Open+ Recap: Zhang’s Eldrazi dominate Vancouver

After an incredible year on the FacetoFaceGames.com Open Series, this past Saturday we celebrated our last event of 2019 when we traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia for a Modern Open+!

After the last card was drawn First Strike podcast staple and all-around good guy Jonathan Zhang was crowned champion!

Your Open+ champ, Jonathan Zhang.

Zhang chose Eldrazi Tron as his weapon of choice on Saturday and of course, with the expansion of the WPN system, his win means that we’re also sending Zhang to the upcoming North American Players Tour in addition to his prizes.

Zhang, or FinalNub if you frequent Magic Twitter, is a prominent voice in the Canadian Magic scene. He’s even a writer on this very site and tends to be quite the creative graveyard deckbuilder.

Eldrazi Tron has surged in popularity over the past few months with the rise of Urza as the deck to beat in Modern. The deck is quite unique in that it has good matchups against both Urza decks thanks to [Card]Karn, the Great Creator[/Card] and [Card]Death’s Shadow[/Card] thanks to [Card]Chalice of the Void[/Card].

It’s pretty tough to find other decks with positive matchups against these two top decks, and it’s for that reason we saw two copies of Eldrazi Tron in the Top 8 on Saturday. Zhang triumphed over Paul de Blois and his [Card]Devoted Druid[/Card] deck in the finals. I’m told that Paul is a bit of a Druid master in Western Canada and he definitely lived up to his reputation on the weekend.

Your Vancouver Open+ Top 8.

Joining them in the Top 8 was our second Eldrazi Tron pilot Zachary Philley, Rowan Burns-Kirkness on Grixis Shadow, John Millsip playing Dredge, Liam Malcolm on an awesome Bant Control deck, Greg Larson playing Eli Kassis’ Sultai Urza deck he wrote about a few weeks back and Sarah England who played Infect.

In addition to her Top 8 performance on the weekend, Sarah England also spent her time between matches taking some incredible photos of the event. Check them out in the slideshow below!

Over the course of 2019 on the Open Series we’ve witnessed quite the overhaul of the Modern format. [Card]Aether Vial[/Card] decks like Humans and Spirits kicked off the year by putting up big results. Then we had the Phoenix era, where the combination of the powerful Izzet deck and Dredge ultimately got [Card]Faithless Looting[/Card] banned. And now here we are, Urza, Eldrazi and [Card]Death’s Shadow[/Card] all duking it out for the top spot.

One deck I’d like to highlight from the Top 8 in particular is John Millsip’s Dredge list. The deck obviously took quite the hit with the banning of Looting, but John showed us this weekend that it can still compete. These Urza and Shadow lists are really skimping on graveyard hate and that may be just what [Card]Stinkweed Imp[/Card] and company need to rise once again.

Now, before I leave you for the week, I have to give you an update on the Open Series if you haven’t heard the big news yet. As we announced recently, in 2020 we’re bringing you the F2F Tour — your path from your LGS to the Players Tour. This change will be bringing you everything you loved about the Open Series, plus the addition of our F2F Tour Weekends, which will give you a shot to qualify for the Players Tour in your hometown. For all the details — check out our announcement.

And in 2020 we’re bringing you a TON of formats. It’s not just Modern anymore:

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make 2019 a great year for us at Face to Face Games. We look forward to bringing you even more tournaments and content in 2020! If you have any feedback that we can use to help make your F2F Tour experience even better next year, feel free to reach out to us at feedback@facetofacegames.com.

Last but not least I’d like to thank our sponsors Ultimate Guard and Oakie Doakie Dice for helping make this event possible and our amazing judge staff for running a smooth tournament all day long!

The next time you’ll be seeing us is in the new year when we travel to Vancouver once again for the first stop on the new look 2020 F2F Tour. That’s right, two straight in Vancouver! Make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you on the battlefield on Jan. 25 to kick off the new year in style!

[Deck Title= First Place, Eldrazi Tron – Jonathan Zhang]
[Creatures]
1 Endbringer
1 Hangarback Walker
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Walking Ballista
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 All is Dust
2 Dismember
2 Warping Wail
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Expedition Map
4 Karn, the Great Creator
1 Mind Stone
2 Ugin, the Ineffable
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Blast Zone
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Eldrazi Temple
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Radiant Fountain
1 Scavenger Grounds
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
2 Wastes
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Dismember
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Liquimetal Coating
1 Mycosynth Lattice
1 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Spatial Contortion
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Walking Ballista
1 Withbane Orb
1 Wurmcoil Engine
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Second Place, Bant Devoted Druid – Paul de Blois]
[Creatures]
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Giver of Runes
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Devoted Druid
4 Vizier of Remedies
1 Walking Ballista
1 Ranger Captain of Eos
2 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
1 Duskwatch Recruiter
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Once Upon a Time
4 Eladamri’s Call
4 Finale of Devestation
4 Postmortem Lunge
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Horizon Canopy
1 Temple Garden
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Breeding Pool
1 Forest
1 Plains
4 Windswept Heath
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Razorverge Thicket
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
4 Oko, Thief of Crowns
4 Veil of Summer
2 Path to Exile
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Collector Ouphe
1 Knight of Autumn
1 Burrenton Forge-Tender
1 Scavenging Ooze
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Third Place, Eldrazi Tron – Zachary Philley]
[Creatures]
1 Endbringer
1 Hangarback Walker
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Walking Ballista
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 All is Dust
2 Dismember
2 Warping Wail
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Expedition Map
4 Karn, the great Creator
1 Mind Stone
2 Ugin, the Ineffable
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Blast Zone
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Eldrazi Temple
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Scavenger Grounds
1 Tectonic Edge
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
2 Wastes
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Liquimetal Coating
1 Mycosynth Lattice
1 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
2 Spatial Contortion
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Walking Ballista
1 Withbane Orb
1 Wurmcoil Engine
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fourth Place, Grixis Death’s Shadow – Rowan Burns-Kirkness]
[Creatures]
4 Death’s Shadow
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Street Wraith
3 Snapcaster Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Mishra’s Bauble
4 Thoughtseize
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Serum Visions
4 Thoughtscour
3 Fatal Push
1 Drown in the Loch
2 Dismember
4 Stubborn Denial
2 Temur Battle Rage
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Polluted Delta
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Watery Grave
1 Blood Crypt
1 Steam Vents
1 Island
1 Swamp
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Disdainful Stroke
2 The Royal Scions
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
2 Collective Brutality
2 Kologhan’s Command
1 Duress
1 Terminate
1 Drown in the Loch
1 Pithing Needle
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Fifth Place, Dredge – John Millsip]
[Creatures]
4 Narcomoeba
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Bloodghast
3 Golgari Thug
3 Merchant of the Vale
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Creeping Chill
4 Life from the Loam
4 Shriekhorn
4 Cathartic Reunion
2 Conflagrate
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Mountain
3 Forgotten Cave
3 Copperline Gorge
1 City of Brass
3 Bloodstained Mire
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Stomping Ground
1 Gemstone Mine
2 Blood Crypt
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Blast Zone
1 Darkblast
2 Leyline of the Void
3 Lightning Axe
3 Nature’s Claim
2 Thoughtseize
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Sixth Place, Bant Control – Liam Malcolm]
[Creatures]
4 Ice-Fang Coatl
3 Snapcaster Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
4 Path to Exile
2 Spell Pierce
3 Mana Leak
3 Force of Negation
1 Mystical Dispute
3 Supreme Verdict
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Breeding Pool
2 Celestial Colonnade
4 Field of Ruin
4 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Snow-Covered Forrest
4 Snow-Covered Island
2 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Temple Garden
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Ceremonious Rejection
2 Surgical Extraction
3 Veil of Summer
2 Celestial Purge
2 Dovin’s Veto
2 Rest in Peace
1 Pulse of Murasa
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Seventh Place, Sultai Urza – Greg Larson]
[Creatures]
4 Urza, Lord High Artificer
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Mishra’s Bauble
4 Mox Opal
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
4 Thoughtcast
4 Thopter Foundry
4 Serum Visions
3 Sword of the Meek
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Metallic Rebuke
2 Chromatic Star
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Inventors’ Fair
1 Breeding Pool
1 Watery Grave
2 Darksteel Citadel
4 Polluted Delta
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Snow-Covered Forest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Damping Sphere
3 Veil of Summer
3 Fatal Push
3 Assassin’s Trophy
2 Nature’s Claim
1 Vraska, Golgari Queen
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

[Deck Title= Eighth Place, Infect – Sarah England]
[Creatures]
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Glistener Elf
4 Blighted Agent
2 Spellskite
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Become Immense
3 Blossoming Defense
1 Distortion Strike
2 Groundswell
4 Might of Old Krosa
4 Mutagenic Growth
2 Once Upon a Time
4 Scale Up
1 Spell Pierce
4 Vines of Vastwood
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Breeding Pool
1 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Pendelhaven
2 Waterlogged Grove
4 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Ceremonious Rejection
2 Dismember
2 Dissenter’s Deliverance
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Mystical Dispute
1 Shapers’ Sanctuary
2 Spell Pierce
1 Spellskite
2 Veil of Summer
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]