Ryan Scott Tournament Report

Hello, my name is Ryan Scott, and I am a tournament grinder from Central Arkansas and a member of Guildpact Gaming.  This past weekend I finished 43rd in the SCG Cleveland open playing Ad Nauseam. The reason I chose to play this deck is that I feel it’s very well positioned at the moment, and I have been putting up really good results with it. In larger tournaments such as GP/SCG opens/SCG Classics/Regionals I’m currently 40-9 with the deck.

This is the 75 I ended up playing in Cleveland.

Round 1: 2-0 Dredge

This is a pretty straight forward 90-10 matchup.  I can normally combo off before they’re able to finish me.

Game 1
Towards the end of the game, my opponent has a lethal Conflagrate in the graveyard with me at 7, but for some reason he doesn’t do it.  He passes to me, and I draw Sleight of Hand. It finds me Ad Nauseam to go with my Angel’s Grace in hand, and ends the game.

Game 2
My opponent mulliganed to 6 this game, and I combo off with Phyrexian Unlife and Ad Nauseum.

In: 2 Thoughtseize
Out: 2 Pact of Negation

 

Round 2: 2-1 Shadow

This is a pretty bad matchup for me as they have hand hate as well as hard counters for 1 mana.

Game 1
After casting a Thoughtseize, my opponent makes a big Death’s Shadow and Gurmag Angler quickly.  He flashes in snapcaster to cast his Thoughtseize, so I respond with Ad Nauseum and Angel’s Grace, and he doesn’t have the counter.

Game 2
I start with Leyline of Sanctity in play, so he quickly starts jamming discard on himself to make a quick Gurmag Angler.  He soon follows it up with a second Angler. I use Angel’s Grace a few times to stay alive, but I’m unable to find the Ad Nauseum.

Game 3
I again start with Leyline in play.  My opponent, stuck on 1 mana, taps out to make an Angler.  After he passes to me I punish him with combo. He shows me he had 3 stubs in his hand and figured I didn’t have the combo in hand because I never went for it.

In: 4 Leyline of Sanctity, 1 Pact of Negation
Out: 3 Pentad Prism, 2 Sleight of Hand

 

Round 3: 0-2 Tron

Paired against Jim Davis, I lose 0-2 to Tron, which is one of my best matchups.

Game 1
Jim sadly mulls to 4 and I already know hes on tron so I feel strong about the game. I have the combo but only 2 lands and some draw, but I can combo if I make a third land drop and find a Simian Sprit Guide. Sadly I never draw my third land, so I have play my 2 Pentad Prisms and pass.  He plays Ulamog so I counter, but with the ability he takes my prisms. I use Angel’s Grace on my turn to not die to the Pact of Negation trigger, draw a land and play it. However, he plays 2 Karns back to back, takes my lands, and kills me with a Wurmcoil Engine.

Game 2
I keep a solid 7 where I have Ad Nauseum but no Grace or Unlife. I have a lot of draw though, and being on the play helps, but it was not good enough this time.  I spin my wheels for 4 turns, find nothing and lose.

In: 2 Thoughtseize
Out: 2 Phyrexian Unlife

 

Round 4: 2-0 GB Rock

Godhead was the TRUTH here.

Game 1
I have a hand that is double Ad Nauseum, three lands and 2 Angel’s Grace. He casts a Thoughtseize turn 1 which takes an Ad Nauseum.  I draw 2 Angel’s Grace and a Phyrexian Unlife, but I’m stuck on 5 mana. Luckily, he decides to Field of Ruin my City of Brass, so I float mana in response and go off before he goes to combat.

Game 2
I keep my 7 with Leyline, Ad Nauseum, Angel’s Grace and the MVP Godhead of Awe. He doesn’t do anything turn 1 and turn 2, so I figure he’s gonna Trophy my Leyline. I pass, and he destroys the Leyline on my end step.  He untaps and casts Thoughtseize, looks at my hand, reads Godhead of Awe, and takes Ad Nauseam, and removes all of them with a Surgical Extraction. However, over the next 2 turns I cast a turn 4 Godhead of Awe (thanks to the ramp of trophy) and I use it to beat him to death.

In: 4 Leyline of Sanctity, 2 Godhead of Awe
Out: 3 Pact of Negation, 2 Pentad Prism, 1 Sleight of hand

 

Round 5: 2-1 Naya Shift

I don’t know hes Naya till game 3.

Game 1
Nothing special about this game, I was able to combo off on turn 3.

Game 2
Unlike the previous game, I never draw Ad Nauseam and die.

Game 3
My opening hand had a turn 4 kill. I see him play a basic plains off a Search for Tomorrow, so now I believe he is gonna play stony silence on me. He doesn’t play Stony, so I Pact of Negation his Scapeshift.  He casts a Summoner’s Pact with three mana up and tries to cast Qasali Pridemage to remove my Phyrexian Unlife I cast earlier. I Pact of Negation the Pridemage so my Unlife lives. I untap and combo off with pact triggers on the stack.

In: 2 Thoughtseize
Out: 2 Sleight of Hand

 

Round 6: 2-1 Hardened Scales Affinity

Game 1
I have a Phyrexian Unlife in play, and he doesn’t have an Inkmoth Nexus to take advantage.  I am able to combo off turn 4.

Game 2
He goes for the win on turn 3, but I cast Hurkly’s Recall with a Walking Ballista on the stack and bounce everything to his hand to live for a turn. Next turn he loads up the Inkmoth Nexus, so I Spoils of the Vault for a Slaughter Pact to try and remove the Inkmoth.  He regenerates it with Welding Jar and it gets removed from combat. Sadly, I don’t draw anything on my next turn and die.

Game 3
He goes for the turn 3 win with Inkmoth, but I have Path to Exile.  He passes to me and I am able to combo off.

In: 1 Hurkyl’s Recall, 2 Path to Exile, 1 Slaughter Pact
Out: 3 Pact of Negation, 1 Spoils of the Vault

 

Round 7: 2-0 UR Phoenix against Austin Collins.

Game 1
I have Ad Nauseam in hand with a lot of card draw and scrys so I keep. My hand ends up awkward with triple Spoils of the Vault, and I’m just playing land, go with him at this point. I end step a Spoils to find Unlife.  Lucky me, it’s my top card. I cast it next turn and win with Ad Nauseum. He also had a weird hand where he flipped his Thing in the Ice on turn 4 slowly and only saw 1 Phoenix.

Game 2
I Thoughtseize him and take a Thing in the Ice. He ends up putting 2 birds into play, but it doesn’t do much as I untap and kill him on turn 4 with Pact of Negation backup for his counter.

In: 2 Thoughtseize, 1 Pact of Negation
Out: 3 Sleight of Hand

 

Round 8: 2-1 UB Mill

Game 1
After he shocks Watery Grave  and casts Thoughtseize, I think he’s on Shadow. He casts Glimpse the Unthinkable on me next turn to tell me he’s on mill. I lose game 1 in a long game.

Game 2
After I mulligan to 6, I start with leyline.  He can’t beat that card without finding Set Adrift, which he did not do before I comboed on turn 4.

Game 3
I again mulligan to 6 and play Leyline.  Again, he could not remove it and I combo off on turn 6.

In: 4 Leyline of Sanctity
Out: 2 Pentad Prism, 2 Sleight of Hand

 

Round 9: 0-2 Amulet against Matthew Dilks

Game 1
Seeing a turn 3 kill, I keep my hand. He plays Amulet of Vigor on turn 1 and passes. I play Pentad Prism and pass. He floats mana, plays bounce land, floats mana, plays Azusa, plays more bounce lands which lead into an Engineered Explosives on 2, blowing up my Pentad Prism. I die a few turns later to the titan combo.

Game 2
Sadly he just sees all the counter magic out of his board and I lose.

In: 2 Thoughtseize, 1 Pact of Negation
Out: 1 Phyrexian Unlife, 1 Pentad Prism, 1 Sleight of Hand

 

End of Day 1: 7-2

 

Round 10: 0-2 Tron.

Losing to another tron deck felt terrible.

Game 1
I’m on the draw, and he plays 2 Karn, which take all my lands.  He soon plays ulamog. I had turn 3 kill if I was on the play, but the dice roll decided this game.

Game 2
I keep a hand again that has a lot of draw and scrys but I don’t find a Phyrexian Unlife or Angel’s Grace. He casts Emrakul, the Promised End, and I lose to him casting my own Spoils of the Vault.

In: 2 Thoughtseize
Out: 1 Phyrexian Unlife, 1 Serum Visions

 

Round 11: 0-2 Ponza

OP was playing 4 mainboard Trinisphere and 2 mainboard Ruric Thar, the Unbowed.

Game 1
My opponent is on the play, and plays Utopia Sprawl into turn 2 Trinisphere.  I lose soon after as he casts back-to-back Crumble to Dust.

Game 2
Opponent casts turn 2 Trinisphere yet again.  A few turns later he casts a Ruric Thar and I lose.

In: 2 Thoughtseize, 1 Echoing Truth
Out: 1 Sleight of Hand, 2 Pact of Negation

 

Round 12: 2-0 Amulet

Edgar Maglhaes is yet another top tier amulet player I played against this weekend.

Game 1
I’m on the play and have turn 3 kill. He mulls to 6 and has a super slow start of 2 forests and a Walking Ballista.  I’m able to combo on turn 3 with no issues.

Game 2
I got super lucky as I had turn 3 kill yet again here. His hand was better this time, but I was able to Pact of Negation his turn 3 Primeval Titan, and win the next turn with the combo.

In: 2 Thoughtseize, 1 Pact of Negation
Out: 1 Phyrexian Unlife, 1 Pentad Prism, 1 Sleight of Hand

 

Round 13: 2-0 Burn

Game 1
I have a turn 4 kill and my opponent is on Burn.. He starts off with Monastery Swiftspear and some bolts, but it isn’t fast enough to beat Phyrexian Unlife.

Game 2
He sadly gets stuck on 1 mana.  He plays a few one-drops, but he couldn’t Smash to Smithereens any of my mana rocks and died on turn 4.

In: 4 Leyline of Sanctity
Out: 2 Pact of Negation, 1 Sleight of Hand, 1 Spoils of the Vault

 

Round 14: 0-2 Humans

I played vs Abraham Stein this round. Turns out he was 9-0 day 1 but picked up 4 losses in a row on day 2.

Game 1
He mulls to 4. I’m on the play and I keep a 7 with Ad Nauseum and a lot of looks. He doesn’t play anything for about 4 turns, but as I can’t seem to find grace or unlife, he finally finds a second land and plays Meddling Mage naming Ad Nauseum.  He follows up with another Mage and calls Spoils of the Vault and I lose from there.

Game 2
I mull to 5 but keep a hand with a lot of cantrips and an Echoing Truth. He plays 3 Champion of the Parish and gets them big.  Before he can attack with all of them, I am able to bounce them, but I die a few turns later. I did see my Supreme Verdict, but I didn’t have the mana to cast as he managed to play a turn 3 Thalia.

In: 1 Supreme Verdict, 2 Path to Exile, 1 Slaughter Pact, 1 Echoing Truth
Out: 3 Pact of Negation, 2 Sleight of Hand

 

Round 15: 2-0 UR Phoenix

Game 1
I have turn 4 kill with Phyrexian Unlife in play and he doesn’t put much pressure.

Game 2
My opponent mulls to 5. He starts fetching basics and plays turn 2 Thing in the Ice and turn 3 Blood Moon. I untap, cast Phyrexian Unlife, and kill him next turn with Ad Nauseum off of Lotus Bloom.

In: 2 Thoughtseize, 1 Pact of Negation
Out: 3 Sleight of Hand

 

I ended up going 3-3 in day 2 sadly. My final record being 10-5.

I still feel Ad Nauseam is very strong and well positioned in the current Modern metagame.  Even though I lost three of my best matchups, I managed to beat Shadow and GB and that felt very solid for me. I also have been winning a lot against UR Phoenix, Amulet, and Dredge. Those 3 decks are very good match ups, and I truly believe that if these decks remain at the top, I will continue to lock in Ad Nauseam without even second guessing myself. However, if the rise of Humans happens again, some mainboard cards might change (swapping one Spoils of the Vault for one Echoing Truth).

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