alfway through day one a quick perusal of the top tables revealed a more varied metagame than was originally anticipated. Many players were griping prior to the tournament about a two deck field. The pundits put the metagame on Affinity and Red-Green anti-Affinity. While there are a fair amount of both the predicted archetypes a couple of other decks were joining them at the top of the standings.
A number of players were sporting mono-red decks that ramped up to Arc-Slogger and Furnace Dragon. Dubbed Big Red the deck has an assortment of possible builds. Some were sporting Trinisphere to slow down the Affinity decks while others had Damping Matrix to shut down Skullclamp and Arcbound Ravager.
At the start of round five there was an array of six Affinity decks at the top six tables and they were squaring off with a non-Affinity foes. The Affinity players at tables one and two had to cope with Big Red while the next two players down the line had red-green on their plate. The next two players after that each had to cope with the breakout deck of the format--TwelvePost.
TwelvePost is a nearly mono-green concoction that uses Cloudposts to accelerate into the completely unexpected Tooth and Nail with entwine. The end result of this is more often than not a Leonin Abunas and a Platinum Angel. The deck also sports Mindslaver which is absolutely devastating against the Affinity decks with Arcbound Ravager.
There were fifteen players with undefeated records coming into the round. Benjamin Caumes, Raffaele Lo Moro, Neil Reeves, Rapahel Levy, Katsuhiro Mori, Antoine Ruel, Albertus Law, and Kai Budde were the big names in this group. Kai was paired down against Tsuyoshi Fujita who was leading the pack of 3-1 players.
There was only one American in that group of players. The Japanese had three players at the head of the class with Mashahiro Kuroda and Kazuhiko Mitsuya joining Mori at 4-0. The big story to this point though was the French with four players sporting 4-0 records. Benjamin Caumes, Rapahel Levy, Antoine Ruel , and Alexander Peset were all 4-0 to this point.
We were only halfway through the day and things could and probably will change dramatically. Stay tuned!