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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Jan 15 2008 12:58pm
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 I do not know how I did it, but I did it.  Last week's article was about a week behind where it should have been, and to make up for that, I have collected all of the date for this month in this article.  That's right, every top eight has been (well every top eight that was not wiped in a crash.) has been collected and I present it to you for your viewing pleasure.  Will anything dethrone Doran Junk, or will the treefolk stay rooted to the top again?  Let's jump into the data! 

Last Week's Top Five

1.  Doran:  Doran Junk has become the Black White Green deck of choice in this Extended format.  Not only is it starting to become more of a factor online, but it is showing up in large numbers in Pro Tour Qualifiers as well.

1.  Gifts Rock:  Gifts Ungiven is a powerful card.  This deck has a Gifts Toolbox and the disruption package of the Green Black powerhouse that is the Rock.

3.  Ideal: 
Combo deck that plays like the Desire decks of old.  Uses Invasion lands like Geothermal Crevice to power out your expensive epic spell (Enduring Ideal), from there you play one spell a turn, but you win the game with Form of the Dragon, or can lock them out from dealing damage with the Solitary Confinment Dovescape combo. 

3.  Dredge: 
One of the quickest combo decks in the field.  It can win on turn two, and does so often.  It plays well with the graveyard, and it should, as it abuses the Dredge mechanic to dump your entire library into the yard and flashback a Dread Return targeting Flame Kin Zealot.  You sacrifice Narcomoeba to get Zombie tokens from Bridge from Below and a whole host of hasty undead because of the Zeaolt.

3.  Mono Blue Control:  Yes, it is exactly what you think it is.  A lot of card draw, a lot of counterspells and a finishing dude in most cases being Meloku the Clouded Mirror.  Also has creature control in Vedalken Shackles.  

3.  Next Level Blue:  Pat Chapins Blue Green Counterbalance deck.  It's unreal.  Lots of synergy, and some versions run a Trinket Mage toolboxto shore up some bad matchups.  Other versions of the deck stay true to Mr. Chapins original list, and run a Living Wish toolbox. 

Doran, the Siege Tower

Top Eights from JAN 01 2008 to JAN 12 2008


Mister Topocho: Tog
AikTheone: Doran Junk
Lucindo: Dredge
trunks123: Gifts Rock
pentultimatedoom: Goblins
60CardMonkey: Doran Junk
CdC_DemoniC_AngeL: Zoo
divinty13: Red Deck Wins

Every so often you'll see decks that people have written off for dead in a top eight.  Tog just so happens to be one of those decks.  True, our toothy friend may not be as good as he used to be, but really, when you run pretty much the same spell base (This deck runs a Counterbalance engine, much like Next Level Blue and King in the Castle.  I think Tog could be the natural evolution of Chase Rare Control.) as several other decks in the format, you are in good shape. 

Stinkweed Imp


LeopoldoM: Dredge
lsv: Doran Junk
Azazel314: Dredge
islands: Ideal
TheElectricFactory: Flow Rock
thinktwice: Next Level Blue
OneeyedPete: Zoo
AHammer: Goblins

The only interesting deck I saw here is the Flow Rock deck that The Electric Factory piloted to a top eight.  There are a ton of non basic lands being played now, so it is possible that Flow is good again in this metagame. 


TheElectricFactory:  Flow Rock
Bard_Taliesin: TEPS
LeopoldoM: Affinity
AHammer: Zoo
CdC_Leozin: Dredge
Dish:  Zoo
McAfee: Red Deck Wins
lsv: Doran Junk

So the Flow Rock deck is good after all.  I kid!  I'll post a deck list for this deck at the end of the article as well.  Remember you can get more decklists from the December Wrap up as well! 

Destructive Flow
Bridge from Below


Lucindo: Dredge
the_bestdude: CAL
CdC_Leozin: Dredge
bolov0: Dredge
oneplusseven: Zoo
CPal90: Doran Junk
lsv: Doran Junk
Tulio_Jaudy: Red Green Aggro

How nice must it be to be in lsv's shoes?  I mean, I'm pretty sure this is Luis Scott- Vargas.  Three top eight's in three days, and really what else could you expect from a player of this caliber? 

The CAL deck is one of those decks that I do not think will see much play, for those of you who do not know, CAL is an aggro "Combo" deck that revolved around Life from the Loam, Solitary Confinement, and Seismic Assault.  You play the Confinement, which keeps you from getting killed, cycle a bunch of lands to keep recurring Life from the Loam, and kill the opponent with the Assault. 


Endir: Goblins
the_bestdude: CAL
T9XsLaCkeR: Mono Blue Control
janarick: Goblins
_MAJOR_: Doran Junk
Fangord: Zoo
AnssiA: Gifts Rock
Manu_chao: Flow Rock

CAL puts up another top eight.  The rest of the tournament really was not surprising. 

Goblin Ringleader
Enduring Ideal


islands: Ideal
A Lack of Color: Unknown
_sprite_: Red Deck Wins
CPal90: King in the Castle
Fangord: Zoo
Little_shaves: Cephalid Breakfast
lj2play: Tog
parrotmanZ: Loam Assualt

Yes, I am well aware that I not knowing the second place deck is strange.  However, I lost the notes to this event.  Well that is not even a good cop out.  I was not paying attention to what A Lack of Color was playing.  I did the other seven decks though so that has to count for something right? 

Just plain terrible Joshua.  ParrotmanZ may have been playing CAL as well, but I never saw the C part (Remember that is Confinement.) Cephalid Breakfast was a deck that I thought was unplayable because it did not work on MTGO as it does in real life.  However, Little Shaves went back to the original (Sutured Ghoul) Krosan Cloudscraper kill.  It does the same thing as Tarmogoyf and gives the deck a four more spell slots, since you are generally running two of the giant krosan beast, instead of four goyf. 


siewca_wiatru: Next Level Blue
IKEDUDE2: Dredge
SilverRocket: Zoo
BoShek: Red Deck Wins
Dipterans: Ideal
JWay: Next Level Blue
stockdale: Goblins
dolep1:  Blue Black Tog

I think this is what an average top eight will look like over the coming weeks.  The metagame may have settled enough to not be shaken up by recent and upcoming PTQ's.  However, the upcoming Grand Prixes are sure to change that again. 

Loxodon Hierarch


.sephiroth; King in the Castle
Dipterans: Ideal
choyiyo5: Mono Blue Control
kobefan5: Next Level Blue
_sprite_: Red Deck Wins
Amadeus: Dredge
Fangord: Red Deck Wins
trunks123: Gifts Rock


.sephiroth: King in the Castle
oneplusseven: Zoo
heartofdarkness42: Doran Junk
dooreyloo: Gifts Rock
Dao_Pho: Ideal
Rak95: RIW Beasts
Dish: Zoo
NinjaVanish: Dredge

Vedalken Shackles
Tribal Flames


A Lack of Color: Zoo
islands: Ideal

Subliminal Man: Dragon Stompy
plastik6: Next Level Blue
janarick: Goblins
Prescience: Dredge
beaneater21: Zoo
mentat010:  Crunch Berries

There would have been another Dredge in the top eight had I been able to beat janarick in the last round, but I did not, and he went on to the top eight instead.  This is also the tournament I saw the Blue Red deck that was profiled last week in the Community Profile. 


LeopoldoM: Ideal
RoboGator: Next Level Blue
wrapter:  Next Level Blue
SoadBR: Dredge
Bard_Taliesn: Ideal
_Tachikoma_: Tron
Dao_Phu: Ideal
TheCursed1025:  Next Level Blue

That is a lot of Ideal and Next Level Blue!  Please note, I do not know what version of Tron was played in the top eight, _tachikoma_ played exactly one land in each game they played, and it just so happened to be a Tron land before SoadBR successfully played the Dredge combo on turn two both games. 

Form of the Dragon


lsv: King in the Castle
ihatepants: Dredge
GuyverX: Gifts Rock
SuperSize:  Green White Tooth and Nail
dragont99:  Tooth and Nail
Jayswizzle: Red Deck Wins
lobster411:  Grow
Vicalis:  Goblins

I'm 100 percent sure that lsv is not really playing King in the Castle, but rather the GerryT designed (and it may have been lsv designed.) Blue Green White Counterbalance deck.  I think King may be a generic name for the deck.  Regardless, the deck list will follow in this article. 

As for Tooth and Nail, the only white card I saw was Orim's Chant, and it's kill condition was the Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo kill with Sky Hussar


CTAAmuro: Affinity
lsv:  King in the Castle
SoadBR:  Dredge
Lucindo:  Dredge
Matt192837:  TEPS
mrwilson: Next Level Blue
Ace of Drafts: Red Deck Wins
Bolovo:  Red Green Aggro

lsv followed up the previous event's split with another one in this event.  If I have the right decklist, than this is the same list that Owen Turtenweld played to a top eight last week in a PTQ in Detroit. 

Arcbound Ravager

Top Eight Results Table.   

Colors Deck Name Placings Percentage
Dredge 14%
Zoo 11%
Next Level Blue 10%
Ideal 8%
Doran Junk 7%
Red Deck Wins 7%
Goblins 6%
Gifts Rock 4%
King in the Castle 2%
Tog 2%
Flow Rock 2%
  Affinity 1%
Tooth and Nail 1%
MUC 1%
CAL 1%
Red Green Aggro 1%
Gro 0%
  Tron 0%
Dragon Stompy 0%
Crunch Berries 0%
  Beasts 0%
Cephalid Breakfast 0%
Loam Assault 0%
  Unknown 0%

Dredge put up huge numbers in the past two weeks.  Red Deck Wins continues to climb and put up numbers, this deck may be a sleeper in the field but with burn and land destruction it has enough disruption against this field to compete with the control and combo decks. 


King in the Castle  I am pretty sure this is close to what has been making the rounds recently on MTGO. 

View  Buy  (3 x) CSP Counterbalance
View  Buy  (1 x) 5DN Engineered Explosives
View  Buy  (4 x) CHK Sensei's Divining Top
View  Buy  (4 x) MRD Chrome Mox
View  Buy  (1 x) TSB Tormod's Crypt
View  Buy  (4 x) 5DN Vedalken Shackles
View  Buy  (1 x) SOK Pithing Needle
View  Buy  (1 x) MRD Tree of Tales
View  Buy  (1 x) 8ED Forest
View  Buy  (6 x) 8ED Island
View  Buy  (1 x) 9ED Plains
View  Buy  (3 x) RAV Loxodon Hierarch
View  Buy  (3 x) 5DN Trinket Mage
View  Buy  (4 x) FUT Tarmogoyf
View  Buy  (4 x) 7E Counterspell
View  Buy  (4 x) 7E Force Spike
View  Buy  (3 x) MRD Thirst for Knowledge
View  Buy  (3 x) ONS Windswept Heath
View  Buy  (3 x) ONS Flooded Strand
View  Buy  (2 x) ONS Polluted Delta
View  Buy  (1 x) DIS Breeding Pool
View  Buy  (1 x) GPT Steam Vents
View  Buy  (1 x) DIS Hallowed Fountain
View  Buy  (1 x) TSP Academy Ruins

Side Board

View  Buy  (3 x) BOK Threads of Disloyalty
View  Buy  (2 x) DIS Indrik Stomphowler
View  Buy  (3 x) LRW Gaddock Teeg
View  Buy  (1 x) RAV Loxodon Hierarch
View  Buy  (2 x) TSB Tormod's Crypt
View  Buy  (1 x) TSP Academy Ruins
View  Buy  (3 x) TSP Ancient Grudge

Flow Rock

View  Buy  (4 x) MRD Chrome Mox
View  Buy  (4 x) 5DN Engineered Explosives
View  Buy  (3 x) ICE Forest
View  Buy  (2 x) ICE Mountain
View  Buy  (1 x) ICE Swamp

  Buy  (4 x)
GPT Burning-Tree Shaman
View  Buy  (4 x) 10E Mogg Fanatic
View  Buy  (4 x) FUT Tarmogoyf
View  Buy  (4 x) OD Terravore

  Buy  (4 x)
PS Destructive Flow

  Buy  (4 x)
PS Terminate
View  Buy  (4 x) ONS Bloodstained Mire
View  Buy  (4 x) ONS Wooded Foothills
View  Buy  (1 x) ONS Polluted Delta
View  Buy  (1 x) ONS Windswept Heath
View  Buy  (2 x) GPT Stomping Ground
View  Buy  (1 x) RAV Overgrown Tomb
View  Buy  (1 x) DIS Blood Crypt

  Buy  (4 x)
TOR Devastating Dreams


View  Buy  (4 x) 7E Duress
View  Buy  (4 x) ONS Smother
View  Buy  (2 x) PLC Extirpate
View  Buy  (3 x) TSP Ancient Grudge
View  Buy  (2 x) TSP Krosan Grip

And just for giggles here is a deck that has not seen top eight play but one that I think is good.

Elf Alarm

Main Deck

View  Buy  (10 x) 8ED Forest
View  Buy  (2 x) 8ED Island
View  Buy  (4 x) RAV Birds of Paradise
View  Buy  (4 x) 10E Llanowar Elves
View  Buy  (4 x) PLC Essence Warden
View  Buy  (4 x) LRW Imperious Perfect
View  Buy  (4 x) LRW Wren's Run Vanquisher
View  Buy  (4 x) DIS Coiling Oracle
View  Buy  (4 x) 8ED Intruder Alarm
View  Buy  (4 x) FUT Sprout Swarm
View  Buy  (4 x) RAV Remand
View  Buy  (4 x) 10E Yavimaya Coast
View  Buy  (4 x) DIS Breeding Pool
View  Buy  (3 x) BOK Umezawa's Jitte
View  Buy  (1 x) TSB Pendelhaven

View  Buy  (4 x) DIS Spell Snare
View  Buy  (4 x) DIS Trygon Predator
View  Buy  (3 x) TSB Tormod's Crypt
View  Buy  (4 x) TSP Krosan Grip 

This brings us to the end of the column.  The new year brought us some surprises, but the Extended format looks like it has settled into a pretty even metagame.  I would still play Dredge in any given tournament, and will do so at the PTQ in Louisville coming up in a few weeks.  Thanks for reading, and make sure to stop back next week.   We'll have more stats, deck lists and results for you in this exciting open format! 


by Gandolfo (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 01/18/2008 - 00:08
Gandolfo (Unregistered)'s picture

flow rock is a good choice for a ptq? guys i need help my ptq is next week i no have a one decklist :(


by GordonP at Tue, 01/15/2008 - 21:52
GordonP's picture

I believe that a lack of color was playing doran.

Yes by JXClaytor at Tue, 01/15/2008 - 20:07
JXClaytor's picture

I've seen a few people playing Mage in the main now, I'm not sure if this is the hot new trend now, or if it is a fad. 

by iceage4life at Tue, 01/15/2008 - 17:29
iceage4life's picture

"Next Level Blue:  Pat Chapins Blue Green Counterbalance deck.  It's unreal.  Lots of synergy, and has a Trinket Mage toolbox."

 Are people running that?  Not in Chapins orginal or updated lists.  Wondering if everyone is running Trinket or just a few people.

Well sotra by iceage4life at Tue, 01/15/2008 - 17:30
iceage4life's picture

Trinket Mage is in the sideboard but mentioning it seems kinda silly.  Isn't the Living Wish toolbox what makes the deck?