Games Haven Monthly $1K Series 2019

8th Sept 2019

Games Haven Paya Lebar

Turns out that all you needed for healthy attendance at Modern events was a healthy format! Who would have thought? We had our biggest turnout for a Modern 1K event ever, with 52 people celebrating the ban of our boogeyman Hogaak and the unbanning of the bane of New Phyrexia Standard, Stoneforge Mystic. With this banlist update, along with the lesser lauded but no less significant ban of Faithless Looting, the Modern community worldwide has been testing and testing and testing ever since the 26th of August. What does Modern look like now?

Stoneforge Mystic is poised to give many decks an incredible shot in the arm that promises to be just what they need to turn a "fair" Modern deck into the next big thing. Any player with Legacy and/or Cawblade experience knows that the strength of the Stoneforge package is not just that the unassuming Kor circumvents mana costs for your most broken equipment, but also that a player doesn't need to jump through too many hoops to make it effective. The Stoneforge package consists of a mere 6-7 cards (4 SFMs and 2-3 equipment cards that can get you out of any sticky situation), and is extremely self-contained and immensely compact, allowing for a great deal of flexibility in shell selection. Over the couple of weeks since Stoneforge Mystic has been legal, the Stoneforge package has appeared in a smorgasbord of shells across the Internet, from Stoneblade builds as close to the Legacy version as they can get (Modern has no Jitte, so we make do with Swords), to things like Abzan Rock, Bant Coco, BW Eldrazi and Taxes, you name it.

Stoneforge Mystic definitely overperformed in the event, despite (and maybe because of) the fact that it's been a VERY LONG TIME since Cawblade, and some of our players were not even playing during the Cawblade era. This unbanning is an extremely impactful one, a result that is also evident in the wider swaths of Magic events worldwide, and savvy players should be ready for a new top contender.

From the unban, we go to the bans. The banning of Hogaak and Faithless Looting in our local context means that Mono-Red Phoenix is no longer the island's favourite Lightning Bolt deck any more. We all know what this means, no matter how much we try to run from it. This means that we will have to face our old flame (heh) Burn again. Burn was once again at pre-Hogaak numbers in the event on Sunday, commanding an impressive showing and making Stoneforge players race to stabilize with Batterskull.

Besides Burn, the exiling of Hogaak also meant that Tron was once again unshackled and free to run rampant, kept only in check by (of course) Burn. This also meant that a few decks enjoyed a resurgence to capitalize on a predicted metagame with loads of Burn, Tron and greedy Stoneforge decks. We had classic Dredge make a return with a new tech, Tome Scour, to replace Faithless Looting. Mono-Red Phoenix didn't quite rise from the ashes, but regressed to a lesser self as the Kiln Fiend deck of old. 5C Humans and Amulet Titan enjoyed upticks in play as well, being unable to utilize Stoneforge Mystic effectively, and largely not caring about metagame shifts involving Hogaak and Faithless Looting. We did see a dramatic plunge in graveyard hate though, perhaps a bit too much.

One notable standout is Hardened Scales Affinity, a deck touted by some pros to be one of the top aggressive decks in the new Modern. It is fast, resilient, and short of a Terminus or Hurkyl's Recall, is very adept at maintaining pressure. It also can outgrind Stoneforge Mystic midrange decks once in a while with the right draws, so it has that going for it as well. 

As a whole, despite the great number of Burn decks, it was amazing to see how different the tables looked from last month's event. The banlist update looks extremely promising for the format, and early impressions are cautiously good. All sorts of archetypes have their chance to flourish at the moment, and Modern actually does look like it's at its most exciting in recent memory. It's not quite the mass tears of joy after Eye of Ugin got banned, but it is still a breath of fresh air.

From Lightning Bolt decks, to Stoneforge Mystic, to old standouts, to decks that wished they had Faithless Looting back, our Top 8 had it all. And finally, at the end of the day, Chandra and Karn propelled one Conrad Dungan to the absolute top with RG Ponza! Many congratulations to all of our Top 8!!

Top 8 Decklists

1st Place - Conrad Dungan

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Red Green Ponza

 

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

Blood Moon, because turning all nonbasic lands into Mountains makes a FUN and

INTERACTIVE game of Magic, especially when it is one-sided.

 

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

Courser of Kruphix, as it helped me ensure land drops every turn and gave me life

against Burn.

 

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

This deck requires aggressive mulligans to have a turn-two Blood Moon or land destruction.

 

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

Almost died against Infect, but I topdecked Karn and fetched Engineered Explosives to deal with a Blighted Agent

 

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

Stoneforge Mystic, because I sold my playset hahahahaha

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

So long, suckers! Shoutout to my teams Mana Lords and Chambaleros! Peenoise gaming for life!

 

RG Ponza - Main Deck

7x Forest

1x Kessig Wolf Run

1x Misty Rainforest

1x Mountain

3x Stomping Ground

4x Windswept Heath

4x Wooded Foothills

4x Arbor Elf

2x Birds of Paradise

2x Courser of Kruohix

2x Tireless Tracker

2x Glorybringer

2x Inferno Titan

4x Pillage

4x Stone Rain

2x Sweltering Suns

4x Utopia Sprawl

4x Blood Moon

2x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

4x Karn, the Great Creator

1x Chandra, Awakened Inferno

Sideboard

1x Chandra, Awakened Inferno

2x Anger of the Gods

2x Ancient Grudge

3x Kitchen Finks

1x Relic of Progenitus

1x Liquimetal Coating

1x Engineered Explosives

1x Wurmcoil Engine

1x Mycosynth Lattice

1x Sorcerous Spyglass

1x Ensnaring Bridge

2nd Place - Alex Keng

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
UW GeistBlade

 

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

GST, because gonna be 9% soon! [Editor's Note: Please no, I don't wanna pay 19% 

at Haidilao]

 

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

Sword of Feast and Famine, my Stoneforge Mystic's first choice of weapon! So relevant

against my opponents Bant Soulherder, Amulet Titan and Valakut, enroute to the Top 8.

 

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

Everything was problematic. 1st time piloting SFM and a main deck without Supreme Verdict.

 

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

Vs Treasure Hunt, in Game 1, my opponent was on the play. I kept my 7, he mulled to 6, then to 5, then to 4, then to......1, then conceded the game. He proceeded to present the deck for Game 2. I asked if he was going to sideboard, to which he replied, "I don't know what you're playing." LOL!

 

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

Graveyard synergy cards.

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

So sad! Now Trons are out to play!

 

UW Geistblade - Main Deck

4x Field of Ruin

3x Celestial Colonnade

4x Flooded Strand

2x Glacial Fortress

2x Hallowed Fountain

5x Island

3x Plains

1x Prairie Stream

2x Geist of Saint Traft

2x Restoration Angel

3x Snapcaster Mage

2x Spell Queller

4x Stoneforge Mystic

1x Vendilion Clique

2x Cryptic Command

2x Force of Negation

2x Mana Leak

4x Opt

4x Path to Exile

2x Spell Snare

1x Batterskull

1x Sword of Feast and Famine

2x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

2x Teferi, Time Raveler

Sideboard

2x Celestial Purge

2x Ceremonious Rejection

1x Disdainful Stroke

1x Disenchant

1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

1x Hurkyl's Recall

2x Rest in Peace

1x Settle the Wreckage

1x Supreme Verdict

1x Sword of Truth and Justice

1x Timely Reinforcements

1x Vendilion Clique

Top 4 - Randy Yeoh

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Hardened Scales

 

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

Arcbound Ravager

 

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

Walking Ballista

 

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

Not drawing Ravager

 

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

Mull to 4 and still win

 

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

More artifacts

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

Yay

 

Hardened Scales Affinity – Main Deck

4x Inkmoth Nexus

4x Darksteel Citadel

1x Pendelhaven

2x Llanowar Reborn

1x Blast Zone

1x Nurturing Peatland

7x Forest

3x Arcbound Worker

4x Arcbound Ravager

4x Hangarback Walker

4x Walking Ballista

1x Metallic Mimic

2x Steel Overseer

4x Ancient Stirrings

3x Welding Jar

4x Mox Opal

4x Mishra's Bauble

2x Animation Module

1x Throne of Geth

4x Hardened Scales

 

Sideboard

3x Dismember

4x Nature's Claim

1x Force of Vigor

1x Tormod's Crypt

1x Relic of Progenitus

1x Animation Module

1x Grafdigger's Cage

3x Damping Sphere

Top 4 - Kenny Loke

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Grixis Death's Shadow

 

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

Temur Battle Rage

 

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

Claim//Fame. Steals the game.

 

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

Preserving the HP total against Burn players.

 

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

Snapcaster beatdown.

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

More OP planeswalkers and spells.

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

No need 4x Leyline of the Void in sideboard!

 

Grixis Death's Shadow - Main Deck

2x Blood Crypt

4x Bloodstained Mire

1x Island

4x Polluted Delta

2x Scalding tarn

1x Steam Vents

1x Swamp

2x Watery Grave

4x Death's Shadow

4x Gurmag Angler

3x Snapcaster Mage

4x Street Wraith

1x Dismember

3x Fatal Push

2x Inquisition of Kozilek

1x Kolaghan's Command

1x Lightning Bolt

3x Serum Visions

3x Stubborn Denial

2x Temur Battle Rage

4x Thought Scour

4x Thoughtseize

1x Claim//Fame

3x Mishra's Bauble

Sideboard

1x Abrade

1x Anger of the Gods

1x Ashiok, Dream Render

1x Ceremonious Rejection

2x Collective Brutality

1x Disdainful Stroke

1x Kolaghan's Command

1x Liliana, the Last Hope

2x Nihil Spellbomb

1x Plague Engineer

1x Shenanigans

2x Surgical Extraction

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. My Mountains become Lightning Bolts.

 

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

Mwonvuli Acid-Moss. Timely help when facing down a lethal Inkmoth Nexus.

 

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

Faster combo and aggro decks. Game 1 I don't have much disruption/answers, so I am easily steamrolled by faster decks.

 

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

Arcbound Ravager + Inkmoth Nexus for lethal out of nowhere.

 

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

More artifact/enchantment hate.

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

It's ok, we can still be friends in Legacy! Also thanks Jason.

RG Valakut - Main Deck

4x Wooded Foothills

1x Windswept Heath

3x Misty Rainforest

4x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

3x Cinder Glade

4x Stomping Ground

6x Mountain

2x Forest

1x Obstinate Baloth

1x Courser of Kruphix

4x Sakura-Tribe Elder

4x Primeval Titan

1x Mwonvuli Acid-Moss

2x Explore

2x Sweltering Suns

2x Summoner's Pact

3x Farseek

4x Search for Tomorrow

4x Scapeshift

4x Lightning Bolt

1x Khalni Heart Expedition

Sideboard

1x Relic of Progenitus

1x Grafdigger's Cage

1x Reclamation Sage

1x Tireless Tracker

2x Obstinate Baloth

2x Damping Sphere

2x Veil of Summer

2x Fry

3x Ancient Grudge

Top 8 - Andrew "Lakondegai" Sim

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Mandai Zoo

 

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

Ayataka Green Tea [Atarka's Command], pushes damage for lethal

 

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

Path to Exile, best removal in the format.

 

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

Not drawing fetchlands into colour screw.

 

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

Topdecking my only basic Plains to cast Lightning Helix for lethal.

 

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

Gingerbread Man, then I can convert Zoo into Shrek Zoo.

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! FAITHLESS LOOTING!!!

 

Naya Zoo Aggro - Main Deck

4x Wooded Foothills

3x Bloodstained Mire

3x Windswept Heath

1x Sunbaked Canyon

1x Nurturing Peatland

1x Blood Crypt

1x Sacred Foundry

1x Stomping Ground

1x Temple Garden

1x Forest

1x Plains

2x Mountain

4x Pelt Collector

4x Wild Nacatl

4x Goblin Guide

4x Vexing Devil

4x Burning-Tree Emissary

4x Reckless Bushwhacker

4x Seasoned Pyromancer

4x Lightning Bolt

4x Lightning Helix

4x Atarka's Command

Sideboard

3x Engineered Explosives

3x Boros Charm

2x Path to Exile

2x Veil of Summer

2x Destructive Revelry

1x Abrupt Decay

1x Legion's End

1x Assassin's Trophy

Top 8 - Melvin Cheng

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Dredge

 

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

Forgotten Caves, it became the graveyard card I could get back and dredge again

with Life from the Loam.

 

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

Tome Scour, because it doesn't do anything in the graveyard but it's so good in the 

opening hand.

 

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

Not much, graveyard hate cards were on a vacation.

 

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

None.

 

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

Stoneforge Mystic reprint.

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

Hogaak was expected. Faithless left me literally faithless.

Dredge - Main Deck

1x Mountain

1x Blood Crypt

3x Forgotten Cave

1x Copperline Gorge

1x Gemstone Mine

2x City of Brass

2x Steam Vents

2x Stomping Ground

3x Bloodstained Mire

4x Wooded Foothills

4x Narcomoeba

4x Bloodghast

2x Golgari Thug

4x Stinkweed Impt

4x Prized Amalgam

4x Tome Scour

2x Conflagrate

4x Life from the Loam

4x Cathartic Reunion

4x Creeping Chill

4x Shriekhorn

Sideboard

3x Lightning Axe

3x Nature's Claim

1x Blast Zone

2x Alpine Moon

2x Assassin's Trophy

1x Collective Brutality

1x Shenanigans

2x Ancient Grudge

Top 8 - Calvin Chen

Top 8 Profile

What deck did you play today?
Red Prowess

 

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

Light Up the Stage. Burying your opponent in card advantage with a red deck is pretty

dope.

 

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

Saheeli, created a lot of value and blockers against Jund. Brought me a lot of time

to draw burn spells.

 

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

Land flooding, I miss you Faithless Looting.

 

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

Against Burn, we had a board of 3 Dragon's Claw on my side and 2 Kor Firewalkers on my opponent's. Game ended with my life total at 55. Used Crash Through to make my creatures trample through the blockers for tons of damage.

 

What are you hoping for Modern from Throne of Eldraine?

A new looting effect.

 

Hogaak and Faithless Looting are banned! Give us your best reaction!

[CENSORED] Hogaak.

Mono-Red Prowess - Main Deck

2x Fiery Islet

2x Prismatic Vista

14x Snow-Covered Mountain

3x Bedlam Reveler

3x Kiln Fiend

4x Monastery Swiftspear

4x Soul-Scar Mage

2x Burst Lightning

4x Crash Through

2x Forked Bolt

4x Lava Dart

4x Lava Spike

4x Light Up the Stage

4x Lightning Bolt

4x Manamorphose

Sideboard

2x Abrade

2x Alpine Moon

1x Dismember

3x Dragon's Claw

2x Hazoret the Fervent

2x Kozilek's Return

2x Saheeli, Sublime Artificer

1x Shenanigans