World of Wefald – Kibler’s Extended Darling

Tuesday, March 1 – Oyvind Andersen, creator of the U/B Vampires list called Blue Blood, analyzes the online Extended data from Magic Online and breaks down the top 5 decks. Want to beat the format? Start here!

Greetings, tech addicts. And welcome back to World of Wefald.

Since our last encounter, people have asked me
about the card choices in my Blue Blood deck. However, I don’t recommend playing Blue Blood at the moment. I took a quick look at the Magic Online
Standard results for the last week, and aggressive decks are out in force. Thus, since this column is all about giving worthwhile advice and not about
promoting my own darlings, I’ll focus on Extended instead, since that’s the current PTQ format.

Every time I start building a deck for a known metagame, I go through all the available tournament results on Magic Online. These results can be found
at this link. I then find some suitable
way of categorizing the different decks, and at this stage, I find it best to use fairly wide categorizations, since your goal is to get an overview of
what decks are winning. For instance, I had one category simply called “Valakut,” with subcategories called “R/G” and “U/G/r,” instead of counting
these as different archetypes. I also chose not to differentiate between 3-1 decks and 4-0 decks, simply because the difference between going 3-1 and
going 4-0 can often be chalked up to the game’s inherent variance. Most of the data I’ve based my statistics on this week came from Daily Events, but I
also used the results from one of the PTQs. Here, I included all the decklists with a record of 6-2 or better in the eight Swiss rounds.

After I’ve collected this metagame data, my next step is to calculate what percentage of the field each category makes up. I then choose the five deck
types with the highest percentages and focus my testing on beating those five as best as I can. I more or less ignore the rest of the field at this

(Never try to beat everything. If you try, you’ll end up beating nothing.)

So, with no further delays, here is this week’s top five list:

Top five Extended decks on Magic Online (between February 17 and February 23)

5. Red Deck Wins (6%)

So we start off with an old crowd favorite. This deck has been around pretty much forever, so I don’t think I have to write all that much about it. It
tries to beat you with an early rush of the fastest creatures red has to offer and uses burn spells to clear away your blockers and then you. Red decks
can be quite efficient in the right metagame, but they’re also very easy to hate out due to their singular, fiery focus.

A sample decklist looks something like this:

4. Valakut (13%)

Valakut is the format’s premier combo deck. Its goal when trying to beat you is to resolve Scapeshift with six lands and Prismatic Omen out. Scapeshift
ideally fetches four copies of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and two random lands, and the trick is that, with Prismatic Omen in play, those Valakuts
themselves also count as Mountains. In other words, you take a lot of damage, and then you die screaming in a sea of lava.

As I mentioned earlier, the Valakut decks come in different shapes. The most common version is straight-up R/G and looks a bit like the Valakut decks
you find in Standard. Here is a sample decklist:

Another version of the Valakut deck reduces red to a small splash and plays blue instead. By doing so, it gains access to counterspells and deck
manipulation but becomes much more reliant on getting a Prismatic Omen to stick. Sample decklist coming right up:

You might also run into a third version of Valakut. This one works approximately like the U/G/r deck above but with a dash of white for Wargate and
Path to Exile.

3. Elves (15%)

Elves…? Really…? I was quite surprised when I saw that the little green dudes were doing well, but I assumed it was because the deck had incorporated
some sweet combo made possible by the introduction of Green Sun’s Zenith. Then I actually looked at the decklists:

Really…? Some decks play Regal Force; some splash white for Ranger of Eos, and others splash black for Thoughtseize. But basically, these decks don’t
really do anything besides play dudes that generate mana and then use said mana to play even more dudes. Ezuri, Renegade Leader protects against board
sweepers, but apart from that, this deck just seems cold to anything sporting mass removal.

So wazzup wit dis deck? Is it a clever metagame call in a format where weapons of mass destruction aren’t as common as they are in Standard? Is it a
budget option for those who can’t afford a real deck? Is it the result of people watching Lord of the Rings a few times too many? I honestly
don’t know, so I picked up the phone and called an authority on the subject of little green forest-dwellers. After a few rings, a beautiful and
harmonic voice answered:

L: “
Legolas here

. Who’s calling?”

W: “It’s me, Wefald. Did you delete me or something, since you had to ask?”

L: “No, no, honey. Nothing like that. You see, I just bought a new phone. Haven’t gotten around to updating my contact list just yet. Been so busy
fighting the Forces of Darkness and all that. So what’s going down up north?”

W: “I was just going through the Extended metagame and noticed there are a bunch of Elf decks. And they’re winning. Without any combo elements. And
I thought maybe you knew why.”

L: “Oh, you silly, sweet, confused cutie pie. Why do you even have to ask such a question? It’s because we Elves are awesome, obv, lol, etc. We
defeated Sauron, so we can fight through a few Day of Judgments and Volcanic Fallouts, darling.”

W: “Uhm… well… yeah, I guess that makes sense. So… eh… *cough* are you busy tomorrow? We could… you know… hang out. Go for a walk in
the woods. And maybe go back to my place for some lembas bread and wine afterwards?”

(really awkward silence)

L: “Wefald, darling… We broke up, remember?”

W: “Yeah, I know. But I thought maybe we could try again or something. I’ve really missed you.”

L: “This is awkward… You see, I have a date with Kibler tomorrow…”

W: “………Kibler? You’re ditching me for Brian Dragonmaster Kibler?”

L: “Ooooh. Dragonmaster. That sounds hot.”

W: “Are you kidding me? What’s he got that I haven’t?”

L: “Well… He’s in the Hall of Fame. He’s won a Pro Tour. And he’s so outgoing and charming with that big smile… Plus he wins with Baneslayer
Angels and Squadron Hawks. You win with Dark Confidants and Sutured Ghouls and Nantuko Shades. At first, I thought this whole Grim Northern
Darkness thing was really exciting, and… I guess I got a bit carried away back then. But let’s face reality here. I really don’t think we have
all that much in common. Sorry, honey. It could never work.”

W: “But… Kibler doesn’t love you. He’s setting you up, since Elves is Caw-Blade’s worst matchup, and he wants you out of the way so that his
darling deck can dominate StarCityGames.com Open: Edison this weekend.”

L: “You’re just jealous, Wefald. I’m happy when I’m with Kibler. Don’t try to take that away from me. This conversation is over.”

He hung up. That pointy-eared freak hung up on me. Man… This feels even worse than getting Mindslaver-locked in Paris. Oh well… The show must go
on, etc.

4. Faeries (22%)

Really…? Elves and Faeries…? What’s this game coming to? Back in my time, we killed our opponents with Chuck Norris-caliber win conditions like
Psychatog, Sutured Ghoul, and Bosh, Iron Golem. If the good people at Wizards continue along this path, I’m pretty sure that by 2014, I’ll be writing
articles on Mono-Pink Control and Unicorn-Go, while being cuddled to death by Care Bear counters.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure none of you are all that surprised to see the winged menace on this Top 5 list. Here’s an example of what this deck looks like,
updated with Mirrodin Besieged:

So everyone’s new favorite toy, Sword of Feast and Famine, has found its way into decks without Stoneforge Mystics, too. Apart from that and the
obvious change from Doom Blade to Go for the Throat, there’s probably not all that much to write about this deck that hasn’t already been written. So
I’ll just skip right ahead to our number one.

1. U/W (22%)

I wrote earlier that I used tournament results from February 17 through February 23 as the basis for this article. Well… before the Magic Online PTQ
on February 20, an Extended U/W Control deck looked something like this:

Then, after the aforementioned PTQ on February 20,

these results

came in. Look at the deck that took first and fourth place. Yes, indeed — that’s the Extended version of Kibler’s darling: U/W with Stoneforge Mystics
and Swords. I’m hesitant to call this one Caw-Blade, since it doesn’t play Squadron Hawk, but whatever you want to call it, one fact remains: After
February 20, this became the new default U/W deck. Overnight. So make sure you have a plan to beat it the next time you enter an Extended PTQ, ’cause
it will be everywhere.

And with those words of wisdom, World of Wefald’s first encounter with the new Extended format has reached its end. Join me next week for interviews
with Michael Hetrick, who designed the Caw-Blade-ish deck that won the much-talked-about February 20 Magic Online PTQ, and also with Reid Duke, who won
the February 27 Magic Online PTQ, also with a deck he designed himself.

Until then, may you find the courage to stand up against Brian Sauron Kibler‘s plans for
world domination.


-Wefald- (signing off)