Showdown Recap: Feb 5th – Modern


Welcome to our sixth weekly Showdown Recap, where we take a look at what happened at Face to Face Games Toronto’s weekly Sunday Showdown, a series of 1k events feeding into the Ultimate Showdown 5k Invitational. This week, we followed up Saturday’s Modern Toronto Open with a Modern Showdown!

While a brand new post-bannings Standard was being explored at the Pro Tour, a host of Modern events took place at the local level this past weekend. Modern was also subject to some bannings, with Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll getting the axe this time around. With these significant nerfs to top decks – Infect, Death’s Shadow, Kiln Fiend, and Dredge – as well as some splash damage, Modern looked poised to slow down a bit, with powerful linear decks weakened. Another significant impact predicted was the printing of Fatal Push in Aether Revolt, giving fair decks an extremely powerful non-Lightning Bolt answer to early creatures.

Modern is typically extremely diverse, even if it’s just a diversity of linear aggro and combo decks, but the predicted changes in the format certainly came to be this weekend. Caleb Keung took down Saturday’s Open with Eternal Command, a Temur-coloured deck originally designed by Shouta Yasooka that uses Snapcaster Mage and Eternal Witness to cast the powerful Cryptic Command over and over again. The Showdown was also dominated in the end by fair decks, with three black-green midrange decks making the top 8, and two of them in the finals!

Of course, it was still Modern, so there was some brewing afoot. Jeremy Rubinoff made the top 4 with Jeskai Ascendancy combo, a powered-down version of the deck that ran rampant when Treasure Cruise and Dig through Time were legal in the format. Chris Flink has been playing Ad Nauseam combo for ever, and continued to post good results with it yesterday.

Christos Kaldis, however, wins the top rogue deck award, bringing a mono-green Genesis Wave deck to the table, and making it all the way to the top 8 with it! The deck looks to generate disturbing amounts of mana through Utopia Sprawl, Overgrowth, and Arbor Elf, draw and play a disturbing amount of cards through Harmonize, Garruk, Primal Hunter and Genesis Wave, then potentially win the game through Laboratory Maniac!

Abzan was traditionally built a bit differently from its Jund compatriot, eschewing a lot of the cheap efficient spells in combination with Dark Confidant for a higher-end midrange plan. With the printing of Fatal Push, however, the door is opened for Dark Confidant Abzan to be reborn, and both Keith Capstick and Matthew Loong brought different builds of the deck. Keith built his deck closer to traditional Jund lists, favouring a controlling game plan, while Matthew chose to be more aggressive, with Noble Hierarch and Grim Flayer leading the charge. Matthew was able to defeat Chris Ha’s Jund deck in the finals, continuing his chain of good finishes at our Modern events!

With his win, Matthew becomes the seventh player to qualify for the Ultimate Showdown, but Chris’s finals finish pushes him past Liam into first place in the standings! Congratulations to our top 8, and as always, thanks to everyone for coming! Join us next week for a Standard Showdown and see if you can break the Pro Tour’s dominance of Mardu Vehicles!

Matthew Loong – Abzan – 1st

Chris Ha – Jund – 2nd

Jeremy Rubinoff – Jeskai Ascendancy – 3rd

Chris Flink – Ad Nauseam – 4th

Keith Capstick – Abzan – 5th

Gokulan Balukrishnan – Eldrazi Tron – 6th

Matthew Ouellette – Grixis Delver – 7th

Christos Kaldis – Genesis Wave – 8th