Cook’s Kitchen – Storming into Edison (02/10/2013): Tenth Place
Friday was miserable. There is simply no other way to put it. With storm Nemo on the horizon, when I awoke for work I knew it was going to be a tough day. Since when does society name snowstorms? If they continue this, I just hope the next one is Dory. Anyway, I left work an hour early hoping to get a slight jump on the storm, it was all in vein. The snow was already coming down hard as I waited for Dan Walton and Eric LaFramboise to pick me up at my house. After I was in the car, we swung a couple blocks over to pick up Nick Patnode and we were our way.
The GPS along with MapQuest both said the trip should’ve taken about four hours and fifteen minutes. We didn’t make it to Binghamton until two hours into the trip, which is normally an hour long drive. Dan Walton continued to drive through the weather, which began to clear up a little once we hit New Jersey, and we finally arrived at our hotel after eight hours and thirty minutes of driving. I couldn’t believe Dan got us through it without much of a break. We found the room and found former Syracuse Magic player Phil Blechman building his Standard deck. The rest of us began to do the same thing, Dan and I were both on Boros with very similar lists, while Nick decided to build Esper Control out of my cards and Eric constructed a Naya Humans list.
The alarm went off, we prepared, and headed to the event center. I’m going to be completely honest; the place was scummy and depressing. The building was very run down and not maintained at all during the weekend, including the bathrooms. It was poorly heated, I wore my jacket and Jupiter Games hoodie all weekend inside the building). The walls were a deep grey and black, bringing a very depressing presence to the weekend. Nonetheless, it was time to play Magic.
[Editor’s note – click any of blue card names or featured card images to view and purchase the card from Jupiter Games!]
By Bryant Cook (02/09/2013)
The Standard portion began with a feature match against Harry Corvese. In the first game, I was at sixteen and Harry was at eight. I had a Lightning Mauler with three lands, two of which also tapped for white, my hand was two Boros Charm, Rackdos Cackler and a Hellrider. Harry’s board state was Huntmaster of the Fells with its Wolf token, Frontline Medic, and Mayor of Avabrook with four tapped lands. Without considering the fact that Harry could kill me, I played Cackler unleashed because I wanted to present myself as the one providing the beatdown. On Harry’s turn he played Zealous Conscripts, stole Lightning Mauler and killed me. How frustrating. If I didn’t unleash Cackler, I would have won the game. All I would have to do is during the end step play a Boros Charm, untap, and cast another.
The second game didn’t last very long as I had the curve that the deck dreams about. Stromkirk Noble, Lightning Mauler, Boros Reckoner (pair), followed by Hellrider. Game three was quickly on its way.
I kept a hand of Stromkirk Noble, Stromkirk Noble, Rakdos Cackler, Pillar of Flame, Ash Zealot, Lightning Mauler, and a Mountain on the draw. I was punished. I didn’t draw my second land until turn three and by that point in time I was already behind as my first two draws were Boros Reckoner. After the round I was beating myself up pretty hard for that game one and somewhat for keeping that hand game three, but if I were in that position ever again I’d still keep that hand. It was very strong if one of my first two draws were a second land.
The second round was against the mirror, his draws were poor both games, not to mention the fact that I had double Volcanic Strength in the second game. There was still 42 minutes left in the round when I turned in the slip.
Round three was against a guy from Buffalo who was playing UWr with the infinite life combo of Reckoner, Boros Charm and Azorius Charm. He managed to pull off the combo on turn four in the first game, except for the fact that I never dealt Boros Reckoner any damage. He was pretty embarrassed. Sad to say, the rest of his draws were good enough to beat me anyway. The second game the gentleman was mana screwed and it wasn’t much of a game. We had a close third game where I had him down to five with a Skullcrack in hand but never could deal him two damage before he finally attacked me to death.
The next two rounds were fast and uneventful against Naya and 4c Hexproof. I managed to beat Naya but lost to Hexproof, which ended my day. I decided to sign up for the Legacy Challenge.
Round One: Jeremiah with Post
As we sit down I tell Jeremiah it’s been a very long time since we’ve played. He insists that we played four months ago at Jupiter when I piloted, Sneak Attack? I explain that I’ve never once played that deck. He’s convinced I have. I offer a slapbet, he agrees, I list the decks I’ve played in the last six months but he doesn’t believe me and wants to search Jupiter’s Archives. Several people vouch for me, yet Jeremiah doesn’t believe me. Stay tuned for the slap of the year.
Game One: Jermiah’s starting seven was revealed by a Gitaxian Probe: Repeal, Crop Rotation, Sensei’s Diving Top, Glimmerpost, Glimmerpost, Cloudpost and a Tropical Island. It wasn’t much of a match for my hand that on turn two went: Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor (Revealing: Lion’s Eye Diamond), Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish for Ill-Gotten Gains and cast it. Returning the pair of Lion’s Eye Diamond and Infernal Tutor, play them all for Burning Wish into Tendrils of Agony.
Game Two: Jeremiah once again with a land into a Sensei’s Diving Top, I played a Gitaxian Probe revealing: Mind Break Trap, Surgical Extraction, Bojuka Bog, Vesuva, Tropical Island and my notes say “Tab”, I’m going to assume it’s Tabernacle of Pendrell Vale. On my next turn I Silence, then play Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor for Ad Nauseam and cast it. Jeremiah looks at the flop and concedes.
Round Two: Jackson with Dredge
Game One: I win the die roll and lead the game off with a Gemstone Mine into Ponder. He plays a Faithless Looting. I look at my hand and decide that I can cast Diminishing Returns floating BBRU without a land drop and that I should go for it. My gamble pays off as I Tendrils him for thirty-six life.
Game Two: Almost an identical game to the first game except it was turn three victory after Jackson mulliganed to four and I Silence-Walk him on his turn three.
Round Three: Chris with RUG Delver
Game One: Chris wins the die-roll and begins with Tropical Island into Delver of Secrets. I play Volcanic Island, Ponder. Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox (Imprint Infernal Tutor), Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor for Empty the Warrens and cast it. I could’ve played Ad Nauseam but I suspected that he could have had Daze.
Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, +1 Cabal Therapy.
Game Two: Chris mulligans to five and keeps. Then just passes. I play a Gitaxian Probe, revealing Wasteland, Delver of Secrets, Sylvan Library, Nimble Mongoose, and Brainstorm. I lay a land, Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Burning Wish. Break Lion’s Eye Diamond for red and cast Empty the Warrens. Chris concedes.
Round Four: Doug McKay with UR Delver
I had every intention of playing out the last round until I saw that it was Doug. The prize support in those things has always been pretty weak for 3-1. I felt like I had a very good match-up, not to sound too overly confident. I just didn’t want Doug to only receive six packs so we intentionally drew. $25 store credit and three packs each. I asked for my credit to go on the website so that I could buy Commander foils rather than cards I don’t need. My three packs were Blind Obedience, Obzedat and Merciless Eviction with a foil Godless Shrine. Too bad I couldn’t have opened these in a Sealed Deck event! I’ll take it though.
Just as the Legacy Challenge was ending, I found out that my friend and driver for the weekend Dan Walton just top 8’d his third SCG event! Congrats to Dan, he’s a solid player who doesn’t get much attention. Dan deserved to finish highly in the event, especially after what he had to do to get us to Edison in that weather.
We left the convention center and went back to our hotel, ate at the connected Ruby Tuesdays. Enjoyed some decent food and prepared for the next day. The next morning felt routine, I sat down with Ning and we discussed sideboarding strategies before playing some commander. I had been working hard on my Kresh, the Bloodbraided deck and wanted to really evaluate some of my decisions. We enjoyed some quality games before the pairings were up for the first round
By Bryant Cook (02/10/2013)
Round One: Mike with MUD
Game One: Mike wins the die roll and begins the game with a Cavern of Souls naming Construct then passes the turn. I draw and then cast a Gitaxian Probe (18 life) which reveals: Batterskull, Sundering Titan, Sundering Titan, Ancient Tomb, Lodestone Golem and a second Cavern of Souls. I draw and play a Ponder off of Gemstone Mine before passing pass the turn. Mike’s second turn was Ancient Tomb and pass. I simply couldn’t believe I was given two free turns against mud. I untap and draw and lay a City of Brass. I then begin to announce my storm count, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor (Revealing: Lion’s Eye Diamond), Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, tap City of Brass, Burning Wish for Ill-Gotten Gains then cast it. Return the pair of Lion’s Eye Diamond and Infernal Tutor, replay the two Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor for Burning Wish and then Tendrils of Agony.
Sideboarding: -4 Silence, -3 Duress, +3 Abrupt Decay, +2 Cabal Therapy, +2 Chain of Vapor.
Game Two: My opening hand was pretty good against MUD. It consisted of Dark Ritual, Burning Wish, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Volcanic Island, Gemstone Mine, Ponder, and Chain of Vapor. Mike mulligans then leads off with an Ancient Tomb before passing the turn. I draw a Brainstorm for turn, lay Gemstone Mine (I suspected he had a Wasteland), and cast Ponder looking at Lotus Petal, Infernal Tutor and Rite of Flame. I draw Petal and play it, pass. Mike plays a City of Traitors into Trinisphere before passing the turn to me. I draw Infernal Tutor, play Volcanic Island and pass. Mike untaps, draws, taps City and then puts another into play before casting a Wurmcoil Engine. On his end step, I sacrifice Lotus Petal to cast Chain of Vapor on Trinisphere. Draw the Rite of Flame and begin to count, with Mike being at sixteen from his own Ancient Tomb this was going to be easy. I lay my own City, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Brainstorm into more tutor effects and a Chrome Mox, play the Mox without an Imprint, Infernal Tutor (Revealing: Lion’s Eye Diamond), Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish, and Mike is ready to sign the match-slip.
As we pack up, Mike says, “You’re lucky I didn’t draw one of my Mindbreak Traps.” I laughed assuming that he was joking, he wasn’t. He showed me the three as he took them out of his mono-brown deck.
Round Two: David with Jund
I met David the night before, he asked me to sign his Goblin tokens, and we then proceeded to talk about how much he likes to play Storm. I assume we’re playing the mirror, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Game One: David wins the roll and starts the game off with a Verdant Catacomb for Bayou and casts a Thoughtseize taking my Burning Wish. My opening hand consisted of Scalding Tarn, Gemstone Mine, Gitaxian Probe, Ponder, Brainstorm, Lion’s Eye Diamond and Burning Wish. That’s a pretty solid opening hand. Too bad it didn’t pan out. I draw another land for turn. I play the Probe and draw into a land and Ponder. Shuffle and draw a ritual effect. Lay the Diamond on the table and pass. My hand quickly becomes destroyed by David’s pair of Hymn to Tourach over the next few turns. While waiting to recover David plays a pair of Deathrite Shaman and a Tarmogoyf then starts his onslaught. Instead of activating Shamans to deal me damage David just attacks which gives me an extra two turns. I end up at one life with two City of Brass in play and draw Burning Wish. I cast Diminishing Returns floating a red and blue mana. Unfortunately, my brand new seven cards are terrible. There are three more lands on top of the five I had in play. It was time for the second game.
Game Two: I lead off the game with a Gitaxian Probe which reveals a hand that is just too slow: Wasteland, Wasteland, Verdant Catacombs, Bloodstained Mire, Deathrite Shaman, Hymn to Tourach, and Dark Confidant. I have a turn two win in my hand through Wasteland. I lay a fetchland and pass. David searches his deck for a Bayou and casts Thoughtseize. My game was now over, every turn after this was David absolutely destroying me.
Round Three: Joe with Jund
I was a bit unsure of what Joe was playing. His brother, Jeremy is notorious for blue decks, I thought maybe he would be too. Once again I was wrong.
Game One: I lose the die roll once again, Joe mulligans and began with a Badlands casting Thoughtseize. Hymn to Tourach follows on the second turn and the next turn is a Dark Confidant paired with a Wasteland destroying my only land. He embarrassed me.
Game Two: I play Gitaxian Probe showing Joe’s hand of hand disruption, I follow up with an Underground Sea, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Infernal for Empty the Warrens. Put the 10 Goblins into play and pass. Joe concedes.
Game Three: Joe opens with Duress which reveals: Ad Nauseum, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Underground Sea, Gemstone Mine, Duress and Lion’s Eye Diamond. I thought for sure he was going to take Ad Nauseam but he decides to target Duress, meaning that he had Hymn to Tourach in hand and wanted to get value. I draw another land for turn and play Gemstone Mine followed by Lion’s Eye Diamond. Joe Hymns me, surprise! He hits the additional land and a Rite of Flame. I untap and draw Silence, play my Underground Sea and pass. I cast Silence during Joe’s upkeep. He passes the turn. I draw a City of Brass, tap my three lands, Rite of Flame and cast Ad Nauseam floating three red mana. Joe looks at the cards before picking up his.
Round Four: Albert with Mud
Game One: Albert wins the die roll and begins the game with Ancient Tomb into Grim Monolith, taps Monolith and casts Metalworker. I do a sigh of relief that it wasn’t Trinisphere, however, I am still very nervous that I’m playing against MUD. I draw my card for turn and it’s a Lion’s Eye Diamond. I search my deck using Polluted Delta to find an Underground Sea, play Chrome Mox (Imprint: Empty the Warrens) and cast Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor for Ad Nauseum. I draw twenty-six cards before I begin to showboat.
Sideboarding: -4 Silence, -3 Duress, +3 Abrupt Decay, +2 Cabal Therapy, +2 Chain of Vapor.
Game Two: Albert mulligan’s his hand all the way down to four. Lays an Ancient Tomb and passes. I play a turn one Ad Nauseam that couldn’t reveal any artifact mana. I discard down to seven, one of which was Abrupt Decay. I have a tapped Chrome Mox that’s black and a tapped Gemstone Mine when Albert begins his turn. He slams down a Trinisphere. I draw, lay my land and pass. Albert plays a Lodestone Golem. I cast Decay in response. My only chance to win this game is to draw Chain of Vapor on my turn. I did not; perhaps it’s karma for showboating game one.
Game Three: I mulligan to six, Albert shuffles to four. I start the game with ten Goblins on the first turn from a Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish into Empty the Warrens. Albert doesn’t want to even bother.
Round Five: Scott with UWr Tempo
Game One: Once again my opponent wins the die roll, I knew what Scott was on since we sat next to one another during the Player’s Meeting and had a few mutual friends. He plays a basic Island into Delver of Secrets on his turn. On my turn I play a Ponder. Scott Brainstorms during his upkeep, Delver flips, but he misses his land drop. I spend the next few turns setting up a turn four kill with double back-up when I Gitaxian Probe revealing his hand which has a pair of Daze with his lone Island and a Spell Pierce. I was shocked, I play Silence to draw out Pierce and play out my cards, get him to Daze and pay, then Burning Wish for Ill-Gotten Gains, return another Wish and kill him with Tendrils.
Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, +1 Cabal Therapy.
Game Two: This is a classic example of better lucky than good. I keep a heavy hand absolutely full of mana and a Ponder. I shuffle draw a land and pass. We play draw go until the end of turn three when Scott casts Vendilion Clique targeting me. I’m pretty embarrassed when all I have is mana. Scott attacks and passes. I draw Empty the Warrens. I play out all of my mana and cast Empty the Warrens for sixteen goblins. Scott can’t believe it as he’s holding two Force of Will, a Daze, and a Spell Pierce. He picks up his cards.
Round Six: Jeremiah with Post
I was building up some momentum; I beat Jeremiah the night before pretty handily. I was feeling decent about this match-up.
Game One: I finally win my first die roll! I keep an opening hand of Chrome Mox, Chrome Mox, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Gemstone Mine, Underground Sea, Ad Nauseum, and Brainstorm. I play Underground Sea and pass the turn. Jeremiah’s turn is just as quick, “Tropical Island, go.” I draw Duress and cast Brainstorm. It draws Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Silence. All it needed to find was a single mana source and a colored card. That’s unfortunate, I spend the next few turns drawing through Brainstorm as Jeremiah plays lands. It becomes too late by the time I can cast Ad Nauseum, I had taken a couple of Primeval Titan swings and was simply too low.
Game Two: I keep an opening hand that consisted of Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Scalding Tarn, City of Brass, Ponder, Burning Wish, Rite of Flame, and Lion’s Eye Diamond. I draw a Ponder for turn, lay a City of Brass and cast Brainstorm. If Brainstorm hit some acceleration I would be able to drop a boat load of Goblins on turn one, however, my brainstorm drew a Chrome Mox, Gitaxian Probe, and an Infernal Tutor. I put Chrome Mox and Probe on top of my Library. Jeremiah plays a Sensei’s Diving Top and passes. I draw Probe and cast it: It shows Blue Elemental Blast, Flusterstorm, Emrakul, Repeal, Island, and Glimmerpost. I draw Chrome Mox, tap my City and cast Brainstorm again. This Brainstorm draws Chrome Mox, Duress, and the third Chrome Mox. I put two Chrome Mox back and shuffle using Scalding Tarn, followed by a Ponder. The cards were rather unimpressive; I shuffle and draw Chrome Mox. Jeremiah does a couple small things on his turn, and then passes. I draw a Gemstone Mine, lay it and cast Ponder. Shuffle and draw Chrome Mox. Bad luck. I cast the Duress and strip Flusterstorm out of his hand. We spend a few turns going back and forth until my hand has a Silence and Ad Nauseam, I decide that I’m going to Silence him on his upkeep and attempt to win. He saw it coming and counters. I draw another Duress and attempt to strip his remaining counters, however, he has several. Soon enough Emrakul, the Aeons Torn comes down off of Show and Tell. My day is done.
Round Seven: Ben with Spiraltide
I was feeling pretty defeated after losing the last round, but I told myself that I was going to do my best to win out. My goal for this thing was to see how high I could finish in the standings, and that’s what I was going to do.
Game One: I mulligan down to six. I then go off unprotected on turn two to run into a Flusterstorm and then again on turn four before I see a Force of Will. Ben casts Timespiral restocking my fuel and also giving me a Silence to stop him, however, he had the countermagic to continue his pursuits. He’s doing a lot of counting when I said this, “Do you have it? This turn has already been ten minutes, if you have the win just show me your hand and we can move onto game two.” Ben’s hand is stacked. We both reach for our sideboard.
Sideboarding: -1 Chrome Mox, -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, +3 Cabal Therapy.
Game Two: I mulligan again. This game can be defined by one turn, it’s late game, we both have four to five lands, I’m holding a pair of Silence and Ben had cast Cunning Wish for Turnabout on my last end step. I move to draw, I pause and wait for a response. Nothing, I draw a third Silence, I play Chrome Mox (Imprinting: Silence) and cast a Silence. He plays Force of Will (removing Turnabout), I Silence again and he says, “Another Silence?!” I think to myself at this point, “Well you’ve had two Force of Will as well as two Flusterstorm this game.” This is when Ben puts his third Flusterstorm on the table. I laugh. I pass, Ben now with two cards in hand plays Cunning Wish at the end of my turn – his hand was now High Tide and Meditate. On my turn, I Duress, Ben casts Meditate. He forces, I decide to go for it and continue comboing. Ad Nauseum resolves from my hand and we move to game three after Grapeshot.
Game Three: Ben shuffles to six. This game is rather long, even lasting longer than the first two, we become some sort of feature match as people gather around. I drew seven of my ten pieces of disruption, I dwindle Ben’s hand down to a single Flusterstorm before drawing Cabal Therapy. I play it, Ben discards his Flusterstorm and reveals the last card in his hand – Basic Island! Tap some lands, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor and Ad Nauseum.
Round Eight: Carlos with BUG Control
There is one thing I will not forget about Carlos, he is very thorough with his shuffling. Each time someone searched a deck he shuffled for a solid minute and a half to two minutes, I was shocked at how much time we spent considering how quickly the round went.
Game One: I play a turn one Probe after Carlos starts off with a Bayou into Deathrite Shaman. His hand reveals Abrupt Decay, Liliana of the Veil, Tropical Island, Life From the Loam, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Draw a Dark Ritual off of Probe and cast Ponder, which finds Lion’s Eye Diamond. My hand was set up for a turn two at this point. Carlos draws and lays Tropical Island before passing. I decide to go for it anyway, draw, and put Volcanic Island into play. I cast Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor for Ad Nauseum. I Grapeshot him, no particular reason other than my storm count was almost already there.
Sideboarding: -1 Empty the Warrens, -1 Chrome Mox, +2 Cabal Therapy.
Game Two: Carlos shuffles to five cards, I start with a Gitaxian Probe, it shows Mana Leak, Vendilion Clique, Abrupt Decay, and a pair of lands. Sadly, I can’t combo off before he can cast Clique. On my turn three I cast Cabal Therapy, instead of playing Vendilion Clique, Carlos drops Mana Leak from his hand. From this point, I play Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, and finally Empty the Warrens from my hand. After that I use the flashback on Cabal Therapy. Carlos draws for turn and picks up his cards.
Round Nine: Ryan with Goblins
Ryan asks if I would like to draw. I kindly explain that I have no interest in drawing and that it’s just not what I want to do. He doesn’t seem thrilled with the idea.
Game One: Ryan wins the die roll and starts with a Scalding Tarn. I search my library using Scalding Tarn for Volcanic Island, tap it and cast Ponder. Ryan searches for a basic Mountain on my end step then plays a Wasteland on my Volcanic during his turn. I play an Ad Nauseum off of Chrome Mox (Imprint: Infernal Tutor), Chrome Mox (Imprint: Silence), Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond and Infernal Tutor. I draw well over twenty cards and play a few mana sources before getting Ryan to concede when I cast Gitaxian Probe.
I think he’s on some sort of artifact red deck?
Sideboarding: -4 Silence, -3 Duress, +3 Cabal Therapy, +2 Abrupt Decay, +2 Chain of Vapor.
Game Two: Ryan begins this game with Mountain into Goblin Lackey. Now it makes sense! My hand is three lands, Burning Wish, Infernal Tutor, Infernal Tutor, and Chrome Mox. I draw Dark Ritual for turn. I play land, Chrome Mox (Imprint: Infernal Tutor) and cast Burning Wish searching for Diminishing Returns. Ryan attacks with Lackey and drops a Goblin Ringleader into play. Ringleader reveals a Tin-Street Hooligan and a Goblin Warchief. Cavern of Souls comes down, naming Goblin, soon enough my Mox was gone. I draw Lotus Petal for turn. Lay my land and pass. Ryan plays a Wasteland, destroys a land, attacks, puts some creatures into play and then passes. My life total is dropping quickly. I draw another land, play it, Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, and Diminishing Returns. My new seven is a mana short of victory.
Game Three: We both mulligan. My opening hand is Scalding Tarn, Gemstone Mine, City of Brass, Rite of Flame, Cabal Therapy, and Infernal Tutor. It’s pretty weak, I’m afraid that I might actually lose this. I put Gemstone into play, tap it and cast Cabal Therapy naming Goblin Lackey. Ryan sighs as he discards two copies leaving him with a Mountain, Goblin Ringleader, Goblin Matron, and Goblin Sharpshooter. All Ryan does for the rest of the game is draw up to seven and then start discarding. I draw a Brainstorm but hang onto the spell for later, before I attempt to win the game I have seven lands in play with two in the graveyard. Ryan still hasn’t dealt me any damage. I Brainstorm into Ad Nauseum. I then tap five lands not named City of Brass and cast it. I reveal and Ryan picks up his cards when I stop.
He asks if I’m sure that I would not like to draw, I tell him that I’m sure. I sign the match slip and extend it to him, apparently in the meantime he had been tweeting this:
I found this pretty amusing, but I just don’t split. The match the day before being an exception, I like Doug, we’re both from Syracuse and I consider him a friend. Some random guy I’ve never met? He’s on his own.
I end up finishing in 10th place right behind Ning who was 9th after his win-and-in. There was also another gentleman in the top 16 with TES named John Gatza, although I never met or saw him playing. Our friend Royce also made top 32 with TES, however decided not to play the last round and drew. If Royce had played and won the last round there would’ve been four copies of The EPIC Storm in the top 16.
One die roll win on the day. When playing a deck like TES, it’s really bad to not be on the play. In match-ups such as against Jund or MUD, if you’re on the play the percentages of winning dramatically increase. It’s all luck, you can’t be too concerned with something you can’t control. Just hope for something better next time. I just think my performance on the day would’ve been better had I won a few more rolls. My two losses were a matter of extraordinary draw skills on David’s behalf game three of round three and my poor luck against Jeremiah.
Overall on the weekend, I think the deck performed quite well with three copies in the top 16 as well as another in the top 32. I was really pulling for Ning to win his round 9 on-camera feature match against Josh Ravitz. He just kept a pretty questionable hand and lost. Ning, Royce, and myself discussed some changes we’re considering. While these are not definitely happening, they’re worth testing:
-1 Hull Breach
-1 Cabal Therapy
+2 Xantid Swarm
The first change is to the main deck, while I didn’t find myself wanting another land at all this weekend, I did want another shuffle effect one or two times. Ning however did lose his last round to not being able to find an initial mana source. Duress is rather low-impact compared to other cards in the deck such as Silence or Gitaxian Probe, especially with blue decks not dominating the metagame at the time. It would make sense to cut Silence then right? You would think that, but with the remaining blue decks not playing Counterbalance and shifting back to Stifle, Silence is stronger than ever. Not to mention the ability to “Silence-Walk” an opponent to stop their Hymn to Tourach.
The second change is to the sideboard, most of the time against blue decks I only side in one Cabal Therapy and leave the others as Wish targets. The only time they all come in is against non-blue decks which are traditionally good match-ups. By shaving a rather unused Cabal Therapy and a Hull Breach we can improve tough match-ups such as Reanimator and Sneak Show. Out of the people playing a Revoke Existence or Hull breach in the slot this weekend, it wasn’t cast once. That means it simply just isn’t worth it’s place in the deck. Adding Xantid Swarm back into the deck helps problematic match-ups as well as matches against some rising decks like Spiraltide or Post.
I’ll be testing these changes over the next few weeks, keep posted and I’ll let everyone know how these cards fair.
Now is something I considered not sharing, but I feel is necessary. Everyone really needs to step up their game with watching their own belongings, as well as keeping an eye out for your friends and community. There were three backpacks and a deck stolen on Sunday. The deck was (A fellow Jupiter Games player) Jim Higgenbottom’s TES deck with Italian black bordered duals, German Ice Age Brainstorms, as well as other valuables. One of the backpacks belonged to yet another Jupiter Games enthusiast, Steve Thompson. Jupiter Games has always been a great place where 95% of the time belongings are turned in, it’s different at larger events. People are untrustworthy, even people most wouldn’t suspect.
I finished my matches pretty quickly all weekend with plenty of time to spare. When I wandered around, I never noticed anything until someone pointed out some sketchy individuals to me. During the round these four people would walk up and down the aisles. They never even entered the event and would watch player’s games. During the fourth and fifth round I kept an eye on them as I finished my match, I hawked over them with another person as they worked as a team to kick someone’s bag out. They nodded and walked toward one another. At this time, the gentleman at the match next to the man’s bag slid his chair back because he had just completed his match. The two thieves scurried.
I continued to watch them as they went back to where they seemed to be reporting to their leader, a well known player in the Magic community. I wasn’t shocked to be honest. A strong distaste began to form as I had a feeling my friends would never see their collections again. The other person and I confronted Star City Games, as well as Security who watched over these four until they left in a Taxi. I hope that Wizards is currently working on a way to ban thieves from events completely to stop rings of people like this.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that these large events, not everyone is there to enjoy themselves for a weekend of competition. Not everywhere you go is a trustworthy community like a Jupiter Games or a local gaming store, be aware of your surroundings and others. Even people that are established names.
Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!
Bryant Cook on MTGthesource