Cook’s Kitchen – Storming into Jupiter pt. IV (NELC – 02/11/12) First Place

Sorry to disappoint, but this week will not be my top 5 favorite Magic cards, you will all have to wait a week. The suspense must be terrible, but I believe that this will be an entertaining enough read for everyone.


A couple months ago I came in second at the NELC Qualifier hosted by Jupiter Games and that left me with 17 points for the invitational Championship. Last month, I only made top 16 leaving me with 19 points. While Top 16 is nothing to scoff at in a shark-infested metagame, I only received two points for the day. By “shark-infested” I mean that Jupiter Games events are the real deal, I challenge anyone to walk into Jupiter for the first time and win. There are so many good players at the Jupiter Games NELC events that winning one is very tough. I’m sure anyone who’s ever played in one can concur with this statement. I’ve played in other large-scale events such as Star City’s or a Grand Prix – the skill level is much higher at Jupiter.


Let’s get back to my original point – points. Going into this month, I was guaranteed to hit the next level in the point system at Jupiter. This is exciting! There were two or three people above me in points going into this event, the person in first being Eli Kassis. Eli had eight more points than I did. Speaking of Eli, besides being incredibly good at Magic, he’s a really nice dude.  Eli messaged me about three weeks ago with an eBay auction for the last non-Japanese foil card in my deck – a Chrome Mox. Bad timing for me, I had sent out student loan payments the day before not leaving myself with enough money to purchase the Mox.  Eli was kind enough to buy it for me and let me pay him back at the event.


The morning of the event Jon Quackenbush picked me up and we headed over to Adam Phillips’s place and we we’re off to Jupiter. Jon was to play Maverick and Adam piloting Enchantress. As for me, it’s not that difficult to guess – The E.P.I.C. Storm. While I change it up at locals, I stick to my guns when it comes to larger events. The ride down consisted of a little nerd talk, drunk stories, and quite a few ridiculous tales from Phillips.  When we arrived at the Jupiter Tournament Center the temperature of the location wasn’t much warmer than outside on that cold winter day. I had to go back out to the car for my coat because my hands wouldn’t stop shaking as I wrote down my decklist. When I came back in Eli had arrived with my Japanese Foil Chrome Mox – I couldn’t wait to put the last card in my deck. I handed him $160 and slid that bad boy in my deck. One benefit to this is now when I sideboard out the Mox against Control I don’t need to waste time looking for the ugly one.



As I’m filling out my decklist Tariq White and Nick Patnode sit down next to me. Tariq is piloting UW Stoneforge aggro and playing all of the wrong equipment. Fellow Jupiter writer Dan Rae and I talk Tariq into playing some better artifacts. Patnode doesn’t want to play Goblins due to the amount of Maverick in the field so I lend him my foiled out Burn deck that I won the weekly Legacy event with. While doing so, I needed to take the foil fetches out of my Kresh, the Bloodbraided Commander deck. I may of left my 100% foil Kresh deck on the table that day…


The EPIC Storm (as of 02/11/2012)




4  Dark Ritual

4  Rite of Flame

4  Burning Wish

4  Infernal Tutor

4  Ponder

4  Brainstorm

3  Duress

3  Orim’s Chant


2  Ad Nauseam

1  Tendrils of Agony


4  Lion’s Eye Diamond

4  Lotus Petal

4  Chrome Mox

Non-Basic Land:

4  Gemstone Mine

2  City of Brass

2  Scalding Tarn

2  Underground Sea

1  Volcanic Island

1  Polluted Delta

1  Bloodstained Mire


3  Pyroblast

2  Echoing Truth

1  Wipe Away

1  Silent Departure

1  Shattering Spree

1  Duress

1  Grapeshot

1  Empty the Warrens

1  Tendrils of Agony

1  Ill-Gotten Gains

1  Past in Flames

1  Diminishing Returns

Round One: Feature Match vs. Seneca Holber with Bant Maverick

Watch the video


Game One: Seneca and I both take mulligans. We play “land-go”, until my turn 3. I Brainstorm into Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Ad Nauseam. Must be nice right?  I put Ad Nauseam and another Brainstorm on top. I cast Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Lion;s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Dark Ritual, Ponder, break Lion’s Eye Diamond for BBB. Ad Nauseam. Cast some spells and Tendrils.


Sideboarding: -2 Silence, -1 Chrome Mox, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Silent Departure


Game Two: I mulligan to five and keep a hand without any lands. I draw and play a Lion’s Eye Diamond, like a fool. I always have in the back of my head that Seneca plays Junk decks with Hymn to Tourach and Thoughtseize, so I play out the Diamond like a fool. Seneca then plays a Qasali Pridemage to capitalize on my mistake. I draw a fetchland, play it, pass. Seneca attacks putting me to 17, plays Stoneforge Mystic and then destroys my Diamond with Pridemage. I draw City of Brass, play it, then Brainstorm. Fetch for Underground Sea and Duress. Seneca reveals a hand of two Knight of the Reliquary, Geist of Saint Traft, and the Equipment.  Seneca’s turn was him casting a Knight and passing. I draw and cast Brainstorm into Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and a land. (In the video at this point I say that’s not a card I want to draw because anything in the deck that is plus one mana wins me the game.) I played Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, for Ad Nauseam and cast it. I draw some spells and showboat eventually leading into a lethal Grapeshot.




Round Two: Sean King with Lodestone Mud


Sean beat me in my “win-and-in” round in the last month’s Jupiter Event. I really wanted revenge but it wouldn’t be an easy match-up. Luckily for me, there was a re-pair. I was quite excited.


Round Two: Paolo Cesari with UWr StoneBlade


Game One: I mulligan and keep a hand without much protection. We play “land-go” until turn three after I’ve hit my third land-drop, I cast Brainstorm. Brainstorm draws two Dark Rituals and Duress. I put two back and cast Dark Ritual, the spell gets Dazed. The following turn I Duress, Paolo plays Snapcaster, Brainstorm and didn’t find anything. I then play two Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, Ad Nauseam, win.


Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast


Game Two: Paolo has a turn one Delver paired with a turn two Stoneforge Mystic. He begins the beatdown. I play a land and pass. On Paolo’s upkeep I cast Silence targeting him, it resolves. He attacks. End step, I play Ritual, Ritual, Ad Nauseam. Ad Nauseam reveals Tendrils, Ad Nauseam, and a bunch of other cards. It was a pretty bad Ad Nauseam. I untap and play out some mana artifacts into Silence. Silence meets Force of Will. I then play Chant, Paolo Dazes. I do some counting and come up a storm short. My thought process is to play the Tendrils from my hand leaving Paolo at one then win next turn. I could’ve just paid the one mana on Daze, cast Burning Wish, and won using the additional storm from Burning Wish. Talk about having “Tunnel Vision”. I play Tendrils into Stifle. Disappointment. I saw the play as it happened. I’m a bit rusty, since I haven’t played the deck in a month.


Game Three: I open up with a sketchy hand of Scalding Tarn, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Ponder, Silence, Dark Ritual. I keep, fetch into Underground Sea, Ponder. I look at Gemstone Mine, Infernal Tutor, and Burning Wish. I draw Gemstone Mine. Paolo plays a Scalding Tarn and passes. I draw Infernal Tutor. Play Gemstone Mine, tap Underground Sea, Dark Ritual, Paolo broke his fetchland. In response, tap Gemstone Mine, Silence. It resolves. Play all three Lion’s Eye Diamonds, Infernal Tutor, Ad Nauseam. Paolo looks at all of the cards drawn and scoops it up.




Lunch break time! Nick Patnode, Jon Barber, James “Aspen”, and myself go next door to the pizza place and share a meal. James wants more, Patnode and I bail to go back and EDH. I grab some Reese’s Cups. Love chocolate and peanut butter. I bust out my two hundred card Zombie Horde and Godo. Patnode is piloting Khalia.


Shortly after a crowd is watching. Nick and I both open with a turn two Commander. Turn three we attack the Horde for 45. The Horde then reveals a Souless One and swings for lethal… We play two more and beat the Horde both times. Godo with a Sword of Body and Mind on it is ridiculously good against the Horde. Milling thirty cards and creating two blockers isn’t bad. Before we know it round three has been paired.


Round Three: Michael Cutrone with RUG


Game One: I mulligan to five and lead with a Scalding Tarn into an Underground Sea and Ponder. My land is Wasteland-ed. I sit there while Mike destroys my life total.


Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast


Game Two: Mike opens with turn one Sensei’s Diving Top, I say, “Did you board into Countertop?” Sure enough, Mike’s second turn is a Counterbalance. I fetch for Volcanic Island and Pyroblast. Mike cast Force of Will. I draw Lion’s Eye Diamond. Play it. Counterbalance reveals Brainstorm. Play a Lotus Petal and a land. Cast Infernal Tutor into Ad Nauseam. The only artifacts Ad Nauseam reveals are a Chrome Mox and one Lion’s Eye Diamond before Nauseam kills me.




Round Four: Feature Match vs. Tariq White with UW Stoneforge Aggro

Watch the video. 


Game One: We both play “land-go”, Tariq then plays Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull. I play Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Ad Nauseam right into a Force of Will. I then play Burning Wish on turn three and miscount my mana after I cast Past in Flames. Giving Tariq the game. Not playing TES frequently enough is really hurting my game.


Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast


Game Two: I keep an extremely protection-heavy hand with lands and decide this is going to be a game that I win late in the game. We pass for awhile, Tariq beats me down with a factory for several turns. I cast a Brainstorm at some point, this game isn’t very exciting.  I win.


Game Three: He plays a land, I play a land into Ponder. Duress on turn two, Tariq fetches and casts a Brainstorm. He reveals a bunch of garbage, I take his Spell Snare. Tariq taps five lands and casts a Batterskull. I decide that it’s time to go for it. I play a Chant, he plays a Force of Will pitching the Blue Elemental Blast, I play a Pyroblast on the Force of Will. Tariq fetches and plays Spell Pierce. I let Pierce resolve because he has no cards in hand. Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox, Burning Wish, Tendrils of Agony.




Round Five: Si-Ning Li with English RUG


Sitting down against Ning isn’t fun. Could a guy get a break? In fact, this guy does, for the second time. Islands after islands it seemed like. Repair.


Round Five: Mike Montaruli with Enchantress


Game One: Mike plays a turn two Enchantress. I play a turn two Ad Nauseam.


Sideboarding: -3 Orim’s Chant, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipeaway


Game Two: Mike mulligans down to a single card looking for Leyline of Sanctity. He says, “Go”. I play Duress and take his Green Sun Zenith. He draws and reveals the Leyline. Turn two, I show him what Storm twenty looks like. Late in the game I play Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, into Silence. Infernal Tutor revealing a second Lion’s Eye Diamond, play both Diamonds. An extra Chant just in case, Pyroblast his Tormod’s Crypt, Burning Wish, Infernal Tutor, and then finally Tendrils.




Round Six: Si-Ning Li with RUG


Ning again… just delaying the inevitable I suppose.


Game One: Ning mulligans and I open up with a pretty nasty hand. Lion’s Eye Diamnond, Underground Sea, Ponder, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, Orim’s Chant, City of Brass. I play Underground Sea into Ponder. Ponder finds a Rite of Flame and a Lotus Petal. Ning plays a land and passes. I play a City of Brass, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, Orim’s Chant, Infernal Tutor, Ad Nauseam.


Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast


Game Two: I mulligan, then keep a decent hand. We play lands for a couple of turns while Ning attacks me down to 10 with a Delver. I resolve an Ad Nauseam on his end step. My Ad Nauseam reveals a Tendrils, a couple of tutors, and cantrips. Not a lot of mana. I attempt to go off on my turn, but Ning soft counters, leave me a storm short. Ning is at 1, I’m back at 19. He plays two Tarmogoyf in the following turns and kills me before I can deal that single point damage. Unfortunate.


Game Three: My opening hand is a Scalding Tarn, Gemstone Mine, Chrome Mox, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, Silence, and Pyroblast. A really good opening hand – sadly, it doesn’t get there. I decide that it’s better to play around Ning’s soft counters and wait until I draw two more mana. This doesn’t happen between his Stifles and Wastelands. I end the game without a mana source.




Knocked out of the event, or so I thought.


Round Seven: Adam Najman with RUG


Pairings go up and it turns out I have the best tie breakers among people with 12 points so I’m the pair-up. I’m facing Adam Najman, the man who deprived me of a trophy two months prior. I wanted some revenge. I’m pretty nervous going into the round, It’s a must-win. If I win there’s a good chance that I sneak into the Top 8.


Game One: Adam plays a turn one Delver of Secrets and attacks me all the way down to 9 with it before I attempt to win the game. I play a Silence, in response Adam throws two Lightning Bolt at my head leaving me with three life points. I’m pretty Thankful that Adam played because of those Lightning Bolts, because it made my job easier trying to win the game. I then played a pair of Lotus Petals followed by a Dark Ritual and a Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, Infernal Tutor, Tendrils of Agony.


Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast


Game Two: The second game of this round is pretty much identical to the first game. The only difference was that when I “went off”, I used two Chants and a Pyroblast as protection.




I snuck into 8th place as the only X-2. While this was exciting, I was more excited about to find out I’d be playing against Eli in Top 8. Winning would mean gaining some ground on Eli in the Jupiter points race.


Top 8: Eli Kassis with UWr Stoneblade


Game One: Eli has a turn one Brainstorm during my end step after I Ponder. He then casts a turn two Stoneforge Mystic. I play a Cantrip and pass. Eli passes. I play an Infernal Tutor which meets a Spell Snare.I pass, Eli puts Feast and Famine into play with Stoneforge. On his turn he equips and swings. I discard Ad Nauseam. My turn, I draw a Dark Ritual. Orim’s Chant finds a Force of Will from Eli. Eli has three untapped lands and one card in hand. I play out my Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and a few other mana sources into Infernal Tutor. I sit there what seems like an eternity while Eli thinks. If it’s Snapcaster it’s the longest slow roll I’ve ever seen. It’s not, it’s Brainstorm. His Brainstorm finds another. He fetches and cast the second Brainstorm. Infernal resolves, as does my Ad Nauseam, the last card in his hand is a Punishing Fires that puts me to 1. I showboat for a while then show Eli my Grapeshot.


Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast


Game Two: Eli is on the play and leads with a Delver of Secrets followed by a second turn Stoneforge Mystic. My second turn is a bit more impressive. Silence, which meets a Force of Will, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, Ad Nauseam. Showboat for a while and Grapeshot Eli again.




Top 4: Michael Cutrone with RUG 

Watch the video. (Sorry for some reason the video cuts out)


Game One: We both play some cantrips in the opening turns, mine being a Brainstorm that put Ad Nauseam second from the top. Mike accidently reveals a Spell Snare in his hand. Mike then plays a Delver of Secrets and passes. I Chant Mike, He Forces, I then play Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox, Ponder, in response break the Diamonds for BBB+BBB. Ad Nauseam. Play out a bunch of cards and Grapeshot Mike for the Countertop treatment in the swiss rounds.


Sideboarding: -1 Orim’s Chant, -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast, +1 Wipe Away


Game Two: I’m blanking on this game. I can’t remember too much, I remember he had a couple of Nimble Mongoose that really wanted Threshold. He eventually reached Threshold by using Wastelands and Stifles on my lands. I can’t remember if he drew Counterbalance. Let’s pretend he did. It’ll justify the game loss.


Game Three: I keep a hand of Pyroblast, Silence, Gemstone Mine, Scalding Tarn, City of Brass, Infernal Tutor, and Brainstorm. Pretty much the best hand I could ask for. Mike Mulligans and keeps his six. I play a land and pass, Mike draws and passes without playing a land. This means Force of Will. I draw a Rite of Flame for the turn, play City of Brass, and Brainstorm. It finds Wipe Away, Chrome Mox, and Lotus Petal. Not a bad Brainstorm! We play “draw-go” until turn 3 when I have three lands to Mike’s Zero. I Silence him and it resolves. I then showed Mike a massive Grapeshot.


It turns out Mike kept the hand because it was Daze, Spell Pierce, Top, Counterbalance, Delver, and something else. Oh well. That hand had nothing on Wipe Away.




Finals: Doug McKay with Mono-White

Watch the video.


I sit down and am pretty happy to [see in his decklist] that Doug doesn’t have Thalia in his deck. The only relevant cards in his deck are 3 Leyline of Sanctity, 2 Aura of Silence and as I found out in game one, 4 Wasteland.


Game One: I get stuck with too many cantrips and can’t become Hellbent for the Infernal Tutor in my hand. Doug plays a pair of Wastelands on me and attacks with a Mirran Crusader with a Jitte on it. Ouch. During the game we found out that Whitney Houston died. We were both clearly distraught.


Sideboarding: -2 Silence, -1 Orim’s Chant, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Silent Departure


Game Two: I decide that I’ll let Doug have a chance in beating me, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish, Empty the Warrens for 10 goblins, pass. It gets there.


Game Three: Doug plays a Mother of Runes, I play a Volcanic and pass. Doug attacks and Wastelands me. I play a Gemstone Mine. Doug attacks again with his Mom [editor’s note: Mom = Mother of Runes, Doug’s mother did not attack Bryant]. I play a Chrome Mox (Imprinting: Burning Wish), Burning Wish for Past in Flames and pass. Doug plays an Aura of Silence, attacks, and passes. I draw and cast Brainstorm. Play a land, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Past in Flames, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Burning Wish, Tendrils of Agony!




Won my first Northeast Legacy Championship Qualifier at Jupiter in a while! Took second a few months ago but there isn’t a trophy to remind you. I ended up taking two Underground Seas and a Volcanic Island so that I don’t need to switch out my T.E.S. dual lands when I play other decks. I also got a Savannah and a pair of Tarmogoyfs with the winnings. Most importantly I took away 155$ cash [in addition to the store credit] to make up for the money I spent in the morning on my Chrome Mox.


My writing credit bought a Savannah and two of the “Fire Lightining” foil Chain Lightnings. I leave the store that night being first in Jupiter points and leveled up twice!


I’ll now receive a Round 1 bye for the rest of the season! Winning does have its benefits.


The ride home was long, not to mention I told BFS and Patnode that because I won I would ride down with them the next day for the Grand Prix Trial. Which meant no sleeping in that weekend. Not a bad day. Until I got home, when I realized Kresh was missing while putting cards away. I sent out some texts and found that Tariq grabbed my Kresh deck that I mistakenly left on the table. I’m very thankful that I got it back.


I woke up at 7 got ready and built two decks in the morning. A UGW deck with Delver of Secrets, Mongoose, Geist of Saint Traft, and a singleton Thrun. I thought it would be a good thwart to the metagame. The only downside was that it didn’t have enough removal for decks with both Delver and Tarmogoyf. Because of this I switched over to a UWr Tempo deck. I finished X-2 being the only X-2 to make top 8 again. I then lost to Dan Rae in Top 8. While there was no prize for Top 8, I did trade for something I really wanted. For those of you who read my article last week you know Theiving Magpie is in my top 10 favorite magic cards. I traded for a foil Italian Urza’s Legacy playset of Magpies. I’m just looking for a reason to play them at this point.


What a good weekend. Hope you enjoyed the report and come back next week to read about my top 5 favorite Magic cards! Until then, keep Storming!


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook on MTGthesource



3 thoughts on “Cook’s Kitchen – Storming into Jupiter pt. IV (NELC – 02/11/12) First Place”

  1. Pst, you mention you have wipe away in your quater finals match but you don’t mention it in your sideboarding notes for that round.

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