Player's Championship Qualifier #5 Recap

Player’s Championship Qualifier 5 Recap


Modern Horizons 3 is finally here! There were a lot of questions about what the format would look like with such an impactful, new set launch. Is this going to be a form of rotation? Will the format look brand new, with no more of the old decks we’ve come to know and love (or hate)?  Well, for the first event including Modern Horizons 3, the answer seems to be no. While some of the top performing decks included a new card here and there, there was really only one new archetype present in our Top 8: Christopher Brackley’s Jeskai Energy deck. Some decks in our Top 8 didn’t include any new cards at all! When the dust settled, our current Leaderboard frontrunner, Matthew Bailey secured his slot in our Player’s Championship tournament with Esper Goryo’s Vengeance, including a fun new target to bring back from the bin.

Matthew Bailey – Esper Goryo’s Vengeance (1st)

Steven Sarty – Hardened Scales (2nd)

Francis Choi – Twiddle Breach (3rd-4th)

Michael Cameron – Burn (3rd-4th)

Travis Benedict – Temur Prowess (5th-8th)

Christopher Brackley – Jeskai Energy (5th-8th)

Kyle Lees – Yawgmoth Combo (5th-8th)

Leah Wiseman – Domain Zoo (5th-8th)

As always, I had a couple of questions for our champion! Matt was nice enough to give me his time and thoughts on the Modern format now that we’ve had a chance to play with some new cards and what to look out for in future events.


T: So what drew you to play Goryo’s Vengeance? Was it just the deck you already had built, or do you think it was a good metagame call going into the MH3 format?


M: I’ve been on Esper Goryo’s for a few months now and I find it to be one the best things you can be doing in modern at the moment. Flickering Grief on turn one is extremely strong and sometimes it feels like it steals the game right away, I don’t even need to reanimate Atraxa. I do find it pretty resilient to the graveyard hate that people are playing in the format at the moment and it can definitely play a control role in certain matchups. I’ve definitely hard-cast Atraxa more often than I initially expected.
With so many new cards introduced into the format, I knew a lot of people would be trying out new things, unproven lists, and cards that might or might not be clunky. I decided to not get distracted, keep it simple and play something I knew was strong. I only swapped a total of 4 cards for this event: 1 Ulamog, the Defiler in the main deck and added 3 Consign to Memory to the sideboard.

Whether the deck stays strong or becomes overpowered by MH3 is still unknown. There’s a lot of brewing potential with MH3 so who knows what powerful new archetypes will show up in the next few weeks, but for the moment I’ll be bringing my Goryo’s to any future events for sure.


T: Are there any specific decks you think will be the forefront of the metagame after more time playing with MH3?


M: I think it’s a bit early to tell, but the two decks I’m keeping an eye on are Mono-Red Storm and the Nadu creature toolbox decks. They both seem super fast, super strong, and resilient to hate. I think they have the potential to be top contenders when the dust settles in a few weeks.



Matt also was kind enough to showcase what our Qualifier Winners will be playing for in December! That’s right, the Championship Belt has arrived! With 5 slots locked up, only 11 more players will be able to qualify for a chance to win the Belt. Don’t miss your chance, and join us for our Pioneer Qualifier and RCQ on July 6th to try and win an invite and earn Leaderboard Points!






Written By: Travis Benedict
Pro Tour Competitor, Cat Lover