Pyromancer iGrows Up: WMCQ Toronto

Five hours. That’s how long it would take me and a band of Modern-loving francophones to reach Toronto in Milkman’s big van. It took much longer.

Young Pyromancer art

After an airport shuttle from the hotel, a busride from the airport, and a yellow-line subway jaunt, I arrive at my buddy’s Chinatown apartment five hours late. He’d hit the town without me, so I stay up a few hours to jam Traditional Yu-Gi-Oh! online. At 3:30 AM, I decide to stop waiting for my friend and get some rest. He comes in loudly an hour later and we catch up.

I wake up, shower, and open my computer to check the directions. My friend texts me: “Where are you?” Don’t worry, I’m awake. The tournament starts in 40 minutes. I’ve got plenty of time. I leave the house and start walking.

15 minutes into the stroll. I’m on Yonge. Just five minutes away! But hang on: there’s no way a WMCQ would be held in a cramped LGS. I call one of the francophones and ask where he is.

“We’re at the convention center! Go in the entrance next to the Second Cup!”

Next to the Second Cup? What the hell? That could be anywhere. I hail a cab. The tournament starts in 15 minutes.

“Hey, can you take me to the convention center?”

“The convention center? Which entrance?”

I guess this might work. “Next to the Second Cup.” The cab driver gives me a big grin. “I know exactly what you mean!” Yeah, I hope so. He turns up his radio and we jet off.

I accidentally overtip and stumble out of the cab. Where’s the Second Cup? What are all these people here for? Oh, a Fan Expo. I guess this is the convention center. Wish I had time to get a coffee. I’m getting a call. “Where are you?”

“Hey, I’m looking for the Second Cup. I’m next to a line of people.” The tournament started three minutes ago.

“Hang on, I see you!” We walk in and my name gets checked on a list. They give me a red bracelet. I sit down and fill out an illegible decklist. It feels weird omitting “3 Effect Veiler.”

“We thought you weren’t going to make it!” Ha, ha. I always make it. We wait an hour before the player meeting even starts.

I’ve never played iGrow in an event this large. There were 270 something players. Since the PPTQs this summer, I haven’t played at all barring some local tournaments, in which I’ve done well. I was excited to play it against a truly competitive field. In the end, I went 6-3.

What I Played

At the last minute, I borrowed a Hurkyl’s Recall to hedge against Affinity. Someone said there would be a lot of it (there wasn’t). I cut a Send to Sleep to make space. Besides that tweak, my list looks like it has for the last month.

iGrow Toronto, 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
Island
Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Snapcaster Mage
Forked Bolt
Electrickery
Flame Slash
Snapback
Threads of Disloyalty
 Send to Sleep
Destructive Revelry
Hurkyl’s Recall
Buy deck on Cardhoarder (MTGO)Buy deck on TCGPlayer (Paper)

The biggest change here from the last iGrow list I posted to Modern Nexus is an increased reliance on the sideboard Snapcaster Mage package. I moved away from quadruple Forked Bolt as I lost to aggro decks that simply “drew out” of my removal spells. Snapcaster adds to the beatdown plan while doubling my removal, and lets me recycle the best spells for a given matchup like (Flame Slash, Lightning Bolt, and even Send to Sleep). He provides enough virtual creature kill on his own that I don’t need all those glorified Shocks. With a cantrip, he also digs for red spells.

Another big change is the abandonment of hosers. Granted, I ran that Recall on a whim for the WMCQ, but I wouldn’t do it again. The Burn and Affinity matchups are good enough with this deck that flexible sideboard cards fit better than highly specific ones. I also didn’t love Flashfreeze, since it was the only card I’d need to hold up mana for. This deck wants to tap out every turn and counter spells anyway, and having just just one or two two-mana counterspells interferes with that plan. Flashfreeze is still one of the better counterspells in Modern, and in less of a “tap-out” tempo deck, I recommend trying even mainboard copies.

Send to Sleep and Threads of Disloyalty have tested phenomenally against medium-big aggro decks. They’re also fine against Burn and Atarka Zoo, but they pull the most weight against Wild Nacatl and Tarmogoyf. Beating Zoo has always proven difficult for iGrow, and these cards help immensely.

Before jumping into the report, I’d like to add a quick note on Day’s Undoing. The fact that it won me many games this tournament aside, this article isn’t about that one card. It’s mostly about playing tempo in Modern. I happen to believe that the format’s only viable tempo decks in a field of midrange play Day’s Undoing, so I naturally include it in my builds. But I’ve refined my opinion of the card as an utter Modern game-changer; the decks best equipped to play it are URx Delver variants and artifact-based, dump-your-hand decks (Affinity, Tezz). And no, I don’t consider Grixis Delver a tempo deck.

WMCQ at 401 Games – Toronto, Ontario

Round 1 vs. Grixis Twin (1-2, lose roll): In game one, Delver into Pyro into double Probe puts me ahead. My opponent’s stuck on two lands, but spends a turn Bolting the Pyromancer instead of casting Serum Visions. I have Disrupting Shoal and he dies with a hand of Remand, Pestermite, and two Splinter Twin.

Game two, my opponent stabilizes at nine life with double Cryptic Command and a Tasigur. I fetch pretty greedily this game and lose to beatdown and Bolts as I scramble to find Vapor Snag.

DispelGame three, I get my opponent to 3 life and cast Day’s Undoing with two Steam Vents untapped. He has Grim Lavamancer and a Snapcaster Mage on an otherwise empty board. I draw Swiftspear, Bolt, Snag, and some cantrips and pass the turn. Here’s where I mess up: I should Bolt my opponent on his upkeep, to prevent him from drawing a counterspell. But at just two mana, I want to play around Mana Leak. However, Grixis Twin rarely runs that card, and instead I should play around Dispel or Cryptic by casting Bolt before the draw step. I don’t, he plays a Serum Visions and scrys one to the top. Then he plays another Visions, which I sleepily allow. The card he draws, of course, is a Dispel. My EOT Vapor Snag resolves. Swiftspear eats a Terminate, and the Bolt gets countered. I lose two turns later.

Sideboard Plan:
-2 Sleight of Hand
+1 Flame Slash
+1 Snapback

Thoughts: Losing to my best matchup wasn’t a great way to start off the event, but game three taught me an important lesson. It’s crucial with iGrow to know exactly what you want to play around and to keep your senses sharp. A small slip cost me the game – my opponent told me afterwards that he was dead to a Lightning Bolt anyway, so he spent his turn digging for an answer, which I let him find.

Round 2 vs. Kiki Chord (2-0, win roll): Game one, I play Delver, and my opponent plays an untapped land. I play Swiftspear and attack, and she eats a Path to Exile. Works for me; I cast Serum Visions and leave Undoing on top. I Shoal a Voice of Resurgence, untap, cast a Bolt, attack for three, and Undo with just a land left in hand. My opponent resolves a Scavenging Ooze, which I Bolt, and a Wall of Omens, which I ignore. When he goes for Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, I Vapor Snag his Wall in response and attack + Bolt him for lethal.

Snapcaster MageGame two, I keep double Snapcaster Mage, removal, and lands. Probe shows I’ve got all the time in the world to deal with his threats, as there isn’t a Chord of Calling or Gavony Township in sight. I slowly resolve two topdecked Pyromancers off my two lands. One gets Path’d once I make nine tokens, and I begin my assault. Wall of Omens and Voice block 1/1 Elementals and my overloaded Electrickery does a number on his team. He plays Witness for Voice, drops Voice, and passes it back. I Flame Slash the Wall, Forked Bolt the Witness and Voice token, and Vapor Snag the Voice of Resurgence. Blockers removed, I attack for lethal.

Sideboard Plan:
-4 Disrupting Shoal
-4 Day’s Undoing
-2 Sleight of Hand
+3 Snapcaster Mage
+2 Forked Bolt
+2 Electrickery
+1 Flame Slash
+2 Threads of Disloyalty

Thoughts: My opponent confirmed between games that he was on Hoogland’s list. I usually like Shoal for aggro matchups, but Kiki-Chord lacks strong targets for it. It’s also midrangey enough to justify Day’s Undoing in game one. Kiki-Chord struggles with heavy removal packages, though, so Undoing gets cut after boarding for red spells. This is one of those weird decks where Send to Sleep would shine in game one, but doesn’t mesh with our post-board plan. We want hard removal for Chord’s creatures.

Round 3 vs. Jeskai Control (0-2, lose roll): Game one, I open Day’s Undoing and hold it forever as my threats get answered one-for-one. In hindsight, I should have cast it the moment I ran out of threats to refill. My opponent starts pointing his burn at my face and swinging with a Colonnade, and I can’t Undo safely anymore.

Celestial ColonnadeGame two, Swiftspear and Tarmogoyf bring my opponent down to 5 life, but then they die and I lose to Electrolyze and Lightning Helix. I don’t draw Undoing this game.

Sideboard Plan:

No changes

Thoughts: I designed iGrow to beat midrange decks, but I had a specific kind of midrange deck in mind: one that accrues incremental advantage on the board, and not in the hand (i.e. BG Death Cloud). One that can easily trade their cards for damage (i.e. Jeskai Control), give iGrow a harder time than most. For what it’s worth, the deck tested positively against Jeskai Control before the tournament, but I didn’t dedicate much time to the matchup since it’s such an elusive pile (yeah, I went there). Jeskai’s definitely harder to beat than something like Grixis, and if we see a resurgence, I’ll put some hours into beating it consistently.

At this point in the tournament, I’d lost my chance to break into Top 8. Only booster packs were on the line, and I have zero use for those (seriously: if someone wants to buy a box, email me). I resolved to take risks, pay attention, learn a lot, have fun, and encourage my opponents do the same. As a result, the last six rounds ended up being some of the most fun Magic I’ve played since GP Charlotte. I’m writing this aside to encourage readers who lose early on in events to keep playing and keep their heads up. If you lost, you can improve, and where better to practice than at a competitive REL event?

Round 4 vs. Grixis Twin (2-1, lose roll): In game one I lose to gradual aggression, as my threat-light hand gets dismantled and I fail to find Day’s Undoing. Game two, Delver and Tarmogoyf plus Disrupting Shoal for protection gives me the win. Send to Sleep “removes” a Tasigur.

Grim LavamancerGame three, we both Serum. My opponent plays Grim Lavamancer and I foolishly try Snagging him after playing a Delver. Naturally, my opponent casts Dispel, untaps, and shoots my threat. I cantrip, draw Bolt, and pass, without much left to do. Something interesting happens with Duress on the stack. I tap my last land to Bolt the Lavamancer, and my opponent taps out for Remand. I exile Send to Sleep to Shoal the Remand. Everything resolves and I reveal Scalding Tarn to the Duress. I cast a freshly drawn Serum and get a Delver, then scry another Delver to the top and play the first one. Of course he gets Bolted, and I surprise my opponent with another off the top. This Delver blind flips off a Snapback and I draw Day’s Undoing and Shoals while attacking for three. Delver takes my opponent from 16 to 0. I get shown a hand full of Remand, Splinter Twin, and Dispel.

Sideboard Plan:
-2 Sleight of Hand
+1 Snapback
+1 Send to Sleep

Thoughts: After my round 1 loss, I elected to board in Send to Sleep over Flame Slash and was pleased with the swap. While Slash deals with a resolved Exarch or Spellskite, Sorcery speed hurts for breaking up the combo. Send stops the combo long enough to find Vapor Snag in a pinch, and also taps down Tasigur so I can get more damage in. It even pitches to Shoal to counter relevant spells, including Terminate and Snapcaster Mage. I still prefer Slash against UR Twin, which has more targets and casts Exarch earlier.

Round 5 vs. Mono Green Stompy (2-1, lose roll): Game one, I don’t see any Bolts, and get overwhelmed by dudes. I Shoal a Strangleroot Geist, but lose to Dryad Militant, Experiment One, Leatherback Baloth, and Avatar of the Resolute.

Game two, I fall to just one life. An early Spellskite complicates my removal plan, forcing me to Vapor Snag it each time before casting my Bolts. I manage to keep the field clear of Avatars and my Insectile Aberration gets the job done.

SpellskiteGame three, I have a great start of Delver into Pyromancer with a grip of Bolts, but Spellskite again makes life a little tougher. My opponent has a strong start too and I have trouble interacting enough on just three lands. I decide to trade my unflipped Delver for his Dryad Militant, since I have two more Pyromancers in hand. Eventually I find Flame Slash for Spellskite, ruefully holding my Destructive Revelry since I’m operating on Island, Island, Stomping Ground. I throw Pyro under an attacking Scavenging Ooze and resolve another one. He puts Rancor on a Scooze and plays another Scooze, enchanting that one with Rancor as well. Send to Sleep taps them both down and makes me some tokens, and just before the green guys wake up, I finally draw my Scalding Tarn. An upkeep Snapcaster-Sleep buys me enough time to win past the huge, trampling, snoring Oozes.

Sideboard Plan:
-4 Monastery Swiftspear
-4 Day’s Undoing
-2 Gitaxian Probe
-2 Sleight of Hand
+3 Snapcaster Mage
+2 Forked Bolt
+1 Flame Slash
+1 Snapback
+1 Send to Sleep
+2 Threads of Disloyalty
+2 Destructive Revelry

Thoughts: Of all the matches today, this was the most stressful. Tarmogoyf and Threads of Disloyalty took some well-deserved time off this round, but were sorely missed. Hopefully, my report speaks to the strength of Send to Sleep, and of Young Pyromancer against aggro decks in general.

Round 6 vs. Amulet Bloom (2-0, win roll): Game one I open an Undoing, but slow-roll it until I can squeeze some serious advantage out of it. My opponent resolves Summer Bloom and drops a Dragonlord Dromoka on my head. I have a growing force of Young PyromancerElemental tokens to match, and we start trading hits. Lifelink hurts so I only get in a couple points each time; the notepad shows my opponent going from 15, to 20, to 14, to 19, to 11. In the meantime, I resolve another Pyromancer, which eats Slaughter Pact. Then I draw Vapor Snag to finally bounce Dromoka and Undo it away at just six life, and with one mana up. My opponent draws seven cards, untaps, pays for Pact, resolves Primeval Titan, and gives it haste. I Vapor Snag before it swings and then I attack for lethal.

Game two, I follow Swiftspear and Delver with Tarmogoyf. My opponent plays Seal of Primordium, and when I Probe him, I see another Seal and four lands. I attack a few times, and with just one turn left on the clock, he topdecks and resolves Primeval Titan. I Snag it before attacks, and my opponent casts Pact of Negation. But he can’t find the lands he needs to win; I’m at 15 life and he’s short one mana to give the 8/6 Titan double strike.

Sideboard Plan:
-2 Young Pyromancer
-2 Sleight of Hand
+1 Snapback
+1 Send to Sleep
+2 Destructive Revelry

Thoughts: My opponent, and a few other players, told me Day’s Undoing is bad in Blood Moonthis matchup. I love it since it cancels Transmute effects, cantrips, and Summoner’s Pact on turns where the Amulet player doesn’t play the big threat he gets right away. It also combines with Vapor Snag to shuffle fatties away and help my beaters get there. Its relevance carries over to other big mana decks in Modern; against Tron, it “Remands” an Eye of Ugin activation and delays Expedition Map cracks for a turn. I was amused at the Seals, but my opponent was still right to bring them in. I found in testing that Blood Moon wasn’t even necessary against Amulet, which is one of the reasons I cut it from my build. On boarding: I cut a pair of Young Pyromancer for hate cards because Amulet doesn’t pack a lot of removal, so 16 threats is a bit heavy. The removal they do run (Firespout) kills Pyromancer anyway.

Round 7 vs. Affinity (1-2, lose roll): I wasn’t thrilled to see Springleaf Drum across from me. Lucky I brought that Hurkyl’s Recall! I drew it in game two and won, but game three I mulled to five trying to find a competent hand and lost to Champion plus Plating. We did a bunch of games afterwards and I took them all. The highlight of those was casting Threads on a Steel Overseer and stonewalling Etched Champion.

Sideboard Plan:
-4 Monastery Swiftspear
-4 Day’s Undoing
-4 Gitaxian Probe
-2 Sleight of Hand
+3 Snapcaster Mage
+2 Forked Bolt
+2 Electrickery
+1 Flame Slash
+1 Snapback
+2 Threads of Disloyalty
+1 Send to Sleep
+2 Destructive Revelry

Thoughts: The Recall was sweet when I had it, but I really want to avoid running cards like these in the sideboard. I prefer more versatile answers, so a third Electrickery or Forked Bolt might be better. Send to Sleep doesn’t exactly fit into my plan against Affinity, but Flame Slash does, and it works in the matchups I want Send for.

Round 8 vs. Burn (2-1, win roll): Game one, I stabilize the board at four life and lose to a Boros Charm, short just one point of winning. Game two, I take some damage from lands to rush out double Tarmogoyf, which does a number on my opponent.

Game three, I create a board of Snapcaster Mage, Swiftspear, and Tarmogoyf, and my opponent casts Ensnaring Bridge with two cards left in hand (what year is this?) to my one. He’s at six life, and I topdeck Monastery Swiftspear, play it, and Threads my own Goyf to make exactly lethal prowess.

Sideboard Plan:
-4 Day’s Undoing
-4 Gitaxian Probe
-1 Sleight of Hand
+3 Snapcaster Mage
+2 Forked Bolt
+1 Flame Slash
+2 Threads of Disloyalty
+1 Send to Sleep

Thoughts: Here’s another matchup I originally played a hoser for (Feed the Clan) before cutting it for widely applicable sideboard tech. Bridge isn’t a card we see enough from Burn to merit Revelry’s inclusion post-board, especially since we can win through it anyways.

Round 9 vs. GR Tron (2-0, win roll): It’s always nice to end the day with a stellar matchup. Game one, I slow-roll my threats after seeing a do-nothing, sweeper-heavy hand with Gitaxian Probe. Swiftspear and Delver each eat a Pyroclasm, and Pyromancer resolves to wreck his usual havoc. Vapor Snag gets the Wurmcoil, and I Undo into lethal Bolts.

Game two, I keep attacking and Revelry an attacking Wurmcoil Engine. I Hurkyl’s Recall away the tokens and crash in for the game.

Sideboard Plan:
-4 Disrupting Shoal
-1 Sleight of Hand
+1 Snapback
+1 Send to Sleep
+2 Destructive Revelry
+1 Hurkyl’s Recall

Thoughts: Day’s Undoing shines even brighter here than against Amulet, since Tron is so full of search effects like Sylvan Scrying that clog its new hand. Snag effects also improve, since unlike Primeval Titan, Tron’s threats don’t generate cards upon resolution. The best thing they can do is cast Thragtusk, but even that’s manageable, and many builds don’t run it.

Growing with the Flow

I mentioned dropping one Send to Sleep (the one I’d cut for a Recall this time) for a versatile card with some Affinity relevance. Right now, Flame Slash looks like the Day's Undoing 223x310best option. But my biggest takeaway from the day was just how bad Sleight of Hand is. It does more in this deck than possibly any other, digging for business, triggering Prowess and Pyromancer, pumping Goyf, providing value with Snapcaster, and flipping Delver. But it’s always the first card to go post-board, so I’d like to try something actually good in this slot. I’ll probably go with a pair of Hooting Mandrills; they don’t do Delver any favors, but man, can they bite!

A couple weeks ago, I said I’d shut up about Day’s Undoing until I had “a finish to write home about,” and if your standards resemble mine, 6-3 might not qualify. But hopefully, this report shows that iGrow can tangle with the best decks in Modern. If not, hold tight! The way things look, that postcard-material finish is fast approaching.

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.

28 thoughts on “Pyromancer iGrows Up: WMCQ Toronto

  1. Do you actually say Sleight of Hand is a bad card? Well, we don’t have that much in terms of cantrips in Modern since lots of best ones just banned, but still I find Sleight very good. I mean, it’s selection nonetheless and it’s hard to pass by that strong of an effect.

    1. I’ve been playing with Sleight for months and it tends to be terrific with a Pyromancer or Swiftspear in play and awful the rest of the time. I’ve just been playing a 2 Mandrills version with friends over the last couple days and he’s already impressing me..

  2. I feels the misplays on that Grixis Twin matchup =( that sucks man. I can understand about why you would want to cut Sleight of Hand, I was asking in one of your earlier articles about doing this because it just wasn’t AS potent as other cards. 2 I were thinking about were Remand and Dispel. What would your thoughts be on those?

    1. No worries, that’s how we learn 🙂 Like I said above, I may go back to Sleight in the future. For now I’m trying the Mandrills and he’s pulling his usual, hefty weight. My main concern with this switch is how much harder it becomes to flip Delver and to get value out of Pyromancer and Swiftspear.

      About Remand, see my above blurb on Flashfreeze. Remand has the same problems, and I hated it for those reasons. Dispel is just too narrow; Spell Snare seems much better here if you want to play a one-mana counterspell, especially since it’s much more valuable in the matchups that are actually hard for this deck (creature decks).

  3. I’m a big fan of Delver though I prefer BUG due to a natural preference to those colors and the cards it lets me play. I personally don’t like Day’s Undoing in that version of Delver and the deck tends to struggle hard against aggro while dominating Midrange/Control/Combo. Other than Send to Sleep which seems like an upgrade, do you have other ideas of on color underrated cards that might improve the aggro half of the matchup.

    1. I think BUG Delver is pretty bad. Delver, as an archetype, calls for the most versatile, efficient, and flexible spells available, and BUG doesn’t give you Modern’s best – Lightning Bolt. I also don’t like Undoing in a deck without Bolts. Your best bets for beating aggro decks in those colors are probably Abrupt Decay, Tasigur, and Feed the Clan. But again, I really can’t get behind BUG Delver in Modern.

  4. This was a very good tournament report. I definitely gained some insight regarding the inner workings of the deck, but I have to say I’m surprised at how well Send to Sleep did. I’m getting the impression that casting it with spell mastery is basically trivial for iGrow (not surprised at that), but also that because of your Bolts, it almost had a Time Walk-lite feel to it. I also was a tad unimpressed by Snapback by your account – would that be up on the chopping block any time soon?

    1. Didn’t really draw Snapback this tournament but I love the card as a one-off in the board. It’s phenomenal against all the midrange decks since the drawback is nonexistent with Undoing, and it makes tapping out against Twin really easy. It also has applications against aggro decks, bouncing Knight, Scooze, Goyf, and any other gross monster they have. I like having a fifth Snag effect, and Snapback is so versatile that I wouldn’t cut it anytime soon.

      And yeah, Sleep is crazy.

  5. If I wanted to try out this deck, but I don’t have Tarmogoyfs, would swapping them for Hooting Mandrills be a fine 1-to-1 swap? (Ignore the sideboard for this discussion).

    1. I am playing this deck right now with 3 hooting mandrills and 1 simic charm, you honestly don’t need 4 mandrills because of the delve mechanic and the fact that they cant clog your hand. That being said the RUG goyfless version does not play as smooth as the goyf version, but green is so nice and it honestly plays better than the UR version just because of the board.

    2. I think UR with Abbot is better than RUG with Mandrills and no Goyf, though I haven’t tested either that much. But my official position here is that if you don’t want to invest in Tarmogoyfs (understandable), you should play something else.

  6. If you’re intending to replace sleight, could 2 Abbot of ,keral keep be a possible call? It can serve as an on curve prowess threat against combo, but against grind a source of card Advantage or virtual card advantage. It only really works in a tapout deck though.

    I am really just trying to find a home for it in modern. It feels strong

    1. Thinking more about this, if you flip disrupting shoal with Abbot, it’s not even bad. You just have a potentially cheap counterspell for the rest of the turn. Which would be a nightmare to play against. The worst case is even you hit days undoing and can’t cast it.

      But Abbot into… Bolt, vaporiser snag serum visions. Git probe, heck this whole deck is absolute gas off Abbot. Draw a land,? that’s fine also, clears the way and gives you your land drop.

      1. I prefer even Snapcaster to Abbot in this slot since he helps our midrange plan game 1 against aggro decks. But Mandrills is much better than either of them. I’ve tested the card a little, and have come to the conclusion that Abbot is only good in UR builds for players that don’t want to buy Tarmogoyf.

  7. I appreciate this article, I’ve been frustrated with modern lately, 0-4 ing FNM, even though i can 3-1 4-0 a standard FNM, this just makes me realize even more that i need to just practice more and get more experiance

    1. Glad to hear this. The more we play, the more we learn. When you lose a game, just ask yourself if you could have done something differently. The players that never get better are the ones that get mad about “drawing poorly” or opponents “lucksacking.” Of course that stuff happens, but it’s not productive to focus on variables beyond our control. Keep grinding!

  8. Hey, don’t diss the bridge in burn. I’ve been trying it for a while in Burn SB and it can win you the game against Merfolk, Affinity (if you last long enough to land it) and Bloom Titan. But still, I’m loving the look of this deck. It looks like a lot of fun.

    1. Not at all dissing it, I just don’t think it’s common enough to justify Revelries as a habitual plan against them. To Bridge’s credit, had my opponent managed to empty his hand, it probably would have won him the game.

    1. He’s playing a totally different deck. Abbot is sweet with Bauble and horrendous with situational cards like Shoal and Send to Sleep, which we have much more of in games 2 and 3 (which is when we want to execute a grindy midrange plan anyway; the type of plan that Abbot supports). I love it in his build because it synergizes with every card. It doesn’t do that here. This is a grow tempo deck; his is firmly aggro.

  9. Hi and thanks for the report !

    I’ve noticed that you do not play any 2 U drop in the main apart from Disrupting Shoal. Sometimes, it should be an issue when you want to counter some 2 drop with D Shoal… Did you have any comment about that ? For example, in round5 game1 against MonoG stompy, you countered an Strangleroot Geist roots with DShoal. I assume you pitched an other DShoal to itself but how often do you feel missing an other 2 drop with U?

    I am trying very hard to make working Day’s Undoing in Modern UR Delver (without G, cause I do not own enough tarmo…) using Snapcaster maindeck, and your thoughts help a lot ! I will be trying Send to Sleep mainboard in the place of the Remand package I found unefficient lately. There is also one card I really like in my version, it’s Psionic Blast I run a split one main and one side. It gives some reach and is versatile even if it’s not cheap…

    1. The thing I miss most about Monkey Grow is the abundance of 2-drops for Shoal (Simic Charm, Mana Leak, Snapcaster Mage sometimes). But in this deck, countering a Lightning Bolt effect is often enough. Modern removal generally costs 1. Shoal gets a lot “better” post-board, since it hits more stuff. Game 1, Mental Misstep mode wins me enough games that I don’t think I need more two-drops in the 60.

      That said I think Snapcaster and Send in the mainboard could be really nice in budget versions, and may be better than Abbot there.

  10. What are your thoughts on grim lavamancer? You put a ton of cards in the yard already, he is a repeatable, on board effect, and he can remove fetches that you would otherwise draw post undoing

    1. I tested him both in the main and in the side. There are better postboard options against aggro decks (Electrickery, Threads) and better maindeck cards that utilize the GY (Mandrills).

  11. Great article.

    I tested this list last night, lost to tron 2-0. Both games he got turn 3 tron and the deck is really weak to planeswalkers like Ugin or Khan. Had lethal the next turn in one game but got hit by a pyroclasm.

    That being said I’ve beaten tron on another occasion where my hand was super fast with double swiftspear and opponent played a wurmcoil which got snagged. I won the other game with the 1 of blood moon, but wasn’t playing it in SB last night.

    Against affinity I got crushed by a pair of etched champions and felt like they are extremely hard to deal with. One of the games was close I had him on 4 life and he top decked a spellskite which was just what he needed as I top decked a bolt but it wasn’t enough thanks to skite ( extra blocker ) and a glimmervoid up for redirection.

    How do you deal with an early Ugin? Seems like game over to me. Other 2 rounds I had 2 byes.. Great experience for me. Will play it again tonight and post results.

    1. How early is “early?” Turn 3 Karn is hard for everyone to beat but we can generally just Bolt/attack it once to kill after resolution. Turn 4 Ugin is a little late, we should have a lot of damage by then. But yeah I don’t think we need a special “plan” for turn 4 Ugin. Tron is a good matchup because we usually beat them before they can stick their wincons. Sometimes they get the nuts, and that’s ok with me!

      Recall is very good against Champion if you see a lot of Affinity but I don’t consider it necessary. A heavy removal package should get us there against that deck.

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