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A Review of Pro Tour Tokyo
by John "Nev" Balla

    This weekend held the first major event featuring the Invasion Block
Constructed format: Pro Tour Tokyo, and with it brought the deck archtypes
that will be defining most IBC tournaments in the future.  Many different
decks appeared at Pro Tour Tokyo, including B/U control, B/U/r control, U/W
and 5 color in many variations, but the deck that undoubtedly had the most
success over the weekend was the G/R aggressive deck made by Team, placing 4 of the 11 players playing it within the top
    Their decks varied somewhat, but all of them had common cards like
Thornscape Familiar, Thornscape Battlemage, Ghitu Fire, Urza's Rage, Skizzik,
Blurred Mongoose, Raging Kavu, Kavu Titan, and Kavu Runner. The deck can come
out with explosive speed, casting many threats with the efficient burn spells
Ghitu Fire and Urza's Rage as ways to either deal more damage to the opponent
or clear the way for your threats.  It also included 2 of the most popular
"187" creautres, Thornscape Battlemage, which, with kicker, is a 2/2 for 2G
that deals 2 damage to a creature or player when it comes into play, and
Flametongue Kavu, 3R for a 4/2 that deals 4 damage to a creature when it
comes into play, both very powerful cards in this archtype.  One of the
possible reasons that the deck did well is that the format is untested
previously, so it was not known by everyone what to expect, so an aggressive
deck that produces many threats and can deal with the opponent's is going to
do well against control decks that try to find answers to opponent's threats,
and aggressive decks that try to overwhelm the opponent.
    Despite the great success of the many competitors playing the R/G
aggressive deck, U/W still won out with cards specifically metagamed against
those decks and others, like Galina's Knight, Voice of All, and Crimson
Acolyte, all three of which have or can get protection from red, something
that many decks in the field  have trouble dealing with.  The rest of it's
creatures are filled out with Meddling Mage and Stormscape Apprentice. It
also included 8 countermagic, with Absorb and Exclude, 4 Repulse to gain
tempo advantage, and 4 Fact or Fiction to gain an enormous advantage in the
mid to late game.
    Overall, many different archtypes were played in Tokyo, though a few of
them were the ones that had the most success among the diverse field.  It
will be interesting to see how many new archtypes surface after the metagame
has been defined, and how well the successful decks from Tokyo will do in
later tournaments.