Open Recap: Modern in London

Boy does Caleb Keung love himself a good [Card]Remand[/Card] brew.

This past weekend the FacetoFaceGames.com Open series traveled to London, Ontario for a Modern Open and Keung took down the entire tournament with his innovative Sultai Control deck.

Keung is known around the Greater Toronto Area as someone who is always looking to go his own way in Modern. You’ll always see him with [Card]Remand[/Card] and [Card]Cryptic Command[/Card] in his deck, but he always seems to have a new shell to play them in. This time it was Sultai, where he harnessed the power of [Card]Assassin’s Trophy[/Card] to give him the ability to answer all of the many problem permanents Modern has to offer. If you do anything with this recap, take a look at Caleb’s list, you do not want to miss this one.

Keung defeated yet another brew in the finals: Andrew Poaps [Card]Prime Speaker Vannifar[/Card] deck. These [Card]Birthing Pod[/Card] inspired archetypes have always loomed around the fringes of Modern since their namesake was banned, but with this latest printing, it’s possible that they’re ready for a resurgence. What I like most about Poaps list is its ability to pivot. The [Card]Restoration Angel[/Card] and [Card]Vendilion Clique[/Card] beatdown plan is nothing to scoff at when you’re threatening to un-tap and combo on any given turn.

Your London Open Top 8.

Joining Keung and Poaps in the Top 8 was Nolan McDonald and his Grixis Death’s Shadow deck, three copies of Humans, Ben Lu with yet another Open Top 8 with Amulet Titan and Patrick Sherwood who played good old-fashion Merfolk.

Both McDonald and Lu went back to back on Saturday, notching their second consecutive Top 8s in GTA Open events after they were both battling in the elimination rounds at our recent Barrie Open. Both of these players — McDonald on Death’s Shadow and Lu on Amulet Titan — have set themselves apart as elite players at the Open level and seem to be improving by the month from where I sit. Lu in particular has three Top 8s over just as many months, which is quite the feat.

As far as the Modern format goes, I think it’s fair to say that on Saturday — creatures were king. We had three copies of Humans in our Top 8 fresh off its stellar performance at the Mythic Championship in London in addition to the Merfolk and Vannifar decks. If you learn anything from Saturday’s action make sure you’re ready for this deck at your next event.

In addition to all the action in the main event, we had players on-site all day playing side events and drafting this sweet new War of the Spark Draft format.

Before I leave you for the week and you take a look at Keung’s sweet decklist, we at Face to Face Games want to remind you about our upcoming 10k Mythic Championship Qualifier taking place on June 15 in Toronto. We’ll be hosting it at the Montecassino Hotel, and every registrant will get a free [Card]Arcbound Ravager[/Card] promo with entry. Make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you there!

Congratulations again to our champion Caleb Keung from everyone at Face to Face Games! Additionally, we’d like to extend our thanks to both our Open Series sponsor — Ultimate Guard — who hooked up everyone in the Top 8 with some awesome swag and to our amazing judge staff! The next stop on the series is coming up Fredericton, New Brunswick where we’ll be hosting a Modern Open this coming Saturday May 18, the make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you there!

[Deck Title= First Place, Sultai Control – Caleb Keung]
[Creatures]
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Nimble Obstructionist
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Assassin’s Trophy
3 Opt
2 Pulse of Murasa
2 Damnation
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Cryptic Command
4 Remand
2 Search for Azcanta
4 Fatal Push
1 Spell Snare
1 Nihil Spellbomb
[/Spells]
[Lands]
5 Island
2 Swamp
2 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Breeding Pool
1 Watery Grave
1 Fetid Pools
4 Polluted Delta
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Blast Zone
3 Field of Ruin
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Ashiok, Dream Render
2 Unmoored Ego
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Hero’s Downfall
1 Surgical Extraction
2 Negate
3 Collective Brutality
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
1 Thragtusk
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Second Place, Vannifar Evolution – Andrew Poaps]
[Creatures]
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Wall of Roots
1 Spellskite
1 Scryb Ranger
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Deputy of Detention
1 Knight of Autumn
3 Vendilion Clique
1 Village Bell-Ringer
1 Renegade Rallier
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
4 Prime Speaker Vannifar
3 Restoration Angel
2 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Vizier of the Menagerie
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Chord of Calling
3 Eldritch Evolution
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Flooded Strand
4 Windswept Heath
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Botanical Sanctum
2 Horizon Canopy
2 Breeding Pool
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Temple Garden
3 Forest
1 Plains
1 Island
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Knight of Autumn
1 Reveillark
1 Remorseful Cleric
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Eternal Witness
1 Eldritch Evolution
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
3 Path to Exile
3 Unified Will
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Third Place, Grixis Death’s Shadow – Nolan McDonald]
[Creatures]
4 Street Wraith
4 Death’s Shadow
4 Gurmag Angler
2 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
3 Snapcaster Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Mishra’s Bauble
2 Temur Battle Rage
4 Thought Scour
4 Fatal Push
4 Stubborn Denial
2 Dismember
4 Thoughtseize
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Polluted Delta
4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Blood Crypt
1 Steam Vents
2 Watery Grave
1 Swamp
1 Island
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Spell Snare
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
1 Ceremonious Rejection
1 Kolaghan’s Command
2 Abrade
2 Disdainful Stroke
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Rise // Fall
3 Surgical Extraction
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fourth Place, Humans – Jack Robbins]
[Creatures]
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4 Reflector Mage
3 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Meddling Mage
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Mantis Rider
4 Noble Hierarch
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Aether Vial
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Horizon Canopy
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Unclaimed Territory
1 Island
1 Plains
1 Seachrome Coast
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
1 Anafenza the Foremost
2 Militia Bugler
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Knight of Autumn
1 Dismember
2 Damping Sphere
1 Riders of Gavony
2 Deputy of Detention
2 Auriok Champion
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fifth Place, Amulet Titan – Ben Lu]
[Creatures]
4 Sakura-Tribe Scout
4 Azusa, Lost But Seeking
4 Primeval Titan
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Amulet of Vigor
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Summoner’s Pact
2 Coalition Relic
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Pact of Negation
4 Karn, the Great Creator
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Forest
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Simic Growth Chamber
3 Tolaria West
2 Selesnya Sanctuary
2 Gruul Turf
1 Vesuva
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Slayers’ Stronghold
1 Boros Garrison
1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Kabira Crossroads
1 Khalni Garden
1 Ghost Quarter
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Mycosynth Lattice
2 Negate
1 Walking Ballista
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Hornet Queen
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Academy Ruins
1 Pithing Needle
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Batterskull
2 Dismember
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Sixth Place, Humans – Dave Shillingford]
[Creatures]
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Mantis Rider
4 Meddling Mage
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Reflector Mage
3 Kitesail Freebooter
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Deputy of Detention
1 Militia Bugler
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Aether Vial
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Horizon Canopy
4 Unclaimed Territory
4 Ancient Ziggurat
1 Island
1 Plains
1 Seachrome Coast
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Deputy of Detention
2 Knight of Autumn
2 Dismember
3 Damping Sphere
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Izzet Staticaster
3 Auriok Champion
1 Sin Collector
1 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Seventh Place, Merfolk – Patrick Sherwood]
[Creatures]
3 Harbinger of the Tides
2 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
3 Master of Waves
4 Merfolk Trickster
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Silvergill Adept
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Spreading Seas
4 Aether Vial
3 Chalice of the Void
2 Echoing Truth
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Flooded Strand
11 Island
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Mutavault
1 Polluted Delta
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Damping Sphere
3 Negate
3 Phyrexian Revoker
3 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Torpor Orb
2 Tidebinder Mage
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Eighth Place, Humans – Austin Cortina]
[Creatures]
4 Champion of the Parish
2 Deputy of Detention
3 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Mantis Rider
4 Meddling Mage
1 Militia Bugler
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Reflector Mage
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Aether Vial
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Horizon Canopy
1 Island
1 Plains
1 Seachrome Coast
4 Unclaimed Territory
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Auriok Champion
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Gaddock Teeg
2 Izzet Staticaster
2 Knight of Autumn
1 Militia Bugler
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Riders of Gavony
2 Sin Collector
1 Anafenza, the Foremost
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]