It’s Not Just Root Beer Any More
Well, it’s time to jump onto the PTQ train
about my extended hiatus; there’s been a lot of other
things I’ve had to do over the last month or so, and
it’s all been very prohibitive of my writing.
Nevertheless, there’s work to be done, so
let’s get right down to it, shall we?
IBC is perhaps the most entertaining, most
versatile block environment that we have yet encountered
in Magic. Because
of the different lands and mana-fixers available, the
number of playable cards is simply greater in this block
than in previous, and hence allows for a wide range of
decks to be built.
Quite simply, archetypes will exist, but they
will simply be less clearly defined than previously,
because of the expanded usable card pool.
There are so many good cards, the entire
environment has the capability of looking dramatically
different on a week-by-week basis, and everyone is going
to be continually scrambling to keep up.
That’s not to say that there aren’t distinct
blueprints for certain decks in existence.
X-Mar is what I’m calling the variety of decks
that run Swamps, Islands, and Plains, and spells in
those colors. There
are so many different subdivisions of this genre, it’s
difficult to sort them out:
Desolation Angel control, NoMar, Solution, GoMar,
Familiar.dec, and more!
And they all play very differently, using a very
similar mana-base, with a wide range of available
spells, from Dromar’s Charm, to Repulse to Vindicate,
Absorb, and Undermine, and so on.
There are literally too many choices for this
deck to make, so many cards to choose from, that we’ve
ended up with a mess of different designs, with
different mixes of creatures and spells, that all
operate under different principles.
I think I’ll take an entire article to discuss
Right now, different regions of the country are
exhibiting vastly different metagames, enough to say
that there is NO unified metagame across the country.
In Masques-block, we had weekends where I would
say a majority of the players in the COUNTRY played
black-green of some sort, or a variant of Skies.
Here, there is no consistent performer, no
consensus on which deck is preferred in the environment.
Examining top 8 decks, we seem to have continual
evolution of current archetypes, and more new archetypes
are still popping up; the Obliterate deck from GenCon
and Brian Kowal’s Deed-Go deck are already seeing
success, and variants of these decks are already making
appearances in top 8’s.
Personally, I have been leaning towards what is
still a very solid archetype:
the red-green beatdown deck, still intact since
Tokyo, though undergoing some modifications.
In my opinion, Ghitu Fire can make it way out of
the deck, as well as the Raging Kavus, with Scorching
Lava and Yavimaya Barbarian as very purposeful
replacements for these cards.
The Barbarians help to further foil decks that
rely on any bounce to control tempo, while the Scorching
Lava helps to take care of those damn pesky Spectral
is not mentioning the growing popularity of Fire/Ice in
the environment, and how much people just love to
get a little card advantage by Firing a Kavu and
isn’t the only older archetype seeing some serious
play: more people are rediscovering the power of
red-black and blue-black, along with the reality that
the Dodecapod isn’t nearly the menace that so many
people have thought it would be.
I’ve been moderately successful with the deck,
but not enough to qualify for New Orleans yet, which is
obviously my goal here:
it’s home, after all.
So what does all this say?
We’re dealing with an open environment, with a
series of very powerful and solid decks, and a lot of
room for creativity.
This environment rewards good play, as it seems
that there is not a great deal of room for error.
The power of the cards does not allow for a great
deal of mistakes, as an opponent can very quickly turn
that mistake into a fantastic opportunity for
you can build a deck based around a foundation of solid
and powerful cards, and make yourself sufficiently
comfortable with it, you are putting yourself into a
prime position to succeed.
You can build a deck of just about any
three-color combination, and find a sufficiently
powerful mix of cards to win a tournament with.
But how you play and build your deck will take
you very far.
That’s all for now.
Next week, I’m going to do an in-depth analysis
on a couple of the major archetypes, and look into why
some people are winning these events.
I’m also going to attempt to actually have a
lot more to say to everyone; I’ve been rather
fragmented for weeks, so I’m going to take some time
to further collect my thought(s).
Hopefully, I’ll have a more positive result
from my own events here to report back to you.
Until then, feel free to ask any questions you
might have, or if you would like suggestions on block