Event Recap

Esper Goryo’s Takes Over F2F Quebec City

106 players came to battle in our first F2F Modern Super Qualifier since our Ottawa Weekend. It was an Esper Goryo’s takeover with 3 copies of the archetype in the top 8.

Ulysse Gagnon-Paradis who was our Regional Champion in Ottawa fought the Goryo’s decks valiantly with his Living End list but in the end, he lost at the hands of Eduardo Sajgalik in the finals.

Eduardo was kind enough to give me some of his time to talk about the tournament and what he thinks the banning of Violent Outburst will do to the format.

KYT: Eduardo, your victory has everyone talking. Can you share what makes the Esper Goryo’s list so powerful, especially this weekend?

Eduardo: Mostly the surveil lands turned a decent deck into a much better one, as you can now fetch spells from your mana base. There is also a lot less Scam and a lot more Cascade, making the metagame more favorable for it. Combine it with players not playing enough graveyard hate and you have a recipe for success.

KYT: Fascinating insight. During the event in Quebec City, did it seem like other players were caught off guard by the dominance of Goryo’s?

Eduardo: The start of round 4 had Goryo’s on the top 4 tables, which does indicate the room was not prepared properly for it.

KYT: With the prominence of Goryo’s, how did you and other Goryo’s players prepare for potential mirror matches?

Eduardo: There was a lot of Goryo’s in the room but not a ton of mirror match interaction.

I specifically considered adding Dauthi Voidwalker to my sideboard as tech. Partly Solitude was becoming popular (and I don’t think it’s correct to keep many really in the mirror but I believed people would) but also because I was informed from a QC group that a group was playing the deck and I didn’t want to betray that trust (also gave me tech – I did choose to run 1 Footsteps of the Goryo). They had 1 Surgical Extraction themselves but it’s honestly closer to a cosmetic choice than a gameplan in my opinion.

KYT: Turning our attention to the broader metagame, the Violent Outburst ban has been a hot topic. How do you think this will reshape the competitive landscape?

Eduardo: Likely much less Living End because it would require warping the mana base (and running Eagles of the North in say Bant LE is much worse than Oliphant – you could play Demonic Dread but that is substantially worse). And when the requirement is to do a rough change, it takes time for a new version to come out.

I don’t think Rhinos will be as affected because Leyline of the Guildpact + Scion of Draco got recently added and that plays much nicer with a Bant manabase. The versions of Rhinos will likely conflate into a single one – I expect some number of people to drop off the deck but for it to still exist.

As a result people will likely play more the decks that they oppressed (Amulet / Yawgmoth). The cascade hate likely becomes graveyard hate due to the meta shift. Personally – it’s all extremely temporary until MH3 hits the scene anyways. I think Rhinos is playable though – while it got worse, it just lost its worse T1 matchup (Living End).

KYT: Thanks for the time Eduardo. Good luck at your future events!

We want to thank everyone for supporting our F2F Tour events. In the case of Quebec City, a special shout-out to the Dragon Pourpre community for coming down to battle!

The F2F Tour continues next in Halifax on March 15 as we get to witness the beginnings of a world without Violent Outburst. Be sure to check F2FTour.com frequently for updates as we might be coming to a town near you soon!

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