Open Recap: Modern in London


Boy does Caleb Keung love himself a good Remand brew.

This past weekend the Open series traveled to London, Ontario for a Modern Open and Keung took down the entire tournament with his innovative Sultai Control deck.

Keung is known around the Greater Toronto Area as someone who is always looking to go his own way in Modern. You’ll always see him with Remand and Cryptic Command in his deck, but he always seems to have a new shell to play them in. This time it was Sultai, where he harnessed the power of Assassin’s Trophy to give him the ability to answer all of the many problem permanents Modern has to offer. If you do anything with this recap, take a look at Caleb’s list, you do not want to miss this one.

Keung defeated yet another brew in the finals: Andrew Poaps Prime Speaker Vannifar deck. These Birthing Pod inspired archetypes have always loomed around the fringes of Modern since their namesake was banned, but with this latest printing, it’s possible that they’re ready for a resurgence. What I like most about Poaps list is its ability to pivot. The Restoration Angel and Vendilion Clique beatdown plan is nothing to scoff at when you’re threatening to un-tap and combo on any given turn.

Your London Open Top 8.

Joining Keung and Poaps in the Top 8 was Nolan McDonald and his Grixis Death’s Shadow deck, three copies of Humans, Ben Lu with yet another Open Top 8 with Amulet Titan and Patrick Sherwood who played good old-fashion Merfolk.

Both McDonald and Lu went back to back on Saturday, notching their second consecutive Top 8s in GTA Open events after they were both battling in the elimination rounds at our recent Barrie Open. Both of these players — McDonald on Death’s Shadow and Lu on Amulet Titan — have set themselves apart as elite players at the Open level and seem to be improving by the month from where I sit. Lu in particular has three Top 8s over just as many months, which is quite the feat.

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As far as the Modern format goes, I think it’s fair to say that on Saturday — creatures were king. We had three copies of Humans in our Top 8 fresh off its stellar performance at the Mythic Championship in London in addition to the Merfolk and Vannifar decks. If you learn anything from Saturday’s action make sure you’re ready for this deck at your next event.

In addition to all the action in the main event, we had players on-site all day playing side events and drafting this sweet new War of the Spark Draft format.

Before I leave you for the week and you take a look at Keung’s sweet decklist, we at Face to Face Games want to remind you about our upcoming 10k Mythic Championship Qualifier taking place on June 15 in Toronto. We’ll be hosting it at the Montecassino Hotel, and every registrant will get a free Arcbound Ravager promo with entry. Make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you there!

Congratulations again to our champion Caleb Keung 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 Fredericton, New Brunswick where we’ll be hosting a Modern Open this coming Saturday May 18, the make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you there!