Toronto local Melissa Grenier has taken down the first place prize at each of our last two Face to Face Games Limited Showdowns—but how is she getting her edge?
Grenier most recently triumphed in our Triple Modern Masters Showdown the other Sunday, where she cited a lot of her success as coming from her blazing 3-0 start in her Modern Masters 2017 pod. Grenier said her Jund Aggro deck from that draft was her best of her three drafts on the day. She also stood atop the standings at our Amonkhet Limited Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) event for the Pro Tour Hour of Devastation RPTQ. These victories locked her up the back-to-back in 40-card play.
She attributes a lot of her success to format knowledge, flexibility at the draft table, and the time she’s spent playing Limited. She likes, “to have a strong backup plan while drafting and to be aware of what everyone else at the table is doing.” She said that this is part of what allows her to get an edge.
Melissa sees herself as a flexible Limited player who prefers “skies” decks. She looks to draft evasive threats highly, with a preference for the blue/white colour combination. In Amonkhet, she—like almost everyone—likes the red/white Exert archetype a lot and is looking to beat-down from the moment she sits down at the table. With that said, she’s not without her backup plan. Grenier always keeps an eye out for late Gift of Paradises which allow her to take all the most powerful cards in a variety of colours and build a three-to-four colour controlling deck. That’s strictly the disciplined backup plan though.
“You could say I like me an Emberhorn Minotaur,” she said. “But I can grind if I have to.”
Despite her success, Grenier said that she wasn’t very comfortable with Amonkhet Sealed prior to the LCQ. “I had maybe the best Sealed pool I’ve ever had at the pre-release and only managed a 4-2,” she said. Grenier described the format as bomb-heavy, which has been a complaint made by many pro players about this Sealed environment. As someone looking to get an advantage through experience, bomby formats like this can be frustrating for players like Melissa.
With that said, Hour of Devastation is coming up and is looking like it will really smooth out a lot of the problems people are having with Sealed Deck play.
That said, Melissa’s advice for players looking to mirror her success is “patience.” Obviously there’s a fair amount of variance involved in the game, particularly in sealed. She said that every event isn’t going to go well but you just have to keep playing and you’ll find success.
Here’s Melissa’s winning RG Thallids deck from the Top 8 Draft of this past weekend’s Modern Masters Showdown. She ended up in this aggressive shell after wavering between it and a Storm deck. There ended up being three Empty the Warrens in her sideboard:
Melissa Grenier – RG Thallids – 1st place Modern Masters Draft Showdown
Grenier will have an opportunity to defend her back-to-back titles twice in the next three weeks as two of our next Sunday Showdowns are Limited, followed up closely by the Sealed Grand Prix here in Toronto. Next weekend will be the Hour of Devastation pre-release Sealed Showdown with Top 8 Draft and we’ll be running another Sealed Hour of Devastation Showdown the following weekend for release weekend. Come out and crack some packs and see if you can take down Melissa, while at the same time preparing for the biggest event of the year! For more information head to the Grand Prix website.