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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Jul 05 2017 12:00pm
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Before I get to the meat of the article, allow me to first take some time to thank all of you that reached out about the recent theft and turmoil that snagged me.  Thank you the kind words they were appreciated!  This was something that could have let my depression take over, but instead I just angry, and the more mad I got the more stuff I did. 

I have a notebook sized piece of paper that lists off things that I want to do around the house to improve it and my quality of homebound life.  I actually got some of the things knocked off that list!  We have a neglected back porch, that houses totes of old clothes for some reason, but that got cleared off, and the yard waste got cleaned off and I used an axe and cut down trees and moved bricks to make a little planter area, and it was really weird being productive in a manual labor kind of way, but I had to be, because if I were not doing something then I would have allowed hateful feelings to invade and ruin things. 

It also kind of nice though.  I got rid of things that were taking up so much space and went through like fourteen drawers of clothes, and realized that my son will never most of them again, so why bother keeping them right? 

Refusing to play Commander (my last match was on the 28th, which came after a run of four Vial Smasher the Fierce decks) may have helped me in regards to free time as well. 

So thank you, it sucks that it happened, but I can't let it define me, and with that said it's time to take a look at the past week or so of 1v1 on MTGO!

This week we have the 32 decks from the Challenge event as well as the reported decks from the 26th to the 3rd.  Normally that would be an additional eighty decklists, but league participation has apparently suffered as five of the days of reported decks featured less than ten decks.  The daily reported league decks gave us another 63 decks. 

Let's run down the daily decklists and those reports first. 

You'll never guess which Commander came in first! 

Ok if you guessed Vial Smasher you're right, though I guess voting for Kraum, Ludevic's Opus is technically correct.  If that's the case why am I not talking about banning Kraum?  It's because Kraum isn't an efficient beater that staples direct damage to the dome of the opponent the first time the Vial Smasher controller casts a spell.  It's gonna be that right?  I mean if Kraum hit your opponent for 11 off of a Temporal Trespass than maybe we could talk about banning the fair partner. 

Vial Smasher must take the fall here! 

Anyways here are the top commanders of the week.

Vial Kraum is at the top of the list again, with 20 total appearances in reported decks.  Coming up almost right behind it is Breya, Etherium Shaper with sixteen.  Something should probably be done there as well.  Next on the list is Leovold, Emissary of Trest with five 5-0 finishes reported, and Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Narset, Enlightened Master, Baral, Chief of Compliance and Tymna the Weaver and Silas Renn, Seeker Adept all had three reported undefeated decks.  Sidisi, Undead Vizier was the only other Commander that had more than one 5-0 deck this week. 

Here are the one commander decks.

Keranos, God of Storms
Tymna the Weaver and Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa
Titania, Protector of Argoth
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder and Thrasios, Triton Hero
Vial Smasher the Fierce and Thrasios, Triton Hero
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder and Kraum, Ludevic's Opus
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
Child of Alara

16 different commanders are not the worst thing, it's just the disparity among those played.  Sure Vial Kraum is powerful, and that's fine, it's okay to have powerful cards and decks, but as we're seeing with these partners and Breya is that when they are too powerful it is metagame and format warping.  We didn't see any aggro decks reported this week, no Zurgo Bellstriker or Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, instead we saw a lot of Tempo, Control and lesser amounts of Combo and Ramp (I'm not willing to call Vial Kraum Combo).

We did get one incredibly exciting decklist out of the league events though.  I have got to show off that Child of Alarat!  

The Sweetest Child
by Ironclaw2016 - 99 Cards Total
1 Academy Rector
1 Cavern Harpy
1 Deceiver Exarch
1 Elvish Spirit Guide
1 Imperial Recruiter
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Man-o'-War
1 Necrotic Ooze
1 Parasitic Strix
1 Pestermite
1 Phyrexian Devourer
1 Recruiter of the Guard
1 Simian Spirit Guide
1 Street Wraith
1 Tinder Wall
1 Village Bell-Ringer
1 Walking Ballista
17 cards

1 Brainstorm
1 Cabal Ritual
1 Crop Rotation
1 Dark Ritual
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Flash
1 Impulse
1 Insidious Dreams
1 Intuition
1 Manamorphose
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Noxious Revival
1 Pact of Negation
1 Peek
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Worldly Tutor
16 cards
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Buried Alive
1 Careful Study
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Eureka
1 Faithless Looting
1 Farseek
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Grim Tutor
1 Idyllic Tutor
1 Imperial Seal
1 Living Death
1 Nature's Lore
1 Overmaster
1 Ponder
1 Reanimate
1 Sylvan Scrying
1 Three Visits
19 cards

1 Chrome Mox
1 Expedition Map
1 Lotus Bloom
1 Lotus Petal
1 Pentad Prism
5 cards
1 Aluren
1 Animate Dead
1 City of Solitude
1 Necromancy
1 Omniscience
1 Splinter Twin
1 Squandered Resources
7 cards

1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Badlands
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Botanical Sanctum
1 Breeding Pool
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Exotic Orchard
1 Flooded Strand
1 Forbidden Orchard
1 Forest
1 Forsaken City
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Mana Confluence
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Plateau
1 Polluted Delta
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Steam Vents
1 Swamp
1 Taiga
1 Tarnished Citadel
1 Tolaria West
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
34 cards
1 Child of Alara
1 cards

I'm 100 percent sure that I will miss a combo that this deck has but I am going to attempt to name them. 

This deck packs the Aluren combo, where you use the enchantment to cast Cavern Harpy and Parasitic Strix to deal a large amout of damage. 

It has the Walking Ballista (taking the place of Triskelion) Necrotic Ooze and Phyrexian Devourer combo, which you Animate Dead or Necromancy an Ooze, then activate the Devourer ability it has to add a bunch of counters and then activate the Ballista ability to kill the opponent. 

It has the Splinter Twin combo, featuring Deceiver Exarch, Pestermite or Village Bell-Ringer as ways to win with the enchantment or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

It has Flash to break Academy Rector.  I mean it is already broken, but being able to tutor up, at instant speed, the enchantment that you need to combo off is great. 

The deck is literally just tutors and combos.  Again I am sure that I missed a combo, it's just that there are so many and I love them all so very much. 

I love it, and besides Cassius, my nephew Christian and a few other kids I know, this is the most precious child in all of existence.  It must be protected at all costs, but really with all the tutors and such, it's a prime candidate to be hit by at least some splash banning damage, considering I think tutors are some cards that catch the ban hammer as well. 

Let's move on to the Challenge event! 

I'll give you another guess, which Commander had the most top 32 finishes? 

Ugh, this guessing game is terrible because it's still Vial Kraum.  Breya was next with 5, Leovold with 4, and Nissa, Vastwood Seer Thalia, and Keranos all had two pilots in the top 32.  The other eight decks were Sidisi, Tasigur, Baral, Selvala, Oloro, Karlov, Zurgo and the featured deck this week, Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Meren Rock
by Lundstrom - 100 Cards Total
1 Arbor Elf
1 Augur of Skulls
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Boreal Druid
1 Brain Maggot
1 Courser of Kruphix
1 Dark Confidant
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Elves of Deep Shadow
1 Elvish Mystic
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fleshbag Marauder
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Hypnotic Specter
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Meren of Clan Nel Toth
1 Mesmeric Fiend
1 Ohran Viper
1 Primeval Titan
1 Ravenous Rats
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Scrapheap Scrounger
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Titania, Protector of Argoth
28 cards

1 Abrupt Decay
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Dismember
1 Murderous Cut
1 Sudden Death
1 Ulcerate
1 Vampiric Tutor
7 cards

1 Demonic Tutor
1 Duress
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Hymn to Tourach
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Life from the Loam
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Raven's Crime
1 Sinkhole
1 Sylvan Scrying
1 Thoughtseize
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Traverse the Ulvenwald
13 cards
1 Chrome Mox
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Expedition Map
1 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
1 Mox Diamond
5 cards

1 Bitterblossom
1 Dark Tutelage
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Sylvan Library
4 cards

1 Garruk Relentless
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
3 cards
1 Smuggler's Copter
1 cards

1 Ancient Tomb
1 Ash Barrens
1 Barren Moor
1 Bayou
1 Blighted Fen
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Blooming Marsh
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Command Tower
1 Dust Bowl
4 Forest
1 Gilt-Leaf Palace
1 Hissing Quagmire
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Mana Confluence
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mutavault
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Polluted Delta
2 Swamp
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Temple of Malady
1 Treetop Village
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wasteland
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery
36 cards

1 Skullclamp
1 Umezawa's Jitte
2 cards
1 Meren of Clan Nel Toth
1 cards

This is just a selfish showoff, Meren is one of my favorite multiplayer Commanders, so seeing it in the 1v1 section is super cool for me! 

The ban list will be updated before this article is published but I am sincerely hoping that some change is made, because will I like talking about the weekly decks and stuff I'd rather just be playing a format that I had no experience with, but quickly came to love.  It's so much fun, and while I know I can play it now, I can't bring myself to do so, because it was not nearly as much fun as I could be having. 

With that said, next week I plan on bringing you the league recaps and some gameplay action of whatever deck I happen to fall in love with, let's hold out hopes for Child of Alara!

Thanks for reading! 


Vial Smasher was banned. by JXClaytor at Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:44
JXClaytor's picture

Vial Smasher was banned. That's good, I also learned that Vial Smasher is a she.

Treachery was banned, and I am okay with that as well.

Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain is a bold move and hopefully that keeps Baral in check. Was not expecting those bans at all.

Somehow Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox and Ancient Tomb live to battle another day. That's weird.

I guess your unrelenting by Paul Leicht at Wed, 07/05/2017 - 16:43
Paul Leicht's picture

I guess your unrelenting commentary + the record of vial smasher wins was enough in the end. Kind of sad about Treachery. Watch it tank now that I have one. :(

Ugh, also the child of alara by JXClaytor at Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:47
JXClaytor's picture

Ugh, also the child of alara deck needs a replacement for Brainstorm and Ponder. Booooooo

Treachery and the cantrip by JXClaytor at Wed, 07/05/2017 - 17:08
JXClaytor's picture

Treachery and the cantrip bans really surprised me. I think it was pretty clear that Vial had to go, but I figured fast mana and tutors would go before the cantrips.

Also my commentary had nothing to do with anything. I am not Alex or a format gatekeeper. I am constantly ignored by wotc and community members because I am a never was. I just do what I like to do.