Sunday, 10:55 a.m. – Deck Construction with Marijn Lybaert, Christophe Gregoir, and Zac Hill

Posted in Event Coverage on March 2, 2014

By Tobi Henke

American Zac Hill joined forces with Belgians Marijn Lybaert and Christophe Gregoir for this event, forming a team with quite the résumé. Lybaert has a whopping four Pro Tour Top 8s to his name, while Hill and Gregoir share a Top 8 from Honolulu in 2009. Back then they had been competitors, now they were teammates. Jointly, they managed a 7-2 record yesterday and were hoping to do a little better today to clinch one of the coveted spots in the Top 4. To do so, they would first need to build three strong decks however. How that went will be detailed here.

They started off by laying out white, black, and green, the most common main colors in this format. "The white looks good," stated Lybaert. The black didn't, but, as Hill, mentioned, "The red looks good too. It has two one-drops. We can build a blitz deck!"

White did a little better, adding four one-drops to the pool. "If we combine red and white, we'll have six one-drops and two Ordeals," Hill suggested. "Every color has an Ordeal," Gregoir pointed out. Soon they were eliminating color combinations. "Black-red just isn't a deck," Lybaert opined. "And blue-black can't work here, can it?" Gregoir looked at it and shook his head: "It has no win conditions."

Hill wasn't willing to discount black-red quite as quickly though. "We already have to Deathbellow Raiders and three more Minotaurs, so Kragma Warcaller is going to be pretty good in this. Here, let me try and build that." Thus, the first decks to be build were black-red, blue-green, and blue-white.

"Can't blue-black work?" Hill revisited the question. "It just feels with three Traveler's Amulet but quickly abandoning the idea.

For the time being, the players turned their attention to the white deck. "If needs be this could even be mono-white," said Lybaert. But it didn't have to. A blue splash for Stratus WalkVoyage's End, and Battlewise Hoplite found its way into the deck. Next, they focused on blue-green with the end result, as summed up by Gregoir: "I'd rather have some of these green cards in the white deck." So the more aggressive green pump effects found a loving home in the white deck, something blue-green just couldn't offer.

As they finished work on what had now become a green-white deck, Lybaert looked through the gold cards and found Karametra, God of Harvests. "All I have ever read about the card is that it's extremely overrated, but if there ever were a time and deck to try it, this would be it," said Hill. "The deck has four nonpermanent spells," Gregoir added, and it was decided to give the God a chance.

Meanwhile, Gregoir finalized the blue-green deck, after dithering on the choice for a while, by cutting one Karametra's Acolyte. And finally, Hill needed help cutting one more from the black-red deck. "I believe it should be one of these two [Lash of the WhipSip of Hemlock], but if you think it better should be Thunderous Might, I'll cut that." A quick survey of all the different pump, targeting, and combat trick effects left Thunderous Might out in the cold, and that was it. They divided up all remaining cards for their sideboards and started filling out the deck registration forms.

Happy with the decks? Lybaert made a sad face. "Two of the decks are good and I guess the third's pretty bad."

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