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Article Top > Column > Risen with Humans

Risen with Humans

2018/08/20 00:00 

    • Branco Neirynck
    • Column

Introduction

My name is Branco Neirynck and together with my 2 Belgian teammates Thomas Van Der Paelt and Christophe Gregoir I recently finished top 4 at Pro Tour 25th Anniversary. Because of this result, I reached Gold status which is an amazing feeling after trying so hard this year.

Branco,Thomas and Christophe

Left to Right: Me, Christophe Gregoir and Thomas Van Der Paelt
(Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast)

After the RPTQ we had lengthy discussions about who was going to play what format. In the end we settled with Thomas playing Standard, Christophe Legacy and me playing Modern; I actually like to play Modern and my best constructed results thus far were in that format as well.

God-Pharaoh's GiftAngel of Invention

For Standard, Thomas decided to play UW Gift pretty fast. Both Thomas and I love the deck and we played it many times before at PT's and GP's. We figured RB would be the most popular deck and UW Gift is favored in that matchup. The Magic Online results were promising as well, getting 3 Trophies out of 4 leagues at some point. Going forward, I wouldn't recommend the deck though; the matchup vs control, Turbo Fog and Mono Blue Artifact isn't the best and those decks are rising in popularity.

Heritage DruidThought-Knot Seer

After the bannings in Legacy we decided to give Christophe carte blanche. He explored the format on his own; there was a high chance he was going to play Elves but 4 days before the PT he switched to Eldrazi as the results with Elves were getting a lot worse compared to the start of the PT testing.

Champion of the ParishThalia's Lieutenant

Back to Modern; last year I played 5c Humans for the first time in a Team Unified Grand Prix. Back then I didn't have a positive opinion of the deck as it seemed little bit boring and non-interactive at first sight but the more I played with the deck the more I enjoyed playing the deck. Even though the deck mainly features creatures, you still have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to certain cards and combat. After playing some leagues what the deck I was basically locked playing the deck at the PT.

Humans Testing

I made some interesting observations during testing on Magic Online;

1) My Testing Record

入念な研究

My results in the last 15 leagues were 1x 2-3, 11x 3-2, 2x 4-1 and 1x 5-0. These weren't the best results but very consistent, which is important in a team tournament. You don't have to go 12-2 to go top 4, you have to go 12-2 as team. If you have 10-4 individual records, statistically you'll have a better result than 10-4 as a team.

2) About 《Militia Bugler》

Militia Bugler

《Militia Bugler》 is an awesome card. You don't always have the choice between multiple cards but the idea is that it searches for the cards that matter. Preboard, it searches for 《Thalia's Lieutenant》 and 《Reflector Mage》 in creature matchups but also for hate cards against combo. Postboard, when your deck is more focused, it's almost a guaranteed hit on an impactful card! The games where you start with a turn 1 《AEther Vial》, 《Militia Bugler》 is unmatched in power. This means 《AEther Vial》 stays in the deck more often in postboard games compared to before.

3) Against UW/Jeskai Control

Meddling MageKitesail Freebooter

UW control was getting more popular and I almost didn't play vs Jeskai control. Jeskai has a lot of spot removal so it's harder to get value from cards like 《Meddling Mage》 and 《Kitesail Freebooter》 vs that deck. UW control has less spot removal, plays more expensive spells and is playing 3 or 4 《Terminus》 most of the time, which are easier to handle with the cards named above.

4) Against KCI

Krark-Clan Ironworks

I only played one time against KCI in +- 30 leagues, which made it very hard to prepare for that matchup. Since I knew the deck was going to be popular at the PT, I searched for videos from real life tournaments to get more knowhow about that matchup.

5) Against Mirror Match

Restoration AngelHostage TakerRiders of Gavony

The matchup I encountered the most was the mirror. My initial decklist didn't feature any 4 drops and I felt I was missing out on them as a lot of the games were decided through a well-timed 《Restoration Angel》, 《Hostage Taker》 or 《Riders of Gavony》. In the end, my test group convinced me to play 1 《Riders of Gavony》 in the sideboard; although it's a very specific card for a very specific matchup, the turn you play it often is the turn you win the game. Without that card I wouldn't be writing this article.

6) Terrible Matchups

VengevineHardened Scales

In the last week of testing, I played a decent amount of time vs Jund 《Vengevine》 and 《Hardened Scales》 Affinity. Both matchups are terrible but it was too late to change deck, I just had to hope to dodge them.

In the end, I settled for this decklist:

Sideborad Guide

This is my sideboard plan & some extra information about matchups:

Humans

Against Humans

Out

Meddling Mage Meddling Mage Meddling Mage Meddling Mage
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

In

Izzet Staticaster Izzet Staticaster Dismember Dismember
Reclamation Sage Riders of Gavony Gut Shot

Against Tron

Out

Militia Bugler Militia Bugler Militia Bugler

In

Damping Sphere Damping Sphere
Reclamation Sage

Against UW Control (on the Play)

Out

Reflector Mage Reflector Mage Reflector Mage Reflector Mage
Thalia's Lieutenant Thalia's Lieutenant

In

Sin Collector Sin Collector Sin Collector Reclamation Sage
Dismember Dismember

Against UW Control (on the Draw)

Out

Reflector Mage Reflector Mage Reflector Mage Reflector Mage
Thalia's Lieutenant Seachrome Coast

In

Sin Collector Sin Collector Sin Collector Reclamation Sage
Dismember Dismember

This is a matchup that I love to play. It's very skill intensive from the Humans side. You never tick your 《AEther Vial》 up to 3 counters unless you need to 《Reflector Mage》 a 《Celestial Colonnade》. Using 《Vial》 with 2 counters at instant speed gives you the following opportunities: 《Meddling Mage》 / 《Thalia, Guardian of Thraben》 when your opponent plays 《Snapcaster Mage》; 《Kitesail Freebooter》 end of drawstep; use 《Meddling Mage》 or 《Kitesail Freebooter》 after your opponent revealed a 《Terminus》.

I side in 《Dismember》 because most decks have 《Baneslayer Angel》 in the sideboard and because attacking through 《Celestial Colonnade》 is very hard. 《Reclamation Sage》 hits 《Detention Sphere》 & 《Search for Azcanta》.

Hollow One

Against Hollow One

Out

Meddling Mage Meddling Mage Meddling Mage Meddling Mage
Kitesail Freebooter

In

Dismember Dismember Gut Shot
Auriok Champion Reclamation Sage

Against Burn

Out

Phantasmal Image
Horizon Canopy

In

Auriok Champion
Reclamation Sage

Against Mardu Pyromancer

Out

Reflector Mage Reflector Mage Phantasmal Image
AEther Vial AEther Vial

In

Dismember Dismember Gut Shot
Izzet Staticaster Izzet Staticaster

Against KCI

Out

Militia Bugler Militia Bugler Militia Bugler
Reflector Mage Reflector Mage

In

Kataki, War's Wage Kataki, War's Wage Reclamation Sage
Damping Sphere Damping Sphere

Against Storm

Out

Mantis Rider Mantis Rider Mantis Rider Mantis Rider
Reflector Mage Reflector Mage Militia Bugler
Thalia's Lieutenant Thalia's Lieutenant

In

Dismember Dismember Damping Sphere Damping Sphere
Sin Collector Sin Collector Sin Collector
Izzet Staticaster Izzet Staticaster

Against Vengevine

Out

Kitesail Freebooter Kitesail Freebooter Kitesail Freebooter

In

Auriok Champion Riders of Gavony Gut Shot

As stated earlier in this article, this matchup is tough. Your best chance is to have a turn 2 《Reflector Mage》 on a 《Vengevine》 and hope your opponent isn't able to put 《Bridge from Below》 in his graveyard.

I like 《Riders of Gavony》 as it makes a big 《Champion of the Parish》 or 《Thalia's Lieutenant》 unblockable postboard versus all those Zombie tokens. Another way of winning is through 2 《Izzet Staticaster》 (《Izzet Staticaster》 + 《Phantasmal Image》) to kill all Zombie tokens. 《Gut Shot》 kills 《Viscera Seer》 and own 《Noble Hierarch》 to get rid of 《Bridge》.

Conclusion

I hoped you like my first article for Hareruya. If you have any remarks or questions don't hesitate to contact me via Twitter of Facebook.

Branco Neirynck

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