This Friday I went along to a Modern tournament. I'm trying to get some Magic playing in occasionally when I can, and having a selection of formats that I can play in means I am more likely to be able to play in an event at a time that suits me.
As I have blogged about previously, my go-to Modern deck is a modified infect deck back when infect was in standard. I have changed the removal around a little bit after thinking about what I needed, and changed a sideboard around a little bit. Here is the decklist:
4 Vampire's Bite - A good amount of extra pump. The lifelink later on can be sometimes handy
2 Mutagenic Growth - A nice surprise (for me). This is one of the card on the "edge" - cards that I like, but are one of the first for consideration if I am looking for something to cut. Didn't really use them all that much this tournament.
1 Thoughtseize - I opened a Thoughtseize! Just the one. I am currently trying to figure out how many I want of these and how many Inquisitions. Whenever I cast Thoughtseize, I note whether I could have gotten the card with just an Inquisition, if it is a fairly common occurrence, then I don't mind not having a full 4 Thoughtseizes if I can't get a full 4. Obviously Thoughtseize is generally going to be better, but there are a couple of places where I am already paying life which I would like to keep to a minimum if possible, so don't mind playing under 4 if Inquisition is "good enough".
3 Inquisition of Kozilek - The other half of checking out the Thoughtseize/Inquisition split is noting down whenever I cast an Inquisition and saw I card I would have rather gotten but had a converted mana cost greater than 3. Inquisition is usually good enough against most decks, apart from Tron.
2 Bonesplitter - I've had one game where I had two of these and no creatures, but as there is a limited amount of Infect creatures I'd like to run, I think 2 is enough for now. I don't think more than two is good though.
4 Plague Stinger - Mainly here to up my Infect creature count, but it also has evasion which is useful.
3 Devour Flesh - A lot of the decks I have played against seem to just get one creature out, in which case this will get it, with a bonus of being able to get hexproof and indestructible creatures. As I win by poison counters, I don't care about the lifegain at all.
2 Rime Transfusion - I have not seen a snow creature played against me so far.
4 Phyrexian Crusader - My favourite card in the deck. I have talked at length about this card on a number of occasions, and don't really have anything to add.
3 Dismember - This is the replacement for my previous targeted removal. I think it should cover most situations, but didn't really draw it in the tournament.
3 Read the Bones - While I did have one game stuck on two lands with this in hand, I much prefer this to Night's Whisper.
1 Tezzeret's Gambit - I might replace this with another Read the Bones; I played it once and I don't think the extra poison counter really mattered that much.
4 Phyrexian Vatmother - I don't often see many creatures bigger than this. If I do, they usually don't stay that big...
1 Liliana of the Dark Realms - I think one here is better than the two I was playing previously.
4 Inkmoth Nexus
19 Snow Covered Swamp
1 Dismember - Just an extra one really - this is a sideboard slot that I don't know exactly what I want
2 Sadistic Sacrament - I think I would like one more if I can get it. It can come in quite handy.
3 Infest - I think it it more I don't get to play against decks that they're good against than anything against the cards themselves. Whenever I sideboard them in, I don't seem to draw them.
1 Damnation - An improved Infest, gets bigger stuff.
4 Pithing Needle - Probably my most sideboarded in card, to the point where I could consider playing them main deck
4 Nihil Spellbomb - This is in a similar camp as Infest; good against some decks, I just don't seem to play against them that often.
The tournament was 4 rounds long, but I can't remember exactly how many people were playing. It was less than the huge tournament that had previously been held, however.
Round 1 - Hexproof
My opponent had planned to play another deck, but didn't get the cards in time, so were playing a slightly modified pre-rotation hexproof deck. Unfortunately they had some bad draws so lost both games.
Sideboarding: I took out the Dismembers as they can't target anything and I think I put in some Infests and the Damnation
Round 2 - BR Death trigger
This deck was fairly efficient creatures with a sacrifice/deathtrigger subtheme which was interesting to play against. First game was a turn 3 Liliana of the Veil, and I don't really have enough creatures to fight that properly, so I lost eventually. The second game was a lot closer, but I think I may have played too aggressively, and lost to a hasty vampire.
Sideboarding: In went the pithing needles for the Liliana (I think I named a Blasting Station in the second game). They had a couple of smaller creatures in addition to Geralfs Messenger, so I took out the Devour Flesh as my opponent gets to choose and seemed to want to sometimes sacrifice some creatures anyway.
Round 3 - White lifegain
I think I was probably the worst matchup possible for my opponent. There was a close first game as they created some large creatures, however the Crusaders could attack and be pumped without worrying too much. I also won the second game after my opponent had a low land start for a couple of turns.
Sideboarding: Infest for Devour Flesh (didn't want them gaining extra life, plus they had a lot of small creatures)
Round 4 - Tron
Probably one of my worse matchups (I suspect Maleria Pod might be worse, but I am yet to play against that). I was able to get through a beat a turn three Tron, I think with the Inkmoths and pump mainly. In the second game, I slowed them down dramatically (turn three Sadistic Sacrament, saw they didn't have a Tower and found all 4 in the deck, so removed three of them; I also played three Pithing Needles naming some of the cards they had out), but eventually succumbed to Wurmcoil Engine tokens. I think I was a turn away from losing the third game, but had some extra pump on a Crusader with Rime Transfusion, so won with two hits.
Sideboarding: Pithing Needles and Sadistic Sacrament. Dismember and Inquisition are less good here so I took them out.
Final record: 3-1. I think I came 4th.
I did a lot better this time around then before, so I would like to think the extra changes help. I am more pleased with the numbers of a couple of the cards that I had too many of before, and really like Read the Bones.
The next lot of changes I'm considering are just really minor ones; mainly trying out more Thoughtseizes and an extra Read the Bones. I may consider the removal suite more, but I am happy with it for now.