Sunday, September 04, 2005

Tourney Reports...

If you're not a Magic Player, don't bother with this. Obviously, this was all I was up to this past wekeend... :P

However, if you have any idea what "Scroll Rack" is, I suppose there's some point to discussing the results here... hehehe. I hope you're not the type who easily takes offense... hehe.

.:Tournament Report Number One: Saturday, 03 September, 2005, Sports And Magic Hobby Shop:.

And so I finally go to join one of Ongkeco's free monthly tournaments, and it was definitely loads of fun. Amusingly enough, somebody still misread “Crimson Sea 2” in the store, and there were a lot of hilarious things going on in the tournament sans the crazy singing, including I believe two different people who cast Balance and thereby killed their own Darksteel Colossus. Wow.

As usual, I played Meandeck Tarpan... I mean, Doomsday. I think it's obvious that there's is practically no other deck I can possibly play given my cards.

Round One: Versus Paulo Cuaresma (Sui Black)

Wow. Just dandy. I go up against one of my horrible matchups in the first match, considering how discarders definitely rain in on the average combo deck's parade. Couple that with their Wastelands, Null Rods, and Sinkholes, and you have the recipe for an uphill battle for Meandeck Doomsday

In the first game, we both keep our hands, and he goes first. He goes land, Zuran Orb, Dark Ritual, Phyrexian Negator, go. Just great. What was it I said about me having the uphill battle?

My turn, I really stared carefully at my hand It looked like quite a mess to me, and the lack of business scared me. Force Of Will, Rebuild, an Underground Sea, a Fetchland, a Dark Ritual, a Mind's Desire, a Brainstorm, and a Mana Crypt. I played an Undergrond Sea, then passed the turn to him. He attacks, bringing me down to 15 life. He then cast a Duress. I use Force Of Will against that, then promptly cast Brainstorm at end of his turn, finding Lotus Petal, Doomsday, and Unmask. I put back Mana Crypt and Lotus Petal back. I am down to 14 life.

On my turn again, I play a land, fetch for an Underground Sea, then play the Doomsday I found off the Brainstorm. I had this in my hand: Lotus Petal, Mind's Desire, and an Unmask. Done. I am down to 7 life. The Doomsday stack? Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus, Lion's Eye Diamond, Yawgmoth's Will, Beacon Of Destruction. I pass the turn to him.

On his turn, he casts Sinkhole on my Underground Sea, then brings me down to 2 life. Done. On my turn, I draw Ancestral. I cast it via Lotus Petal (Storm Count: 2), then draw the Lotus, the LED, and the Will. I cast Lotus (Storm Count: 3), LED (Storm Count: 4), and sacrifice the Lotus for Black, then cast Yawgmoth's Will and respond to it with the LED for blue mana. (Storm Count: 5. UUU Floating.). Then the fun begins.

I recast all the artifacts (Storm Count: 8. Mana is now irrelevant.). I then cast Mind's Desire (Storm Count: 9.), and flip over the Beacon for 9 times, ensuring he won't be able to survive even if he used Zuran Orb. I won on turn 3.

Match Standing: 1-0

Second game, I side in some answers to his answers, i.e., bounce and Needles. I fan my hand open to see: Underground Sea, Pithing Needle, Lotus Petal, Duress, Doomsday, Rebuild, Mystical Tutor. He goes first, so he plays a Swamp and passes the turn to me(!).

On my turn, I play my Underground Sea, then cast the Needle, naming Wasteland. I pass the turn to him. His turn, he plays a Wasteland (Whew!), and then casts Null Rod. Remember what I said about Null Rod being used against your deck in the primer? You can predict what's going to happen when he passes the turn to me here.

I draw an Island, play it, and play the Petal (I have no idea why I did.). I pass the turn to him again. His turn, he casts Sinkhole on my Underground Sea. Pretty clever.. He passes the turn to me, and I cycle the Rebuild to draw an Echoing Truth.

On my turn, I draw an Underground Sea, play it, then pluck out a Hymn To Tourach. He has a couple of Withering Wretches there, a Nantuko Shade, some irrelevant cards and another Wasteland (Pithing Needle, I love you!!!) in hand. His turn, he plays a Swamp, then casts the Shade.

I draw an Island and play it. I felt the crunch of time racing against me. I saw him with two other threats in hand, after all. I then passed the turn to him. On his turn, he played a Swamp, got a Demonic Tutor, then cast Sinkhole. I offer him my Island. He refuses, targets my Sea, then jokingly comments that he's doing that as attrition since he can't afford Seas. Remind me how much Sinkholes are again :P ? He swings for two damage. I'm down to 18. He passes the turn to me, and I cast a Mystical Tutor before the end of his turn. I naturally go for an Ancestral Recall.

I cast Recall on my turn, then draw an Underground Sea, a Lotus, and a Force Of Will. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. But then, I remembered the Null Rod, and passed the turn to him after playing a land.

His turn, he attacks, and doesn't pump. I'm down to 16 life. He cast Planar Void (More 'Yard hate. Boy. Just my luck.), then cast a Withered Wretch. He removes my Recall from the game with it.

On my turn, I drew an Underground Sea. Darn. Not enough lands to hardcast Doomsday. After some absent-mindedness on both our parts (We both forgot about Null Rod.), I bounce the Null Rod via Echoing Truth, then cast the Lotus, and used it to play Doomsday. Boom. I have 8 life, and a potential 8 damage coming up from my opponent. What a doofus I turned out to be. Regardless, I set the stack at Gush, Ritual, Mind's Desire, Beacon, Tendrils. His turn, he cast Null Rod (!), then attacked for 4 damage (!), then cast another Withered Wretch (!). I kept a poker face as he passed his turn to me.

On my turn, I explained to him that had he just attacked and pumped the Nantuko Shade for four, he would've won already. Tournament jitters, I suppose. I then drew the Gush. I floated two Islands, then bounced them for Gush (Spell Count: 1. UU floating.). I drew the Ritual and the Desire, then replayed an Island and tapped for Blue again. I cast Ritual with the Underground Sea (Spell Count: 2. UUUBBB floating.). Mind's Desire for 3, flipping over Tendrils, and Beacon (x2). Beacon deals 10 damage (Storm Count: 5.), then I cast Tendrils for 12 damage. By the skin of my teeth.

Match Standing: 2-0
Tournament Standing: 1-0

Round 2: Versus JM (Landstill)

Wow. Another mismatch, what with the maindecked Stifles. My unlucky die rolls continue, and he went ahead, and dropped a Conclave, then passes the turn to me.

That land drop told me all I needed to know, so I promptly planned my way around the deck. I draw, plop a Fetchland, then pass the turn to him. His turn, he cast a Standstill. I responded by grabbing an Island, then casting Brainstorm. The card is good. I didn't have anything of note in my hand, except for the fact that I had all the (basic) lands and fast mana required to execute Plan B (Now Plan A due to the addition of a certain card, but I won't bother confusing you guys with that and still refer to it as Plan B.) for the win, assuming no permission.

On my turn, I cast Duress, which he Forced after drawing off of Standstill. I played a Fetchland, then passed the turn to him again. On his turn, he swung for two damage, and then said he was done.

My turn, I used Unmask to check his hand, and found a couple of Brainstorms, a Standstill, and a Mana Leak. I removed the Mana Leak, then cast Dark Ritual for Doomsday. I set up the standard Plan B stack, then passed the turn to him. I was taking a huge risk here, but never mind. On his turn, he drew, then played Standstill. Okay. Just as I expected.

My turn, I drew Recall. I cast it (Storm Count: 1), then he drew from Standstill. Nothing. He cast Brainstorm. Nothing. He cast Brainstorm again. Nothing (The gamble has paid off!). I then played Lotus (Storm Count: 4), Dark Ritual (Storm Count: 5. BBB floating.). I sac the Lotus for Blue, then cast Mind's Desire (Storm Count: 6). Beacon hits for 30 damage, letting me win the first game.

Match Standing: 1-0

Second game, it was time to side in the control hate, and the anti-Wasteland stuff. Not bad of a sideboarding plan, really, but I knew he had a lot of hate to side in himself. He opened the game with a Tormod's Crypt. Uh-huh. The usual hate that doesn't always (But sometimes still does.) work due to the existence of Plan B. He passes the turn to me.

I Unmask him, and he Misdirects it to me. I drop a Pithing Needle and play a Fetchland. Nothing particularly exciting about this hand of mine, as I kept it only because it seemed that I had stable enough mana and a Pithing Needle in hand, which was promptly discarded by my Unmasking myself. I let him have his turn, and he Fetched for a Volcanic Island, then played a Chalice for 0. Hmm... okay. More traditional hate, but nothing I can't work through given a decent hand.

But no, such was not to be my fate. I drew a Pithing Needle, and named Wasteland as I started fetching Seas from my Fetchlands. I was being dumb. I guess I should've named one of his manlands instead. On his turn, he played a Conclave, then passed me the turn.

I don't have mana to cast Doomsday, but he also has 2 Blue Mana left open on his side, so I bait him with Ancestral Recall in hopes of making him hard cast a spell. No problem. I drew 3 cards, none of them relevant to the match, save for lands. No tutors, no disruption, no nothing. I passed the turn to him, silently cursing my horrible luck. On his turn, he played a Mishra's Factory, then attacked me, bringing me down to 16 life. He was tapped out, but so what? I can't cast Doomsday, and what if he had a Force Of Will?

My turn, I played a land, then passed the turn. The moment he plopped down a second Factory, I realized he was probably going to win this game already. I was down to 11 life, and nothing short of a broken Yawgmoth's Will (Which Tormod's Crypt would have something to say about.) could've saved me. I scooped.

Match Standing: 1-1

It was game 3, and I drew a Dark Ritual, a Mana Crypt, a Duress, a Mind's Desire, a Pithing Needle, and some Underground Seas. I cast Duress on him, and remove a Stifle from him, then let him have his turn. He then playes a Fetchland.

On my turn, I cast Needle, (stupidly) naming Wasteland, when I should've gone for his manland. I never learn. On his turn, he played a Conclave. I then go for an amazingly stupid Desire for four, flipping over a Lotus, a Ritual, and two bloody lands. Great. Sure, I topdecked Tendrils, enabling me to do it all for 14 life but so what? He was still alive. We passed the turn back and forth twice, until he cast Chalice for 1 after bouncing my Needle first. Shortly later, he cast Chalice for 2. A bit later, he cast Crucible, and started nuking my Seas. Then, he cast Chalice for 3, and that was all she wrote.

Match Standing: 1-2
Tournament Standing: 1-1

Round 3: Versus Louie (Stormtide)

Finally, another combo deck. And for once, I won the die roll. So we were off to the races. On my turn, I play a Fetchland, go. His turn, he plays an Island.

My turn, I play a Swamp, Duress. He uses Force Of Will on me. Okay. Interesting. He seems to have a very good hand, then. I let that slide, and I pass the turn to him. He then plays another Island, then says done. Pretty boring so far.

On my turn, I cast Unmask. Interesting. He countered my spell again with Counterspell. What the Hades is he trying to hide from me?!? Duress again. A-ha. A High Tide. Goodbye to that. I pass the turn to him, and in a last-ditch effort, he casts a chain of spells (High Tide, Faerie, untap, Snap, untap, Turnabout, untap, etc.) that resulted in a Brainfreeze for 30. In short, I pretty much knew that he had no permission whatsoever because of that play. End of his turn, I Vamped for a Yawgmoth's Will.

I suppose it's fairly obvious what happens on my turn with over 30 cards in my graveyard. It was a lucky curbstomp thanks to his Brainfreeze. Of course, if that didn't work, I would've cast the Doomsday in my hand, regardless.

Match Standing: 1-0

Game 2 rolled along, and he had the first turn. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary with his play. Island. Then my turn.

I tried to Duress him, and he played Disrupt on it. He really doesn't want me to check his hand, apparently. On his turn, he goes ahead and plays another Island, then uses it for an Impulse. I had a horrible hand, so I didn't particularly know what to do with it. I really should learn to mull hands with no business whatsoever. Mana stability and disruption doesn't seem to cut it anymore.

On my second turn, I cast Defense Grid. He uses Force Of Will on that. I pass the turn to him, and he plays another Island. He still seems to be looking for something, though.

And then it happened. I cast a Defense Grid, then passed the turn to him. He then cast spell after spell after spell off of two High Tides, a Time Spiral, and several Prosperities. He pretty much curbstomped me right back with a Brain Freeze that must've been at least for 30 Storm.

Match Standing: 1-1

Game 3, I decided to go for the jugular as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I play an Island, then went done. His turn, he does the exact same thing. At end of his turn, I play a Mystical Tutor, then get a Dark Ritual. I was hoping for a quick Doomsday, if I could just check his hand for counters...

I drew the ritual, cast Duress, and he didn't let that through. He used Force on it. I had no mana to cast Doomsday yet, obviously. End of his turn, he cast Mystical for another Force Of Will just to make sure I can't do anything funny. On his turn, he plays another Island. Impatience told him to cast a Cloud Of Faeries. Go.

My turn, I cast Defense Grid. For some reason, he let it through. But I had no land, so still no go for a Doomsday.

On his turn, he played a land, then tried to combo out. He cast around 5 spells, then with 4 Blue floating and 2 Islands untapped during High Tide, he cast Mystical Tutor for a Time Spiral. He then cycled the Cloud Of Faeries which he snapped to himself, only to realize he didn't have the mana to cast the Spiral. He apparently cast one Opt too many, and paid dearly for it. He apparently used the Grid to protect himself from my Force, but it didn't matter in the end.

On my turn, I cast Black Lotus (Storm Count: 1.), Lotus Petal (Storm Count: 2), Dark Ritual off of the Lotus (Storm Count: 3. BBBBB floating.), then Yawgmoth's Will, all the while forgetting to use the Petal. What an idiot (Storm Count: 4. BB floating.). I recast the Lotus (Storm Count: 5. BB floating.), the Duress (Storm Count: 6. B floating.), then the Ritual (Storm Count: 7. BBB floating.). I then pitched for Unmask (Storm Count: 8. BBB floating.), used the Lotus, and finally cast Mind's Desire (Storm Count: 9.) . One of the flipped cards was a Tendrils, and that was it.

Match Standing: 2-1
Tournament Standing: 2-1

Round 4: Versus Lyn (Affinity)

I mulled to five on this match. I felt a bit nervous as I didn't recognize what she was playing until she went second, which was horrible as I did mull to five, after all. My first turn consisted of me smiling and saying “done”. She plays a Glimmervoid, then cast a Myr Servitor, and an Ornithopter.

My turn, I drew a Fetchland. Yay. I passed the turn to her, then she attacked and cast a Disciple Of The Vault and a Welding Jar. At end of her turn, I Fetched for a Sea, then Brainstorm. The moment I found out she was using Affinity, I decided to not care about what she can do because whatever it was, it didn't involve permission.

On my turn, I play a land, Unmask, take out a draw spell (Forgot the name. The affinity one.), play Cabal Ritual, Doomsday. Plan B for the win, knowing full well there was absolutely nothing she could do against me at this point.

Match Standing: 1-0

Game 2, it was her turn to mull, though she did it only once. I sided in my necessary hate for her, and it figured to be enough, when I fanned my opening hand: two Fetchlands, a Dark Ritual, an Energy Flux, a Duress, a Lim Dul's Vault, and a Force Of Will. She opened the game by playing an (Artifact) land, then Ornithopter.

My turn, I use Duress and find no legal targets. I pass the turn. She plays another Artifact land, then casts one more artifact and drops a free Frogmite.

My turn, I topdeck a Vampiric Tutor (!). I play a Dark Ritual, cast the Flux, and she scoops.

Match Standing: 2-0
Tournament Standing: 3-1

By this point, Mike was making up his mind whether it was going to be a top eight or top four showdown. He chose the former.

Top 8 Match: Versus Marco (Phish)

I was scared that my opponent had Stifle or Wasteland, only to discover that he had neither after the game. Anyways, he went first, and played an Island.

I cast Duress on my turn, and he tries to use Daze on it. I counter the Daze, and found his only useful spell to Duress away was Standstill. Nonetheless, he had nothing else, so I passed the turn. He then draws, and casts a Grim Lavamancer.

On my turn, I have Force Of Will backup. I go and cast Doomsday, and he has nothing to say about it. I stack for Plan B, and let him have his turn. He attacks, then casts a Spiketail Hatchling.

On my third turn, I play another land (Ready for the Hatchling...), then do the usual Plan B win, with only the Mana Crypt in hand to add to the spellcount. He took 25 damage.

Match Standing: 1-0

Game 2, I sided in some stuff, and discovered that the usual sideboard of Tormod's Crypt was what I was up against. He goes first. He drops a Mountain. Go. I slap my head for keeping a horrible hand that again had no business whatsoever.

I try to draw go with him, except he doesn't just draw and go. While I drop lands for the turn, he casts Tormod Crypt, then a Grim Lavamancer, then another Lavamancer and a Spiketail, then a Standstill, then another Spiketail. I was beaten down by the weenies. Eep.

Match Standing: 1-1

Game 3, it was do or die. I had no means of disruption, and he repeatedly gained the edge by timely counters, until all I had was a filled 'yard, three Rituals, a Timetwister, and a Yawgmoth's Will. On my last turn to survive, I made a last-ditch effort, as I saw he had an open Voidmage Prodigy for a counter, and a Spiketail Hatchling.

The final play around turn five or six went like this: Chrome Mox (Forced. Storm Count: 2.), Dark Ritual (Storm Count: 3. BBB floating.), Dark Ritual (Storm count: 4. BBBBB floating.), Cabal Ritual (Storm Count: 5. Treshold. BBBBBBBB floating.), Black Lotus (Storm Count: 8. BBBBBBB floating.), sac the Lotus for UUU, Timetwister (Storm Count: 9.UU BBBBB floating.). He tried to use Daze (!) on it, and I paid up (Storm Count: 10. UUBBB floating.). To this moment, I don't understand why he did that, but that was clever. I was hoping for him to use the Voidmage to counter the Twister, and then I'll use Yawgmoth's Will to expand my spellcount, remove stuff from the 'yard, and have a more concentrated twister. Instead, we drew 7, and I only had a Duress and a Brainstorm as cards of interest. I had to win now, because I was down to 3 life, and next turn, a simple attack would kill me. I Duressed away his permission (Storm Count: 11. UUBB floating.), then cast Brainstorm (Storm Count: 12. UBB floating.), praying really hard. I rolled over the first card and found...

Tendrils Of Agony.

And that was all I needed to win.

Top Four Match: Versus Anne (Sui Black)

G-reat. Another Sui Black deck, and worse, the player had a high Charisma modifier (Lol. DnD players ought to get this hint.). In any case, we started off on the wrong foot, as she opened the game by shuffling in her sideboard with her maindeck, and I was torn between being an @$$ and being a nice guy and let her filter out the cards to mull it out. Sometimes, I can be too nice... lol.

Anyways, she went first. And I was in a load of trouble right off the bat. Dark Ritual, Nantuko Shade, Duress.

On my turn, I had an Undeground Sea. I cast Ancestral Recall during her upkeep, then she attacks me with her Shade then cast a Withered Wretch. Uh-oh. My hand was screaming for Plan C, so that couldn't be good.

Long story short, my only shot at a win was a Doomsday, then a Cycle into a Brainstorm for a hopeful win. Pfft. Nothing. I fell short by 3 mana, as I held only one card along with Brainstorm, which prevented me from having enough mana to pull off any tricks. Scroll Rack is t3h winnah!!!

Match Standing: 0-1

On Game 2, the jokes continued about Anne taking this away just because I was being too nice. I opened the game with what I thought was a great hand: two Fetchlands, a Mana Crypt, a Lotus, a Mind's Desire, a Doomsday, and a Brainstorm. I cast a Brainstorm, then found for myself ammo for an Unmask, and did just that. I take out her Hymn with Unmask, then blindly go for Doomsday, despite seeing that she had a Strip Mine in her hand. I thought I had a way out, really... I was thinking that my best out was to go for Plan B ala Tendrils, and use Chromatic Sphere to get the mana I needed despite the Strip Mine. Pfft. No such luck. I realized I sided out the ruddy card.

On her turn, she used Strip Mine, then used Hymn on me a turn later, and that was all you needed to know. I was curbstomped like mad.

You see, there’s one problem with this game. I seem to have failed to recognize my hand for something that it really was…

A God hand.

TODAYS CHALLENGE: If you can figure out why it was a God hand and you can detail how it should’ve gone, then you will have my infinite respect. And maybe a cookie. :P

Again, Scroll Rack is t3h win!!!

Match Standing: 0-2


Out of the kindness of Mike's heart (Nakanaman! ;)), he convinces his cousin to disregard the first match and count it as a win for me. It was sudden death, and we will see a third game! We roll dice, she goes first, and says done.

I play my turn, and again, I kept a hand with no business (But against Sui Black, I suppose you know why not.). I play a Sea, Dark Ritual, Duress, take out the Hymn, cast Needle for Withered Wretch, Needle for Wasteland. Her turn, she cast a Withered Wretch.

My turn, I still found no lands, and hope started dimming really fast, as my Ancestral Recall yielded a Beacon, a Cabal Ritual, and a Doomsday. My hand now officially consisted of uncastable cards, which Anne gleefully plucked away via Hymn to Tourach next turn, along with The Rack.

My turn, I still had no good cards in my hand. And still no land. Her turn, she cast a Hypnotic Spectre, and attacked again.

The moment she dropped my hand to 0, I realized this was a hopeless cause. I was down to 3 life already at that point.

You guessed it. Scroll Rack wins!!!

So yes, I got curbstomped not once, not twice, but thrice by Anne! How's that for a claim to fame? :P

Props (No slops this time around, so it seems, except to me and my horrible plays. Scroll Rack rules, but costs games!!!):

– To Mike Ongkeco for having these free tournaments. Also, for his nice gesture of offering me the cover for the Crimson Sea 2 Game. I was being called "Crimson Sex" in the store half of the time whenever he would refer to me... :P Though he didn't have a spare cover, it's the thought that counts.
– To Anne for being a good sport despite the numerous times na hiniritan ko kalaban niya everytime she would win, “Pare, kung gusto mo pa kasing bumalik sa shop na ito, dapat, kumilala ka!”. That was the line of the day, and the moment somebody used that line on me during the initial gaff at the start of my match with her, I couldn't help but laugh.
- Scroll Rack wins! I don't know if it's a prop or a slop, but either way, I ain't complaining. :P
– To Nightmare and his teammates. They were great company to talk to on the way back home.
– To Cheng for the ride to the venue. Congrats as well.
– To the report generator for not pairing me up against a single MWS deck this time around, and for only one Sui Black deck during the eliminations.
- "Pare, libre na, may premyo pa! Sa'n ka pa? Tapos, hindi mo pagbibigyan si Anne? Pare naman, wala ka na bang balak bumalik dito sa shop?" :P

.:Tournament Report Number Two: Sunday, 04 September, 2005, at Neutral Grounds Glorietta 2:.

Rough, rough notes about what happened to me today... Sorry about the not-so-great formatting. My reports should look cleaner than this…

Round 1, versus Mariell, White Weenie (Classic 'Geddon weenie).

Curbstomp in two games. I had to explain to him how Doomsday worked, and I just had to make sure I won within five turns. Game one went in five turns via Plan B, as I used Ancestral and Recall to get the mana going for a Beacon for 7.

Game two went in three turns via Plan A. I had a Brainstorm in hand and two more cards for the easy stack after Doomsday.


Round 2, versus Jhay (Slax):

Game one, I just Unmasked him for his Trinisphere, and saw Slaver, Karn, Trike, a Strip Mine, and a Volc. We went for a while, and he managed to cast Karn, then Trike the next turn. I then went for Plan A with Yawgmoth's Will and Gush in hand. I think this was around turn six or seven.

Game two, I had to do the mulligan to five of doom (Slaps table repeatedly and furiously... :P)!!! Then, he went first, and used a Chalice for 0 (!) and then a Chalice for 3 (Ack.) shortly afterwards to seal the win with Metalworker beating me down. I foolishly tried to bounce back the Chalices at the wrong time and met a Pyroblast for my efforts. Should've used Duress... he then hardcast (!) DSC, and one with it.

Game three, I go Lotus, Necropotence. I play a land, then Mystical for a Recall. I then take my time and take another turn before I went for Plan C, as I didn't want to push for a turn 2 win. I of course held onto a FOW against him. He didn't have any mana. He stripped my land, and was stuck with 3CC spells when he had two lands in play. Say... I thought he's the tempo deck here? I think it was Mondu who pointed it out to me that Jhay shouldn't have used that Strip Mine to wreck my land...

Trick of the day that I discovered but haven't pulled off (yet): at end of the opponent's turn with his Grafted Skullcap, let the "discard your hand" effect stack. Then cast Rebuild. See what happens. :P


Round 3, versus Lin Hua Cheng (Slaver)

What a cop-out. :P We ID'd because it was going to be a headache for us to play through the match. It was perfect as I got the chance to see Fong's play of the day... really impressive.

ID'ing with Cheng was the smartest thing I did in the entire tournament.


Round 4, versus Joevanni (FCG)

Game one, I go first. I use the Ancestral Recall on his upkeep to draw into an Unmask. He cast a Lackey on his turn. My turn, I cast the Unmask, and took out the Ring Leader, calculating appropriately that his Food Chain would be stopped cold because he had to use the Lackey for the Recruiter, but he can't use Food Chain on it then cast Matron because that'd ruin his stack. He had no choice but to pass. End of his turn, I used Lim Dul's Vault to find a Demonic Tutor. So I go Dark Ritual (1 Storm), Demonic Tutor (2 Storm) for a Black Lotus, cast the Lotus (3 Storm), sac for mana, cast Yawgmoth's Will (4 Storm), then replay the Ritual with the mana floating (5 Storm). I then recast the Lotus, sac for Blue, recast Ancestral Recall (7 Storm) , then cast Unmask from the cards I drew (8 Storm), and I cast Mind's Desire (9 Storm). Tendrils was one of the cards, though I could've actually won otherwise, as I still had the Tutor in my graveyard.

Game 2, he went first, cast Tormod's Crypt and a Prospector. I guess Tormod's is the first thing that comes to mind against my deck, so okay... but in any case, I cast a first turn Necropotence, gorge for 10, and find myself with a horrible hand. He attacks on his turn, then lays down another Prospector. I play some stuff from my hand, then Necro myself for 4 only this time. He attacks the Prospectors, then he casts Piledriver. Time for me to win. So I had to go for Plan C WITHOUT Yawgmoth's Will, and it was interesting how I pulled it off. Dark Ritual, Demonic Tutor, Black Lotus, Gush (4 Storm). I had B floating, and I drew a Cabal Ritual. I tapped a land and cast the Ritual (5 Storm), and nope, no Tormod's in response. If he did, I'd have gone for the Yawgmoth's in my hand, but since he didn't, I imprinted the card on my Chrome Mox (6 Storm), then cast Unmask (7 Storm), and I promptly countered that Unmask with my own Force Of Will (8 Storm), then I cast Demonic Tutor for Tendrils and won from there with no spells left for me to go with. Lucky break.


Round 5, versus Fong (Berserker Barrage)

I win the die roll, and have a Duress and a Recall in my opening hand. Remembering his lack of Wastes, I plop a Sea, Duress him for his Hidden Gibbons, which would've given me loads of trouble. He played a land, and then went go. I did the same for two more turns with him. Then I went for a Plan C win with Lotus, Petal, LED, Yawgmoth's Will, and Demonic all in my hand. Recall was kind to me.

Game 2, I had Recall AGAIN in my opening hand! I used it, then we went three turns before he managed to equip an Elf with Jitte. I then went off by the third turn with pretty much the same route as game 1, except I had two more Rituals in hand than I had the first game, ensuring that I wasn't going to have a shortage of spells to deal with his gain of four life.


Round 6, Versus Larry (Scepter Chant)

Now, a mismatch. If he manages to use the Chant, I'm hosed, no doubt about it. So I went for disrupting him, and he countered me. Again. And again. And again. Duress? Force. Unmask? Force. Then I finally had the mana to cast Doomsday. He responds with a Chant (!). Whew. I pass the turn. He draws, then passes the turn to me. He was stuck with one land, by the way. My turn, I drew Ancestral, cast it, drew Ritual, Lotus, and Desire. I cast Mana Crypt, cast Lotus, cast Dark Ritual, cast Mind's Desire (5 Storm). He used Force on my Desire (!). I then hit him with Beacon four times.

Game 2, I sided in a ton of hate against him. Bounce, Needles, Grids, you name it. His turn, he went land, go. My turn, I play a land, Duress. Force Of Will. Again. His turn, he cast Chalice for 0 (!). Then, I cast Pithing Needle for Tormod's Crypt (!). His third turn, he cast Powder Keg. My turn, I cast Unmask, took out his Arcane Laboratory, then cast Lotus Petal, cast Rebuild, then Dark Ritual off the Petal, Demonic Tutor for the Lotus, cast Yawgmoth's Will, and you know the drill from this point on. Lucky break. Rebuild saved my life.


Round 7, versus Werrick (Oath)

This is one Oath deck that gave me headaches. So much card searching, and Prohibit proved to be an excellent counter against me. I was curbstomped in game one by Akroma and SOTN, and by Platinum Angel (Can't Beacon her. Gakk. Mind's Desire for 10 yielded SIX lands and nothing of interest save for a Peta, two Rituals, and Brainstorm. What the heck?). Worst. Mind's Desire. Ever. That should've been a win for me, but no...

Anyways, no use crying over spilt milk.


Playoffs for 2nd Place, versus Werric (Oath)

Now, this was interesting. I knew how to deal with him now, but I just don't have much mana on my side. It essentially boiled down to me miscalculating my mana, and what should've been a Mind's Desire for 8 turned into a Tendrils for 16 life. He then hardcast Spirit Of The Night, and eventually killed me. Horrible, horrible plays. I suppose proper planning prevents piss-poor performance, indeed...

Game 2, I went Lotus, sac, Ritual, Defense Grid, Necropotence. I gorged for ten, then won right then and there afterwards, what with two Rituals, a Lotus Petal, a Demonic Tutor, and an Unmask plus pitch card in my hand. He could only use his Phyrexian Furnace against me, which was only so-so because it could only remove the Lotus, but nothing else.

Game 3 was the epitome of ridiculous. I had two Defense Grids, but not enough mana to carry out anything. I didn't find a single Dark Ritual, when one of those, or even a Cabal Ritual while protected by two Grids would've made me win. I was considering using bounce on Akroma, but it was only delaying the inevitable, I guess. He won right there. I don't even know how else I could deal with that deck, because as is, my luck was just horrible. Timetwister, for example, yielded NOTHING on my last turn to hopefully eke out a win. I knew he had Platz, so I decided this wasn't going to work out anymore, and scooped.

Not a bad third place finish. I guess a deck with that many hard counters really deserves to win against combo. Heh.

Holy cow! Akala ko ba "rough notes" lang? I guess I still remembered some key plays, after all, hehe.


- Congrats to Cheng for the three-peat victories in tournaments. Manlilibre na iyan!
- To Mondu for the amusing conversations.
- Fong's "play of the day". Nanalo pa siya ng keychain! :P
- The COMPLETE absence of Workshop decks. Slax, yes. Stax, no.
- Me, for minimizing my play errors this tournament. In my first and only loss, I had no way out except bad luck, and only in the playoffs did I make some errors. No big deal. Six packs are six packs. Tendo Ice Bridge is a Tendo Ice Bridge.
- The birth of the Scroll Rack.
- JefFCG for his info regarding someone we asked about. It's so tempting to talk, but I'll just keep my mouth shut. I'd only be asking for trouble. ;)


- A player has Standstill on his table. He casts Meddling Mage. Opponent does nothing about it, Standstill is STILL in play. Opponent later bolts the Mage, and the player draws for the Bolt, then counters the spell (!).
- In this same match, the opponent casts Shrapnel Blast. It gets countered. He casts ANOTHER Shrapnel Blast, and it goes through. Is there something wrong with this picture? That's right. NO ARTIFACTS WERE SACCED!!!
- Refer to Mondu's post about the rest of the match... oh, well. Hilarity.
- My absent-mindedness. Kung saan-saan napunta yung payong ko...

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