The Return of MUC.
Sorry I’m a little behind this week. My in-laws are staying with us for the holidays. Hopefully that will explain it to anyone that has in-laws. I should be back on my regular Tuesday/Friday Schedule once they vacate the premises after the holidays.
Writers Note: If I happen to talk about your deck and you want to clarify something about how it works or its classification, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain. Also, if you want your deck to be discussed then you have to post it in the event thread (note: this doesn’t guarantee I’m going to) I can’t really talk about a deck if I don’t know what’s in it.
Event – Classic PDC, 7.07
Format – Classic, Matches
I don’t expect anyone really thought it was gone though even if it stumbled for a couple of weeks. Before I delve too far into this past week’s event, I want to mention that as the season has moved along with the two Classic events, the respective Metagame’s of each have developed somewhat differently enough that for articles going forward I am going to separate any analysis of the two from each other. Jeez that was a long sentence. Ok so back to the Saturday Classic event. This week had a fair turnout, but I was actually surprised it wasn’t lower what with the holidays upon us. I know personally I was shopping and on the roof with lights, so I’d assumed others would be as well. The Metagame for Classic_PDC so far this season has been fairly consistent in terms of Archetype dispersal. In previous events this season Aggro decks have outnumbered all other deck types by a margin of over 2-1 easily. This week was very different as you will see below. Frankly, I don’t know if the shift will last, but I think it was warranted. We will have to wait and see here. This week was much more balanced. Fourteen players were entered in the event and the decks broke down into the following categories:
Control – 6: Rats & Removal, MUC (3), MBC, Bg Control
Aggro – 4: RG Madness (2), WRu Aggrolition, Deep Dog
Midrange (aggro control) – 3: Xombies, BW Spirit/Lifegain, GR Midrange C/A
Combo – 0:
Aggro Combo – 1: RWB Kami Lock
Top 4 (top 8) Analysis:
So, we do get a top 4 with RW, Rats & Removal, and MUC. In it three of the better decks around right now. (I’d roughly put Freed, Orzhov Blink and obviously Angel Stompy in there as well, but this is off the top of my head.) That’s not to slight the Bg control deck, but it’s a new animal. MUC once again emerged victorious. Also of note, there are three Control decks here out of six in the tourney. Impressive, that’s all I have to say. First in the Semis against RWu and then in the Final against RnR. Sometimes I do go on a limb here and comment on decks a bit and I must say I am curious about the need of Blink in the RW deck. It hadn’t used it in a prior incarnation and I felt the deck was very solid at that point. I suppose it may provide some card advantage of sorts but as Riftwatcher is the only 187 creature I must assume its 2 purposes a enhancing life gain and protection. My thought would be that perhaps a card such as Shelter would be just as good here or even Whitemane Lion instead. I think Blink is an overused card that causes a lot of questionable deck building decisions to be made at times when the tricks it may provide aren’t as needed as they appear. Perhaps I am wrong about this, I know a lot of people love it, and it is certainly great in many decks, but my point is that it doesn’t fit into every deck. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. In the other Semifinal we had RnR versus Bg control. As the Bg Control pilot commented, this was a poor matchup for him as it was something of a mirror and the RnR deck had better options. This does bring a good point to the table as well. During the season we have seen a lot of Aggro decks and typically the Aggro deck that beats others is the best one to choose here if that is your style of play. The same applies for control decks as well. If you expect a field of control decks and that happens to be what you play, you would be wise to choose a deck that will fare well not only against Aggro decks but also against other Control decks. In the Final MUC took care of RnR to return to the top of the hill. RnR has been doing well of late, but it appears it will have to revise its sideboard strategy for this matchup as the games it is losing are consistently 2 & 3. MUC continues to be the top deck for Classic PDC this season and for people who dislike it, I would get used to it because there were three people playing it this past week. I will add a note though that MUC has still not taken its other pilots to top finishes the way that it has for its main proponent. This factor does keep questions about its true power level alive. The fact remains though, it is still winning whether the same person is playing it or not so you need to be at your best and bring the best to beat it. I will be looking at the Bg Control list below, so you’ll have to wait a few sections for a list. Change is good.
The Field Analysis:
The remaining 10 decks of the field featured 3 Aggro decks, 3 Control decks, 3 Aggro Control decks, and the lone Aggro-Combo deck. This was clearly a week where Control won out. As far as deck options go, I think it is coming down to choosing the right one, not paying attention, or taking a chance on something new. The left out decks are usually falling into the categories (although obviously not always as there are other factors involved beyond deck choice).
Season Tracking & Head to Heads:
I have been waiting to look at some of the season trends for the first few weeks and I think I finally have some data worth looking at. Its not going to be in the form of charts and graphs really, but I just have taken a grasp of a few deck statistics that I have seen so far and think are important to take note of and will toss them out below:
This week I’m not going to toss numbers out there, but decks. I am going to look at what the top decks this season is Classic_PDC have been losing too. The decks I have chosen to look at are MUC, Angel Stompy, and RnR. These three decks have been the top winners thus far in the Saturday event this season. Here is what they have been losing to:
MUC: Overall Record 31-10
Losses to: Orzhov Blink (2), Bg Control, RnR, RB Husk, Angel Stompy (2),
Grand Entrance, GW Elf Combo, Wug Aggro
Angel Stompy: Overall Record 18-7
Losses to: RnR, RB Husk, BW Rebel Tokens, MUC (3), Rock Husk
RnR: Overall Record 15-4
Losses to: MUC (4)
Innovations, Changes, New Decks:
Very disappointed, but in retrospect I understand. That sums up my feelings on the lack of Weatherlight in decks this week. I forgot that in release weeks the prices tend to be high because they are in rater short supply so many Paupers don’t quite have them yet. It seems I happen to be extra stupid/addicted and spend more for my fix in the first week. However, I was pleased to see something new in the top 4 this week, and here it is:
Classic PDC 7.07, 3rd place
16 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Snow-Covered Forest
4 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Golgari Rot Farm
3 Golgari Signet
3 Psychotic Episode
3 Phyrexian Rager
3 Crypt Rats
3 Golgari Rotwurm
2 Sprout Swarm
2 Shred Memory
1 Grim Harvest
4 Ichor Slick
4 Tendrils of Corruption
2 Consume Spirit
4 Innocent Blood
1 Echoing Decay
1 Grim Harvest
4 Serene Heart
1 Consume Spirit
I must admit I am somewhat jealous, because I have had a deck in my editor for months now called “Black Swarm”, but I just cant seem to get the theme to be cohesive enough. I do however like this mix. Especially intriguing is the discard mix. Discard has been difficult to run lately because of the large amount of Madness in current GR Beats and recursive tools in many decks. This deck uses a mix of spells that sidestep to a certain degree these problems. Duress avoids Fiery Temper and Basking Rootwalla by allowing choice an avoiding creatures, Mindstab is a slower discard tool where if an Aggro deck is holding cards to toss to it may serve to stunt their own development anyway and Psychotic Episode avoids recursion by placing cards out of reach at the bottom of the opponents deck. So, the deck does have strong disruption tools and also runs a strong win condition in Sprout Swarm with the backup Golgari Rotwurm. I am sure tuning can be done to adapt to certain matchups, and I have actually identified some cards in Weatherlight I am waiting to integrate into my build (along with some of these ideas surely). I would certainly keep an eye on this deck for future success.
Are Control decks finally coming out to play? I hope so. We need to get some balance here. The Aggro decks can’t run and hide though and I hope some more people return with Cloak decks as well. Mid season is upon us with changes abound.
Hope you enjoyed reading.