Games Haven Monthly $1K Series 2018

9th August 2018

Games Haven Paya Lebar

Matthew (Lightning Bolt) Yee

40 players descended upon us to enjoy some Modern during the public holiday for our August $1K Series event last Sunday. It was this writer's strong hope that we would have an attendance of 53 people so we could have made a National Day meta-joke, but alas, you cannot have everything you want in life. Nevertheless, with another event going on on the same day, 40 people is respectable, and we would like to thank all attendees for their support!

Unlike the PPTQ just a few days prior, the metagame was significantly more relaxed. While Burn was still the highest-represented deck, it was just by a mere formality of numbers. It seemed as though almost every player present just took their favourite deck and took it out to play. At every turn of the head, there would be a different deck to watch.

On the aggro side, we had the entire gamut from Burn to Goblins to BRidgeVine to YOLO One to Affinity. Never before had we seen people so relieved to be packing lifegain in their sideboards, although as can be expected from the library of linear Modern aggro, sometimes just lifegain only doesn't help. And that is of course the reason why you might consider emulating our legendary Platinum Pro Kelvin Chew, who decided to just take it a step further and use Dromoka's Command, an underrated option from Standards past which has all the versatility you want in a Modern sideboard card.

On the value deck side (which also includes midrange decks - since midrange in Modern thrives on highly synergistic cards to generate value), we had the deck that just refuses to die Jund, along with other classic options such as Tron, Mardu Pyromancer and every single Aether Vial deck you can imagine, except Merfolk (which surprised a ton of people). 

Speaking of Aether Vial decks, players might be interested to know how Bant Spirits did. Unfortunately, both Bant Spirits decks that were present did not really put up a good showing. The sample size is too small so anything that follows is speculation, but it seems that Spirits just does not have the explosive power that the other tribal decks have. While highly synergistic on paper, Spirits seems to require a reasonably specific series of sequencing that is not always achievable if your opponent is also applying pressure, something that the Singapore metagame favours highly, having a ton of proactive linear decks. 

We saw more combo decks on Sunday than we did at the PPTQ, from decks like Krark-Clan Ironworks and Grishoalbrand that live off the combo, to decks like Ponza and Valakut Titan for which "combo" just means "one-two punch". Of course, because there's always a tradeoff, that meant less hard control decks in the room, which meant that the controll-iest card in the room played in the highest numbers was everyone's favourite discard spell, Thoughtseize. There was a minor uproar when it was reprinted into Standard in Theros, and for good reason, the card is unassumingly good. Many's the time where a crucial Thoughtseize completely changed the flow of the game after that point, so if you're undecided on a Modern deck, you might want to consider something with Thoughtseize. Or any of Thoughtseize's lesser spawn that are actually Modern-viable, like Inquisition of Kozilek, Kitesail Freebooter and Thoguht-Knot Seer, just to name a few.

We were so close to achieving what we did at the PPTQ (8 distinct archetypes in the Top 8), but 7 will have to do. With 7 distinct archetypes in the Top 8, the one emerging at the top was the Machine Queen herself, Ju Yaqiong! Long known locally for playing Affinity, she and her robot Zerg swarm showed all the incompleat players in the room who was boss! Many congratulations to her and all our Top 8, and we hope to see you all in next month's $1K Series event!

Top 8 Decklists

1st Place - Ju Yaqiong

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Affinity

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Cranial Plating. One punch kill with Vault Skirge. Best topdeck card.

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th copy of Galvanic Blast. Always came on time.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

Counting damage, and Stony Silence.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Turn 1 Cranial Plating. Turn 2 draw Cranial Plating, double equip, and beat.

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

Faithless Looting banned.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

Bring down the price of shock lands. As if they are not low enough.

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

Good day to play Boros Burn! Happy National Day!

 

Affinity - Main Deck

2x Spire of Industry

2x Glimmervoid

1x Mountain

4x Blinkmoth Nexus

4x Inkmoth Nexus

4x Darksteel Citadel

4x Ornithopter

4x Vault Skirge

3x Master of Etherium

2x Memnite

4x Signal Pest

3x Steel Overseer

4x Arcbound Ravager

4x Galvanic Blast

2x Thoughtcast

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

4x Springleaf Drum

4x Cranial Plating

4x Mox Opal

Sideboard

2x Ghirapur Aether Grid

2x Blood Moon

2x Ancient Grudge

1x Wear//Tear

2x Spell Pierce

1x Rest in Peace

1x Grafdigger's Cage

3x Etched Champion

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

2nd Place - Kelvin Chew

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Bant Company

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Collected Company, [it] allows me to hit my best creatures.

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

Dromoka's Command, multiple functions.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

Missing hits on my Collected Company.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Cast Dromoka's Command on my opponent to make him sac an enchantment, making Daybreak Coronet fizzle.

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

Hope Ancient Stirrings gets banned but probably no changes.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

Slightly hopeful.

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

N/A

 

Bant Company – Main Deck

1x Botanical Sanctum

2x Forest

2x Flooded Strand

4x Windswept Heath

1x Plains

4x Misty Rainforest

1x Island

1x Horizon Canopy

1x Gavony Township

1x Ghost Quarter

1x Temple Garden

1x Hallowed Fountain

1x Breeding Pool

1x Field of Ruin

4x Birds of Paradise

4x Knight of the Reliquary

4x Noble Hierarch

4x Spell Queller

2x Tireless Tracker

2x Eternal Witness

2x Scavenging Ooze

2x Meddling Mage

2x Reflector Mage

3x Voice of Resurgence

1x Vendilion Clique

4x Collected Company

4x Path to Exile

Sideboard

2x Unified Will

1x Bojuka Bog

1x Worship

2x Stony Silence

1x Voice of Resurgence

2x Negate

2x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1x Vendilion Clique

2x Dromoka's Command

1x Detention Sphere

Top 4 - Daston Lam

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Bogles

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Slippery Bogle

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

Leyline of Sanctity. Anti discard, protects my Bogle.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

Not drawing my Bogle.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Thanks Kelvin Chew :)

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

Unban Splinter Twin. Unban Birthing Pod.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

Somewhat hopeful.

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

Too many strong Modern players, very competitive.

 

GW Hexproof Bogles – Main Deck

4x Windswept Heath

4x Razorverge Thicket

4x Horizon Canopy

3x Temple Garden

2x Misty Rainforest

1x Dryad Arbor

1x Plains

1x Forest

4x Slippery Bogle

4x Gladecover Scout

2x Kor Spiritdancer

2x Silhana Ledgewalker

2x Path to Exile

4x Spider Umbra

4x Daybreak Coronet

4x Rancor

4x Etheral Armor

3x Leyline of Sanctity

2x Spirit Mantle

2x Hyena Umbra

1x Spirit Link

1x Cartouche of Solidarity

1x Gryff's Boon

 

Sideboard

1x Dromoka's Command

1x Melira, Sylvok Outcast

2x Seal of Primordium

2x Rest In Peace

2x Gaddock Teeg

2x Damping Sphere

2x Spirit Link

3x Stony Silence

Top 4 - Calvin Ong

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Burn

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Lightning Bolt. 3 final topdecks, all bolts.

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

Boros Charm. Always draw it.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

Too. Many. Lands.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Keep forgetting about Leonin Arbiter and fetching.

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

No change.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

High hopes, hopefully a good Nexus of Fate deck :P

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

Modern is way too diverse but that allows wide deck selection as well. Just don't Bogles please.

 

Boros Burn - Main Deck

4x Scalding Tarn

4x Arid Mesa

2x Bloodstained Mire

1x Stomping Ground

2x Sacred Foundry

4x Inspiring Vantage

3x Mountain

4x Goblin Guide

4x Monastery Swiftspear

2x Grim Lavamancer

4x Eidolon of the Great Revel

4x Lightning Bolt

4x Searing Blaze

4x Lava Spike

4x Rift Bolt

4x Boros Charm

4x Lightning Helix

2x Skullcrack

Sideboard

1x Stony Silence

2x Blessed Alliance

2x Exquisite Firecraft

2x Skullcrack

3x Destructive Revelry

2x Path to Exile

3x Kor Firewalker

Top 8 - Vincent de Mesa

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Hardened Modular.

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Hardened Scales, this card is the core of the deck.

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

Inkmoth Nexus, I've won 3 games with it in one attack.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

Low count of land.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Sacrificing most of my artifacts to put at least 9 +1/+1 counters via modular trigger of Arcbound Ravager.

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

Unban Birthing Pod. Nothing banned.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

I'm not expecting too much. Most probably shock lands will be reprinted.

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

Viva Singapore!

 

Hardened Scales Affinity - Main Deck

4x Darksteel Citadel

3x Spire of Industry

4x Inkmoth Nexus

2x Horizon Canopy

1x Blinkmoth Nexus

2x Forest

1x Glimmervoid

3x Ornithopter

3x Arcbound Worker

4x Arcbound Ravager

4x Walking Ballista

4x Hangarback Walker

4x Steel Overseer

4x Ancient Stirrings

3x Cranial Plating

4x Mox Opal

3x Springleaf Drum

1x Throne of Geth

2x Welding Jar

4x Hardened Scales

Sideboard

2x Damping Sphere

2x Relic of Progenitus

1x Ancient Grudge

4x Galvanic Blast

2x Nature's Claim

4x Etched Champion

Top 8 - Conrad Dungan

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Bant Spirits......... (Lol no I played 5C Humans)

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Milita Bugler. It made the deck a little more resilient against decks with a ton of removal

(like Mardu/Jeskai). Also, it made sideboard cards more accessible and potent.

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

Faerie Macabre. It gave me an answer to the nasty graveyard decks around. Can be dug

using Militia Bugler and can be put into play with Aether Vial if necessary.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

Sequencing and maximizing combat damage.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Round 2, I was playing against Grishoalbrand and I coped his Griselbrand with Phantasmal Image, but I drew 5 lands, a Thalia and one Lieutenant. LOL!

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

I've got 3 predictions, either one of these cards gets the axe: Faithless Looting, Krark-Clan Ironworks or Mox Opal.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

I'm hoping they reprint the Leyline cycle on these sets. Prices are already sky high!

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

Thanks to Games Haven for being the training grounds for Modern players in Singapore. [Writer's note: Thank you very much for the sentiment, Conrad!]

 

5C Humans - Main Deck

4x Ancient Ziggurat

4x Cavern of Souls

4x Horizon Canopy

1x Island

1x Plains

1x Seachrome Coast

4x Unclaimed Territory

4x Champion of the Parish

4x Noble Hierarch

4x Kitesail Freebooter

4x Meddling Mage

3x Phantasmal Image

4x Thalia's Lieutenant

3x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

4x Mantis Rider

4x Militia Bugler

3x Reflector Mage

4x Aether Vial

Sideboard

2x Auriok Champion

2x Gaddock Teeg

2x Faerie Macabre

2x Izzet Staticaster

2x Reclamation Sage

3x Sin Collector

2x Gut Shot

Top 8 - Calvin Chen

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Mardu Pyromancer

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Has to be the devil, Bedlam Reveler. It's a mini-Goyf with a Treasure Cruise attached.

Talk about card advantage engine! Drew a lot of cards to discard for Hazoret's ability

under the Ensnaring Bridge.

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

Chandra TOD, cause no money to buy LOTV. Chandra vs Prison decks is like sure ulti,

as long as you don't see any Sorcerous Spyglasses, it will do.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

When I have multiple Bedlam Revelers in hand -__-

I lost because I drew 3 Bedlam Revelers in a row.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Last 5 turns vs a UR Prison deck, had my Hazoret in play the turn before. Supposedly I lacked 2 cards for lethal for my turns 1, 3 and 5. But I drew Bedlam Reveler, cast it, and drew 3 more cards. Just nice for lethal.

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

I don't really care, but don't ban any cards in my deck please.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

Reprint Blackcleave Cliffs please, I want to foil it.

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

Happy National Day lo...

Mardu Pyromancer - Main Deck

2x Blood Crypt

4x Bloodstained Mire

4x Dragonskull Summit

1x Godless Shrine

2x Mountain

4x Polluted Delta

1x Sacred Foundry

2x Swamp

4x Bedlam Reveler

1x Hazoret the Fervent

4x Young Pyromancer

3x Collective Brutality

1x Dreadbore

4x Faithless Looting

2x Fatal Push

3x Inquisition of Kozilek

3x Kolaghan's Command

4x Lightning Bolt

4x Lingering Souls

1x Terminate

3x Thoughtseize

2x Blood Moon

1x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Sideboard

2x Anger of the Gods

1x Blood Moon

2x Molten Rain

2x Ensnaring Bridge

1x Kambal, Consul of Allocation

1x Scab-Clan Berserker

1x Goblin Rabblemaster

2x Nihil Spellbomb

2x Surgical Extraction

1x Wear//Tear

Top 8 - Mark Ng

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Hollow One

 

What would you say was the best card in your deck, and why?

Burning Inquiry, bad hand but made my opponent's hand worse.

 

What card in your deck would you say performed unexpectedly well today, and why?

Lightning Bolt.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while piloting this deck?

None, so far so good.

 

Any interesting plays you made or witnessed today at the $1K Series?

Opponent played 4 2-drops and topping up with a Goblin Bushwhacker, surging in 15 points on Turn 2.

 

What are your predictions for the banlist announcement on the 20th?

Ancient Stirrings.

 

Historically, the previous 2 Ravnica blocks have had a significant impact on Modern. How hopeful are you that Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance will do the same?

Not sure, joined only after Ixalan block.

It's National Day! Any comments you would like to make about the SG Modern scene?

Have fun and YOLO!

BR YOLO One - Main Deck

3x Blackcleave Cliffs

2x Blood Crypt

4x Bloodstained Mire

3x Mountain

4x Wooded Foothills

1x Stomping Ground

1x Swamp

4x Flameblade Adept

4x Bloodghast

4x Flamewake Phoenix

4x Hollow One

4x Street Wraith

1x Tasigur, the Golden Fang

3x Gurmag Angler

4x Burning Inquiry

4x Faithless Looting

4x Lightning Bolt

2x Collective Brutality

4x Goblin Lore

Sideboard

3x Fatal Push

2x Ancient Grudge

2x Thoughtseize

3x Grim Lavamancer

1x Blood Moon

1x Engineered Explosives

3x Leyline of the Void