The Monday Metagame (April 6th)

Hey friends and welcome back to Monday Metagame! I took forever to process this weeks metagame as it was large and very complicated. Most archetypes were fairly well represented in the meta with blue decls tending to rise to the top. The four 3-0 decks at the beginning of the fourth round were BUG tempo, Bant tempo, UR tempo, and UB control. What was incredible about this particular week was that despite the 30 person attendance there were almost no repeat decks! In a field as varied as this one there are a few things that are particularly important in deck selection. Firstly the deck needs to have game plan that is streamlined and focused. With so many different strategies possible in Highlander it is not realistic to craft a deck that is partially good against some match ups and partially good against others as this deck will often lose to itself being too slow and unfocused just as often as it loses due to piloting. For instance a deck that I played very early in my time in Highlander was a BUG infect deck that played a bunch of tempo counter spells and pump spells to go along with a suite of infect creatures. The problem with this deck was that I would have really awkward draws where my hand would contain a bunch of creatures and counterspells but no way to end the game or I would end up with hands of just pump spells and counterspells. What I discovered was that the most powerful draws were those where I had both creatures and pump spells and maybe one counterspell to protect my creature. My deck suffered greatly from being extremely unfocused but if I had perhaps built with more pump spells and fewer counterspells perhaps it would have yielded better results. The second aspect a successful deck in a very diverse format requires to have multiple angels of attack. This doesn’t mean that the deck needs to be able to attack its opponents life total as well as threaten to mill it out or kill its opponent with infect. Rather attacking on multiple angels means that a deck has multiple means of accomplishing its goal. A good example of this is the BG rock deck that both Alasdair and Alistair (if only they spelled their names the same way) have favoured recently. This deck’s ultimate goal is to take control of the board and neutralize potential threats from the opponent. Within the core strategy are many different angles, the deck plays creatures like Tarmogofy, Thrun, and Thragtusk, large resilient creatures which exert a lot of pressure  as one its angles of attack however it is not limited to these. The deck also plays many planeswalkers which exert pressure on the board by making creatures or pressuring the opponents life total. The opponent is now obliged to both deal with a tarmogofy and planeswalker both of which require very different types of interaction. Having multiple angles of attack is especially important in a diverse metagame because in any given round you have a reasonable equal chance of playing a deck which excels against one particular aspect of your deck but might struggle against others. The third aspect a successful deck in an extremely varied metagame requires is an unbeatable draw. Obviously this is slight hyperbole but each deck needs some sequence of opening plays that should win most games. This can manifest in a bunch of different ways. For a tempo deck this opening might involve playing Delver on turn one and then having 6 counterspells as back up for the rest of the game. An aggressive deck might curve out perfectly with a Mox and play a powerful 2 drop into a 3 drop into a 4 drop that kills its opponent. For combo decks these broken starts are quite obvious and just involve getting a combo together quickly. Control decks have some of the more interesting broken starts as they typically involve a curve of Sol Ring into some powerful planeswalker. Regardless of what this broken start is a powerful deck in a broad field needs to have this potential. You’re going to play enough games in a given tournament that having the potential to just acquire a free win is essential. The spicy deck of the week award goes Serge for his 4 colour Lands deck which he titled “Maximum Picante” this is a super cool list and features a lot of highly underused cards!

Here’s the meta as always!

UR Tempo
BWR Aggro
Esper Control
Reanimator
Flash Hulk
UB Control
Jund Aggro
UR Combo
4 Colour Lands
UB Academy
UW Tempo
2 Bant Tempo
2 BG Rock
Infect
BR Aggro
RUG Midrange
RUG Tempo
RG Ramp
Junk Combo
UG Midrange
BUG Tempo
Storm
Grixis Time Vault
Naya Aggro
Eggs
Junk Reanimator
Goblins
Junk Aggro

 

Thanks!

-Liam Coughlan

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