Pro Tour Fate Reforged Deck Diaries: Shaun McLaren

Posted in NEWS on February 19, 2015

By Event Coverage Staff

Our last feature in the Pro Tour Fate Reforged Deck Diaries is fifth-ranked Shaun McLaren. The Canadian powerhouse exploded into the top levels of premier play after his win at the Modern Constructed Pro Tour Born of the Gods.

Known for his love of Jeskai colors, his diary entries should come as no surprise.

Fifth-ranked Shaun McLaren

January 20

My starting point for decks is Jeskai (obviously). It should be decent after the bannings and it’s what I know. Here’s an early attempt for building Jeskai to beat Abzan. Restoration Angel and Wall of Omens are great against them and should help me finish on time with 50-minute rounds. What happens when you cut Lightning Bolt and just splash for Electrolyze?

Shaun McLaren’s Jeskai – PTFRF Deck Diary January 20

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January 22

Shaun McLaren’s W/U Control – PTFRF Deck Diary January 22

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I really like the idea behind this deck. Seems like it has most of the tools to deal with anything the format can throw at it. I got rid of the red splash entirely to make it ultra-consistent. Not sure if Serum Visions, Think Twice, Telling Time, or none of the above are right for the deck.

January 26

Shaun McLaren’s W/U Control – PTFRF Deck Diary January 26

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I’m fleshing out the W/U deck and I’ve added a sideboard. It’s been performing well against the decks I expect to face and suits my play-style. At this point I think it's safe to assume that some form of this or Jeskai is what I'll be playing since they both seem good enough for the format.

January 29

Shaun McLaren’s Jeskai – PTFRF Deck Diary January 29

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I’m having trouble beating Abzan. Maybe Blood Moon is the answer? Keranos seems like a big boost for this deck. I’m tempted to add Blue Sun’s Zenith to call it Blue Sun’s Moon or something.

February 3

Shaun McLaren’s Jeskai Geist – PTFRF Deck Diary February 3

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After a bunch of jamming of alls assortments of Blue, White, and Red cards together, I feel like this is the list for me. It's very difficult to beat Abzan (and the format in general) by trying to out midrange them. This deck is more interested in burning people out, with the ability to shift gears when necessary.

February 5

Shaun McLaren’s Jeskai Geist – PTFRF Deck Diary February 5

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I’ve got just a little more tuning for polish. I’ve added Sower of Temptation since it seems like a great card against Abzan and many things in general if it's unexpected. It just needs a few more quality control checks, to make sure it sideboards well against everything, and it will be ready for battle.

Ultimately, McLaren's Modern follow-up one year later sputtered. After a 1-2 finish in the Booster Draft portion of Day One, his Jeskai deck was unable to get him more than one more win, and he was eliminated from competition by the end of the day. Still, McLaren has remained loyal to Jeskai for the solid year, and in 2014 it paid off very well in multiple formats. Will McLaren remain loyal to white, blue, and red at the next Modern event? We'll find out very soon.