There aren’t many better ways to start a Sunday than Charles treating me to Palladium brunch. The vast choices this week include packaged fruit salad, boiled eggs benedict, and boiled brisket. To be fair, my friend managed to pull one nicely poached egg from the tray. In an attempt to stay healthy, I had a plate of sauteed string beans and purple and green florets cauliflower salad.
After brunch, we made our way to this week’s NYC Weekly Battles – Meetup . Kris and his friends do an amazing job hosting Magic events and today’s Modern tournament was no different. With a solid 8 players present, we played 3 rounds.
10/30/16 Modern - Kiki Chord
Much credit goes to Jeff Hoogland for innovating and bringing the deck to where it is today. The sideboard was an exact copy of his Oct 26 list. I chose to play Birds of Paradise instead of the extra Wall of Roots to accelerate my game plan. I predicted Birds of Paradise would punish a slower meta. A cut a single Nahiri, The Harbinger and Restoration Angel to make space for the extra creatures.
Round 1 vs. Jasper (Esper Control)
Game 1, I keep an aggressive hand of two lands, Birds of Paradise, 2x Wall of Omens, 2x Wall of Roots hoping to draw business. After drawing two more Birds, I’m top decking while Jasper casts a bunch of Thought Scours and slowly Disfigures all my creatures with the help of Snapcaster Mage. I draw and play a Voice of Resurgence which eats a Path to Exile. I decide to take the value route with a top deck Chord of Calling for Eternal Witness and Restoration Angel. When I chord for X = 5 and get Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker Jasper asks if he can respond to it entering play. I say no, but when I activate it, priority will pass to him. When I go to copy Restoration Angel, he quickly Paths her. Finally, I draw and evoke a Reveillark which he concedes to after seeing an Eternal Witness, Wall of Omens and multiple Chord of Callings in my graveyard. 0-0, 1-0
While going into sideboards, I note that my opponent did not play a single counterspell this game. I bring in Fulminator Mage to attack his three color mana base. Sin Collector is valuable against my opponent’s spell heavy deck and Scavenging Ooze beats my opponent’s Snapcaster Mage. Removal comes out because I only see a few Snapcaster Mages from my opponent’s deck.
Game 2, I again start with a turn one Birds of Paradise which leads to a turn two Sin Collector taking one of two Path to Exiles. After two fetches and a Thought Scour, Jasper plays a Tasigur, the Golden Fang. I’m hitting myself in the head for boarding out Paths. Luckily, Tasigur activation only gives him a Thoughtseize and I top deck Nahiri, The Harbinger and exile his Tasigur. I land a Voice of Resurgence and a Scavenging Ooze. Jasper paths my Voice on my turn giving me a token. A second Voice of Resurgence coupled with a fat Scavenging Ooze quickly closes out the game. 1-0, 2-0
Round 2 vs. James (U/W Control)
James is a good friend in my playgroup so I know it’s going to be a tough match up. Game 1, I open with a Birds of Paradise, Wall of Omens, Qasali Pridemage and Voice of Resurgence. James follows with his own Wall and a Kitchen Finks. I trade my Voice of Resurgence for his Finks but he has a Restoration Angel when I attempt to Path it the following turn I had been holding. In retrospect, I should have Pathed the Finks when he was short on mana. I play an Orzhov Pontiff but it does very little. His Restoration Angel puts me to 4 while clogging the ground with additional Wall of Omens. After Pathing the angel, he follows up with Cestial Colonnade for game. 1-0, 2-1
Game 2, I have to mulligan to find lands. I keep a very risky 5 card hand with Fire-lit Thicket as my only land. A scry finds a Wooded Foothills and I’m in business with turn one birds and turn two wall. I play the fetchland straight from the top of my deck and James remarks that signals that I kept a land light hand. I respond by saying what if I wanted you to think that. I top deck two more lands and am able to play out all three of my two drops in my hand. However, James has an Engineered Explosives and I’m left with just a bird. Several turns later I have a Selfless Spirit, Qasali Pridemage, and Eternal Witness in the yard. I play a Reveillark which James tries to Path. I’m holding Lightning Bolt and move to bolt my Reveillark to loop with my Witness. However, I missequence by sacrificing the Selfless Spirit first in an attempt to get additional value from my Reveillark trigger. This stops my own bolt and am only able to return my bolt with Witness. James plays a Gideon Jura and several turns later Cryptic Commands to tap my board for a game winning attack. 1-1, 2-2
Round 3 vs. Shaun (Jund)
I was actually paired up with Charles but requested pairings be redone since I always play against him. Game 1, Inquisition of Kozilek takes my Lightning Bolt and I’m left without removal against Dark Confidant. His Bob draws him four lands and a Liliana of the Veil while I put pressure on his life total with a Eternal Witness and Qasali Pridemage. After going to 5 life, he Lightning Bolts the Witness and edicts my Pridemage with Liliana. I play my own bolt on his Bob and am left with un-castable Chord of Calling and Restoration Angel. He plays a Scavenging Ooze and starts ticking up his Liliana. Another Inquisition takes a Chord of Calling leaving me with Restoration Angel and Wall of Roots in my hand. With Liliana ticking up to 5, I am forced to discard another creature for his Ooze bringing it to 4/4. I take the damage and flash in my angel end of his turn. I top deck Nahiri, The Harbinger for his Ooze and attack Liliana down to 2. He edicts my angel with Liliana and plays another one. After a couple more turns, I draw a Chord and play it for a Scavenging Ooze in response to Liliana activation. On my turn, Ooze grows to 4/4 and take out his Liliana. He concedes shortly after. 1-1, 3-2
Game 2, I keep a solid seven and play a Voice of Resurgence which eats a Terminate. Inquisition takes a Chord of Calling. A quick Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Restoration Angel lets the token hit for lethal for a fast win. 2-1, 4-2
My accurate prediction of a slow meta allowed for Birds of Paradise to shine. Fulminator Mage was brought in every match. Nahiri was cast twice today and her effects were extremely powerful and game winning. I definitely want a second in the deck. However, deck space is very tight while playing 7 removal spells against aggro while keeping a large enough creature base for Chord.