I made it out of GP Vegas alive!!!
Good news: I did reasonably well in the side events and earned a ton of prize tickets. Bad news: I only finished 4-4 in the main modern event with my RG Scapeshift deck. This wasn’t the finish I wanted, but Modern is so wide open, and I’m still happy with how I performed.
On to a quick overview of the matchups:
Round one I played humans, and I lost 2-1. Nothing to note really, I was beaten down quickly with fast Aether Vial starts. The two sideboarded games he had some excellent sideboard tech featuring a four-of Kambal, Consul of Allocation. I can’t beat that card, let alone a playset!
Round two I went 2-0 against Hollow One. There’s not much to say other than in game two I was able to lock him out of the game with Damping Sphere. Damping Sphere was some sweet tech! Even though Hollow Ones are cheaper to cast when you discard cards, it still cost 1 to cast, and their mana is taxed already. The other big thing I learned from this round is I wished I had just put a playset of Obstinate Baloths in the main over the Bloodbraid Elves as they over performed all day long. Unfortunately, Bloodbraid Elf ended up being a lousy ramp card most games.
Round 3 was a 0-2 loss vs. Storm. I don’t feel like there’s much I could have done here – they’re just way faster. I’d probably recommend that if your local meta has a bunch of storm decks, you shouldn’t play RG Scapeshift.
I was feeling a bit dejected going into Round 4 at 1-2, but I was able to turn it around with a win against Burn. There was one moment that really stood out to me during this game. I was at five life after his fourth turn, and all he had were two untapped lands and Goblin Guide on board. I figured I was dead between his three cards in hand and the Goblin Guide next turn.
I take my turn five and cast Scapeshift while he was at 16 life. I hit him for 18 damage with 7 lands out. He had a Lighting Helix in response that put me to 2 life, and he gained three life to put him at 19 life, then down to 1. I was so close! Guess how much Goblin Guide did the next turn… My opponent did make me feel better by showing me his hand of two other burn spells as well, so even if I would have killed the Goblin Guide I was dead. This is just a race and I won both sideboard games with the Baloth again. As you can see, it is a recurring theme.
Feeling better at 2-2 going into Round 4, I got an easy 2-0 win against Mardu Pyromancer. The only interesting note is that they run Blood Moon in the main and you can just win by beating them down with creatures which I did both games. Post sideboard you just become a midrange creature deck and smash face. One of my big highlights of the day happened playing against this deck. I was actually dead on board and at 1 life. My opponent had an early Blood Moon and I landed a few Titans to get lands early and this game went on for a while. I had a board full of my fetch lands that were doing nothing. The turn I was going to die I topdecked a Primal Command that let me bounce the Blood Moon and just shoot my opponent with Valakut triggers with all the fetch lands that were out. It was pretty amazing!
I was 3-2 going into Round 5… but I played against Hollow One again. Nothing interesting to say here – I got destroyed by quick starts and that’s how my run ended. I still loved playing the deck because casting Primeval Titan and attacking is a fantastic feeling. I did just beat people with Scapeshift on turn 5 with Valakut triggers sometimes – oops guess I won lol.
So after Vegas, how do I feel about Scapeshift at this time? I would have to say don’t play it. There are too many decks that are just faster than you or other decks that are quicker at being non-interactive like Storm or Ad Nauseam. These matchups game 1 are really un-winable. The things I changed from my first article before Vegas were +1 Primal Command, +1 Reclamation Sage, +1 Farseek, -2 Growth Spasm, and -1 Summoners Pact. The Spasms just never helped me like I had hoped. The extra ramp from the token was wasted because it normally had to chump block which does save a life but it was better when I got to use it as an early Farseek.
The other changes I would make is -4 Bloodbraid Elf and + 4 Obstinate Baloth, as they were far more impactful at keeping me alive and blocking to get to turn 5. You will also notice I changed the sideboard -1 Roast, -1 Fracturing Gust, and -1 Reclamation Sage for +1 Ancient Grudge, +1 Broken Bond, and +1 Carnage Tyrant. Tyrant was fantastic all day long vs everything except storm. The Broken Bond should have just been another Grudge though to combat Hollow One or Affinity which I did play later in the day and was my only other loss.
Here was the final verison on the deck I took.
Here is what I think the deck should look like now.
I moved the Baloths to the main and added some more spots for graveyard hate in the sideboard which this deck needed. I would love to talk to anyone else playing the deck – let me know how your Vegas went! Thanks for reading. I appreciate everyone’s support it was so good to get to meet new friends and I can’t wait to see you guys at other GP’s this year.