My first Grand Prix
I am back from my first GP. It was the M12 Sealed event held in Montreal; for those of you who do not know, sealed is a limited format where you show up, hand them your money, and they hand you 6 booster packs that they expect you to make a 40 card deck out of (Note: they supply you with basic lands, don’t be like that one kid I saw playing Beseiged/Scars Sealed). I had an absolute blast there. Allow me to fanboy out for a few seconds:
1. I met Luis Scott Vargas and talked to him about writing for CFB. He looked confused and a little annoyed- I bet he gets my kind all the time. Not only did I meet him, we were playing at the same table for a good portion of the tournament. (I did fairly well, but not well enough).
2. I met Chippy. If you don’t know, I collect Chippy art. I picked up 2 MTG Replicas that he signed. I feel a little bad that I didn’t get the actual cards signed, but since I picked them up straight from Chippy, I feel that my money went to a better place. He also altered the Lotus Cobra I traded for that day.
3. My pool was bonkers. Sort of. More on this later.
Anyway, now that that is out of the way, lets talk about things I did poorly. First: I was not adequately prepared for the sheer mental strain that I put myself under on Saturday. I did not bring proper snacks- I brought 5 pieces of fruit and 2 bottles of water for my roommate and I. I SHOULD have brought: 4 bottles of water, 5 pieces of fruit, some low sodium nuts, and maybe some of Norman’s homemade jerky. Second: I didn’t know that registration was cash only so we barely made it into the tournament since the only ATM was on the entirely other side of the convention center. Third: I didn’t appreciate the value of byes. I played 8 rounds of Magic in one day, many of them going to game 3. I played somewhere between 16 and 24 games of Magic- with the extra stress of it meaning something. Four: I lost my sideboard for most of the day. Next time, I will bring the snacks, sleep enough, have cash, and at least try for byes, and I wont lose my sideboard.
So, I bet you are wondering about my pool.
Here is my deck:
Doom Blade x3
Skywinder Drake x2
Phantasmal Bear x2
Pretty sweet yeah? I just wish that I had like… Creatures.
Elixir of Immortality x2
Day of Judgment
Siege Mastodon x2
Stave Off x2
Alluring Siren – Would have run this if I had things that could block effectively, also would board in against Phantasmals
Merfolk Mesmerist x2 – Maybe I should have run this? It just seems so weak though.
Negate x2 (1 Foil) – These got boarded in more than anything.
Hideous Visage x3
Mind Rot – Maybe should have boarded in against the mirror, but I didn’t have creatures to spare.
Taste of Blood
Chandra’s Outrage x2
Furyborn Hellkite – Why couldn’t this have been Grave, Inferno, Frost, Jace, or Sorin?
Wall of Torches
Warstorm Surge – I would have run this if I had creatures… I like turning all my dudes into removal/burn
Bountiful Harvest x2
Lurking Crocodile x2
Stingerfling Spider x2
Looking back at my pool, If I had focused more on red than black, I could have had 2 additional creatures: The Hellhound and the Hellkite. I still think that that is just weaker than the way that I built my deck. I played against a guy with Warstorm Surge and the Hellkite and I handily dispatched him. My deck ended up being very solid, but not as good as I wanted since I did not have anything to do once I got to 6 mana. I could have run my green for the double Stingerflings, but I think that the triple Shock beats that out. My white was also pretty solid, but I didn’t have the fliers and my U/R/B was just too good.
My matches went as follows as best as I can remember please forgive my lack of memory(I didn’t remember to take notes). Assume that I kill everyone with Vampire Outcasts and Fireball unless I say otherwise.
Match 1 Game 1:
I am staring down at a board post Timely Reinforcements and a bunch of black creatures. I have 2 Doom Blades in my hand and need to waste one killing a token. Then Sorin arrives. Guess how many of my creatures have power greater than 2… If you said 2, but one is a Phantasmal, you were right!
I board out two Doom Blades and bring in my Negates. I Negate a Timely, he says fine, then taps 3 mana, and casts Timely. I draw my second Negate 2 turns after Sorin resolves. G.G.
I dont actually remember this match, other than that I Fireballed Chandra to death.
He has Furyborn Hellkite. I have a Doom Blade.
He Has a Furyborn Hellkite and domes me for 6 with his Warstorm Surge. I have a Doom Blade. He rips lands.
This guy walks in with his sleeved Alpha lands. He is playing a G/B thing, and has 3 byes. I take him apart with my shocks and doomblades. Then Fireball him out.
My opponent kills me with Trollhide on a Brindleboar and a Giant Spider. I fireball him to 1 then shock him. He sacs the Brindleboar, and I lose.
I casually mention that either I lost my sideboard or someone jacked it. He calls a judge and the judge says “Ok?” Evil then says that I am in violation of my deck registration, and the judge says, “He is already at a disadvantage, I am not going to penalize him for that.”
Turn 3, I Doomblade his Runeclaw Bear in response to him playing a Brindle Boar. He just looks at me like I am the biggest Scrub alive. But, I don’t have a play before Gravedigger and I need to stabilize. I rip a Dragon, play a land and say, “Go.” He plays Trollhide on his boar, then puts Swiftfoot Boots on it. I am racing him with a Phantasmal Dragon to his Trollhided Boar. He says “Are you sure that you still want to race me?” as he puts me at 2 while he is at 10. I say yes, then on my turn, cast Consume Spirit at his face for X=3, putting me at 5 and him at 7. I bash with my Dragon, putting him at 2. He attacks me back, putting me at 1. I swing for lethal and me must sac his Boar to live. He doesn’t draw anything and the day is mine.
Match 4: I am at the almost winners’ table!
Game 1: Mind Control his bloodthirsted Berserkers, and Gravedigger Chaining.
Game 2: Bears and Drakes Aggro him out.
Match 6: This is when I was seated 2 seats from LSV.
Game 1: I lose to Gideon’s Lawkeeper.
Game 2: I aggro him out on turn 5. Double Bears, a Drake, and a Mind Control are pretty sweet.
Game 3: Opening Hand: 3 Island, Phantasmal Bear, Gravedigger, Doom Blade, Skywinder Drake. I only draw black spells for the rest of the game.
G1: My opponent resolves Inferno Titan, killing my board. I Doom Blade his titan then play a Gravedigger, getting Gravedigger.
G2: Did you know that Jace is good in limited?
G3: Doom Blade his Titan.
G1: I Fireball and Shock his Arachnus Spinner (complete with Arachnus Web) after it clocks me for 15 (Crown of Empires is really annoying). Mind Control his Djinn of Wishes, and I get a wish off! Unfortunately, he plays Mind Control on the Djinn and I have to Doom Blade it. The Pentavus comes down and ruins my day.
G2: Mind Control the Djinn again! This time I wish for relevant things like Doom Blades and Gravediggers. He loses to a flood of card advantage.
G3: He Distresses me, pulling my Mind Control. I learn once again that Pentavus is really good. I cannot draw my second Island for my (boarded in) Harbor Serpent until turn dead.
In hindsight, I shouldn’t have dropped here. I was in the top 120s. If I had gone 6-3 I may have had a shot at playing on Sunday. Unfortunately, I was mentally exhausted and couldn’t even think of playing another match after my 50 minute round 8.