Wednesday and Thursday I made my way through some MTGO leagues with some nice 4-1s trying to lock in my deck. After a 3 hour drive from Vermont down to Massachusetts on Friday night I realized I had some godawful cards in my deck. After testing Opt for awhile I came to the conclusion Sleight of Hand is purely better and my sideboard really needed a way to kill creatures. I cut the Pyroclasms from my sideboard for Anger of the Gods, I turned a Pact of Negation and the Collective Brutality into a Horobi’s Whisper and a Dismember. Honestly I felt pretty great about the deck going into Regionals even with known, but untested in this build, sideboard cards.
I ended up 7-2 at the 310 player SCG Regionals in Worcester paired up in the last round to place 9th, locked out behind a clean cut.
Round 1 Abzan Little Kid 1-0
Round 1 was a good start where I had an early Worldspine Wurm to seal game 1 on a Through the Breach and my opponent wasn’t familiar with my deck choice. I ended up dropping game 2 to a quick pressure and hand disruption before closing game 3 with a turn 2 Blood Moon. There was a moment in game 3 before the deciding turn where my opponent had stopped attacking with their Noble Hierarch as it was their only source of white mana. I asked them why they hadn’t been attacking me or using their Noble Hierarch and they responded to that by tapping it to cast another Hierarch. I cast Through the Breach the next turn and that was the match.
Round 2 Esper Polymorphing Planeswalkers 2-0
This match also went to 3 games and I was able to win games 1 and 3 at the last possible moment before my resources were depleted. Gideon of the Trials proved effective at beating me down but Liliana of the Veil is what continually had me on the back foot. My deck struggles with Planeswalkers and tries to ignore them but with no pure card advantage in the deck having cut it for better selection the attrition matchups can rough. I believe my opponent put too much stock in the Gideon emblem which in reality was just a 3 damage prevention effect.
Round 3 Burn 3-0
I don’t have much to add for this matchup besides that I think its the best matchup for this build of Goryo’s and the games feel laughably in my favor.
Round 4 Eldrazi Tron 4-0
I didn’t find out which Eldrazi deck they were on until game 2 and by that point they were staring down the barrel of another Worldspine Wurm. Not much to add to this one aside from this matchup is part of why I play the deck.
Round 5 Grixis Shadow 4-1
Game 1 in this matchup is really bad and I love handily. Game 2 was stolen by an early blood moon. Game 3 I threw away the match. On my turn 2 on the draw my opponent had a tapped basic and an untapped blue shock land. I had Darkslick Shores and Island in play after my land drop. In hand I had Simian Spirit Guide, Desperate Ritual, Blood Moon, and a Through the Breach. Long story short I didn’t play around Stubborn Denial and I lost. I made the basic play of exile spirit guide and tap my two lands to cast the Blood Moon. This left me with no mana to pay for the force spike from the Stubborn Denial. If I had cast the Desperate Ritual I would have extra mana from a land to pay for the Stubborn Denial and force through my Blood Moon or they wouldn’t counter it. Both great options for me. Instead I took the greedier play and wanted to hold the mana for my Through the Breach so if I drew a threat in subsequent turns I could close the game before they could try and stabilize. I made the incorrect decision and it cost me the game, the match, and potentially a top 8/invite to the Invitational.
Round 6 Humans 4-2
Like Grixis Shadow this is a matchup where you need to resolve an early Blood Moon post board. Thalia is their most taxing card and Meddling Mage is surprisingly easy to get around due to the splice mechanic as long as they don’t name Nourishing Shoal, and if they do, you can usually just do a two turn set up to kill them. Unfortunately I died fast and hard not finding the sideboard cards I needed with suspect keeps.
Round 7 Storm 5-2
So… I don’t actually know if they were on Storm…. I turn 2’d a Worldspine Wurm game 1 on the play and game 2 I had a turn 2 Goryo’s on their end step remanded so I could cast it again turn 3 and kill them meanwhile they just cast cantrips. They seemed pretty annoyed my combo deck got to do its thing and theirs didn’t.
Round 8 Infect 6-2
My opponent this round quickly became despondent and curt after a turn 3 kill staring down lethal poison the next turn. They were able to take game 2 off regular damage when I couldn’t cobble together enough resources but game 3 was a turn 3 blowout. Like the Storm matchup its just trying to be faster than each other and since my deck sacrifices consistency for speed we can break through.
Round 9 Burn 7-2
As I mentioned earlier this matchup feels like easy mode. You play around Path to Exile and Deflecting Palm and you should win. Being able to pull the trigger on gaining 11 whenever they tap out is a beautiful feeling and provides a strong enough cushion to beat them. I was paired up this round to a 19 pointer. They were playing for top 8 while I was playing for 9th. They didn’t ask for a concession and seemed relatively new to competitive play mentioning it was the furthest they had gotten in a tournament. We had some tense moments game two where they missed two crucial Eidolon triggers from my Duress and Goryo’s after I asked clearly does my spell resolve and they acknowledged it did. It never feels fun to get people but they should also be on top of their decks and their triggers its my job to exploit their weaknesses and not help them. Still feels bad though.
Round Guac! 7-3
So my favorite part of Magic events at the DCU center in Worcester, and frankly the only redeeming part of Worcester (because oh my god that city sucks) is the restaurant diagonally across from the convention center. All the chumps just go to Uno’s with 45 minute waits and thats fair I understand chain comfort food when you’re traveling but this place has the best Guac in New England and some killer margaritas. Unfortunately my friends and I had eyes far bigger than our stomachs. We ordered too much food and were soundly defeated.
Question from last week
I posed this hand as a keep or mulligan on the play game 1. I chose to keep this hand because if left to its own devices you have a turn 3 kill after discarding to hand size on your turn 2. The deck also plays 8 discard outlets and drawing one of those can either speed you up or smooth you over if your opponent tries to interact. A lot of players also play more aggressively if you don’t make any land drops and assume your hand is riskier than normal even if they don’t know your deck. When weighing the negatives of this hand I know my deck is already soft to Thoughtseize effects so in keeping this I’m trusting the meta-share of Death’s Shadow and GBx decks isn’t high enough to make it a concern and if I get paired against Lantern Control I’m 1% or less to beat them anyway. Also I killed my burn opponent with this hand on turn 3 but that’s being results oriented.
I’m feeling really confident in this deck and list although I’m sure some tweaks will be made especially if I can get around to Elephanting the deck in the coming weeks before the TJ Collectibles Titanium Series 5k on the 25th. I’m planning to hit you all with some sideboard plans next week and really digging into the card choices I make and how they interact in my deck that tries to maximize not interacting. If anyone has any questions before then I’m more likely to respond on Twitter than the comments section.