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Modern Results from Last Weekend

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The results are in from several Modern tournaments that were held last weekend!

Thopter Foundry didn’t perform as well as I expected, but Ancestral Vision certainly put up good numbers.

Daryl Ayers posted a Modern Star City Games Classic win on Sunday with the following Scapeshift list:

He chose not to start Ancestral Vision, which makes a lot of sense since Scapeshift only would like to draw that card in grindy matchups (like against Jund or Grixis Control).

Ancestral Vision
Also interestingly, he cut all of the copies of Search for Tomorrow from the deck for the following reason: “You need to be playing a high-velocity deck, and on turn one, I just play a tapped land unless I have Serum Visions and know I want a ramp spell or lands.”

Instead, he played the full number of Prismatic Omens, which lets him play like a control deck in a large number of games. Prismatic Omen lets you play draw-go alongside the full number of copies of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. It also lets you preemptively Scapeshift for four Valakuts (once you have Prismatic Omen in play) on turn four. The sixth land drop then deals the opponent 12 damage, and if it’s a fetch land, it’s just 24 damage.

Against Jund (which he ended up playing in the finals), Daryl sideboarded like so:

−4 Prismatic Omen, −2 Farseek, −1 Remand (on the draw), −1 Lightning Bolt (on the play)

+3 Obstinate Baloth, +1 Oracle of Mul Daya, +3 Ancestral Vision.

Interestingly, I think there is merit to playing Bring to Light Scapeshift (notably, you can Bring to Light for Ancestral Vision if you don’t have lethal Scapeshift).

Thopter-Gifts-Tron also made an appearance (at fourteenth place in the SCG Classic):

This deck has an amazing number of lines of play it can take. It can choose to go for the Tron “big-mana” route (via Expedition Map, Academy Ruins, and Crucible of Worlds). It can turbo out an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, or Iona, Shield of Emeria via Gifts Ungiven for Unburial Rites and the big creature. You can also Gifts Ungiven for Thopter Foundry, Sword of the Meek, Crucible of Worlds, and Academy Ruins (and be guaranteed Thopter-Sword, albeit a bit slowly).

Thought-Knot Seer is an odd main-deck inclusion considering the number of Wrath of God effects this deck plays.

Grixis Control made a few appearances in the Top 32 of the Classic as well. My favorite version is the one that Dylan Donegan played:

Ancestral Vision is the card-drawer that Grixis Control has been looking for—it doesn’t cost life, and it is another thing to do on turn one. This version of Grixis harkens back to the Patrick Chapin list with the full number of copies of Thought Scour and four delve creatures. Thing in the Ice is an interesting addition that acts as a pseudo-sweeper that also returns all of your Snapcaster Mages to rebuy.

I’d like to see a second Goblin Dark-Dwellers, and maybe the fourth Ancestral Vision over a Dispel and a Murderous Cut.

Eggs Combo (with Thopter Foundry), played by Fred Edelkamp, made an appearance:

This deck was listed as U/W Thopter on the SCG site, but it’s just Eggs with Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek spliced in (which requires a different mana base). This deck is capable of doing all of the ordinary Eggs things (drawing a bunch of cards and finishing with a hard-cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn) or activating Ghirapur Aether Grid twenty times in one turn (via Open the Vaults). Open the Vaults also returns destroyed copies of Ghirapur Aether Grid.

You can also deal “infinite” damage with Ghirapur Aether Grid, Thopter Foundry, Sword of the Meek, and Krark-Clan Ironworks. Once you have one token from Thopter–Sword, you can sac it to Ironworks to produce two more tokens and then make an arbitrarily large number of tokens and then tap them all to deal an arbitrarily large amount of damage. This is most relevant in the Melira Company matchup when the opponent has gone off with the combo. Note in that matchup, you have to shoot Melira or Viscera Seer first; otherwise, the opponent will just gain infinite life again.

Both Brian Marx and Gerry Thompson Top 32’d with Thopter Gifts variants, but I think I prefer the streamlined version Gerry played slightly more:

This is a Thopter deck first and a Gifts Ungiven deck second. With his four copies of Thopter Foundry, three copies of Sword of the Meek, and three copies of Muddle the Mixture, it’s clear he’s serious about assembling this as soon as possible. Gifts Ungiven allows for a backdoor Thopter–Sword (albeit somewhat slowly) by searching for Tolaria West, Academy Ruins, Thopter Foundry, and Sword of the Meek. There is a second Academy Ruins, so you can Tolaria West for Academy Ruins to slowly line up the Thopters.

In some matchups, you don’t necessarily have enough time to get all of that going and need to Wrath the opponent with Unburial Rites and Elesh Norn or Gifts for Supreme Verdict, Wrath of God, and Day of Judgment.

In addition, note the lack of Ancestral Vision and the last two copies of Gifts Ungiven. This clearly indicates to me that Gerry was worried about being clogged on slow, clunky cards. This deck doesn’t really need more cards that are good in attrition wars because Academy Ruins provides most of the inevitability you need.

Lucas Siow of Toronto fame also played Thopter Gifts to success in a Modern Showdown:

Full disclosure, this list is somewhat similar to the Brian Marx list (in that it’s a Gifts deck first and a Thopter deck second), and both of their decks are more controlling than Gerry’s is. Lucas’s sideboard is currently missing a card as published (but he informed me it was a third Negate).

Life from the Loam
Life from the Loam is a powerful weapon alongside Academy Ruins and Ghost Quarter (to fight opposing Academy Ruins). It serves the same purpose as Crucible of Worlds in the Thopter Tron deck, except it requires an answer every turn.

Trinket Mage has a lot of options to find here, including Chalice of the Void, Darksteel Citadel, Engineered Explosives, Pithing Needle, and Nihil Spellbomb.

Note that Lucas can run the switcheroo (as I mentioned last week) and dodge Stony Silence pretty easily post-’board with his Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Lingering Souls.

In his tournament, Lucas played against two Zoo deck, one Infect deck, one Ad Nauseam deck, one Grixis Visions Control deck, one Merfolk deck, one Jund deck, one Temur Visions Control deck, and one Melira Company deck. He lost to the Ad Nauseam player Round 1 and won out (8–0) from there.

I hope to see some sort of Esper or straight Dimir Thopter–Sword deck perform well.

I can recommend any of the above decks to play this weekend, although Affinity, Infect, Jund, Burn, and Melira Company are still great choices as well. If you decide to play a Gifts Ungiven deck, I recommend figuring out what the most common piles are and memorizing every single card in your deck. You normally should do this anyway, but the effect is exaggerated when you can tutor for any set of four differently named cards in your deck.

Frankly, I’m excited to see where Modern goes at the SCG Invitational this weekend, and I’ll also be keeping an eye on Standard in preparation for the Pro Tour!

I’ll be in attendance at Albuquerque playing Shadows over Innistrad Limited.

I wish everyone the best of luck in whatever events they might be playing in this weekend.

I appreciate any comments or concerns here or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!


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