After running gifts for the last ten or so weeks in Modern. I decided to go back to my old friend Geist of St Traft. “The heart wants what the heart wants.” Li Xu laughed as we sat down against each other in the first round of modern this week. I decided to play the old American Mid Range deck that was so popular at the start of the year.

But Why? Isn’t that deck just a worse version of the UWR Wafa Tapa?

I feel like meta games, all meta games, especially those in eternal formats, go under a bit of a loop. Some decks resurface as good calls from time to time. Particularly I feel like its a time to push Geist of St. Traft.

With Jund on the rise overall I like the ability to kill Deathrite Shaman straight away in the early turns of the game. They have trouble with Geist and many Jund Decks are pitching Lilliana for Chandra. Lightning Bolt and Helix as well as Path to Exile really stomp out DRS as a utility card. I’ve added Vapor Snag to the deck to help keep GoST safe as well as remove blockers and sometimes for a little extra push in damage. Vendillion Clique, Grim Lavamancer, Restoration Angel and Snapcaster Mage round out my creature base with a pair of Thundermaw Hellkite to slam in for the final 5 damage. I added Ajani Vengeant to the deck for a surprise bit of late game lock up. I went 2-1 on Tuesday. I think that if I had found room in the deck for Supreme Verdicts and Maybe a Wrath of God I could have made 3-0.

Round 1 i found myself against Li Xu’s RUG Ooze list. He took game one pretty easily as My Grim Lavamancer struggled to keep his creatures in check. Eventually, I got rolled by Kitchen Finks and Tarmagoyf. Game Two I removed the Lavamancer and sided in Pillar of Flames. Each game after I saw my Pillars to combat his Finks. Game Two was settle by Clique, Ajani and a Linghting Helix with the final point of damage coming from Vapor Snag. The third game I got out Geist early and saw enough removal to keep him alive during attacks. The final swing with Geist and Thundermaw sealed it. Li and I always have these back and forth matches. The last one was his. I expect the next one will be too. Both victories were races that could have swung either way if not for draw just the right card at the right time.

Next I faced Brook Li. Boros Beats. Brook sported a ton of cards you don’t see much in constructed. But I have to admit Knight of the Holy Nimbus did some work against me. Game one he took pretty easily. White Weenies just smashed through without much regard for my utility dudes. Grim Lavamancer held back some threats but I couldn’t keep up. Game two I was able to get out Geist and Vendillion Clique. Spot removal kept me from sending Geist to the graveyard on attacks and Clique was largely unblockable. Game three I punted really hard by keeping (sue me I’m terrible sometimes) 6 lands and a Lightning Helix. I was very afraid of Brook’s possible Blood Moon. His turn one play made me swallow my heart. Soldier of the Pantheon. Great! Reinforce the terrible keep. Brook took me down quickly. It was no contest.

Mike Simpson was my final opponent. He was on some kind of Land based Dredge deck. Seismic Assault made an appearance. Each game Geist came down on turn three and did his thing. Ajani assisted in Game 2 with a tap down, Seismic Assault ended that. It was too late though hexproof punished Mike’s deck for targeted removal.

2-1 isn’t so bad. It’s been my MO lately. I really need to focus when I’m down a game. My mulling decision was a really terrible one. I like Grim Lavamancer but I might throw him in the board. Also I need to put a Relic or two in there. It’s good against Goyf and Dredge. I think ill try Geist again next week. I understand the deck and I tend to win and lose without going to time.

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

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