Top 5 Players of the Weekend
5. Alan Cummings
While a few cards from Ixalan made an impact in Modern this weekend, Alan Cummings showed off the most new cards in his unique build of U/G Merfolk. Making the deck lower to the ground, Cummings cut top-end cards like Master of Waves to make room for Kumena’s Speaker, Merfolk Branchwalker, and Kopala, Warden of Waves – all from Ixalan. Cummings had to take down Jason Lu on B/W Eldrazi in Round 15 to earn his spot in the Top 8 and represent as the lone fish player in the room on Day 2. Cummings’ Top 8 run came to a quick end, however, falling in two short games to Mikael Conrow on U/R Gifts Storm. Despite the early exit in the Top 8, Cummings put his new version of Merfolk on the map. Check out Cummings’ U/G Merfolk decklist here.
4. DJ West
G/R Ponza has been making noise in Modern for a while, but DJ West put the deck on display this weekend in a couple of on-camera matches. Using the power of early Blood Moons or Stone Rains, G/R Ponza joins a long list of Modern decks meant to prevent your opponent from playing the game. West did that many times this weekend, reaching the Top 8 by defeating Tony Norton on Jeskai Control in Round 15. In the quarterfinals, West was tasked with facing Andrew Jessup, who was looking for his third Open win this year, on Grixis Death’s Shadow. West was unable to get his game plan on line, falling in two games to the member of Team MGG. Check out West’s G/R Ponza decklist here.
3. Andrew Jessup
Another Open, another Top 8 for Andrew Jessup. Jessup came into #SCGCHAR with two Open wins this year and was looking for another trophy, this time in Modern. Coming off his Standard Open win in Dallas two weeks ago, Jessup brought his trusty Grixis Death’s Shadow deck to battle. Jessup locked up another Top 8 in Round 15, intentionally drawing with Mikael Conrow into Top 8 as the No. 4 seed. Once in the elimination rounds, Jessup made quick work of DJ West on G/R Ponza before facing off against Paul Muller on U/R Gifts Storm. Jessup had the tools to win the match, but failed to produce a high-power threat at any point in the match, falling in two games. Despite falling short on another trophy, Jessup took a nice chunk of change and will be in the Top 5 of the Season Two Leaderboard. Check out Jessup’s Grixis Death’s Shadow decklist here.
2. Joshua Smith
Affinity continues to be a top-performer in Modern, and this week Joshua Smith was the highest finisher with the archetype. Joined by Pieter Tubergen in the Top 8 on Affinity, Smith cruised through the quarterfinals and semifinals, defeating Todd Stevens in two quick games before knocking out Mikael Conrow in two to reach the finals. Smith had some unique choices in build, including a Claim/Fame in his main deck, and Bitterblossom in his sideboard. In the end, Smith couldn’t take down another U/R Gifts Storm player, falling in two games to Paul Muller in the finals. Check out Smith’s Affinity decklist here.
1. Paul Muller
U/R Gifts Storm has already claimed one Modern Open trophy this season and Paul Muller was looking to make it two. Muller worked with Caleb Scherer to perfect their fetchless build of Storm, taking advantage of a playset of Opts in the deck. Muller made the Top 8 as the No. 8 seed by beating Dakotah Cotton in Round 15 on Affinity, setting the tone for two his Top 8 matches against the same deck. In the quarters, Muller got past the No. 1 seeded Pieter Tubergen on Affinity in three games before eliminating Andrew Jessup on Grixis Death’s Shadow in two games. Once in the finals, Muller dispatched his third Affinity player in four rounds, defeating Joshua Smith in two brief games to earn the trophy. Check out Muller’s U/R Gifts Storm decklist here.