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By: iceage4life, Timothy Pskowski
Jan 09 2008 6:41pm
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The Oddball Roundup #8

Index
Intro

Standard with Vanguard
Singleton
Tribal Wars Standard
Classic

Tribal Wars Review

Outro

Intro

 

This week we saw all the events fire with strong attendance numbers for Tribal and Classic.  This is also the last week where Classic and Singleton paid out Master's Edition packs.  This weekend they will be paying out Lorwyn which should hopefully get some more people to come out and play.  Make sure to check on the review of the past six Tribal events and next week we'll be reviewing Classic.

 

Standard with Vanguard

Standard with Vanguard 2x 1/5/08 24 Players
Placing Deck Vanguard
1 UB Control Dakkon Blackblade
2 UB Control Dakkon Blackblade
4 GW Aggro-Control Mirri the Cursed
4 UW Aggro Dakkon Blackblade
8 UG Faeries Heartwood Storyteller
8 Mono Red Dragonstorm Squee, Goblin Nabob
8 GB Rock Jhoria of the Ghitu
8 WGR Tamanoa Control Ashling the Pilgrim

 

In MTGO's most schizophrenic metagame we see Dakkon's return to the top.  Heartwood put only a single deck into the top eight.  Sharing the top eight with the format's pair of heavy hitters we have the resurgent Mirri the Cursed, a Dragonstorm deck using Squee, a Ashling control deck and a Green Black deck based around Jhoria's free spells.  The Dakkon decks did very well all three that made it to the top eight made it to the semifinals with a Dakkon mirror for the crown.  The biggest surprise was a more aggressive Blue White Dakkon deck which lost to the typical UB Dakkon control in the semifinals.  The Squee Dragonstorm deck has seen plenty of top eights though it is not yet clear if the Squee or Dakkon build of the deck is better.  Ashling the Pilgrim combined with Tamanoa made its second top eight showing the deck might be a contender.  Mirri made top eight for the second weak in a row after a long absence.  It is a deck caught between Dakkon and Heartwood, loosing to the format and demolishing the latter.  Lastly we have a Jhoria deck which have made the top eight before but I have not shown a decklist before.  Below is renappel's list that made top eight.


renappel's GB Jhoria of the Ghitu Deck 8th
Lands - 24
3 Treetop Village
2 Gilt-Leaf Palace
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Llanowar Wastes
7 Forest
6 Swamp
Other Spells - 12
4 Damnation
4 Harmonize
4 Dark Withering
Creatures - 24
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Wall of Roots
3 Quirion Dryad
3 Phyrexian Rager
2 Riftsweeper

4 Shriekmaw
Sideboard - 15
4 Hypnotic Specter
2 Terror
2 Quagnoth
2 Riftsweeper
2 Squall Line
3 Sudden Death

This deck is positioned to be very flexible.  Versus aggressive creature deck its Shriekmaw/Damnation/Dark Withering package can devastate them.  Versus control decks it have plenty of small creatures to beat down with.  The Riftsweepers are a very good choice in this metagame.  They are very effective against the Dragonstorm decks but also can find targets against Blue Black Dakkon control decks.  Being very strong versus two of the formats most popular decks is rare in a single card.  Renappel said he would make some changes to the deck, taking out the Dryads and a Rager for four Squee, Goblin Nabob would let the deck take better advantage of its avatar.  He would also take the Hypnotic Specters out of the sideboard for an additional pair of Quagnoths, a third Terror and a fourth Sudden Death.  This is a strong deck and doesn't have any auto-loss matchups like many decks in the format.  It however doesn't have any auto-win matchups.  If you think that trade off is worth it give this deck a shot.

 

Singleton

The event fired but a crash wiped it from the system.  I think it had 28 players but not sure on that.  Will be nice to have version three soon.

Tribal Wars Standard

 

Tribal Wars Standard 2x 1/6/08 33 Players
Placing Tribe Colors
1* Faeries UB
2* Faeries UG
4 Faeries UB
4 Merfolk UW
8 Goblins BR
8 Elementals GRBu
8 Faeries UB
8 Humans W

 *Split finals

 

This week saw the dominance of Faeries continue with the little blue men taking half the top eight slots.  Merfolk an under-the-radar deck with some strong cards made it into the top four for the first time.  Elementals put up its second top eight this time with red for explosive Smokebraider openings.  Humans also took a slot, a mono white take on the most populous tribe.  It had both aggro and control elements as a white weenie deck that curved out all the way to Crovax, Ascendant Hero.  Below is renappel's four color elemental deck and check the end of the article for a review of the past six Tribal events.

 

Renappel's GRBu Elementals - 8th
Lands - 24
2 Treetop Village
2 Vivid Grove
4 Karplusan Forest
4 Llanowar Wastes
5 Forest
2 Mountain
2 Swamp
3 Sulfurous Springs
Creatures - 24
3 Flamekin Harbinger
4 Smokebraider
4 Mulldrifter
4 Shriekmaw
4 Spectral Force
4 Cloudthresher
1 Deepfire Elemental
Other Spells - 12
4 Fertile Ground
2 Nameless Inversion
4 Garruk Wildspeaker
2 Profane Command

This deck is essentially three colors splashing for the top flight common from Lorwyn, Mulldrifter.  Elementals provide mana acceleration, creature removal, tutoring, and fat to this deck.  The most interesting card to me in this deck is the singleton Deepfire Elemental.  Tutorable with Flamekin Harbinger this forgotten Coldsnap card is a powerhouse combined with Smokebraider.  In hindsight renappel thinks he would cut the Profane Commands and a Spectral Force for three Squall Lines.  This seems like a good move in light of that decks domination of the format.  Elementals are a cool tribe and decks like these are competitive in Standard Tribal so give it a try and you might want to play it in the next PE.

 

Classic

Classic 2x 1/6/08 38 Players
Placing Deck
1 UW Salvagers
2 UGR Threshold
4 URG Aggrostill
4 WB Aggro
8 UR Aggrostill 
8 Enduring Ideal Combo
8 UG Discard/Aggro
8 Dredge

 

This is one of if not the largest non-IPA Qualifier Classic 2x we've seen.  After the dust of swiss settled three combo decks, and five aggro-control decks were in the top eight.  The only unusual deck we have not seen before were the pair of blue-red based aggro decks.  One made the top four splashing for Tarmogoyf the other strait blue-red.  As the only two players with the archetype in the event the fact that both made top eight is impressive.  Salvagers aka bomberman took the top slot.  It is an aggro-control deck that has the combo of Auriok Salvagers, Lion's Eye Diamond, and Pyrite Spellbomb to win games where attacking with two power creatures doesn't work.  Walkerdog made top four with a white-black deck you can read his thoughts on it here.  Dredge and Ideal were the two pure combo decks in the top eight though both lost in the quarterfinals.  A burn deck failed to make top eight as the hate for them from sideboards is very effective.  Pulse of the Fields, Circle of Protection: Red, Ivory Mask, and Sphere of Law are all seeing play.  Burn decks also have little hope versus combo decks like dredge or ideal.  The top eight was rounded out by a black-green deck with discard, removal, Tombstalker, and Tarmogoyf.

 

Tribal Wars Review

 

We have had six tribal events after Lorwyn's release.  The chart below has the results of these events.  A quick note on the chart, I listed Faeries twice, as whole and in their color breakdown UB or UG.  The third column shows the percent of top eight slots occupied by each deck and the fourth column shows how often the deck made the finals compared to its number of top eights.

Deck Top 8s Percent of Top 8 Finals/Top 8 Ratio
Faeries 33% 50%
UB Faeries 19% 44%
BR Goblins 17% 13%
UG Faeries 15% 57%
GB Elves 15% 0%
Humans 10% 20%
Mono B Zombies 8% 50%
RW Giants 4% 0%
UW Merfolk 4% 0%
GRBu Elmentals 2% 0%
UGB Elementals 2% 0%
Mono Red Constructs 2% 0%
Unknown 2% 0%

 

I don't think you need me to tell you this but clearly Fearies are the dominant force in the metagame.  They account for one third of top eight slows and two thirds of slots in the finals.  The other decks that have been successful are goblins, elves, humans, and zombies.  Goblins and elves are interesting because both have made the top eight many times yet fail to break into the finals.  Goblins got there once and elves have yet to.  I lumped all the humans decks together rather than list five different decks.  All but one are controlling decks, all but one ran white, most run snow lands, and all but one ran Martyr of Sands.  Zombies are the last deck of note.  They have not made many top eight appearances but have made the finals twice which I think is enough to make them a contender.  They are the formats most controlling deck hoping to win the long game on the back or removal and slow card advantage.  Right now I think the best deck in the format is UB Faeries tuned for the mirror match.  With that in mind I'd recommend running a list that looks like this.

UB Faeries
Lands  24
4 Secluded Glen
4 River of Tears
4 Faerie Conclave
3 Desert
3 Island
2 Pendelhaven
4 Underground River
Creatures - 24
4 Mistbind Clique
4 Nightshade Stinger
4 Oona's Prowler
4 Cloud Sprite
4 Scion of Oona
4 Spellstutter Sprite
Other Spells - 12
4 Peppersmoke
4 Cryptic Command
4 Familiar's Ruse

Peppersmoke and Desert give you an advantage over UG Faeries.  One of the main advantages of UB Faeries is access two 12 quality dual lands.  This lets Desert and Pendelhaven both effectively colorless land be run.  It also allows Cryptic Command, and trust me it is better than Mystic Snake.  The eight one mana Faeries give this deck a quicker clock than the UG versions and allow Familiar's Ruse to be run over the inferior Rune Snag.

All that said I by no means think that the Faeries decks are so good they shut out other decks.  Two decks to keep an eye on a UW Merfolk and 4 color Elementals both of which are gaining ground and have access to some very powerful cards.  Goblins, elves, humans, and zombies of course have game though I would not recommend them over the small blue flyers.

 

Outro

Many thanks to Renappel for his decklists and congrats on the double top eight.  I got his Vanguard list while he was playing in Tribal and wished him luck.  A top eight followed, anyone else want my luck*?  Give me a decklist!  Congrats to my clanmates Moranl and largebrandon for top 8ing the Classic event with their new deck.  Last shout out goes to under the hammer for being awesome.  Well hope to see everyone in the events this weekend and tune in again next week!  As always comments/suggestions/ideas/free cardz are appreciated feel free to comment here or hit me up in-game on iceage4life.

*Just so you know you DO NOT want my luck.  Cabal Therapy has beaten me in Singleton.