Tales of the Squire – A Weekend of Tournaments
Hello all readers out there who have decided to well, read this. I know I have not written in a while and honestly do not plan to get back onto a regular writing schedule. However I do want to entrance you all with some information from this past weekend. For those of you who were unaware, Jupiter held a $500 FNM and then a Duel for Duals on Saturday. I played in both and cashed in on both with some unusual deck choices and just wanted to share. So let’s begin!
There were 53 people in the FNM and I decided to play a mono black small pox deck designed by none other than Kenneth Adams. Here is the list:
Mono Black Small Pox
Now I’m not 100% sure about the list because I quickly built the deck copying Ken’s main, played it for 6 rounds and then dismantled it to give back the cards I borrowed. As you can see the deck is pretty straight forward. You cast some zombies and rats and get value out of them. You smallpox your opponent to wreck their board while not caring if your Ravenous Rats dies and then smack them around with some zombies.
First round – Goblins splashing blue for Curiosity
This could possibly be a very poor match up for me because if he gets ahead on creatures I can be in trouble. Well he plays a lot of mediocre goblins and gets his chieftain taken out by a removal spell. At one point his board is a goblin arsonist and land with nothing in hand. I cast a gravecrawler during my first main which I know is a mistake because I want to attack with both the rats and gravecrawler I already have out. I decide to attack anyway just to see what he does (plus I have a messenger in my hand). He opts to block the gravecrawler and then shoot my rat taking 1. Good for me because I just cast the gravecrawler again and with a messenger take the game. The following game he plays some pingers in the form of Goblin FIreslinger and Spikeshot Elder. He pings away as I remove the two and land some dudes on board. He ends up drawing a bunch of lands after his hand is eaten by my spells. He never recovers and I win the match.
Second Round – Ali Antrazi playing UB Control
Ali was the special guest brought to the tournament and beating him wins you a Ravnica dual land. I saw Ali’s deck before the tournament and was pretty scared because he has double Curse of Death’s Hold plus plenty of planeswalkers. I take down game 1 as my hand hate takes down some key cards and Ali draws a bunch of lands. The next game I flood on lands and he lands a Batterskull plus a Wurmcoil Engine. In game 3 Ali really doesn’t draw any lands and I get out double Vampire Nighthawk and Ali just cannot recover as he doesn’t have a black sun’s zenith and Batterskull will not save him at 4.
Third Round – Kenneth Adams playing Mono Black Pox
I knew it would come to this and I would have to battle Ken. We weren’t prepared for the mirror match because well, who honestly plays this deck? Ken made it two weeks ago in our hotel in Boston. Game 1 Ken had a Liliana and had us both discard while I had no creatures out. Ken discarded a gravecrawler which worked perfectly for me as I was holding the 1 of Vile Rebirth. I end of the turn removed the gravecrawler and attacked Liliana next turn. Geralf’s messenger came out and being the key card of the match let me take down the game. Side boarding was definitely interesting because we were both semi confused on what to do. I led with a turn 1 Duress and Ken wondered why I kept them in but got lucky hitting his Sword of Feast and Famine. Unfortunately I flooded out while Ken did not. Although later in that game Ken Duressed me which made me laugh because he asked why I kept mine in. Game three though I had a Blood Artist but couldn’t find a spellbomb to remove his zombies and my sword wasn’t enough to get there. I lost to the master of the deck, which makes sense.
Fourth Round – Mono Green Infect
I lead the game with Despise and see double Cathedral of War and an Inkmoth Nexus. I cast a Ravenous Rats and then next turn Messenger. His beating with the Nexus isn’t enough as I hate out his hand with smallpox. Game 2 I have a fume spitter that’s attacking and as he goes to place Rancor on his Nexus I try to kill it with the Fume Spitter. He uses Mutagenic Growth to save it and bashes me for 8 poison. I beat him down and because of the -1/-1 counter on the Inkmoth he is unable to activate it again to kill me.
Fifth Round – Ray with RW Tempered Steel
Ray mulligans and leads with Signal Pest and a Memnite. I manage to kill the Memite and cause him to discard pretty much his whole hand in a few turns. We move to game 2 and after another mulligan for Ray he plays a Plains and passes. I have Swamp go and then he misses a land drop. I cast Smallpox and discard a land. Eventually I have a Ravenous Rats with double Sword of Feast and Famine. Ray decides to pick em up and move on.
Top 8 – Nick Patnode with UW Delver
Nick mulligans and complains a bit and just never really draws anything and dies to my zombies. Game 2 starts up and Nick sticks a turn 3 Timely Reinforcements followed up by a Talrand’s Invocation a couple of turns later and I just cannot do anything about all the tokens. Geth’s Verdict and Liliana just don’t do enough. In game 3 Nick mulligans and I keep a land light hand. I have 2 Smallpox but never really draw more lands to utilize them and just die to tokens again. Nick says I should have Smallpoxed but I don’t know if that’s right. Oh well. I come out with $25.
Ken also made the Top 8 with the deck but also loses in the quarterfinals and some late night Denny’s makes everything all better. I get to bed to try to get some sleep for the legacy on Saturday.
I get to the tournament center and decide to audible away from Reanimator and play the Shardless Agent BUG list that Brian Demars created. Here is the list:
Shardless Agent BUG
This deck just casts good spells and gets some real value out of Shardless Agent because you can cascade into sweet spells like Hymn to Tourach and Ancestral Vision. I mean who really doesn’t want to draw 3 cards for free? Now this list is different from Brian’s list because I am not running Sensei’s Divining Top because last time I played this deck I just did not like the card. Yes it lets you set up your cascades a bit better but it sucks cascading into and can just be too big of a mana sink. My sideboard is also different from his but sideboards change with the metagame.
Round 1 – BG Veteran Rock
I cast some Hymns, cascaded into some Hymns and managed to Clique away all of his actual threats. At one point I had a Shardless Agent with 1 card in hand. He cast Liliana of the Veil and decided to make me discard instead of sacking my creature. I attacked Liliana to put her to two and then after he drew a blank he was forced to make me sacrifice my Agent. I think he definitely could have won the game if he had made me sacrifice first. I guess he didn’t know my hand and thought it must have been good. In game 2 he had a Veteran Explorer and a Top out while I had a Pernicious Deed. He attacked and I deeded for 1. In response he drew with Top and then used Veteran Explorer to go and find lands. Shuffling away his Top caused him to lose the good top decks. He never really cast a good creature and Vendilion Clique was able to kill him.
Round 2 – UR Counterburn
I always have to face some sort of burn at these events so why not in round 2. He wasn’t really able to handle the Hymn to Tourachs and sort of ran out of burn while I used Tarmogoyfs and Shardless Agents to attack him down. Game 2 I didn’t really draw too well and he had a Price of Progress to finish me off. Oh how I hate that card. Game 3 he mulliganed I believe and just had his Goblin Guide and Delvers die to my removal and the hand hate took away his relevant burn. Tarmogoyfs got big and his life got low and then was taken fully away.
Round 3 – Allen with Reanimator
Allen decided to play Ryan McKinney’s Reanimator deck which I was originally going to play. Allen had been around Jupiter for a couple of weeks and is basically a floor dealer but a cool dude. He talks a lot of smack and asked if we could be on camera. We ended up being on camera which I knew would be good for him because my deck isn’t great at dealing with Griselbrand. Allen had a turn 1 careful study discarding two creatures. His following turn he tried to reanimate and I had a force. I did nothing and then he tried to reanimate again which I had another force. Drew yet another land and Allen finally got a Griselbrand into play. I knew that was it unless I drew a Jace or the Go for the Throat. I did not and things quickly ended. I brought in graveyard hate, thoughtseize, and spell pierce. I realize that Spell Pierce does not “combo” with Shardless Agent but still is useful in the combo match up. Allen had a good hand again and got down some big ole creatures while I could not deal with them because of his massive card advantage.
Round 4 – Louis with Nic Fit Red
He had a lot of Veteran Explorers and got out a lot of land but I managed to get out my 3 basics as well. He never really drew the Scapeshift or Burning Wishes and died to my creatures. Game 2 went in a similar fashion as a lot of Veteran Explorers found him a lot of land while I had two basics in my opener but the hand was good enough to not mulligan. But a burning wish found him a scapeshift and then I died to valakut triggers. Game 3 was much closer and Cliques and Hymns kept him from doing deadly things to me. He managed to stay alive a few times with Thragtusk and Huntmaster of the Fells and by using his Burning Wishes to find an innocent blood. He was at 4 and my only thing on board was a Tarmogoyf and 6 lands. I cast a main phase brainstorm to try to find an answer to the Damnation that he wished for the turn before. I found Hymn, Force and something irrelevant. I decided to go with the Force because if he drew a way to kill me I wanted to be able to handle that instead. He cast the damnation which I countered and then used his Top but wasn’t able to find an answer.
Round 5 – Jim with NO Bant
Jim started out with a Tropical Island into a Noble Heirach followed up with a Knight of the Reliquary. I wasn’t really able to draw anything and he just bashed me with large creatures. I sideboarded, not really sure if he had Natural Orders but brought in my Diabolic Edict anyway. I drew pretty well but still got crushed because he had the Progenitus to destroy my life force.
Round 6 – Goblins
This guy was shuffling with his deck facing me so I knew immediately he was on Goblins. He also had his deck rubber banded together so I sort of felt things would go all right for me. He mulliganed to 4 in game 1 and just didn’t cast anything but still wanted to see my deck. I beat him down with Goyfs and decided to not cast any Shardless Agents. You don’t really side against the card, but a lot of people also don’t expect it. Game 2 he led with a mountain and cast a turn 2 Goblin Piledriver. I put down a Scavenging Ooze so if he wanted to attack I would gladly make the trade. He played a Lackey and I put down a Pernicious Deed. He ended up with a Sharpshooter also on the battlefield and used Sting scourger to bounce my ooze and attack me for 7 total. I then deeded his board away and recast the ooze. He played a few Mogg War Marshals but it just wasn’t enough when I got creature after creature.
Round 7 – Academy Omniscience
I don’t know the actual name of this deck but yeah it tries to kill me with Emrakul. I had a lot of hand hate in game 1 along with a timely force of will to counter his show and tell. Vendilion Clique helped a lot by taking away key cards from him. Game 2 sure was close one. At one point my board was Agent and Vendilion Clique while I knew he had an Emrakul in hand but nothing else. I kept my 5th land in my hand and it came to be my downfall. He ripped the Academy Rector, sacked it with a Phyrexian Tower, got the omniscience and then cast Emrakul. If I would have played my land he wouldn’t be able to attack me because he would die on the swing back from my Vendilion Clique. Not a bad top deck I suppose. He talked a bit with his friend about how he got really lucky and then commented on how I wasn’t raging. Game 3 I led with thoughtseize followed up by a turn 2 hymn. His hand was pretty devastated. I got a Vendilion Clique to take away his good cards. At one point he had a Show and Tell in his graveyard and cast a lotus petal, so I responded by Extirpating his Show and Tells in case one was in his hand. He didn’t have one, but set up to draw Academy Rector the next turn. That ended up getting shuffled away. He then had two cards in hand and his Phyrexian land out. I brainstormed with Jace and saw Snapcaster, Wasteland, and something else. So I played Snapcaster flashing back my Hymn, wasteland took out his Phyrexian Tower and he died the next turn.
5-2 getting me 11th place
So after the tournament was over I got into a couple of games of EDH with Bryant Cook and Sam Lam. Bryant played Godo like usual and I wanted to play Damia but cards were being used in my legacy deck so I decided to play Brother Yamazaki. Bryant crushed us in the first game but a game or two later, Bryant died to my non foil moderately played Godo equipped with a sword of feast and famine. He will try to deny it because he “scooped” first but he knows what really happened. A game later Ali Antrazi entered in with his Animar deck and after my land had been destroyed over and over I was at 4 and Bryant at 1. Sam cast Reforge the Soul and my new hand was garbage, so I decided to mulligan it. Now I realize that’s not allowed but Sam had left us alive for some reason so the game was just a fun one. My second hand contained a Tuktuk Scrapper. Bryant was able to cast Godo and attack someone if he chose to. He obviously could have killed me but I used some diplomacy to tell him to attack Sam and I would deal with his Bloodbraid Elf so Bryant wouldn’t be attacked. Bryant let me live, I dropped a land, cast the Scrapper and killed Bryant at 1. I felt it was a fitting way to end the night of magic.
Well I hope you all enjoyed and if you have any questions about the decks or just anything you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @rocketrae21.
Until next time, keep scrapping!