this past weekend i was down in san jose at superstars game store, a new partner location for power 9 pro products btw. there i had the opportunity to participate in regionals.
though the day was not a successful bid for a national champs invite, i did have a great time playing with all the other players. (my only complaint is that the store has yet to figure out how to properly ventilate the tourney-hall, resulting in near 100 degree temperatures. as you can imagine, this makes for an extremely long day, only magnifying the fatigue resulting from concentrating on winning.) the store is great for tournaments, easily seating 200 players.
i played a B/W tokens deck. for the previous few months, i’ve been playing a blightening beatdown deck with slight modifications since the release of alara reborn, so this was a big change in game style.
here’s the list i ran:
3x windbrisk heights (thought i had a fourth and then didn’t and the store didn’t have any and nobody had any for trade!!! oops. not going to happen @ gp-seattle as i’ve already secured my playset…for realz this time)
turn 4 identity crisis off a windbrisk heights, removing a full 7 card hand. ouch!
numerous final kills w/ murderous redcaps. so many i couldn’t keep track. ouch!
most disappointed with:
sideboard. i thought i would see more red-aggro-based decks which my matchups didn’t really include. on that, i don’t like mark of asylum. that was really an anti-red tech as well but it’s a waste of a card for this deck. i would much rather have had either another ajani, elspeth (or two). i also regret not running thoughtseize. for mirror, G/W tokens and 5cc, i need–HAVE–to take a peek at their hand.
overall i’m still super impressed with the deck.
here’s the matchups and any highlights my sweat-riddled notes kept.
vs 5cc. first game took 38 min. he’d maintained control for most of the round. toward the end of the round, he used jace to mill me for 20, used an ajani vengeant to destroy all my lands and then after my draw next turn, he double esper charmed me. doh. i conceded figuring his next card had to be a broodmate. later discussed this matchup w/ my friends (and ride)–one of which qualified for nationals because the other undefeated friend conceded (just out of friendship)–they both agreed i should never concede to 5cc because the deck may just never do anything. in fact, the deck has a high risk of milling itself. though, i still stand by my assumption that he had to have some sort of win conditions. next game went to time. 12 min just wasn’t enough.
vs. G/W tokens. not many notes here but i won games one and two. zealous persecution rocked this guy’s world. i also distinctly remember playing a murderous redcap with a glorious anthem on the table which i directed the damage at his dauntless escort. in response he sac’d (of course), at which point i zealous persecutioned, eliminating his recently cast cloudgoat ranger tokens, leaving him with a lone 3/3 on the table. boo hoo for him but yay me!
vs. R/B/U farrie variant. ran cryptics, broken ambitions and then demigod of revenge and banefire.
game one went to me. he conceded actually w/ me at 23 life and him at 6. game two i mulligan to 5 (doh). he starts swinging in w/ demigod of revenge. i have a note here of the play mistake where i could have killed his demigod of revenge but i had miscounted thinking i could only do 3 damage (including a zelaous persecution) when i actually would have done 4. doh. he later revealed he had the makeshift mannequin which still would have pulled the match in his favor. either way, i don’t like making mistakes. game three i don’t have many notes other than “saw 3rd cryptic at broken ambitions clash”. why did i write that down and only that? must be because it was really hot and i couldn’t think straight! either way, i pulled this out one, winning in game three.
vs. mono-red burn.
nothing spectacular. i have a note in game one that i alpha swung w/ the “team” and then used a murderous redcap to finish for the last two. game two he gets me down to 3, only needs an incinerate but i swing in for 13. ouch. highlight of this match was using ajani goldmane’s third ability to put a 7/7 white avatar into play. very fun. in fact, i remember doing it thinking, “damn, this is the only way i can swinging in for the kill next turn.” luckily he used his incinerate to get me to 3 and not to 0. whew. very close.
vs. U/G/w shorecrasher.
game one he beats down really fast. got him to one but he was able to activate the trample affect and swing in for 5. doh.
game 2, he didn’t do much. life total had me @ 19 and him going from 9 to zero.
game 3, i didn’t do _anything_. he had a really good draw. turn 5 i was finished. ouch.
vs. Bant variation–in fact, i was pretty sure i was playing the same deck i played against in match 5.
game one, he gets me to 6 but i kept racing and was able to get the final points in before him.
game two, was the game that i identity crisis’d for 7 cards. next turn i played a glorious anthem off another heights, played a murderous redcap to kill off his recently cast jenara, next turn i played zealous persecution and an ajani goldmane to finish him off. _very_ fast match. in fact, my notes show: 20 -> 17 (spectral tokens) 17 -> 11 (glorious anthem) 11 -> 0. ouch.
vs. fae — true fae, unlike the variation from round 2.
not many notes unfortunately. by this point in the afternoon i was dripping sweat. i lost game one. game two he scooped w/ me at 21 and him at 14. i can only assume i had a really impressive team on the board. game three i do have a note that i made a mistake–and boy was it a doosy. he bounced an arcane sanctum to my hand which i allow to resolve without adding the mana to my pool. SO dumb. my notes say i could have cast an ajani were i paying closer attention. there’s no proof of this but i’m fairly certain that were i able to stick ajani then (opp’ was tapped out at this point), i would have gained enough life to stabilize. friends watching the match agreed that it was a major mistake–though only one friend really noticed it.
match 8: opponent’s name was also james. lol.
vs. reveillark. we go to game three. game one finished w/ me at 22 and him going from 5 to zero. game two he was at 21 life and me at 3. game 3 he goes from 14 to 1 with me still at 11 life.