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Nationals 2005 Results

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Now that it is over I’ll be taking a look at the world’s National’s results (or at least the ones where Saviors was legal) to see how the Standard format ended up. This is mostly as a review of what the format ended up being since 9th Edition is legal in the next large Standard tournament.

First up is the biggest one. US Nationals. There was a period of time where US Nationals was considered the hardest tournament in the world to win. It had not only had the best players in the world but was also just plain huge. Making top 8 of a 400+ player event is hard enough but when the best players in the world fill the tournament it becomes even harder. Since then the quality of the American magic players has declined somewhat and the rest of the world has gotten much better. It is still probably in the top 3 hardest countries to top 8 in but I don’t know whether it is harder than countries like France and Japan that are dominating the Pro Tour at the moment. Well anyway on with the results.

US Nationals:

Deck Copies
Blue Tron: 3
MUC: 1
G/B Death Cloud: 1
Rats: 1
Flores Red: 1
WW: 1
Winner: Blue Tron

What is amazing about this tournament is that there is no Tooth in the top 8 at all. It was not only the generally accepted best deck in Standard but was also the most common deck people brought to the tournament. Also worth noting is that there are 4 blue decks in the top 8. So much for people saying blue is dead. The Flores Red deck is card for card the exact copy of Flores’ deck from his original article creating the archetype (which is no longer premium so it readable by the masses). The winning Blue Tron deck splashed black for Cranial Extraction in the sideboard to help with the Tooth matchup. The WW deck was the only one to do even remotely decent in the tournament and likely did so because of a lot of luck and the maindeck Worships.

Irish Nationals:

Deck Copies
Tooth: 2
Rats: 2
MUC: 1
Beacon Green: 1
Aggro Red: 2
Winner: Blue Tron

The Beacon deck is a little unexpected but is more likely due to randomness and player skill than a tier 1 deck. It isn’t unusual for a random deck to sneak into a top 8. As a deck the Beacon Green deck lost a lot of power when the metagame shifted with the release of Saviors. Also the removal of Plow Under pretty much finishes it off.

French Nationals:

Deck Copies
Tooth: 2
Aggro Red: 2
MUC: 2
Mono Blue Aggro: 1
Blue Tron: 1
Winner: Tooth

It seems as though there are always blue control decks in the top 8 of major French tournaments even when they are supposedly not viable. This was the first post-saviors Nationals data was received for and the first time MUC (not Tron) looked to be anything but a crappy deck. I believe it was also the first big success of the Blue Tron decks. Before this it had a lot of Premier Event top 8s on Magic Online but not much else. The real oddball is the Mono Blue Aggro deck. It has Erayo, Soratami Ascendant but isn’t one of those Erayo Affinity decks like the one from Regionals. If anything it most closely resembles a deck like Blue Skies. A bunch of small flyers and a bit of countermagic and bounce. It has a few things going for it but doesn’t look to be a great deck. Just someone that got a bit lucky and likely outplayed a few people with superior decks.

Italian Nationals:

Deck Copies
Tooth: 1
Rats: 3
WW: 1
B/G Death Cloud: 1
Red Aggro: 2
Winner: Tooth

The closest thing out of the ordinary here is the White Weenie and Death Cloud decks which are probably a tier 3 deck at best.

Greece Nationals:

Deck Copies
Tooth: 2
Rats: 1
MBC: 1
Blue Tron: 1
Aggro Red: 3
Winner: Tooth

The Mono Black control deck is a bit random but not too surprising. There are a lot of powerful black cards around right now. Unfortunately this is about the only time one had done well recently.

Totals:

Deck Copies
Aggro Red: 9
Tooth: 7
Rats: 7
Blue Tron: 5
MUC: 4
WW: 2
G/B Control: 2
Flores Red: 1
Green Aggro: 1
Aggro Blue: 1
MBC: 1

Winners:

Deck Copies
Tooth: 3
Aggro Red: 1
Blue Tron: 1

Aggro Red got more top 8s than any other archetype but only one win. Tooth took home the most first place trophies despite having 2 less top 8s. The surprise comes from the fact that Rats got so many top 8s. While it didn’t win any tournaments it got 7 top 8s which is the same as Tooth and more than the Blue Tron decks that people are touting as the new “best deck.” This is certainly enough to prove that it is much more than a rogue underpowered deck and is a fine choice for a major tournament. Post rotation it shouldn’t do anything but get better with access to Hypnotic Specter. The Specter fits almost perfectly into the deck already. Also note that most of the lists here didn’t try and concentrate on “cute” locks with Chittering Rats and Skull Collector. Some ran one or both of those cards but not in the quantities that would give you a realistic chance of getting the lock. Instead they just used little beaters and small bits of disruption and card advantage to squeeze out the win.

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