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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Jan 22 2008 11:28am
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You know, you can read just about any Magic: the Gathering site online and realize one thing.  With the impending release of Morningtide, formats are going to get shaken up.  We are just a few weeks away from the new set being legal in the paper world, but we have no clue when we are going to see our Countryside Crushers, Mumuring Bosks and Mutavaults online.  Will we have to wait until V3 is out, or will they push Morningtide out early and onto the current unstable server?  

I do not know, as if I could see the future, I am sure I would use it on more profitable things.  I would share my wealth though, so it would not be a case of greedy future sight.

So in ten days paper magic players get to sling their favorite Morningtide cards.  I know I have to question the purpose of this column while we wait for Morningtide to come out, like how relevant is it to report on a dead format by then?  I'm not sure, but rest assured next week I will have a look at the month in review, and for now, I have eight tournament top eights, a metagame look from January 21, 2008 where I look at what the field is playing, and a look at last weeks top five.  

Nice segue there Mr. Claytor! 

Last Weeks' Top Five

1.  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.

2.  Zoo:  This is the beatdown deck of choice.  It has cheap men, like Grim Lavamancer, Mogg Fanatic and in some cases Gaddock Teeg.  Teeg is insane against most of the combo decks in the field, as he shuts off the key cards.  Enduring Ideal, Mind's Desire, and Dread Return are unplayable with him in play.  These dorks are backed up with solid burn like Tribal Flames, Lightning Helix, and Firebolt.

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

4.  Enduring 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. 

5.  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.

Stinkweed Imp

After allowing another deck to keep it's number one spot warm for a week, Dredge comes back to claim it's standing above the rest of the format! 

GuyverX:  Gifts Rock
L.Horta:  Affinity
dark_chico:  Dredge
dooreyloo:  Gifts Rock
CdC_Leuzin: Ideal
SoadBR:  Dredge
raphael_puleo:  Goblins
Niksodus_nb:  Unknown

I am begining to think that the days of multiple Gifts Rock top eights are going to be fewer and further between.  It's not that the deck is awful, because it is not.  It rewards tight play, and is one of the most dynamic decks.  That being said, it is not a deck for everyone to play.  Doran has a more stable manabase, where most Gifts decks are now up to four colors, to add white which helps the aggro matchups.  Gifts Ungiven has plenty of potential, it just may not be in this current Extended season. 

Gifts Ungiven


A Lack Of Color:  Doran
sMann:  Goblins
Amadeus.S: Dredge
Quack Quack: Chase Rare
Subliminal Man:  Dragon Stompy
ZilliJr.  Zoo
Jayswizzle: Zoo
littledarwin: Dredge

I really like the DragonStompy deck for one reason, and one reason alone.  I understand that it has access to main deck Blood Moons, which really wreck a number of decks in the format.  Enduring Ideal relies on many non basic lands as does Doran, and Zoo to name a couple more.  If the format continues to be heavy on the non basics, I can see this deck becoming more of a player.  


islands: Ideal
sMann: Goblins
chuyiyo5: Mono Blue Control
A Lack Of Color:  Doran
st.b.lu:  Next Level Blue
FFfreak: Next Level Blue
TuSaisPas:  Tooth and Nail
manu_chao:  Flow Rock

Tooth and Nail makes an appearence again this week, as does another non basic hating deck, Flow Rock.  Mono Blue continues to get retooled to deal with the metagame, but I am not sure that it is the way to go.  If I were going to play Blue based control, I am sure I would put my eggs in the Next Level Basket.   

Solitary Confinement
Dark Confidant


fob: Doran
DrinkersStore: Dredge
i play ruff:  Dredge
Lucindo: Dredge
ZilliJr: Doran
Oneeyedpete:  Red Deck Wins
captstabbn:  Red Deck Wins
SoadBR: Ideal

Boring!  Though I do love the large amount of Dredge in the top four.  That makes me smile.  I sometimes wonder if players just flail about when they play Dredge, and sideboard all the hate and still lose.  In all honesty, Dredge is beginning to remind me of Affinity, and with the rotation coming up, I could see Dredge and other key cards getting banned just so the format does not dissolve into a Dredge versus everything else format.  


filipe:  King in the Castle
MaGiGames:  Dredge
guygs18:  Ideal
BananaJim22:  Blue Green Tron
alucard_999:  Dredge
Subliminal Man:  Affinity
zeroh0ur: Next Level Blue
PTrenkle:  Mono Black Control

No, I do not know anything about the Mono Black Control deck.  I'm going to consider this a random one of, and would be surprised to see it in the top eight again this season, let alone this year! 

Trinket Mage
Arcbound Ravager


A Lack Of Color:  Affinity
FakeShaver:  Doran
about2rock: Doran
DrinkersStore: Dredge
kotarsato04: Ideal
JacquesICHAN:  Red Deck Wins
CPal90: Doran
clearly:  Gifts Rock

Typical top eight with no real surprises. 


lsv:  Dredge
SpeCialK: Dredge
redshirtdown: Goblins
russian magic: Affinity
kotarosato04:  Ideal
Klauwork Simulacrum:  Red Deck Wins
silversurfer82:  Aggro Loam
Matt192837:  Ideal

Aggro Loam seems to be out of place here.  Though a deck with Land Destruction and land recursion usually is not that bad, it just seems really slow to me in this format. 

Breeding Pool


trunks123:  King in the Castle
russian magic: Affinity
FFfreak: Next Level Blue
chuyiyo5: Next Level Blue
funkeymonkeyman:  Affinity
Lucindo:  Dredge
gonza:  Red Deck Wins
rinazina:  unknown

Another typical top eight, it's interesting to me to know that the one constant over the last five tournaments is Dredge in the top eight.  Seriously, people are going to start loading up on even more hate, maybe main deck Yixlid Jailers to go along with Gaddock Teeg, Leyline of the Void and Tormod's Crypt.  Groudseal might be good this season yet!  

Let's take a look at the top eight table.  Dredge took over twenty percent of the total top eight spots this week, and looks to be the strongest deck to play.  In fact, with it's recent track record in PTQ's and online, if you like to win packs, you should learn how to play Dredge.  I know that is what I am going to PTQ with this weekend in Kentucky.   

Top Eight Results Jan 13 to Jan 21, 2008. 

Colors Deck Name Placings Percentage
Dredge 21%
Ideal 11%
Doran 11%
  Affinity 10%
Next Level Blue 8%
Goblins 6%
Gifts Rock 5%
King in the Castle 3%
Zoo 3%
Aggro Loam 1%
Tron 1%
Mono Black Control 1%
Tooth and Nail 1%
Balancing Tings 1%
Mono Blue Control 1%
Flow Rock 1%
Chase Rare Control 1%
Dragon Stompy 1%
  Unknown 3%

Now we are going to take a quick look at the most recent Extended Event online.  Notice the field and the top eight results.  Dredge may have been fourteen percent of the field, but only the best Dredge player online; Lucindo got into the top eight.  Seriously, I have sung this player's praises before, but everytime I watch him play, I learn a little more about the deck. 

Of course using that as an indicator, we can see the most successful deck in the field.  King in the Castle was played in the field by three players, and one of the made the top eight.  That's what a little over/under a thirty three percent success rate? 

Tournament Profile:  1121046 Monday Jan 21, 2008

Deck Name Placings Percentage
Dredge 14%
Affinity 11%
Goblins 11%
Next Level Blue 9%
Doran 9%
Ideal 9%
Red Deck Wins 7%
Zoo 5%
King in the Castle 5%
Dragonstorm 1%
Blue White Tron 1%
Beasts 1%
Wizards 1%
Blue Green Tron 1%
Gifts Rock 1%
Mono Blue Control 1%
Elf Alarm 1%
Unknown 1%

Next week we are going to take a look at the month in review, which means we are going to come to you on a special day, so join me than for another look at the Extended format, as we prepare to welcome the Morningtide! 


King in the Castle by Ronfar (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 01/30/2008 - 21:02
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King in the Castle is a U/g/w deck with Counterbalance/Top, Vedalken Shackles, Loxodon Hierarch, Tarmogoyf, and a Trinket Mage toolbox. (This is why descriptive names, such as "Counter-Top Goyf", are often better unless they become as well known as "Zoo," "Trix," or "The Rock.")

by jamuraa at Wed, 01/23/2008 - 13:14
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Believe it or not, we've thought about adding a deck-o-pedia style to these metagame articles, and I hope we can put something out soon which will work as a good reference. 


by JXClaytor at Wed, 01/23/2008 - 07:41
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Check previous articles.  I'm not going to keep running the same decklist week after week, and King in the Castle is there. 

 Dragon Stompy sounds just like it's legacy counter part, it's a port from legacy to extended and really hurts those with non basic lands with eight main deck blood moons.  

by hamtastic at Wed, 01/23/2008 - 09:21
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I know that Karsten had a seperate post for a 'deck-o-pedia' that he just added decks to and would link them.  Is it possible to do a similar thing for yours?  Have a seperate page with deck lists and anchors and link them as you add them?

Just throwing that out there.  :)

Great article though, even though I don't play Extended these are always a good read, thanks!

by JXClaytor at Wed, 01/23/2008 - 09:38
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Yeah I was looking into doing that deckopedia idea myself for this article and for jam's but I am not very good with the forums.  I really need some help there.   

Quality of PE Competition by Hierarch44 at Wed, 01/23/2008 - 10:23
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As someone who has played 8-mans on MTGO but not yet a PE, I was wondering what the level of competition in a PE is like.  Is it more like a PTQ (a few skilled players near the top, but a lot of unskilled players/untuned decks in the bottom half) or a Grand Prix (a lot more skilled players/tuned decks)?  Or is a PE somewhere in-between?  Thank you for any feedback.

What is King in the Castle? by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 01/23/2008 - 06:25
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I have no idea what that deck is.  You just provide a name and not a list.  Also don't know what Dragon Stompy is.  If this article is supposed to be helpful, more detail is needed.

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