A metagame breakdown fresh-baked in Paris.

Swimming in the Seine

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The letter W!elcome to my second go-round for The Past Returns Week. I have written more columns for this site than anyone else, so it only fair that I get to go twice. This week I am returning, as close to live and direct as this column ever gets, from Paris, France at the conclusion of Day One of the 2006 Magic: The Gathering World Championships to break down the results from the Standard format at the conclusion of six rounds of play. Not only will I be bringing you the freshest decklists straight from the oven, but I will be stacking them on top of each other – in old SWS fashion – taking them from first to worst.

The field was pretty diverse, and players not only had a hard time figuring out what to play but what to prepare to play against. The only decks that people seemed sure they would face were Izzetron decks, with the Hellkite/Whelk tandem, and Dragonstorm. After that the field was wide open for anything from the Angel deck to Zoo variants with stops at virtually every letter in between. Feel free to do a metagame alphabet in the forums if you want some extra credit.

I am fighting against the clock to get this done so there may not be as much material as you might typically get in SWS during a less hectic, less racing-against-the-deadline, less Randy-is-tapping-his-toes-waiting-to-do-the-end-of-day-wrap-up, and generally less hyphenated day.

Boros Deck Wins was both one of the most played and most successful decks for the Day One field. Thirty-three players chose the popular red-white archetype with its parade of efficient beaters and downpour of burn. At least three different players took the deck to perfect 6-0 records. There should be little surprise from the readers at home that Tsuyoshi Fujita righted his ship with his favorite archetype. Back-to-back Pro Tour finalist Willy Edel also built a version for the Brazilian National team to use. It has carried him (although he is not on the team) and captain Paulo Vitor Damo De Rosa to sterling records.

Boros Deck Wins – Standard – 2006 World Championship

Fujita’s version of the deck opted for fewer Knights and more X spells:

Boros Deck Wins – Standard – 2006 World Championship

One of the more interesting takes on the Boros Deck was by Welsh National team member Nicolas Lovett, who took this build to 6-0 as well.

Boros Deck Wins – Standard – 2006 World Championship

Nicolas chose to run four copies of the metagame-savvy Wildfire Emissary. Emissary can’t be Condemned, Rift Bolted, or stopped by Knight of the Holy Nimbus. Should any of these Boros players square off on Sunday, this deck could be at a tremendous advantage.

At last year’s World Championships the Japanese portion of the field all ran GhaziGlare to a dominating finish. This year 13 Japanese players chose to run a blue-white tron deck that touched black for Mystical Teachings. The kill card? Triskelavus…hence the name TriscuitTron. Itaru Ishida was the overall leader on Day One playing the deck that was designed by World Champion Katsuhiro Mori.

On Tuesday afternoon we paid a visit to Gabriel Nassif’s house to get an inside look at the playtesting he, Heezy, Jelger, Neil Reeves, and Rich Hoaen were doing. I was happy to learn that Gabriel Nassif had been deep in the think tank for two weeks before the event and not letting his co-conspirators get into any distractions. Perhaps teasing at the famous line by Gabe Walls in regard to the Hawaii House, Hexxy informed me that he and Nassif had indeed busted open this Standard format. No one else from the Paris apartment chose to believe them, but with Nassif sitting at 5-0-1 perhaps Heezy was correct.

There were a number of other variants on the same idea – and plenty of straight-up Snow White builds – but Nassif’s was the most successful of the whole lot.

Tied with Nassif at 5-0-1 was Norwegian National Team Captain Øyvind Anderson. His deck was one of the first I saw this weekend when a player – I think it was Rasmus Sibast – cast Wrath of God and then followed it up with Savannah Lions and Hypnotic Specter. Øyvind designed the deck and as such chose the name Panda Connection – much to the consternation of his teammate Nicolai Herzog. Herzog seemed even more concerned with the deck’s mana requirements on both sides of the black/white axis. Øyvind seemed perfectly fine with it on the day.

There were a number of other exciting decks, including the Frank Karsten-designed deck that is heaped under Good Color Control since it plays, you know, the good colors – red, white, and blue. Karsten’s deck is basically a three-color CounterMesa deck that touches red for Angels and Demonfire. Tiago Chan continued his recent streak of Pro Tour success by piloting the deck to a 5-1 record on Day One.

Good Color Control – Standard – 2006 World Championship

Rookie of the Year candidate Jan-Moritz Merkel followed up his winning Kobe performance with a 5-1 kickoff to his World Championships (then immediately hopped in a side draft, or so my sources tell me). The deck he was playing looked pretty similar to his draft deck from Kobe, actually, with blue and green beatdown. Based on the Scryb and Force deck designed by Naoki Shimizu, Simic Beatdown decks were very popular this week, with over 30 players choosing to untap their Spectral Force by bouncing a Forest.

Simic Beats: Scryb and Force – Standard – 2006 World Championship

Main Deck

60 cards

Breeding Pool
Yavimaya Coast

22 lands

Birds of Paradise
Llanowar Elves
Mystic Snake
Ohran Viper
Scryb Ranger
Spectral Force

22 creatures

Call of the Herd
Mana Leak
Stonewood Invocation

16 other spells

Giant Solifuge
Vesuvan Shapeshifter

15 sideboard cards

Another player who has been making a name for himself has been Guillaume Wafo-Tapa, whose eponymous Wafo-Tapo decks were made famous in the pages of your regularly scheduled Thursday column. Guillaume was at it again this weekend and concocted a blue-black control monstrosity that features the unexpected Dralnu, Lich Lord and his Bosium Strip routine (Gasp! In the Louvre no less!). The deck was played by most of the name French players, but it was the deck’s progenitor who had the most success with it.

Dralnu du Louvre – Standard – 2006 World Championship

There should be plenty more decks revealed in the coming days – including the mysterious third French deck, Project X, but in the meantime I hope these decks have given you something to take to FNM tonight. Also, below is a standings finish by deck archetype.

Off to do the wrap-up and then to the Hall of Fame dinner. See you in my regularly scheduled day and time slot next week!

Place Archetype Subtype
1 Tron TriscuitTron
2 Boros Deck Wins
3 Boros Deck Wins
4 Boros Deck Wins
5 Boros Deck Wins
6 Tron MartyrTron
7 Black-White Control Panda Connection
8 Tron TriscuitTron
9 Good Color Control CounterMesa
10 Zoo
11 Blue-black Control Snow Control
12 Unknown Unknown
13 Tron Izzetron
14 Zoo
15 Dragonstorm DragonTron
16 Boros Deck Wins
17 Solar X Solar Flare
18 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
19 Dragonstorm
20 Zoo
21 Snow White Howling Martyrs
22 Good Color Control This Girl
23 Black-White Control Panda Connection
24 Solar X Solar Flare
25 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
26 Boros Deck Wins
27 Blue-black Control Dralnu at the Louvre
28 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
29 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
30 Good Color Control Searing Angel
31 Boros Deck Wins
32 Dragonstorm
33 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
34 Tron TriscuitTron
35 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
36 Glare DemonGlare
37 Mono-Blue Control Snow Control
38 Black-White Control MartyrMesa
39 Tron TriscuitTron
40 Blue-black Control Dralnu at the Louvre
41 Tron Izzetron
42 Black-White Control Peekaboo
43 Dragonstorm
44 Tron MartyrTron
45 Dragonstorm
46 Zoo
47 Black-White Control Panda Connection
48 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
49 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
50 Dragonstorm
51 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
52 Zoo Honorable Zoo
53 Solar X Solar Flare
54 Dragonstorm QuickenStorm
55 Solar X Solar Birth
56 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
57 Dragonstorm DragonTron
58 Dragonstorm
59 Tron Izzetron
60 Dragonstorm
61 Dragonstorm
62 Tron Izzetron
63 Black-White Control Panda Connection
64 HowlingStorm
65 Glare BioGlare
66 Boros Deck Wins
67 Good Color Control CounterMesa
68 Boros Deck Wins
69 Black-White Control Seek and Destroy
70 Dragonstorm
71 Boros Deck Wins
72 Dragonstorm
73 Tron Izzetron
74 Solar X Solar Flare
75 Good Color Control Firemane Control
76 Magnivore
77 Project X
78 Solar X Solar Fires
79 Tron TriscuitTron
80 Solar X Solar Flare
81 Glare DemonGlare
82 Zoo
83 Dragonstorm
84 Tron TriscuitTron
85 Tron Izzetron
86 Good Color Control BlinkRiders
87 Glare DemonGlare
88 Tron TriscuitTron
89 Tron Izzetron
90 Simic Beats Ohran Aggro
91 Dragonstorm DragonTron
92 Zoo Honorable Zoo
93 Tron Izzetron
94 Solar X Solar Fires
95 Glare DemonGlare
96 Zoo
97 Glare Hermit Glare
98 DemonBUG
99 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
100 Dragonstorm DragonTron
101 Magnivore
102 Dragonstorm
103 Blue-red Control Snow Control
104 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
105 Dragonstorm
106 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
107 Tron Izzetron
108 Solar X Solar Flare
109 Good Color Control CounterMesa
110 Dragonstorm
111 Zoo
112 Boros Deck Wins Boros Deck Wins Occasionally
113 Solar X Solar Flare
114 Solar X Solar Pox
115 Good Color Control This Girl
116 4C Worship
117 Blue-black Control Dralnu at the Louvre
118 Black-White Control
119 Tron TriscuitTron
120 Good Color Control This Girl
121 Black-White Control Peekaboo
122 Good Color Control CounterMesa
123 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
124 Blue-White Control Snow Control
125 Solar X Solar Birth
126 Tron TriscuitTron
127 Boros Deck Wins
128 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
129 Zoo
130 Project X
131 Tron Izzetron
132 Blue-black Control Dralnu at the Louvre
133 Solar X Solar Flare
134 Solar X Solar Fires
135 Glare BlinkGlare
136 Tron Izzetron
137 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
138 Zoo
139 Tron Izzetron
140 Tron Izzetron
141 Dragonstorm DragonTron
142 Tron Izzetron
143 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
144 Solar X Solar Fires
145 Solar X Solar Fires
146 Glare Hermit Glare
147 Tron Izzetron
148 Boros Deck Wins
149 Glare Hermit Glare
150 Zoo
151 Solar X Solar Pox
152 Blue-red Control Snow Control
153 Dragonstorm DragonTron
154 Glare BlinkGlare
155 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
156 Solar X Solar Flare
157 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
158 Glare Squall Glare
159 Boros Deck Wins
160 Zoo
161 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
162 Solar X Solar Flare
163 Solar X Solar Fires
164 Simic Beats Ohran Aggro
165 Blue-red Control Snow Control
166 Reanimator
167 Boros Deck Wins
168 Blue-red Control Snow Control
169 Glare BlinkGlare
170 Tron TriscuitTron
171 Boros Deck Wins
172 Solar X Solar Fires
173 Blue-black Control Dralnu at the Louvre
174 Boros Deck Wins
175 Magnivore
176 Blue-black Control Shadowmage
177 Tron TriscuitTron
178 Tron Izzetron
179 Dragonstorm
180 Dragonstorm DragonTron
181 Good Color Control CounterMesa
182 Zoo Borzov Deck Wins
183 Zoo
184 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
185 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
186 Tron Izzetron
187 Solar X Solar Fires
188 Tron Izzetron
189 Dragonstorm
190 Tron TriscuitTron
191 Snow Control Blue-red
192 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
193 Project X
194 Glare Hermit Glare
195 Zoo Honorable Zoo
196 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
197 Zoo
198 Boros Deck Wins
199 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
200 Boros Deck Wins
201 Tron Izzetron
202 Boros Deck Wins
203 Tron Izzetron
204 Glare DemonGlare
205 Solar X Solar Fires
206 Snow White Howling Martyrs
207 Glare BlinkGlare
208 Blue-black Control Dralnu at the Louvre
209 Boros Deck Wins
210 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
211 Glare Husky Boys
212 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
213 Blue-White Control Teferi and her Moat
214 Dragonstorm
215 Boros Deck Wins
216 Glare Husky Boys
217 Dragonstorm
218 Dragonstorm DragonTron
219 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
220 Snow White Howling Martyrs
221 Good Color Control CounterMesa
222 Good Color Control CounterMesa
223 Glare BlinkGlare
224 Tron TriscuitTron
225 Tron TriscuitTron
226 Glare Hermit Glare
227 Glare DemonGlare
228 Tron MartyrTron
229 Tron MartyrTron
230 Solar X Solar Fires
231 Snow White MartyrMesa
232 Solar X Solar Fires
233 Solar X Solar Pox
234 Reanimator
235 Solar X Solar Flare
236 Tron Izzetron
237 Reanimator
238 Solar X Solar Flare
239 Blue-red Control BrowBurn
240 Dragonstorm
241 Boros Deck Wins
242 Simic Beats Ohran Aggro
243 Zoo
244 Boros Deck Wins
245 Zoo
246 Glare BlinkGlare
247 Snow White MartyrMesa
248 Tron Izzetron
249 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
250 Solar X Solar Fires
251 Glare BlinkGlare
252 Good Color Control Firemane Control
253 Tron Izzetron
254 Magnivore
255 Tron Izzetron
256 Dragonstorm DragonTron
257 Solar X Solar Fires
258 Tron Izzetron
259 Blue-White Control Snow Control
260 Simic Beats BioGauntlet
261 Dragonstorm
262 Solar X Solar Flare
263 Zoo Honorable Zoo
264 Zoo
265 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
266 Glare Husky Boys
267 Dragonstorm
268 Zoo
269 Zoo Firemane Control
270 Tron Izzetron
271 Tron Izzetron
272 Solar X Solar Flare
273 Solar X Solar Fires
274 Tron Izzetron
275 Zoo
276 Boros Deck Wins
277 Zoo
278 Zoo
279 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
280 Solar X Solar Pox
281 Dragonstorm
282 Boros Deck Wins
283 Tron Izzetron
284 Project X
285 Pickles Green Pickles
286 Tron Izzetron
287 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
288 Boros Deck Wins
289 Solar X Solar Pox
290 Boros Deck Wins
291 Good Color Control Firemane Control
292 Solar X Solar Flare
293 Solar X Solar Flare
294 Black-White Control Panda Connection
295 Blue-red Control Snow Control
296 Tron MartyrTron
297 Reanimator
298 Tron Izzetron
299 Snow Control Blue-red
300 Tron Izzetron
301 Zoo
302 Boros Deck Wins
303 Tron Izzetron
304 Pickles Soggy Pickles
305 Dragonstorm
306 Dragonstorm
307 Black-White Control Crematorium
308 Boros Deck Wins
309 Zoo
310 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
311 Snow White MartyrMesa
312 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
313 LockSac
314 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
315 Snow White MartyrMesa
316 LockSac
317 Good Color Control This Girl
318 Solar X Solar Flare
319 Glare BlinkGlare
320 Dragonstorm
321 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
322 Glare BlinkGlare
323 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
324 Black-White Control RackAttack
325 Tron Izzetron
326 Zoo
327 Dragonstorm
328 Tron Izzetron
329 Solar X Solar Flare
330 Boros Deck Wins
331 Zoo Borzov Deck Wins
332 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
333 Black-White Control MartyrMesa
334 Glare Husky Boys
335 Zoo
336 Boros Deck Wins
337 4C Worship
338 Boros Deck Wins
339 Tron Izzetron
340 Tron Izzetron
341 Zoo
342 Zoo
343 Black-White Control Cursed Control
344 Simic Beats Scryb and Force
345 Glare Hermit Glare
346 Blue-White Control CounterMesa
347 Solar X Solar Pox
348 Tron TriscuitTron
349 Simic Beats ViperWalk
350 Magnivore
351 Snow White
352 Gargadon Balance
353 Azorius Beats
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