Metagame Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on May 2, 2003

By Toby Wachter

With only one week to go until Regionals, the Standard metagame is going through its last shifts. This tournament features many Pro Tour players, so there’s no doubt that the results will influence what the big tournaments all across the country look like next weekend. Reliable decks such as U/G Madness came out in full force today, while a few rouge creations have caught the attention of those in attendance. Granted, the decks played in the Invitational may not be an accurate representation of your local metagame, but anyone who wants to get an invitation to Nationals next week would be well served to see what some of the best players in the country played today.

U/G Madness- 11

Without a doubt, blue/green madness is the dominant force in the metagame right now. Its efficient creature base provides consistency, and potential for broken Mongrel/Wurm draws which are very hard to beat. Careful Study and Deep Analysis combine to give the deck cheap card advantage, ensuring that threats keep coming. All things considered, it’s the deck to play if you’re not sure about the metagame or what deck to play. Everyone is prepared for it, but it has the power to win you games regardless.

Ken Krouner

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Beasts- 6

Interestingly, Beasts had a very strong presence today. This is likely more of a local phenomenon, as none of the “name” players aside from Britt Fitch played the deck. It first gained attention at the Chicago Masters, where Gary Wise surprised everyone by carrying it to a respectable run. The ubiquitous Birds and Elves provide acceleration into Phantom Centaurs and Ravenous Baloths, while Living Wish allows for some great utility. Glory often clears the way for a final attack, or can provide an impenetrable defense until enough creatures are on the table to finish the job.

Chris Chin

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Britt Fitch

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Red/Green- 6

A strategy as old as the game itself- efficient creatures, and burn to clear the way for them. This deck is designed with ruthless aggression in mind, which means that Birds and Elves are only present in some versions. Instead, Rootwallas, Lavamancers and Mongrels put on early pressure, and get some staying power thanks to Elephant Guide and Call of the Herd. After sideboarding, Fledgling Dragon can straight up steal games, while Threaten handles the Wurm token problem by sending the 6/6 monsters right at their owners.

Ben Caless

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Mike Landers

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Instant (4)
4 Violent Eruption
Enchantment (4)
4 Elephant Guide
Other (2)
2 Phantom Centuar
62 Cards

Elvish Succession- 4

The Invitational was the first to feature this new, exciting deck. Your Move Games members Zvi Mowshowitz and Alex Shvartsman ran it along with Rob Dougherty, the deck’s creator. During their games, tables were filled with insect and bear tokens, and the infinite engines were humming. If you heard a story being told by a player today, odds are it had something to do with a cool play this deck pulled off.

For more information on Verdant Succession, check out the interview with Your Move Games here and Dougherty’s article on the deck here.

Rob Dougherty, Zvi Mowshowitz and Alex Shvartsman

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Psychatog- 4

Around this time last year, Psychatog was the deck to beat. It dominated the Standard Masters tournament, and everyone was in fear of the toothy grinned monster. A block rotation later Fact or Fiction and Nightscape Familiar are gone, and the deck has lost a great deal of its power. It’s no longer a large force, but the power of the “Geddon, Wrath, Hatred” Upheaval/Psychatog combo is too good to ignore for some.

Lucas Glavin

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Zev Gurwitz

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White Weenie- 2

Over the past year or two, Magic players have been lamenting the fall of white, flooding message boards and websites with posts and articles about how bad it is. Today, Andy Stokinger’s run with white weenie is a testament that those people are wrong. Packing efficient weenies with great special abilities along with the dominant Exalted Angel, the deck has taken Stokinger to a great finish. Lucas Glavin played the deck at the Grudge Match Finals, but only because of that event’s unique rules. Each player had to design three decks without using more than four of each card in every deck combined. After Lucas had his first two decks built, white weenie was the only option with the remaining card pool available. Tony Patronick updated the deck with Planar Guide, a great tech card with many uses. It can unmorph Exalted Angel, wipe out Wurm tokens, and serve as a failsafe for Upheaval. The rest of the deck is made up of white’s most efficient creatures, along with Glorious Anthem to make them bigger. The deck only has eight spells, but creatures such as Whipcorder, Benevolent Bodyguard and Master Apothecary provide plenty of utility. Those who say you can’t play white in constructed these days are mistaken, and deck is proof.

Andy Stokinger and Tony Patronick

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Each of the following decks was played by one competitor today: Black Beatdown, Sligh, Mono-Black Control, UGB Opposition, White/Black Clerics, Elves and Aggro Herald/Husk.

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