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Compulsive Research: Catching Fire

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Limited, Modern

Compulsive Research 700x235

Hey! Remember me? I know it’s been a while since you have seen me grace these pages, but uhh… I’ve been a little busy!

I spent a week in Seattle visiting the Wizards of the Coast offices. I met a bunch of the staff, and most importantly, I, along with my unbelievable teammates crushed the hopes and dreams of the Wizards team in the Magic Online Community Cup!! (MTGOCC). I then have spent the last week since trying to put the rest of my real life back on track after being away. I have finally caught up enough, and now I’m back to tell you some of the amazing tales from the memorable journey.

The MTGOCC was a team tournament based upon 4 individual events, all consisting of 3 rounds of play; Vintage Masters Draft, Ironroot Chef Standard, 8 Pack Sealed, and Stipulation Cube Draft. The team consisted of myself, Paul Cheon, Tom Ross, Bjorn Andreasson, Frank Lepore, Mariah Pagliocco, Erin Campbell, and Sean “Day9” Plott. We all worked very well together, and ended up pulling out a huge turn during the last event to seal our team’s victory.

I encourage you to check out the complete coverage on the Mothership here.

I ended up doing very well over the weekend, going a combined 9-3 during the event, tying for the top team record with both Tom Ross and Paul Cheon. (Not bad for a “terrible player” huh?) My results and decks from each format were:

Vintage Masters Draft : 3-0



The ingredients that I had for this portion of the Community Cup were Athreos, God of Passage and Heroes’ Podium.

8 Pack Sealed: 1-2



Stipulation Cube: 3-0 (Magic Editor – 40 Card deck may not contain more than 60 words in total card names)



After a raucous night of Karaoke with some of Seattle’s Finest, I was also treated to a Pre-Prerelease of Khans of Tarkir with my fellow Community Team members. I was able to make it past Frank Lepore in the first round, but fell to the eventual champion; Sean Plott. I had a ton of fun in that tournament especially. Mostly because I had a super sweet deck, but also because the Khans Limited format is SO AMAZING. After playing a fair share of M15 drafts over the weekend on off hours, and of course surviving the train wreck that was Theros Block, I can tell you with uncontested certainty that this new limited format is fun, exciting, and yes, skill testing. Mana bases are so critically important, and although it might seem like some of the clans lend themselves to a somewhat leaner mana requirement, let me assure you that you should be looking at 18 to 20 mana sources in this format regardless of clan choice. Let me show you some of the decks that I drafted over the course of the weekend from Khans.




This deck I opened Zurgo Helmsmasher in pack 1, and opted to try to force the archetype. I was actively looking for nice aggressive creatures and tried to keep the curve as low as possible. I ended up finding a lot of removal, and made the mistake of picking up the 3 color cards too early, and found myself cut off from the mono colored cards which I would need to fill in the holes in the deck which were clearly presented. I’d like to title this deck “Things NOT To Do In KTK Draft.” I ended up on only 16 lands, had minimal fixing, not enough early game, and often found myself either without enough lands, or without enough colors to cast my spells. Please Don’t do what Scotty Did here.




This one was super sweet. I did draft the deck entirely on my own, and started with the P1 Necropolis Fiend. I then started prioritizing the fixing and enablers which I knew I would need to run a smooth Sultai deck. The 3 color commons and uncommons were coming around very late on the wheels, further reinforcing my spot in the draft. I got some tips from one Brian David Marshall on the fine tuning of the exact deck, but ultimately this one led me to a smooth undefeated run.




This is my prerelease deck. I picked Temur because I really wanted to have access to the big monsters, best ramp, and premium blue and red. I was very surprised to see that I had over 9 non basics in my pool, and a series of bombs that demanded to be played. Add to that the power of the morph creatures which I possessed along with the fixing from Trail of Mystery, and I was firmly on the 5 color plan. This deck is about 5 cards off from where I would have ended up if I were given the pool again, but I certainly had a lot of fun playing it. Fixing is key, and again, make sure you play enough lands. You can thank me later for that one.

I did stream last week, and it is here for you. I streamed a new Bant Deck which came up on Gerry T`s Daily Decks. It of course had Geist of Saint Traft in it, so I figured I would give it a shot. Here is the deck as a point of reference.



I`ll let you watch the stream and evaluate it for yourself, but let’s just say that I didn’t play it at the MDSS modern event this weekend.

I played UWR Geist with a single Jeskai Charm over an Electrolyze, and a fetch base of 3 Flooded Strand, 3 Scalding Tarn, and 2 Arid Mesa. I am currently unconvinced that the actual split matters in execution, but I guess now that I consider it, I never had an issue finding a basic when I needed to. I expect that the thought process behind fetchland sequencing demands a bit more attention, as I did sequence them incorrectly once during the tournament. I ended up getting knocked out of top 8 contention by the new Jeskai Ascendancy deck, and that player ended up taking second in the entire tournament. I then got knocked out of top 16 during the final round by RW Burn, losing games one and three to… Deflecting Palm. Yep. Watch out folks, that is a real card.

Enjoy the stream. Have fun! And look for some Hot Legacy Action tonight at 9pm EST when I get none other than Tom Ross to help teach us how to poison our opponents in LEGACY.

See you!


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