This past Sunday I walked into Face to Face Games Toronto glistening with the prospect of playing a newly revamped Modern format. There were Stoneforge Mystics all over the place and not a Hogaak to be found.
And then … A small child beat me in the finals with Tron.
Jacob Richer took down the whole event.
Of course — before y’all get your pitchforks out — Jacob is not actually a small child and is both a great kid and an extremely talented young player within the Face to Face Games Toronto community. My friends and I have affectionately referred to him and his friends as “small children” since they first showed up four years ago and started beating the crap out of us over and over again. Jacob played extremely well all day on Sunday, and in our finals match and I’m stoked he won despite my unending hatred for Tron.
I played Jund on Sunday and took my first loss in the finals to Jacob. It was the most fun I’ve had playing Modern in a long time and I played long, interesting and interactive games of Magic all day.
Modern has of course gone through a bit of a metamorphosis over the last week or so. This was our first big event without Hogaak or Faithless Looting and with Stoneforge free from the banned list. From my perspective it really pulled the format in two directions. There were a lot of fair decks chalked full of interaction going toe to toe all day, but on the other side of things there was also a healthy amount of Burn and big mana strategies.
As local hero Daniel Fournier and I discussed yesterday: in order to have success in this new Modern format you’ve got to build your interactive decks with decks like Tron and Titan Shift in mind.
Joining Jacob and I in the Top 8 was Fournier playing his Bant Snowblade deck he’ll be writing about later this week, Liam Tate on Burn, Quinn Graham on Azorius Stoneblade, David Yin playing Mardu Shadow, Derek Chiu who also played Jund and David Kelly who played a sweet Mono-Green Stompy deck.
So, there we have it. The first Top 8 after this massive change in the format and wow do things look different. Two Stoneblade decks, two Jund decks, a Shadow deck, Burn and two big mana decks. Conveniently, this Top 8 really reflects a lot of what I expect Modern to be made up of going forward. You’re going to be rewarded if you’re skilled at playing long games of Stoneblade versus Jund but at the same time, you’re going to need very dedicated plans to combat the format’s linear decks.
Even in my deck the late addition of multiple Kitchen Finks paid off in both my matches against Burn and even my dedicated hate card Alpine Moons almost stole me a win against Jacob in the finals. You see even more of this dedicated deckbuilding with Fournier’s deck with his emphasis on Timely Reinforcements and Field of Ruin.
Before I leave you for the week I’ve got one last reminder for you. Our Toronto MCQ is coming up quickly and you’re going to want to make sure to pre-register to secure your spot. This time it’s Modern so it’s sure to be packed! We’ll see you there.
With his win on Sunday, Jacob cements his spot in the upcoming Ultimate Showdown, while the rest of our Top 8 have begun their march up the leader board to qualify. If you’re interested in your Ultimate Showdown point total, you can check it out here. If you’d like to inquire about your point total or report a discrepancy, please email Toronto@facetofacegames.com. This upcoming weekend at Face to Face Games Toronto we’ll be hosting a Legacy Showdown! Wrenn and Six has turned the format on its head and Daniel Fournier will be back gunning for another title with Golgari Depths, so gear up, pre-register and we’ll see you at the shop!