Archive for April, 2009

Mediocrity Wrapped in a Bleh Polo Shirt: PTQ Honolulu 2009

Here’s a Quote from my twitter account:

“If your deck wins a Grand Prix, and you don’t adjust your deck for the mirror, you deserve to lose it twice.”

And this is the short version of what happened at my PTQ…

I’ll post my decklist, and quick recap of my rounds below, and I hope to post later in the week with some more “Lessons Learned”.

First, the list:

Naya Zoo:

4 Wooded Foothills
3 Bloodstained Mire
3 Windswept Heath
3 Stomping Ground
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Mutavault
2 Mountain
1 Temple Garden
1 Forest

4 Wild Nacatl
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Kird Ape
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Hellspark Elemental
3 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Wooly Thoctar

4 Seal of Fire
4 Lightning Helix
3 Sulfuric Vortex
2 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Tarfire

4 Volcanic Fallout
3 Rule of Law
3 Path to Exile
3 Duergar Hedge-Mage
2 Ancient Grudge

Round 1 I played against Elves
I had key early burn to hold off his creatures, and managed to get to a fairly stable midgame. He played a pact to set up a mass of guys, and the next turn I planned to Be The Kenji (TM) and make sure he didn’t forget. I mistapped my mana forcing me to take an unnecessary two extra points on my fetchland and spent about thirty seconds complaining about how bad I was. So both of us forgot and he untapped and drew a card. It was about halfway through his main phase when I realised “wait a minute, I tapped out calculating he’d be able to play less creatures than this” and then I realised he’d forgotten to pay for his pact. I probably would have won anyway – the poor guy drew at least eight or nine land.

Game 2 he drew an early Jitte so it was time to get my game face on and fight a Jitte battle where he was up a Jitte to my none, and I had left my Jitte hate in my sideboard. I had a Mogg Fanatic to help out and a timely Volcanic Fallout. When I played Rule of Law and Wooly Thoctar on consecutive turns I knew I was in good shape. He finally got counters on the Jitte though, and things looked bad for me…but then I ripped a Jitte. Now the board was his tiny guys vs my huge guys, and none of us had our jittes. With him only able to deploy one blocker a turn, and my guys mowing his down at a rate of knots, I was able to close out a potentially dangerous matchup 2-0.

Next I played Affinity. My opponent was a hugely talented player who seemed pretty down on his particular list, primarily because I don’t think he was able to play his first choice, and affinity was a backup deck that only had three thoughtcast in it. In game one he only drew one creature, and I had a pretty nuts draw. Game 2 he had a lot of smaller creatures and one Myr Enforcer, but I had Duergar Hedge-Mage and was able to close with larger creatures.

Round 3 I played the mirror, and it turned out to be Saitou’s list. His deck has more Paths, More Thoctars, and all of them are maindeck. I for the most part played better than him, especially considering I was able to nearly stabilise from 3 life, AFTER he targeted my creature with Lightning Helix instead of my face. Unfortunately the turn before I would have gotten counters to the Jitte, he drew another Helix. That was the end of game 2, and dropped me to 2-1

Round 4 I played against Affinity again. In game one, he mulliganed to four on the play, so I lost. There’s just no beating a mulligan to four on the play. Game 2 he drew two Ravagers and a MoE, where any ONE of them left unchecked is game over for me. I only drew one piece of my removal.

Round 5 I played against a fun looking Ad Nauseum deck, which had just won the previous round after connecting to the face of the Elf player I had defeated in Round 1 with a Phage the Untouchable. Yes, you read that right. I won in two fairly easy games, though it bears mentioning that I sideboarded Path to Exile for Ethersworn Canonist to kill Phage, but Phage is in his sideboard, he doesn’t bring it in against my deck, and his ACTUAL kill condition is Ad Nauseum + Angel’s grace to draw his entire deck and kill with that card that Sudden Impacts the opponent for cards in casters’ hand.

Round 6 I played against Saitou’s deck again, and again lost in two despite playing what I thought was better magic than my opponent. There’s just too much fat to deal with, and I probably wasn’t playing good enough. Turns out we were playing for ninth anyway.

And there’s a quick 800 words on my PTQ experience with Naya Zoo! There’s definitely some lessons to be taken away from this kind of a tournament, but I still had a great time, and extended is still the best format in magic!

Until next time,
 – RP


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