Sunday, December 29, 2013

Modern GPT aka First, Second and Voice and EDH aka Third, Fourth and Fifth

This weekend was most probably the best weekend of this year for me.

The plan was to play some Modern in Tolaria (it was meant to be GPT Prague) on Saturday and some EDH on Sunday. On Friday evening I came back from Beroun. I needed to put some decks together and find the cards some people needed for the tournaments. I also needed to send some orders so I had to go back to the city center and send it. Back at our flat I finished searching for the cards and prepared everything for the day after.

I couldn't sleep so I was wondering if I wouldn't play online or something but starting to draft at 4am did not seem as a good idea as at 6 I should be getting up. I spent the rest of the time trying to convince my body that it feels great (because I did not feel well at all). Not entirely sure if it helped but I managed to get up at 6 am. I ate some breakfest and headed for subway station Hradcanska. After more than 50 minutes of waiting we finally left for Pardubice.

Thanks to Adam's navigation we managed to get to Tolaria, a local game store run by Petr Brozek and Jan Stefan. It is quite small but nice nevertheless. I played Reid Duke's Jund, Adam played UWR control and Martin played Living End. We were prepared to get to top 8. I expected Adam or Martin to win.

In the first round at our table there were three Jund decks and one Kiki pod. I played against one of the Junds. I lost the first game due to my opponent having more Dark Confidants than me. In the second game it was my turn to play my confidants and win. In the third game I got bit unlucky and lost. But well what could I do? In the second round I played against Affinity. In the first game I couldn't deal with Inkmoth Nexi that later killed me. I sided in Ancient Grudge, Shatterstorms, Fulminator Mages and maybe even something else I do not recall. But this was good enough to wreck the Affinity deck. I did not care about Nexi because I had Fulminator Mages in my opener and I drew Ancient Grudge quite soon after. I destroyed Cranial Plating and all the creatures and then killed my opponent with 5/6 Goyf. In the last game I won once again quite easily. In the third round I played against Kiki pod. Nothing noteworthy happened in the game but my opponent was very nice and invited me for dinner later. He used a little black cat as a luck charm but it did not really help him much^_^. After this I played finally a game against Twin. I say finally because the last time I played against it ... Twin was played at standard. I lost the first game. I discarded counterspell so I could kill Pestermite/Exarch but my opponent later drew a second Exarch, a couterspell and Twin. In the second game I miraculously won. I managed to beat him with Tarmagoyfs while Blood Moon was in play. In game 3 I kept a hand with the dual lands and Dark Confidant hoping to draw either basic land or a fetch land. Blood Moon hit the table on T3 and sice then I was drawing only lands but none of them could produce green or black mana. In the last round I beat a monowhite deck. In the top 8 I lost to Martin with his Living End (how 'unpredictable'). When commenting our final standings Adam summed it up with 1st, 2nd and Voice (of Resurgence).

After this I spent some time with the pod player. We were chatting about work, Magic and people and it was realy nice. The food I order (Thai pork) was delicious as well. Then we headed back to Tolaria were I claimed my top 8 prize and opened this!

Then it was time to leave to Honza Brozek's place. There we played some Magic, more Magic, yet more Magic and Carcassone. I was trying Jund against Merfolk but it feels like playing Legacy Jund against Death and Taxes except the fact that you actually have some lands in play and can play something. Either the Merfolk utterly crushed me or I won but it was really though to win. Jund against Tron seemed really hopeless. Anyway the fun part was when we played some Carcassone alone with Adam. We were told that in a two player game the game is more skill intensive but it did not seem like it. The difference in victory points was about 3-4 points. Adam build a really nice city during one of the games.

We spent some time chatting and playing more games and then it was time for some sleep. After quite a long time in which we were taking our turns in the bathroom we could finally try to fall a sleep. I'm not good at sleeping at public places or anywhere were there is some kind of noise including snoring. I have to say that the snoring was too much for me but those were not the only sounds I could listen to during the night. Martin going to the restroom now and then, his girlfriend screaming several times during the night and Adam snoring. Hopefully none of them spoke in his or her sleep. In the morning Honza got up earlier and started packing his stuff for vacances. I have to say that he walks like a bulldozer. Now I know how some people feel when I move around^^. Later that morning he decided to wake up us so we wouldn't miss our tournament.

He prepared us coffee and tea and we ate our (the day before bought) breakfast. In the morning we also found out what the password for the local wi-fi is and I connected to check the Banlist of the EDH tournament. In the meantime I started receiving messages of those who wanted to play Modern that day and wanted a deck from me^_~. One even tried to call. The messages started soon after midnight and ended at 9:30 am^_^.

EDH tournament was held in a restaurant Cerny Kun which was quite close to Honza's place. When we arrived there was quite a lot of players already. We ordered something for food and did some final changes to our decks. Then it was time to wait for the pairings. I got pitted against Reaper King. I've played against such decks and some of them actually worked more or less but for my 'in theory' turn 3 kill it was hopeless. I managed to discard a wrong land so I couldn't beat my opponent on t4 and had to wait till I draw another black source (Facepalm number 1). In the second game I beat him on turn 4 once again. In the second round I played against Animar. In the first game the only thing he managed was to play Animar and then lose. In the second game though it was far more interesting. He started with Wild Growth and followed with similar enchantment on t2. I destroyed the first land and thoughtseize'ed him later. I discarded Sylvan tutor and left him with some cards knowing that he could play all of those thanks to Animar. After drawing and playing quite a LOT of cards for one turn he did not manage to find a response to my combo pieces in the grave yard nor reanimation spell in my hand and lost. In the third round I played against Azamni. I kept a hand with a lot of spells like Thirst for Knowledge and Frantic Search. Unfortunately I was unable to draw a creature on about 20 cards. My first 7 draws were lands actually. This did not help much and like 50 minutes later I lost the first game. We started the second game but I did not manage to win in time. In round 4 I played against Geist of Saint Traft. I lost the first game pretty quickly. Geist was hitting me each turn and my spells got countered (and Armageddon did not really help it either^^). In the second game it was a a really quick win on my side and game 3 was similarly fast. After this win I played yet against one Geist - this time I played against Adam. I beat him in the first game as he was unable to draw an island (and third land) so I knew that there is nothing that could break my combo except Force of Will but I was willing to take that risk. In game two and three Adam got pretty lucky. In game two he won by playing Polymorph and beating me with Emrakul and in game three it was Terastodon tokens that beat me. Top decked Swords to Plowshares and Merchant Scroll into Force of Will was too much for me to deal with. My two mana dorks got destroyed by Supreme Verdict beforehand. I was unable to draw enough land so I could reanimate Skithyrix via Mimeoplasm. In the last round I was too tired and was really unwilling to shuffle my deck. Fortunately in the previous round Adam was the one doing that^_^. I lost pretty quickly to Derevi. The fast offensive creatures surprised me and I got caught off guard. In game two...I wanted to wipe the board but then I realized that I've been holding two tutors in my hand (2 tutors of any kind mean that I can combo of in that round usually when having 4-5 mana) and that by a chance I can deal with Linvala that was rendering my combo useless. So instead of tutoring up Toxic Deluge I killed my opponent with Necrotic Ooze+Phyrexian Devourer+Triskelion combo. I facepalmed myself once again and decided to win the last game as well. It wasn't too difficult. I left my opponent without lands (Terastodon) and beat him later with the combo once again. My final record was 4:2 as was Adam's. Our final standings were 3rd, 4th and 5th place.

What prize did I get? One of the most beautiful illustrations ... in a really ugly foil version .. a card I don't usually find place for...but maybe it wants to tell me something -> play Oath

The weekend was really cool. I really enjoyed it and I'm really grateful that I went there. Thanks to all that contributed to this weekend and made it awesome.

My EDH decklist can be found in my previous Magic: The Gathering post or at under the corresponding event (probably not yet there).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Small EDH Tourney

Being pretty sleep deprived I decided to attend two tournaments this weekend - Legacy and EDH. On Saturday I felt really down, depression was the feeling with which I came to play in the tournament. I picked up Stoneblade and played with it. In the first round everything seemed great for me but then I struggled to find an answer to one threat and I lost quite some time later. The second game ended up in a draw but still it meant a loss for me. In the next round I could have won, but not anticipating my opponent to have 2x Swords to Plowshares I lost once again. Even Affinity beat me. In the deciding game I played some Brainstorms, Ponder and Stoneforge Mystic in order to shuffle my library but I couldn't find a third land. In the meantime I was attacked by 10/1 Vault Skirge that I couldn't deal with. In the last round I played against Storm. I was like...'ok one more loss and I can go home' but I won the match. Seeing my opponent's first hand I knew I would simply die when he puts all the pieces together. In the second game I was stripped of my Force of Will and Surgical Extractions, that did not seem good but I also discarded some key cards. With Jace, the Mind Sculptor or on the table I felt relatively safe. When Brainstorming though my opponent played Notion Thief O_O. I was surprised quite a lot by it. I started to fate seal and was prepared to lose as Jace was my only win condition. In order to win I would need to bounce the Thief and counter him which I couldn't do for quite some time. My opponent was attacking me though and when Jace was at 13 counters he also attacked me. I used his ultimate ability, bounced the Thief later and countered the card. In game three I discarded all tutors and LEDs I could and started swinging with Snapcaster Mages and Stoneforge Mystic. My opponent did not draw another land in order to take care of the creatures and died. That was certainly weird.

I spent the rest of the day and most of the night translating a book. When I finished it I had to build a deck for today's tournament. So I grabbed my Mimeoplasm deck and my Magic Cube 'Offline'. I took out cards I would want to play in a Necrotic Ooze-Phyrexian Devourer-Triskelion combo and placed them in front of me. I was trying to think hard of cards that search the library, draw cards and allow discard from hand and in the end I build a deck.

I had pretty clear idea about what cards I would play and I guess anyone wanting to play similar deck in similar way would choose them as well. I was considering playing counterspells and slowing down the deck a bit but I decided that I don't want that. Either I'll win or no, so I went for discard. As for reanimation spells I just grabbed those in the cube and my former EDH deck. I put there my combo and some creatures I really wanted to play or rather cheat into play somehow - Griselbrand, Jin-Gitaxias, Rune-Scarred Demon, Woodfall Primus, Terastodon, Sylvan Primordial, Primeval Titan. I just couldn't play without Terastodon so I took out Natural Order out of my binder and add it to the deck as well...Whatever...two hours later I had a deck that lacked 14 cards so I added some random removal like Abrupt Decay, Go For the Throat, Dismember, Toxic Deluge, Maelstrom Pulse and Pernicious Deed. To be honest I would rather not play them at all, but I couldn't come up with anything else I'd like to play. For sure Dismember and Toxic Deluge will STAY in the deck no matter what. The remaining cards were some random creatures, Peek, Flash and Strategic Planning.

In the first round I played against Kaalia of the Vast. She's a dangerous human cleric...mana acceleration wasn't anything I wanted to see as my deck can hardly kill ANY creature. I fought valiantly ^_^ against Kaalia and Rakdos, the Defiler but my mana base got wrecked and do to that I couldn't win in the following turns. I managed to cheat Sylvan Primordial in play but Kuro killed him and attacked me for lethal (looks like I'm schizophrenic - but I guess you know what I'm talking about). Game two was decided by my turn 4 Natural Order that wrecked my opponent's mana base along with finding me a big body. In game three I decided to let my opponent live past turn three and that resulted in me losing the game. But I could have killed him on turn 3. He though managed to cheat into play Iona on turn 4. That was nice^_^. I felt happy even though being the loser.

In round 2 I killed my opponent on turn 3 by playing mana dork turn 1, intuition turn 2 and thoughtseize + reanimate on turn 3. In the second game I destroyed my opponent's only lands early game. She already got some creatures in play but these could hardly kill me. My bigger problem was actually a Nihil Spellbomb that landed there turn 1. Without it the game would swiftly end, but with it on the table...I had to wait and hardcast my creatures. Hardcasting these creatures got easier when I managed to draw two mana dorks in a row. These were followed by Primeval Titan. I could then finally play Woodfall Primus targeting the Spellbomb and turn later kill her with the combo (at that time she was at 46 life, so killing her in a fair way would take quite some time).

Round 3 was even swifter. I started with turn 3 kill game 1 and followed with turn 4 kill game 2. My opponent did not draw a counterspell and the only card that would destroy my plan I discarded with Duress.
In the last round I horribly died. I Thoughtseized my opponent discarding his only discard spell leaving him Gatekeeper of Malakir that won him the game later as the Gatekeeper killed my mana dork so I couldn't play Natural Order. I could have tutored Reanimation spell in order to reanimate the poor elf and then play Natural Order (in this case two turns later) but I thought that the game is already lost. I would have found Terastodon hitting Cabal Coffers and Urborg. I was hit by Skithyrix though and lost. It wasn't well played from my part, I have to admit that...In the second game I pulled of yet another turn 3 kill. My opponent tapped out so I did not need to worry about Shred Memory or something. In game 3 I mulled and my keep wasn't any good. The first discard spell hit my reanimation spell and later was followed with two more discard spells. And yes this deck is not good at top decking. So I watched my opponent play land each turn and waited till the time he would cast his general and kill me with it. This happened relatively soon, unfortunately for me.

The players were nice and kind, so I hope we will meet again. Thanks for the opportunity to play this weird format and the opportunity to play big fatties that cost 8 and more mana^_^.

The Mimeoplasm combo
Main Deck:
1 Arbor Elf
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Elves of Deep Shadow
1 Elvish Mystic
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Griselbrand
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Massacre Wurm
1 Necrotic Ooze
1 Phyrexian Devourer
1 Primeval Titan
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
1 Sphinx of Uthuun
1 Sylvan Primordial
1 Terastodon
1 Triskelion
1 Woodfall Primus

1 Abrupt Decay
1 Animate Dead
1 Brainstorm
1 Buried Alive
1 Careful Study
1 Compulsive Research
1 Dance of the Dead
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dismember
1 Duress
1 Entomb
1 Exhume
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Flash
1 Frantic Search
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Go for the Throat
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Intuition
1 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Natural Order
1 Necromancy
1 Peek
1 Pernicious Deed
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Reanimate
1 Recurring Nightmare
1 Show and Tell
1 Strategic Planning
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Thoughtseize
1 Toxic Deluge

1 Bayou
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Flooded Grove
1 Flooded Strand
2 Forest
1 Hinterland Harbor
2 Island
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
2 Swamp
1 Tropical Island
1 Twilight Mire
1 Underground River
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery
1 Yavimaya Coast