Monday, February 15, 2010

elves wins GP oakland

Well, fucking hell. There goes my easy cruise to PTQ victory on the 27th.

Unlike Dredge, which caught a bunch of splash damage from people running Leylines to fight Thop-Depths, no one was prepared with any real mass removal or, well, anything that could easily defeat Nass. It really shouldn't surprise anyone that a combo deck no one expected took down a GP, not losing a round until he was already in top eight. Elf pilots from here on out won't have that luxury, unless people think it sucks again.

There are a few possible metagame outcomes from this: a) Elves becomes another accepted "good deck" instead of a fringe strategy, so people start sideboarding accordingly; b) people are hesitant to start playing it, since it's really difficult, so those few players that do play it get a lot more success; c) another deck like Hypergenesis becomes popular that has loses to some of the same sideboard cards (in this example, Chalice), keeping down popularity of the deck.

Having Elves as a major player in the metagame poses a fairly unique challenge for people hoping to prepare for it: since it's so difficult to play, playtesting against it will be really tough to do. My advice is, if Elves becomes a real deck in your area, become bestest friends with someone who's good at playing it. This is the only way you'll get any real testing in against the thing.

The real surge in interest after this GP, though, seems to be in the Brozek Boros deck... and that's completely reasonable. It's a deck that plays removal, guys, and has a more than decent chance of racing Elves, Depths or Dredge, even without getting their hate cards. Personally, I expect this to pull a lot of players who like "tier two" strategies that seem cool... except in this case, the deck is actually good.

Metagame prediction for the next couple weeks: Depths will fall a bit from 20% down to 10-15%. Zoo will keep steady, but I'm unsure how long the dominant build will be the slow, mirror-beating version- at some point you just need to go back to doing what Zoo is really good at, instead of playing blue spells and leaving mana open. Scapeshift will keep falling, as people realize that it really is just bad. Faeries, Boros and Elves will round out the top of the metagame, but far behind those top two decks (but not as far behind as they were before).


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