By Niels Viaene

The impossible has happened, 9 people joined the fray but did not succeed in dethroning me from my rightful place on top of the leaderboard. Shudder and fear under the gaze of my immaculate play skills…

Or not, I went 1-3 and only remained on top because there were insufficient points to give in order to really sway the leaderboard. Lets see what did well.

4-0 Robbe Schildermans
Rakdos Sacrifice

Companion (1)
Obosh, the Preypiercer

Deck (60)
Shock
Whisper Squad
Village Rites
Serrated Scorpion
Call of the Death-Dweller
Weaponize the Monsters
Satyr’s Cunning
Archfiend’s Vessel
Agadeem’s Awakening
Bastion of Remembrance
Bloodfell Caves
Goblin Arsonist
Mountain
Swamp
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Bonecrusher Giant
Sideboard (15)
Obosh, the Preypiercer
Duress
Cling to Dust
Pharika’s Libation
Blazing Volley
Omen of the Dead

At this point, no one should be surprised by this deck. Even though it was missing from the meta in the beginning, it has now solidly secured its place as the ‘other’ archetype. Only fools (like me) are sticking to either red or black to make the theme work, but even thise are not doing too shabby.

The deck aims to have Bastion of Remembrance on the table, enabling it with Weaponize the monsters and supplying a steady stream of fodder. It has a secondary Archfiend’s Vessel/Call of the Death-Dweller combo and even a Lurrus of the Dream-Den value engine to pair with it. Obosh, the Preypiercer is more of a bonus card than anything, but a very good one at that. The lack of Time to feed is striking, but I guess Robbe prefers Pharika’s Libation in that slot. Aother fun card to put in this deck is Malakir Rebirth // Malakir Mire to make a 5/5 Flyer and draw 2 cards at the end of turn 2!!!

The way these decks are build and played, they are surprisingly good against aggro decks due to the high amount of interaction and cheap creatures while being good against control because they keep pumping out annoying threats and have the Companion bonus card.

3-1 Sander De Quick
Sultai Tap-Out Control

Deck (60)
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Polukranos, Unchained
Forest
Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Swamp
Heartless Act
Feed the Swarm
Elspeth’s Nightmare
Chainweb Aracnir
Acolyte of Affliction
Thrashing Brontodon
Ilysian Caryatid
Frantic Inventory
Convolute
Llanowar Visionary
Loathsome Chimera
Dismal Backwater
Jungle Hollow
Thornwood Falls
Island
Beanstalk Giant
Sideboard (15)
Duress
Suffocating Fumes
Negate
Finishing Blow
Cling to Dust

There are currently two versions of Sultai that are being played. This version, that uses a lot of permanents and fights on the board, by Sander, and the spell based hard-control version played by Peter Jönsson which has been showcased in an earlier article.

Sander, usually a hard-control kinda guy, went with this version instead which is very much a recusion / value engine deck more liking to ‘The Rock’, a competitive archetype focused on efficient threats supported by light disruption, than a real control deck. These kinds of deck only really work if you know when to shift gears between disruption (keeping open the removal spell or counter spell) and pressure (playing more creatures to attack). That makes it a difficult deck to master for sure, but the skill floor of this deck is also just really high, making it a nice deck for less experienced players as well. Just remember to prioritize pressure over control (play creature before non-creature spells) and letting your bigger bodies and card advantage do the work for you.

3-1 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
Hushbringer
Luminarch Aspirant
Gingerbrute
Faerie Guidemother
22 Plains
Sideboard (15)
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Revoke Existence
Pacifism
Swift Response
Light of Hope

Gingerbrute + All that Glitters is and will remain a scary, scary combination of cards for as long as they are legal. The deck has a really strong core that leaves up Uncommons and Rare slots. Here Tom went with Daxos, Blessed by the Sun in the uncommon slot over Kabira Takedown // Kabira Plateau. The areas are even more flexible with Lurrus of the Dream-Den as the only core Rare for the deck. We usually see Hushbringer, but that is just because we do not have anything more interesting to slot in. New expansions could give this deck a further boost.

The deck plays as a bazooka with a slow reload option. Slap an [c]All that Glitters onto a Gingerbrute or Faerie Guidemother // Gift of the Fae and protect it until either it or your opponent dies. Your protection also has legs and can chip in for extra damage. If everything fails, get Lurrus on the table and try again… and again… and again…

A neat interaction is having Lurrus on the table with one or more Alseid of Life’s Bouty around, making for a very hard to kill companion. Your worst nightmare is Suffocating fumes, but that usually only comes out of the sideboards, and you can learn to play around it.

Play this deck if you want to be in charge of the game, if you want to accidentally win a few times, if you want to say ‘no’ to pesky control decks that usually say ‘no’ to you and if you like big Voltron beaters. This is probably the best deck with a high skill floor you can play in Gentry at the moment but it can be unforgiving in case your opponent has the sideboard for it. It also risks not finding an All that Glitters and having to rely on a rather weak plan b of playing 1/1’s and attacking with those.

Conclusion

There is not much to say about the leaderboard or the metagame itself. With only 10 people showing up, and a lot of people playing pet decks (and doing well with them), not much shifted around.

You may have noticed this article goes more in depth ion the decks, alterative card choices, and playstyles. Let me know if you appreciated it and I should keep this up.

Hope your 2021 started well, and see you next Tuesday,
Niels

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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