GP Toronto – WTF do I play?

Its 2:00am, I sit in bed, tired as I spent the day looking after a newborn and chasing  a toddler but can’t really sleep. For those who don’t know me GP Toronto (I refuse to call this a MagicFest.) is my return to competitive magic, I haven’t played anything for about 6 months other then arena and the odd GoR limited. I am stuck here with a ton of deck options, I run a store so my card options are endless. As for decks I’ve actually played and am good with, well that’s a different story. Let’s play the options:


Titanshift – The deck I 16th with at last years GP Toronto. I would have broke top 8 if I had ever played against Vexing Devil before and no I do not want to talk about it. I am very good with the deck, and we are getting a new sideboard card in the form of Cindervines right before the GP. The deck jams hate for a lot of decks with mainboard Angers (Humans, Spirits, Dredge, Phoenix), and now has 2 mainboard Relics to deal with the graveyard matchups. Cindervines is huge, this card packs an answer for all storm variants, a lot of combo variants (KCI), and kills most answers to my combo. My list is very close to the one that just top 8d Portland.


Phoenix – Arclight Phoenix is a busted magic card. Winning GPs globally and tearing down the meta at a time when KCI looked like king. This deck is unreal and the only real hate is Dampening Sphere and the new Cindervines. I am good with the deck, mostly the standard variant but my 75 is packing the new addition of 2 pyromancers and has been performing well in testing. I am not set on a full list yet but similar to the GP Portland champ just last week with that slight twist. I think the deck is amazing in the meta and can answer a lot of decks efficiently.


Robots (standard) – I used to be the Robots guy. Full foil, almost full masterpiece. This was my deck. Unfortunately I got blown out a few too many times and decided enough was enough. The list is pretty stock, not a lot of spice but tried and true. I have seen lists abusing Risk Factor but I haven’t had much luck and seem to be winning those games ahead of playing the card, and most things in that slot when me the game at that point anyways. Its a contender but not a strong one.


Hardened Scales Affinity – My heart is here. Robots with style. The deck isn’t bad in the meta, can be extremely powerful, and isn’t atrocious to play for 10 hours straight. I think the deck is in a tough spot but it isn’t terrible, you can easily win games but keep in mind that due to KCI every hate card is targeted your way right now as well. Stony is common and god does it hurt. Still a consideration.


KCI – My final contender. This deck is sweet, probably the best in modern and if it dodges the upcoming ban will continue to put up numbers for months and months. This deck does get worse with Cindervines, but not a lot of decks can afford to play the card and its not like the deck did not regularly find answers to Dampening Sphere anyways. My issue, I am not good with it. Like I can play it, I know the combos, I am a wiz with draw %s and knowing what I have left but hot damn am I bad with this deck. Can I learn it before the event? Probably. Do I want to play it for 10 hours day 1? Probably Not. I hate that I have this deck sleeved, I honestly do.


Anyways maybe I will try to get some sleep now while I mull this over. I would love any help, throw me a Facebook message I would love to hear any arguments, or if you have a spicy 75 of the above lists I should consider.


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Nick Pauloff