By Niels Viaene
THE talk in the last two weeks has been the meteoric presence of UW fliers in Gentry, a deck that lost 2 games over two weeks of leaderboard episodes, ad never in the same match. This week, the metagame reacted to the new menace, with both people jumping on board the band wagon (Noa was now one of 3 players on the deck rather than the sole pilot) ad people adjusting their deck choices or bringing hate pieces to fight back.
Add to that 3 news players, one of which our first confirmed Asian player in this series. Which, if you thing about it, is pretty amazing, assuming Rafa’ei Tahir played from Malasia, their stated place of living, meant they played the event between 3 and 6 in the morning! That is some crazy dedication and is reminiscent of the Canadian player that top 4’ed the First Online Gentry Open. Sadly, Rafa’ei was less of a cinderella story, coming in with UW fliers and crashing onto the adapted metagame and mirror match.
4-0 Thomas Conmy
Let’s get this out of the way: Thomas is awesome. He is an American Magic judge, event enthusiast and D&D messiah that has taken to live streaming and giving people something to look forward to since the pandemic hit. He has taken a liking to Gentry and streams his matches on his twitch channel ‘magesandmentors‘ (go check it out) when he is not streaming drafts, roleplaying sessions or WoW. I am really happy to feature him here in the fabled 4-0 slot.
Next, the deck. We have talked about this deck before, it was mostly designed by Sander De Quick. It combines card advantage with strong finishers and morphs into a deck with control capabilities after side. The main deck strategy is pretty straight forward but sideboarding is a bit of a trap since it may require you to change your playstyle drastically.
3-1 Peter Jönsson
Peter is one of the Swedish originals, as far as I am concerned, and has performed really well in every leaderboard he has participated in. He is currently second on the leaderboard.
And he made 3-1 with a deck I suspect has a bit of an error in there. There is no reason for him to have lands that make red mana. Considering this is an open decklist event, there isn’t even a bluff aspect.
He is playing classic control, a strategy that seemed like it was getting outclassed in the early weeks of this split but that has most to gain from having an establishing metagame. This deck is a good step in point for people that want to try hard control in Gentry as so much of its cards are played at instant speed, there is not that much space to mess up too badly, which is how control decks usually falter.
3-1 Teddie Anderssen
Teddie is ‘the other Swedish juggernaut’, coming into the Gentry community at the same time as Peter, taking a break and returning as strong as ever. He currently has the highest average finish on the leaderboard but is trailing in the ranking because he missed an event. But since only the top 5 performances count for your ranking, I expect t see him soar to the top after the 6th or 7th event.
He brought UR or Izzet Spells to the fray, the archetype that is probably the most stable presence in Gentry throughout its history. It combines low costed threats that grow more powerful by casting a flurry of cheap spells. Here those are Sprite Dragon and Improbably Alliance.
A point of attention for both this deck and the UB deck above it is the uncommons in the sideboard, Crush the Weak and Pestilent Haze, this both indicates their increased respect for aggro decks, in particular UW fliers, and the high card quality they have in their commons to be able to do this.
3-1 Niels Viaene
Oh hi, it’s me again! This week I decided to bring the deck above rather than my WG counters concoctions from the days before in order to have a better match-up against UW fliers while keeping a decent pace with the hate cards against UW Fliers. It is very much an all-in strategy, but with Lurrus it has strong rebuild potential if… and that is a big IF… your opponent has also run out of gas.
I overestimated the impact Spectral Steel would have and would likely look into diversifying that slot to be more proactive. The deck is fun and educational to play but very unforgiving when you make mistakes or when your opponent just “has the answers”. That said, it is also the most unfair feeling deck to play against when you are the one that has them.
The rest of the metagame
Besides the decks featured above, Thijs went 3-1 with UBR Control, which is mostly UR Control with some extra black-aligned finishers.
UW Fliers fielded 3 players, but all combined they only managed to win 2 matches, and both of those came in mirror matches… Jikes! That means this deck failed in defeating any other deck in this tournament. Does that mean it was a fluke? Or that the metagame became too inhospitable for the deck? Things definitely shifted in a big way, but that means space for something else has now opened up. Do you know what it is?
Despite a poor finish, Noa still still sits atop the leaderboard, carried by their double 4-0 finish, but the pack is closing in. Peter went from 4th to second place and pushed Sander and me down a spot. Currently, those 4 names are in that lead, but do not forget about Teddie, who is missing an event and will nestle at the top with the rest as soon as he has 5 events under his belt as well.
Does that mean this is ow a 5 player race? Not at all. This season is 10 events long, and since only your top 5 events count, it is possible we haven’t even met our eventual winner. Attendance is pretty steady too, right now, but there is a lot of potential for returning players to push it higher, and with it, the amount of points there is to win at any given event.
So if you are interested, join in over at MTGMelee, or come watch That_Happy_Viking‘s stream first (apparently people are watching the VOD’s a lot so maybe I should edit them a bit and put them on youtube again? Let me know)
Anyhow, see you all next Tuesday, for another Gentry Weekly and stream, and thank you for your continued interest in my little format!