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QLD: Toowoomba 7-Point Highlander – Competitive REL 15/11/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

I’d been tuning my “Breya Bomber Breach” deck over the last few months and had come to a 75 that I felt really good about. The deck is an artifact based synergy deck with many combos with overlapping pieces. These include but aren’t limited to the “Slush Puppy” combo, bomberman combo, thopter/sword combo and a Karn the Great Creator package. The deck wins by assembling one of it’s combos or by beating down with artifact synergies and value.

Although this list “dies to null rod” harder than other “Slush Puppy” decks; I think this deck’s ability to pivot game plans and utlise powerhouse cards such as esper sentinel, urza’s saga and tolarian academy give it a much more proactive twist than playing pseudo control until you assemble a trick.

Just over 20 players meant 5 rounds with a cut to Top 8. Not as big a turnout a past events; but I’d still have to be some combination of lucky and good to place well.

Round 1 vs Matt on Mono Red (W 2-0, 1-0 Overall)

A common trend at these tournaments is for a bunch of Brisbanites to all drive 1.5 hours to vs the same people they see every week back home. That trend continued from Round 1.

Game 1

As I was very familiar with Matt’s list I knew his main deck was cold to the intuition into “Slush Puppy Combo” game 1. I was able to survive the early turns and skilfully draw and cast intuition into a deterministic win on turn 4.

Game 2
Respect blood moons and don’t die to aggo

IN Blue Elemental Blast, Hydroblast, Pyroclasm, Abrade, Goblin Cratermaker
OUT Wishclaw Talisman, Aether Spellbomb, Entomb, Soul-Guide Lantern, Kaldra Compleat

Matt lands an early blood moon so we’re both playing mono red until I find an out. I look at my mountains and my lonely basic island I fetched earlier with a hand of Underworld Breach, Brainfreeze and mountains. I take my beats as I cast a brain freeze on myself in Matt’s end step for 6 cards – hoping to hit something to do with Underworld Breach. I hit a goblin engineer; good enough. With it’s ability to put Lion’s Eye Diamond into my graveyard, I untap, cast breach, cast the goblin engineer to entomb Lion’s Eye Diamond and brainfreezed myself to victory.

Round 1 Wrap up:
I feel very favoured in this match up; just needing to dodge blood moons and absurd fast mana starts . My card quality and combos are just so hard for mono red to compete against.

Round 2 Anthony on 5c Breach (W 2-1, 2-0 Overall)

Continuing the trend of “drive to Toowoomba and vs your Brisbane mates” I am paired against Anthony. It’s nice to be sitting across from him instead of cramped next to him like to car ride up.

Game 1

 A happy little accident in Game 1. Anthony and I had been helping each other tune our decks so we were each familiar with the others 75. After we draw our starting hands I ask Anthony if he has a support animal/companion to reveal. Anthony tries to find and reveal his sideboard Jegantha but alas, he cannot. Jegantha is hiding somewhere in his deck as a relic of his last match. A judge is summoned to the battlefield. I mention that I’m fine with Anthony taking Jegantha out of his deck and putting it in the sideboard; keeping his 7 cards in hand. The elemental elk is relocated and our match can begin.

I deploy an early retrofitter foundry as Anthony drops Urza’s Saga. I am able to resolve a Breya, Etherium Shaper as I sweat to dodge a turn 3 intuition. Anthony doesn’t have it and I’m able to use retrofitter foundry to upgrade one of Breya’s thopters in his end step – speeding up my clock significantly. I drop Urza, Lord High Artificer on turn 5 as Breya and her artifact friends crash in. Anthony taps three mana and casts a blue spell at instant speed in my endstep; unfortunately for him it’s a hullbreacher – which isn’t enough to stop him from dying on my next turn.

Game 2
Respect the Slush Puppy combo and expect my graveyard to be hated on

IN Opposition Agent, Red Elemental Blast, Pyroblast, Dovin’s Veto, Hide/Seek, Nihil Spellbomb
OUT Breya, Etherium Shaper, Thoper Foundy, Sword of the Meek, Goblin Engineer, Entomb, Portable Hole

Anthony leads a turn 2 Baleful Strix into a turn 3 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. I am able to resolve a Teferi, Time Raveler on turn 3, returning Anthony’s Baleful Strix to hand. Although returning a Baleful Strix to hand is a pretty poor value play, I did it because I can safely win through my bomberman combo in hand of Teferi survives the next turn. Anthony is unable to get my Teferi off the table and I finish the game by making infinite mana and drawing my deck with Soul Guide Lantern.

Round 2 Wrap up:
This matchup is incredibly stressful and is pretty much a coinflip. Anthony has more tools to interact with me and can just counter my stuff until he assembles his combo. My deck has the ability to have busted proactive starts through mox opal and tolarian academy. I’m definitely the beatdown; but the winner can come down to whoever gets their best cards first.

Round 3 Nick on Hot Wheels (L 2-1, 2-1 Overall)

(Something about vsing guys from Brisbane in Toowoomba) Nick won the last Toowoomba highlander event with his UR Aggro deck; a win here would likely be a lock for top 8.

Game 1

Nick leads with an incredibly strong/expensive start of Mox Ruby, Mox Sapphire into Jace, Vryn’s prodigy. I deploy a Soul-Guide lantern as nick follows up with a Maddening Hex; effectively locking me out of the “Slush Puppy” combo. My gameplan pivots to trying to find and resolve a Breya, Etherium Shaper but a follow up of red attacking creatures and Sulfuric Vortex slam the door on my outs and I promptly die.

Game 2
Respect blood moons and don’t die to aggo – but this time there are blue cards

IN Blue Elemental Blast, Hydroblast, Goblin Cratermaker, Abrade, Pyroblast
OUT Soul-Guide Lanter, Wishclaw Talisman, Aether Spellbomb, Kaldra Compleat

Nick has an incredibly painful manabase start of Steam Vents into Ancient Tomb and Fiery Islet. I remove Nick’s early creatures but he lands an Eidolon of the Great Revel. I respond with a Breya, Etherium Shaper than Nick tries to Red Elemental Blast but I’m able to protect it with a Mental Misstep. Breya resolves and leaves behind some thopters. She promptly dies to a Pyroblast but her Thopters armed with a Sword of the Meek are able to race Eidolon and Nicks painful manabase.

Game 3
No changes.

Nick has a fast mana start but I’m able to interact and remove his early game threats. Unfortunately my hand develops to be Batterskull, Lion’s Eye Diamond and a Pyroblast. I stare at my 4 lands and observe the lack of blue spells/permanents as I die to Nick’s creatures.

Round 3 Wrap up:
This matchup feels very similar to Matt’s Mono-Red deck but has more tricks due to the inclusion of blue. Next time I don’t think I’ll bother with the Pyroblast as it only interacts with maybe 10% of Nick’s cards and I can’t afford to be caught with dead weight in hand.

Round 4 Nathaniel on Jund (W 2-1, 3-1 Overall)

Finally a worthy opponent! (Who’s not from Brisbane). I know Nathaniel as a jund man through and through so I expect to settle in for him to cast some fair cards. I however plan to cast as many unfair cards as possible.

Game 1

I mulligan 2 non-functioning hands and start game 1 on 5 cards. My hand consists of a few of 2 indestructible artifact lands, a Teferi, Time Raveler and some fetches. I deploy my artifact lands as Nathaniel resolves an Elvish Reclaimer and a Deathrite Shaman. My Teferi bounces his Deathrite. A timely wasteland on my very much destruble land ensures my hand can’t function. A follow up bloodbraid elf into scavenging ooze promptly ends me.

Game 2

Expect yard/artifact hate, small jund dudes and respect Strip Mine/Wasteland recursion

IN Abrade, Goblin Cratermaker, Pyroclasm, Submerge, Opposition Agent, Nihil Spellbomb
OUT Thopter Foundy, Sword of the Meek, Goblin Engineer, Entomb, Aether Spellbomb, Breya, Etherium Shaper

This game is a true Jund fest. My hand get’s disrupted, we both throw some removal at some threats. My early Urza’s Bauble I play reveals a Faerie Macabre – a really good card to know about.

We both hit land drops and I tempt Nathaniel into using his Faerie Macabre by casting my Sevinne’s reclamation. Nathaniel succumbs to temptation.

I am later able to flashback Sevinne’s reclamation to return multiple threats to play. I follow with a ‘fair’ underworld breach to recast a few powerful spells as my value train gets there.

Game 3

No Changes

I am able to get a Mox Opal powered start and set up an Engineered Explosives to take out a Deathrite Shaman and an Elvish reclaimer. Later my Tolarian Academy then allows me to strong-arm a Kaldra, Compleat into play. The germ wielding monster is able to end this one in my favour.

Round 4 Wrap up:
‘Fair’ decks are the sort of thing my deck thrives against. Almost every card in my deck does 1 or more of these things:

1: It generates value every turn
2: It enables powerful artifact synergies
3: It supports a game ending combo

Trying to trade 1 for 1 with that type of strategy is always gonna be tough.

Round 5 Ben on Lunch breach (ID 3-1-1 Overall)

Ben and I are seated at table 1 for the last round of the swiss. We decide that the next 50 minutes are better suited to getting lunch and decide to ID our way into a secured top 8 finish.

IN Beef Brisket, Gravy and cheese Roll, Pint of Alcoholic Ginger Beer
OUT $27.90

Quarterfinals Anthony on 5c Slush Puppy (W 2-1)

Oh boy, here we go again. This matchup is mentally exhausting; the only saving grace is my swiss standing lets me choose to play first.

Game 1

I land a turn 1 Esper Sentinal into a turn 2 Hope of Ghirapur and Emry, Lurker of the Loch as Anthony hits his land drops and pays esper sentinel tax to cantrip.

I try to form a gameplan around hitting Anthony with Hope of Ghirapur and recasting it with Emry. This would prevent Anthony from casting non-creatures spells during his own turn for the rest of the game. Then if I am able to resolve my Teferi, Time Raveler I’ll have locked Anthony out from casting non-creature spells at all.

I tank for a while on turn 3 as I consider the choice to recast my Hope of Ghirapur with Emry or cast a lotus petal to allow me to resolve Teferi as I have missed my 3rd land drop. I opt to go with recasting Hope as it would allow any drawn land to establish a lock.

Anthony opts not to pay Esper sentinel’s tax as he casts a non-creature spell and I’m able to draw a land and assemble the lock “no non-creature spells for you” lock the following turn.

Game 2

Respect the Slush Puppy combo and expect my graveyard to be hated on (but this time it’s serious)

IN Opposition Agent, Red Elemental Blast, Pyroblast, Dovin’s Veto, Hide/Seek, Nihil Spellbomb
OUT Breya, Etherium Shaper, Thoper Foundy, Sword of the Meek, Goblin Engineer, Entomb, Portable Hole

I get an early Emry into play as Anthony hits land drops and counters and kills my other threats.

I sit patiently on an Opposition Agent as Anthony get’s Field of the Dead to start creating zombie tokens. I have my Agent jump into play as Anthony cracks a scalding tarn and he comments that he sure is glad he sided out Urza’s Saga. In that moment both of us were thinking “What would be the best land for Opposition Agent to find?”. We answer that question by having Agent find his Cephalid Coliseum as I untap and take my turn.

A turn passes as Anthony and I realise that we’ve made a boo-boo. Opposition Agent shouldn’t have been able to find Cephalid Coliseum off of a scalding tarn. A judge enters the battlefield untapped. It’s ruled that the gamestate has progressed too far to rewind and that we shall play on from this point with Cephalid Coliseum as a land I can play.

However, justice prevails and Anthony swiftly removes my guys withs with an engineered explosives, his remand delays me from stabilising with a hardcast batterskull and Anthony beats me down with zombie tokens and his elemental elk companion.

Game 3

No Changes

I get the nutter-butter start of turn 1 esper sentinel. Anthony plays land and passes back. I deploy a stoneforge mystic and get in with the sentinel. Anthony pays tax for a thoughtseize and takes the batterskull my stoneforge found. My one power dudes attack in as I deploy an Emry. Emry is removed and the sevinne’s reclamation she milled is eaten by a cling to dust.

I peck in for 2 damage a turn as Anthony treads water dealing with my other threats. I continue with the mediocre beats as I have an Opposition Agent join the fray. Anthony can’t cobble together answers and is overwhelmed by the scruffy beaters.

Quarterfinal Wrap up:
We were both mentally exhausted after this one. It’s tiring to respect each others combos whilst doing enough other stuff not to fall behind. It’s almost impossible to navigate the match without just being ‘dead if they have it’ at certain points.

Semi-Finals  Nathaniel on Jund (W 2-0)

At this point me and the other top 4 competitors all agree to split the cash portion of the prizes evenly with the tournament winner receiving the altered land trophy. I get to choose to play first against Nathaniel for this one too.

Game 1

I’m off to a fast start with a Mox Opal powered early Emry as Nathaniel responds with some hand disruption. Emry allows me to cast the Retrofitter Foundry she milled over and I use Tolarian Academy and chromatic star to allow me to cast the Thopter Foundry in my hand and sacrifice a Pyrite Spellbomb to make a Thopter.

Nathaniel successfuly reads Retrofitter Foundry and understands that I can upgrade my thopter into a 4/4 artifact creature at instant speed. I do exactly that in his next end step.

I use Thopter Foundry to make another Thopter as Tolarian Academy is Wastelanded. The damage is done however and my Thopters upgrade into 4/4 creatures and beat in to end the game.

Expect yard/artifact hate, there will be small jund dudes and repect Strip Mine/Wasteland recursion (deja vu)

IN Abrade, Goblin Cratermaker, Pyroclasm, Submerge, Opposition Agent, Nihil Spellbomb
OUT Thopter Foundy, Sword of the Meek, Goblin Engineer, Entomb, Aether Spellbomb, Breya, Etherium Shaper

I draw my starting 7, consider it’s composition and I think to myself “This hand isn’t particularly good; I can do better” so I mulligan it. I am greeted with a much worse hand. I mulligan again. DJ Khaled is in my brain now. “Another One”. Another unkeepable hand. I mulligan to 4. I reluctantly keep a hand of an indestructible artifact land, fetches and a Teferi, Time Ravler.

Nathaniel leads on land go and I mirror the sentiment. We run it back turn 2. Turn 3 the first spell of the game arrives and it’s Klothys, God of Destiny. I deploy a Teferi, Time Raveler and return Klothys (the enchantment) to it’s owners hand. Klothys returns to the battlefield.

One of my lands is wastelanded and Teferi is removed. My Urza’s Bauble shows me that Nathaniel has a Faerie Macabre. I ponder if there is a glitch in the matrix for this to occur twice in one day.

I manage to hit my fourth land and deploy Karn, the Great Creator. Karn finds the Breya I thoughtfully moved to my sideboard for the exact situation that I mulligan to 4 and have nothing better to do. My Breya eats a pyroblast as Karn finds the Aether Spellbomb I thoughtfully moved to my sideboard for the exact situation that a 4/4 Hexdrinker was about to become a 6/6. Aether Spellbomb bounces the Hexdrinker.

Karn eats a dreadbore and I manage to abrade the Hexdrinker as it tries to level up to a 4/4. Klothys has been chilling on the sidelines this whole time and has managed to put Nathaniel to 29 and me to 7.

Nathaniel has one card in his hand and it’s very likely a Faerie Macabre.

I cast Batterskull and Kaldra. It’s enough to get the job done for this very strange game.

Quarterfinal Wrap up:
It’s not every day that you win a mulligan to 4 and you’re not playing Tron. I was fortunate that Nathaniel’s very reactive hand lined up poorly against my slew of value generating threats.

Finals Matt on Mono-Red (W 2-0)

Matt was nice enough to give me and half of the top 8 a lift up to the event today. It’s only natural that I try to repay his generosity by trying to dream crush him in the finals.

Game 1

I keep a hand of portable hole, prismatic ending, stoneforge mystic and some lands. I lead on land go and Matt has a rocket powered 6 point start of Mox Ruby, mana crypt, land into Bomat Courier and Reckless Stormseeker. I take 4 from creatures on turn 1.

I portable hole the bomat and play land before passing back. Matt plays a land, hits me to 12 and passes back. I prismatic ending the Reckless Stormseeker. Matt puts his Lutri companion to hand. I’m able to put out my stoneforge mystic and find a batterskull. Matt deploys a Shadowspear. I pass back with my stoneforge mystic waiting to drop in the batterskull. Matt plays Laelia, the Blade Reforged and equips it with Shadowspear. Laelia is ambushed by my batterskull. I equip the batterskull to stoneforge mystic and Matt see’s the writing on the wall and concedes.

Game 2
Respect blood moons and REALLY try not to die to aggro

IN Blue Elemental Blast, Hydroblast, Pyroclasm, Abrade, Goblin Cratermaker
OUT Wishclaw Talisman, Aether Spellbomb, Entomb, Soul-Guide Lantern, Kaldra Compleat

Matt’s on the play this time and starts off with a Goblin Guide. I respond with land go. Goblin Guide gets in and finds me a land before I Blue Elemental Blast it on the following turn. Mana Crypt allows Matt to blast me for 6 damage turn 2 with a Fiery Confluence.

My Goblin Engineer entombs a Sword of the Meek as Matt drops in a Direfleet Daredevil, using my Blue Elemental Blast to kill my engineer.

I drop in a pyrite spell bomb next to my retrofitter foundry and sit on my activated abilities. Matt tries to cast Shenanigans on my foundry but I protect it with a Hydroblast. His freshly deployed Robber of the Rich gets shot by Pyrite Spellbomb.

Matt decides to attack with his Direfleet Daredevil and it gets ambushed by my 2/3 servo token thanks to Sword of the Meek jumping onto it from the graveyard.

I deploy Breya, Etherium Shaper as Matt puts down a blocker. Mana Crypt has dropped Matt down to 11 life at this point. I upgrade one of Breya’s thopters into a 4/4 with Retrofitter foundry. I have enough artifacts to remove Matt’s blocker, attack with Breya and friends and use Breya to lava spike Matt twice for the win.

Round 6 Wrap up:
I was able to fight through some truly fast starts from Matt and win with fair magic. Breya Bomber Breach beats!

I was really happy with my 75 and didn’t feel like the list really  wanted for anything. I felt like I had game against everything and was able to pivot between playing fair or unfair magic depending on the situation.

Although Blood Moon is annoying; this deck is set up in such a way that it is totally beatable. Same for Null Rod, Hurkyl’s Recall or the other anti-artifact haymakers – in sans-green you can have answers to pretty much anything.

I’ve had to compromise on playing minimal traditional removal; but I’ve found the artifact equivalents are good enough. This deck really needs the critical mass of artifacts to have consistent synergies so you gotta take the pyrite spellbomb over lightning bolt.

Breya really earned her place in the list as a versatile threat. Her ability to stabilise against aggro, present multiple artifacts for synergies and put on a very fast clock made her feel great every time she resolved.

Upgrading her thopters with retrofitter foundry surprised a few of my opponents; as did her ability to turn artifacts into lava spikes to end games quickly. She gets sided out in matchups where life totals don’t matter as much or when the tempo loss from getting red/blue blasted is too much to handle – but it’s neat that Karn can still find her from the sideboard in a pinch. Fantastic Game 1 card.

I’ve teetered on whether I should take the “Thopter Sword” combo out of the deck; but the way it performed against aggro decks really made it feel worth the inclusion in the main deck. The synergies with retrofitter foundry and the surprising amount of 1/1 bodies (Esper Sentinel, Baleful Strix, Breya thopters, Daretti tokens) make each of the cards even better.

Although I regularly sideboard out the “Thopter Sword” package – having access to a 2 card combo from the sideboard with Karn is also pretty cool I reckon.

Urza’s Saga is absolutely insane in this deck. I feel like I win 90% of games this card gets through all it’s chapters. It just finds such an absurd amount of utility. Retrofitter foundry can make your */* constructs massive. It can find Spellbombs as interaction. Finding Mox Opal means you don’t lose a mana source. Finding Soul-Guide Lantern means you are safe from graveyard shenanigans. Finding Hope of Ghirapur let’s you try and combo safely the following turn. Find LED to enable the bomberman combo. Find Expedition Map to get Tolarian Academy.

(Since writing this report Urza’s Saga has gained +1 point. You should still play Urza’s Saga 100% – just take out Wishclaw Talisman for it and play Trinket Mage over Wishclaw instead)

If you like puzzling out wins and don’t mind getting harassed by Null Rod this artifact based adaptive combo deck might be the perfect deck for you!

Top 8 Decklists

Lets look at the final results and the decks that made it through the swiss.
Player’s StandingPlayer’s NamePlayer’s Deck List Link
1stBrandon Rashad4c Breya Bomber Breach
2ndMatthew MacinanteMono Red Aggro
3rd – 4thNathaniel KokJund Midrange
3rd – 4thDougal WarbyBUG Midrange
5th – 8thBen NielsenMono White MUD
5th – 8thWill NashJunk Midrange
5th – 8thNick ChimielewskiUR Wheels
5th – 8thAnthony Vanderkop5c Breach

Brandon Rashad

Brandon Rashad first picked up Magic the Gathering in 2015 and instantly fell in love with the game. He dived into competitive play and was fortunate to earn an invite to the Kaladesh Pro Tour in 2016. Brandon relishes the opportunity to apply his creative and competitive energies to the Australian 7 Point Highlander format.

Photos courtesy of Joshua Maher @Chumdab on Instagram

Brandon Rashad