With half of Team MGG already in Japan for Pro Tour Hour of Devastation and Frank Skarren unavailable, Dan Jessup and I had a little bit of an issue for SCG Atlanta… it was a three person team event and despite being on a six person professional Magic the Gathering team we still had an empty spot to fill!
Enter Legacy Lands guru Kevin King.
After some discussion with friends, we were recommended Kevin by a number of players we respect. Just like that, we were ready to roll. It’s good to have knowledgeable friends!
But first, if there’s an SCG Tour stop you can bet that Team MGG will be at a local shop the Friday night before the event for a Challenge a Guru event! We would once again be visiting Wasteland Games in Duluth, where we had our very first Challenge a Guru event last year. The store is one of the largest we’ve visited and is an awesome place to game.
With only Dan and I available, we reached out to friends of the team Tom Ross and Todd Stevens to join us and they were happy to come down. Not only did we all have an awesome time, but little did everyone in attendance know that each player at the Challenge a Guru event would also be in the finals of the Open! #spoilers
With SCG Atlanta being Team Constructed, we each had to pick our formats. Kevin would of course be playing Lands in our Legacy seat, with Dan running back his Grixis Death Shadow list from his recent top 8 at the SCG Open in Roanoke in Modern. This left me to play Standard, and it didn’t take me long to find the best new deck in the format.
SCG Atlanta Team Constructed
4 Ramunap Ruins
4 Sunscorched Desert
4 Earthshaker Khenra
2 Hazoret the Fervent
4 Ahn-Crop Crasher
2 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
4 Bomat Courier
2 Hanweir Garrison
4 Falkenrath Gorger
4 Village Messenger
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Incendiary Flow
2 Chandra’s Defeat
2 Blazing Volley
2 Kari Zev’s Expertise
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
2 Akoum Firebird
1 Magma Spray
Earthshaker Khenra is one of the best red two-drops printed in years, and the extra reach of Ramunap Ruins really pushed Mono-Red Aggro over the top.
I had a few brews I’ve been working on, but in a team event you really want to be 100% confident in your deck choice. It’s one thing to play a risky deck when it’s your tournament life on the line, it’s another when you’ve got two more players along for the ride.
Thankfully Mono-Red Aggro was great and the event went smoothly. We cruised through day one with a 8-1 record, and despite and a few early losses on day two the rest of the day would run smoothly all the way to the finals, where we would meet Tom Ross, Todd Stevens, and Jody Keith again. While I was able to beat Tom in the swiss, both Dan and Kevin had rough matchups and were defeated. The finals would be more of the same, with us eventually falling and ending up in 2nd place.
In the heat of the moment nothing but a victory feels satisfying, but after leaving the site and settling in for some Korean BBQ we were able to be happy with our weekend. I personally haven’t been having a few good year results-wise, and it was nice to finally get on the scoreboard.
Up next, we’ve got our “hometown” Open in Syracuse in two weeks – only a five hour drive!