A Brewer’s Modern Manchester PTQ Tournament Report by Charles Norman

A Brewer’s Modern Manchester PTQ Tournament Report by Charles Norman


Hi, for those who don’t know me, I’m a young Magic player. I’ve written once on this site before (I pretty much complained for 500 words). But today, I’m talking about Modern. I love this format, it is diverse (Dark Ascension will help this diversity), and there is no overpowered strategy

So in testing for the tournament I played 1 game against storm and 10+ games against Zoo against a former pro. So my playtesting was limited and, since the only deck I had online was beat-down elves, I wasn’t very confident, especially considering the fact that I was playing a brew.

So here is the deck:

5 Colour Non-Super Friends:

1 Plains
3 Celestial Colonnade
2 Dragonskull Summit
1 Sunpetal Grove
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Murmuring Bosk
1 Steam Vents
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Hallowed Fountain
2 Watery Grave
1 Temple Garden
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Verdant Catacombs
3 Scalding Tarn
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Arid Mesa

2 Vendilion Clique
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Mystic Snake
4 Kitchen Finks
2 Sower of Temptation
2 Thoughtseize
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
4 Ajani Vengeant
3 Damnation
4 Wrath of God
2 Firespout
2 Path to Exile
1 Terminate
3 Lightning Helix
1 Smother

4 Combust
4 Mindbreak Trap
2 Tormod’s Crypt
3 Ancient Grudge
1 Negate
1 Thoughtseize

So, we can see the basis of the deck. You win the game with a Planeswalker or a small creature and complete control of the board. Your main plan is Planeswalkers, remember this.

Playing against Zoo in testing, I had Ajani Vengeant out. He plays a Blood moon tapping out and, as you see from the manabase, I’m weak to blood moon. I use his (-7) ability, a one sided Armageddon, 3 times, until he scoops. Planeswalkers are insane in Modern, and Ajani’s ability to shut of a land is nuts. Elspeth is similiar, she provides a win condition and her ability to generate 1/1 Soldiers works well with wrath.

Your aggro match up is literally insane. Most people boast of 60% match ups, this deck has a minimum of an 80% match up against almost all aggro decks. The Wraths and the Planeswalkers avoid their removal you have enough lifegain spells (Ajani, Helix, Snapcaster) to get out of burn range and then control the board with multiple Wraths (playing your third wrath in a tournament game and seeing your opponents face is priceless. Actually, it’s £20. The entry fee).

Your matchup in the control mirror is, admittedly, is weak. The Melira matchup is also weak, but it isn’t that bad. Your Splinter Twin match up is good post board, and about 45/55 in their favour game 1. Your Mystic Snake is sick in this match up. Seriously, it gets round Dispel! That is one of their only protection spells and after they realise you play no counters they don’t even play around it.

The Matches

Well, enough of my yapping, time for a pretty mediocre tournament report. I am horrible with names and my fifth round opponent had a £ sign in his name, so that doesn’t help. I’m sorry if I played you and forgot.

Round 1: Next Level Blue

The deck splashed green for Tarmogoyf and black for removal and hand discard. The games ran the same way, where I played Planeswalker after Planeswalker until one resolved, then rode it to victory with a Celestial Colonnade, and wrathing his board whenever he gained any presence. These match ups against these kind of small threats control decks are good but not the best. They are skill intensive and require a lot of thought to make the right play.

Win 2-0, 1-1

Round 2: Carrie Oliver with Esper Gifts (feat. Unburial Rites)

I was not exactly pumped about being paired against a player who writes for Channel Fireball (btw you must read her article about PWP and how the comments don’t understand the sarcasm of it).

Anyway, Game 1 gets to a point where we’re both mana flooded and she had countered 2 planeswalkers. My hand includes a Mystic Snake and an Ajani Vengeant, and I have 8 mana up. I run it out into her two cards thinking she doesn’t have 2 counters. She tries to Cryptic Command the Ajani Vengeant, so I counter the Cryptic with the Snake, getting a few strange looks from those watching. I win soon after with a Colonnade and the threat of a one sided Armageddon.

Game 2 didn’t go so well. She uses Gifts Ungiven to find an Iona, Shield of Emeria, and an Unburial Rites, forcing me to put them in the bin. After seeing a Wrath the game before with an Inquisition of Kozilek, she names white, leading to a Damnation. She then plays a Grave Titan, which I Wrath. I’ve lost a lot of life at this point through fetch and dual lands, so I’m on 9 life. She’s now on the Creeping Tar Pit beat-down plan… and it’s working, as I only have sorcery speed removal. It gets to a point where I’m at 3 life. She passes the turn, I fetch a land, draw and… concede.

Game 3 I lose to Turn 5 Thoughtseize, then Unburial Rites, NICE DECK.

Lose 2-1, 1-1

So at this point I need 5 wins and a draw, no more losses. Not easy.

Round 3: B/R/U Delver Tempo

It’s effectively a bye. It’s aggro, I have Wraths and they have no answers to Planeswalkers. They are an absolute dog in this match up. I sideboarded once all day against aggro.

Win 2-0, 2-1

Round 4: B/W Tempo

He has the nut draw Game 1. However, I stabalize and just draw better. The fetch lands helped, as I had about 8 less lands in the deck than him.

Game 2 we both have good draws. But, have you seen my decklist? He didn’t stand a chance.

Win 2-0, 3-1

Round 5: Melira Combo

I misplayed this. In both games he had some pretty sweet hands. Chord of Calling, Kitchen Finks and Melira, Sylvok Outcast. At one point in Game 1, he has 2 cards in hand, a Finks in play and a Birds of Paradise and some lands. I have an Ajani. He then plays 2 Chord of Callings to win, so yeah

In Game 2, my main misplay was Pathing a Gaddock Teeg instead of holding on to it, Pathing the Finks in response to the  combo, and then wait to draw one of my ten removal spells (I’m counting Sower of Temptation). I lose this round soon after and go on tilt. I hated that match. It was not enjoyable and I knew I could have won if I had built my sideboard better.

Lost 2-0, 3-2

Round 6: Bant

In Game 1, I land a Planeswalker, play a Wrath and then play a Clique, with removal up. I win soon after.

Game 2, he has 3 counter spells and resolves a Mirran Crusader, Elspeth and a Noble Hierarch, and I don’t have an answer.

Game 3 I keep the following hand; Damnation x 2, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Lightning Helix, Scalding Tarn, Watery Grave, Arid Mesa. I never draw the fourth land until the last turn of the game,  and since it wasn’t a black source, I lost.

Lost 2-1, 3-3

Round 7: No opponent so a literal bye


This is more annoying as I want to play considering I can’t Top 8. Guess I want the Planeswalker points, but still annoying.

Ending Thoughts

So I didn’t do that well. But I loved playing the deck. You had options, it’s skill testing, some of your rounds seem to be byes, and it was sweet to be 3-1 with a brew when your 16.

So most importantly what would I change.

+2 Garruk Relentless (this guy offers a win condition. It can get you a Mystic Snake or Snapcaster Mage once flipped, is sick with Kitchen Finks, and he’s got a removal ability.)

-1 Wrath, – 1 Damnation (overkill is overated but we still overkill aggro without these)

– 2 Sower of Temptation (I should never have been tempted to play these maindeck)

+ 2 Glen Elendra Archmage (helps your control match up so much, as well as your combo matchup)

Well I should probably stop writing now as I’ve written a bit. If you’ve got any questions just ask in the comments and I’ll happily reply. Plus if you like the article press the like button so I get boosters! (I’m selfish, I know).

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing.

Charles Norman



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