South Carolina States Tournament Report

SCG Modern States SC 1st Place: G/W CoCo Chord Elves

Art_Forest_RichardWright[1]

I did not write down much information on the matches so everything will be from memory but should be very close.  I’m not as long-winded as Gweivyth so this article is basically just going to be a soft rundown of each game.

Modern Elves by Wicki
Creatures (34)
2 [mtg_card]Dwynen’s Elite[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Elvish Archdruid[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card]
3 [mtg_card]Elvish Mystic[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Elvish Visionary[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Essence Warden[/mtg_card]
3 [mtg_card]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Heritage Druid[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Llanowar Elves[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Nettle Sentinel[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Spellskite[/mtg_card]
Spells (8)
4 [mtg_card]Chord of Calling[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Collected Company[/mtg_card]
Land (18)

6 [mtg_card]Forest[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Pendelhaven[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Horizon Canopy[/mtg_card]
4 [mtg_card]Razorverge Thicket[/mtg_card]
3 [mtg_card]Cavern of Souls[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/mtg_card]
Sideboard (15)
2 [mtg_card]Burrenton Forge-Tender[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Hushwing Gryff[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Beast Within[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Bow of Nylea[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Choke[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card]
1 [mtg_card]Fracturing Gust[/mtg_card]
2 [mtg_card]Kitchen Finks[/mtg_card]

Round 1: Affinity
Game 1 – My opponent opens with a turn 1 [mtg_card]Cranial Plating[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Vault Skirge[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Signal Pest[/mtg_card]. Luckily he seemed relatively unfamiliar with the deck and gave me 3 turns to cast a [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card] on his Plating then just stalled out until I could win.

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elvish Mystic[/mtg_card]
In: [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fracturing Gust[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/mtg_card]

Game 2 – His opener was just land + [mtg_card]Vault Skirge[/mtg_card] paying 2 life. Very slow hands like this are very bad against me and I was able to get a healthy board, [mtg_card]Elvish Archdruid[/mtg_card], and Ezuri before he could do much.
(1-0)

Round 2: Grixis Delver
Game 1 – My opponent goes turn 1 Delver followed by my turn 1 Mystic. The delver doesn’t flip so he attacks expecting me not to block but I have no interaction main board if it flips so I make the trade. He doesn’t get much traction going and no flipped delver until turn 5 or 6. I get the Ezuri + Archdruid combo out and win fairly easily.

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elvish Mystic[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Llanowar Elves[/mtg_card]
In: 2 [mtg_card]Burrenton Forge-Tender[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Bow of Nylea[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card]

Game 2 – He opens with turn 1 Delver into turn 2 Delver + Bolt. Luckily he couldn’t flip them for a couple turns and forgot to reveal the first time he could have flipped them. Later in the game he has 2 flipped Delvers while I’m at 6 with a [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card] and no creatures in the yard. I swing with a non-lethal attack instead of lethal on accident to force a block but luckily he blocks anyways. I eat the one creature in the yard and force him to switch to defense when I am able to go too wide for him.
(2-0)

Round 3: Skred
Game 1 – I had never even seen this deck before. I kept and unfortunately slow hand with no one drop and have to play forest go. All he plays was foil snow covered Mountain pass so I was thinking some kind of pimped out burn deck. My next turn I draw [mtg_card]Heritage Druid[/mtg_card] which gets Bolted, then another which gets Bolted, then 3 [mtg_card]Anger of the Gods[/mtg_card] in a row to easily beat me with [mtg_card]Koth of the Hammer[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Thunderbreak Regent[/mtg_card].

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Spellskite[/mtg_card]
In: 2 [mtg_card]Burrenton Forge-Tender[/mtg_card]
Not siding in the [mtg_card]Beast Within[/mtg_card]s was a mistake, I need them for [mtg_card]Stormbreath Dragon[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Thunderbreak Regent[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Boros Reckoner[/mtg_card] in case of a huge [mtg_card]Skred[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Blasphemous Act[/mtg_card].

Game 2 – I kept a much faster hand this time but had to be very caution of his board wipes. I had him set up for lethal the following turn if I was able to [mtg_card]Collected Company[/mtg_card] into any two elves then [mtg_card]Chord of Calling[/mtg_card] for Ezuri on the end of his turn. I only hit one elf which almost never happens so I’m slowed down a turn. I draw and pass when he Bolts one of my two lords then casts [mtg_card]Anger of the Gods[/mtg_card], so I am not able to [mtg_card]Chord of Calling[/mtg_card] for another lord. A couple turn pass before I am able to rebuild, but I just get Anger’d again and lose…

I don’t know how I can ever beat this deck. Almost no chance game 1, and still very hard post-board. Easily my worst matchup I have seen in Modern.  Thankfully it isn’t that popular.
(2-1)

Round 4: Grixis Twin
Game 1 – I’m on the play against his mull to 5, my hand was fairly slow and his went Bolt, [mtg_card]Terminate[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Kolaghan’s Command[/mtg_card] so the game is surprisingly close. He eventually cast [mtg_card]Deceiver Exarch[/mtg_card] when I only have 4 lands up and no untapped creatures. In response to him tapping on of my lands I Chord for [mtg_card]Essence Warden[/mtg_card] so he can’t combo me until he finds a removal spell. He draws, plays land + [mtg_card]Splinter Twin[/mtg_card] and passed. I play Archdruid + Ezuri, so he is essentially dead next turn. He passes back I play a [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card] on the Twin so he can’t make blockers and win.

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elvish Mystic[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Llanowar Elves[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Heritage Druid[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card]
In: 2 [mtg_card]Burrenton Forge-Tender[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Hushwing Gryff[/mtg_card], 2 [mtg_card]Choke[/mtg_card]

Game 2 – This time he kept 7 and it turned into a fairly long game. I had about six elves out, [mtg_card]Burrenton Forge-Tender[/mtg_card], and a [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card] against his Exarch, Exarch, [mtg_card]Pestermite[/mtg_card] and no cards in hand. I have a Nykthos, so Ezuri is lethal if I can find it. He draws, plays [mtg_card]Serum Visions[/mtg_card] and accidentally draws the second card as well. The ruling was drawing extra cards so I was able to look and pick one to shuffle back in, the [mtg_card]Splinter Twin[/mtg_card] was on top, the second card was [mtg_card]Olivia Voldaren[/mtg_card].  I give him Olivia, rip the Ezuri off of the top of my deck and kill him.  Oops.
(3-1)

Round 5: Affinity
I got matched up against Gweivyth, so we were initially going to draw. Jabberwocky, who was 4-0 at the time, got paired down and so Gweivyth and I ended up playing because we didn’t want to try and ID into top 8 and have one of us randomly get screwed.

Game 1 – He kept a very average hand and mine was slightly better. I was able to combo him before he could do much.

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elvish Mystic[/mtg_card]
In: [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fracturing Gust[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/mtg_card]

Game 2 – He opens with land + Vault Skirge paying 2 life. I see why Affinity players keep these hands against me as flying is very good, but those hands are too slow and without [mtg_card]Cranial Plating[/mtg_card] and a ton of other artifacts on turn 1 I am usually able to beat it. On turn 2 he casts [mtg_card]Inquisition of Kozilek[/mtg_card] and takes [mtg_card]Chord of Calling[/mtg_card] instead of [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card] since I had no white source and I guess he assumed I may have a second Kataki I could Chord for. I draw Razorverge Thicket off of the top and start with [mtg_card]Elvish Visionary[/mtg_card] then Kataki the next turn. He has a [mtg_card]Signal Pest[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Vault Skirge[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Etched Champion[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Darksteel Citadel[/mtg_card] he has to pay for. He did not see a burn spell despite playing the burn variant of the deck, so this soft-locked him out of the game. The turn before I was going to kill him he spends forever thinking of what to pay for then finally just goes “Oh duh, that’s what my deck is designed to do” and taps quickly plays and [mtg_card]Inkmoth Nexus[/mtg_card] with one card in hand and passes. This tilted me real bad because I didn’t know what the heck his out could have been, so I had to tank before attacking him because I was dead on the crackback. Turns out he was just bluffing me.  I eventually decide to just swing out because I’m already up a game and he admits that his out was for me to be an idiot and not attack him, so he was trying to trick me.
(4-1)

Round 6: Jund
Intentional Draw into Top 8 with a clean cut at 13 points. He was on Jund which isn’t a fantastic matchup so the draw worked out in my favor.
(4-1-1)

Top 8(4th Seed)

(On the Play): Skred

This was the same guy from round 3 and I spent a little while talking to him before top 8 started and was basically saying I had no chance of possibly beating him, of course, we get paired.

Game 1 – I have a pretty good hand but have to play slowly to avoid getting hit by Anger which would have screwed me. He got stuck on one mountain for a couple turns then finally hit Swamp then [mtg_card]Cavern of Souls[/mtg_card] but still couldn’t Anger me. I killed him by pinging him for 3 or 4 points a turn.

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Spellskite[/mtg_card]
In: 2 [mtg_card]Burrenton Forge-Tender[/mtg_card]

Game 2 – I keep an iffy hand, but it had the potential to be very explosive if I could find a Chord or Burrenton. I drew into nothing and he cast [mtg_card]Blasphemous Act[/mtg_card] with [mtg_card]Boros Reckoner[/mtg_card] out to put me to 4 then killed me shortly after.

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Mystic[/mtg_card]
In: [mtg_card]Beast Within[/mtg_card]
Yes, it took me this long to realize I needed [mtg_card]Beast Within[/mtg_card] but didn’t want to put in both since I might just be in a position to race him.

Game 3 – My opener is very good with Burrenton to protect from and Anger, one Chord, and one [mtg_card]Collected Company[/mtg_card]. I don’t have the combo yet but he didn’t end up seeing an anger for a few turns and by the time he did I had him almost lethal and the Burrenton to sacrifice it. I messed up and didn’t [mtg_card]Beast Within[/mtg_card] his [mtg_card]Stormbreath Dragon[/mtg_card] end of my turn so it sets me one turn back killing him but he also missed the redirect to [mtg_card]Spellskite[/mtg_card] which let me win.

Took a lot of luck and I definitely have no desire to play him again, very nice guy, very hard to beat deck.

Top 4
(On the Play): Affinity
This guy was wearing his medal from winning Standard the day before, so I honestly wouldn’t have been too mad as long as we won back to back on the weekend.

Game 1 – Another land + [mtg_card]Vault Skirge[/mtg_card] hand that was too slow to beat me. I was able to combo him with two Ezuri activation that was around 60 damage which he made me count out. Can’t really blame him, he seemed really mad saying he had 12 outs and couldn’t hit a single one.

Out: [mtg_card]Elvish Champion[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Scavenging Ooze[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elvish Mystic[/mtg_card]
In: [mtg_card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Fracturing Gust[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/mtg_card]

Game 2 – Very similar to game to one, my hand was very explosive and even though I didn’t have Ezuri or Archdruid in hand I was able to dump everything by turn 3 and naturally drew into the two of them for the win. Again he made me start counting and once I got around 40 he laughed and said I’m just joking man you don’t really have to.

Finals: GW Hatebears
It came down to me and a friend of mine who drove three or four other people that guilt tripped him into conceding. It is a very good matchup for me so I was not too worried, more just disappointed I didn’t get to play against Hatebears which I have little practice against. They have very little spot removal and no board wipes as far as I know, the normal plan is just to go wide and either get double lord or trample them.

Conclusion
Overall it was a great tournament, that was my second Modern finals appearance in a row at Ready To Play Trading Cards in Cayce, SC. The deck has been great and very consistent. The only change I am making is just cutting the [mtg_card]Eternal Witness[/mtg_card] from the board altogether, I never really want it and it is just awkward to side in. I am not sure what I want in that spot yet but I have not boarded in Witness at all in about 20 rounds now.

The second Scavenging Ooze is also an awkward spot that I am replacing with an extra [mtg_card]Reclamation Sage[/mtg_card]. Aside from that I manage to play terribly sometimes and still win, the consistency and synergy of the deck makes it deceivingly powerful and it is still underrated. I have messed around with black for [mtg_card]Shaman of the Pack[/mtg_card], blue for [mtg_card]Beck // Call[/mtg_card], and CVM’s Evolutionary Elves. The deck is slightly less explosive but infinitely more consistent than those.

I am more than capable of winning a value beat-down game or end-of-turn Chord for Ezuri similar to Twin combos. The white is a must for Burrenton which is the only reason I’ve won many games against Anger or [mtg_card]Firespouts[/mtg_card], Kataki is a huge help against affinity, and I go back and forth with [mtg_card]Rest in Peace[/mtg_card] in the board.

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