1998 World Championships
Rath Cycle Constructed Overview
Leading up to this year's competition, I attempted to get the goods on all the various Rath decks players expected to play. Surprisingly, they wouldn't talk. Even those players looking for future deck credit refused to spill the beans. Upon arriving at Worlds, word slowly leaked out about the major deck types that would be played on Day 3. So without further ado:
Using the power of Awakening to draw mana into their pool every upkeep, players using this combo had all the power necessary to get their opponents into Capsize lock or draw massive card advantage via Whispers of the Muse. Traditionally a green/blue deck, it is helped along by Tradewind Rider lock, wall defense, and countermagic.
Mimicking the mono black decks popular at US Regionals, this deck relies on a heavy dose of shadow creatures for it's damage, along with the Exodus card Hatred. With the format being more limited in choices, the Hatred provides a strong finisher card, allowing for consistent 4-6 turn kills.
A consistent deck in any format, several players will be playing Sligh due to the fatigue factor many are experiencing from the first two days' competition. Very similar to those decks being played at this years' Pro Tour LA, Mogg Fanatic and Raider, Jackal Pup, Goblin Bombardment, Rathi Dragon, Giant Strength, and Fireslinger will be included in most decks. Stronghold and Exodus bring the addtion of Shock, Mogg Flunkie, Raging Goblin, Sonic Burst, and Maniacal Rage. Though strong, it shouldn't be much of a factor due to the influx of Tradewind Rider Wall decks.
A strong innovation by several players, the Humility Prayer deck is a control nightmare that most decks will fail to. Using the Orim's Prayer/Humilty combo to stop marauding creatures, it will also field several Grindstones in both the main deck and sideboard to stop other control decks. Intuition is the key to getting the combos and Forbid is the key to keeping them. A strong deck that should finish high in the standings.
Virtually unchanged from the Type II version, White Weenie plays only a few non-traditional cards seen in the other format. Soltari Emissary is one of the stronger less played cards due to it's ability to gain shadow and protect it's controller. Cataclysm is deadly to swarm decks, as are the damage redirection creatures Warrior en-Kor and Nomads en-Kor. Soul Warden allows for quick life gain and protection from color creatures allows for an impenatrable fortress. Solid, it's possible it could be highly played or not at all.
The deck that WILL be played the most, Living Death has several flavors worthy of using, including the new Exodus tech card Recurring Nightmare. With the Nightmare, Survival of the Fittest, and Living Death, it is possible for a player to get massive creature advantage in only a short period of time. Walls of Blossoms get the player the the combos quicker and Tradewind Rider lock allows for major board control. It will be the deck to beat come the Pro Tour qualifiers for Pro Tour - Rome.