The Monday Metagames! (February 16th and 23rd)

Finally we’re back! I’d like to formally apologize again for the extended delay on the postings of these metagames but I was delayed for much of last week and couldn’t get everything together in a satisfactory fashion for myself. This week we’re going to do something a little different; rather than tackling each metagame individually we’re going to look at the shift in the metagame and what that means for the future!

Continue reading The Monday Metagames! (February 16th and 23rd)

There Can Only Be One Episode 3! Budget Aggro!

Jeremy and I sit down to chat about some sick budget decklists for aggressive highlander decks!

http://mtgcast.com/mtgcast-podcast-shows/active-podcast-shows/there-can-only-be-one/there-can-only-be-one-3-budget-aggro

Please find the deck lists below!

GB Aggro

1 Glissa, the Traitor
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Duress
1 Mind Twist
1 Mesmeric Fiend
1 Brain Maggot
1 Rakshasa Deathdealer
1 Putrid Leech
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Lifebane Zombie
1 Dreg Mangler
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Garruk Relentless
1 Go for the Throat
1 Golgari Charm
1 Putrefy
1 Troll Ascetic
1 Boon Satyr
1 Grafted Wargear
1 Rancor
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Woodland Cemetery
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Pack Rat
1 Pain Seer
1 Bloodsoaked Champion
1 Diregraf Ghoul
1 Hypnotic Specter
1 Tombstalker
1 Hooting Mandrills
1 Herald of Torment
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Hymn to Tourach
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Lotleth Troll
1 Varolz, the Scar-Striped
1 Skullclamp
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Gravecrawler
1 Gnarled Scarhide
1 Mogis’s Marauder
1 Caller of the Claw
1 Knight of Infamy
1 Desecration Demon
1 Bloodline Keeper
1 Obstinate Baloth
1 Strangleroot Geist
1 Great Sable Stag
1 Wolfir Avenger
1 Tormented Hero
1 Brushstrider
1 Bonesplitter
1 Dryad Sophisticate
1 Skyshroud Elite
1 Heir of the Wilds
1 River Boa
1 Skylasher
1 Elves of Deep Shadow
1 Rakdos Cackler
1 Overrun
1 City of Brass
1 Night’s Whisper
1 Dark Tutelage
1 Song of the Dryads
1 Dryad Militant
1 Experiment One
1 Kalonian Tusker
1 Vampire Lacerator
1 Skinshifter
1 Gilt-Leaf Palace
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Temple of Malady
13 Forest
12 Swamp
1 Hero’s Downfall
1 Winter Orb

BR Aggro

1 Lightning Bolt
1 Incinerate
1 Searing Spear
1 Lightning Strike
1 Char
1 Fireblast
1 Arc Trail
1 Blightning
1 Hellrider
1 Hero of Oxid Ridge
1 Terminate
1 Dreadbore
1 Falkenrath Aristocrat
1 Skullclamp
1 Grafted Wargear
1 Rakdos Cackler
1 Diregraf Ghoul
1 Bloodsoaked Champion
1 Gravecrawler
1 Firedrinker Satyr
1 Goblin Guide
1 Ashenmoor Gouger
1 Ashenmoor Liege
1 Pain Seer
1 Blood Scrivener
1 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Winter Orb
1 Mana Confluence
1 Blood Crypt
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Graven Cairns
1 City of Brass
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Lavaclaw Reaches
1 Ghitu Encampment
1 Mishra’s Factory
1 Tormented Hero
1 Gnarled Scarhide
1 Herald of Torment
1 Master of the Feast
1 Desecration Demon
1 Mogis’s Marauder
1 Duress
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Magma Jet
1 Spike Jester
1 Hellhole Flailer
1 Lifebane Zombie
1 Hymn to Tourach
1 Price of Progress
1 Burst Lightning
1 Vampire Lacerator
1 Tattermunge Maniac
1 Dynacharge
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Lightning Mauler
1 Stormblood Berserker
1 Hellspark Elemental
1 Hell’s Thunder
1 Sudden Shock
1 Molten Rain
1 Eidolon of the Great Revel
1 Ash Zealot
1 Anathemancer
1 Stromkirk Noble
1 Skullcrack
1 Flames of the Blood Hand
1 Shrine of Burning Rage
1 Pack Rat
1 Stigma Lasher
1 Keldon Marauders
1 Porcelain Legionnaire
1 Zo-Zu the Punisher
1 Magus of the Moon
13 Mountain
10 Swamp
1 Cryptborn Horror

uW Aggro

1 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Grafted Wargear
1 Skullclamp
1 Spectral Procession
1 Honor of the Pure
1 Spear of Heliod
1 Mother of Runes
1 Dryad Militant
1 Boros Elite
1 Soldier of the Pantheon
1 Mardu Woe-Reaper
1 Elite Vanguard
1 Knight of Meadowgrain
1 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
1 Boros Reckoner
1 Angel of Jubilation
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Path to Exile
1 Harm’s Way
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
1 Silverblade Paladin
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Brave the Elements
1 Daring Skyjek
1 Aven Riftwatcher
1 Kor Skyfisher
1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
1 Aegis of the Gods
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Seachrome Coast
2 Island
1 Flooded Strand
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1 Imposing Sovereign
1 Judge’s Familiar
1 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails
1 Knight of the Holy Nimbus
1 Knight of the White Orchid
1 Leonin Arbiter
1 Knight of Glory
1 Student of Warfare
1 Figure of Destiny
1 Accorder Paladin
1 Sigiled Paladin
1 Benalish Cavalry
1 Doomed Traveler
1 Elite Inquisitor
1 Mentor of the Meek
1 AEther Vial
1 Grand Abolisher
1 Flickerwisp
1 Sublime Archangel
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Hushwing Gryff
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Strip Mine
1 Kor Firewalker
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
1 Azorius Arrester
1 Pianna, Nomad Captain
1 Savannah Lions
1 Serra Avenger
1 Council’s Judgment
1 War Priest of Thune
1 Mishra’s Factory
1 Armageddon
25 Plains

-Liam Coughlan

There Can Only Be One Episode 2: Aggro Boogaloo

In the newest episode of the podcast Liam and I were joined by local aggressive experts Shane Harwood and Spencer Sacht-Lund.

http://mtgcast.com/mtgcast-podcast-shows/active-podcast-shows/there-can-only-be-one/there-can-only-be-one-2-aggro-in-canadian-highlander

Stay tuned next week for our sweet budget aggro decklists, and don’t forget to send us decks you want us to test and/or constructive criticism on the podcast.

Thanks for listening

Jer

Highlander Championships Top 8 Deck Lists! 5th and 6th

Hey everyone! We’re back with more deck lists from the Highlander Championships! Today we’re featuring the deck lists of the two players who were just barely knocked out of the top 4 winning one game but missing out (in both cases barely) on the second win.

Josh elected to bring a Grixis control deck to the fray. Much like Alistair’s Esper control deck Josh elected to insert Time Vault combo into the deck. This plan was pretty effective and made cards such as Tezzeret the Seeker a must answer as it can find Time Vault and then untap it all in one card. Josh also elected to not go too far into his combo plan and kept the rest of his deck full of typical control cards. In his victory over Nelson while he did combo in one game he also managed to win through conventional damage!

Here is Josh’s list!

Vedalken Shackles

Doom Blade

Dispel

Izzet Charm

Negate

Divert

Remand

Toxic Deluge

Misdirection

Lightning Bolt

Opt

Condescend

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Vendilion Clique

Voltaic Key

Ral Zarek

Fact or Fiction

Thirst for Knowledge

Time Vault

Into the Roil

Trinket Mage

Cryptic Command

Delay

Forbidden Alchemy

Complicate

Jace, Architect of Thought

Fire//Ice

Compulsive Research

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

Batterskull

Logic Knot

Magma Jet

Electrolyze

Treasure Cruise

Spell Snare

Ancestral Vision

Ponder

Mind Twist

Mana Leak

Impulse

Muddle the Mixture

Counterspell

Pithing Needle

Tezzeret the Seeker

Blood Moon

Sensei’s Divining Top

Spell Pierce

Glen Elendra Archmage

Daze

Brainstorm

Shadow of Doubt

Flametongue Kavu

Arc Trail

Preordain

Engineered Explosives

Punishing Fire

Dimir Infiltrator

Venser, Shaper Savant

Snapcaster Mage

Force of Will

Dig Through Time

Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Mystical Teachings

Portent

Young Pyromancer

Mox Sapphire

Wasteland

Sulfur Falls

Bloodstained Mire

Steam Vents

Marsh Flats

Watery Grave

Grove of the Burnwillows

Underground Sea

Volcanic Island

Arid Mesa

Badlands

Polluted Delta

Flooded Strand

Cascade Bluffs

Wooded Foothills

Verdant Catacombs

Shivan Reef

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Misty Rainforest

Scalding Tarn

Blood Crypt

Mountain

Swamp

11 Island

Nick is a well known and respected deck builder in the Highlander community. Though he is well known for playing Tolarian Academy combo and Esper control typically he is perfectly capable of designing and playing very effective decks of many varieties. He elected to play a very unexpected deck for the Highlander championships, Bant control, in hopes that he would be able to surprise some players with unexpected cards. This control deck was designed to have a better match up against some of the more aggressive decks due to the high density of large creatures with powerful enter the battlefield effects. Many of these creatures also double as powerful threats against other control decks meaning that Nick had the potential to be aggressive enough to get ahead in control mirrors. Nick actually made a pretty good call about the metagame but lost a few close games to both Spencer and Shane to be knocked out.

mox sapphire

mox emerald

batterskull

sensei’s divining top

sword of fire and ice

coercive portal

trygon predator

tarmogoyf

reclamation sage

aven mindcensor

edric, spymaster of trest

vendilion clique

consecrated sphinx

sylvan caryatid

snapcaster mage

kitchen finks

glen elendra archmage

birds of paradise

scavenging ooze

noble hierarch

llanowar elves

truename namesis

thrun

avacyn’s pilgrim

courser of kruphix

thada adel

restoration angel

detention sphere

banishing light

luminarch ascension

condescend

mana leak

daze

brainstorm

spell pierce

logic knot

dig through time

mana drain

swords to plowshares

counterspell

miscalculation

memory lapse

ancestral recall

mana tithe

remand

arcane denial

jace’s ingenuity

fact or fiction

delay

negate

force of will

path to exile

garruk relentless

kiora

jace, the mind sculptor

garruk wildspeaker

elspeth, knight errant

gideon jura

nature’s lore

compulsive research

wrath of god

treasure cruise

three visits

ancestral vision

supreme verdict

arid mesa

temple garden

marsh flats

adarkar wastes

tropical island

savannah

wooded bastion

polluted delta

sunpetal grove

stirring wildwood

glacial fortress

celestial colonnade

hinterland harbor

scalding tarn

flooded strand

flooded grove

wooded foothills

mysticv gate

yavimaya coast

tundra

treetop village

verdant catacombs

hallowed fountain

brushland

breeding pool

wildswept heath

misty rainforest

4 island

3 plains

1 forest

Thanks as always! Tomorrow we break into the top 4 deck lists with the aggro masters Shane and Spencer!

-Liam Coughlan

Highlander Championships Top 8 Deck Lists! 7th and 8th

Hey guys! Here are Nelson Salahub and Alistair Norman’s decks lists! While neither of them were fortunate enough to go incredibly deep in the tournament they both played some very interesting and interactive games and were only barely edged out!

Before I delve too deeply into the deck lists I first want to mention how the championships works. Throughout the year players who won the Monday night Highlander tournament were awarded a victory point. At the end of the year the top 8 players are all invited to compete in the year end championships. This year Josh topped the leaderboard with 10 victories and several players tied at the bottom of the leaderboard with just 2 victories. A play off was held to determine which of the 5 or so players who had 2 points would qualify for the championships. In the end Shane Harwood and Stefan Bard claimed the final two spots in the championships. In order to reward those players who did particularly well during the year a system was developed. The top 4 players would be given a choice with regards to who they played in the top 8. Here is how the system works. The top 8 is divided into two groups of 4 from both these groups 2 players advance to top 4. The group stage works similarly to some Starcraft leagues such as the GSL. In essence all the players have to do is win 2 matches before they lose 2 matches. So say in round 1 player A battles player B and player C fights Player D. Let’s assume the player A and D win; they now play each other and the winner of that game makes it out of the group. Players B and C also player after round 1, the loser is out of the tournament and the winner goes on to play the loser of the game between player A and D, the winner of that game then also makes it out of the group. After the group stage ends the first player to get out of group A (i.e. the one who won two games in a row) plays the second player to get out of group B. The winners of those semi finals then go on to play in the finals to determine the winner! All matches in the group stages are best of 3 but after the group stages they are a best of 5. In order to makes the groups for the top 8 we turned to the final rankings from the end of the year. Since Josh had the most victories at the end of the year he received a fairly powerful reward. Josh got to choose his first round opponent from one of the players in the bottom 4. This theoretically means that he could play a deck designed to do well against a particular person in the bottom 4 and win round 1 easily. But what if the person he choses plays something different? What if his deck isn’t good against the rest of the field?! This is what makes the format so interesting since although Josh gets an advantage it is by no means an advantage that is easily usable! The rest of the players in the top 4 also get a similar advantage. Spencer as the second ranked player also gets the ability to choose his round one opponent he simply just cannot pick the same person Josh does. Josh and his opponent and Spencer and his opponent make up the first two players for each of the groups. Now Nelson as the third ranked player has an interesting choice. He can either choose his opponent from one of the 2 remaining bottom 4 players OR he can choose which group he wants to be in! So if he thinks he has a good match up against Josh and his opponent he might be willing play to against either of the remaining bottom 4 players in order to be in Josh’s group. Whichever option Nelson does not chose is the choice that Nick, the fourth ranked player, gets to make. So if Nelson picked a group Nick gets to pick who he is playing if Nelson picked a player then Nick gets to decide which group he and his opponent go in! The entire system is very interesting and allows for a lot of thought a theorizing around what decks your potentially opponents might play or even still who your opponents might even be!

Without further delay now that I have introduced the format lets have a look at two of the decks played at this championship!

Nelson decided to bring his Blue Red Tempo burn deck to battle. This deck aims to keep the opponent off balance long enough to kill them with cheap and efficient threats and a variety of burn spells! This deck does reasonably well against other blue decks though it can sometimes be outclassed by some of the control decks. Similarly this deck has a very favourable match up against the more midrange decks as it can get time to set up and then keep those decks off balance. Nelson’s selection of this deck indicates one further thing. He was not planning on playing against many aggro decks since this deck can struggle against them.

Wooded foothills

Misty rainforest

Scalding tarn

Flooded strand

Polluted delta

Bloodstained mire

Arid Mesa

Tectonic edge

Rishadan Port

Shivan reef

Wasteland

Mishra’s factory

Grove of the burnwillows

Cascade bluffs

Temple of epiphany

Steam vents

Volcanic island

Sulfur falls

8 Island

9 Mountain

Mystical tutor

Ancestral recall

Stromkirk noble

Grim lavamancer

Monastery swiftspear

Forked bolt

Lightning bolt

Goblin guide

Mogg fanatic

Chain lightning

Delver of secrets

Mental misstep

Stifle

Gitaxian probe

Preordain

Ponder

Brainstorm

Chrome mox

Time walk

Price of progress

Remand

Memory lapse

Torch fiend

Kargan dragon lord

Lightning strike

Reckless reveler

Incinerate

Ember hauler

Flame rift

Counter spell

Fire/ice

Arc trail

Punishing fire

Smash to smithereens

Eidolon of the great revel

Searing spear

Magma jet

Snapcaster mage

Mana drain

Cyclonic rift

Young pyromancer

Sulfuric vortex

Rift bolt

Staggershock

Deceiver exarch

Thada Adel, acquisitor

Chasm skulker

Chandra’s Phoenix

Goblin rabblemaster

Gelectrode

Guttersnipe

Pestermite

True-name nemesis

Magus of the moon

Imperial recruiter

Treasure cruise

Zealous conscripts

Kiki-jiki mirror breaker

Force of will

Splinter twin

Koth of the hammer

Hidegetsu’s second rite

Real zarek

Chandra, the firebrand

Muddle the mixture

Alistair on the other hand decided to bring one the decks that he is very well known for playing however he made a slight alteration. Esper control is one of the most well established decks in the format and Alistair has certainly played a lot of it. Given the somewhat unusual nature of the championship format it payed to be somewhat surprising in your deck choice and Alistair achieved this by including a fairly potent but small reanimator package in his control deck. This combo plan allowed him to be more proactive in his games. This deck remains powerful in control mirrors and still possesses all of the tools to go extremely long and eventually win through inevitability. The reanimator package really helps some of the mid range match ups where control can sometimes struggle to deal with all of the mid range decks relevant threats. By having significant threats of its own the control deck can often look to simply end the game before the mid range deck can grind it down.

1x Mind Twist

1x Academy Rector

1x Ancestral Recall

1x Animate Dead

1x Arid Mesa

1x Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

1x Azorius Signet

1x Baleful Strix

1x Batterskull

1x Bloodstained Mire

1x Brainstorm

1x Bribery

1x Celestial Colonnade

1x Coercive Portal

1x Compulsive Research

1x Condescend

1x Consecrated Sphinx

1x Council’s Judgment

1x Counterspell

1x Creeping Tar Pit

1x Crucible of Worlds

1x Cryptic Command

1x Damnation

1x Darkslick Shores

1x Day of Judgment

1x Dig Through Time

1x Dimir Signet

1x Dismiss

1x Drowned Catacomb

1x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

1x Elspeth, Knight Errant

1x Esper Charm

1x Fact or Fiction

1x Flooded Strand

1x Forbidden Alchemy

1x Future Sight

1x Gideon Jura

1x Gifts Ungiven

1x Glacial Fortress

1x Godless Shrine

1x Griselbrand

1x Hallowed Fountain

1x Hymn to Tourach

1x Inquisition of Kozilek

1x Iona, Shield of Emeria

6x Island

1x Isolated Chapel

1x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1x Karakas

1x Mana Drain

1x Marsh Flats

1x Maze of Ith

1x Mind Stone

1x Misty Rainforest

1x Moat

1x Mystic Gate

1x Mystical Teachings

1x Path to Exile

1x Pithing Needle

2x Plains

1x Polluted Delta

1x River of Tears

1x Scalding Tarn

1x Scrubland

1x Seachrome Coast

1x Sensei’s Divining Top

1x Snapcaster Mage

1x Sol Ring

1x Sorin Markov

1x Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

1x Sunken Ruins

1x Supreme Verdict

1x Swamp

1x Swords to Plowshares

1x Talisman of Dominance

1x Talisman of Progress

1x Tasigur, the Golden Fang

1x Temple of Enlightenment

1x Terminus

1x Thirst for Knowledge

1x Thoughtseize

1x Trinket Mage

1x Tundra

1x Unburial Rites

1x Underground Sea

1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

1x Vedalken Shackles

1x Verdant Catacombs

1x Vindicate

1x Wall of Omens

1x Wasteland

1x Watery Grave

1x Windswept Heath

1x Wrath of God

Thanks for all the support! Also as a last note I’m posting the deck lists in the format which their owners submitted them to me so I don’t know why Alistairs has links to the cards but I cannot guarantee this for all future lists. Tune in tomorrow for decks from the 6th and 5th position!

-Liam Coughlan

The Monday Metagame (February 9)

Welcome back everyone! I would first like to admit that I was unfortunately not in attendance on Monday in order to personally collect the metagame so my understanding of how individual players performed this week is slightly worse than usual. That being said Jeremy was nice enough to collect the metagame for me so a big thank you to him! I’m particularly saddened I missed the most recent event since the metagame underwent a fairly large shift.

The meta has shifted away from players trying to go over each other with bigger and bigger blue decks and instead many players opted instead to play more aggressive decks. One of the best examples of this are the three goblins decks which appeared this week compared to the none from the week prior. These aggressive decks were likely able to slide underneath many of the other blue decks before they were able to set up. Shane took it down this week with RG aggro. This deck was likely particularly well situated due to the fact that green creatures often out class their smaller compatriots in other colours.

The last interesting thing from this week is the slight resurgence of combo decks in the metagame. There was a slight resurgence in Academy decks and even an appearance of a storm deck. As the metagame shifts towards aggressive non blue decks these combo decks should have an easier time getting their opponent dead.

As for a spicy deck of the week it is somewhat difficult for me to evaluate the spiciness of a deck however both the storm and RU burn decks certainly warrant some attention. This week I will be covering Jeremy’s Lands deck from last week! Evidently someone else was inspired as a new Lands deck popped up this week!

One other note! The decks lists from the Highlander championships will be posted throughout the week  along with a synopsis of how the player did in the tournament! This will all start tomorrow so look forward to a lot of new material coming out this week!

Here is the meta game!

Storm
Big Red
3 Goblins
2 Esper Control
Mardu Midrange
RUG Control
GR Aggro (Beautiful Pig Aggro)
Mono Green Combo
RU Burn
3 Academy
Lands
GB Rock
BUG Tempo
RW Aggro
UB Faeries
Pattern Rector
Bant
UWR Tempo

Comments appreciated!

-Liam Coughlan