The Tale of Chesham: Chesham PTQ Modern Tournament Report by David Inglis

Mystical Teachings – 5cc in Standard with David Inglis

The Tale of Chesham by David Inglis

Lotus CobraSeason’s greetings to you all. Last weekend I went to a PTQ at Chesham. I posted a 5-3 record with Cobra Jund. Which is acceptable but could be better. I felt that Jund was the right choice for the event and my list contained zero Lingering Souls. While Souls is a very powerful card and it does increase your chances in the mirror by a fair margin as well as the affinity match up.

I just do not like it for the following reasons.

  1. It does not improve your bad match ups at all.
  2. It makes your mana much worse.

While the winner of the PTQ did have 4 copies of the card I still dislike it, but this is a personal choice and I can understand why people choose to play it.

My list for the PTQ was a little different and utilized the power of Lotus Cobra. My theory for this was that the little snake that could ramp, was that it would allow to have explosive draws against the Combo decks. Being able to reliably cast Slaughter Games off of a Cobra or Deathrite Shaman is a very attractive proposition against any of the Combo decks in the format.

The downside to Cobra is that it is much worse in the mirror match. Which looking forward can be seen as a big deal. The metagame at Chesham in the Swiss was fairly balanced with Jund, Scapeshift, Mono Red and Pod being the more popular strategies. Mono Red is actually a very respectable deck and while I wouldn’t play it personally it seems an interesting choice. Aside from playing 4 Cobras and 2 Thundermaw Hellkites my list was fairly average with the only real spice being a main deck Curse of Death’s Hold.

Bloodbraid Elf

Cobra Jund Decklist

4x Lotus Cobra
4x Dark Confidant
4x Tarmogoyf
4x Bloodbraid Elf
2x Terminate
1x Dismember
1x Malestrom Pulse
4x Lightning Bolt
1x Lilana of the Veil
2x Thundermaw Hellkite
1x Batterskull
1x Curse of Deaths Hold
4x Thoughtseize
1x Inquisition of KoziliekInquisition of Kozilek
4x Deathrite Shaman

4x Verdant Catacomb
4x Marsh Flats
4x Blackcleeve Cliffs
3x Treetop Village
2x Raging Ravine
2x Overgrown Tomb
1x Blood Crypt
1x Stomping Ground
1x Forest
1x Swamp

Yes that is 61.

My sideboard was pretty average and could use some work. But Chesham being the first PTQ of the season I was pretty unsure what I wanted.

Ancient Grudge

1x Sword of Light and Shadow
1x Pyroclasm
2x Ancient Grudge
3x Slaughter Games
2x Rakdos Charm
2x Kitchen Finks
1x Lilana of the Veil
1x Malestorm Pulse
1x Dismember
1x Fulminator Mage

So on the report!

Round 1 – Deren Black (White Tokens)

Oh goodie, Round 1 against a good friend and my worst match up. David you run so good. I take Game 1 after drawing both a Thundermaw Hellkite and a Curse of Deaths Hold but I still had problems with the Auriok Champion. That card is very good vs Jund it’s almost impossible to remove.

I was also aided in Game 1 by a Deathrite Shaman which managed to take away some of the cards from Deren’s graveyard. So very surprisingly I was able to take Game 1.

In Game 2 Deren was forced to Mulligan to 5 and I managed to take the match.

Lesson Learned: You can always win a bad match up, even if it takes a little bit of luck.

Round 2 – Gareth Tanner (Past in Flames)

GrapeshotI know Gareth from the UK & Ireland MTG Cards For Trade & Sale.

For some reason I assumed he was on Storm or Splinter Twin. A turn 1 Sleight of Hand made me smile a little bit inside.

Game 1 it looks like he is going to fizzle but a Gitixan Probe into a Grapeshot allows him to take the match.

Game 2 I get to Slaughter Games Gareth and remove all his Grapeshots and I see the Infernal Tutors which was a really smart addition. I take the game because Gareth didn’t have any other win conditions.

Game 3 I mulligan two hands away that have no discard or interaction until I keep a 5 with two lands Cobra and some discard. I take a decision where I make Bloodbraid Elf to mean that I win the game in two turns as opposed to three turns. (I know Gareth has no way to win in hand just some rituals) I decide that I want to close out the game as quickly as possible however this means using my Deathrite Shaman to make mana instead of being able to exile a discarded Infernal Tutor. However Gareth draws the Past in Flames and I die. Lame.

Lesson Learned: Making the technically correct play is what matters, if they top deck and you’ve made the correct play then that’s just Magic.

Round 3 I play against fellow writer and PTQ winner Roy Rafety

After spending the week testing I know he is on Twin with Main deck Blood Moons. Luckily Cobra allows me to fight the Blood Moons. The games were fairly unexeciting although Roy decided to deploy the old Pestermite beat down in game 2. However after a hand with 3 discard spells I am able to take a quick game 3.

We did talk about IDing as we were friends, but it seemed risky in the end.

Lesson Learned: DCI reporter hates me and beating friends is tough.

Round 4 sees me battle against Aster who I played In Round 1 of the London WMCQ

Grim LavamancerI assumed he would be on Jund as our previous discussions have let in that direction. However he was on Mono Red which was a fun choice.

Game 1 sees him keep a 1 lander with 3 Grim Lavamancers and he wins the game 1 turn before I was able to stabilise.

Game 2 was very exciting and cagey with us both stuck on two mana and trading removal spells with each others Deathrite Shamans and Lotus Cobras.

In game 3 I am on the ropes after a Mulligan to 5 but a top decked Sword of Light and Shadow seems me take the match and being called a Psycho by my opponent. Pretty sweet.

Lesson Learned: Playing against Mono Red is tough but a lot of fun.

Round 5 sees me battle Marco Orsini Jones

I was looking forward to a tough mirror match however my deck had other ideas. I drew all my Cobras in Game 1 (A card that is weak in the mirror) and then I draw all my spells out of order and in Game 2 I mulliganed to 5 and was never really in the game. Lame.

Lesson Learned: Mulligans are lame and I need a better plan for the mirror.

Round 6 sees me battle against Gaz Hirst who is known for his crazy and unusual decks

Through the BreachThis time he is playing an Aethermage’s Touch/Through the Breach deck. Game 1 is pretty unfun as Gaz mulligans and I tear his hand away with some Discard.

Game 2 sees me try a Slaughter Games for Bogardan Hellkite (the only card I can lose too) but Gaz has one in his hand which he flashes in as a response.

Game 3 is very close, however I win a turn before Emrakul, the Aeons Torn can tear me a new one.

Lesson Learned: There is so much of Modern that we have not explored.

Round 7 sees me battle against Living End

I was fairly confidant going into the match up however it was a very tight and tough game for 1 and 2.

However in Game 3 I literary have it all and my opponent makes a slight mistake by missing a suspend counter on his Living End. However I had the Rakdos Charm any way. And I take the match.

Lesson Learned: Living End was a surprising deck and after some mana difficulties I think I need one more land.

Round 8 sees me come up against affinity

whipflareIn game 1 I was a land away from being able to drop a Curse upon his house. But he did throw me a curve-ball with a maindeck Whipflare. Seems very logical Pyroclasm is quite a good card at the moment.

In game 2 my opponent manages to survive my 2x Ancient Grudge 2x Rakdos Charm 1x Pyroclasm draw and complained about the quality of my draw. Classy . To be honest my draw was very good. So I managed to post a 5-3.

Lesson Learned: Affinity is tough and some people just have it all.

Final Thoughts

I had a great day at the PTQ, Modern was very enjoyable I still like Jund going forward although maybe Scapeshift is where I want to be as I mentioned earlier the format is pretty fun and there is plenty of room for new ideas an innovations. I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any ideas for improving my list; I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and Thank you to Roy for lending me cards and thanks to everyone on Facebook for helping with the list.

Love and Cascade,

small thumbs upDavid Inglis xx

PS: I want to try Boom//Bust am I mad?


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