This month’s Highlander event at Dragon’s Lair took place in the new storefront in St Mary’s, South Australia saw 16 players!
After the recent Zendikar Rising points announcement there was a distinct difference in colours played in the Adelaide meta, namely fewer Wrenn and Sixes (GR) overall. There was a noticeable uptick in Black decks, in particular Esper, Sultai, and Jund making a great turnout in the Top 8! However, this did not stop the RUG decks from rising to the top… in fact the finals of the event were the very two RUG decks in the event (an insane conversion rate!).
Let’s take a look at the archetypes themselves:
1st – RUG Lord (big Rug Life, with A-call loops)
2nd – RUG Lord (big Rug Life, with A-call loops)
3rd – Kess Pod (4c Midrange, with Time Walk loops)
4th – Esper Miracles (WUB Control with Sanctuary & miracle interaction)
5th – BUGrange (Sultai midrange, without Pod but a planeswalker sub-theme)
6th – BUG Yorion (Sultai midrange, with the Vengevine-Hogaak-Survival package)
7th – BUG Aluren (Sultai midrange, with Cavern Harpy and Ninja interactions)
8th – Jund Lands (BGR midrange-ramp, with Loam synergies)
Our local results indicate that “RUG Lord” is still a force to be reckoned with. In short, my RUG Lord brew is an evolution of “RUG Life”, pushing the originally pure Tempo curve up to accommodate slightly larger and more impactful threats, and spells that provide staying power in the late game (to address our original weakness to Midrange). These Hybrid Tempo-Control-Midrange Temur decks abuse Gifts et al. to loop Ancestral Recall in the late game, or pivot into the aggressive role with Tarmogoyf and burn spells to close in on fast combo decks. You can read more about this Cantrip Control style of deck under The Synergy Control Archeytype primer.
More pointedly the Top 3 decks all abuse ‘blue power’ and the ability to find and loop them, including Michael in 3rd finding and recurring Time Walk. Expanding out you’ll also notice that although the archetypes themselves were quite diverse, 6 of the 8 Top 8 decks were in Blue-Green. UG has proven itself a dominant force since the printing of cards like Oko and Uro, and continues to be the leading colour pair in place of historically popular UB and UR shells.
Even though there were three dedicated BUG decks in the Top 8, there is a lot of diversity in the ways Sultai can be built. Adam explored the combo finish that Aluren offers alongside ‘bounce’ interactions to abuse the Ninjutsu mechanic. Sarah sleeved up my 80 card Yorion list and I was on the 60 card version (I too was very close to registering the Companion too but for last minute decisions). I still attest that Yorion is close to an auto-include in value Midrange decks with almost no build-around, because Sultai, Abzan, and ‘Dark’ Bant have no shortage of strong ‘playable’ cards you’ll be happy to see in your list.
The event was rounded out with Esper Miracles and Jund Lands, two decks that prey on creature-based/Midrange decks, so excellent choices for a South Australian metagame! In closing, it was an excellent event, and great way to commemorate the opening of the new Dragon’s Lair store in St Mary’s. It will be interesting to see how people continue to adapt their decks with the new Spell-Land DFC cards (card availability post-pre-release meant very few appeared at this event, but that’ll change in the coming weeks), and looking forward to seeing the new post-announcement Points data flow in!
|Player’s Standing||Player’s Name||Player’s Deck List Link|