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Modern Mastery: So Much Value

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

In the spirit of celebrating victories here at LegitMTG, I requested that Polish Tamales give me the artwork treatment as a Deathrite Shaman. You all have seen me playing and most of you recognize the relevance of the hood. The hood served me very well at all my real-life tournaments, helping me focus on the match and tune out excess distractions. I also was told at my winning GPT that in the Top 8 I had the look of a Sith Lord. My gaze was penetrating and the hood intimidating. How could I pass up the opportunity to be immortalized as the creature that has brought me so many victories? Huge thanks to Polish Tamales for his outstanding work. I really do love it.

This week you get a double dose of stream. Since I spent a week writing the report on my GPT win, I skipped writing about the stream experience in the interest of the last article’s length. Since I have so much video content and infinite testing still to do in the mere days leading up to GP Toronto, I will attempt to be as brief as possible.

Maximizing Martell

This week’s stream featured well-known Channel Fireball author and equally reputed SCG Black member Tom Martell. Let me first thank Tom for his guest appearance. We were so fortunate to have him on board because his pedigree not just for MTG in general, but specifically for his streaming MTG, was a huge boon to me. I can also proudly say we hit the highest number of viewers at a single time while Tom was on the show. This no doubt was due to Tom’s star power, but many of you stayed behind after he left, for which I am eternally grateful.

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We actually enter into the Daily event and get into a casual battle while waiting. The event shortly begins, however, and finds us paired against our first-round opponent.

Round 1 — UG Infect

Games are pretty much as expected. The match goes to three games and we pull it out as our opponent draws very little gas in Game 3.

Round 2 — Eggs

As Eggs is apt to do, it combos off the turn we are about to lay lethal combat damage. We mulligan to four in Game 2, but the four includes basically our best cards in this match: Rule of Law and Liliana of the Veil. A couple runners off the deck find us the lands we need to make the hand live, and we win on the Rule. Game 3 opens with seven cards, four of which are Rule of Law and three lands.

Tom has to leave at this point, but he leaves me with a very interesting nugget of wisdom. He talked about the concept of minimizing the number of live draw steps you provide to your opponent. This is another consideration to be aware of when trying to decipher an ideal course of action. This is something I was happy to hear and plan to put into good use.

Round 3 — Soul Sisters

This one goes to three with Game 1 taking forever, as expected, with us losing. We rip the Sword of Light and Shadow in Game 2 and get it running to level the match. Game 3 brings us to the very edge of time, and as I declare lethal attackers … my clock runs out. I have to take solace in the fact that were this an actual paper tournament, I would have easily won Game 3 in turns.

Round 4 — Tribal Zoo

This deck proves to be extremely difficult for us to beat because his mana efficiency is far better than ours, and his burn is really effective. We get crushed in Game 1 and just run out of gas in Game 2 when his burn gets him the reach he needs.

It was really great to have Tom on the show. His in-game counsel and insider perspective on the Spirit Jund deck in general will be invaluable at the Grand Prix.

Back for More

This stream has us entered into the Modern daily on the following week. No major changes were made to the deck from the week before because I was quite happy with the list. The only change was substituting the second Blood Crypt for a Temple Garden. For reference:

I had arranged this stream to have William Blondon (@nodnolb) from the Horde of Notions podcast and Manadeprived.com fame on stand by to battle against us with RG Tron as it is clearly one of my worst matches, and I welcomed the practice.

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Round 1 — UR Storm

Game 1 we get a break as our opponent casts a “Hail Mary” Epic Experiment that isn’t enough to get past our Tarmogoyf and Raging Ravine beatdown. Game 2 we offer up our traditional storm board plan, which doesn’t stop the opponent from going off on his Turn 3 on the play. We open on Rakdos Charm in Game 3, which inevitably serves as enough to disrupt our opponent’s Past in Flames.

Round 2 — UG Infect

Game 1 we draw perfectly with discard, Goyf, Bob, and removal. The game ends basically before I need to play Bloodbraid Elf. Game 2 is a bit more of a drawn-out affair, which accurately showcases the power of Lingering Souls against this archetype. The opponent also seems to go cold on pump spells to help his Blighted Agents seal the deal.

Round 3 — RG Tron

This is actually humiliating. Our opponent basically misclicks with his first Karn Liberated and exiles itself at some point and still manages to win. Game 2 is no better, but this time he actually clicks correctly.

Round 4 — Spirit Jund

After impatiently waiting to play against the mirror all night, we finally get our wish. Fulminator Mage ends up doing major work here, and we easily coast to a 2-0 victory.

I’m extremely happy with the way that the deck has been progressing. I am equally happy with how much I have improved over the course of this project. I can’t wait for GP Toronto.

Next week we have, as promised, Maksym Gryn finally joining us with his take on Jund to give us a little more perspective before we tackle the monster. Thank you to everyone that has been following this journey. I can not honestly thank you enough for your continued support. I love getting all the messages of support and appreciation for the work I have been putting in. My only hope is that we can together prove that this all was totally worth it, and that I can do all of you proud by tearing up the standings at GP Toronto.

When next you hear from me, it will be with a true war story. I can only hope it will be a good one.

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