SCG Season One Invitational

Blog post - July 6, 2017


This weekend marked the end of Season One for StarCityGames which meant it was time for the MGG boys to head down to Roanoke, Virginia to play in one of the most illustrious tournaments around- The Invitational! With so much on the line in terms of cash, a pro tour invite, and of course the coveted token the team decided to get a suite near the site and spend Wednesday and Thursday testing modern and standard.


Now I can’t reveal every facet of the secret MGG testing process. But what I can tell you is it involved a lot of Mexican food, country music, breakfast buffets, and enough flatulence to fell a small army. It’s rare to get all six Gurus in the same spot at once but when it happens you know it’s going to be a good time.

We All Scream

Apart from our usual shenanigans we ultimately did what we do best: play a lot of Magic. For some that meant testing on Magic Online. For me that meant losing about 15 games in a row to Dan Jessup while trying to make an unplayable version of Green/Black midrange work. After all was said and done most of the team was on a smattering of Grixis Shadow, Zombies, and Temur energy. Ben decided to go rogue and play what he calls “chuckler decks” in Breach Titan and New Perspectives. I did what I do best when forced to play more than 40 cards and went with two comfort picks:

Frank Skarren8th PlaceSCG Season One Invitational
GB SnakeStandard6/30/2017
Creatures (24)
4 Winding Constrictor
4 Longtusk Cub
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
4 Walking Ballista
3 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
2 Tireless Tracker
3 Verdurous Gearhulk

Lands (21)
4 Aether Hub
4 Blooming Marsh
3 Hissing Quagmire
4 Swamp
6 Forest
Planeswalkers (3)
3 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar

Spells (12)
4 Attune with Aether
3 Fatal Push
3 Blossoming Defense
2 Grasp of Darkness
Sideboard (15)
1 Manglehorn
2 Never
1 Heroic Intervention
1 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
2 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 Transgress the Mind
3 Yahenni's Expertise

I’ve been playing Winding Constrictor in standard since GP Pittsburgh and loving every second of it. This was my first time bringing the energy package to the table but I must say I was impressed. The deck has so many powerful cards it felt like my opponents were always on the back foot. I only lost one match with the deck to the new Temur Emerge deck, and even that was a nailbiter.

Frank Skarren8th PlaceSCG Season One Invitational
Creatures (13)
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
1 Grim Lavamancer

Lands (19)
3 Inspiring Vantage
4 Arid Mesa
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Snow-Covered Mountain
3 Sacred Foundry
1 Stomping Ground
Spells (28)
4 Skullcrack
4 Boros Charm
4 Searing Blaze
4 Rift Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
Sideboard (15)
2 Deflecting Palm
1 Searing Blood
3 Destructive Revelry
2 Rest in Peace
1 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Stony Silence
3 Path to Exile
1 Molten Rain

There’s not too much I can say about Burn. The deck is as it always was- no truly bad or good matchups but loses to certain cards like Leyline of Sanctity or Kitchen Finks. Although it served me well in the swiss my run eventually came to an end in the top 8 against Michael Strianese’s Eldrazi Tron, aka the bane of Team MGG. Although I couldn’t take it all the way it felt great to top 8 another big tournament and I know I couldn’t have done it without my amazing team behind me.


Andrew was able to squeak out a mega tilting 33rd in the invitational, but the rest of the team came up short in the main event. Luckily that didn’t stop ol’ Danny Jessup from rallying back in the Modern Open and taking Grixis Shadow to the top 8 before running into a brick wall made out of Merfolk.

I spent the latter part of Sunday afternoon going undefeated in a couple of side drafts, even coaxing Andrew into joining one with me just so I could crush him under my boot. All things considered I’d have to call the weekend a success.