Modern Mastery: The Journey Begins

Written by Scott MacCallum on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern, Multimedia

Welcome to the inaugural launch of my new series! Most of you know me from my longstanding role on The Eh Team Podcast, and some of you may know me from Twitter as @mrscottymac. I have been a semi-competitive player for a long time, and I even played in the PTQ circuits around Mirage block. On Episode 97 we discussed upcoming Grand Prix Toronto (Modern Format), and I stated that I was good enough at Magic to make Day 2. I qualified the statement, by adding that I needed to put the proper time and effort into familiarizing myself with the format, and getting acquainted with the right deck.

I came up with an interesting idea for a stream and article series, and instantly pitched it to Jonathan Medina. I wanted to run a weekly stream, with occasional guests which chronicled my training regimen leading into GP Toronto, which is held Dec. 8-9. I have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of the wonderful members of our community, and professional players, and I was greeted quickly with a large number of volunteers willing to help me reach my goal.

I’ve been streaming a bit as of late. It’s traditionally just a casual show, mostly an excuse to hang out with some of my friends while drinking a little too much and discussing all of life’s wonders. I have always been a paper Magic player and I never really invested in Magic Online, most of these shows were using the free program Cockatrice. As simple as it is to use, the caliber of players you find there is significantly lower than Magic Online. More importantly, the program is terrible to watch.

If I was going to make this work I needed to be on Magic Online, and I needed the right deck to start. Getting online was not hard Jonathan offered to sponsor the series! KYT from the Eh Team, and Leader of Team ManaDeprived, suggested that I start with the RUG Delver list that Team Canada WMC member Lucas Siow piloted to a second-place finish at GP Columbus this year. The deck list looked excellent because it was a healthy mix of powerful and flexible cards, and it seemed like it could adjust to attack any known deck.

The initial list I tested was the exact one from GP Columbus.

I ended up running it in some of the tournament practice rooms and felt it was exactly what I needed to help increase my play level. The deck often provided multiple options, and was capable of pulling out of even the worst situations seemingly from nowhere. It allowed you to play cards that are narrow but powerful, and find them with relative consistency, while interacting with the opponent and providing them with multiple opportunities to lose the game on their own.

After a couple of close losses online, I knew I needed to get my re-education started. I needed a great primer into the strengths and weaknesses of this deck, and what game plans would be most successful while battling against the initial field of expected enemies. I needed an expert. I needed someone that knew about this deck, and about the format. I knew that there could really only be one person that could do the job, and that person was Lucas Siow himself.

Lucas and I ran a great stream, in which we thoroughly go over the deck and discuss the pillars of the format. We also played some good matches against KikiPod and BW Zombies.

PART 1

Watch live video from Legit MTG on TwitchTV

PART 2

Watch live video from Legit MTG on TwitchTV

The updated list we used was fresh from the WMC Team Canada playbook:

Grim Lavamancer was added for more removal against the aggressive decks while allowing you to win more of the Tarmogoyf battles. Also of note is the additional artifact hate, which greatly shores up the Robots matchup.

Lucas had a lot of amazing insights that have already helped me take the first steps of my journey towards Modern Masery. I have to give him huge thanks. He has offered to come back in the future, so look for him to return as the field changes after Return to Ravnica gets released. Make sure you follow him on Twitter at @toordeforce, and let him know you enjoyed watching him.

Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see in future episodes. I will be streaming at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays at www.twitch.tv/legitmtg for the immediate future, with Saturdays possible if my scheduled guests require a weekend for attendance. Thanks a ton to everyone that joined us for the launch, and I hope you all come back each week to see the changes. I will be moving to other lists as well to try them out, so feel free to send me some at mrscottymac@gmail.com.

Next week we will talk more specifically about what I have learned so far, and how it has served me in my testing. Thanks for tuning in and you’ll see me next week!

Scott MacCallum
@mrscottymac on Twitter

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