Rock, Paper, Scissors – The New MTG Metagame

The Gatecrash Pre-release

First off, I wanted to let all my readers know about the pre-release in Nagoya at the end of January. Please look at the dates below and plan on which one you’re going to:

  • Amenity Dream – 1/26 and 1/27. The cost is 2500 yen and the tournament starts at 11 am. Up to 48 people can play. They are taking reservations already, so if you want to play there get your name on the list right away. 
  • Big Magic – 1/27 (Sunday only). The cost will be around 2500 yen (though it’s undecided at the moment). There is a max of 36 players for the event, and they should be taking reservations for the event as well. The time is 11 am, but they will also be holding an evening tournament if you don’t get a chance to go in the morning.
  • Card Brunch – 1/26 and 1/27. The cost will be 2500 yen and the tournament starts at 11:30. This event will be held at HIGASHI BETSUIN KAIKAN I’ve been told since they had upwards of 80 people show up for the Return to Ravnica pre-release last time. This event will be for 64 players. They will also be holding another small even afterwards for 8 people I believe. I think this is because they will have 72 boxes for the pre-release each day. If this information changes, I’ll let you know.
  • Hobby Station Meitetsu Eki – 1/26 and 1/27. They have tournaments on both days starting at 11:30 am, and a second tournament afterwards around 5pm. The cost is 2500 yen, BUT, if you reserve a spot a head of time, I heard it will only cost 2100 yen. However, there is a max of 22 people for each event. It’s possible to get 4 guild boxes for 8400 yen, which is the cheapest you’ll find in Nagoya that weekend.
  • Yellow Submarine – 1/26 and 1/27. I didn’t get the specific information, but I did find out they will have a tournament both days, and that the cost will be for how much it costs for 6 packs. I’m not sure if they will have the Guild Packs, or if they will just do a sealed event. This event will also be starting at 11:30 am.
  • Hobby Station Osu – Sunday only (1/27). The tournament will start at 12:30 pm, and up to 48 people can participate. The price is still undecided, but it looks as though it will be between 2500-3000 yen.

While the spaces are limited, I would recommend reserving a spot if you plan on playing. Gatecrash is going to be as big as Return to Ravnica was, which means a lot of people are going to show up. Go to Hobby Station Mei Eki, Amenity Dream, and Big Magic (in that order) to reserve a spot. If these places are full already, you still can try to go to Card Brunch (at Higashi Betsuin Kaikan), Yellow Submarine, Hobby Station Osu, and Mishimaya around 11 am on those days for a spot.

If you miss out on all of these places, you can still play at night. Stores that have evening events are: Card Brunch, Big Magic, and Hobby Station Mei Eki. I hope you can reserve a spot, and I also wish you the best of luck at the pre-release. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for my gatecrash reviews.

The Nagoya Metagame Diaries

I don’t believe I’ve done a metagame update since the Grand Prix, and truthfully, I don’t think it would help you that much. Like I said in a previous post, the metagame is absolutely CHAOTIC right now. You could choose one deck and have it do well against a certain deck, then find out that it’s totally weak against another. It’s not that different from Rock, Paper, Scissors. Rock will beat scissors, but it will get suffocated by paper and so on. You have a 33% chance of winning at the moment. If you’re CONSISTENTLY winning more than 33% of your games, keep up the good work. However, don’t bet on it staying like that for long. In order to remain competitive in this metagame, you gotta have a Rock (aggro) deck, a paper (midrange) deck, and a scissors (control) deck.

By paying attention to how the metagame is acting, you can choose which deck will do well that week. Let’s take a look at the metagame around Nagoya since the end of the Grand Prix and the start of the new season.

  • December 21st – [Card Brunch FNM] – GW humans (won 2-0.), Bant aggro, mono red (won 2-0.), BW token, mono red aggro (lost 1-2.) – WINNER

I went 2-1 and came in 2nd place! I could have won it all if I had sided in more removal in my last match against RDW. But as you can see, my Token Midrange deck beat the aggro decks once I stabilized with Thragtusk and took out their threats. The mono red deck was a winner this week.

  • December 22nd – [HS Mei Eki] – 19 players

Bant midrange (won 2-0.), GR werewolves, Bant midrange, 4 color aggro , GW aggro (lost 2-0.), GW midrange , GW aggro x2, 4 color aggro (lost 2-0.), UWR control (tied 1-1-1.), UW hex proof (won 2-0.), Naya aggro, UWR flash (WINNER)

This was my first big event since the Grand Prix. I went 2-2-1, which wasn’t bad. GW aggro and Bant saw a lot of play this weekend. I managed to beat a Bant midrange and a UW hexproof deck, while drawing against a UWR control deck. My midrange deck continues to do decent against fast decks that lose steam quickly, and it’s also been doing well against control decks. UWR flash was the winner and GW continued to be a problem for me. After 2 tourneys, I was 4-3-1.

  • December 23rd – Big Magic – 29 people

JUND control  (lost 0-2.), JUND midrange (won 2-0.), UWR flash (won 2-1.), Bant aggro, Esper control (lost 0-2.), Bant control x3, Rakdos aggro,  GW aggro x2, WR humans, BR zombies (won 2-0.)

Another big tourney, and I finished in 10th place at 3-2. My wins came against each of the different archetypes, so I was really happy with the build of my deck that week. I couldn’t prepare for the Esper deck or mill though. This player has been popping up from time to time and Mill decks can be really strong in this format. I don’t think you need to side anything in for this type of deck, but play fast and hard before they can mill you to death.

Aggro and control split the meta on this Sunday, but Bant control won it all. See a pattern developing? You do? Cause I don’t. The meta is still too crazy. After my third tourney, I was 6-5-1.

  • December 24 – 6 people – HS Osu

Bant sphere of safety (rogue. Won 2-1.), 4 color control (tied 1-1-1.), UWR flash (won 2-0.), BG aggro scavenge (WINNER)

This was a very small game and didn’t count towards my planeswalker points, but I still went 2-0-1 on the day. I did see some interesting decks though. I saw a Sphere of Safety deck that worked to get out the enchantment then make it impossible to attack the other person, and the winner of the whole event was a BG golgari scavenge deck. If I count these wins, I’m *8-5-2 for December

  • December 28th – Amenity Dream FNM – 10 people

Dark America control (UWRB) ( won 2-0.), JUND midrange, Bant hex proof (won 2-1.), GW aggro, grixis control (lost 0-2.), Naya aggro (WINNER!)

This Friday Night Magic I saw my first glimpse of the Dark America control. It played a lot like UWR beatdown with Hellkite, but had black splashed in there for removal and Unburial Rites I believe. There was even a Gisela and Griselbrand in there! My loss came against a Grixis control deck that was able to keep my spirits off the board and ultimate Tamiyo early on. Once that happened, I was pretty much screwed. Izzet charm became a very efficient card for him, countering my spells while also putting 2 cards in his hand each time he used it since all cards put into the graveyard returned to his hand.

Naya aggro was the winner, and this player has actually been winning quite a bit lately with his deck. I really think Naya is the way to go if you have the cards. I personally can’t be bothered to buy Bonfires, Huntmasters, and Hellkites though. Way too expensive for me. After this event I was 10-6-2

  • December 29th – Hobby Station Mei Eki -14 people

Naya midrange (lost 1-2.), Rakdos aggro, RUG Staticaster (lost 0-2.), RG werewolves (rogue – won 2-0.) , BR curse (rogue), UWR flash, dark Naya midrange (lost 0-2.), Rakdos aggro, UR epic experiment

Right before the end of the year I started to have problems with my token deck. RUG staticaster gave me fits as I wasn’t able to get creatures out enough, and in the other games I lost I simply couldn’t get to my removal spells fast enough. I also kept some bad hands as well that led to some losses. That’s something I need to work on. I was 11-9-2 after this horrible showing.

  • December 30th – Hobby Station Yagoto – only 3 people – (used RW humans)

Naya midrange (lost 1-2.) , Bant sphere of protection (rogue – won 2-1.)

I won’t count this even though I went 2-1. I will say that my RW Humans deck can either be crazy fast or burn out really quick. I beat one player in 4 minutes one time on turn 4.

  • December 31st – Hobby Station Osu – 10 people

Aristocrat Human Reanimator (lost 1-2.), JUND aggro WINNER (lost 1-2. .), 4 color control, JUND light (splash white – won 2-0 .), GW aggro (won 2-0.)

I went 2-2 today due to bad hands. If I had better hands, those match losses definitely could have gone a different way. The winner of the event was the Jund Aggro player that I lost to in round 2. I did manage to beat two aggro decks though. After this event I was 13-11-2.

  • January 2nd – 13 people, Hobby Station Mei Eki

Junk tokens (lost 0-2.), 4 color control, 4 color humans, human reanimator (won 2-0.), 5 color aggro ( lost 1-2.)

Maybe it’s just me, but with all of the good players coming back from vacation, I’ve been having a big problem getting wins, even when I play my best. 1-2 on this day drops my record to 14-13-2. Damn.

  • January 4th – Card Brunch – 8 people

GW humans (won 1-2. Side in all removal!), BW tokens – WINNER (lost 1-2. ), Bant Beatdown (won 2-0.), Rakdos Beatdown

My deck continues to do well against aggro decks, and it shows with a 2-1 record. GW Humans can be really nasty, but with enough removal they are no problem. My biggest problem was against a fellow token deck. It really depends on who gets their enchantments out first, and if my opponent does so first, I’m screwed. But hey, I got 2nd place, and received a new promo card. Not bad, and my head is still above water at 16-14-2.

  • January 5th – Hobby Station – 20 people

Esper token (lost 0-2.), Rakdos aggro (2nd place), chronic flooding Angel frites, GWB reanimator, Naya midrange WINNER, Naya midrange splash B (lost 1-2.), omnidoor Thragfire, GW midrange (lost 1-2.), Mono red (won 2-1.)

I ran into a lot of the strong players I’ve been having problems with again today. I went 1-3, and lost to Esper token, GW midrange, and Dark Naya. These are all decks I lost to before, that I simply don’t have the answers for. After today, I feel like it’s time to step back from the wild metagame for a while and to rework my decks as well as to make a new one to address some of the difficulties I’ve been having.

The Naya player from the other week was the winner again, and right behind him was a Rakdos aggro deck. It definitely feels like aggro decks are on the comeback, so if you’re playing in the Grand Prix Trial next Saturday at Higashi Betsuin Kaikan, be prepared to take some on. I think most people will either be playing Bant aggro, GW aggro, or Naya decks.

And with that, my record goes back down to 17-17-2. I need to ask myself if I should keep pushing forward or to take a break to gather my thoughts. What do you guys think after reaching all of this information? Be sure to write back and let me know! Be sure to check back this week for some more Gatecrash information. Take care and thanks for reading.