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AE Maxor Vincent Adinolfi MTG overview 7-15-2015

Fri 8th Aug 2014 - 2:14pm Gaming


Originally posted by my good friend and original AE co-foundee Vincent "Maxor" Adinolfi at http://vincentadinolfi.com/post/125183041643/72715-mellon-collie-and-the-infinite-combo


UWR Kiki Control



    • Creatures (14)


    • 4 Restoration Angel

    • 4 Snapcaster Mage

    • 3 Wall of Omens

    • 2 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

    • 1 Deceiver Exarch


    • Spells (20)


    • 4 Path to Exile

    • 4 Lightning Bolt

    • 3 Electrolyze

    • 3 Mana Leak

    • 2 Cryptic Command

    • 2 Remand

    • 1 Spell Snare

    • 1 Sphinx’s Revelation


    • Lands (26)


    • 4 Celestial Colonnade

    • 4 Scalding Tarn

    • 3 Steam Vents

    • 2 Flooded Strand

    • 2 Arid Mesa

    • 2 Tectonic Edge

    • 2 Island

    • 1 Cascade Bluffs

    • 1 Sacred Foundry

    • 1 Hallowed Fountain

    • 1 Sulfur Falls

    • 1 Mountain

    • 1 Plains

    • 1 Ghost Quarter


    • Sideboard


    • 2 Celestial Purge

    • 2 Relic of Progenitus

    • 2 Dispel

    • 2 Timely Reinforcements

    • 2 Stony Silence

    • 1 Supreme Verdict

    • 1 Wrath of God

    • 1 Spellskite

    • 1 Counterflux

  • 1 Wear // Tear



16-5-3 at the Modern PPTQ at MTGCardMarket

 

I’ve been wanting to do a writeup like this for some time, but I hadn’t felt like I’d had a good reason to do so yet. Yesterday, that changed. There’s a lot here, but I hope someone finds it useful.

 

I woke up uncharacteristically early this past Sunday. Before my alarm even went off, which is a miracle for me any day. It was entirely because I was nervous. In addition to my normal pre-tournament anxieties, I had worked late the night before, and because my commute varies, it took me longer than I’d anticipated to get home. I had planned to try and adopt some new preparation habits for this event, but those had to be put on hold.

 

Nothing crazy, just things like eating well the day before, staying hydrated, and getting a good nights sleep. All seemingly simple in theory, but much harder in practice if you aren’t used to that kind of regimen. Because of my current travel-intensive job, I’ve started listening to some magic related podcasts. Specifically a few from The Masters of Modern (which I definitely recommend checking out if you haven’t, great content for players who are seriously interested in the format) that really got my mind working on how I should be preparing for an important event. I think doing well in competitive Magic goes beyond viewing it as a game completely separate from the rest of life. This is all probably a discussion for another time though. On to deck choice.

A brief background on myself as a Modern player: I play the format exclusively. Since Innistrad rotated out, like a lot of other players I’m sure, Standard has lost its appeal to me. I enjoy high-power games, and I love the variety and complexity Modern offers. I’ve been playing UWR something or another for about two-and-a-half years. I love the variety the colors give you, I love interactivity, and those things considered, it doesn’t get much better than UWR in my opinion. Switching between Geist of Saint Traft based decks, strict control, and occasionally the Kiki-Resto combo-control variant, with a brief break twice in between when I’d gotten burnt out on the deck (and when Treasure Cruise was legal and I was more or less forced to switch into Delver).

 

I’ve had most success with Kiki-Resto control builds, similar to the one popularized by Shaun McLaren at GP Minneapolis. I had done well at a tournament back home in Connecticut with a version of that deck, and I felt like it meshed with my playstyle fairly well, but as time went on I started to like Geist again. I played him to reasonable success in local events, but with the printing of DTK and Magic Origins, I think the format has changed to the point where I find him (regrettably) unfavorable.

If not only to validate my hesitations, I attended the Modern 5k at StarCityGame’s Chicago Open last Sunday, and didn’t fare as well as I was hoping to. Thankfully, that experience helped me reevaluate where UWR/Jeskai decks stand in the format. As an aside, I don’t believe my observations are definitive by any means as far as UWR goes in the current Modern format, but in my experience recently, Geist is just not a playable card. He may get you some easy wins here and there, but consistent he is not. They are a lot of creature-heavy decks between Grixis and Abzan variants, Affinity, and then as far as combo decks in the format go, it’s hard to justify tapping out at sorcery speed for cards that don’t either answer something problematic or pose an immediate threat. Don’t even get me started on the Tron matchup.

 

Deck Choice

 

I wanted a deck that didn’t have to fight from behind to win, something fair-but-not-really-fair, but I also wanted something I’d be comfortable playing. After a lot of research and consideration, a list got stuck in the back of my head and I just couldn’t get it out. This list, piloted by MTGO user dbreezy89, seemed really appealing. Instant wins were possible, but the control elements were all there, and I felt like there wasn’t too much sacrifice made inbetween. I tested a few configurations online, found one I liked, sleeved it up, and tried it at Card Market’s Wednesday Night Modern. I went undefeated, and at that moment, I knew what I had to play at the PPTQ.

 

The PPTQ

 

Some quick info about the PPTQ: There were 49 players, and 6 rounds of Swiss before cut to Top 8.

 

0-0-0

 

Round 1: Greg - Grixis Control

 

The first round started off about as miserably as I could’ve imagined. I came in to the tournament expecting a lot of aggressive strategies, knowing that my deck, and more importantly myself, would have to bring our best to win it out. I sat down across from my opponent, we exchanged pleasantries, and waited silently until the head judge finished his introduction, collected decklists, and announced that the round had officially started.

 

I won the dice roll, which felt great. Modern is a fast format, and with this deck I feel being on the play may not be a considerable advantage, but an advantage nonetheless. We looked at our opening hands, and I saw what every player fears most. No lands. I tried to keep my cool. It happens, no biggie. I announce my mulligan, my opponent his keep. I draw my six card hand, and of course, no lands again. I’m already running through my head how this is going to significantly affect our first game, especially considering the fact that I have no idea what my opponent is on. I compose myself and mulligan to five. It’s keepable, a few lands and some early interaction. It’s not the best, but it’ll have to do. I confirm my keep, and we start the match.

 

Game 1

 

He opens with a Watery Grave into Serum Visions. I assume he’s on Grixis something or other, could be Twin, Delver, or the Control decks that I’ve been seeing online. We pass back and forth for a few turns and it becomes clear that he’s most likely on Control. I haven’t played this matchup much, but I felt good about it in my head. I think my instant speed interaction can put me ahead against his larger threats. I play patiently, Pathing and countering his Tasigurs/Gurmag Anglers only when I knew it was going to end in my favor. Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is that they have to play most of their threats on their turn. Mana advantage is huge here. Eventually I stick a Restoration Angel, and with a few swings in with Colonnade, the game is mine.

 

Game 2

 

My sideboard plan for this matchup was along the lines of:

 

    • -3 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • +2 Celestial Purge

 

    • +1 Counterflux

 

    • +1 Dispel

 

Similarly to the last game, it started slow. I handled early threats and waited for the right time to drop Restoration Angel. Eventually, he ran out of answers and was digging pretty desperately, but the deck provided no answers and I took the match.

 

I felt good. I didn’t stress about the variance in the first game, and instead of worrying about making top 8, I forced myself to focus on playing tight games.

 

2-0-0

 

Round 2: Clayton - Bloom Titan

 

Game 1

 

We sat down and rolled for first. I got the play again and tried to keep acknowledging that that put me a little bit ahead. We both kept seven, mine was iffy though. I had Scalding Tarn, Plains, Ghost Quarter, and Tectonic Edge, and a Path and some counter magic. It might not have been the best blind keep, but it ended up working out hugely in my favor. I play my land and pass, he untaps and goes land, Amulet of Vigor. I’m immediately tense. This matchup was okay when I was running geist, but I wasn’t sure how it would go without an early clock. His next turn, he plays another Amulet of Vigor, and now I’m starting to worry.

 

I play out my lands we pass back and forth a bit. He eventually casts a Primeval Titan. I have the Path, so after he gives it haste, but before attacks, I Path it. He grabs a land and Summoner’s Pacts up another Titan, but can’t play it that turn. He passes, I play my Tectonic Edge, and pass with Mana Leak and Path in hand. He untaps, pays for pact, and plays another bounce land to net 4 mana. He casts Titan with three mana floating. Good move, I’m thinking, but I have Path still so maybe I’m okay. He gives the Titan haste and moves to combat. I attempt to Path, but he has Pact of Negation. I think I’m dead, but it turns out he already had his Boros Garrison out and couldn’t kill me this turn. He hits me down to 9 and passes. I untap and look at my bleak hand. No real answers to Titan. But then I look at my lands. More importantly my Ghost Quarter, and my Tectonic Edge. I look at his lands. Hiw only blue sources are his two Simic bouncelands. His die on his deck as a reminder to pay for the Pact. I see the win. I Ghost Quarter one bounceland. I Tectonic Edge the other. I pass turn, and he concedes.

 

Game 2

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Mana Leak

 

    • -1 Wall of Omens

 

    • +2 Dispel

 

    • +1 Counterflux

 

    • +1 Wear // Tear

 

Game two goes much worse for me. I keep a questionable hand. He plays an Azusa, but my only answer is Electrolyze, so he still gets value off of it. He tutors up a Pact of Negation. Then he plays Hive Mind. My only answer is a Remand in my hand. I know he has a Pact, but I don’t know what else he has. I didn’t see a way out. I let the Hive Mind resolve and he Slaughter Pacts my Angel. I cast Remand on my copy, but forget that he gets a copy as well, and quickly concede.

 

Game 3

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -3 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Wall of Omens

 

    • +2 Dispel

 

    • +1 Counterflux

 

    • +1 Wear // Tear

 

A little nervous, my first loss that could easily lead to a quick spiral out of contention. And the matchup doesn’t seem great for me. I need to win the next game fast. I keep a hand with the natural combo in hand. I have a Path to Exile. It seems like it’s okay, as long as I can stall out and not play into removal. We go pack and forth, he Pacts for a Titan, plays it the same turn, and goes to attacks. I’m one turn away from comboing off. I think for a second, and don’t think he can go for the kill this turn because he didn’t have an amulet in play. He didn’t have any open mana. He already had one Pact to pay for and didn’t have any blue sources. I think “now or never” and end of turn Restoration Angel. I know these lists run Slaughter Pact, but I was almost certain it was a one-of, and I wasn’t going to sit around to see what happens next turn. Resto sticks, I untap, drop my fifth land, and drop Kiki-Jiki on the table. He hadn’t seen a Kiki yet, so he takes a second to look it over. He says “Okay” and I make a million Angels to swing in for game.

 

4-1-0

 

Round 3: Andrew - Grixis Control

 

Game 1

 

I’m on the play again, but while shuffling I got to learn another lesson for consideration before my next event. I had resleeved my deck immediately before the event. While shuffling before my game versus Andrew, my deck slipped and I flipped over a Kiki-Jiki. Possibly the worst card I could’ve done that with, we both agreed. I don’t exactly know how this would affect our games, but it didn’t feel good.

 

We go back and forth playing lands. I put him on Control fairly early because of the near-nonexistent amount of pressure the first few turns. Eventually he lands a Tasigur. I had an opportunity to either Path, or Cryptic draw-bounce his Tasigur. I opted for the second. I had my Sphinx’s in hand all game, and I really thought if I could get him to tap out I could take the game over. He recast Tasigur, tapping him out. My turn, I cast Sphinx’s main phase for 6 and feel much more confident I could close out the game. Eventually I get to a point where I can Snapcaster Sphinx’s for 4, and from there Resto beatdown takes it. At some point in this game, he played a Shadow of Doubt just to cycle it, and I want to make it clear that it was incredibly important for me to keep this information in mind throughout the rest of the series. I wrote down in large bold letters “SHADOW OF DOUBT” on my notepad so I wouldn’t get blown out. I reccommend a similar strategy.

 

Game 2

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -3 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Wall of Omens

 

    • -2 Snapcaster Mage

 

    • +1 Dispel

 

    • +1 Counterflux

 

    • +2 Celestial Purge

 

    • +2 Relic of Progenitus

 

I’ll start this out by saying I believe I sideboarded incredibly poorly in this game. I had a plan coming in, but I decided I would try out Relics against this deck. In retrospect, I think Snapcasters are invaluable and Relic doesn’t do enough. I also kept a miserable one land hand with Relic on the draw, and got beaten down by two Snapcasters from Andrew without putting up much of a fight. Never keep one landers.

 

Game 3

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -3 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • +2 Celestial Purge

 

    • +1 Counterflux

 

    • +1 Dispel

 

I go back to my original sideboard plan. The games goes on as usual, play lands, I clear the board of his threats effectively enough, and eventually he’s low on cards and I’m ahead with Resto and Colonnade.

 

6-2-0

 

Round 4: Ryan - Grixis Twin

 

Game 1

 

I’m on the play again, I feel like this is getting a little lucky at this point, but I accept it and we start. He mulligans, and after a few Serum Visions, he casts a Pestermite. I quickly Electrolyze it as it was a no brainer in the moment, but to note, I had put him on Grixis Control initially, so it helped me reel it in and not be so presumptious about decks in these colors. A small mistake could’ve cost me the game. He never really stabilizes from his mulligan and I eventually stick a Resto and ride it to victory.

 

Game 2

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Wall of Omens

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • -1 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Remand

 

    • +2 Celestial Purge

 

    • +1 Counterflux

 

    • +1 Dispel

 

    • +1 Wear // Tear

 

Ryan has endless Dispels and lands a Blood Moon on me that I was completely unprepared for. I get locked out and even with my one Plains in play, can’t get rid of Blood Moon, and he beats me down with Vendilion Clique and Keranos.

 

Game 3

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Wall of Omens

 

    • -2 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Remand

 

    • +2 Celestial Purge

 

    • +1 Counterflux

 

    • +1 Dispel

 

    • +1 Wear // Tear

 

My initial hand for this game was incredibly risky. It was four land, Cryptic, Resto, Kiki. I thought about it for a while and although it probably wasn’t the correct keep, I decided to do it. I knew he hadn’t seen Kiki in any of our games, and I thought if I could draw a few backup spells I could close the game by surprise.

 

We go back and forth for a while and I try to draw as many counters out of him as I can. He lands a Spellskite, and then a Keranos. My hand is Cryptic, Snapcaster, Resto, Kiki. He eventually Kolaghan’s Commands me, and I have to decide what to pitch. I’m pretty dedicated to the combo at this point, and I feel like Cryptic is better bait, so I pitch my Snapcaster. I pass my turn and I’m still a red mana shy of casting Kiki, so I get nervous. I had made sure to fetch up basics in fear of Blood Moon this game, but I hadn’t seen it yet. I pass with open mana. He plays Blood Moon. I attempt to counter and he answers it. This is fine, this is what I needed to happen. He then taps his limited blue mana for Jace, Architect of Thought. This is good. He minuses and I give him a Dispel, knowing he doesn’t have a target.

 

I untap and draw a land. I play it. Only Kiki and Resto in my hand, and he has a massive board. Jace, Keranos, Spellskite, Blood Moon. I know that it’s now or never, he only has one blue mana, and a few red sources available and I’m fairly certain his hand at this point is Dispel, Spell Snare, and one unknown. I play Kiki-Jiki. It resolves. I’m almost shaking at this point. I knew this round was important and I didn’t want to blow it. I play Resto. It resolves. I target Resto with Kiki’s ability. He attempts to redirect to Spellskite. This is an understandable mistake, because it’s common for people to assume Splinter Twin and Kiki do the same thing, because in a way, they do, but in this instance, those few words of difference were so important. He concedes, and I make my way outside to collect myself.

 

8-3-0

 

Round 5: Jonny - Abzan Company

 

Going into this round was a little more stressful than I hoped it would be. Three players, including myself, were undefeated at this point. When they posted standings before the round 5 pairings, I found that I was in third place, and that my breakers were also the worst of the three of us. I waited anxiously for pairings to be posted, and when they were, my anxiety doubled. I was paired down. The other two 4-0s got to draw and relax, but I had to play this round out, potentially still on the verge of missing top 8. I got over it quickly and tried to stick to my initial goals of playing good Magic rather than playing for the finish.

 

Game 1

 

I sat down across from Jonny and I could immediately tell he was already happy just to play a game. I really enjoy matches like this. We both knew something was on the line, but we both had positive attitudes and ultimately played for the fun of the game, the way Magic should be played in my opinion.

 

This was my first game on the draw at this event. I was a little nervous, if Jonny was on any kind of aggro build I knew I was going to be at a disadvantage. And, of course, my worries manifested themselves in the form of a turn one Birds of Paradise. I didn’t have a bolt for the Birds, but eventually I drew into enough removal to take care of Jonny’s board and capitalize on that with a Resto, which I used to put a clock on him until he hit 0.

 

Game 2

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Remand

 

    • -1 Sphinx’s Revelation

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • +2 Dispel

 

    • +1 Wrath of God

 

    • +1 Supreme Verdict

 

I knew this matchup could be rough, an instant speed threat in these aggro decks, whether it be Chord or Collected Company, can be incredibly backbreaking if I don’t navigate the game correctly. I had put Dispels in my sideboard if not specifically for these decks, and I was hoping they’d come to my aid in this game two to lock me in top 8.

 

We started out, and Jonny established a board, but this time, I had more than enough removal for his threats. I didn’t end up getting to use my Dispels, but I had enough removal to back me up and close out the game with a combo kill. This locked me into top 8, so I knew during the next round I could finally take a break and compose myself.

 

A note on this matchup for anyone who might choose to play this deck: The Company decks don’t typically run a lot of hard removal, in an effort to capitalize on the effectiveness of Collected Company. This makes them soft to combo. Linvala can be an issue, but you shouldn’t need the combo to win, and shouldn’t feel like you need to keep it in after game one if you aren’t feeling confident in it.

 

10-3-0

 

Round 6: Zeke - ID

 

I don’t know what deck Zeke is on, but he had drawn last round, and of course wanted to draw this round. I couldn’t turn that down, so we fill out our match slips and I finally get my first break of the day. I run down the street and grab some Gatorade and trail mix from the Walgreens nearby, my first “meal” today, and try to relax as I wait for standings before Top 8.

 

10-3-3

 

Top 8

 

Going into top 8, I was equal parts nervous and confident. I had stressed about having to play an extra round it swiss, but because of that, I was first seed, and I would choose whether to be on the play or draw for my top 8 matches. This felt really good in the moment, as I had a great streak going while on the play today, and I was looking forward to keeping it going.

 

Quarterfinals: Devang - UWR Geist

 

Game 1

 

I had played Devang in the last round at the weekly Modern event last Wednesday, and knew he was on UWR Geist, so it was awesome to see him in top 8. I love UWR decks and players that stick to those colors, so this is a great example of maybe my opinion on Geist is wrong if Devang could navigate his way into top 8. Maybe Geist is a better deck for him, who knows. I knew that Kiki was getting me there today and I was laning on keeping it up.

 

Regrettably, Devang received a game loss after deck checks before top 8. I’m torn because as someone who wanted the Regional invite, it benefitted me, but as someone who wanted to play fair games, it felt a little wrong. Either way, I expressed my condolences, and we started off on game 2.

 

Game 2

 

Devang was on the play, and determined to land a Geist against me. We both knew how powerful that card was against me, considering I had no maindeck answers aside from a well timed block. We also couldn’t sideboard because of the game loss, so I couldn’t prepare for his impending assault. He landed a Geist, which I handled, as well as a few other threats. I eventually handled the Geist with a block from a Snapcaster. Out of answers, he dropped a Thundermaw and took the game away.

 

Game 3

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Lightning Bolt

 

    • -1 Sphinx’s Revelation

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • +2 Dispel

 

    • +1 Wrath of God

 

    • +1 Supreme Verdict

 

Now the pressure was really hitting me. I had to win before Devang could put a clock on me. I ran out some bait until he seemed to exhaust his resources, and started to dump my threats out. Luckiliy, he never got to a Geist, and he only had three cards in hand. I had two Dispels, Kiki, and Resto in mine, and ran them out. He went Snapcaster, Remand Kiki. I had Dispel. He then went Snapcaster, Remand again. But I had the second Dispel. And after a long, grindy match, Resto and Kiki came together to end the game.

 

12-4-3

 

Semifinals: Zeke - Abzan Company

 

Game 1

 

Zeke and I talked a little before our match, and he seemed like a really nice dude. Not too serious about the game, but ready to play some good matches.

 

The first match was intense. I tried to keep the board clear but he kept coming back. Eventually, he had five mana up, a fairly established board, and I had the combo in hand. I flashed in a Deceiver Exarch at the end of his turn and tapped one of his lands down to put him at four mana open. I had Kiki in hand, untapped, drew, and went to play it. He said it was okay, and when I went to activate Kiki’s ability targeting Deceiver, he responded with Collected Company.

 

Like I said before, I know these decks don’t have concrete answers in the maindeck, but Zeke surprised me a little here. I assumed this was a last ditch effort to foil my plans, and it worked. He ripped a Fiend Hunter as well as a Voice of Resurgence off the top. He exiled my Kiki with his Fiend Hunter. I thought for a second, and realized that Kiki’s ability as still on the stack. I asked “Ability resolves?” Zeke confirmed, and I put my newly created Deceiver token’s ability on the stack. I targeted my Steam Vents, untapped it, used the bolt in my hand to kill his Fiend Hunter, bring my Kiki back, and Combo off for the win.

 

I felt really good about that play. I had liked Deceiver in the deck so far and the utility it provides, and this scenario just exemplified how useful it can be.

 

Game 2

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Remand

 

    • -1 Sphinx’s Revelation

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • +2 Dispel

 

    • +1 Wrath of God

 

    • +1 Supreme Verdict

 

The second game was a little less close. I tried to keep the board as clear as I could, and he actually brought me down to three life, but I had enough of a board state to stay alive, and eventually he just kept topdecking lands until I could find my way to victory with a Restoration Angel.

 

14-4-3

 

Finals: Allen - Affinity

 

I was ridiculously nervous at this point in the night. I had played so many rounds of Magic, I was exhausted in so many ways, but I only had one more to go. Allen asked if I wanted the invite, and I assured him I did, and then we were off to find out who was going to win it.

 

Game 1

 

I had played Allen last week as well, so I knew he was on Affinity. This is always a rough match, but I expected it, and was hoping my sideboard would help me out here.

 

We started game one as expected. He played fast but slow enough to not get blown out. I drew my Electrolyzes and the requisite removal spells to land a Resto and take the game.

 

Game 2

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Remand

 

    • -1 Sphinx’s Revelation

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • +2 Stony Silence

 

    • +1 Wrath of God

 

    • +1 Supreme Verdict

 

This game was rough. Allen established a fantastic board against me, and my deck had finally given up. I drew land, after land, after land. Eventually he overwhelmed me and took the game.

 

Game 3

 

Sideboard:

 

    • -2 Remand

 

    • -1 Sphinx’s Revelation

 

    • -1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

 

    • +2 Stony Silence

 

    • +1 Wrath of God

 

    • +1 Supreme Verdict

 

I knew it would come down to this, one game to decide the winner, and by this point, I was ready. I kept a questionable hand on the play with a Mana Leak, Lightning Bolt, and Path. It seemed okay against affinity, but it could’ve been better. I played a land and passed, and when he passed back, I drew a Stony Silence off the top. I knew how wildly this card could swing this match in my favor, so I wanted to play it safe.

 

He had an untapped Island and a Memnite out, so I didn’t play it right away in fear of Spell Pierce. This might have been a little too safe, but Allen tapped the land next turn to play a Spellskite. This was my window. I untapped, dropped the Stony Silence, and passed. He eventually played his hand out, but Stony Silence was enough. He had multiple Arcbound Ravagers and a Cranial Plating, but without the ability to use them or the Spellskite, I could eventually land a threat and take the game, and the invite, home.

 

Final record: 16-5-3

 

Going Forward & Conclusion

 

I wouldn’t change much about the deck going forward at the moment, but there were a few things I noticed.

 

Relic of Progenitus just didn’t seem necessary. Maybe if more graveyard based decks were out there seeing play, but I never really felt like I wanted it against Grixis builds.

 

I was worried about the number of Spell Snares I was playing. That it might not be enough at just one. But after everything, I feel like I was correct in that number.

 

I’m lucky I didn’t face burn. Cutting Lightning Helix from my deck made me fear this matchup, and I’m not sure if Timely Reinforcements would be enough to hedge it in my favor, but I will test for this going forward.

 

Otherwise, I felt very good about the deck in the metagame. I think any UWR variant is incredibly skill intensive, and I almost want to say it relies on you knowing the format more than anything. I was advantageous in this because I’ve dedicated to only playing modern, and I feel like it paid off. I also love the minor tweaks that can be made to the deck, and I love the challenge of trying to figure out the format and how to beat it, and I think this is going to be another event that solidifies UWR as my go to deck.

 

In closing, I want to thank MTGCardMarket for running a great event, the above resources I mentioned, as well as the players in the event themselves for being awesome. I also want to shout out GreatNate, as his videos have been a fantastic resource over the past few months as another point of reference in my red, white, and blue journey.

 

I’m excited to play in the RPTQ in Indianapolis this November, and I’m hoping I can bring UWR back to the Pro Tour. If anyone has any questions or anything, feel free to get in touch with me on twitter @adinolfi, or via email. This ended up being way longer than I intended, so if anyone made it this far, thanks a lot, and get in touch!

 

 



 

 






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WinD

WinD

Kenneth Spaziani

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