Feature: Extended Archetype Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on October 28, 2005

By Ted Knutson

Affinity 48
Goblins 37
The Rock 26
PT Jank 19
No Stick 18
Heartbeat Combo 17
Balancing Tings 15
Dredgatog 14
Red Deck Wins 10
Zoo Two 10
Psychatog 9
Red Rock 9
Dutch Gifts 8
Gifts Domain 6
U/G Madness 7
PT Junk 6
Bobfinity 5
Astral Slide 5
Erayo Bobfinity 5
Dump Truck 4
Gifts Rock 4
Mirari's Wake 4
Reanimator 4
G/R Beats 3
White Rock 3
Broodstar Affinity 2
Crazy Pedro 2
Gifts Madness 2
Giftsatog 2
R/G Beats 2
White Weenie 2
Battle of Wits 2
Burn 1
Dragon Bidding 1
Elemental Bidding 1
Flaming Mudballs 1
Gifts Control 1
Golgari Madness 2
Ironworks 1
Madness Tog 1
Mono-Blue Control 1
Ponza 1
R/W Control 1
Scepter Tog 1
The New Solution 1
U/B Aggro 1
U/B Trash 1
U/W Control 1
B/W/g Control 1

Welcome to the new Extended, where diversity - at least for the moment - looks just like the old Extended. As expected, Affinity, Goblins, and The Rock make up about a third of the metagame. Of course, that leaves two thirds of the field that is playing something interesting and possibly unheard of before Friday.

Mind's Desire

Before you go weeding through the list, a few disclaimers. PT Jank refers to Red-white Beatdown and burn decks that typically feature a host of burn spells to go along with small fast men like Goblin Legionnaire. No Stick (Scepter Chant) is no surprise, but the prevalence of Balancing Tings might be. The deck had seen some play on Magic Online before this weekend, but an inability to handle a deck rife with counterspells could prove to be its downfall. Heartbeat Combo refers to the Heartbeat of Springs/Early Harvest engine both with and without Mind's Desire in the deck.

After those come the decks sporting new technology. Dredgatog is a normal Tog deck on the surface that uses Life from the Loam plus cycling lands to create a multi-colored draw engine that may be one of the strongest in the format. Other players are also abusing this synergistic mechanic, with Geoffrey Siron and Craig Jones throwing a full complement of Golgari Grave-Trolls in their Madness deck, backed up with a hint of Dr. Teeth for good measure. It seems like a strange conglomeration, but thus far they've been tearing up Day One with it.

Golgari Grave-Troll

From there the metagame really spreads out into a variety of different archetypes including the latest rendition of Red Deck Wins (most of which seem to be splashing a little white for Lightning Helix), and another Mike Long creation called Zoo Two that features a manabase only a miser could love to go along with some versatile fast beaters and a bunch of creature pump spells. We should have the entire set of decklists available for you Saturday night, but here's what the 340-member field looks like on Friday afternoon.

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