PTQ Berlin 2008 – The first wave of faeries and hobbits

Wizards has posted the first set of decklists from the 2008 Berlin PTQ season. Click here for the decklist page, and click here for Mike Flores’ analysis of the results to date. So far, Faeries and Kithkin are the most abundant among top eight participants, but wins have gone to Merfolk, Faeries, and a five-color control deck (note that Mike doesn’t yet cover all the wins listed in the results).
The full top eight lists reveal some interesting deck choices that Flores didn’t touch on, included in the extended entry.


First, I’ll mention that Melissa DeTora won the Boston PTQ with Faeries. She maindecks three Peppersmokes, pointing toward a belief that she’d be facing a lot of Faeries mirror matches throughout the day. She also has three Puppeteer Cliques in the side — I’m not sure which matchups they come in for.
Pinnegar’s Elves

29 Creatures:
Chameleon Colossus
Kitchen Finks
Masked Admirers
Mulldrifter
Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
Scarblade Elite
Shriekmaw
Wren’s Run Vanquisher
7 Spells:
Nameless Inversion
Profane Command
24 Land:
Forest
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Reflecting Pool
Sunken Ruins
Swamp
Vivid Grove
Vivid Marsh
15 Sideboard:
Guttural Response
Incremental Blight
Mind Shatter
Raking Canopy

Mike Pinnegar took first place in the Columbus, Ohio PTQ with this sort-of-elves deck. It has a number of interesting features, most notably the blue splash that gives it access to four Mulldrifters for card draw. This access comes on the back of seven Vivid lands and two Sunken Ruins. One thing I’m interested in watching in these early PTQ results is how many comes-into-play-tapped lands people can successfully play.
Pinnegar’s build also makes use of a tool that debuted in competitive play at GP Birmingham — Scarblade Elite. In addition to being a 2/2 Elf for BB, the Elite means that each one of your Nameless Inversions (being Assassins!) gets a second life as another kill spell, thanks to the Elite. Similarly, any dead Chameleon Colossi can be thrown at enemy critters. Over in the side, Pinnegar has Raking Canopy (about which I must admit skepticism), Incremental Blight, Mind Shatter, and Guttural Response, the last presumably helping to handle the various five-color control decks.
Notably absent? Cloudthresher.
Doran and Teeg

23 Creatures:
Cloudthresher
Doran, the Siege Tower
Gaddock Teeg
Safehold Elite
Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers
Wilt-Leaf Liege
Wispmare
Wren’s Run Vanquisher
12 Spells:
Fertile Ground
Firespout
Nameless Inversion
Profane Command
25 Land:
Fire-Lit Thicket
Forest
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Murmuring Bosk
Plains
Swamp
Vivid Grove
Wooded Bastion
15 Sideboard:
Cloudthresher
Gaddock Teeg
Kitchen Finks
Primal Command
Profane Command
Shriekmaw
Thoughtseize
Wispmare

At the PTQ in Minneapolis, David Yetka brought this Doran build to a seventh-place finish.
Yetka’s build is not pure Doran with Treefolk Harbingers, but rather is a four-color elf deck that packs Doran and Gaddock Teeg. Interestingly, Teeg only turns off two spells in the maindeck (the Profane Commands) while shutting off a signficant portion of the power spells in stock five-color control decks. This deck runs four Vivid Groves as well as four Murmuring Bosks, the latter likely to come into play tapped most of the time due to a lack of Treefolk. It has eight lands that can provide the red for its four Firespouts, but is otherwise a white-green-black deck. Notably, this deck does not touch the white power removal that is Oblivion Ring, not even in the sideboard — it actually only has one non-hybrid white card, appearing in three copies in the sideboard.
This is an aggro build focusing on big creatures, the Persist mechanic, and very little maindeck removal. Not my favorite approach, but potentially a good foil to teeny tiny Faeries, little hobbits, and so forth.
That’s it for atypical PTQ choices, so far. It’s interesting to note that, my naming choices aside, these decks are both basically Elves. Will Elves be the best fourth or fifth choice out there, relying on the relative bigness of elves to beat down Faeries and rip through Kithkin?