Best of Both Worlds: Your Weekly Undoing Digest

This week’s article contains some Day’s Undoing theory and unveils a new brew. But before we begin, let’s address the Trained Armodon in the room. I hyped Day’s Undoing as the best card in Magic Origins and predicted it would completely turn Modern on its head. I expected the virtual end of midrange decks (not containing Siege Rhino) and a chaotic ocean of swingy linear mirrors, with Day’s Undoing everywhere.

So where is it?

Mishras_Bauble_600 resize

The answer: “around, kind of.” Undoing hasn’t made nearly the splash I thought it would, at least, not yet. I’m still hopeful, my sustained faith in the card buoyed by continued success brewing with it. It’s also picking up steam in a few established Modern decks, especially Affinity and Infect. Day’s Undoing is particularly good in these decks since they can easily execute the steps I’ve outlined below to cast it successfully.

Here are some finishes containing the card:

Affinity, by Jean-Sébastien Caux (4 Undoings main)
Affinity, by Michael Evans* (4 Undoings main)
Affinity, by Anthony Sherman (4 Undoings main)
Affinity, by Edwin Steenhoek (3 Undoings main)
Affinity, by Nick Vialpando (2 Undoings main)
Affinity, by Joaquin Hita (1 Undoing main)
Infect, by Alex Donald (2 Undoings main)
Infect, by Bryan Henning (1 Undoing side)
Taking Turns, by Stephen Pierce (2 Undoings main)

*This SCG IQ also had a Monkey Grow deck in the Top 8! 

OmniscienceThese results indicate that Day’s Undoing is Modern-good. It’s even Legacy-good, putting up results in Omni-Tell and Affinity. I think it’s less a question at this point of if Undoing is playable and more one of when Modern players will figure it out. Despite all these Top 8’s, the card has yet to actually win a major Modern tournament. That mythical finish could potentially be what breaks the camel’s back. While I’m now wary of calling a total Modern meltdown, a big-event, 1st-place Undoing victory would likely convince many players of the card’s strength. This could cue a surge in Undoing’s representation, which might also begin to push mid-range decks out of the format or, at least, out of their cushiony throne at Modern’s forefront.

How to Undo

Watching some friends sleeve up the original iGrow list and proceed to bomb the same weeklies I was 4-0’ing convinced me to write a mini-primer on casting Day’s Undoing. Since I’ll be talking about the card in the context of my iGrow deck, I’ll post a current list here:

iGrow, by Jordan Boisvert

Creatures (16)
Delver of Secrets
Monastery Swiftspear
Tarmogoyf
Young Pyromancer

Sorceries (14)
Serum Visions
Gitaxian Probe
Day’s Undoing
Sleight of Hand

Instants (12)
Lightning Bolt
Vapor Snag
Disrupting Shoal

Lands (18)
Scalding Tarn
Misty Rainforest
Wooded Foothills
Steam Vents
Breeding Pool
Stomping Ground
Sulfur Falls
Island
Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Forked Bolt
Snapcaster Mage
Destructive Revelry
Feed the Clan
Snapback
Electrickery
Hurkyl’s Recall
Flashfreeze
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“Card advantage,” in its purest sense, refers to having more cards in hand than an opponent. But it often means much more. In Modern, card advantage sometimes takes the form of extra creatures generated by Voice of Resurgence or spells given flashback with Snapcaster Mage. Card advantage also manifests itself in more abstract ways depending on the matchup. Nourishing Shoal, for instance, appears to ask casters to suffer card disadvantage by exiling another card as the mana cost. But against a Burn deck, exiling a Worldspine Wurm provides card advantage, since it “counters” two Boros Charms and a Lava Spike; in this case, Grishoalbrand is down two cards, but Burn has lost three, meaning the Shoal netted Grishoalbrand one card.

For the purpose of this article, I’ve broken down the different kinds of card advantage Day’s Undoing cares about into smaller categories. I’ll hereafter refer them as follows:

  • Board advantage – a lead in board presence.
  • Damage advantage – a lead in the damage race.
  • Hand advantage – having more cards in hand than an opponent.

Day’s Undoing requires casters to first analyze these three tangible aspects of the game, ensuring leads on one or more axes. We consider these dimensions before casting Day’s Undoing:

  • Damage taken. Players should cast Day’s Undoing after dealing more damage to opponents than they’ve already taken. At 12 life, on an empty board, with an opponent at 6, iGrow has a significant damage advantage. Since the deck is packed with instant-damage spells like Vapor Snag and Lightning Bolt, resolving Undoing with a large damage advantage will likely win the iGrow pilot the game immediately. Similarly, with our own life count low, we might be wary of drawing Grixis Control opponents into Bolt-Snap-Bolt.
  • Board presence. Players should cast Day’s Undoing while ahead on the board. Young PyromancerResolving Young Pyromancer, protecting him from Lightning Bolt with Disrupting Shoal, casting Vapor Snag on a lone blocker, and resolving Day’s Undoing creates massive board advantage – how can opponents possibly overcome all these Elemental tokens when we’re untapping with more business? With so many bounce effects in iGrow, it becomes increasingly difficult for opponents to recover after an Undoing resolves as our board develops. The sword cuts both ways: casting Undoing with nothing in play to an opponent’s two creatures spells doom for an iGrow pilot, since opponents will happily untap, attack, and play some more creatures, putting the game even further out of reach. Unless players casting Undoing want to end the game in a way that ignores the board advantage, such as using burn for reach, the sorcery should remain in-hand until a board advantage can be established.
  • Cards in hand. Players should cast Day’s Undoing with less cards in hand than their opponents. This way, the symmetrical Twister effect “wastes” an opponent’s cards, since both players put back whatever they have and take a new hand of seven. That’s why Day’s Undoing works so well alongside zero- and one-mana spells that lead to empty hands as early as the third turn. Disrupting Shoal does double duty on this metric, costing zero mana and spending another card. Undoing ends up completely erasing its otherwise non-negligible drawback. With no other cards in hand, against a tapped out opponent with six cards in hand, the Undoing player stands to net a whopping six cards over his opponent.

In a nutshell: a perfect-world Day’s Undoing resolves after we’ve accrued board and damage advantage, ideally at the cost of hand advantage, and after opponents have worked to gain hand advantage. Usually, getting just one of these things right is enough to make Undoing worthwhile.

Sometimes, opponents can threaten a win the turn after we resolve Day’s Undoing. It frequently becomes crucial to ask: “what are the odds?”

Against an opponent with five lands and a Deceiver Exarch in play, chances are decent that player draws Splinter Twin and goes for it next turn, ignoring a board or damage advantage entirely. Day's Undoing 223x310Opponents also get those used Lightning Bolts stuffed back in the deck and may try to burn us out. Some of these circumstances can’t be prevented, and often, casting Undoing is correct even if opponents may draw a win condition. After all, we may also draw a win condition, or an out to a deadly on-board threat, and Undoing at least gives us a chance to do so. I’ve had players denigrate the card when I cast it as a last resort and lose the turn after, but I’d have lost those games anyway. Undoing has also won me a ton of games I had no business taking by drawing me into that lethal Lightning Bolt after an opponent had, say, stabilized with a board full of 2/2 Zombies. While some situations are clean-cut, deciding to cast Day’s Undoing often presents a real risk. Knowing when to take that risk and when to hold out for more Vapor Snags separates good iGrow pilots from bad ones, and can only be learned thorough practice. I believe it’s correct to play an extremely powerful, synergistic card in your deck, even if it loses you games sometimes, as long as it wins you games most of the time. Just ask Delver of Secrets.

Mix It All Together

My regular searches for finishes including Day’s Undoing landed me on this deck, a Grixis spin on Monkey Grow that runs two of the card in its mainboard. Boogelawolf, who piloted the deck to a 3-1 finish in a MODO daily, was either greatly inspired by my Nexus articles or is my long lost soul mate. Soul mate? Yeah, this guy even ran Faithless Looting! I don’t think the Lootings are necessary here, and hate that the black threats all require Thought Scour to drop reliably. His deck would drastically improve with green over black, since Goyf can replace Angler as a larger (thanks to Mishra’s Bauble) beater, leaving the compost to Hooting Mandrills instead of Tasigur (and I’ve gone on record stating that I consider Mandrills stronger in tempo decks than the somehow beefier banana man). Boogelawolf also neglected to run Disrupting Shoal or Vapor Snag, two of the better cards in Undoing Delver decks. I ended up regretfully trimming a Mandrills and a Denial to make room for the cards I wanted to include, but so far, this Monkey Grow/iGrow hybrid has tested phenomenally.

Banana Phone, by Jordan Boisvert

Creatures (15)
Delver of Secrets
Monastery Swiftspear
Tarmogoyf
Hooting Mandrills

Sorceries (11)
Serum Visions
Gitaxian Probe
Day’s Undoing

Instants (13)
Lightning Bolt
Disrupting Shoal
Stubborn Denial
Vapor Snag

Other (4)
Mishra’s Bauble

Lands (17)
Scalding Tarn
Misty Rainforest
Wooded Foothills
Steam Vents
Breeding Pool
Stomping Ground
Island
Forest
Sideboard (15)
Huntmaster of the Fells
Destructive Revelry
Ancient Grudge
Pyroclasm
Vapor Snag
Feed the Clan
Stubborn Denial
Day’s Undoing
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This deck has a lot more going on than meets the eye. First, it’s important to realize that all of the creatures synergize in some way with Mishra’s Bauble. We can cast Undoing and guarantee a Bolt-proof Tarmogoyf with Bauble and a fetchland in play. Otherwise, the artifact grows Goyf bigger than Modern’s nastiest fatties. Bauble pumps Swiftspear before an attack and gives turn-one Delvers two chances at flipping. The 0-cost is relevant, too; playing and cracking Bauble before an Undoing lets us “store” the card and start with eight in our new opener, whereas topdecking an uncastable spell before Undoing “wastes” the draw that turn. Most importantly, Bauble fills the graveyard for Hooting Mandrills, who stays large after Day’s Undoing and enables Stubborn Denial. Bauble isn’t without its drawbacks, which is why I never included it in Monkey Grow or Pyromancer iGrow. Topdecking one when we need an answer and don’t have a fetchland to scry with wastes the whole turn.

Disrupting ShoalA Shoal + Denial counter suite devastates linear strategies. When all seven counterspells cost zero or one mana, it becomes difficult for opponents to win a counter war and impossible for them to come out ahead on tempo in the process. Bauble boosts Tarmogoyf to make Denial more reliable, and I’ve included the fourth Denial in the sideboard for spell-heavy decks.

The Banana Phone (pretty funny, right?) mainboard has some weird numbers, entirely due to tightness. Running so many sweet cards complicates a trip to streamline city. Vapor Snag, an incredible player in iGrow, has two copies shaved since it does nothing against a few decks in Modern. Notably, Young Pyromancer doesn’t show up in this build at all. While Pyro gives iGrow a unique brand of attack by going wide, he shares a weakness to Pyroclasm effects with Delver and Swiftspear, and he doesn’t synergize with the rest of the cards well enough to merit inclusion. Stubborn Denial and Mishra’s Bauble in particular start to look pretty pathetic with just a Young Pyromancer on the board.

The sideboard does everything. Against fair aggro decks, the Swiftspears, Undoings, and Baubles come out for sweeper effects, bounce spells, and Huntmasters. Against midrange, the fourth Undoing and some Snags come in for Bauble and Mandrills. Against linear decks, Denial replaces Undoing and the threats get switched around depending on relevance. Banana Phone has more post-board build options than any of my other Delver decks. Combining the versatility of Monkey Grow and iGrow, it truly gives players the best of both worlds.

You Can Go Anywhere

The big question: what does Banana Phone have over Pyromancer iGrow? Mainly, Stubborn Denial. The Denial deck holds its own in a field of combo, whereas the Pyromancer build can struggle against decks like Scapeshift. Day’s Undoing gives it points against midrange, but Pyromancer has these already, and does an even better job against those decks with its full set of Undoings. I’d also call Pyromancer iGrow more consistent than Banana Phone – Mishra’s Bauble does tend to gum up hands, especially openers, but it’s a necessary evil in this build since we don’t want to spend mana on Thought Scour.

As of today, here’s a list of my deck choices for known metagames:

  • Combo-heavy meta: Monkey Grow
  • Midrange-heavy meta: iGrow
  • Aggro-heavy meta: Counter-Cat
  • Combo- and midrange-heavy meta: Banana Phone
  • Midrange- and aggro-heavy meta: Counter-Cat
  • Aggro- and combo-heavy meta: Counter-Cat
  • Open/unknown meta: whichever I feel like playing

I’ll be testing Banana Phone extensively in the coming weeks, but don’t count Pyromancer out of the equation. Red’s mythical two-drop is absolutely insane in this deck, and in metagames requiring fewer Negate effects, or ones lacking in red sweepers, I would prefer my original iGrow build to this one.

Jordan is the copy editor at Modern Nexus. He has played Magic since 2003, and Modern since its inception. A devoted theorist, he always brings tuned brews to events. Jordan favors card efficiency over raw power and specializes in disruptive aggro strategies.

30 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds: Your Weekly Undoing Digest

  1. I’m still not impressed with Days Undoing in Affinity, as you REALLY dont want to cast this card against Merfolk, Burn, Affinity or any other linear/combo deck. In fact the only decks you want to cast this vs is Jund, Control and other heavy removal decks (I’m not even that convinced its good vs Twin).

    I would love to be proven wrong, I just dont see it yet :/

    1. Since we (Counter-Cat players) are only a bunch of people (I think, 6 at most), there is no “streamlined” version. My version is the nearest to the version which we developed last year (Boisvert, some friends from him, myself + friends). There are more creature heavy versions (with up to 18 creatures), some more burn centric versions and the 5c Tribal Cat builds. All of them have some differences and are good in different metas (so, you can trim the deck gain a better Midrange match-up, but you lose ground against aggro), but most suffer from increased inconsistency. The biggest problem with Counter-Cat is, that it has some problems with the consistency, since it is a 4c Delver deck. With some tuning this problem can be solved.

      However, I still think, that Counter-Cat is the best Delver deck in Modern (besides RUG Delver/Monkey Grow). Grixis Delver has the problem, that a Delver deck (aka a Aggro/Control deck) tries to play the Midrange game (via Kolaghan’s and co). Thus, it dilutes the deck too much and causes, that it can neither play the Tempo game nor the Midrange game well.

      For everything else (so, when you want to play which Delver deck), just look at the Chart above. For myself, I would either play Counter-Cat or Banana Phone (awesome name btw) in any given meta.

      Greetings,
      Kathal

        1. Just for the record, he’s not saying he’s one of the few people in the world to play wild nacatl and delver in the same deck, he’s saying there’s an active community of 5-6 consistent, involved players on the above linked forum that have played and contributed to his version and idea of the deck.

          1. You can think that but that’s not what his comment says, at all. He believes there is no streamlined version of the deck because theres only 5-6 people that constitute the countercat player base. That’s the only way to interpret that statement.

  2. So, your articles pretty much tell us the same thing again and again, how much in love with Day’s Undoing you are. By now I see “undoing” in the article, start rolling my eyes, and skip reading it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get it, it’s got potential to be powerful, and I hope your right for all it’s worth. I would like to see more on the other 256 cards release in Origins though.

    Sincerely yours, a Nexus fan!

  3. I agree with the comments. It seems the author is still trying to convince us it is good, and perhaps it is, but certainly not Modern crushing. It would be nice for authors to look back on their prediction and admit some things.

    Of course I agree it is still early, but with so much hype you would assume someone would have broken it IF it was truly bonkers?

  4. Hey man, don’t let the criticism get you down. Your undoing articles have been my favorite on this site, but what I’d really like to see are some videos! I’ve been interested in DU from the start, but I think that seeing it in action would really help me and other readers get a feel for how it actually plays out. Keep up the great work!

    1. I’m always hesitant to do videos since I can’t be as eloquent on film as I can in text 😛 But you’re far from the first person to ask for these so I will probably look into doing them soon!

      1. You could always record videos and over dub them later if you wanna shoe horn in more description. I for one would love to see a video of any of these decks, because youve given us so much information and im eager to see it applied.

  5. A card not showing immediate result doesn’t mean its bad. I mean how long has borborygmos and nourishing shoal been here and people just figured out not long ago that stupid grishoalbrand deck. I’m sure undoing has potential, it is just not an obvious one and we need to let the modern hive mind have some time before the code is cracked.

  6. Hey there, been reading this website for a while. Love modern and brewing. Short history on the deck: I started playing on MODO (was on cockatrice for years) after Chapin’s delve list cause I’m an Esper fanatic. After messing around with it, I wanted to experiment with a mashup of that and delver. I didn’t want to go green initially because I fiured I would just play monkey grow or iGrow if I did. After a while, I came to he same conclusion that you did about trample. The looting was there to clear out delve heavy hands, cause having three anglers was rough, but definitely not necessary if your going Green.

    Some important observations:

    Jamming the black delve creatures is fantastic but much more midrange than tempo, as discussed. Turn one Tasigur happened once off 2 baubles, 2 probes and a fetch. That felt bonkers. I imagine mandrills on one would be just as satisfying.

    Swift spear on turn one followed by baubles or probes is sweet and into t2 delve creature backed by denial is also bonkers. Doing 3-4 damage before they even play is just crazy and remarkably consistent.

    Bauble is great with every creature and is really the secret of the deck. Getting another chance at a delver flip is no joke. It’s also wonderful with undoing like you described.

    Stubborn denial is plain unfair and is honestly worth running the full 8 black delve creatures, but should probably just be Chapin’s list if you want the full playset. I agree with running only 3 if you go green but I think having 4 mandrills might be too important. It’s just too easy to cast them with probes and baubles, but like you said, what to cut. I’ll try it out with three and see how it feels.

    I didn’t have enough creature interaction so the vapor snags were missed. I love this temur list and will definitely be playing it. For anyone playing grixis delver, the falkenrath aristocrat is just crazy against midrange and spot removal heavy decks. Being able to eat delvers, swift spears and tasigurs to get in for the last points of damage in the air hasted won me a few games. Leylines are also ridiculous and highly recommend them in any deck.

    With disrupting shoal, bauble and fetchland interaction, one mana plays all day and only running 17 lands, this deck really feels like playing legacy. Now that I have a delver list to play, I’ve been tweaking the grixis list, dropping delvers and seeing if I can take a more midrange approach, but not sure it will be successful. I just love brewing and playing against competitive decks. You really learn a lot about the game when you do. Thanks for talking about my deck. It really made my day.

      1. PPTQ @ Kevin’s Gamers’ Bazaar in Farmington, MO w/ Banana Phone RUG Delver

        Quick background on me:
        I’ve been collecting MTG cards since Ice Age, and playing at LGSs off and on since Odyssey. In 2012 I picked the game up again and was all-in after going undefeated all the way to the finals of a Standard GPT that I attended more or less on a whim (playing U/W humans). In 2013 I converted to Modern, and haven’t looked back. I haven’t really done anything on any big stages, but I t8’d the last SCG PIQ in St. Louis, won TCGplayer Modern States (Missouri), won a GPT for GP Omaha (where I went 5-2 drop) and have t8-16’d a handful of other comp REL events–PTQs, GPTs, States, and the like. All modern, all the time. And of course now I’m on my way the RPTQ in Indy.

        Deck choice:
        My typical go-to for competitive events is Scapeshift, but for this event I decided I wanted to do something (else) no one really expected (aside: I’ve found that you can pick up significant advantages in Modern by playing off-the-radar decks).

        I tested iGrow and Monkey Grow, and I wanted a hybrid of the two as I expected a lot of Twin and Jund. Plus I love Hooting Mandrills + Stubborn Denial and wanted to take Day’s Undoing for a spin, so I decided to battle with Mr. Boisvert’s Banana Phone variant of RUG Delver.

        Here is my exact list…basically I just swapped +1 Feed the Clans for -1 Huntmaster to improve the Burn matchup a bit as I expected to see multiple copies in the room (and there were):

        Creatures (15)
        4 Delver of Secrets
        4 Monastery Swiftspear
        4 Tarmogoyf
        3 Hooting Mandrills

        Sorceries (11)
        4 Serum Visions
        4 Gitaxian Probe
        3 Day’s Undoing

        Instants (13)
        4 Lightning Bolt
        4 Disrupting Shoal
        3 Stubborn Denial
        2 Vapor Snag

        Other (4)
        4 Mishra’s Bauble

        Lands (17)
        4 Scalding Tarn
        4 Misty Rainforest
        2 Wooded Foothills
        2 Steam Vents
        1 Breeding Pool
        1 Stomping Ground
        2 Island
        1 Forest

        Sideboard (15)
        3 Huntmaster of the Fells
        2 Destructive Revelry
        2 Ancient Grudge
        2 Pyroclasm
        2 Vapor Snag
        2 Feed the Clan
        1 Stubborn Denial
        1 Day’s Undoing

        Round 1—G/W Hatebears (2-1):
        Game 1 felt like a lesson in Tempo for my opponent. On the play I quickly beat down with something like double Delver, bolt Leonin Arbiter, Hooting Mandrills, Stubborn Denial a Path, and then hold up Shoal to counter a Scanvenging Ooze the hard way, to which my opponent scooped

        Game 2 went the other way. My opponent had double Path for a Delver and a Mandrills, meanwhile curving Thalia into Arbiter into double Blade Splicer and double Restoration Angel. My remaining Goyfs were stalled on the ground by a lethal swing-back if I attacked while a very angry Angel quickly dispatched me in the air

        I hadn’t seen my opponent’s Angel value plan game 1, so I mistakenly bolted down an Arbiter in response to a Ghost Quarter on land #4 (which obviously didn’t actually matter). I should’ve held it for a Splicer in response to Angel.

        Game 3 was much closer than either of the previous games. I don’t entirely recall the early-game, but I know the game was shut down with an upkeep Bolt after my opponent had stabilized at 3 and I was left with only a Day’s Undoing…good enough!

        For sideboarding I just brought in the extra Snags and a miser’s Revelry to answer Choke, Worship, or Aether Vial.

        Rounds 2 & 3—Grixis Twin (2-0):
        As you will see, I played against Grixis Twin 4 times against the same 2 players in both the Swiss and elimination rounds. That being said, most of these games kind of blur together, particularly in the Swiss rounds. So suffice it to say that while this matchup looks potentially close on paper (thanks to Tasigur/Angler), it’s actually not.

        The hero of this match is Tarmogoyf…specifically 5/6 Goyf, enabled by Mishra’s Bauble. This makes all the difference compared to the garden-variety 4/5 Goyfs you might get from iGrow or Monkey Grow. Ultimately this match plays out in textbook Tempo fashion. If your threats + counters are greater than the number of Terminates/Snap-Terminates they put together, you win. I did find Exarch as a mild nuisance, often completely nerfing my t3/t4 attack by tapping Goyf/Mandrills, which actually made Snag actively poor, since the ETB effect was actually better than the 1/4 body.

        Anyway, my two opponents played very differently post-board; one favoring the control route, cutting combo pieces, and the other staying all-in on the combo, so I actually sided differently against each. All the Snags and Denials came in in both matches, but I brought in Huntmaster against the “control” opponent, while I left them on the bench against the “combo” opponent and opted for a Revelry instead given their respective post-board plans. I also felt very unsure of whether or not I wanted Day’s in these matches. I ended up deciding I did for two reasons: against the “control” player they obviously provide extra card advantage; against the “combo” player I trimmed 1, but the other two still made Shoal live for Exarchs/Pestermites, which was actually a fairly big deal.

        Oh, and I got Mishra’s Bauble countered by Cryptic Command. To be fair, he was just going to tap my team at begin combat, but he chose to counter Bauble over drawing a card. That’s some respect. Or desperation. Either way, I’ll take it.

        Round 4—BW Tokens (2-1):
        Not sure how this guy made it through Twin, Tron, and Living End. Maybe those aren’t actually bad matchups for Tokens, I have no clue, but either way I knew I did NOT want to play against Lingering Souls backed up with Thoughtsieze and Path, and I was hoping others would knock this guy out for me!

        Game 1 I think I scooped on turn 4 when my Probe revealed 2x Path and 2x Raise the Alarm as I was presently getting the beatdown from 5 2/2 vigilant spirits.

        For the post-board games I’m still feeling good with Pyroclasms, Revelries, and Huntmasters. Then I draw up a no-lander, followed by 5 land + something useless, and I keep on 5 with a 2 land, Goyf, Stubborn Denial, Shoal. I Denial a t1 Thoughtsieze and chain 3 Goyfs onto the field. One gets Path’ed, I counter another Path and a Secure the Wastes for 4, and beat face with the 2 remaining Goyfs until he runs out of blockers.

        Game 3 my opponent keeps a 1-lander with an Inquisition and fails to find his second land, but did find infinite Paths and Thoughtsiezes, so unfortunately I couldn’t pressure him despite having Delver and 2x Goyf in the first few turns of the game. Eventually I landed a Hooting Mandrills just as he started peeling lands and making tokens, but the trample proved to be too effective. I put him to 5 before he found a Dismember and put himself to 3 to kill the poor monkey. I ripped a Swiftspear that hit him to 2 and kept him off Intangible Virtue and Honor of the Pure because of the Destructive Revelry he saw when he plucked my Goyf with a Thoughtseize. When he pulled Path number 3 for the Swiftspear I cast Day’s for the upkeep Bolt kill.

        Round 5—Draw

        I ended up taking 1st in the Swiss and was loving that good ‘ol modified play/draw rule as I made my way into the elimination rounds.

        Quarterfinals—Grixis Twin (2-0):
        This match was against the “control” strategy Twin player, and went the same way as the Swiss rounds. In game 1 my sole threat (Goyf) got stalled out by a Spell Snare that was revealed to my Probe. Eventually I weaved around it by setting up a Snag on a Tasigur to bait out a Dispel that I Denial’ed in Force Spike mode to tap him out. I then safely resolved my 5/6 Goyf the next turn. I think it eventually caught a Terminate, but by that point the opponent was on the defensive and was not able to stop other threats from landing enough hits to put him in Bolt-range.

        Game 2 was much grindier. Delvers died to Bolts, Goyfs and Mandrills hit the bin thanks to Terminate, Terminate, Snap-Terminate shenanigans, but not without sneaking in a few hits here and there. Towards the late game my opponent Thoughtsiezed and was presented with Huntmaster, Day’s. He took Huntmaster. I was set to teach him to respect the Day’s when I ripped another Huntmaster off the top and went with that instead to put myself ahead on board in addition to being ahead in life, since we were both low on cards in hand. But I hit a Swiftspear and attacked in with the team for lethal.

        Semifinals—Infect (2-0):
        This match was extremely quick. Game 1 I Shoaled a t1 Glistener Elf and left my opponent with a handful of pump spells with no creature. Eventually he fetched up Dryad Arbor as a desperation blocker, but my Goyfs and Mandrills shredded him too quickly when backed up with Bolt, Snag, and Denial.

        For this match I basically just wanted extra Snags, Denials, and a Revelry for Inkmoth, Wild Defiance, and Spellskite.

        Game 2 basically played out the same way. He had 2 Blighted Agent and 2 Mutagenic Growth (1 of which I had covered by a Shoal), so my Bolts were live and Snag proved to provide adequate support to the rag-tag team of Swiftspear and Mandrills swinging in while Agent #2 was relegated to blocking duty.

        Finals—Grixis Twin (2-1):
        Here we were…the finals! I was paired against the “combo” Grixis Twin player from rd 3 and felt good coming off of my wins in Swiss and then in the quarters.

        Game 1 was a walk in the park despite a mull to 6. My opponent kept 4 land, 2 Exarch, Terminate. I was on the play and led on Probe, into t1 Delver flipped off of a Bauble. I cast Serum Visions and held up Stubborn Denial for the impending Terminate, which was cast and countered. From there a Mandrills joined my Delver and made a Denial live that protected me from the combo while Delver finished things off as Exarchs tapped and blocked my Mandrills.

        Game 2 things fell apart a bit. I mulled to 6 and kept a land-heavy hand with a Goyf, a Visions and a Bolt (had to be better than a mull to 5), but I didn’t have a Probe and I didn’t want to wait around for one or a counter, so I deployed Goyf right into a Terminate. The game drug-out into a Bolt-fest and we eventually found ourselves both at 3 life. My opponent was tapped out with the lethal Snap-Bolt in hand. I had to find a Bolt. I fetch down to 2 to thin out my deck and take a peak at the top card…Hooting Mandrills.

        Game 3 I had gas. 2x Bauble, Visions, and fetch set up a t2 Mandrills on the play. My opponent led on Island, so I knew my Mandrills was in the clear from Terminate and I jammed. My opponent kept a handful of Islands and conditional counters—Spell Snare, Dispel, Spell Pierce, etc. None of which were of any help against the merciless beating my gang of 3 monkeys were laying down. Exarchs did their best to slow things down, but ultimately my opponent’s only hope was to pull of a combo-kill, and he wasn’t able to keep an Exarch in play long enough to do so as they just kept getting tossed in front of the monkey onslaught to keep my opponent alive one turn at a time. Eventually my opponent goes for a Cryptic Command to stay alive and get a chance at ripping the Twin, but I had the Stubborn Denial for the game, match, and tournament!

        Post-Tournament Thoughts:
        Overall I felt like this deck was just silly. There were so many games—particularly g1 on the play—that just felt like I was playing a Legacy deck in Modern. No one was prepared for Hooting Mandrills, Mishra’s Bauble, Stubborn Denial, or Disrupting Shoal…I was literally opening people’s eyes to cards they had never deemed “good enough.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard “Wow…I guess *that card* is good,” generally in reference to either Bauble or Shoal.

        1. Sweet report. Seems like you played really well. I would have brought in double Revelry against Tokens and Hatebears, since hitting Vial is so important. You’re correct to keep Day’s vs. the Grixis decks, they just do not beat that card. Not to mention you can Shoal an exarch with it, but it doesn’t seem like that came up? Would like to hear your thoughts on how Bauble played out specifically. The card has been very good for me turn 1, combining with Serum Visions, Probe, or a fetchland to all but ensure a second land on turn 2. Do you plan on sticking with the deck for awhile? Good luck in Indiana!

          1. Thanks Jordan!

            Yeah, I did bring double Revelry against tokens, but only 1 vs. Hatebears, which I think in one iteration of my report I called out as a miss given that, worst-case, it kills Golem tokens…but I must have deleted that out while self-editing.

            Bauble was my unsung MVP, hands-down. That card is bonkers. It synergizes SO WELL in the deck. In fact, in the quarters, I had like half a dozen spectators singing the praises of that card after watching me use it to flip Delvers, pump Goyfs/Swiftspears, cast early Mandrills, and get some scry-action with fetches. Late game it can be a rough draw, but generally only if you’re looking for a threat. Otherwise cracking it on your turn to get the card on their upkeep is usually 85% as good as getting on your turn since I generally found that I was looking for some kind of disruption anyway–either Snag/Bolt or Shoal/Denial. So as long as my Bauble didn’t draw me into exactly Probe/Visions it was fine to get the card on their turn. I also found that the timing of the “draw a card” was useful for complicating/obscuring my opponents’ lines. In general, if you’re in a game state where your opponent is taking actions before your draw step (to play around counter-magic), putting extra “draw steps” into the game, especially on their upkeep, felt pretty good. It was definitely the last of my considerations on when/how to use Bauble, but I found people were responding to that trigger, so I started considering if there were situations where I could take advantage of that fact (mostly in my Twin matches).

            Anyway, it’s funny that you ask about sticking with the list because I was looking at your Counter-Cat list on MTGSalvation, but I honestly can’t bring myself to part with Bauble! So yes, I am probably going to stick with this list for while, and plan on sticking with one of the 4 variants all the way through Indy, unless Rhinos decide to CRASH the party (sorry for the pun)…

            P.S. I’m not sorry for the pun.

          2. Nice insights on Bauble. I like the idea of having an answer ready for opponents to respond to the draw trigger. There’s been some public outcry about my onslaught of Undoing articles, so I’m holding off on writing about that card, at least for a couple of weeks. But it seems like you’ve experienced firsthand the power of these decks, and rest assured, I’ll come back to writing about Undoing Delver variants soon enough. I definitely won’t stop playing them, though!

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