I hope you’re enjoying having me back! I love being back in the chair, bringing you fun times and laying down some Modern experiences, even if it sometimes is somewhat lacking in the skill department. I make no secret that I’m rusty again. If you watch the progression of my play during the course of last season, you will see a steady improvement. I expect this to end up being much of the same, because right now I feel like I’m playing some of the worst MTG I have ever played in public.
This week is no exception. This week is actually likely the best example.
After some tinkering with last week’s list, I decided to try out a few changes. I messed around with the deck in the tournament practice room online, and came to this as my build for this week:
UWR Planeswalkers by Scott MacCallum
There are too many blue decks being played now to make Spreading Seas good enough, and many of you from the chat seemed to agree. I decided to add a little bit of flexibility to the removal suite, opting to add Izzet Charm to the list. It’s both another way to remove small must-kill creatures like Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant while still possessing value in other more spell-based matches in Game 1. I also had a couple of instances where digging with it to find a specific card was the right thing to do, which further cemented the card’s support.
Blind Obedience was a card I felt would easily pull its weight in the maindeck. Because many of the current Modern decks are creature-based, having a way to steal tempo from haste creatures and set up optimal wraths on overcommitted boards seemed excellent; it also had similar tempo implications for some of the combo decks in the format such as Eggs and Twin variants. This type of flexible application potential is something that I value highly in my main deck slots, especially in a format as diverse as Modern.
Many of our best cards in the deck don’t come online until Turn 4 or later, so I felt like being able to jump a turn occasionally would be of value. I was looking for some mana rocks, and decided on Everflowing Chalice to fill the role. This deck often goes into the late game, and every mana advantage you can get over your opponent during that time is extremely valuable. Celestial Colonnade activations requiring three colorless mana, and the planeswalkers all needing at least two made the scalability of Chalice very appealing. I have also been experimenting with the list on paper, and Everflowing Chalice was very strong in concert with the Sphinx’s Revelations I was trying out in the Blind Obedience slot.
This week I (unintelligently) decided to try out our changes against our worst possible matchup, RB Burn, for which we were suboptimally prepared. I was without my full book of Leyline of Sanctity and completely unprepared for Blood Moon. The deck was piloted by @KevyMetall from the Heavy Meta podcast, and he decidedly mopped me out. The games are actually very fun to watch, especially if you enjoy watching things like seals being clubbed to death and candy being taken from babies.
After having quite enough of the trouncings from Kevy, I jumped in a two-man queue only to face down RUG Twin. The deck was playing out very much like a RUG Delver deck, so I mistakenly tapped out to stick a threat and got Splinter Twinned. Game 2 was not much better. The next two-man I joined was also against Twin, but this time the more traditional UR version. These games ended up going very long, right down to the wire. Wait until you see the huge punt. The last round of matches was against Legit MTG’s own Rudy Briksza (@itssobza), who was playing, yep, Twin. His was a RUG variant, although the green is likely for sideboard cards. Rudy shows us how it’s done, completing the run of severe public humiliation for me this week.
This list was performing excellently against the influx of creature decks that seemed to be invading the format with the departure of Storm and Jund’s reduction in play. But since all we played against was Burn and Twin, we clearly were outclassed.
I did find a few things, however, that were not to my liking with the list. Everflowing Chalice ended up being a major liability many times because in conjunction with the full set of Tectonic Edges, we had too much colorless mana and not enough of what we needed. Cards that I would consider in these slots are Azorius Signets and some number of Ghost Quarters. I likely also would cut the second Steam Vents and Sacred Foundry for some basic lands to assist with the Blood Moon issue. Every time that card fell down against us, we lost. With some Zoo lists running that card maindeck, and with both Twin and Burn packing them in the sideboard, we need to be better against it.
Next week’s list is still in flux, and I will be making the decision during the weekend about what to run. I feel like getting back into the swing with something a little more linear, so I’m currently considering BW Tokens, Tron, and even RG Aggro. If someone has a sick list they want me to run that has put up results, then ship it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give it a hard look.
Thanks so much for the comments this week. Please don’t forget that we give out free store credit every week, and all you have to do is comment and watch the stream. Last week, we awarded the prize to John Clayton Butler for his valuable insight and attention to detail. Next week, it could be you!
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