Long Live Aggro!
This week’s Adelaide meta was a breath of fresh air. SA saw some interesting developments in the wake of the recent Points Announcement coupled with the new Kaldheim printings. Most importantly, Aggro is back and with a vengeance! Raj took down the event with a clean 4-0 sweep on a Grixis tempo deck with a very Aggro bent, playing 1 drops like Bomat Courier and Goblin Guide to get in early beats and close the game with a traditional burn plan. He was the only person playing Ancestral Recall in the event (for the first time in a while!), and it was well-worth the 5 Points when he naturally drew into it.
Aggro was the name of the game for the Top 8, with half the players being on an Aggro deck or aggro-hybrid archetype, including Grixis, Mardu, Jeskai and 4c. On the other end of the spectrum, degenerate lists attempted to vault over the top of these fast decks by employing a Ramp or Combo element. The other half of the Top 8 consisted of mono blue Ramp, colourless ramp, and two hybrid Combo decks. For the latter, Zach added a Combo element to his Mardu Midrange deck, leveraging Black Lotus and Mana Crypt to push through the Kiki-Jiki combo and close on otherwise unwinnable matches. One thing doesn’t change – SA continues its long-standing history of decks that can pivot, and Hybrid archetypes get the largest amount of representation at our events.
What did I play?
For myself, I was on a combo-tempo hybrid deck I call “Whirlybird” (after key cards in the list Whirlwind of Thought and Kykar Wind’s Fury). The new printing of Clarion Spirit finally provided enough 2-drops to make a tokens deck function, because whilst Jeskai has more than enough 3-4 mana enablers for spell triggers, the 2 mana slot was lacking premium payoffs. I thoroughly enjoyed pivoting like any good hybrid deck, deploying a token generator and triggering it early so I could play the tempo game and apply pressure whilst interacting with key spells, or holding all my spells for the right time and then ‘going off’ to power out a board state that would win the following turn. Whirlybird is certainly a fun combo-esque deck for those of you who like being flexible, attacking with creatures, and having a totally ‘fair magic’ alternate game plan. Plus if you enjoy playing lots of ‘readers’ and having your opponent die to Commander cards… here’s an example board state from round 3!
In terms of points, safe to say there were quite a few Tolarian Academies on the day overall, whereas there was a distinct lack of Oko Thief of Crowns (only one in James’ deck!). In fact, there was a lack of Midrange overall! Despite A-call being in the winning deck, the recent de-pointings (and pushing blue Power to 5) strongly encouraged people to brew outside of the ‘fair magic’ space. Players spent the bulk of their points on a diverse range of cards like Black Lotus, Tinker, a decent number of Wastelands and Strip Mines… but the big winner was Mana Crypt, with three decks in the Top 8 rocking the powerful mana artifact. This is somewhat linked to Tolarian Academy prevalence, but historically Mana Crypt has been an incredibly popular card in SA as a whole. Players recognise its role in Ramp, Combo, and Midrange as a means of leaping ahead of the opponent in mana and dominating the early game before the opponent can mount any defences!
Interestingly, those of us in 2nd to 4th all lost to Raj on his Grixis Aggro deck with A-call, and all matches were incredibly close which is a good sign that; 1) brews are indeed competitive and you don’t need expensive blue Power to build a strong deck, and; 2) if you do choose to spend 5 points on A-call because you own one, it will still serve you very well! This is overall a great sign for the metagame as a whole. Speaking of points appearances… there were no Uro Titan of Nature’s Wrath! A very interesting change for the Adelaide meta and a good sign for things to come.
I for one look forward to continuing to brew with the new points list and emerging Kaldheim metagame!
|Player’s Standing||Player’s Name||Player’s Deck List Link|
|1st||Rajdeep Tokhi||“Grix-ey Bros.” (UBR Aggro-Tempo)|
|2nd||James Arthur||(WURG Midrange-Aggro)|
|3rd||Michael Hearn||“TR-45” (U Ramp)|
|4th||Sarven McLinton||“Whirlybird” (wUR Combo-Tempo)|
|5th||Zachary McDonnell||“Marchesa-Jiki Pile” (BRW Combo-Midrange)|
|6th||Daniel Helix||“Mardu Youmans” (BRW Aggro)|
|7th||Daniel Tyler||“Fringey Bros.” (WUR Aggro)|
|8th||Drew Carter||“AEldrazi” (C Ramp)|