Ok, I can’t slow roll this, I came 7th. I am rather stoked about that, it is by far my best tournament result ever.
Firstly the deck list:
Birds of Paradise
City of Brass
Force of Will *
Kiki-jiki, Mirror Breaker
Recurring Nightmare ***
Simic Growth Chamber
Survival of the Fittest ****
Thirst for Knowledge
Through the Breach
Vorosh, The Hunter
Defense of the Heart
Intet, the Dreamer
Kami of Ancient Law
Leyline of the Void
Pact of Negation
Venser, Shaper Savant
I was pretty happy with this deck list. I believed at the start of the day I greatest chance of missing top 8 was mis plays on my part, the deck had the stuff to do it. This isn’t going to be a full report, just going to cover the highlights
Round 1 – Bill Skills playing White Rock
This was a bit of a poor game because I managed to combo win on turn two on the draw, all Bill had the chance to see from me was a fetch land. He had no idea what was coming. Second game took longer, with Bill needing to crack an early Pernicious Deed to kill my Survival of the Fittest, but the damage had already been done.
Round 2 – Dean with Grual Beats
This was a match where my utility was a good thing, I believe it took me three games to win the round, but my two wins were not all that close. My memory of what happened in this round isn’t very strong.
I was overjoyed to be 2-0, probably my best start to a tournament in a very long time.
Round 3 – Ben with RG Land Destruction
I attribute loosing this round to my deck failing me. I believe my LD matchup is a bit swingy, I think I need hands that will get to a combo reasonably early with a mana elf in them to win. Bens build was harder to beat than Lukes becuase he relies on more creature based LD, giving him a better clock (this could be just my small sample size here though, if so I’ve still identified how I loose this matchup). So I lost here 0-2 by not drawing a way to win either game, probably a lesson in how to muligan the deck.
Round 4 – Adam Witton with UW Control (Gifts for Slaver Lock win condition)
After the lunch break I was diapointed to find that I had been paired down against Witton who had managed to go just 1-1-1 up to this point. His deck isn’t particularly fast, but for some reason in testing the previous Saturday I found that I lost many games to him.
Luck was on my side though because I won game 1 on turn 2 with Adam tapping out. Game three took forever with Adam eventually going infinite with Crucuible of Worlds / Fast Bond / Zuran Orb / Life from the Loam / Cycling land. That game was so painful, I really don’t like playing against this deck.
I’m going to go through game three play by play just to point out how badly I played, I’m on the play and open this hand:
2x Random Non-land cards
I decide to keep, play the fetch land and pass the turn.
Adam plays something of little interest.
I draw Vexing Shusher (only time I sideboarded him in all day, and I forgot to do it for game 2, I’m such a bad player), make no plays and pass the turn. Adam doesn’t get excited, probably realises I would only keep a one land hand for good reason.
Adam does some stuff.
I draw a forest, play forest, pass the turn. Can anyone give me a good reason to not play Vexing Shusher here. Isn’t he like the best card I could ever play in this situation?
Adam plays stuff.
I draw a third land and play it and the Shusher.
Adam plays some more stuff.
I untap and draw for the turn – why would I draw here, isn’t it better to just combo out during my upkeep, it is very easy for me to draw something that makes it much harder for me to win the game – play Flash do the Hulk thing and win.
This is definitely the first time I’ve been 3-1 at a tournament of this size, just one more win and then I can ID into the top 8.
Round 5 – Alex Sutton with Mono Green Beats (w/ Bad Combos) – Eventual Champion
Alex is paired down against me needing just a single ID for the lock on top 8, I ask if he will conceede to me, but he wants at least a draw but I have a real chance to win this round so playing feels infinetly better for me.
These two games really aren’t all that intersting, I’ve played against this deck of Alex’s many many times and win, giving my self a near lock on top 8.
Round 6 – Anatoli Lightfoot with the ID
Only 7 players have 12 points or more. No players have 11 or 10 points, so 13 points is a lock on top 8. I have no issue with ID here, Anatoli would like to beat me to keep my deck out of the top 8 and give an extra chance to one of his friends to top 8, but if he lost he could end up out of the top 8 him self so he does the safe option.
W00000000T!!!!!!!11111oneone! I’ve made my first ever top 8 (that 15 player GP trial doesn’t count). Now I just need a little bit of luck and a Mox Jet will be mine :P
Top 8 – Charles Ko with Grual Aggro
I’d beaten a relatively similar deck in a previous round so that shouldn’t have been a huge problem, but my deck is less consistent than the Grual Aggro decks and I loose in 3 matches. None of these games was really worth talking about so I’ll leave it there.
There are a few changes I want to make to the deck and one that I need to. The Otherworldly Journey and the Momentary Blink are just not pulling their weight, so they need to be cut. They were sideboarded out every match and only cast once to save a Dryad Arbour from LD. That isn’t good enough to stay in the deck. Also I need to drop a point for the new national points list, Force of Will seams like the obvious option here because I don’t need it that much.
The inclusion for the deck feel fairly easy, Persist feels like a very strong mechanic in combination with Flash style effects (think about Flash / Body Double with a Persist creature in a graveyard). So the fantastic Kitchen Finks gets an upgrade from the sideboard and the plausible Woodfall Primus gets to show me what it can do.
What to replace Force of Will with is the tougher question. Glittering Wish make want to make its presence known, the current sideboard is very multicolor friendly but I don’t think I’m sold on it. Muddle the mixture could make a very strong case, I currently have no way to tutor for flash and it has some limited utility without being transmuted. Although I wonder what Twilight Shepherd would do in the deck, its biggest downside is that its another xCCC spell that isn’t UB, but I manage to cast Kiki-Jiki much more often than I would suspect. Is it good to be able to Flash hulk on turn two and end up with a 5/5 flying vigilant persist creature in play and Hulk back in my hand? It might be quite nice against decks with some graveyard removal. It would probably also recur a fetch land for me, that could be good.
So I think I will try this for a while:
– Otherworldly Journey
– Momentary Blink
– Force of Will
+ Kitchen Finks
+ Woodfall Primus
+ Twilight Shepherd
Watch out, those persistent combos are going to be coming to get you.