By Niels Viaene
Gentry had taken a bit of a back seat in my life for this season but the response by the community for this edition of the event made me realize it deserves to be a thing, especially now we have the largest card pool to build with ever, and it still has not reached its full potential.
This Gentry Open was full of interesting stories with Sander looking for his 4th title and Tom and Alan possibly going for a third one. There was also the reminder that there are other communities still playing, with Kortrijk fielding two players. And finally, new people join the fray with Kenzo playing his first Gentry event ever and making it to the finals!
The top 4
After 5 rounds of swiss, there was a clear cut to the top 4 play-offs with the people on 4 wins and 1 loss making the cut. Kenzo faced off against Kevin, also a newer face in the community while the other match was between Nathan and Pepijn, two well-established players who have been around pretty much since the beginning of Gentry.
In the end, Nathan fell to Pepijn, apparently his deck, nicknamed “Ginger with a soul” did not measure up against what Pepijn brought to the table. I love Nathan’s deck as it showcases that in Gentry you can pick a cool theme to build your deck around and compete up to the highest levels. The list, with all its 3’s does imply a lack of knowledge of the metagame (which makes sense considering there were very few events) so this deck has a lot of flexibility left. I would love to see 1 or 2 Spell Pierces in the main deck, though!
In the other Semifinal, Kevin fell to Kenzo. Kevin brought UR Spells, probably the most iconic archetype in Gentry through the years. The balance between card selection, burn, and counterspells coupled with a sort of engine to put pressure as you cast spells is a strong tool in the hands of people who know how to tackle different decks in different ways. The deck is hard to play and can feel very underwhelming if not played correctly but a vicious tool in the right hands.
Pepijn faced Kenzo in the Finals, truly a story of the old community versus the new. Having attended multiple Opens and Invitationals, Pepijn can be considered one of the founding members of this community with strong deckbuilding skills. Kenzo on the other hand is about as new as it gets, this was his first Gentry event, he borrowed the deck from multi-Open winner Tom De Wael and went to town. This is not a rare occurrence, Tom often has multiple decks available for people to use at any given event.
In the end, the experience got the upper hand and Pepijn dispatched Kenzo wielding the following mono-green stompy deck. one of the more linear and therefore straightforward to play of the decks Tom had to use. It relies heavily on Blanchwood Armor to pose a faster clock than anything else in the format while protecting the buffed creature with Gaea’s Gift and Tamiyo’s Safekeeping.
And that leaves us with Pepijn’s deck, which took home the title in the 18th edition of the Gentry Open. He took the Rite of Oblivion focused WB deck and added blue for more interaction. There were already versions adding blue for Raff, Weatherlight Stalwart but Pepijn pushes a lot further and updates the list to be better against Control with the central discard theme and Obscura Charm. It looks like a very interesting core that has a lot more flexibility than most people gave this deck credit for and looks to be a good choice for a deck to tinker with using insight.
The Rest of the Metagame
In the end, 15 people joined the Gentry Open, and they played 15 different decks and we were still missing some core archetypes like WG Toxic, UG Tempo, and RW Batallion. Below, you will find the rest of the decklists in no particular order.
That is all but 1 decklist in the event, Robbe’s, which might have gone lost to the digital spheres. They are pretty much 15 different lists, borrowing from different strengths on the metagame right now. But there is so much more to be discovered as strong contenders were even missing from this event like RW Batallion and WG Toxic aggro. In the meantime Murders at Karlov Manor has entered the metagame, and it looks like it has a lot to offer for Gentry in its uncommon multicolor slot (that is where I browse for new deck ideas).
I was also alerted to the fact that there is still a playing community in Kortrijk, which means there is still plenty to put effort into for the 19th edition, and even for the 20th one that we might push extra hard for…
See you across the table,
Niels, your Gentry overlord