Showdown Recap: Modern


Welcome to another 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. Today, we’re covering May 13th’s Kingston Modern Open and taking a brief look at the results of the Toronto Sealed PPTQ Showdown.

Let’s start off with, by far, the sweetest deck in the top 8. Michael Orr, clocking in at 7th place, brought a Collected Company tribal Slivers deck to jam. This deck always runs under the radar due to its inability to interact with significantly more linear decks, but can be a real threat to all of the fair decks of the format – Death’s Shadow included. Much like a Merfolk deck, and like the Standard Zombies deck, Slivers can flood the board, making things get out of hand very quickly. If there aren’t many combo decks in your metagame, this is a powerful deck to keep in mind!

Two Burn decks, piloted by Ryan Whitsitt, and Dominic Tremblay, also made their way to quarterfinals finishes. Dominic opted for a more traditional Wild Nacatl build of the deck, taking almost a more Zoo-centric approach. This deck has an ostensibly higher power level than other Burn builds due to the ability of creatures to attack repeatedly, but adds some vulnerability to multiple pieces of removal, especially Lightning Helix. Ryan, on the other hand, played the old Mardu version of the deck, with Bump in the Night providing additional copies of Lava Spike as well as more reach than Naya versions.

Our last quarterfinalist, Ricardo Lopez Ambrosio, played the recent menace, Eldrazi Tron. Walking Ballista has really powered up this deck, giving it an unbelievably powerful Triskelion against a variety of small creature decks. Put a Basilisk Collar onto it and you’re off to the races, and it’s not like Thought-Knot Seer is anything to laugh at!

Let’s move on to the semifinals, where Jesse Fumerton played a Grim Flayer-centric version of Abzan midrange. With plenty of cards like Mishra’s Bauble and Noble Hierarch to power up its early attacks. Noble Hierarch as an Exalted stick can be weak, but Jesse is also ramping into the powerful Lingering Souls and Siege Rhino to go over the top of the other fair decks in the format. I’m personally more a fan of Dark Confidant builds, but this is a very reasonable approach towards Grim Flayer Abzan. Jesse’s sideboard is also quite powerful, with targeted cards like Stony Silence and Surgical Extraction featuring prominently.

Former National Champion Andrew Ting-a-Kee pulled off a third place finish at this Open with his favourite Modern deck, Grishoalbrand. This black-red deck looks to cheat a Griselbrand into play with either Goryo’s Vengeance or Through the Breach, then chain Nourishing Shoals to draw your entire deck and Simian Spirit Guide out a Borborygmos Enraged and throw the lands in your hand at your opponent. While fast and definitely furious, this deck struggles against a lot of the graveyard hate that’s become popular in the format as of late. It does also get to play a powerful Blood Moon/Chalice of the Void sideboard thanks to its Simian Spirit Guides, which gives it a surprising and powerful sideboard plan against a lot of decks.

Our second Eldrazi deck in the top 8, Jeremie Filion made it through to the finals with the Bant version of the deck. We see this deck show up in the Recap pretty much every time we feature Modern, which is testament to the deck’s power, popularity, and consistency. Jeremie’s list, while tight, is quite stock, featuring maindeck Engineered Explosives and all of white’s best enchantments in the sideboard, from Rest in Peace to Worship. Moreover, any deck that gets to play Elspeth, Sun’s Champion gets a high grade in my book.

The deck that gained the most from Amonkhet, however, was piloted to a win by Richard Ashlock. Living End gained a host of new toys from the new set, with tons of new cheap cycling creatures to add to the deck. No more cycling for 2! Desert Cerodon and Horror of the Broken Lands are worthy additions, while Archfiend of Ifnir lets you clear out blockers like Lingering Souls with ease after you resolve a Living End. Expect to see more out of this deck in the near future due to its increased power level – and make sure to pack enough graveyard hate to fight it! Congratulations to Richard on the win!

Last weekend, we also hosted an Amonkhet Sealed PPTQ Showdown. Turnout was fantastic, as players came out in droves to enjoy what many are calling one of the best limited formats in years. Unfortunately, the decklists from the top 8 draft were lost to history, thanks to a filing error. The Consulate would not be pleased! What we do know, however, is that Quinn Gregg continued his streak of stellar Showdown finishes with yet another win! We can’t wait to see how he does at the RPTQ.

Quinn’s “winn” pushes him to a top 5 berth in the standings. With 32 players now qualified, we’re getting down to the wire for Ultimate Showdown qualifications! Remember that all you need to do is earn 50 Showdown points, and if you haven’t started earning them yet, then all you have to do to play this fantastic 5k is win a Sunday Showdown. Easy! Join us this weekend for a Standard Game Day Sunday Showdown, and get yourself a Worthy Champion playmat as well as a full-art foil Glorybringer.

Richard Ashlock – Living End – 1st

Jeremie Filion – Bant Eldrazi – 2nd

Andrew Ting-A-Kee – Grishoalbrand – 3rd

Jesse Fumerton – Abzan – 4th

Ryan Whitsitt – Burn – 5th

Ricardo Lopez Ambrosio – Eldrazi Tron – 6th

Michael Orr – Slivers – 7th

Dominic Tremblay – Burn – 8th