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Day 2 Metagame

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With the more experimental designs of Day 1 cut down, the field for Day 2 is quite definable. The big shock is how well the goblin decks are doing, when so many players had written them off as a non-factor. But as the metagame shifted to bigger and more powerful monsters, a weakness opened up that Goblins exploits perfectly. The variety of decks is pretty good, and there's plenty of variation going on within archetypes. Here in order of population are the decktypes being run today.

Goblins! - 33

Running away with the show are the mono-red goblin decks. Before the event, the internet community thought they had this deck pretty well sussed out. Turns out there's some sophistication going on here, after you put in the best Goblins and Shock. The most egregious addition is Skirk Prospector. The little man powers out Goblin Goon on turn three, a beating not many decks can recover from. Sideboarding gets even weirder, with options like Avarax, Thoughtbound Primoc and even Skirk Fire Marshall. Masahiko Morita took things one step further, moving the Avaraxes to the main, and cruising to a 7-0 record. Players quibble over which burn spells to run, whether or not to maindeck Threaten, and whether or not to run Blistering Firecat.

Astral Slide – 19

It's the deck that everyone knew about going into this weekend, and many call it the most powerful. Founded on the interaction between Astral Slide forcing players to commit more to the board and multiple Wrath effects, Slide seeks to survive, and then once its enchantments are in place, it lets Exalted Angel or Jareth, Leonine Titan take over. However, the number of Goblin decks seems to have caught them off-guard. The early designs of Slide trounced Goblins so thoroughly, and Slide started being metagamed against the new crop of decks. However, Goblins had more game than expected, and the modern Slide deck isn't as equipped to handle them. There's even a version that splashes blue for Complicate.

Patriarch's Bidding – 14

It might not be Living Death, but it wins the game in a hurry. Wall of Mulch and Infest play early defense against aggro decks, and against slower decks Bidding can afford to just cycle its Primoc Escapees, Barkhide Maulers and Krosan Tuskers to build a better hand. Head Games is the surprise winner here, trumping decks that rely on high-cost spells. When in a hurry, Read the Runes stocks the graveyard to make the Bidding truly painful. The mana diversification afforded by its land searchers lets it play Contested Cliffs somewhat comfortably.

Biorhythm – 14

This deck could just as easily be called Red-Green Vegetation, because that's its whole game plan. Wirewood Elf just makes it that much faster. After it hits a comfortable amount of mana, it starts to bring out the hits. Usually it's Rorix Bladewing and Silvos, Rogue Elemental to start, but it could just as easily be Kamahl, Fist of Krosa. If need be, Starstorm can clear any rubes standing in the way. Biorhtythm gives the deck its lightning-fast kill, dragging both players to one or two and then letting their monster finish things. Beyond the straight red-green versions, there are some that add white mana to play it even more controlling. Akroma's Vengeance gives extra sweeping potential.

Beasts – 8

Not to be confused with the Bidding deck that just happens to run a lot of beasts, this deck is much closer to its green-white-red Standard counterpart. Running such surprise hits as Canopy Crawler, Vitality Charm and Tephraderm, the beast deck aims to rule the table early. Its men might not be as impressive as some of the creatures being cast this weekend, but it has game against a lot of different decks. Some versions sport maindeck tricks like Nantuko Vigilante and Lightning Rift to get a leg-up in the Slide matchup. Others touch white.

Zombies – 7

Though somewhat ignored, the zombie decks are still a force to be reckoned with. The deck has some real potential for degeneracy, thanks to the sickness Rotlung Reanimator makes possible and the interaction between Gempalm Polluter and Unholy Grotto. Most versions run Patriarch's Bidding to combat the ubiquitous board sweepers. Its early beats aren't quite up to the ridiculousness of Goblins, but there does look like there's potential here.

Green-White – 4

These decks are like the good twins of the Biorhythm deck. They pack the same acceleration, but trade their red spells for white analogues. Akroma, Angel of Wrath and Exalted Angel augment the offensive line, while Akroma's Vengeance subs in for Starstorm. They even run Wall of Mulch to make sure they survive long enough to cast their huge monsters. Pacifism lets them punch through for a quick win.

Black-White – 2

These two decks are midrange aggro decks that refuel thanks to the power of Graveborn Muse. They sport both Akroma's Vengeance and Exalted Angel, as well as a solid line-up of zombie and cleric beaters.

Dragons – 1

Darwin Kastle is playing this Timmy dream machine. Starting off like a Vegetation deck, it quickly veers into uncharted waters with Kilnmouth Dragons that can be supercharged by Rorix and Imperial Hellkite. It sounds ridiculous, but it works.

Blue-Black –1

Palle Poulson decided that countermagic was too great to pass up, and built this pure control deck with both Complicate and Discombobulate, with Bane of the Living playing Wrath of God.

Green-White-Black – 1

Akihiro Kashima's deck looks like a mish-mash. He has the traditional green-white base of Vegetation, Exalted Angel, Akroma's Vengeance, Akroma and Silvos, but he also has a nightmare mana base to support Withered Wretch and Undead Gladiator. He has three Cruel Revivals to recoup extra cards, and can even score some draft-style unfairness with Skinthinner. The real question is "Why is he running Starlight Invoker?"

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