Los fenomenales jugadores @Lampalot (7-1) @therealenevolds (6-2) @LuisSalvatto (6-2) are preparing for day 2 at #gpprague after a great day at the office. Expect great things tomorrow! #snapcardster (now with pic) pic.twitter.com/2AHzCDxK9x
— Andreas Petersen (@ecobaronen) August 25, 2018
I got up at 4:30AM, packed my Titans❤️ and now I’m heading to the airport! Goal is to win some matches and support my compadres @therealenevolds @Lampalot @LuisSalvatto succeed with their respective objectives. Wish us luck! #GPPrague #snapcardster pic.twitter.com/Qoaex2jzK5
— Andreas Petersen (@ecobaronen) August 25, 2018
Today we’re going to take a look at some sweet pieces of technology that caught my eye when browsing the Top 32 decks from Grand Prix Prague. I thought about writing about my version of Titan Shift for this weekend, but even though I had a fairly successful Day One, I ended up getting crushed on Day Two and dropped at five losses. I added a few Relic of Progenitus to my main deck to hedge against the graveyard-centric decks and added the fourth Tireless Tracker in my sideboard as the best tool against Blue/White Control. Other than that, there wasn’t anything new, so I figured digging up new technology would be more exciting for all of us.
First up is a long forgotten enchantment from Urza’s Saga. The last time I sleeved up Worship for a Modern event was back in 2016 where I played Bant Eldrazi in a Danish World Magic Cup Qualifier and at Grand Prix Lille. The top performing deck in that particular metagame was the powerful four-color Death’s Shadow deck that played zero outs in their 75 to Worship. I also remember a funny episode where I played the Magic Online Championship Series Playoff event with my buddy Michael Bonde and we had Paul Rietzl on lockdown in this particular matchup of Bant Eldrazi vs. Death’s Shadow, and Paul chose to play out the match hoping Michael’s internet would cease to exist or Michael accidentally sacrificed a Windswept Heath at one life point. I can tell you Paul won the match, but will leave it up to you to guess the reason for it.
Fast forward to Grand Prix Prague 2018 and we see Worship in an important role yet again. Green/White/X decks such as Bant Spirits and Abzan Company have slowly adopted the card for their sideboards to combat pesky creature decks like Humans, Hollow One, Burn and Spirits. Ondřej Stráský added two copies of Worship in his Bant Spirits list that he used to place Top 4 in the tournament, while Yuyu Hosokawa came in at 9th place with three copies in his sideboard.
With Worship roaming in the metagame decks will need to adapt and play a guessing game for sideboarded games because Disenchant effects are not very good against these decks if they don’t draw their Worship. I can see Humans has added Reclamation Sage (not a Human) for their sideboard and I imagine Worship has a lot to do with it. For example, bringing in Destructive Revelry in fear of Worship from your Burn deck against Abzan Company will either leave you with a dead card sometimes or you can choose to accept losing to Worship and leave your answers in the sideboard. Two suboptimal options to choose from.
Next on my list is Jérémy Dezani’s innovative solution to the Blue/White Control mirror. I also had that particular deck high on my radar going into the event and look at these names and their respective finishes to confirm what we already knew: Control is finally a good choice for a Modern tournament in the hands of a great player. Blue/White/X Control finished in 8th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 22nd, 24th and 28th with top players like Javier Dominguez, Jérémy Dezani, Pierre Dagen, Louis Deltour, Lukas Blohon, Ivan Floch and Guillaume Wafo-Tapa as the pilots. Aside from this impressive S.W.A.T team, my own team mates Thomas Enevoldsen and Michael Bonde went 12-3 and 11-4 with the deck.
Where Lukas Blohon and Ivan Floch upped their Dispel count to three to gain valuable percentages against opposing Cryptic Command decks while also gaining crucial crossover cards for matchups like Burn and Storm, Dezani went all-in and played two copies of Chromium, the Mutable in his sideboard. In order to cast the Esper-colored Dragon, instead of adding shocklands to his manabase, he simply added a basic Swamp because both players will have Field of Ruin in the matchup and use them on Celestial Colonnade when they have spare mana. With built in immunity to counterspells and Detention Sphere, I doubt his Control opponents had any sweepers available after sideboard, so I imagine this card was a mirror breaker for him throughout the tournament.
Last up is a happy reunion with Infect at the top tables in competitive events. Infect was one third of the dreaded metagame tier of Dredge, Death’s Shadow and Infect that resulted in the bannings of Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll in what seems to be ages ago. The weakness for this archetype has always been removal heavy metagames and a few cool options ended up doing great work this weekend. Kenneth Pletinckx opted for a playset of Geist of Saint Traft in his sideboard to blank opposing removal and finish the job the old fashion way. While playing Geist you are usually afraid of opposing blockers, but with 22 pump spells in your deck, the spirit from Innistrad will survive most combat steps.
Sergey Pedan came to the same conclusion as Kenneth, except he chose Invisible Stalker as his anti-spot removal tech out of the sideboard. He will have a slower creature to close out the game, but he can leave Temple Garden at home and cast it easier. Time will tell if Infect is here to stay and if one of these options become stock.
What was your favorite tech from Grand Prix Prague? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know. Thank you for reading!