Magic: the Gathering in the UK
So I played a GPT this weekend and thought I would share my experiences.
Turnout was a bit lower than expected so we had 5 rounds.
First off the result. Going into the last round I was 3-1 but my breakers were bad so I had to play. I lost due to my opponents rules lawyering and cheating in at least one of the games. Lesson: Play tight and check your opponents lands.
Here is the deck I played:
4 Hallowed Fountain
3 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Clifftop Retreat
3 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
3 Entreat the Angels
2 Bonfire of the Damned
2 Supreme Verdict
2 Mizzium Mortars
3 Think Twice
3 Azorious Charm
1 Sphinx's Revelation
3 Pillar of Flame
2 Snapcaster Mage
2 Detention Sphere
2 Rest in Peace
1 Niv-Mizzit Dracogenius
1 Drogskull Reaver
2 Sundering Growth
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Devastation Tide
1 Pillar of Flame
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Sphinx's Revealation
Round 1 I faced Bant Control. I think this deck may be better positioned in the meta than the one I played due to the Thragtusks and Angel of Serenitys.
Game 1 he gets an early advantage and beats me down but then I take control. I eventually Bonfire him for 18 for the win.
When we finished game 1 we had about 20 mins on the clock, lucky for me I had won so I boarded out my Entreats (they are terrible against control) the Pillars and the Bonfires for the counters, O-Ring, Sundering Growth and the second Revelation. I knew I didnt need to win this game just not loose.
Game 2 I ultimate Tamiyo but he continues playing. Im wanting to finish and have a smoke so I ask him if he has anyway to actually win and he got a bit angry and said just play it out. We go till the end of time and obviously he had nothing. Its his perogative if he wants to keep playing but I see no point him continuing there as there was nothing he could do.
After the match he said that he had Psychic Spiral that could have won the game. I pointed out that with a Tamiyo ultimate I had unlimited counters so it was never going to resolve.
Round 2 was over extremely fast as game 1 I mulled to 4 and game 2 he went mana guy, Keyrune, Garruk and my draw was bad so there was nothing I could do.
Round 3 I face the version of my deck that Todd Anderson played.
Game 1 was another epic affair where I eventually resolved an end of turn Sphinx's Revelation. This gave me enough to win as the Snapcaster Mages meant I had more counters than him and was able to ultimate Tamiyo.
Again as game 1 lasted so long there was very little time for game 2 so I removed all ways of winning the game and went on the dont lose plan.
Round 4 I play against Junk Tokens.
Game 1 I do my thing and despite him getting in some damage and gaining 10 from Thragtusks I kill him.
Game 2 I have control of the game then make the mistake of trying to kill him. I have 2 Bonfires in hand so can burn him out. I cast the first one brining him low on life but then end of turn he plays Selesnya Charm to make a guy untaps and plays Revenge of the Hunted to kill me. Important Lesson: Remember there is a time to win but first you need to not loose. I could have taken much more time and just killed him at my leisure.
Game 3 and we have about 15 mins left on the round. I really didnt want to get a draw here as it would mean I would have to win the last round but with a win I could draw in (except for my bad breakers).
I play fast and get my opponent to pick up the pace. I take control easy but have no way to kill my opponent, lucky for me on turn 2 of extra turns I draw Entreat and am able to make enough angels to kill him next turn. On his turn he O-rings 2 of my angels leaving me just short of finishing him, but on my last turn of the game I swing and hard cast a Bonfire for lethal.
Round 5 places 1-6 all get to ID but I have to play, not only that I am against a former national champion and a guy who has been on the pro tour several times. Lets just say I was feeling the pressure.
He is playing 4 colour Frites and game 1 goes on for just over 20 mins. He has managed to get me low on life but I keep killing all his stuff and then he keeps Angeling them back. I have eventually Terminus'ed 5 times (thanks Snapcaster) and he is basically out of threats. Unfortunatly he draws a Centaur Healer and when it comes back from the grave after I kill it the first time I die.
Yes I lost a game of constructed to Centaur Healer :(
So we are going to game 2 but before that he takes plenty of time to sideboard and is shuffling slow and looking round the room. Im pretty sure everyone has seen that my deck is slow and I suspect he is trying to waste time so that its impossible for me to win.
We go into game 2 and he casts Duress, thinks for quite a while and eventually takes my Jace. Some more stuff happens then I draw my card for the turn, its Entreat the Angels, im moving it towards my hand thinking about holding it so I can remove his threats that he already has in play but decide that 3 Angels could be enough to race his Thragtusk and Lingering Souls. I say Entreat for 3 put the spell down and tap my lands. Straight away he says no its 1 Angel. I say no its 3 Angels as I miracled it as I have just drawn it, he says its 1 because I cast it from hand. I point out that the card was in my left hand the whole time and never went to the right hand where the rest of my cards were. He calls the Judge who was standing near us and the Judge says I get 3 so he appeals to the Head Judge. The head judge comes over and my opponent points out that even though the card was in my left hand and didnt go to the right one where the rest of my cards were it did touch the other cards before I cast it. The judge says the rules state if the cards touch, even if it isnt actually in your hand you cant miracle it.
Im literally shaking with rage at this point and say to my opponent 'if thats the only way you can win thats pretty fucking sad' he just says 'its competative REL, people would call me for it so I call other people on it'.
Im pretty mad now and know that 1 angel instead of 3 means I probably lose the game.
The game goes on he casts an Angel and when I O-Ring it he gets back a Thragtusk and Centaur, he makes them I wrath. Next turn he plays a land and then makes a Gristlebrand and the Jude tells us to stop. He walks off talks to the head judge comes back and asks my opponent what land he just played. My opponent points to the Sunpetal Grove, the judge then points out that is his third white source so how did he cast the Angel (that was O-Ringed) several turns earlier? My opponent says he didnt realise and obviously the ruling is the game carries on as its too late to go back.
I dont draw an answer to the Gristlebrand and im out.
What a terrible end to an otherwise good and enjoyable tournament.
When I went outside for a smoke and told people what happend they said they would expect it from that guy.
While I was very angry that he won due to rules lawyering and cheating I was dissapointed in myself for feeling the time pressure too much and trying to play quicker and not noticing things.
Overall the deck was good and felt strong and I learnt several things.
Entreat is great, but you have to draw it. In game 1 of round 5 I had about 10 turns where I could have drawn it and won.
Entreat is TERRIBLE in control matches. Unless you can End of Turn Miracle it for lethal and they dont have a counter/way to bounce a guy, your angels just all die. I was lucky to win both game 1's of the control matches so I could board them out. Need to find a good win con for control match ups.
There were 3 Cavern of Souls in the top 8. Not many people were playing it as there were a lot of multi colour decks. Counter Spells are good.
No surprise here, Snapcaster Mage is good.
While a few people said they didnt like the Bonfires in my deck, I found them to be decent and they won me several of my games.
The Angel is a bitch to play against. Causes you to need a lot of removal. Exile is good, Terminus is good.
Last note (and some others noticed this) Slaughter Games would have wrecked 6 of the top 8 decks. There are a lot of people playing 4 Thragtusk 4 Angel as their win cons.
Did you sideboard the Niv-Mizzet in? What matchups did you think you would need it for?
I think I only brought it in once that day.
Played another tournament and have brought it in a lot as Jund is becoming more popular.
Jund with Slaughter Games is a bit of a beating on this deck so you need other ways to win.
I think im going to cut the Entreats almost completly, they are bad against so much of the current meta and really only win games when miracled at end of turn, that doesnt happen enough for it to be worth it.
I tried running a 3rd Snapcaster and an extra Dissapate main and it was good, looking at adding more counters as they are only bad against Zombies and U/W Humans (the only decks running Cavern of Souls).
Also played my first match against Zombies this week. Damn that match is bad. This has lead me to believe that Pillar of Flame maindeck is a waste. If Pillar is there for the Zombies match and its still a bad match why waste the slot, better to use something thats good in more matches and try and beat Zombies after board. Currently looking for ways to beat Zombies although I may just forget that match and hope not to face it. Zombies seems to be a very small % of the meta.
Also I replaced the Bonfires with Devils Play, much better at finishing games on time now. Bonfire may still have a place in the side though as it seems you want the maximum number of sweepers possible in some matches.