hough we have all the decklists at our fingertips, it's always helpful to take a broader view of things. To this end, our scientists, hungry for raw data like it was so many Halloween "fun size" chocolate bars, have torn into the Day 2 field and extracted the usual counts and descriptors. The numbers tell a tale of fast decks and the men that drive them.
The extended portion of Worlds 2003 saw the Japanese take what many believed to be an explored format and break it wide open with their incredible Gob-vantage deck. Fast forward a few months and even after Goblin Lackey
was forced to hit the pine permanently it is THE signature goblin deck, chosen by players worldwide. Harnessing the power of Goblin Recruiter
and Goblin Ringleader
, it now packs the added punch of Goblin Charbelcher
, allowing a quick kill. Chrome Mox
speeds up the whole operation, and the Japanese have gone one better and included Seething Song
However, nine of these decks deserve special attetnion. Instead of Charbelcher they run Food Chain. Originally a Your Move Games deck, it was leaked to the general public. The theory is simple: Turn one Recruiter via Chrome Mox, Turn two Food Chain, sacrifice the Recruiter, cast and sacrifice another goblin, then start making and sacrificing Ringleaders, until you can bowl your opponent over with Piledrivers and friends. Even without the element of surprise, nine of its players are in Day 2. Imagine if it had stayed under wraps.
Splitting the two Goblin decks puts Tinker
easily on top of the field, further validating many players' opinions that it is the deck to beat. Escaping the bannings entirely intact, Tinker
dug into Mirrodin and found plenty of goodies to send it over the top. First there is demoralizing Mindslaver
, the cause of more than a few outrageous beats this weekend. Then there's Myr Incubator
, a quick source of thirty-odd 1/1's. Lastly, there's the mighty Chalice of the Void
, modelled after an Invitational submission by Gary Wise. With all that fast mana, it's easy to lock out the most dangerous cards in your opponen:(t's deck before they can be a factor. Before Day 1 was out, players were calling for the banning of Tinker
. If it dominates Day 2, it will definitely give R&D something to think about.
Mana Severance/Goblin Charbelcher Combo: 11
Some of Europe's best minds are behind this dark horse, and are quietly tearing up the tournament. The combo itself is obvious, two cards that give you lethal damage. Adding in various tutors, Tinkers, and fast mana and you get a consistent package that packs a knockout punch. Gabriel Nassif is cautious of his success, though, noting that a few of his wins have been real flukes. Still, eleven decks. That's a lot of proof.
Dr. Teeth just won't stay dead. Largely thought to be too slow for the format, he picked up the same Chrome Mox that everyone else did, and ran the disruption game. You have to figure that in a field of combo-style decks that the man with the power to say "No" at the right times will be the man on top when it's all done.
Angry Hermit: 8
Chrome Mox and Dragon's Breath. With faster mana meaning a more reliable turn one Hermit Druid and not having to play mountain to support Anger, the explosive combo of Pro Tour - Houston just got a shot of high-octane. The loss of Entomb is only tangential.
The Rock: 7
Here's another slow disruptive deck, but this one relies heavily on the twin guns of Duress and Cabal Therapy. Pernicious Deed gives it a sweet reset button, but all of these can be pro-actively handled by Chalice of the Void. The modern Godfather of Rock, Jeroen Remie, made a canny last-minute decision to board four Phyrexian Negators, and they've seen play in almost every mach.
Scepter Oath: 6
Whether piloted by YMG'ers or those who looted their vault, there's no mistaking the prowess of this deck. Everyone's been talking about the possible abuses of Isochron Scepter, and here's a build that has a sickness for any opponent. Gobvantage? Moment's Peace on a stick. Tinker? Endless Naturalize. If you're not sure, why not start with Counterspell? Backing that up is the Cogniv-Oath skeleton. As a plus, Krosan Reclamation can wreak havoc on Goblin Recruiter. So what if you're playing Oath in a format with few creatures?
George W. Bosh: 5
From the good people in Team Punisher comes this house of pain. In addition to your usual host of Tinker
tricks, this deck packs four Goblin Welder
s, allowing it to bounce back from spot removal. Worse, it can give it limitless Mindslaver
s, a feat that's earned more than one concession this weekend.
Generic Red Deck: 3
You're looking at a host of efficient dudes, burn, and Cursed Scrolls. Call it what you will.
Mind's Desire: 3
One of these decks looks like Romoa's deck from Worlds, with Snaps and Cloud of Faeries. The other two are the shocking Japanese Twiddle Desire deck, a deck that has to be seen to be believed.
The Rest: 8
A strange mixture that includes Mono Brown, Turboland, White Weenie, Blue-White Weenie, Draco-Explosion, Blue-Green Madness, as well as others.