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Compulsive Research: Once Again.. This Time, With Feeling

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

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Welcome back everyone to another entry in the anthology that Compulsive Research is quickly becoming!! I want to thank all of you that have stood by both the stream, and myself since long before we were even calling ourselves Compulsive Research. I live to do this for you all, and it brings me so much joy to hear that people enjoy the show. Thank you. For those of you that don’t know however, this stream initially began under the moniker of Modern Mastery. The goal of the stream was to learn all I could about the Modern format, in hopes to chronicle and lay bare a journey towards a goal shared by many at one point or another, and achieved by only the elite (or lucky) of the Magic Playing community; making Day 2 of a Grand Prix Tournament. I encourage you to go back and revisit some of my more in depth researches and lessons, as they were the building blocks for me in the development of my play today.

You might be wondering why I’m spending so much time waxing poetic about days gone by and roads not taken. Well, let me make it perfectly clear; it’s that time again!!

Ok ok… so it’s not quite THAT time of year again, but the sentiment is the same for me because IT’S MODERN PTQ SEASON AGAIN!!!! I have always much preferred constructed to limited magic, and of all of the formats I have played in, the one that I have always enjoyed the most is Modern. To top it all off, there is a Grand Prix Tournament in Worcester this July which I will be attending, and it is of course, you guessed it, MODERN!! You might be asking why this is important to me, and the answer very simply is this; the dream is once again alive. I will be making every effort to reach Day 2 of the GP this July, and all of my streams from now and then will be focused on a few different decks that I will be making a final selection on for the GP, and then testing and tuning it to make sure that I am solid for the event. Sound like fun? IT IS!! Come join me on my mission and contribute your ideas and feedback, as together, we might just make it this time.

Thankfully, I have a bunch of friends that are on board with helping me reach this goal. Tuesday streamer, Jason from the channel will also be making the same journey with me on his stream, although potentially onto different deck directions that I may land on, and we will be double streaming heads up games during the weeks in July leading up to the event. For this stream, I enlisted the help of fellow Canadian, and best Canadian Player not currently on the Pro Tour (sorry KYT), returning stream guest Andy Peters to walk us through some games with his weapon of choice for the Modern format; UWR Twin. Here is the list he is wielding currently:

At first glance, this can easily seem like a diluted version of the traditional UR Splinter Twin lists with worse mana and no Cryptic Commands. That perspective however, is wrong. This list is much meaner than that. This deck is a lean value machine with the ability to end games either through card advantage or simply through the infinite combo of Deceiver Exarch and either Splinter Twin or Kiki-Jiki, or sometimes you can even win with the previously rarely used Restoration Angel and Kiki-Jiki combo. Whatever you decide you want to say about the deck going into the stream, you should know this; the combined package of Lightning Bolts, Remands, Snapcaster Mages, Path to Exiles, and Serum Visions basically form the basis of three archetypes in Modern right now, and all of which are considered to be some of the most powerful spells in the format. Any deck that can capitalize on these tools surely should be respected. Andy speaks very well about his card choices in the beginning of the stream, and if nothing else, that section is worth every second of it. Here is the stream.

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Andy and I ended up doing very well with the deck, and we only won a handful of those games via the combo. The one thing I can certainly tell you about the deck is that it forces you to change gears a lot. Knowing when you can attack, and when you can’t can very easily become a chess game with your opponent. Sometimes you can poke and feint, hoping that you can trick them into exposing a window to combo kill them, and sometimes you play a controlling game, just countering and killing all of the threats your opponent presents and grind them out with Colonnades and Angels. Often you are performing all of these things, switching quickly back and forth based on your opponent. There is a lot of discussion right now about the Modern format being one that rewards intimate knowledge of your deck, and how to properly pilot it in every matchup. You see many of the big Modern Format experts and they are all identified by an archetype. This is not by mistake. This UWR Twin list feels extremely powerful. Being able to play some of the best value engine cards in the format, on the turn of choice in most cases, and still having access to a combo kill potential which forces “the fear” into your opponents checks off most of the requirements that I have for a deck for the Grand Prix. The one thing that this deck does have going against it however, are the number of potential play lines available to it, which in the hands of an inexperienced pilot, can lead right down the trail of disaster. If this type of deck is your cup of tea, then you’d be hard pressed to find one as tightly tuned as this one. Andy’s numbers are precise, and intentionally designed to balance perfectly between the value based control deck and the soul crushing combo deck. Having access to white sideboard cards also never hurt anyone in this format, I’ve heard.

Join me tonight as I battle with the old standby, and am joined by recent GP Runner Up, Andrew Huska. It’s time to go home baby!! 930PM EST. See you then!


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