So… the actual win-loss portion of SCG Milwaukee did not go well for yours truly. But I’m back here on the page, ready to shake it off and sling some more Modern.
The first step? Picking a less taxing deck.
I started my day at the Milwaukee Open by playing my Grixis Delver deck against…another Grixis Delver deck. My opponent’s deck was a little better positioned for the mirror (he was playing Gurmag Anglers), and I did not play as tightly as I would’ve hoped in game 1. In game 2, I didn’t draw a second land until about turn 6. Things did not go well.
From there, I played against:
- Jund (Win, but mostly thanks to my opponent blowing up my Blood Moon to unlock my Tasigurs and Kolaghan’s Commands in game 2. I should’ve lost that one to my opponent’s Chandra.)
- Dredge (Loss, though this went to game 3 and I had a chance thanks to two overloaded Electrickerys. Izzet Staticaster would’ve been better.)
- Burn (Win, actually played decently well. Collective Brutality was boss. I missed blocking a Kor Firewalker with a Snapcaster Mage, which is the one thing I noticed I did wrong.)
- Burn (Loss, with both of us on 3 life on the last turn.)
- Grixis Delver again (Loss. UGH. Mana screwed again in game 2. I tried to burn my opponent out before their Ancestral Visions [yup, plural] resolved, but the number of and type of lands I drew did not support it.)
- 8 Rack (Loss. I mean, I don’t even.)
My overall takeaways from the event were:
- Playing Magic is hard. That first match was brutal, and I felt like a real big idiot at least a couple times during game 1.
- Playing Magic is hard. The mana in my deck did not cooperate. I thought this might happen when I added the Collective Brutalities and also switched to Spirebluff Canal over Darkslick Shores. The deck switched from Blue-Red splashing Black to Blue-Red-Black. This did not fly, partially due to the low land count and the ability to mill away needed lands with Thought Scour. I think I put myself in a bad position before the tournament even started.
- Playing Magic is hard. During that first Burn match-up, I got it locked into my head that I just could not kill that Kor Firewalker outside of drawing Doom Blade, not even thinking about blocking with a non-Red creature. Snapcaster Mage has Flash. I played it on a turn that my opponent attacked with his Firewalker anyways. I could’ve and should’ve killed it right there. The game stretched on much longer than necessary because of that.
- Playing Magic is hard. By the time that 8 Rack match rolled around, I was spent. I think I played okay, but I couldn’t even tell you. Long tournaments are tough.
In light of these very important and varied takeaways, I’ve decided that I’m going to switch to some sort of deck that’s a little easier to play than Grixis Delver. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll end up on in the far future, but for now I’m just going to slim down to good-ol’ Blue-Red Delver. Why, you ask?
- The mana is perfect. I’m packing 8 fetchlands, 2 Steam Vents, and 3 Spirebluff Canals. I should take minimal damage off my lands and almost always be able to play whatever I want.
- I get to just play all of the Blood Moons and not worry about cutting myself off when I do so. Blood Moon is a very good card in Modern, and it often translates into free wins. Free wins are pretty good.
- I’m just more comfortable with straight Blue-Red. I know what cards I’m going to see and what mana I need and how to sequence everything. Which should result in fewer losses due to misplays.
- Because of that comfort, I do get to try some weird stuff. I’m going to be packing two Bedlam Revelers in my sideboard, and probably bringing them in alongside my Blood Moons as a cool threat for grindy match-ups like Jund or Jeskai Control. Also, the Turn side of Turn//Burn seems sweet to try out against Death’s Shadow…
I think the Blue-Red Delver deck is less powerful than the Grixis version. You have to run Roasts instead of Terminates. You don’t get the power of the Delve creatures. But man, I’m kind of excited to switch back. I play Modern to play cards I like, and I like a lot of the weirder or more niche cards in my Blue-Red version a lot.
You can find my current decklist here. Stuff will probably change and, like I said, I don’t know that I’ll stay with this deck for the long-term. We’ll see how it goes, starting this week down at ‘ol Mox Mania. I’ll be back with some results next week.