JXClaytor's picture
By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Feb 05 2019 1:00pm
Login or register to post comments

Let's go ahead and get this out of the way now, even if I won the MCQ this past weekend on MTGO, it was going to be a wasted slot.  I'm unable to attend anything outside of a comfortable ten foot radius of my house, and even then, I may end up skipping the event if it were that close.  With Vintage broken due to an interaction between Foundry Inspector and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade, I didn't feel comfortable playing in the Vintage Challenge, and I wasn't awake early enough in the day to take part in the Modern Challenge. 

Who am I kidding though?  My next match win in a Vintage Challenge will be my first match win in a Vintage Challenge.  I guess getting crushed had a poor effect on my soul.

I wanted to play something over the weekend, Pauper to me, is not a ton of fun, Vintage is destroying my sanity, well, I am, considering I would be better off lighting the tickets I enter the events with on fire, and the only decks I have in Legacy are storm, I was left with the Standard MCQ.  I play most of my Standard on Arena now, which is fine.  However, I will from time to time, pick up a deck on MTGO to test it before I spend wildcards on it.  Standard is really cheap to buy in to now, and as prices across formats drop on MTGO, the time to buy in is, in my opinion, pretty good.  MTGO does not seem to be going away any time soon.  Arena does not seem to be the place for formats like Commander, Legacy, Modern, Pauper, and Vintage, so taking advantage of cheap cards now seems like a great idea. 

If it turns out that MTGO is dying and I am to blind to see, well, I'm not out a ton due to buying back in to the client, and I still have had a enjoyable time playing. 

I've been having problems sleeping, and sleeping through the night recently.  I took a sleep aid, it worked thankfully, and I got a solid 8 hours of sleep in, which is great, because I have been staying up until 6am and sleeping until 11am.  My mind races, and often times I can't turn it off, so a memory will keep me up, cringing, ashamed, until I give up.  A dream will wake me up and I can't go back to sleep.  These things happen, but it was super nice sleeping through the night.  I had a bit of breakfast, logged on to MTGO, and struggled with what to play before turning to Twitter and Facebook to ask my friends what they would play.  My choices were down to Esper Control, Jeskai Control, Izzet Drakes and Temur Reclamation.  I was leaning towards the Temur deck, with Esper as my second choice, however, out of the four, I had the most experience and comfort with Izzet Drakes.  My friends all told me either Esper or Temur, not mentioning the other two decks, and I decided to go with Temur, because I at least had played it before. 

Also it has Star of Extinction in it, and my gosh I just love casting that card.  It's like Wildfire, in the sense that you're killing a land and wiping the board clean. 

Here is what I played.

Round 1. Esper Midrange

1205 rolls around finally, and I am ready to jump in to this MCQ.  Apparently 305 other players decided that this was the best way to spend a Saturday, and with as cold as it's been in parts of America, if it's anything like that in the rest of the world (I know it's not), I don't blame them.  9 Rounds of swiss action on the day is a little much, I'm a little old and if I get that far, I imagine I am going to be tired by the end of the day. 

Off to a pretty good start.  The deck did what it was supposed to do, it cast Wilderness Reclamation allowing me to slowly gain card advantage in my main phases, and leave up countermagic for the opponent's turn.  It also allowed me to cast massive game ending Explosions during my end step.  Make sure you take full advantage of these triggers, be it for activating Azcanta an extra time, or floating mana to cast a Chemister's Insight and still leaving up mana for counters.

Round 2:  Temur Drakes

This matchup showed me a reoccurring theme that I would throughout the event.  How do I properly answer Niv-Mizzet, Parun?  The main deck has Star of Extinction to do it, but post board I was lacking true answers to it.  I did come to a conclusion at the end of the event about what to do, but this lack of clean answers would come back to bite me.

Round 3: Izzet Drakes

It's time to get bitten!  The deck played well, despite a mulligan, I however did not, and punted in the third game, by playing a shockland tapped. This kept me from casting Star, which might have wiped the board clean and was a really disappointing loss, because I thought I had been playing so well up until this point.  Despite my misplay, I was filled with determination, because really the deck performed well for me. 

Round 4: Esper Midrange

Game 2 was super close and I thought I was going to have to go to game three when they cast Unmoored Ego against me. Explosions were already in the yard, I had none left, so when they cast it, I was chanting, don't name Niv Mizzet. They didn't and the dragon took me to victory.

Round 5:  Izzet Drakes

Game one my opponent was land screwed, and I took advantage of that, countering their card draw to keep them choked off.  While they struggled to develop I rode my card advantage to a pretty easy win. This would be the only match I beat Izzet Drakes. 

Round 6:  Izzet Drakes

At least this round I made them counter the Star of Extinction instead of just punting the match away.  That's progress right?

Round 7:  Simic Stompy

My board, 7 lands, reclamation, 13 life.

My opponent, Steel Leaf, Grown Ass Guardian, Ghalta.

Calmly play a land, 2 more Reclamations, Explosion my opponent for 20 on my end step.

I had planned on killing the Ghalta and drawing a ton of cards, but thankfully while I was adding mana to the pool I noticed that I had enough for lethal. 

Like an RKO, that win came outta no where.

Round 8:  Sultai Climb

Round 9:  Esper Control

Final Result:  7-2, 14th place. 

I think it's in the best interest of the deck for some changes to be made.  The Izzet Drakes matchup felt as close to unwinnable as possible, so I am going to add Lava Coil to the main in place of the Lightning Strikes.  In addition, I am removing a copy of Karn, Scion of Urza and the two Lava Coils that were moved in to the main deck for copies of Crushing Canopy out of the board.  There are a lot of enchantments in the format that demand to be answered, but that's just a bonus.  This card easily and cleanly kills Parun, and that's great, because one can't expect to have 7 mana up for Star and possible countermagic when the dragon needs to die.  Canopy also allows us to counter any possible Dive Down from the opponent. 

I had a blast playing the deck, and as lame as this sounds, with all the soul crushing losses I have had since November, I needed to do well in something.  It was a nice confidence booster before I went 1-3 in the Legacy challenge the next day. 


Thanks for sharing and good by stsung at Tue, 02/05/2019 - 17:13
stsung's picture

Thanks for sharing and good job on your finish. I'm glad you managed to do well and had some fun playing the Temur deck. Crushing Canopy seemed like a must have to me in any green based deck (even with main deck cards being able to deal with flyers and enchantments). I was boarding that card way too often :-/
Niv-Mizzet is a great card, you should play it in Vintage! (see RUG Xerox)

I have it in Oath :D by JXClaytor at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 01:54
JXClaytor's picture

I have it in Oath :D

Great job mate, congrats on by TheWolf at Tue, 02/05/2019 - 20:26
TheWolf's picture

Great job mate, congrats on the finish!

thank you, friend, hopefully by JXClaytor at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 01:58
JXClaytor's picture

thank you, friend, hopefully I'll do better this weekend

^^ Echo what they said. Also by Paul Leicht at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 00:03
Paul Leicht's picture

^^ Echo what they said. Also Reclamation + Star is funny as heck. Well I guess tapping out for anything and then untapping to counter your op's next move is pretty sweet. I'm a little surprised Electrodominance isn't in the list somewhere. It feels like an OK answer to Niv (as is Banefire) while still catering to the deck's main idea.

Actually, that might be worth by JXClaytor at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 01:57
JXClaytor's picture

Actually, that might be worth looking in to... I like the idea of instead speed star

re by Hearts at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 07:33
Hearts's picture

MCQ is a qualifier for .... what ?

Mythic Championships. by JXClaytor at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 07:47
JXClaytor's picture

Mythic Championships.

re by Hearts at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 08:01
Hearts's picture

And that is a live tournament ? With which prizes ? Link ?

https://magic.wizards.com/en/ by JXClaytor at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 08:04
JXClaytor's picture


some are live, some are on arena.

re by Hearts at Wed, 02/06/2019 - 12:47
Hearts's picture

Participate without checking if one can partake in main event yes. But darn, its really bad that wotc hasnt made it so one can get "paid" 75 percent in tix/playpoints or whatever long ago for such qualifiers.