Well, after a rather grueling set of computer science exams I’m back and ready to talk Magic. As I’m sure you’re well aware, Regionals were last weekend and I’ve got some stories to share.
We left Edmonton at 6 in the morning on the 16th, and got into Calgary at 9:30, with plenty of time to tweak my decklist. I met two other players, both named David, and we chatted about our decks and the expected metagame. Between the three of us we had a black-white tokens player, a Blightning player, and a Faeries player (myself), and I leant out a few Reflecting Pools and Windbrisk Heights to the tokens deck because I wasn’t using them. All I had to hope was that those cards didn’t end up across the table from me.
Here’s the deck I ended up using:
Round 1: Maes
A first-turn Aunties Hovel elicited a groan from myself as I prepared to face what was probably one of the decks worst matchups, the Blightning Deck. The fact that I didn’t draw a Bitterblossom the whole game was a blessing in disguise, because I was able to survive his barrage of burn spells and efficient creatures. Vendilion Clique was the MVP of the game, with it both sucking up a burn spell and taking out a Flame Javelin from his hand when it came down. Eventually, my cliques (both Vendilion and Mistbind) just got there and pulled out the victory, with me hanging on at a single point of life.
In game two I was able to capitalize on the presence of Vendilion Clique into a turn 4 Mistbind Clique to keep up the pressure on Maes’ crew of red beaters. The game ended up being decided by him playing a Thought Hemorrhage to make me discard a Loxodon Warhammer, instead of playing a Flame Javelin on my Mistbind Clique. With him at 6, he forgot to realize that I had a Faerie Conclave that would deal exactly enough to push his life total to zero.
Round 2: Taylor
Taylor is a prominent online personality on the Alberta Magic forums, viewable at www.sc2gg.com/magic, and this was the first time I had played a constructed match against him. After winning round 1 against Blightning, I was hoping that that would be the only red-black deck I would see for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, that was not to be, as Taylor used a first-turn Aunties Hovel to put a Mogg Fanatic into play. When I managed to Vendilion Clique him, I saw a hand full of cards like Hellspark Elemental, Anathemancer, and Demigod of Revenge. Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed and started to shuffle up for the second game.
Taylor hit a bit of a land flood in the beginning of the game, which I capitalized on. By Cliquing him out of his best cards and keeping up the pressure, I was able to win with 11 life remaining. However, I did see that Taylor had sideboarded in Banefire, which promised to be difficult to deal with.
In the third game, Taylor and I traded blows for a while, but he was able to land a set of two Anathemancers, which took me down to a sparse 3 life, and he had one ready to unearth. Then I made my second biggest mistake of the tournament. With both the mana open and a Cryptic Command in my hand, I foolishly said “OK” when Taylor asked me if his intentions to attack were valid. Rather than tapping down his creatures and coming back to win with a Faerie Conclave that I had in play, I had no option but to bounce one of his attackers and chump the other with my man-land. Drawing no answers to the Anathemancer in his graveyard, I passed the turn and promptly lost.
Round 3: Chuck
Chuck, it turns out was playing Twinsanity, a deck that uses Sanity Grinding and Twincast to mill the opponent. Fortunately, this deck is one of Faeries’ best matchups, and I was able to simply use Bitterblossom and an array of counterspells to stop his deck in its tracks, and game 2 was very much the same.
Round 4: Lane
Lane is one of the better players at Wizard’s Comics in Edmonton, and he had also made the trip down to Calgary to play in the tournament. I knew he was playing either Black-White Tokens or Bant, based on what I had seem him testing at FNM, and it turned out to be the former. Unfortunately, a pilot as strong as Lane combined with a deck like his turned out to be quite an obstacle for me, a slightly above-average player with a deck that had only a 35-65 matchup pre-board.
I landed a turn two Bitterblossom, but Lane had the ever-present Zealous Persecution, as well as Tidehollow Sculler and Kitchen Finks to bolster his side of the board. I managed to keep Glorious Anthem out of his hand with Vendilion Clique and Thoughtseize, but a timely Cloudgoat Ranger and Ajani Gomdmane spelt defeat for my Faeries.
I brought in the big guns out of the sideboard for game two, including 3 Infest, 2 Evacuation, and two more Thoughtseize in the hopes of making it harder for the tokens deck to stabilize. Alas it was not to be, as my Evacuation only delayed the inevtable as a double Bitterblossom for Lane proved to overwhelm me, while he gained life from Kitchen Finks.
Round 5: Ian
Ian was playing Jund Ramp, a deck that I hadn’t tested against. All that I needed in the first game was a Scion of Oona, a Spellstutter Sprite, and a Loxodon Warhammer for me to end the game at 30 life.
Out of the board came Sower of Temptation, as Faeries can often not handle Chameleon Colossus, as well as Thoughtseizes to strip him of any potential threats, However, he had a fast start witch Kitchen Finks and Chameleon Colossus, and none of the cards I drew were of any major consequence.
In the third game, I resolved an early Bitterblossom which basically won the game single-handedly, although a late Mistbind Clique was able to ensure that the game was mine. The hand disruption that I had (7 slots total) was more than worth it to ensure that the likes of Chameleon Colossus and Broodmate Dragon never saw play.
Round 6: David
Believe it or not, this was not one of the two David’s that I hung out with before the tournament. This was actually a guy I had played at FNM the week before, and had lost to with a worse version of the same deck. He was also playing the same deck, and the match started off much the same as it had a week prior. I was able to take the first game easily, only having to play carefully around a Qasali Pridemage.
I knew from the previous week that David would have Scattershot Archers in the board, so I brought in Infests to kill them. Sure enough, David played the Faerie-killer on turn one, and was able to back it up with a second one. I didn’t see any Infests, and I lost to his perpetual onslaught of creatures.
Game 3 was a lucky one. When David tried to cast his archers on turn 3, I had Spellstutter Sprite. David then played a Path to Exile, in hopes of being able to resolve the Scattershot, but I animated my Mutavault by tapping itself to ensure the counter resolved, and I was able to fetch another land. The next turn I resolved a Mistbind Clique on his upkeep, and believe it or not, did the same thing 3 turns in a row, effectively Time Walking the deck that had no answers. Sure enough, my 4/4 fliers came in and won me the game.
Round 7: Lorenzo
Lorenzo is the brother of Marcel, an Edmonton player who has played on the Pro Tour. He’s almost as good as his brother, and I was happy to see the 5-colour control sitting across the table from me, as the matchup is generally slanted in Faeries favour, although the presence of Volcanic Fallout is something to be worried about.
In the first round, I countered all of Lorenzo’s spells and resolved a Mistbind Clique during his upkeep, and Bitterblossom was able to seal the deal.
In game 2, I made the worst mistake of the tournament. I kept a hand consisting of Underground River, double Bitterblossom, Mistbind Clique and triple Cryptic Command, thinking that if I didn’t draw a land I could always come back in the third game. A foolish mistake, to be sure and I didn’t draw another land for two turns on the draw, and promptly lost the game. The final nail in the coffin was Lorenzo casting Thought Hemorrhage, naming Cryptic Command without any prior information and stripped my hand, dealing 9 points to my head and eliminating my most powerful spells from the game. I blame this loss on myself 100%, as I got greedy.
In game 3, I got hit with multiple Anathemancers and Lorenzo was able to resolve a second Wall of Reverence after I Thoughtseized one of them. Anything I tried to play was countered by the likes of Broken Ambitions and Cryptic Command.
Overall Record: 4-3
Well, I was happy with my decks performance. If I could re-do it again, I would have tried to make better plays, but for my first large-scale constructed tournament, I am satisfied. My tiebreakers gave me a 23rd place finish out of 96 original entrants, although I was just out of the prizes.
High Points of the tournament:
-Meeting both Davids who showed up at 9:30 with a twelve pack of Coke which he shared
-Getting 3 packs from one David’s prizes because I lent him cards
-Meeting Sean, another member of Power 9 Pro, and seeing him qualify for nationals
Low Points of the tournaments:
-Getting Thought Hemorrhaged for 3 Cryptics and 9 damage
-Not making top 8
All in all, it was a great tournament, and the top eight decks can be found here. I may or may not be going to Grand Prix Seattle, but If I do, be sure to come and say hi, the bright orange shirts are hard to miss.