With the largest 7 point highlander event behind us, it’s time to reflect on the decks that were at the top of the swiss after the five gruelling rounds of double swiss. Most of the players in the league stuck to the same decklist over the full 10 matches with few exceptions.
Being an open decklist top 8, players were able to metagame hard, resulting in some interesting choices like Collector Ouphe in the maindeck. I am of the view that the battle hardened decks that fought through the double swiss give the average 7ph player more information than the top 8 decks. As such, I present the decklists from round five of the league, in order of standings at the end of the swiss.
10-0 and 9-1
|Swiss Ranking||Name||Deck Type and Link|
|1.||Martin Lindström (10-0!)||Esper Tempo/Control|
|2.||Thomas Bot||MUD (Colourless Artifacts)|
|3.||William Thompson||Grixis Lurrus Breach Oracle|
|4.||Jack Potter||BUG Oracle Smog|
|5.||Dillon Kikkawa||RB Aggro|
|6.||cftsoc||Grixis Lurrus Breach Oracle|
|7.||Paul Witz||Rug Tempo|
These decks represented the titans of the swiss, those finishing with only a single match loss, or in Martin Lindstrom’s case, a clean 10-0 sweep of the tournament, without changing a single card over the whole 5 rounds.
The Lurrus Oracle Breach deck is better than fantastic, being the only deck to put 2 copies into the top 8. I do not think there’s much that needs to be said about it that has not been said already.
There was lots of talk before the tournament that oracle without gifts was not playable, so it’s good to see Jack Potter proving the crowd wrong. His oracle and smog BUG combo deck featuring Green Sun’s Zenith tore through the field on the way to the top 8. This was however the only sole oracle deck to go 7-3 or better.
Paul Witz into the top 8 with a sneaky nimble mongoose, which he swears by. Lots of new cards in Paul’s deck from MH2, it’s a good time to be a tempo player presently.
It’s also essential to note that the final round of the swiss was the first that Modern Horizons was legal, giving players only a few days to acquire cards.
8-2, so close
|8.||Matt Brown||Mono Red Aggro|
|9.||Zen Takahashi||Mono Red Aggro|
|10.||Thomas Sellitto||Hot Wheels (UR Aggro)|
|11.||Sam Bogue||Grixis Lurrus Oracle Breach|
|12.||Milan Bhayana||UBRG Control|
|13.||James Wilks||Grixis Pile|
|14.||James Larsen-Scott||Grixis Lurrus Oracle Breach|
|15.||Tyrone Phillips||Jund Goblins!|
|16.||Thoralf Severin||Time Vault Artifacts|
|17.||Julian Jakobovits||Jeskai Breach Combo|
|18.||Ramy||Mono Red Aggro|
|19.||Connor McGillivray||Rug Tempo|
The 8-2 lists should show you how close we were to having a top 8 completely overrun by aggro or combo! It’s still quite a diverse list of decks. A few results going differently and there could have been 4 or more combo or aggro decks progress instead of the 9-1s above.
My favourites from this list are the Hot Wheels deck (which is putting up results in Adelaide in paper) as well as the Jund Goblins deck from Toowoomba judge Tyrone. Julian in 17 proving that straight breach decks also have a lot of play to them, enough to push him through to the top of the tournament.
Also a quick shoutout to Connor McGillvray that played the entire 10 matches without changing a single card of his Rug Tempo deck. Dragonscale Guard was a card I was not expecting to see, but it worked for Connor.
7-3, The Fighters
|20.||James Arthur||WURG Midrange|
|21.||Matthew Garnham||Grixis Lurrus Oracle Breach|
|22.||Luke Williams||RUG Tempo|
|23.||Scott Stipkovich||RUG Sprowess|
|26.||Tobias Roos||UBRG Midrange|
|27.||Dan Nelson||Graveyard Soup|
|28.||Max Vervoort||Grixis Lurrus Oracle Breach|
|29.||Matthias Hittel||UBRG Control Smog|
|30.||Aidas Domasevi||Mono Red Aggro|
|31.||David Fischer||Abzan Midrange|
|32.||Ian Marsh||Graveyard Soup|
|33.||Noah Rabin||UBRG Midrange|
|34.||Aaron Sadler||Jeskai Time Vault|
|36.||Oliver Gray||White Weenie Aggro|
|37.||Luke McCoy||Tinker Citadel Storm|
While there may seem to be a lot of decks, these 7-3 or better decks represent the top 20% of the 200+ strong field. Any of these are excellent highlander decks, although there’s always plenty of room for innovation.
My favourites from this tranche are the 2 dedicated graveyard decks in dredge and graveyard soup – there is certainly something cooking there.
The Jund and Abzan midrange decks are certainly interesting – leaning heavily on hand and mana disruption to buy time. Going 7-3 in a field full of combo is certainly no easy feat and are both powerful decks.
An Elves and White Weenie(!) player going 7-3 is fantastic for the format, and I think this top 37 decks really just shows the depth within the format, with a few clear decks head and shoulders above the rest.
Spicy 6-4 decks
It would not be a deck wrap up without highlighting some of the 6-4 decks!! The favourites I found were:
40th Committee Member Luke Mulcahy with Naya Thalia Wolfrun– When I see Luke’s decks I’m never sure whether they’re actually good, or Luke is just a great player. This is no exception
43rd Brandon Harvey with Rug Sneak and Show Oath PW thing What a pile
44rd Zach Dunn – Omnath Prime Time
44th Robert Wise – Omnath Pod Turns out omnath’s death was greatly exaggerated
53rd Sebastian Ziesche – Grixis Death’s Shadow Tempo The madman did it!
60th Nathan Bass Mono Red Storm! Birgi is a house, this actually looks sweet.
The greatest thing about 7ph is that it’s such a skill intensive yet completely open format.