Dungroving at SCG: Phoenix

Hello everyone,

This being my first time writing for AZMagicPlayers, I thought I should take a moment to introduce myself. I am Jeffrey McCoy, a regular at Amazing Discoveries in Tucson. I have been playing Magic forever (starting around The Dark) but only playing competitively since the first trip to Mirrodin. My major Magic accomplishments consist of a lone PTQ Top 8, a few PTQ 9th places and a few top 16 at Regionals. I have been playing a bit more seriously lately as I want to step up my game. So when I discovered that Star City Games would be holding an Open Series in Phoenix I was excited.

Standard has been a rollercoaster format for me ever since Innistrad came out. I’ve fluctuated between UB Control and BW Tokens. Recently though I’ve been having some issues with BW tokens and began to run really bad. I had tinkered with the decklist but was unable to get it to a point where I was comfortable with my 75. This was particularly disconcerting as it left me without a decklist for the SCG Open. Then I came across Todd Anderson’s Mono Green deck. I felt this was a good deck to audible into as it was fairly straightforward to play. I mean, who doesn’t like playing big dorks and running them into the opposing side? I looked over the maindeck and felt like it was strong, I did make a few changes to the sideboard and ended up with the following list:

Mono Green

Creatures (22)
Llanowar Elves
Birds of Paradise
Strangleroot Geist
Daybreak ranger
Thrun the Last Troll
Dungrove Elder
Acidic Slime
Bellowing Tanglewurm
Phyrexian Metamorph

Sorcery: (14)
Gut Shot
Green Sun's Zenith
Garruk Relentless
Sword of War and Peace
Sword of Feast and Famine

Lands (24)
24 Forest
Sideboard (15)
Corrosive Gale
Ratchet Bomb
Garruk Relentless
Precursor Golem
Glissa the Traitor
Stingerfling Spider
Tumble Magnet


The sideboard is built to beat BW Tokens and Delver with the gales, bombs, and Glissa. Tumble Magnets and Precursor Golems make Mirran Crusader not an auto loss. Overrun costs the same to play and equip as a Sword but allows you to out race Wolf run and gives the breakthrough versus other aggro decks.

Once I had a deck chosen I just needed to shore up the riding situation. I ended up travelling with my FallFromHell teammates including my good friend Sean McCusker, & AZMagicPlayers’ own SnapCastro Mage and Mr. January. We left at 0630 and made our way to Phoenix. Stopping for breakfast along the way and discussing strategy for the entire drive. We arrived at the Hall at about 0900 and made our way to registration. Travelling before a tournament is always taxing. Luckily we live in Tucson so it’s only a 2 hour drive at most but we did have to wake up early after very little sleep. We let out a dismayed groan after hearing it would be a 9 round day followed by Top 8. The hall was already filled with the dull roar of gamers and figured to only get louder as the day trudged on. The following is a brief account of each round and how they played out.

Round 1 – Thomsen playing UW Delver

Game 1 went quick with my opponent only mustering up a Gitaxian Probe and Lingering Souls and falling to 2 Dungrove Elders and a sword of War and Peace. Game 2 was far less exciting as a turn 1 BOP led to a turn 2 Elder, turn 3 elder, and a turn 4 Garruk while he only had 2 Moorland Haunts and an Island.

Round 2 – Eric playing UW Control

Game 1 saw a Day of Judgment kill some mana dudes and an Elder. I followed the DoJ with a Thrun and he carried me to victory. Game 2 saw an Elspeth, a Gideon, and a small army of tokens run me over. Game 3 saw a bunch of mana dudes ramp into an Elder and a Daybreak followed up by an Overrun. This also marked the first “Is Overrun legal?” that I would continue to hear for most of the day.

Round 3 – Ben playing Delver

Ben and I had matched up about a month ago at Amazing Discoveries during the Top 4 of a Modern for Fetches tournament with myself being the victor. Ben jokingly announced this match as his grudge match before we even sat down to shuffle. Game 1 saw a turn 1 Delver for Ben that failed to flip followed by a turn 2 Delver. They both flipped turn 3 and killed me 4 turns later. Game 2 saw a turn 2 Elder beat all the way to victory. Game 3 was a little closer with a Geist of Saint Traft and an Invisible Stalker for Ben. I had an Elder, a Thrun and a Garruk that managed to squeak out a win.

One third of the way through and I was feeling pretty good at 3-0 but I knew there was a lot of the day left to go.

Round 4 – Nathan playing Naya Pod

This is the round I learned that Naya Pod is a bad matchup. All of their creatures leave chump blockers behind and its hard to breakthrough. Game 1 I managed to get Nathan down to 1 life only to have him play a Huntmaster, Fiend Hunter his Huntmaster, then Pod away his Fiend Hunter to fetch a 2nd Huntmaster. This gained him 6 life, 3 wolves and 2 Huntmasters. I topdecked a land, the Huntmasters flipped and I lost soon after. Game 2 saw him Pod up the chain fairly quickly and dispose of my life total in the same fashion.

I had experienced my first loss and came to the realization that I’d need to win out for any shot of the Top 8.

Round 5 – Sherwin playing UW Delver

Sherwin and I met briefly during registration and he seemed like a nice, genuine individual. Game 1 saw a turn 1 Delver for him followed by a turn 2 flip. I had a turn 2 Elder followed up by another on turn 3 and the race was on. The Elders were eventually too big to be outraced and I won. Game 2 saw a turn 6 Overrun that broke through for the win. Sherwin was fun to play against and after we finished we looked through each others decks as we both had an affinity for multiple languages of cards. I was running 6 languages and he was running 4. We wished each other luck and moved on. He cashed his luck in mixed with some skill to win the SCG Legacy Open on Sunday. Congratulations Sherwin!

Round 6 – Dustin playing BR Zombies

This was the round where the fatigue of the day started to settle in. Game 1 saw me draw 9 lands and lose fairly quickly. Overrun got there game 2 after a judge call to ensure its legality. Game 3 saw some shenanigans that caused a huge mistake on my part that lost me the game. There was a Geralf’s Messenger in play and Dustin Black Sun Zenith’d for 1 placing a -1/-1 counter on the Messenger. I misinterpreted the counter as a +1/+1 counter, played a Garruk, fought the token then realized we weren’t trading. The Messenger came back from Undying dealt me 2 then attacked for 4. I lost a turn later.

I had my second loss for the day and the best I could hope for was 7-2 and a Top 32 maybe a Top 16 finish. Luckily my teammate on team FallFromHell, Ron Lukes, had brought his wife, Alicia, along for the day and she was kind enough to make a Subway run that arrived just after this round. I spent the time in between rounds eating, recharging, and discussing my play mistakes with my teammates. There was also a signing of Huntmasters by Brian Kibler that turned into an invite to a techno concert happening a few blocks away. Unfortunately we didn’t make it there.

Round 7 – Ian playing Esper Delver

Game 1 was extremely short with a turn 1 elf into a turn 2 War and Peace. Ian only had a Darkslick Shores in play and lost 2 turns later. Game 2 saw 2 Lingering Souls and 2 Drogskol Captains handily beating in my face. Game 3 saw more dudes on my side that forced some bad trades and a Thrun eventually pushed through.

Round 8 – Art playing GW humans

Game 1 saw me get 4 Elders into play followed by a Tanglewurm that pushed through his Golems and Blade Splicers for the win. Game 2 saw him land a turn 2 Mirran Crusader followed up with a Gavony township that made quick work of game 2. Game 3 was quick. I played a BOP on 1 and Elders on 2,3 and 4. Art played a turn 3 pilgrim and a turn 4 Blade Splicer but was at 17. I drew a land turn 5 played it and cast Overrrun to swing for 27 and win the game.

After 8 rounds I was 6-2 and still in a must win mode for Top 32. I was feeling pretty confident about my play but was also feeling distracted by the roar of the all and the many players getting edgy about their standings.

Round 9 – Larry playing BR Zombies

Game 1 was a back and forth with an Elder finally holding down the fort and breaking through with a top decked War and Peace to gain me enough life to live and kill the next turn. Game 2 was all Larry and I died in under 6 turns. Game 3 was a back and forth race with 2 Elders racing 2 Messengers. A timely Overrun gave me the edge in the race and the win. Larry was visibly upset after our match and started grumbling about Overrun. I can’t say that I blame him as it eliminated him from finishing in the money but it did end my day with a negative impression.

End of day record 7-2

Mono Green proved incredibly good against Delver and decent against Zombies. Mono Green proved a good choice for the field that was represented. I also managed to dodge GR aggro which would have been a tough matchup.

I ended up finishing in 21st place out of a field of over 340. I was proud of my day and had originally set my expectations at 6-3. I won cash in the amount of $50 and hopefully some credibility from my peers. I had an immense amount of fun playing a deck I audibled into at the last moment. I commend Star City Games for putting on an impressive event that managed to stay organized and timely throughout the day. I look forward to playing in more high level tournaments in the future.

I would also like to thank my team, FallFromHell, for providing a fun weekend. I couldn’t have had a better time with a better group of guys. No one else would listen to my exhausted ramblings about “somebodysomebodysomebody…” and find as hilarious as you did even though none of us knew what I was talking about. There were many priceless moments and I look forward to more in the future.

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to comment below or email me at [email protected] you can also follow me on Twitter @Fallfromhell.

Jeffrey McCoy