By Niels Viaene

For the third time in a row in this season, we had 18 players for the Weekly event, and for the 3rd time in a row it was won by a Swedish player. A fact made easier by sheer numbers as at least half of the players in the event are currently Swedish, with Belgium, the UK, and US filling out the other slots.

But the talk of the day should probably be about some of the decks, so let’s jump in. Don’t forget this was a special edition of the weekly, which banned all Planeswalkers.

4-0 Noa Munther
UW Fliers

Deck (60)
Watcher of the Spheres
11 Island
Skycat Sovereign
The Raven’s Warning
Jubilant Skybonder
Reidane, God of the Worthy
Battlefield Raptor
Lofty Denial
Brazen Borrower
Staggering Insight
Vexing Gull
Gust of Wind
Tide Skimmer
Hypnotic Sprite
Stern Dismissal
Into the Roil
Tranquil Cove
Daybreak Chimera
Ardenvale Tactician
Sejiri Shelter
Sideboard (15)
Stern Dismissal
Weathered Runestone
Feat of Resistance
Leonin of the Lost Pride
Revoke Existence

Yes, that is the same player, and the same deck as last week, and this time they went undefeated without even losing A SINGLE GAME. It seems ridiculous that this deck, with just Battlefield Raptor as an true addition to the deck lied dormant in the metagame for so long, but maybe things are not so simple…

This is not a new archetype, it has been played before, but struggled against the many sweepers that were present in the control heavy metagame. This is an archetype that excells versus slower decks that aim to build incremental advantage so as to win through that way. It bypasses a lot of the ground-based interaction those kinds of decks present and executes it’s own game plan. A game plan that may or may not rely on Staggering Insight, as mentioned last week.

This is the first time, as far as I know that an archetype went 4-0 with one copy in the tournament and then came back and did it again. No one else tried to play the deck, and not many people adjusted to stop it in its tracks. Is two 4-0 finishes enough to gather enough attention? One would think so.

3-1 Tobias Haffling
Mono-Black Aggro

Deck (60)
21 Snow-Covered Swamp
Serrated Scorpion
Lampad of Death’s Vigil
Bastion of Remembrance
Ayara, First of Locthwain
Village Rites
Call of the Death-Dweller
Woe Strider
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
Archfiend’s Vessel
Acquisitions Expert
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Feed the Swarm
Elderfang Disciple
Sideboard (15)
Underworld Charger
Priest of the Haunted Edge
Suffocating Fumes
Demonic Gifts
Weigh Down
Boot Nipper

Tobias took the base of mono-black Lurrus, shoved the Companion into the deck and went to town. He dropped Whisper Squad for more disruptive creatures and added in Duskwielder as a more aggressive card. He kept some removal in the deck in Feed the Swarm which gives him a surprisingly well rounded deck to play game 1 with. Usually these kinds of deck are very proactive in game 1 instead, and can falter against stronger game 1 plans.

3-1 Teddie Anderssen
UR Spells

Deck (60)
Scorching Dragonfire
10 Snow-Covered Mountain
10 Snow-Covered Island
Kiora Bests the Sea God
Irencrag Pyromancer
Crush the Weak
Improbable Alliance
Gadwick, the Wizened
Shark Typhoon
Frantic Inventory
Behold the Multiverse
Sprite Dragon
Volatile Fjord
Essence Scatter
Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor
Reconnaissance Mission
Frost Bite
Sideboard (15)
Into the Roil
Essence Scatter
Blazing Volley
Weathered Runestone
Frost Bite

This deck features THE card in the current metagame to address both decks before it in Crush the Weak and shows the reason why they are featured above it: Teddie is only playing 1. Up to now, that probably would have been a fine decision, as Gentry was a control slugfest before Kaldheim arrived. And with the rest of the top decks being Green based value decks that really embrace thoughness, increasing the number is not guaranteed to bring you the results you are expecting.

The reasoning above is why Control decks are struggling right now. They tend to float to the top once they find that perfect little cocktail of answers to draw out any game until their finishers come into play.

The other 3-1’s

Sander De Quick and Karl Lister also held a positive record, both playing Green-Black decks focused on value creatures like Sarulf’s Packmate and Elvish Visionary. Karl chose to go elves as a second theme, while Sander added blue for Narfi, Betrayer King and his beloved counterspells, most of which live in the sideboard.

The leaderboard

Last week was the Swedish statement, and that could have been this week’s title as well. On the leaderboard, we now see 7 Swedish players in the top 10, with myself and Sander De Quick securing the respectable 2nd and 3rd spot. Noa, off their double 4-0 finish is solidifying their lead and are now half an event ahead of the pack. A clear favorite is emerging.

Next week

In episode 4 we return to regular Gentry, no more extra deckbuilding rules shenanigans. You can find the event on MTGMelee, and I hope to see you there with a spicy new brew!

See you Tuesday!

PS Please Belgians, come and help Sander and me…

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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