This is, in fact, literally the road to Richmond. Because look, I’m on the road, and we’re going to a GP. Never mind, don’t actually look because I don’t know how to add pictures to this from an iPad. As it stands, we will arrive at Richmond around 2am!
Anyways, this post is going to be a bit more off the cuff than usual. Between audits at work (apparently, audits are a big deal at multinational financial institutions; who woulda thunk!) and prepping for the GP, more so from a logistics standpoint than a testing standpoint, I had to bump my weekly post to Saturday. That didn’t buy me any actual time other than the car ride, so here I am, writing in the car, on a tablet.
Let’s talk about my deck selection process for the event. Oh wait, that didn’t actually happen yet. Leave a comment in the morning asking what I decided to play. No, but seriously, I DO know that I want to be casting Snapcaster Mage and Lightning Bolt, a wholly original idea! I’ve narrowed my selection down to three lists that happened to be in the top 8 of Pro Tour Born of the Gods:
-UWR Control, because it won it all and it’s a list I have some familiarity with it. I also do have an affinity for playing the durdliest deck in every format. See: Miracles, UW with Elixir.
-UR Twin because I enjoy a good tempo plan, and the ability to win out of nowhere is also nice. Throw in the fact that you can Moon people out of games, and yeah, this seems like a great idea!
-Tim Rivera’s UWR Twin deck, which is almost a happy medium between the above two lists. He also has an alright first name.

I managed to do a bit of testing with each of the above lists over the last two weeks. Here are my impressions. Take them with a grain of salt, as I haven’t given the format much thought since the last Modern PTQ season, outside of occasionally jamming a two-man queue on MODO when I’m waiting for the next round of a Legacy Daily to fire. Also, did I mention, Deathrite was prominently featured in my jamming deck of choice? No? Well, my jamming deck of choice was Zac Hill’s Grixis Delver.

UWR Control
+ ALL the Snapcasters and cheap removal
+ ALL the counters
+ Draw ALL the cards
+ You get to grind them out with Colonnades after you’ve both run out of cards by trading one for one (or better) all game
– Control requires intimate knowledge of not just your own deck, but the whole format. This is not a problem for me in Legacy. It is probably a problem for Modern, though, especially with a field this massive.
– Half your deck is probably bad in game one, so you need to sideboard well. This also really requires you to know the format, cold.

UR Twin
+ I LOVE the mix of Snappies, burn, counters, and cantrips. Hmmm, maybe I should be playing UR Delver in Legacy? Whoops, I’m digressing!
+ Blood Moon
– Definitely the list that I am least experienced with. This is probably the biggest strike against this archetype, for me. It’s been a tier one deck since the beginning, so there will be players in the room that are far more well-versed in the intricacies of various matchups.
+ But seriously, four Snappies and all those cantrips!!!
+ Oh, you also just win out of nowhere, sometimes.

UWR Twin
+ This is probably the deck I’ve done the most testing with over the last couple weeks.
– Unfortunately, I also think it’s the worst of the three decks. When I play against regular UR Twin, it feels like they have more ways to stop me and more consistency to go off thanks to Snapcasters and cantrips. When I play against UWR control, it’s a nightmare because they have all the answers.
+ Conversely, you do have the ability to attack from multiple angles. It’s pretty cool that you can go from a tempo plan to a combo plan to a Colonnade plan.
– Blood Moon
+ My buddy, Tony, made a sideboard plan for all the major matchups. It looks pretty solid. Did I mention earlier that my knowledge of the format, was lacking, thus my ability to make good sideboarding choices might not be up to par. I was pretty sure I was off this list, but that alone was enough to put it back into consideration.

And that’s all for tonight. We’re still a little ways out of Richmond, so I guess I’d better settle on a list and start putting it together in the backseat of this car. Good luck to everyone battling in what might officially be the LARGEST MAGIC TOURNAMENT EVAAAAR by the time this gets published! I’ll be wearing my HotC shirt on Saturday, so look for me!

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