by Randy Buehler
With just three rounds to go, the Invitationalists were eyeing each other as they finalized their Type 1 decks. Since everyone knew exactly which three opponents were remaining, some of their card choices were dictated more by matchups that what was actually a better card. The race for the finals was basically down to 5 players as those final three rounds began: Jon Finkel had a one game lead over all four of Alex Shvartsman, Dave Price, Noah Boeken, and Ben Rubin.
Price seemed to do the best job of metagaming of those players. He misled his opponents by claiming he was going to switch away from his Mishra's Workshop deck and at the same time he figured out that all three of his remaining opponents were going to play red beatdown decks with Jackal Pups. Thus he loaded his sideboard up with 4 Hydroblasts, 3 Blue Elemental Blasts, and 4 Bottle Gnomes. Price's strategy almost worked - he went 2-1 - but he made a crucial mistake that cost him game 3 against Ben Rubin. Since Rubin also went 2-1, they wound up in a tie for second place and Rubin's win over Price gave him the second berth in the finals. Rubin will take his Type 1 Jackal Pup deck, along with Price's PT LA winning Jackal Pup deck (which Rubin purchased in the Auction of Champions), and Rubin's other decks into the championship match against Jon Finkel. Finkel piloted his Type 1 control deck to a 2-1 mark, good enough to hold onto first place.
The entire field broke down like this:
|Jackal Pup decks||6|
So that's 8 beatdown decks, 7 control decks, and one combo deck.
Here's how everyone did:
|Kai Budde||3-0||Donate-Illusions (with just the one Necro)|
|Gary Wise||3-0||5-color Control|
|Dave Price||2-1||Mishra's Workshop|
|Jon Finkel||2-1||5-color Control|
|Chris Pikula||2-1||B/R beats (Negators, Hippies, Dark Rituals, etc.)|
|Noah Boeken||1-2||5-color Control|
|Bob Maher||1-2||5-color Control|
|Mike Long||1-2||5-color Control|
|Zvi Mowshowitz||1-2||Mono-blue Control|
|Alex Shvartsman||0-3||Pups (plus Blastoderms!)|
|Ryan Fuller||0-3||Heavy Blue Control (with a touch of black)|
So, overall, beatdown decks went 12-12, control decks went 9-12, and combo went 3-0. More specifically, the Jackal Pup decks went 8-10 while the other two more interesting, more eccentric beatdown decks each went 2-1. (Price was the only competitor to play a Mishra's Workshop deck either this year or last year and his record across the two years is 5-1. I think that deck - designed by Andrew Cuneo - really is better than it looks.) Combo decks do not appear to be dead yet. Kai Budde ran the table by playing what was essentially the entire restricted list plus 2 Donates and 2 Illusions of Grandeur. However, beatdown decks seem not just viable but maybe even good for the first time in Type 1 in a while. Interestingly, mono-blue does NOT appear to be the way to go with Type 1 control decks. Zvi did manage to win a match, but still wound up alone in last.
All in all Type 1 seemed very popular amongst both the players and the fans. It's fun to dust off the power cards from time to time because such degenerate things happen. Trevor Blackwell pulled off Channel-Fireball against Chris Pikula (though it was partially Pikula's fault for declining to take the Channel with a Duress). Mike Long was having such a good time that he bought hot chocolate for all 16 players plus Mark Rosewater (the room they played in was kind of cold). Jon Finkel managed, on one turn late in a control on control battle with Long, to cast Obliterate followed by Yawgmoth's Will, followed by Mind Twist and Stroke of Genius for 5 each.
A good time was had by all.