FNM Report: 4/29/2016

I traveled down to Concord to play in Double Midnight Comics’ Modern FNM yet again, though this time decided to play something a little bit different!

About a week ago I saw an article on a deck called TarmoDrazo. I really liked the looks of the deck and decided to build my own version. The biggest change I made was that I’m not a big fan of Serum Powder and decided to omit it in my deck, which can be found below:

Creatures (20)
Matter Reshaper
Reality Smasher
Thought-Knot Seer

Spells (17)
Ancient Stirrings
Lightning Bolt
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Lands (23)
Cavern of Souls
Eldrazi Temple
Grove of the Burnwillows
Karplusan Forest
Sea Gate Wreckage
Stomping Ground
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Ancient Grudge
Crumble to Dust
Feed the Clan
Kozilek’s Return
Natural State
Outpost Siege
Pithing Needle
Surgical Extraction

I played a similar deck at Tuesday night modern, though with a terrible mana base as I couldn’t come up with the exact lands on short notice. I didn’t take any notes there (where I beat affinity, lost to affinity, lost to Jeskai Ascendancy, and beat Living End), though I did take some notes from FNM.

Round 1: Lantern Control

Win 2-0 (Won Roll)
Got to play the same lantern control deck as in the past as FNM in Concord. Game 1 I started off mildly aggressive and my opponent was stuck on 2 lands. I saw both parts of the Sword of the Meek/Thopter Foundry combo, and was really worried about my chances. Not getting the third land, however, allowed my burn and double Matter Reshaper to seal the deal. Game 2 I saw a ton of my sideboard cards, having brought in Natural State, Ancient Grudge, Surgical Extraction, and Pithing Needle. I was able to destroy my way through two copies of Ensnaring Bridge and just got in with a few creatures.

Round 2: Kiki Chord

Loss 1-2 (Won Roll)
This deck is tough for mine to interact with, as I need to keep answers to the combo around while also dealing with flyers. My best bet is to try and race, which is often very difficult. Game 1 I lost, Game 2 I won on the back of Endbringer, game 3 my opponent played Pithing Needle on Endbringer which was the highlight of my night (as Bringer was just something I wanted to test to see how it did). I ended up losing game 3 to Restoration Angel and Pia and Kiran Nalaar‘s Thopters.

Round 3: Abzan Company

Win 2-1 (Won Roll)
Being fairly aggressive managed to get me through game 1, as well having a host of removal for my opponent’s small creatures. I punted game 2, where after using Surgical Extraction to exile all of his copies of Kitchen Finks, I then chose to Traverse the Ulvenwald for my second Endbringer instead of Thought-Knot Seer to take his Murderous Redcap from hand. I died to the combo on the following turn. Game 3 was more Thought-Knot Seer and Surgical Extraction making the matchup a nightmare for my opponent.

Round 4: 8 Rack

Win 2-0 (Lost Roll)
Game 1 I went pure aggression and was able to outrace my opponent, dealing with his creatures and not really needing any sort of hand. Game 2 was much longer and more involved, however. My opponent ended up landing multiple copies of The Rack and Ensnaring Bridge, and here I was without having brought in my artifact hate (silly me). Endbringer did a ton of work, however, as it enabled me to outdraw his discard and then ping him to death over the course of a number of turns.

Lessons Learned

Endbringer is sweet
In many of my matches Endbringer was the kind of trump card that I wanted. Against Kiki Chord it would be able to remove a number of small creatures, draw me more gas, or make my opponent’s large creatures unable to attack. Against Abzan Company it sometimes shuts off the combo (being able to kill a combo piece with a bolster trigger on the stack), and makes a mockery of the number of x/1 creatures my opponent has. Against 8 Rack it simply draws so many cards they can never kill me. The card probably has other great applications, mostly in grindy matchups that I’ve yet to get to test it against, but so far I’ve really enjoyed the card. While World Breaker has a great recursion ability and can remove troublesome cards when needed, this guy if left unanswered will take over most games.

Spellskite feels bad, but isn’t
I’ve yet to have a match where Spellskite was good, and I’ve boarded it out easily in every single match I’ve played with the deck. That being said, I can recognize that it is very valuable in the matches where it’s good, where it can protect my important creatures and just be a nightmare for bogles/infect/burn.

Moving Forward

While I fully expect to be playing something different from TarmoDrazi at my next modern event, I will say that the deck was an absolute blast to play. Eldrazi are very good, and Eldrazi Temple makes them busted in many cases. I’m fairly happy with the composition of the deck, though I think I would like to squeeze one extra green source into the list (probably replace a Sea Gate Wreckage with a Copperline Gorge) and I want to adjust my sideboard. World Breaker is a card that I often thought I would probably like to have, and I think I will look to replace one copy of Traverse the Ulvenwald with one for better late game action. I may also replace a single Lightning Bolt with a copy of Seal of Fire, as having the opportunity to chuck an enchantment into the graveyard may be relevant for delirium and Tarmogoyf size.

Chris Wendelboe

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