Pre-Avacyn Restored: The Metagame in Chaos
Well, the list of Avacyn Restored cards should be out in less than an hour, and I’m sure all of you hardcore players will be pouring over the newly spoiled cards and trying to think awesome combos you can use at the pre-release, booster drafts, and launch parties in the coming weeks. Most likely I’ll be throwing together a top 20 list of cards I think will dominate the format sometime next week, but before that I wanted to take one last look into the metagame in Japan before things go to heaven and hell next Friday when Avacyn cards become standard legal. Here’s a run down of this last weekends decks from Friday-Sunday. I actually went to Shizuoka for Friday Night Magic last week, so it will give you an even wider scope of the meta game in the region.
4/20 – (Master’s Guild) – mono red rider x2, Frites, mono green aggro, UR control burn, UW Delver, GBW myr steel, ,WBRtokens hellrider,GR were-wolves beatdown,UG hexproof beat down, Naya pod, WURG junkwalkers beatdown,mono-black hand destruction control,WB tokens
4/21 – (Hobby Station Osu) RG Beatdown, UW Delver, UW delver, UW delver (winner), UBW Esper blade, UW human, FRITES, GWUB heartless pod, UB zombies, GBRW Beatdown, UB zombies, GWB tokens, WG Humans, RG Beatdown, WB tempered steel tokens, Esper Frites
4/22 – (Big Magic) UB Zombies, UB Heartless, UW Humans, GR Beatdown, GB Glissa control, GR Beatdown, UB Zombies, UW Humans (winner), Esper Venser, UG Self mill
As you can see, the current metagame is in chaos. Last week’s GR beatdown is still popular, but it seems like UW Delver and human decks have made a comeback. There were also some really interesting combinations of decks, such as GWUB Birthing Pod/Heartless Summoning, WB Tempered Steel Tokens (with Myrs), and Hellrider Mono red decks which made them extremely aggressive. Birthing Pod decks seem to have fallen in popularity a little bit, and Tokens seems to be getting more popular. Just like last week, here’s how all the variants would break down into their main themes.
- UW Delver x 4
- GR Beatdown x 5
- Zombies x 4
- Humans x 4
- Mono red x 2
- Birthing Pod x 2
- WB Tokens x 4
- FRITES x 3
In all likeliness we’ll see an increase in Human decks, mono red (with Vexing Devil), GR Beatdown, and Frites decks in the coming weeks. Why? Well, there are tons of new humans in the new set, Vexing Devil because it’s a 4/3 for one mana and does automatic 3 dmg at least, GR beatdown because of the devil, the new wolves, and other fun cards that would fit into it, and Frites because Avacyn is full of heavy creatures with the only way of getting them into play is through Unburial Rites.
Personally, I’ll be continuing to use my Red/Blue control deck just because I want to be able to kill massive amounts of creatures with my Slagstorms or Whipflares, and counter the really troublesome creatures. I will make some changes though. If I pull a Temporal Mastery, I’ll DEFINITELY be running that along with 4 Ponders and 4 Think Twices. The same can be said for Tamiyo. I’d rather have her in for 4 than a Frost Titan in there for 6 mana. People are going to be trying things out and their combos and the metagame won’t be fully developed in the first week or two. (the current build of my deck can be found in this link https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/titans-revenge-fighting-against-the-metagame/ )
I have decided to make a change though. I have 3 Chandra’s Phoenix’s currently in the deck, but with only Chandra, The Firebrand and 4 Galvanic Blasts in the main deck to get them out of the graveyard, that great ability isn’t that useful. There is also the problem of Celestial Purges, Oblivion Rings, and Swords of War and Peace. Being unable to block is a big deal with this deck. It’s fast, but you need to get to that turn 6 (or 6 mana) as fast as possible. There is also the problem of having to wipe the board with a Slagstorm or a Whipflare, which will kill your Phoenix and leave you with few chances of getting it back. So the solution???
Most people would scoff at this card. It’s a 2/1 Flyer for 3 mana, which is kind of heavy, but that ability is what rocks. It’s a built in Unsummon, and that makes for a great block. Unless they are running a Sword of Body and Mind (and 99% of people aren’t), you play this on turn 4 with 4 mana and you have a great staller. It blocks Infect creatures, double strike creatures, equipped creatures, pretty much everything and guess what?? If you pay that blue mana it comes back to your hand and survives. Play it the next turn and you can keep blocking until you draw a board wipe. Speaking of which, cast a Whipflare or Slagstorm, then stack the ability on top of it and it survives as well. O-ring? Survives. Doomblade? Survives. This type of card will be great in control cards after Avacyn comes out.
And speaking of Avacyn herself, has anybody else thought of this combo yet? Look at these two cards, then tell me that isn’t the an awesome combo ^_^. And with that, I leave you to your spoiler lists and wish you good luck at the tournaments this week and next!