First of all I have to say that setting deadlines for me isn’t working out with the articles. I want to write a lot about a lot, but I also have a lot to do concerning the store and not only. Such is life.
The tournament in Bayreuth wasn’t a big one by any standards, but nice and friendly. 14 players in total. Achieving 6th place is like placing 14th in my opinion since only the 1st place got the Bye for Frankfurt. There wasn’t a top 8 or top 4, so one loss meant that it was impossible to achieve 1st place. Here’s what I played:
[su_spoiler title=”Jund Scapeshift” style=”fancy”]
Jund Scapeshift - 6th place MKM Modern Trial Bayreuth
3 Verdant Catacombs
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
3 Cinder Glade
2 Overgrown Tomb
4 Blood Crypt
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
2 Huntmaster of the Fells
2 Inferno Titan
1 Grave Titan
Instants and Sorceries (26)
2 Lightning Bolt
4 Abrupt Decay
1 Go for the Throat
2 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Murderous Cut
1 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Search for Tomorrow
1 Painful Truths
1 Dark Petition
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
3 Crumble to Dust
1 Surgical Extraction
2 Leyline of the Void
4 Obstinate Baloth
This deck plays out in a somewhat linear manner. Get rid of anything that threatens you and go off with your Scapeshift and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. The combo works like this: with 7 lands in play you play Scapeshift sacrificing all of them. You get one Valakut and 6 other mountains. Valakut triggers for each of those mountains dealing a total of 18 damage to the oppoenent. If you would have 8 lands in play and add another Valakut from your Scapeshift, you would deal 36 damage. In Modern being at 18 life points is a very frequent occurance since most people will use either fetchlands or shocklands quite often.
As you can already see, this deck is filled with removal, trying to get the creature match-up settled. The original RG Scapeshift version that I wanted to play had a tough time against aggro decks. While I did put in 4 Chalice of the Void it always seemed that I was barely getting away with the win. Playing dangerously at 1 or 2 life points is not a problem, but inconsistency is. I decided that if I wanted to handle the creature match-up batter I would need a lot more removal. And Jund has an abundance of it.
Round 1 vs Infect
I was paired versus a nice fellow by the name of Benjamin. We started and I proceeded to mulligan to 5 as he kept his starting 7. It didn’t really take long for me to get infected, so I scooped and thought of nice things like icecream and how drawing removal might actually be a good strategy. 0-1
Game 2 I keep a good 7 and I start with shock + Thoughtseize. I take away his Blighted Agent and he can’t find anything else than pump spells the entire game. I combo him when I reach 7 lands. 1-1
Game 3 goes in a similar fashion like game 2 with the difference being that he tried to kill me with a Dryad Arbor being pumped by a Become Immense. I had the Terminate in my hand though, so I won on next turn by combo-ing again. 2-1
Round 2 vs RG Eldrazi
I played against the future winner of the event Julian. He also bought 2 of his foil Ancient Stirrings from me apparently as we figured out at the event 🙂
In game one I mulligan to 5 again and start off with fetch, schock, Thoughtseize. I go to 15. I Thoughtseize again on my next turn eliminating his early drops. A few turns later he is still sitting on 2 lands one of which being Eye of Ugin, I play both Huntmaster of the Fells and he dies to them. 1-0
Game 2 he mulligans to 6 and we start off. After a grindy battle of both of us removing each other’s beaters from the board we end up in the defining situation of my side of the tournament. He has a Reality Smasher on the board and I have one hand card. I draw from the top Maelstrom Pulse and PLAY my card from my hand and THEN play the Pulse targeting his Smasher. Since I couldn’t discard anything the Pulse was countered and the Smasher lived. 4 turns later I die to damage as I drew 3 lands in a row. 1-1
Game 3 the tilt already settled in but I was thinking that I could still get the last game. I had ramp spells and creatures in my hand and kept my initial seven. The game went as expected with a lot of removals on both sides. I had to draw land to almost win. I had 6 lands in play, 2 Scapeshifts and 1 Inferno Titan in my hand. He was at 19 life points. I don’t draw land and he plays on his turn a Thought-Knot Seer taking away my Titan. I draw land and can’t win because he would kill me on the swing back with all his creatures having lethal on the board. I choose to play one of my Scapeshift and kill with the Valakut triggers everything he has. He needed to draw land from the top to exile my Valakut with his Crumble to Dust. He does exactly that and so my fate was sealed.
I lost in my second match because I had no idea what Reality Smasher actually says: COUNTER that spell unless its controller discards a card. I thought that it said that target opponent has to DISCARD a card, not this counter nonsense. Serves me right for not testing versus any Eldrazi deck. I played vs RG Eldrazi for the first time at that tournament and that was also my first time opposite a Reality Smasher. This doesn’t excuse the fact that I need to learn to read cards. Well, whatever the case, I simply threw away my victory by playing my removal spell when my hand was empty. Happens. I will not be making that mistake again if I ever have to play against a Reality Smasher. 1-2
Round 3 vs Abzan Rhino
I don’t exactly know what the deck is really called, but I can say that there were Siege Rhinos in it. His name is Oliver and he beat won very fast against me.
Game 1: As I threw away my chances at getting first place and the bye for Frankfurt by having my reality smashed, I simply kept a hand with some lands and some spells. Since there was no top 4 I just kind of gave up on the tournament. Of course that is not the right mindset. In hindsight I should have played better, but it’s not like my hand was that bad either. It turns out thought that Sakura-Tribe Elders and Huntmaster of the Fells don’t do well versus the beastly Rhinos. It also didn’t help that I drew only one Abrupt Decay in the entire game. 0-1
Game 2: I keep a good hand in my opinion, only to have the same not-drawing-any-removal-for-his-stuff thing happen again. If I had gotten to one of my titans things would have been very simple, but it wasn’t meant to be. 0-2
Round 4 vs Living End
Alex was my last opponent for that tournament. He was playing a Living End deck as I saw a cycled Deadshot Minotaur at the end of my turn. These games were actually very straight-forward. I sacced my Sakura-Tribe Eldars really fast and got up to 6 lands. If he would have played Living End I would have gotten them back, sacced them again and reach 8 lands to deal a lethal 36 to him. I draw another land naturally on my next turn and combo him. 1-0
Game 2 I mulligan to 6 trying to find either a Leyline of the Void, Surgical Extraction or Extirpate. I hit the Leyline on 6 cards and keep a shady Blood Crypt, 2 Mountains, Leyline, Sakura and Search for Tomorrow. He fails to spot the possibility of ruining my mana base with his Fulminator Mage on time. Since Leyline was active he needed to start hard casting his creatures. Deadshot Minotaur kind of sucks when you have to pay 5 mana for it. I just chump block with my Eldar when I unlock the green source and just play the survival game until I hit my combo. 2-0
Awesome deck. Just that: awesome deck. I think that I could have taken down the tournament if I had actually paid attention to how I played. Although at that time it felt really crappy to lose because of my own mistake, I now see it in a much better light since I really really needed to get out and play in a tournament. I have been so very busy with working and used my free time for other personal matters, that I overlooked this, quite frankly said, important part of my life. The fact that I got the chance to go and play in a tournament on a Sunday was a godsend. You will definitely see more of me at other tournaments if they will be on Sundays. For now I just saw some events in Bayreuth again. I will probably attend if nothing else shows up in the meantime.
What would change in this deck moving forward? I would definitely put in one or two Stomping Ground and Kitchen Finks instead of Cinder Glade and Huntmaster of the Fells. I want the life gain from the Finks. They double up as attackers as well dealing a steady 3 damage. The Huntmasters usually flipped on my turn anyway with me not playing anything and casting Decay or Kolaghan’s Command on his turn. It wasn’t the best because sometimes I had to play on my turn something and Pyroclasm or Kozilek’s Return just wreck the werewolf if he didn’t flip in time.
Why no Primeval Titan? It just doesn’t do what we want it to do: act as removal. The other two titans pull their weight when coming into play, while the green one can only ramp up. If we would be playing the RG Scapeshift version then we would play 4 Primeval Titans, since that decks plays for the Scapeshift win mostly. This Jund version can kill with any of the other two Titans because they just destroy everything in their path. At 6 mana you want a big value card. Maybe put a The Gitrog Monster in to partner up with the Sin Prodder?
Sin Prodder is an autoinclude in this deck in my opinion. The value that this card brings is ridiculous. “But the opponent can just make you discard your mountains in your graveyard and you can’t combo off anymore”. If I would play the Prodder I would definitely tweak the mana base so that I would have a healthy number of Mountains. You run the risk of not having enough mountains anyway, especially if the opponent is chaining Oblivion Sowers. This is definitely a longshot, but I also heard of a card called Life from the Loam. Yes. The mountains would be in your hand and not in your library to combo off with, but I did mention stuff about Bolting the opponent with Valakut in play to win a slow match. I also mentioned The Gitrog Monster who can just fill your hand up with win conditions as well if you can’t win via Scapeshift combo.
Why only 2 Lightning Bolt? In a world where WotC actually cares about anything else than Standard Thought-Knot Seer would have been a 4/3 not a 4/4. So you would mostly use Bolt to kill some smaller stuff, thus 2 being a reasonable number.
Dark Petition is just extremely good. People will just have to put one copy of this card in any Jund list in Modern. In my deck it acted as a 5th Scapeshift, since at 7 lands with Spell Mastery active (by the 5th-6th turn I would have used either Thoughtseize, Decay or Kolaghan’s Command once or twice) it would look for Scapeshift for 5 mana, give me 3 black mana back that I would use with the extra two untapped lands to combo. In a pinch, the Petition can look for the removal to prolongue the game, the discard that eliminates the coming threat or even the last 3 points of damage if you need to win like that. All in all, super impressed with this card. It’s value just grows exponentially the longer the games goes. It’s similar to Bring to Light in that sense, but I would still choose the Jund version of Scapeshift versus the 4 color version any day. The blue based version is good at dealing with stuff that hasn’t come into play yet, while the Jund one deals with things that did. In the current meta with uncounterable Eldrazis via Cavern of Souls I wouldn’t feel safe with a Remand in my hand, but I would with a Murderous Cut.
I chose Painful Truths over Read the Bones because I really wanted to draw the 3rd card all the time. Since this is a value deck that sometimes can even grind out games by playing one mountain each turn and bolt the opponent to death you don’t rarely want to scry away anything. You could say that what if I have had the Read the Bones in my second game versus the RG Eldrazi. It would have been the same thing if I drew Painful Truths. The benefit of Truths is that you can cast it for 1, 2 or 3 life points being slightly more flexible in that sense. Sin Prodder would take both of these cards’ places though. The little Devil is just too good to not give him a place to shine.
I would remove the 2 Shatterstorm from the sideboard and exchange them with something else. Our Affinity match-up should be handled. If we can’t win versus them with what we currently have in our starting list then we’re doing something terribly wrong. Maybe put Liliana of the Veil if control decks pop up again with the next ban coming. I doubt that she would get a spot in the sideboard though even then. If we have a The Gitrog Monster in play and we discard land with her plus ability, then maybe we have a deal.
Obstinate Baloth is not going to be needed anymore if we play Finks main. So 4 slots open to combat whatever the new meta brings. I would say that the weakers match-up for this deck is long games versus heavy control decks. Boseiju, Who Shelters All could get us there, but it would be too much of a grind. 2 Slaughter Games would be a good choice to get rid of their win condition or 2 Vexing Shusher to protect our combo? Maybe 2 Spellbreaker Behemoth to make our titans uncounterable and go for the beats? How about Mogis, God of Slaughter and slowly chip at them away always theatening to kill them with a topdeck Inferno Titan? Decisions, decisions. First off I would want to see what our actual worst match-up turns out to be. There is more than one way to play this deck and I am going to test until I find its sweet spot. Initially I wanted to drop the deck after the next ban annoucement, but the Prodder has made me Think Twice about it 😀
That’s it from me for today. I will return with a Finance article in the next week or so. In the meantime, like, share and comment on my article. Do you think my list is good enough for Modern? Do you think it isn’t? Do you have ideas on how to improve it? Let me know in the comments and as always,
See you in the Arena!