Hi, McQuestion here with my report of the GG GPT for Cleveland, along with a little deck discussion.
I ended up taking 8th in the event, which was not what I was hoping for, but a good personal start to Fate Reforged Standard.
I have played a bunch of different strategies in this new Standard, but have always gravitated to Jeski decks, as they fit my play style and I think they are one of the best decks in the format.
At first, I focused my efforts on the more aggressive Jeskai decks, trying out UW Heroic and RW Aggro, but when I saw the Jeski tokens deck it instantly seemed like the best Jeski deck, and almost a combo deck, which drew me to it immediately.
I took the list from Worlds and made a few changes for my take on the deck. Notable changes were cutting Goblin Rabblemaster for Mantis Rider and cutting Chandra, Pyromaster for Magma Jet. With the release of FRF, I knew that Monastery Mentor and Valorous Stance would be very good in the tokens deck, with Mentor acting as another Jeskai Ascendancy and Stance acting as a Terror on your roadblocks or as a protection spell.
This is the list I put together for the GPT:
McQuestion’s Jeskai Tokens?
There are a few changes to make to this deck going forward as the format evolves, but I think those changes are sparse and not drastic, mostly me changing up the sideboard for meta shifts and such.
The core of the deck is token producers backed by Ascendancy, and you are now backed up by Mentor, where before you were playing a deck that heavily leaned on Ascendancy. With Mentor, your game plan is still the same in that you are killing your opponent in the red zone, but you can now just start throwing spells into the Mentor to create more creatures and eventually overrun them with threats.
The deck shines in a field filled with Green devotion and the Red aggro alongside UB/W control decks.
Your worst match up is the Gruul creature deck, as its faster than you and can answer all of your spells. Your match versus Rhino decks are not particularly bad, but are not the ones you are looking to play against all day. That said, FRF did improve your win rate, from about 40% to about even.
Round 1 – Jake, UW Heroic
In this match up, it really depends on if you can kill or remove their creatures from the field, or just race them. Our game one went as planned for me. I played Mentor on three, played an Ascendancy, and then attacked with a Jeski Charm to pump and lifelink my team to bring him down and me up high enough to present lethal. Game two went in a similar fashion in that I played creatures, an Ascendancy, and then was able to use the lifelink mode on Charm to seal the game.
Boarding was -2 Jet -2 Seeker +1 Wingmate Roc +1 Glare +2 Brimaz
Round 2 – Seth, Red Aggro
This round I was in for a match that I’m not particularly opposed to getting, but not something I want to sweat against. I knew what he was playing because Rhino Tamer Drew White told me that he had been whooped by Seth and his mono Red deck that made Rabblemaster unblockable.
Game one I got all the way down to nine before I was able to rid his hand of resources and make his one creature stare into my army. Said army got the assistance of a Jeski Charm, and was then at a healthy life of 21 while he was at 3.
Game two I bring in the only three cards that I think matter, Brimaz and Roc. Brimaz is a brick wall and Roc has a line of text that reads gain life, so that’s needed. Game two started out the same way the first one did me taking damage trying to stabilize with me getting to eight, but this time he showed me some lethal burn spells.
Game three I stuck early threats in the form of Mentor and Brimaz. His Eidolons made me do gymnastics so I can stay at a healthy life total, but the curve of Brimaz, dude, Roc, Ascendancy is enough to finish him off.
I gathered with my car that rode with me and found out myself, AJ, and Chris are still in the tournament. Kyle died, but his consolation prize of naming the deck he played ‘4-color Banana Man’ made up for it in my mind.
Round 3 – Kevin Demonic, Abzan Aggro
I had a feeling he was playing something grindy and featuring a rhino, as most of the team from GG was piloting. Game one I concede on turn three after not hitting a second land and him charming his own Fleecmane Lion. Game two he has little knowledge of what I’m actually playing as he only saw Mystic Monastery from me, so I had an advantage. I played a grindy game and swung an attack in my favor with Charm and Ascendancy, making my team rip his apart.
Game three I don’t think I would have lost if I made the play of Stoke the Flames his Deathdealer on my turn instead of letting him make it a 6/6. Other mistakes were not looting with an empty hand, and not being generally more aggressive. Boarding in for this match I brought in Stance and Brimaz to have more bodies, and removed Seeker, Jet and a Raise the Alarm.
Round 4 – Sam, Mono Green Devotion
I sat across from Sam knowing he was playing the devotion deck that he has championed for a while. I won the die roll and just like the match up is supposed to go, I played a tapped land and passed. He had nothing, which surprised me. I played an untapped land, passed. He went land, creature, go. EOT I killed it and played a Mentor on my turn, and it’s a race he cannot keep up with.
Game two I brought in Valorous Stance and nothing else. It went similarly to the first game in that I am able to slowly remove his creatures with burn spells and Stances while slowly building my own offensive army. After the army was assembled, Sam went from 24 to zero in two turns.
In retrospect, this was a match up I would volunteer to play against all day if I could. However, the black splashe versions scare me because of the Eidolon of Blossoms draw engine coupled with Doomwake Giant.
Round 5 – Unknown(sorry but I don’t remember your name), UB control
Another match up where I am favored!
Game one I won the roll and the game followed the same path as any other time I have played against this deck. He Thoughtsiezed a Cruise, which was probably the worst thing he could have taken, as I had a Magma Jet in hand which allowed me to set up my draws to burn him out later. I attacked with a lone Seeker of the Way for a while, then finished his life total off with burn spells(Grizzly Bear in white is good but prowess Bear is better).
I boarded out Stance, one Ascendancy and the Seeker of the Way.
I brought in Negate and Stroke as they allow me to get my important spells through.
Game two went similarly to the first. I played an early Raise the Alarm and attacked for two for a few turns. He let an Ascendancy resolve and I am then able to threaten his life total to the point where he has to play a Vault and hope to pop it next turn, but the burn spells sealed the deal.
Before Round six began I find out I can safely draw into Top 8 with Zac. We played some EDH in the meantime where I got promptly gotten by his Thrax deck, while I fumbled around with Brad’s Intet deck.
I’m the eighth seed and Brad is the top seed, so my hopes are not high of going farther in the tournament.
I promptly died in very short work against Gruul Monsters, and have no words on how to beat it other than get very, very lucky and hope they mulligan to oblivion.
Overall I’m very happy with the deck choice. I think it is one of the top three decks in the format you could be playing and allows for very, very broken turns where your opponent could go from 20 to dead out of nowhere.
Props and Slops
Props to Chase for saying he might bring his dog to the next large event
Props to Hooper for loaning me 2 Brimaz for my board
Props to Chris Kyle and AJ for giving me someone to chat with and keep me playing this deck and being good teammates
Props to Pinder, Paul, and Sal for being awesome
Slops not winning in top 8
Slops to people who don’t like me
Slops to twitch for saying my itunes music couldn’t be used during streams but soundcloud being okay.
I will be running it back at the Eternal Games GPT for Cleveland on the 31st, with hopefully better results. In the meantime you can catch me on my stream, its something I will be attempting to do once a week. I’ll be Legacy cubing as often as possible, and if that doesn’t work, possibly some draft, or after a while maybe a constructed format.
Well its been fun, McQuestion out.