Extended Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on August 9, 2003

By Josh Bennett

The Extended Metagame at Worlds was not quite what it was hyped up to be. To hear the talk leading up to the event, Mind's Desire would be played at every table, and the team that had the best-teched version would walk away with Day 3. The reality was that the Extended environment was nearly as wide open as it was in Houston. Below is a breakdown of the decktypes that were played.

Goblins – 78

Goblin Warchief
If you thought Extended Goblins were ridiculous before, you should see them after the release of Scourge. Goblin Warchief speeds up the whole works, while Lackeying out a Siege-Gang Commander is a sickening turn two. The actual configuration of men varies from build to build. In fact, this number is a little misleading, containing a couple of Red Deck Wins, and also the sensational Gob-Vantage from the members of Japanese Team Fireball.

Reanimator – 36

This number incorporates both YMG's signature "Benzo" deck as well as the more popular European version played by the likes of Kai Budde. The latter touches blue for Careful Study and Gilded Drake. Maindeck Contamination frustrated opponents all weekend. Verdant Force on the second turn tends to outclass even the bustiest Goblins openings. Ditto for Akroma.

Rock – 28

The old standby, Rock plays the disruption game, packing Walls of Blossoms and Deeds against decks with men, and a wicked suite of hand destruction for anything else. Victory is usually an arduous journey of card advantage, but against a varied field, its players say, it's top notch. Jeroen Remie was playing this deck, to no-one's surprise, since it helped him to a Top 8 at Houston at the start of this season.

Mind's Desire – 26

Mind's Desire
Ah, the boogeyman. The deck keys off "free" spells like Snap, Cloud of Faeries and Frantic Search, netting mana thanks to a discount from Sapphire Medallion. With Merchant Scrolls, Intuition and Accumulated Knowledge for draw power, it usually has no trouble getting off a quick Mind's Desire for six or more. That's usually all she wrote. The kill comes either from flipping up a maindeck Tendrils of Agony, or from Cunning Wishing for Brain Freeze, decking the opponent. Last year's champion, Carlos Romao, was seen working this intricate jigsaw puzzle

Psychatog – 22

These Extended Gush-A-Tog decks kill fast, really fast. Between Fact or Fiction and Gush the trip to a 20/21 'Tog is much shorter than you'd expect. Add to that good hand disruption and countermagic and you have the recipe for a winning deck. Unfortunately, it might find itself too slow against something like Reanimator.

Tinker – 20

Played by Bob Maher, Jr. to a first-place finish at the last Master's Series, Tinker decks are capable of some stupidly explosive draws. Between Upheaval, Mishra's Helix, Phyrexian Processor and Crumbling Sanctuary, they have the tools to destroy any matchup. The only downside is the deck's lack of homogeneity. If its first threats are dealt with, Tinker can find itself pleading for a topdeck.

Angry Hermit – 18

Hermit Druid
The Dutch masterpiece that thrilled Houston also got a touch-up after Scourge in an unlikely card: Dragon Breath. Now the deck didn't need to run a mountain and Anger in order to have a hasty Ghoul swinging for the win. Some versions went even farther, and packed Dragon Tyrant and Dragon Shadow for extra zaniness. If the Hermit falls to burn, the deck can still function as a Reanimator with bad mana, which can often be enough.

Blue-Green – 15

First it was Block, then Standard, and finally Extended. It's just hard to argue with the power of Wild Mongrel and Circular Logic. Mix in Waterfront Bouncer and Gilded Drake, and you have some serious unfairness on tap. Perhaps tellingly, the God of Blue-Green, Jeff Cunningham, chose to run with the red men instead.

Enchantress – 10

Motokiyo Azuma brought this deck to prominence when he won Grand Prix – Hiroshima with it. Since then Gabriel Nassif used it to waltz to the finals of the Yokohama Masters. Comboing off an Enchantress, Words of Wind, and Serra's Sanctum along with Frantic Search, the deck can leave an opponent permanentless before they know it.

White Weenie with Blue – 9

Pedigreed after Fiends, but without the too-painful three-tone manabase, this White Weenie deck still gets the power of the mighty Meddling Mage. Ramosian Sergeant serves up Whipcorders with ease, and Savannah Lions finally find a place they can call home. Parallax Wave is an utter elbow against creature decks.

Aluren – 4

Despite falling out of favor since Houston, Aluren still finds a few players willing to give it a try. The kill is even easier with Tendrils of Agony in the Environment, because a Cavern Harpy can bounce itself to get instant Storm action.

Mono-Black Aggro – 4

Efficient beaters, discard and Cursed Scroll. What more could you want?

Other - 41

Some of the lesser-played decks include Solitary Confinement, Fiends, TurboLand, Draco-Explosion, Rector-Pattern, Battle of Wits, Oath, Ponza, Life, and Sneak Attack.

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