Round 1: R/G Lands
Round 2: U/R Landstill
Round 3: Dredge
Round 4: Painted Stone
Overall, I was happy with the way the deck performed. After several weeks of seeing at least one Delver of Secrets deck, we played against a pretty combo-heavy field. Given that we’re a blue and black combo deck with hand disruption, counterspells, and graveyard hate, that’s a good thing, right?
Well, our four maindeck basic lands certainly let us win an otherwise unwinnable game against R/G Lands. If we had had even one fewer basic, we wouldn’t have been able to make it to three mana on our last turn to cast Show and Tell. The maindeck basic Swamp was absolutely clutch there.
In sideboarded games, we got killed on turn 2 by Lands (awkward) and then beat triple Sphere of Resistance on the back of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Dream Halls, two sideboard cards that are great against slower strategies that try to overload an attack on one aspect of the game. In this case, our mana got attacked, but our opponent gave us a one-turn window to resolve something. We stuck Dream Halls, which let us not care too much about mana disruption for the rest of the game. Thanks Dream Halls!
We were never in either game against U/R Landstill. That matchup is a nightmare. The deck seems miserable to play against if you absolutely need to resolve a specific spell and don’t have great ways of getting ahead on cards or mana.
We also got absolutely crushed by Dredge. Not playing Ancient Tomb on turn 2 in game 2 was a pretty bad punt, as I flat-out forgot that we had Intuition for Surgical Extractions available. I’m not sure we would’ve won, but we could’ve fought their Cabal Therapy or Narcomoeba.
Getting turn 1 Blood Mooned on the play is nearly impossible for any deck to beat, and we came close. We did beat turn 1 Blood Moon on the draw, which is great, and we even got to experience how great it is to have a random Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre available for when you forget to board in Echoing Truth.
So what would I change? Honestly, I’m leaning toward changing nothing. I liked the balance of cantrips, how much mana the deck has, and how many things we had to put into play with Show and Tell. If you forced me to change something, I would take a good hard look at whether Surgical Extraction is high impact enough to warrant three sideboard slots. My guess is that they aren’t worth it, but as with any sideboard consideration, it’s a metagame call.
Next week is going to be all Modern all the time in preparation for Grand Prix Richmond, so it remains to be seen where and how I fit into next week’s lineup. Since this Facebook polling thing is pretty enjoyable, though, I’m going to keep running it. Because I know there are some Modern aficionados who want to make the jump to Legacy, let me ask you:
What Modern-legal flagship card would you like to see me build a deck around?
I will acknowledge up front that there are a lot of Modern decks with indirect Legacy analogues, so I’m not going to promise a completely fresh take for every one of these options. I do however have a favorite . . .