Hello everyone, with the release of Echoes of the New World in full swing we are starting to get closer and closer to Worlds. However, we have one last GP left in Tacoma, Washington. Meaning this will be the last Metawatch of this season, but I will look forward to starting it up again once the new season starts up. For those of you joining us for the first time here on Metawatch, this is an article, for advanced players, that quickly goes over what decks you should be worried about at the next big event. We mainly use data from the last events, so if a deck is not mentioned, that does not mean that the deck is not good, it just means that the deck is not a deck we feel a lot of people will be looking at to play.
Let’s start this Metawatch off with our big new contender in the meta, Tree Control. The last Metawatch I mentioned that if Yggdrasil, Malefic Verdant Tree wanted to perform well it would have to find ways around cards like Shackles of Ice. Well at GP New Jersy, Alex Blandin and Barcadia decided to get together and build a control list that does not worry about Shackles of Ice that much. The entire deck just revolves around the fact that cards will get removed from play. Taking full advantage of cards like Torching the Timeline for easy removal, and Memory of Disappearance to recycle key cards like counter spells. They also took full advantage of Yggdor, Beast of Disaster who can keep coming back as long as you can remove him from play. The only real card Tree needed to get back was Arla, Demonic Flying Ace, who is still a big powerhouse for the deck. So even if an opponent could get a Shackles down past the 8 counter spells then they would still have to deal with some impressive threats. Also, most players were not main decking Shackles of Ice. Meaning Tree players were free to side most of their hate, in the form of Lumia’s Judgment, as well. It also gets a free matchup vs aggro decks which were popular at the last event. The big weakness is that this build is weak to strong boards that are built quickly; decks like Fox are good at doing this have an ok match-up here. This is probably the biggest threat players will have to watch out for this weekend considering the same build took half of the top 8 at New Jersey.
The next big deck is Fox. Fox is one deck that can keep up with Tree to some degree. It can produce enough damage to actually kill it in a not crazy amount of time. Also Planting Beans and Demonic dead has solidified themselves as normal additions to Fox decks, giving them a bit of extra consistency, and a way around Severing winds. The only problem Fox has right now is the fact that it has to play around Dawn of the Earth, which considering the results of Jersey is looking more like a side deck card. Below, we have Ronny Martin’s Fox build from the Top 8 of GP Jersey.
I don’t know if it is right to call this deck big anymore, but Prica still managed to claim a spot in the Top 8 of Jersey. The deck does not have the greatest matchup vs Fox and struggles hard against Tree who effectively has more life. However, against everything else, it is still great. However, if people can adapt to beat Tree, Prica may have a chance. However, I do think Prica will not be very big at GP Washington. Prica needs to hope the Tree decks get weeded out a bit, then come back again later when it has more wiggle room for matchups. Bellow, we have Bevan Dunlevy’s build from the Top 8 of GP Jersey.
Last in the big decks is Lumia. Even though she did not have a great run last week, a lot of players are still looking to her to help counter the Tree deck. The control Tree deck takes a bit of time to get the magic stones it needs to get started, so logically if you can start hook looping them fast enough they will just get locked out of playing the game. Lumia also has easy access to blue, meaning it can play Shackles of Ice without much compromise. This may be the combination that allows players to completely shut out tree.
One last mention for Kaguya, Tears of The Moon. A lot of people got mad at me for not talking about this deck on the last Metawatch. At the time, I had a few reasons for this. The first is that I had completed writing Metawatch NJ on the same day I found out about the deck (I think it was a day or two after the stream). I honestly did not think it was worth the time to go back and mention it and then have to go re-submit it to my editor. The other big reason is that I did not have much faith in the deck. It crumbles before removal that doesn’t target, and addition removal. It also did not have much to hold off quicker decks. The last smaller reason was that it was a deck being hyped off one stream session. The deck has absolutely no history in big events. I figured even if it managed to top, it would just be one that got the build right on the first time. So, the real question is what do I have to say about it this time. Well, I just said it. I don’t have anything new to add. It didn’t top, almost no one talks about it anymore. I don’t think this deck is going to be that big of a deal for most players who are aware of it, and I think most of the people playing it are mainly just Kaguya fans. I think the deck has a chance, but I don’t think it is a deck you should be sweating over.
However, I will take some time to mention random stuff. This format is still young. I think it’s entirely possible that a random left field deck can come out of nowhere and surprise everyone. There is nothing I can do to prepare everyone for this kind of thing because then it would be expected, but I think everyone should look out for any rogue decks that start doing well at the event. I highly encourage going over and spectate players on rouge decks if you get the chance.
Well, everyone, it has been a great season. I hope you have all enjoyed the first season of Metawatch articles. I will be looking forward to joining everyone again after the release of the next cluster.