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
Alan Schuer’s BR Anvil deck
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
Sander De Quick’s BR Anvil
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’.