So two weeks ago I was able to take down TCGPlayer Modern States at Top Deck Games and luckily StarCity Games Modern States were being held at the same store a weekend after. I decided to run it back.
Star City Games Modern States Top 16
Round 1. Affinity
This matchup feels incredibly good for game one as you are almost always just a bit faster than they are. I managed to take it pretty convincingly after my opponent had to mulligan. Unfortunately for me Infect doesn’t mulligan well and I lost in three games. Nothing really to write home about except a disappointing start. 0-1
Round 2. Burn
I got lucky. My opponent put me down to 1 in our first game and I was able to hit him for 10 poison and steal the game. Game two was fantastic. My hand wasn’t great and neither was my opponents. We went back and forth a little bit with him killing my creatures and me just trying to survive against a [card]Goblin Guide[/card] until I was able to resolve a [card]Wild Defiance[/card] followed by an [card]Ichorclaw Myr[/card]. By this point I had two copies of [card]Nature’s Claim[/card] in my hand and Goblin Guide had handed me an [card]Inkmoth Nexus[/card] the turn prior. I was able to pump my Myr with [card]Might of Old Krosa[/card] trigger Wild Defiance and move my opponent to 9 poison. While he was tapped out I Nature’s Claimed my Myr and also my Wild Defiance to give myself enough cushion to get the last point on my following turn with my Nexus. 1-1
Round 3. Jund
This is a pretty bad matchup for Infect and I got slaughtered in three games. again not much to write home about except hope you never see this one. 1-2
Round 4. Storm
This match was loads of fun. I thought I was completely out of contention at this point so I just wanted to have some fun playing Magic. I won the race game one. Game two my opponent makes a stupid block throwing away a [card]Goblin Electromancer[/card] when he didn’t have to and proceeded to try and storm off a turn or two after. with a storm count of 19 he fizzled out. He had a [card]Blood Moon[/card] and access to three lighting bolts but decided to dig for the kill instead of putting me under a Blood Moon and killing all of my creatures. After the game he agreed that he should’ve just gone for that line and it could have forced a game three. 2-2
Round 5. White Moon
You know you are in the dregs of a tournament when you play against something like this. While the deck seems cool it just seems too low on power. I wish there was more to say here besides I survived an [card]Isochron Scepter[/card] with a [card]Boros Charm[/card] on it game one and kept a no land 7 on the draw with a probe and rattled off two lands into a turn 3 kill. I played like an idiot and got rewarded for it. 3-2
Round 6. Burn
This match was just a race and nothing really spectacular happened. I won.
Round 7. Mardu Midrange/Tokens?
My opponent fetched a [card]Sacred Foundry[/card] off of a [card]Marsh Flats[/card] which to me meant they were on a brew and I should probably expect Lingering Souls. I didn’t see any game one and took it pretty quickly but I assumed my opponent was smart and had them in their list. Finally I got to board in my extra [card]Distortion Strike[/card] for all these [card]Lingering Souls[/card] matchups. I didn’t event get to use it as I used [card]Apostle’s Blessing[/card] for the evasion I needed to grab a turn 4 kill. 5-2
At this point I knew I was out of Top 8 contention but I’m happy with my performance and how I was able to rally back and end with a solid day and 13th place which was good for a nice chunk of store credit and an overall fun day of Magic. I got to watch one friend make their first big event top 8 and another miss by 0.041% on tiebreakers.
A Modern PPTQ
This past weekend I went to a PPTQ or as I now like to affectionately call them an LMNOPTQ. I haven’t been playing many of them lately but I saw one at The Comic Book Store in New Jersey only 30 miles away so I jumped at the chance especially because it was a credit 1k paid to top 8.
Round 1. RG Tron
I played against a friend of mine this round and got crushed game 1 by a turn 2 [card]Spellskite[/card]. Game two I had a [card]Glistener Elf[/card] turn one and was able to fire off two [card]Mutagenic Growth[/card]s to move him to five poison. He played a chalice on 1 and I was able to burn some spells and kill him with Become Immense on my turn. That card is Broken. Game 3 I had Nature’s Claims to deal with his two Spellskites and quickly stole the game from there. 1-0
Round 2. Burn
My opponent was play multiple copies of [card]Searing Blaze[/card] and it was a great call for the tournament. I died in two quick games.
Round 3. Scapeshift
So I got to ask my opponent “do you have it” multiple times. He only had it once and I was able to win. 2-1
I punted incredibly hard in this match. I have been dealing with some personal issues lately and I was too distracted and only won because things broke in my favor. Before throwing money on the line just make sure you are in a good headspace to play well in a tournament you want to win as I spent the entire day not wanting to be there.
Round 4. Scapeshift
There were two in the room and I pulled them back to back. It went very similarly to my prior round and I was able to catch some breaks and win the round while my opponent just didn’t draw well. 3-1
Round 5. Burn
I got a little tilted at this point because I was already not in a great head space to be playing Magic and I was not up for this race. Luckily my deck played itself and although I misplayed heavily sometimes Become Immense is just too broken for you to lose. 4-1
I felt really weird going into round 6. I had been punting a lot the entire day and I didn’t want to be there but when you play a good deck sometimes things like this can just break your way as you stumble into Top 8 with a handshake.
Round 6. BUG
Shook hands and tried to relax for a little bit. It didn’t work.
This was against my Round 2 opponent and the match went about the same as it did in round 2. I mulliganed pretty deep and wasn’t able to overcome it and squeak a win. My opponent ended up going on to beat a friend of mine in the finals of the tournament and I got $100 in store credit out of it so it could have been worse but I definitely never want to play a tournament in that head space again.
What I Took Away From These Events
These events showed me that Infect is a really powerful deck but I’m also not sure it is the deck for me. I love how aggressive it is but not being able to hold up well in longer games and grind out a win is something I feel that I’m lacking. The deck also mulligans quite poorly and while a lot of the time it is powerful I find myself keeping decent 7 card hands instead of digging deeper for a stronger hand and rolling the dice on that. I wan’t to get Zoo back together and test out some new cards with it as well as a Bant brew just because I want to play cards like Wilt-Leaf Liege and Rhox War Monk. Also one more thing,
My Top 8 Cards
I saw Jim Davis write an article about this topic and I definitely think anyone reading this should go check it out on the select side of StarCityGames.com. Well here goes nothing
8. [card]Heartless Summoning[/card]
This card was the engine of the first deck I ever tried to play competitively. I was trying to go infinite with this, [card]Havengul Lich[/card], [card]Perilous Myr[/card], and [card]Priest of Urabrask[/card]. When the combo couldn’t happen I could always grind people out with fatties like [card]Runescarred Demon[/card] and [card]Inferno Titan[/card]
7. [card]Elvish Piper[/card]
Clear and simple the reason I play Magic is to play fatties and crush my opponents under huge creatures. While I no longer use [card]Duskdale Wurm[/card] or play a deck full of Wurms and [card]Levitation[/card] this card helped shape the style of Magic I love.
6. [card]Kessig Wolf Run[/card]
This card is just sweet and I love giving my already big creatures Trample. This card in tandem with a few others on my list have given me the majority of my tournament successes.
5. [card]Wild Nacatl[/card]
I love aggressive cards and I love big creatures. I knew we were meant to be once my friend came back from an extended vacation to the Modern Format. Just a few weeks after I played my first GP and my 11-3-1 record has a lot to do with Wild Nacatl.
4. [card]Thundermaw Hellkite[/card]
At that GP while playing against Jund in round 11 I got to put a Batterskull on my dragon and live out my own version of one of my favorite Magic players finest moment, becoming a Dragon Master.
3. [card]Wilt-Leaf Liege[/card]
Wilt-Leaf starred in my very first modern deck which was GW Hatebears during the Reign of Deathrite Jund. My Lieges carried me through tournaments and cemented my love of large creatures crushing my opponents face.
2. [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card]
My knights are special to me. They have been in every build of Zoo I have ever played and fall into one of my favorite color combinations. I love to do shenanigans with lands as well and crush peoples faces and Knight makes both of those worlds a reality.
1. [card]Ajani Vengeant[/card]
My favorite Planeswalker is just value all around. He has helped me win countless matches and his pop vinyl figure adorns the dashboard of car.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this and hopefully I can get another article written soon enough.