Event Recap

F2F Tour Ottawa Weekend 2024 – Event Recap

This weekend, Ottawa set the stage for the first Tour Weekend of 2024, uniting Magic: The Gathering enthusiasts from across the nation. The event showcased a variety of formats including Modern, Pioneer, Legacy, and Commander, drawing an impressive crowd and setting a new attendance record for the Regional Championship.

The championship saw nearly 480 competitors, with Temur Rhinos decks making a significant showing at almost 20% of the field.

After two days brimming with competition, the top eight finalists emerged, with a significant presence of five Rhino decks. These were joined by two Azorius Control decks and another entry by Ulysse with a Living End deck, marking a diverse lineup for the finals.

Ulysse, a familiar face in the winner’s circle, claimed victory at this record-setting Regional Championship, continuing his streak of notable performances.

KYT: Ulysse, Magic: The Gathering has been a part of your life for a long time. How do you view your relationship with the game today, and how does chess factor into your competitive activities?

Ulysse: Good question! I have played MTG on and off since I was 12 and I’m 38 now! Qualifying for a Pro Tour was always on my bucket list, and now that’s done, and I will also go to Worlds!

I have taken competitive MTG more seriously for the past 5 years or so, and it’s fun to have a good result! It’s fun to see that I can keep improving even at my age. Let’s see how long I can keep it up before my brain slows down too much.

As for the chess thing, it’s also a game that I played on and off all my adult life. It’s something I enjoy improving at like MTG. I played a bunch online during the pandemic and I wanted to test my mettle in IRL competition. I had some success last year and I have a tournament coming up!

Picking up another game is something I would recommend for MTG players. Each time I put some effort into improving at chess, I have found that my MTG game was improving, and vice versa!

KYT: Over the past five years, you’ve ramped up your involvement in competitive MTG. What sparked this renewed passion?

Ulysse: MTG has been pretty fun recently, the Quebec City scene is incredible and testing for RC is a ton of fun because of it. Obviously Pascal Maynard is a huge reason that people are so into it as everybody in our group look up to him. I have a job that’s pretty flexible also, that helps with all the RC travelling.

KYT: You mentioned Pascal Maynard and your team’s dynamic when choosing decks for tournaments. Can you expand on how you settled on Living End for your recent competition?

Ulysse: Yeah, Pascal is the best. He helped me improve at MTG so much.

As for the team deck story, it’s a good one. For RC, I usually share a car ride with Pascal, Kevin Anctil, and Jean-Philippe Goyet. We stop for lunch just after leaving Quebec City. Pascal, Kevin, and JP were on normal Rhino at that point. I’m on Living End. Then Kevin shows us a 5-0 decklist with the Leyline Draco package. Pascal liked it a lot but some work was needed on the mana base. And nobody had those cards on them. So a decision had to be made to go back grab the missing card from my place, JP’s place, and Pascal’s store or just keep our original deck. I liked Living End a lot for the weekend anyway and I didn’t want to switch even more so with 0 reps.

But they decided to turn back. It was 3 vs 1 I had no choice but I was not so pleased. We arrived 2 hours later than planned but that’s classic Pascal’s shenanigans.

As for why I ended up on Living End to begin with, we had an aggro Asmo build that we somewhat liked. But it was not quite there. I had a week to pick a deck I didn’t want to play Scam as it was really not well positioned. Rhino was not really my play style but I would have fallen back to it. I had some experience with Living End and at a glance, I knew it would be a good choice, I just had to dodge the Scam match-up. I took a bet that not too many people would play Scam and it paid off.

KYT: Competing at such a high level must be mentally and physically demanding. How did you handle the pressure and fatigue throughout the tournament?

Ulysse: Day 1 was tough, I was not feeling the best but still ended up the day 7-1. One other reason I picked Living End is that there is a lot of free wins and I don’t have the best stamina so that helped me a lot.

I started day 2 by playing 2 really good players in Eduardo Sajgalik and Kevin Actil. Both were on Domain Rhino and it was a pretty good match-up for me. So 3rd round I was playing Randall Barber also on Rhino but the traditional version. It was basically a win and in for me. I lost 0-2 and frankly, he outplayed me.

4th Round I was playing versus the Calibrated Blast guy and he showed up late and he got a game loss. I couldn’t believe my luck. I still had to dodge him hitting a 15 cmc card 3 times in a row but I somehow got there in 1 game. 5th round we got deck checked and the judges took my opponent away for a long time I didn’t know what was happening. The issue was resolved then we ended up making a draw.

And then in the top 8, it was a matter of low expectation. I was playing Jonathan Dery on UW first. I thought the match-up was pretty rough at first glance. So I ended up winning and I don’t remember much of that match to be honest but I was pretty relaxed as I just qualified for my first Pro Tour and I just was happy to be there I guess.

I had my revenge versus Randall Barber in the semi-final. I lost a game where I made multiple mistakes. But 3rd game on the play I just outdrew him in a good match-up, it was pretty anticlimactic.

The final versus Patrick Wu, I lost game 1 pretty quick and game 2 he mull to 5 and kept a speculative hand that did not get there.

KYT: Looking ahead, Worlds is a significant milestone. How are you preparing for this challenge?

Ulysse: The final game was weird I thought I was gonna lose for most of it. I had my 1 of Mine Collapse in hand when he resolved a Teferi. So at my turn I float mana and cast Mine Collapse on the Teferi and he cast Reprieve on it. That mistake ended up costing him the game as had he cast Reprieve on my Living End instead I wouldn’t have been able to win the permission war. The Living End ended up game-winning.

I will test more than I do for RC that’s for sure. I’m pretty good at limited so that part I’m somewhat confident. Hopefully, the Quebec City crew will help me test constructed. One thing I did for this RC and I will do for sure for Worlds is to be sure to be in good shape physically.

Patrick, equally acquainted with the competitive scene, has consistently showcased his adeptness, securing his third RC top 8 finish across different formats with his unique UWx builds. His track record highlights a deep understanding and innovative approach to deck building.

KYT: With UW being underrepresented in the metagame breakdown, how significant was it for both you and Jonathan Dery to make the top 8?

Patrick: UW had only 8 players and I shared my list to only two other people. I believe the other 5 players were on a more traditional version.

KYT: Patrick, you’ve been known to favor UW in Modern. Heading into the tournament, where did you rank UW in terms of tiers?

Patrick: I do not consider UW to ever be a tier 1 deck in Modern because it is a meta dependent deck that depends on having a bit of luck to get a favorable meta. Because of that, it is strictly a tier 2 deck. I consider this to be a favorable meta because I can actually win many game 1s without my sideboard. It is then also easier after sideboard. In this case, all four of the top decks being:


This allowed me to concentrate my sideboard with cards that perform in all of those matchups. Most notably, stern scolding is great against Yawgmoth and Scam. 4 copies of verdict in the 75 helps all matchups except Titan.

If the meta was like Tron, Creativity and Burn instead. This would put UW in a difficult position because they all require different types of cards in the sideboard to win, which dilutes your ability to consistently win against each matchup.

KYT: With UW being underrepresented in the metagame breakdown, how significant was it for both you and Jonathan Dery to make the top 8?

Patrick: UW had only 8 players and I shared my list to only two other people. I believe the other 5 players were on a more traditional version.

One of the people I shared to being Jonathan Dery. We had both went into this tournament with confidence as we knew we successfully targeted the meta.

We had discussed and playtested for 2-3 weeks before heavily. Having feedback from him and vice versa was very important and helped both of us in understanding more about each matchup we were likely to face.

It was amazing to see that we both managed to top 8 even after facing during the first round of day 2, where we ultimately drew in time.

Ultimately, the list was also not the exact same. We had a few different opinions regarding some cards in the 75 but in the end, the deck still performed for both of us.

KYT: Your choice of Declaration of Naught and other unique selections stirred some discussion. Can you talk about these controversial choices?

Patrick: Yes it was kind of a pushback against this post that gained some traction. It felt good to get the last laugh.

It was a controversial choice because even jon, my friend, didn’t like the card but I ended up sticking to it because of my personal results with the card.

A lot of people were not ready for trickbind. I stifled a LOT of lands turn 2 when they just instinctively fetch on my end step. Since most rhinos saw it as a way to counter the cascade trigger And didn’t think of fetches.

KYT: As Worlds approaches, can we expect UW to be your deck of choice again?

Patrick: Yes 100%.

KYT: What changes, if any, are you considering in your preparation for Worlds, especially in balancing constructed and limited play?

Patrick: I think I will focus more on my Constructed list first and then try to focus on Limited after.

I did the vice versa previously and it would cause me to actually do worse in Constructed. I did much better than expected in draft but it means nothing if I am losing in constructed as a tradeoff.

The F2F Tour continues next in Quebec City on March 9, inviting participants to engage in more thrilling matches, including Murders at Karlov Manor. This city is notably the base for many of this weekend’s standout competitors, promising another round of exciting gameplay.

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