Nagoya Grand Prix Countdown: GP Trial Results from last week

I finally have some time to myself and I can get back to posting about the metagame in Nagoya, Japan. For the most part I’ve been playing in Grand Prix trials hoping to get 3 free byes, but I’ve absolutely horrible luck with match ups and just haven’t chosen the right cards for my deck. As you all know, I’ve been using GWB Tokens (Junk Tokens). It did alright for a while, but that’s when control decks were still the “thing” in the metagame. The current metagame has slowly shifted to aggro and I have failed to integrate cards that will give me a better chance at winning the game. I have slowly tried to collect the right cards but I don’t think I’ll be comfortable enough with the deck to play it in the last GP Trial this Friday. I might switch over to my UR Delver Control deck and pray for a miracle.

I’ll get into that decision in another post before Friday, but for now I’d like to post some information about the GPT’s and local events I have been to. The first one was at Higashi Betsuin Kaikan on November 4th, and I went 2-5 against tough competition.


  • Friday, 11/9 (Card Brunch) – 4 color frites, UWR midrange, mono red aggro (lost 1-2. Kept bad hands), grixis control (won 2-0), junk Beatdown (WINNER), Esper control (lost 1-2), WGB token beat down, UWR midrange, Bant hex proof, WGB reanimator (2nd place)

Not being able to play on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays anymore has really hurt me. Before I was easily able to keep up with the metagame, but now I’m grasping at straws, hoping my deck will work well enough that I can ignore the meta.

That’s just not going to happen.

I went 1-2. The build of the deck was too slow at the time and I lost to both Mono red aggro and Esper control. I fixed my mana a little bit after this and added in another Call of the Conclave, but I was still having doubts. Junk (WGB) Beatdown, a deck using Strangleroot Geists, Dreg Mangler, Rancor, Geralf’s Messenger, and other nasty cards ended up taking home 1st place this day, and in second was WGB reanimator. This wouldn’t be the only time that WGB Reanimator would show up in the metagame though …

Sunday, November 11th – GP Trial at Nagoyakowan Kaikan

Loxodon Smiter

GW aggro (lost 1-2), GW aggro (lost 1-2), UWR midrange (won 2-0), GW aggro (won 2-0. Way too fast and put too much power on the table for the other player to handle), GW aggro (won 2-0. Life gain from Trostani was too hard to handle! Sever the bloodline would be really useful!), GW aggro (lost 2-1. Be careful of Thalia in GW match ups!), Rakdos aggro (lost 1-2)

I did a little bit better than my last outing and went 3-4. At a GP Trial this is pretty big news because there are some high level players there. I felt bad that 2 of these wins came at the expense of my friends. I played against a crap load of GW aggro decks, and I found myself losing a lot to Thalia, who stopped me cold in my tracks from casting Intangible Virtues or Lingering Souls. Even with Avacyn’s Pilgrims in the deck now, I was still lacking in mana. I ended up putting in Farseek after this event and the deck did a lot better.

In the games I won against GW aggro, I managed to get Trostani out and simply put my life out of reach while I continued to drop token after token and overwhelmed them. My deck has a great mid to late game, but is horrible early on for some reason. I plan on putting in some more mana creatures to fix that. I need the one drops to accelerate my game plan as well as to chump block later on. Even though I’m not running that many basic lands, I think it might be worth putting some Borderland Rangers in the deck as well.

My sideboard is still rather weak as well. I have absolutely no good removal. I wish I had Sever the Bloodline, and lately I’ve been thinking that Ultimate Price might be a good idea in the sideboard as well because sometimes it’s better than Selesnya Charm. I’ll have to try it out and let you know how it works.

  • Sunday, 11/11 Nagoya GP Trial TOP 8 – WG aggro, WG aggro, WGB reanimator, WGB reanimator, WG aggro, WGB reanimator, UWR control, UWR midrange

While I wasn’t able to stay and watch who won the event, I think the list frames what is going on in the metagame right now. There is a little bit of control (usually UWR or UW), a lot of WG aggro, and a mix of UWR midrange/tempo and WGB Reanimator. Reanimator saw the most play during the week following this event, but since people have been switching over to mono red and other fast decks it’s lost some of its luster. All the Thragtusks, Angel of Serenities, and Craterhoof Behemoths are worth NOTHING if you are at 3 life by turn 4 when you cast an Unburial Rites.

  • Monday, 11/12 (Card Brunch) – GW aggro (Winner), JUND zombies (2nd place)

I actually didn’t play in this event, but I stopped by after work to see what people were playing. GW Aggro won after a strong weekend at the GP Trials, but the surprise was the second place deck, Jund Zombies (BRG). I actually managed to get the deck list, but I will be saving it for a future Star City Games article about the lead up to the Nagoya GP. If it doesn’t get used I’ll post it, so I hope you can wait.

Coming Next time . . .

I have another week of the metagame to post the next time I get the chance, but you’ll have to wait until next time. Will GW continue its ability to make Top 8s? Will control decks make a comeback? Or will the metagame totally transform into an entirely different beast once the GP arrives?

After two GPs (Charleston in the USA and Bochum in Germany) and some crazy decks reaching the top 16 (Nightshade Peddler, Olivia Voldaren, and Izzet Staticaster . . . WTF?!?!), I think we’ll find a more varied metagame in the coming weeks. Whether a new dominant deck will come out of it all is yet to be seen.

Thanks for reading and look for another metagame post soon.