“Tournament Report for the First Australian Modern PTQ”
And I am back from the trip up to Melbourne, after a ‘Gruul’ling day of back to back rounds of Magic. The event was amazing, with a total of 123 players participating, the event was going to be a long 7 rounds of attempting to decide who makes the Top 8 and who doesn’t. Now, before I continue here was the final deck list before we starting going into a round-by-round analysis of the day.
The deck played extremely well, going a total of 5 Turn 3 Active Tron. But some cards are unfortunately too ‘win-more’ and seemed to not do enough for the deck and I will go into the changes I’ve made in order to fight this problem
Round 1: vs UWR Flash Tempo (piloted by Marcus Sakarellos)
This match-up seems fairly well suited to Tron, as his deck hard (to what I saw) no hard counter spells. Remand is annoying to run into and sets you back a turn but it doesn’t actually stop your threat from ultimately resolving.
I keep with a decent hand of 2 Tron pieces, 1 Sylvan Scrying, 2 Eggs, 1 Relic of Progenitus and 1 Pyroclasm. I am on the play so I lead with a Tron piece into an Egg. He starts with a tapped Colonnade. I untap and play second Tron piece and cast Sylvan Scrying fetching the third and pass. He plays a Sacred Foundry, taking two and passes. I get turn 3 Tron, play egg and relic, dig with both and pass as I have yet to draw a threat. He bolts me end of turn. He plays an Island and passes. I still don’t draw a threat, play a 4th Tron piece and cast an Egg and pass. He plays an end of turn Aven Mindcensor. He untaps, plays a fetch land and resolves a Geist of Saint Traft and attacks for 2. I untap and cast Pyroclasm, getting the 2 for 1. play a 5th Tron piece and pass the turn. He fetches end of turn. He plays a second Colonnade and passes. I untap and play an egg, a relic and a City of Brass and pass. He fetches end of turn and casts Bolt and Electrolyze, taking me down to 10 life. He untaps, plays a fetch land and passes. I untap, play a forest and a Wurmcoil Engine as my first threat. and pass. End of turn he casts Snapcaster Mage, flashes back a bolt and then Path of Exiles my Wurmcoil, he also fetches. taking him down to 15 life and me at 7. He then untaps, activates Colonnade and attacks for 6, taking me too 1. I untap, play my 6th Tron piece and cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. I attack for game during my extra turn.
I keep a hand of 1 Grove of the Burnwillows, 1 Tron pieces, 1 Sylvan Scrying, 1 Wurmcoil Engine, 1 Karn Liberated and 1 Egg. he leads with a tapped Colonnade. I lead with a Tron piece into and Egg. he untaps and plays a fetch land and passes. I untap, play Grove of the Burnwillows, Scrying for 2nd piece and pass. He end of turn fetches. He untaps and plays a fetch and passes.I untap, play 2nd Tron piece into Egg and pass. he end of turn fetches and casts Aven Mindcensor. He untaps and plays Colonnade tapped and casts a Geist, attacks for 2 and passes. I cast Wurmcoil Engine after playing third Tron piece and also Pyroclasm. He untaps, plays a shock tapped and passes. I untap, he Path’s my Wurmcoil during my Upkeep. I fetch a forest off of this. I draw and he Vendillion Clique’s me during my draw step, he finds 2 Karn’s and an Emrakul, an Eye of Ugin. He shows me a Remand from his hand and concedes.
I won the Match 2-0
Round 2: vs GR Aggro. (piloted by Peter Duong)
This match-up is terrible for me as I cannot use Pyroclasm most of the time to kill his creatures, as his creatures are normally 2/3, 3/3 (Kird Ape and Flinthoof Boar when he controls a Stomping Grounds)
Game 1: My opponent automatically lose game 1 due to an error on his deck list. Being an early event (at least for him), he accidentally put 4 Rancor, 4 Rancor on his deck registration.
Game 2: We both Mulligan too 5 cards. I kept a hand of 1 Tron Piece, 1 Grove, 1 Sylvan Scrying, 1 Karn, 1 Wurmcoil. I go into a turn 3 Tron, Playing Karn, exile a card in his hand. He attempts to race this by attacking me, taking me to 7. I follow this up exiling his only Stomping Grounds, reducing his Kird Ape and Flinthoof Board and follwing this up with Pyroclasm, he takes the 3 for 1, draws and concedes with no way to deal with Karn.
I won the Match 2-0
Round 3: vs Merfolk (piloted by Chris Keating)
Game 1: I start with a hand of 2 Tron pieces, 1 Grove, 1 City, 1 Map, 2 Sylvan Scrying. I got Turn 3 Tron but never found the threats to deal with outrace his 2 Aether Vials.
Game 2: I start a really slow hand of 1 Grove, 1 City, 1 Egg, 1 Pyroclasm, 1 Nature’s Claim, 1 Timely Reinforcements, 1 Tron piece. I kept just as slow a hand as my opponent. He sits on 2 land the whole game while I proceeded to drop a turn 6 Wurmcoil Engine (as I never found Tron), followed up by another Wurmcoil engine the next turn, which he simply couldn’t deal with the amount of life I gained.
Game 3: He starts with a turn 1 vial to my 2Tron pieces, 1 Sylvan Scrying, 1 Map Hand I kept. With the 5 cards remaining in his hands after this play, drew nothing but land for the rest of the game and proceeded to lose.
I lost the Match 1-2
Round 4: vs Jund (piloted by Wilfy Horig, who ended up winning the event)
This match-up is supposed to be almost completely one sided, as Tron simply outraces and out controls Jund. Due to Junds fragile land base, dealing with this mana base is the first thing that you need to do and if you do so correctly they can’t do anything for the remainder of the game.
Game 1: I keep a six card hand which gets me to a turn 3 Karn, followed by a turn 4 Wurmcoil which he concedes to.
Game 2: I go to 5 cards to start with, After fetching my second piece of Tron on turn 2, he drops a Bob to his already active Deathrite Shaman. I Pyroclasm and play my third land in the form of the land I fetched for. He untaps and casts Sowing Salts. I conceded after not being able to get a 3rd land by turn 6.
Game 3: I got to 6 cards, Get turn 3 Tron into Wurmcoil Engine, feeling good at my current position. He turn 3 Sowing Salts (accelerating off Deathrite) hitting Tower. I am content with my position as I still have a threat. I attack and he takes it. He then casts Maelstrom Pulse on my Wurmcoil Engine and Bolts the two tokens it produces when it died. I cant outrace him due to the fact that I now need 6 lands to cast a threat which I don’t have in hand at this point. I go through my turns as land go. He plays two Bob’s and a Goyf (which is at this point a 5/6). I feel as though the double bob play is risky as I am at 26 to his 10 (due to his fetches and 1 Attack). I find a spellskite and cast it so I at least have a blocker. The game continues for 4 turns as he was attacking for 7 a turn. But the most suprising thing was he was still at 10 at the end of the game. Going through 8 Triggers with Bob and only revealing land. on the 8th activation I was almost willing to call a judge over for him stacking his deck so he wouldn’t take damage due to Bob. He kills me. After the game he shows me the 1 Sowing Salts in his 75. I was on a big tilt after this match.
I lost the match 1-2
Round 5: vs Kiki-Pod (piloted by Thomas Rafferty)
This match up is extremely interesting, as I have hate cards for it but there is always a likelihood that one of the singletons in the deck can deal with them. I would say that the match up isn’t bad for me, but its like a 60% win ratio in my favor.
Game 1: I go turn 4 Tron off a 6 card hand. This allows me to go into an immediate casting of Oblivion Stone to wipe his board of 3 Birds of Paradise and 2 Noble Hierarch which were being pumped by a Gavony Township. He couldn’t recover from this point.
Game 2: lose to turn 4 Sowing Salts as the 5 cards I kept couldn’t get Tron before turn 5. he proceeds to just attack with creatures, not showing me his combo.
Game 3: lose to turn 4 Sowing Salts with a 5 card hand that was just as good as Game 2. Again, after the game he shows me the 2 Sowing Salts in his 75. Almost falling over due to far tilted I am.
I lost the match 1-2
Round 6: vs Mono White Hatebears (piloted by Michael I)
This match is normally really bad for us, as there are so many card that say no against us. Unlike a lot of decks though, once I have Tron, I pretty much can’t lose as I can pay extra costs due to the such large mana advantage and I know longer need to search. I would say the Match-up is 40% against us as their sideboard doesn’t do all the much against us
Game 1: I am on the play with a 5 card hand. I go into turn 3 Karn. He can’t recover after then dropping a Thalia, and a Aven Mindcensor into my turn 4 Pyroclasm, giving me the 4-1. Win by casting a turn 7 Emrakul.
Game 2: I keep a 6 cards while my opponent goes to 5. He goes Ghost Quarter, Ghost Quarter, Ghost Quarter as his first 3 lands which kill my, What would have been turn 3 Karn. He then giggles, shows me his hand and says that nothing there would have won him the game, nor did he draw into anything that could either.
I won the match 2-0
Round 7: vs UWR Flash Control (piloted by Ricky Debartolo)
Again, this match up seems slightly Tron favored, except this version of the deck was using hard counterspells for the late game.
Game 1: had me off to an early start with turn 3 tron into Karn which got Remanded in response. he then went into Aven Mindcensor so I couldn’t use 2/3rd’s of my hand effectively. I play more Tron pieces and continue casting Karn until it finally resolves at which point I take board control and proceed to win the game.
Game 2: He went for an extremely quick start with a Aven Mindcensor, which quickly got Pyroclasmed as it shut down almost my entire hand. He followed this up with an end of turn Mindcensor. Untapped and attacked for 2. I attempt to resolve Karn, which resolves. I target his Celestial Colonnade which he flashes in Restoration Angel in response. He untaps and kills the Karn. I attempt to resolve a Wurmcoil Engine in which he Remands. Untaps and attacks for 5. I attempt to cast Karn again in which he Snapcaster-Remands him. I dropped an egg and passed. He Untaps and attacks for 7. I cast Pyroclasm and kill Mindcensor and Snapcaster Mage. Then attempt to resolve Karn, He casts Counterflux to counter Karn and attacks for 3, ending the game.
Game 3: I get an early search, due to leading this game and him only having 1 land. this game was fairly back and forth with me attempting spells and him having responses. Karn hit 3/4 Remands. Mindslaver hit a Counterflux. Aven Mindcensor got in for 2 while it could. After a long game, Emrakul resolved on turn 8 and quickly won me the game.
With the Final match out of the way. I ended up in 33rd place out of the 123 people. Very excited with this result as it was my first PTQ, my first time experiencing the format in that area and it put pushed me narrowly into prizes (3 Boosters plus the event for $20 seemed alright to me)
This is what I want to change the list to. The list looks very much what Cedric Phillips list from Star City Games. But I have added a Life from the Loam and a Ghost Quarter in replacement of a Combust and a Slaughter Games. Combo doesn’t seem as prevalent in the region, as well as most combo’s being to slow to stop with Slaughter Games. and already having 7 cards to side in against Pod is already huge (in comparison to 8).
Life from the Loam and Ghost Quarter are for the match-ups where Sowing Salts/LD is going to come in (which seems like a lot of the field due to the prevalence of GR Tron) the new plan is for a slow Tron. First land searched for is Ghost Quarter as it stops Sowing Salts by removing the target. Having a second is for if you can not find Life from the Loam. As for Life from the Loam, it can both be to bring back lands from LD, but it also helps dig for lands with its Dredge (this is normally not relevant but it could be potentially). But along with that part it is reusable which makes it extremely useful. If for example we go into turn 3 Tron and resolve our threat. Potentially getting back some of our lands later in the game may be relevant.
The event went fairly smoothly for the most part. As I stated, having at least a group of people you can go back to would have been nice (one of the advantages of paper vs online MTG). The changes I have made is to remove the cute cards from the main list such as the Spellskites (only good in certain match-ups) and Mindslaver (weaker than some other cards) and changing a majority of the sideboard in order to help with the negative match-ups.
I hope to see a lot of you for the next big Modern event in Australia, being GP Brisbane and hope your modern events go better than mine.
That One Bloke, signing off for now!