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On Saturday, Matt Nass won GP Vegas’s Modern event with Krark Clan Ironworks combo. This is Nass’s second Modern GP trophy in two months, after having won GP Hartford in April with the same deck. Not only that, but GP Vegas was his third Modern GP top 8 in the last three months because he also Top 8’d GP Phoenix in March…again with the Krark Clan Ironworks. Nass has posted an amazing 37-6 record during his dominating run through the last three Modern GPs.

The Krark Clan Ironworks (KCI) combo draws a lot of comparisons to the Modern Eggs deck from 2014 because it relies on cheap artifacts like Chromatic Sphere and Chromatic Star to cycle through its deck and find its win conditions. But in KCI, you use the namesake card to generate mana to cast the cards you draw, while Scrap Trawler to returns those cheap artifacts from the graveyard to help keep you cycling through your deck. Eventually, the deck wins by infinitely looping a Pyrite Spellbomb or, in some cases, hardcasting Emrakul.

It’s rare to see a deck win back-to-back Modern GPs, and Nass’s victories with KCI have predictably led to grumbling in the community that something should be banned from the deck. (Either that, or just ban Matt Nass from Modern.) The biggest offender in KCI, along with other colorless combo decks like Lantern Control and Tron, seems to be Ancient Stirrings, which allows the decks to quickly and reliably assemble their combos. It’s unlikely anything will be banned in the near future, but my guess is that Ancient Stirrings currently has a target on its back.

The Beta Draft was the Real Main Event of GP Vegas

One of the biggest draws at GP Vegas was the triple Beta draft (that’s 24 packs of Beta!) Wizards held Sunday evening. The draft was part of Wizards’ celebration of Magic’s 25th birthday and will be accompanied by a similar event at Gencon later this summer.

The Beta draft was quite the event—one could even say it was the true main event at GP Vegas. The entire weekend was full of Beta draft qualifier announcements and the Top 8 of the Limited event was even sidelined to feature the draft itself.

Players could qualify for a seat at the Beta draft by winning a five-round Dominaria sealed tournament and a Top 8 draft. Thursday’s qualifiers were dominated by Hall of Famers, with Luis Scott-Vargas, Ben Stark, and Martin Juza qualifying for the first three seats at the draft. They were joined by five others, including friend-of-the-site Ian Suzuki and New York mainstay Hemant Patel.

The players met in the feature match area at 8PM Pacific and began Rochester drafting 24 packs of Beta, one by one, live on stream. I don’t want to spoil what cards may or may not have been opened—you should just watch the draft yourself.

Another Pack Opening During the Beta Draft

I was watching the Beta draft just behind the coverage crew with a bunch of friends. While we were watching, Matt Tabak, Magic’s rules manager, walked up and gave one of my friends a pack of Antiquities. You’ll never believe what happened next

Core 2019 Previews Continue This Week!

Wizards began previewing cards from Core 2019, which releases on July 13, at GP Vegas over the weekend, and will continue doing so over the next few weeks. We might even have a few previous ourselves tomorrow—stay tuned!

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