A bit more realistic testing

So Monday turned into a very late night that I have not recovered from yet.  Or perhaps I’m just having issues sleeping in general again.  Or it may be the swatch of homework sitting at home for me that I just can’t seem to concentrate on. No matter what I feel like crap.

But hey, at least Monday was a good night.

First let me lay out the deck list I was using.

Prime Speaker Bant

Creatures                                                                                Sideboard

-4 Loxodon Smiter                                                                -3 Feeling of Dread

-4 Restoration Angel                                                            -1 Negate

-4 Thragtusk                                                                         -2 Rest in Peace

-1 Sigarda, Host of Herons                                                -1 Dissipate

-2 Prime Speaker Zegana                                                   -3 Geist of Saint Traft

-2 Angel of Serenity                                                            -1 Oblivion Ring

Spells                                                                                     -2 Supreme Verdict

-4 Farseek                                                                            -2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

-4 Azorius Charm

-3 Selesnya Charm

-2 Detention Sphere

-2 Supreme Verdict

-3 Sphinx’s Revelation

Lands

1 Forest

-1 Cavern of Souls

-2 Gavony Township

-3 Hallowed Fountain

-3 Hinterland Harbor

-3 Sunpetal Grove

-4 Glacial Fortress

-4 Temple Garden

-4 Breeding Pool

So that is the deck.  Right now it is very basic and close to what everyone else is playing Prime Speaker Bant wise.  I have been trying to figure out if there is anything main board that I need to change in order to fit me better, but so far it seems to fit me just fine.  I feel like the sideboard will constantly need to be changed in order to better fit the current meta, but that is pretty easy to do and test.

I guess the thing is that I’m looking for a deck that acts consistently with how I play.  Prime Speaker Bant so far has done that.  It feels really weird to not need to switch a deck around, but it is indeed what has happened.

The first match I played against was a Dega Reanimator deck that was pretty awesome!  Lots of big guys that he didn’t mind getting rid of just to use Unburial Rites on later.  It was nice to play against something slightly different that still provided a good challenge to me over all.  I was able to really think about what I really need to play and what order it needed to be done in to make  sure I didn’t fall behind.  I lost, but I put of a fight and saw a lot of room for improvement play wise as well as how some interactions worked that I would not get to see otherwise.

I also learned a lesson regarding Feeling of Dread.  I would play it, have it sitting in the graveyard and have a fantastic plan for using it again!  It was so good in my mind!  Until I realized multiple time I would leave a Sunpetal Grove or Temple Garden up with like, Gavony Township.  The flashback is one and a blue, not one and a white.  That game really got it into my head and it was somthing very important to do, even though it was just a sideboard card.

Second game of the night was another rogue type build that someone had just wanted to play for fun, which was great.  although, the issue is that I don’t really remember what it was.  I know looking at my notes that the games were quick enough that I don’t have enough to even put it together.  I just don’t think I ever reached a point to stabilize the board in my favor and instead kind of got stuck in this cycle of just getting run over and chump blocking with Smiters.  After he won 2-0 for the round we played some fun games against another deck he had which really allowed me to get some more longer games in and see how I stacked up against mill.  Straight mill I kind of overrun, but for the most part, so does everyone.  Control with Mill as a win con…well, that is different and we will get to that a bit later.

The third game is one that sort of stung.  My opponent was playing a Jund type deck and just couldn’t keep going.  It was very much a game where until around turn four no damage was done and none was done to me until turn nine-ish.  By that point I had plenty online to stablize with if he did start to do anything with me.  He eventually was able to start climbing back up as well with Thragtusk, but at that point I was just much faster and able to take things or bring back my own Thragtusks.  I eventually won with a life of 24.  The second game went similarly only I was really able to get the Resto, Thrag, Angel of Serenity Combo off.  Multiple times.  So despite his ability to get the Thragtusks out and try to threaten me with the normal Jund guys, I would Detention Sphere, Supreme Verdict and get some guys back, or any number of things.  I think I also got a Zegana off in this mix with Angle of Serenity on the field, so that just even put me farther ahead.

There is something in this game above that happened this week as well with another individual that I would like to talk about in another post sometime this week that I want some opinions on.  I don’t know if it is me or what, but it is just continuously eating at me.

At this point of the evening I was 1-2.  There was no way I was in contention for the gift certificate prizes that are given out at the store, but I was in Top 8 due to all the drops and it being nearly 10:30 pm.  Top 8 gets a pack.  I may as well stick around and just play, right?

Last match was pretty epic.  It was another Jund deck, but this time more Reanimator in nature.  And by that I mean steal things from my graveyard.  The first to games don’t even matter.  It was an exchange of creatures and killing things and bringing them back all over the place.  The third Game was the cake topper.  I won despite him using Rise from the Grave on my Sigarada.  However, that was about the only answer he had at the time.  He was able to Dissipate a few things, but I had enough creatures around to just come right back.  I ended the night 2-2 and while that isn’t the best I learned a lot of how the deck interacts with more competitive decks and how I respond to more competitive people with it.

The next Monday was much better.  It was only 3 rounds which means it was over before midnight and a lot of people there practicing for the WMCQs were around.

My first match up was against a RDW that attempted to not let me stabilize.  We went three games and of note was a misplay by me with a Selesnya Charm to create a Knight to block rather than use it to exile the Thundermaw Hellkite he laid down.  Despite this massive miss play I was still able to hold out long enough to Angel of Serenity his Thundermaw and bring back some things from my graveyard that would help me in the long game.  I was also able to hit off Gavony Township and make Thragtusk larger, which is always a good thing since it would then take two Searing Spears just to kill him rather than him and his child.  Second game I lost due to him just getting an awesome draw.  I was able to hold out quite a bit longer then most people would against RDW, but it wasn’t enough when your just drawing lands.  Third game he would have won if it wasn’t for the fact that he laid out two Boros Reckoner and I was able to wipe them out with a D-Sphere.  With them gone I had an Ash Zealot and Stromkirk Noble to worry about, but they were quickly taken care of with Loxodon Smiters or Zegana.

So i beat the RDW and was mildly proud of myself.  Well be covering this with that other deck in another post though.

Second match-up was against Naya Blitz.  It was another time where I thought I was going to lose miserably.  However, I was rather surprised.  I was able to play around a lot of things.  I made sure to quickly have the mana on line and be able to return Flinthoof Boar to the top of his deck.  Then when he had a couple out through what ever means I Detention Sphere’d them.  I would be aggressive with the attacking while still keeping my ground guys open for blocking.  The second match was similar, but it when a bit longer, but I was able to stabilize long enough to do the damage needed to end it.

At this point I’m 2-0.  For the first time ever I’m vying for first place.  I was a littler jittery.

My last match was a control mirror.  He was playing Esper Control, which I now have identified as a problem.  Our first game took 45 minutes and almost a whole page of life totals in my notebook.  He ultimately won out due to Nephalia Drownyard and putting me in the box of playing Zegana or not.  The second game I had him down life wise, but Blind Obidence put me behind as did two Nephalia’s.  I lost, but came in second for the night, which was a pretty awesome thing in itself for me.

I’m now trying to really think of how to better match up against Control Mirror’s because I just didn’t have all the answers I needed in the last match.  I’m not sure if the answer is shifting to a more control deck or being able to use soemthing like Psychic Spiral to maximize them milling me like that.  I know I need to practice some more against Bant and Esper, but I am feeling more comfortable against most of the other architypes out there.  I have some testing arranged for this weekend and hopefully I will see some more standard Reanimators and perhaps even The Aristocrats.

Author’s note: Sorry the Sideboard section is wonky.  I’m devising tables, but wanted to get this up too >.<

A total disaster

Yesterday I went to the Star City Open in Washington, D.C.  This was an ideal location for me since it is like a 20 minute drive to the Metro and then a pretty relaxing ride into the city and there is a stop right at the convention center that the tournament is at.  Also, I love going to Opens.  They are small and intimate, somewhere that I can meet up with friends, actually talk to the artists, and watch other matches.  I also tend to do relatively well there.

This time around, the doing well was missing.  My normal Golgari Graveyard deck was not doing well in the format and my testing of other decks was providing less then desirable results as well, as I’ve been talking about.  I decided to go with Brian Kibler’s Predator Ooze deck and modified it a bit over the course of the week.  Such as putting in Grafdigger’s Cage in the sideboard and taking out the Lotleth Trolls and putting in Vampire Nighthawks.

I’m going to say that these were good moves on my part, but I’m also going to say that the deck still needs a lot more work.  22 lands is not quite getting there consistently.  Wolfir Avenger is having issues finding his place in the deck. He is great for the surprise block, but I never have the mana online to regen him as well.  When Predator Ooze gets out it is fantastic, when he doesn’t, well, there are issues. There is no way to stabilize if I fall behind.  Abrupt Decay is either the entire answer, or just needs to be removed entirely, and for that reason I am happy I put Appetite for Brains in the board.

There was a lot of B/G down in the X-4 of varying kinds.  We all were quite miserable together, but laughed in our hasty zombie goodness.

I ultimately when 3-5 in the tournament before dropping.  While it was my worst performance in a standard event such as this, I had a lot of fun against most of my opponents.  There is always the one you go against though.  They guy who is a mess, plays messy, can’t keep himself organized, doesn’t quite keep things clear and turns the game into work rather than a game.  These games bother me.  They get to me a lot deeper then they should and it is something that I should probably work on.

I did not get my bye for next season, but I got an idea of how much more work I need to do.  I’m going to start practicing Modern and Legacy with some friends who have decks to lend me.  I in no way have the money to own such decks right now, but if they trust me enough to let me borrow them, then I will trust them enough to teach me well!  There are also more events starting up in my area with two stores firing things off nightly, so I have some options if I can’t make an FNM due to work or whatnot.

Outside of playing, I had a lot of fun.  I hung out with the wonderful Cynthia Sheppard a bunch and caught up.  For living so close I don’t nearly get to see her enough.  So a bunch of friends from all over and talked to people who I had sat with at GP Charlotte, Escapist Expo, and other such events.  I also got to meet Lindsey Burley of Hurley-Burley Alters and get some information regarding the article I’m writing.  And I think that is why, while I’m upset with my performance, I’m not upset with the weekend.

That is all I really have to say.  Giving you a blow by blow of loss after loss seems kinda pointless.  I will tell you that I now have a twitter account mostly dedicated to Magic: The Gathering at mtgreiunicorn and I’m always up for talking 😀

Atlantic City Grand Prix Tournament Report

First, sorry this took so long.  I started school back up this week and was getting started there as well as Trev coming back home and apartment searching…so busy the past few days!

I only stayed for five rounds.  After round five I was 1-3-1 and it just put me in exasperation mode, but more on that later.

My day started at 5 am when I woke up to start driving from Delaware to Atlantic City.  Now normally I love these early morning drives, but there was fog.  Crazy awful Silent Hill levels of fog in some areas, not just the normal morning stuff in low lying areas.  So it took me an extra 30 minutes or so to get up there.  Not to big of a deal.

Then, I try to park in the parking lot across the street from the convention hall.  Press the button, press the button, one more time, no, not going to give me a ticket.  Call up the convention hall.  The number for general inquiries is just a a calendar of events.  So I start calling every person on the list for the convention hall.  I finally get someone, who thankfully sends someone over rather quickly.  However, the fix wasn’t fast and by the time he told me the machine was broken it was 9:00 am.  Registration closes at 9:30.  Crap.  He tells me another way into the parking lot which, while on the same block takes a lot of driving due to the number of one way streets, park in the first spot I see and run.  I will not have woken up that early and driven that far for nothing.

I get in the hall at 9:20 and just start to fill out paperwork.  It is these times that I’m always happy that I have my deck list pre-written out on my phone.  Got it all done and they were still registering late comers and giving them time to get things in order.  Okay.

So I milled about.  Looked at some cards, bought the playmat from rk post since I didn’t get a chance to register early.  Went and found a spot and started to do some extra shuffling.  They posted seats for the players meeting and I reported.  Got to see a lot of familiar faces.  It was very nice to see people from various other tournaments and events at the table and to know that we seem to be continuously sat near each other.

I loved it, thought it was awesome...so did my mom and she wanted to steal it.

I loved it, thought it was awesome…so did my mom and she wanted to steal it.

Then it was off to the races.

Round 1: This was an interesting round.  The first game I was able to easily take care of all of the threats that he had, which was mostly a Olivia Voldaren.  Other than that his deck was Red and Black, but control.  All about removal and life reduction through soceries.  I was eventually able to just get out enough creatures, and big ones at that, that he could no long remove.  I eventually ran him over with Jarad and some Dreg Manglers.  The next games went just the opposite.  It seemed like he side-board in some extra Olivia’s and Pillar of Flame.  Having things exiled rather than sent to the graveyard was a big hit.  I had side-boarded in some Tragic Slips rather than the usual Ultimate Prices since pretty much the only creature he had was Olivia.  I would throw things out every turn, but it just wasn’t enough between the exile and the stealing.  game three was a complete wash as I got stuck on three mana.  Lot’s of things in the graveyard, Jarad in my hand, but I could not seem to just get there in time.  It was unfortunate, but I wasn’t upset.  It was nice to lose to someone else who had completely created their deck from scratch rather than just buying the cards that the current decks were playing.

Record: 0-1

Round 2: In round two I faced a Red Deck Wins build.  This, I thought, was going to be a bad match up for me.  It turns out I was wrong.  The first game he just couldn’t deal with how fast I was able to throw out creatures, start killing his with Ultimate Price or the Golgari Charm.  I had no issues with just blocking and chunking things to the graveyard.  I seemed to really confuse him when I pitched a Thragtusk for a dual land during a Grisly Salvage.  But then again, when I can throw down a Jarad and have him huge, and throw a Rancor on him right off the bat, there is no need not to.

In between games he made the comment of not knowing what to side in against me, or how to really play against such a deck.  Which I’m fine with.  Game two went even faster, but in his favor.  I had a really bad hand and wasn’t pulling things fast enough to respond.  At most I thinkI had two Dreg’s and a Geist out, but I needed them all to block.

Game 3 was a bit longer.  It went in my favor, but it was sad as for part of it he just seemed to give up.  He started to come back at the end, but there isn’t much you can do about me laying out two Strangleroot Geists, having no issue Golgari Charming to whip out most of your critters and bring them back from undying, and then add even more counters on to them.  It just hurts.  However, he was able to do damage to me via Vexing Devils.  So I won, with three life left.

Record: 1-1

I want to know why every time I try to take photos I get jostled into.  This was the best out of all of them.

I want to know why every time I try to take photos I get jostled into. This was the best out of all of them.

Round 3: Bant control OMG I hate you and can’t wait for you to be gone.  Thankfully the person I was playing against was fantastic!  The first game just went on and one and got to the point where I didn’t have answers.  Mostly for all those Restoration Angels and Thragtusks.  It was a pretty standard game all things considered.  Had him at 2 and then he just jumped back up to 17.  Ouch.

Game two was far more interesting.  I had what in my book was God Hand.  All the right lands, great creature curve, and some removal if need be.  Liliana always helps too.  Put out a Deathrite Shaman and Gravecrawler so I was hitting for 3 pretty fast.  Then I added on a Geist.  He was able to get out a Thragtusk, but I just Ultimate Priced it to stop the Resto Angel that could happen.  Started chipping away again, and played Lilliana and started to get him into the cycle of discard while I had nothing.  He started to just play things to ry and get it out on the board, so I popped Liliana’s Ult after already doing splits with his Jace, and gave him the Choice between an Angel and his colorless lands or his colored lands.  Oh the conundrums I love putting people into!  At this point we were at time.  He wound up keeping his colored lands and was able to play another Thragtusk and some Sphinx’s revelations, but never for much life gane and I was able to just widdle him away.  Particularly after another Liliana resulted in more sacrificed creatures.

Record: 1-1-1

Round 4: This was good for me because it was the first time I had gone up against Frights/Reanimator.  I had issues.  Mostly on the fact that I mulled to 5 in the first game and didn’t have an answer for fliers other than Ultimate Price or Golgari Charm to wipe his spirits.  It was a quick game, which only about 9 turns in it.

Game two went a little more in my favor.  He didn’t draw into much and with Deathrite Shaman I was able to exile a lot of his spells that had flashback quickly.  This game was even shorter then the first, only going for six turns.  An army of Dreg Mangler’s will do that I suppose.

Game three was very long.  We both took the shock, but I was the first one to get an creature out.  And it was looking good for a while.  I was able to sit there and exile things and either do damage or gain life with Shaman and do damage with Strangleroots and Dreg’s, and the occasional Gravecrawler.  It looked promising.  And then something horrible happened where he suddenly had 20 health and I had 11.  And it just did not get any better.  He was able to take me out in two swings thanks to more flying creatures.  I really hope I can solve this problem now that I see it more clearly.

Record: 1-2-1

Round 5:  This was a round.  It was another Bant Control deck(joy of my life), but the guy I played took forever.  In fact, I was upset that I wasn’t looking at the play clock because our first game took 45 minutes, he shuffled my cards so they were missed up sleeve wise, and he looked at two of the same card that had different art for a long time.  It took so long sometimes I was forgetting whose turn it was.  He won the first game and I was quick to move on too the next.  In which a judge came over to observe and see how far along we were regarding play time.  I said Game 2 turn 2.  She seemed rather appaled by this and stuck around to watch in which my opponent kept taking time, looking at notes, tapping, untapping, and rearranging lands before playing a card.  I had him down to 1 health and we drew.  He won the round and I was incredibly bitter.  I gave the judges my report on the match and they said they would keep an eye on the player in the future.

Record: 1-3-1

Now, after that last match I decided to drop.  I would have loved to have kept playing and try to get the sour taste out of my mouth, but at the same time I was exasperated, tired, and a little pissed.  I didn’t want my ill mood to ruin someone else’s good time that I could only imagine they were playing at such a record.  Plus, two hours back to Delaware.  I figured if I had been doing well I would just crash in my car or something along those lines, but at that point I just wanted to go ‘home’ and have my futon.

I did pick up some packs from the Lowryn block because that is what I do.  Got another one of the filter lands, I think I have about half of them now.  I also valued the time that I had in between rounds.  There were a lot of great people to talk to.  Of course there was the occasional, aww you’re here on behalf of bf/husband/what have you, but by now I’ve learned to calmly explain that I am not.  It was also great that there was a young girl there who was kicking ass and I could point to and be like, been playing since I was a bit older then her.

So overall, no regrets.  Lessons learned as per always, but never regrets.  Now I’ve started to even get a group of people that I see at all of these types of events together and talk to them.  It makes me feel pretty awesome.

SCG Open Baltimore Report

The StarCityGames Open in Baltimore was yesterday.  Trevor and I went with a friend from our LGS along with meeting up with some others.  We got there around 8:30 am and stayed for all 10 rounds, although I feel bad for making Trevor and our friend stick around for all 10 rounds despite me not having a chance of making Top 64 after round 7.  At the same time, I really needed to see how well I could do and figure out if it was my ability as a player holding me back or certain decks vs. my deck.

This was pretty early in the day so we were still using most of the room :D

This was pretty early in the day so we were still using most of the room 😀

At the end, I was pretty sure that it was those decks vs. mine.  I was able to adapt and play against those decks a bit better, last longer, win one game, ect., but the deck I had just still did not quite have the sideboard to really have a solution.

My final deck list was:

-4 Young Wolf

– 3 Slitherhead

-4 Strangleroot Geist

-4 Dreg Manglers

-3 Thragtusk

-4 Liliana of the Veil

-3 Garruk Relentless

-4 Ultimate Price

-3 Golgari Charms

-3 Grisly Salvage

-4 Woodland Cemetery

-4 Overgrown Tomb

-8 Forest

-6 Swamps

My sideboard consisted of:

-2 Vraska, The Unseen

-4 Tragic Slips

-3 Victim of Night

-3 Naturalize

-3 Jarad’s Orders

This deck ultimately was great Anti-Aggro.  I could place monsters out in a faster manner and would get them back all at the same time without have to use up more mana.  Ultimate Price took care of most things and Golgari Charm wiped out a lot of other threats.  I was great against Control type decks for the first few round and then I would peter out.

However, it was not that would be over.  I would avoid the sweepers, I would be able to regenerate creatures, remove enchantments like Rest In Peace and so on and so forth.  However, I just couldn’t get over the crappy curve once I ran out of those things to knock them back after Thragtusk.

Anywho:

Round 1: My first match of the day was against one of those Bant control decks.  The guy was late, but he pre-registered, which made him already fusterated.  The fact that I had him down to 1 made it even worse. He went to Supreme Verdict my creatures at that point and I Golgari Charm’d for the regen, which only made him more upset.  He got out a few Thragtusks and Restoration Angels all in a row though and it didn’t even matter.  He took me from 28 health due to my own Thragtusk and knocked me out, despite using all the blocks, Ultimate Prices, and everything else I had.

I side boarded in a Naturalize for the extra enchantment removal since I could tell he was getting upset with me surviving due to Scavenge and also Victim of the Night.  I took out a Grisly Salvage and two Liliana’s  to put them in.

This second game went much more poorly.  He started the health gain a lot faster at one point being at 32 health.  At the same time, it was at this point where he kept glancing at the clock and the judge’s began circling since our first game went all the way to the 25 minutes remaining mark.  He began to play sloppy and played his only Rest in Peace while there was nothing in my Graveyard and a Syncopate without counting my mana properly.  Trevor came over and watched for a bit and afterwards made the comment of the guy seemingly was about ready to rage quit.  I held out all the way to 30 seconds left in the match before he finally killed me.  If I could have gotten another Thragtusk out and started making him sacrifice creatures, it may have been a draw.  Either way, I walked away realizing how much of a challenge I presented to that type of deck.

Record: 0-1

It was kinda crazy in between rounds...I just hung out in the back until some of the crowd cleared or Trev yelled a number out to me.

It was kinda crazy in between rounds…I just hung out in the back until some of the crowd cleared or Trev yelled a number out to me.

Round 2: I was paired up against a B/R Aggro deck which just became a slaughter.  I’m not sure how long my opponent had been playing, but despite me announcing that Young Wolf had undying(because you can’t be to sure with these triggers anymore), he still wasted a searing spear on it.  Then he did the same with a Strangleroot Geist as soon as I played it, with nothing able to block, so on turn two I was able to swing for five damage.  Although he was able to get rid of a great of mine there was always another hasty creature with a come back.  I swept both games with ease and wished my opponent good luck in the rest of the tournament, although he left rather quickly.

Record: 1-1

Round 3:  This match up was bound to be interesting.  It was my deck vs. a R/W humans deck.  I had done this before when facing Trevor and his Dega Humans and it never ended well, but I was determined.  First game went to me as I drew a perfect hand.  I was able to just take care of all of the possible issues early on.  Once I ran out of Ultimate Price in my hand, I had the Two Strangleroot Geist and a Young Wolf out with a Dreg Mangler waiting.  He put out a couple of small Fencing Ace’s and I had a Golgari Charm.  When he went to swing, rather than block I used the Charm to apply -1/-1 to all creatures, killing his aces and bringing back all of my guys with +1/+1 due to their undying.  Next turn I was able to throw out the Dreg Mangler and swing in.  Next turn game was done as he had nothing left to play.

The following to games did not go so much in my favor.  I mulled to 4 in one and in the other I keps a hand that had creatures, but no land that could come in untapped.  They were probably mistakes on my part, but I learned some valuable lessons from this match.

Record: 1-2

Round 4: Round four was a well put together B/G Zombie deck.  Game one went to him rather quickly thanks to Geralf’s Messenger and me operating on crappy mana.  It happens.  Game 2 went much more in my favor, with me hitting all of my mana drops and what pretty much equates to God Hand.  Young Wolf into Strangle Root Geist into Dreg Mangler  and then Liliana of the Veil to discard a Slitherhead and scavenge it.   He was not able to pull any early creatures to answer and I stayed that whole game at 20.

Game 3 wound up as much more of the expected race.  I got in early hits, but then he was able to swing at me for five four turns in.  However, I was able to then swing in for six.  Next turn he was unable to increase his damage.  I was able to play a shockland and get a Thragtusk out.  Next swing in I was able to end the match.

Record: 2-2

Round 5: Round 5 was tough for me personally as it was against a friend from from my LGS.  It was the first time I had gotten paired against someone from my LGS in a large event.  It was my Undying vs. his Zombies.  Game 1 I was able to win after a rough start due to not pulling enough creatures.  However, I got a Thragtusk and was able to scavenge some things and put a rancor on to win the game.

Game 2 I started out great with plenty of small critters out, but I wasn’t able to keep it up and eventually stalled out.  He kept up his tempo and was able to keep swinging without worrying to much about blocking.  Game 3 was much more tragic.  Although I did great, it was awful to see my friend not pull what he needed.  I was able to block and undie my creatures and then swing. On turn 4 I hit for seven damage between equipping various creatures with multiple Rancors and scavenging whatever I had.  That pretty much ended the game.

I could tell my friend was bummed, and in a way so was I.  Yet, there were still more rounds to come and I needed to continue on, right?

Record: 3-2

Even as people dropped...there were still a lot of people around.

Even as people dropped…there were still a lot of people around.

Round 6: OMG Grixis I hate!  Game 1 I was able to do well in due to him not drawing any mana after placing the two down from opening hand.  It was really just straight beatdown and nothing more.  After that, though it went down hill.

Not sure what he sideboarded in, but it utterly destroyed me.  Game two he was at one point able to swing for 16 damage.  Two Olivia Voldaren’s stealing creatures will do that.  Game three was a lot slower and was looking in my favor.  I played a Thragtusk and was at 25 to his 12.  I was in good shape.  Then that damn Olivia again!  He stole my Thragtusk and just started swinging.  I was completely un able to do anything after that.  End of round.

Record: 3-3

Round 7: My opponent was a no show.  So I went and got food.

Record: 4-3

Round 8: It was another Bant Control match up, and went almost exactly like the first one.  I was able to delay and frustrate and make him do some silly things, but I was never able to push it over the edge.  This is one of the things that I really want to look at side boarding more aggressively against.  Both games were pretty much a wash, but I did push him to nearly time, again hoping to stall out for the draw. It didn’t happen.

Record: 4-4

Round 9: This was yet again another B/R Zombies deck.  This was once again another deck that I utterly decimated.  First game ended with me at 23 health and doing 8 damage a turn.  I was just taking his creatures apart, and even if he could bring them back, they still wouldn’t be able to attack for another turn.  It was just awesome to see.  Game 2 was much of the same, only he actually did some damage.  I would cycle out creatures to block with so that they could get the undying counters through blocking.  Turn 5 I swung for 6 damage and it was only going to get worse as I was sending Slitherheads and Dreg Mangler’s to the graveyard.

However, my opponent was awesome and afterwards we talked decks and stuff for a bit afterwards.  I think this is my favorite thing about these events is getting to speak with people with all kinds of views.

Record: 5-4

Round 10: This was a very different deck for me to go against.  It was just green/white.  However, I had the same issue I did with the Bant Decks when it came to Restoration Angle and Thragtusk.  Oh, he also stole my Thragtusk.  I didn’t like that.  There was not a lot of back and forth, just me swinging and him waiting for Thragtusk. I took the approach of trying to get him to discard cards as well as Ultimate pricing his mana dorks, but that still didn’t quite seem to work.

So I ended the tournament on a loss.

Record: 5-5

I think my favorite part of this tournament was not being hit on once by any of my opponents.  In fact, being around so many friends, a lot of it was just joking around in between matches and having fun.  I got to know some other people as well which was super neat.  It was fantastic to see so many different people playing.  I feel it was perhaps one of the most diverse competitions I have been too, even if it felt like all the decks were the same.

I collect all of the art things...particularly when they have Star Wars in them.

I collect all of the art things…particularly when they have Star Wars in them.

Also I got to hang out with Cynthia Sheppard again!  She is always awesome and her art is great!  Trevor got a signed play set of Cremates and we picked up a print.  I wanted some other ones, but I’m pacing myself.  Also got to see Noah Bradley’s ridiculously amazing pieces of work and talk some more with rk post as well as pick up his awesome art book.  The moment I saw that there was Star Wars in there…it was all over.

Also, I got Eventide and Shadowmoor packs.  I love those.  Particularly when I crack $20 cards.

Yay for $20 land cards!  Although I did get it in Italian...

Yay for $20 land cards! Although I did get it in Italian…