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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
Jul 25 2012 7:30am
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Do you Fell lucky, Punk? Well? Do you?

GP Columbus

  Day 1 - Discovery

 1046 players! Woo hoo! Not too shabby an attendance. At least, there were 1046 players listed at the end of Day One! I managed to catch all the action on replays. Throughout the day, one of the things I noticed was that many of commentators and writers seemed to be discovering the Modern format for the first time. I mean really looking at it, and not just going Oh, yeah. That. This was evident by commentary from the booth, the Mothership event coverage page, and the peanut gallery. Most appeared to be liking what they saw.

  How serendipitous [I do like that word!] that this discovery of a new world happens at GP Columbus.

  I particularly liked the Brian Kibler vs Gaudenis Vidugiris match in Round 4. Kibler's BGW Doran deck pwned face hard the first game, and Gau answered back in the next two with smart sideboarding, slick play, and primo topdecking. Baneslayer Angel appears to still have a place in UW! Gaudenis ended the day in 18th spot; Kibler ended in spot 461, going 4-3, out.

  Another notable game in Round 8: LSV vs Gerard Fabiano... Gerard Fabiano (RUG Delver) was attacking with two 'Goyf's in order to deal lethal damage to LSV (Blue Naya Pod). Gerard cast Cryptic Command to tap LSV's blockers. LSV had Glen Elendra Archmage up, but no untapped blue sources. After thinking a while, LSV used Chord of Calling to fetch Birds of Paradise. With the untapped Kiki, he copied the BoP to make a hasty one. He paid blue with the hasty BoP, sac'd Glen Elendra, and countered the Command. LSV won the game next turn. But ultimately lost the match. At the end of the day, Fabiano was in 3rd spot, LSV 15th.

  Day 2

  With the dead cleared away, and the screaming over, the Top 8 looked very familiar: 

Affinity aka Robots
Jacob Maynard - Winner GP Columbus on 07/22/2012
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Etched Champion
4 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Signal Pest
4 Vault Skirge
1 Steel Overseer
25 Creatures

4 Mox Opal
3 Springleaf Drum
4 Galvanic Blast
3 Shrapnel Blast
Weapons and Fetch
4 Cranial Plating
2 Steelshaper's Gift
20 Other Spells
Basic Lands
2 Mountain
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
3 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Darksteel Citadel
2 Glimmervoid
15 Lands

Etched Champion

Eat Steel!


  2nd - RUG Delver/Lucas Siow
  T4 - Naya Pod
  T4 - URW Delver
  T8 - URW Delver x2
  T8 - Jund
  T8 - GR Tron

  If those five (Affinity, Delver, Jund, Pod, and Tron) aren't "The Usual Suspects", I don't know what is. 


  Brian Kibler's Doran Rock

  I believe that of the 1046 players listed at the end of Day One, Brian Kibler piloted the solitary Rock deck at the event. Rock is an older [I had to dredge pretty hard for that link! Note the product offered!] BG mid-range archetype with a strategy of disrupting the opponent's hand while bashing them with big, efficient creatures (rocks). Along with plenty of removal for chumps. Over time it splashed W, and the "Junk" moniker was adopted. Both of these fell out of favor for a while, and these days, Rock is accepted to be BG(W).

 There has recently been some discussion in the Modern community regarding Rock, and whether or not it's still a viable archetype. Some say it switched BGW to BRG, and evolved into Jund. Jund does share many traits with "traditional" Rock decks: hand disruption, lots of spot answers, and hyper-efficient rocks to bash with. Others feel that without the W control, it ain't Rock.  



More New Decks

  People are still commenting on how the Modern format has such a wide open meta, and how any given deck can win. Here we are, closing fast on Modern's One Year birthday, and a few more cool decks to show just how wide open it still is. Although there were no M13 cards in the T8 at GP Columbus, they were there being played. I expect I'll be showing you decks featuring M13 cards in next week's article. 

  Messenger of Doom

BRW Aggro
Vicalis (4-0) Modern Daily #4081338 on 07/16/2012
4 Geralf's Messenger
4 Gravecrawler
4 Steppe Lynx
Utility Beaters
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Tidehollow Sculler
2 Dark Confidant
26 Creatures

4 Lightning Bolt
2 Path to Exile
2 Pillar of Flame
2 Zealous Persecution
1 Slaughter Pact
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
13 Other Spells
Basic Lands
2 Swamp
4 Arid Mesa
4 Marsh Flats
4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Cavern of Souls
3 Blood Crypt
3 Godless Shrine
21 Lands


Geralf's Messenger

Message for you, sir!


  Boros meets Zombieland! Woo hoo! Another delightful mashup rears it's head and lays a smackdown on the field. This deck is downright suicidal with it's painful manabase and Bob. At least the curve tops out at three. It is still an aggressive, nasty little number to be sitting across from.

  Ad Nauseam

Ad Nauseam
krebsi1307 (4-0) Modern Daily #4109613 on 07/20/2012

Mana Dorks
3 Simian Spirit Guide
3 Creatures

4 Ad Nauseam
4 Angel's Grace
3 Phyrexian Unlife
1 Conflagrate
4 Lotus Bloom
3 Pentad Prism
1 Desperate Ritual
Draw and Filter
4 Peer Through Depths
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
2 Pact of Negation
1 Echoing Truth
35 Othyer Spells

Basic Lands
3 Island
1 Plains
3 Marsh Flats
3 Scalding Tarn
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
3 Seachrome Coast
2 Darkslick Shores
2 Watery Grave
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Sacred Foundry
22 Lands


Ad Nauseam.


  While not a new archetype by any means, Ad Nauseam is always fun to watch when it goes off. This is one of the few decks in Modern that is capable of a turn one kill on the draw with a god hand. Conflagrate flashbacked for forty after drawing your whole deck, anyone? On the other hand, it is a very fragile deck to combo out with, as well. This deck is definitely not for the weak of heart, and is one of the more skill intensive combo decks; much more difficult than "make a million dudes and attack" or "durdle up some spells 'til I have enough to Storm"

  Some Very Cool UR Storm Sideboards!

  I do love transformational sideboards, and UR Storm lends itself to doing this so beautifully. We've all seen, or heard of, Splinterstorm, where Storm transforms to Splinter Twin, and Delverstorm, where it transforms to UR Delver. Here are some interesting examples of other transforms this deck is capable of:


Sideboard - Ritual Emmy
UR Storm/Ritual Emmy
iaw1978 (3-1) Modern Daily #4109613

3 Dispel
4 Echoing Truth
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Shattering Spree
15 Cards

   In this instance, we have a singleton Emmy. Just that single card. We've all seen Storm decks durdle up fifteen (or more) mana. Instead of the expected continued shenanigans that you're holding open blue mana for...

 BLAM! Surprise! What board presence?



Sideboard - Hive Storm
UR Storm/Hive Mind
Cynthesis (3-1) Modern Daily #4109696

4 Hive Mind
4 Pact of the Titan
3 Pact of Negation
2 Ethereal Usher
1 Intervention Pact
1 Summoner's Pact
15 Cards

  Here's a new one! A Hive Mind transformation! No one expects a Storm deck to turn Hive Mind! Woo hoo! This deck so reminds of the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition sketch...



500 Decks Into The Q3 Meta...

  Top of the Pops 

  Since the start of the quarter, some of the things I predicted have happened, and others haven't. With over five hundred decklists entered into the records, some trends are making themselves felt. The main thing that hasn't happened is the UW Aggro/Control deck I call Restoration has only made it to the top of the "South 40" list. I predicted it might be much closer to the top. However, Naya Pod is at the the "top of the pops":



  This version of Pod, which features the Kiki-Jiki/Restoration Angel combo for an army of hasty fliers, has been taking the online SE meta by storm (no pun intended) since it first burst onto the scene at GP Yokohama. A variant using Blasting Station has also made a few appearances. The "traditional" GBW Pod still appears, but much less frequently than it has in the past.



  In the Storm category, Splinterstorm is putting up some surprising results! This deck's nifty ability to present a completely different deck in game two is causing headaches for those sitting across from it: "Let me board in my Storm hate. Wha-wha-WHAT?!?!?!?" While this trick may work well in the online world, the paper world is a different story. By the end of day one at a large paper event, such as a GP, PT, etc, your opponents will be aware of the decks transformational abilities. So the surprise factor isn't there anymore in the higher rounds. But the "which will he side into?" factor is still there.



  Middle of the Road



  Tron is just tootling along. It continues to make many appearances, especially GR Tron. But it also continues to exhibit the same non-stellar performance it always has. Although there was a string of 4-0 appearance the day before GP Columbus, this archetype, along with Restoration, has not put up enough 4-0 finishes to make it to the "big boys" chart yet. 

  On a side note, I have no idea where the GP Columbus folks came up the term "UginTron". Most Tron builds that pack Wurmcoils and Emmys will pack an Eye and try to poke you with it, but GR & UB Tron play out somewhat differently. You'll also note that UW hasn't appeared. Yet. And it usually packs an Eye, as well.



  Vex Bomb Bump has moved to the top of the food chain in the R(x)DW submeta. Here is how the R(x)DW submeta is currently sitting:



  Tron or Restoration don't look like they'll make the next level soon, but W/x Lifegain/Aggro (Soul Sisters, Martyr Proc, et al.) has been coming on strong, and could be poised to be jump up to the "big boys" chart soon. Soul Sisters, especially, has been making a lot of appearances lately. Although, at this point of the game, about the only real difference between Soul Sisters and Martyr Proc is whether the Proclamations are main or sideboard.



  The South 40  

  Meanwhile, out in the back woods, Hate Zoo put in a few appearances and did quite well, then disappeared: Ad Nauseam finally showed up, along an interesting deck called Clown Car.






Overdrive! #56 Round-up

  Just as I was about to start putting the decklists for Overdrive! #56 into this article... *BLINK!* ...The power goes out for a few seconds, and I hadn't saved my work for a while. So. All the decklists from this event have been lost, and I have nothing to show you.

  Overdrive! #56 Champion: KlDBUU / Ritual Gifts
  Runner-up: sadisteck / Quest for a Soul
  Semifinalist: duranoth / Death & Taxes
  Semifinalist: marcio costa / Infect



Eurodrive! #39 Round-up

Nyzzeh - Eurodrive! #39 Champion
Vex Bomb Bump

4 Dark Confidant
4 Goblin Guide
4 Keldon Marauders
4 Vexing Devil
3 Grim Lavamancer
2 Hell's Thunder
21 Creatures

4 Bump in the Night
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
16 Other Spells

Basic Lands
7 Mountain
4 Arid Mesa
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
20 Lands

Vexing Devil


  Won against UWR Delver, RDW Burn, BYE, GW Tokens.


SBena - Eurodrive! #39 Runner-up
GW Tokens
Mana Dorks
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Hero of Bladehold
1 Wurmcoil Engine
2 Qasali Pridemage
15 Creatures

4 Midnight Haunting
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Intangible Virtue
2 Parallel Lives
2 Mortarpod
3 Path to Exile
1 Elspeth Tirel
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
21 Other Spells
Basic Lands
8 Forest
5 Plains
2 Gavony Township
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Wooded Bastion
1 Temple Garden
24 Lands

Hero of Bladehold


  Won against UB Delver, Storm, Vex Bomb, lost to Vex Bomb Bump.



RUG Delver
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Vendilion Clique
16 cards

Draw and Filter
4 Serum Visions
1 Sleight of Hand
2 Cryptic Command
2 Deprive
2 Mana Leak
2 Spell Pierce
2 Spell Snare
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Burst Lightning
2 Vedalken Shackles
23 Other Spells
Basic Lands
1 Forest
6 Island
1 Mountain
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Breeding Pool
2 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
21 Lands

Delver of Secrets


  Won against WB Geist/Tokens, Kithkin, no-show to Vex Bomb Bump.


Vex Bomb
4 Goblin Guide
4 Hellspark Elemental
4 Spark Elemental
4 Vexing Devil
3 Grim Lavamancer
19 Creatures

4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
3 Shard Volley
2 Flames of the Blood Hand
21 Other Spells
Basic Lands
12 Mountain
4 Arid Mesa
4 Teetering Peaks
20 Lands

Vexing Devil


  Won against G Stompy, G Tron, lost to GW Tokens.



 Where Angels Fear To Tread #17

   Players: 14
    4-0: Mr.Fumo_Muxo
    3-1: NetworkGuru, Gonnzy, SBena, _Kumagoro_

   Players, pairings, results, and standings can be found here.
   All decks for WAFTT #17 can be found here.




Interesting Tidbits

  All the interesting stuff has been covered above this week.




That Rock article was by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 07/25/2012 - 23:34
Kumagoro42's picture

That Rock article was hilarious to read from a 2012 point of view. Man, Morphling was still "the best creature ever made" back then. :)
I'd still say: if it ain't BG, it ain't Rock. Anything more than that would be something DERIVED from Rock. Like Gifts Rock, for instance, which got a whole new life now that Gifts can essentially put a creature directly into the battlefield via Unburial Rites. Jund might be a descendant of Rock, but it's very different, both to play with and against. In fact, it isn't called Rock at all. White elements also take it into another direction. But I guess Doran Rock is a viable moniker.
I recently tried out a next-level traditional Rock in Eurodrive!, ending 2nd place I believe. Thrun is what Spiritmonger was in the old deck, and more. Maelstrom Pulse is there in place of Pernicious Deed: not as good, but quite.

You know what these articles could use? Videos! Now, if only someone provided you with them. :P

Let us pay homage to the by MichelleIvans at Wed, 04/24/2013 - 20:29
MichelleIvans's picture

Let us pay homage to the discoverer of America. Without him, life will be dull. - J. Kale Flagg