Hi, everyone! Just wanted to do a 25-man tournament report for last Sunday's Legacy Majors in Kick Engines, where we battled for a Taiga. I ran Gerald Fabiano's UW Stoneblade list with only two changes:


4 Flooded Strand
2 Marsh Flats
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Polluted Delta
3 Tundra
6 Islands
3 Plains

3 Jace, The Mind Sculptor
2 Back to Basics
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Batterskull

3 Snapcaster Mage
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 True-Name Nemesis
2 Vendilion Clique

4 Force Of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
2 Spell Pierce
2 Council's Judgment
1 Counterspell
1 Unexpectedly Absent


3 Surgical Extraction
2 Flusterstorm
2 Terminus
2 Meddling Mage
2 Supreme Verdict
2 Monastery Mentor
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Blue Elemental Blast

Now, while I went to the tournament with this list with zero testing (the previous small tourney I joined, I lent this deck and ran with Red Eldrazi for shots and goggles), the guy I lent this deck to, Vince, had a few suggestions after the tournament. He told me to replace Teferi with a second Clique in the maindeck, and to remove the fourth Extraction in the board in favor of a second Supreme Verdict. His suggestions made sense, although those ideas definitely helped during the eliminations, but made life muuuucccchhh harder for me in the top 8.

Also, anyone who knows me knows that I am historically a combo player by choice (SnS is my jam), so seeing me play control is a completely unexpected surprise. Anyways, here's the report:

ROUND 1 vs Big Eldrazi (Resley)

Resley and I have often battled, and he normally has my number if I don't play first due to all the disruption Big Eldrazi decks are capable of (damn you, Chalice!!!), but this wasn't the case today. I opened up with a solid hand of basics and fetches, a Brainstorm, Back to Basics, and Spell Pierce. I won the die roll, and opened with an Island. He plays a Cloudpost, go. I Brainstorm end of his turn into SFM and lands, then play a fetchland. His turn, he had a second Cloudpost, then played Grim Monolith, which I pierced. Third turn, I lock him up with B2B, forcing him to play very conservatively while I loaded my hand with good stuff. Around three turns in, he goes for a Chalice, and I Snapcaster in and Brainstorm to put him on a clock. Soon enough, Vendilion Clique joins the party to play, and I win off the backs of the two creatures.

Sideboarding: +2 Terminus, +2 Monastery Mentor, +2 Meddling Mage, -2 Jace, -2 Spell Pierce, -1 Ponder

Wasn't sure about the sideboarding here, but it did the job fine for me. Game 2, he opened with a land drop, and I did the same on my turn. With FOW backup, on my second turn, I play a Stoneforge Mystic and grab myself a Batterskull, which he promptly Warping Wails away. Didn't think I would want to FOW against that, in case he had a more significant threat. After that, he plays an Oblivion Sower, and he grabs one of my Islands, but doesn't put me on a clock because I hit it with Swords. He also nailed a Terminus on the topdeck, though. Grumble. Afterwards, I topdeck B2B, then play it, and eventually get Snap and Vendi in on the party to do a repeat of Game 1.

ROUND 2 vs Belcher (Jovit)

Jovit is a combo player, and I've learned to never keep non-permission hands against him. Having said that, he won the die roll, and while I did have FOW backup among other things, he opened with Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, and while I was expecting to counter his next spell, he peels two Spirit Guides from his hand and Empties the Warrens for 6 goblins. Ugh. What an opening, with my back to the wall. I open my turn with a Ponder, and find a Stoneforge Mystic for my next turn, to go along with my Snapcaster. He swings, I'm down to 13 (I fetched). I play SFM, grab Jitte. He casts some stuff, floating four mana, then swings, I'm down to 8, then he tries to cast spells with his mana, which I promptly remind him emptied after combat. I play Snapcaster, he swings, I'm down to 5. Jace comes in, he swings to kill Jace, but Jace already found me my TNN, and this time, he doesn't swing, since he's down to 3 creatures. I equip Jitte the next turn, then go hog wild.

SIDEBOARDING: +2 Terminus, +2 Flusterstorm, +2 Meddling Mage, +2 Supreme Verdict, -2 Back to Basics, -4 Swords to Plowshares, -1 Jace, -1 Ponder

I mulligan after seeing a creature-heavy opening, then opened my hand to see I had Flusterstorm and Spell Pierce, and he proceeds to pass with an opening hand of seven. I lay down an Island, and predictably, he walks into a Flusterstorm after trying to Warrens out on turn 2. I then establish control of the game from there with a combination of Jace and True-Name beats.

ROUND 3 vs Lands (Paul)

This was an interesting match because I usually run decks that just walk all over Lands because I'm generally faster than they are. That being said, this was a war of attrition that really tested me. He wins the die roll, then establishes what deck he's on by playing a first-turn exploration. I let it through, then filter my hand into beats before he could get his Loam engine going. Mostly a slow match that shockingly went my way.

Sideboarding: -3 Stoneforge Mystic, -1 Batterskull, -1 Jitte, -2 True-Name Nemesis, +3 Surgical Extraction, +2 Monastery Mentor, +2 Meddling Mage

In game 2, I mull to 6 for a decent hand with no counters but lots of cantrips and Jace, while he opens with Exploration again, then Gambles into a Loam. Unfortunately for me, his engine gets going very quickly while I can't find any Surgicals, and after plowing, unexpectedly absenting, and even having the council judge multiple 20/20 flying tokens, I ended up with nothing. My last play to survive was Cliquing in to block his token and removing his fourth(!) 20/20, but alack and alas, I drew nothing of consequence the following turn.

Game 3, I kept a hand with FOW, Mentor, Brainstorm, Ponder, and lands, then proceeded to Ponder into a Back to Basics. He plays carefully, then a few turns later, I Meddling Mage and name Life from the Loam, while slowly beating him down, but with threshold and after several times of countering his Crop Rotations, he finally gets one through around five turns later after I got Clique into play along with Jace. With no mana to activate his Barbarian Ring, I realized that his likely line of play was to kill the Meddling Mage then get back Loam for shenanigans. On my turn, I use Jace to bounce back my Clique, forcing him to reconsider his line of play. When I drop Mentor in after another land drop, he ends up using the Ring on the Mentor before I could grow him. Meddling Mage takes me all the way.



I head straight to Top 8 as the 3rd seed, and promptly get matched up with Jovit again.

QUARTERFINALS vs Belcher (Jovit)

I opt to play as I was the higher seed, and even with Spell Pierce backing me up, Jovit belches out 16 goblin tokens on turn one, assuring me that I had my work cut out for me.

Sideboarding: -2 Back to Basics, -4 Swords to Plowshares, -2 Jace, -1 Ponder, +2 Flusterstorm, +1 Blue Elemental Blast, +1 Terminus, +2 Supreme Verdict, +2 Meddling Mage, +1 Surgical Extraction

Game 2, I opened with a supremely confident Flusterstorm and Spell Pierce in hand, along with Jace and Ponder. He does nothing on his first turn, and on my turn, I Ponder and leave Spell Pierce mana up. I make sure to counter his Lion's Eye Diamond, then I start getting momentum when I snapped in another Spell Pierce with FOW backup the turn after. With my slow and agonizing beats, he can't keep up as I slowly buried him under card and momentum advantage with Jace and Jitte sealing the deal.

Game 3, I open with a very promising opening hand: Jace, 2xFOW, and Spell Pierce. Unsurprisingly, I pitch my Forces for his first play on his turn, although he already mulled to 5 at this point. Smelling blood, I keep Spell Pierce up for his Chrome Mox next turn, then gamble with Meddling Mage on the second turn, followed by Jace on the fourth, ending up with FOW backup. At this point, he either has to deal with the Mage or drop a Belcher to win, and lo and behold, with me only two turns away from winning, he does exactly that: drop a Belcher after he does a ritual which I pierce, which he responds to with an Autumn's Veil, which I respond to by FOWing the ritual again, then him responding with more rituals into the dreaded artifact. Thankfully, he had no means of activating it, and when I topdeck Surgical Extraction, I Fateseal him to see a Chrome Mox on his topdeck, and look at the Chrome Mox in his yard. I let him draw, Extract the Chrome Moxen, see that he has zero outs, then wait for him to realize it.

SEMIS vs BR Reanimator (Paolo)

Suddenly, I miss having 4 Surgicals in my sideboard with these guys coming up. On game 1, I manage to scrape a victory by having Spell Pierce, FOW, Council's Judgment, and Snapcaster in my opening hand, and making my opponent work hard to even get anything into the graveyard. Eventually, he manages to get in Elesh Norn against me, which I judge away. Snapcaster is followed in short order by Vendilion, and I win from there.

Sideboarding: -2 Back to Basics, -7 Stoneblade Package, +3 Surgical Extraction, +2 Flusterstorm, +2 Terminus, +2 Meddling Mage

Game 2 was knock-down, drag-out. I tried to keep countering everything he did, although he did manage to dump a critter in the bin on his opening. Sadly, just when I was stabilizing, he manages to animate a Sire of Insanity, completely wrecking my line of play. He kills me in three swings, after all the fetching I did.

Game 3, finally, all my hate came together. First, I had counters for his initial Entomb, then, after he hits me with Thoughtseize to remove my other counter, I topdecked Council's Judgment for his Chancellor of the Annex, then Meddling Mage named Exhume so that all his reanimation would be targeted from this point on, leaving him open to Surgical Extraction. And yes, I would either topdeck into all this stuff, or cantrip into them as I needed them, because other than the first Flusterstorm, I didn't have any of this stuff in my opening hand. Eventually, Wizard beats from Snapcaster and Meddling Mage did the job.

And now, the Finals.

FINALS vs Dredge

Oh, man. Game 1 was awesome because I had Spell Pierce ready for his Lion's Eye Diamond, then topdecked a Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull the very next turn. Unfortunately, he Therapies me, names Batterskull, then proceeds to Breakthrough for all he's worth. He didn't look back from there.

Sideboarding: -7 Stoneblade Package, -2 Back to Basics, -2 Vendilion clique, +3 Surgical Extraction, +2 Flusterstorm, +2 Terminus, +2 Mentor, +2 Meddling Mage

In game 2, I mulled to 6 to fan open Flusterstorm, Jace, and Mentor, and that kinda did the job for me. He had things going by managing to sneak through an LED, then cracking it in response to his Careful Study, which I promptly countered. With him dredging only one card at a time, I got to establish Mentor beats, and the minute he got to have Ichorid and stuff to feed it with (3 black dredgers), I surgical'd the one with 2 copies in the 'yard, forcing him to either dredge with the Golgari Thug or feed it to Ichorid. He dredged, and Mentor cleaned up from there with only two tokens helping him out.

Game 3, he mulls to 4 while I keep an opening hand of 6 which had triple Force, Jace, and Snapcaster in it. I scried away a Council's Judgment, and topdecked the lands I need to get going. Each turn, he was trying to discard the few cards he had in hand, and each turn, I was countering it. Eventually, he accumulated enough lands to hardcast creatures, which I would let through then promptly send plowing. Snapcaster and Mentor carried my beats through the game once I stabilized at 5 lands with Jace in play, and I was in cruise control from there onwards.

Overall, while my notes could have been more detailed, I must say, I'm glad I did well with a deck I've played only for the first time ever. Control might not be my playstyle, but I'd like to think I acquitted myself well enough, and the few changes to GFab's deck seemed to work out in my favor, except once I started running into so many 'yard based decks. Pretty funny I'd take a deck from GFab, considering my name could be contracted to KFab.

10/10, would play control again.