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Thread: 81st at GP Indy with TES

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    81st at GP Indy with TES

    The list I sleeved up for the GP:

    4 Gemstone Mine
    2 City of Brass
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Scalding Tarn
    2 Underground Sea
    1 Volcanic Island

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    3 Duress
    3 Orim's Chant
    2 Silence
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Burning Wish
    2 Ad Nauseam
    1 Tendrils of Agony

    SB: 3 Pyroblast
    SB: 2 Echoing Truth
    SB: 1 Wipe Away
    SB: 1 Tendrils of Agony
    SB: 1 Empty the Warrens
    SB: 1 Grapeshot
    SB: 1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    SB: 1 Past in Flames
    SB: 1 Diminishing Returns
    SB: 1 Shattering Spree
    SB: 1 Silent Departure
    SB: 1 Duress

    After playing some of the worst Legacy I'd ever played the day before in some grinders, I wake up on the Saturday of the GP hoping to not make the entire trek out to Indy a waste of time. I'd lost to two turn one Chalice of the Voids whilst playing Chain of Vapor as the de facto sideboard bounce spell as opposed to Echoing Truth the day before against one of the coolest Magic players I've ever met, a cab driver from the 504 (New Orleans) whose name I'm sadly blanking on right now, so I decide to heed some advice Bryant Cook had given me the day before and replace CoV with Truth as I pack up my necessary belongings. I threw on my trademark Zubaz (a pic of the Zubaz if you're curious), my new Nickelback tee, and a fanny pack (I'd done all of my trading the day before, so I didn't need a backpack holding me down), and headed out to Lucas Oil Stadium. I felt a bit sick after drinking some water from the tap in my hotel as I left, so as soon as I gt inside of the stadium, I channel my inner Joseph Addai and immediately charge for the bathroom. After taking care of business, I walk on over to the basement of the facility where the GP's being held, and wait for it to start with my Minneapolis comrades.

    Round One— BYE

    Getting back into Standard certainly paid off, as I was able to procure just enough Planeswalker Points to attain a first round bye. I play a bunch of test games with fellow Minnesotan Alex Olson (cuthbertthecat here on The Source) while the round plays out. Since he's on Lands, we play a lot more post-board than pre-board.

    1-0

    Round Two— vs. Narayan Cook with Punishing Maverick

    Narayan is an incredibly nice and soft-spoken fellow Irishman from the Pacific Northwest. He wins the roll and leads off with a Savannah after we both keep our opening sevens. I have a turn two Infernal Tutor+Lion's Eye Diamond->Ad Nauseam as long as he doesn't have a Wasteland on turn two (which I assume he's playing because of the Savannah) and I don't subsequently draw a source of mana, so I Duress him on turn one as opposed to holding onto it for later. He reveals a hand of lands, a Knight of the Reliquary, and something like a Qasali Pridemage. I forget whether or not I take something like an inconsequential Swords to Plowshares or the Duress just whiffed on targets—*either way, his hand was absent of potential obstacles for my Ad Nauseam. He didn't play anything of significance on turn two, and my second turn Ad Nauseam got there.

    SB: -2 Silence, -1 Orim's Chant, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away

    I take a mulligan to six. He Wastelands away an early land to stifle my progress, and lands either a hatebear or a Knight of the Reliquary (can't remember for sure) a turn or two later, which he rides to victory by either forcing me to deal with the bear before going off or Wastelocking me out of the game. I see a Taiga in this game, so I know he's on Punishing Maverick.

    SB: -3 Duress, +2 Silence, +1 Orim's Chant —*I like having all five Chants on the play as opposed to liking Duress more on the draw, as it disrupts T1 Hierarch into T2 GSZ->Teeg. Turn two is the critical turn in this matchup, as the Maverick player will usually land a two mana hate-permanent on his or her second turn, and then back that up with Wastelands and/or more hate-permanents in the subsequent turn to lock you out of the game; being able to basically skip their second turn (although Wasteland can certainly be a huge foil to this plan), usually after cantripping once to determine the storm engine/to determine if you actually have a storm engine is absolutely huge.

    He mulligans to six. I play a fetchland and pass the turn. He leads off with a Noble Hierarch. I play a City of Brass and Chant him during his upkeep. He swings with the Hierarch, putting me to seventeen, and passes after playing. During my turn, I fetch, play two Chrome Moxen, and Ad Nauseam from fifteen. I get a weak flop and am at three life with only a Chrome Mox, a Lotus Petal, and an LED for fast mana. I then flip over an Echoing Truth. I stop the AN at one life, pray he doesn't have Punishing Fire, play Mox (he doesn't cast PF in response!) and Petal, Echoing Truth all three Moxen, replay all Moxen, cast LED, and Burning Wish into Tendrils.

    2-1

    2-0

    After the round, I run into Bryant Cook and thank him for telling me to play Echoing Truth the day before, forgetting that I could have just done the same thing with Chain of Vapor. Silly, silly me.

    Round Three— vs. Mark Sun with Canadian Threshold

    Mark's wearing a Jupiter Games shirt, so I ask him if he's from the East Coast; he tells me he's from Columbus. I get the impression that he's a pretty got dang good player, so I settle in for what should be a competitive match.

    I forget the exact occurrences of game one, but I see that my life total went from seventeen to fourteen, then to eight, then to zero, so I assume he landed a Delver on turns one and two and flipped them both on the turn that they could first attack, the first time without any deck manipulation and the second time due to a cantrip. I'm pretty sure I remember a Lightning Bolt being cast to finish me off. I don't remember what I did at all.

    SB: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast

    I play a fetch to lead things off, while he lands a one drop. I play another fetch on turn two, intending to Brainstorm on turn three; this leads me to assume that the one drop was the lesser Nimble Mongoose, Nimble Mongoose, and not Delver of Secrets. He casts a Counterbalance on turn two. I BS in response to dig for Pyroblast, but fail to find one. I cast either a Mox, Petal, or LED as bait on my turn to see the top card as I have the ability to cast Ad Nauseam via one mana rituals. He chooses to reveal and flips a two drop. I either have a Silence and cast it with a Gemstone Mine I'd played that turn or choose to just not play around Force; either way, I decided to go for it, since CB was on two, he was tapped out, and I could play through Daze. AN resolves, I find a natural Tendrils, and cast it with rituals aplenty for the win.

    SB: No changes

    He casts a Counterbalance on turn two; I Pyroblast it (horribly misplaying by not casting a Petal the turn before to play around Daze; he thankfully didn't have it). He casts a Counterbalance on turn three; I Pyroblast it. He Wastes my land and casts a Counterbalance on turn four; I don't Pyroblast it. He then drops a three-power one drop, and rides it and Counterbalance to victory.

    1-2

    2-1

    I'm now aware that Mark Sun is none other than Morbid- here on The Source. 'Twas nice playing you, and if you could fill in the blanks for our match, *Bill Lumbergh voice* that'd be great.

    Round Four— vs. Bill Comminos with GW Maverick

    Bill is the third nice guy I've played in a row, and is also from Ohio. My opener is land, Petal, Rite, Dark Rit, and Ad Nauseam, and since I'm on the play, I go for it. AN resolves. He concedes in response to a Duress.

    SB: -2 Infernal Tutor, -1 Burning Wish, -2 Silence, -2 Ponder, -1 Orim's Chant, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away, +1 Duress, +1 Past in Flames, +1 Diminishing Returns, +1 Tendrils of Agony, +1 Grapeshot, +1 Ill-Gotten Gains, +1 Silent Departure— by that, I mean I didn't do that, because I didn't sideboard for I knew not what he was playing. I thought about siding in the bounce, but decided not to.

    He plays a Thalia on his second turn. I Duress him on turn two and see that he has a Canonist, a Pridemage, and no third land. I take a Tormod's Crypt over a Green Sun's Zenith. My reasoning wasn't horrible, that I'd likely need a graveyard-based storm engine after dealing with both bears, but in retrospect, I think I should have taken the GSZ. My gameplan at that point was to Wish for a Grapeshot, spend five mana on two mana artifacts at some point later in the game and Grapeshot away both bears in the same turn, and then win post-Grapeshot. Since I took the Crypt, it meant I needed to win/Warrens the same turn I cast Grapeshot since he'd have undoubtedly found a third land by then and will just go fetch up a Teeg if I pass the turn. In addition, if he doesn't draw a third land, he could potentially misplay and cast the Crypt instead of increasing his clock by casting Pridemage. I should have just resolved myself to two options: Warrens the same turn/ the turn after casting Grapeshot (the more realistic option) or live the dream and Tutor chain with +three storm during the same turn instead of leaving open the option of winning with a graveyard-based storm engine. It's a moot point though; the Grapeshot plan never really takes off, as I'm killed long before I can piece it all together.

    SB: -3 Duress, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away

    On my second turn of game three, I allow a potential second turn Stoneforge Mystic->Batterskull to trump me as I make twelve Goblins. He casts an Enlightened Tutor during my end step, and I breathe a sigh of relief as he fetches up Ethersworn Canonist and not a somewhat unorthodox Engineered Explosives. It was all trickery though, as he had the EE in his hand all along, and played and cracked it on turn two for zero; by that, I mean he didn't do that, because Maverick doesn't usually play EE. What he actually does is cast a Thalia, which isn't enough to stop my Goblin armada.

    2-1

    3-1

    Round Five— vs. Randy Fulton with Nic Fit

    Another match, another nice Ohioan. He says that he's only lived there for a short time though, previously living in DC for six years.

    I don't remember much of game one, other than him whiffing on a Cabal Therapy after he'd found out what deck I was playing. Ad Nauseam was the winning storm engine.

    SB: -2 Silence, -1 Orim's Chant, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away— I know that Nic Fit usually sides in Mindbreak Traps for storm hate and that cutting the foil for MBT doesn't seem super awesome, but I didn't know for sure at that point, and was up a game on the draw.

    I mull to four. I almost actually win the game after he whiffs on a Cabal Therapy and gets flooded with lands, but at one point, as I Duress him for the last card in his hand to set up a kill for the next turn, he casts Skeletal Scrying for six in response. Even though I get to strip him of a GSZ, he has more than enough discard and gas to win from there.

    SB: -3 Duress, +2 Silence, +1 Orim's Chant— same reasoning as with Maverick

    He mulls to six or five. He whiffs once again on a Cabal Therapy after I Brainstorm in response. He casts a Deranged Hermit on turn three or four after taking a card with Cabal Therapy via sacrificing Veteran Explorer. I'm forced to Diminishing Returns at that point, choosing to do so at sixteen life rather than wait a turn at seven; he doesn't have the Mindbreak Trap for it. Concerning Returns, he's curious as to whether or not we announce what amount of cards we'd like to draw and then draw them or draw cards one-by-one until we decide to stop, so he calls a judge. The judge confirms the latter, which seems odd to me, but I don't appeal, and we proceed with the supposed correct protocol. We both end up drawing seven. My seven is Chant, Silence, Lotus Petal, Gemstone Mine, Chrome Mox, Ad Nauseam, fetchland. I play Mine (my fourth land) and Lotus Petal, and pass, needing to draw a nonland card in order to be able to AN through MBT on the following turn. After he pays Deranged Hermit's echo, I Chant with kicker by sacrificing the Petal. He passes. I draw a spell and Silence him. I fetch up a fifth land, Silence him, cast Chrome Mox (imprinting the spell I drew), and cast Ad Nauseam. I don't whiff and win shortly after.

    2-1

    4-1

    After the round, I mosey on over to the concession stand and pony up $9.25 for a hot dog and a drink. Doing so really sucked, but I didn't have the time to go outside of the stadium and get cheaper food.

    Round Six— vs. Michael Nunez with UBw ANT

    He wins the roll and leads off with an Underground Sea into Preordain; I put him on UB ANT. I lead off with Volcanic Island, hoping to draw a single mana source off of an EOT Brainstorm (and put a Chrome Mox second from the top) so that I can Ad Nauseam the following turn; this line also makes it appear I'm Canadian Thresh. He casts another cantrip, plays a Flooded Strand, and passes. This worries me; if he's playing white, he can simply fetch up a Tundra and stymy my plans with a potential Orim's Chant. I go all out on the posing-as-Canadian Thresh plan and still EOT Brainstorm instead of conserving it for the long game. He catches the bait, fetching up a basic Island in response to dodge Stifle. I win the turn after.

    SB: Nothing

    In an explosive, somewhat puzzling first turn, he goes Chrome Mox imprinting Snapcaster Mage, U. Sea, Dark Confidant, go. He gains the upper hand by casting a Sensei's Top the following turn. He Duresses me on turn four or so; I Brainstorm response to protect my combo line, nary a Chant in sight. He subsequently casts an Ad Nauseam. After a short dispute over his life total (he forgot to record one point of life loss from Bob the turn he didn't have Top out), AN resolves. After going through a somewhat weak set of cards to put him at six life, he says, "Alright, I'll continue from four," to which I respond, "You're at six." He apologizes and says he's kind of loopy from some medication or something. He then says, "Okay, at four…," to which I respond, "You're at six." He apologizes profusely again, says he means nothing by any of the life total disputes and is genuinely just a bit delirious, and continues on. He stops AN before he flips a kill. He passes the turn with a fetchland up. Having not seen a single Chant or white dual land yet through at least fifteen cards, I go for it and hope he's just not playing Chant. He fetches up a Scrubland and Chants in response to a hellbent Infernal Tutor. He wins shortly after.

    SB: Nothing

    He apologizes again for the confusion over his life total in game two. I tell him that it's really alright and that I don't think he was purposefully trying to mislead me, but that we should both definitely keep a better track of life totals for the rubber match.

    I decide to keep a pretty fragile hand, one that loses to any potential disruption he might have, but has a turn three Ad Nauseam (I seemed to draw the card Ad Nauseam a lot over the course tournament). He mulls to six. I play a land and pass. He does the same. I draw a Duress and cast it. I see that he has no business spells in his hand and take a Thoughtseize over a Silence. He draws, plays a land, and passes. I rip a Silence, play out all of my artifact mana, and pass, intending to draw a nice, disruption and business-heavy seven-plus card hand EOT, have him use up his Silence in my upkeep, and win a few turns after that. He draws for the turn, fetches an Underground Sea with his fetchland, casts all of his mana, and casts Infernal Tutor, cracking one of his two LEDs in response (discarding the Silence in the process, which he couldn't cast because he needed to fetch and tap all of his lands to cast the IT). I Silence, using up one of the Lotus Petals I have. He passes the turn after finding a Brainstorm with the IT, an LED still in play. I need to draw any source of non-LED, non-Chrome Mox mana now to be able to cast AN. I rip a Rite of Flame. I cast it and AN. He exclaims rather loudly," That's so sick!" in an exasperated tone. I can tell he's a nice guy and is just bummed by the outlook of the game, and being the non-confrontational guy that I am, I don't take it personally and try to simmer the situation down. I get a poor flop, but it doesn't matter, as it's not likely he would win through the two Chants I flipped. I win two turns later after I cantrip into an LED.

    2-1

    5-1

    Round Seven— vs. Fai Littman with Canadian Threshold

    Fai is from Maine. He wins the roll and leads off after mulliganing down to six with something like Volcanic Island into Delver of Secrets. I have a turn one Ad Nauseam that can play through Daze, so I just go for it. He doesn't have the Force, and the Ad Nauseam from nineteen life doesn't whiff.

    SB: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Chrome Mox, -1 Ponder, +3 Pyroblast.

    He leads things off with a land. I play a land and pass. He plays a Delver on his turn and passes with a Volcanic up. I play a land and pass. He Bolts me down to seventeen at the end of my turn. Delver doesn't flip! He attacks and puts me to sixteen, doesn't play a land, and passes. On my turn, I Duress. He Bolts me in response, putting me to twelve. The only spells in his hand are Red Elemental Blast, Red Elemental Blast, and Snapcaster Mage. Seeing that, I make fourteen Goblins after taking one from a land (down to 11) and pass, conceding only to something like Delver revealing a Lightning Bolt on the first post-Warrens turn, revealing Brainstorm and drawing into a Bolt and a land with the Brainstorm, etc. Delver doesn't flip, and the Goblins get there.

    2-0

    6-1

    Whew, the only round so far that hasn't gone to game three. After the round, I meet up with tha Minneapolis crew. Matthias Hunt (who is actually from St. Paul), Jason Schousboe, and Alex are all 6-1 as well. Mike tells me that I have a sick getup; I tell him that, in addition to looking really good, the fanny pack I'm wearing will prevent any and all theft. As I get some water with Schousboe, somebody asks me if I post on The Source. I say, "Yes." We strike up a conversation; it turns out he's also playing TES. I couldn't remember if he said he posted on TS or not (if he did, I don't remember his handle). He was a nice guy that I would go on to briefly talk with several times at various points over the course of the weekend, unfortunately ending up losing in round nine to finish 6-3.

    Round Eight— vs. Dru Elwell with UW Stoneblade

    Dru is a very nice and soft-spoken guy. The glasses he's wearing make him look a bit like Vash the Stampede, which is really cool.

    He lands a turn two Stoneforge Mystic->Batterskull as I dig for protection and business. He gets in two hits with the Batterskull. On the following turn, the life totals 26-10 in his favor, I Silence. He Forces. I Chant, which either resolves or gets countered by Mana Leak. I'm forced to Ad Nauseam from 10 (it resolves). I get a great flop that only deals seven to me and win after making sure the storm count could reach thirteen.

    SB: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast

    As we're shuffling up for game two, the guy sitting next to me says, "Ah, you must be taking over for Liam." I ask him if he lives in LA since I know that Liam Kane is from LA, and he confirms that he is indeed from the Fresh Coast. He tells me that Liam has quit/is taking a hiatus from the game and is pursuing a career in the restaurant business. Good for him. After looking at the coverage, I'm now aware that the guy I was talking to was none other than Jacob Kory, rukcus here on The Source. It was a pleasure meeting you.

    Game two starts off a bit slow, as he doesn't land a turn two Stoneforge Mystic. I don't force the issue and play right along with the pace of the game, intending to eventually 8-7 him and win (for those of you that are unfamiliar with the term, it involves waiting to go off until you have eight cards in hand to their seven or less, and winning due to having more business and protection). He Brainstorms on turn three and passes. I draw and pass the turn back. He fetches EOT. He doesn't play a fourth land on his fourth turn and passes. I do the same thing as last turn. He casts an EOT Snapcaster Mage, flashing back Brainstorm. He attacks for two, putting me to eighteen, plays a fetchland, and passes. I continue to sculpt my hand. He attacks for two again, plays a fourth land (a Mutavault), and passes. He then starts swinging for four a turn. At twelve life and eight cards in hand, I Brainstorm, play a Lotus Petal, and pass. He plays a fifth land and swings for four, with three lands untapped. I fetch EOT, pretty confident his seven card hand contains at least one Force and one Mana Leak or Spellstutter Sprite. I draw a Pyroblast on my turn; my hand at that point consisted of two Dark Rits, an Infernal Tutor, a Lion's Eye Diamond, a Burning Wish, the Pyroblast, a Ponder, and something else (probably another cantrip). Life totals were 18-7 in his favor. My board was Underground Sea, City of Brass, Volcanic Island, and Lotus Petal. I lead off with Duress, intending on possibly countering a flashed-in Vendilion Clique or piece of hard countermagic and then Pondering afterwards with City to set up a win on the following turn. Duress resolves and reveals a hand of two Mana Leaks, a Spellstutter Sprite, two Stoneforge Mystics, a Batterskull, and a Leyline of Sanctity. After some deliberation, I take the Leyline; if he plays his countermagic properly, I can't actually win that turn, so if Leyline resolves on the following turn, I wouldn't have any realistic outs. I bait one of the pieces of countermagic (likely the Spellstutter Sprite, since it would act as a Wasteland for my City of Brass as he would then potentially crack back for five on the following turn, putting me at one; if he drew a sixth land, he would also have two Mana Leaks up) by tapping Volc and City into Burning Wish, intending on fetching Duress if it resolved. He activates Mutavault and casts Spellstutter Sprite, countering my Wish. I crack Petal for black, cast Dark Rit, Dark Rit, LED, Infernal Tutor (cracking LED in response for RRR, just in case I accidentally sided out the maindeck Tendrils or something), find another Infernal Tutor, casting said second Infernal Tutor after making sure Tendrils was in my deck, and then cast Tendrils as the ninth spell.

    2-0

    7-1

    Feeling elated after clinching a day two slot, I meet up with another native Minnesotan and fellow storm player, Dylan Streater (Dark Ritual here on The Source; I hope that that is indeed your actual last name). We talk about the day in general. He tells me that Bryant had the worst Ad Nauseam he'd ever seen while playing against Enchantress. I then find Bryant and ask him about it. He tells me he's had multiple horrible flops, and then tells me that I'm wearing the worst shirt he'd ever seen.

    Round Nine— vs. Dan Lanthier with UW Stoneblade

    I discern that Dan is from Canada by the Canadian flag on the sleeve of his shirt. I ask him about where he's from (he is indeed from Canada, Ontario to be specific), point to the fiery maple leaf in the background of my Nickelback shirt, and say that many people consider Nickelback to be the worst thing to ever come out of Canada. He confirms that notion. As with Mark Sun, I get the vibe that this isn't his first time he's done well well at a large tournament (not to say I didn't feel the same about my other opponents or that I played any differently towards said other opponents, those two just stood out), so I settle in for a nice, competitive matchup.

    He leads off with a turn two Stoneforge Mystic. I draw and cast a Duress the turn he intends to Vial in Batterskull since he only had two untapped lands (I was incentivized into casting Duress that turn and not in a following turn because he couldn't protect any countermagic with Brainstorm if he wanted 'Skull in play), and see a stacked hand of Force, Force, Spell Pierce, Spell Snare, Snapcaster Mage, and Swords to Plowshares (he Vialed in 'Skull before Duress resolved). I take a Force. I'm unable to find both a non-Ad Nauseam storm engine and at least two pieces of protection to beat Spell Pierce, Force, and Snapcaster->Spell Pierce before Batterskull and Stoneforge team up to kill me.

    SB: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Chrome Mox, -1 Ponder, +3 Pyroblast

    Once again, he casts a turn two Stoneforge Mystic. I Duress him on my third turn, take his Force, see that he has no other piece of free countermagic, and cast Ad Nauseam from seventeen. It doesn't whiff.

    SB: Nothing

    I think I mull to six. He leads off yet again with a Stoneforge Mystic, grabbing a Batterskull. I Duress him on turn two and see a hand of Flusterstorm, Flooded Strand, Wasteland, two Brainstorms, and Batterskull. I get all giddy inside (still showing no external emotion, of course), take the Batterskull, and make twelve Goblins. He Brainstorms the following turn, plays a fetchland, and passes. I rip a Pyroblast, attack him down to eight, and pass. He fetches EOT and Brainstorms. I Pyroblast. He Brainstorms again, and after looking at the top three cards, concedes.

    2-1

    8-1

    Alex Olson was sitting next to me during this round, and actually finished his match before I did. Dan tells me after the round it didn't seem right to leave Flusterstorm up and delay his clock on turn two, and I agree with him. Somebody recognizes my pants and asks me if I post on The Source, to which I confirm. It turns out it's Clown of Tresserhorn. I ask him whether or not he went with Echoing Truth or Chain of Vapor in the bounce slot, and he says he went with the Chain. It was very nice meeting you, good sir.

    Feeling great, as I can drop a round on day two and still top eight, I meet up once again with tha 612 crew. Matthias (who is actually part of the 651 crew) is sitting pretty at 8-1. Alex is also 8-1 after beating Kibler in round eight. Jason Schousboe, a pro from Minneapolis that tested a UW Stoneblade variant with me the week before the GP, went 0-2 in his last two rounds to finish at 6-3.

    I call a cab at around 10 PM to whisk me back to the hotel so that I can get some sleep, since the tournament unfortunately basically started at eight the next morning because of Daylight Savings. I call the airport taxi and get connected to a girl named Shelby. I tell her everything she needs to know. She then asks for my name (Jack Johnson), and I tell her. She immediately goes, "Seriously? That's actually your name? I love his music!" I laugh and tell her that that is indeed my name. She says," I'm sorry, it's just that he's like my favorite singer. You must get that a lot." I tell her that it's alright 'cause she's the first one to point that out over the phone.

    I get back at around 10:30. Some drunk dudes are standing around the entrance to the hotel, so I make light chatter with them for about a minute or so; they're pretty cool. They're in town for basketball, so I ask them if Minnesota is in the Big Ten tournament since I used to play basketball with one of the dudes that plays for the U of M (Joe Coleman), but know nothing about college basketball. They tell me that they didn't make it. I walk towards the elevator to get to my room, and the guy I was mostly talking to follows suit. One of his friends starts pressing the up button repeatedly, and then tells me that he learned from a four-year-old girl earlier that day that if you press the up button really fast, the elevator will come down quicker. I laugh and say something like, "Ah yes, you can learn so much from children," to which the guy replied, "Yes, especially after you have sex with them," which made for one awkward elevator ride. I get into my room, grab something to eat, play some more Ocarina of Time, and fall asleep with Adult Swim on again at around midnight. I drift in and out of sleep during the middle night for about a thirty second time period at one point and overhear the Tommy Wiseau Pig Man sketch from Tim and Eric:


    Considering it's something I've rewatched a lot and the fact that not only did I awake during Tim and Eric, but awoke during that precise sketch, I take it as a sign from up above. I then wake up for another thirty seconds again later on in the night and hear Hank Hill's dad talk about wanting to become a redneck. I do not take that as a sign.

    * * *

    I wake up the next morning and don't feel sick like the day before, but got about six hours of sleep and am a bit tired; Daylight Savings unfortunately landed on this particular weekend, robbing everyone of an hour of sleep. I throw on my fanny pack, take another cab, and wait outside of Lucas Oil with a small crowd of fellow Magic players. I meet up with the awesome cab driver from New Orleans; he day twoed! I hear a bunch of people complain about how cold it is, even though it's only like 45 degrees; as a lifelong Minnesotan, I honestly feel that anything above 32degF is tee-shirt weather. The doors are unlocked about five-ten minutes before day two is supposed to start. I get inside, sit down, sign some got dang tax forms, and prepare for what should be an important day in my Magic career.

    Recommended background music for this section: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC0KIrKIEYM

    (Start reading 23 seconds into the song)

    Round Ten— vs. Trevor Brown with GW Maverick

    Trevor is from Syracuse. I think he wins the roll and starts things off with a Windswept Heath into Noble Hierarch. He then casts a Stoneforge Mystic on turn two, fetching up a Sword of Feast and Famine. On my turn two, I make a critical blunder that ends up costing me: I Ponder into LED, Lotus Petal, and Chant, and put the Lotus Petal third from the top before drawing, instead of first or second, over Chant. I'd already made up in my mind that I needed to Infernal for another LED the following turn so that I could win the turn after that with Burning Wish, but I instead got the cockamamie notion that if I Chanted during his third turn, it would be good for me. It wasn't, and after realizing my mistake almost instantly, I was down a card instead of just having a Lotus Petal in hand. I ended up Infernalling regardless the next turn as I still had the necessary initial mana sources necessary to kill him in play, but if he played a Wasteland, I needed to rip a mana source of my own, and I kind of had the sense that he was slowrolling one. Surely enough, he plays Wasteland, Vials in Sword, attacks, untaps, activates Wasteland, and then casts an intimidating Knight of the Reliquary. I don't rip out of the situation I put myself into and lose.

    SB: -3 Duress, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away

    I open up a turn two Ad Nauseam, and decide to cast it during his turn as opposed to mine since I have four initial mana sources (2 Moxen, 2 lands) in play and a bounce spell in hand. The worst that could happen is Thalia+Wasteland (he'd cast a Hierarch on his first turn), and I can still easily win around that. He plays a Wasteland in the form of K-Gripping a Chrome Mox during his main phase. I tap it for mana in response, and then cast Ad Nauseam when he tries to move to beginning combat. I win the following turn.

    SB: -2 Silence, -1 Orim's Chant, +3 Duress

    He wins the roll and starts off again with a turn one Hierarch. My hand contains land, land, land, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Ad Nauseam,. I play out a land and pass after drawing Echoing Truth. He fetches up Gaddock Teeg via GSZ on his turn. Things are looking pretty swell. I play out my second land and pass, intending to bounce Teeg EOT and win. I cross my fingers (internally, of course) and hope he doesn't play a Wasteland. He plays Wasteland. I think to myself, "No matter, that just delays things a turn. All's I need to do is rip any source of initial black mana over the next two draw steps, and I'll take the match." I play my land and pass, praying that he doesn't have a second Wasteland. He plays another Wasteland, and follows that up immediately with a Knight of the Reliquary, which takes things down for him. I draw Lotus Petal, meaning if that Echoing Truth had been Chain of Vapor, I'd have won.

    1-2

    8-2

    I internally chastise myself after the round for not playing Chain over Echoing Truth, but I shrug it off, as there's no point in reflecting over something you can't change during a tournament. I should have realized that day two would mostly be comprised of, in addition to solid Legacy players like the gentleman I just faced, skilled pros largely inexperienced with the intricacies of the format, and that those pros would, for the most part, be playing decks that share a lot of parallels with general abstract Magic strategy: UW Stoneblade, GW(u) Maverick, and Canadian Thresh. So yeah, I should have been boarding for day two, and not a general metagame that might include Chalice of the Void.

    Round Eleven— vs. Matt Costa with Canadian Threshold

    He tells me shortly after we greet each other that this will be an incredibly awesome match, as singer-songwriters Jack Johnson and Matt Costa have collaborated acoustically before or something. Surely enough, after searching on YouTube after the fact, I have found the collaboration. I haven't listened to it yet (I'm not a huge fan of my counterpart or his genre of music), but here it is:


    After talking about our shared Michael Bolton syndromes (although, I get it a lot worse than he does as Matt Costa isn't as big as Jack Johnson), he tells me he writes for StarCity, which I had no idea of; he started writing after he won GP Baltimore, something I probably should have known of before sitting down for the match. After I tell him I'm from Minneapolis, he tells me his best friend, Jason Ford, goes to the U of M. I'm shocked at how little I know.

    Matt gets off to a quick start with some Delvers while I try to build a protection-heavy, business-heavy hand. After Pondering on turn three and with my life in the teens, I realize I won't be able to likely Chant twice in the same turn, so I confidently-given-the-situation bluff a Daze-proof Chant. He takes the bait and counters it. I Chant next turn; he Bolts me down to five or six in response and lets it resolve. With Burning Wish as the eighth spell, Matt at nineteen with lethal on board, and five potential mana floating, I decide to Diminishing Returns instead of Tendrilsing him down to one; even though he wouldn't be able to fetch or likely cast a Force for the rest of the game as I'd try to assemble Burning Wish->Grapeshot, I liked my DR chances enough, as I had one floating, didn't need any additional storm, and hadn't played a land yet. In retrospect, this might have been a mistake, but I don't remember my precise manabase at this time, so I can't say for sure (I think I might have only had two lands at that point, as that second Chant might have ticked off all of the counters on a Gemstone Mine). I tell Matt about the previous day's ruling concerning Diminishing Returns, and he calls a judge to confirm it. The judges come back quickly with the correct ruling and give us a two minute time extension. DR completely whiffs, and I lose.

    SB: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast

    I open up a superb hand on the play (I think I mulled to six, but don't remember for sure): Dark Rit, Dark Rit, Chrome Mox, Duress, Gemstone Mine, Ad Nauseam. I decide to Duress instead of going for it on turn one; Wasteland makes things kind of awkward, but so does Force, and I can easily draw out of Wasteland. I see both, as his hand is Wasteland, Volcanic, Delver, Force, land, and something else irrelevant (I think he also mulled to six). I take the Force and cross my fingers that he plays Delver instead of Wastelanding. He plays Delver off of the Volcanic and passes. I draw a Chant for Chrome Mox to play around Daze and cast Ad Naus. He Dazes, I pay. Ad Naus doesn't whiff. Given what he drew, it was definitely correct to play Delver there, but even if he didn't, I think playing Delver and Wasting on turn two is also probably just a better play.

    SB: Nothing

    I wish I could remember game three to a higher degree, but I can't. I do remember him getting off to a very slow start and not casting anything until turn three, and myself having a Pyroblast in hand for protection (I remember feeling very, very, confident after he passed with just a dual and a fetch in play), but I didn't end up getting there. I'm assuming the reason I lost was because of cantrip into Wasteland and possibly a Delver on turn three. Anyway, it was an awesome match, and Matt was an awesome dude to play against.

    1-2

    8-3

    So, with that, I'm out of contention for top eight. I'm still feeling good, though, as there are still a lot of potential winnings to be had.

    Round Twelve— vs. Morgan Chang with Ichorid-less Bloodghast LED Dredge

    Morgan is from New York. He wins the roll and plays a Volcanic Island on turn one into a Hapless Researcher, which puzzles me. The jig is up on turn two as he discards a dredger via Researcher in his upkeep and casts a draw spell in his main phase. He thankfully whiffs on Therapies/the outright kill and passes. I'm forced to go for a low-chance-of-success Diminishing Returns on turn three after Chanting on his turn three (unfortunately after he'd built up somewhat of a board presence, and not before) and whiff while subsequently drawing him into LED+draw spells. His Zombies eat my brains and flesh.

    SB: Nothing— If you're casting Echoing Truth to bounce Zombies, you've already lost

    I forget how the game starts off, but it winds up heavily in his favor. Being very, very familiar with the Dredge archetype, I'm pretty enthused at his dredges, as he's revealing unorthodox Misty Rainforests and Dryad Arbors. I'm forced to pull the trigger on another somewhat premature Diminishing Returns on my third turn after hitting my third land drop, a single black floating. I draw a pretty unsatisfactory seven of Chrome Mox, Chrome Mox, rainbow land, fetchland, Ponder, Orim's Chant, Tendrils. I'm forced to pass. He draws LED again and goes off with a non-Faithless Looting draw spell. After amassing around ten Zombies and Therapying away my Ponder, things are looking grim. He looks over his graveyard, a graveyard containing another Cabal Therapy and a Faithless Looting (he still has RRR floating) but lacking a Dread Return for his binned Flame-kin Zealot, thinks for a while, and passes the turn. I confirm that he passed the turn and commence with it. I draw a Brainstorm, play out my second rainbow land, and pass; since I'd have five lands out next turn, playing Brainstorm right there doesn't really make sense. I Chant w/ kicker him in his upkeep. He dredges into Dread Return. I draw another Brainstorm and cast one. I find a Burning Wish. I fetch, shuffling away the Moxen, and cast the other Brainstorm. I find an LED and win with Past in Flames.

    SB: Nothing

    He tanks for a while and keeps his hand. He plays a Careful Study effect, and passes after not binning a dredger. I play a land and pass. He casts another Study effect on his second turn and bins a dredger. He thankfully doesn't go off in some form or fashion. I play a land and Chant him in his upkeep. I do the same thing next turn, and then win with Past in Flames the turn after that.

    2-1

    9-3

    Round Thirteen— vs. Steven Martin with Bant Stoneblade

    Another round, another face-off against people with celebrity counterparts. I neglected to bring it up during our match as it would have been kind of lame, but I would like to say that, in addition to Steve Martin's acclaimed comedic career, he's also an incredible banjo player. Y'all should definitely check him out. Magic player Steven Martin is (I hope I'm remembering this correctly) from Saginaw, Michigan. I think it's really cool that everyone from Michigan I've met has always held up their palm in mitten formation and pointed to where their city is on palm-Michigan; I love little things like that.

    Anyway, I lose the roll and draw first. He fetches up a Sword of Light and Shadow (a pretty big tell that he had Batterskull in hand) with a Stoneforge on turn two off of Tundras while I wait and attempt to build up a hand that will win the game. He Cliques me the next turn. I'm having a very hard time remembering what happened from that point, but I think I Brainstormed in response to protect the only business spell in hand, lost a protection spell, and then couldn't find a non-Ad Nauseam engine in time before Batterskull and Sword-equipped Clique plus countermagic got there.

    SB: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast

    There are three Belcher players adjacent to us, including one Belcher mirror. Crazy.

    I'm in pretty much the same predicament in game two, as he's at 30+ life with lethal on board and ~six cards in hand. I run out a hail mary Duress, the only protection spell in hand, and am completely and utterly shocked when I see that the only relevant card in his hand is a lone Spell Snare. I take it and win with Past in Flames. I should note that I found out that he was Bant in this game, as he only had Tundras, Cliques, Stoneforges, and countermagic in game one. I suppose I should have been able to discern his build due to the Sword of Light and Shadow, but I mistakenly took that as a subjective UW deckbuilding decision.

    SB: Nothing

    I Duress on turn three of game three, take a Spell Snare (the only relevant spell in his hand now being a castable Snapcaster Mage->Snare), and win with an Ad Nauseam from a safe life total. I don't remember a lot of the specifics of this game other than the flop, which I stopped as soon as I had two Burning Wish (and no other protection spells) to make it an impossible situation for him.

    2-1

    10-3

    I was feeling pretty good at this point, as all I'd need to do was win one of the next two rounds to walk away with $200 and my first Pro Point.

    Round Fourteen— vs. Craig Wescoe with GW Maverick

    I view the pairings and see that I'm paired up against the one and only Craig Wescoe. My sources tell me he's on Maverick, so I'm feeling pretty confident; I'd still never actually beaten a bona fide pro in a tournament, so I figured that this was my best shot yet (if you're curious, just like the Minnesota Vikings in Super B'Owls, I'm 0-4 in my other matches against pros: L 0-2 vs. Dave Williams at GP Columbus playing Recruiter Aluren (Dredge), L 1-2 vs. Gerry Thompson at Monster Den playing URg Pyromancer Ascension (Solidarity), L 1-2 vs. Matthias Hunt at Monster Den playing Spiral Tide (The Epic Storm), and the aforementioned 1-2 loss versus Matt Costa playing Canadian Thresh (The Epic Storm).

    I open up game one on the play with a hand that has four mana and an Ad Nauseam; because I know what he's on, I don't hesitate in Pondering on turn one as opposed to holding it and casting it later for increased value. I find another land and pass, content on casting Ad Naus the next turn from seventeen (two City of Brass activations+fetch). He goes Plains, Mother of Runes, "Go." Ad Nauseam doesn't whiff.

    SB: -2 Silence, -1 Orim's Chant, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away

    We both have to mull down to five. He jokes that he doesn't know which player will benefit from this occurrence more. He casts a Hierarch on turn one and passes. I Duress on turn one to try to strip him of a turn two GSZ->Teeg, and it whiffs; I see a Thalia and a Knight, which is bad news bears. He drops Thalia and then Wastelocks me out of the game.

    SB: -3 Duress, +2 Silence, +1 Orim's Chant

    I unfortunately have to mull to four on the play, and never actually cast a spell nor play a land (cool aside- I have actually won a Grand Prix match before under those circumstances, but couldn't match the feat this time). 'Twas a disappointing occurrence, but that's the way she goes. Even though our games pretty much played themselves, I still had a pretty good time playing against the self-dubbed, and by self-dubbed, I mean I half-heartedly made up this moniker on the spot as a way to fill space, "Beast of the Midweast" Craig Wescoe.

    1-2

    10-4

    Round Fifteen— vs. Owen Turtenwald

    I check the pairings and see that I'm facing the reigning Player of the Year, Owen Turtenwald. I check the standings, and at 59th (or 60th, can't remember for sure), it looks like I'll have to play out the final round instead of just drawing into top sixty-four, a $200 purse on the line. As I start towards the table, I hear that there's going to be a repair. It's a shame, as I actually really wanted to face Owen. As it turns out, he was playing UW Stoneblade, something I was undefeated against at that point in the GP, so there's that too.

    Actual Round Fifteen— vs. Ryan Overturf with Canadian Threshold

    Ryan is actually part of the Minneapolis crew, but has been away for the entirety of my return to the scene, so I've never actually known of him or met him. We both realize that we can't draw in to top 64 at 10-4-1, so we resolve ourselves to duke it out.

    I remember nothing from game one, other than the fact that I lost. I really shouldn't have been lazy and typed this up sooner than three weeks after the fact.

    SB: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +3 Pyroblast

    Owen is sitting next to me, facing off against a combo opponent if I'm remembering correctly. The combo opponent is cracking unfunny quips left and right (e.g., after Duressing and seeing that Owen has a Mana Leak, saying, "Hey, we're not playing Standard!"), and Owen is just completely no-selling them. I do my best to not burst out laughing.

    I don't remember too much of the beginnings of this game. At around thirteen life, I decide to Chant. He Forces with no mana up. Even though I'm dead to another Force or a well-placed Daze, I internally say, "Fuck it," and go off with Ad Nauseam into his ~four card hand anyway instead of waiting to cantrip into PiF. I play LED, play Chrome Mox, and cast Ad Nauseam in response to the Chrome Mox trigger, cracking LED in response to Ad Naus for BBB. He has no responses. Ad Naus gets there from ~thirteen.

    SB: Nothing

    Unfortunately again, I can't remember much of this game. I remember Duressing him a turn or two prior to my combo turn while he was tapped out and while I could play around Daze, seeing an excellent hand of Force, Force, Stifle, Snare, and like Snapcaster or Brainstorm or something. A three-power one-drop was in play, meaning I didn't have too much time to deal with that hand. I ended up attempting to go off facing lethal with only a Chant as my sole concrete protection spell, but couldn't win through the remainder of that hand plus Spell Pierce.

    1-2

    10-5

    Even though I didn't money and went 2-4 day two, I still had a really good time. I ran into the rest of the guys from Minneapolis at Noodles & Company, ate some macaroni, talked about random perverted shit, and walked back to the GP site to draft since I hadn't drafted at all over the weekend. Even though the entry was $20, I signed up. I ended up winning all of my games and eight packs in the process with a pretty nice W/B deck after seeing the best color in the format, white, open during pack one. I opened Bloodline Keeper in pack two, pushing me into what I now believe to be the best archetype in the format (it's either W/B or W/G), although I never saw it in any of my games. In baseball statistician terminology, W/G and W/B's replacement-level commons are all better than other archetypes', pushing those two above the rest. MVPs of the draft were Doomed Traveler, Angry Mob, Altar's Reap, and the synergies between Doomed Traveler, Angry Mob, and Altar's Reap.

    I called another cab after the draft was over to take me back to the hotel, and Shelby gets connected to the call again! She apologizes again, saying like, "Sorry, I just love your name," and I tell her that's it's alright again, and that she's the only person that can call me on that from now on. I fall asleep pretty much right when I get back because I've got a 6:00 train to catch the next morning. I wake up at five and am out the door at 5:20. I call a cab to take me to the Amtrak station downtown, three miles away. I've got the morning sickness again; I really, really have to poop.

    Recommended music for this section: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Re6pZri8Gw

    It's 5:30, no cab. It's 5:40, still no cab, still have to poop. At 5:45, the cab shows up. The lights are not with us, although since there's virtually no traffic, it ends up taking around the usual time, which is ten minutes. I rush into the station and sit down. I see a woman with some bags near my side of the station and ask her if she's waiting for a train. She tells me that the last call for the train has already occurred. I grab all of my shit and bolt up the stairs that lead directly to the rail, pushing the 'Do Not Enter' sign guarding the base of the staircase out of the way. The train hasn't left yet! I run alongside of it while waving my arms, hoping that someone will see me. After a few seconds of sprinting, I hear an undistinguishable yell about 20 yards behind me; it's a train attendant! I run to the door she'd opened, flash her my ticket, and hop onboard. The train leaves about thirty seconds later. Nice.

    Well, that's my full report. I hope you enjoyed it. Obligatory props and slops:

    Props:
    -Pink polo shirts
    -Ad Nauseam (the card)
    -Trains; just like with shooting video games, transportation is better on-rails
    -Nickelback
    -Zubaz
    -Fanny packs; if everyone wore fanny packs to Grand Prix from here on out, theft would be way down
    -Nickelback
    -My 2005 GP Minneapolis playmat
    -Finding a Jace and a Clique before I even got into the GP site
    -Meeting scores of awesome people from around the US, including people from The Source
    -Deja Vu New Orleans
    -Alex Olson top 64ing and Matthias Hunt finishing in 11th
    -The day two finish netting me a second-round bye for GP Minneapolis in May
    -Never running into Reanimator, a matchup I really don't like
    -Chad Kroeger of Nickelback

    Slops:
    -Overpriced concessions
    -My misplay with Ponder in round ten
    -Not metagaming properly by playing Echoing Truth over Chain of Vapor
    -Indianapolis morning sickness
    -Grand larceny
    -Shitty ass purple Ultra Pros
    -Since I have to name a card because I put Ad Nauseam in 'Props', Duress; I'm not disappointed with it or anything, but a lot of dead Duresses came up over the weekend. I suppose a more apt title for this would be 'lack of Inquisition of Kozilek', although Pyroblast certainly did some work. I probably should have just kept the Chants in on the draw versus Maverick.
    Last edited by KevinTrudeau; 04-01-2012 at 01:16 AM.
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  2. #2
    Just some dude.
    Mark Sun's Avatar
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    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Hey Jack! It was great to meet you and play against you. Your Source handle is very misleading; your name isn't Kevin at all

    Luckily I was still pretty awake at this point in the tournament, and this is what I remember:

    G1: I lose the die roll and you simply lead Underground Sea, so I can't put you on any one deck. I get a Delver down as pressure, and your second land is Gemstone Mine. You cast some cantrips, and on your third turn you cast Chrome Mox, imprinting Silence. I originally had you pegged as Reanimator, but now the cat is out of the bag. My hand was good, containing a Spell Pierce and FoW + blue card. On your next turn, you cast, Orim's Chant with 2 untapped lands. I Spell Pierce and you do not pay for it, eliminating extra artifact mana or even the third land from being in your hand.

    From there on, I try to run through what you have, but before I consider my options, you put a Dark Ritual on the stack. That tells me you don't have another Chant, and I think your hand is 3 cards at that point. I ask you to hold here as I respond. Basically, it's like you can have:

    Tutor + Rituals or LED ==> I can counter
    Ad Nauseam + Rituals or LED ==> I can counter
    Ad Nauseam + another Dark Ritual + Duress ==> I lose

    The untapped Gemstone Mine leans me more towards you maybe having a Burning Wish (which I can deal), or more likely a Rite of Flame. You cast Rite of Flame, Ad Nauseam, and I have the Force of Will for it.

    Huge props for Game 2. Even if I didn't know what was on top, flipping the 2 was a challenge for you to go off or die, and I actually felt pretty confident... until you flipped the Tendrils as the second card. D'oh! Game 3 was just awkward, my opener was 2 Counterbalance and drew a third one. Yikes.

    Hope this information helps, and congrats on your finish!



    --Mark
    Delver enthusiast and avid practitioner of blind flipsmanship.

    Follow me on Twitter: @AllSunsDawn

  3. #3

    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Sick report thus far, so many sick plays and outplaying of your blue opponents. Makes me want to TES some fuckers.

  4. #4
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    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Round Four— vs. Bill Comminos with GW Maverick

    Bill is the third nice guy I've played in a row, and is also from Ohio. My opener is land, Petal, Rite, Dark Rit, and Ad Nauseam, and since I'm on the play, I go for it. AN resolves. He concedes in response to a Duress.

    SB: -2 Infernal Tutor, -1 Burning Wish, -2 Silence, -2 Ponder, -1 Orim's Chant, -1 Ponder, -1 Chrome Mox, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away, +1 Duress, +1 Past in Flames, +1 Diminishing Returns, +1 Tendrils of Agony, +1 Grapeshot, +1 Ill-Gotten Gains, +1 Silent Departure— by that, I mean I didn't do that, because I didn't sideboard for I knew not what he was playing. I thought about siding in the bounce, but decided not to.

    He plays a Thalia on his second turn. I Duress him on turn two and see that he has a Canonist, a Pridemage, and no third land. I take a Tormod's Crypt over a Green Sun's Zenith. My reasoning wasn't horrible, that I'd likely need a graveyard-based storm engine after dealing with both bears, but in retrospect, I think I should have taken the GSZ. My gameplan at that point was to Wish for a Grapeshot, spend five mana on two mana artifacts at some point later in the game and Grapeshot away both bears in the same turn, and then win post-Grapeshot. Since I took the Crypt, it meant I needed to win/Warrens the same turn I cast Grapeshot since he'd have undoubtedly found a third land by then and will just go fetch up a Teeg if I pass the turn. In addition, if he doesn't draw a third land, he could potentially misplay and cast the Crypt instead of increasing his clock by casting Pridemage. I should have just resolved myself to two options: Warrens the same turn/ the turn after casting Grapeshot (the more realistic option) or live the dream and Tutor chain with +three storm during the same turn instead of leaving open the option of winning with a graveyard-based storm engine. It's a moot point though; the Grapeshot plan never really takes off, as I'm killed long before I can piece it all together.

    SB: -3 Duress, +2 Echoing Truth, +1 Wipe Away

    On my second turn of game three, I allow a potential second turn Stoneforge Mystic->Batterskull to trump me as I make twelve Goblins. He casts an Enlightened Tutor during my end step, and I breathe a sigh of relief as he fetches up Ethersworn Canonist and not a somewhat unorthodox Engineered Explosives. It was all trickery though, as he had the EE in his hand all along, and played and cracked it on turn two for zero; by that, I mean he didn't do that, because Maverick doesn't usually play EE. What he actually does is cast a Thalia, which isn't enough to stop my Goblin armada.

    2-1
    Hey, I was your round 4 opponent. I remember you saying that you were a sourcer but I couldn't put you to your account name. After the match when you stood up I saw those pants and then I remembered exactly who you were. The games looked spot on from what I remember.

    Just so you know in game 2 if I didn't draw the land for GSZ, I would have played the pridemage for the faster clock and it also has some relevancy in this match. For example, I have won games playing against storm because they play out their LED first and then go to cast another one. In response, I sac my pridemage to kill their LED in play. They either let it be destroyed or sac their hand. Most of the time, they let it die and then they find out that they are one mana short when trying to infernal tutor for tendrils. I have done this twice so far in tournaments and one time it was actually in a later round that day.

    I ended up going 6-3 ... I know so close to day 2, but at least I know two of the people I lost to made day 2 and did well. The report is awesome so far and I look forward to reading the rest. Congrats on your finish and it was nice to meet you.

  5. #5
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    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    It was good to meet you Jack! I think I confused you with Jon Johnson (double J's) who's also a stormer. The zibasu pants were a dead give away.

    Congrats on the nice finish too!
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  6. #6
    Jack of All Things Trill
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    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Day 2's report has been edited into the opening post!
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  7. #7

    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Sick day 2 report sir. This should really be in the TES opening post.

  8. #8

    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Yes, Streater is indeed my last name (too many Dylan's in the Twin Cities unfortunately, I've ran into 3 or more in the last few years)

    Nice report, it's a shame you didn't top 64 to carry the TES torch. About chain v. echoing truth, I regretted that myself quite a bit as chalice wasn't a card all day for me, the day being a 2-3 drop for me.

    I love how everyone recognized you based on your pants though. You must've been the only one wearing those pants in the entire stadium.
    Bread Connoisseur on MTGSalvation Forums
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  9. #9
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    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Jack,
    Thanks for the excellent tournament report. I followed along, playing the Zelda music (reminded me of Dark Side of the Moon and Wizard of Oz) and "All Food Is Poison." I'm glad you made your train. I actually had a similar experience traveling on Amtrak from Chicago to LaCrosse and they refused to let me board after last call. They said it was a security issue. Luckily, Amtrak has a no-fee rebooking policy, so I was able to take the same train the following day and stay at my sister's place free of charge for another night.
    In round 8, game 2, where does the duress come from?
    I take it you will replace ET with CoV? Have you given any thought to Infest or Virtue's Rain over Silent Departure to combat the growing armies of Thalia/Teeg/Canonist?

  10. #10
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    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Wizard View Post
    Jack,
    Thanks for the excellent tournament report. I followed along, playing the Zelda music (reminded me of Dark Side of the Moon and Wizard of Oz) and "All Food Is Poison."
    I'm glad you liked it! I was planning on doing an extensive selection of fitting background music for each section and timing it so that it would match up with humanity's average for words read per minute, but the task seemed much too exhaustive.

    I'm glad you made your train. I actually had a similar experience traveling on Amtrak from Chicago to LaCrosse and they refused to let me board after last call. They said it was a security issue. Luckily, Amtrak has a no-fee rebooking policy, so I was able to take the same train the following day and stay at my sister's place free of charge for another night.
    Wow, I'm very glad that Indy's station (and every other station I stopped at) isn't nearly as large/follows protocol as well as Union Station in Chicago, as I'd have had to drop another $100 or so on a hotel. I actually took the same train as you then, the Empire Builder going from Chicago to Portland (with stops in La Crosse and St. Paul, of course). Cool!

    In round 8, game 2, where does the duress come from?
    That was the mystery card that I was referring to earlier. I remembered that sequence very explicitly as it was one of the tightest lines I went through all weekend, so I'm sure that I didn't misremember anything.

    I take it you will replace ET with CoV? Have you given any thought to Infest or Virtue's Rain over Silent Departure to combat the growing armies of Thalia/Teeg/Canonist?
    I will not be replacing Echoing Truth at my local store for weekly tournaments, as the metagame is much less defined than at a larger, more serious tournament; I've seen much more Chalice of the Void than Mother of Runes. However, if I'd gone to, say, SCG Des Moines this past weekend (I unfortunately couldn't because of work), I would have definitely been playing Chain. Note that I still like Wipe Away as a one-of over another bounce spell.

    I have given thought to Bryant's new suggested sideboard and sideboarding strategies, and while I like Inquisition of Kozilek enough to replace Pyroblast with it (nothing against Pyroblast, of course), I'm not 100% on everything just yet. I don't know if sideboarding out Chant effects is the right idea against Maverick, as Chant effects at their best are better than targeted discard. In addition, Koby and many others are moving back to playing Mindbreak Trap in their Maverick sideboards, and Inquisition alone can't do much of anything against it. Something I've been tinkering with (though I'm less positive about this plan than Bryant's plan, which is -5 Chant, -3 Duress for +4 Inquisition, +3 bounce spell, +1 Grapeshot) is taking out the cards you'd take out against blue decks for the Inquisitions; -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ponder, -1 Rite of Flame (Chrome Mox is more useful here than Rite, which isn't an uncommon Burning Wish target actually) and then -3 Duress for +3 bounce spell, +3 Inquisition. This would allow one to play Duress again as the fourth, Wish-able discard spell, or you could also find another card to board out for the fourth Inquisition. Again, the above plan is largely untested and has some flaws (namely losing some speed by only having three IT in the maindeck), but could prove to be decent enough.

    In addition to sideboard plans, I've also been tinkering around with different sideboard configurations, as Grapeshot intuitively feels redundant with Infest potentially in the sideboard; Grapeshot certainly has many exclusive positive attributes, such as giving the deck the ability to just ignore Meddling Mage on Tendrils with Ad Nauseam as the initial storm engine, but those exclusive positive attributes are few and far between with Infest in the mix. There are twelve cards I'd consider set in stone:

    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Past in Flames
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Shattering Spree (I've seen someone cut this and do well, but I consider it to be too useful to cut)
    1 Wipe Away
    2 a permutation of Chain of Vapor/Echoing Truth (dependent on subjective metagaming)
    3 cheap disruption to board in (in this case, Inquisition of Kozilek)

    (Kind of thinking out loud past here)

    That leaves us with three slots, slots that I'll define as: a Wish-able piece disruption for the stack (a discard spell), a Wish-able piece of disruption for permanents, and a flex slot that's somewhat predicated on the previous two. The discard spell can be one of three things: a Duress so that you can beat Force of Will with Burning Wish, an Inquisition that can deal with everything but Force and gives you more useful cards to board in against decks like Maverick, or a Thoughtseize that can do both, but weakens Ad Nauseam to an unsettling degree. The permanent disruption is usually either Silent Departure, Deathmark, Pyroclasm, Virtue's Ruin and Infest; I think I'll continue to run Departure at local weeklies for the time being because only costing one is so huge (and as I've said before, there's not enough Mother of Runes to force me to play something like Infest), but each as its own merits and demerits. As for the flex slot, I've been considering all of these:

    Grapeshot (which could fall into below's category, but has enough applications to be demarcated into its own category)
    An additional piece of permanent disruption (e.g. Infest if already running Silent Departure)
    An Empty the Warrens to board in against decks like Canadian Thresh or Maverick, probably for the second Ad Nauseam or the Tendrils (the latter substitution seems QUITE greedy, but should definitely be under consideration)

    I don't know which config I'd run if I could do the GP all over again, as I still don't know for sure if consistently casting Infest against Thalia Maverick is going to be realistic; hopefully, I'll know soon enough.
    Last edited by KevinTrudeau; 04-09-2012 at 06:14 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Re: 81st at GP Indy with TES

    Thanks for your response!
    You've echoed many of my sentiments regarding EPIC in the current meta. I also like the IoK plan, as empty Duresses are bad. I lean towards Virtue's Rain (hopefully it will be available in MTGO during the next Master's release) because it hits all the problem creatures - Thalia, Teeg, Aven, Meddling Mage, and has the added benefit of prolonging games through killing KotR. I also like the one B casting cost versus the BB cost.
    I consider Grapeshot too essential to cut, if anything for the alternate kill incase your Tendrils comes up a few storm short.
    I'm surprised to hear Koby is running Mindbreak Trap in Maverick. I've considered it, but it doesn't survive a chant, which means it is good for 2-3 weeks until Storm players catch on and start going with the Kevin Trudeau tech of leaving chants in on the play (or at all times vs. Maverick). Currently, I do not run Thalia in my Maverick build, but if Storm becomes a major problem, I would go 2 Aven Mindcensor, 3 Thalia, Teeg and then Ethersworn Canonist and Stony Silence in the board before adding Mindbreak Trap (although Mindbreak Trap is also sick versus High Tide). Another interesting piece of anti-storm tech I saw was Root Maze. What do you think?

    EDIT: I just read Koby's post regarding MBT in the Maverick forum. It's interesting to see the direction he's heading with his sb. I advocate main deck changes list above and keep the ET sideboard.
    Maybe Thoughtseize is worth it? I hate the loss of life, but it covers everything and if you snag a hatebear, you may save yourself 2 damage on the swing.

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