Games Haven Monthly $1K Series 2018

15th June 2018

Games Haven Paya Lebar

Matthew (Lightning Bolt) Yee

You all know the story by now. Four Goblin Chainwhirlers scream angrily from on top of the mountains, and anything and everything dies. Or so you would think. 41 people gathered at GH Paya Lebar despite the rain to either defend or destroy Goblin Chainwhirler. In its own poetic way, the rain might have been an omen that the infamous red deck was doomed to fall.

For all the complaining about everyone’s favourite Standard goblin, the deck is still very beatable (barring, of course, godly starting hands and topdecks worthy of a Yu-Gi-Oh episode). At the very least, the Chandra/Chainwhirler/Hazoret trifecta has yet to reach the meme levels of Jace the Mind Sculptor/Squadron Hawk/Stoneforge Mystic back in the day.

We saw brave efforts to keep HazoRed and BR under control, and they came in all shapes and sizes. It wasn’t so much that any new deck emerged to beat the Chainwhirler decks, but rather the existing decks got tweaked to have maindeck answers for their goblin nemesis.

Control decks were almost universally tweaked to include black, or completely eschew white in a few extreme cases. Teferi is strong, but Teferi is slow. Black has the efficient removal that is very much required in the early game against an aggressive deck, as well as Vraska’s Contempt for certain Egyptian goddesses that also works very well against opposing Karns or Teferis.

It is hardly a surprise that two of the Pro Players in attendance chose to play some form of UBx Control (Kelvin Chew on Esper and Felix Tse on Sultai), as they surely must have come to this conclusion to rise up against our goblin overlords. Indeed their strategy paid off in spades, as we found both of them in the Top 8 when the dust had settled and the goblin screams had died down.

That’s not to say that it was just The Scarab God versus Goblin Chainwhirler in the event either. We had the usual sprinklings of diversity around the tables so not every matchup seemed like a rinse-and-repeat of the same. Mono-Green Stompy and God-Pharaoh’s Gift decks made up the next most represented archetypes, although there’s something about The Eldest Reborn and Ghalta that leaves something to be desired.

It was the God-Pharaoh’s Gifts that put up unexpectedly strong finishes, since the control decks murdering all the Mono-Green decks meant a lot less Thrashing Brontodons to worry about. Warkite Marauder in particular also seems to be particularly effective against The Scarab God. All you players preparing for GP and Nationals, take special note – for all you know, GPG might just go out with a bang before rotation.

Constrictor deckssss were ssssusssspiciousssssly ssssssilent, but that might just be a quirk of the attendance more than anything. There was no new metagame reason to suggest that Constrictor decks would be outright bad, so it might just have been down to player preferences. Although it is worth noting that if the Constrictor deck draws threats in the wrong order, they cannot stand up to Goblin Chainwhirler’s first strike, so maybe the snakes just wanted to lay low for a while.

At long last, we had a far more balanced Top 8 than anyone dared hope for, as you will see soon from the decklists, and when the final chain was whirled, it was none other than Kelvin Chew at the very top! All the best to him and every other player in attendance as well for GP and Nationals, and we hope you had fun and that it was good practice for you!

Top 8 Decklists

1st Place - Kelvin Chew

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Esper Control

 

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

Lands, need it to cast my spells.

 

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

Vraska’s Contempt, answers everything.

 

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

Time is an issue when [piloting a] control deck.

 

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

Sacrificing my Scarab God to Temple of Aclazotz to prevent it from being exiled by Vraska’s Contempt.

 

Are you playing GP Singapore and/or Nationals?

If so, what are your goals for the events you’re playing at? Yes, to win.

 

By some mysterious magical occurrence, you are now face to face with Goblin Chainwhirler. What do you say to him?

Thanks for making Esper Control a deck.

 

Esper Control - DECKLIST WITHHELD BY REQUEST

2nd Place - Foo Zhi Jie

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?

Dark Mono Red

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

やま ( 山 )

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

Chainwhirler, because it’s just that good.

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

Quite weak against Scarab God decks.

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

Nothing interesting.

Are you playing GP Singapore and/or Nationals? If so, what are your goals for the events you’re playing at?

Yes, money finish for GP.

By some mysterious magical occurrence, you are now face to face with Goblin Chainwhirler. What do you say to him?

TWICE is better than you!

 

BR Aggro –

Main Deck

17x Mountain

1x Swamp

1x Canyon Slough

4x Dragonskull Summit

1x Scavenger Grounds

4x Bomat Courier

3x Soul-Scar Mage

2x Kari Zev, Skyship Raider

4x Scrapheap Scrounger

4x Goblin Chainwhirler

2x Ahn-Crop Crasher

3x Rekindling Phoenix

3x Hazoret the Fervent

3x Shock

4x Abrade

2x Lightning Strike

2x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Sideboard

3x Glorybringer

3x Chandra’s Defeat

1x Sweltering Suns

3x Fight with Fire

2x Aethersphere Harvester

1x Squee, the Immortal

1x Vance’s Blasting Cannons//Spitfire Bastion

1x Angrath, the Flame-Chained

Top 4 - Alson Soh

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?

UR God-Pharaoh’s Gift.

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

Karn, I always side it in no matter who I play against.

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

Minister of Inquiries.

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

Not drawing/having Gate to the Afterlife.

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

A resolved Scorpion God.

Are you playing GP Singapore and/or Nationals? If so, what are your goals for the events you’re playing at?

No, I will be working.

By some mysterious magical occurrence, you are now face to face with Goblin Chainwhirler. What do you say to him?

You deserve to stay.

 

UR God-Pharaoh’s Gift –

Main Deck

4x Aether Hub

4x Ipnu Rivulet

4x SPirebluff Canals

2x Sulfur Falls

6x Mountain

3x Island

4x Fanatical Firebrand

3x Skirk Prospector

4x Combat Celebrant

4x Warkite Marauder

4x Minister of Inquiries

4x Walking Ballista

2x Trophy Mage

4x Champion of Wits

2x Spell Pierce

4x Gate to the Afterlife

2x God-Pharaoh’s Gift

 

Sideboard

2x Spell Pierce

1x Jace’s Defeat

2x Karn, Scion of Urza

3x Abrade 3x Whirler Virtuoso

2x Sweltering Suns

2x Padeem, Consul of Innovation

Top 4 - Tham Choon Fai

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?

Rakdos

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

 Three Mountains.

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

Scrapheap Scrounger and Soul-Scar Mage.

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

Never draw land when it mattered.

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

All-or-nothing Chandra ulti against the chance of being Disallowed. [Editor’s note: It was allowed. Needless to say, he won that game.]

Are you playing GP Singapore and/or Nationals? If so, what are your goals for the events you’re playing at?

Dunno, maybe Nationals.

By some mysterious magical occurrence, you are now face to face with Goblin Chainwhirler. What do you say to him?

Ni jiu hao lor.

 

BR Midrange -

 

Main Deck

13x Mountain

1x Swamp

1x Aether Hub

2x Spire of Industry

3x Canyon Slough

4x Dragonskull Summit

3x Fanatical Firebrande

4x Soul-Scar Mage

4x Scrapheap Scrounger

2x Pia Nalaar

3x Goblin Chainwhirler

2x Hazoret the Fervent

3x Glorybringer

2x Abrade

2x Cut//Ribbons

3x Unlicensed Disintegration

2x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

1x Angrath, the Flame-Chained

3x Heart of Kiran

2x Aethersphere Harvester

Sideboard

2x Battle at the Bridge

3x Duress

2x Magma Spray

1x Abrade

1x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

2x Hour of Devastation

2x Sorcerous Spyglass

1x Aethersphere Harvester

1x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

Top 8 - Daniel Zhang

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?

UB Control

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

Essence Extraction - kill and recover.

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

1 piece Search for Azcanta, draw from the top deck when needed.

 

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

Numbers of tapped land which slows the deck by a turn.

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

None. [Editor’s Note: Confirm too modest. He used The Eldest Reborn to bash people with their own Ghalta.]

Are you playing GP Singapore and/or Nationals? If so, what are your goals for the events you’re playing at?

Both. Just play to my best.

By some mysterious magical occurrence, you are now face to face with Goblin Chainwhirler. What do you say to him?

Nothing.

 

UB Control -

Main Deck

4x Fetid Pools

4x Drowned Catacomb

1x Submerged Boneyard

3x Ipnu Rivulet

2x Ifnir Deadlands

2x Field of Ruin

2x Memorial to Folly

4x Island

5x Swamp

2x Walking Ballista

2x The Scarab God

3x Torrential Gearhulk

4x Essence Scatter

3x Disallow

3x Glimmer of Genius

2x Blink of an Eye

1x Commit//Memory

3x Fatal Push

2x Cast Down

2x Essence Extraction

4x Vraska’s Contempt

1x Search for Azcanta//Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin

1x The Eldest Reborn

Sideboard

1x Sorcerous Spyglass

2x Negate

3x Glint-Sleeve Siphoner

1x Dynavolt Tower

1x Lost Legacy

1x Golden Demise

2x Bontu’s Last Reckoning

1x Gonti, Lord of Luxury

2x Hostage Taker

1x Liliana, Death’s Majesty

Top 8 - David Tan

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?

UB Midrange

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

 The Scarab God, because most expensive.

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

Champion of Wits. Did not meet enough Chainwhirlers to punish me.

 

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

Didn’t draw lands.

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

I was lucky. Deck was not particularly good.

Are you playing GP Singapore and/or Nationals? If so, what are your goals for the events you’re playing at?

Yes, hope to enjoy the event and maybe win some $$$ to fuel this expensive hobby.

By some mysterious magical occurrence, you are now face to face with Goblin Chainwhirler. What do you say to him?

Why do you even exist?

 

UB Midrange -

Main Deck

3x Aether Hub

4x Drowned Catacomb

4x Fetid Pools

2x Field of Ruin

1x Ifnir Deadlands

3x Island

1x Memorial to Folly

8x Swamp

4x Champion of Wits

4x Gifted Aetherborn

2x Kitesail Freebooter

2x Knight of Malice

2x Ravenous Chupacabra

3x The Scarab God

2x Walking Ballista

2x Cast Down

2x Essence Scatter

4x Fatal Push

1x Never//Return

4x Vraska’s Contempt

2x Liliana, Death’s Majesty

Sideboard

2x Arguel’s Blood Fast//Temple of Aclazotz

2x Cast Down

3x Duress

2x Essence Extraction

4x Glint-Sleeve Siphoner

2x Negate

Top 8 - Felix Tse

Due to our mistake and Felix’s incredible walking speed, we failed to obtain a Top 8 profile from him. Many apologies to those hoping to hear his thoughts on Goblin Chainwhirler.

Sultai Creature Control -

 

Main Deck

5x Swamp

1x Island

1x Forest

2x Field of Ruin

4x Aether Hub

4x Blooming Marsh

4x Fetid Pools

4x Drowned Catacomb

1x Woodland Cemetery

4x Gifted Aetherborn

4x Glint-Sleeve Siphoner

3x Kitesail Freebooter

3x Champion of Wits

2x The Scarab God

1x Ravenous Chupacabra

1x Gonti, Lord of Luxury

1x Walking Ballista

4x Vraska’s Contempt

4x Fatal Push

2x Never//Return

1x The Eldest Reborn

2x Liliana, Death’s Majesty

1x Vraska, Relic Seeker

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

Sideboard

3x Duress

3x Negate

2x Manglehorn

2x Cast Down

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

1x Nissa, Vital Force

2x Bontu’s Last Reckoning

1x Sorcerous Spyglass

Top 8 - Mark Ng

Due to our mistake and Mark’s incredible walking speed, we failed to obtain a Top 8 profile from him. Many apologies to those hoping to hear his thoughts on Goblin Chainwhirler.

BW Benalia -

Main Deck

4x Swamp

8x Plains

4x Concealed Courtyard

4x Isolated Chapel

2x Ifnir Deadlands

1x Shefet Dunes

1x Scavenger Grounds

4x Walking Ballista

3x Knight of Malice

4x Scrapheap Scrounger

4x Toolcraft Exemplar

4x Fatal Push

2x Cast Down

1x Invoke the Divine

4x Heart of Kiran

4x History of Benalia

2x Ixalan’s Binding

3x Karn, Scion of Urza

1x Gideon of the Trials

Sideboard

4x Duress

1x Sorcerous Spyglass

1x Battle at the Bridge

1x Seal Away

1x Vraska’s Contempt

1x Ixalan’s Binding

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

1x Shalai, Voice of Plenty

2x Fumigate

2x Lyra Dawnbringer