jamuraa's picture
By: jamuraa, Marie Janssen
Feb 27 2008 2:05pm
Login to post comments

Holy cow am I having a rough week. Bugs in the apartment, dings in my car in the parking lot, and 12 hour work days make it quite the horrible week for me. Amazingly though I got to play in a PE this week, going 4-2 piloting Pickles Blink. It was a great fun time -- of course, I was 1-2 in the third round, but I like to watch replays and wanted to see how the deck fared. Not bad, but it just wasn't right for the metagame, and playing PEs is one of the best games-for-your-tix you can get on MTGO.

Speaking of your tix, there is a part of the Magic Online constructed scene that I haven't really talked about in Deviations yet. There's a whole category of tournament that I seem to be excluding from my meta analysis. That's right, I'm talking about none other than the 8-man queues. 8-man queues are the only way outside of PEs to play sanctioned constructed Magic on Magic Online. They are, as their name describes, 8 man tournaments that are run automatically whenever the requisite amount of players sits in the queue for long enough. The format is single elimination, and the prize payout is 4-2-1-1, that is, 4 packs for 1st place, 2 for second, and one for third and fourth.

8 man queues are a whole different beast from the Premier Events on Magic Online. The biggest difference for me is that the 8 man queues aren't possible to replay at all. You can play your secret tech in the queue all day long and not have to worry about anyone finding out about the new deck except the people you play against. There are other advantages and disadvantages too. You have to win a lot less matches to break even in a 8 man - basically winning just the first game will make you golden. On the other hand, if you lose your first match, you're SOL for any more sanctioned play, unless you want to pony up some more tix. The tix price you will be paying in order to enter is 4 tix by the way - only 2 less than a PE. They're also a lot shorter than a PE, running usually less than 3 hours while a PE runs 7 hours at a minimum.

Personally, I like the large crowds and the longer playtime of the Premier Events, and of course the replays that you can watch between rounds and after the Event is finished. However, I have played my share of 8 mans in my time, and they are a great way to make some tix if you have a deck that wins against the field most of the time. They are pretty much a guaranteed moneymaker even if your deck only wins one out of every two matches against any random deck. I'd encourage you to give them a try next time you don't have all afternoon to dedicate to a Premier Event - or when they aren't scheduled, say, after next week...

Statistics for Standard PEs: 2/19/2008 to 2/26/2008

This week there were fifteen standard Premier Events (PEs) scheduled on Magic Online, and I got the chance to see the full top 8 in every single one of them. One PE was finished early, so we have a few more 4th places and a few less winners in this week's table, but otherwise the events went off without a hitch! That's right, a full compliment of 120 top eight spots in a single week. Take THAT, PTQ Season! (disclaimer: this author holds no grudges against the PTQ system) Once again every event was 2x and in the exact same timeslot as before. Standard Premier Events and got an average turnout of 34 players this week again, which is troubling. We're winding down the PEs. Nine of the fourteen top tables split this week.

Winner - Split - Second - Semifinals - Quarterfinals

Colors Deck Name Placings Percentage
Elves 14% (-1%)
Big Mana 14% (+5%)
Wild Blink 11% (+3%)
Goblins 10% (-3%)
Gro-a-Goyf 9% (+3%)
Pickles Blink 8% (+1%)
Knoll Storm 5% (+4%)
Big Void 4% (new)
Mannequin 4% (-5%)
Faeries 4% (+4%)
Big Pizza 2% (-1%)
Faerie Stompy 1% (-1%)
Rock 1% (-2%)
Kithkin <1% (+<1%)
Mana Ramp <1% (nc)
Pickles <1% (+<1%)
  Other 5%
  Inactivity <1%

Well, as might be expected from the meta of the last couple of weeks, Big Mana and Elves are both pretty much sharing the top spot after a recovery by Big Mana this week. They are almost mirrors of each other's record, only a split finals placing making the difference and putting Elves on top. We also saw a couple new decks this week, including Gro-a-goyf, this week's Mode, and Big Void, which we will talk about next week. If you're crazy in anticipation, you can see a similar deck that won $5000 last weekend. The other archetypes this week are basically shuffling around, and our regular Tier 2/3 decks are trading single placing spaces once again. Pickles Blink appears to be on the side, and Wild Blink is also growing in popularity while goblins continues to hold it's places steady.

The top gainer this week was Knoll Storm, the deck which sits around on the back burner until the sideboards of decks become complacent, and then starts showing up again. It's definitely a metagame call when to bring this deck and when to keep the cards in your binder for another day. This week was an up week, and a lot of Dragonstorm decks made it through those 5 or 6 rounds to the top tables. The sore loser this week was Mannequin, losing a whole five percent of the meta this week. Mannequin continues to wane into the distance, picking up some spots in one week and then losing steadily in the weeks later. It doesn't seem to play very well in a field full of Big Mana and Elves decks which are increasingly tuned in order to curve out and take the important cards away with a Thoughtseize.

In this week's rogue category we have seven members prowling around. The first is that constant Rogue, the blue-white Platinum Angel control deck. One of these weeks I am going to track the guy down who brings this to a PE and makes a top 8 seemingly every week. We also have a Kavu Justice deck abusing Fiery Justice, a very popular card to abuse, and it's interaction with Kavu Predator. There was a similar deck in Time Spiral Block, which this deck is probably evolved from. The remainder of the "Other" category of decks include a green-blue aggroish deck, a Mannequin deck with white for Momentary Blink and Wrath of God, a copy of Red Deck Wins, and the ever-present blue-black reanimator deck.

Mode of the Week: Gro-a-Goyf

Last week I teased all of my readers with this new deck archetype by giving it a name and telling you that I would have a decklist this week. Well this week I have come through and am bringing you not one but two different decklists of this exciting new type of deck. Or.. old type of deck. This deck is very reminiscent of a popular Vintage archetype, Gro-A-Tog or GAT. GAT works by putting out a Quirion Dryad and playing a lot of control cards in order to both protect the Dryad and stop the opponent from playing.. well, anything. It's the classic definition of aggro-control as it can come down fast and strong on an early turn and start beating while it controls the board with it's Counterspells. When I saw the first player I noticed with this deck Tussius play Gro-a-Goyf, the GAT comparison was the first to come to mind, and it's where the name comes from.

I wasn't able to get an interview with Tussius, unfortunately, but I am pleased to have sat down with two of the people who have piloted this deck type to multiple top table spots this week and last. The first person I got a chance to talk to about Gro-a-Goyf is A Bathing Ape. The origin of his list was Tussius, through a friend, and it was tuned and tested a bit before taking a PE by storm with three of the eight top spots. Ape told me that the forst matchups are the turbo-aggro decks or decks that can come out swinging and curving like Elves and the Goblins deck. However, the rest of the matchups are almost byes it seemed like, with almost the whole rest of the field falling pretty easy to the Dryad and Tarmogoyf beats. The deck plays mostly as a control deck, holding off the opponent with Rune Snags and Cryptic Commands, while waiting for a beat to be drawn from it's compliment of eight drawing spells. The deck also has some considerations for making the Tarmogoyf grow with almost every type of card here, including the Terramorphic Expanses and the Razormane Masticore in the board. The deck really does fill it's graveyard quite well and you can easily be casting a 5/6 'goyf without any help from your opponent's yard. The deck also can play as tempo, so slow control decks can expect to see some threats on the board turn 2.

I also got to talk to yet another player of this archetype, Andrew Shrout, who was kind enough to share the decklist below.

Andrew Shrout's list is third-generation - that is, his list was snagged from watching replays of the list that was presented above. It's still very effective, taking Shrout to no less than four top tables this week. His list has a couple differences, and seems a little less focused on filling the graveyard for the Tarmogoyfs, and more focused on controlling the board. Mystic Snake makes an appearance to counter some spells, and a Faerie Conclave pair joins to ring the man-land beats. It also makes the choice of Ponder over Think Twice for drawing and card selection. I asked Andrew about how the deck will survive come the introduction of Morningtide, and he said that he thought the deck would be vairly good against the Reveillark combo which is going around in lots of Paper Standard tourneys right now. I asked what cards he thought might get added for Gro-a-Goyf and he thought Mutavault might bring the beats, but that the manabase was suitably shaky as it was and he wasn't sure if it could take some land being swapped for colorless.

I'd like to thank both A Bathing Ape and Andrew Shrout for their decklists and insight into this new (old?) exciting deck type. Expect to see it in the PEs, it's gaining popularity fast!

Outlier of the week: Faeries

This weeks' outlier is blue-black faeries. I talked about the relative to this deck, Faerie Stompy, a couple weeks ago. This version of the Faeries archetype decides to take the Lorwyn blue-blackness to the maximum, playing with almost entirely Lorwyn cards - every single creature in this deck has the flame expansion symbol. You might as well call this week aggro-control week because this deck is also aggro-control, coming down fast with a Nightshade Stinger and a Oona's Prowler on turn one and two respectively. There are also a number of other nice two-drops like the excellent Spellstutter Sprite which is a counterspell on a stick for two mana most of the time.

This deck starts attacking quick, but it also has a lot of control, with Nameless Inversion in order to drop opposing creatures while Rune Snags keep the spells from hitting. There are also the Spellstutter Sprites which I mentioned earlier, and the Scion of Oona functions as a counterspell just fine when you flash it out in response to a spell targetting one of your Faeries. This is the preferred way to play a Scion, otherwise holding it in your hand until you have two that you can flash out at once for a totally untargettable team of flying beaters. The last card I'd like to talk about is Mistbind Clique, which is effectively a Time Walk if it is timed correctly -- that is, on your opponent's upkeep step. Tapping down someone's whole land base is almost as good as a Orim's Chant, and it works remarkably well.

This week is the last full week of Premier Events before the long Morningtide Release Event break. Take a look at the schedule of events and get your last couple of Premier Events before the new decks start showing up online. I'm sure to be in another PE this week as well, last week was a blast. I can't wait for Morningtide Release Events. Deviations will be busy in the off weeks preparing the new deck-o-pedia and presenting some decklists from Standard-Lorwyn season for nostalgia. Until next week, Good luck in the PEs!


Standard and all the fun by Tussius (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 03/27/2008 - 05:37
Tussius (Unregistered)'s picture

Hey. Thanks for crediting me with the deck.

I assume the interview isn't as interesting anymore as the deck is old news by now. If you wish to talk to me either way you can contact me on modo or by email morten.batbuktPANTS@gmail.com (remove pants).


Morten 'Tussius' Båtbukt 

Previous Level Blue by Pyrosin at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 15:19
Pyrosin's picture

Gro-a-Goyf also feels a lot like Paul Cheon's Previous Level Blue deck that he just won GP Vancouver with.  I guess Goyf + Counterspell is just good in every format.

kutgw by plarp (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 23:21
plarp (Unregistered)'s picture

Just thought I'd chime in to say this is my favourite regular article on PureMTGO, keep up the good work jamuraa!

it is nice to choose the by lenyrose2013 at Thu, 09/29/2016 - 07:35
lenyrose2013's picture

it is nice to choose the charcater that can do a lot. It makes everything so easy. - Morgan Exteriors

majorsite by dungdung at Sat, 02/12/2022 - 01:59
dungdung's picture

When I was young, my dream was to find out information in many places like you and let people know, but I forgot about my dream for a while, but after reading these articles today, I think it's time to realize my dream again.메이저사이트