Sunday, 7 June 2009

Tournament Report - Magic Madness

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

It's good to see Wagz has started a drafting column to show everyone how a proper limited player drafts successfully and doesnt hope to lucksack his way to an 8 man victory.

As you all know i made my way to Lincoln on saturday for Magic Madness, run by the fine team at definitive games, which had an absolutely stellar prize support, including

1st - case of boosters
2nd - booster box
3rd and 4th - half box

Plus booster prizes for everyone, random door prizes given every round and a free entry into a raffle!

Also, the fact that Chris and Matt? (i think that's your name) are awesome guys helps a great deal.

If anyone is interested in other tournaments or wants to buy reasonably priced singles head over to - i thoroughly recommend it.


Anyway, having had some difficulty in getting my hands on pithing needles, and some tinkering, here's the deck i played.

4 x anathemancer
4 x boggart ram gang
4 x bloodbraid elf
4 x putrid leech
3 x figure of destiny
3 x sygg, river cutthroat

3 x flame javelin
2 x volcanic fallout
2 x jund charm
3 x magma spray
4 x maelstrom pulse

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

1 x pithing needle
2 x cloudthresher
2 x volcanic fallout
4 x thoughtseize
2 x thought hemorrhage
3 x kitchen finks
1 x primal command

Im far more happy with the 2/2 split of volcanic fallout and jund charm, and the
4th sweeper in there is definately awesome.

25 people turned up to play for the case, which was slightly less than i expected, but it meant only 5 rounds of swiss, which was awesome as i could get home early. Also, it meant that even a 3-2 record might get to top 8.

Round 1) - Lester Cupples - Bant Exatled

Game 1 - Turn 1 akrasan squire from my opponant was met by a sigh of relief, as i knew my deck should quite easily handle with such decks. I magma sprayed a sigilled paladin and took a few beats but eventually i got a 3 for 1 off a sweeper and then got sygg active with a boggart ram gang as my opponant drew lots of land

Games 2 - see game 1, except with not many lands.

Round 2) - Thomas Duignan - Bant

This round was a 'feature match' - recorded on camera by the guys at definitive games, and as soon as it goes up on youtube ill add a link to this article.

I know Thomas is a decent player so i wasnt that happy about this round, but i was lucky enough to win the die roll, meaning i would have 2 games on the play, which i feel is key to this match.

I cant remember too much about these games because i knew there would be a video, but game 1 Tom mulliganned to 5 and game 2 i managed to have maelstrom pulse a rafiq, then cascade into a second for the backup rafiq, which turned the games in my favour.

Round 3) - Nathaniel - Grixis Faeries

Luckily i scouted this deck a little bit as i finished the last round quite quickly and saw a banefire to win the round, but nothing else red, although i assumed grixis charm, as i know Fu was toying with such a deck. Nat was an awesome guy from Bath and a real pleasure to play against.

Game 1 - Nathaniel makes a turn2 bitterblossom, which is fine. I make an anathemancer which connects a couple of turns and then sit on lands with double volcanic fallout and flame javelin in hand. Nathaniel lets anathemancer take him into single digits, and after i use my first fallout, and flame javelin'ing an attempted mistbind clique after championing a token, all i do is wait for blossom to get nathaniel low enough for volcanic fallout to get the job done.

Game 2 - I get a slightly slower start but still manage to get a ram gang down, with a jund charm and cloudthresher in hand. Double scion from my opponant is annoying and as i cant cast cloudthresher i try jund charm but spellstutter sprite spoils my fun. Nathaniel swings my down to facing lethal next turn. I untap with my opponant on 12, swing with bloodbraid elf, he takes it and goes to 9. He has 2 mana up, but he allows my anathemancer to resolve, taking him to 4, so instead of killing a guy i go for the flame javelin but my opponant has countersquall, sad face!

Game 3 - This game went much the way of the first, with my sweepers dealing with double scion and then i had the ram gangs to get there.

Round 4) - Hans - rdw

My notes are pretty bad here so im not going to attempt to give a detailed report of this (sorry, i didnt take too much notice of each game as i was trying to focus more), but Hans won 2-1 after 2 close games, then my keeping a 2 land god hand and never drawing the 3rd land after literally 8 or 9 turns, meaning Hans' mogg fanatic dealt me 9 damage, shame.

So 3-1 after the loss, but it didnt matter much because i had the best tiebreakers by a long way, and i knew i could draw into top 8 regardless. I probably should have offered the ID this round, but i didnt want to get the dreaded down pairing and have to play to get in.

Round 5 - ID

Woot, top 8.

I was obviously happy to make top 8, but more than that it was awesome to see that 3 of the guys i had beated already had made it in, which i know does not mean i can beat them every time, but you always feel like you have the advantage as you know you can beat them. Even the rdw matchup was fine as i think if i had drawn a land or two i would have been in awesome shape.

It was also awesome to see that Mark Pinder, all round good guy and a great asset to the magic community, Bryan and Marios Doropolous got into top 8 too, along with my opponants from rounds 2-5 and myself. It was kind of annoying to see the top 8 filled with good players, but on the other hand i was glad to see people that both deserve the places, are nice guys and friends of mine doing well too.

Quarter Final - Thomas Duignan

I was pretty happy with this pairing, i think only the faeries deck was a better matchup for me, i think, plus i had already won this match already right?

Sadly not, and i was dealt with fairly swiftly in 2 games, facing down rafiq and finest hours, which really turn this deck into a potentially explosive weapon.

Thomas is a great guy though, and he thoroughly deserved his win as his plays were excellent. Thomas went on to defeat Mark pinder in the semi-finals, and went on to play Hans in the final, which im afraid i did not stay around to watch.


Overall, the day was awesome. It was great to see some guys from Bristol who had made the journey up, and also it's great to do well, so i left pretty happy.

Im happy with the performance of the deck, but i will definately be changing it slightly for the ptq next weekend. All i can say is this - Sygg, river cutthroat and putrid leech are both truly ridiculous creatures!

...oh and bloodbraid elf aint too shabby either.


Some highlights and lowlights of the day.


- Definitive games for putting on a cracker of an event, nice work guys

- The feature match area - this was so cool, and im realy excited about the matches going up on youtube. This was an amazing idea guys.

- Reasonably priced card, and a huge selection - why do traders never have commons or uncommons when you need em, well these guys had it all

- Ordering subway platters and having a decent selection of cheap food and drink. It was my first time to Lincoln and i wouldnt want to have to wander round for food and drink, even if it wasnt pissing it down with rain (which it was).

- Making top 8!


- Not bringing home the case for Team Leeds, noob.

- No-one having a pithing needle for me to trade/borrow/buy

- Not drawing a 3rd land in the entire game 3 of round 4, despite it being so loooong.

Lets hope i can have a repeat perfomance in Leicester next sunday and get myself a free ride to Austin, Baby!

Until then,


As always, feel free to comment on anything about this article, or anything unrelated to magic whatsoever. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please email any ideas, articles, pictures or anything else to


  1. Hey, Matt at Definitive Games here.

    Thanks for the report, always nice to see a player's take on our events.

    Do you have MSN or anything as I'm planning to be at Leicester.

    My MSN is

  2. hey matt,

    yeah, ill add you on msn, although i dont tend to use it that often.

    See you sunday.