I had a chance to talk to a few players about the post-Scourge Onslaught Block Constructed Format. They all had a few pearls of wisdom to thorw out, and I present them here for your consumption.
The always-outspoken Adrian Sullivan put it this way: First there were the mono-white decks, and they looked great, especially because Silver Knight meant Goblins couldn’t beat them. Then the goblin decks discovered Siege-Gang Commander, and suddenly mono-white wouldn’t win anymore. It defines the format in that it lets Goblins beat decks that are designed to beat it.
“The Great Potato” Mike Turian echoed Sullivan’s remarks, but much more simply, and with a goofy grin on his face. “Goblins is ridiculously good,” he says. He’s surprised that so few goblin decks are running the Sharpshooter, and fully expects the successful (and smart) among them to be playing with the Gatling Gunner. And not just because he is playing it.
TOGIT’s Gerard Fabiano was also in the goblins camp, and quite sure of himself. It was by far the most expected deck, he says, and players showed up packed with hate for it. Silver Knights, Dawn Elementals, Slice and Dice, Starstorm, you name it. None of it matters. “Goblins will still win the Grand Prix. It’s the only deck in the format with a turn-three kill.”
His Comrade Osyp Lebedowicz said the same thing from a different perspective. He says that Mono-White Control is vastly overrated, and that Goblins still isn’t getting the respect it deserves. A lot of people, he said, came to this tournament thinking they could beat Goblins when their matchup is still only 50-50. He’s putting his money on Slide this weekend, which thankfully still has a good matchup. This is partly due to players sideboarding strategies, bringing in Stabilizer and Sulfuric Vortex when they should just bring in their biggest men.
Alex Shvartsman will tell you that the second most important thing, after demolishing goblins, is mana. A lot of people are in his boat. Most of the white-based control matches are decided by who has more mana. He’s taken this to its logical end by adding land destruction elements to his deck. Others are using Weathered Wayfarer to ensure maximum Temple of the False God action. With no counterspells, he who plays the biggest spells usually wins. More than one player has cycled Decree of Justice for a bunch of Soldiers only to have their back broken by Decree of Pain. That’s a lot of cards!
Bob Maher couldn’t bring himself to get ready for this event. Besides the other things on his plate, he just couldn’t get exited about the format. He showed up with a deck, untested, that was promised to him to destroy Goblins and have game against anyone else. That was all he could ask.
Lastly there is Gary Wise, who is running Goblins and also did no work for this event. He hates the format, and is bogged down with testing for Worlds. “Expect me to be out before the end of the day!” was all he had to say.