Games Haven Monthly $1K Series 2018

20th May 2018

Games Haven Paya Lebar

Matthew (Lightning Bolt) Yee

It was our usual $1K Series, but with a twist! We invited our players to team up for some Team Unified Modern and even though GP Sydney (one of the main reasons for Team Modern fever) already came and went, there’s no disputing the fact that it remains an interesting take on an already popular format. Naturally, cash prizes are also hard to resist.

As one would expect from the deckbuilding constraints from the Team Unified rules, self-contained linear decks were top choices for the deck selection process. Burn decks peppered the tables everywhere, and to fight against the mountain overlords were Bogles decks in equally high numbers. Of course, due to the fact that players had fixed seating positions, there were sometimes hilarious misalignments. On the other hand, there were definitely Burn players grasping good hands that all went to waste with a Turn 0 Leyline of Sanctity.

Other self-contained but more complex decks also made appearances, with tribal decks (of the marine, human and elfin variants) and combo decks emerging with good diversity. A notable absence among the combo decks was Storm, but this seems to have been motivated by a healthy respect for Damping Sphere more than anything, or perhaps just so the team member playing control could have access to Serum Visions.

Speaking of Damping Sphere, the time seems right to do our jobs and market the new set to you all (because why bother hiding it, right?). A few adventurous players tried out some new Dominaria cards in their Modern decks, and whether they decided to make the inclusions on their own or took the advice of some of the pros off the Internet, we’re sure that they gained valuable insights into the cards’ worth, and we hope to share some of that data with you qualitatively.

As many were expecting, Karn, Scion of Urza was an attempted slot-in into the Affinity deck as a 1-or-2-of. While Karn’s minus ability isn’t very spammable, in a deck full of artifacts the ability was as explosive as expected, providing much-needed board resilience. In addition, the “draw” on Karn also seems to be welcome in a deck that aims to vomit out its hand as fast as possible, although the most important part of decision-making seems to be which ability to use at the right time. Karn also forces players to devote resources to trying to kill him, and if this makes players devote attackers to Karn that would otherwise be used to block robots, the Affinity player will usually be happy. As a 4-drop though, the general observation was that you only really want Karn to help turn the tide at crucial moments, and is more of a top-end value machine than anything deck-warping. But value he does provide, and in spades.

Besides Karn and Damping Sphere, there were a lot of little additions that players were attempting, and we were excited to see the brewer’s spirit in action. There was an attempt to fit in The Antiquities War into the KCI Combo deck as an alternate win condition that also could act as a limited filtering engine. Our very own Kelvin Chew attempted a one-of Shalai, Voice of Plenty into his Bant Value deck, and we quote, “Shalai like good sia.” (For a more detailed analysis, you’ll have to pry that one out of him.) It was interesting to see Board the Weatherlight in Tezzerator as a funky Ancient-Stirrings-esque card (as for why not just use Ancient Stirrings, the card itself is green and the key cards in Tezzerator are almost all coloured). It is an interesting idea, and we wish that it could have been given more screentime. Perhaps another time.

There were also attempts to slot in Teferi, Hero of Dominaria into the UW Control deck, as it seems like a natural fit for him. Perhaps because it seems so much like a natural fit, we can tell you one thing with certainty, Teferi is extremely good at making opponents devote resources to kill him on sight. We are hilariously unable to inform you much about how Teferi performed in the UW deck as just by reputation alone, Teferi was never allowed to stay on the battlefield for any reasonable length of time (and he was played in low numbers anyway). At the very least we can tell you one thing, if you need your opponent to use up their Thoughtseize or their Maelstrom Pulse or you want to taunt them to attack with everything into your Settle the Wreckage, the very best bait to use at this point of time is Teferi and his reputation.

"My basic lands are better than yours"

Our Top 4 playoffs coincidentally resulted in a control mirror at the finals as the deciding game, which also resulted in the play of the day. For the first time for many people, that was the first time where a player had been seen to use Jace, the Mind Sculptor’s ultimate to target himself, to stop himself from decking out. This was done in the hopes that he could fateseal his opponent into oblivion while looping through the same 8 cards, much like how Standard players do it with Teferi. Unfortunately, without something as synergistically strong with this play as Teferi’s emblem, and if your opponent also plays Cryptic Commands, it’s a bit hard to pull off.

In the end, Team Loh and Behold emerged the victor of our Team Modern $1K Series with a well-defended Keranos, God of Storms in game 3, proving that no matter what kind of matchup it is, the best strategy always ends with bolting your opponents to death. Okay, that one might have been personal bias. Many congratulations to the team!

Team Loh and Behold (comprising Jason Loh, Yang Zhijian and Sia Pei Ren)


1st Place


Deck #1 – RG Eldrazi piloted by Yang Zhijian


Main Deck

4x Grove of the Burnwillows
4x Karplusan Forest
4x Eldrazi Temple
3x Cavern of Souls
2x Wooded Foothills
2x Forest
1x Mountain
1x Stomping Ground
1x Kessig Wolf Run

4x Noble Hierarch
4x Bloodbraid Elf
4x Matter Reshaper
4x Thought-Knot Seer
4x Reality Smasher
4x Eldrazi Obligator
1x Endbringer
1x Scavenging Ooze

4x Ancient Stirrings
2x Incinerate
2x Lightning Strike
2x Dismember

2x Talisman of Impulse

Sideboard
2x Engineered Explosives
2x Kitchen Finks
2x Relic of Progenitus
2x Natural State
2x Ancient Grudge
2x Crumble to Dust
1x Grafdigger’s Cage
1x Scavenging Ooze
1x Pyroclasm

Deck #2 – Affinity piloted by Jason Loh


Main Deck

4x Blinkmoth Nexus
4x Darksteel Citadel
4x Inkmoth Nexus
4x Spire of Industry
1x Island

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

4x Galvanic Blast

4x Cranial Plating
4x Mox Opal
4x Springleaf Drum

Sideboard
1x Bitterblossom
2x Etched Champion
2x Spellskite
1x Karn, Scion of Urza
1x Ghirapur Aether Grid
2x Rest in Piece
3x Stubborn Denial
3x Wear//Tear

Deck #3 – Blue Moon piloted by Sia Pei Ren


Main Deck

1x Mountain
6x Island
1x Desolate Lighthouse
3x Sulfur Falls
3x Steam Vents
2x Polluted Delta
2x Flooded Strand
4x Scalding Tarn
1x Misty Rainforest

1x Pia and Kiran Nalaar
2x Vendilion Clique
4x Snapcaster Mage

4x Serum Visions
3x Cryptic Command
2x Spell Snare
4x Remand
1x Logic Knot
3x Opt
2x Electrolyze
1x Harvest Pyre
4x Lightning Bolt

3x Blood Moon

3x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sideboard
2x Surgical Extraction
2x Ratchet Bomb
2x Abrade
2x Ceremonious Rejection
1x Grim Lavamancer
1x Anger of the Gods
2x Dispel
1x Keranos, God of Storms
2x Roast

Team NUS (comprising Muhammad Shahir Adha, Aik Kian Cheong and Lian Ping)


2nd Place


Deck #1 – BG Elfball piloted by Aik Kian Cheong


Main Deck

4x Blooming Marsh
4x Gilt-Leaf Palace
4x Cavern of Souls
2x Forest
2x Westvale Abbey//Ormendahl, Profane Prince
1x Overgrown Tomb
1x Verdant Catacombs

4x Elvish Mystic
4x Llanowar Elves
4x Heritage Druid
2x Nettle Sentinel
4x Dwynen’s Elite
4x Devoted Druid
1x Vizier of Remedies
4x Elvish Archdruid
3x Ezuri, Renegade Leader
4x Shaman of the Pack

4x Chord of Calling
4x Collected Company

Sideboard
2x Thoughtseize
2x Dismember
1x Abrupt Decay
3x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
3x Kitchen Finks
3x Damping Sphere
1x Reclamation Sage

Deck #2 – Affinity piloted by Lian Ping


Main Deck

4x Darskteel Citadel
4x Inkmoth Nexus
4x Blinkmoth Nexus
3x Glimmervoid
1x Spire of Industry
1x Island

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

1x Dispatch
4x Galvanic Blast

4x Cranial Plating
3x Springleaf Drum
4x Mox Opal

Sideboard
2x Etched Champion
2x Spell Pierce
2x Thoughtseize
2x Ghirapur Aether Grid
2x Ancient Grudge
1x Dispatch
1x Spellskite
1x Stubborn Denial
1x Rest in Peace
1x Grafdigger’s Cage

Deck #3 – UW Control piloted by Muhammad Shahir Adha


Main Deck

1x Irrigated Farmland
1x Hallowed Fountain
2x Glacial Fortress
4x Flooded Strand
6x Island
3x Plains
3x Celestial Colonnade
4x Field of Ruin

1x Nimble Obstructionist
2x Snapcaster Mage

2x Supreme Verdict
1x Terminus
1x Settle the Wreckage
1x Condemn
4x Path to Exile
1x Logic Knot
1x Negate
2x Mana Leak
1x Opt
3x Serum Visions
1x Think Twice
3x Cryptic Command

2x Gideon of the Trials
1x Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1x Gideon Jura
1x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

4x Spreading Seas
1x Detention Sphere
2x Search for Azcanta//Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin

Sideboard
2x Relic of Progenitus
1x Surgical Extraction
1x Hallowed Burial
2x Ceremonious Rejection
2x Dispel
1x Negate
1x Disdainful Stroke
1x Celestial Purge
1x Jace, Architect of Thought
1x Blessed Alliance
2x Timely Reinforcements

Team Chocobo (comprising David Lim, Danial Sim and Koh Kai Che)


Top 4


Deck #1 – Lantern Control piloted by David Lim


Main Deck

3x Botanical Sanctum
3x Darkslick Shores
4x Spire of Industry
4x Glimmervoid
1x Inventors’ Fair
1x Academy Ruins
1x Island
1x River of Tears

4x Inquisition of Kozilek
3x Thoughtseize
4x Whir of Invention
4x Ancient Stirrings
1x Abrupt Decay

1x Pyrite Spellbomb
2x Pithing Needle
4x Codex Shredder
4x Lantern of Insight
2x Pyxis of Pandemonium
3x Ensnaring Bridge
1x Grafdigger’s Cage
1x Witchbane Orb
4x Mishra’s Bauble
4x Mox Opal

Sideboard
1x Nature’s Claim
1x Abrupt Decay
2x Collective Brutality
2x Surgical Extraction
2x Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
1x Grafdigger’s Cage
2x Welding Jar
1x Damping Sphere
1x Search for Azcanta//Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
1x Bontu’s Last Reckoning
1x Pithing Needle

Deck #2 – GW Hexproof Bogles piloted by Koh Kai Che


Main Deck

1x Dryad Arbor
1x Forest
4x Horizon Canopy
1x Plains
4x Razorverge Thicket
3x Temple Garden
4x Windswept Heath
1x Verdant Catacombs

4x Gladecover Scout
4x Kor Spiritdancer
4x Slippery Bogle

3x Path to Exile

4x Daybreak Coronet
4x Ethereal Armor
2x Gryff’s Boon
2x Hyena Umbra
4x Leyline of Sanctity
4x Rancor
4x Spider Umbra
2x Spirit Mantle

Sideboard
3x Gaddock Teeg
1x Path to Exile
2x Dromoka’s Command
3x Rest in Peace
3x Seal of Primordium
3x Stony Silence

Deck #3 – Naya Burn piloted by Danial Sim


Main Deck

3x Mountain
1x Stomping Ground
2x Sacred Foundry
3x Inspiring Vantage
3x Bloodstained Mire
4x Wooded Foothills
3x Arid Mesa

1x Grim Lavamancer
4x Eidolon of the Great Revel
4x Monastery Swiftspear
4x Goblin Guide

4x Lightning Bolt
4x Searing Blaze
4x Lava Spike
4x Boros Charm
4x Lightning Helix
4x Skullcrack
4x Rift Bolt

Sideboard
2x Deflecting Palm
4x Destructive Revelry
3x Searing Blood
2x Molten Rain
2x Blood Moon
2x Kor Firewalker

Team Chasaobao (comprising Jeffrey Chan, Felix Leong and Kelvin Chew)


Top 4


Deck #1 – Mardu Pyromancer piloted by Jeffrey Chan


Main Deck

4x Blackcleave Cliffs
2x Blood Crypt
4x Bloodstained Mire
2x Marsh Flats
1x Arid Mesa
2x Mountain
3x Swamp
2x Sacred Foundry

4x Bedlam Reveler
4x Young Pyromancer

2x Collective Brutality
1x Dreadbore
4x Faithless Looting
2x Fatal Push
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
3x Kolaghan’s Command
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Lingering Souls
2x Terminate
3x Thoughtseize

2x Blood Moon

1x Liliana, the Last Hope

Sideboard
4x Leyline of the Void
2x Crackling Doom
2x Kambal, Consul of Allocation
2x Engineered Explosives
2x Damping Sphere
1x Wear//Tear
1x Collective Brutality
1x Hazoret the Fervent

Deck #2 – Affinity piloted by Felix Leong


Main Deck

4x Spire of Industry
4x Inkmoth Nexus
4x Darksteel Citadel
4x Blinkmoth Nexus
1x Mountain

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

4x Mox Opal
4x Springleaf Drum
4x Cranial Plating

3x Galvanic Blast

Sideboard
1x Etched Champion
2x Spell Pierce
2x Ceremonious Rejection
2x Spellskite
2x Ancient Grudge
2x Whipflare
2x Rest in Peace
2x Ghirapur Aether Grid

Deck #3 – Bant Knightfall piloted by Kelvin Chew


Main Deck

1x Botanical Sanctum
1x Breeding Pool
1x Field of Ruin
2x Flooded Strand
2x Forest
1x Gavony Township
1x Ghost Quarter
1x Hallowed Fountain
1x Horizon Canopy
1x Island
4x Misty Rainforest
1x Plains
1x Temple Garden
4x Windswept Heath

4x Birds of Paradise
2x Eternal Witness
1x Shalai, Voice of Plenty
4x Knight of the Reliquary
2x Meddling Mage
4x Noble Hierarch
2x Reflector Mage
2x Scavenging Ooze
4x Spell Queller
2x Tireless Tracker
3x Voice of Resurgence

4x Collected Company
4x Path to Exile

Sideboard
2x Blessed Alliance
1x Bojuka Bog
2x Negate
1x Reflector Mage
2x Stony Silence
3x Unified Will
1x Vendilion Clique
1x Voice of Resurgence
2x Worship