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By: Basic Land, Andrew Westin
Nov 07 2007 11:35am
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(Authors Note: PTQ Kuala Lumpur will be played using the Limited format, not constructed. This article discusses the constructed aspects of Lorwyn Block. Therefore, while being familiar with how cards work with each other, this article may not be of great help to those actually preparting for a PTQ. Thank you to Zahori, IceAge4Life, and Rasparthe for brining this to my attention.)


Although Pro Tour Qualifiers (PTQs), are played with paper, I train extensively and exclusively on MTGO. Even if you don't play in PTQs, the Lorwyn metagame becomes relevant for Constructed Events, Premier Events, and can even lend some insight into drafting the current block. Therefore, it is time to discuss the Lorwyn metagame. Enter me, your average Joe player, who likes to browse this wonderful intranet and find and read articles breaking down and reassembling the metagame. Then, find and play a rogue deck which takes down the top tier decks in the format. I started out searching all kinds of sites for discussions regarding what decks are out there. However, to my chagrin, I did not encounter a single article of said material. I did however, find plenty regarding Standard with Lorwyn, States, and a random assortment of other formats containing Lorwyn. All of which is fantastic information if you love your Tarmogoyf and never want to leave TSP block, but for me it's time to move on. The PTQ's are right around the corner. It's time to start training. So, open those packs, head over to our beloved MTGO Traders, and pick up your favorite Lorwyn cards. Piece them together in sixty card blocks, and start shuffling!

(If you are unsatisfied with any of the comments or opinions expressed in this article, please comment. The goal is to get an article out there about Lorwyn block and begin discussions on the metagame.) 

Metagame Defined

To start off with, let's identify some of the decks in the metagame (not an exhaustive list by any means).

W, Kithkin Aggro - This deck relies on overwhelming the opponent with enough armies of Kithkin to generate twenty points of unblocked damage. The deck possesses a knockout punch as early as turn four and frequently by turn six or seven.  Goldmeadow Stalwart, is simply stellar. Compare with Savannah Lions next door, a staple from the White Weenie's of the past. Militia's Pride and Mirror Entity can get dangerous fast. Cenn's Heir reaps the rewards of multiple attacking Kithkin. Thoughtweft Trio helps against board sweeping effects and always ensures you have a creature to activate the Militia's Pride. Knight of Meadowgrain is a variant in the First strike Colored Knight series and pairs well with the Kithkin Lord

You won't be seeing too many White green builds splashing Gaddock Teeg main deck because of the creature heavy format, although he might be a consideration for the Sideboard against decks packing the Choose Two - Commands and Planeswalkers


Savannah Lions


Red Black, Goblins - Goblins have always been a threat, since Goblin Balloon Brigade began dropping sandbags on people in Alpha, and that theme my friend, will continue in Lorwyn. Mad Auntie is a Lord that keeps your other Goblins around. Auntie's Hovel provides easy mana. Goblin Harbinger for a Tarfire is always fun. Wort, Boggart Auntie, allows for recursion and makes a great storyteller. Multiple Fodder Launch will end games, as five to the dome and killing a creature is nothing to shake a stick at. Tar Pitcher, the Stick Shaker and Lowland Oaf, the Goblin Thrower, can help get in some damage, and Boggart Shenanigans increases the damage. Boggart Mob and Marsh Flitter provide Goblins for-a-saccing. All this adds up to an adaptable exciting deck.

(Note: Boggart is basically equal to a Gobiln)



Blue Black, Faeries Tempo - This deck is not a control deck, but uses elements of counter, bounce and evasion to swing the board position just enough for a victory. With plenty of combat tricks and flash creatures, it appears to be one of the frontrunners as the deck to beat in the format. Scion of OonaOona's Prowler are simply solid and pair well with Underground Sea, to provide burst and power that is typical of this deck. 


Blue Black, Faeries Control - Can achieve a pickles like lock with Glen Elendra Pranksters and the clunky Mistbind Clique, or the swift and rockin' Spellstutter Sprite. With Sprite and a one drop, a lock can happen by turn four. These are backed with Sower of TempationFamiliar's Ruse , Faerie Trickery, and the annoying Pestermite. Secluded Glen is a natural Underground Sea as noted above. This control version of Faeries is the other frontrunner as the deck to beat in the format.

A case can be made for a Green Black, Elf, a Blue White Merfolk, or a Red White Giant Kithkin midrange beatdown deck to be competative. Only time will tell. Should one or more emerge as a prominent force, I will be sure to revisit them.

If there is another deck that will have a chance to compete, it will need big bodies that can get to the board before a counterlock occurs, and a way to deal with a Kithkin Invasion. I bring you the brutes, the Treefolk, aka the workhorses, money makers, lead men, protostereotypical machines, all led by Doran, the Siege Tower aka Haus.

Doran and Friends

Lands (23):
10x Forest
3x Plains
2x Swamp
4x Vivid Grove
4x Gilt-Leaf Palace
Other Spells (22):
3x Wanderer's Twig
4x Fertile Ground
2x Oblivion Ring
3x Garruk Wildspeaker
2x Austere Command
4x Nameless Inversion
4x Eyeblight's Ending


Creatures (15):
4x Treefolk Harbinger
2x Dauntless Dourbank
3x Battlewand Oak
2x Shriekmaw
4x Doran, the Siege Tower
Sideboard (15):
4x Eyes of the Wisent
2x Gaddock Teeg
3x Profane Command
2x Rootgrapple
2x Shriekmaw
2x Wispmane

(Click for downloadable .dec version)



Reasons for Inclusion:

I went to the Dentist today, which is never an enjoyable experience. It is that kind of agony the opponents of Doran can expect to feel, as a "5"/5 and a few "3"/3's are breathing down your opponent's neck.

Creatures: The deck begins with Doran and Treefolk Harbinger, and are essentially the beaters. Then any Battlewands, Shriekmaws, and Dourbanks that show up just make it a party. A bonus of sorts. Just a quick note on Dauntless Dourbanks, they get big fast. Let's count how many Treefolk/Forests are in this deck. Ten forests, twenty treefolk (I'm only counting Doran once, with his legendary status and all), not bad. Half the deck boosts this beast.

Other Spells: Oblivion Ring, Austere Command, Nameless Inversion, Eyeblight's Ending, and even Shrieky for that matter, are all there to help smooth out the battlefield and deal with everything from Merfolk to Planeswalkers. Inversion has such great synergy with Treefolks,  they were practically made for each other, like Butter and Corn (on the cob and popped), or Cilantro and any good Salsa. Fertile Ground and Busted Twig help smooth out the mana for the three colored Beast. Having a Garruk of your own helps you get the most out of your Fertile lands, and racks up assists as you seal the deal.

Lands: The deck basically runs Forests, a few Plains and Swamps, to be tutored for by the Twig, and the mana base is shored up with Vivid Grove, and Gilt-Leaf Palace (revealing Eyeblight's Ending or Nameless Inversion).

Sideboard: There is a strong blue hate card in Lorwyn. Eyes of the Wisent breaks all kinds of Faerie locks. Gaddock Teeg helps with Planeswalker heavy decks and also expensive tricky spells such as Cryptic Command. Shriekmaw, and Rootgrapple add versatility against every deck containing Kithkin and Faeries, to those packing Elementals and Giants. Wispmane helps with Oblivion Rings specifically, and as a utility against other enchanments you might come across (ie. Militia's Pride). Profane Command helps shore up the mirror match.

Enjoy the Rest of your Stay...

I hope you enjoyed the ride, please exit to the right and enjoy the rest of your stay at Paramount's Carrowinds... (Note: Carrowinds, is an Amusement Park filled with exciting rides based in Charlotte, NC. Similar to Six Flags, and the DisneyWorld/Land Series)

While this article would surely jump into the upper echelons if I had playtested "Doran, and Friends" against examples of the aforementioned metagame,  that just hasn't been possible at this time. The metagame is sure to shift as decks are tweaked and a few rogue decks emerge. I would love to see some unique combinations, for example, Giants and Merfolks teaming up in a Royal Rumble with Elves and Elementals. Who know's what the top five decks will be come 2008.

All in all, I think it's a solid base of the Lorwyn metagame. A good start which will evolve through the completion of PT Kuala Lumpur. My great hope is to encourage discussion amongst the community to start getting the kinks worked out. Join me next time when I take another look at the evolved metagame. There is some indication that Merfolks or Elves will emerge as a deck to look at during the next review of Lorwyn Block Constructed. However, my money is on Faerie tempo/control to stay as the decks to beat in the format.

Let the playtesting begin!


by zahori (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 13:18
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wow, how many wilmington-ers are there?

by mtgotraders at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 13:45
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I only know of around 4 on MTGO.

by mtgotraders at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 13:11
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Hah that is pretty funny.  Andrew lives down the road from me and works evenings for and we go biking together etc.   He actually doesn't look anything like that picture which makes it kind of funny to me.

Has to be said by The Pink Floyd (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 08:33
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You really need a less gay picture of yourself.

Other than that, I like the article, it really does not matter to me about offline tourney's so not concerned that this article was a primer for a tournament that's not coming.

I am interested in Lorwyn block, so found it a good insight into a treefolk build. 




Sorry by JXClaytor (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 03:11
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My apologies guys, I got my seasons mixed up for some reason.  This is completly my fault, and I should have had my head on straight.

However, no one knows if there will be a PT or a PTQ season for block as that has yet to be announced, we know that Kuala Lumpur is Limited, while Hollywood is Standard (qualfiers are extended).  I'm going to assume that the other constructed pt is going to be Legacy (gross) and could use the mega block as the qualifier.  However, I am terrible at looking into the future.

by runeliger at Thu, 11/08/2007 - 00:21
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The irony of course being, Lorywn Block means nothing,as there will be no PT or PTQ season utilizing the format. Period.

by urzishra (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 16:40
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yeah I came a clicking for some sealed advice.. alas no dice.. good article though.. won't help for PTQs would have liked a few other decks other then really just the treefolk one you listed..

Where is the editor? by zahori (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 17:16
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A fine article, but come on: Where is the editor?  PTQs for Kuala Lumpur are Limited, not constructed.

Thank you for your comments by Basic Land at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 18:00
Basic Land's picture

Thank you Zahori, iceage4life, and rasparthe for your comments, I was under the assumption that Kuala Lumpur was block, and we all know what happens when you assume.... Point taken, and I still hope the article will be of some use to you.



Huh? by iceage4life at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 15:13
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What PTQs are you talking about?  The current season is limited and next season is Extended.  Not sure if they have announced format for PT Hollywood will be Standard or Block probably.  Dunno, I'm just confused.  Block play outside of MTGO probably won't start until we have Morning Tide at least.

by Rasparthe at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 16:26
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I agree.  PT-Kuala Lumpur will be Lorwyn/Morningtide booster draft and PT-Hollywood is Standard.  As Iceage4life says, the current Qualifier season is Lorwyn Sealed and the next for Hollywood is Extended.  Hopefully though, Block PE's on MTGO will start up soon after Nov 18 when the release is over.

Treefolk by eotinb (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 12:00
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I've been having some success in league with treefolk builds. I've also played against quite a few other decent-looking builds that rely pretty heavily on trees. Although Doran is certainly worth building around, I wonder if there isn't a good mono-green or GB build that leaves Doran out.

re: Treefokl by Basic Land at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 12:06
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Perhaps, a GB would be viable, the Harbinger becomes a blocker until you get bigger creatures, rather than an offensive threat. I would love to see a decklist.



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