Leveling Up Your Plays – GP Utrecht Experience

Everyone makes choices before events some big some small, one of the biggest ones of this standard format came for me when i was preparing for Grand Prix Utrecht. I had was torn between 3 decks Mardu vehicles splashing for counterspells in the board (my safe option). G/b constrictor the quote unquote best deck in the format and then 4c saheeli the reason that playing midrange decks  is not the best idea right now. Which makes me sad as i do love a good B/G/X midrange deck.

So it came to the Wednesday before the event and i was still falling from one deck to another i started to feel slightly worried about how this would effect my performance at the event itself, then that day i was looking over 7-0 lists on MODO from a recent PTQ and i say a user called phizzle’s list and it looked great it was exactly what i was wanting to do. It was a G/b energy deck so it got to be aggressive like Mardu and still have the midrange board like G/b decks of old.

The list itself was:

G/b Energy

Creatures: 27

4 Walking Ballista
4 Winding Constrictor
4 Greenbelt Rampager
4 Glint-sleeve Siphoner
4 Longtusk Cub
3 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
4 Verdurous Gearhulk

Spells: 12

3 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
4 Fatal Push
1 Murder
4 Attune With Aether

Lands: 21

4 Blooming Marsh
4 Hissing Quagmire
4 Aether Hub
6 Forest
3 Swamp

Sideboard :15

1 Natural State
1 Grasp of Darkness
2 Natural Obsolescence
3 Transgress the Mind
2 Aethersphere Harvester
2 Lifecrafter’s Bestiary
2 Tireless Tracker
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited

This list in my testing against some people on my team felt pretty good as it had its fairly aggressive draws as well as the normal G/b draws of Gearhulks and Snakes. I felt some cards were off so I made some changes for the meta game that I suspected. These included in the main deck cutting:

2 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar for 1 Blossoming Defense, 1 Grasp of Darkness

and in the sideboard I removed 1 Lifecrafter’s Bestiary, 1 Natural State for 1 Harsh Scrutiny, 1 Blossoming Defense

These changes basically came about because I felt that the version of the deck I was playing was slightly unfavoured in the mirror and didn’t want to fall far behind quickly. Also the scrutiny and Grasp meant my 4c Saheeli match wasn’t awful.

A quick sideboarding guide with this would be:

Against the mirror (any version of G/b)

Remove on the play:

1 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 Verdurous Gearhulk
2 Attune with Aether
4 Glint-sleeve Siphoner

In

1 Lifecrafter’s Bestiary
1 Grasp of Darkness
1 Blossoming Defense
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Harsh Scrutiny
2 Tireless Tracker
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited

Play it is almost exactly the same except i would cut the defense for a Natural Obsolescence.

Mardu Vehicles

In

2 Natural Obsolescence
1 Grasp of Darkness

Out

2 Verdurous Gearhulk
1 Glint-sleeve Siphoner

4C Saheeli

In

1 Harsh Scrutiny
3 Transgress the Mind
1 Grasp of Darkness
1 Lifecrafter’s Bestiary
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury

Out

1 Blossoming Defense
1 Attune with Aether
1 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 Verdurous Gearhulk
3 Fatal Push

The reason I’ve not added on the play on the draw side boarding for the rest of these past the mirror is because I just wanted all of these cards on either.

Unfortunately the Friday before the event i started to feel under the weather so I didn’t get to much sleep. This basically effected me throughout the day and a combination of this and just straight up making poor plays I lost my last round finishing 5-4 (I started of with 2 byes). Feeling down and defeated I went out and got some dinner with friends and then had an early night hoping to have a better day grinding side events.

So I got to sleep in and head to the venue for about noon this definitely helped my as I felt so much better and wasn’t hoping that I could live off the poor coffee from the machine at the venue. I choose to play modern events with a good friend of mines affinity deck, But he had to remove a few of the cards from the deck because he was using them in his legacy deck so after a few minutes of wandering about the venue trying to buy a copy of Tormod’s Crypt I was ready to battle for Tix’s.

The list that I played was:

Robots

Creatures: 27

3 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Signal Pest
4 Steel Overseer
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Vault Skirge
2 Master of Etherium
2 Etched Champion

Spells: 16

4 Mox Opal
4 Springleaf Drum
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Cranial Plating

Lands: 17

1 Mountain
2 GlimmerVoid
2 Spire of Industry
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Darksteel Citadel

Sideboard:15

1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Walking Ballista
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Spell Pierce
1 Gut Shot
2 Thoughtseize
1 Whipflare
1 Spellskite
1 Dismember
1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
1 Wear // Tear
1 Ravenous Trap

I had a much better showing this day around going 13-2 in rounds played as i felt my deck had been built fairly well to beat what I thought I would see. My losses came in 2 separate events both to G/B/X decks one was splashing blue for Snapcaster Mage, Mana Leak and Thoughtscour. Where as the other was just an Abzan deck with main deck Tireless Tracker which in all honesty I was a massive fan as tracker snowballs so well with fetch lands.

Side boarding with this deck was a lot easier as I  played against similar decks all day.

G/B/X midrange:

In

2 Spell Pierce
1 Dismember
1 Spellskite

Out

2 Master of Etherium
2 Steel Overseer

Note: If they are playing Abzan I would cut another Overseer for the Walking Ballista because of Lingering Souls.

Eldrazi Tron

In

1 Spellskite
1 Wear // Tear
1 Spell Pierce
2 Thoughtsieze

Out

2 Memnite
2 Etched Champion
1 Signal Pest

Valakut

In

2 Spell Pierce
2 Thoughtseize

Out

4 Galvanic Blast

Abzan Company

In

1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Walking Ballista
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Gut Shot

Out

3 Signal Pest
2 Master of Etherium

On the draw I would also cut the fourth Signal Pest and add the first Spell Pierce

Dredge

In

1 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Spell Pierce
1 Ravenous Trap

Out

4 Steel Overseer
1 Galvanic Blast

The Mirror

In

1 Walking Ballista
1 Gut Shot
1 Wear // Tear
1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
2 Spell Pierce

Out

2 Etched Champion
2 Memnite
1 Spellskite

I would recommend either of these decks in there respective formats as there both incredibly strong. I would just make sure if picking the G/b deck that your meta game has a higher Mardu or Saheeli count compared to G/b as It is favored against those but not in the mirror.

I hope this was useful to everyone reading and gives you an insight to my Grand Prix Experience and side boarding ideas I would love to get feedback in the comments about your deck building choices and side boarding ideas.

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