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Thread: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

  1. #1
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    First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    Lets get to what you're here for right off the bat...

    The List:
    3 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    1 Ad Nauseam
    4 Brainstorm
    1 Cabal Ritual
    4 Dark Ritual
    3 Orim's Chant
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Duress
    1 Empty the Warrens
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Ponder
    4 Rite of Flame
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Badlands
    2 City of Brass
    4 Gemstone Mine
    4 Polluted Delta
    2 Underground Sea
    1 Volcanic Island

    Sideboard:
    2 Echoing Truth
    1 Krosan Grip
    1 Mindbreak Trap
    3 Pyroblast
    1 Wipe Away
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Oust
    1 Shattering Spree
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Thoughtseize

    If this list seems familiar to you, your right in thinking that it looks a whole lot like Bryant's GP top 8 list. Approximately one month ago, I put his deck together card for card. Prior to my building of this deck, I had always gravitated towards the tier 2 decks that I was only shy a few cards from and never did well at tournaments. So, the decision came that I would focus myself and construct a tier one deck, and after looking around for a deck that was not survival that was good in the format, I finally settled on TES as a solid investment for years to come. I chose Bryant's list as a starting point and reasoned that after playtesting it in my local meta, I would get familiar with the deck and make appropriate changes to it that I felt comfortable with and understood. The first thing I noticed is that quite often I would find hands that had good black and red cards, but could not fetch for a land to help pay for both and would be stuck with the wrong colors. Also, I would draw into multiples of chrome mox more often then I liked, thus the first logical step I took with the deck was removing one chrome mox for a badlands. Badlands just so happened to be the most fetched dual of the day, so I do not regret this decision at all. Secondly, I felt that I would start off with too many hands that had plenty disruption but too little gas. Playing it locally, I singled out silence as a test card and each game I would see if a hypothetical mana source (Cabal Ritual) would improve my game play, which it did. Cabal Ritual helps to get you there if you are taking your time sculpting a hand and still is useful early for getting the right mana to play the combo enablers. For the sideboard, I switched out grapshot for oust which proved to be useless all day as I never needed to find an answer to a creature that couldnt be dealt with by shattering spree, but would have liked to have the opportunity to showboat a little. I also took out the eye of nowhere and replaced it with one Mindbreak trap as I reasoned combo is a natural metagame selection for a vengevine infested metagame, and after taking out the mainboard silence I felt as if i needed a nudge to push me into the green for the mirror. These were my thoughts while I was preparing for the tournament...

    My alarm clock wakes me up in the morning and I realize that I set it for 30 minutes after I was supposed to get ready for my ride. Rushing out of bed, I call my friend who groggily answers and tells me that I'm a dumbass and today was the switch to Daylight savings time, so I kill a few minutes playing halo reach and head down to meet everyone. While waiting for the ride, Brian Finch and I play a few games with the Erayo Affinity deck I was going to give him for the day and we end up trading 7 card masturbation techniques back and forth until a third member joins us. We head out to catch the ride and set off to the tournament.

    Getting there, I started for the dealer table and picked up everything I needed to finish my deck and the Erayo affinity. we sign up and bullshit until rounds start.

    Round 1: Robert (R/b Goblins)
    Game 1: I was really nervous going into round one, but my opponent seemed like a nice guy. I keep a hand with LED, Infernal and one mana short of turn one Ad Nauseam. He plays a mountain and passes. I look down and realize that I can storm for 14 goblins turn one and that it will get there no matter what he's playing barring turn 3 Flamebreak/volcanic fallout if its burn. I do so and the single mogg war marshal doesn't save him.

    Game 2: I keep the nuts and nauseam down to five turn one to storm him for 24 turn one. He plays nothing relevant.

    1-0 (2-0)

    Round 2: Paul (UGW Vengevine Survival)
    Game 1: He wins the roll and starts with hierarch. I keep a solid hand and lead with duress finding a counter and a swords, so I take the counter. He plays Survival and I storm to find enough to empty for 12. I figured that it wouldn't get there on its own but would get me close enough for the weak tendrils I had coming up. He jerks off with vegetables and gets a board while I get him down to 4. I weak tendrils for the exact amount but forget about the STP, so he stabilizes at 5 and wins in two turns. I made sure to write down my duress results after this blunder.

    I side in my pyroblasts.

    Game 2: I turn one duress finding nothing relevant and chant with Ad Nauseum the next turn for dumb amounts of life. He laughs and shows me a faerie macabre and says that when I casted Cabal Ritual I had exactly 9 cards in my board, and would have otherwise fizzled.

    Game 3: He has trouble setting up a board fast enough and I empty for 14 which gets there before he can play enough dudes to deal with it.

    2-0 (4-1)

    Round 3: Rich Meyst (U/B Dark Depths Countertop)
    Game 1: I swear violently as I see my pairing, as I have never won a match against Rich. We sit down and reminisce for a bit about an odd top 8 match 2 years ago at a local 500. I keep a hand that I figure I can reliably protect and cantrip into a turn 3 win. He plays top go and I duress the first turn taking counterbalance and and leaving a thoughtseize. On his third turn after I find a wish and LED he finds another counterbalance and locks me out of the game until the singleton Jace gets me.

    I board in 3 pyroblasts, grip and wipe away.

    Game 2: I keep a turn 2 hand and duress him but I believe he brainstorms in response. He plays solid disruption and plays the hexmage depths combo turn 3 and I can't go off under the countermagic.

    2-1 (4-3)

    Round 4: Mike (Ravager Affinity)
    Game 1: I go second and he plays a few free guys. I find the LED I was looking for after the second cantrip and Ad Nauseam for 20 turn 2.

    I debate it for a bit but decide not to board.

    Game 2: He starts with a very flashy hand with Mox, vault thopter, memnite, springleaf and a draw. I sit with a Burning Wish in my hand and plan on finding shattering spree next turn to ruin his mana base. Next turn he plays thoughtcast, frog and ravager and clears his board to dump 6 counters onto the memnite with frogmite in play. I take it and shattering spree leaving him with a lonely frog on the board and win 2 turns later after shutting him down.

    3-1 (6-3)

    Round 5: Dave Feinstein (Burn):
    Game 1: I like Dave. I've known him ever since I started playing competitive magic back when i was 14. Earlier in the day he tells me about a legacy tournament he's holding in December and I tell him I'll try to manage it around finals. He opens the game with a bolt and I duress away another damage spell. He plays guide and starts smashing face while I have trouble going off and eventually gets me down too low for my ad nauseam to work.

    I board in a single pyroblast thinking he'd bring in Mindbreak Traps. Ive learned not to preemptively board against a matchup I'm not familiar with.

    Game 2: I go first and cantrip and he plays a guide grabbing me a land. I duress turn two and he sighs and shows me a pyrostatic pillar. Having no other outs, I am able to Wish/IGG/Tendrils for 22.

    I take out the pyroblast for two echoing truths.

    Game 3: He keeps a hand without pillar and starts by laying down fast beats with guide and keldon marauder. I grab fireblast out of his hand figuring it will make my game plan safer, and I Ad Nauseam into the perfect pile at a life total I wasn't all too comfortable with against burn (14-12, I don't have it written down). After the game, Dave tells me that my cases may not be legal because they're partially foil (with a half naked chick stripping behind a dragon... makes sense to play them with a deck infamous for masturbating) and after asking a judge, I re-sleeve my deck in between rounds.

    4-1 (8-4)

    Round 6: Keith (Belcher)
    Game 1: This was by far my favorite opponent of the day. When I play magic, I'm very talkative and like to crack lots of sarcastic jokes about 60 forest decks and things to that nature. This guy was really easy to get along with and in between rounds I shared a GWU Bantchantress list I was going to build for my friend as a first deck (Its really, really good... copy enchantment,in the eye of chaos, words of wind, back to basics, energy flux). I take a hand that will get me 10 goblins figuring unless he's playing combo that it should get there. He smiles and returns the favor with a charlbelcher.

    I board in the mindbreak trap

    Game 2: I keep a hand with 2 duress plus an orims chant and he mulls down to 5. I lead off taking his win condition. He can't find the piece and I win on turn 3 with the Trap and Chant in hand.

    Game 3: He keeps a 6 card hand and combos out turn two for 10. I sculpt a good hand with ponder and brainstorm on the free turn I have. He swings (9 life) and I decide to win off of the back of Ad Nauseam with 7 prior Storm and get there.

    5-1 (10-5)

    Round 7: Eric (RGB Goblins)
    Game 1: I keep a hand with lots of cantrips but few mana and start with a turn one duress finding nothing. He lays down the quick beats while I play my draw and is able to put me on a clock set for turn 4. I finally find my mana at 6 life and play my only out in Ad Nauseam as a last ditch effort which doesnt find me the burning wish I need.

    Game 2: I brainstorm turn one and he Cabal Therapies me naming Burning wish. I reveal 2 Infernal Tutors and and cast Ad nauseum next turn. I have 9 storm but no black mana so I make 20 goblins and win the next turn.

    Game 3: I keep a terrible hand for reasons beyond me and he therapies naming Burning wish again and i reveal infernal plus mana and a protection. I topdeck the nuts two turns in a row with Wish and LED and combo out for enough. This match I made plenty of play mistakes which my opponent helped to point out, but he was very condescending and not all too friendly. I didn't particularly enjoy playing this person.

    6-1 (12-6)

    Round 8: Michael (Dark Horizons)
    We talk it over for sometime, but despite several concerns of mine that I made vocal, he convinces me to draw with him. He ends up making top 8 in the 8th seed and I get 9th place. Oh well, iit would have been a blowout matchup for me but them's the breaks. I got heckled for it by everyone I told the story too for the rest of the day.

    6-1-1 (12-6-1)

    So I came out a little peeved at the end, but still up 70 dollars for the whole day. Overall I had a great time and i think I did fantastic for a being a new pilot to the deck. I'm definitely going to have to learn this more as I really made lots of play mistakes with my brainstorms and such.

    Author's note: Damn, reading this over, it gives off the impression of a serious external locus of control.
    Call me Ishmael

  2. #2
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    Re: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    That sucks about missing top 8, that you didn't get a chance to fight for it in round 8 if you had known. My friend(who I've tried convincing to play TES) just had the samething happen to him having a near perfect record but drawing the last round and missing top 8, but that was a much smaller tournament than the stakes you had.
    Quote Originally Posted by everythingitouchdies
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  3. #3
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    Re: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    Quote Originally Posted by PanderAlexander View Post
    That sucks about missing top 8, that you didn't get a chance to fight for it in round 8 if you had known. My friend(who I've tried convincing to play TES) just had the samething happen to him having a near perfect record but drawing the last round and missing top 8, but that was a much smaller tournament than the stakes you had.
    Mindbreak Trap
    /thread

    Almost ironic you played Belcher.

  4. #4
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    Re: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    Yeah, sorry that you missed the T8 with that last draw, but still, 9th at an SCG open is great for a first-time pilot.

    Congratulations on our result, and thanks for a nice write-up! :)

  5. #5
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    Re: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    Congratulations on your finish. Missing out like that on the top 8 is heart breaking but at least you took back your entry fee plus a few bucks. I made your main deck changes and I love it. I already went down to 3 chrome mox but I was playing a Tundra to more easily play the chants/silences. The cabal ritual is obviously really nice because it gives you just a little more gas and reduces your reliance on white.

    Can you share with us your boarding strategy? While I do very well iin my practice games I feel like I really don't get much use out of my board and could use the help.

  6. #6

    Re: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    Good job Derek! Don't beat yourself up over it.

  7. #7

    Re: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    Congrats on your finish, even with that awful Mindbreak Trap in the sideboard.

  8. #8

    Re: First time with TES almost gets there (9th place at SCG: Boston)

    If you don't think you can draw into top 8 DONT DRAW. Also if you have friends at the event ask them to see if they could help you figure out the math. But if your ever unsure just play. It feels less painful to lose than knowing you drew into 9th.
    Ben Wienburg

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