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Winning TCGplayer Modern States

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Believe it or not, I haven’t written a tournament report in a long time and I don’t think I have ever written a report on a deck that wasn’t Zoo. But that’s what I’m going to do today.

Here goes nothing!

The Deck

I love how the maindeck feels with this configuration. However, I want to make some sideboard changes. I love having the third Distortion Strike in my sideboard but since the deck is such a dog to Chalice of the Void, I want to cut it and possibly one of my Nature’s Claims for Viridian Corrupter.

The Tournament

The tournament was held at Top Deck Games in New Jersey, which is one of my favorite stores to play at in the area. Since Pennsylvania states were six hours away in Pittsburgh it was logical to go battle in New Jersey. For those who don’t know me, I will mercilessly talk shit on New Jersey, as any self-respecting Philadelphian does. Suffice to say I will never live this down.

The first few rounds were mostly easy wins. I played against the Goryo’s Vengeance deck and killed it before they could go off in two quick games. Following that I beat up on Splinter Twin a bunch before picking up losses to Grixis Delver and their Izzet Staticasters, as well as Green-Black Infect, which just obliterated me.

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Going into the final round of Swiss, my opponent assumed we were dead for top 8 and conceded to me. He didn’t realize while we were 9th and 10th in the standings that 7th and 8th were also battling it out against each other. Based on tiebreakers, the winner of our match would be the 8th seed. I guess this was my lucky day.

Quarterfinals: Infect Vs Affinity

I played against the first seed, who was a person I know pretty well, as we play at the same local store. We both knew what the other was playing, and that Infect versus Affinity is always a race. I won game one on an easy kill before dying to Chalice of the Void in game two.

Game three, I took my first turn: just a land, nothing special. My opponent responds on his turn by putting six permanents into play. Instead of deploying a threat, I held up Spell Pierce and I got rewarded when I got a target on turn two.. After that a couple of pump spells sealed the deal and I was through. Pretty lucky day I’d say.

Semifinals: Infect Vs RWg Burn

I lost game one, which is just an awful game for Infect anyway. I Probed on turn one and say a hand that told me I was dead on turn four. My opponent had revealed Skullcrack to me off my Probe and decided to mock me after I called a judge for an oracle text because I wanted to make sure it had the damage prevention clause so I didn’t burn an Apostle’s Blessing trying to block. He of course thought I was an idiot and assumed I wanted to redirect it to my Spellskite.

I won game two and he punted game three when I was dead on board, because instead of reading Wild Defiance he just assumed it would trigger off of Grim Lavamancer.

I guess it was a little bit of karmic justice helping me get the win. People, please treat your opponents with respect.

Finals: Infect Vs Affinity

My opponent for this round was an incredibly good Affinity pilot named Vipin Chackonal, the runner up of Grand Prix Richmond. Luckily, my deck decided I would have an unblockable, nearly unstoppable, turn-three kill in game one, so that was nice.

In game two, I mulliganed down to three cards and didn’t see a land, but at least I didn’t reveal any information and I would get to be on the play.

In our final game, I played a fetch land on turn one and simply passed. Vipin played a Glimmervoid followed by a Mox Opal, in response to which I made the heads-up play of Spell Piercing. After that, he Thoughtseized me and then placed his Glimmervoid in the graveyard. My Blighted Agents were able to finish off the game.

I had won the tournament.

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Going Forward

This deck is insane to play and I’m having loads of fun with this change of pace. I was considering brewing up a CounterCat-esque Zoo list for Star City Games States next week, but after this tournament, I’m going to just make some sideboard changes and run this one back.

I hope you enjoyed this and hopefully I’ll have another one for you after next week!

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Max Perlmutter

Max Perlmutter

Zookeeper at Ajani and Garruk's horde of monstrous creatures.
I am a competitive Magic player located in Philadelphia. I specialize in the Modern format and play aggressive strategies for the most part in constructed. In limited I have an affinity for awful tempo decks and the durdliest control decks (RIP FKK Sultai Control). I hope through my writing I can help us all improve as people and as players in the Magic community.
Max Perlmutter

About the author

Max Perlmutter

I am a full time student at Hampshire College and a Modern format specialist. I have been playing Big Zoo since the unbanning of Wild Nacatl. I hope you enjoy my writing and through it I can help us all improve and people and players in the Magic community.

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