Just five rounds of block constructed stand between the hopeful and a spot on Sunday's stage. Looking around the top tables you get a bird's-eye-view of the emerging block metagame.
The most populous deck in the upper ranks is Tempered Steel, though there doesn't seem to be a consensus on how it should be built. Some versions are full-throttle aggro. Others diversify their threats, getting a leg over into the mid-game and trying to take the sting out of the format's ubiquitous artifact removal. Given the field, Hero of Bladehold looks like the MVP.
Next there is Big Red, reminiscent of the deck that Masashiro Kuroda used to win Pro Tour Kobe, way back during original Mirrodin. It boasts removal of all stripes, heavy hitters like Koth of the Hammer and Kuldotha Phoenix, and can win out of nowhere with a lucky Red Sun's Zenith. Things top out at Karn, who has been crushing dreams left and right, especially during the control mirrors.
Next are the various brews of black-blue. On the face of it they are similar, usually built around Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. They share the usual control trifecta of countermagic, removal and card draw, but the specific choices and numbers seem up for grabs. Maybe the last rounds will shake out a best version?
There are more than a few multicolored decks, from Tsuyoshi Fujita's four-color control to the different Bant brews. Taking advantage of the fixing offered by Mycosynth Wellspring, these decks get to throw the format's biggest knockout punches at their opponents, providing they can put up sufficient roadblocks to
reach the endgame. Birthing Pod decks might really shine here, having the luxury of a toolbox of solutions.
Lastly, there are a few outliers. The Puresteel Paladin deck, Red-Green midrange, and even old school blue-white control, just like mom used to make. Will one of them emerge as a trump to the format, or will the big wheels lock up the Top 8? Just a few short hours will give us our answer.