Monday, 30 March 2009

Choosing a deck for Regionals

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

So this year i have already arranged my time off and accomodation for this years joint GP/nationals 4 day event, which promises to be fantastic. Of course, however, this largely depends therefore on me qualifying for nationals this year, which although i feel is certainly achievable, it will be no mean feat, if for nothing else due to the current standard format being very open to a large number of decks.

My interpretation of the current metagame is that at any premier tournament before alara reborn comes out, 90% of the decks will be the one of the following

- Cruel / 5 colour control
- Faeries
- Kithkin (W and W/R)
- Dark Bant
- Reveillark
- Blightning
- W/B tokens

My initial thoughts on what deck to play was to play either some innovative creation of my own, probably using reveillark, or to play something that is slightly below the radar at the moment, for example i was dabbling with the Japanese swans deck on magic workstation for a little while. However, having read Wagz' tournament report i have come to realise that, if the manchester tournament is anything to go by, the calibre of the pilots, and the decks played at the events this year is second to none. For this reason i thought it safest to stick, at least for the shell, to a proven deck strategy.

So im playing faeries...right?

I distinctly remember saying before i left to go home i would probably play faeries if i had to chose a standard deck right now, but something seems to have stirred my confidence in the blue menace and im really considering switching to something else.

Ok so of the decks listed above i eliminated both forms of kithkin, dark bant and blightning immediately, simply because i dont think these decks are as good as the others. Despite the popularity of the 'boat brew' deck, i just havent warmed to it, so its not for me.

This left me with fae, 5cc, w/b tokens or lark

And here, even as i am writing this i am thinking which deck i should play. (when i started writing this i was pretty sure it was going to be W/B tokens, but thinking about it, fae and 5cc seem pretty good now too)

I think of these decks i am most drawn to either reveillark, or W/B tokens. Although i have been playing faeries for a long time i am worried that will be a lot of hate floating around in the form of volcanic fallouts and/or scattershot archers or cloudthreshers.

Other than this i am pretty set on playing some combination of cards which lets me see the opponants hand, because i think the recent extended season has shown me the power of this - so i think i can not pass up the oppurtunity to play tidehollow scullers, thoughtseizes and vendilion cliques, maybe all three!

I think if i play W/B tokens i will play something like Matteo's list from kyoto, but i want to put a maindeck loxodon warhammer, because as well as the wrath effects, i think the warhammer is key in the aggro mirror matches, where he with the biggest dude wins, and the warhammer helps with this.

I will knock up a lark list tomorrow and put it up here for criticism alongside my proposed take on W/B tokens, that i have already written down.

Anyway, sorry for the kind of non-article, it was meant to turn out as me saying why i would be playing w/b tokens and how the others are all rubbish, but now i think about it i would happily play at least 4 decks in the current metagame, which is both an exciting and worrying proposition, because although it shows the degree to which Wizards have worked for a fair rock, paper, scissors format, but it also makes it much harder to pick the right deck..

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  1. Just a thought on Blightning beatdown. Adding goblin outlander and it suddenly becomes quite a difficult deck to beat. Trust me I've tried in deck-testing, it renders Ziggurat.dec almost completly useless, as all creatures are white, which GO has protection from, of course.

  2. Blightning beatdown suffers the ignomy of beating Fae and losing to a lot of things, which makes it a bad metagame choice at the moment. That may change.