My Experience with Gladiator (So Far)

By Braxton Wolf (Brxtn_Wlf)

04 April 2020

            So, I have been playing gladiator on and off the last 2 weeks, and I have to say; this format is a ton of fun. The number of possibilities right now are endless, and it’s the wild west right now as far as decks go. Now, from the handful of tournaments that have been put on, there are certainly strong strategies; I’ll touch base on that in a bit. But, if you are just challenging people to games, there have been a ton of interesting games. So, I reached out to the Discord channel, looking for things they wanted to have me talk about. Initially, I was going to format this as a question and answer article, but after the first questions I got, I decided to put off the idea of doing a QnA for now. I will come back to that, but after the questions that an individual gave me, I decided to instead use them as formatting points to talk about my experience with gladiator this early into the format. I was approached by Yesterdaze, given these two questions: 

  1. Which card(s) do you see as the most bannable right now?
  2. What has been your favorite moment playing the format so far?

These offered a good backbone to this, so I’m choosing to answer these in detail, instead of giving a quick answer alongside several other questions. With that said, let’s get into this.

            Question 1, regarding the cards I believe could be banned. As of right now, I am personally not of an opinion for there to be any cards that need to be banned. The format is still young, and people are having fun. Even with the tournaments that have been played so far, the top deck has not been universal. Let’s look at the Saturday Night Swiss event: of the 13 decks with winning records, only 1 exact color combination is represented twice; that is Mardu. Now, there are several U/G/x Ramp decks, but it’s currently still open. From a more competitive stance, I think this is a good place to be. I would be interested to look at the two events Ben Wheeler ran to see, but maybe something from the ramp deck? I won’t express that I’m of the opinion that a card needs to be banned currently, but this could be an archetype to watch. One thing I will say is that if gladiator had started with no banned cards, I also wouldn’t have been upset. Oko, Thief of Crowns may be a card that is fine in the format, but I understand the want to make sure the card does not run a format, especially at the beginning. I also know I have not been able to play as many games of gladiator as I would like to, so maybe someone who has more games would have a card or cards in mind that they would want to see banned. Whatever decision is made with bans, I trust that the people who make the call will do their research to make sure it is the right decision.

            Now, to answer the second question, which is about my favorite moments so far. If you didn’t know, I wrote up a small deck tech for an Esper control list I’ve been playing.  I don’t have any big moments of ‘fun’ per say with the deck, but I was able to win a game against a Temur midrange deck while at 2 life, fighting a Klothys, God of Destiny the entire time. That was stressful, but a rewarding win. Most of my fun has come from playing decks revolved around Omniscience and Song of Creation. It hasn’t been a good deck, but it’s fun to be able to pull off the combo finish. I did throw together a deck I called 5 color greed that ran around these 2 cards. I was playing a game against my friend, hard cast Ruinous Ultimatum to clear his board, untapped to cast Emergent Ultimatum to start the combo turn off. If I had needed to, I would have been able to hard cast Genesis Ultimatum as well. That was a point that I really knew I would enjoy gladiator, both from a competitive and a casual stance.

            Well, this was a good little time. I will be definitely looking to write up an actual QnA article, so if you have any questions that you would like me to answer, you can reach out to me on Twitter or Discord. I’m @Brxtn_Wlf on Twitter and Brxtn_Wlf#7846 on Discord. I look forward to hearing from everyone, and have fun playing gladiator!

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