Modern PTQ Hamburg

Modern is the current format for this PTQ season and so I decided to join the tournament in my hometown.

The Deck

I decided to play the deck after I had watched a video stream of Brian Kibler on Starcity Games. I knew that didn't want to play combo and I knew that I wanted something interactive and easy to learn as I simply didn't have enough to time to test. This is an aggressive creature deck with added disruption to fight the various combo decks of the format.

I played some games before the event against Death Cloud (favorite), Naya Boom/Bust (favorite), Storm (tied after boarding) and Burn (underdog) and liked my chances. I thought about tweaking the sideboard for the burn matchup, but I couldn't decide what to take out.

My deck had one Qasali Pridemage more and one Wilt-Leaf Liege less than Kibler's original list, simply because I didn't manage to find a 4th in time for the event, which is a shame, as Liege is the name-giving and best card in the deck.

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Round 1: Jund

In both games my opponent plays mostly Lingering Souls and I have Sword of Light and Shadow plus some fatties. I have removal for all his other relevant creatures and the games are over very quickly.



Round 2: Affinity

Game 1 I mess up completely. My opponent has searched for Cranial Plating with Steelshaper's Gift. He has four artifacts (Darksteel Citadel, Mox Opal, Memnite and Etched Champion). I have Noble Hierarch, Gaddock Teeg and Qasali Pridemage on board and Dismember in Hand. In my mind, I have made a plan to get rid of the Etched Champion for free:

Attack with Gaddock, he blocks with Champion I destroy his Mox with Pridemage and his Memnite with Dismember, thus metalcraft would be disabled and the Champion would have chump-blocked my Gaddock. What I end up doing: Attack with a 4/4 Gaddock (2 x exalted), naturally he blocks with Champion. I sacrifice the Pridemage to destroy his Memnite leaving me with no targets for my Dismember. Seriously?

He kills me shortly afterwards with two hits from Cranial Plating on Champion. During sideboarding I realize that my opponent had cast Thoughtcast despite a Gaddock Teeg being on the battlefield. We both missed it.

Game 2 my opponent mulligans to 6 cards and has an unimpressive start (2 x Vault Skirge, 1 x Memnite) while I have turn 2 Stony Silence followed by Zealous Persecution to wipe his board. I win shortly after.

Game 3 I keep a sketchy hand (2 x Noble Hierarch, 1 x Path to Exile, 4 land), but rip another Hierarch followed by a turn 3 Baneslayer Angel. He has no hard removal in his decks and dies from 3 hits of the mighty angel. I got very lucky that he didn't draw Whipflare.



Round 3: Jund

Game 1 I make another critical mistake: I have turn 1 Noble Hierarch, my opponent has turn 2 Dark Confident. Now I can either play Lingering Souls or Aven Mindcensor. I opt for the latter, but don't flash it in, when my opponent attacks with Bob. I should have traded, I wanted to, but somehow missed it. Afterwards he removes my two Lingering Souls with his two Deathrite Shaman, but in the end I die to the card advantage Bob provided.

Game 2 I have a good, accelerated and threat-heavy draw (Loxodon Smiter, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Baneslayer Angel), but he answers them all (Abrupt Decay, Terminate and Thoughtseize). Again he has Bob and I have no removal. Through Lingering Souls I am ahead in the damage race nevertheless and decline to block the Confidant when he starts suicide-attacking. I have him at 1 and I am at 7. He uses his Deathrite Shaman to go 3 and kills me with Lightning Bolt and Rakdos Charm, a card I wasn't aware of.



Round 4: Jund

My opponent plays the Jund version of Willy Edel with Lotus Cobra and Thundermaw Hellkite. Game 1 I mulligan to 6 and keep (Qasali Pridemage, Lingering Souls, Loxodon Smiter, Wilt-Leaf Liege, 2 land). For a long time I only draw mana birds, which get killed by removal and I quickly die to a 4/5 Tarmogoyf and a Bloodbraid Elf who cascaded into Maelstrom Pulse to kill all my Lingering Souls token.

Game 2 I keep double Hierach and Lingering Souls plus 4 lands, but never draw any real threats or my sideboard cards.



Round 5: Lifegain Aggro

Game 1 my opponent assembles a 10/10 Ajani's Pridemate through Soul Warden and Honor of the Pure, but I have a very good draw with Lingering Souls, Wilt-Leaf Liege, Loxodon Smiter and Gavony Township. I chump his fatty for a while, destroy his Honor of the Pure mid-combat with a Qasali Pridemage and kill him in the air.

Game 2 I have a slow start with just 2 Birds of Paradise and 1 Noble Hierarch, but when his board is 2 x Serra's Acendant and 3 spirit token from Spectral Procession I have Zealous Persecution and completely destroy him. He tries to recoup with a Ranger of Eos, but I simply pump my Birds with Township multiple times and kill him shortly after.



Round 6: Rb Burn

When I get hit by Bump in the Night on turn one, I know I am in trouble as I have no real sideboard for the burn matchup. I have no particular fast draws and both games he would have died just the turn after he killed me. He played Deathrite Shaman and I thought about bringing in relics, but I didn't want to slow down my clock, as my only possible route to victory would be racing. Desperate, I know.



Round 7: Splinter Twin

Game 1 I mulligan to six and casually die on turn 4 when he assembles Pestermite + Splinter Twin. I felt like I could have stopped the combo by leaving mana open for my Pridemage, but opted for playing Noble Hierarch. In fact I was just dead as he simply would have tapped my lone untapped land with his Pestermite otherwise.

Game 2 I have Linvala, Keeper of Silence in hand, but I miss multiple lands drops. Meanwhile he digs for his combo pieces. When I finally reach four mana he has double Deceiver Exarch and I have the choice of either leaving mana open for Pridemage or playing Linvala. If he remands Linvala and has the combo I am dead on the spot, so I opt for the Pridemage plan. He then plays Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and I am dead. Afterwards he reveals his hand and didn't have the Remand.




3-4 is a pretty accurate representation of my knowledge of the format. I made some rather stupid looking mistakes today. No matchup felt really lopsided except Burn and Twin, which I could have probably answered with a better sideboard. Speaking of which: It really seems to matter in this format, much more than in standard.

Some strategies are so powerful (combo, affinity, …) that they can only be answered with dedicated hate. Others are just powerful (Jund). And I hate playing against/with combo. It feels like lottery to me, as in: whoever draws his sideboard cards first wins.

This will probably be my first and last modern tournament this season. But who knows? I certainly had fun.

12.01.2013 • #Constructed, #Modern, #PTQ