Road warrior Ross Schafer is a mainstay at APAC GP's, flying out from one of the world's most remote cities to wherever the game is played. A trek across to Melbourne - a mere 2,730km - was never going to slow him down. I asked Schafer for his thoughts on how the format has shifted since the release of Born of the Gods.
The key shift in the metagame in Schafer's opinion is the broad rise of R/G Monsters. The Mono-Black decks that were so dominant previously have started to metamorphose into B/W decks, but Schafer feels like the metagame in Melbourne might not respond to that trend with any great speed. The lack of posted results may mean that players are more likely to stick with what they know or only make subtle adjustments rather than risking a relatively untested build.
"There aren't really any new decks", Schafer noticed, "But everyone's making subtle changes to their lists. The rise of the R/G decks mean that control decks can't rely on Supreme Verdict any more. Temporary removal - like Azorius Charm - is dropping in value and being replaced with more permanent answers so that the control decks can keep pace."
Schafer also notes some changes in the control mirrors, with some players boarding in multiple creatures to pre-empt their opponents sideboarding out their removal. "Staying ahead of the curve in sideboarding lets control decks eke out wins in the mirror when their opponents mis-step, and then forces them to hedge their bets against a transformational sideboard in Game 3."