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.

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