We’re back! This past week had a lot of Highlander played with the year end championships on Sunday and then Monday night Highlander last night! There will a full report from the year end championships published later this week along with all of the deck lists!
As far as Monday of this week there was a slight decline in the number of blue based decks and an increase in the number of aggressive decks. Both creature based decks and more spell based aggressive decks were played to relatively good success. Nelson was even able to take his burn deck (which in fairness was splashing blue for some choice powerful pointed cards) all the way to a 5-0 finish tonight! The speed and efficiency of these decks coupled with the fact that there aren’t very many midrange decks around currently means that these decks can slide past a lot of the tempo and control decks before they are able to set up their mana. Furthermore these aggro decks pressure the combo decks sufficiently to sometimes win before the combo decks can go off.
Speaking of combo decks they were some actual bona fide combo decks this week! While some of these decks were fairly typical such as Trent’s mono green deck and Garret’s Esper Academy deck there was one particularly interesting new deck. Multiple players recently have played around with some reanimation elements in their decks however most of the time the reanimation took a back seat to some other broad strategy. Good examples are things like Esper control featuring Gifts Ungiven as a way to find a reanimation combo quickly or green black decks that use reanimation spells as a way to acquire more value from creatures with ETB effects (Excellent examples of these decks can be found courtesy of Alistair and Alasdair!). This week however Adam Price played a Grixis deck which was much more all in on its reanimation theme. Though this deck possessed control elements however the main game plan involves creating some large threat from the graveyard. This strategy was fairly powerful as many decks either lacked the permission to stop it or were in capable of winning through the reanimated threats.
The last interesting thing from this week is that were literally zero decks which did not contain some number of non basics. Even the mono green combo deck is splashing a few dual lands for activation of lands and Deathrite Shaman. I could well be that non basic hate cards and consistent 1 and 2 colour decks with way of interacting with opponents mana bases might well be at an all time high.
Lastly is the spicy deck of the week! There were a few great candidates for the spicy deck of the week. Jeremy’s Lands deck however takes the award. This deck features several combos with Fastbond and many prison elements to lock the opponent out. At one point this week I saw Jeremy lock a player out by strip mining all of his lands with a Tabernacle of the Pendril Veil in play. The other deck that caught my attention this week was Connor’s 4 colour zoo deck! He’s been playing it for a few weeks and it seems super sweet! I’ll have a deck tech coming out for both these decks in the coming weeks!
As always here is the metagame!
Esper Academy Combo
Mono Green Combo
4 Colour Academy
4 Colour Zoo
4 Colour Burn