Welcome back readers! Last weekend I attended SCGCON, an event that was very much ground breaking for not just SCG, but also competitive magic altogether. There were 8 different formats that could be played at a competitive level all in one place headlined by the Season One Invitational. I played the Invitational on Friday and Saturday and the Legacy Classic on Sunday. This article is going to recap the decks I played, a brief overview of day 1 of the Invitational, and the position this article leaves me in going forward.
After a less-than-ideal performance at SCG Regionals in Memphis, I was left clinging onto the seasonal SCG Leaderboard by the skin of my teeth, aka tied with Collins Mullen for 32nd place. Since the invitational at SCGCON was my last opportunity to earn points for the Season One Leaderboard, a good finish at the Invitational was paramount.
Before I dive into the matches, I am going to discuss what I played at the Invitational. The Season One Invitational was a Modern/Standard split format tournament with Day 1 and 2 consisting of 4 rounds of Modern, then 4 rounds of Standard each. At the conclusion of Day 2, a cut to top 8 is made and the top 8 is played on day 3 in the Modern format. As a result, each player is required to bring both a Modern deck and a Standard deck to play in this tournament.
What I Played
What a thing of beauty. Bogles embraces the linearity of Modern in a way few other decks do. Wielding not only the mainstay hexproof creatures Slippery Bogle and Gladecover Scout, but also Leyline of Sanctity to prevent absolutely any kind of interaction, Bogles is a deck I felt comfortable registering and it has a relatively low mental tax to play. Given both day 1 and 2 of the Invitational are 8 rounds long, and filled with far more skilled players than the average Open, lowering the mental tax involved in playing any deck was a premium for me going into this tournament.
I played a list extremely close to this one at the Louisville Open a few weeks earlier and finished a respectable 10-5 with the deck. After Louisville however I felt the deck was lacking in power as well as decisions so I decided to try Humans. I piloted humans to an incredibly mediocre 4-3 at regionals and quickly determined that the deck was nowhere near as good as it was hyped up to be. This left me kind of lost since I had high hopes for Humans and was originally planning on running the deck back at the Invitational. Ultimately I landed back on Bogles since it was the deck I felt the most comfortable playing, despite still believing the deck to be underpowered.
Red Deck Wins
This decision was far easier. The Pro Tour had just finished with an incredibly red aggro heavy top 8. Wyatt Darby won the Pro Tour with mono red aggro and I was pretty set on playing essentially his exact list. I ended up playing 74 of Wyatt Darby’s 75 since, in his interview, Darby stated that the Treasure Map he played in his sideboard was awful and he never brought it in. Since I expected a lot of red decks I decided to play a 4th copy of Chandra’s Defeat in that spot. Let’s dive into the matches!
Invitational Day 1
Round 1 : Jund (Modern) L
I win the die roll but lost game 1 pretty handily with Leyline and Bogle. My auras to put on the Bogle just weren’t that great and I got out raced by some Tarmogoyfs and Bloodbraid Elfs. Game 2 Goes my way but the race was still pretty close as my opponent had another creature heavy draw. Game 3 I kept 1 Bogle, good enchantments and some lands and got the Bogle hand hated, then it took too long for me to recover though it was extremely close. If I had drawn the Bogle a turn earlier I probably would have won.
Round 2: UW Martyr Proc (Modern) W
Game 1 I open with a pretty aggressive start on the play. My opponent scoops on my turn 3 after putting a Daybreak Coronet on my Bogle. All I see out of his deck game 1 is Hallowed Fountain and Flagstones of Trokair. The only deck I can remember playing Flagstones is some of the Death and Taxes style decks and Martyr Proc. I have seen a lot of Mono White Martyr Proc online so I put my opponent on the deck and board appropriately. Game 2 I stick a Gaddock Teeg which keeps my opponent from casting the Wrath of God in his hand allowing me to win. Modern is super fun and interactive like that. Turns out I was right and my opponent was on Martyr Proc splashing white for Detention Sphere and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.
Round 3: Burn (Modern) W
I lose the die roll and my opponent opens on turn 1 Monastery Swiftspear. I am not feeling good about this match already since I am on the draw and am not going to be able to block that Swiftspear well for multiple turns. The game presses on and my opponent has a pretty creature heavy draw which eventually gets stopped my by Bogle that is doing a fantastic Moat impression. Turn 5 I stick a hardcast Leyline of Sanctity while at 1 and eventually grow my boardstate wide enough and large enough with Bogles and enchantments that I clutch the win. Game 2 my opponent opens on a turn 1 Goblin Guide and I once again do not have a Leyline, which is pretty important in this matchup. The game plays on and my opponent misses an Eidolon of the Great Revel trigger on one of my spells. This allows me to later go to 1 off of casting a Daybreak Coronet on a Kor Spiritdancer with other enchantments on it and run away with the win.
Round 4: Jeskai Control (Modern) W
I lose the die roll and find out I am playing against Jeskai. I have a creature heavy draw Game 1 and am able to rebuild after Supreme Verdict and win. Game 2 I mull to 5 and am slow to get anything going. By the time I have a respectable board state my opponent has 3 Cryptic Commands to tempo me out of the game. Game 3 is a little more interesting. I have a pretty good draw with a Bogle and some enchantments but the hand loses to any traditional hate (like Engineered Explosives or Verdict, etc). There is a turn in which my opponent Vendilion Cliques me on my draw step and sees a hand of Spider Umbra and a land. He elects not to take the Umbra despite the fact I do not actually have an Umbra on my creature yet and am weak to sweepers. I cast the umbra on my creature, it resolves, then on the next turn it immediately trades with a Supreme Verdict cast from my opponent. My opponent never finds another sweeper and my Bogle crosses the finish line. Ultimately I think if my opponent had taken the Umbra I probably could not have won that game but I am certainly not complaining.
Round 5: UW Control (Standard) W
I’m feeling pretty good about a 3-1 finish in Modern day 1 and am relying on a minimum of 2-2 in Standard to get me to day 2. Given I did not play nearly as much Standard as Modern to prepare for the event, I am certainly feeling less confident. I lose the die roll and find out I am playing against UW. I lose Game 1 very convincingly but I am sure I punted since I didn’t think about the fact I could Abrade my own creatures and let an Earthshaker Khenra and a Rekindling Phoenix get tagged by 2 Seal Aways from my opponent. I go into game 2 shaking of tilt from realizing my mistakes at the end of game 1 and trade resources with my opponent. The inevitable Settle the Wreckage hits, spikes me up in mana, and the turn my opponent casts Lyra Dawnbringer I untap and dome them for 10 with a kicked Fight with Fire for lethal. Game 3 actually plays out almost the exact same way with my opponent this time playing a Soul-Scar Mage main phase 1 to threaten to shrink my opponents Lyra with Glorybringer with the attack. This forces action from my opponent after which I play the 10th land out of hand and dome them for 10 with Fight with Fire again.
Round 6: RB Aggro (Standard) W
I win the die roll against RB Aggro and kick things off with a turn 1 Bomat Courier that will ultimately draw me 4 cards at one point in this game. I also have 2 Goblin Chainwhirlers that both kill something with their triggers and push through a ton of damage. This wins me game 1 and I feel pretty good about this matchup going into the sideboarded games. Game 2 I have a solid curve out and end up getting ahead of my opponent who stumbles a little bit on the play. This round was also the first time on the weekend I attacked with a Hazoret the Fervent with 2 cards in my hand. This doesn’t end up mattering as my opponent dies on my next turn with or without the Hazoret attack.
Round 7: Esper Control (Standard) L
I win the die roll and again get a good clean curve out on my opponent after a turn 1 Bomat Courier. That particular Bomat ends up drawing me 5 cards (albeit discarding 2) and I get to cross the finish line pretty easily. Game 2 was a frustrating one for sure. I have a decent hand with plenty of threats but my opponent draws 3 Vraska’s Contempt in the top 15 cards of his library and those combined with Fatal Push answer all my creatures and my opponent runs away with the game while maintaining a fairly high life total. Game 3 I stumble on hitting my 4th land drop for a turn to play my bombs which gives my opponent a turn to cast The Scarab God and demolish me.
Round 8: UW Approach (Standard) W
I win the die roll and game 1 I have a medium draw. I have to take time off to kill 2 Teferis but ultimately end up drawing very well to win. Game 2 is pretty insane. I am on the draw after winning game 1 and keep the following hand: 3 Mountain, Lightning Strike, Goblin Chainwhirler, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Glorybringer. My first draw step is Soul-Scar Mage to give me a turn 1 play. My second draw step is Earthshaker Khenra to give me a proactive turn 2 play. My third draw step is the fourth land I need to cast Chandra, and my fifth draw is the Fight with Fire I need to kill my opponent’s Lyra Dawnbringer played on their turn 5. The deck basically gave me the hand picked best draw steps on each turn. Very exciting way to close out day 1.
All told not a bad day 1 finish. Going 3-1 in both formats felt good and I was happy I made day 2 as that greatly increases my chances of finishing this season on the leaderboard and getting byes next season. I ate some bomb pizza with my friends and travel companions, then went to bed looking to crush Day 2.
If you want to read on, the link to day 2 is here. Otherwise, if you have any comments on this style of tournament report, any questions, or anything else to add to the discussion I would love to discuss in the comments section. Until next time, thanks for reading!
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