Horizons February League Report by Alec Muchnok
The second Horizons league is under wraps! This league saw a lot of new decks, with a few surprises taking the top spots. If you want to see all of the lists from this league, check them out here: https://gatherling.com/eventreport.php?event=MOS%20February%20Horizon%20League
Tied 4th Place: GW Devoted Hammer
This list is a very unique take on devoted druid combo and hammertime; it combines both into one creature combo deck! The deck plays Sigarda’s Aid to cheat Colossus Hammer onto a creature that can one-shot the opponent with infect or double strike, and it plays the combo of Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies to make infinite mana. Creature combo decks like this are at their best against decks that lack the removal to stop the combo, and the results of this league show precisely that. The deck did well against other fast decks, beating Dredge, Elves, and Humans. However, it folded to slower interactive decks, namely Temur Reclamation and Death and Taxes.
Tied 4th Place: Anvil Tron
This is another very interesting list that made it into the top 4. This list uses the power of the tron lands (Urza’s Mine, Urza’s Power Plant, and Urza’s Tower) to win with the combo of Grinding Station and Semblance Anvil to loop cheap artifact cards with the help of Myr Retriever and Scrap Trawler, finally milling out the opponent by infinitely activating the Grinding Station, looping two Myr Retrievers with each other. It plays Karn, the Great Creator to have a toolbox backup plan which can allow the deck to win by beating down with cards like Cityscape Leveler or just slow the game down long enough to combo off. As with the GW Hammer list, Anvil Tron beat other fast decks in this league, but lost to interactive decks. Its only losses were to the same Temur Reclamation list that ended up winning the tournament.
2nd Place: WB Death and Taxes
Death and Taxes is a midrange deck that taxes the opponent’s resources using cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Skyclave Apparition. Using creatures to slow down the opponent or remove their creatures allows the deck to develop its own board and gain tempo advantage. While Death and Taxes is most commonly seen as a mono white deck, this particular list splashes black for Tidehollow Sculler to attack the opponent’s hand. The splash also enables an extra removal spell in the form of Wasteland Strangler and add Orzhov Pontiff to the sideboard as extra small creature removal. This list performed remarkably well during this league, only losing a single game until the finals. Some of this success can be attributed to the fact that the deck faced mostly combo, an archetype that this build is prepared to beat. The deck struggles against other midrange and control decks, as shown by its game loss against mono black midrange and its loss in the finals to Temur Reclamation.
1st Place: Temur Reclamation
Temur Reclamation is a control deck that leverages its namesake card Wilderness Reclamation to accrue card advantage by casting twice as many spells as the opponent can. The deck answers its opponent’s threats with cards like Remand and Lightning Bolt while digging through its library with Memory Deluge. It finishes the game with efficient threats of its own, such as Snapcaster Mage and Shark Typhoon, and it plays Nexus of Fate to have the inevitability of infinite turns if the game goes long. The deck faced a variety of archetypes during this league, including combo, control, and midrange. It only lost to Humans during the league, but it came out on top in the end to take home the trophy.
That’s the end of this month’s report, but more will be coming soon. March will be host to two Horizons leagues, each lasting two weeks. This means twice as many decks to report on, so expect another article like this in just a few weeks!