So my friend shipped me a list last minute: a variation of 4 color energy that the group had been working on for quite some time. I changed my sideboard a bit around 11:30 am, left my house at 11:50 am, walked in at 11:58, paid entry, and had a very, very illegible decklist written out by noon when rd 1 started. Here is the list I played:
(37 spells, 23 lands)
4 Attune with Aether
4 Harnessed Lightning
2 Fatal push
1 Vraska's Contempt
2 Essence Scatter
2 Vraska, Relic seeker
4 Longtusk cub
4 Glint sleeve siphoner
4 rogue refiner
3 whirler virtuoso
2 Bristling hydra
1 Gonti, Lord of luxury
2 The Scarab God
4 Blooming Marsh
4 Botanical Sanctum
1 Spirebluff Canal
4 Aether Hub
2 Canyon Slough
2 Dragonskull Summit
1 Nicol Bolas, God Pharoah
1 Cartouche of Ambition
1 Jace's Defeat
1 Chandra's defeat
1 Search for azcanta
2 Deathgorge Scavenger
1 Confiscation Coup
1 Appetite for the unnatural
1 Vraska's Contempt
Every time we drew Servant of the conduit in testing, we kept wishing it were something else. Sure, servant allows you to ramp into your bigger spells early, but it is not a great topdeck mid to late game, and is rarely used for attacking due to its 2/2 body. Glint-sleeve can be used offensively due to menace, and proactively increases our energy count by attacking. If left unchecked, Glint-sleeve can run away with card advantage over time.
After swapping servant for the Glint-sleeve siphoners, we modified the mana base to be focused more on black. This also allowed us to fit in spells like Fatal push and vraska's contempt mainboard. We want to be able to land longtusk cub or glint sleeve early. The red splash is really just for the removal and whirler virtuoso.
Bristling hydra is a necessary evil. outside of being an evasive threat at times, it does not really do a whole lot. When there are tokens on the opposing board, it is at its weakest because it can be chumped for days. 2 copies is plenty, I cut the third we were playing for Gonti, lord of luxury. (Gonti turned out to be MVP of the main deck)
Abrade was boarded out often, it isn't great in energy mirrors.
I wound up undefeated with 2 draws (1 unintentional, other ID'd me into the top 8). Was 5th overall seed in T8. My matches below.
Round 1: Mono white vampires (win)
g1: He wins the die roll, and opens up with a plains and the legendary enchantment that makes a 1/1. Our list isn't very good against the BW tokens deck, so I get a little nervous. On his second turn, he plays the white desert and some two drop vampire. That clued me in that he is probably not on tokens, and my removal spells will be pointed at real cards. He gets me down to 5 life, but I am able to cast The Scarab God, Whirler virtuoso, and Vraska relic seeker to take over the game. Not much he can do from there.
g2: He lands Oketra's monument on curve, planning to go wide. I have the abrade, so he does not produce many tokens. Appetite for the unnatural dealt with his cast out, so my Longtusk cub was able to stick. Game kind of swept away from him due to the power level of the cards I was playing compared to his. He played well, but 2/3 bodies with lifelink don't match up to raw card advantage.
round 2: Jeskai approach (win)
g1: I get roflstomped. I didn't really get to play magic at all. After my fourth land drop, never drew another land or attune. His counterspells were great against my hand. I also drew a lot of removal.
g2: Removal out, counterspells and duresses in. I'm able to stick 2 copies of glint sleeves and protect them. Drew 3 cards a turn for many turns in a row. He was finally able to stick an approach and begin digging for it. On my following turn, I cast Gonti and found his approach to exile it. Duress the settle the wreckage in his hand, and stuck a bristling hydra. He couldn't do much from there.
g3: We go into turns after a very long, drawn out game. I negate his fumigate, and have duress for his settle the wreckage. I wound up winning on my following turn.
Round 3: Temur (unintentional draw)
g1: I deal a lot of damage to myself with glint sleeves. I was ahead on cards, and board presence, but I was low on life. He drew for turn, cast chandra uptick, deal two damage to me. Cast lightning strike, target me. Cast a second lightning strike, target me. I died.
g2: All hail the mighty nicol bolas, god pharoah. Chandra's defeat dealt with his glorybringer. Gonti gave me a glorybringer, and nicol bolas gave me a second glorybringer. Not much he could do from there.
g3: He takes his time to think through things, and we wind up going into turns. I have a line where I can kill him on my final turn, but didn't see it. I thought I had one more additional turn, so I took the safe route. That was my fault, I should have gotten aggressive with my scarab god one turn earlier to leave him at exactly 7 damage, where nicol bolas could downtick for lethal. It happens, brushed it off for next round.
Round 4: Temur (win)
g1: opponent is undefeated and asks for a draw. I decline because I was paired up and there was one round remaining. I beat him in game 1 once I'm able to stick vraska, relic seeker and scarab god side by side.
g2: I mulligan but draw multiple glint sleeves. He stumbles on mana turn 3, missing his land drop. I'm able to pull ahead and win from there.
round 5: 4 Color energy (Intentional draw)
Was paired up against a friend of mine. ID guaranteed us both in, whereas a loss would put one of us in probably 9th place. There were a lot of players who were live to make it in. We intentionally draw and watch the remainder of the games played. My friend Brad won his match, so all 3 of us made it in to top 8.
top 8 prize payout:
1st: RPTQ invite, 200 dollars
2nd: 100 dollars
3/4: 50 dollars
5/8: 25 dollars
top 8: Temur energy (win) - This is the guy I unintentionally drew with in round 3
g1: He crushes me with multiple glorybringers
g2: I got there with nicol bolas, scarab god, and vraska relic seeker. Nothing super interesting.
g3: I'm at 3 life, he is at 7. He activates search for azcanta trying to find lightning strike for game. He wiffs, so I win and move to t4.
We decide to split cash in top 4, giving each player 100 dollars each.
top 4: UG pummeler (loss)
g1: he has the stones and I can't stop it. he makes pummeler a flyer, and gives it a lot of power.
g2: I am able to take care of most of his threats and stick a scarab god while I am at a low life total. Scarab god animates a longtusk cub to chump block and pump up to be large enough to take down his 9/8 bristling hydra. we move on to game 3
g3: I have victory again, but don't see it because it is 3 turns away. I should have swung all out forcing him to make blocks that he didn't want to make, forcing him to burn all his energy to survive. I knew his hand was 2 aether hubs due to duress a few turns earlier. He top decks a cartouche of knowledge to give his guy flying, activates a rhonas that is in play to make his pummeler 4 power, and is able to make his guys 64 power from there with trample due to the rhonas. I lose.
Overall was fun, and decided to go to this thing very, very last minute. Thought our build was interesting and a bit different, so I wanted to share this variation of 4 color energy with you guys.
Sorry if this is formatted improperly, don't have much time right now and trying to rush typing this. I'll answer any questions if anyone has any. Overall I learned that I struggle seeing game through complicated boardstates, and that is something I definitely need to continue working on.