Welcome to This Week in Future Extended, an article series intended to follow the Future Extended metagame as seen through XPDC and UPDC events in the Lorwyn Season.
With 3 (and soon 4) events under our belts, it’s time to dive into the metagame and see what’s going on. We’ll also take a look at the first Power Rankings of this season, relying on Eegag’s old formula for the time being.
In a way, it’s as if UPDC and XPDC are two separate worlds — XPDC, the originator of the Pauper Future Extended format, sees a higher weekly turnout, but also sees a more predictable metagame. If there can be said to exist a ‘FutEx Vanguard’ — decks such as MUTC, Affinity, Spore Cry, Orzhov Blink, and Ninja Rats — then that’s what you should expect to see at XPDC events, if the initial tourney was any indication. On the other hand, UPDC, which has recently shifted from Time Spiral Block to the significantly different format of FutEx, is churning out mad innovation, including the two first place finishers, Cogs and Stripes and Raspberry Control. (Suddenly I want ice cream.) Cecilia Jupe brought his out-of-the-blue Mono-Green Aggro deck back for another stab at unforseen glory (and fell flat on his face), and some players have evolved the ninja archetype into Uber Ninjas, splashing or commiting to red for additional power (as well as a decided leg-up in the mirror).
The full splendor of the Future Extended metagame can always be enjoyed at the Top 8 Metagame thread for the format, housed at the Princes of Pauper forums. But for your convenience, here’s what we’ve seen so far:
Spore Cry –
Raspberry Control –
Orzhov Blink –
Sliver Zoo –
Simic Blink –
Cogs and Stripes –
Spore Cry comes out looking the best, but the other two top decks both give it one heck of a rough time, as seen at UPDC 2.01 and 2.02. Will Cogs and Stripes and Raspberry Control migrate to the Wednesday event in time to stop another Spore Cry victory?
And then, of course, there’s Affinity, the retarded elephant in the room. I say retarded not because I am prejudiced against people with cognitive impairments, but because Affinity, despite its strength and its numbers, has been unable yet to cap off a full-scale victory in the Future Extended world. It’s just a matter of time — perhaps that night we’ll all breathe a collective sigh of relief, knowing that all is right in the cosmos. But the fact that the deck has been held at bay for so long is a testament to the amount of sideboard hate people are still devoting to that matchup. And wisely so, I might add.
MUTC, widely heralded as the control deck of choice in Future Extended, seems to be out-classed and out-performed by Slippery’s U/R deck. Granted, the metagame plays a large roll in the effectiveness of a given control deck — but then again, isn’t that the point? MUTC may be great at controlling some decks, but it seems the decks that most need controlling tend to run screaming harder from Raspberry than Mostly-Blue Teachings. Again, however — this is another deck whose day, I believe, will eventually come.
The best part about the Future Extended metagame (by far) is the vast amount of experimentation that can still take place. We lack the restrictions of Standard and the ‘power cards’ of Classic, so we’re sitting pretty on fertile ground (and our pants are wet)! I’m loving the ride and I hope you are too! Stay tuned for another great week of Future Extended, coming right up!
UPDC POWER RANKINGS
1. Mr Slippery 39 –
Roguemaster General has moved on from Standard and now sets his sights on Future Extended. After two consecutive showings at the finals table, he pulls off the big W with a metagame deck of his own creation, a U/R beast called Raspberry Control. He and Kingritz are the sole FutEx titleholders (to date) who relied on red mana to make it happen. I expect to see more of Raspberry Control, as it proves a strong foil to certain green-based aggro-combo decks that have been winning…
2. Baron_Sengir6989 –
The Baron piloted Kingritz’s winning decklist (Cogs and Stripes) from UPDC 2.01 to a Top 4 finish in 2.02, but it is his repeat appearance at UPDC events that lands him so high on the totem pole. Perhaps he has found the deck for him, and can repeat his success at future FutEx events.
3. Polyjak –
Yup, it’s yours truly. I love the chance to play Spore Cry in a field that isn’t solely geared against it. Unfortunately, I think those times are nearing an end, as the prominence of Orzhov Blink wanes and red-based control decks show up in greater numbers. Despite almost beating Slippery’s U/R control deck at UPDC 2.01, I’m still unlikely to call that matchup anything other than ‘impossible.’ I haven’t decided how stubborn I’m going to be yet, but you can bet that if the world is safe for Saprolings, I will be driving them forward in an aggressive and never-ending march.
4. Kingritz –
Kingritz only played at UPDC 2.01, but he’s still only one point behind me. That is the power of a first place finish, folks. And his position is hardly undeserved — he brought FutEx our variation on Stars and Cogs — fittingly titled Cogs and Stripes. He was also the first Pauper FutExer ever to win with red mana. (I’m making a big deal out of this, but it’s significant.) Kingritz has an eye for good decks, he knows how to build them, and he pilots them with great finesse. I’ll wager that if Kingritz doesn’t stick around in the power rankings, it’s because he’s not playing often enough.
5. mslano –
And then there’s this guy, whose Affinity deck was kept out of the UPDC 2.02 Top 4 by a narrow margin and, well, Orzhov Blink. Like many other FutExers, mslano is a man looking for a deck to call his own. Affinity seemed to have treated him well; perhaps he’ll continue piloting that monstrosity.