SCG Charlotte

To the members of Team MGG, Magic is a profession. We hold ourselves to incredibly high standards and we work diligently in order to meet those standards. It’s not rare for me to put in over 30 hours of practice the week leading up to an event. But while this approach is often effective, it’s not always what’s best. When you play this game as much as we do, burnout is inevitable. The testing, the travelling, and the tournaments, take a serious toll on you mentally. Going into SCG Charlotte, most of us were starting to feel the effects of this. So it was important to us that we worked smarter, not harder, for this one.

Half of the team didn’t have to work too hard for this one, as they were content running back their choices from SCG Baltimore. The consensus among the team was that Dredge was either the best or second best deck in the going into the event, and the Modern format rewards those who are experienced with their respective decks, so Ben and Jim had a rather easy choice. Ben was looking to slightly improve on his runner-up finish in Baltimore, and Jim aimed to exhibit his mastery of the archetype as well.


Lands (20)
Blackcleave Cliffs
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Copperline Gorge
Dakmor Salvage
Gemstone Mine
Sheltered Thicket
Stomping Ground
Wooded Foothills

Creatures (19)
Golgari Thug
Prized Amalgam
Scourge Devil
Stinkweed Imp

Spells (21)
Cathartic Reunion
Collective Brutality
Faithless Looting
Life from the Loam
Sideboard (15)
Engineered Explosives
Vengeful Pharaoh
Leyline of the Void
Ancient Grudge
Maelstrom Pulse

Frank was the other Guru looking to improve on their Baltimore finish with the same deck. After spending most of his Friday searching every Modern legal card with the text “deals damage”, he ultimately chose to register a nearly identical Burn list.

After Brad sabotaged himself, Dan, and I in Baltimore by convincing us the Counters Company deck he used to win the SCG Louisville Modern Classic was good, we still had to figure something out for Charlotte. What I would normally do in this situation is just start jamming leagues with every decent Modern deck until I found something that stood out, but that doesn’t really coincide with the smarter approach. Instead, Dan, Brad, and I relied on theorycrafting and discussion to mitigate the amount of hours we would have to spend actually playing. We determined that Death’s Shadow and Dredge were the best decks by a fairly wide margin. The three of us already had a ton of Death’s Shadow reps under our belt, so it was an easy call for us to make.


Lands (19)
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Watery Grave

Creatures (16)
Death’s Shadow
Gurmag Angler
Snapcaster Mage
Street Wraith
Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Spells (25)
Fatal Push
Kolaghan’s Command
Stubborn Denial
Thought Scour
Inquisition of Kozilek
Serum Visions
Sideboard (15)
Engineered Explosives
Nihil Spellbomb
Ceremonious Rejection
Stubborn Denial
Surgical Extraction
Liliana, the Last Hope
Anger of the Gods
Collective Brutality

While we all preferred versions that ran Traverse the Ulvenwald and Tarmogoyf, we again took the smarter approach and trusted that there was a reason Grixis had been more successful as of late.

After a great Challenge a Guru event at Parker, Banner, Kent, and Wayne Comics and Games, it was time to battle. Unfortunately, day one of the tournament was a complete disaster for the team. Of the six of us, only Ben and I managed to squeak into day two at 7-2. It was hard to feel optimistic about the event at this point, but after cracking open some bold ones with the boys Saturday night; I was feeling pretty good going into Sunday. Ben’s deep run was eventually cut short in round 14, but fortunately I was able to close out my last few and represent the team in the elimination rounds. I was able to win my quarterfinals match, but was taken down by eventual champion Todd Stevens in the semis after making a few crucial mistakes.

A few of us will be attending GP Vegas and GP Cleveland, but the next official event for the team is the SCG Invitational where I fully expect a member of Team MGG to be hoisting a giant check at the end.

Oh, and Brad won another Classic.