Firstly, i hope everyone in Leeds and elsewhere is ok. Leeds WNM is proving as popular as ever, nearly 3 pods turned out this week for draft, despite missing a couple of people that might be expected. I think it is a massive testament to the work of, primarily Rob Wagner, who had to fill the void left by Rik, always a very popular and efficient Tournament Organiser, yet Rob has more than risen to the challenge, and the increase in attendance is fantastic for the Team Leeds and the wider magic community.
The PTQ season is in full swing now with Gravesend, Cambridge yesterday and next week Birmingham, ands zendikar is proving to be a highly popular format, from pros to players of relative inexperiance.
Err.....i don't really know where to start this PTQ report, if at all to be honest. Since getting back from the PTQ i have been struggling to think of any funnier experiances than those i had over the last two days with Martin and Beard, and yet i think the simple fact is that this weekend has been an absolute cracker; hilarious, dusgusting and succesful.
Before i do get started however, i want to firstly both thank and congratulate the staff of Inner Sanctum Collectables for a highly succesful first PTQ, im sure the success of this one means it will be a mainstay of English PTQ's in years to come. Also, it's good to see the hard work of shopkeepers/TO's paid off by being rewarded events like this, especially when they rise to the occasion and make it a day to remember.
On friday Martin and Andy picked me up to head down to my house for a night spent before the PTQ on Saturday. After a short discussion we decided that despite an agreement to take Mick down as well, he would probably win, and thought that by leaving him here it would be a far more level playing field for everyone else going to Cambridge. So the three of us made our way down to Bury St Edmunds, leaving at 2 to avoid the friday rush our traffic, sadly meaning we had to go down as a threesome. (why can't i write this without thinking a nasty, cheers you two)
Leaving early also meant arriving early, and we got back to my place about 5ish. After frequenting the local gaming shop to find they didn't have boosters, we went to our second form of sanctuary, the pub....for dinner.
Sadly, dinner turned in to the three of us getting quite severly drunk on a short tour of some of the fine pubs in town, oops.
Saturday morning was difficult, with all 3 of us basically spending the early part of the day 'holding in', with mixed levels of success.
I had been given a good pool, i felt (even if the judge decided there wasn't an issue when it did not have 4 vampire nighthawks in it). The deck i made was u/w, with dubs skyfisher, dubs umara raptor, welkin tern, sky ruin drake, world queller and celestial mantle, which after a "days" play and conversations with others still leaves me unsure of it's power level. Either way, annoyingly my only removal was 1 pitfall trap, with an into the roil and whiplash trap to support, but i wasn't sure i could deal with either huge men if i wasn't fast enough, or lots of quick small men if i was too slow....so hopefully i could get decent draws with some of my many flyers.
After going out of the tournament i saw i probably misbuilt by not putting 2 makindi shieldmates in my deck. I thought long and hard about their inclusion but i didn't think their benefit to the raptor was great enough to put them in over other guys. However, i think now i should have decided my deck was going to hopefully stall the ground long enough to push through with flyers, never mind, i was pissed.
Round 1 - Lee Wood
Mulligan to 5 both games....
I think i conceeded the second game when i was on 40 life, after my celestial mantle'd guy got in. Sadly, both my celestial mantle and luminarch ascencion got kor sanctified, sigh.
Round 2 - Craig Jones
Luckily, my mulligans are met with some from my opponant, which makes this match at least a little fairer, especially as i draw some flyers, which it turns out my opponant cant really deal with. His deck has a decent amount of removal but dubs skyfisher gets there.
Game 3 i finally keep a 7 card hand and again find some flyers to get some damage in. skyfisher and adventuring gear gets me a good way into Craig's life total, and despite finding a blocker or two, my flyers push through.
I take a lot of confidence from this match, because i was pretty happy with my pool and deck, at least to some extent, so i was sure i could go at least 4 or 5 rounds in, if not sneak in with some luck.
Round 3 - can't remember
My opponant is playing naya colours, which is ok but im a bit threatened by the possibility of green because my deck has very little which can deal with fat men.
Game 1 i go to 5 and despite decent draws i cant fight a territorial baloth and vastwood gorger.
Game 2, my opponant goes to 5, which is nice.....but my deck doesn't serve me quite the aggressive start i need (i.e the god draw), and i find that i still cant beat territorial baloth and vastwood gorger, especially when pitfall trap meets vines of vastwood.
So, not quite the droid i was looking for here. I was pretty annoyed becaus in the space of 3 rounds i felt like i had played more non-games than actual games. I felt dissapointed because the deck could, and probably should have done better, but ultimately thats the way the cookie crumbles some times.
Luckily, Andy Edwards was having a much better time with his deck, which didn't seem like it was a great deal better than mine. But after a loss early on decided he had also made a drunken misbuild and decided and 18 card transformational sideboard was the best way to get there. Rumour has it that a certain tog batters from the board proved itself to be crucial in countless victories in the tournament, what a guy.
....and it was.
Serving him the 4 straight wins in a row that he needed to get into top 8 with a 5-1-1 record.
Annoyingly, i was not able to watch the top 8 draft because i had joined a team draft against some guys from London which sadly we lost to some very close matches, meaning they got picks 1-3 of the rares when we rochester drafted them
This wasn't the worst outcome in the world however, seeing as the 18 boosters we used served up these gems.
2 x Sorin Markhov
2 x Day of Judgement
1 x Lotus Cobra
1 x Marsh Flats
so everyone got a nice card, i ended up with a day of judgement, and paying £6.50 for that and a giggle getting it wasn't the worst in the world.
Anyway, i come back to see Andy's deck, which is very small, aggressive b/r men, with a very good removal suite and a couple of tricks. It seems ok, not the best in the world because clearly other people are in red, but if his little guys can do enough his burn can get him home.
The long and short of it is that Andy Edwards won the draft, and the PTQ, getting some help along the way: firstly by certain matches going his way in the top 8, meaning Andy dodged 2 very nasty looking decks which could have been trouble, but secondly by drawing his 4th and 5 land in a sad end to a good day when he won the final in an epic mana screw on both sides of the table. Luckily, Andy's cheap deck meant he could play a few spells, and finding land meant he could then unleash a shatterskull giant to his opponants empty board thanks to a swamp drawn for gatekeeper of malakir. No 4th land for his opponant meant the slaughter cry in hand was for exactsies, even without the hideous end or spire barrage in hand, squelch.
Another crazy story from the PTQ was in Andy's semi final, after Andy had gome 1-0 up. Andy ships an ok, but not amazing 7...then gets back a terrible 6, then 5, then 4?!?. He scoops up his 4 dejected and stares back at double vampire lacerator, verdant catacombs, mountain....seems good. Turn 1; lacerator. Turn 2; draw mountain, in, lacerator. Turn 3; draw goblin bushwacker, kick and in for 8!!!!
Congratulations to Andy Edwards for winning the PTQ, there are few magic players who deserve this kind of success more than Andy, and its nice to see good guys going to the pro tour to represent England at a game where being good has a strong correlation with being a cock.
wow, what a crazy couple of days. Another member of Team Leeds on the tour, another Edwards, at least someone can keep Potter company on his travels.
1. Andy tripping over the ramp in the game room.
2. Bum dribble
3. Nick not finding the droids he was looking for
4. Tog batters getting there for Andy, alllllllll the way to the top 8
5. An 11p Shivan Dragon
1. Leaving Potter behind
2. Me being a scrub AND not getting a fetchland
3. Whatever happened in the queue to register for the PTQ
4. Not thinking of putting 4 vampire nighthawks in a condom up my arse
I wish all PTQ's were like this, except i wouldn't mind a bit of success and Andy scrubbing next time tbh. But aside from the PTQ, the experiance was crazy, i went home with a sore head, a bunch of hilarious memories, and a mouth that badly needs washing out with soap....bring on Birmingham next week.
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