So, having driven home from Leeds the night before i woke up at 6 to drive to Phoenix games in Leicester, armed with a faeries deck, very similar to the one posted in the earlier article, but with 2 path to exile swapped into the main for 2 stifle (this turned out fantastically, i wish i could have fit a 3rd in).
Anyways, before i get into the match reports, i just wanted to mention that Phoenix games is a lovely, albeit small, gaming store, with a really nice gaming area, so if anyone gets a chance drop by for an event (we were informed on regionals coming up shortly there). However, it was a shame that despite being informed that registration finished at 10.30am for an 11.am start, the shop was still not open at 10am!, which was a bit lame. There was obviously a lot of organising to do, but after having a breakfast in McDonalds me and Ben ended up sitting in my car finishing off our decks, which was kind of lame, so hopefully if anyone goes to Leicester the staff at Phoenix games will have worked out the slight administrative kinks they had with this PTQ.
Round 1 - Kris Pietron - Swans
Game 1 - This game was incredibly long and drawn out, but eventually i managed to come good with mutavaults and spellstutter sprites. Kris did well not to reveal what deck he was playing (i first though fae with polluted delta, next teps with a turn 2 ponder) until my turn 3 vendilion clique revealling 2 chain of plasmas in hand. This of course was bas news, but i stripped 1 and then cliqued again post combat next turn to take the other. From here it was simply a matter of finding a threat, and after a few self proclaimed mistakes by Kris i countered a swans and took the game.
Game 2 - This game started much like the first, but i had kept a hand with lots of permission in hand. Having answers to most of Kris' action in the first 4 or so turns seemed strong, especially with beats coming in from a spellstutter, soon joined by a vendilion clique, which left a hand with not a lot of gas. The defining play of the game came when Kris made a turn 5 Teferi off an EOT mystical teachings. I played glen elendra archmage, then my path to exile on Teferi met pact of negation, which effectively nullified most of my hand. From here it was simply a matter of time before Kris drew into his combo.
Sadly, there was only 3 minutes of the round so we called it a draw at 1-1
Round 2 - Johnathan Coutts - Naya Burn
Game 1 - John led off with stompin ground into kird ape, which didnt scare me too much because i know zoo can be an ok matchup with a semi decent draw. John helixed my spellstutter countering his turn 3 dude, which was very bad news for me, and after playing draw go, i had no choice but to let him resolve a sulfuric vortex, which meant i had 3 turns, and quickly died.
Game 2 - John got a first turn kird ape again, and resolved a second turn 3/3 wild nacatl, which seemed strong despite a good opener from me. I was beatedn up by his dudes for a little bit, trying to leave counter magic open to vortex, but all the time dying to his 1 drops. I got low on life, but with venser in hand and visions resolving i allowed a char to resolve, which took me to 3 life (1, if you count the seal of fire on the table), because if i drew land i can make spellstutter, and then venser, bouncing and blocking (i tanked for about 10mins on this play). My 4 from visions were of course fetchland, fetchland, fetchland, shockland - awkward.
Round 3 - James Ritche - Elves!
Game 1 - I knew James was playing Elves! allready from seeing him playing across tables, but he didnt seem to confident with playing the deck, and its a pretty good matchup already for Fae. James flopped a load of elves onto the table early on, but i had engineered explosives for 1 to clear them up. Soon after i drew academy ruins, and slowly destroyed all but 2 cards in hand and a wirewood symbiote and birchlore rangers on his side. I cliqued to reveal pact and glimpse, taking the pact, then pass. He then plays land, glimpse, glimpse, and then attempts to bounce his birchlore - i stifle.....we shuffle.
Game 2 - Once again an early onset of elves is firespouted away, but James gets badly manaflooded, and of course flops them onto the table to show me he has no outs before getting bashed around silly by various dudes i resolve, obviously not fearing a sudden combo.
Round 4 - Chip Raynor - Loam
Game 1 - Chip was a really nice guy, and local to Leicester, which is cool. Our game 1 was fairly close, with a knight of the reliquary growing. However my turn 4 vendilion clique managed to put a loam on bottom, and sometime later, having snared a second copy, i managed to clique again to take the other. Chip mistakenly attacked with his finks (with the reliquary sadly in exile), leaving my mutavaults to get in for lethal.
Game 2 - This was my first non-game of the day. Having cycled lands for the first couple turns, Chip resolved a knight of the reliquary, to get end of turn path to exiled, but sadly this was the only creature Chip drew, nor did he draw any loams, darkblasts, or anything else of any relevence.
Round 5 - Noel Bresland - kithkin
Game 1 - Noel was playing what looked like a very similar deck to the one in standard right now, which was very evident from his turn 1 goldmeadow stalwart. I took couple hits then path to exiled his stalwart, now with a spellstutter of my own. The game changing mistake came in turn 3, where i made a draw step vendilion clique, seeing 2 ranger of eos, a wizenned cenn and land. I should have waited and leaked the attempted ranger this turn the just cliqued next turn for the other. As it happened i punted, let him keep both, then got beaten silly by Figure of destinies while trying to rob wagner an Engineered explosives onto my deck (no dice)
Games 2 & 3 - i am reporting these together because they were ridiculously similar, happily in that i drew out pretty much the stone cold nuts against Noel's deck. In both of my opening hands i had a copy of engineered explosives and my misers academy ruins, which was nice. Whats more both these games saw me drawing heavily into my sideboarded firespouts. The only thing i had to worry about was Noel resolving a spectral procession, but luckily i kept him off this and it was over. I almost feel bad about how well i drew in these last 2 games, in game 3, having already used engineered explosives, and with academy ruins, my 4 card hand contained 3 x firespout and 1 x path to exile - delicious!. Im pretty sure Noel could have stalled out a draw in game 3, but he attack with his figure, and i had the mana to firespout his fresh blockers, then activate mutavault, swing with that and 2 x spellstutter sprites, give one +4/+4 from jitte, which luckily was just enough for lethal.
Round 6 - Christopher Rossiter - Faeries
Game 1 - As with all Faerie mirror matches, this one was explosive..... but seriously this was a long drawn out affair, with various riptide laboratory shananigans being used. Sadly throughout this Chris was able to more than half my life with a Mutavault, and when he resolved another creature it was over.
Game 2 - This was another really close game, but i managed to keep up with Chris' land drops, although he had 2 riptide labs to my 1, which gave him a pretty big advantage. I beatdown with a spellstutter for turn before it was joined by another. Chris vensered my vendilion clique back to my hand, annoyingly. I then sowered Chris venser, and he sowered my sower, leaving me with venser, 2 x spellstutter and 2 x mutavault, and chris with 2 x sower, and 1 x mutavault. I attacked with everything, and chris traded off my sower for a vault after i didnt use my riptide lab (i may have the board wrong because he used his lab to save something else), anyways, i play a postcombat venser of my own, getting rid of both and bouncing the sower, then strip it from his hand leaving him with 2 lands and a mystery, with the board now empty for him (with bounced mutavault in hand), and i have2 x spellstutter and a clique with him low on life.
Anways, it was close to time and chris was win and in and for me it depended on breakers, but i had reasonable ones, plus i was paired up, but in the end i thought it better that one of us made it to the top 8 rather than neither of us, so after this play i scooped to Chris and wished hime good luck in the top 8 (incidentally does anyone know who won it?)
So i hope you enjoyed the report, congratulations to Ben Heath who did well as well that day, and also it was good to see fellow leodensians Paul Wray, Craig Stevenson and Andy Devine in Leicester.
Overall it was a pretty good day, despite not getting any prizes for my troubles i will probably still get some rating out of it, and see new places. Good luck to whoever won the ptq, hope you do well in Honolulu.
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