Games Haven $1K Series Championship 2019

14th April 2019

Games Haven Paya Lebar

Matthew (Lightning Bolt) Yee

One entire year of grinding had led to this. Our most consistent point-earners, our 12 Series Event winners and our winners of our 5 LCQs, totalling 28 people, gathered for one last time in the store for our invite-only party to compete for the spot in the Top 8 that would allow them to partake of our prize pool totalling over three thousand buckaroos! The format of the event was a bit special, as we had opted for a dual format event. The first three of the 6 rounds would be Standard, while the next 3 would be Modern, and our Top 8 would be once again Standard. Who would prevail in this grueling day?

In a stark contrast to the aggressive and tempo-based metagame that launched a Mono-Blue deck to the top of the Pro Tour, over the subsequent months, the pros have iterated and upgraded Esper Control into the most stable and consistent form of control thus far in RNA Standard. Partially because of its strength in Wizards' experimental formats in events elsewhere, Esper Control has gotten a lot of attention and thus, a lot of deckbuilding centered around it. Make no mistake, the deck is here to stay, and for as long as the metagame welcomes Teferi, it will not disappear until a vast influx of new toys appear. Cough cough War of the Spark also has a Teferi cough cough.

Half of our Standard deck distribution boiled down to monocoloured decks, as if their owners were trying to escape from the fact that we just had two entire sets dedicated to 2-coloured guilds. Mono-Blue, Mono-Red and Mono-White dotted the tables, and all 3 remain viable options for cheap-ish decks to pick up if you want a change of pace before rotation hits in the 4th quarter. Hint hint - out of those 3 decks, 2 are currently available for sale as Challenger Decks. Mai gong bojio.

The rest of our Standard metagame was basically the Simic Combine. Various Nexus builds and various Sultai builds with Hydroid Krasis attempted to assert dominance on the tables, and to the credit of the Combine, 3 out of the Top 4 were affiliated with the Combine. Momir Vig would be proud.

Nexus in particular has long been a meme in various community circles, but deride it at your own peril, in the hands of a good pilot, the deck is dangerously effective as it is soporific. Pressure the deck as fast as you can, because if you are unable to apply enough pressure, you know you have lost when you start falling asleep due to lack of opportunity to take actions.

Our Modern metagame was, fascinatingly enough, simultaneously more and less predictable. Since so much money was on the line, almost every player decided to default to their pet decks that they were most comfortable with, but in so doing, ensured that almost every participant was playing a different deck. There were hardly any repeats among the Modern decks, and if there were, it was only for staples you would expect to see in mutiples anyway like Burn and Tron.

With this relatively small player number, our Modern players found their sideboarding to be tested the most, as there was no "common" deck to aim for, and thus all their sideboarding construction and deployment decisions had to be on point. For this, as the old Modern adage claims, one would vastly favour general cards over specific 'answer' cards. It is times like these where one is grateful that Cryptic Command has 4 modes prebuilt into its cardtext. 

Or one could, you know, just be the one asking the questions instead. End step Bolt your face?

And of course, our winner. Demonstrating an extremely rigorous practice ethic (shoutout to the senseis at JGH for practicing with him), he demolished our first LCQ to qualify for the invitational, and he repeated that feat with a never-say-die consistent 2-1, 2-1 performance in the Swiss rounds, before unleashing his final form and uniting with the heart of the cards to take down the Top 8 and stand on top of all the rest. Here is our 1K Series Champion, Loh Han Boon!

Our Top 8 from Left to Right: Reeve Chia, Foo Zhi Jie, Aloysius Goh, Loh Han Boon, Yang Zhijian, Jocelyn Allard, Kelvin Chew, Albertus Law

Top 8 Decklists

1st Place - Loh Han Boon

 

Standard - Mono-Blue Tempo - Main Deck

19x Island

4x Merfolk Trickster

4x Tempest Djinn

4x Pteramander

1x Mist-Cloaked Herald

4x Siren Stormtamer

2x Surge Mare

4x Opt

1x Negate

4x Wizard's Retort

4x Dive Down

3x Spell Pierce

2x Quench

4x Curious Obsession

Sideboard

2x Deep Freeze

3x Negate

1x Surge Mare

4x Entrancing Melody

1x Quench

1x Disdainful Stroke

3x Essence Capture

Modern - Amulet Titan - Main Deck

1x Bojuka Bog

1x Slayers' Stronghold

1x Kabira Crossroads

1x Khalni Garden

4x Simic Growth Chamber

4x Gemstone Mine

1x Ghost Quarter

1x Cavern of Souls

1x Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion

1x Boros Garrison

4x Selesnya Sanctuary

4x Forest

3x Tolaria West

1x Vesuva

4x Sakura-Tribe Scout

4x Azusa, Lost but Seeking

4x Primeval Titan

1x Walking Ballista

4x Ancient Stirrings

4x Summoner's Pact

1x Primal Command

1x Pact of Negation

3x Coalition Relic

2x Engineered Explosives

4x Amulet of Vigor

Sideboard

4x Path to Exile

1x Relic of Progenitus

1x Hornet Queen

1x Reclamation Sage

1x Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

3x Negate

1x Obstinate Baloth

1x Consulate Crackdown

1x Ramunap Excavator

1x Tireless Tracker

2nd Place - Reeve Chia

 

Standard - Simic Nexus – Main Deck

4x Breeding Pool

4x Hinterland Harbor

3x Memorial to Genius

2x Simic Guildgate

6x Forest

5x Island

3x Hydroid Krasis

3x Opt

3x Blink of an Eye

4x Growth Spiral

4x Root Snare

3x Sinister Sabotage

4x Chemister's Insight

1x Precognitive Perception

4x Nexus of Fate

3x Search for Azcanta//Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin

4x Wilderness Reclamation

 

Sideboard

3x Negate

3x Crushing Canopy

1x Sagittars' Volley

2x Biogenic Ooze

1x The Immortal Sun

2x Nezahal, Primal Tide

2x Pelakka Wurm

1x Mass Manipulation

Modern - Amulet Titan - Main Deck

1x Bojuka Bog

1x Slayers' Stronghold

1x Kabira Crossroads

1x Khalni Garden

4x Simic Growth Chamber

4x Gemstone Mine

1x Gruul Turf

1x Cavern of Souls

1x Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion

1x Boros Garrison

2x Selesnya Sanctuary

3x Forest

3x Tolaria West

1x Vesuva

3x Botanical Sanctum

4x Sakura-Tribe Scout

4x Azusa, Lost but Seeking

4x Primeval Titan

4x Ancient Stirrings

4x Summoner's Pact

3x Serum Visions

1x Pact of Negation

2x Coalition Relic

4x Amulet of Vigor

2x Hive Mind

Sideboard

2x Engineered Explosives

1x Ghost Quarter

1x Pact of Negation

2x Path to Exile

1x Celestial Purge

2x Negate

1x Reclamation Sage

1x Tireless Tracker

1x Chameleon Colossus

1x Obsinate Baloth

1x Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

1x Hornet Queen

Top 4 - Jocelyn Allard

 

Standard - Bant Nexus – Main Deck

1x Arch of Orazca

4x Breeding Pool

1x Forest

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Hinterland Harbor

3x Sunpetal Grove

2x Temple Garden

2x Island

4x Nexus of Fate

4x Root Snare

2x Revitalize

4x Growth Spiral

4x Chemister's Insight

2x Expansion//Explosion

4x Gift of Paradise

4x Wilderness Reclamation

3x Search for Azcanta//Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin

1x Dawn of Hope

3x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Sideboard

1x Cleansing Nova

4x Negate

3x Crushing Canopy

3x Hydroid Krasis

2x Nezahal, Primal Tide

2x Lyra Dawnbringer

Modern - Blue Moon – Main Deck

4x Scalding Tarn

7x Island

1x Mountain

1x Spirebluff Canal

1x Desolate Lighthouse

2x Sulfur Falls

2x Steam Vents

3x Misty Rainforest

4x Snapcaster Mage

4x Thing in the Ice//Awoken Horror

4x Lightning Bolt

3x Opt

1x Ancestral Vision

3x Serum Visions

1x Sudden Shock

1x Flame Slash

1x Abrade

1x Spell Snare

1x Logic Knot

4x Remand

4x Cryptic Command

1x Negate

1x Anger of the Gods

2x Blood Moon

2x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1x Ral, Izzet Viceroy

Sideboard

1x Dispel

1x Ceremonious Rejection

1x Relic of Progenitus

1x Spell Pierce

2x Surgical Extraction

1x Abrade

3x Dragon's Claw

1x Engineered Explosives

1x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

1x Keranos, God of Storms

1x Vendilion Clique

1x Anger of the Gods

Top 4 - Aloysius Goh

 

Standard - Sultai Midrange - Main Deck

4x Breeding Pool

3x Drowned Catacomb

2x Forest

2x Hinterland Harbor

1x Memorial to Folly

4x Overgrown Tomb

4x Woodland Cemetery

4x Watery Grave

1x Carnage Tyrant

2x Frilled Mystic

4x Hydroid Krasis

2x Hostage Taker

4x Jadelight Ranger

2x Merfolk Branchwalker

1x Ravenous Chupacabra

4x Seeker's Squire

1x Thrashing Brontodon

3x Wildgrowth Walker

2x Assassin's Trophy

3x Find//Finality

2x Cast Down

2x Vraska's Contempt

1x Vraska, Relic Seeker

2x Vivien Reid

Sideboard

2x Unmoored Ego

1x Disdainful Stroke

2x Negate

3x Duress

2x Cry of the Carnarium

1x Vraska's Contempt

2x Kraul Harpooner

1x Thrashing Brontodon

1x Carnage Tyrant

Modern - BG Rock - Main Deck

4x Blooming Marsh

4x Field of Ruin

2x Forest

1x Hissing Quagmire

2x Overgrown Tomb

4x Swamp

1x Twilight Mire

2x Treetop Village

4x Verdant Catacombs

4x Dark Confidant

2x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

3x Scavenging Ooze

4x Tarmogoyf

2x Tireless Tracker

3x Assassin's Trophy

1x Maelstrom Pulse

4x Fatal Push

2x Thoughtseize

4x Inquisition of Kozilek

2x Collective Brutality

2x Liliana, the Last Hope

3x Liliana of the Veil

Sideboard

2x Grafdigger's Cage

1x Ratchet Bomb

1x Damping Sphere

3x Fulminator Mage

2x Kitchen Finks

1x Maelstrom Pulse

2x Surgical Extraction

1x Collective Brutality

1x Bitterblossom

1x Damnation

Top 8 - Foo Zhi Jie

Standard - Will Smith が言っていた (Esper Control)  - Main Deck

4x Isolated Chapel

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Drowned Catacomb

4x Hallowed Fountain

3x Godless Shrine

4x Watery Grave

1x Swamp

1x Island

1x Plains

2x Cry of the Carnarium

3x Kaya's Wrath

3x Chemister's Insight

4x Thought Erasure

3x Cast Down

1x Unmoored Ego

3x vraska's Contempt

1x Negate

2x Mortify

1x Syncopate

4x Absorb

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

1x Kaya, Orzhov Usurper

4x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Sideboard

4x Thief of Sanity

2x Lyra Dawnbringer

2x Moment of Craving

2x Hostage Taker

1x Negate

2x Duress

1x Settle the Wreckage

1x The Eldest Reborn

Modern - Cawcaw Muddafugga (UR Phoenix)  - Main Deck

4x Spirebluff Canal

4x Scalding Tarn

2x Misty Rainforest

3x Steam Vents

3x Island

2x Mountain

2x Crackling Drake

4x Arclight Phoenix

4x Thing in the Ice//Awoken Horror

1x Snapcaster Mage

4x Thought Scour

4x Faithless Looting

4x Serum Visions

4x Opt

4x Lightning Bolt

1x Lightning Axe

4x Manamorphose

1x Echoing Truth

1x Gut Shot

2x Surgical Extraction

2x Pyromancer Ascension

Sideboard

1x Beacon Bolt

1x Ral, Izzet Viceroy

1x Abrade

1x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

2x Anger of the Gods

1x Surgical Extraction

1x Dispel

1x Disdainful Stroke

2x Spell Pierce

1x Ravenous Trao

1x Shatterstorm

2x Blood Moon

Top 8 - Joshua Yang Zhijian

 

Standard - Esper Control  - Main Deck

4x Isolated Chapel

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Drowned Catacomb

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Godless Shrine

4x Watery Grave

1x Swamp

1x Island

2x Cry of the Carnarium

4x Thought Erasure

3x Absorb

3x Kaya's Wrath

3x Vraska's Contempt

3x Chemister's Insight

3x Mortify

2x Cast Down

1x Duress

1x Negate

1x Moment of Craving

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

1x Seal Away

1x Kaya, Orzhov Usurper

4x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Sideboard

4x Thief of Sanity

3x Lyra Dawnbringer

2x Seraph of the Scales

3x Duress

1x Moment of Craving

1x Arguel's Blood Fast//Temple of Aclazotz

1x Cry of the Carnarium

Modern - UW Control  - Main Deck

4x Celestial Colonnade

4x Flooded Strand

4x Field of Ruin

2x Hallowed Fountain

2x Glacial Fortress

2x Plains

6x Island

1x Scalding Tarn

2x Snapcaster Mage

2x Vendilion Clique

4x Terminus

4x Path to Exile

4x Opt

3x Cryptic Command

1x Serum Visions

1x Ancestral Vision

1x Oust

1x Negate

1x Logic Knot

1x Surgical Extraction

1x Supreme Verdict

1x Timely Reinforcements

1x Absorb

1x Blessed Alliance

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

1x Detention Sphere

3x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

1x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Sideboard

3x Rest in Peace

2x Dispel

1x Baneslayer Angel

1x Lyra Dawnbringer

1x Cataclysmic Gearhulk

1x Disdainful Stroke

1x Timely Reinforcements

1x Engineered Explosives

1x Celestial Purge

1x Surgical Extraction

1x Ceremonious Rejection

1x Ancestral Vision

Top 8 - Kelvin Chew

Standard - Sultai Midrange - Main Deck

4x Breeding Pool

2x Drowned Catacomb

4x Forest

1x Hinterland Harbor

1x Memorial to Folly

4x Overgrown Tomb

4x Watery Grave

4x Woodland Cemetery

1x Carnage Tyrant

3x Hostage Taker

4x Hydroid Krasis

1x Incubation Druid

4x Jadelight Ranger

4x Llanowar Elves

4x Merfolk Branchwalker

4x Wildgrowth Walker

3x Cast Down

3x Find//Finality

2x Vraska's Contempt

3x Vivien Reid

Sideboard

1x Carnage Tyrant

1x Cast Down

2x Disdainful Stroke

4x Duress

4x Kraul Harpooner

2x Thrashing Brontodon

1x Vraska's Contempt

Modern - UW Control - Main Deck

4x Celestial Colonnade

4x Field of Ruin

4x Flooded Strand

2x Hallowed Fountain

2x Glacial Fortress

6x Island

1x Ghost Quarter

2x Plains

3x Snapcaster Mage

1x Vendilion Clique

2x Surgical Extraction

3x Cryptic Command

1x Spell Pierce

1x Logic Knot

1x Negate

4x Path to Exile

4x Opt

2x Mana Leak

2x Serum Visions

2x Oust

1x Supreme Verdict

1x Timely Reinforcements

2x Detention Sphere

2x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

3x Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sideboard

2x Ceremonious Rejection

2x Celestial Purge

2x Dispel

1x Negate

1x Ravenous Trap

1x Surgical Extraction

1x Timely Reinforcements

1x Disdainful Stroke

2x Terminus

1x Rest in Peace

1x Vendilion Clique

Top 8 - Albertus Law

Standard - Mono-Red Aggro splash black - Main Deck

4x Blood Crypt

4x Dragonskull Summit

13x Mountain

4x Fanatical Firebrand

4x Ghitu Lavarunner

3x Rix Maadi Reveler

4x Runaway Steam-Kin

3x Viashino Pyromancer

4x Goblin Chainwhirler

4x Lightning Strike

4x Light Up the Stage

2x Risk Factor

3x Wizard's Lightning

4x Carnival//Carnage

Sideboard

2x Dire Fleet Daredevil

3x Lava Coil

4x Lightning Mare

2x Fiery Cannonade 

2x Risk Factor

2x Angrath, the Flame-Chained

Modern - BR Prison - Main Deck

3x Blood Crypt

4x Bloodstained Mire

2x Graven Cairns

3x Mountain

9x Swamp

1x Temple of Malice

1x Magus of the Moon

4x Simian Spirit Guide

1x Hazoret the Fervent

1x Abrade

4x Collective Brutality

2x Anger of the Gods

3x Bedevil

2x Kolaghan's Command

1x Torpor Orb

4x Chalice of the Void

4x Ensnaring Bridge

4x Blood Moon

3x Liliana of the Veil

1x Liliana, the Last Hope

3x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Sideboard

4x Goblin Rabblemaster

1x Kolaghan's Command

2x Crumble to Dust

4x Leyline of the Void

2x Boil

2x Stormbreath Dragon