Once again this report starts the night before. After FNM, the clarion calls to draft come out, and once again I make the responsible decision to head home so that I can be well rested for the tournament today. My wife stays with my son most of the night, and I get in several solid hours of sleep, and donít wake up and bust my foot. Things are already improving. I meet up with everyone around 10am and we head on our way. After a slight misplay on my part on Nichols Road we end up at the venue right around 11:15. We start setting up our decks and I play some practice funsies games with Nick Coss. He wins them all on TPS and Iím essentially sold to not play Snapclamp today. I know it will be a Blue/Shops dominated meta, with a sprinkle of dredge and storm thrown in. I expect no hate bears or fish style decks, and build a deck on the spot. I take a friendís list, Brian Smolin, and tweak it a little bit based on my perception of the field and playstyle. Here is the final 75:
4 Force of Will
2 Mental Misstep
1 Mana Drain
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Yawgmowth's Will
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Scavaging Ooze
1 Trygon Predator
1 Blightsteel Colossus
2 Jace, the Mindsculptor
3 Mystic Remora
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
1 Voltaic Key
1 Time Vault
3 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Scalding Tarn
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Ravenous Trap
3 Ingot Chewer
2 Sower of Temptation
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Volcanic Island
1 Trygon Predator
Not having Hurkylís was a huge misplay. I thought it was in the deck but apparently I forgot to put it in. This luckily never came up but I did want it. The Green Sunís Zenith package was developed by us, with the intention of freeing up MD space for cards we felt were necessary to combat the field. It also allows for some interesting plays to come up (IE green sun for 3 to get Goyf under a Chalice 2). I wanted a 4th Chewer in the board as well as a Xantid Swarm, but was unable to find them all. Looking back on it, I'm not even sure it would have been correct for either card if I wasn't going to reduce my Dredge hate. The other decision that is glaring was that I chose to omit Ponder in favor of Preordain. This was done intentionally, as I prefer the built in card selection of Preordain to seeing the extra card and needing a shuffle effect if I don't some of the three.
I also start up a big trade with Mike Bauer for some very pretty Bazaar of Baghdadís. Heís goes through my boxes and pulls out a bunch of Legacy staples and Standard cards. He gives me Ebay pricing on all of them and undervalues his Bazaarís a little bit, so I was very happy with this situation. I hope he can move it all soon, because I definitely did well on my end.
Round 1: Mike Hejduk Ė Blue (I didnít see enough cards to be more descriptive, as he had to mulligan and I had nuts hands.)
Game 1: I think heís on Shops so I keep a 2x Force Misstep/Flusterstrom Fetch A. Recall Sol Ring hand. Turns out he is blue and was trying to get by with a mox and sol ring. Misstep ate a Ring and he was way too far behind me. I end up with a Blightsteel and he ends up infected.
Game 2: This time I end up taking all of the turns with Vault and Key after winning an early counter war.
Round 2: David Ata Ė Ubg Remora Gush
Game 1: We drove in together so we know whatís going on. We both have decent hands, but he manages to stick a Bob before I can do anything of note. I eventually stick a Tarmogoyf, but he ends up getting a Blightsteel. He makes a mistake and I end up taking the game. Probably should have lost it.
Game 2: He has a turn 1 Bob, and a turn 4 Bob. He takes 0 damage from Bob flips all game with absolutely no selection effects. Was very impressive as the game wasnít short. I still have several chances to take all of the turns because he kept flipping lands/moxes. Unfortunately, I donít and he gets there.
Game 3: I have a solid blue hand headlined by Ancestral and protection. I win shortly thereafter by taking all of the turns.
Round 3: Raf Forino Ė Kudoltha Shops Ė Feature Match
Game 1: I lose the die roll, and Raf does what Shops does. I play several cards but hide that I have Red. I get to find out heís on Kudoltha.
Game 2: Iím on the play, and have a sketchy hand that is reliant on a Brainstorm. I elect to keep knowing that I have 16 lands and all the cards I want in the opener. The game goes a long time because I sort of got what I needed, but he had strong action to open. We end up in top deck mode and I get there. I still haven't revealed that I am on red.
Game 3: I have to try and break serve, and I have a great hand with multiple Chewers and a Grudge. I also have solid lands. This puts me in the control seat, and I play that role. I take it down because of all the artifact hate. I think at one point I discarded a Grudge to ensure I could flashback under spheres + port + wire. That was the only play I made that was spicy. Having the second Grudge in hand made it a lot easier to do.
Round 4: ID w/ Mono Red Shops.
Round 5: Mud Shops(Espresso)
Game 1: I have the play and a turn 1 Trygon. I find out that Iím playing to try and knock him out to keep two other shops players in. Seeing as I donít actually knock out a Shop deck from top 8 (which was the point in me playing) I draw with him.
Quarterfinals: Mud Espresso
Game 1: Lol same guy. Wish I could have that game 1 start back. Oh well. He was on the play and fed my Mindbreak Trap. I then stick Library and go to town for several turns. His hand is too slow, and I win this with Tarmogoyf and counters.
Game 2: Heís on the play and has artifacts that do things. Lasted like 4 turns. Love playing against Shops on the draw sometimes.
Game 3: I lead out with an Island. He plays Null Rod. I run out Time Vault. He plays a Thorn. I Evoke Chewer and eat the Thorn off a Volc. I EoT fetch turn 4 and then spike a Voltaic Key. I use the other Chewer on the Null Rod instead of his newly minted Lodestone, and take all of the turns.
Semifinals: Jake Gans Ė Ubg Remora Gush
Game 1: Jake Mulligans, I have turn 1 Library on the draw. Other things happen, but that was the essence of the game.
Game 2: Jake Mulligans, I have early Remora. This allows me to draw cards and lay down lands. I get there after we have a FoW battle over my Sower. He mistakenly Forces my Force on his Ancestral that was in response to my Sower. I allow Ancestral to resolve, he whiffs, and then I use my untapped Time Vault (so good to do this under Remora) to go again and eat his Remora with his Trygon. Even if Jake does this correctly and let's Recall be countered to stop the Sower from landing, I stick a 2nd Sower and use Time Walk to eat his Remora with his Trygon anyway.
Finals: Raf Forino Ė Kudoltha Shops
Game 1: This was fixing to be an epic battle, and G1 didnít disappoint. Several awesome plays happen here, including using Voltaic Key to untap a Time Vault that was Revokered so that I have a permanent to tap for Tangle Wire. Also, later I Fireíd said Revoker to force a Forgemaster activation into another Revoker as opposed to a better card. Raf and I talked it out afterwards, but despite Forgemastering into Steel Hellkite later on he ends up losing to the Ancient Grudge in my GY that I played on T1 in response to his Revoker on my Lotus. I drew the fetch on my last turn before dying to get the G. I then lay down a Trygon and take it down. Ancient Tomb killed Raf here more than anything else.
Game 2: Unfortunately Raf has to mulligan and I have Chewerís galore and then a Trygon. Jace essentially makes it academic and Raf concedes when I fateseal him. He mistakenly boarded out Sphere and left in Thorn. He laments it afterward when he recalls our first match, and my running Chewerís.
Overall I was happy with the deck. Iím glad to finally take down an event. It might not be much considering the low turnout, but for the most part all of the best players were there. Missed Hornung, Mastriano, Elias, and a few others but overall it was one of the tougher 25-30 men events I've seen assembled. I definitely avenged my terrible sequencing against Paul at the Grudge Match in Round 6 for our(well his) win and in. I suppose every now and again things can go right when you don't constantly punt %'s away.