By Niels Viaene
This article will address the past three events because I have not found the time to make these little articles in the past weeks. I am currently renovating and opening my own bar and it is taking a lot from me. In addition, interest in Arena Gentry seems to be at an all time low both for me personally and some of our regular players. I assume this is, like with me, due to outside factors, since the creative space in the metagame since that very surprising Gentry Open feels gigantic, but do not take my word for it, let’s look at some decks!
XIII.1.2 Ben Belmans 3-1
There was no undefeated player at the end of Episode 2, but Ben sat at the top with a straightforward White weenie deck. This is not the hyper-linear and near combo deck that I played at the Gentry Open, which was focused on All that Glitters. Ben’s deck takes a far more classic approach to White aggro and uses quite some Strixhaven cards. We will see him revisiting the archetype in the next 2 events, and he is still tweaking and optimizing his list.
XIII.1.2 Peter Jönsson 3-1
As long as Gentry lives, UR decks will be playable, it is a mantra that has survived for 12 seasons and is not slowing down one bit. Peter attempts to brea parity with Rootha, Mercurial Artist in a very familiar shell that features, again, a lot of Strixhaven updates. Will these stick remains to be seen, as the core we had before was extremely well rounded.
XIII.1.2 Mathias Thorgren 3-1
Our last 3-1 player brings a dedicated creature based ramp deck to the fray. Mathias jammed every value creature he could find into the deck and rounded it off with a Fierce Empath fueled toolbox of hard to deal with Rare creatures. The strategy has proven to be hard to deal with for control decks, largely due to how easy it is for this deck to find its Koma. Cosmos Serpent. But that may be cutting this deck that is surprisingly versatile, quite short. Mathias made waves last season when he stormed the metagame with a three colored version of this deck and it looks like he is not quite done with wrecking face.
Episode had special deckbuilding restrictions and as such the decks don’t really have much merit beyond that event. People had to play at least 10 cards featuring a Strixhaven watermark, which caused some confusion but in the end we had a nice event. You can go here to check out which decks were played.
XIII.1.4 Sander De Quick 3-0
Despite showing weakness to hyper-aggressive strategies in the Gentry Open and having some troubles adjusting to Strixhaven Standard, the “best deck” of the format is still very much alive. It has found a lot of extra flexibility and interaction in its spells to keep playing a competitive game and still relies on the three big clusters in what currently might be the best colors in Gentry with Blue draw and permission, Black removal and disruption and a splash of Green value creatures to gum up the board.
As you can see from the top performing decks, there is still a lot happening and possible in the metagame, and with a relatively low amount of players currently active it will likely be a while before Gentry gets ‘solved’. In the meantime, user Crypehead is enjoying some number crunching in the discord server with the below overview as a result after 3 events:
This list, especially the rares is heavily influenced by small groups of people showing up with the same deck, warping the numbers, but it does illustrate a few things: Sultai Ramp/control is the most played archetype, people are looking for a new sacrifice engine deck, and mono white aggro is holding out somewhere in there, too. Of note is that red is completely missing from these lists, so maybe it is time I smash some Weaponise the Monsters update into the metagame to see what will happen… 😉
Tune in next week for the 5th installment of this season or join me in hyping up my future bar, but keep going, have fun, and see you soon!