For the last couple of weeks my sights have been geared for the Modern Champs we had in Turku this weekend. The format was obviously Modern and we had a total of 49 players coming in the end.
My list has gone through very minor changes, list is here for ref:
As you can see, it is very much stock list. The only change i made few weeks ago was adding Repeal to the main board for added bounce. This was mainly to have more answers to main deck hate such as Chalice Of The Void and Leyline Of Sanctity, cards that Unsubstantiate has a hard time dealing with. Repeal can also just bounce let’s say a Tarmogoyf to buy more time and in my build I can fetch it with Merchant Scroll.
But for now let’s get to the match reports! We had 6 rounds of swiss into top8.
Round 1, Storm
I sit down with a very nice guy and chatter about this and that. Shuffle the decks, wish good luck and begin the action!
Game 1 I keep a bit risky hand with lands, Baral and rituals but no cantrips to help dig. He mulligans to 5. I still decided to keep since all I need is Scroll or Gifts for instant kill. I play land and pass, he plays Steam Vents into Sleight and passes. My first instinct says that I’m up against Storm. I just draw something not useful and slam Baral. He smiles and plays his own Baral and we both laugh that of course we had to face the mirror! I drew Manamorphose and fire it off immediately but brick with yet another land, I just have to pass and cross my fingers. He just draws and passes, whiuh still alive. I topdeck Merchant Scroll and just fetch Gifts, Ritual, Ritual, Ritual, Ritual Gifts into Pyretic Ritual, Desperate Ritual, Manamorphose, Past In Flames and he scoops.
Game 2 My hand is sweet: 2 land, Swan Song, Bolt, Electromancer, Pyretic Ritual, Gifts Ungiven. Don’t even have to think about this one, my opponent pauses for a long time but decides to keep. He leads off with Serum Visions scry goes bottom. I just play a land pass. He plays land pass. I try to stick Electromancer and he doesn’t have a Bolt thankfully. He just play another land and passes to me. At this point my hand is more than enough rituals+Manamorphose and Gifts Ungiven for the kill. Even had the Swan Song for protection. I play all my fast mana into Gifts and I show him the Swan Song, turns out he just had nothing in hand to stop me and he extends the hand. 1-0
Round 2, Affinity
Very close of friend of mine, I think he hasn’t ever beaten me before and we joke about this before we start.
Game 1 My hand shows: Steam Vents, Serum Visions, 2 Pyretic Ritual, Baral, Manamorphose and Gifts Ungiven. So all I need is another land for the turn 3 kill so I have to keep. He also keeps, I snap off Serum Visions but don’t find another land with it. He dumps his whole hand including a Cranial Plating and I know I have to hit the land right now. I drew Opt, play it and don’t find my second land and scoop.
This match is again all about racing but after sideboard we gain more ways to slow them down. Do note that they gain access to bunch of hate including: Rest In Peace, Surgical Extraction, Spell Pierce to name a few.
Game 2 I have to mull to five and I get pretty frustrated since my hand is not great. I just keep laying lands and he gets quite a board with all sorts of robot goodness. But I do topdeck Shatterstorm to buy loads of more time and my deck just hands me all the tools I need to win and when storm is at 10, I show him 2 Grapeshots and he has seen enough.
Game 3 oh man even writing about this stings a lot! I keep a solid hand with 3 lands, Baral, Pyretic Ritual, Manamorphose and Gifts. He also keeps and opens up with some artifacts but no big payoff yet thankfully. I play my Baral turn 2 and pass. He play Grafdigger’s Cage and Steel Overseer. Damn my kill is shut off, well i just lay land 3 and my plan was to end of turn Gifts and remove the Cage and then go off from there. He just plays more stuff and attacks. I cast Gifts and get: Shatterstorm, Shattering spree, Noxious Revival, Past In Flames. He gives me Shattering Spree and Past In Flames. On my turn I Spree his board away and get ready to kill him next turn…he untaps plays Rest In Peace and my heart just breaks. In hindsight maybe I should have gotten Repeal Instead of Past In Flames but without Past I have no way to access my graveyard and I simply forgot about Rest In Peace. I don’t find a way to get rid of Rest In Peace and he rebuilds his board, in the end I extend my hand and wish him good luck. 1-1
Round 3, 5 Color humans
There is not much to write about this one honestly.
Here we have to cut a lot of stuff to fit all of the above in, I do know that cutting all that stuff does dilute our deck a bit but we need all of it in order to have a fighting chance! Empty for a big amount is usually game unless they can find Izzet Staticaster, Bolts help clear out Meddling Mages and such, Repeal and Echoing Truth does the same thing.
Round 4, RG Ponza
At this point I was a bit bummed that i had lost two reasonable matchups, well I won’t quit and decided to play it out!
Game 1 I made a pretty bad misplay. He wins the die-roll and leads with forest into Utopia Sprawl naming red. This should be a clear indicator that you are facing ponza. My hand was very solid turn three kill with two lands. But duh I fetch Steam Vents turn one and play Serum Visions. Then he slams Blood Moon and I look at my mountain in hand, realize that I don’t have blue mana anymore. Well played sir well-played. I never found blue mana/Manamorphose either and eventually lost. Sweet.
This matchup is pretty favorable for us, after sideboard they do attack our graveyard via Relic Of Progenitus, also be wary of possible Trinisphere! Empty is also fairly good against them, though they could have boarded in Anger Of The Gods. I don’t board additional bounces in since I already have Repeal main deck.
Game 2 He didn’t see a lot from my deck so he didn’t really know how to sideboard. This time I have good hand with lands, Electromancer, Rituals and Gifts for an easy turn 3 kill and he can’t do a thing about it.
Game 3 He starts off with Utopia Sprawl naming red. I play fetch and pass, he dumps Tireless Tracker. I fetch for tap Steam Vents since my hand has two islands in it and turn three kill as well. I play Electromancer and pass. He draws, sighs and just plays Blood Moon, attacks with Tracker and passes. I untap and kill him easily with gifts. 2-2
Round 5, UWR Control (With Spell Quellers)
Game 1 I get a good amount of lands into play and cantrip around while he just plays lands also. Eventually I start to end of turn Gifts and force him to Spell Queller them away. Then I untap with bunch of lands, play Baral, Unsubstantiate the Queller to play my Gifts again. He obviously tried to Queller again but I Remand the Queller, now he is tapped out and scoops at the same time.
This time we board in a LOT and also remove a bunch of stuff. UWR will usually attack our graveyard with cards like Relic Of Progenitus or Rest In Peace, will have more counter spells like Dispel and usually do board in some number of ways to deal with Empty The Warrens, this could be Anger Of The Gods, Engineered Explosives or Izzet Staticaster. More Empty The Warrens help deal with graveyard hate and they do need to find the answer to goblins really fast or otherwise it is over very quickly. Bolts come in just for Spell Quellers and they can go to the face in case you need more damage for Grapeshot. Gigadrowse is pretty self-explanatory, you just tap them out and then it should be easy to kill them, Swan Song is just additional protection. Pieces Of The Puzzle is just great, it gives us more cards and staying power in late-game. It also helps fight Graveyard hate such as Rest In Peace which they will almost always have. Echoing Truth we board in just to have another way of removing Spell Queller and Rest In Peace.
Game 2 things don’t go the way I want. My cantrips don’t find me any help and Geist Of Saint Traft kills me quickly.
Round 6, UR Breach
Final round, no chance for top 8 but I just wanted to play and have some fun so let’s do it!
Game 1 We both keep and both knew what other was playing. I don’t know what was going through my opponent’s head when he just tapped out for turn three Blood Moon. “Ok” I said and killed him on my turn three.
Game 2 We both just build up lands, and do nothing. I try to end of turn Gifts Which he Dispels. I Think I Was in 7 lands when I Untapped, played Baral and he tries to Cryptic Command it. I fight back with Swan Song and it resolves. Then he for some odd reason tried to Remand Baral, ok and now he is tapped out. Play Baral Ritual, Ritual, Manamorphose, Manamorphose, Past In Flames and he has seen enough. 3-3
So in the end 3-3 is not bad, but nothing terribly exciting either. Made some misplays and definitely the loss to affinity does sting. But in any case I had tons of fun and deck was really good! Even though I didn’t really get to utilize main deck Repeal, I will keep trying it out.
As for the next time I will write a complete primer for our current Storm deck, it’s builds, sideboard plans, play patterns and so on! So stay tuned for that one 🙂
In the meantime, keep Storming and stay safe everyone!