Team BCW at SCG Worcester

This past weekend was the Star City Games Worcester Open and things did not go according to plan. Due to Mother Nature in the Northeast, Team BCW members that planned to fly to the event had canceled flights and could not attend. Todd Stevens and Jim Davis were close enough to drive to Worcester, but they had to overcome long drives in rough weather. The BCW Challenge planned for the Friday night at TJ Collectibles had to be cancelled.

On Saturday, Jim and Todd both played in the SCG Legacy main event. In Round 3 we saw Todd’s deck win a quick match due to the power of Chalice of the Void and keeping his opponent from having lands. Unfortunately Todd would finish with a record that would keep him out of Day 2 of the main event. Due to the weather, Jim had an extra night to test a Miracles deck he brought for the Open. Jim had 2 losses at the end of Round 5 and had to win-out to make Day 2. Jim just kept winning the rest of Day 1 and made the cut into Day 2 with a record of 7-2.

On Sunday, Jim started on camera playing his Miracles deck against a Storm deck. He walked away with a 2-0 win and continued his run for another Top 8 finish. In Round 13, Jim took his 3rd loss of the event and was now on the bubble with 2 must-win-matches for a chance to make the Top 8. In Round 15 Jim was back on camera in what can only be described as one of the best matches of Magic The Gathering all weekend long. The match went 3 full games and when the dust settled Jim walked away with the win. Now with a record of 12-3 it would come down to the tie breakers to see if Jim made the Top 8. Jim did make the Top 8 and would once again face Grixis Delver in the Quarterfinals. Jim took that match 2-1 and moved on to the Semifinals where he would fall short 1-2 to Drake Sasser who would go on to win the Open event.

With this exciting weekend of Legacy over we now move on to #SCGDFW in Fort Worth, Texas. Join Team BCW on Friday, March 9th, starting at 8:00 pm at at More Fun Game Center in Denton, TX for another fun #BCWChallenge. Then on Saturday, March 10th and Sunday, March 11th, @JimDavisMTG, @ToddStevensMTG, @BDecandio7, and @THETannonGrace battle some Modern in the first Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf legal SCG Open of the year. Follow us on Twitter at @Team_BCW for more updates and make sure to tune into the SCG coverage of the Open on Twitch if you can’t make it out to the event.

A Huge Weekend for Team BCW in Indy!

Team BCW started the weekend with a BCW Challenge, hosted by Game Time Indy on Friday, Feb. 16th. Team members Todd Stevens, Brennan DeCandio, Ross Merriam, and Jim Davis, took on 44 players in one of the largest Challenge events to date. The first 36 players in the BCW Challenge were given a pack of Elite Deck Guards, with the new mulberry color Elites in high demand.

BCW Challenge at Game Time Indy

On Saturday, Team BCW competed in the Star City Games Indy Open. This was the largest SCG Open in history with 1,060 players competing for a shot at the ultimate prize. It would take a record of 7-2 or better to make Day Two and three Team BCW members got there! Ross and Brennan advanced with a record of 8-1, while Jim advanced with a 7-2 record. Todd just missed Day Two with a record of 6-3. Not to worry Value Town fans, we will see more of Todd on the SCG Standard Classic on Sunday.

Going into Sunday, both Jim and Brennan looked good to make the Final 8. Then the pairing for Round 15 pitted Jim against teammate Brennan. Good news is one of them would make Top 8, but the bad news is one of them would be out of the Open. Brennan playing Grixis Death’s Shadow would take the round winning 2-1 against Jim on B/G Tron. Brennan would navigate his way once again to the Open finals, and in stunning fashion he won the largest Modern Open!

Brennan receiving his SCG Indy Open trophy from Nick Miller

As for Mr. Value Town, Todd made some noise in standard. He went 6-0-2 for the Swiss rounds of the Classic. Todd piloted his take on U/B Control only dropping 2 games. He would go on to win the Standard Classic bringing home the hardware as well.

Team BCW members (left to right) Ross Merriam, Todd Stevens, Brennan DeCandio, Jim Davis, and Team Manager Rick Kivett

How will Jace TMS and Bloodbraid Elf change the Modern format? Make sure to tune into Team BCW members’ Twitch streams over the next few weeks to watch and learn as they test the new Modern format and continue to push the Standard format. Follow each team member on Twitter for updates on when they go live, and follow Team BCW for updates on the BCW Challenge events. If you are in the Worcester area before #SCGWOR, please join us at TJ Collectibles on Friday, March 2nd for our next BCW Challenge.


Team BCW had an Amazing Weekend in Philly

It was another great BCW Challenge during the January 26th Friday Night Magic at Alternate Universes in Blue Bell, PA. About 30 players took a shot at taking down Todd Stevens, Jim Davis, Tannon Grace, and Ross Merriam. While several players took home a t-shirt for winning a game of their chosen format, every participant received BCW Elite Deck Guards just for challenging a Team BCW member.

On Saturday, the SCG Open in Philly was a packed house with almost 1,000 players in the team event. Tannon Grace, Brennan DeCandio, and Caleb Durward were a team for the weekend. They finished Saturday with an impressive 8-1 team record. The team of Jim Davis, Todd Stevens, and Jody Keith were also a team for the Open. They finished Saturday with a respectful record of 7-2 to make it to Day Two. Ross Merriam’s team failed to make the Day Two cut, but that was not the last to hear of Ross on the weekend.

#SCGPHILLY 2nd Place team of Tannon Grace, Caleb Durward, and Brennan DeCandio

On Sunday, we saw Tannon/DeCandio/Durward make it to the Top 8 as the second seed, and the team of Davis/Stevens/Keith finish just short of the top 8 in 13th place. Tannon/DeCandio/Durward would battle all the way to the finals of the event and just fall short of taking home the top prize and the trophy. It was a great day for Team BCW, but it’s not done just yet. Ross would not be outdone by his teammates. He entered the largest Classic event held last weekend (Modern) and would fight his way to the Top 8 of the Classic. Ross finished the Swiss rounds with an impressive record of 8-1 to lock up the second seed of the Top 8. He battled his way to the finals of the SCG Modern Classic where he won!

#SCGPHILLY Modern Classic Champion Ross Merriam

Our next event will be a special BCW Challenge at Game Time Indy starting around 8:30pm on Friday, Feb. 16th. Then Team BCW will compete at #SCGINDY on Feb. 17th and 18th.

Stay tuned as Team BCW will announce another huge “Retweet to Win” giveaway on Thursday, Feb. 1st at @Team_BCW in recognition of their huge weekend in Philly!

Jim Davis – 2017: Wow What a Year

Team BCW member, Jim Davis, reflects on 2017.

2017 has been the craziest and most life-changing year of my life, both with regards to Magic as well as my personal life.

While I did finish third in the Player of the Year race on the SCG Tour and play in my first Pro Tour in a few years, overall it was a pretty disappointing year as far as tournament results go. I only had two SCG Tour top 8s despite playing a ton of events all year and had uninspiring finishes at both Invitationals and the Pro Tour. I did make a ton of top 16s and 32s, but while those pay the bills and keep me on the leaderboard they don’t feel great when I’ve also had two byes all year.

There were disappointing finishes as well as life-changing milestones in 2017 for me, so let’s look at the 2017 headlines as well as the lessons learned along the way.

Playing Control Decks in Standard Again

While I’m definitely known as a “control player,” I like to think I have a pretty wide range overall. Still, I am at my most comfortable playing any sort of hard control deck and 2017 offered me a number of opportunities to do just that.

UB Control:

  • 4 Disallow
  • 2 Fatal Push
  • 4 Torrential Gearhulk
  • 4 Glimmer of Genius
  • 1 Essence Extraction
  • 4 Choked Estuary
  • 1 Confirm Suspicions
  • 1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
  • 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
  • 2 Submerged Boneyard
  • 1 Void Shatter
  • 4 Sunken Hollow
  • 2 Horribly Awry
  • 1 Blighted Fen
  • 2 Ruinous Path
  • 3 Murder
  • 4 Grasp of Darkness
  • 3 Negate
  • 8 Swamp
  • 8 Island


  • 2 Fatal Push
  • 2 Ceremonious Rejection
  • 2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
  • 1 Sphinx of the Final Word
  • 1 Blighted Cataract
  • 1 Ruinous Path
  • 2 Dead Weight
  • 3 Dispel
  • 1 Negate

I ran UB Control at the first few opens of the year to a number of close calls, but ultimately some suboptimal play ended up keeping me out of top 8. The deck was quite good pre-Pro Tour Aether Revolt, where I was in for a rude awakening. Apparently Mardu Vehicles wasn’t actually bad and people just weren’t building it right! After 3-0ing my first Pro Tour draft in a few years I was feeling great going into the constructed rounds… until I ran afoul of Mardu Vehicles and some other unexpected decks to lose four rounds in a row.

There’s a fine line between comfort and stubbornness, something I’ve been working on all year.

I’d like to say that playing UB Control at Pro Tour Aether Revolt was just due to me being stubborn, but it was also due to a poor metagame read as well. Still, as my former Team MGG teammates would often remind me I do tend to be stubborn about deck selection, favoring decks that I’m either comfortable with or I think give me an edge rather than playing the safer choice. I certainly can’t disagree with them, but it’s both a strength and a weakness.

While it didn’t work out for Pro Tour Aether Revolt, my choice to go with the more comfortable option at #SCGDAL a few months ago ended up paying off quite well.

UW Approach:

  • 2 Settle the Wreckage
  • 2 Search for Azcanta
  • 2 Farm
  • 4 Ipnu Rivulet
  • 2 Supreme Will
  • 2 Desert of the Mindful
  • 4 Censor
  • 4 Irrigated Farmland
  • 4 Cast Out
  • 3 Approach of the Second Sun
  • 1 Disallow
  • 3 Fumigate
  • 3 Aether Meltdown
  • 4 Glimmer of Genius
  • 1 Essence Scatter
  • 4 Glacial Fortress
  • 6 Plains
  • 5 Island
  • 4 Opt


  • 1 Scavenger Grounds
  • 1 Jace’s Defeat
  • 2 Regal Caracal
  • 3 Torrential Gearhulk
  • 4 Authority of the Consuls
  • 4 Negate

The rest of Team MGG all played the Sultai Energy deck that Andrew Jessup won the event with (and would go on to win the Pro Tour), but while I knew I was deviating to play something a little more comfortable to me I also thought UW Approach was actually quite good. It was certainly good, but it was also a very good week one Standard deck that preyed on the unprepared.

Lesson Learned: Being able to take risks is great, as is having the bravery to do so in important spots, but it’s very important to have the wisdom to know when you’re being stubborn.

Finding Some Footing in Modern

Modern has been a tough nut for me to crack for a while, and at the start of 2017 I shared the same sentiment that many ‘higher level’ players had on the format – I hated it. I thought it was non-interactive and frustrating, there were too many linear strategies for a sideboard to handle, and it felt like a crapshoot. Metagaming felt impossible; where I was able to gain edges in Standard by finding a deck that attacked the expected metagame well, in Modern I would just play against outlandish matchups and nobody would play what I expected them to.

Thankfully this year I feel I have overcome this very common shortcoming.

So what’s the secret? Find something you like, preferably that’s proactive and powerful, and take it to the ends of the earth. Just look at the players this year who have done extremely well in Modern on the SCG Tour; Todd Stevens with Eldrazi Tron, Caleb Scherer with Storm, Jonathan Rosum with Jeskai, Dan Jessup with Grixis Death’s Shadow, and so on. Metagaming is an illusion in Modern because people just play what they like/can afford, so just focus on what you are doing.

Over 2017 I’ve basically played two Modern decks; Dredge for the first half of the year and GB Tron for the second half of the year.


  • 4 Cathartic Reunion
  • 2 Collective Brutality
  • 4 Prized Amalgam
  • 4 Insolent Neonate
  • 4 Faithless Looting
  • 4 Copperline Gorge
  • 4 Bloodghast
  • 4 Scalding Tarn
  • 2 Dakmor Salvage
  • 4 Narcomoeba
  • 3 Conflagrate
  • 2 Blood Crypt
  • 1 Steam Vents
  • 2 Stomping Ground
  • 3 Golgari Thug
  • 4 Life from the Loam
  • 4 Stinkweed Imp
  • 3 Wooded Foothills
  • 2 Mountain


  • 2 Collective Brutality
  • 1 Vengeful Pharaoh
  • 1 Bojuka Bog
  • 3 Maelstrom Pulse
  • 2 Thoughtseize
  • 2 Lightning Axe
  • 1 Ancient Grudge
  • 1 Ghost Quarter
  • 2 Engineered Explosives

GB Tron:

  • 1 Walking Ballista
  • 3 Fatal Push
  • 1 Blooming Marsh
  • 1 Sanctum of Ugin
  • 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
  • 2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
  • 4 Karn Liberated
  • 3 Wurmcoil Engine
  • 4 Ancient Stirrings
  • 4 Expedition Map
  • 1 World Breaker
  • 3 Relic of Progenitus
  • 4 Chromatic Star
  • 3 Oblivion Stone
  • 4 Sylvan Scrying
  • 3 Llanowar Wastes
  • 4 Chromatic Sphere
  • 4 Urza’s Tower
  • 4 Urza’s Power Plant
  • 4 Urza’s Mine
  • 2 Snow-Covered Forest


  • 4 Collective Brutality
  • 3 Thragtusk
  • 2 Nature’s Claim
  • 2 Thoughtseize
  • 2 Seal of Primordium
  • 1 Ghost Quarter
  • 1 Snow-Covered Swamp

They’re both powerful, proactive decks that seek to execute their plan to the fullest. They’re odd to play and odd to play against because they break so many of Magic’s fundamental rules, but that’s where the repetition comes in. By playing the same Modern deck week in and week out you can learn all the nuances of how to properly sequence your deck, as well as what kinds of hands are okay and what it is capable of.

You also learn how your deck fits into the overall picture of the metagame. There are so many possible matchups in Modern that having a plan for each one of them is a very difficult thing to do. Because it is so difficult, this is one of the areas where you can gain the biggest edge in the format. It’s not like Standard where a good player can just pick up a good deck and win a tournament without playing it before. There are many more moving parts than just creatures and removal spells, which makes knowledge of your deck, your opponent’s deck, and how they interact paramount.

Is Modern perfect? No, but I’m happy to say I’m no longer afraid of it!

Lesson Learned: It’s very easy to complain about difficult problems, especially when people you respect share your grievances. It’s much harder to try and solve those problems in spite of them.

Travelling to a Pro Tour Again

While my UB Control deck didn’t fare so well at Pro Tour Aether Revolt, it was great to break out my passport and travel halfway across the world for a Pro Tour again. I played most of the Pro Tours from 2006-2009, but in recent years my focus has been much more fixated on the SCG Tour.

There’s just something really special about stepping off of an airplane and into another culture.

I covered my Pro Tour pretty in depth in my article that came after it, but it was certainly a memorable and enjoyable experience despite the mediocre finish.

Lesson Learned: Pro Tours are really fun! Not everything needs to be looked at from an expected value perspective, and there’s a lot of non-monetary value in just travelling to attend a Pro Tour at an exciting location!

Becoming a Family Man

They say “when it rains, it pours” and 2017 was quite the year for me on the home front.

Nicole, John and I bought a house earlier this year!

Nicole and I got engaged on Christmas Eve!

That’s some year, and I couldn’t be more excited for our future in our new home. I’m so thankful that Nicole and John are so positively involved in everything I do, from Nicole joining me to battle at events, to John joining my stream for The John and Jim Show, to playing Magic at home together, and to them just being generally supportive whether I’m home or travelling. Finding a balance between work and home life is tough, but made much easier when you’re with people who support you to the fullest.

Lesson Learned: Try to surround yourself with people who support things you love, and try to support whatever it is the people around you love.

Biting Off More Than I Could Chew

It’s been a great two years and I’m very proud of all we accomplished, but 2017 will be my last year with TeamMGG. I love everyone involved with the team and wish them all the best in 2018.

While Team MGG was one of the most exciting things I’ve been involved in over the last two years, it came at a cost. When Frank Pendl and Rick Meditz first approached me and asked me to captain the team, I was honored and happy to join them in making it a successful endeavor. It was big, bold, and ambitious, and I’m extremely proud of all we accomplished. It is also a ton of work. With Frank and Rick having fulltime jobs as well as families, at the start of 2017 I offered to take on some of the managerial responsibilities of the team.

This was a mistake on my part.

I put a lot of work into Team MGG in 2017, often to the detriment of myself. My focus constantly remained split between what was best for the team’s success as an entity as well as my own personal success, both in playing actual events and in my own Magic endeavors (writing articles, streaming, coaching, etc.). By trying to do everything well, I ended up doing a mediocre job on both fronts. My results suffered, my stream and other work suffered, and I wasn’t accomplishing everything I wanted to with the team.

Team Metagame Gurus

I love all those guys, which is part of the reason I tried so hard to do it all, but the reality is that I needed to pick one – be a player or be a manager. Frank and Rick decided to pursue the idea of fielding Pro Tour Team Series teams and have my full support, but I needed to step away and focus my own livelihood and results.

Lesson Learned: You can’t do everything, even if you want to. Figure out what is most important and put all your effort towards it.

Moving On To Something New

2017 has certainly been one for the record books.  Perhaps the most exciting thing about 2017 however is how much I’m looking forward to 2018. Aside from the boring stuff like moving into a new house and getting married, I’m very excited for all that Magic has in store. And how could I not be when I get to battle alongside these handsome fellows!

Team BCW

I’ve been working alongside BCW Supplies for the last two years with Team MGG, so when they told me they were putting together their own team to battle on the SCG Tour I was intrigued. Having already made the choice to step aside from my player/manager role on Team MGG, the allure of getting to just focus on playing and my own livelihood was very appealing. Once I saw the rest of the lineup and knew that Rick Kivett and the rest of BCW Supplies would be behind it full force it was an easy sell.

I’ve battled alongside and hung out with Ross, Tannon, Todd, and Brennan a lot over the last few years, and now I’m very proud to join them on Team BCW. I couldn’t be more excited for 2018, both for what we will accomplish as a team and for what I’ve got in store for my own streaming and coaching endeavors. I’m also looking forward to getting back to improving as a player. I haven’t put much focus on my game since 2015, where I was hell-bent on redeeming myself for a disastrous first Player’s Championship. Success in Magic is always a moving target, and I look forward to returning my focus towards improving as both a player, a coach, and an entertainer.

2018 is going to awesome!

Meet Team BCW

Five of the top Magic: the Gathering players on the Star City Games Tour have come together to represent BCW Supplies! Team BCW includes Jim Davis, Brennan DeCandio, Tannon Grace, Ross Merriam, and Todd Stevens. In addition to attending the SCG Opens, you can find these players online at the links below. They are often dueling on Twitch, providing coaching services, or offering deck advice on

Can you defeat a pro in a game of Magic? On the Fridays before each SCG Open, you can challenge a Team BCW member to a single game of Magic. If you win, you’ll receive BCW Elite Deck Guards, or other great prizes. Follow Team BCW on Facebook and Twitter to learn about upcoming BCW Challenge events.

If you have any advice about how to improve BCW gaming supplies, please share your ideas with Team BCW. The team will be testing BCW products and providing feedback to BCW Supplies.

Jim Davis
SCG Articles by Jim
Jim has played Magic on every level from the humble beginning grinding at stores, all the way to the Pro Tour. Jim has played in fifteen Pro Tours, has thirteen SCG Open Top 8s, and three SCG Invitational Top 8s. Winning the Players’ Championship in 2015 sparked a full time Magic career. Jim frequently streams Magic on Twitch, he writes articles for, and offers coaching services for other Magic players of all skill levels.
Brennan DeCandio
SCG Articles by Brennan
Brennan Michael DeCandio plays consistently on the SCG Tour and is one of only three people to win back-to-back Opens. Brennan has played in five Pro Tours and has seven SCG Open Top 8s. Brennan is a Magic online streamer who is known for his standard format tech. He also writes for with articles that are posted most Fridays.
Tannon Grace
Tannon Grace started playing Magic competitively in 2003 with the launch of Mirrodin block. He has been to six Pro Tours and has three SCG Tour Top 8s. In addition to Magic, Tannon casts Hearthstone and is a professional poker player. While Tannnon is new to streaming Magic, he has a great understanding of the game and has a professional commentary background, so watch for him to become a top streamer in 2018.
Ross Merriam
SCG Articles by Ross
Ross has been a fixture on the SCG Tour since 2012. He currently has eighteen SCG Open Top 8 finishes and two Invitational Top 8s. He has also played in eleven Pro Tours. Ross is well known for his articles and Daily Digest videos at He rates playing fundamentally sound Magic at the top of skills needed to have sustained success. Ross is also a trivia master and was a Jeopardy contestant in 2016.
Todd Stevens
SCG Articles by Todd
Todd is the 2017 SCG Tour Player of the Year! He started traveling on the SCG Tour in 2015 and quickly moved up the SCG rankings. Aside from being a modern format master, he’s a regular Twitch streamer and can be viewed on the “VS” video series on Todd has twelve SCG Open Top 8 finishes. He’s now a full-time Magic: the Gathering player and plans to defend his Player of the Year title.