This article was originally written by Jason Malott on his personal blog, an Ontario judge who recently opened a Magic store called North of Exile Games in Northern Ontario. ManaDeprived.com and Face to Face Games Toronto are republishing his work as part of our ongoing Community Spotlight series.
Nineteen Magic players from across Central Ontario gathered in Penetanguishene on Saturday, January 6th to take part in a first for the region – a ‘Face To Face Games.com tournament series’ trial event. The event was a Modern format Magic tournament, and was held at Competitive REL. The Head Judge for the day was yours truly, the Judge in Exile.
Despite the bitter cold weather that seems to be encompassing half the globe currently, we still had players make the trek to North Of Exile Games in Penetanguishene from North Bay, Toronto, Barrie and several other locations to test their skills (and decks) against one another in what would turn out to be a very fun and value packed event.
Throughout the event players were randomly selected to win prizes including a Face To Face Games.com playmat, a North Of Exile Games playmat, a copy of the recently released Merfolk vs Goblins duel deck, and more.
The winner of our Trial event would win a 1 round BYE at the next Face to Face OPEN, free entry into the event and a special Face To Face Games ‘Trial Winner’ playmat.
Registration closed at 1pm, and after a few minutes of organizing deck lists round 1 was underway. Players would participate in 5 rounds of swiss in total, before we cut to our Top 8.
Our top 8 consisted of the following players, along with their deck archetypes:
Logan Abella – Burn
Eric Penny – Affinity
Matt Manuel – Esper Gifts Vengeance
Michael Setacci – Jund
Ryan Gillard – 8 rack
Kevin Bunker – Abzan
…what’s that you say? That’s only 6 players? You’re right! I saved our two finalists for last, so that we can take a look at the two decks that dominated our event more than any others.
Up first is our runner-up:
Second Place, Chris Edmunds- 5C Humans
With Cavern of Souls to make all of Chris’ creature spells uncounterable and Unclaimed Territory to help with additional colour fixing, playing 5 colour Humans is not so much to ask.
Aether Vial allows Chris to ‘cheat’ in some Humans at instant speed for some fun surprises, and both Meddling Mage and Reflector Mage give Chris some control-style answers to threats that may appear from his opponent’s side of the battlefield.
Finally, we come to our winner of the event, Matt Sutherland and his Grixis Death’s Shadow deck that he affectionately likes to call “Ham Sandwich”:
First Place, Matt Sutherland- Grixis Death’s Shadow
For those of you who aren’t ‘in the know’ about Magic’s Modern format, Death’s Shadow decks revolve around the player getting their own life total very low as quickly as possible, in order to fully take advantage of the overwhelming power of an early Death’s Shadow.
Sacrificed Fetch Lands such as Scalding Tarn make for great cards to delve away later on, when Matt needs to get a 5/5 Gurmag Angler into play for only 1 black mana.
Congratulations again to our winner, Matt, and thank you again to everyone who came out and made our first ever Competitive REL event in the North a memorable one!
Look forward to hearing about more exciting Magic events being held in Penetanguishene in the future, as we continue working hard at our constant goal of…
Oh, and did you know that we also have a webseries on Youtube? It’s called ‘Building A Game Store in a Small Town’ and you can find episode 1 of it HERE.