Something old, something new…

…and we might imagined something borrowed from a friend’s account, and a few blue cards as well. I was checking in on the most recent Extended PTQ online earlier this week, and was pleasantly surprised to see a mix of expected and novel builds in the top eight.
You can check out the top eight and quite a few more decks here. You can also go ahead and click on through to the Extended entry for all the lists in the top eight with some commentary from me.


1st place – Charm School (by Dsaporito)

20 Creatures:
Baneslayer Angel
Knight of the Reliquary
Noble Hierarch
Tarmogoyf
Wild Nacatl
17 Spells:
Bant Charm
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Helix
Path to Exile
Umezawa’s Jitte
23 Land:
Arid Mesa
Breeding Pool
Forest
Hallowed Fountain
Island
Misty Rainforest
Plains
Sacred Foundry
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Treetop Village
15 Sideboard:
Burrenton Forge-Tender
Meddling Mage
Negate
Ravenous Trap
Tormod’s Crypt
Umezawa’s Jitte

This is generally referred to as “Charmed Zoo” in most places, but “Charm School” seemed like a more entertaining name. This is a pretty high-end Zoo deck that eschews the Grove of the Burnwillows / Punishing Fire interaction in favor of just having some burn, some big creatures, and double Jitte. It’s surprisingly straightforward, but I suppose that having eight outs against a resolved Marit Lage gives you a lot of traction against a field rife with Dark Depths decks.
2nd place – Domain Zoo (by twoduckcubed)

22 Creatures:
Dark Confidant
Kird Ape
Knight of the Reliquary
Qasali Pridemage
Steppe Lynx
Tarmogoyf
Wild Nacatl
17 Spells:
Colossal Might
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Helix
Path to Exile
Tribal Flames
21 Land:
Arid Mesa
Blood Crypt
Forest
Godless Shrine
Marsh Flats
Plains
Sacred Foundry
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Verdant Catacombs
15 Sideboard:
Deathmark
Duress
Great Sable Stag
Oblivion Ring
Path to Exile
Pithing Needle
Ranger of Eos
Thought Hemorrhage
Volcanic Fallout

This Domain Zoo variant features a number of interesting card choices. The thing that really caught my eye was double Colossal Might in the main deck, which feels like a carry over from Terry Soh’s Worlds deck and just might be surprising enough to take some games. In fact, I tend to wonder if they’re just sideboarded out of the deck for all game twos and threes, with the idea that your opponent will be playing around them like crazy when they could be doing something proactive instead.
Two copies of Dark Confidant is also an interesting choice, turning the Confidant from a tempo card to a sort of late-game reload card. The sideboard feels pretty erratic, with a single copy of Great Sable Stag and Thought Hemorrhage.
3rd place – Naya Moon (by Trunks10)

23 Creatures:
Bloodbraid Elf
Gaddock Teeg
Kitchen Finks
Noble Hierarch
Qasali Pridemage
Wild Nacatl
15 Spells:
Blood Moon
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Helix
Umezawa’s Jitte
22 Land:
Arid Mesa
Forest
Mountain
Plains
Sacred Foundry
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Verdant Catacombs
15 Sideboard:
Ancient Grudge
Aven Mindcensor
Celestial Purge
Path to Exile
Safe Passage
Tormod’s Crypt
Worship

Bloodbraids? Blood Moons? Here we go.
I’ve seen a number of Bloodbraid decks making their way into Extended lately, most often in the form of Scapeshift decks that happen to pack Bloodbraids, rather than Standard-style Bloodbraid aggro. This sucker is pretty much a full-on Naya build that will nearly always power out something useful with Bloodbraid, and complements its Blood Moons with a solid serving of eight basic lands.
Also note the Safe Passage tech in the sideboard, which I imagine is for Scapeshift decks, but might also serve to give you an extra turn to off the opponent in any random matchup.
Finally, check out two copies of my new favorite fun card, Worship. In combination with three copies of Jitte, Worship gives you Zoo opponent some uncomfortable choices for their limited quantity of removal (that is, their Qasali Pridemages).
4th place – Dark Depths Foundry (by wrapter)

8 Creatures:
Dark Confidant
Vampire Hexmage
28 Spells:
Beseech the Queen
Chrome Mox
Duress
Engineered Explosives
Extirpate
Into the Roil
Muddle the Mixture
Sword of the Meek
Thirst for Knowledge
Thopter Foundry
Thoughtseize
24 Land:
Academy Ruins
Dark Depths
Island
River of Tears
Sunken Ruins
Swamp
Tolaria West
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
15 Sideboard:
Chalice of the Void
Darkblast
Deathmark
Dimir Signet
Duress
Echoing Truth
Extirpate
Hurkyl’s Recall
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Slaughter Pact
Tormod’s Crypt

Josh was playing Dark Depths at our most recent PTQ, although I don’t know if his version had the Thopter Foundry combo built in at the time. I don’t have much to say about this — it’s the deck to beat right now, and Josh has a solid example of it here.
5th place – Confidant Rock (by Narling)

21 Creatures:
Dark Confidant
Eternal Witness
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Kitchen Finks
Putrid Leech
Tarmogoyf
17 Spells:
Chrome Mox
Duress
Profane Command
Putrefy
Thoughtseize
Umezawa’s Jitte
22 Land:
Forest
Overgrown Tomb
Swamp
Treetop Village
Twilight Mire
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
15 Sideboard:
Cranial Extraction
Deathmark
Extirpate
Ghost Quarter
Relic of Progenitus

A similar G/B deck took down a paper PTQ recently, so perhaps it’s not surprising to see a fairly straightforward G/B deck make its way up to the top eight of a PTQ online. If you haven’t tested against this kind of deck, you might be surprised at how effective the combination of disruption and aggression actually is. The three main deck Gatekeepers give the deck a surprise out against Marit Lage, and quad Treetop Village means that the deck is likely to serve up a hard-to-kill attacker in every game.
6th place – Dark Depths Foundry (by c0d3x)

10 Creatures:
Dark Confidant
Vampire Hexmage
Vendilion Clique
26 Spells:
Beseech the Queen
Chalice of the Void
Doom Blade
Duress
Echoing Truth
Engineered Explosives
Muddle the Mixture
Slaughter Pact
Sword of the Meek
Thirst for Knowledge
Thopter Foundry
Thoughtseize
24 Land:
Academy Ruins
Dark Depths
Island
River of Tears
Sunken Ruins
Swamp
Tolaria West
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
15 Sideboard:
Agony Warp
Chalice of the Void
Extirpate
Ghost Quarter
Hurkyl’s Recall
Relic of Progenitus
Sun Droplet
Threads of Disloyalty
Tormod’s Crypt
Yixlid Jailer

More of the best deck, this time with double Vendilion Clique. I haven’t tested the different builds enough to know whether Cliques help or hinder.
7th place – White Weenie (by Patrizio Golia)

17 Creatures:
Aven Mindcensor
Figure of Destiny
Hokori, Dust Drinker
Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Samurai of the Pale Curtain
Soltari Priest
22 Spells:
Honor of the Pure
Mana Tithe
Oblivion Ring
Path to Exile
Spectral Procession
Umezawa’s Jitte
21 Land:
Eiganjo Castle
Ghost Quarter
Horizon Canopy
14× Plains
15 Sideboard:
Brave the Elements
Ethersworn Canonist
Kataki, War’s Wage
Runed Halo
Safe Passage

Patrizio Golia is one of those players I know about from listening to Rich Hagon’s podcasts, as he’s a regular at European GPs and usually makes it onto Rich’s roll call for players of note.
Did you expect to see a white weenie deck top eighting a PTQ? I certainly didn’t. Golia’s take on the WW archetype is a nice “greatest hits” of many sets — naturally, what Extended is supposed to be. I only highlight that since other WW decks I’ve seen recently seem to tend towards being straight ports of Kithkin decks of recent vintage.
That said, I did play against a very similar deck in the fourth round of last weekend’s PTQ, although I think my opponent had the Mindcensors in his sideboard.
Golia’s build is sort of a smorgasbord of hate wrapped around an aggressive core. We have Mindcensors to screw up Dark Depths, Scapeshift, Thopter Foundry, and those unlucky Gifts players who get hit by the splash. There are also those Soltari Priests in the main, shrugging off Punishing Fire all day long, as well as Samurai of the Pale Curtain (Dredge, Thopter Foundry), and Hokori to generally punish opponents who need mana to function.
I also like the Mana Tithes, since most people won’t be looking for a Force Spike out of an aggressive deck.
8th place – Dredge (by ZoochZ)

25 Creatures:
Bloodghast
Drowned Rusalka
Flame-Kin Zealot
Golgari Grave-Troll
Hedron Crab
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Narcomoeba
Stinkweed Imp
16 Spells:
Bridge from Below
Darkblast
Dread Return
Glimpse the Unthinkable
Ideas Unbound
Life from the Loam
19 Land:
Breeding Pool
Dakmor Salvage
Dryad Arbor
Island
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Verdant Catacombs
Watery Grave
15 Sideboard:
Archive Trap
Echoing Truth
Leyline of the Void
Spell Pierce
Thoughtseize
Wipe Away

Hm. Dredge. Can anyone tell me what the Archive Traps are for? Are we trying to luck out and nail the key cards out of decks like Scapeshift and Dark Depths
Overall, I was excited to see this mix of interesting builds and known archetypes in the top eight of what was, presumably, a pretty large event.