Games Haven Monthly $1K Series 2019

17th March 2019

Games Haven Paya Lebar

Matthew (Lightning Bolt) Yee

40 players gathered on Sunday for the 12th in a marathon of monthly $1K Series events. After 12 months, we have reached the end of our 1K Series League, and we are ready for the Series Championship next month! Well, not exactly ready, there's still a few more LCQs left for those hopeful for a shot at the whopper of a prize pool we have reserved for those who battled their way for the top. But that's a topic for the Facebook page.  We chose to end the year-long league with the format that all the locals are the most vocal about (you can deny it, but we can hear it :P ), Modern! Fresh off the banlist update which changed absolutely nothing, what could we expect?

We've had enough time to adapt since the Krark-Clan Ironworks ban 2 updates ago. The ban caused a storm of inventive fury that led to an unholy fusion of the KCI deck, the old Thopter-Sword deck and the Lantern Control of old, giving rise to the new breed of Ensnaring Bridge deck, Whir Prison. It should be no surprise to many of the local competitive Modern players, but by now the decklists for Whir Prison have been more or less refined and they are a force to be reckoned with. In a Modern metagame where everyone is watching out for the graveyard strategies and the decks that can combat them, Whir Prison makes the most of its new and fresh (for now) angle of attack and clogs up the board before their opponents can hit with their threats, and then slowly shores up the best possible offense - an unbreakable defense. Or you know, Battle of the Bridge for 50.

Amusingly, it seems as if a lot of players on Sunday read the primer article on StarCity Games about the current state of the Modern metagame. (It is actually very fascinating reading, so if you readers are interested you should absolutely check it out at http://www.starcitygames.com/articles/38419_The-Top-Tier-Of-Modern-In-2019.html ) Our metagame on Sunday almost followed the article to a T, exactly as predicted by Emma Handy in a seemingly clairvoyant declaration from across the globe. Case in point - Kelvin Chew on Izzet Phoenix. To quote one of the other players on Sunday, "I stun. See him T1 Scalding Tarn fetch Island cast Serum Visions. If there's one thing that [surprised] me it was Chew on Phoenix."

Metagame analyzers worth their salt know that to combat the current Modern metagame, there are two things you must absolutely be prepared for - artifacts, and the graveyard. Never before in a Modern event at Paya Lebar have so many Shatterstorms been seen and casted. Maindeck Relics of Progenitus also abounded as a cheap cantrip that could momentarily slow down a graveyard strategy, and for a more surgically precise (heh) method, there were numerous copies of everyone's favourite $80 card Surgical Extraction as well.

But this is sunny, sunny Singapore, and that means our metagames have that bit of local flavour that makes our own metagame uniquely us, just as the Tourism Board likes to claim. This means Burn. Burn and Burn galore. But aside from throwing 3 damage at the face, we also had most of the classics with us as well. Storm, Teferi Control, Tron, Affinity and tribal decks maintained their presence, lending weight to the old adage that Modern is such a wide format that you are just as rewarded for knowing your own deck inside and out, as you are for knowing the current state of the format inside and out.

And indeed, one of the classics was the winner of our 12th $1K Series. Ang Ding Hui, one of the many Burn pilots, took down the event, and has secured his spot in the Series Championship! Many congratulations to him, and we will see all of you qualified players and future LCQ winners in April!

Top 8 Decklists

1st Place - Ang Ding Hui

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Burn.

 

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

Scalding Tarn, lets me play my lands and my spells.

 

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

Skullcrack. Acts as if [the card text is] deal 3 damage to target player and counter target

lifegain spell.

 

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

Mirror matches are quite skill intensive.

 

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

Mulled to 4 and died.

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

CHAIN LIGHTNING!!

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

Team Mox Opal. Please don't ban it!!

 

Boros Burn - Main Deck

3x Arid Mesa

3x Bloodstained Mire

2x Scalding Tarn

4x Inspiring Vantage

1x Wooded Foothills

1x Stomping Ground

2x Sacred Foundry

3x Mountain

1x Grim Lavamancer

4x Monastery Swiftspear

4x Goblin Guide

4x Eidolon of the Great Revel

4x Lightning Bolt

4x Lava Spike

4x Skewer the Critics

4x Rift Bolt

4x Searing Blaze

4x Lightning Helix

4x Boros Charm

Sideboard

2x Kor Firewalker

1x Searing Blood

1x Ensaring Bridge

3x Rest in Peace

3x Skullcrack

1x Path to Exile

1x Deflecting Palm

3x Cindervines

*An earlier version of this article had the Skullcracks listed as Stony Silences. It was a misreading of the decklist paper on our part. The error has been corrected, and any inconvenience caused is regretted.*

2nd Place - Wu Yi Kai

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
UR Storm.

 

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

Thing in the Ice.

 

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

Thing in the Ice.

 

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

Counterspells.

 

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

Not much.

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

3 mana Arclight Phoenix. [Editor's Note: Sooo...... Arc Reactor Phoenix?]

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

Team Arclight Phoenix. [Editor's Note: Which is Team Faithless Looting lah.]

 

UR Storm – Main Deck

4x Spirebluff Canal

4x Steam Vents

4x Shivan Reef

2x Snow-Covered Island

2x Island

1x Mountain

4x Baral, Chief of Compliance

2x Goblin Electromancer

4x Opt

4x Serum Visions

4x Sleight of Hand

4x Desperate Ritual

4x Pyretic Ritual

4x Manamorphose

2x Grapeshot

1x Empty the Warrens

1x Unsubstantiate

1x Remand

1x Repeal

4x Gifts Ungiven

2x Past in Flames

1x Noxious Revival

 

Sideboard

2x Empty the Warrens

2x Thing in the Ice

1x Abrade

1x Shatterstorm

3x Pieces of the Puzzle

1x Wipe Away

1x Echoing Truth

2x Lightning Bolt

1x Flame Slash

1x Swan Song

Top 4 - Abdul Hafiz

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Jeskai Burn

 

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

Lightning Bolt.

 

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

Jace, Architect of Thought [Editor's Note: seeing Jace on curve just after the Storm player

casted Empty the Warrens gives a strange case of schadenfreude.]

 

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

Didn't draw Merfolk.

 

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

T1 fetch shock Bolt.

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

Back to Basics on a Merfolk.

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

Team Merfolk.

 

Jeskai Counterburn – Main Deck

1x Glacial Fortress

1x Sulfur Falls

2x Steam Vents

2x Hallowed Fountain

1x Sacred Foundry

3x Field of Ruin

4x Scalding Tarn

4x Flooded Strand

1x Mountain

1x Plains

3x Island

2x Celestial Colonnade

1x Vendilion Clique

4x Snapcaster Mage

1x Mana Leak

1x Spell Snare

1x Logic Knot

1x Negate

2x Remand

3x Cryptic Command

2x Peek

3x Path to Exile

3x Lightning Helix

1x Settle the Wreckage

1x Supreme Verdict

1x Wrath of God

4x Lightning Bolt

2x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

1x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1x Jace, Architect of Thought

2x Search for Azcanta//Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin

Sideboard

1x Lyra Dawnbringer

1x Batterskull

1x Condemn

1x Timely Reinforcements

1x Celestial Purge

1x Dispel

1x Negate

1x Disdainful Stroke

1x Ancestral Vision

1x Spell Snare

1x Echoing Truth

1x Engineered Explosives

1x Abrade

1x Anger of the Gods

Top 4 - Ian Teoh Yuan Hao

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Boros Burn

 

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

None. All burn spells are good!

 

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

Skewer the Critics. I replaced my Rift Bolts with Skewer. If they were still Rift Bolts, I

would have lost against Tron and the Burn mirror today.

 

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

Decks with maindeck life gain, specifically UW Control.

 

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

Kudos to Joshua Yang. He played well by anticipating I had only Searing Blazes in hand. Because of that, I could not deal him lethal damage as he would not play any creatures. And his Chalice made the game drag on for many many turns.

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

Playable anti-lifegain cards!

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

Team Mox Opal!!

 

Boros Burn - Main Deck

3x Arid Mesa

4x Bloodstained Mire

3x Wooded Foothills

3x Inspiring Vantage

3x Sacred Foundry

3x Mountain

4x Goblin Guide

4x Monastery Swiftspear

2x Grim Lavamancer

4x Eidolon of the Great Revel

4x Lightning Bolt

4x Lava Spike

1x Rift Bolt

3x Skewer the Critics

4x Searing Blaze

4x Boros Charm

4x Skullcrack

3x Lightning Helix

Sideboard

3x Smash to Smithereens

1x Rest in Peace

2x Relic of Progenitus

2x Searing Blood

2x Kor Firewalker

2x Path to Exile

1x Deflecting Palm

2x Risk Factor

Top 8 - Daston Lam

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
RG Titanshift

 

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

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. All my mountains become Lightning Bolts.

 

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

Khalni Heart Expedition. Allowed me to combo off sooner than usual.

 

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

Aggro and fast combo decks are a real problem, considering Titanshift is a slower combo deck.

 

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

Pinging my round 3 opponent with Valakut for the win without Prime Time or Scapeshift.

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

Make Red-Black Reanimator great again.

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

Team Faithless Looting. No ban hammer please.

RG Titanshift - Main Deck

1x Windswept Heath

3x Misty Rainforest

4x Wooded Foothills

6x Mountain

2x Forest

4x Stomping Ground

4x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

3x Cinder Glade

1x Courser of Kruphix

4x Sakura-Tribe Elder

4x Primeval Titan

2x Explore

3x Farseek

1x Flame Slash

2x Anger of the Gods

3x Lightning Bolt

4x Scapeshift

4x Search for Tomorrow

2x Summoner's Pact

2x Khalni Heart Expedition

1x Relic of Progenitus

Sideboard

1x Rending Volley

1x Hour of Devastation

1x Nature's Claim

1x Vexing Shusher

2x Ancient Grudge

1x Tireless Tracker

2x Damping Sphere

3x Obstinate Baloth

3x Relic of Progenitus

 

Top 8 - Joshua Yang Zhijian

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Azorius Control.

 

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

Jace the Mind Sculptor. It has 4 abilities!!

 

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

None, all the cards played their role well.

 

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

It's weak to Burn.

 

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

Teferi -3 on opponent's Bottled Cloister. It's like a Wit's End!

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

Counterspell.

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

None! Please ban all these so Azorius Control can rule!!

 

UW Control - DECKLIST WITHHELD BY REQUEST

Top 8 - Lucas Wong

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Frenzy Affinity

 

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

Mox Opal. It helps to achieve T2 Karn, Scion of Urza (with Springleaf Drum).

 

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

None, all the cards complement each other.

 

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

When I Thoughtseized my opponent, and saw Ancient Grudge, my heart sunk.

 

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

Able to slaughter Kelvin Chew in Swiss rounds.

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

Price of Progress!!

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

Team Mox Opal, of course!! Opal, Opal, all the way!

Mono Red Affinity - Main Deck

4x Blinkmoth Nexus

4x Inkmoth Nexus

4x Darksteel Citadel

4x Spire of Industry

1x Mountain

2x Memnite

4x Ornithopter

4x Signal Pest

4x Vault Skirge

4x Arcbound Ravager

4x Steel Overseer

2x Etched Champion

4x Galvanic Blast

4x Cranial Plating

4x Mox Opal

4x Springleaf Drum

2x Experimental Frenzy

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

Sideboard

1x Ancient Grudge

2x Wear//Tear

2x Rest in Peace

2x Dispatch

2x Ghirapur Aether Grid

2x Etched Champion

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

2x Thoughtseize

1x Damping Sphere

Top 8 - Jereme Mah

Top 8 Profile [with add-ons by Matthew on request]

What deck did you play today?
Amulet Titan.

 

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

Titan.

 

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

Manamorphose.

 

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

Drawing the bombs in the deck.

 

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

N/A.

 

What is your greatest hope for Modern Horizons, now that they've announced direct prints into Modern?

More interesting lands.

 

Team Faithless Looting, Team Ancient Stirrings, or Team Mox Opal? Shout out some encouragement to your team!

*disinterested shrug*

Amulet Titan - Main Deck

1x Radiant Fountain

1x Boros Garrison

1x Khalni Garden

1x Cavern of Souls

1x Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion

1x Gruul Turf

1x Vesuva

1x Bojuka Bog

1x Ghost Quarter

1x Botanical Sanctum

1x Slayers' Stronghold

2x Forest

2x Temple of Mystery

3x Gemstone Mine

3x Tolaria West

4x Simic Growth Chamber

4x Selesnya Sanctuary

1x Walking Ballista

1x Zacama, Primal Calamity

1x Reclamation Sage

3x Azusa, Lost but Seeking

4x Primeval Titan

4x Growth Spiral

4x Explore

4x Summoner's Pact

4x Manamorphose

1x Engineered Explosives

4x Amulet of Vigor

Sideboard

3x Path to Exile

2x Spell Pierce

1x Obstinate Baloth

1x Grafdigger's Cage

1x Kabira Crossroads

1x Carnage Tyrant

1x Hornet Queen

1x Chameleon Colossus

1x Cavern of Souls

1x Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

1x Engineered Explosives

1x Pithing Needle