Showdown Recap: Modern


Welcome to another 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, players battled in Modern for the top prize.

The story of Sunday’s tournament was certainly the various linear colourless archetypes that dominated the Top 8 of the event. In total there were three different Tron decks and an Affinity player who made it to the elimination rounds. Zach Chatel went the biggest of them all and was able to come away with the first place prize on the back of his G/W Tron deck that went over the top of the Eldrazi Tron decks but also sported some Path to Exiles to interact with decks like Death’s Shadow. Walking into a Modern event right now you’d expect a room full of Death’s Shadow decks, and if you look at our Top 8 you see the opposite – a bunch of decks that are hateful toward Death’s Shadow.

Grand Prix Las Vegas showed us that these colourless archetypes do a good job of handling Death’s Shadow and that information seems to have crept its way back to Toronto and into our local Modern scene. Even Stephen Trochimchuck’s U/W Spreading Seas control deck looks to handle the powerful midrange deck very nicely. The other members of our Top 8 seem to exist on the the same end of the spectrum, a couple of creature-combo decks and Seth Black’s Burn deck have their own linear gameplans and can get games over with in a hurry.

Notably, this is Black’s second consecutive Top 8 with his Burn deck in the Modern format. His deck lists have looked very clean, full of four-ofs and it’s clear that he’s chosen the exact sideboard cards he wants for each matchup. In such a linear strategy you’re looking for strictly the most high impact sideboard cards, and then once you’ve found them, maxing-out on them. Burn is in a unique place in the metagame right now. It generally has good matchups against a lot of the decks people are using to beat Death’s Shadow but it’s the Shadow matchup where it earns its worth. In my experience the Shadow versus Burn matchup is one of the most challenging the format has to offer and Seth must be playing well to be finding so much success with Burn. Look out for him and his Goblin Guides if you’re looking to battle in the next Modern Showdown.

Notably absent from this Top 8 is the Mono-White Hatebears deck that has popped up as of late. With that said Chris Duong’s wild Four-Colour Company deck does feature some similarities and having access to three copies of Mirran Crusader after board gives it access to the Shadow-hate that some of those white-based decks rely on. Maybe these combo decks have found the answer to their “how do I build this?” problem with Knight of the Reliquary and they will be the creature deck of choice in Modern. They certainly shined on Sunday.

If these deck lists have you hungry for some Modern action your next opportunity will be our big Toronto Open at Seneca College on Aug.12, come out for 2k in prizes!

With his win Zach qualifies himself for the next Face to Face Games Ultimate Showdown and the rest of the Top 8 have started their march toward the top of the Showdown leaderboard. Join us this weekend to try to cement your spot on the leaderboard as we’ll be battling Standard for our Game Day Showdown, featuring some sweet playmats and promos!

First Place: Zach Chatel, G/W Tron

Second Place: Chris Duong, Knightfall Counters Company

Third/Fourth Place: Stephen Trochimchuck, U/W Control 

Third/Fourth Place: Darren Mancini, Grixis Death’s Shadow

Fifth-Eighth Place: Quan Le Minh, Eldrazi Tron

Fifth-Eighth Place: Seth Black, Burn

Fifth-Eighth Place: Jerrico Reguirre, Eldrazi Tron

Fifth-Eighth Place: Jeff Kam, Affinity