It’s been a rebuilding week for me on the Magic scene. Legacy, Modern and Standard all feel like relevent formats right now. Twenty Sided Store upped the ante in May with a larger buy-in for their weekly tournaments. This is overall great as this means the prizes are going up as well! I’m super excited to focus on upping my game in Modern and Legacy. Over the last year I’ve really struggled with caring about Modern or Legacy unless there was a “real” tournament on the horizon. With a 4-0 record I’m walking away with $60 in credit! 3-0-1 is $45 and 3-0 is $30. 2-1-1 gets you your fee back and maybe a pack… and 2-2 gets you a pack.

I expect a pretty intense focus from the Monday and Tuesday night players for the next couple of weeks. The Legacy meta is all over the place. Enchantress, Show and Tell, Lands, Miracles, various Delver decks, high tide and F&^KING Painter’s Servant. It’s a hater’s meta out there. And Honestly, I’ve been tilting hardcore the last few weeks. RUG Delver isn’t well positioned against all the weirdo decks that have been showing up lately. It’s discouraging to build a $3000 deck and then 0-2 drop with it. I said as much to Li Xu, who often plays RUG Delver too. His response was pretty pragmatic, “Your job is to not let the other decks play Magic.” He went on to tell me that the deck rewards tight play. When you make a mistake the deck punishes you for it. I should just hunker down, accept my losses, and play as best as I can. There’s really no arguing with that logic, anything else feels like whining. SO for Legacy I’ll be back on RUG.

RUG Delver

Lands (18)
Volcanic Island
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island

Creatures (12)
Delver of Secrets
Nimble Mongoose

Spells (30)
Lightning Bolt
Spell Pierce
Spell Snare
Forked Bolt
Force of Will
Sideboard (15)
Back to Nature
Ancient Grudge
Red Elemental Blast
Destructive Revelry
Blue Elemental Blast
Helm of Obedience
Gilded Drake
Grafdigger’s Cage
Sulfuric Vortex
Harmonic Convergence
Pithing Needle

Let’s talk about this highly metagamed sideboard.

[casthaven]Back to Nature[/casthaven] is for Enchantress. It’s not terrible against miracles either, and has some legs against lands.

[casthaven]Ancient Grudge[/casthaven] is good vs so many decks naming each one would be obnoxious and an insult to both of our intelligences.

[casthaven]Rough// Tumble[/casthaven] is for Elves, Death and Taxes, Bug Delver and Goblins, it has a sleight relevance for Merfolk any swarm deck really.

[casthaven]Red Elemental Blast[/casthaven] hit the combo decks, and Show and Tell it’s good in the mirror as well.

[casthaven]Destructive Revelry[/casthaven] is good for all the same reasons that Ancient Grudge is but the damage and being able to hit enchantments is important for Twenty Sided Store.

[casthaven]Blue Elemental Blast[/casthaven] is nice for Burn, and Storm it’s fine vs Belcher and Goblins too.

[casthaven]Helm of Obedience[/casthaven] is a concession to the fact that so many jerk decks at the store are running Rest in Peace in the main and it’s terrible for me it turns off my Mongooses and Goyfs. This give me a chance to win thru half of their combo.

[casthaven]Gilded Drake[/casthaven] is my answer to Lands (20/20 flyers are fun) and Show and Tell/Reanimator. I never leave home without just on of these guys in my board.

[casthaven]Sulfuric Vortex[/casthaven] is one of the only ways I can take it down after a Rest in Peace hits the board. It’s great at closing out the game against decks that can deal with my creature suite.

[casthaven]Harmonic Convergence[/casthaven] is a 3 mana way to deal with Counter Balance and Enchantress.

[casthaven]Pithing Needle[/casthaven] is another great way to shut down Top, [casthaven]Grindstone[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Stoneforge Mystic[/casthaven].

These are not the choices Id make for an SCG event where I’d expect to play elves/delver/storm/mirror/some jank combo deck over the course of the day. But it’s not terrible. 

Modern lately has been interesting. We have a ton of Junk decks, UR storm, Twin, tron, a Summerbloom deck UWR tempo as well as hate bears and Living End. There’s no best deck in Modern right now and that’s fine by me. I’m holding it down with Twin myself, Grixis is my flavor of the month.

Grixis Twin

Lands (23)
Scalding Tarn
Polluted Delta
Tectonic Edge
Watery Grave
Desolate Lighthouse
Blood Crypt
Sulfur Falls
Bloodstained Mire
Steam Vents
Shivan Reef

Creatures (13)
Deceiver Exarch
Snapcaster Mage
Vendilion Clique
Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Spells (24)
Splinter Twin
Cryptic Command
Spell Snare
Kolaghan’s Command
Serum Visions
Lightning Bolt
Sideboard (15)
Olivia Voldaren
Keranos, God of Storms
Smash to Smithereens
Kolaghan’s Command
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Engineered Explosives
Vedalken Shackles
Anger of the Gods

This is pretty close to the deck Kevin Jones ran in Providence. A few changes but really the same deck. I really like the “Goyf with Value” factor Tasigur offers the deck. He’s great early and amazing late. As another win con he’s a giant target and that’s just fine because it leaves us open to Twin out if opponents choose to deal with him. I like that Jones moved to 3 Splinter Twin in the 75. You never need 2 of those in your hand and its a real drag when it happens. Splashing Black gives us acces to Olivia Voldaren which can just take over the game against decks that aren’t ready for her. Vedalken Shackles is the same, just brutal against stupid creature decks. 

I might go down to just 1 or maybe 0 KiKi-Jiki in the board. It’s good but not necessary, well pretty much ever. I’m sure I’d be happy with a pair of Blood Moons in there. Some decks just can’t handle Blood Moon. 

Moving onto Standard you’ll see that last week I was in decision about whether to play Aggro or Control. The choice was back for me as my friend Paul wanted to play the Esper Dragons deck and that left me on the RGDWs. I plowed through FMN at 3-1 losing only to my own failure to draw the correct number of cards as I mulliganed. All other matches were stupid 2-0 “I deal 20 damage to your face before you can even think about your game plan” type games. Atarka’s Command feels like cheating in this Token deck. My rule for Coomand is to never cast it for less than 5 damage. Tribal Flames in a 2 color deck is pretty good. I don’t have to sing the praises of Stoke the Flames, but HOT DAMN that card is dumb! It’s basically Fireblast in this deck. Turn 3 Hordeling Outburst after a Turn 2 Dragon Fodder and a Turn 1 Foundry Street Denizen is pretty good but when you attack with just the Denizen and hold back one Goblin from the Fodder… well how stupid does a free 4 damage spell feel? It’s Turn 3 and your opponent is at 8 life and you have a swarm of 1/1’s that are threatening to be 2/2’s and another 3 damage if you have Atarka’s Command. Why did your opponent even leave the office today? Here’s the deck it’s basically Martin Dang’s List card for card. He did win a Pro Tour with it… so it seems like a fine choice. I wouldn’t be opposed to a pair of [casthaven]Collateral Damage[/casthaven] in the Board. It makes Bile Blight not such a blowout.

RG Deck Wins

Lands (20)
10 Mountain
Mana Confluence
Wooded Foothills
Temple of Abandon

Creatures (15)
Foundry Street Denizen
Monastery Swiftspear
Zurgo Bellstriker
Goblin Rabblemaster
Lightning Berserker
Frenzied Goblin

Spells (25)
Wild Slash
Stoke the Flames
Lightning Strike
Atarka’s Command
Hordeling Outburst
Dragon Fodder
Become Immense
Sideboard (15)
Goblin Rabblemaster
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Hall of Triumph
Destructive Revelry
Goblin Heelcutter
Scouring Sands

Sunday (tomorrow) I have a PPTQ in the Modern format, Monday is Legacy and Tuesday is Modern then this weekend is Grand Prix Atlantic City. I’m looking forward to playing the main event. I’m not so stoked on limited… really I never am. So once I scrub out I’ll be crushing side events with Standard and Legacy. I’d like to get a few rounds of Vintage in as well. Say hi if you see me there. I’ll have a Bright Yellow “Brooklyn” bike cap on so I’ll be hard to miss.


Zac Clark

Founder of Hipsters of the Coast. Zac started playing during Fallen Empires. He began taking the game seriously during Alliances. Stasis, Titiania’s Song, then a long love affair with Mono Blue Control, finally settling on Replenish before taking a 12 year break. Now that he’s back he’s been favoring control and combo decks. Constantly, on the prowl for a new deck Zac often looks at the Meta in Modern and Standard formats.

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