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PPTQ - Vancouver // Oswego, NY —Jan. 11, 2015
Final Standing: 4th place
With a pPTQ only 40 minutes away, I decided to take a trip with some friends and TCGplayer co-workers to make a day of it. The event was Modern, and I'd only played a grand total of four or so other events in the format with the old Jund Midrange deck and Jeskai Midrange-Control, and NONE since Khans had come out; warping the format with Jeskai Ascendancy , Treasure Cruise , and Dig Through Time . With that in mind I decided to just jam one of the most powerful decks in the format: UR Delver.
The fact that I'd played a literal 0 actual games with the deck speaks volumes to its power level. On top of all that, I played like garbage at multiple times throughout the event...which was both embarrassing and unfortunate. Here's a quick rundown of the day.
Round 1 vs. Antonio E. (Mono-Green Aggro) 2-1: I started on the play and took quite a beating. Strangleroot Geist s and Scavenging Ooze were tough to deal with. In the end, a Vines of the Vastwood and Become Immense took me out. Games 2 and 3 were quite the opposite. Both games I was able to accrue a critical mass of Young Pyromancer tokens and keep him from dealing any damage. In both of the final games, Hibernation was a blow out. Even taking him back on mana by bouncing his Dryad Arbor .
Round 2 vs. Anthony W. (G/R Valakut) 2-0: My limited knowledge of the Modern format was apparent this round, and I was almost unaware of what my opponent was playing. I knew he had Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle , Primeval Titan , and Through the Breach due to a timely Gitaxian Probe in Game 1. Because of that I figured he was attempting some sort of reanimation strategy and would have Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as well. It didn't really matter. I was able to get 2 Monastery Swiftspear online early and deal increasingly huge amounts of damage. Game 2 was a lot grindier. And he was able to get a Thragtusk out. I was happy to trade it with a Swiftspear, and my Vapor Snag s kept him from attacking with his Titan. In the end, a timely Hibernation let me push damage through the last turn.
Round 3 vs. Rob S. (Temur Delver) 1-1-1: This was a tough match. And we were forced to draw. I was able to fight him game 1 through multiple burn spells and Young Pyromancer . Game 2 was the opposite, with him surviving off of Huntmaster of the Fells Flip and Tarmogoyf s. Game 3 I felt quite in control, but we went to time and that was that.
Round 4 vs. Dean B. (Burn) 2-0: This was a tough one, and I played VERY sloppily; a combination of play-fatigue and inexperience with the deck. Game 1 he was stuck on two lands, which let me get my feet underneath me long enough to counter his spells and kill his smaller creatures while building up Young Pyromancer tokens to go in for the kill. In Game 2 he was stuck on a single land, and I had multiple removal and counters in hand to take care of him.
Round 5 vs. Connor R. (Temur Delver) 0-0-3: We intentionally drew to ensure our spots in Top 8.
Top 8 vs. Connor R. (Temur Delver) 2-0: In the end, we would play each other again. However, Connor had to leave early since his ride was leaving. He gave me the win and wished me the best of luck.
Top 4 vs. Jason P. (Naya Zoo) 0-2: This is, all things considered, a rough matchup. And I fumbled big-time all throughout it. I was tired. I hadn't planned on being there that long. My wife was waiting for me. And my dog needed to be fed. I tried to Fork Bolt his 3/3 Wild Nacatl , and thankfully had another in hand when I realized my flub. But between three 4/5 Tarmogoyf s and two 4/4 Loxodon Smiters, I didn't have much chance to begin with.
All in all I had a great time. Despite my inexperience with both the deck and the format, I was able to Top 4 a 30 person event. The deck is VERY strong. And I'm going to continue working with it for as long as I feel it's a viable archetype in Modern (at least...until Treasure Cruise is banned). I'm going to try working on a Temur Delver list. My Round 3 opponent was playing a lot of cool cards, and I really want o try them out.