Thursday, 18 June 2009

Tournament Report - Ptq Austin, Phoenix Games, Leicester

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

Sorry about the delay in getting this tournament report up, and the general lack of articles otherwise, i have been crazy busy with a variety of different things, and the thought of having to write about how badly i did in this tournament has been pretty off-putting.

I made it to Leicester really easily and feeling pretty good actually, i even wangled an early night from work so was well slept before an event, it felt almost surreal to be playing in a premier event without hallucinating during most rounds.

49 players turned up to battle for the spot, which i think seems a little low considering its a Leicester PTQ, but i have found it really hard to find information on this PTQ season on Wizards of the Coast, and have had to rely on various posts on forums and from word of mouth at other tournaments. I think this is a real shame because TO's work really hard to both achieve and maintain a high level of attendance and competition to get these PTQ's, and Wizards just isn't giving them the very little support they need, by telling people the events are on.

But hey, i guess i dont want to get started on WOTC bonin To's, do i?

Aside from this however, the guys at Phoenix Games put on a really great event. The venue can hold a decent amount of people but after some rumbling about the amount of room Chris and his team happily moved all the tables to give some extra room. It's this kind of immediate reaction to the requests of players which separates Phoenix Games as one of the nicest places to play magic in the country (Aside from free parking about 50 yards from the venue and the mighty JABBERWOCKYYYY!) . Also, the judge staff were really cool, and in general it was a great event.

Anyway, i tweaked my jund cascade deck for the event slightly, taking out the 2 finks i had maindeck for chameleon colossus. I decided that this change increased the value of both my cascade spells, by making me more likely to hit my more valuable spells with bloodbraid elf, and of course i can cascade into colossus with bituminous blast.

Here's the deck i played.

4 x anathemancer
4 x putrid leech
4 x bloodbraid elf
4 x boggart ram gang
3 x sygg river cutthroat
2 x chameleon colossus

4 x flame javelin
4 x maelstrom pulse
3 x bituminous blast
2 x jund charm
2 x volcanic fallout

4 x savage lands
2 x ghitu encampment
2 x graven cairns
2 x firelit thicket
2 x twilight mire
2 x reflecting pool
2 x sulphurous springs
1 x llanowar wastes
1 x karplusen forest
2 x mountain
2 x forest
2 x swamp


2 x cloudthresher
2 x volcanic fallout
3 x deathmark
2 x pithing needle
2 x thought hemorrhage
4 x kitchen finks

Im very happy with this list, with the exception of the mana. Im not sure whether this deck needs the 25th land, but even so i am almost certain my manabase is wrong.

Round 1 - Ben Gamble - Jund Aggro

Ben was playin the hackblade type super aggresive jund deck.
Game 1 - I mull to 5 on the draw and Ben gets double hackblade, i manage to get a 2-1 sweeper but then i only draw anathemancers to his almost exclusively non-basic manabase and he plays sewn eye drakes (yep!) and gets there. My opponant plays a bloodbraid elf revealing colossal might to an empty you cant attack for 7.

Game 2 - I take control after again sweeping double hackblade. I am getting better value off of bloodbraid elf than my opponant as he's apparently not playing ram gang i think. Im really unsure whether i maelstrom pulse my opponants borderpost when im on the play here, maybe its what i should have done, but he played lands anyway so i guess not. Either way i get there.

Game 3 - Im not sure what happened here, whether i kept a bad hand or just got outraced, but i lost.

This was obviously not the start i was looking for. I was on tilt a bit here because i know i hadnt played my best, ok, but certainly not my best. Also, it was one of those situations where i felt like i was the better player than my opponant, i know that sounds a little arrogant but i dont know, you know when a loss you shouldnt have pisses you off.

Round 2 - Adam Barnett - W/U control

Great, round 2 against one of the countries best players, this sir, is the droid im looking for. Moreover, not only does my deck have quite a few dead cards, but i have absolutely no idea what his does (and still kind of dont)

Game 1 - This game goes super long, with some early exchanges by ram gangs into plumeveils etc and a couple plainswalkers meeting maelstrom pulse. One of my anathemancers connects and unearths for about 10 damage, but after that we both draw land for a very very long time, and i think eventually i got helixed quite a few times by ajani vengeant for the win.

Game 2 - This time i got a little bit of a better draw. Some early exchanges again and this time i draw 3 anathemancers..score. Sadly i think 1 or 2 of my lands have been blown up by nicol bolas, so im only on around 6 lands. Although i deal with the plainswalkers, Adam finds an obelisk of alara, which gains him quite a lot of life before i find a maelstrom pulse, the turn after he plays a martial coup for 5. I kill the obelisk and sweep the tokens, but Adam coups again for 8...annoying. I play end of turn bituminous blast, needing a sweeper or pulse, nothing. Then bloodbraid elf on my turn....nothing. I lose.

0-2 is obviously not a great result for the day.

I know i didnt play fantastically, but i played ok and i there were'nt any howling mistakes for the day, so i feel a little unlucky to have gone 0-2. I feel like the deck is definately misbuilt, the mana base at least. I think i need to drop the underwhelming manlands for a few vivids and up the reflecting pool count. I wont really lose anything my opening myself to anathemancer because i should be the aggressor, and i am getting far too many forest/graven cairns hands. I feel like if i can sort the mana out this deck can be a real contender. I feel like today i got underwhelming cascade cards, and still he deck performed ok. I think with good mana this deck can be one of the best in the format, and good cascades are very hard to beat.

Luckily for me i drafted like a PRO!!!! (it was a complete abortion with a nicol bolas)
and 2-1'd with it.

This made me happy, especially my round 1 opponant who got very annoyed with me winning with a bad deck. I personally thought it wasnt too awful.

I was tempted to play something different after the tournament, but i know where i have gone wrong with the deck and i an going to continue to work with it for the Manchester PTQ in July 4th....after which i will probably write a similar article saying its the worst deck ever and im playing faeries forever now....o crap im lending the cards to Rob for nationals.....RDW maybe?
Anyway, im going to be in Leeds for the ptq manchester, probably spendin a night in Leeds, so maybe the ol' Team Leeds could meet up at my house for testing and a smash up (either/or) if anyone is still about.

I would usually do some highlights and lowlights for an event like this, but having thought about it for a while the biggest highlight was probably my jabberwocky sandwich for lunch, as well as convincing Ben from Cambridge to go there instead of McDonalds and him getting seriously bitten by the wocky bug afterwards.

Hopefully i will see some of you in Manchester for some spell slinging.

Until then,


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1 comment:


    In other news, sorry to hear about your shit day, hopefully the manchester ptq won't be filled with so much fail