First, let’s start with a little bit of background about me. I’m Canadian. That’s right. I am a maple-sucking, hockey-loving Canuck. When I first heard that there was going to be a Modern Grand Prix in Toronto, I HAD to jump on the opportunity to travel back to our home and native land (See what I did there?) to sling some cardboard in one of my favorite formats, Modern.

The trip was not without its rocky start. Originally, there were four of us, then two of us, and now just me traveling on my own. Finding a last-minute Airbnb was a blessing as I am typing this from the comfiest of couches while watching Olympic figure skating on the TV, but in the early hours on the day of my flight, I was suddenly greeted with this lovely email:

Unfortunately, part of your itinerary has been CANCELLED.

Well, this was a great start to the weekend. Luckily, through some smart website navigating and long phone calls, I was able to find a connecting flight through Vancouver. Upon entering Canada, I was greeted by this magnificent bird at the airport.

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My weapon of choice for this weekend is one of my favorite decks in the format, RG TitanShift (I’m a sucker for big green midrange strategies). Now this article is not going to be a deck tech (though if there is a request for one, I can provide my insight in a later article) but more on my mindset for the weekend and my approach to a big tournament. That Friday morning before the main event, I was itching to deal a ton of damage with my lands, so I signed up for the first Modern Double-Up event to put some reps in with the locals and to get a feel for the local meta. I ended the day at 4-1-2, dropping only one round to Abzan Company and decking myself as he stayed at a healthy life total of two million. Overall, I was confident and there is no better way to accompany this feeling than with a nice hot meal to fight blistering cold Canadian winter.

 

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Herb-Crusted Chicken from King Rustic Restaurant

Game Day. Feeling good. Got a 1-round bye. Not going to sugarcoat it any longer, I did not make Day 2 and ended Day 1 with a less than mediocre record of 3-4-1. I was a bit disappointed in my performance. The opportunity to jam TitanShift again the next day went out the window, and now I have a whole day of nothing planned. So now I have choice: spend the day jamming more side events or spend the day explore a city I haven’t been back to in a long time? I chose the latter and that feeling of disappointment is a thing of the past.

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Walking around Downtown Toronto in the middle of winter
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Getting up close and personal with a shark at Ripley’s Aquarium
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Delicious BBQ Pork Buns from Momofuku Toronto

I returned later that day clear-headed, refreshed, and with a belly full of good food to jam one last side event to a 3-0 finish (my final opponent didn’t want the value draw). Despite the minor setbacks with the travel arrangements and a mediocre performance in the main event, the trip was an overall success, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I enjoy travelling to new and exciting places, and being able to combine it with my love for Magic just brings it to a whole other level. I don’t know when or where my next Grand Prix will be, but I am definitely ready to hop on the next flight out.

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