Looking to play magic in Salt Lake City? Let me break it down for you:
Fongo Bongo: My favorite (like 40+ people every Friday). Bit of a drive for me though.
Game Haven: Okay.
Epic Puzzles and Games: Meh. I only go there for Game Day.
Oasis: Decent. Park across the street.
Game Den/Dr. Volts: Don't bother.

So, there... if you're only in town for a week, now you know the best places in SLC for Magic: the Gathering.

    Decks    


 
  'UWR Nahiri'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru SOI)
2 Arid Mesa
4 Celestial Colonnade
3 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
3 Island
1 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Sacred Foundry
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
2 Sulfur Falls
1 Tectonic Edge

1 Electrolyze  1
2 Lightning Helix  
4 Nahiri the Harbinger  2

1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn  15

4 Ancestral Vision  
1 Anticipate  1
1 Cryptic Command  1
1 Logic Knot  X
1 Mana Leak  1
2 Remand  1
4 Serum Visions  
4 Snapcaster Mage  1
1 Spell Snare  

1 Anger of the Gods  1
4 Lightning Bolt  

3 Path to Exile  
1 Wrath of God  1








Sideboard:
2 Engineered Explosives  X
2 Wear/Tear  1 /
1 Dispel  
1 Anger of the Gods  1
2 Crumble to Dust  3
1 Celestial Purge  1
4 Kor Firewalker  
1 Stony Silence  1
1 Wrath of God  1

R1: vs. Living End, counters won it.(2-0)
R2: vs. American Control with Geist... Visions won it.(2-0)
R3: vs. Melira Combo, lots of removal and Anger got there.(2-0)
R4: vs. Elves, lots of removal and Anger got there.(2-1)

I would've preferred Lighthouse over Tec Edge. Other than that, the 75 seems alright.
Game Haven, 3 Jun 2016, 16-06-8011193
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Jordan Derbidge Win +3
3 Angelo Caradori Win +3
2 Scott Olsen Win +3
1 Trent Johnson Win +3


 
  'RG Eldrazi'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Oath)
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Eye of Ugin
1 Forest
2 Ghost Quarter
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Mountain
4 Karplusan Forest
2 Tendo Ice Bridge
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

4 Eldrazi Mimic  2
4 Endless One  X
1 Engineered Explosives  X
4 Matter Reshaper  2
2 Reality Smasher  4
1 Relic of Progenitus  1
4 Thought-Knot Seer  3

3 Dismember  1

4 Ancient Stirrings  

1 Gut Shot  
1 Kozilek's Return  2
4 Lightning Bolt  
4 Vile Aggregate  2

Sideboard:
1 Elf Replica  3
3 Engineered Explosives  X
3 Relic of Progenitus  1
2 Oblivion Sower  6
1 World Breaker  6
2 Ancient Grudge  1
3 Kozilek's Return  2

My build was tuned for an event out of touch with the meta, since I didn't think locals would be caught up. I was wrong, but got lucky.

First match was against UW Eldrazi, a rather bad matchup, considering my build. In my testing, early aggro was the key and it worked in the first game. The 3rd game, we both mulled to 5 and I got luckier with draws. Afterwards, we played a few friendly games and he 2-0'd me.

Next, I played a green Eldrazi Tron build. I was worried about long games, but Oblivion Sower did good work.

I narrowly beat burn. Not knowing what I was up against, I kept a marginal hand, but topdecked an Eye and dropped a lot of dudes on turn 3. Thought-Knot really helped in this matchup.

Last round, we agreed to an intentional draw. We played for fun and he whooped me pretty handily with CoCo Melira.

Note: Played the same 75 the next week and went 3-0 without dropping a game. It may be weaker vs the broader metagame, but at least it beats RDW.
Game Haven, 11 Mar 2016, 16-03-7640839
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Angelo Caradori Draw +1
3 Jake Haslam Win +3
2 Trent Johnson Win +3
1 Tim Herbert Win +3


 
  'UBR Twin'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru BfZ)
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Desolate Lighthouse
4 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
3 Sulfur Falls
1 Swamp
1 Watery Grave

1 Kolaghan's Command  1
1 Terminate  

1 Inquisition of Kozilek  
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang  5

4 Deceiver Exarch  2
2 Gitaxian Probe  
2 Pestermite  2
3 Remand  1
3 Serum Visions  
3 Snapcaster Mage  1
4 Thought Scour  
1 Twisted Image  
1 Vendilion Clique  1

2 Grim Lavamancer  
4 Lightning Bolt  
4 Splinter Twin  2




Sideboard:
4 Nihil Spellbomb  1
4 Spellskite  2
1 Kolaghan's Command  1
1 Thoughtseize  
2 Threads of Disloyalty  1
2 Blood Moon  2
1 Grim Lavamancer  

Been playing lots of Affinity and Twin lately. I'm preferring Grixis Twin of the 4 options. White or green splashes are nice for aggro, but there's been a lot of combo/control in the meta lately; plus I like the artifact destruction in the main.

I longed for the Pyroclasms from the RUG version (no Pestermite, no Clique), but managed to beat two Elf decks. I was fortunate to get Pestermites against the second Elf-player, since he dropped Essence Warden in both games.

I topdecked a Splinter Twin to beat UW Merfolk in the finals (after getting rid of two opposing Skites).
Game Haven, 15 Jan 2016
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Jacob Peterson Win +3
3 UNKNOWN Win +3
2 Lillian Rauch Win +3
1 UNKNOWN Win +3


  'GR Scapeshift'      --Modern deck (thru BFZ)
4 Cinder Glade
4 Forest
7 Mountain
1 Stomping Ground
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
3 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

2 Chalice of the Void  XX
2 Spellskite  2

4 Explore  1
4 Kahlni Heart Expedition  1
1 Primal Command  3
4 Primeval Titan  4
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder  1
4 Scapeshift  2
4 Search for Tomorrow  2

2 Anger of the Gods  1
2 Commune with Lava  X


Sideboard:
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Chalice of the Void  XX
2 Spellskite  2
2 Tormods Crypt  0
3 Destructive Revelry  
4 Obstinate Baloth  2
2 Anger of the Gods  1

I took Thien Nguyen's GP Pittsburgh deck and made some changes to fit the meta (usually lots of Burn, Infect, Bogles, Affinity, Elves). Since Twin isn't usually big, I saw no need for Rending Volley and dropped the few other 1cc cards to make room for Chalice of the Void, which is great in a number of matchups. Didn't play anything I expected, instead going up against: 1. Grixis Control, 2. something similar to the Phil Silberman UW Titan deck, 3. Eldrazi Ramp (not Tron), 4. UR Storm. The highlight was dropping Chalice for 2 in game 3 against Storm.
Game Haven, 11 Dec 2015
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Angelo Caradori Win +3
3 Shawn Murphy Win +3
2 Trent Johnson Win +3
1 Michael Hoffman Win +3


 
  'UWR Twin'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Dragons of Tarkir)
3 Celestial Colonnade
1 Desolate Lighthouse
4 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
3 Island
2 Mountain
1 Plains
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
3 Sulfur Falls

4 Lightning Helix  

4 Deceiver Exarch  2
1 Dispel  
2 Pestermite  2
1 Remand  1
4 Sleight of Hand  
4 Snapcaster Mage  1
1 Spell Snare  
4 Thought Scour  
1 Vendilion Clique  1


2 Grim Lavamancer  
4 Lightning Bolt  
3 Splinter Twin  2

2 Path to Exile  






Sideboard:
3 Engineered Explosives  X
4 Spellskite  2
3 Wear/Tear  1 /
1 Blood Moon  2
1 Combust  1
1 Pyroclasm  1
1 Sowing Salt  2
1 Timely Reinforcement  2

The idea here was to bolster the aggro/budget matchups: Affinity, Infect & RDW. I'd say that was successful. The problem is that I weakened my other matchups. For similar effect, I should've just played Junk (not great against Affinity, but lately I haven't faced Affinity at all).
Game Haven, 18 April 2015, 15-04-6194417
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Dawn Hankis Win +3
3 Henry Blackburn Win +3
2 Anthony Wilde Draw +1
1 Patrick Hoecherl Loss +0


 
  'UWR Delver'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Khans)
4 Arid Mesa
4 Flooded Strand
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
1 Mountain
1 Plains
2 Steam Vents
2 Sulfur Falls

4 Lightning Helix  

4 Delver of Secrets  
2 Mana Leak  1
2 Remand  1
4 Serum Visions  
2 Snapcaster Mage  1
4 Thought Scour  
4 Treasure Cruise  7
3 Vapor Snag  
1 Vendilion Clique  1


4 Monastery Swiftspear  
4 Lightning Bolt  
2 Young Pyromancer  1








Sideboard:
3 Engineered Explosives  X
2 Counterflux  
3 Wear/Tear  1 /
3 Threads of Disloyalty  1
4 Kor Firewalker  

So I played something similar at Fongo Bongo (2-0, 2-0, 2-0, 2-0 finish), Oasis Games (2-0, 2-0, 2-0) and then Game Haven (2-1, 2-0, 2-0, 2-0), dropping a game to UR Storm. I tried RUG Delver at Fongo Bongo last week and got stomped by RW, so I figured white to be mandatory.

This morning at 10:00, I decided to check out events for the weekend and saw this PPTQ starting at 11:00, so I slapped this back together and darted up to Layton.

Round 1: RUG Delver, 2-0. He seemed to have a pretty rough draw game 1, then I went the distance after siding in (and drawing) all 3 Threads of Disloyalty.

Round 2: RUG Scapeshift, 0-2. Got him down to 1 in game one. He wrecked me in game 2. It was somewhere in this match that I realized I was delving too much with my Treasure Cruises. I might have stole at least one game, had I not screwed up. Oh, I also screwed up by Mana Leaking something... when he had 3 open mana, which he paid.

Round 3: UWR Jeskai Ascendancy, 1-1. I had a fine hand game 1, then he got me game 2. Not sure if I messed up or not, but I definitely hadn't realized Faerie Conclave's role in the deck. Ran out of time--I think I may have done fine with more time. Either way, I think play errors may have got me.

Round 4: Tarmo-less Zoo, 2-0. This was fairly easy. Game 1, he mulled to 4. Game 2, he kept dropping Knight of the Reliquary, and I kept Vapor Snagging it.

Round 5: Affinity, 2-1. He beat me up rather slowly game 1. I almost thought I might have a chance, though mediocre draws stymied that. On the play next game, I dropped a land turn 1, and a judge noticed my opponent had 8 cards. He was forced down to 5 and kept an apparently terrible hand--my hand was quite good, so it was an absolute cakewalk. The next game, I Vapor Snagged two artifacts and killed his Glimmervoid. Then I cast Threads of Disloyalty on a Vault Skirge and proceeded to play conservatively (because I had ample burn)-- I patiently grinded him out, since I had cards in hand to handle threats.

Round 6: No show :)

The deck worked pretty well. The mana base is a bit nasty for supporting Kor Firewalkers, but didn't give me any trouble. The side seemed fine. I couldn't think of anything sorely missing. Two changes I'm considering: 1. Replace Mana Leak with more Remand since it's really great in this meta. 2. Swap out Young Pyromancer for Aven Mindcensor.
14-12-5764037, Magic Preliminary PTQ Vancouver, Heebeegeebeez - Layton
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
6 Davis Nath Win +12
5 Andrew Walden Win +12
4 Coulton Anderson Win +12
3 Jeremiah Munson Draw +4
2 Bruce Muhlestein Loss +0
1 Casey Bloodworth Win +12


 
  'UWR Kiki'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Khans)
4 Arid Mesa
1 Cascade Bluffs
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Desolate Lighthouse
4 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Mountain
2 Plains
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Steam Vents
2 Sulfur Falls

3 Detention Sphere  1
4 Lightning Helix  

4 Dig Through Time  6
3 Snapcaster Mage  1
4 Thought Scour  


3 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker  2
4 Lightning Bolt  

4 Path to Exile  
4 Restoration Angel  3
4 Wall of Omens  1






Sideboard:
3 Counterflux  
2 Wear/Tear  1 /
2 Hibernation  2
4 Pyroclasm  1
4 Kor Firewalker  

I didn't like the deck before Khans was printed since it was losing pretty hard to American Control (Geist = autoloss), which was pretty popular. I decided to revisit it because RDW and UR Delver are so good now, and Wall of Omens+Bolt+Helix is pretty good in both matches. Instead of counters, I went with Detention Sphere for utility removal.

I went 2-0 vs mono-G (bad deck, not the meta stompy deck), 2-0 vs Elementals, 2-1 vs RDW (Funny... he sided in at least one Torpor Orb, but fell to Kor Firewalker in games 2 & 3), and 2-0 vs BW Tokens (D-Sphere was superb here). Dig was key in the last matchup... it very much saved me.
Game Haven, 21 Nov 2014
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Walker Flinders Win +3
3 Henry Blackburn Win +3
2 Trent Johnson Win +3
1 Paul Wright Win +3


 
  'RDW'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Khans)
2 Arid Mesa
2 Battlefield Forge
3 Bloodstained Mire
5 Mountain
4 Sacred Foundry
3 Wooded Foothills

4 Boros Charm  
4 Lightning Helix  

3 Eidolon of the Great Revel  
4 Goblin Guide  
4 Lava Spike  
4 Lightning Bolt  
4 Monastery Swiftspear  
4 Rift Bolt  2
2 Shard Volley  
4 Skullcrack  1
4 Vexing Devil  

Sideboard:
3 Wear/Tear  1 /
2 Flames of the Blood Hand  2
4 Pillar of Flame  
2 Searing Blaze  
4 Timely Reinforcement  2

First round vs RG Tron was a little closer than I'd hoped for, but I 2-0'd it. Last week I got him in Bountiful with Affinity... he was notably beating with two Wurmcoil Engines in one game, while I was swinging with an enormous Vault Skirge.

Beat some scrubby deck and lost to BW... stuff. He had a bunch of Pharika's Curse, Lingering Souls and cheap drops... and a Timely Reinforcements in the main.

Anyway, great in testing, but maybe not the best thing for small events with mostly non-meta decks.
HaJoMaJe 1 Oct 2014, 14-10-5654221
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
3 Michael Williams Win +3
2 Miles Sloan Loss +0
1 Brady Wanlass Win +3


 
  'UR Delver'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Born of the Gods)
1 Cavern of Souls
6 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
2 Sulfur Falls

4 Delver of Secrets  
4 Mana Leak  1
2 Quickling  1
4 Remand  1
2 Serum Visions  
4 Snapcaster Mage  1
4 Spell Snare  
4 Spellstutter Sprite  1
4 Vapor Snag  
2 Vendilion Clique  1

4 Goblin Guide  
2 Grim Lavamancer  
4 Lightning Bolt  

Sideboard:
3 Spellskite  2
3 Hurkyl's Recall  1
3 Threads of Disloyalty  1
1 Flame Slash  
2 Forked Bolt  
3 Pillar of Flame  

Although packed with great cards, I just didn't like the feel of it. I lost games to some pretty scrubby decks, as well.

I wish they'd print some cards to make Delver decent in Modern.
Fongo Bongo 1 Aug 2014, 14-08-5336339
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Conner Boulton Win +3
3 Alec Riggles Win +3
2 Andrew Numbers Win +3
1 Steve Sagala Win +3


 
  'Affinity'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru M15)
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Glimmervoid
2 Island

3 Arcbound Ravager  2
4 Cranial Plating  2
4 Etched Champion  3
4 Mox Opal  0
2 Ornithopter  0
4 Signal Pest  1
2 Springleaf Drum  1
4 Steel Overseer  2
3 Welding Jar  0

4 Vault Skirge  1

2 Master of Etherium  2
4 Thoughtcast  4

2 Galvanic Blast  

Sideboard:
2 Grafdigger's Cage  1
1 Torpor Orb  2
3 Wear/Tear  1 /
4 Thoughtseize  
2 Blood Moon  2
3 Whipflare  1

Round 1: Ad Nauseum, 2-1. The guy steamrolled me first game. Thoughtsieze got me there in game 2. Thopter, Opal, Citadel, Skirge, Skirge (equipped with Plating shortly thereafter) got me there in game 3.

Round 2: RDW, 1-2. This guy got a 1st turn Goblin Guide every game. In the second game, I won with 1 land in play (Welding Jar, Skirge, Plating). In the 3rd game, he had 3 Goblin Guides and killed my dudes with 2 Searing Blazes.

Round 3 & 4: Merfolk, 2-0, 2-0. Not much to say here. I beat the first guy with 1 Island in play (on my side). 2nd game of round 4, I slowly beat the guy down with 2 lone Skirges.

Round 5: Affinity, 2-1. This was pretty tough. I gave up the first game by not realizing I could've swung for 10 poison. I thought I had 9 poison with Ravager + Inkmoth, but didn't realize Overseer would pump the Ravager, giving an extra counter for 10 poison. After some very close math and decent playing in games 2 and 3, I managed a win.

Round 6: BW Brimaz, 2-1. I lost the 2nd game to an early Stony Silence. Game 3 included Wrathing my team away, but I topdecked a much needed Glimmervoid (Stony Silence was out) and hit him with Galv Blast.

Round 7: Scapeshift, 2-1. Other than a play mistake in game 1 that didn't impede the win, it wasn't super eventful. Spencer had Primeval Titan in the main.

Round 8: ID.

Round 9 (QF): Mono-G aggro, 2-0. I had two brutal double Plating hands.

Round 10 (SF): Ad Nauseum, 0-2. First game, he used Peer Through Depths to find the win just in time. In the second game, he topdecked a needed Angels Grace after I got him to 6.

Since Cranial Plating won soooo many games, I could see dropping an Island, re-adding a Plains and putting in some Steelshaper's Gifts. If I had to go to a major event tomorrow, I'd do: -1 Island, +1 Plains, -2 Master of Etherium, -2 Galv Blast, +1 Springleaf Drum, +1 Ornithopter, +2 Steelshaper's Gift, -2 Blood Moon, -1 Whipflare, -1 Torpor Orb, +2 Spellskite, +2 Ethersworn Canonist.

Here's the official Wizard's page: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/khans-tarkir-ptq-bountiful-2014-07-31. They really screwed up the reporting... Herk won. I placed 3rd.
Game Haven 26 Jul 2014 Pro Tour Qualifier Khans of Tarkir, 201414-07-5159690
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
10 Nathan Herkimer Loss +0
9 Alexander Kerr Win +15
8 Aaron Muranaka Draw +5
7 Spencer Howland Win +15
6 Wes Stapley Win +15
5 Cody Trafton Win +15
4 Stuart Jackson Win +15
3 Matt Engelbart Win +15
2 David Farnham Loss +0
1 Robert Colvin Win +15


 
  'RG Tron'      --Modern deck (Mirrodin thru Born of the Gods)
1 Eye of Ugin
2 Forest
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Llanowar Wastes
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower

4 Chromatic Sphere  1
4 Chromatic Star  1
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn  15
4 Karn Liberated  7
4 Oblivion Stone  3
4 Relic of Progenitus  1
3 Wurmcoil Engine  6

4 Ancient Stirrings  
4 Sylvan Scrying  1

4 Pyroclasm  1

Sideboard:
3 Spellskite  2
3 Kitchen Finks  1
4 Slaughter Games  2
3 Nature's Claim  
2 Sowing Salt  2

I've long been hesitant to play this, fearing combo, but picked a good night. Went 2-0, 2-0, 2-0, 2-0 againt UW Tron, UR Storm, Junk Reanimator and a Dark Tezz/Wurmcoil Engine/Master Transmuter into Blightsteel Colossus deck. I had to swing 3 times with Emrakul against that artifact deck (he had lots of Wurmcoil Engines and other permanents... and lots of life).
Game Haven, Friday Night Magic: 2014-06-13, 14-06-5149180
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 David Larrabee Win +3
3 Chuk Mitchell Win +3
2 Ethan Tea Win +3
1 James Lawry Win +3


 
  'Scapeshift'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Born of the Gods)
1 Breeding Pool
2 Flooded Grove
3 Forest
3 Island
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Mountain
4 Steam Vents
4 Stomping Ground
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

3 Izzet Charm  

4 Cryptic Command  1
4 Peer Through Depths  1
4 Remand  1
2 Repeal  X
4 Sleight of Hand  
2 Snapcaster Mage  1

4 Sakura-Tribe Elder  1
4 Scapeshift  2
4 Search for Tomorrow  2

1 Anger of the Gods  1

Sideboard:
1 Grafdigger's Cage  1
4 Spellskite  2
1 Torpor Orb  2
3 Mindbreak Trap  2
2 Swan Song  
2 Obstinate Baloth  2
2 Anger of the Gods  1

I did some additional testing of Scapeshift after it won GP Minneapolis and figured it's not so bad, but there's no way I would run Telling Time over Peer.

Also, that James Cummings seemed like eh pretty cool guy. Too bad he mentioned not coming back because of the wacky event structure.
Game Haven 31 May 2014, 14-05-5052568
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Richard Hendrick Win +3
3 James Cummings Win +3
2 Taylor Moore Win +3
1 Derick Johnson Win +3


 
  'WWr'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Journey into Nyx)
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Clifftop Retreat
1 Eiganjo Castle
1 Flagstones of Trokair
4 Ghost Quarter
6 Plains
4 Sacred Foundry

4 Aether Vial  1

2 Dryad Militant  
4 Lightning Helix  

2 Akroma, Angel of Wrath  5
4 Lightning Bolt  

4 Blade Splicer  2
4 Flickerwisp  1
3 Leonin Arbiter  1
4 Mangara of Condor  1
3 Restoration Angel  3
2 Serra Avenger  
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben  1

Sideboard:
4 Spellskite  2
3 Blood Moon  2
4 Ethersworn Canonist  1
2 Nevermore  1
2 Stony Silence  1

Eh... this deck is not particularly good. It needs Karakas or something. Anyway, I'd go -1 Resto, +1 Leonin Arbiter. Eidolon of Rhetoric should replace Canonist. Also, -2 Nevermore, +2 Rest in Peace (take out Flagstones).

The only thing I ever boarded in was Blood Moon.
Fongo Bongo 9 May 2014,
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 James Lawry Loss +0
3 Jonah Shields Win +3
2 Tyler Fraser Win +3
1 Braydon Robinson Win +3


 
  'Dungrove Junk'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Born of the Gods)
1 Cavern of Souls
2 Forest
1 Godless Shrine
4 Marsh Flats
4 Murmuring Bosk
3 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Swamp
3 Temple Garden
4 Verdant Catacombs

4 Abrupt Decay  
2 Doran, the Siege Tower  
4 Kitchen Finks  1
4 Loxodon Smiter  1
4 Tidehollow Sculler  

4 Inquisition of Kozilek  
2 Thoughtseize  

4 Dungrove Elder  2
4 Tarmogoyf  1

4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben  1

Sideboard:
1 Damping Matrix  3
4 Spellskite  2
3 Torpor Orb  2
3 Liliana of the Veil  1
2 Thoughtseize  
2 Stony Silence  1

So, this was a brainchild of mine. It tested well enough against everything, though I particularly fashioned it to punish Storm and hold up to American Control. I went overboard on the sideboard meta hate again (never did side in anything besides Liliana and Thoughtseize). One of my opponents called my deck "Junk Hatebears", which seemed an accurate assessment. On the bright side, I did run into American Control. At some point in the match my opponent remarked how problematic Dungrove Elder was and I just had to grin. I kinda felt sorry for the guy... he was playing a decent build of American Control but somehow ended up 2-2. Meanwhile, I lost to a pretty mediocre token deck :(

If I had to do it again, I'd squeeze in 3 Maelstrom Pulse (which were in and out during testing), a few Lingering Souls, and I'd put Thalia in the side. And despite not being a Forest, a Stirring Wildwood could've been a lifesaver (reach).
Fongo Bongo 11 Apr 2014, 14-04-4952111
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Drew Kiel Win +3
3 Steven Shields Loss +0
2 James Lawry Win +3
1 Alec Ruggles Win +3


 
  'Zoo'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Born of the Gods)
4 Arid Mesa
2 Forest
2 Horizon Canopy
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Plains
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Stomping Ground
2 Temple Garden
3 Verdant Catacombs

3 Loxodon Smiter  1
4 Lightning Helix  
3 Qasali Pridemage  
4 Voice of Resurgence  

4 Tarmogoyf  1
4 Wild Nacatl  

4 Goblin Guide  
4 Lightning Bolt  

4 Loam Lion  
2 Path to Exile  
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben  1

Sideboard:
1 Grafdigger's Cage  1
4 Spellskite  2
1 Torpor Orb  2
3 Blood Moon  2
4 Ethersworn Canonist  1
2 Stony Silence  1

I went overboard on the meta hate and lost to a standard-ish Jund deck the first round. I didn't side a single card in. Flame Slash would've been the nuts, though.
Game Haven 28 March 2014, 14-03-4907235
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
3 McClain Francks Win +3
2 Zach Davis Win +3
1 Michael Moretti Loss +0


  'Boros aggro'      --RtR/GTC/Theros/Born draft deck
9 Mountain
8 Plains

1 Boros Keyrune  3

1 Aurelia, the Warleader  2
1 Skyknight Legionnaire  1

1 Archetype of Aggression  1
4 Bolt of Keranos  1
1 Cinder Elemental  3

3 Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass  2
1 Firefist Striker  1
1 Gore-House Chainwalker  1
2 Kragma Butcher  2
2 Madcap Skills  1

1 Akroan Phalanx  3
1 Assault Griffin  3
1 Chosen by Heliod  1
1 Fated Retribution  4
1 Leonin Snarecaster  1

After 3-0-1 in Standard FNM with UW Control (basically just a reworked sideboard and +4 Temple of Enlightment to the build posted below), I was ready to go home. I don't draft much, because I'm pretty lousy at it, but I wanted to help bring the event up to 8 players. Initially it was going to be 3x Born of the Gods, but I stipulated otherwise and we ended up with "pick your poison". I picked 3x Gatecrash and a lot of folks picked Born of the Gods, so I ended up with a mostly Born of the Gods/Gatecrash deck.

My first pack was pretty mediocre with a first pick of Firefist Striker. Things looked so-so from there, except for nabbing several Bolts of Keranos. Then things picked up in pack 3. I opened with Aurelia (right on my two colors!!) and the subsequent passes were pretty decent. For once, I was pretty happy with my pool since it wasn't the typical 3-color mash I usually end up with. I quickly picked out 24 decent cards, counted them, and removed one.

It worked out pretty well. I went 2-1, 2-0, 2-0. Bolts, Madcap Skills and Aurelia did great work! It was nice to get some bombs for once. After all my complaining about how bad I am at draft, I must've looked like a douche, but oh well.
Game Haven 21 Feb 2014, 14-02-4818539
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
3 Kekoa Montalbo Win +3
2 Spencer Bohn Win +3
1 Brandon Higgs Win +3


  'Green Devotion'      --Standard deck (M14 + RtR block + Theros)
9 Forest
2 Mountain
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple of Abandon

4 Arbor Colossus  2
4 Burning-Tree Emissary  
4 Elvish Mystic  
1 Nylea, God of the Hunt  3
4 Polukranos, World Eater  2
4 Sylvan Caryatid  1
4 Voyaging Satyr  1

2 Domri Rade  1
4 Garruk, Caller of Beasts  4
4 Mizzium Mortars  1
2 Xenagos, the Reveler  2


Sideboard:
4 Mistcutter Hydra  X
4 Nylea's Disciple  2
4 Skylasher  1
3 Lightning Strike  1

I went a little overboard on the hate vs. mono-blue devotion, but at least played it in one round.
Game Haven, 13 Dec 2013, 13-12-4647620
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Matt Hoecherl Win +3
3 Canyon Ring Loss +0
2 Richard Hendrick Loss +0
1 Devin Hughes Win +3


 
  'UW Control'      --Standard (RtR block + M14 + Theros)
4 Azorius Guildgate
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
8 Island
10 Plains

4 Azorius Charm  
4 Detention Sphere  1
4 Sphinx's Revelation  X
4 Supreme Verdict  1

2 AEtherling  4
2 Dissolve  1
2 Divination  2
4 Jace, Architect of Thought  2
4 Omenspeaker  1
2 Syncopate  X

2 Elspeth, Sun's Champion  4

Sideboard:
4 Pithing Needle  1
2 Glare of Heresy  1
3 Negate  1
3 Last Breath  2
3 Yoked Ox  

So, I played against a BG midrange build (2-0), followed by a Bant deck with Loxodon Smiters, Voices, Advent of the Wurm, Prime Speaker Zegana and such (1-0-1). Then came BG aggro with Deathrite Shaman, Rakdos Cackler, Dreg Mangler, Varolz, etc. He got me the 2nd game by regenerating his team using Golgari Charm when I tried to wipe the board with Verdict, effectively clearing all my blockers away (1-1-1). Finally, I face another Bant deck, this time with Fleecemane Lion, Smiters, and Detention Spheres (1-0).

Given all the Bant, I was wishing for more Glare of Heresy in the side. I could see taking out a Needle and maybe a Negate. Celestial Flare would've been nice against a monstrous Fleecemane Lion, but I managed pretty well with Sphinx's Rev + AEtherling.
Game Haven, 22 Nov 2013, NOT REPORTED!
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Jitao Tang Win +0
3 Angelo Caradoal Draw +0
2 Justin Davies Win +0
1 Mike Hoffman Win +0


 
  'Mono B Devotion'      --Standard deck (M14, RtR block, Theros)
4 Mutavault
19 Swamp
2 Temple of Silence

4 Desecration Demon  2
1 Erebos, God of the Dead  3
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel  3
4 Nightveil Specter  
3 Pack Rat  1

2 Devour Flesh  1
2 Doom Blade  1
4 Hero's Downfall  1
3 Thoughtseize  
2 Ultimate Price  1
4 Underworld Connections  1
2 Whip of Erebos  2


Sideboard:
4 Festering Newt  
4 Lifebane Zombie  1
4 Tormented Hero  
3 Pharika's Cure  

I was a little unhappy with the last game--I had an Underworld Connections online and despite drawing 2 cards every turn in a 25 land deck, I missed land drops for at least 3 or 4 turns. Still, the BWR deck I was facing was quite good and I did some testing afterwards and it's not a great matchup.
Game Haven FNM, 1 Nov 2013, 13-11-4570559
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Jitao Tang Loss +0
3 Ben Hatfield Win +3
2 Lillian Rauch Win +3
1 Bye Win +3


  'UR Storm'      --Modern deck (through Theros)
4 Island
3 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Shivan Reef
1 Steam Vents
3 Sulfur Falls

4 Manamorphose  1

4 Gitaxian Probe  
4 Serum Visions  
4 Sleight of Hand  
3 Thought Scour  


4 Desperate Ritual  1
4 Faithless Looting  
4 Grapeshot  1
4 Pyromancer Ascension  1
4 Pyretic Ritual  1
3 Past in Flames  3


Sideboard:
3 Defense Grid  2
3 Echoing Truth  1
3 Lightning Bolt  
3 Pyroclasm  1
3 Sowing Salt  2

First game was against jank. Then I played against a mono-red land destruction deck. In round 3 I played vs Instant Reanimator -- he had a turn 4 kill coming (Izzet Charm + Emrakul + Goryo's Vengeance), but Gitaxian Probe revealed this and I pushed the win through. In the last round, I dropped the first game because he played Dryad Militant, followed by Scavanging Ooze and then Witchstalker. Yes, I got beat up by a standard deck.

I'm glad I didn't try Tron yet; that crappy land destruction deck would've likely taken me down. OTOH, this deck, while decent-ish against meta decks, is kinda meh. I love the consistency--I only mulliganed once the entire event and Serum Visions an Sleight of Hand ensure a smooth board development. One of my biggest problems was getting an early kill without Pyro Ascension--the deck definitely needs Goblin Electromancer.
Game Haven FNM, 25 Oct 2013, 13-10-4578939
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Angelo Caradoal Win +3
3 Brent Singleton Win +3
2 Jacob Petersen Win +3
1 Brenden Nuttall Win +3


  'RDW'      --Standard deck (M14 + RtR block + Theros)
21 Mountain

4 Boros Reckoner  
4 Burning-Tree Emissary  
4 Chandra's Phoenix  1
2 Fanatic of Mogis  3
4 Firefist Striker  1
4 Gore-House Chainwalker  1
4 Rakdos Cackler  

1 Hammer of Purphoros  1
4 Lightning Strike  1
4 Magma Jet  1
4 Mizzium Mortars  1

Sideboard:
2 Pithing Needle  1
2 Ratchet Bomb  2
4 Firedrinker Satyr  
2 Hammer of Purphoros  1
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge  3
4 Shock  

RDW was pretty solid in testing; it seemed to have a slightly favorable control matchup, but didn't bear that out.

Round 1: BG, 2-1. Ran him over pretty good game 1. 2nd game he put out a few Desecration Demons... I could only handle the one. Last game I ran him over again.

Round 2: Mono-U, 1-2. Mull away a one-land-hand into a no-lander into a 3 land hand. By the time I'm dead, I'd drawn 2 non-land cards. I side in Shocks and have plenty of burn for his dudes. Easy game 2. Game 3: he mulls to 5, I keep a 1-land hand on the draw with 1 Firedrinker, 1 Shock and plenty of burn. He kept a one land hand as well, but 6 turns later--he drew 3+ lands to my zero. What should've been an easy matchup just didn't go my way.

Round 3: Esper Control, 1-2. All I remember is getting flooded in game 3.

Round 4: BWR Control, 2-0. I don't remember.

Round 5: Esper Control? 1-2?, I forget. I think this is the one where I started out with a slow hand in game 1 and lost miserably.

Round 6: Naya, 2-1. I ran him over game 1. Then I screwed up in game 2. I had 2 Boros Reckoners and a couple other guys. I swung in with everything without really thinking about it (he had an Archangel of Thune out). Of course, he blocked my little guy and got a counter and gained life. Had I swung with just the Reckoners, he would've either blocked (and lost the Angel and not gained a gazillion life) or just taken his dues without gaining life. I dunno... I guess I thought he might block a Reckoner for some reason. I don't remember game 3 so much, though it wasn't particularly short.

Round 7: BWR Control, 2-1. I keep a one land hand with 3 Cacklers. I draw no lands, ever. Game 2: After some deliberation, I kept a one land hand (I figured, to thell with it--it's not like I'm playing for top 8) with 2 Cacklers and I drew a land after missing a drop. In the last game, I got a Hammer out and went to town.

The field: Not as much aggro/midrange as I had expected (I mean, isn't RDW the cheapest?). So much for winning mirror matches. LOTS of control--in ALL brackets. And I saw a LOT of non-basics (as in, people not running many basics in concern of Burning Earth).

Several times I kept sweet-looking 1-land hands--excepting one time that I drew a land a few turns later, my deck punished me hard for it (forget simply missing a few land drops, how about never seeing another land all game?). If I had mulliganed slightly more aggressively, I think I could've gone 5-2 or better. Cards that rocked: Rakdos Cackler, Burning-Tree Emissary, Chandra's Phoenix, Hammer. If I had to run it again, I'd do +4 Firedrinker, +1 Hammer, -4 Reckoner, -1 Mizzium Mortars. In the side, I'd go -4 Firedrinker, -2 Ratchet Bomb, -1 Hammer, +4 Reckoner, +3 Burning Earth.

In short, I gambled on playing vs a slightly more aggro/midrange field... and lost that gamble. 34th out of 97 people, ugh.
Utah State Championship, 12 Oct 2013, 13-10-4653505
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
7 Jim Bear Win +3
6 Corey Goers Win +3
5 Tegan Ricker Loss +0
4 Shawn Atkinson Win +3
3 Unknown Loss +0
2 Joseph MacDonald Loss +0
1 Klint Garner Win +3


 
  'Token Poly'      --Modern deck (through Theros)
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
4 Isolated Chapel
4 Marsh Flats
5 Plains
3 Seachrome Coast
1 Swamp
4 Windbrisk Heights

2 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn  15

4 Spectral Procession  

4 Polymorph  3


2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant  2
4 Gather the Townsfolk  1
4 Honor of the Pure  1
4 Intangible Virtue  1
4 Lingering Souls  2
4 Path to Exile  
4 Raise the Alarm  1


Sideboard:
3 Spellskite  2
3 Hour of Reckoning  4
2 Rootborn Defenses  2
3 Stony Silence  1
4 Timely Reinforcements  2

Wanting to play something a little different, I let my guard down and played this mediocre deck.

My recommendation: Don't play this.
Game Haven, 11 Oct 2013 - Not Reported


 
  'Gruulvine'      --Modern deck (through Theros)
4 Arid Mesa
2 Forest
4 Mountain
1 Scalding Tarn
4 Stomping Ground
3 Verdant Catacombs

4 Burning-Tree Emissary  
4 Manamorphose  1

4 Gitaxian Probe  

4 Experiment One  
4 Tarmogoyf  1
4 Vengevine  2


4 Faithless Looting  
4 Goblin Guide  
2 Kird Ape  
4 Rift Bolt  2
4 Storm Entity  1


Sideboard:
3 Spellskite  2
2 Thorn of Amethyst  2
2 Tormod's Crypt  0
2 Kitchen Finks  1
3 Blood Moon  2
3 Shatterstorm  2

As often is the case, this just didn't work very well in real life. I never put a single Vengevine in the grave with Looting. I did get some decent sized Storm Entities, but in the last matchup I didn't see either of the two tricks and ended up relying on lots of large Expirement Ones with Tarmos.

PS - I always hate playing that Tek kid. I've only played him once or twice before, but he's one of the few people whose name I know, simply because of his remarkably terrible playing. He never listens ("play or draw?"... then he looks at his cards and asks who's going first), he drew too many cards after mulligans, he pitched some random card saying it wasn't supposed to be in the deck then drew an extra card, and he was constantly trying to take his turn before I passed the turn (apparantly not expecting anything to ever happen on the first few turns). It's like I'm playing at End Zone Hobby Center for one round. I think next time I'm just going to call a store employee over for all his mistakes, since he doesn't seem to learn.
Game Haven, 27 Sep 2013, 13-09-4613987
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Nick Warren Win +3
3 Brian Soria Win +3
2 Braedan Wood Win +3
1 Tekiah Tolino Win +3


 
  'Aura Hexproof'      --Modern deck (through Dragon's Maze)
1 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
4 Horizon Canopy
3 Misty Rainforest
4 Razorverge Thicket
4 Temple Garden
3 Verdant Catacombs

4 Gladecover Scout  
4 Kor Spiritdancer  1
4 Slippery Bogle  


4 Daybreak Coronet  
4 Ethereal Armor  
4 Hyena Umbra  
4 Keen Sense  
4 Rancor  
4 Spider Umbra  
3 Unflinching Courage  1


Sideboard:
1 Torpor Orb  2
2 Gaddock Teeg  
3 Naturalize  1
4 Leyline of Sanctity  2
2 Rest In Peace  1
3 Suppression Field  1

I'm missing the Wooded Bastion, but I'm leaning toward a Stirring Wildwood in its place. The sideboard was a last minute thing, but the deck worked fine anyway. I would consider dropping a Keen Sense and adding a Silhana Ledgewalker. Also, at least one Stony Silence in the sideboard for Ratchet Bomb, Engineered Explosives, etc.

And you should've seen the look on some people's faces when a 19/17 trampling, lifelink, vigilance, first strike, hexproof dude was coming at them on turn 3 or 4 (did just that to a couple people).
Game Haven, 13 Sep 2013, 13-09-4411306
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Damian Currier Win +3
3 Matthew Lemon Win +3
2 Richard Hendrick Win +3
1 Conrad Rauch Win +3


 
  'Instant Reanimator'      --Modern deck (through Dragon's Maze)
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Blood Crypt
2 Forbidden Orchard
4 Gemstone Mine
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
1 Swamp
1 Watery Grave

4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn  15
3 Pentad Prism  2

3 Izzet Charm  

4 Goryo's Vengeance  1
4 Griselbrand  4

4 Faithless Looting  
4 Fury of the Horde  5
4 Simian Spirit Guide  2
2 Squee, Goblin Nabob  2
4 Through the Breach  4
4 Wild Guess  


Sideboard:
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
3 Torpor Orb  2
4 Thoughtseize  
3 Blood Moon  2
4 Pyroclasm  1

Fortunately, I played mostly scrubby decks. I kept many a sketchy hand that didn't turn out well. The important thing is that I got a turn 2 kill in with Griselbrand, so I can happily retire this rather inconsistent deck.

I don't see playing this again soon, but if I had to, I'd look into dropping blue/Izzet charms (add Zombie Infestation, perhaps?) and I'd definitely change the side: +1 Boseiju, +2 Defense Grid, -3 Torpor Orb
Game Haven, 30 Aug 2013, 13-08-4336739
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
5 Chris Padilla Win +3
4 Travis Jackman Win +3
3 Erika Singleton Win +3
2 Lillian Rauch Win +3
1 Bradley Green Win +3


 
  'BR Aggro'      --Standard deck (M13, M14, Innistrad block, RtR block)
4 Blood Crypt
4 Dragonskull Summit
3 Rakdos Guildgate
1 Stensia Bloodhall
11 Swamp

3 Dreadbore  
4 Falkenrath Aristocrat  2

4 Blood Artist  1
4 Bloodthrone Vampire  1
4 Diregraf Ghoul  
4 Geralf's Messenger  
4 Gravecrawler  
4 Tragic Slip  
2 Victim of Night  


3 Pillar of Flame  
2 Mark of Mutiny  2


Sideboard:
3 Cremate  
3 Killing Wave  X
2 Liliana of the Veil  1
2 Vampire Nighthawk  1
2 Victim of Night  
3 Bonfire of the Damned  XX

I got beat down by this when I was playing a slow Naya Aggro deck (Loxodon Smiter, Voice of Resurgence, Hellkite, etc) and tried it about a month ago, but lost to a BW token deck.

After some playtesting, I thought it was worth trying again. I played against a UW control deck, some sort of RUG concoction, that Guttersnipe/Nivix Cyclops deck and then Reanimator.

I came in second because I was 1% behind on OMW.
Game Haven, 16 Aug 2013, 13-08-4336719
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Ruben Singleton Win +3
3 Michael Monroe Win +3
2 Ben Hatfield Win +3
1 David Sparks Win +3


 
  'Naya Blitz'      --Standard deck (M13, Innistrad block, RtR block)
4 Cavern of Souls
2 Clifftop Retreat
2 Rootbound Crag
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Stomping Ground
2 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden

4 Burning-Tree Emissary  

4 Hamlet Captain  1
4 Mayor of Avabruck  1

4 Lightning Mauler  1
4 Firefist Striker  1
2 Mizzium Mortars  1

4 Boros Elite  
4 Champion of the Parish  
4 Fiend Hunter  1
4 Frontline Medic  2


Sideboard:
2 Boros Charm  
2 Bonfire of the Damned  XX
2 Pillar of Flame  
2 Bonds of Faith  1
1 Intrepid Hero  2
2 Ray of Revelation  1
1 Rest In Peace  1
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben  1

I tried Naya Blitz about a month ago, but was having problems... primarily blockers. Imagine the above decklist, but without Firefist Striker and Fiend Hunter and some burn instead. Yeah... Boros Reckoner and Loxodon Smiter ate my lunch. In fact, for the next event, I switched to a slower Naya deck with Voice of Resurgence, Smiter, etc, etc (similar to the one I'd lost to). I then lost to Br and then switched to that. It's actually pretty solid, but then I stumbled over Firefist Striker in my internet wanderings. Why I hadn't been playing that guy in the first place, who knows? But he certainly is key against Reckoner, and just to make sure, I added Fiend Hunter along with Bonds of Faith in the side. Much better--the deck was finally ready for primetime. I did a lot of testing, and the new Naya Blitz didn't seem to have a bad matchup in sight... with plenty of good ones.

So, I took it to FNM and went 2-0 handily in the first 3 rounds against: Boros (Reckoners, Tajic, etc), Izzet combo (Guttersnipe, Cyclops, etc) and Br (Gravecrawlers, Blood Artist, Messenger, Falkenrath Aristocrat, etc). Then for game 1 of round 1, I got smoked by a Bant deck (Azorius Charm, Reckoner, Advent of the Wurm, Snapcaster). I kept a pretty shoddy hand, though... 2 critters and 5 lands. Next game I squeaked by after getting two rather large Champions Detention Sphered and having my Bonds of Faith (on Reckoner) Oblivion Ringed--a Fiend Hunter and Frontline Medic got me there. The third game was fairly easy: 1st turn Champ, 2nd turn Mayor, 3rd turn Mayor had flipped and I dropped a Thalia which messed him up all kinds.

I think I'll swap the Mizzium Mortars in the main for two Bonds of Faith and go with the following sideboard: 3 Dryad Militant, 3 Bonfire of the Damned, 3 Pillar of Flame, 1 Intrepid Hero, 2 Ray of Revalation, 3 Thalia.
Game Haven, 5 Jul 2013, 13-07-4238846
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Chris Padilla Win +3
3 Matthew Lemon Win +3
2 Ross Benedict Win +3
1 Matthew Padilla Win +3


 
  'RB Aggro'      --Standard deck (M13, Innistrad block, RtR)
4 Blood Crypt
2 Cathedral of War
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Dragonskull Summit
10 Swamp
2 Rakdos Guildgate

3 Falkenrath Aristocrat  2
4 Rakdos Cackler  

4 Knight of Infamy  1


4 Ash Zealot  
1 Bonfire of the Damned  XX
2 Hellrider  2
4 Mizzium Mortars  1
4 Pillar of Flame  
4 Searing Spear  1
4 Stromkirk Noble  
2 Thundermaw Hellkite  3


Sideboard:
3 Appetite for Brains  
2 Cremate  
1 Underworld Connections  1
4 Vampire Nighthawk  1
2 Bonfire of the Damned  XX
3 Zealous Conscripts  4

After fiddling around with Bant Control, Jund Control, BGR Zombies, Reanimator and Hoof (all with limited success), I swung back around to red aggro. Last week I went 4-1 with this, losing to the same guy with GW Aggro (last week I should've won the match but I made a play error: I had the opportunity to kill his Rancored Loxodon Smiter with Spearing Spear after blocking with a Knight of Infamy, but saved the Spear for next turn, hoping to kill him; instead he casts Druid's Deliverance and throws down Ajani, Caller of the Pride and swings for 12 for the win). Anyway, this week was similar, but I got rolled pretty bad by GW (0-2) and once again I had a narrow game against Junk Tokens--I was in topdeck mode, facing down several critters, including a 3/7 Rhox Faithmender (with all creatures getting bigger thanks to Gavony Township), when I flip over a Bonfire of the Damned at the last chance and sweep his team away with 7 damage. To top it off, I draw a Hellkite the subsequent turn.

Update: I've played this a few times since and recommend adding a Stensia Bloodhall, getting rid of the Cathedrals of War, dropping the Hellriders (meh) and Hellkites (CMC too high), and adding Reckoners and another Aristocrat... made room by taking out a Mizium Mortars. I also now have some Gloom Suregeons in the side.
Game Haven, 14 Dec 2012, 12-12-3806542
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
5 David Decarolis Win +3
4 Daniel Tribble Win +3
3 Angelo Caradoal Loss +0
2 Wilson Keys Win +3
1 Derek Parker Win +3


 
  'Delver'      --Standard (Scars Block + ISD block + M12/M13)
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Glacial Fortress
7 Island
2 Moorland Haunt
2 Plains
4 Seachrome Coast

2 Runechanter's Pike  2

4 Augur of Bolas  1
4 Delver of Secrets  
4 Gitaxian Probe  
3 Mana Leak  1
1 Mental Misstep  
4 Ponder  
3 Snapcaster Mage  1
4 Thought Scour  
4 Vapor Snag  


2 Gut Shot  

3 Blade Splicer  2
3 Restoration Angel  3


Sideboard:
3 Ratchet Bomb  2
3 Phantasmal Image  1
3 Celestial Purge  1
2 Divine Offering  1
1 Mana Leak  1
3 Timely Reinforcements  1

They opened up a new store just north of me and it's just how I like my FNM: easy mode.
Game Haven, 14 Sep 2012, 12-09-358936.
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Chris Haynes Win +3
3 Stetson Black Win +3
2 Brian Tribble Win +3
1 Konley Brandon Win +3


 
  'RUG Delver'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Avacyn Restored)
1 Arid Mesa
1 Breeding Pool
1 Forest
6 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground

2 Vedalken Shackles  3

4 Delver of Secrets  
4 Mana Leak  1
4 Remand  1
4 Snapcaster Mage  1
4 Serum Visions  
3 Spell Pierce  
2 Spell Snare  
2 Vendilion Clique  1

4 Tarmogoyf  1

2 Burst Lightning  
4 Lightning Bolt  



Sideboard:
4 Mental Misstep  
4 Ancient Grudge  1
3 Blood Moon  2
2 Combust  1
3 Rough/Tumble  1 / 5

Yeah, so I screwed up with the sideboard. I knew Mental Misstep was banned in legacy; but didn't check the modern list. Fortunately, it was caught before I tried boarding them in.

First round was a Tempered Steel deck with blue (Thoughtcast and Master of Etherium). First game he mulled to 5 and I had 3 Tarmogoyfs in my opening hand. It wasn't long before I was beating with three 5/6s. He had Steel Overseers as well as Memnites and Signal Pests, so I boarded in Rough/Tumble and cleared a good portion of the board at one point. He never really recovered.

Next was draft dregs, followed by UR Storm. Seems that Storm has gained not only with Past in Flames, but also Faithless Looting and Thought Scour. First game, he wiped my only pressure (Delver) and then did his thing. Next game I was stuck on 3 lands for ages. I got him down to one, but he topdecked mana accel to power a Past in Flames.

Last round I played against some sort of Turbo Fog deck... yeah, whatever.

This is what I plan on playing in the side next time:
4 Mindbreak Trap, 2 Ancient Grudge, 3 Blood Moon, 2 Combust, 2 Rough/Tumble, 2 Shatterstorm


Also, I bought another Spell Snare and will be taking out a Spell Pierce.
Game Haven, Sep 4 2012, 12-09-3685116
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
4 Alfred Quan Win +3
3 Majid Alnouri Loss +0
2 Carlos Ruiz Win +3
1 Will Lachapelle Win +3


 
  'UB Zombies'      --Standard deck (M12, Scars block, Innistrad block)
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Drowned Catacomb
12 Swamp

4 Perilous Myr  2

4 Diregraf Captain  1

4 Blood Artist  1
2 Bone Splinters  
4 Diregraf Ghoul  
4 Geralf's Messenger  
4 Geth's Verdict  
4 Gravecrawler  
4 Killing Wave  X

4 Phantasmal Image  1


Sideboard:
Undocumented.
I played nothing but RG and 1 pod deck--not exactly a diverse field. I smoked my way to a top 4 cut and then went 0-2 vs a deck I went 2-0 against in the swiss.
Turns out Game Den is the same place that used to be in the mall-- the one that collects DCI numbers but doesn't report results!



 
  'Bant'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Innistrad)
2 Arid Mesa
4 Breeding Pool
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Forest
3 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Plains
3 Temple Garden
3 Verdant Catacombs

4 Bant Charm  
3 Geist of Saint Traft  1
3 Knight of the Reliquary  1

4 Delver of Secrets  
4 Mana Leak  1
3 Remand  1
4 Rune Snag  1
1 Vendilion Clique  1

4 Noble Hierarch  
4 Tarmogoyf  1

3 Path to Exile  

Sideboard:
3 Spellskite  2
2 Kitchen Finks  1
4 Nevermore  1
4 Hurkyl's Recall  1
2 Ray of Revelation  1

I just wanted to play some magic (byes won't help since I'll be deployed through February), so I threw this together.

First matchup was against ProcMartyr (hadn't tested it at all). I had a great start with a turn 2 Geist, but he sacced a Martyr for 21! This bought him enough time to stabilize and eventually I gave in. Next game I threw down a Delver and flipped it next turn, but he had a giant Serra Ascendant on me in no time, and I'd sided out my Paths since I hadn't seen Ascendants first game.

Next came a Delver Burn deck... no sweat there thanks to removal. After that, I pummeled a UR Storm deck with Delvers.

I drew into the top 8 and played another UR Storm. I thought I had a pretty great start... I flipped a Delver quickly and had some counter backup. But he must've had an incredible hand... he worked right through it. My deck shined through the next two games while his flopped. The 3rd game I had a Delver out there with nothing but a fistful of counters... made pretty quick work of him, Remanding 3 spells and having 3 Rune Snags for backup.

Next came Jund. First game he beat me down a good bit, but I eventually stabilized with removal, dropped a Geist and went to town, countering his threats while removal sat in his hand. Next game, I kept a so-so hand after an all land mulligan; he made short work of me with Thrun, which I knew was the biggest threat to me in his deck (I tested Jund a little bit). The third game he kept a marginal hand while I threw out a Heirach and Geist. He went down without a fight as I gripped my fistful of counters.

In the finals, I was wrecked by Splinter Twin. I expect the first game to be rough, but after boarding I didn't really see my sideboard. He must've kept a so-so hand, since the game drew on for quite a while before he comboed. I thought I had a decent hand with a Delver and some counters, but he jacked me up pretty good with Combust and Volcanic Fallout. All I drew were Delvers, Noble Heirarchs and counters that couldn't counter his spells. I never saw a Knight, Nevermore, or much of anything I needed, excepting a Spellskite. But he just hit me with double Volcanic Fallout to get rid of the Spellskite. I was pretty pissed; if I'd drawn anything useful, I could've probably at least won that game, if not the last. I'd tested this matchup quite a bit and it was slightly in my favor postboard; usually I won any long games.

Well, I suppose I did pretty decent for a 16 man GPT, playing something I more or less cobbled together. At least the mana base worked out, though I would've stuck a couple Mystic Gates in there if I'd had them.
Grand Prix Trial 2 - Lincoln 2012, 12-01-3184390
Round Opponent Outcome PWP
7 Austin Stenquist Loss +0
6 Anthony Chiechi Win +9
5 Michael Callahan Win +9
4 Josh Snow Draw +3
3 Timothy R Bentkowski Win +9
2 Adam Simmons Win +9
1 Joseph Wilkerson Loss +0


 
  'Canadian Thresh'      --Legacy deck (thru Innistrad)
2 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
3 Wooded Foorhills
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island

2 Dismember  1

4 Brainstorm  
4 Daze  1
4 Delver of Secrets  
4 Force of Will  3
2 Snapcaster Mage  1
4 Stifle  

4 Nimble Mongoose  
4 Tarmogoyf  1

4 Chain Lightning  
4 Lightning Bolt  

Sideboard:
3 Tormod's Crypt  0
3 Surgical Extraction  
4 Mind Harness  
4 Seal of Removal  
2 Ancient Grudge  1

I played against UWb Stoneblade, then UWr Stoneblade, then Bant Stoneblade. The first two went well...2-0 against each. Ancient Grudge was immensely helpful in both. Then comes this Bant deck... he gets out a few Knight of the Reliqary and I hadn't any removal. By the time I drew some, they were 9/9s. I didn't see any sign of Stoneforge (turns out he only ran two main) and so I side in 2 Tormod's Crypt, 3 Mind Harness and an Ancient Grudge. The second game is pretty quick... I sweep him with a Delver and steal his Tarmogoyf with Mind Harness. Next game... I should have mulliganed. I kept a hand with 4 lands and a Delver, Dismember and Tormod's Crypt. I then drew 2 more lands, the 2nd Tormod's Crypt and 2 more Delvers... and they're pretty terrible when they don't flip. He got a Stoneforge out and I killed it, but he equipped a Noble Heirach with Sword of Fire & Ice and absolutely pummeled me.

I think I'm going to go +1 Dismember, -1 Chain Lightning and change the sideboard to 3 each of Tormod's Crypt, Mind Harness, Seal of Removal, Scavenging Ooze and Ancient Grudge. (..as soon as I get some Scavenging Ooze)
Game Haven, 11-12-3136067, 12/17/2011: 2011-12-17
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
3 Adam Westwood Loss 1861
2 Vivian P. Gorman Win 1874
1 Alex Ely Win 1871


  'RDW'      --Standard deck (Scars block + ISD)
4 Dragonskull Summit
19 Mountain

4 Shrine of Burning Rage  2

3 Arc Trail  1
4 Brimstone Volley  2
3 Chandra's Phoenix  1
3 Furnace Scamp  
3 Grim Lavamancer  
3 Hero of Oxid Ridge  2
4 Incinerate  1
2 Koth of the Hammer  2
4 Stormblood Berserker  1
4 Stromkirk Noble  

Sideboard:
3 Doom Blade  1
4 Act of Treason  2
4 Fling  1
4 Traitorous Blood  1

This deck was pretty fierce before Wolf Run Ramp popped into the meta. Since the deck is good against everything else, I thought maybe I turn the matchup into favorable territory and I came up with the above sideboard; which doesn't make things favorable, but does help some.

First match was against Solar Flare. I quickly ran him over the first game and though he put up more of fight in the second, he still went down with fair ease. Next was GW tokens... pretty much the same story. Then came Wolf Run Ramp with Dungrove Elders, Llanowar Elves, BoP. I took him down pretty quickly first game, then sided in only Doom Blades since I wasn't entirely sure what I was playing against. This time I saw it was indeed Wolf Run Ramp. So, I brought in the full sideboard and kept a two land hand with a Doom Blade, Act of Treason and Traitorous Blood. Seemed pretty good, but I didn't draw any more land until it was much too late. Meanwhile, he drops a Tree of Redemption on turn 3, followed by TWO Wurmcoil engines. Argh!

Next comes another Wolf Run ramp variant: again with no Slagstorm, but instead he had Urabrask the Hidden, Birds, Sword of Feast and Famine and Devil's Play. I keep a low pressure hand and quickly die to a Primeval Titan equipped with Sword of Feast and Famine. Fortunately, I pick up the next two games with Traitorous Blood. The 2nd game was fairly long, but in the third game I had him down to 8 before he cast a Wurmcoil Engine that I stole and swung with alongside Chandra's Phoenix.

Finally, I had a mirror match last round. The first game I went all the way with a Shrine that had 10+ counters. Next game I had a two Shrine hand and drew into another. I figured Shrines were just too slow (and knew he had Manic Vandals anyway) and sided in 4 Flings--I didn't see them anyway. I dropped a Furnace Scamp on turn two and got him for 4, plus another 5 from Brimstone Volley. Fortunately, this put him on the defense with his Vulshok Refugee. I squeaked out a win in the end, managing a respectable 4-1 record.

So, I did have some good results with the Steal and Kill sideboard strategy. I was thinking of maybe trying Alter's Reap instead of the Doom Blades, since I usually wished for a Fling when I had an Act/Blood in hand. One change that I will make without further testing: +1 Scamp, -1 Lavamancer. Lavamancer was just awfully slow. RRR for 5 damage... eventually--or 4 for R real quick-like.
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
5 Alexis Hogan Win 1808
4 Shawn Meyer Win 1806
3 Jordan L. Paxton Loss 1802
2 Kent R. Johnson Win 1806
1 Nate Tooley Win 1804


 
  'Bant Zoo'      --Modern (Mirrodin thru Innistrad)
4 Arid Mesa
1 Forest
2 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Plains
1 Raging Ravine
3 Sacred Foundry
1 Steam Vents
4 Stomping Ground
3 Temple Garden
1 Verdant Catacombs

4 Bant Charm  
4 Knight of the Reliquary  1
3 Lightning Helix  
3 Qasali Pridemage  

4 Noble Hierarch  
4 Tarmogoyf  1
4 Wild Nacatl  

4 Lightning Bolt  
3 Punishing Fire  1

1 Elspeth, Knight Errant  2
4 Path to Exile  

Sideboard:
1 Bojuka Bog
4 Spellskite  2
1 Meddling Mage  
2 Ancient Grudge  1
3 Gideon Jura  3
4 Nevermore  1

Since I had all the maindeck cards for Josh Utter-Leyton's Zoo deck, I tested it and found that the matchup against Splinter Twin and others wasn't too bad. I tinkered around to see if I could make the combo matches favorable and found 4 Nevermore in the side to be quite helpful. I started with a Bloodbraid Elf version (no blue), but it kept losing to the Bant version, so I switched to that.

I played against Werewolves (standard deck, basically), Zoo (little) and then Pyro Ascension. Little Zoo kept coming fast, but losing the long game with its Kird Apes and Loam Lions. I played a Gideon in the second match and it wrecked his whole team... definitely an MVP in the mirror. The Pyro Ascension deck won the first game (I had 3 Paths sitting in my hand at the end), but I won the next two without even casting Nevermore. There were two Splinter Twin decks and an Affinity deck floating around, so my sideboard looked to be fairly apt for the meta.
11-10-3023059, Magic - 10/18/2011: 2011-10-18 (South Game Haven)
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
3 Chris Stevenson Win 1802
2 Dylan Hakanson Win 1796
1 Kyle Chenier Win 1793


 
  'UR Delver'      --Standard (Scars block + Innistrad)
1 Hinterland Harbor
8 Island
7 Mountain
4 Sulfur Falls

4 Delver of Secrets  
4 Mana Leak  1
4 Negate  1
4 Phantasmal Bear  
4 Ponder  
2 Snapcaster Mage  1
3 Stitched Drake  1

4 Arc Trail  1
4 Geistflame  
4 Incinerate  1
4 Stromkirk Noble  

Sideboard:
4 Dismember  1
4 Dissipate  1
3 Think Twice  1
4 Ancient Grudge  1

So, I altered a magic-league deck a good bit and came up with this on short notice... for relatively cheap. I was lucky enough to get 4 Nobles for about $20 before they doubled in value. Anyway, I went up against 3 not so great decks before hitting a RUG deck with Thrun and Slagstorm in the main. He made short work of me first game; second game hit a stall and I eventually hit a massive land clump, losing to Spellskite in the end (he was at 5 and I had 2 Incinerates).

The short and sweet is that the deck was okay, but it loses to Solar Flare, RUG and probably some other stuff. When I get some funds, I'd like to put together Humans, RDW and maybe RUG.
11-10-2988580, Friday Night Magic - October 2011: 2011-10-07
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 Spencer Howland Loss 1789
3 Alexis Hogan Win 1791
2 Raymond Tucker Win 1789
1 Zack Coleman Win 1787


 
  'Star Spangled Jank'      --Sealed deck (Innistrad only)
6 Island
6 Mountain
5 Plains

1 Runechanter's Pike  2

2 Claustrophobia  1
1 Delver of Secrets  
1 Dissipate  1
1 Invisible Stalker  1
1 Lantern Spirit  2
1 Makeshift Mauler  3

1 Balefire Dragon  5
1 Burning Vengeance  2
1 Charmbreaker Devils  5
1 Desperate Ravings  1
1 Geistflame  
1 Hanweir Watchkeep  2
1 Burning Vengeance  3
1 Village Ironsmith  1

1 Chapel Geist  1
1 Elder Cathar  2
1 Feeling of Dread  1
1 Mentor of the Meek  2
1 Midnight Haunting  2
2 Rebuke  2

Sideboard:
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Shimmering Grotto
1 Cellar Door  1
2 Geistcatcher's Rig  6
1 Graveyard Shovel  2
1 Sharpened Pitchfork  2
1 Trepanation Blade  3
1 Evil Twin  2
1 Alter's Reap  1
3 Bump in the Night  
2 Curse of Oblivion  2
1 Diregraf Ghoul  
2 Ghoulraiser  1
1 Gruesome Deformity  
1 Maw of the Mire  4
1 Night Terrors  2
1 Rotting Fensnake  3
1 Stormkirk Patrol  4
1 Vampire Interloper  1
1 Victim of the Night  
1 Walking Corpse  1
1 Curse of the Bloody Tome  2
1 Fortress Crab  3
2 Selhoff Occultist  2
2 Sensory Deprivation  
1 Boneyard Wurm  1
1 Bramblecrush  2
1 Festerhide Boar  3
1 Grave Bramble  1
1 Kindercatch  3
1 Mayor of Avabruck  1
1 Moonmist  1
1 Prey Upon  
1 Somberwald Spider  4
2 Travel Preparations  1
1 Ulvenwalkd Mystics  2
1 Woodland Sleuths  3
1 Bloodcrazed Neonate  1
1 Crossway Vampire  1
1 Curse of the Pierced Heart  1
1 Night Revelers  4
1 Riot Devils  2
1 Skirsdag Cultist  2
1 Traitorous Blood  1
1 Bonds of Faith  1
2 Moment of Heroism  1
1 Nevermore  1
1 Rally the Peasants  2
1 Urgent Exorcism  1
1 Village Bell-Ringer  2

I'm not a fan of limited... especially sealed, but had nothing going on and drove down to Game Haven.

Some of the highlights were Delver of Secrets (excellent drop), Lantern Spirit (oh so good), Balefire Dragon (when I could cast it), Charmbreaker Devils (if they live, they're insane), Geistflame (saved my ass), Village Ironsmith (great turn 2 drop), Feeling of Dread (saved my ass) and Mentor of the Meek (very nice).

The only "insane plays": one game I draw Balefire Dragon when pretty much anything else would've lost me the game; another was getting Charmbreaker Devils out with Dissipate in the yard. I actually dropped to 5 because I kept a two land hand and drew nothing for several turns. My opponent had about 5 or 6 lands out by the time I hit a mana pocket, but he'd mulled to five cards, so I recovered with Feeling of Dread, two Claustrophobia and a Rebuke. After dropping Mentor of the Meek, I draw quite a few cards while putting out chump blockers. Then came the Charmbreaker Devils/Dissipate lock. It was a pretty crazy comeback.

I lost to Blue/White. The second game he flipped a Delver pretty quick on me. The third game, he pummeled me with 2 Invisible Stalkers and a Lantern Spirit. I had a Rebuke and Claustrophobia, but they just sat in hand. He kept getting rid of my critters with Smite the Monstrous.

I almost lost to a black/red deck with lots of equipment. Mask of Avacyn was a tremendous pain in my ass. Again, my removal spells sat in my hand while I got beat down.

Oh and, I got the idea in my head that Burning Vengeance does 3 damage. Even if it did, it's probably not worth it unless you have a couple more flashback spells. Three doesn't cut it. I might have pulled the round I lost if I'd had Sensory Deprivation instead.

And once again, I didn't care for the prize distribution. For 5th place, I got 2 packs, while 18th place got 1 pack.

Edit: Looking back, now that I've familiarized myself with these cards a little better, the only major mistake I see is not using Bonds of Faith.
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 Gabriel Meyer Win 1677
3 Thom Olsen Win 1673
2 Geoff W. Dearing Loss 1667
1 German Mireles Win 1669


  'UW Venser'      --Standard deck (Zendikar/Scars blocks after Jace/Stoneforge bannings)
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
6 Island
6 Plains
4 Seachrome Coast
1 Tectonic Edge

3 Venser, the Sojourner  3

4 Mana Leak  1
4 Preordain  
4 Sea Gate Oracle  2
3 Spell Pierce  

4 Condemn  
4 Day of Judgment  2
3 Gideon Jura  3
2 Oblivion Ring  2
4 Wall of Omens  1

Sideboard:
3 Spellskite  2
3 Flashfreeze  1
3 Celestial Purge  1
3 Divine Offering  1
3 Kor Firewalker  

Prologue: Right before my car was stolen, I went 2-2 in standard with Red Deck Wins and 2-2 in Legacy with UW Fish. Ugh. Not too worried about standard, but my eternal rating took a huge dump. I was working on tuning my fish deck and trying something new in standard (UW Venser) when my parents visited (sigh) and my car got stolen and... yeah, short story is that I haven't played for 6 weeks and had no plans on playing for the rest of the year. So my car is recovered and I'm not really doing much and I watch Channel Fireball's Nats coverage, and think, oh great... meta's all different. I pull up the winning deck, test it against my UW Venser deck and go 1-1... could be worse... I wonder if there's any afternoon standard somewhere? I pull up mtgfinder, because WotC/DCI fucked up the tournament locator and hmm... tournament nearby at 12:00... and it's 11:40. So, yeah, long prelude to explain why my deck was a bit meh. Moving right along...

First match is against the new Caw Blade. Game 1 lasts 50 minutes and I do pretty well (Condemn is a bit crappy against a bladed Hawk, but Gideon is just such an MVP). Next is a guy playing some event deck... with 4 Vampire Lacerators, Hexmages, Gatekeepers, etc. A first turn Lacerator with friends and no Day of Judgement means he gets me a game.

And finally, another rather fun, rather long match against UGR Splinter twin with Birthing Pod. Not knowing at all what I'm up against, I tap out for a Sea Gate Oracle and bam, Splinter Twin combo. Crap. So I side out Comdemns and something to bring in Flashfreezes and Spellskites. That should help a lot. But I end up really missing those Condemns, because he's dropping Wurmcoil Engines and Inferno Titan and... it's rough. But I am fortunate: I get 3 Days of Judgement as I need them. And somewhere I drop Venser and an Oracle and go to town, slowly ramping up and looking at two lands on top of my deck; draw a land, two more lands on top, something irrelevant, and finally Venser's ultimate, with 2 Spell Pierces that had been sitting there for turns while he dropped a Solemn Simulacrum, Deciever Exarch and a Spellskite. What do I draw? MORE LAND! But oh yeah, I'm beating him down with not one, but two Celestial Colonnades (though he got up to 36 life at some point). Finally, the big turn: he goes to cast Splinter Twin and I Spell Pierce, targeting Exarch with the Venser exile trigger... he redirects to Spellskite, I let that bit resolve and he pays for Pierce-- Spell Pierce again, targeting Exarch again with a Venser exile. And with nothing he can do about the trigger, that's game. He had enough mana to cast another Spellskite from the start that I couldn't have stopped, but instead, Colonnades go the distance, with me at 6 life... whew... another 50 minute game! We start the 3rd one (I side some Condemns back in) and he has some really good momentum, but I play very defensively against Splinter Twin and manage to get to time. He has a very solid position, and it's really ugly for me, but I manage somehow.

Now that was fun... and you want to know why? No mana screw, no mana flood (well, not early game anyway). I managed to go 3 rounds, with only one mulligan and though I kept some shady 2 land hands, Preordain, Wall of Omens and Sea-Gate Oracle helped me through it (though I did struggle a bit vs Caw Blades Tec Edges). Also, it was nice to have some close and difficult matchups instead of blowouts.

What would I change? Hell if I know. I'd probably try another Oblivion Ring. I put in the two I did use as last second swaps of Journey to Nowhere, since O-Ring wasn't available 6 weeks ago. I sided in everything but Kor Firewalkers, but I'd have to test against the new RDW before I consider dropping those. Also, I didn't have any Kabira Crossroads... a couple might be nice with Venser against all-in-aggro. Didn't have much trouble with the mana base, but it could probably use -1 Island, +1 Plains.
Not sanctioned!
Gave the TO my DCI number & $10, and all I got for winning was 5 packs of Core Set.


  'RDW'      --Standard deck (Zendikar/Scars blocks)
4 Arid Mesa
1 Dragonskull Summit
11 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Tectonic Edge
2 Teetering Peaks

4 Shrine of Burning Rage  2

4 Dismember  1

4 Ember Hauler  
4 Goblin Guide  
4 Kargan Dragonlord  
3 Koth of the Hammer  2
4 Lightning Bolt  
4 Plated Geopede  1
3 Searing Blaze  
3 Volt Charge  2

Sideboard:
3 Spellskite  2
3 Arc Trail  1
3 Goblin Ruinblaster  3
3 Manic Vandal  2
3 Mark of Mutiny  2

Last week I tried this with +1 land, +1 Koth, +1 Volt Charge, +4 Manic Vandal and it was missing the Searing Blazes and Geopedes. This week I missed the Vandals but Geopede and Searing Blaze were great. The mediocre cards this week: Dragonlord (too mana intense), Koth (same), Volt Charge (rarely get decent proliferate interactions)... and Shrine is random (great early, awful later). I think Volt Charges definitely need to go.... I suppose Vandals back in the main would be the way to go. And since Sword of War and Peace was such a pain in the ass, I think 3 Shatters in the side would work.

The random Tectonic Edge (it was a test) definitely needs to go as well.
11-06-2791788, Friday Night Magic - June 2011: 2011-06-17
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 Stormy Dang Win 1792
3 John M. Buchanan Loss 1789
2 Jackson Debenham Win 1794
1 Nate Tooley Win 1792


 
  'Uw Merfolk'      --Legacy deck (thru Mirrodin Besieged)
3 Flooded Strand
4 Island
3 Mutavault
2 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
4 Tundra
3 Wasteland

4 Aether Vial  1

4 Coralhelm Commander  
4 Cursecatcher  
4 Daze  1
4 Force of Will  3
4 Lord of Atlantis  
4 Merrow Reejerey  2
4 Silvergill Adept  1
4 Standstill  1

3 Swords to Plowshares  

Sideboard:
4 Galina's Knight  
4 Spell Pierce  
2 Absolute Law  1
1 Enlightened Tutor  
4 Worship  3

I finally gave up on Show and Tell. After switching to Nature Show for more consistency, I was still losing to subpar decks. This was my attempt at something that should handle the entire field: aggro, combo and control. Islandwalk already makes this a winner vs control. Lots of countermagic makes it good vs combo (in theory). So, that meant shoring up the grueling aggro matchups. It can't win against every form of aggro, but I figure I could use help against RDW and goblins. In testing, RDW was turned into a 50/50 match and goblins... well, it depends on the build, but I think the matchup can be slightly better than 50/50.

None of that mattered... my matchups were Mono-B control (with Cabal Coffers, Innocent Blood, Barter in Blood, etc), Mono-B aggro-control (with Dark Confidant, Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach, Nantuko Shade, Hypnotic Specter, Dark Ritual and at least 1 Sword of Fire and Ice) and Cephalife. Yeah, that's right--Cephalife, with Worldly Tutors, Living Wish, Nomads en-Kor, Cephalid Illusionist and a Daru Spiritualist... not to mention, Aether Vials, Dazes and Force of Wills. Believe it or not, it was a tough matchup. I lost the first game due to a lack of counters, then after siding in Spell Pierces, I wrangled myself a game win. The second game wasn't too bad... I kept a hand with two Spell Pierces and little else, dropping a Standstill and bashing with a lone Mutavault for the win--even without breaking Standstill, I had a grip of counters. I was worried that I'd screwed up by dropping Standstill so early, but it was the perfect play since I only drew 1 or 2 merfolk for the rest of the game. The third game, started with him attempting Aether Vial and little counter war action--then I quickly got a few beaters on the ground. It was all too close--he tried to combo out, but only had one counter to my Force and Daze. He was set up to win on his next turn, but only had 8 life, so I activated a Mutavault, Lord of Atlantis and something else, swinging for 8--much too close.

Anyway, I could see going -1 Reejerey, + 1 StP. Also, maybe -1 Absolute Law, -3 Worship, +1 Enlightened Tutor, +3 tutor targets (Chalice of the Void, Pithing Needle, Tormod's Crypt, Energy Flux, Mind Harness, Threads of Disloyalty, Ethersworn Canonist, Ghostly Prison, Oblivion Ring, Spiritual Focus, Seal of Cleansing, Serenity, Warmth, etc).
11-05-2809979, Magic - 2011-05-11: 2011-05-11
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
3 Matthew Heymering Win 1902
2 Alex Ely Win 1898
1 Kyle Tanner Win 1895


 
  'Sneak Show'      --Legacy deck (thru Mirrodin Besieged)
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Flooded Strand
2 Island
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Volcanic Island

4 Lotus Petal  0

4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn  15
3 Iona, Shield of Emeria  6
1 Progenitus  

4 Brainstorm  
4 Daze  1
1 Eye of Nowhere  
4 Force of Will  3
2 Personal Tutor  
3 Ponder  
2 Preordain  
4 Show and Tell  2

1 Rite of Flame  
4 Sneak Attack  3

Sideboard:
1 Relic of Progenitus  1
2 Tormod's Crypt  0
3 Spell Pierce  
1 Anarchy  2
2 Blood Moon  2
2 Pyroclasm  1
3 Red Elemental Blast  
1 Shattering Spree  

I haven't played a deck like this in ages. Actually, things started off slow. I mulliganed to a mediocre 6 card hand and lost the first game to Zoo. I followed that up with Iona naming white whilst he had a Path and Lightning Helix in hand. Third game I Sneaked out Emrakul, countered a Figure of Destiny he played the next turn and eventually found another fatty. Next came RDW... the only relevant play was a Red Elemental Blast that slowed me down early in game 2. And finally, I had near perfect hands against some sort of Aggro Control with Tarmogoyf. I don't think he had Counterbalance and I believe he may have had Progenitus. Anyway, first game he plays a Noble Heirarch which I Daze. I play a land and Personal Tutor for Show and Tell, go. He plays another Heirarch. I play Ancient Tomb and cast Show and Tell without counter backup and he scoops to Emrakul. He sides in Meddling Mages and whatnot; I side out 4 Petal, 4 Daze, 1 Rite of Flame for 2 Blood Moon, 3 Spell Pierce, 1 Pyroclasm, 3 Red Elemental Blast. He starts and I believe he plays a Heirarch. I drop Volcanic and cast Preordain or Ponder. My next turn I cast Show and Tell which is met by Spell Pierce--I respond with Force of Will and he Dazes it. Some pretty sweet action... but I'm not worried, as I have a Sneak Attack in hand. But, even better, I draw another Show and Tell and it's over. My opponent was clearly pissed, and I can't say I blame him. If I could get hands like that all the time, I'd never play another deck.

As for changes, obviously I could've used another Ponder instead of a Preordain. I'm thinking of dropping Dazes and adding a few Rites of Flame and a few Preordain... could always use more search and accel.

PS - I got lucky... this weird Iona version I was trying actually blows.
11-03-2721027, Magic: Legacy-2011-03-02-Laramie: 2011-03-02
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
3 Sean D. Matoon Win 1889
2 Nole j. Clauson Win 1885
1 Ryan A. Lye Win 1881


 
  'Countertop Progenitus'      --Legacy deck (thru Mirrodin Besieged)
3 Flooded Strand
1 Island
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
4 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
3 Volcanic Island

3 Senseis Divining Top  1

3 Fire/Ice  1 / 1
1 Progenitus  
2 Qasali Pridemage  

4 Brainstorm  
3 Counterbalance  
4 Daze  1
4 Force of Will  3

2 Birds of Paradise  
4 Natural Order  2
4 Noble Hierarch  
4 Tarmogoyf  1

3 Swords to Plowshares  

Sideboard:
3 Meddling Mage  
3 Ancient Grudge  1
3 Pyroclasm  1
3 Ray of Revelation  1
3 Warmth  1

On the plus side, I really liked the sideboard.

First, I went 2-1 against a so-so red deck. Then I went 2-1 vs a mono-black deck using Anvil/Rack/Underworld Dreams/Liliana's Caress; before the first game even got going, he extirpated a FoW and hit 2 in my hand. Then I lost 1-2 to a BW deck... had some mana issues there. Finally, I was stomped 0-2 by a mono-blue deck with Shackles, Back to Basics, etc; I actually would've won the first game, but I screwed up by not popping a top to grab a blue card on top of my library needed to Force a Natural Order through.

If I had to play it again with these colors I would go something like: -2 Fire/Ice, -1 Daze, -1 BoP, -1 Natural Order, +3 Preordain, +2 Ponder.
11-02-2667118, Magic: Legacy-2011-02-09-Laramie: 2011-02-09
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 James Courtney Loss 1875
3 Aaron M. Chism Loss 1887
2 Christopher A. Morger Win 1898
1 Kurtis Butler Win 1896


  'Gobbos'      --Legacy deck (through Mirrodin Besieged)
4 Auntie's Hovel
4 Badlands
2 Bloodstained Mire
4 Mountain
3 Rishadan Port
3 Wasteland
2 Wooded Foothills

4 Aether Vial  1

4 Warren Weirding  1

2 Gempalm Incinerator  2
4 Goblin Lackey  
4 Goblin Matron  2
4 Goblin Piledriver  1
4 Goblin Ringleader  3
4 Goblin Warchief  1
3 Siege-Gang Commander  3
2 Stingscourger  1
3 Warren Instigator  

Sideboard:
4 Thorn of Amethyst  2
3 Earwig Squad  3
3 Thoughtseize  
3 Perish  1
1 Goblin Pyromancer  3
1 Goblin Sharpshooter  2

I'd tested the main quite a bit in apprentice already, so it was fine; but the sideboard was sloppy. I left most of my collection in Montana and found I didn't have a Goblin Tinkerer, so I stuck in the less than stellar Sharpshooter. I also swapped Pyrokinesis for Earwig Squads; I could've used the Pyrokinesis. Since Instigator is so slow, I could see putting in War Marshals and dropping the Thorns for Cabal Therapy. Also, maybe drop a Stingscourger for an Incinerator or with War Marshals, add a Skirk Prospector (the theory behind two was to help Lackeys through, but you can't *always* get a first turn Lackey). In short, if I had to play it again: -1 Stingscourger, -1 Instigator, +2 War Marshal, -4 Thorn, -1 Earwig Squad, -1 Pyromancer, -1 Sharpshooter, +3 Therapy, +1 Tinkerer, +3 Pyrokinesis.
11-02-2667117, Magic: Legacy-2011-02-02-Laramie: 2011-02-02
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 Bernard J. Anderson Win 1893
3 Ethan Hubbard Win 1889
2 Nole j. Clauson Win 1886
1 Bye


 
  'Ub Merfolk'      --Legacy deck (thru Mirrodin Besieged)
2 Flooded Strand
3 Island
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Mutavault
1 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
3 Underground Sea
2 Wasteland

4 Aether Vial  1

4 Coralhelm Commander  
4 Cursecatcher  
4 Daze  1
4 Force of Will  3
4 Lord of Atlantis  
4 Merrow Reejerey  2
4 Silvergill Adept  1
3 Spell Pierce  
4 Standstill  1

Sideboard:
3 Chalice of the Void  XX
4 Engineered Plague  2
2 Perish  2
4 Chill  1
2 Misdirection  3

I wasn't sure what to play, having this deck, Zoo, a Red Deck and Goblins as the only decks ready and tested. Could've made Countertop and I am a few cards short of Reanimator. I figured Fish would give me good game against any competitive decks and went with it; it turned out I severely overestimated the meta which was almost entirely (bad) aggro. I ended up narrowly losing to a subpar Goblin deck (all the right goblins, but no Ports or Wastes and Blood Crypts in lieu of Badlands). This deck absolutely crushed everyone else.

Also, I swapped in 2 Islands just before the tourney, figuring (correctly) that I would't need a full compliment of Wastelands.
11-01-2626394, Magic: Legacy-2011-01-24-Cheyenne: 2011-01-22
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 Marshall Brooks Win 1881
3 Jack Kirk Win 1878
2 Zac S. Ricketts Loss 1876
1 Allen R. Taylor Win 1889


 
  'Mythic'      --Standard deck (ABC+ZBC)
1 Arid Mesa
3 Celestial Colonnade
4 Forest
1 Glacial Fortress
2 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Plains
1 Sejiri Steppe
2 Stirring Wildwood
3 Sunpetal Grove
2 Verdant Catacombs

2 Eldrazi Conscription  8

4 Dauntless Escort  1
4 Knight of the Reliquary  1
3 Rhox War Monk  
4 Sovereigns of Lost Alara  4



1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor  2

4 Birds of Paradise  
4 Lotus Cobra  1
4 Noble Hierarch  

3 Baneslayer Angel  3
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant  2


Sideboard:
4 Pithing Needle  1
4 Qasali Pridemage  
4 Negate  1
3 Kor Firewalker  

I was geting tired of Jund and wanted to play something fun. In testing, this was pretty good against Jund and okay against a few other decks. I had problems with control and tweaked the sideboard heavily against it. I lost to RDW, and won against vampires, a janky leveller deck, jund, and grixis. I never sided in the Pridemages, but wouldn't take them out since they are crucial against control. I never sided in Negates either... not sure what I'd replace them with. 3 Kor Firewalkers was not enough... I sided them in frequently and sided in Needle a few times. Rhox War Monk wasn't very very impressive. Knight was so-so. I loved the Escorts and Baneslayers. I would bump the Angels to 4. And I liked Elspeth a lot. I could see running 3. It seemed like I was always on the defense against hordes. I wonder if the sideboard Day of Judgement thing might've been worth trying. The deck needs something... some kind of oomph (aside from the Conscription thing). It was always like I was struggling with so-so cards to get to the "combo", which I was always worried about, since any disruption meant I was in trouble. The deck didn't seem very versatile; it needs something like Maelstrom Pulse. I tested Path, but found I was often helping opponents more than hurting them (something I've experienced myself as a Jund player) and O-Ring and Journey.. I just don't like 'em. One thing: I should've had 4 Celestial Purge in the board; leaving those out was a severe mistake!
10-05-2259147, N America - Friday Night Magic - May 2010: 2010-05-28
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
5 James R. Nevin Win 1776
4 Josh K. Tyree Win 1771
3 Allan L. Micksch Win 1769
2 Steven Frees Win 1767
1 Eric T. Clark Loss 1765


 
  'Jund'      --Standard deck (ABC+ZEN+WW)
4 Dragonskull Summit
3 Forest
2 Lavaclaw Reaches
2 Mountain
4 Raging Ravine
1 Stomping Ground
4 Savage Lands
3 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs

4 Bloodbraid Elf  2
3 Broodmate Dragon  3
3 Maelstrom Pulse  1
4 Putrid Leech  
4 Sprouting Thrinax  
2 Terminate  



3 Vampire Nighthawk  1

4 Lotus Cobra  1

4 Lightning Bolt  
2 Siege-Gang Commander  3


Sideboard:
4 Deathmark  
3 Great Sable Stag  1
4 Goblin Ruinblaster  2
4 Roiling Terrain  2

Last month I put together a Jund deck similar to Simon Görtzen's PT winning deck (without the Rampant Growths and without Master of the Wild Hunt in the SB). I went 3-1 for FNM, then 2-1 the following night. A few weeks later I showed up with a deck similar to Ding Yuan Leong's Grand Prix winning Blightning Deck Wins and... I got stomped 2-3. Since I didn't have anything better to play this week, I showed up with this.

In testing, Vampire Nighthawk was decent. I was having problems with the manabase and tried Lotus Cobra, which I loved. I took out Blightning because when I got Blightninged, I usually had something I didn't mind discarding. Using Blightning, I usually saw that opponents experienced this similarly. I dropped Garruk because he was okay, but nothing amazing.

Anyway, I had problems with a control deck that kept wiping out my board and dropping Baneslayers. Garruk would've been nice. I didn't miss the Blightnings, and I did like the Lotus Cobras a lot. Vampire Nighthawk never really stayed on the board, so it never had a chance to impress me. If I were to play it again, I'd try -1 Lavaclaw Reaches, -3 Nighthawk, +1 Maelstrom Pulse, +3 Vengevine. The board was primarily anti-Jund, which I didn't face. I think it needs a couple Doom Blades for Baneslayers and maybe a few Anathemancers. Great Sable Stags haven't been incredibly impressive, so I'd probably drop those.
10-04-2216167, N America - Friday Night Magic - Apr 2010: 2010-04-16
Round Opponent Outcome Rating
4 Kathy M. Lipsey Win 1763
3 Michael Cecil Win 1761
2 Richard Barkman Loss 1759
1 Jonathan M. Brown Win 1764

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