FNM Report: 2/26/2016

Double Midnight Comics in Concord threw a party on 2/26 for hitting advanced plus. 29 players showed up to battle in modern (plus have free pizza), despite the current “Eldrazi winter”.

I know this will come as a big surprise: I chose to battle with a version of Scapeshift. I did, however, drastically alter my deck from last time, in order to facilitate playing this gem:

Here’s the list I played for the night, followed by my thoughts on mainboard and sideboard choices and a brief round by round breakdown.

Creatures (8)
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Wall of Omens

Spells (27)
Anger of the Gods
Bring to Light
Farseek
Glittering Wish
Lightning Helix
Ojutai’s Command
Path to Exile
Remand
Scapeshift
Search for Tomorrow
Lands (25)
Breeding Pool
Cinder Glade
Forest
Hallowed Fountain
Island
Mountain
Plains
Razorverge Thicket
Sacred Foundry
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
Windswept Heath

Sideboard (15)
Bring to Light
Detention Sphere
Dragonlord Dromoka
Firespout
Izzet Staticaster
Keranos, God of Storms
Kitchen Finks
Lightning Helix
Naya Charm
Obstinate Baloth
Ojutai’s Command
Sphinx’s Revelation
Supreme Verdict
Wear // Tear

Playing Glittering Wish is really weird while sideboarding, as you are almost always better off keeping your “best” sideboard cards out as Wish gives you essentially 4 copies of it. The big one in the board is the Bring to Light, which always stays to function as 4 additional copies when you need to get Scapeshift to win (which luckily means 7 or 8 lands, which should give you the mana to Wish and Bring to Light on the same turn). Detention Sphere, Firespout, Izzet Staticaster, and Supreme Verdict are the great board control options, while Wear // Tear is mostly for annoying things like Blood Moon or Affinity. Dragonlord Dromoka is the concession to blue decks, though it’s often very awkward game 1 because they likely still have Path to Exile or other removal in that they can mainphase to remove it. Keranos, God of Storms is there for the grindy games (like Jund), but I think that Sigarda, Host of Herons may just be a better option. Ojutai’s Command and Sphinx’s Revelation are great when you just need more cards. Command when you can hit Sakura-Tribe Elder to make it a ramp spell is particularly good. In hindsight I think that Revelation isn’t great as the only time you really want it is when you have 5 or 6 lands, or against blue decks where you can try to force their hand to stop that and open it up to resolving Scapeshift. Kitchen Finks is a great find against aggressive decks, where the 4 life and trading with 2 creatures (hopefully) can gain you a ton of time (though maybe not as much as Firespout). Naya Charm is mostly there as a means to get Scapeshift back if both end up in your graveyard, though it’s possible it may have other uses at times if you’ve Wished more than once. Finally, Lightning Helix can be used as a 4 mana removal spell against aggro, or what I found handy with it is if you need to drop your opponent to 18 or less in order to kill with 7 lands you can always grab that Helix, hit them in the face with it, and then win a turn earlier.

The removal package is very decent. Path to Exile gets the nod over Lightning Bolt as a means of getting rid of the big Eldrazi creatures (and it can also be used to ramp by hitting a Wall of Omens). Speaking of Omens, the card was very good at buying time and is another great option for returning with Ojutai’s Command as needed. Overall I was very happy with the card choices in the main, though it did seem weird that Remand came out so frequently. If only there was a counterspell with options that might be better (Izzet Charm perhaps)….

Choosing what lands to play, in what order, is often very challenging with this deck as you have so many options. Early on you need green/white for Wish, white/red for Helix, green ASAP for Search for Tomorrow, blue for Remand…. It’s annoying at times. The other thing to remember is that the deck only plays a total of 6 basics, which makes it decently easy to “run out”. I am highly considering removing Cinder Glade to add another basic Mountain, just to bump up my number of basics and retain 10 totals mountains in the deck (which still leaves 13 sources of green in the deck which can be untapped on turn 1, sounds like a very good swap).

Round 1: Jeskai Delver

Win 2-1
Games 1 and 3 were not super exciting. Game 2 was strange where my opponent played a fair number of lands but never really played any creatures. I wasn’t even considering the amount of burn my opponent may have, and went for the combo win. My opponent proceeded to cast Disdainful Stroke on it, then burn me out to -1. Had I fetched lands appropriately I could have lived thanks to Lightning Helix in hand, with Obstinate Baloth and Ojutai’s Command in hand as well that would have gained me a ton of life. The end of game 3 was also interesting, as I ended up with double Scapeshift in hand with my opponent having very few lands in play. I played my 8th land (tapped) and passed, rather than going for the win. The reason here was that if my opponent had double counters I would lose if I split them up, but he didn’t have the mana to counter both in the same turn. Good Wish targets would be Lightning Helix, Firespout (to sweep up Delvers and Young Pyromancer plus tokens), or Izzet Staticaster. This was the first of many matches where I boarded out all 4 Remand to bring in 2 Obstinate Baloth, 1 Ojutai’s Command, and 1 Sphinx’s Revelation.

Round 2: Impact Tremors Goblins

Win 2-0

This deck was strange, but also scary. Game 1 I see double Impact Tremors, followed up by a Dragon Fodder (I take 4), followed by a swing (I take 1), then double Goblin Grenade (I take 10). I was luckily able to gain some life and win, despite being dealt close to 25 damage. Game 2 I also got to see Quest for the Goblin Lord. This enchantment got turned on pretty quickly, but I was able to Wish for Izzet Staticaster which was able to keep all of his creatures off the board until I could combo out. I boarded out all 4 copies of Remand and brought in 2 Obstinate Baloth, 1 Ojutai’s Command, and 1 Sphinx’s Revelation.

Round 3: Merfolk

Win 2-0

Game 1 was resolved by a Wish for Supreme Verdict, which allowed me to combo off at 1 life. Game 2 was a great example of me playing without any blue until the turn I won and my opponent never found a copy of Spreading Seas. This is certainly one of the perks of not trying to jam Cryptic Command into the deck at this point. Best Wish targets are Detention Sphere (if it hits 2+ cards), Supreme Verdict, or Wear // Tear (if it hits Vial + Seas). Again I boarded out all 4 copies of Remand and brought in 2 Obstinate Baloth, 1 Ojutai’s Command, and 1 Sphinx’s Revelation.

Round 4: UW Eldrazi

Win 2-1

The matchup I was hoping to avoid, though needed to play to see how the deck really held up. So the odd bit was my opponent mulliganed to 6 all 3 games (I mulliganed to 6 in games 2 and 3). I was on the play, and was able to stall the board pretty well through removal and Wall of Omens. This matchup also really showcased the power of Ojutai’s Command where I could get back Sakura-Tribe Elder and gain 4 life/draw a card (seriously, this spell is absurd for this deck when it works this way). With Wish it was most ideal to take Supreme Verdict. Sideboard plan was take out 2 copies of Remand for the 2 Obstinate Baloth (which I never got to play for free while killing a Reality Smasher).

Round 5: Abzan Company

Win 2-1

The 2-1 here is almost a lie. We chose to intentionally draw as it just makes more sense, but still played for fun. The game plan here is to disrupt the combo by killing his pieces as soon as possible, and using Remand to buy time against the cards that actually matter (Collected Company or Chord of Calling). Wish targets here would generally be Lightning Helix, Bring to Light (for Anger of the Gods), Detention Sphere (which I actually used to hit double Kitchen Finks game 3), or maybe Izzet Staticaster as it can clear out the board quite well. My sideboard plan was to leave everything exactly as it was.

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.