Pondering—PTQ Prep, Part Two

Karn Liberated

In preparation for the big PTQ this weekend, Luis ran another Modern event at the store on Sunday. I slightly altered my 75 from last weekend and ended up running this:

Deck: UW Modern

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard

Creatures:18
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Geist of Saint Traft
2 Kitchen Finks
3 Vendilion Clique
4 Restoration Angel
2 Baneslayer Angel

Spells:17
4 Path to Exile
4 Spell Snare
4 Mana Leak
2 Dismember
1 Sphinx's Revelation
2 Cryptic Command

Lands:25
4 Celestial Colonnade
1 Eiganjo Castle
2 Hallowed Fountain
4 Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Moorland Haunt
1 Plains
3 Scalding Tarn
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Tectonic Edge

Sideboard:15
2 Celestial Purge
1 Disenchant
1 Rest in Peace
2 Spellskite
3 Stony Silence
2 Aven Mindcensor
2 Tempest of Light
2 Supreme Verdict

Back to the old configuration for countermagic, and a singleton Sphinx’s Revelation in the flex slot. Let’s get right to it.

Round 1: John Tron Fung—GR Tron
Last week, I won through two very fortuitous mull-to-fives from John. I would not have the same luck this week. John ran a Karn into a Mana Leak, then untapped and tried again, this time getting it to resolve, and we were quickly onto game two.

-2 Dismember, -2 Baneslayer, -1 Sphinx’s Revelation
+2 Aven Mindcensor, +3 Stony Silence

In the second game, I kept a speculative six of Clique, Snare, Snare, Seachrome, double Tec Edge. My second blue source came on turn four in the form of tapped Colonnade, a turn too late to stop the Karn in John’s hand, and I spent the rest of the game stuck in the Stone Age. John would go on to 4-0 rather effortlessly. Myself, on the other hand, well…

0-2 games, 0-1 matches.

Round 2: Jess—Soul Sisters
This match was rough. Jess’ deck is one of a few in the room with more inevitability than UW. Serra Ascendant and Ajani’s Pridemate can both get bigger than Baneslayer without much effort, and Spectral Procession makes it hard for me to get aggressive. Jess also was trying Blind Obedience over the anthems, which made the games extra grindy. Finally, Squadron Hawk and Mistveil Plains form an engine that I can’t deal with, short of finding multiple Paths and pointing them all at Hawks. The games were very interactive, but at no point did I feel like I was in control.

Sideboarding:
-2 Dismember, -1 Mana Leak
+2 Supreme Verdict, +1 Disenchant

Jess was the better player on the day, and I was 0-4 games, 0-2 matches.

This was the worst I had done in a Modern event at the store, ever. Nevertheless, I chose to stick it out to get in as many reps as possible.

Round 3: Monique—Jundmaster of the Fells
Monique had made the top 8 of a Modern 1K the day prior, but was running into a string of poor luck and wound up in the 0-2 bracket. This was my first exposure to post-ban Jund, so I was in the dark slightly as to which version she was running (Huntmaster, Gore-Clan Rampager, or Blood Hall Ooze/Putrid Leech). Monique kept a greedy hand, and when she got stuck on lands and had to discard a Huntmaster, I was clued in.

I would win game one rather effortlessly by just playing lands and creatures. By the time Monique established any real board presence beyond her turn one non-fetchland Deathrite, I was already beating her down with Finks and Angel. When she started drawing lands, I started to use the Paths I had been holding back, prompting a quick concession.

-2 Mana Leak, -2 Dismember
+2 Celestial Purge, +2 Spellskite

Game two was a complete blowout. T1 Thoughtseize, T2 Wrench Mind(!), T3 Fulminator Mage. I never had a chance.

-2 Spell Snare
+2 Mana Leak

I switched things around for game three. Mana Leak is much better on the play, and while Jund has two of the biggest Spell Snare targets in the format, Leak is ultimately a better tool for the attrition game. Monique set up her board with double Deathrite and double Finks, but wasn’t able to do much else when she stalled on lands. Over on my end, Geist and active Colonnade set up the board stall. Monique found a Bob eventually and started gaining some crucial card advantage, but I kept her landlocked with my Tec Edges for long enough to draw into an Angel.

From there, being unopposed in the air gave me the upper hand. Nevertheless, it would only be a matter of time before Monique drew enough cards to break the stall, and thanks to Finks and Shaman she was able to stay out of range of an alpha from my end. I certainly wasn’t going to risk getting my Angel or Colonnade Terminated and dying on the crack-back. There was a turn when Monique tried to resolve a Tarmogoyf, and I Mana Leaked to make her decide between tapping out or getting Goyf countered. She chose to let it go to keep her Shamans active, and to represent removal, but when I topdecked Clique and saw only more creatures, I sent in a ton of damage in the air to put her away.

2-4 games, 1-2 matches.

Round 4: Sunny—Burn
Sunny ditched Dredgevine this week and went back to Burn. The games themselves weren’t particularly close, though. I got burnt to a crisp in the first game, then boarded in and drew my Spellskites for the other two. I had to fight through an Ensnaring Bridge in the third game, but I simply played my Snapcasters as Ambush Vipers and beat down while I looked for either a Disenchant or a Cryptic Command. I eventually found a Cryptic, and that was that.

Sideboarding:
-2 Dismember, -1 Path to Exile
+2 Spellskite, +1 Disenchant

4-5 games, 2-2 matches.

***

This was statistically my worst performance at a Twenty Sided Modern event, but I did gather some valuable information. I saw Sphinx’s Revelation only once throughout the day (which is to be expected for a one-of), and while it did gain me a bunch of life against Burn, it wasn’t so much timely as it was win-more. I was purposefully sandbagging it until I got Sunny to use a Flames of the Bloodhand so that I could fire it off, and by the time I did, I had seven lands in play and was comfortably winning already. I can’t help but feel the midrange UW build is not the place for this card. I’ve seen it do silly things, but that was in the Sun Titan variant. I think it’s time to bring back Jace Beleren from the bench for the PTQ.

The other thing that needs work is the sideboard. Tempest of Light and Supreme Verdict have been rotting there for a long time now. The Verdicts are probably necessary in a big meta, but there’s no point in me devoting two whole slots to hate on Slippery Bogle when, in all likelihood, only two or three people will be playing it this weekend. I need to tinker with the 15 a bit.

Only a few more days until the big event. Let’s send one of us through to the Pro Tour.

Advertisements
Comments
7 Responses to “Pondering—PTQ Prep, Part Two”
  1. Zac Clark says:

    this was particularly helpful in deciding on what my board is gonna look like. i’m inbetween what to play as my 60th card wurmcoil or Sphinx or Revelation or maybe one more titan.

    I’m thinking there’s gonna be a good amount of POD. how many Avens are too many?

    • Li Xu says:

      re: your 60th card, depends on your other 59. Post it here! re: Mindcensors: 2 or 3 is usually fine, but I wouldn’t cut any real hate cards for them.

      • Zac Clark says:

        1?
        1 Sun Titan
        1 Oust
        2 Gideon Jura
        2 Elspeth, Knight Errant
        2 Jace Beleran
        2 Jace, Architect
        2 Detention Sphere
        3 Mana leak
        3 Supreme Verdict
        3 Spreading Seas
        4 Kitchen Finks
        4 Path to Exile
        4 Cryptic Command
        4 Hallowed Fountain
        4 Celestial Colonade
        4 Glacial Fortress
        4 Tectonic Edge
        4 Seachrome Coast
        2 Island
        1 Mystic Gate
        1 Cavern
        1 Plains
        1 Nimbus Maze

        Sideboard
        3 Aven Mindcensor
        2 Celestial Purge
        3 Negate
        2 Disenchant
        2 Stony Silence
        2 Spellskite
        1 Detention Sphere

        I think I’m happy with this board as it answers The Boogle problem but easily works vs Burn and Jund (Spellskite). Affinity slots can flex to fight Jund and Tezz. Maybe find room for a RIP.

        In the main, maybe one Miser’s Mindcensor and -1 in Board? Idk I feel like I need a “now I win” card here.

      • Li Xu says:

        -1 Oust
        +2 Sphinx’s Revelation

      • Zac Clark says:

        That’s definitely an I win card.

      • Li Xu says:

        Could probably throw a Finks in the board so you have two mb Sun Titans.

Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] MTGO Kiki-Pod testing. Jess Stirba piloted Soul Sisters at the weekend Modern tournament, while Li Xu ran into some trouble against Tron and said Soul Sisters with […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: