HobbyBear Open – Fall 2016

The local store ran a larger Modern tournament this past weekend with some of the trappings of the various “open series” events out there, such as an exclusive playmat. This one has original art by Ron Spencer, so that’s pretty dope.

HobbyBear Open Fall 2016 Playmat

There were 67 players for 7 rounds of Swiss. I ran Ponza, which shut up it’s a sweet deck. I tried out one Chandra, Torch of Defiance from the latest set, she seems like a pretty strict upgrade to the older Chandra, Pyromaster.

Usually you’ll have at least one Relic of Progenitus and/or Grafdigger’s Cage in the sideboard but I was more concerned about having plenty of stuff for Affinity and Infect so I loaded up on Ancient Grudges, Sudden Shocks and Anger of the Gods.

Round 1 vs Affinity: Game 1, I ranched with an early hardcast Bonfire for X=1. Then in games 2 & 3 I lost to quick Ensoul Artifacts, not drawing enough of my healthy stock of sideboard hate. I was a little butthurt to start with a loss but you gotta get back up. (0-1)

Round 2 vs Bye: I guess I can’t complain about a freebie. (1-1)

Round 3 vs Naya Burn/Zoo: Game 1 I fell pretty low but managed to fade enough of his draw steps. Game 2 I sideboarded in a bunch of Kitchen Finks and it wasn’t too big a deal. It’s not always intuitive, but Blood Moon is actually really good against these decks. Sure, they can still cast a ton of red spells but keeping them off of things like Atarka’s Command and Boros Charm is relevant. (2-1)

Round 4 vs Abzan Company: I lost game 1 after mulling into a 6-card hand with 2x Bonfire of the Damned. You typically don’t want that card in your opening hand unless your opponent is on a deck with X/1’s and maaaybe X/2’s. In this game, I actually did hardcast 3x Bonfires but opponent had some Collected Company and Eternal Witness action and I couldn’t keep up. Game 2 I brutalized his manabase and game 3 I repeatedly swept away all his creatures. There was one early turn where he cast Path to Exile on my Arbor Elf on my upkeep, to keep me from doing something too gross with Utopia Sprawl. I searched up my basic from Path, shuffled and presented my deck for his cutting pleasure. He cut me to a Bonfire of the Damned for my draw step and lost his board. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s all randomized but it’s still kinda funny when stuff like that happens. (3-1)

Round 5 vs Infect: I always sperg out against Infect, it just tilts me off. Here, I lost game 1 but got the post-sideboard games. Sudden Shock is a huge help, I think I’ll always play at least 3x in my red sideboards. (4-1)

Round 6 vs Titan-Shift: I had early Blood Moons in both games and opponent couldn’t get away from it. Seems like a pretty bad matchup for them if they can’t find a sideboard Naturalize effect. They do ramp quickly so you can easily die to Primeval Titan beats if you can’t deal with the 6/6 via Beast Within or something. In both of these games the board states developed such that I think I would have instantly died if opponent ever drew one of his Nature’s Claims. Sometimes you manage to fade ’em. (5-1)

Round 7: Draw into Top 8. You can view the Top 8 decklists here. Yes, that is correct: there were two 8-rack decks in there. Modern is a helluva format.

Quarterfinals vs Storm: I have only a small chance against the Pyromancer Ascension deck, especially with him on the play as the higher seed. This time, I rolled over and died in 2 quick games. Cheers, Dave!


Going forward, I think I’ll have to play a couple pieces of graveyard hate in my sideboard so I can at least pretend I’m doing something against this kind of deck. I’m figuring 1x Grafdigger’s Cage and 1x Relic of Progenitus. I’ll cut the sideboard Chameleon Colossus, that card is cute and obviously great against black decks but I can live without it. I don’t think I want to cut Fracturing Gust so maybe an Anger of the Gods? Other than that, I really like the list I’m on.

So, despite a very anticlimactic quarterfinals, I still had a great time. My prize was 5x packs of Modern Masters and I opened a Karn Liberated so that’s pretty deece.


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