Deck List


“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.

Maindeck (60)
Urza’s Tower
Urza’s Mine
Urza’s Power Plant
Grove of the Burnwillows
City of Brass
Ghost Quarter
Eye of Ugin
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Wurmcoil Engine
Ancient Stirrings
Sylvan Scrying
Relic of Progenitus
Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic Star
Expedition Map
Oblivion Stone
Karn Liberated

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.

Game 1:
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.

Game 2:
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)

Final thoughts

Main (60)
Urza’s Tower
Urza’s Mine
Urza’s Power Plant
 Grove of the Burnwillows
City of Brass
Ghost Quarter
Eye of Ugin
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Wurmcoil Engine
Ancient Stirrings
Sylvan Scrying
Relic of Progenitus
Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic Star
Expedition Map
Oblivion Stone
Karn Liberated
Sideboard (15)
Nature’s Claim
Wurmcoil Engine
Torpor Orb
Slaughter Games
Life from the Loam
Ghost Quarter

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!


It’s been a little while since the GP finished up, but what a fantastic weekend it was.  I’d spoken to Angus previously about writing an article and when he said he was still interested and sent me a tournament report I wanted to publish it immediately.  For a lot of friends of mine the GP was a great experience, because most of them made day 2.  It was only a sad few of us who didn’t.  Here’s Angus’ side of the story. He placed a decent 72nd after two long days of tournament play… well technically 3 days for Angus, because I played against him in one of the GP Trials on the Friday.   Anyway, enjoy – Spud.


Hi, my name is Angus Foster and I used to be the local Premier Tournament Organiser for Dubbo (or Inland NSW).  I used to run competitive magic in Dubbo but the competitive scene folded after the Mirroden Besieged Pre Release. Oh and I’ve been playing since Revised with only one unforced break just after Urza’s Saga.  I also was a judge and attended many Nationals and GPs from 2000.

Dubbo got a games store (The Gamers’ Guild) in July 2012 and gave me a taste for playing paper magic again.  I got some cheap flights from Dubbo to Sydney for the GP and made my plans.  Though I have to say my focus on mtgo was M13 not RtR in leading up to the GP.

Two carloads of Dubbo players went to the GP.  One car was delayed due to bush fires near Wellington which I avoided by flying.  Another player was in Sydney after being on a cruise.  A total of eight Dubbo players were at the GP.

I unfortunately left some of my medication behind in Dubbo so I got no sleep on Thursday night.  This showed when in my second sealed grinder I didn’t count how many cards where in my deck and got a game loss in the second round (playing Spud of all people).  Remember to bring you meds with you as I spent most of Friday morning in a doctor’s waiting to see a GP to get a script for my pills.

On the Saturday after deck swap I was looking at Angel of Serenity in my pool and I guess my pool built itself.  I still have my pool but it has intermingled with the two sealed grinders.  My deck along with notable sideboard cards:

GP Sydney Sealed Pool

Creatures (14)
Angel of Serenity
Armoury Guard
Azorius Justicar
Selesnya Guidgate
 Concordia Pegasus
Crosstown Courier
 Frostburn Weird
Selesnya Sentry
Skymarc Roc
 Vassal Soul

Spells (9)
Azorius Charm
Civic Saber
Dramatic Rescue
Inaction Injunction
Swift Justice
Ethereal Armor
Trostani’s Judgment

Land (16)
Selesnya Guildgate
Sideboard (7)
Eyes in the Sky
Martial Law
Pithing Needle
Rogue’s Passage
Trostani’s Judgment

When deckbuilding I got greedy with respect to only having 16 land.  I was tossing up over the 24th card, I decided to have Dispel as the counter in the deck with access to Cancel and Syncopate.  I believe after the 2nd or 3rd round I was sideboarding in Cancel and out Dispel.

I have to say that all my opponents on Day 1 all were really great people to play against.

Round 1 opponent was Garry Yeoh an old school Sydney player who had started in Revised.  He had come out of retirement (kitchen table) for the GPI can’t recall this match but it was a W.

Round 2 opponent was Matthew Winning who is a chef for the Navy.  So after discussing why he can’t be on Masterchef or the other cooking shows, I recall I beat him 2-0 as he had mana troubles in Game 2.

Round 3 opponent was Gilbert Foyle, another old school Sydney player who had come back to magic for the GP.  Gilbert was opposite when we were registering decks.  I recall he had quite the bomb deck.  He won game 1.  I won game two after milling him with a Crosstown Courier equipped with a Civic Saber.  I saw he was packing the rats along with Necropolis Regent 6/5 mythic 3BBB vampire and another bomb which I can’t recall.  I sideboard in the second Trostani’s judgement along with Cancel.

Game three was Gilbert with t2 Pack Rats while I mounted an assault through the air.  I did enough damage that he stopped making rats and trying to get blockers.  He got two flyers, the second being the Necropolis Regent but I had the two Judgements from the start of the game. 2-1

Round 4 opponent was Sean “Ace” Lappin.  I don’t recall the games but I believe it was 2-1 with Angel coming to town in g3. (It was, I clearly remember Ace complaining to me, because it was the second time you’d beaten him in the weekend - Spud)

Round 5 opponent was Aaron Sewell form NZ.  Aaron had a fast Rakdos deck.  He took game one with an unleashed Gore-House Chainwalker with Pursuit of Flight along with a Volatile Rig.  Game 2 I stalled him until the Angel took away his offence.  At that point he had no cards in hand and Angel took the game.

Game 3 was one where I felt I could have won if I played differently.  Again he had the fast start of an unleashed Chainwalker with Pursuit of Flight on it along with the Rig  I had no play until Turn 4 when I drew the Arrest .  My tough decision was either Arrest the Chainwalker or play a Runewing.  I should have played the Arrest on the Chainwalker as he had bounce for the Runewing.  My thought with the Runewing was to block the Rig, get a card and gamble with the Rig self destructing Aaron’s board.   He had removal for the next dude and I died on Aaron’s t7 with a seventh land and Angel in hand.  Aaron went on to be 8-0 on day 1 and top 8′d.

Round 6 opponent was another Kiwi, Daniel Too.  This was 2-0 my way though I was surprised that he played Martial Law main deck.  I had a Martial Law in my sideboard and decided not to play it as I was lead to believe it was too slow.  It would have helped against Aaron  This slowed both games down but at the end of g2 he was getting frustrated as he wasn’t drawing any answers.  Apparently one of the other Dubbo guys said he was very unhappy about the match afterwards.

Round 7 opponent was Patrick Pepper from Wollongong.  Patrick runs the Wollongong Good Games.  I’ve known Patrick for many years from judging at Nats & GPs where he was playing.  The only thing about this match was Patrick was playing 41 cards as I count as I pile shuffle my opponents cards and  he didn’t confirm this was so.  His reason was before a game starts he doesn’t have to say how many he is playing only during a game is he has to confirm how many cards he has.  I actually called a judge on this.  Besides from that I won this round and it was satisfying beating the rules weasel.  I was also happy as it was also my 6th win so I in Day 2 for the first time.

Round 8 opponent was Ben Sparks from Canberra.  I actually watch his last round when he was drawing basically every land in his deck against his opponent.  He wasn’t happy with his deck that round.  Ben was very lively and enthusiastic player.  I seem to recall that it was eventually 2-1 to me after he bounced my Angel back to my hand.  If I had played it immediately I would have won the game in three turns but I held it back to get “value” and it was killed in response to the ETB trigger.

Wow, 7-1 and 27th out of 692 players on Day 1.  I wasn’t the only Dubbo player to make Day 2, Daniel Hawkins also made Day 2 with a 6-2 record in his first GP.  The other Dubbo players dropped out of contention by round 6.

After a good night’s sleep was I was sort of ready to draft.  I had read a PV article on Channel Fireball and I was hoping to draft the Izzet deck.  I was in pod 4 with Allan Zhang (GP winner) along with Aaron Nicasti, Rhys Gould, Cole Swannik, Ben Mychael as names I recognised.  I was dreading packs 1 and 3 as to my right was Rhys, Allen, Aaron & Cole.

I had a choice pack 1 pick 1 between Annihilating Fire & Teleportal.  I picked the Fire and passed the Teleportal.  I supposed that I should have picked  Teleportal.  I got an Izzet Straticaster but I ended up Black Red Blue with a Carnival Hell-steed and a Chromatic Lantern.  I did not have high hopes for this deck and I felt I needed some more RtR drafts.

Round 9 opponent was Ben Mychael from Newcastle who I met when he attended the 2009 Dubbo Regionals and qualified for Nats.  Ben had been on a break from magic and had come back for the GP.  I recall that Ben had the goods along with lots of removal both games, though the second I made more of an effort. 0-2.

Round 10 opponent was Tim Baxter, from Brisbane.  He was normally a casual constructed player who made Day 2 in his first GP so he had no ambitions about day 2.  This was a win and I think my deck worked.

Round 11 opponent was Aaron Nicastri.  He had the perfect 3-0 Golgari deck but had somehow lost in round 10 and I was crushed in two straight games.  After the match I chatted to him.  Aaron had a break from both Magic and poker and was working for his parents scrapyard.  Aaron made an interesting observation that being in business was like playing a game (like magic) and he relished the work that he was doing on that basis.

The second draft was I felt much better for me as I opened Jarad.  I immediately when into Golgari.  Pack 1 Pick 8 I had a choice between Drudge Beetle and Slitherhead.  As I already had a Drudge Beetle I picked the cheaper creature.  What I didn’t know was shipping the Beetle put the player to my left into green as it signalled that green was open.  So I was cut heavily on both black and green in pack 2.  I managed to keep my draft deck together which I was happy and confident just after the draft about of at least being X-4 and getting some money.  I was regretful I didn’t have more removal.

GP Sydney Draft Deck 2.

Creatures (17)
Axebane Guardian
Daggerdrome Imp
Dark Revenant
Dreg Mangler
Drudge Beetle
Golgari Decoy
Jared, Golgari Lich Lord
Korozda Monitor
Rubbleback Rhino
Sluiceway Scorpion
Stonefare Crocodile
Towering Indrik
Trestle Troll
Wild Beastmaster
Zanikev Locust

Spells (6)
Giant Growth
Golgari Charm
Launch Party
Stab Wound

Land (17)
Golgari Guildgate
Sideboard (7)
Aerial Predation
Drainpipe Vermin
Druid’s Deliverance
Gobbling Ooze
Korozda Monitor
Ogre Jailbreaker

After reviewing after pack 2 I felt that I had too many high casting cost creatures so I tried to draft cheaper creature.  I had passed a lot of Daggerdrome Imps including taking the Locust over one as well as not drafting any Sadistic Glees.

Round 12 opponent was Max Benson from Melbourne and a regular at Meta Games. Max was the player to my left and he had a Black Red Green deck with all the removal.  I did win game 2 and force a g3 but my deck couldn’t deal with his.

Round 13 opponent was Sean Lappin (Ace) again.  This match was the bubble match to get cash .I don’t recall much but Ace got revenge won the match 2-1 I believe.

Round 14 opponent was Ben Sparks and he had all the Daggerdrome Imps.  Again I don’t recall much but Wizards shows I won.

Well I was X-5 potentially in the money, but I didn’t believe my tiebreakers where high enough.  Dan Hawkins was in with a chance to X-4 but he lost his last two matches to be X-5 as well.  At the end I was 72nd and Dan was 77th.

Overall I felt was “lucky” to make Day 2 with the pool that I had.  Though I feel if I took a different line in game 3 in round 5 against Aaron Sewell I would have won that match.  I should have thought it through to shut down 5 points of damage per round with an enchantment rather than gambling that he had no removal for a creature to block.  He did admit he was trying to win before the Angel came down and took the game from him.

Props to the Dubbo guys: Daniel Anderson, Paul Baker, Shaun Edwards, Daniel Hawkins, Justin Hamilton, Iain Thompson & Marcus Weir.

Slops to myself for forgetting such an important medication that I need it to sleep.

Angus Foster (Dubbo Mtg on various forums)

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