Hello again everyone,
I have been qualified for a Star City Games Invitational for a few months now. I am super excited for this because it will be another step for me in my path to become a great Magic player. August 28th-30th they will be hosting the Invitational and the Open Series in Edison New Jersey. I elected to not go to Columbus for the Season 3 Invitational because it was a bit outside of my reach distance wise and I wasn’t super comfortable in Modern.
This upcoming Invitational is Standard/Legacy and to be honest I don’t really feel that up to Legacy either but the hands of the Jund gods have always been on my shoulder when playing because I’ve cashed both of the Legacy Opens that I have attended with Punishing Jund. One was the system of old where I believe it was only 9 rounds and the second was on the new two day system. Both of the formats have been pretty hostile to my favorite of the “fair” decks. The delver decks jamming Treasure Cruise or the current Omni-Tell decks where they cheat in Omniscience to chain Dig Through Time into a free Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. When all I’m doing is casting a 3/4 Tarmogoyf…
Sometimes you can feel a bit behind the curve, I will get lucky and catch my unfair opponents off guard and earn some wins. I think being such a favorable matchup they will keep hands that are much more loose than they should be thinking that this will be a bye for them but then Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach, and Surgical Extraction will leave them will only six cards that will win the game and some cards in hand that don’t do anything.
I will talk more about Legacy later. But for now lets get to Standard;
This is not a traditional list by any means. It has an Arashin Cleric and a Soulfire Grand Master in the sideboard that should actually be two Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. The reasoning behind it is that A. I don’t want to spend 17 tickets on a card that will be rotating soon and B. that the substitutes I have in the sideboard line up really well versus Mono Red and Mono Black aggressive decks which are bad matchups for this deck.
I really like this deck and online I have well above a 50% win ratio with my last three events giving me a 10-0 record. (6-0 in two Standard 5-3-2-2 and 4-0 in a Standard Daily). I believe it is well positioned and boasts the best removal spells backed up by Thoughtseize and Stormbreath Dragon.
I love Anger of the Gods right now. It lines up very well versus a lot of decks. Megamorph, Mono Red, GR Devotion, Various Jeskai decks. And in combination with Soulfire Grand Master you can gain a lot of life and prolong the game for quite a few turns.
What I am playing in paper magic is Abzan Megamorph.
I placed 32nd in the Sunday Super Series at Grand Prix Providence with this deck after a poor showing with Mardu Dragons in the main event. This deck is very strong. Everyone has been putting all of their chips into Elspeth, Sun’s Champion as of late but I am still a strong advocate of Whisperwood Elemental. The card is very strong, plays very well with your Deathmist Raptor and Den Protector, and is cheaper than Elspeth. Now clearly I am not saying that you shouldn’t play Elspeth, the card is clearly good but I like a diverse threat base and this deck delivers. You are effectively playing 5 Sorin, 5 Elspeth, 8 Abzan Charm. I do like the looks of the lists playing Satyr Wayfinder as a way to fuel your Den Protectors and fill the yard with Raptors.
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This is a list that a friend of mine played to a top 4 at a Regional Pro Tour Qualifier, so it is very good. We have both played the exact same 75 since that day and the deck has performed very well but the metagame has been shifting and I believe that in some way we should be as well.
I am not sure of what the changes should be at this time and we have about two months before the Invitational so I have some time to prepare and figure out what my 75 should look like but at this time I am not sure what deck I should play let alone what a 75 configuration should look like.
Another card that isn’t seeing play anymore that I believe to be a bit weird is Sidisi, Undead Vizier. It seems like it could be very good at providing value in a Megamorph deck. You have access to Satyr Wayfinder, Deathmist Raptor, and Elspeth tokens as fodder to sacrifice to the exploit. The only thing that I believe is holding it back is the fact that it costs 5 and your opponent can respond to the exploit trigger. So it comes down the turn you would like to play your Den Protector face down. I’m not sure about it but it seems like it could be a good one of in a list to help tutor for the correct card or to just find a Den Protector and start your value engine.
Another card that has been sidelined that I consider to be pretty good is Hidden Dragonslayer. It doesn’t generate the same value that your Den Protector does but it does have lifelink against the aggressive decks. It can be played early to trade with red creatures or can be flipped up to kill Siege Rhino/Anafenza, the Foremost and the extra morph creature helps you get back your Deathmist Raptors.
The things that I feel about this deck can change are the mainboard Sorin, Solemn Visitor and the sideboarded Foul-Tongue Invocation. Sorin is a great one of and is another value card. He gains life versus aggressive decks and he generates creatures against control and his ultimate is such a beating versus most decks.
The Foul-Tongue is great versus Esper Dragons and Thunderbreak Regent. You can rid the field of hexproof threats and you don’t have to take 3 damage from the target ability on Thunderbreak.
I am starting to see less and less Mono Red decks so its possible that we can start to cut back on the Bile Blight in the mainboard. I always seem to find the Mono Red players in any given room so maybe that isn’t correct. This will change with Goblin Piledriver coming out with Origins.
I am going to continue to put in work with both of these decks. I feel like Standard is my stronger of the two points. So once I lock in a list I will be pretty comfortable playing it.
Legacy however is a very different monster. I enjoy playing Punishing Jund. It is a deck I know quite a bit about. I know how to sideboard and play the deck and that is a big pro. The cons however are always staring me in the face and smiling like they know something that I don’t.
Stay hungry and focused, but most of all stay humble -JP-