decks that have done pretty well in the past not showing up this week.

The leaderboard

Tom did really well in the last 2 events, going 3-1 and 4-0, both with well designed aggressive decks. His suitor, Jelle, has been championing Rakdos Sacrifice for a while now, agains showing you do not need to play blue based control to come up on top. That said, the next 4 people on the list have secured their place mostly by playing various control decks. Let’s see how that develops after the next Tuesday Weekly Gentry event.

See you soon!

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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