Thursday, 23 April 2009

View from Above

By Wagz

Hello, as a counterpoint to my Noobflogger Boss column, when I am not playing and the format is Constructed I will be taking Feature Match reports, trying to take in the exciting new decks and the top table at the end of the night. I have covered 4 matches this week, with my beautiful assistant Ben Heath covering another match in the last round - report to follow.

Match 1: Craig Stevenson (Grixis Control) vs. Andy Devine (Dark Bant)
Game 1:

Craig wins the dice roll and leads off with a fairly unrevealing Reflecting Pool, which Andy answers with a Treetop Village. Sunken Ruins then a tapped Murmuring Bosk carry on a slow start from both players. Graven Cairns is met with a Reflecting Pool and a Treetop Village attack to draw first blood and put Craig on 17.
Craig misses on a land drop but Andy only attacks for another 3 and lays down another Village. Craig misses again, discarding Broken Ambitions. Andy attacks for a further 3 and discards a Kitchen Finks, neither player seeming to like playing spells. Craig finally hits a Secluded Glen and after being attacked down to 8 he Broken Ambitions a Noble Heirarch for 1, the clash revealing a Graven Cairns and Ancient Ziggurat which both players elect to very much keep, thank you.
Land go meets Ziggurat, Heirarch? Okay, activate the Village, attacks? Cryptic to bounce the Village and draw Fogs Craig into another turn, which he uses to play a Reflecting Pool. Andy asks if he can declare attackers and Craig Volcanic Fallouts to kill the Heirarch and make the life totals 6-18. In response Andy taps the Heirarch for the mana to Path to Exile it. A Plumeveil flies down to block the only 3/3 Village and all Andy can do is lay down the previously bounced Village.
Island, Demigod of Revenge is Craig's tempo shift turn, putting Andy on 13. A Rafiq resolves but the Path to Exile on Demigod is met with Broken Ambitions for 1 revealing a shipped Crumbling Necropolis and a kept Llanowar Wastes. Craig evokes a Mulldrifter and plays a Cascade Bluffs before attacking for another 5 and then a Banefire for exact on Rafiq. Llanowar Wastes, Chameleon Colossus and Rhox War Monk all come down for a big turn for Andy but the next attack from Craig drops him to 3. Andy activates a Village and declares attackers. Everything goes into the Red Zone, but a Mannequined Mulldrifter and a Plumeveil come down to wreck the day. After the dust is cleared, a Plumeveil and a Demigod are facing a Rhox War Monk and the lives are 6 apiece. Doran sees action with a Reflecting Pool but it doesn't look healthy when Craig attacks Andy to 2 with his now smaller Demigod. The Mulldrifter gets mannequined again and only Doran survives the combat opposite the tapped Demigod. A Kitchen Finks is Counter-Drawed with Cryptic Command and after Craig makes a Mulldrifter Andy looks at his top card before moving onto game 2.

Game 2:

The slow start of game 1 had to favour Craig's more controlling deck but going first is always good for a Birds deck. Both players mulligan once before Andy leads off with a tapped Bosk. Tapped Secluded Glen passes to Birds of Paradise, Brushland and Relic of Progenitus out of the board to deal with the Demigods. A Sunken Ruins continues Craig's manabase but can do nothing to stop a Rhox War Monk from getting into the Battlefield. Swamp from Craig sees Ancient Ziggurat, a resolved Noble Heirarch and the Pancake Flipper making the life totals 16-24. End of turn Plumeveil must have been annoying as it can't block the 4/5 Monk very well.
Sunken Ruins is another land-go turn from Craig. Doran reolves and an attack with the Flipper makes things 11-29. Crumbling Necropolis finally gives Craig some Red mana and the War Mink makes the life totals a precarious 6-34 before Birds of Paradise is played. Reflecting Pool gives Craig 6 mana but a Primal Rage means the attack is more than lethal to give Andy game 2.

Game 3:

Craig starts but not before Andy has to mulligan down to a 4 card hand, never good news. Reflecting Pool meets Treetop Village and an Island meets Brushland, Birds. Sunken Ruins into an evoked Mulldrifter means Craig is looking to draw into the gas with which to win the game and all Andy can do is send the Village in for threesies followed by a land. Secluded Glen then land, a resolved Wilt-Leaf Liege and a Birds attack from Andy start to speed things up on the Green side of the board. Cascade Bluffs enables a Demigod for Craig which has to stay back on defence mode. The Demigod is Pathed and an attack to send Craig to 12 is followed by Glen Elendra Archmage with no mana untapped.
Reflecting Pool into a second Demigod on defence opposes a Noble Heirarch which enables the Treetop Village to trade with the Demigod and trample for 1. Craig has other ideas as he plays Graven Cairns and the third Demigod getting the second back from the 'yard. An evoked Mulldrifter ends the turn, clearly looking to churn through his library.
Time is called after Andy draws his card and he passes the turn. Turn 1 is a Volcanic Fallout and a Swamp to put the players at Craig: 9, Andy: 18. A mannequined Mulldrifter stocks up Craigs hand and he sends in one Demigod to dock Andy 5 juicy life points. An Ancient Ziggurat and the Liege attacks in to be blocked by Mulldrifter. A pain is taken to Path a Demigod. Turn 3 gives Reflecting Pool, attack with the one remaining God and Sower of Temptation the Liege. Turn 4 only sees a Birds of Paradise to hopefully block, but on Turn 5 the hotness that is Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker steals it and lethal damage is made, giving Craig the win.

Craig 2 - 1 Andy

Match 2: Jim Marlow (Jund Ramp) vs. Grzegorz Engiert (Red)
Game 1:

Greg starts and sticks down a Mountain. Jim replies with Treetop Village before a Mountain and a Hellspark Elemental draw first blood. Mountain comes down and finds itself a Fertile Ground to start the ramping process. Mountain enables a Boggart Ram Gang to swing in. Reflecting Pool, Garruk, untap, evoked Shriekmaw the Ram Gang is Jim's mana-intensive turn. Greg unearths the Hellspark Elemental to drop Garruk down to 1 counter. Jim uses Garruk's untap ability to make a Broodmate Dragon and drops a Savage Lands. Mountain and Volcanic Fallout offs Garruk and puts the players at Jim: 12, Greg: 18. A Magma Spray finishes off the token but its friend remains.
A Forest and a Garruk to untap lands enables a Colossus to come down. Mogg Fanatic doesn't look like the biggest of oppositions and it does nothing to stop a Treetop Village being made and Garruk giving the team an Overrun when the Colossus is pumped.

Game 2:

Greg starts again and leads with a Mountain. Forest from Jim meets another Mountain and Hellspark again. Fire-lit Thicket enables a Rampant Swamp, and Greg once again lays Mountain, Ram-Gang to stick Jim on 14. Fire-Lit Thicket #2 and a Kitchen Finks gives Jim some life. No Magma Spray in hand means the Finks trades with the Ram-Gang and Ghitu Encampment and Everlasting Torment come into play for Greg.
Chameleon Colossus threatens to be a big threat, but it gets Flame Javelined after an attack for 3 with the unearthed Elemental. Sadly for Greg another Colossus gets made and all he can respond with is the techy Vithian Stinger (Gnarled Effigy anyone?). Twilight Mire and an attack is followed by a Kickered Shriekmaw on the Stinger. Ghity Encampment attacks Jim to 11 and Stinger is unearthed to put a -1/-1 counter on the Colossus. Fertile Ground on the Swamp and an attack to put Greg to 10 come from Jim. A second Ghitu Encampment gets played and a Volcanic Fallout offs the Shriekmaw and makes the Colossus a 1/1, but Jund Charm reverses this to 3/3 with the totals at Jim: 9, Greg: 8. Treetop Village and an attack to 5 are followed by Broodmate Dragon. A second Fallout makes the guys smaller but they will steal kill Greg next turn so he scoops.

Jim 2 - 0 Greg

Match 3: Paul Wray (GW Overrun) vs. Andy Edwards (Jund Ramp)
Game 1:

Andy starts with a Savage Lands and Paul answers with Brushland, Noble Heirarch. A long pause is had before Andy plays a Swamp and then Banefires the Heirarch into oblivion. Manascrewing your opponent is often a good tech if it can work for you. Windbrisk Heights into Burrenton Forge-Tender puts Paul on 18 after pains. Karplus Forest and Loxodon Warhammer are put into play for Andy and if he can get a guy to carry it then the Hammer should carry Andy all the way. Another Windbrisk Heights means Paul's mana is still a little stunted and he attacks in for 1. Forest gives Andy a Chameleon Colossus and is met with Treetop Village, Spectral Procession. The Colossus picks up the Hammer and a Treetop Village is made. Brushland then attack with the 3 dudes allows Windbrisk #1 to make another 3 dudes but Forest, attack and pump the Colossus puts the totals at Paul: 3, Andy: 30. Cloudgoat Ranger comes down but nothing can be done about the Hammer-wielding Colossus smashing in for loads.

Game 2:

Paul elects to start the second game and likely hopes his mana works out a little smoother for him, since lots of guys in play and some kind of Overrun effect is very powerful. Forest and Birds is good and is met with Treetop Village. Wooded Bastion lets Paul make a 2/2 Figure of Destiny and Karplusan Forest gives Andy only a Rampant Swamp. Reflecting Pool, attack for 2 and Ranger of Eos for another Figure and a Forge-Tender. I love Ranger so much and want a French Playset if anyone is reading this :D Karplusan Forest and a Fertile Ground give Andy mana left over for a Firespout to clear the board but pain him to 17.
Windbrisk Heights, Figure and Forge-Tender stack the board again but the Figure gets Deathmarked and a Rampant Forest is made. Forest and attack for 1 before a Ranger finds another Figure and Forge-Tender, the Figure is made. Swamp from Andy is laid to pay for a Deathmarked Forge-Tender.
Plains is laid and attacks declared before Andy taps his 4 lands for 6 mana to make Cloudthresher. This swats the Figure out of play before combat damage makes the life totals Paul: 18, Andy: 10. Paul makes Garruk and a Beast and the Forge-Tender. The Forge-Tender is Shriekmawed as he turns off Andy's wraths very effectively and the turn is passed. A second beast is made to give Paul 3 creatures and the turn is passed again what with a massive Cloudthresher in the way. The Shriekmaw attacks Garruk to kill him off and then a Firespout leaves only an untapped Cloudthresher in play. A Chameleon Colossus comes down, paining Andy to 9 but it immediately gets Path to Exiled. Plains is played by Paul but he looks to be out of gas and Andy activates Village to attack Paul to 8. Nothing is drawn so Paul scoops them up. Unfortunate as the deck looks pretty hot but Andy has so many wraths and relevant point removal spells with hard to deal with creatures.

Paul 0-2 Andy

Match 4: Ben Coltman (Dirty Naya) vs. Wayne Cook ("Artifacts, and not very good" - Ben)
Game 1:

Ben starts with a plains which is met with the unconventional Mutavault, Chromatic Star start from Wayne. I should point out that the top table is being reported on by Ben but I wanted a special look at two interesting decks facing off one another on this table. Naya Panorama from Ben is cracked after Wayne lays Caves of Koilos and attacks with the 'Vault. Treetop Village and a Mogg Fanatic come in for Ben. Wayne makes an Island and trades his manland for the Goblin. Reflecting Pool gives Ben a Vanilla Cliffunner Behemoth and Wayne only answers with a Reflecting Pool. The Behemoth and Village bring Wayne to 12 and a second Mogg Fanatic gets down.
Island and a cracked Chromatic Star give Wayne a Master Transmuter which might threaten to get silly, but it is forced to block the Behemoth. A Sanctum Gargoyl gets it back but this is Naya Charmed and Ben swings in for lethal.

Game 2:

Wayne sets the game off with Arcane Sanctum, which is met with Jungle Shrine, both players playing the very good Trilands from Shards of Alara. Island and a Burrenton Forge-Tender set off the creatures and a Jungle Shrine plus Mogg Fanatic are played by a visibly frustrated Ben. Caves of Koilos and Master of Etherium give Wayne two 1/1s. Savage Lands are laid before Ben attacks with his Goblin. The Forge-Tender blocks it but it is sacced to kill the Master of Etherium and the Forge-Tender sacced to prevent this damage. Island and Etherium Sculptor gives Wayne more mana and a bigger Master who swings in for 2. Wooded Bastion gives Ben another turn 4 Cliffrunner Behemoth but Wayne plays a Swamp and a Scourglass, paining himself to 19. Jund Panorama and Knight of the Reliquary are played to level up the Behemoth who swings in and is blocked by the Etherium Sculptor. In Wayne's upkeep he blows the Scourglass leaving only the Master in play. Caves of Koilos and Sanctum Gargoyle for the Scourglass back, an attack to 21 and the Panorama becomes a Mountain.
Treetop Village and yet another Behemoth enter play so Wayne lays the Scourglass again and flies in for 3, putting both players at 18 after some pain lands. A Naya Charm offs the Master and the Treetop Village helps the Behemoth drop Wayne to 10. The Scourglass kills off another Behemoth and a Tidehollow Sculler force Ben to reveal a hand of Naya Panorama and two Sarkhan Vols, ouch) before the Gargoyle attacks for 2. Naya Panorama and the remaining Sarkhan Vol steal the Gargoyle, who with the Treetop Village attacks. The Village is blocked by the Sculler, putting Wayne at 3 and a Mogg Fanatic is played. Island and Ethersworn Adjudicator give Wayne the trump creature, but a Vol-threatened Adjudicator and Treetop Village swing over for loads of damage.

Ben 2-0 Wayne

The final results for the night were:
1) Nick Doropoulos
2) Emanuel Fertig
3) Robertus Aluzas
4) Craig Stevenson
5) Andy Edwards
6) Greg Engiert
7) Paul Suciu
8) Mick Edwards

Next week is Block Constructed and the next time we have constructed, all the decks will be thrown off by the inclusion of the fantastic new Alara Reborn cards. See you all soon Wagz xx


  1. 9) Jim Marlow


    (jim did not write this)

  2. i suck but i will get better:)