Cook’s Kitchen – Storming to Jupiter pt. VII (NELC – 12/15/2012)

Cook’s Kitchen – Storming to Jupiter pt. VII (NELC – 12/15/2012)

For a long time in Syracuse weekly events I had been playing a different deck every week trying to dodge metagame hate, as well as play the best deck possible for the event. This all changed when my work schedule changed for the holidays, I get home too late to have time to spend looking at deck lists to potentially build. This has left me playing my own deck, The EPIC Storm, at almost every Legacy weekly event ever since the change. What I’ve noticed is that the current metagame in Syracuse is very weak to storm combo at the moment. While everyone has been trying to grind out Deathrite Shaman mirrors, I’ve been putting fourteen Goblins into play instead.

The Syracuse metagame isn’t unlike a much larger metagame, there’s some slight differences, but for the most part it’s a lot of the same decks. I remembered this when it came time to look for a deck for the Jupiter Games NELC that was rapidly approaching. After looking at a variety of decks, I wanted to play some sort of UWx control deck, but with Abrupt Decay being a huge nuisance for Counterbalance decks I decided I’d look elsewhere. Esperblade was interesting, but I couldn’t find a list to base mine off of that also played Terminus. With the Jupiter metagame being heavily favored toward creature based strategies, I knew I wanted to play that card somewhere. Unfortunately, I never settled on a list. I kept searching until I realized that the metagame was the same as Syracuse, awful against combo. It was at that time that I knew I had to remind people about the monster under their bed. The Jupiter Games metagame became comfortable with very little combo, it was time to remind them why they needed to play storm hate. Ning, Royce, and myself would once again, as we did in Baltimore, join forces to become “Team Storm” (WARNING: Not a real team) to take down the Jupiter Games NELC. With my current new deck per NELC for the year, this means I unfortunately can’t play The EPIC Storm again for a while. Unless I decide to break my own rule, but the jury is still out on that.

The day of the event came, I packed an overnight bag for the PTQ the following day at Jupiter and began getting ready for the day. I picked up Nick Patnode and we made our trip down to Binghamton from Syracuse. The car ride was spent talking mostly about Magic and new music. Nothing out of the ordinary, everything went pretty smoothly. I explained my deck choice to Nick and he said it made perfect sense, Nick then went on to talk about how he didn’t feel comfortable enough with The EPIC Storm to play it that day. Nick built the deck a few months prior but has been too busy to properly prepare for an event like the NELC. The downside to not playing The EPIC Storm was that Nick simply could not be a part of “Team Storm” no matter how hard he tried.

When we arrived at the event center I promptly picked up the forty-two foil zombies I had ordered the day before for my Zombie horde. After I put the zombie foils into the horde I began filling out my deck registration. A few people wandered on over to get a better look, but it was my mission to keep what I was piloting a secret. Only four people in the room knew what I was playing (two of them playing the same thing) and I wanted to keep it that way. The fewer people that knew what I was playing, the better. I didn’t want people throwing an extra Gaddock Teeg or Ethersworn Cannonist into their sideboard in order to prepare for the coming storm. I began to wander around the room and make small talk as I normally do, when I stumbled into Ning. He then started his crusade to make me think Time Spiral is better than Diminishing Returns (It’s not), I told him I didn’t think he was right and continued to chat with people until the first round was posted.

Round One: David Chau with Bant

Game One: David begins the event by quickly shipping back the first seven he sees on the day, I opt to keep my hand. David starts the round by playing a Tropical Island and then passes the turn. I play a Gitaxian Probe that stares at Force of Will, Scavenging Ooze, Stoneforge Mystic, Qalasi Pridemage, and Brainstorm. I then play a Scalding Tarn searching for a Volcanic Island and cast Ponder. David casts Brainstorm on the end step. David drew a Windswept Heath and puts a Savannah into play, followed by a Stoneforge Mystic. Batterskull was put into David’s hand off of the Stoneforge. I draw and play another fetch land for Underground Sea, tap Underground Sea and play Duress. David tanks for a minute then decides to cast Force of Will removing another Brainstorm. I motion for David to take his turn. He untaps, draws, and passes the turn. With the threat of Batterskull and its eight point swing, this turn would be the most optimal turn to go off. I already know that he wasted his Force of Will. I go through the motions to my main phase, lay a third land, and cast Brainstorm. The turn then went as follows: Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Silence, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor searching for Burning Wish, cast the Wish retrieving Tendrils of Agony and end the game.

Sideboarding: -2 Silence, +2 Cabal Therapy
The ability to discard hate creatures such as GaddockTeeg, Ethersworn Canonist, and Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben is just important as answering Force of Will.

Game Two: David has a much better start this game with a first turn Noble Hierarch. I play a Ponder off of a City of Brass and pass the turn. Ethersworn Canonist enters the battlefield on David’s turn, yikes! I untap, play a second land and Burning Wish for Grapeshot. My hand at this point is Ponder, Brainstorm, Infernal Tutor, Dark Ritual, Grapeshot, and Lotus Petal. Over the next few turns I play my cantrips into another land, Silence, and Lion’s Eye Diamond. In the mean time David has been smashing into my life total bringing me to eleven, while activating Sylvan Library. I untap, draw, and play Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond and play Grapeshot with all three targets pointed at the metal nuisance. I play Silence, which becomes the target of Counterspell, I continue in my attempt to combo playing Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, Infernal Tutor searching for Burning Wish, cast the Wish retrieving Tendrils of Agony and draining David’s remaining twelve life.

Record after Round 1: 1-0-0

Round Two: Louis Fata with Junk

Game One: My opponents really like to mulligan, especially Louis. Louis’ turn one was “Forest, go.” I use Scalding Tarn for Volcanic Island and cast Ponder, once again attempting to look like RUG Delver. It doesn’t matter to Louis because any Wasteland target still dies. I draw, play Underground Sea, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, and Ad Nauseam. I reveal a whole lot of cards before Louis’ deck is in his hands.

Sideboarding: -4 Silence, -3 Duress, +3 Cabal Therapy, +2 Abrupt Decay, +2 Karakas.

Game Two: Louis once again finds himself shuffling after seeing his first seven. This is a “grind-y” game. I play out all of my lands and artifact mana while my hand is torn apart by discard and Lilliana of the Veil. I draw Infernal Tutor the turn after Louis plays Green Sun Zenith for Gaddock Teeg. I decided I would get Karakas before Decay because it’s an answer as well as a potential mana that I needed at the time. I was also hoping to catch Louis off guard in response to Lilliana of the Veil. All of this didn’t matter since he drew his second copy of Wasteland. I began to question my decision, but in hind sight it was right because I needed the mana. The next few turns are exactly the same, both of us drawing all lands in a row while I take two. I draw a second Infernal Tutor and this time search for Abrupt Decay. Louis becomes a bit greedy with his Lilliana and uses it’s plus one. I cast Abrupt Decay on Gaddock Teeg in response to Lilliana’s activation forcing Louis to discard his Green Sun Zenith. This is relevant because he could’ve used it to find his last Copy of Teeg. Lucky me! I have a one turn window to draw a business spell before I die to lethal damage. I peel the top card of my library and it’s land number six of twelve. Disappointing.

Game Three: My opening hand is Dark Ritual, Cabal Therapy, Chrome Mox, Gitaxian Probe, Ad Nauseam, Karakas, and Rite of Flame. It’s slightly risky, but I keep. Louis does not! I told you, this guy really likes to shuffle. I play Gitaxian Probe looking at two copies of Lilliana as well as two Ethersworn Canonist and two lands. My draw off of Probe was a Ponder. I play Karakas and pass. Louis plays a land and passes. I draw Infernal Tutor, not ideal. Play Chrome Mox (Imprint Infernal Tutor) and cast Cabal Therapy naming Ethersworn Canonist. Louis drew a third land. I motion for Louis to take his turn. He lays a land, taps them. I can feel a Hymn to Tourach coming, I get nervous. He plays Dark Confidant. I draw… the card is Lotus Petal! Dark Ritual by tapping Chrome Mox, Rite of Flame off of Lotus Petal into Ad Nauseam.

Record after Round 2: 2-0-0

Lunch break time! Nick and I go next door to the Pizza place and order their Subs where the rolls are made of pizza dough-y goodness. We chat for a bit then head back to Jupiter to battle the Zombie Horde, we lose two games very quickly – the horde is very difficult now.

Round Three: Kiel Speer with Enchantress

Game One: Keil begins with Forest into Utopia Sprawl, I play Gitaxian Probe, Gemstone Mine, Dark Ritual, Duress (Discarding Enchantress’ Presence), Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Empty the Warrens. When I pass the turn Kiel’s hand is Forest, Argothian Enchantress, Wild Growth, and Green Sun’s Zenith. Kiel draws, plays a Forest and then Wild Growth on the land that already taps for two. Taps that land for three mana, casts Argothian Enchantress and then Elephant Grass! That was a good draw. I untap, draw a Chrome Mox and pass. Kiel pays for Grass, draws, taps the three mana land and plays Green Sun Zenith for a second Enchantress and passes. I draw a Rite of Flame, pass. Kiel plays Solitary Confinement, I spent the rest of the game with Silence in hand hoping he’ll break Confinement. He never does.

Sideboarding: -2 Silence, -1 Empty the Warrens, +2 Abrupt Decay, +1 Cabal Therapy

Game Two: Kiel shuffles down to six cards and then stops me from playing my land because he has double Leyline of Sanctity. I decided that I needed to look at Kiel’s hand to see what I need to do to win the game around this situation. I play a land and Ponder, Kiel plays a land and passes. I play Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor (Reveal Lion’s Eye Diamond), Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish for Ill-Gotten Gains, cast it. Kiel discards three lands to Ill-Gotten Gains and then returns them. I bring back two Lion’s Eye Diamond and Infernal Tutor, cast them, search for Burning Wish, retrieve Empty the Warrens and summon twenty-four goblins to the table. Kiel’s draw was not enough to hold them back.

Game Three: As we start to shuffle up for the game I look at the clock and there’s seven minutes on it. Kiel once again starts with a Leyline. On turn three I decided I needed to go for the win, I wanted to Ad Nauseam to find enough mana to Burning Wish and cast Hull Breach then continue winning. However, I had Burning Wish in hand, not Infernal Tutor. I cast Past in Flames instead, and then the turn went to time. I then fizzle off of Past in Flames and I am forced to play Diminishing Returns, attempt to go off again, Past in Flames again, but only drew Lion’s Eye Diamonds. This forced me to cast Ill-Gotten Gains. At this point we were ten minutes past time in the round on turn one, I continued to try to find Ad Nauseam but to no avail. I fizzled on a twenty minute long turn. I had to pass, Kiel did a bunch of things, I drew and passed, this continued ‘til turn five when Kiel had Rest in Peace plus Helm. I explained that even if he decked me it was a draw (as I didn’t have a turn left to be forced to draw) and that I wouldn’t scoop.

Record after Round 3: 2-0-1

I felt awful after this round, I haven’t had to do complex thinking like that in a very long time. My decision trees kept on changing due to being forced to change storm engines. It ultimately lead to me feeling drained along with a killer headache, all I wanted to do was sleep. With the event not even half way finished my only option was to load up on caffeine for the remainder of the day.

Round Four: Joey Manner with UWr Rest in Peace combo.

Game One: Joey wins the die roll and lays a Flooded Strand before passing the turn, I draw a Gemstone Mine for turn and my hand is now: Gemstone Mine, Scalding Tarn, Gitaxian Probe, Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Empty the Warrens, and Infernal Tutor. I play the Probe and stare at Brainstorm, Terminus, Supreme Verdict, Force of Will, Island, and Counterbalance. I don’t think Joey could’ve asked for a much better hand, maybe a Sensei’s Diving Top instead of Supreme Verdict. But holy crap, I spend the rest of the game under Counterbalance along with Sensei’s Diving Top since that’s what Brainstorm found. Sometimes, the opponent has “all these” and sometimes you do – this was not one of those times where he did.

Sideboarding: -2 Silence, -1 Empty the Warrens, -1 Infernal Tutor, +2 Abrupt Decay, +2 Cabal Therapy

Game Two: Joey once again has a strong hand that I get a view of it thanks to a Gitaxian Probe: Force of Will, Counterspell, Flooded Strand, Plains, Counterbalance, Volcanic Island, and Supreme Verdict. I play an Underground Sea and Ponder, shuffle, then draw. My hand at this point in time is City of Brass, Gemstone Mine, Brainstorm, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Abrupt Decay, and Burning Wish. I’m stuck looking for a way to bypass Counterspell and Force of Will, I play Brainstorm into Duress and strip Force of Will. But by then Joey has time to play Counterbalance on consecutive turns along with a Sensei’s Diving Top. My one Decay now feels pretty weak. I destroy one of the obnoxious enchantments, then on my turn draw another Decay! I’m feeling pretty good at this point. Joey plays Rest in Peace on his turn, that’s fine. On his end step, I attempt to destroy Counterbalance but my eyes nearly fall out of my head instead. “I’ll Misdirection that to Rest in Peace instead” WHEN DID PEOPLE START DOING THIS!? I didn’t see it coming at all. I don’t know who’s proposition this was, but I tip my hat. I was blown out and spent the rest of the game in awe.

Record after Round 4: 2-1-1

Round Five: Connor Robinson with RUG Delver/Canadian Threshold

Game One: I begin the game with a Gitaxian Probe that reveals Force of Will, Force of Will, Daze, Spell Snare, Spell Pierce, Wasteland, and Lightning Bolt. Connor clearly kept his hand based on what I was playing, but he’d soon be punished for it. I slowly diminished his hand away by putting him in awkward situations, forcing Connor to Counterspell Duress’ and Burning Wish allowing me to resolve Ad Nauseam. Connor did draw a Volcanic Island during all of this but it wasn’t enough to allow him to recover.

Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, +1 Empty the Warrens

Game Two: Connor knew I was siding in the additional Empty the Warrens. Connor was borrowing RUG Delver from Ning who was playing a nearly identical list. Well, I think he knew, at least I hope so. Once again Connor had an incredibly stacked hand but attempted to keep me off of mana by casting Force of Will on my two Dark Rituals, which allowed me to play Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, tap a land, Silence (which resolved with Connor holding a pair of Stifle), then a pair of Lion’s Eye Diamond followed by Infernal Tutor. I cast Ad Nauseam from eighteen and immediately took eight damage from the additional copy of Empty the Warrens. Luckily the flips started changing and artifacts started to reveal!

Record after Round 5: 3-1-1

Round Six: Mike McCarthy with Bant

Game One: My notes on this game are a little weird, I know that I mulliganed, and I have nothing from before Ad Nauseam. I’m at ten when I cast Ad Nauseam from Qalasi Pridemage attacks along with Noble Hierarch and am forced to stop at two life. I can kill all of Mike’s creatures and deal him eight damage, putting him to twelve. Although, I won’t be in that great of a position to continue combo-ing the next turn. I would have two lands, three tapped Chrome Mox, and a Lotus Petal to work off of. Mike and I go back and forth for the next three turns, on the end of the third turn Mike flashes in a Vendilion Clique. My top card was Burning Wish, just a little too late.

Sideboarding: -2 Silence, +2 Cabal Therapy

Game Two: On turn one I play Chrome Mox (Imprint Duress), Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and then cast Empty the Warrens. Mike begins shuffling for the next game.

Game Three: Mike plays a turn one Noble Hierarch and passes. I cast Gitaxian Probe and see that Mike is holding a pair of Force of Will as well as a single blue card – Vendilion Clique. I had the option of casting Infernal Tutor for Ad Nauseam but decide to use the Empty the Warrens in my hand instead. I drop twelve goblins onto the table and pass. Mike plays a Scavenging Ooze and passes. I swing out, some blocks are made, and I pass. On my next turn I attack, Mike announces his blocks, and I say, “Alright, you go to one.” Mike thinks he should be at two, we go back and count the damage from both attacks with each block. He still says, I have myself at two. I call a judge, I explain my side with evidence written down. The judge agrees, if he was at two, the match actually would’ve been much closer as the extra mana from his fetch land would’ve given him a Knight of the Reliquary with the mana to Swords to Plowshares the Knight. Mike draws for turn and concedes.

Record after Round 6: 4-1-1

Round Seven: Bryan Raymer with BUG Delver

I’m the pair down contending for top 8. We sit down for the round and Bryan says, “I’ve been waiting for you the entire day” due to a joke that I made during round 2 about the Bengals jersey he was wearing. The difference is Bryan is speaking very seriously, and not at all friendly.

I respond with, “Be careful, you may just get what you asked for.”

I think to my self at this point, “Maybe I’ll make less jokes about people’s choice of football teams in the future.”

Game One: I win the die roll. I keep my initial seven – Bryan does not. I begin the round with Gitaxian Probe revealing: Deathrite Shaman, two copies of Abrupt Decay, two Undeground Sea, and a Verdant Catacomb. I then play Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, break Lion’s Eye Diamond for red and Empty the Warrens for ten goblins. Bryan plays Deathrite Shaman and I begin my three turn assault.

Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, +1 Empty the Warrens

Game Two: Bryan starts the game with Verdant Catacomb, pass. I play a Gitaxian Probe revealing Dark Confidant, Hymn to Tourach, Tarmogoyf, Misty Rainforest, Polluted Delta, and Wasteland. I follow up with a Duress for Hymn. Bryan activates Wasteland, I lay another land and play Ponder setting up for the Ad Nauseam resting in my hand. Bryan plays Dark Confidant and passes. I play out everything in my hand, into Ad Nauseam. I then proceed to have a fantastic Ad Nauseam that ended with a Grapeshot in the high twenties.

You can probably figure out why that game ended in a Grapeshot.

Record after the Swiss Rounds: 5-1-1

While waiting for top 8 I went up to Ryan McKinney and started chatting when I noticed a Japanese Foil Abrupt Decay in the case. I immediately decided that I wanted it, just in case I decided to cut the second Empty from the sideboard due to its poor performance on the day. I trade in a spare Tropical Island and now own my third Japanese Foil Abrupt Decay!

Top 8: Feature match vs. Eli Kassis with Junk [Video Coverage Here]

Before the match, there was a top 8 meeting where I did not agree to a top 8 split. Eli asked me if I’m sure since I’ve never beaten him on camera (But I have!), I was positive that I was going to mop the floor with him. I look around and ask the crowd what is the over/under for the storm count on Grapeshot that Eli takes to the face.

Game One: We both mulligan and Eli starts the top 8 with Savannah into Deathrite Shaman! I decided to get a better look with Gitaxian Probe: Lilliana of the Veil, Savannah, Horizon Canopy, and Tarmogoyf are revealed. All I needed to draw off of Probe was an initial mana source to win the game, it didn’t happen. On Eli’s turn he attacks for one and plays a Tarmogoyf. I would go on to my turn after I peeled a Lotus Petal for my draw that turn. Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox (Imprint Infernal Tutor), Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Ad Nauseam! Breaking Lion’s Eye Diamond in response. Eli examines the cards then picks his up.

Sideboarding: -4 Silence, -3 Duress, +3 Cabal Therapy, +2 Abrupt Decay, +2 Karakas

Game Two: Eli begins game two with a basic swamp into Inquisition of Kozilek. Eli stares and contemplates what to discard for a few moments, my hand was pretty impressive: Burning Wish, Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, Lion’s Eye Diamond, City of Brass, and Brainstorm. Eli ultimately decides on Burning Wish. I draw for turn, play City of Brass, tap it and Brainstorm. My Brainstorm finds Infernal Tutor! I would then go on to cast Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor. Break Lion’s Eye Diamond in response for black and cast Ad Nauseam. Eli concedes to spare himself from my showboating.

Record for the Day: 6-1-1

Top 4: Feature match vs. Kevin McKee with Scapeshift NicFit [Video Coverage Here]

Game One: Kevin has a pretty uneventful start to the top 4, with a “Swamp, go.” I decide to show Kevin what a turn one should look like! Underground Sea, Dark Ritual, Duress, Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Burning Wish finding Empty the Warrens and place fourteen goblins on the table. The goblins would be enough to end the game.

Sideboarding: -4 Silence, -1 Empty the Warrens, +3 Cabal Therapy, +1 Abrupt Decay, +1 Tendrils of Agony

I had to side in the Tendrils with Kevin having three Slaughter Games that were on their way.

Game Two: Kevin’s start this game is much more impressive, with Bayou into Veteran Explorer. I start the game with City of Brass and a Gitaxian Probe, revealing: Red Elemental Blast, Veteran Explorer, Huntmaster of the Fells, Stomping Ground, and Pernicious Deed. I follow up with a Ponder, shuffle, and draw. Kevin plays a second Explorer and attacks for one before passing the turn. I Cabal Therapy to discard Kevin’s Red Elemental Blast. This allowed the ability for me to cast Brainstorm off of the Gemstone Mine I had just put into play. On Kevin’s turn he puts Stomping Ground into play, attacks for two, and plays Pernicious Deed. I search for Underground Sea on my turn, tap it, and cast Brainstorm. Tap my other two lands, Infernal Tutor revealing a Lion’s Eye Diamond to search for another copy. I play a Lion’s Eye Diamond hoping Kevin would blow his Pernicious Deed, it doesn’t happen. I pass the turn, Kevin draws a Sensei’s Diving Top, plays it and spins, before dropping another land into play. Attacks leave me now at seven. I untap, draw, play my fourth land, followed by a pair of Lotus Petals. I then cast Dark Ritual, a second Lion’s Eye Diamond and Burning Wish using my Diamonds. Retrieve Ill-Gotten Gains and cast it. Return Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor to play around the Pernicious Deed on the table. Play Dark Ritual, Diamond, and Infernal in that order. Breaking the Diamond, I continue to search for another Infernal Tutor and eventually end the game with a Tendrils of Agony taking away Kevin’s life along with his chance at the finals.

Record for the Day: 7-1-1

Finals: Henry Decker with Mono-Red Sneak [Video Coverage Here]

I actually get to be on the play! It’s shocking since I was the seventh seed.

Game One: I keep a hand with triple Ponder, a couple lands, and an Ad Nauseam. I play all three Ponders on my first two turns. This is what Henry does: Mountain, next turn, Ancient Tomb, Seething Song, Seething Song, Seething Song, Through the Breach, Griselbrand, draw fourteen cards, Sneak Attack, remove Simian Spirit Guide, put Emrakul into play and swing. How cool was that?!

Sideboarding: -2 Silence -1 Empty the Warrens, +3 Cabal Therapy.

Game Two: Henry shuffles his deck repeatedly, all the way down to three cards. I do pretty much nothing the first three turns, until I Duress, play Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox (Imprint Rite of Flame) followed by Infernal Tutor (Hellbent) for Ad Nauseam. Pass. On my next turn cast it as Henry sits there.

Game Three: Henry begins the game with “Sandstone Needle, pass”. My turn goes as follows: Probe you, Probe me, Ponder finding Ad Nauseam, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, and Ad Nauseam. It’s a pretty weak Ad Nauseam, so I have to stop at two, play a Chrome Mox (Imprint Infernal Tutor), Chrome Mox (Imprint a Gitaxian Probe) and cast Brainstorm. Brainstorm finds a pair of Lion’s Eye Diamond, I play them both immediately followed by Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, breaking the Diamonds, Burning Wish and Tendrils of Agony with eighteen storm! What a way to end the day.

Final Record for the Day: 8-1-1

I head over to the table to receive my prize of four Underground Sea but opt to take credit instead. I had my eyes on a pair of FBB dual lands, a Badlands and a Volcanic. It’s worth nothing that Ning one of the other two T.E.S. players in the room also made top 8 with a nearly identical list, congrats to him. You can read his report here.

Right after I received my prizes Nick and I headed to Tully’s. Nick and I talked about how I was really unhappy with the second Empty the Warrens on the way there, I never seemed to want it and I wasn’t sure if the downside of making Ad Nauseam worse was worth it. I took a chance on it, but from now I’ll be rocking three Abrupt Decay. Especially if this Misdirection trend continues, even if it doesn’t, always having the Decay for Counterbalance isn’t exactly a bad thing, at worst your Chrome Mox becomes a Bayou. Decay was still incredibly helpful against the non-Counterbalance decks as well providing a way to actually deal with hate creatures. I think it’s earned its additional copy.

Nick and I get to Tully’s before the other car, we sit and order drinks, and I get my usual, a Blue Moon. The other car (Sam and his girlfriend) eventually arrive, we eat and talk until Tully’s starts to close up shop giving us subtle hints to leave. Nick and I were staying at Sam’s place in Binghamton for the PTQ the following day. I was still drained from the round three match against Enchantress, the second I hit that pillow I was out until it was time to wake up for the PTQ. The PTQ went fairly well, my pool had an Armada Wurm plus a decent amount of good GW cards. I ended up going 5-2 losing to a turn four Rakdos, Lord of Riots on the play and a better GW deck than mine. Nick managed to top 8 the PTQ in the meantime “Team Storm” went to go get food at McDonalds. When we returned I received my prize packs, all of which had rares that were over 5$ which was a bonus. Nick unfortunately lost in the top 8 and we drove back to Syracuse.

Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!

Bryant Cook
Bryant Cook on MTGthesource

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