Greetings Everyone! Well, I am back from SCG Open Milwaukee with less than fantastic results. I finished 176th out of the 580 people that attended. At a previous Open I had made 58th, and had hoped to improve on that. I’ll go through a few of the games that sealed my fate, and a quick view of Standard Meta in the near future. This week is going to be rather short as I have been very busy with work and the trip to Milwaukee, but rejoin me next week as I go over my views on some of the more select Dragon’s Maze Spoilers.
Round 1 was against B/W/R Flash. I won the role and started with a turn 2 Watery Grave, shocking myself to 18 so I could cast an Augur of Bolas, finding a dissipate. I kept 3 mana up for Dissipate each turn and did nothing else until turn 5, where I dropped another Augur, finding a supreme verdict. The next draw is a second Dissipate. This whole time my opponent did nothing but cycle Azorius Charms and cast Think Twice, resolving only one real spell, Boros Reckoner. I removed it in short order with a devour flesh. I manage to get out another Augur on turn 7, this time finding no spell. I managed to keep all 3 Augurs on the board long enough to drop my opponent to 3 life, at which point he casts supreme verdict and passes the turn. I resolve a Jace, Architect of Thought to try to catch up on some card advantage, leaving 3 mana up for my dissipate. His turn he casts Boros Reckoner, with no response from me, and then the inevitable Harvest Pyre. I attempt to Dissipate his Harvest Pyre which he counters with a Dissipate of his own. At that point he had 18 cards in his graveyard, thanks in part to my Nephalia Drownyard. Game 2 he brought in to many Negates and Dispels for me to handle and took it by a landslide. I should have known that with that much card filtering he had found the combo he needed and kept the second Dissipate available instead of casting Jace, but I got overconfident due to how little interaction there had been.
Round 2 was against Aristocrats. This is a deck I have not had too many opportunities to test against, but unless I can find one of my two Terminus (which I saw in neither game), it becomes a severe uphill battle due to Blood Artist. He won 2-0. This is a match that has me seriously re-thinking my deck, since I rely so heavily on Supreme Verdicts to clean out the board, I simply cannot get a leg up.
Round 3 put me up against RUG Midrange. Game 1 I was forced to Mulligan to 5 with one land in hand, and was not surprised when I was overpowered very quickly. Game 2 he brought in the counterspell package that the B/W/R Flash player had beat me so handily with, putting me at 0/3 for the day. All of my matches being 2/0.
At that point I was very much out of the Tournament and just had fun playing magic for the rest of the day. The first loss I chalk up to my own poor play, the second to a poor matchup, and the third to a combination of variance and unprepared sideboard. All of these things could have been handled by a better prepared deck. I was so worried about the Aggro Heavy decks (RG Aggro and Naya Blitz) that I had been losing to in previous weeks, that my deck changed to the point where Aggro was an easy match, but struggled against Midrange. While Esper is still a very real deck, Jund had such a strong showing last week ( 3 decks in the top 8), and is still so versatile, that I am going to be giving it a shot around my local shops and possibly testing it out in an SCG IQ in a couple of weeks.
This brings me to point number two of my article, Jund in the Meta. Last week I can be quoted as saying “… I am liking Jund to come out with the Win this week, being in the best position to deal with the gamut of MidRange decks and the outlying Control/Aggro lists”. My guess would be that this trend continues. Jund has the most tools to deal with any of its given matchups. Against Aggro and Aristocrats it has the lifegain and removal to deal with any real threat. While against Control and Midrange, card disadvantage from Rakdos’ Return is an all but game winner. Until there is a very real change to the meta, I feel like Jund will continue to be the standard against which other decks are measured.
Again, please check back early next week to discuss/comment on my thoughts about the constructed all-star spoilers from Dragon’s Maze.