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Last Chance Qualifier Metagame

 

If the makeup of the field for the Last Chance Qualifier here in Venice is any indicator of things to come, people preparing for Regionals had better be ready for red-green beatdown.

Karplusan Forests and Elephant Guides showed up en masse, with over a fourth of the 175-man field running the old aggressive standby. While its true that the deck may have been successful on the strength of numbers alone, any archetype that can put four players in the Top 8 must be taken seriously. The deck is relatively cheap to build, quite well-tuned, and fun to play. Granted, there's not a lot of room for "personalizing" the deck—every slot is just about set in stone at this point—but if you want a good chance for success and quick rounds, this is probably the deck for you.

The number two deck behind red-green was blue-green. While some of these opted for straight madness or threshold or even Opposition strategies, the bulk of them played Quiet Speculation, a tactic recently endorsed by Jeff Cunningham, one of the deck's champions. Unsummon has also started showing up in many of these decks, mostly as a cheap way to fight Elephant Guide. Blue-green put two of its players into the Top 8.

The big disappointment of the event was Psychatog. Around 18 people played the blue-black powerhouse, including a couple which added white for Wrath of God ("Wogatog"), and by all accounts they got stomped. In order to make it in this field, the deck needs more cheap creature removal. It is possible to accomplish, so we can't write off Psychatog as a major player just yet. It was nice to see it fall for once, however.

Other decks that showed up in significant numbers included mono-black control, white-green Beasts (most of which added red to power Contested Cliffs), Mirari's Wake, mono-red Goblins, Astral Slide decks, and black-red Reanimator. These decks are all known quantities; Legions adds cards here and there, but has yet to spawn any major new deck types.

A few interesting cards of note: Reprisal is showing up in many of the Beast decks, as an answer to most of the creatures in the format (Firecat, Angel, Baloth, even 'Tog, Mongrel, and Nantuko Shade), but the version that made the Top 8 did not have any Reprisals in the main deck. The card Psychatog has branched out a little and is now appearing as part of black splash in blue-green. And some red-green players are trying one-of's like Might of Oaks to throw off opponents' math.

Below is a chart of all the deck types, followed by the Top 8 decks.

Best of luck to everyone preparing for Regionals!

Colors Deck # played # Top 8
r/g Beatdown 48 4
r/g/b Beasts 1  
r/g/b Madness Infestation 1  
u/g Madness 5  
u/g Threshold 3  
u/g Quiet Spec 16 2
u/g/w Madness 1  
u/g/b Madness 1  
u/g Opposition 4  
b Beatdown 2  
b Control 7 1
u/g/w Wake 8  
u/g/b Madness Infestation 1  
w/b Clerics 1  
b/g Beasts 1  
u/g/b Opposition 3  
u/g/b Madness with Tog 5  
w/g Beatdown 3  
w/g/r Beasts 15 1
w/g Enchantress 1  
u/b Tog, Cunning 15  
u/b/w Tog, WOGatog 2  
u/b Tog, no Wish 1  
r/b Reanimator 7  
b/g Reanimator 1  
u/b Braids 1  
u/b Infestation Upheaval 3  
r Goblins 7  
u/w Punisher 2  
u/w Windborn Opposition 1  
w/r Slide 5  
w/r/g Slide 1
u/g Tight Sight 1
u/g/w/r Hunting Grounds 1
Stefano Fedriga
Top 8 Monoblack Control
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

59 cards

Cabal Coffers
23  Swamp

26 lands


Nantuko Shade
Undead Gladiator

3 creatures
Chainer's Edict
Corrupt
Diabolic Tutor
Duress
Engineered Plague
Haunting Echoes
Mind Sludge
Mutilate
Riptide Replicator
Skeletal Scrying
Smother

30 other spells
Joao Barracha
Top 8 Beasts
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

61 cards

Brushland
Contested Cliffs
Forest
Moutain
Plains
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

25 lands


Anger
Anurid Brushhopper
Birds of Paradise
Exalted Angel
Glory
Llanowar Elves
Phantom Centaur
Ravenous Baloth
Wild Mongrel

30 creatures
Call of the Herd
Living Wish

6 other spells
Angeli Alessio
Pro Tour Slot Blue-Green
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

City of Brass
Forest
10  Island

22 lands


Aquamoeba
Arrogant Wurm
Basking Rootwalla
Merfolk Looter
Wild Mongrel
Wonder

21 creatures
Careful Study
Circular Logic
Deep Analysis
Quiet Speculation
Roar of the Wurm
Unsummon

17 other spells
Maukus Koenigstein
Pro Tour Slot Red-Green
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

56 cards

Barbarian Ring
Forest
Mossfire Valley
Moutain
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

18 lands


Basking Rootwalla
Grim Lavamancer
Llanowar Elves
Phantom Centaur
Wild Mongrel

18 creatures
Call of the Herd
Elephant Guide
Firebolt
Violent Eruption
Volcanic Hammer

20 other spells
Antonio Cassells
Top 8 Red-Green
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

Barbarian Ring
Forest
Karplusian Forest
Mossfire Valley
Mountain
Wooded Foothills

23 lands


Basking Rootwalla
Grim Lavamancer
Llanowar Elves
Nantuko Vigilante
Phantom Centaur
Wild Mongrel

19 creatures
Call of the Herd
Elephant Guide
Firebolt
Violent Eruption
Volcanic Hammer

18 other spells
Marvaldi Alessandro
Top 8 Red-Green
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

61 cards

Barbarian Ring
Forest
Karplusian Forest
Mossfire Valley
Mountain
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

23 lands


Basking Rootwalla
Grim Lavamancer
Llanowar Elves
Phantom Centaur
Wild Mongrel

18 creatures
Call of the Herd
Elephant Guide
Firebolt
Violent Eruption
Volcanic Hammer

20 other spells
Luca Berruti
Top 8 Red-Green
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

Barbarian Ring
Forest
Karplusian Forest
Mossfire Valley
Moutain
Wooded Foothills

22 lands


Basking Rootwalla
Grim Lavamancer
Llanowar Elves
Phantom Centaur
Skirk Marauder
Wild Mongrel

20 creatures
Call of the Herd
Elephant Guide
Firebolt
Violent Eruption
Volcanic Hammer

18 other spells
Gianluca Bevere
Pro Tour Slot Green-Blue
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

City of Brass
Forest
10  Island

22 lands


Aquamoeba
Arrogant Wurm
Basking Rootwalla
Merfolk Looter
Wild Mongrel
Wonder

22 creatures
Careful Study
Circular Logic
Deep Analysis
Quiet Speculation
Roar of Wurm
Upheaval

16 other spells


Aaron Forsythe was a professional Magic player and Internet columnist prior to leaving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to join Wizards of the Coast. His first duty here was Content Manager of this very website, a job that required him to do actual work as opposed to playing games all the time. So when a position opened in R&D, he jumped at the chance. He is now director of Magic R&D, and still plays Magic in his free time when he's not busy playing Magic.



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