Open+ Recap: Modern in Calgary

In life there are a few things that are constant — Death, Taxes and the fact that you can never sleep on Merfolk in Modern.

This past weekend, the FacetoFaceGames.com Open series traveled to Calgary, Alberta to host a massive 5K Modern Open+.

And, well, you guessed it — Merfolk took home the top prize. But, not just any old Merfolk list, Michael Ervin’s deck had some spice.

Our Calgary Open+ champion, Michael Ervin.

Ervin’s list featured some spicy inclusions like three copies of [Card]Mistcaller[/Card] a full play-set of [Card]Peek[/Card]s and a couple maindeck [Card]Spell Pierce[/Card]s.

Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m some kind of Merfolk genius, but Ervin must have had a good plan with these inclusions in order to take down this more than 200 person event. He also played a full set of [Card]Merfolk Trickster[/Card]s as well, which is another new option that this deck has been given access to.

Merfolk has of course, always been around in Modern. It’s one of the most consistent archetypes the format has to offer, and when enough creature decks flood the metagame it can spike an event just like this.

Our Modern Open+ Top8.

As you might expect, the rest of our Top 8 was filled with creature decks. Open series monster Kyle Gellert finished second with Counter Company, Joseph Baumgarten piloted Humans to a semifinals appearance and we also had a Bant Spirits and Dredge deck to round out the creature strategies.

Ervin’s cool list aside, my favourite deck in the Top 8 has got to be Mike Pragnell’s Esper Mill deck that is centered around [Card]Flaying Sanity[/Card]. I’m sorry, but there’s just nothing better than when a nice “deck damage” strategy comes together and puts up a good result at a tournament.

All in all these results definitely show us something that’s generally true about the Modern format — creatures reign supreme. In a format filled with tons of linear strategies and powerful combos, at the very top of the metagame it always seems to boil down to the beat down.

Our amazing judge team!

Congratulations to Michael on his win! Thank you to our awesome judge staff and everyone who made the trek out to the event. The next stop for the FacetoFaceGames.com Open Series and our sponsor Ultimate Guard is our Red Deer Modern Open on Dec. 15. Make sure to bust out your Merfolk and your mill cards and pre-register!

First Place, Michael Ervin – Merfolk

[Deck]
[Creatures]
3 Mistcaller
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
4 Merfolk Trickster
3 Phantasmal Image
4 Silvergill Adept
2 Merrow Reejerey
3 Master of Waves
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Aether Vial
4 Peek
2 Spell Pierce
4 Spreading Seas
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Faerie Conclave
12 Island
4 Mutavault
1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Relic of Progenitus
2 Surgical Extraction
4 Deprive
2 Echoing Truth
2 Dismember
2 Tectonic Edge
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Second Place, Kyle Gellert – Counters Company

[Deck]
[Creatures]
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Noble Hierarch
1 Viscera Seer
4 Devoted Druid
4 Vizier of Remedies
1 Spellskite
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Qasali Pridemage
2 Duskwatch Recruiter
1 Rhonas, the Indomitable
4 Kitchen Finks
3 Eternal Witness
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Walking Ballista
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Collected Company
4 Chord of Calling
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Windswept Heath
2 Overgrown Tomb
2 Temple Garden
2 Horizon Canopy
2 Gavony Township
1 Razorverge Thicket
2 Forest
1 Plains
1 Swamp
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Assassin’s Trophy
2 Path to Exile
2 Sin Collector
2 Remorseful Cleric
2 Tireless Tracker
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Knight of Autumn
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Third Place, Joseph Baumgarten – Humans

[Deck]
[Creatures]
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Mantis Rider
4 Meddling Mage
4 Reflector Mage
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Militia Bugler
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Aether Vial
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Unclaimed Territory
4 Horizon Canopy
2 Seachrome Coast
1 Plains
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Auriok Champion
2 Izzet Staticaster
2 Knight of Autumn
1 Whirler Rogue
1 Dismember
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Damping Sphere
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Fourth Place, Tyler White – Jeskai Control

[Deck]
[Creatures]
4 Snapcaster Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Path to Exile
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Lightning Helix
3 Settle the Wreckage
1 Sphinx’s Revelation
1 Secure the Wastes
2 Search for Azcanta
4 Cryptic Command
3 Logic Knot
1 Negate
2 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
2 Electrolyze
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Field of Ruin
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Flooded Strand
3 Celestial Colonnade
1 Sacred Foundry
2 Steam Vents
2 Hallowed Fountain
3 Island
2 Plains
1 Mountain
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Surgical Extraction
2 Dispel
1 Negate
1 Timely Reinforcements
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Abrade
2 Spell Queller
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Lyra Dawnbringer
2 Vendilion Clique
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Fifth Place, Mike Pragnell – Esper Flaying Sanity

[Deck]
[Creatures]
4 Hedron Crab
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Mission Briefing
1 Crypt Incursion
3 Surgical Extraction
4 Path to Exile
4 Visions of Beyond
3 Breaking // Entering
4 Flaying Sanity
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Archive Trap
4 Glimpse the Unthinkable
2 Mind Funeral
[/Spells]
[Lands]
3 Sheldock Isle
2 Watery Grave
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Godless Shrine
4 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
3 Field of Ruin
2 Island
2 Swamp
1 Plains
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Fatal Push
1 Surgical Extraction
3 Fragmentize
3 Crypt Incursion
2 Ravenous Trap
2 Set Adrift
1 Echoing Truth
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Sixth Place, Jeff Horan – Dredge

[Deck]
[Creatures]
4 Narcomeba
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Blooghast
4 Stinkweed Imp
2 Golgari Thug
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Faithless Looting
4 Cathartic Reunion
3 Shriekhorn
1 Darkblast
4 Life from the Loam
2 Conflagarate
4 Creeping Chill
[/Spells]
[Lands]
3 Stomping Ground
2 Blood Crypt
2 Mountain
2 Copperline Gorge
1 Gemstone Mine
1 Mana Confluence
2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Wooded Foothills
1 Arid Mesa
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Dakmor Salvage
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Assassin’s Trophy
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Back to Nature
1 Darkblast
1 Driven // Despair
3 Leyline of the Void
2 Lightning Axe
2 Nature’s Claim
1 Thoughtseize
1 Vengeful Pharaoh
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Seventh Place, Charles Hutchinson – Bant Spirits

[Deck]
[Creatures]
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Mausoleum Wanderer
4 Supreme Phantom
3 Phantasmal Image
2 Selfless Spirit
1 Rattlechains
1 Geist of Saint Traft
4 Spell Queller
4 Drogskol Captain
3 Reflector Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Collected Company
3 Aether Vial
2 Path to Exile
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Breeding Pool
3 Windswept Heath
1 Flooded Strand
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Botanical Sanctum
1 Cavern of Souls
2 Horizon Canopy
1 Moorland Haunt
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Temple Garden
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Plains
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
4 Rest in Peace
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Knight of Autumn
2 Stony Silence
1 Path to Exile
1 Unified Will
1 Damping Sphere
1 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Dromoka’s Command
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

Eighth Place, Liam Walker – Hardened Scales

[Deck]
[Creatures]
4 Steel Overseer
4 Walking Ballista
4 Hangarback Walker
4 Arcbound Ravager
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Hardened Scales
4 Mox Opal
3 Animation Module
4 Ancient Stirrings
1 Evolutionary Leap
1 Mishra’s Bauble
3 Welding Jar
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Inkmoth Nexus
3 Horizon Canopy
1 Pendlehaven
1 Blinkmoth Nexus
7 Forest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Spellskite
3 Damping Sphere
2 Dismember
4 Nature’s Claim
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]