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Modern Mastery: The Sky Is Falling

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

We battled again this week with our old faithful, RG Scapeshift. As noted in last week’s article, I was unhappy with some of the manabase decisions I made, and opted to make some simple yet effective changes. Here is the list we began the show with:

The addition of the extra fetchlands made sure my Khalni Heart Expeditions would gain value, while ensuring my colors would be smoother with fewer colorless-only draws. It is entirely possible I would have been better served with a higher concentration of Misty Rainforests, but I was satisfied with the decision.

This week, we opted to run exclusively two-man queues to ensure a higher level of competition. I would have attempted an eight-man, but it seems they are becoming harder and harder to fire these days with  the online community swarming the Standard and Block queues. Not to be discouraged, I knew we would find some willing victims somewhere.

Here is how it all turned out for us:


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Rounds 1 and 2 were against Schutz2Kill, who identified himself as a fan. He was on a RUG Scapeshift build, and in the world of dueling Valakuts, I felt good about my position. If the game went longer, because of multiple Remands or Cryptic Commands from my opponent, it was likely I would be dead; but if my opponent ends up with fewer counters than I have spells, we should be able to get online with our Valakuts much sooner and kill them. Any stumble from our opponent, actually, and we should be able to capitalize handsomely. We actually ended up with an active Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle on Turn 3 on the play in one of our matches, which was super sweet. On the flip side, however, one game we faced three Remands and two Cryptics before getting Scapeshifted out of the game. But this deck is a ton of fun to play. There are few things as satisfying as resolving a Primeval Titan, as our poor Round 3 opponent would discover.

We faced a BUG Delver list in Round 3, which I felt was going to be good for us. Many of the BUG plans involve a tempo strategy using discard and cheap countermagic backed by small threats like Delver of Secrets, Dark Confidant, and Deathrite Shaman. I ended up in with none other than Stream Team member Adam Prosak in attendance, which further fueled my confidence about the matchup. Game 1 was a joke, as we got online for a Primeval Titan on Turn 4 on the play, resulting in lethal damage from a Khalni Heart Expedition. Game 2 really showed how good we are against discard strategies that cannot overcome our threatened tempo. Our lands do all the work, and after the villain casts Thoughtseize for two life and his choice of Sakura-Tribe Elder or Farseek, and later an Inquisition of Kozilek for a blank, I couldn’t help but laugh. The opponent’s reaction to a shields-down resolution of Prismatic Omen was priceless. I’m pretty sure he just crumbled under the awesome that is Adam Prosak.

I wanted to mess around a little with the deck, and decided to try cutting the Manamorphoses for Lightning Bolts. I made the change and ended up against a Jund Aggro build leaning on Bloodhall Ooze and Putrid Leech. I unfortunately had a MODO mishap that costs me the first game, and violently mulled into oblivion in Game 2. I guess those Manamorphoses do some work after all, Uncle Phil.

Overall, I was very happy with the deck. I definitely would play three copies of Obstinate Baloth in the sideboard, likely over the Vexing Shusher, a Wurmcoil Engine, and a Combust. It is also entirely correct to play a non-zero number of Slagstorms to help clean up some of the more aggressive strategies.

I issued a challenge to you the viewers to help me decide which deck to run in this week. Out of all the entries, there was one deck that stood out the most. I have chosen the winner to co-pilot Monday’s show so we can get the play lines right from the deck creator himself. I can’t wait to show you the winner.

There are some changes also on deck for Modern Mastery, so stay tuned to see what we have in store. Dragon’s Maze is coming, and we will not take it lying down, I can assure you. Don’t forget that preorders are available right here at Legit MTG.

Congrats to Ron Goldie for the store credit this week. Make sure that you create an account on LegitMTG.com so we can get you your money!!

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