By Niels Viaene

The fifteenth edition of the Gentry Open came in a difficult time both with changes to the release schedule making the format barely any different than the last edition and the organization being stuffed in between other projects. Still, 15 players came to de Vrolijke Viking to see who wins the trophy (I swear I will get to making the last 4 trophies soon!).

After 5 rounds of swiss, 4 players stood to enter the playoff rounds. 4 Gentry Open champion titles clashed in that top 4, with Alan Schuer sporting 2, Tom De Wael and Sander De Quick each holding one, and Dimitri Delanghe still looking for a title.

Semi Final 1 Dimitri Delanghe VS Alan Schuer

Dimitri Delanghe’s BR Recursion

Main (60)
11 Swamp
Mountain
Bloodfell Caves
Morbid Opportunist
Undead Butler
Doomed Dissenter
Olivia, Crimson Bride
Dreadfeast Demon
Junji, the Midnight Sky
Dreadhound
Ardent Elementalist
Abrade
Eaten Alive
Hero’s Downfall
Kardor’s Vicious Return
Deadly Dispute
Burn down the House
Blood Fountain

sideboard (15)
Duress
Ardent Elementalist
Feed the Swarm
Plundering BArbarian
Vampire Spawn
Lash of Malice
Abrade
Blood Fountain

Alan Schuer’s BR Anvil deck

Main (60)
10 Mountain
Swamp
Tramway Station
Voldaren Epicure
Experimental Synthesizer
Blood Fountain
Deadly Dispute
Sokenzan Smelter
Oni-Cult Anvil
Blooditithe Harvester
Sanguine Statuette
Abrade
The Meathook Massacre
Lolth, Spider Queen
Fable of the Mirror Breaker
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
Sideboard (15)
Duress
Voltage Surge
Eaten Alive
Lash of Malice
Feed the Swarm

The colors might have been a mirror but the deck strategies and card selections are completely different between these two decks with Alan aiming to get a sacrifice engine running with little artifact tokens while Dimi tried to get interesting things in the graveyard for him to recur.

In the end, it was Alan advancing to the finals.

Semi final 2: Tom De Wael VS Sander De Quick

Tom De Wael’s UR Mill

Main (60)
11 Island
Mountain
Evolving Wilds
Maestros Theater
Ruin Crab
Maddening Cacophony
Crush the Weak
Lier, the Drowned Disciple
Teach by Example
Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
Solve the Equation
Behold the Multiverse
Burn Down the House
Electric Revelation
Fading Hope
Into the Roil
Consider
Sideboard (15)
Negate
Annul
Abrade
Flame-Blessed Bolt

Sander De Quick’s BR Anvil

Main (60)
10 Mountain
Swamp
Bloodfell Caves
Hostile Hostel
Unlucky Witness
Voldaren Epicure
Blood Fountain
Deadly Dispute
Sokenzan Smelter
Bloodtithe Harvester
Experimental Synthetisizer
Abrade
Oni-Cult Anvil
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
Immersturm Predator
Lolth, Spider Queen
Sideboard (15)
Duress
Roil Eruption
Eaten Alive
End the Festivities
Flame-Blessed Bolt

Most match-ups against a Mill deck turn into a crazy blind race scenario and this match was much of that, with it ultimately being decided in a game three that featured an empty library on the side of the winner!

Final Sander De Quick VS Alan Schuer

So was it going to be Sander’s second Gentry Open win after winning his first one in the first few events or was it Alan, who would become the first triple champion in the history of the format. In a straight-up mirror match knowledge of the match-up can carry you really far but when you clash two people that know the deck inside and out things tend to turn more back to draw and opening hand dependent game. There is an interesting dynamic in the match-up where you have to be prepared for both the aggro start and the grind fest plan.
In the end, Sander stood supreme in what both players agreed was a rather unfun mirror match.

Looking to the future

Rotation is just around the corner now. The sets that are leaving is were heavily restrained due to Corona still limiting motivation to get physical cards which would mean that more people now have access to the cards they need for a Gentry deck.

What rotation is not touching now, however, is the deck centered around Oni-Cult Anvil and Sokenzan Smelter. And considering how resilient it is, hard to play against and unfun to play in a mirror match we are preemptively upgrading the rarity of both cards to rare, effective limiting how many copies you can play in your decks in the future. This change is done to invite people into a fresh metagame after rotation, without a clear ‘best deck’.

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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