Meet Blossoming Defense, Cross-Format All-Star

Blossoming Defense
Blossoming Defense – It isn’t just for Standard Smuggler’s Copter defense

Two sweet topics this week!

Topic Number One: Schools of Magic, 2016

Patreon supporter Sean O’Brien suggested we revisit the seminal Schools of Magic and talk about how some of Rob Hahn’s “Schools” figure into “modern” Magic: The Gathering.

I mean, everyone knows the Weissman School… But have you heard of Kim, Chang, or (topically here), O’Brien? Many of these Schools are alive and well twenty years after the publication of Schools of Magic, and their ideas of card advantage, blanking the opponent’s win conditions, or overloading a single type of resource remain key ideas still.

Thanks to Sean for such a great topic springboard (and, you know, his seminal contribution to Magic theory).

Further Reading: The Schools of Magic

Topic Number Two: (more) Kaladesh in Modern

I know, I know… We just did a “Kaladesh in Modern” episode two weeks ago… But that was before there were even any Modern tournaments with Kaladesh legal yet!

  • Per our predictions, Madcap Experiment into Platinum Emperion has already made Top 8 of an SCG Classic (albeit in the sideboard) of Wesley See’s U/R Storm deck.
  • Multiple Modern decks have already adopted Kaladesh “fast lands” … Both Grixis and Naya Boros Burn decks have improved their mana bases this way. Arya Roohi played only one Inspiring Vantage but Patrick thinks four might be the right number… And Mike not only likes four, but is seriously considering cutting green for it!
  • The most significant contribution to Modern (to date, at least) has got to be Blossoming Defense from Kaladesh. Basically all the U/G Infect decks are running some number of Blossoming Defense, but our hat tip has to go to Brad Carpenter, for winning it all! Great job Brad.

Check it all out as we “Meet Blossoming Defense, Cross-Format All-Star”

Direct Download

Treasure Cruise and the Definitively Best Deck in Modern

Two-time World Championship Finalist Patrick Chapin joins Michael Flores to talk about Treasure Cruise and his utterly dominant Izzet deck from the Modern portion of this year’s World Championship.

“I guess everybody loses to Shahar in the finals of Worlds these days.”
-Patrick Chapin

The most popular question our listeners have been asking us has not been why we didn’t include Gnarled Mass in last week’s discussion of 3/3 for thre mana creatures or to devote all future episodes to Mono-Black Control…

… But to get the RSS feed live!

If you have been desperate for a Top Level Podcast RSS feed, or to set up Top Level Podcast on iTunes, we’ve got you covered.

Patrick and Michael discuss some old cards like Brainstorm and Serra Avenger that didn’t see a lot of Standard play but are played in larger formats today.

A real-life Next Level Deckbuilding fight between our hosts… Team Mike Donais v. Team Alan Comer… Who is the granddaddy of Aggro-Control?

“Bizarrely,” the best deck in Legacy is legal in Modern!

Our own Patrick Chapin “only” finished second in the 2014 World Championship, but he had an absolutely dominating outing in the Modern portion.

This episode of Top Level Podcast focuses on the amazing card Treasure Cruise across multiple formats — Legacy, now Standard, but most importantly Modern. Patrick played the only undefeated deck in this year’s Modern portion.

This is definitively the best deck in Modern right now:

Patrick Chapin’s Izzet Delver

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Gitaxian Probe
1 Mana Leak
1 Remand
4 Serum Visions
1 Snapcaster Mage
2 Spell Snare
3 Thought Scour
4 Treasure Cruise
2 Vapor Snag

1 Izzet Charm
1 Electrolyze

2 Forked Bolt
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Young Pyromancer

1 Arid Mesa
4 Flooded Strand
4 Island
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls

2 Dispel
1 Negate
2 Spell Pierce
1 Threads of Disloyalty
1 Izzet Staticaster
2 Blood Moon
1 Bonfire of the Damned
1 Electrickery
1 Harvest Pyre
1 Magma Spray
2 Smash to Smithereens

Treasure Cruise itself was absolutely dominant for Patrick, but he would make some changes to his deck if he played it again. What was his weakest card? His strongest cantrip?

Learn the sweet way you can turn Vapor Snag into “real” removal and against which opponents you should sideboard out Gitaxian Probe.

Patrick and Michael spend most of the podcast on Izzet Delver in Modern but also touch on Gareth Aye’s Standard deck from the Top 8 of Grand Prix San Antonio.

Izzet Aggro by Gareth Aye

3 Treasure Cruise

4 Fated Conflagration
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
4 Monastery Swiftspear
2 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
4 Stoke the Flames

4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Island
6 Mountain
1 Polluted Delta
4 Shivan Reef
1 Swiftwater Cliffs
4 Temple of Epiphany
1 Wooded Foothills

3 Disdainful Stroke
3 Negate
2 Keranos, God of Storms
3 Anger of the Gods
3 Chandra, Pyromaster
1 Swiftwater Cliffs

Love Top Level Podcast? Check out the books by our hosts!

Patrick’s Magic: The Gathering Books

Michael’s Magic: The Gathering Books

Direct Download