Open Recap: Modern in Hamilton


It was only a matter of time before Hogaak, Risen Necropolis reared its ugly head and claimed a Open Trophy.

This past Saturday, surging Canadian Magic stalwart Shawn Dhaliwal piloted Hogaak Bridgevine to the winner’s circle at our Hamilton, Ontario Modern Open.

Your Open champ, Shawn Dhaliwal.

Dhaliwal has been on an absolute tear lately. He came into this even fresh off a Grand Prix Top 8 in Madison and very recently clinched Silver Pro status. That high level of performance continued on Saturday when he picked up the format’s most high powered new deck and took down our event.

Hogaak Bridgevine has been nothing short of dominant since the release of its namesake card in Modern Horizons. The deck truly challenges the limits of the Modern format with its ability to kill on the game’s second turn and requires massive hate from the opposition to be slowed down. We had two copies of the deck in our Hamilton Top 8, and from where I’m sitting, that number is actually pretty low for how good this deck is compared to the rest of the format.

Your Hamilton Open Top 8.

Dhaliwal was able to triumph over Matt Loong in the finals playing good old Jund. Joining them in the Top 8 was Les Walderman playing Turbo Druid,  Andrew Barbosa and John Robbins on Izzet Phoenix, Erik Traikov with his bread and butter Affinity deck, Lucas Goodman-Caines who was the other Hogaak player and Frederico Prado who played Humans.

Robbins notably was victorious earlier this year at our Toronto Open+ where he also played Izzet Phoenix. He’s certainly shown himself to be a force on the Open Series this year and is a master with this cantrip-dense strategy.

The dust certainly hasn’t settled on Modern Horizons impact on the format just yet. If you look through our Top 8, it’s obvious that some of these much maligned “fair” decks have gotten big upgrades from the new set. That said, the Faithless Looting decks still seem to be at a higher power level than their alternatives. We’ll have to wait and see if that changes in the coming months.

While all the action was going on in our main event, we had players on-site all day long battling in side events. We ran Modern Horizons Drafts all day long and even hosted a FREE Standard event which is a part of our new Open Series programming for the upcoming season.  If you haven’t taken a look at our Season 2 schedule you do not want to miss this, so mark your calendars today!

Congratulations again to our champion Shawn Dhaliwal from everyone at Face to Face Games! Additionally, we’d like to extend our thanks to both our Open Series sponsor — Ultimate Guard — who hooked up everyone in the Top 8 with some awesome swag and to our amazing judge staff! The next stop on the series is coming up on July 22 when we travel to Toronto, Ontario for a special Team Trios Open. Make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you there!