*Editor’s Note: Rudy takes some time to answer some of the pressing questions he’s been getting. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Mail Time!
What 8 players are Top 8ing the SCG Invitational? — Ben Wienburg
Ah the age old question of putting down some players you know while uplifting others. I’m going to make it clear before this that I’m sure many qualified players have a good chance but these are some of the players I think could see a Top 8 berth.
Brennan DeCandio is the first player I would love to see in Top 8 of an Invi. He puts in a lot of hard work and has a pretty good stream to check out. He’s clear in what he’s trying to accomplish and isn’t afraid to try new decks. While I don’t expect him to go off the rails for the Invitational you can bet he will have a solid 75 in each format and be ready for anything.
Todd Stevens has been on a tear this year. His stats are nothing short of insane and has locked himself for SCG Player of the year by a wide margin. To give you an idea of how far ahead he is, the second place person could win the Invitational and still not clear Todd. While Todd’s mastery of Modern is well known and I’d love to see Todd play something solid and not off the walls for the Invi. Sure, thinking outside the box can be a good thing and can lead to some great results. However, I think just playing the best deck can lead to great success.
Kazu Negri is a rather quiet name on the SCG Tour. While his results have been in Modern and Legacy, his range is very wide. Not only did he win an Open with Storm in Modern, he turned around and won a Modern Classic with Abzan Company. If Kazu puts his head down and picks a solid Standard deck, I can imagine his Modern half propelling him into another good finish.
I heard Sam Black is going to the Invitational so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him Top 8 as well.
Some other players I could see Top 8ing: Andrew Jessup, Dylan Donegan, Gerry Thompson, Brad Nelson, and Ben Nikolich.
How much does deck selection matter in Modern? — Nathan Steur
This is a tough question to answer for sure. I believe, just like other formats, picking the right deck on a weekend will yield a windfall of victories. Despite that, we see the same people performing with the same decks over and over. I think in general your sideboard will matter more than your deck selection. Being able to tailor your deck week in and week out to adapt is where the Modern masters really start standing out.
Besides, if deck selection was the driving force in Modern how could you ever explain this:
Grixis Control ? Modern | Rudy Briksza, 10th place at Team Constructed SCG Baltimore
- Instants (23)
- 2 Fatal Push
- 2 Mana Leak
- 2 Spell Snare
- 2 Terminate
- 3 Kolaghan's Command
- 4 Cryptic Command
- 4 Lightning Bolt
- 4 Thought Scour
- Lands (22)
- 1 Mountain
- 1 Swamp
- 3 Island
- 1 Blood Crypt
- 1 Sulfur Falls
- 1 Watery Grave
- 2 Bloodstained Mire
- 2 Creeping Tar Pit
- 2 Steam Vents
- 4 Polluted Delta
- 4 Scalding Tarn
What are the Top 8 decks in Modern? — Chase Masters
- Eldrazi Tron
- Grixis Death's Shadow
- Jeskai Control
- Lantern Control
- Abzan Company
Top 8 Dishes at Olive Garden — Mike Lux
Let’s be clear, Olive Garden is not a good restaurant. Everything tastes like a Stouffer’s frozen meal warmed up but at three times the price. Go here if you’ve made a mistake and there’s nothing for miles or you’re okay with mediocre (at best) Italian food. I imagine if you’re looking for the Top 8 dishes from Olive Garden, Mike, you can just close your eyes and drop your finger 8 times on the menu. You’re likely to get repeats and that’s okay. It’s all about the same thing
What/where are your favorite chicken strips, if any? — Lan D. Ho
If we’re talking about fast food chicken strips, Checker’s ranks pretty high for me on that scale. But overall the best chicken strips I’ve ever had were at a random diner in upstate New York. The chicken was juicy and the breading was crispy without being overwhelming.
What’s the best card in Legacy? — Dave Reed
Deathrite Shaman. Is it close? No, not particularly.
Do you think Deathrite Shaman needs to banned? If so, I don't think Deathrite can be the only thing banned. If you believe it is the only thing that needs banned explain why? — Dan Neeley
Maybe graveyard decks would be playable again.
Maybe Stoneforge would be playable again.
Maybe Goblins would be play- I’m just kidding Goblins will still suck.
However allowing different strategies to be more playable is a firm notch for me that Deathrite needs to be banned. It helps create these four color monstrosities that aren’t held down by Blood Moon or Wasteland. In addition to that, Deathrite wins the game on its own and gets deployed turn one. So not only is this creature so good that it can win the game on its own, but it is also so cheap and efficient that it doesn’t matter when you draw it. All of that one a one drop.
If some of these other decks start to pop up too much, I’m sure we can go back to having more impactful hate in our sideboards. We can adapt.
And come on, you’re telling me the creature you playfully call a one-mana Planeswalker is just fine? Get serious here.
Wawa, Royal Farms, or Sheetz? — Timothy Taylor
WaWas, and once again, it isn’t close. Sheetz is great if you’re in college still and trying to get drunk food. But at some point in time you’ll grow up and realize that Sheetz is garbage. Royal Farms I first discovered in Maryland and it feels like someone took a Sheetz and pulled all the choices out of the food and gave you fried chicken that is medium at best.
Why are white bordered cards so superior to the other available options? — Phil Samms
To each their own. I’m not a fan of white bordered cards but you do you.
What do you think are the best/worst things WOtC has done for the game while you have been playing? This could be a banning, unbanning, policy changes, banning of a player, etc. —Alex Rubin
Easily the best thing for the game is the Scry Rule. It’s helped make the game flow a little more and is nothing but good. The worst thing for the game is not trying to get enough sponsors to bring MTG into the e-sports world. In general, I like the decisions Wizards makes when it comes to rules in the game. However I wish, in lieu of recent events, they took a harder stance on bullying and harassment over rehashing policy.
Why are they going to unban Splinter Twin in February? — Matt Abraham