Its been a while since my last article. I’ve had some things going on recently and it has made it tough to regularly attend events or write articles. But I am making a comeback and I will be regularly producing content! You will be seeing content from me twice a month and I hope that you enjoy what I bring for you!
It’s currently modern season for the Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers. I wanted to take some time and write about a few things I’ve been focusing on while I am planning on attending some PPTQs as well as the WMCQ in Nanuet NY in mid September.
Modern is a format that rewards what you know quite a bit. The format is very diverse and at any given tournament you will see more decks than you could ever prepare for. But it is also a meta game format where certain strategies will be less effective on certain weekends. We saw the numbers of decks like Abzan Company and Bogles go down because of Dredge and Jund respectively. The hate people were bringing for Dredge negatively affected Company and Jund being as strong and popular as it is pushed Bogles back.
The other factor when considering the meta game at any given tournament is how expensive modern is and how easily accessible the cards are. At a single tournament Abzan Company could be wildly unplayable. But there will be someone at an open with the deck. Why? Because its their Modern deck. Its what they have access to. You can only borrow so many cards from someone. It gets harder when that person is attending the tournament as well. I know this very well because anytime I play Tarmogoyf I am borrowing it from a friend. It hasn’t happened at a large tournament yet, but if we were both to play legacy I would have to give him back the Goyfs. So card availability is very real in this format.Thoughtseize into Tarmogoyf is like waking up and having my morning cup of coffee. Something that I always do, but still puts my mind at ease. Kind of sad because I don’t own my own Goyfs. I don’t rely on the meta game matchups as much because it’s just about a 45% chance to win. Knowing I have a chance in every single matchup is a great feeling. Playing burn against Birthing Pod back in the day was not that. You were not even remotely favored. Every little move you made was “should I do this? Or leave up mana for skullcrack?” 90% of the time it was skullcrack.
The decks I am considering for the WMCQ, which is the most important event on my current schedule, are Burn (not sure if Naya or just RW), Grixis, and Jund.
Looking at them on paper none of them have a good burn matchup. And if we look at the most recent large modern tournament results you will see Lava Spikes all over the place. So going into my testing I’m considering decks that have bad matchups vs. an easy to acquire deck that has had good results lately. It is a tough decision, but what makes me hopeful is:
- That in the next few weeks people will bring their hate and start pushing burn back a bit.
- Getting lucky vs. that deck. Burns best draws are sometimes unbeatable.
- The stigma behing playing “that deck.” Many people dislike decks like Burn, Naya Blitz, and Boss Sligh. They believe that they are the I don’t have to think and get easy win decks.
- This is more like 3.5 but I know many grinders and high skill players that don’t want to leave the fate of their tournament in the hands of a deck like burn.
I’m saying all of these things and yet I’m considering a deck like burn myself. Why is that? Well in any tournament you attend how great is it to have byes? I’ll answer for you. Its phenomenal, you just get free wins. So what part of free wins do we dislike so much? People refuse to play these decks because of the stigma associated with them…. Me? I like free wins. Oh, your deck is easy and pilots itself? That’s fine, please pilot yourself to signing the slip 2-0 in my favor. Do I sign up for this with the knowledge that I will be unable to control some rounds in my tournament? Yes, but if this was a free win deck that came with controlling a tournament, then wouldn’t everyone play it?
Every deck comes with a consequence when choosing it and that’s where the knowledge of your deck gives you and edge. I know and love Jund, it gives me a chance in all matchups. I love Burn’s free wins even in bad matchups. I like the power and consistency of Grixis on paper even though I’ve never played the deck, so over the next two weeks I’m going to be testing all of these decks and seeing what I feel like is the best choice for this tournament.
It seems that a lot of the pros decided that Abzan was the best flavor of Jund for the World Championship. Abzan is very strong and has some great hate cards such as Rest in Peace, Stony Silence, and Anafenza, the Foremost. I have always disliked the mana in that deck, but with the new enemy fastlands in Kaladesh, that deck will get much better. I personally like Jund better. Lightning Bolt is quite the card and is a 4 of in each of the decks I’m considering. Lightning Bolt into Tarmogoyf is both an aggressive strat and a controlling one. Bolt, Snapcaster Mage, flashing back Lightning Bolt is the same. Its 6 damage plus a 2/1 or its destroy 3 target creatures.
After having spent some time looking up results and deciding on what deck I believe suits me the best currently I am leaning towards Jund and Grixis. I believe that Burn will be a decent deck but I am hoping that people start packing some real hate and the Burn players start feeling the “heat.” I really like the way this Grixis list looks on paper and how it can 2 for 1 better than Jund. But we will see where I end up by the time my next article comes out. Just know that I am currently playing Liliana, the Last Hope. More than one, something like three. I always said that I liked the card in Grixis best. It just plays so well with Snapcaster Mage, Tasigur, and Gurmag Angler. The plus 1 doing so well against Spirit Tokens and the plethora of 1 toughness creatures takes so much pressure off of your spot removal and in my current testing is running very smoothly.
To wrap up I would just like to let everyone know that at the end of the day Magic is a game. So we should have fun with it! Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this and I will make sure to share my final list with everyone after the tournament!
As always, stay humble and stay hungry