By: Collin Bradley
Tournament Report time folks. This past Saturday I took my beloved Kiki-Chord deck to a 25th place finish in the SCG Regionals held in Columbia, Missouri hosted by the amazing people at Magelings Games. I battled to a 6-2 finish and every round was fought hard. First let’s start with the list I ran this weekend.
4x Birds of Paradise
3x Voice of Resurgence
2x Wall of Roots
2x Wall of Omens
2x Scavenging Ooze
1x Qasali Pridemage
2x Eternal Witness
1x Kitchen Finks
1x Courser of Kruphix
3x Restoration Angel
1x Huntmaster of the Fells
1x Pia and Kiran Nalaar
1x Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
4x Chord of Calling
4x Path to Exile
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Wooded Foothills
4x Windswept Heath
1x Arid Mesa
2x Stomping Ground
2x Temple Garden
1x Sacred Foundry
1x Raging Ravine
2x Razorverge Thicet
1x Fire-Lit Thicket
1x Horizon Canopy
3x Fiery Justice
2x Eldritch Evolution
1x Burrenton Forge-Tender
1x Reclamation Sage
1x Eidolon of Rhetoric
1x Magus of the Moon
1x Aven Mindcensor
1x Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1x Obstinate Baloth
1x Chameleon Colossus
1x Sigarda, Host of Herons
Nothing too crazy to talk about here in the main deck. I like two Scavenging Ooze in the main deck here because I was prepared to play against a bunch of grindy matchups and creature decks where that card just shines. The other so-called spice in the main deck is the Huntmaster of the Fells for my other flex spot at four. Typically I would play a second Pia and Kiran Nalaar but I just felt like playing the hunt daddy this weekend, card is gas.
The real spice this weekend comes from the sideboard. You have the typical bullets like Forge-Tender, Reclamation Sage, and Eidolon of Rhetoric, but my sideboard features probably the most underutilized removal spell in modern. Fiery Justice was a house in every matchup I brought it in against, but we’ll get to that later. Finally the one Worship rounds it out as my one catchall piece to buy myself some time against the creature decks.
Now let’s get to the matches of the day!
Round one: Affinity.
I sit down sitting across a familiar opponent that I had seen at other SCG events of the past. I win the die roll and wish my opponent good luck.
Game 1: I start out with the classic turn one bird and pass. He goes Darksteel Citadel, Mox Opal, Signal Pest, Vault Skirge, go. I look at my hand of double Bolt, Eternal Witness, and a Restoration Angel and just clean house.
Sideboard: Typically, I take out my Paths in this matchup for the three Fiery Justice. I also took out a Reveillark and one Scavenging Ooze and brought in my Magus of the Moon, Reclamation Sage, and Worship.
Game 2: I mulligan to 6 and keep a fairly un-interactive hand that doesn’t really do things till turn 2 and get run over by a Steel Overseer and Ravager.
Game 3: I keep again a fairly un-interactive hand but it has a Fiery Justice so I’m trying to lean hard on that being a bit of a blow-out. But alas, he draws the combo of Etched Champion plus Cranial Plating and I promptly die.
Round 2: Boggles
A rough start to the day at 0-1 but I’m looking to bounce back because I’m not gonna be out of it yet. I win the die roll yet again and keep a great interactive 7
Game 1: I go Bird pass. My opponent proceeds to go Razorverge Thicket into Gladecover Scout and I want to rip my hair out. Luckily bolt has one target in the deck in Kor Spirit-Dancer and my opponent ran out of gas. Around turn four, I’m chumping a 10/10 Scout with a Kitchen Finks and resetting it with and Angel, she plays Open the Armory to fetch an aura. She I think misplays and grabs an aura that doesn’t grant Trample so I get to buy a bunch of time with Finks and get to combo out.
Sideboard: Paths suck in this matchups as one would expect and surprisingly I forgot my Boggle tech at home that day. I left the bolts in because they can go face and hit a Spirit-Dancer. I side in my Worship, Reclamation Sage, and two Eldritch Evolutions.
Game 2: I can’t beat turn one Boggle, turn two Rancor & Ethereal Armor, turn three Daybreak Coronet & 2nd Armor. Moving on.
Game 3: I keep a hand with one of my Haymakers in Worship and I got to slam it on turn three. She had no way to interact with it and I slowly grind the game out to combo.
Round 3: Jeskai Geist
Game 1: I get Wrathed on turn four and try to rebuild. OP plays Geist and hits me three times. Nothing too exciting about that game except the fact that my opponent told me he was still on storm because we had played each other once before.
Sideboard: Next to the big mana decks of Tron and Valakut, this is my hardest matchup. The games are really grindy but they feel like they are unwinnable past turn seven or eight. I take out a mix of Bolts and Paths and the Qasali Pridemage. You have to leave some number of things in because they kind of catch Colonnades and Snaps and Spell Quellers. I brought in Magus, Sigarda, Aven Mindcensor, Eidolon of Rhetoric, and the Forge-Tender.
Game 2: My opponent mulls to five so I get to just play two Voices so he doesn’t get to hinder my progress that much. He taps out for Geist on his turn 5 and I combo him.
Game 3: I mulligan to six and keep a hand of Wooded Foothills, two Voice, Wall of Omens, Finks, and Restoration Angel. I figure I have a bit of time so I’ll draw some lands eventually. We got the One in a Million chance of not drawing a land after 12 draw steps and got the major feels bad.
Round 4: GB Rock
Game 1: I win the die roll and keep a great hand so I’m off to the races. I have a bird and play a Wall of Omens on turn two. My opponent then proceeds to cast Warren’s Weirding I think is what it was called to make me sac a dude. At this point I’m thinking “What the hell am I getting paired against now”, she then follows up with a Goyf then a Liliana of the Last Hope so I figured I was playing against The Rock. I find a Scooze and proceed to out grind my opponent with the additional help of a Reveillark.
Sideboard: Bolt seems like it’s pretty bad here since I’m playing against a Goyf deck. I’m pretty favored in these matchups though because I have a ton of Haymakers post board. I’m bringing in my Sigarda, Chameleon Colossus, Baloth, Magus of the Moon and both of the Eldritch Evolutions in exchange for the Bolts, one Pridemage, and One Bird.
Game 2: I get behind early due to double Inquisition and a Thoughtseize and then proceed to get beaten down by three 5/6 Goyfs.
Game 3: Game Three starts about the same as Game Two but I don’t get hoarded by threats. I’m stuck with an EE in my hand and an uncastable Reveillark which is a bomb. I draw Baloth and an Angel to protect it. Her had was flushed with Decays that couldn’t be cast and other cards that just didn’t matter too much. I close the game out with the Reveillark and a Sigarda.
Round 5: Abzan Counters Company
Game 1: I think this matchup can be pretty easy if you draw your Bolts and Paths early. You have to change into a sort of midrange deck against them because their combo is way faster. And that’s exactly what I did game one. I drew Bolts when I needed them and attacked with a pair of ¾ fliers to win game one.
Sideboard: Like in the affinity matchup, I sided out my paths in this matchup because I feel like giving them access to more than one thing a turn is pretty dangerous. The 4 key cards I brought in for the matchup, however, were the copy of Eidolon of Rhetoric, Linvala, and two copies of Eldritch evolution to go find each. I think those cards are a house in this matchup as well as the Fiery Justices. Out: 4x Path, the Pridemage, and Courser of Kruphix. In: 3x Fiery Justice, 2x Eldritch Evolution, Eidolon of Rhetoric, and Linvala.
Game 2: I mulligan to five and he turn three’s me. Yay Magic…
Game 3: We are exchanging resources and I have my Eidolon of Rhetoric in play while he has infinite mana for like three turns. At a critical point in the game, he has a huge board of just dudes while I don’t really have anything but mana and my Eidolon and an Angel in play. He uses his spell to try and path my Eidolon. In response I Chord for five and get Kiki-Jiki to copy my Eidolon so he doesn’t go off next turn. He tanks a bit and passes the turn. On my main phase I go to copy my Restoration Angel and he tanks again and Chords for one presumably to get Viscera Seer to attempt infinite life with his Kitchen Finks and Vizier of Remedies. He fails to remember I have a Scavenging Ooze in play and I eat his Finks in response to the Persist Trigger and I Kiki him out of the game.
Round 6: 5-Color Shadow.
Game 1: I find my way to the Pairing Board with my good friend Grant Paris who is also 3-2 at this point and, to my surprise, find out we are paired against each other. Quite frankly this match is just too much for me to write down, but you can catch an in-depth conversation about this match on this Week’s episode of the Dead on Board Podcast, which you can find on this website as soon as tonight November 7!
Round 7: Death and Taxes
Game 1: I lose the die roll on this one and my Opponent goes Plains, Thraben Inspector and I’m thinking “Sweet, another decent match-up here”. He beats me with a few fliers and I find myself with little resources and a Courser on field. It turns out that the incremental life that that card gives you is insane. There was a point where my opponent Ghost Quartered me and gave me another land to be at exactly one life when he attacked me that turn. Thanks to a timely Horizon Canopy, I got to draw the Restoration Angel on top of my library and Kiki him out of the game.
Sideboard: Unlike the other creature decks I had played against, I felt that I needed my paths in this matchup to deal with the threat of Mirran Crusader. This left me in a bit of a toughie. I felt like I needed to be a control deck in this matchup so I had to shave on some cards. Out: 2 Path, 1 Bird In: 3x Fiery Justice.
Game 2: My Opponent mulligans and looks like they keep a weak hand with a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Leonin Arbiter in it. I have a very reactive hand with 2 bolts and a Fiery Justice. He misses a few land drops and I just get to flood the board with threats he couldn’t deal with and I cruised to an easy victory.
Round 8: Elves
Game 1: I have played some matches in Legacy with this guy before at a few other SCG events and knew he was a devout elves player and that I had my work cut out for me. I keep a decent seven that could combo out on turn four and I had a bolt to interact with his first major play. He is on the play and we exchange turn one dorks. He plays an Elvish Archdruid on turn two and I immediately bolt it. Turn three he passes with company mana up and I also pass with my angel up. His last card in his hand is a company and he hits Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid. I have to fade one draw step so he doesn’t hit Ezuri, and of course they always do. I’m down a game.
Sideboard: I was super nervous at this point because I didn’t want to just lose this last round after I had clawed all this way back up. I figured again that I wouldn’t want my paths because I don’t want him doing more than one thing a turn, so those come right out. The cards I’m really looking for in this matchup are Linvala and Worship because they both just keep me alive long enough to figure something out. Out: 4x Path, the Pridemage, the Spellskite, Courser and the Reveillark. In: 3x Fiery Justice, 2x Eldritch Evolution, Linvala, Aven Mindcensor, and Worship
Game 2: I have to mulligan but I have a hand that can cast Linvala on turn three. I flub a bit on tapping the mana and we both get warnings for maintaining the board state. My next draw is Worship and he concedes two turns later.
Game 3: I have a grindy hand with bolts and an Aven Mindcensor so he can’t Chord for much value. My opponent walks right into a Restoration Angel when he attempts to Path my Mindcensor. The game draws on and he plays a Growing Rites of Itlimoc from the new set which flips immediately as he also had a Westvale Abbey in play as well. So I’m scared as heck about this thing but I’m trying to keep calm because I have double chord in my hand to be able to grab anything I need. He draws an Ezuri and I get to respond with a Chord for Linvala to crush his dreams. Next turn I Chord for Kiki-Jiki and my opponent proceeds to tell me the ways he had me dead in games two and three. We shake hands and I fist bump into the air to signify my victory to my friends who had since dropped from the event.
Final Record: 6-2
25th place for a cool $50 cash!
Overall the tournament was a rousing success apart from the hiccup in round three, but I was proud of myself being able to rattle off five wins in a row against a few tough matchups. A huge congratulation goes out to my good friend Matt Simpson on his victory in the event with 5-Color Shadow. He crushed it and truly deserves it!
Make sure to check in for more tournament reports from not only me but everyone else here in the Dead on Board Crew. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @Dead_On_Board and on Sound Cloud to keep up with our amazing Podcast! This has been Collin Bradley (@BrokenPotsCB) signing off! Catch y’all later.