1st Place at GP Prague Modern on 01/12/2014
The first Grand Prix of the new year has come and gone this past weekend from the historical European capital of Prague in the Czech Republic. The format for this tournament was Modern which since its inception two and a half years ago has been one that always piqued my interest, much like the Extended format which it took its roots from did for me before it. This weekend was another very exciting weekend and Vjeren was able to battle through Moderns rather diverse field to rise to the top and take the first GP crown of the new year. It was great to see Modern in action as it is sorely lacking from this PTQ season since Wizards decided to push the Modern PTQs to the summer. This was also partially a tune up for some players as this is the only big tournament for the format before the Pro Tour in Valencia next month which is also going to have Modern for its constructed portion.
Getting into the deck it is at its core an extremely strong Counter-Burn shell using some of the most powerful elements of control and aggression to take over games and destroy opponents with impunity. The creature suite is centerpieced by a pair of legendary creature with Geist and Clique. They are supported by a pair of one-ofs in Resto Angel and Thundermaw which really help to dominate the skies. But the real synergy comes from a full set of Snapcaster with a plethora of targets to push his value to the limit. A huge burn package starts with the requisite set of Bolt along with a set of Helix, then to top it off Electrolyze which doubles as card draw as well. As if all that burn wasn’t enough there’s a trio of Path to clear away any pesky creature threats. Then we get into the permission package with the versatile Cryptic, tempo play Remand and stock control piece Leak. Put that package together and we get a deck that can really lay out the beats.
So if you are lucky enough to have your local game store host Modern FNMs or are already thinking ahead towards the summers PTQs definitely give this deck high consideration. And even if you don’t think this deck is your style make sure you have it in your gauntlet to be sure you know how to attack it lest it burns you out with a Bolt Snap Bolt GG finish.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Jan van der Vegt
Day One at GP Prague Modern on Jan. 11th 2014
For those of you who don’t know Jan and his signature bell he is a very active Twitch streamer from The Netherlands who goes by the handle DzyL. And for those of us who do know we have already been watching him test his Tin Fists brew on MTGO. He was able to pilot the deck to an 8-0 start before dropping his last match of the day but still remains at 8-1 going into Day 2 giving himself a great chance to make a run for the top 8.
This deck can have some ridiculously explosive starts, some of which were seen on camera in his feature matches. It is basically looking to cheat a Griselbrand or Emrakul into play which can happen at times as early as turn two. The deck uses Goryo’s Vengeance as it’s reanimation tool to rise these legendary creatures back from the grave for a turn, and because it is an instant you are able to respond to Emrakul‘s graveyard trigger before he gets shuffled back into the libray. Using Faithless Looting and the draw/discard mode of Izzet Charm you are able to dig through your deck then stack the graveyard with targets. But the final and perhaps most ingenious aspect of the deck is where is gets it’s name from, Fist of Suns. This simple little artifact allows you to cast any spell for one mana of each color instead of it’s actual mana cost. Jan then carefully crafted his manabase with a specific mix of duals to compliment City of Brass and Gemstone Mine so you could somewhat ‘easily’ cast an Emrakul on turn five, and since it is cast you get to take advantage of his extra turn trigger which will most often draw an instant concession .
So while the tournament is still now far from over it does look like Jan has put together a true contender with this spicy brew. I know I will be glued to the coverage in hopes to see another turn two Griselbrand or Emrakul take it down. Good luck DzyL, we will all be rooting for you. DING !!!
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter