Winning Magic Online PTQ With Jeskai Fires

Ricardo Beja

Ricardo Beja

Introduction

Hello again! My name is Ricardo Beja also known as shadow_PT on Magic Online (MTGO), I’m a Hareruya Hopes member from Portugal and I won a Standard MTGO PTQ for Series 2 with Jeskai Fires. The tournament had 7 rounds of swiss and the top8.

Deck Choice

Hydroid KrasisTeferi, Time Raveler

Before Theros Beyond Death came out, I was playing Simic Ramp but with Mono-Red Aggro being popular on MTGO, I don’t think the deck was well positioned. So, I decided to try out Azorius Control but I didn’t feel comfortable with the deck on the Aggro matchups, I then tried Jeskai Fires which I had played before and I knew it was good agaisnt Aggro Matchups.

Bonecrusher GiantFires of InventionDeafening Clarion

I expected the most played decks to be Aggro decks and Azorius Control so I wanted to have a good chance against those 2 archetypes. I believe Jeskai Fires is good vs Aggro and have a close matchup against Control.

This is the decklist I played:

Card Choices

Maindeck Anti-Aggro Package

I wanted to win against Aggro decks so I decided to have a 10 card maindeck package against them.

《Bonecrusher Giant》

Bonecrusher Giant

4

Nice removal against Aggro and solid blocker. If you have one on turn 2 you are guaranteed to have turn 2 and 3 plays.

《Deafening Clarion》 and 《Shatter the Sky》

Deafening Clarion

4

Shatter the Sky

2

I went heavy on sweepers because those are the best cards against Aggro decks and I really wanted to win the Game1s against Aggro.

Sideboard Anti-Control Package

As I said before, the other deck I wanted to be ready for was Azorius Control, so I dedicated 10 sideboard cards against it plus the 4 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 maindeck.

《Tithe Taker》

Tithe Taker

4

It makes their counterspells or any other spells they cast during your turn cost one more, so early game they aren’t able to cast 2 counters on the same turn or even any counter at all.

《Mystical Dispute》

Mystical Dispute

4

It lets you resolve one of your important spells, normally 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 or 《Fires of Invention》 and protect it against counterspells with using just 1 mana.

《Legion Warboss》

Legion Warboss

2

It’s a 3 drop that demands an answer against control or it will win the game alone. If you are on the play and cast it on turn 3 they won’t be able to counter it.

4 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 in the Maindeck

Teferi, Time Raveler

4

On my Azorius Control Modern article I said that “it’s insane how good it is” and now here we are, in a different format and in a different strategy but it’s still true. It makes opposing counterspells useless, 《Wilderness Reclamation》 doesn’t do much when Teferi is in the battefield and can bounce big creatures against Ramp decks and attack for lethal.

《Devout Decree》

Devout Decree

2

Exile effect (very relevant) for red or black creatures that lets you scry. Best targets are 《Anax, Hardened in the Forge》, 《Midnight Reaper》 and 《Korvold, Fae-Cursed King》.

《Disenchant》

Disenchant

2

In the week before, the Standard Challenge was won by a Azorius Control with 4 《Banishing Light》, so that’s why I chose to play 2 《Disenchant》 but it looks like most of the list now are playing between 0 and 2 《Banishing Light》, so it’s not worth for that matchup anymore. With that said, in the future I will cut one from my sideboard.

Wilderness ReclamationWitch's OvenAnax, Hardened in the ForgeEmbercleave

Playing one in the sideboard is still worth it because it is good against 《Wilderness Reclamation》, 《Witch’s Oven》, 《Anax, Hardened in the Forge》 and 《Embercleave》. If you are on the draw against Mono-Red you can destroy Anax on their turn 3, untap and cast 《Deafening Clarion》 to kill their entire board.

《Aether Gust》

Aether Gust

1

Solid card against several different strategies. It gives you time against Mono-Red, slows down Temur Reclamation and can take a big creature out of the way against the Ramp decks.

Standard PTQ Report

Swiss Rounds

Round Opponent Deck Result
Round 1 Mono-Red Aggro 2-0
Round 2 Azorius Control 2-1
Round 3 Mono-Red Aggro 1-2
Round 4 Rakdos Sacrifice 2-0
Round 5 Sultai Ramp 1-2
Round 6 Sultai Ramp 2-1
Round 7 Mono-Red Aggro 2-0

Quarterfinals – Mono-Red Aggro: 2-0

Deafening ClarionFires of InventionSphinx of ForesightKenrith, the Returned King

Game1: I had turn 3 《Deafening Clarion》 leaving them 4 Satyr tokens from 《Anax, Hardened in the Forge》 on the board. Turn 4 《Fires of Invention》 into 《Sphinx of Foresight》 which died to a token equipped with 《Embercleave》. Turn 5 untapping with 3 life, play 《Kenrith, the Returned King》 and Clarion (which I drew that turn) getting 10 life and clearing the board.

Devout DecreeShatter the Sky

Game2: I had turn 3 《Devout Decree》, turn 4 and 6 《Shatter the Sky》 and turn 5 《Sphinx of Foresight》 keeping the board clean and life total high. Turn 7 I was able to play Fires and start playing big creatures, my opponent had 《Embercleave》 on 《Bonecrusher Giant》 but it was not enough.

Semifinals – Azorius Control: 2-1

Teferi, Time Raveler

Game1: I was on the play and had Teferi resolving on my turn 3 so I was able to play spells knowing that my opponent couldn’t counter them for the entirety of the game.

Mystical DisputeFires of Invention

Game2: Turn 3 I had a Teferi getting countered. Turn 4 I was able to resolve a 《Fires of Invention》 but my 《Sphinx of Foresight》 got countered by a 《Mystical Dispute》. Turn 5 I resolved a Teferi with a 《Mystical Dispute》 to counter their counterspell. Even though I had 《Fires of Invention》 and Teferi, I had no follow up for several turns and my opponent was able to win the game.

Tithe TakerTeferi, Time RavelerFires of Invention

Game3: I was on the play and I had the best start against Control that I could have. Turn 2 《Tithe Taker》, turn 3 Teferi, turn 4 《Fires of Invention》 into 《Sphinx of Foresight》, turn 5 double 《Cavalier of Flame》 so there wasn’t much my opponent could do.

Finals – Azorius Control: 2-1

Fires of InventionKenrith, the Returned KingCavalier of FlameSphinx of Foresight

Game1: I had my first plays, Teferi and 《Fires of Invention》 countered but at turn 6 I was able to resolve a 《Fires of Invention》 into a Kenrith which my opponent exiled with 《Elspeth Conquers Death》 but the following turn I had another one and a 《Cavalier of Flame》 which my opponent was only able to exile one and I killed my opponent on turn 8 playing a hasty 《Sphinx of Foresight》 plus the Kenrith in play.

Dream Trawler

Game2: My opponent had some counters on the early turns, I was able to resolve a 《Fires of Invention》 but my creatures were dealt with and after that I started to floading out while my opponent drew 《Dream Trawler》.

Tithe TakerTeferi, Time RavelerSphinx of ForesightCavalier of Gales

Game3: I had a great start and my opponent couldn’t deal with it. Turn 2 《Tithe Taker》, turn 3 Teferi, turn 4 《Sphinx of Foresight》, turn 5 《Cavalier of Gales》, turn 6 《Tithe Taker》 and 《Mystical Dispute》 my opponent’s 《Elspeth Conquers Death》, turn 7 double 《Tithe Taker》, turn 8 Teferi (using [-3] ability to force their 《Dream Trawler》 return or tap) and attack for lethal.

This is how the final game ended:

Ricardo Beja Won the MTGO PTQ

Decklist Updates

Justice Strike

Going forward, I will changed 1 《Disenchant》 and 1 《Devout Decree》 for 2 《Justice Strike》 in the sideboard. I felt like I needed to get a way to deal with big creatures and that’s why I added 2 《Justice Strike》. Cutting 《Disenchant》 was obvious taking in consideration what I said above. The other card I decided to cut was 1 《Devout Decree》 because 《Justice Strike》 can take almost the same roll as 《Devout Decree》, you lose the exile part of it but it gives you more options for other matchups.

I played a Standard Challenge with the updated decklist and went 5-2, this were the matchups I played against:

Round Opponent Deck Result
Round 1 Mono-Red Aggro 2-1
Round 2 Temur Reclamation 2-0
Round 3 Simic Ramp 1-2
Round 4 Mono-Red Aggro 2-0
Round 5 Azorius Control 1-2
Round 6 Azorius Control 2-1
Round 7 Mono-Red Aggro 2-1

Updated Decklist and Sideboard Plans

Fires of Invention

Because 《Fires of Invention》 is your main plan, I’m not going to mention it on the keycards for every matchup but you should assume it is there. You normally want to draw one in every matchup.

Azorius Control

Teferi, Time RavelerTithe TakerMystical Dispute

Keycards: 《Teferi, Time Raveler》. 《Tithe Taker》 and 《Mystical Dispute》 helps you to resolve Teferi and 《Fires of Invention》.

Against Azorius Control

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Shimmer of Possibility Shimmer of Possibility Bonecrusher Giant Bonecrusher Giant
Shatter the Sky Shatter the Sky

In

Tithe Taker Tithe Taker Tithe Taker Tithe Taker
Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Legion Warboss Legion Warboss

Mono-Red Aggro

Deafening ClarionKenrith, the Returned KingFires of Invention

Keycards: 《Deafening Clarion》 and 《Kenrith, the Returned King》 with 《Fires of Invention》.

Against Mono-Red Aggro

Out

Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler
Shimmer of Possibility

In

Justice Strike Justice Strike Devout Decree Aether Gust
Disenchant

Temur Reclamation

Teferi, Time RavelerMystical Dispute

Keycards: 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 so my opponents can’t counter my spells neither play spells after untapping their lands with 《Wilderness Reclamation》 and 《Mystical Dispute》 helps you to resolve Teferi and 《Fires of Invention》.

Against Temur Reclamation

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky Shatter the Sky Shimmer of Possibility Shimmer of Possibility

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Justice Strike Justice Strike Disenchant Aether Gust

Rakdos Aristrocrats

Deafening ClarionShatter the Sky

Keycards: 《Deafening Clarion》 and 《Shatter the Sky》.

Against Rakdos Aristrocrats

Out

Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler

In

Justice Strike Justice Strike Disenchant Devout Decree

Jeskai Fires Mirror

Fires of Invention

Keycards: Here I really want to mention 《Fires of Invention》 because the player with 《Fires of Invention》 normally wins the game.

Against Jeskai Fires (On the Play)

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Shimmer of Possibility Shimmer of Possibility Bonecrusher Giant Bonecrusher Giant
Shatter the Sky Shatter the Sky

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Justice Strike Justice Strike Legion Warboss Legion Warboss
Disenchant Aether Gust

Against Jeskai Fires (On the Draw)

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Shimmer of Possibility Shimmer of Possibility
Shatter the Sky Shatter the Sky

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Justice Strike Justice Strike
Disenchant Aether Gust

Jund Sacrifice

Devout DecreeJustice StrikeAether Gust

Keycards: 《Devout Decree》/《Justice Strike》/《Aether Gust》 for 《Korvold, Fae-Cursed King》.

Against Jund Sacrifice

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky

In

Justice Strike Justice Strike Devout Decree Aether Gust
Disenchant

Simic Ramp

Mystical DisputeTeferi, Time RavelerAether GustJustice Strike

Keycards: 《Mystical Dispute》 helps you to resolve your spells and counter their big spells. Teferi, 《Aether Gust》 and 《Justice Strike》 to take out big blockers out of the way.

Against Simic Ramp

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky Shatter the Sky Shimmer of Possibility

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Justice Strike Justice Strike Aether Gust

Sultai Ramp

Mystical DisputeTeferi, Time RavelerAether GustJustice Strike

Keycards: 《Mystical Dispute》, Teferi, 《Aether Gust》 and 《Justice Strike》 same reason against Simic Ramp above.

Against Sultai Ramp (On the Play)

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Bonecrusher Giant Bonecrusher Giant Bonecrusher Giant
Shatter the Sky Shatter the Sky

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Justice Strike Justice Strike Aether Gust
Legion Warboss Legion Warboss

Against Sultai Ramp (On the Draw)

Out

Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion Deafening Clarion
Shatter the Sky Shatter the Sky
Bonecrusher Giant

In

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute
Justice Strike Justice Strike
Aether Gust

Mono-Black Aggro

Deafening ClarionShatter the Sky

Keycards: 《Deafening Clarion》 and 《Shatter the Sky》

Against Mono-Black Aggro

Out

Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler

In

Justice Strike Justice Strike Disenchant Devout Decree

Mono-White Life

Deafening ClarionShatter the Sky

Keycards: 《Deafening Clarion》 and 《Shatter the Sky》

Against Mono-White Life

Out

Teferi, Time Raveler Teferi, Time Raveler

In

Justice Strike Justice Strike

Conclusion

Going into the event, I expected to face mostly Aggro and Azorius Control decks and I ended up being right. That and being lucky (always needed) were part of why I won the tournament.

You should play Jeskai Fires If you expect a lot of Aggro decks. If you expect a lot of Simic Ramps and/or Sultai Ramps this is not a good choice.

I would like to thank Hareruya and all my friends for their help and support.

If you have any question, please let me know on the comment section below.

I hope you enjoyed,

Ricardo Beja

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Ricardo Beja

Ricardo Beja Ricardo Beja is a Pro Player from Portugal and he joined Hareruya Hopes by public offer in July 2018. His highest achievements were winning Nationals in 2017, two GP top 16s but he made another great finish at the Red Bull Untapped Qualifier in Brussels with Azorius Control (Modern). Now he has another shot to show his marvelous skills at the highest level in the Red Bull Untapped Tournament in London. Read more articles by Ricardo Beja