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