Open Recap: Valakut dominates Modern in Hamilton

There are few things in Magic more powerful than all of the broken non-basic lands eternal formats offer. You see, you get to just play a land for FREE every turn, and sometimes that’s just the most powerful thing you can be doing.

This past weekend, when the FacetoFaceGames.com Open Series traveled to Hamilton, Ontario for a Modern Open, [Card]Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle[/Card] showed that it’s still a force to be reckoned with when it took down the entire Open in the hands of Spencer Hewitt.

Your Open champ, Spencer Hewitt.

TitanShift is kind of like the peanut butter toast of Modern. You wake up in the morning and you know it’s always going to be there. It’s not always going to be the best breakfast, but here and there it’s going to do exactly the job you need it to. And this weekend, it was everything Hewitt needed.

Hewitt defeated Graham Willette and his sweet take on Bant Company featuring a play-set of [Card]Stoneforge Mystic[/Card]. Since Stoneforge’s unbanning it really hasn’t found a good home in Modern, but this deck packs a bunch of powerful creatures that carry equipment well. Despite it’s obvious power level, Stoneforge can be a pretty tricky card to build around and I personally believe that these Bant shells do a great job of supporting the powerful two-drop.

Your Hamilton Open Top 8.

Joining them in the Top 8 was Randall Barber on Azorius Stoneblade, Jason Qian playing a Four Colour Traverse Shadow deck, Lucas Worrell on his classic Bant Spirits deck, Dustyn Nogueira on Amulet Titan, Derek Lansche on Simic Urza which was the breakout deck of the weekend and Michael Fengler who was our second TitanShift player in the Top 8.

As someone who pays pretty close attention to the Open Series writing these articles for you all every week, our Top 8 on Sunday contributes to a trend on the Series. There feels like there’s always this jockeying for position between the big mana decks of Modern and the midrange decks. This weekend, [Card]Primeval Titan[/Card] got the best of the room.

I’d also like to highlight Derek Lansche’s Simic Urza deck. This midrange build of Urza originated with the SCG Tour’s Team Lotus Box and also put four copies in Top 8 of the Open in Atlanta this past weekend. In it’s early days this version of Urza feels like it has the tools to beat everything, so I would make not of that for your next Modern event and be prepared to answer [Card]Oko, Thief of Crowns[/Card].

While all the action was going down in the main event, we had a ton of other players on-site all day playing in Commander pods, side drafts and battling in our first ever Pioneer side event. If you’re interested in a few of those spicy Pioneer decklists take a look below.

Before I leave you for the week I’d just like to quickly plug all of Face to Face Games’ upcoming WPN qualifier events. Wizards of the Coast has added a new system to their competitive framework to allow players to qualify for the upcoming Player’s Tour at the local level. Below are the dates of our upcoming Open+ events which will qualify the winner for the PT and check out this article to find out how you can qualify at your local Face to Face location as well.

Congratulations again to our champion Spencer Hewitt from everyone at Face to Face Games! We’d also like to thank our awesome judge staff who ran a smooth event all day long!

With our tournament series growing every week we’ve added a feedback point of contact to our workflow in order to create the best events possible for you all in the future. If there are any changes you’d like to see from our events email us at: feedback@facetofacegames.com.

The next stops on the series are coming up this Saturday Nov. 2 when the FacetoFaceGames.com Open Series will be traveling to both Ottawa, ON and Regina, Sask. for Modern Opens. You can pre-register for Ottawa here and Regina here. We can’t wait to see you this upcoming weekend, and don’t forget we’ve added a PIONEER side event to all of our 2019 Opens, so come out and explore that format with us. We’ll see you on the battlefield.

[Deck Title= First Place, TitanShift – Spencer Hewitt]
[Creatures]
4 Sakura-tribe elder
4 Primeval Titan
2 Courser of Kruphix
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Sweltering Suns
2 Farseek
2 Explore
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Search for Tomorrow
4 Scapeshift
2 Mwonvuli Acid-moss
2 Summoner’s Pact
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Prismatic Vista
4 Stomping Ground
1 Field of the Dead
2 Cinder Glade
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Verdant Catacombs
2 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Sheltered Thicket
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Snow-covered Forest
1 Forest
3 Mountain
3 Snow-covered Mountain
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Force of Vigor
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Reclamation Sage
2 Damping Sphere
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Shatterstorm
2 Obstinate Baloth
3 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Second Place, Bant Company – Graham Willette]
[Creatures]
3 Deputy of Detention
1 Geist of Saint Traft
4 Ice-Fang Coatl
4 Spell Queller
2 Birds of Paradise
3 Giver of Runes
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Stoneforge Mystic
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Path to Exile
3 Collected Company
3 Teferi, Time Raveler
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Breeding Pool
1 Field of Ruin
1 Flooded Strand
1 Glacial Fortress
2 Hallowed Fountain
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Razorverge Thicket
2 Snow-covered Island
2 Snow-covered Forest
1 Snow-covered Plains
1 Temple Garden
2 Waterlogged Grove
3 Windswept Heath
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Collector Ouphe
3 Damping Sphere
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
2 Knight of Autumn
1 Kor Firewalker
1 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
2 Rest in Peace
2 Unsettled Mariner
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Third Place, Azorius Stoneblade – Randall Barber]
[Creatures]
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Spell Queller
3 Snapcaster Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Opt
4 Path to Exile
2 Spell Snare
2 Mana Leak
2 Force of Negation
3 Cryptic Command
3 Teferi, Time Raveler
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Celestial Colonnade
2 Hallowed Fountain
1 Glacial Fortress
2 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
4 Field of Ruin
2 Snow-covered Plains
6 Snow-covered Island
1 Mystic Sanctuary
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Celestial Purge
2 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence
2 Timely Reinforcements
1 Dismember
1 Force of Negation
2 Disdainful Stroke
1 Mystical Dispute
1 Dovin’s Veto
1 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Ashiok, Dream Render
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fourth Place, Four Colour Shadow – Jason Qian]
[Creatures]
4 Death’s Shadow
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Snapcaster Mage
4 Street Wraith
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Thoughtseize
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Fatal Push
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Drown in the Loch
3 Stubborn Denial
2 Temur Battle Rage
4 Mishra’s Bauble
3 Traverse the Ulvenwald
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Polluted Delta
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Blood Crypt
1 Watery Grave
1 Breeding Pool
1 Swamp
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Veil of Summer
4 Collective Brutality
1 Stubborn Denial
2 Delay
1 Temur Battle Rage
1 Collector Ouphe
2 Plague Engineer
1 Hazoret the Fervent
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fifth Place, Bant Spirits – Lucas Worrell]
[Creatures]
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Mausoleum Wanderer
2 Rattlechains
4 Supreme Phantom
4 Spell Queller
4 Drogskol Captain
3 Deputy of Detention
1 Phantasmal Image
1 Birds of Paradise
4 Unsettled Mariner
1 Geist of Saint Traft
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Collected Company
4 Path to Exile
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Plains
3 Windswept Heath
2 Flooded Strand
1 Temple Garden
2 Hallowed Fountain
1 Breeding Pool
1 Moorland Haunt
4 Botanical Sanctum
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Waterlogged Grove
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Damping Sphere
2 Unified Will
3 Knight of Autumn
2 Rest in Peace
2 Collector Ouphe
2 Kor Firewalker
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Sixth Place, Amulet Titan – Dustyn Nogueira]
[Creatures]
4 Sakura-tribe Scout
4 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
4 Primeval Titan
1 Reclamation Sage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Amulet of Vigor
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Once Upon a Time
4 Summoner’s Pact
1 Pact of Negation
1 Engineered Explosives
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Simic Growth Chamber
2 Snow-covered Forest
2 Forest
2 Gemstone Mine
2 Breeding Pool
3 Tolaria West
1 Gruul Turf
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Golgari Rot Farm
1 Boros Garrison
2 Castle Garenbrig
1 Slayers’ Stronghold
1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
1 Vesuva
1 Radiant Fountain
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Field of the Dead
1 Cavern of Souls
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Dismember
2 Disdainful Stroke
1 Manglehorn
1 Ramunap Excavator
2 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Field of the Dead
1 Obstinate Baloth
1 Force of Vigor
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Seventh Place, Simic Urza – Derek Lansche]
[Creatures]
4 Gilded Goose
4 Emry, Lurker of the Loch
4 Urza, Lord High Artificer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Cryptic Command
2 Metallic Rebuke
2 Whir of Invention
4 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Thopter Foundry
1 Sword of the Meek
4 Mox Opal
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
4 Mishra’s Bauble
3 Engineered Explosives
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Polluted Delta
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Flooded Strand
1 Watery Grave
1 Breeding Pool
2 Mystic Sanctuary
4 Snow-covered Island
1 Snow-covered Forest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Damping Sphere
1 Pithing Needle
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Unmoored Ego
2 Assassin’s Trophy
2 Collective Brutality
2 Thoughtseize
2 Fatal Push
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Eighth Place, TitanShift – Michael Fengler]
[Creatures]
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Primeval Titan
1 Obstinate Baloth
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Lightning Bolt
4 Search for Tomorrow
4 Explore
4 Scapeshift
2 Summoner’s Pact
2 Farseek
1 Hour of Promise
1 Sweltering Suns
1 Mwonvuli Acid-moss
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Field of the Dead
2 Stomping Ground
3 Cinder Glade
1 Sheltered Thicket
4 Mountain
3 Snow-covered Mountain
1 Snow-covered Forest
1 Forest
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Windswept Heath
1 Prismatic Vista
1 Castle Garenbrig
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Sweltering Suns
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Veil of Summer
1 Fry
2 Thragtusk
1 Force of Vigor
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Obstinate Baloth
2 Collector Ouphe
2 Damping Sphere
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]