MTG Reporter - 1st Place PPTQ Honolulu, Eldrazi Rites a.k.a. 4C Rites [Edward Eng - Battlemage, Level 42]

I've kinda slowed down on Magic in the last few months, but I definitely haven't quit. I missed quite a few PPTQs since I had family stuff going on and needed to take care of some other things. I've been itching to play Magic for a while, particularly Standard. I started out with GW Tokens right after Khans of Tarkir rotated. Then I was gonna play BG Rites but didn't get the chance to jam it. Then the meta shifted and I wanted to play 4C Rites. Things came up, and I still couldn't play. Then I wanted to play Eldrazi Rites but a friend's engagement party put a stop to those plans. Luckily, I found a PPTQ at Mothership Games in Austin on Father's Day. I didn't think there were gonna be that many people there, but I was wrong. 37 people showed up.

This is the deck I played.

Eldrazi Rites a.k.a. 4C Rites - Austin Matthews

Creatures (27)
4 Duskwatch Recruiter
4 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Eldrazi Skyspawner
4 Reflector Mage
4 Sylvan Advocate
3 Elvish Visionary
3 Reality Smasher
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer

Non-Creature Spells (8)
4 Collected Company
4 Cryptolith Rite




Lands (25)

4 Canopy Vista
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Yavimaya Coast
3 Caves of Koilos
3 Forest
2 Llanowar Wastes
2 Lumbering Falls
1 Island
1 Plains
1 Westvale Abbey

Sideboard (15)
3 Matter Reshaper
1 Reality Smasher
3 Thought-Knot Seer
3 Declaration in Stone
2 Dromoka's Command
3 Negate

One of the reason's why I picked this deck is because I had most of the cards. But to be honest, this is not a good reason to pick a deck if you want to win a tournament. However, this wasn't the only reason. I actually thought it was a good deck against GW Tokens, which seems to be the current boogeyman of the format. I also thought it would have a decent matchup against W(r) Humans. Plus, the deck has a lot of built-in value and protection against Control. So...midrange matchup? Check. Aggro? Check. Control? Check. Sounds good to me.

Here's what I played against.

R1 - W 2-1 vs. Grixis Control (Derek Feil) [1-0]
R2 - W 2-1 vs. BW Control (Michael Hizny) [2-0]
R3 - W 2-0 vs. RG Ramp (Peter George) [3-0]
R4 - W 2-1 vs. GW Tokens (Joel Heath) [4-0]
R5 - ID vs. Naya Walkers (Joshua Watts) [4-0-1]
R6 - ID vs. W(r) Humans (Roberto Berni) [4-0-2]
R7 - W 2-0 vs. Esper Dragons (Michael Cook) [5-0-2]
R8 - W 2-0 vs. W(r) Humand (Roberto Berni) [6-0-2]
R9 - W 2-1 vs. GW Tokens (Joel Heath) [7-0-2]

By the look of things, it seems like what I thought turned out to be pretty true. I definitely had mass fire the whole day though. And as people say, being lucky is better than being good. Heh. All jokes aside though, I felt I played very well too. And there's only one thing better than being lucky; that's Louis Scott Vargas a.k.a. LSV! Luck. Skill. Victory!

Alright, enough of that. On to the stuff that should actually be valuable to you. The deck is pretty straightforward. Jam dudes. Bounce and flick your opponents' dudes. Coco. Smash(er)! Getting a bit more detailed, the deck obviously has a lot of 2 and 3-drops. So just be mindful of your sequencing in terms of which creatures you play against certain matchups. For example, if your opponent has something like Fiery Impulse, then you'll probably want to play Sylvan Advocate first. If they're a slower deck, then you'll probably jam Duskwatch Recruiter first.

I don't think I would change any of the 75 cards right now. If I recall correctly, I used every sideboard card and they were all useful.

I don't want to get into a card-for-card sideboard guide. Instead I'll provide an overview and you can take it for what it's worth. I'll use my matchups as a baseline and fill in what I kind of remember or what my general strategy was.

R1 - W 2-1 vs. Grixis Control (Derek Feil) [1-0]

Bring in stuff like Matter ReshaperNegate, and Thought-Knot Seer. Take out Cryptolith Rite plus some numbers of Reflector Mage and Elvish VisionaryReality Smasher is usually good on the play too. Typical Control matchups. You need to apply pressure without overextending. Then you need to have some backup like Duskwatch Recruiter, manlands, Negate, and Smashers.

R2 - W 2-1 vs. BW Control (Michael Hizny) [2-0]

Similar to Grixis Control.

R3 - W 2-0 vs. RG Ramp (Peter George) [3-0]

Bring in Thought-Knot Seer, some Declaration in Stone, and I think Matter Reshaper. Take out CRite plus some numbers of Mage and Visionary. I think I might have shaved on Reality Smasher on the draw. You gotta go balls to the wall before the big dudes come out and take over.

R4 - W 2-1 vs. GW Tokens (Joel Heath) [4-0]

I brought in a mixed bag of cards depending on if I was playing or drawing first. Take out CRite. You're the Control deck on the draw and the Aggro deck on the play. Smasher isn't as good on the draw. Same with Dromoka's Command. Bring in Seer on the play. You need 2-drops to foil the deck's plan. GW has less 2-drops than you, so you need to put the pressure on and keep the opponent on the back foot before things out of control with planeswalkers. Eldrazi Skyspawner is a pretty key card in this matchup since it attacks planewalkers well, makes chumpblockers, and ramps you.

R5 - ID vs. Naya Walkers (Joshua Watts) [4-0-1]
R6 - ID vs. W(r) Humans (Roberto Berni) [4-0-2]

R7 - W 2-0 vs. Esper Dragons (Michael Cook) [5-0-2]

Similar to Grixis Control and BW Control.

R8 - W 2-0 vs. W(r) Humans (Roberto Berni) [6-0-2]

Bring in Matter ReshaperDromoka's Commands, and some Declaration in Stone. Take out CRite. And Smashers on the draw. This is the ultimate Aggro deck of the format so you can't 'F' around. You gotta clog up the board as soon as possible and make any even trades if there are any. Sometimes you gotta just chumpblock. I got lucky and drew all 4 Displacers in game 1 even when he flooded the board with tons of creatures. He mulled and flooded out in game 2. LSV.

R9 - W 2-1 vs. GW Tokens (Joel Heath) [7-0-2]

Read above.

As you can see, I boarded out all 4 CRites every game I could. Does this mean you should replace them with something else? Not necessarily. This isn't the easiest deck to sideboard with, so having 4 CRites to side out might've been a really good thing. And you don't want to dilute your creature count for Coco, especially at 24 since there are 3 Smashers.

Feel free to give the deck a whirl and let me know if you have any questions. Hit me up in the comments below. Or even better, on social media since the Facebook Comments Plugin isn't great with notifications.

Peace, love, and have fun…

Additional Reading

1. The MTG Community - Giving Up [Edward Eng - Battlemage, Level 42]

2. The MTG Community - Quitting Magic [Edward Eng - Battlemage, Level 42]

3. The MTG Community - When & How You Learned Magic [Edward Eng - Battlemage, Level 42]

4. Brewer's Paradise - Dredge Swarm in Modern [Edward Eng - Battlemage, Level 42]

A Little Bit about Eddie

He started playing Magic around December of 1994, then hit the sanctioned competitive tournament scene in 1997. He played till about 2000 and was on the cusp of making the Pro Tour but stopped to focus on school. He found his old teammate on Facebook in 2009 and got back into the game in 2010. Since then he's played in two Nationals, top 16ed an SCG Invitational, and day 2ed multiple Grand Prix.

Archive of Eddie's Articles

Edward Eng


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