The Diary of a Pro Player: A Little Bit of Standard, Food—and Lots of Modern!

My week consisted of playing and theorizing a bunch about Modern. Needless to say, there isn’t much to conclude other than “Eldrazi is busted.” I play the game for the tournament scene—I don’t care about the “healthiness” of a format—and I don’t register for tournaments in the hope that I have fun. The only time I have fun during 15 rounds of a GP is when I play 18 rounds. I can see when a format is broken, but if all it means is that I have to play that one busted deck, I’ll shut my mouth, play it, and find all the edges I can to win the mirror. All of this is rude, but I stand by my motto “Give me rules and I’ll play your damn tournament.”

I was going to judge a PPTQ on Sunday if there were more than 25 players. Unfortunately, there were less, so I registered for the Standard Magic Online Monthly Championship.

Blue Eldrazi

Mono U Garbage

Click to enlarge.

That’s what I ran to a magnificient 0-2 record. It was kind of the new kid on the block—my team had been messing around with the idea of a blue-based Eldrazi Aggro deck and I didn’t really care about the event since it qualified for another event that is at the same time as GP Toronto, which I’m 100% going to play instead. I was hoping to get some data and insight for them. Both of my matches were close—I probably punted one of those away and my sideboarding strategies might’ve been off too.

Anyway, I think this archetype is very playable. In fact, teammate Ben Weitz went 8-2 with it.

More Modern Ideas

I’m almost ready to give up and play Eldrazi in Detroit, but not just yet. I’m close though, I’m close.

Ad Nauseam

Historically, I’ve always found this deck to be terribly bad against discard and Liliana of the Veil, yet nowadays these cards are non-existent. The deck has a reasonable matchup against Eldrazi and Affinity. It’s fairly easy if Eldrazi does not draw Thought-Knot Seer game 1, and if they do, it’s not the end of the world.

After sideboard it gets a tad harder. Stubborn Denial is very good—same for Stony Silence. I’ve been playing this list. I’m not disappointed, but I’m not excited either.

Ascendancy Combo

Since BGx decks are at an all-time low, Abrupt Decay is nowhere to be found, which is one of the best cards against Jeskai Ascendancy combo decks. I have not yet found time to try it out against Eldrazi, but it might have a good matchup—they also don’t have many sideboard cards, but I’m worried that Gut Shot and Dismember is enough to get the time needed by killing the dorks.

I don’t have any list built—all I know is that Ideas Unbound is a fine replacement for Treasure Cruise as long as I’m not getting disrupted.

Grixis Kiki

Grixis Kiki

This is an old deck one of my friends worked on in the Splinter Twin era. I had played it a little but thought it was too weak against Lightning Bolt. Now that Lightning Bolt sees little-to-no play, I thought it might be a good idea to bring it back. A few games against Eldrazi and I knew this was exactly not what I wanted to be doing. This is way too slow and clunky to ever beat Eldrazi. Next.

Painter Company

I had to verify with multiple people how many combos this deck was capable of achieving. Unless I’m mistaken, Painter’s Servant on black + Teysa + white creatures=get rid of your opponent’s entire board. Add Blood Artist if your opponent doesn’t have creatures and you have yourself an infinite drain life loop.

This combo isn’t very good on its own, but Painter’s Servant on turn 2 is excellent against Eldrazi so it’s worth a shot. I’ve only played a small amount, but so far I am liking the deck. Teysa with Lingering Souls, Voice of Resurgence, and Kitchen Finks is sweet! Collected Company is even better in this deck since you only have 4 mana dorks. The deck is good against Eldrazi game 1. After sideboard, Rest in Peace is an issue and I haven’t found the best way to address it so far—I’m still investigating.

UW Eldrazi

The newest and best version of Eldrazi at the moment. Most lists are the same. Mine has 2 Oblivion Ring instead of 2 Dismember main deck and 2 Ulamog, Ceaseless Hunger instead of 2 Disenchant sideboard. The idea behind that is that anyone can have Worship or Ensnaring Bridge, and siding Disenchant blind is mediocre. I like better having a catch-all like Oblivion Ring.

The fact that no one has at least of one those in their 75 blows my mind. Having one in your sideboard gives you inevitability against Worship and Ensnaring Bridge, plus it’s great in the mirror. Sure it costs 10 mana, but who cares! You have 4 Drowner of Hope, 4 Eldrazi Skyspawner, and 4 Eldrazi Displacer for more Scions. You can afford it.

Eating Better

I’m aware that I warned you at the beginning of this series that I would talk strictly about Magic, but trust me, this is something more beneficial to your game than you would think.

At the last Pro Tour, Andrew Brown introduced me to this Keto Diet. Not because I should be on a diet or anything, but because his eating habits were intriguing and I wanted to know more. It’s common among a few known Magic players, and they all used that diet to very nice results.

It basically requires that you eat fewer than 20g of carbs per day, so no bread, rice, pasta, or sugar. Instead, you eat lots of meat, water, and green vegetables. I have a small excess of fat in the belly area that I’d like to lose, but most importantly, I like myself a challenge. I recently started doing it, but less intense, as it could actually be a problem to other parts of my body, especially my arms that look like spaghetti.

[Editor’s note: the recommendation to try the diet was removed.]

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