Weird Modern Leagues and Cycling Adventures

Getting the Magic Bug means travailing and traversing a variety of formats and for once, I’ve actually brought some diversity to my decklists.

 

Standard has been freed from the shackles of Felidar Guardian, meaning I’ve (digitally) sleeved up a 75. With no intent of getting stuck into the free-for-all that the format entails before something comes up best, I’ve put on my old man slippers and gone for the comfortable feeling of a control deck:

UR

While I’ve not built it, this is just my jam to relax to. Ever since it was granted to us I’ve been jamming Torrential Gearhulk (or as I like to call it, ‘Sploosh’) everywhere I can find. I might have been tried it in Modern, once or twice. This feels like the best shell for it since it returned though – Censor and Essence Scatter have solved the issue of having too little to do early on and Pull from Tomorrow is the blue draw spell I’ve been waiting for since Dig Through Time rotated. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful this card is. I’m sure we’ve felt the satisfaction of a successful Glimmer. It’s nothing compared to drawing eight which honestly, isn’t even that uncommon an outcome.

So far, I’m unbeaten with the deck in random pick up games, covering everything form the bogeyman Mardu Vehicles to SaffronOlive Special Panharmonicon. 5-0 isn’t a bad start, but I’m sure leagues will drag that right down to average.

As for Modern, as all the big paper events I play are Modern, it’s got me with the old favourite, Merfolk. A week or so back I played in the world’s largest GPT (298 players) and piloted it to a 6-3 finish, with losses only to some unfavourable matchups (Scapeshift, Ad Nauseum, GW Prison). I have to admit, I didn’t even particularly play well despite getting a win over a former GP winner (in the Modern format) – it was one of those days where Merfolk just kind of does its thing. That’s the nature of the deck – you can always rely on it to keep ticking over and you just try and eek out every advantage you get.

Jamming a league tonight is peppered with some of the weird non-games with quirks you get in Modern sometimes – my somewhat infamous ‘One land + Aether Vial’ hand gets obliterated by a Turn 1 Ingot Chewer. A Dredge deck piloted by ‘davidbowie; completely folds to Cursecatcher in two games straight. A Storm player uses Past in Flames then realises they have no red mana to fire off rituals, pause for two minutes and pass the turn. Naturally, they still win. One opponent I beat 2-0 and when it is finished, I still have no idea if they were on Storm or a UR Control deck. I end the second turn of a game with three Cursecatchers in play. All this flies by with an end result of 2-3 in a haze of background streams and Chicken Soup as I desperately try not to get subsumed by missing my fiancee, who is back at University. I also lament the fact I didn’t switch back to main board Spell Pierce after facing off against combo in four of five rounds (Yes, Dredge counts.)

Constructed ends the night at 1669.

Amonkhet Draft is up next. In my constant pursuit of making Cycling work, I ended up with this, which felt pretty satisfying. Still not sure about 16 lands, though.

Draft1

I think our first opponent likely hates us. Both games they get off to a fast start involving Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons and various low to the ground creatures, only to run into Rags to Riches. Edifice of Authority and a slew of removal/mind control effects lock up the game. Lay Claim on Champion of Rhonas was the final straw.

The second match goes much the same way, although our opponent has Hapatra’s Mask to nix our plans of stealing Archfiend of Ifnir. As you can imagine, the Archfiend then nixes our plan of winning the game. The third the plan works again. I’m not saying having Drake Haven and Faith of the Devoted out at once takes me to my happy place.

And then I realise I’ve played 10 games of Magic today.

Is that too many?

Nah. There’s GP Copenhagen to practice for!

Limited Rating: 1660.

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