The New Metagame

Posted in Event Coverage on June 21, 2003

By Toby Wachter

With Worlds on the horizon, Scourge’s release already has players talking about the new Constructed environment, and Eighth Edition’s impeding release is likely to turn heads as well. What is certain is that the Standard and Extended environment will change drastically as the big event in Berlin approaches. The $35,000 question is: What exactly will the changes be, and what decks will dominate? We asked some of Japan’s top players to let us know what they think of how Scourge will change things.

Translation by Ron Foster

Ken’ichi Fujita: The cards that will have the biggest impact are Silver Knight and Stabilizer. Stabilizer kills the Astral Slide deck, and Silver Knight may not necessarily be the end of Sligh, but it just shuts down Goblin decks and red decks in all formats. Sulfuric Vortex should have a big impact as well. Eighth Edition will probably affect Worlds more than Scourge. We don’t quite know what Scourge is all about, because right now Standard is dominated by Odyssey Block.

Masashiro Kuroda: For Standard, Scourge is mostly sideboard cards, things like Stabilizer and Sulfuric Vortex. Scourge has a lot of high casting cost cards, so no one will really try to experiment with it until Upheaval leaves the environment.

Kazuhiko Arahori: I think Storm is a powerful mechanic, and it’ll make an impact. It will probably make a bigger impact on Extended than Standard, because with the mana acceleration in that format, it’s a lot easier to play more than one spell and then have a big casting cost spell all in one turn. For example, in the Cavern Harpy/Aluren deck, you can do any Storm spell as much as you want. We’ll see a lot of Extended decks at Worlds with Storm cards. What people will probably be looking at most is Brain Freeze. That’s the one to watch for.

Itaru Ishida: The problem is that Odyssey Block was just so strong. Until Wild Mongrel, Basking Rootwalla, the other madness cards and Psychatog rotate out, it’s really hard to say what Scourge will do.

Akihiro Kashima: I don’t have much of an opinion on Standard or Extended, but I think that Goblins are going to get a big boost from Scourge for Block Constructed. The two biggest cards that will boost the deck are Goblin Warchief and Sulfuric Vortex. As far as Silver Knight goes, you can’t really deal with it, but you can ignore it to an extent. You can overwhelm them with so many Goblins that they can’t block all of them, and backed up by damage, it’s fine. Silver Knight isn’t going to kill the Goblin deck.

Tsuyoshi Fujita: I think Scourge will have a bigger impact on Standard than Eighth Edition. In particular, Silver Knight because it’s a card that Sligh can’t deal with. It effectively shuts down that deck, which makes a big impact on one of the more popular and reliable decktypes in the format. It’s hard to say if Sulfuric Vortex will help, because Forsaken Wastes was supposed to be another “you can’t gain life” card, and that really didn’t have any impact on anything. Stifle and Call to the Grave are two other cards from Scourge that will make an impact in Standard.

Jin Okamoto: I haven’t given Scourge much thought, because I think Eighth Edition will have more of an impact on Standard. Decree of Annihilation does seem interesting though. I’m not sure if it will be used or not, but the fact that Armageddon exists is kind of scary.

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