Interview with MLs First Invitational Winner: andrw1232

Written by iKringe on April 26, 2018

So, let's address the elephant in the room: I suck.

Yes, I know it's been about 2 weeks since the Invitational, and yes I know I should've gotten to this sooner. It just always kept getting pushed to the side. :P My dearest apologies to the Victor of the Invitational.. now, let's get this started, shall we?

This interview was conducted well after andrw1232's victory over Rawrespada4 in the finals of's First Invitational

iKringe: Congratulations on your victory over @Rawrespada4 in the finals of ML's FIRST Invitational! Why don't you tell me, and everyone else, a little about yourself?

andrw1232: My name is Andrew and I'm an avid magic fan, I love playing magic competetivly and slowly grinding my opponents out.

iKringe: Speaking of what is, in my completely unbiased opinion, the single best way to play magic, let's talk about your decklist to start things off first. What is it, and why did you choose it?

andrw1232: Hmm Jeskai control.

Jeskai Control
Played by: andrw1232 | Record: 4-2-0
Main Deck Sideboard
4 snapcaster mage
2 search for azcanta
4 path to exile
4 lightning bolt
3 lightning helix
3 cryptic command
3 logic knot
2 electrolyze
1 secure the wastes
4 celestial colonnade
3 island
1 plains
1 mountain
2 hallowed fountain
1 sacred foundry
2 steam vents
4 flooded strand
4 scalding tarn
1 sulfur falls
2 field of ruin
2 jace, the mind sculptor
1 elspeth, sun's champion
4 serum visions
2 supreme verdict
1 engineered explosives
1 relic of progenitus
1 vendilion clique
1 pia and kiran nalaar
1 runed halo
1 rest in peace
2 dispel
1 negate
1 wear // tear
1 celestial purge
1 settle the wreckage
1 double negative
1 disdainful stroke
1 gideon, ally of zendika

Jeskai control focuses on staying alive with early interaction then grinding out the long game with newly unbanned Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Search for Azcanta. I chose the deck mostly because I really enjoy playing comtrol, but also because I think its a solid metagame choice in modern right now. Humans and any other creature deck are great matchups which are all over the place right now.


iKringe: This was a very small prized events compared to our usual 20~ people events previously won by @DrownInYourLies, and @dschidi. Did you choose Jeskai control as your deck because you felt it would be better vs. the people who you knew were playing, or is this your go to deck for Modern?

andrw1232: It's my current go to Modern deck, I honestly had no idea what people would be playing as I think most people here have quite a wide range of decks they can play and especially at a prized event will just play what they think will do the best.

iKringe: What do you think is the "best" deck in Modern? I know Humans is currently touted as such a deck, but so was Grixis Death's Shadow and Eldrazi Tron prior to the unban of our friends Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf.

andrw1232: Hollow One. Hands down, Hollow One. The deck has insane game 1 matchups across the board and is really hard to disrupt. 12 power on turn 1 is just fair magic right?


iKringe: Only the fairest. How often did you see it in your way through the Invitational?

andrw1232: Not once.

iKringe: Interesting. What did you see?

andrw1232: I played against 3 distinct decks.

I faced 8 rack twice

Played by: rawrespada4 | Record: 4-2-0
Main Deck Sideboard
4 the rack
4 shrieking affliction
3 fatal push
1 dismember
3 funeral charm
4 mutavault
4 urborg, tomb of yawgmoth
16 swamp
4 liliana of the veil
4 wrench mind
4 raven's crime
3 thoughtseize
3 inquisition of kozilek
3 blackmail
3 asylum visitor
2 death's shadow
2 leyline of the void
1 fatal push
2 surgical extraction
2 dismember
3 bontu's last reckoning

RG eldrazi twice

GR Eldrazi
Played by: Wrinkle22 | Record: 3-1-1
Main Deck Sideboard
1 batterskull
2 mind stone
4 bloodbraid elf
4 eldrazi obligator
4 matter reshaper
4 noble hierarch
4 reality smasher
4 thought-knot seer
1 thragtusk
2 dismember
4 lightning bolt
3 cavern of souls
4 eldrazi temple
2 forest
4 grove of the burnwillows
4 karplusan forest
1 kessig wolf run
1 mountain
1 stomping ground
2 wooded foothills
4 ancient stirrings
1 chalice of the void
2 grafdigger's cage
1 ratchet bomb
2 relic of progenitus
2 kitchen finks
2 ancient grudge
1 kozilek's return
2 natural state
1 warping wail
1 all is dust

and Affinity

Played by: MikolajDomin | Record: 2-2-0
Main Deck Sideboard
4 darksteel citadel
3 blinkmoth nexus
1 glimmervoid
4 inkmoth nexus
1 island
4 spire of industry
3 galvanic blast
4 arcbound ravager
1 etched champion
2 glint-nest crane
2 master of etherium
2 memnite
4 ornithopter
4 signal pest
4 steel overseer
4 vault skirge
4 cranial plating
4 mox opal
4 springleaf drum
1 welding jar
3 ancient grudge
1 wear // tear
1 blood moon
1 ghirapur aether grid
1 ethersworn canonist
1 spellskite
3 etched champion
1 spell pierce
1 dispatch
1 whipflare
1 thoughtseize

iKringe: How did those rounds go, and does that influence what you think about the Modern meta? Do you feel those decks are better vs. Hollow One?

andrw1232: I lost to eldrazi and 8 rack in the swiss then beating both in the semis and finals respectivly. Affinity, I crushed, as I said above is a very favorable matchup for jeskai and one of the reasons to play the deck. Such a small sample size can't really influence my read on the current Modern meta, but I was very impressed with 8 rack and how hard each game was against it. I think with some tuning that deck could be good against hollow one, but having no experience with the matchup I can't say for sure

iKringe: What are your current feelings about Brainstorm, the Planeswalker and Value_elf.card? i.e Jace, the Mindsculptor and Bloodbraid elf.

andrw1232: I think both have their place in Modern, but, as some higher level tournament results have suggested, are not the end of the Modern world as many people suggested. I also don't think they are as unplayable garbage as some other sources say.

iKringe: Let's get away from the talk about Modern as a broad subject, and let's focus on your deck in particular. Is there anything your list that is "unusual", or any tech you've added before the tournament?

andrw1232: The only odd balls in my list are the main deck Elspeth and the sideboard Double Negative. Elspeth is often seen in the sideboard as a midrange killer, but I moved her to the maindeck as a failsafe way to close out games against jund and other control decks. The double negative is a slot that used to be Counterflux which was specificaly meant as a clean answer to bloodbraid elf and the buddy he brings with him. The problem with counterflux and bloodbraid elf is that on the draw you cant overload on a turn 4 BBE which is actualy really annoying. the few percentage points you lose against storm for having double negative over Counterflux is neglidgible and the difference of countering the other half of BBE and not wins and loses games.


iKringe: That's super interesting. How did you find Double Negative? What made you think of it? Did you see it on a stream, think of it off-handedly..?

andrw1232: If I remember correctly I saw it from one of Jeff Hoogland's streams and I thought it was kinda genius. The card is great, there are matchups where you just want a hard counterspell and double negative fits that bill. I would even consider a 2 of if Bloodbraid elf decks start cropping up more

iKringe: Neat! Is there anything you'd change about your deck, the tournament, or how you played? Anything at all?

andrw1232: I like my decklist a lot and as of this moment I woulden't change a thing. I think the tournament was great, maybe some more thought-out scheduling for next time. As for plays, I made quite a few mistakes, most of them I realized 2 seconds after making them, but I made the most of them and I dont think I would go back in time to not make them now, if that makes any sense. I played the wrong land a few times, messed up scrys off of Serum Visions with a Search for Azcanta out, lots of little interactions.

iKringe: What would you say your hardest match of the whole event was?

andrw1232: I played 2 matches against Wrinkle22 piloting Green Red eldrazi, both of which were extremly difficult to navigate, with all the haste threats and everything hitting so hard managing my life total was quite difficult while also keeping up on tempo with eldrazi temples left and right

and cavern

'nough said right there.

iKringe: So, this is something I feel obligated to ask, since I've asked it in ALL interviews. How long have you been apart of Magic-League? How long have you been playing Magic?

andrw1232: Pulling out the hard ones right at the end I see, I have been playing magic for almost 3 years now, Magic origins was the first set I played, and I have been registered on magic league for 490 days.

iKringe: What brought you into Magic?

andrw1232: One of my cousins introduced me to the game and after dropping Warhammer 40k I was on the hunt for a new hobby and fell in love with Magic.

iKringe: What draws you into the competetive side of things?

andrw1232: I'm just a competitive person I suppose, I'm always looking for an intelectual challange and the ever growing/evolving state of magic fills that roll forme; being competitive and trying my best to beat others at a game that has so much theory behind it scratches an itch I have.

iKringe: How many Master-level events have you played in thus far?

andrw1232: 10 including this invitational, all of them have been a lot of fun.

iKringe: Is this your first victory?

andrw1232: I won the second master I played in. Standard at the time, My deck of choice was Jeskai saheeli.

iKringe: A fan of the blue spells. ;) Your teammates on T-1 Brainstorm must be proud of you. (Shameless self promotion) Well, to wrap up here, do you have any closing or final thoughts? Anything you'd like to add?

andrw1232: Just a really big thank you to all the staff and judges on magic league, and another big thank you to all my opponents in the invitational for some really great games, I hope I get to play you all again in the next one.

iKringe: Thank you for conducting the interview with me, and CONGRATS again on your victory!

andrw1232: Thanks man, see you next time :)

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