Hour of Devastation has released, and it’s impact on the MTG world has been devasti…. Nope, can’t do that pun. It’s too bad.
Anywho, while many were slinging spells in standard at SCG Cincinnati, I decided to play some limited while waiting for modern on Sunday. Early impressions on HOU limited is that the set as a whole will be awesome, especially for drafting. No color feels weak to me or overly pushed; WOTC really hit the sweet spot on this one. Furthermore, four of the biggest bombs in the new set (Bolas and the three gods) are all gold cards, so it puts a strain on those who decide to run them by making them force that color combination or make a splash (which you should do for the gods at least). Fixing seems plentiful, cycle lands add a great dynamic, desserts are definitely a thing to keep your eye on, you can be aggro or durdle until you can’t durdle any more; this format so far seems amazing. Sealed is also good, but the bomby top end rears it’s ugly head here a bit more. I would know, I’m currently 4-0 in a league with The Scarab God AND The Locust God in my deck. I felt kinda bad, but I got over it super quickly.
Thanks to a free Friday night I was able to head to a local shop to get a draft in before drafting the next day at SCG Cincy. Here’s the deck:
Sorry about the poor quality photo. As you can see, I went with green/red beat-down deck with plenty of removal. The surprising part of this is that the seat to my right was heavily in green and the seat to my right was heavily in red, but yet I still ended up with an amazing green/red deck. This same draft two invocations got opened (none by me of course), so we’re chalking it up to a weird draft. Pack one, Pick one was Majestic Myriarch which performed quite well, even though it was often a vanilla creature (granted it was an 8/8). A fourth pick Fervent Paincaster signaled that red may be open, and I saw plenty of removal afterwards to confirm it. I was able to split in the finals after going 2-1 over a green/black mid-range and 2-1 over a white/blue fliers deck. The deck felt quite strong and I would definately draft the archetype again.
I got to SCG Cincy a little late Saturday so I ended up only with enough time to do one draft due to some prior engagements. Here’s that deck:
Yes, I splashed a double white three drop in a green/black deck. Yes, It was a greedy play. And yes, I would do it again. Sometimes greed can be good! I was pretty heavily in green/black when we opened pack three, and even though my opened Gideon of the Trials was totally not either one of those colors, I wasn’t about to pass an eleven dollar planeswalker in a ten dollar draft, especially considering I lost nothing major out of that pack. I remembered I had two Oasis Ritualist">Oasis Ritualist from earlier, so one or two pieces of fixing and maybe I could have some serious fun! Fortunately I was gifted a Gift of Paradise later in the pack. After some serious thought, I figured that making the splash with three cards being able to cast it (since all three can tap for double whatever).
Splashing was the correct call. Gideon just overpowered so many different board stalls and provided a difficult threat to interact with. I should note however, that this type of splash is WRONG in most situations. This splash worked because there happened to be three cards in the deck that can make double white by themselves and Gideon is a three drop that is still very good on whatever turn you play him. Making greedy splashes can definitely have some drawbacks and I will admit I had some luck on my side, but being properly prepared to handle the splash does have value so keep your eyes out for similar situations. I ended up winning the draft without dropping the game, but a lot of that was due to just having good removal and solid creatures. Gideon was just icing on the cake. I am thoroughly enjoying this format, and I’ll be posting my decks on Twitter if you want to see what’s working and what’s not.
Sunday was the modern classic and I ran Living End like I mentioned last week. Since I already touched on this before, I’ll keep the recap brief. I ran the list I posted before with one change: -1 Fulminator Mage from the sideboard for +1 Dismember. I was slightly concerned about Counters Company and I hadn’t heard much about Tron recently, so I thought it was a safe change. Well… that was a mistake.
I faced Tron variants three times and Counters Company zero times. That being said, I still went 2-1 against the deck, losing to a variant with eight main board hate cards. My other losses were to Griselbrand Reanimator and Merfolk in my win-and-in for top 32. My other wins were against Grixis Death’s Shadow, Grixis Control, U/R Delver, and Dredge. While not making top 32 sucked, going 6-3 while having four bad matchups (two Eldrazi Tron, Griselbrand Reanimator and Dredge) I feel is still rather respectable, so I will chalk it up to a successful tournament. All my opponents were quality individuals and every match I had was intense and enjoyable.
I would consider running Living End in future tournaments still. I’m not going to shy away from a deck after it performed well under not-so-great circumstances. That being said, I would change it up some. If I could change my list now, this is what I would run:
This upcoming week I plan to get some practice with Burn in modern and continue my dive into Hour of Devastation limited. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me @CloudRunner172. Thanks everyone!