After some testing over the days leading up to the event proved to be fairly positive, I decided to stick with the white weenie Quest for the Holy Relic deck that I wrote about last time. Mathematics is not one of my strong points, but a friend told me that the chances of my having a Quest in my opening 7 were about 49.1%, and on the draw in the first 8 about 56.7%. I can take those odds, once you factor in aggressive mulligans and the like.
Round 1 – Jan (I think) with Valakut Ramp
Game 1 the deck did its thing, got the combo going very early and he scooped on turn 4 with no answers. First game, first nuts draw of the day. I was feeling good about my chances of Top 8’ing this event, as I had Top 8’d every other one like it before that I had attended.
Game 2 wasn’t very long either, as I had an average draw and on about turn 4 my opponent got a game loss for an incorrect decklist, he’d only written 57 of his maindeck cards on his sheet. Felt pretty gutted for my opponent here as he was a nice guy, but you’ve got to check these things. There’s no fun in losing to a stupid technicality and is the kind of thing that can put you on tilt all day.
Round 2 – Richard with GW Mimic Vat
Game 1 I had a slow start that I definitely should have mulliganed, I have no idea why I didn’t but that was what basically cost me both games of this match. I managed to get him down to six through sheer weenie beats as he wasn’t doing an awful lot. Then he cast Putrefax, imprinted it on Mimic Vat and played out a Grafted Exoskeleton. The next turn’s Sun Titan bringing back anything I got rid of was too much and he poisoned me to death.
Game 2 was almost exactly the same as game 1, except he got Kor Duellists of his own wielding the Exoskeleton, and once again had Putrefax for the win. I definitely felt a bit on tilt after this as I had mostly lost due to not playing my deck in its optimal mode, but 1-1 isn’t too shabby. there were 6 rounds and 4-1-1 would make it. There had also been a number of game losses handed out for stupid registration mistakes that I can’t believe so many people made, and plenty of draws between slow, slow, slow control decks.
Round 3 – Jeff with Vampires
Game 1 was a drawn out affair as I was forced to go on the mill plan due to the sheer amount of lifegain in his deck and the fact that I hadn’t got Argentum Armor going. It meant a lot of re-equipping and he nearly stabilised with a pair of (obviously pro-white)Malakir Bloodwitch until I gave the sword to my lovely green wolf tokens.
Game 2 I felt a little mean, as I had a turn 3 White Knight (he had sideboarded zero cards and had no non-black removal) wearing both a Sword of Body and Mind and an Argentum Armor. It was sufficiently brutal.
Round 4 – Tom with Elves
Game 1 He had pretty much the dream elves opening and just had too many guys, all of whom were too big and made too much mana. Awkward.
Game 2 I comboed out and he scooped before either of us took a point of damage from anywhere.
Game 3 He kept a hand with three (THREE!) Nature’s Claim and after battering him down to 2 life, he played a Nissa, gained a butt ton of life and got back in the game. He then played an Eldrazi Monument, declined to attack even though he probably would have killed me, then forgot to pay the upkeep cost. This was good, as I’d got Sword of Body and Mind going and was milling him out – until I discovered he had also sided in an Emrakul. Burn. Eventually, the elves got me.
Round 5 – Edmund (I think) with BG Poison
Game 1 I wasn’t expecting much poison on the day, and the deck can be sufficiently fast enough to race. It also packs a lot of relevant removal that doesn’t care about suited up guys and has the option of siding into a fair amount of artifact/enchantment removal. Putrefax got me again this round after he killed every guy I played in turn.
Game 2 He got me on 5 poison counters after blowing up my first Quest, but the second one ruined him.
Game 3 I was on 8 and then 9 poison counters after we traded a lot of guys and removal and my White Knight was getting me there, with him on three life until we had nothing on board. Any removal, or any number of fliers would have won me the game, but I drew lands and lost a frustrating game, definitively putting me out of contention.
Round 6 – Big Ben with a really nice U/R brew
Game 1 he made a turn 2 Chalice, a turn 3 Chalice and Bolt, and a turn 4 Fire Titan. I was on the play and was a counter away from comboing, didn’t really happen for me.
Game 2 I stuck Argentum Armor on a Kor Firewalker and he didn’t have any bounce spells in hand, so that was that.
Game 3 was actually almost exactly the same as Game 2 only I think I had to Outfitter my equipment onto a Kor Firewalker after he killed the first guy wearing it.
It was kind of disappointing, obviously, but I didn’t feel too bummed about it as a number of friends and other good players and nice people made Top 8 (Congrats to Carrie on her 2nd Games Day triumph!). Unfortunately I didn’t really get to watch the matches of the Top 8 as I signed up for some single elimination Scars of Mirrodin draft, and that went a lot more smoothly. Only 7 people joined up so one player got pretty good value on the draft, and I obviously managed to dodge the bye, but I did end up winning the draft with relative ease going 6-0 in games. I had decided going into the draft, especially as it was with a couple of unexperienced drafters, that I was going to see if I could go into the B/R aggro archetype that I had heard of, but never seen drafted or tried myself before. This was the decklist that got me my four boosters (one of which was Ratchet Bomb + foil Lux Cannon = value!):
2 Necrogen Scudder
2 Vulshok Heartstoker
1 Oxidda Scrapmelter
1 Grasp of Darkness
2 Fume Spitter
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Arc Trail
1 Leaden Myr
2 Panic Spellbomb
2 Oxidda Daredevil
1 Dross Hopper
1 sylvok Lifestaff
1 Infiltration Lens
1 Perilous Myr
1 Instill Infection
1 Tumble Magnet
Literally no one in the draft opened a Goblin Gaveleer, and I could have done with another (better) 2-drop but the sheer amount of removal and reasonably fast guys got me there. It’s definitely an archetype I will be looking at again.