Infect earned some respect in Saskatoon

Perhaps no other deck in all of Modern can catch you off-guard the way Infect can.

When you sit down for your match, and your opponent leads with a forest into [Card]Glistener Elf[/Card] — the pressure is on.

And it was that pure linear aggression that Nik Lyons-Morgan was able to wield in order to lift our F2F Tour – Saskatoon Trophy this past weekend.

Your champion, Nik Lyons-Morgan.

Lyons-Morgan defeated Jon White and his aggressive take on the [Card]Death’s Shadow[/Card] archetype in the finals. From where I’m sitting, seeing two linear aggressive decks show up in the finals this past weekend is not surprising at all. Modern has been centered around the dominance of [Card]Primeval Titan[/Card] decks since the banning of [Card]Mox Opal[/Card] at the beginning of January, and decks like Infect prey on slow ramp strategies.

Joining them in the Top 8 was Kevin Brown piloting another aggro deck in Burn, Brian Kaminsky on Mono-Green Tron, the seemingly unstoppable Kyle Gellert who played the revamped Simic Urza deck, Aaron Kernaghan on a [Card]Collected Company[/Card] and [Card]Devoted Druid[/Card] hybrid and finally Mark McDonald playing TitanShift.

Your F2F Tour Saskatoon Top 8.

Our Top 8 is a perfect microcosm of Modern right now — some big mana decks, and a whole bunch of aggro trying to beat them.

From my perspective, the most interesting outlier to that statement is Gellert’s Urza deck. He chose to use [Card]Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath[/Card] as a way to make up for some of the lost mana acceleration [Card]Mox Opal[/Card] provided. While this deck is not as explosive as the previous versions of Urza, they’re much better at grinding and can offer a level of interaction that’s pretty much unmatched in Modern right now. Which is the exact same theory that Face to Face Games writer Eli Kassis used when building his Dimir version of the deck this past weekend:

[Deck Title= First Place, SCG Richmond, Dimir Urza – Eli Kassis]
[Creatures]
4 Urza, Lord High Artificer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Mishra’s Bauble
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sword of the Meek
2 Talisman of Dominance
2 Thopter Foundry
3 Archmage’s Charm
2 Cryptic Command
1 Deprive
1 Drown in the Loch
3 Fatal Push
3 Whir of Invention
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Thoughtseize
[/Spells]
[Lands]
6 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
2 Field of Ruin
2 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Mystic Sanctuary
4 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Sunken Hollow
1 Watery Grave
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Torrential Gearhulk
2 Aether Gust
3 Ceremonious Rejection
1 Hero’s Downfall
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
2 Battle at the Bridge
1 Dead of Winter
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

When you’re trying to beat [Card]Primeval Titan[/Card] and [Card]Blighted Agent[/Card] at the same time, a pile of counter spells and some [Card]Fatal Push[/Card]s do a pretty good job.

Thank you to everyone who came out this past weekend and packed the house for our event in Saskatoon. While everyone was battling in the main event, we had players jamming $10 drafts all day long and battling Commander pods with our special guests from the Commander Cookout Podcast. And a special shout-out to the group of four friends who decided to brighten our day by showing up and playing the entire day in jean shorts — or “jorts” as they so affectionately called them.

Congratulations to Nik Lyons-Morgan and to the rest of the Top 8 on their outstanding performances this past weekend. Before I leave you for the week, I’d like to also extend a special thank you to both our judge staff and our sponsor Ultimate Guard for helping us put on a great event.

The next stop on the F2F Tour is coming up this Saturday, Feb. 8 in both Hamilton, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta. Both events will be Pioneer, so we’ll have a ton of new information about this brand new format following Roy Yang’s win in Vancouver! Make sure to pre-register for Hamilton HERE and Edmonton HERE and we’ll see you on the battlefield!

[Deck Title= First Place, Infect – Nik Lyons-Morgan]
[Creatures]
4 Blighted Agent
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Glistener Elf
1 Spellskite
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Once Upon a Time
4 Might of Old Krosa
4 Vines of Vastwood
3 Scale Up
3 Groundswell
3 Blossoming Defence
3 Spell Pierce
1 Dismember
1 Distortion Strike
1 Become Immense
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Breeding Pool
1 Temple Garden
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
1 Waterlogged Grove
2 Pendelhaven
2 Forest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
4 Veil of Summer
2 Mystical Dispute
2 Distortion Strike
1 Wild Defiance
1 Path to Exile
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Force of Vigor
1 Spell Pierce
1 Spellskite
1 Teferi, Time Raveler
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Second Place, Death’s Shadow Aggro – Jon White]
[Creatures]
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Death’s Shadow
4 Street Wraith
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Once Upon a Time
3 Become Immense
3 Mutagenic Growth
4 Temur Battle Rage
2 Dismember
2 Lightning Bolt
4 Thoughtseize
4 Mishra’s Bauble
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Blood Crypt
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Ground
1 Forest
1 Swamp
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Hooting Mandrills
3 Veil of Summer
2 Fatal Push
2 Assassin’s Trophy
2 Duress
1 Ancient Grudge
2 Collective Brutality
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Third Place, Burn – Kevin Brown]
[Creatures]
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Helix
4 Searing Blaze
4 Rift Bolt
4 Skewer the Critics
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Wooded Foothills
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Inspiring Vantage
2 Sacred Foundry
1 Snow-covered Mountain
2 Mountain
2 Fiery Islet
4 Sunbaked Canyon
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
4 Skullcrack
3 Smash to Smithereens
4 Kor Firewalker
2 Path to Exile
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Deflecting Palm
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fourth Place, Mono-Green Tron – Brian Kaminsky]
[Creatures]
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
2 Walking Ballista
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
3 Wurmcoil Engine
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Oblivion Stone
4 Expedition Map
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Chromatic Sphere
2 Dismember
4 Sylvan Scrying
1 All is Dust
4 Chromatic Star
4 Karn, Liberated
2 Relic of Progenitus
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
1 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Forest
1 Blast Zone
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Weather the Storm
2 Thragtusk
3 Nature’s Claim
3 Veil of Summer
2 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Surgical Extraction
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fifth Place, Simic Urza – Kyle Gellert]
[Creatures]
4 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
4 Emry, Lurker of the Loch
3 Ice-Fang Coatl
4 Gilded Goose
4 Urza, Lord High Artificer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Cryptic Command
3 Metallic Rebuke
1 Archmage’s Charm
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
1 Aether Spellbomb
4 Mishra’s Bauble
3 Engineered Explosives
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Breeding Pool
1 Watery Grave
2 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
4 Misty Rainforest
5 Snow-Covered Island
2 Snow-Covered Forest
2 Mystic Sanctuary
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Unmoored Ego
2 Mystical Dispute
3 Ashiok, Dream Render
2 Assassin’s Trophy
1 Disdainful Stroke
2 Fatal Push
2 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Sixth Place, Devoted Druid Company – Aaron Kernaghan]
[Creatures]
1 Anafenza, the Foremost
3 Birds of Paradise
1 Carrion Feeder
4 Devoted Druid
1 Duskwatch Recruiter
3 Eternal Witness
4 Giver of Runes
1 Heliod, Sun-crowned
4 Kitchen Finks
3 Noble Hierarch
1 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
4 Vizier of Remedies
1 Walking Ballista
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Chord of Calling
4 Collected Company
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Forest
2 Gavony Township
1 Nurturing Peatland
2 Overgrown Tomb
3 Plains
1 Silent Clearing
1 Stirring Wildwood
1 Swamp
2 Temple Gardens
4 Windswept Heath
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Quasali Pridemage
2 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Plague Engineer
2 Remorseful Cleric
2 Path to Exile
2 Damping Sphere
1 Collector Ouphe
2 Knight of Autumn
1 Yixlid Jailor
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Seventh Place, Burn – Tyler Utman]
[Creatures]
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Rift Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
4 Skewer the Critics
2 Skullcrack
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Lightning Helix
4 Boros Charm
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Arid Mesa
1 Stomping Ground
4 Sunbaked Canyon
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Mountain
3 Inspiring Vantage
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Deflecting Palm
4 Destructive Revelry
2 Kor Firewalker
2 Path to Exile
2 Rest in Peace
2 Skullcrack
1 Stony Silence
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Eighth Place, TitanShift – Mark McDonald]
[Creatures]
4 Arboreal Grazer
4 Sakura-Tribe Leder
4 Primeval Titan
2 Obstinate Baloth
4 Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Summoner’s Pact
4 Search for Tomorrow
4 Scapeshift
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Cinder Glade
1 Castle Garenbrig
1 Forest
1 Snow-Covered Forest
3 Mountain
3 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Sheltered Thicket
4 Stomping Ground
1 Bloodstained Mire
3 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
2 Field of the Dead
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Klothys, God of Destiny
1 Fry
1 Dismember
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Obstinate Baloth
1 Storm’s Wrath
2 Veil of Summer
1 Force of Vigor
1 Reclamation Sage
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Feed the Clan
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]