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Thread: SCG attempt #6, Seattle, Apr-21st-2013, just 1 perspective out of 261! (41st)

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    SCG attempt #6, Seattle, Apr-21st-2013, just 1 perspective out of 261! (41st)

    Before Sunday: I actually played on Saturday, so for a very, very quick Type II / Standard report, I'll prelude with this. I played Human reanimator, & I should have likely upgraded to Junk Reanimator, or just played a fast aggro deck like Naya Blitz and tried to let my deck do the work for me, went 5/5, did enough testing for the format that I felt comfortable, then learned that the hate was just too silver bullet'ish against the deck I was pushing, and people were more prepared for it now -vs- than the last time I played it, which was in LA back in december, right after it won that GP, which is probably why I did better then -vs- just this past saturday.

    On another note for Type II, I have to say congrats to all the top 8'ers who had to do all three rounds on Sunday morning, since they didn't expect so many people, which was like 550 for Saturday. Special grats to Brendan Goold who I have talked to off an on via the internet about magic, came up from Portland Ore. Also Greg Peloquin who I've actually seen at a local card shop I play at a few times, & of course SCG regular & local Cedric Phillips, who had a 3rd place & 9th place both days. As well as Toby Cain who also placed in the top 8 for Standard the last time SCG was in Seattle just a few months ago. Also grats to all the local shops that I have been to/talk to, etc, that showed up with their "armies from their store", it was alot of fun between rounds to go to each group and see how everyone was doing!
    ~Comics Cube in Bonney Lake
    ~Exalted Games in Tacoma
    ~Nerdy's Stuffs in Spanaway
    ~Northwest Sports Cards in Tacoma
    As far as Sunday goes...

    First the technical stuff: (Deck)
    12 Island -Foil Zendikar full art
    3 Polluted Delta -Promo
    3 Flooded Strand -Promo
    4 Brainstorm -FNM
    4 Ponder -Textless
    4 Preordain -Foil
    3 Cunning Wish -Foil
    4 Merchant Scroll -Foil
    3 Flusterstorm -Promo
    4 Force of Will -Signed
    1 Snap -Foil
    1 Wipe Away -Foil
    1 Turnabout -IDW Promo
    1 Intuition -Promo
    4 Time Spiral
    4 Candelabra of Tawnos
    4 High Tide (have alters but they preferred I used regular, in which I always have 4 "normal ones" on me at all times)
    1 Blue Sun's Zenith -Foil
    1 Brain Freeze -Foil
    1 Intuition (Regular, I only have 1 promo, -for now-)
    1 Turnabout (Regular, I only have one promo, -for now-)
    1 Snap -Foil
    1 Wipe Away -Foil
    1 Rebuild -Foil
    1 Flusterstorm -Promo
    3 Pact of Negation -Foil
    1 Surgical Extraction -Promo
    1 Ravenous Trap (Regular, as I toy with not running it sometimes because Extraction usually gets the job done)
    2 Grafdigger's Cage (Regular, as graveyard hate can change, sometimes I toy with not even running graveyard hate, & sometimes I still look at Defense Grid, though not as much lately on the grids)

    As for some quick explanations. Meditate is nowhere in the list, because in these wonderful forums that we use, we bounce ideas back and forth alot, & the trend has been to run less Meditate as of late, to the point to where people were only running 1 main deck, 1 sideboard including myself, and it was even thought "would it be good to not run it at all?" Well I tested that out and in enough of that actual game play, I felt comfortable enough just going full focus on the Time Spirals and riding them until I can Blue Sun's Zenith for more cards or lethal. After this tournament, I only feel more comfortable after doing -0 Meditate's- for the first time live and having absolutely no issues where I was thinking "I wish I still had access to a Meditate". Since this is a newer angle however, it wouldn't surprise me if I still come across lists that have a Meditate in their list somewhere.

    Intuition back in the main, I missed doing that when the trend was having it sideboard only, but in cutting Meditate from the deck, it basically made it an Intuition in it's place, and it's just so dumb to be able to scroll & wish for the thing.

    Ravenous Trap in the sideboard is something I wasn't pushing as much before, but after SCG Vegas I did have 1 game against ANT where they did past in flames, I surgical extracted their infernal tutor's in response, and they still got there with what was ponder's in the graveyard. Since then I have been running a Ravenous Trap in the sideboard as a 1 of, but also since then I've never used it, and I feel less comfortable having it in a slot the more I go without ever wishing for it, and if it's so rarely used it makes me want to make it something else, either way I'm ranting at this point and going back and forth in my head, so moving on...

    Pact of Negation I was sideboarding 4, but with flusterstorm in the sideboard as well, 3 is enough, so basically that 4th Pact became Ravenous Trap.

    Turnabout & Candelabra of Tawnos I'm just still big on the math behind having a Candel in play when Spiraling, having 1 less non draw spell in the deck when you're shuffling & drawing 7 so many times, as well as having it in play untapped when you spiral, it only costing 1, being able to have it in play a turn before you combo, etc etc etc, as well as still being comfortable with being able to tutor for Turnabout accordingly via both Wish & Scroll, however the traditional thing bas been 3 Candelabra / 3 Turnabout main & 1 Turnabout sideboard. As with anything we play, I can only list this non traditional part of my deck as a "personal preference".

    Blue Sun's Zenith & Pact of Negation not in the main, is because I just don't like cards I can't use before comboing, & if I expect extraction or even worse, Extirpate, with them possibly being able to hit my Wishes with discard, I usually just switch a High Tide to the sideboard & the Blue Sun to the main for games 2/3 against discard. As for Pact of Negation, it is just a 3rd Flusterstorm, as I can use that before comboing, & Flusterstorm is also very nice against opposing discard early, other combo decks, & of course counter to protect when going off.

    Snap / Wipe Away as 1 of's in the main. I still went with this as I wanted the option of scroll/wish for Wipe Away against any possible counterbalance match ups, as well as it still being a way to get more mana once comboing and you have some High Tide's resolved with a candel in play, means it's never a truly dead card in the deck as it just acts as a weird way to generate more mana, & Snap because I still didn't trust the meta, since Maverick was so huge here, in which there were Maverick players still, though not as much as before obviously, there's also the recent Death and Taxes win (more Thalias) & there was still the option of Gaddock Teeg from anything W/G like Junk/Rock/Nic Fit, or even just any deck with Green Sun's Zenith, that could have a 1 of Teeg in their deck as a target just for the option. As well Snap still untaps lands, with a creature target of course, & you can still turn 3 High Tide, Snap, untap, then Time Spiral. Basically when it comes down to the 2 cards, I still like having the options maindeck & sideboard from game 1, & I still continue to find them useful enough, plus the counterbalance match up is one of the highest on my list of "tougher match ups".

    Prelude to the tournament: (Skip to start of the tournament if you don't want to read about my encounters & conversations with different people before the start of the tournament. However a one Whippoorwill recommended that I put these "non tournament things" into my report because that is what they enjoyed reading the most when they read over people's tournament reports. You might know him from his own tournament report from a previous Seattle SCG in July 2012 that was "Cascading into 51st")
    Well, right before the start of the tournament, I helped a friend of mine sell their cards, went through a bunch of their stuff for them because I'm crazy and I just had fun going through a collection with old stuff, seeing if there were any hidden bombs in it, which there was some decent stuff from portal but nothing over 15 bucks. After it was all said & done, they pocketed some cast, and now have the proper cards to complete The Rock/Junk, and some Variants of BUG aggro/Midrange strategies, this same person also made 12th at SCG Seattle in November just a few months ago, so I was hoping they'd have another successful day as well. Afterward I sat down and registered my decklist, all that stuff. If you know who Joe Bono is, he was also going to be a commentator that day, and I remember him from the previous 2 Starcity Seattles, as he has played High Tide himself, and even commentated on a match I had at my first Starcitygames which was a Seattle in July, so I figured it'd be inevitable that we'd chat it up off and on throughout the day, to which we talked about the previous 2 Seattles, High Tide, my first time on camera which I was super nervous to be on, as well as the later differences that was the more recent Seattle, and other random stuff probably related to High Tide, Legacy, Magic, SCG, commentating, etc. I do remember when I came home from that 1st Seattle so long ago, watching the feature match that knocked me out of top 8 contention & still feeling a bit nervous even after I got home from all the "jitters" of it all being on camera, and it really helped to watch/hear the commentators that 1st time and listening to Joe & Marshall go back and forth, with Joe explaining everything I was doing very well. I really hope he continues to commentate more. Also on a competitive level, he himself has pushed High Tide! While also I learned that Matthias Hunt has as well, though I'll get more into that at the end of the article which will include the 2 of us in a High Tide mirror match after the event was over, well, 1 game anyway, it was a long game. ^.^

    In talking to people, Someone I have found myself talking to alot at these events is Joe Lossett, I think in part because every time we're both at the same one, we know it because our last names both start with "Lo..." so there's that alphabetical seating at the start. As well, we even played against each other in Portland Ore which was my second SCG open back in September, and when I sat across from him he seemed familiar, I think I even told him that. As well with anyone, when I go home I usually look up the person I played against and needless to say when I looked up Lossett's record, I was like "holy crap that guy just won Denver a couple months ago!"
    ~Also if you're wondering, he got me in 2 when we played. If you know how to profile other magic players well enough, then you can tell whether or not another magic player is also capable of that, & when we started playing I learned very quickly how observant he was just by observing him, observing me. It told me almost immediately this guy is dangerous & I will not have to miss a beat! But the most dramatic thing I did the whole match, was just stall him a bit longer from killing me with a Flusterstorm on an Entreat the Angels.
    Aside from that as far as this Seattle goes, we just talked about Legacy, SCG's, west coast opens, all that magic talk througout the day, and the reason why he runs white border basic lands in his deck, because I did wonder about that, to which his answer as to why he does that, made me wonder if I should change my Islands to Onslaught foil Islands, though I really like the art I have now on them, so it's not likely & besides, at least the fetchlands are Onslaught block ha ha.

    Speaking of Lossett, at the side event on Saturday for Legacy, he was playing a round against someone else I have talked to off and on, otherwise known as sdematt/Matt Pavlic, and seeing the 2 of them play against each other I had to stick around and watch the match that was a game 1 for I think 35-40 minutes long, it was interesting to watch the 2 of them go back and forth as such. Also what was interesting was that there were like 3 U/B planeswalker Stax decks in that side event, & the fact that I never even see Prison Stax builds anymore, it shocked me even more to see that many U/B ones running around when that deck is so very fringe, though I did like seeing it being played, it's one of those decks that just looks so much fun with so many goodies in it.

    It was also fun to talk to alot of "the group" that sdematt was apart of, as they were preparing for the side event that day and we chatted about this/that/whatever, they were going through their cards preparing a version of BUG-still that Matt played for the side event, they had a very nice collection in their folders, I didn't say anything as to not draw attention to it in a room full of 100's of strangers, but I think I even saw power in one of the folders as one of them was going through it, I just remember thinking they had a very impressive collection with all those foreign/russian cards, black border duals, etc etc etc, Legacy is truly fun when you have the resources to build anything and I'm guessing thier group is on that level, I know for sure these guys will continue to push SCG in the area for as long as SCG continues to do Legacy Sundays!

    Other groups represented there was those crazy guys from Northwest Sports cards, they had a good run on Saturday, which included a Greg Peloquin who made top 8 in Standard, someone who I've also seen locally because, we're both in the same area of course! Well I learned that he also has a High Tide deck that he had made recently & he even Foiled it out, cool thing is, it seems we both came to the same conclusion on our own when it comes to Brainstorm, we both got the FNM ones! Though his Ponder's were those cool Lorwyn foils, mine are the textless rewards ones, but I felt compelled to have at least 1 textless card in it when I put mine together, so I just had to go that route. I would LOVE it if he pushed High Tide regularly whenever he hits the Open Series, there are no locals that play it regularly other than myself at the shops I play at / talk to, etc, though some are capable of doing so.

    As far as the rest, well it has to wait until after the tournament report is done, or it would spoil some of the ending, and the tournament hasn't even started yet!

    Start of the tournament:
    After Saturday's massive Type II/Standard that broke the west coast record, which surprised me since I didn't expect it to even hit 500, I was admittedly a bit worried about Sunday, if Legacy didn't have a large show out, or it didn't even break the previous 160 something from last time, then it would have made the Legacy turnout look bad, however when they said "it's over 260" I was very happy because that also meant 9 rounds this time around for Seattle, while the previous 2 Seattle's I attended were both 8 rounds.

    Round 1, Table 44, -vs- Alex Thompson, playing Jund w/ Elements of Walking Dead (Had Gravecrawler & Cabal Therapy setup)
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 6 / Not alot here otherwise, they had a fairly slower start, & if I remember correctly they needed an additional swamp mana, but only got the r/g colors, Grove of the Burnwillows, & 1 swamp mana available, unable to cast which I am guessing was Liliana/Hymn's in hand, but it was enough to scream at me it was Jund. Though in talking he said his deck wasn't like anyone elses here, & in profiling him I believed him when he said it wasn't Jund like I had guesstimated, but still had the elements of Jund that I had seen already. The finishing life totals were me at 20 and him at 19 due to a fetchland I believe, since I know I did no damage to him!
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 Wipe Away 1 Snap / IN 1 Flusterstorm 1 Pact of Negation.
    Game 2: High Tides casted: 1 / Storm count at lethal: 17 / So we're sideboarding, & of course I'm thinking "what's he doing different? Well whatever it is, I want flusterstorm for early opposing discard & blasts, so I'm bringing in the 4th, red means blasts, so I want access to Pact of negation main & sideboard, and my maindeck bounce is really useless here, so lets sideboard it out. So I shuffle it up and present the deck, I'm at 20, 19, 17, 15, cast a High Tide, Cast the next spell, and he says "In response" to which I realize "Oh crap, it's probably an Extraction, I used my counters on earlier disruption, & I don't think I remembered to sideboard out 1 high tide" to which I was correct on both ends, and I was floored. One of the most basic, simple rules I put on myself I completley forgot, the only speculation I can think of is that in our chatter during the match since I talk alot, was that in talking about "what he's playing is not like anything else" I was still trying to figure out just what could be different, which I did see game 2 from Gravecrawler & Cabal Therapy, but anyhow, that's the only reason I can think of for an answer, my mind was just somewhere else when sideboarding, but I still can't believe I let that slip me up. Now after all that, I also realize that I am running a Brain Freeze in the sideboard this time around as I started doing since the last one, & I realize that I can easily play 17 spells and just Brain Freeze, to which I focus on that instead.
    End result: 1-win 0-losses 0-draws
    Critical notes:
    ~1, Don't ever EVER forget to sideboard out 1 high tide, I still don't know how I made that mistake when I always remembered to before, especially when the opponent is playing black, even if I did have a counter in hand for it, if it would have been an Extirpate, it would have been even worse to describe. I am still shocked that I somehow made one of the most basic error's imaginable.
    ~2, Brain Freeze has just gone up in value, before this I had never, ever had to use Brain Freeze to win, to such an extent that I didn't even run it for the first 4 Opens I attended, so a special thank you to Michael Bernat, who told me of this possibility scenario in Vegas & that I should reevaluate running one, which I did add before the next week in LA.

    Round 2, Table 49, -vs- Jordan Aisaka, playing RUG
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 1 or 2, can't tell from notes / Storm count gets to 10 (relevant because of flusterstorm, counter wars, opposing islands in play) / It just says "mulliganing", to which I remember, he mulliganed to 5 & I mulliganed to 6 before we started. As soon as I saw Misty rainforest, then Tropical Island, I knew it likely one of the BUG variants, or RUG, I really hoped it wasn't rug, but with Delver, then a turn 2 that led to a Volcanic island, it was confirmed. Luckliy however he took a mulligan to 5, so that might he significant in the card advantage aspect, as I only mulled once. His clock is only the delver for a few turns, I either drew the 1 of Wipe Away or actually tutored for it, don't remember that part, but anyhow, it was an uncounterable Time Walk, I'll just use it on the Delver, then he'll have to replay it as a 1/1 and I will buy myself more turns" I was around 9 or 6 life when I did this I believe, while In the mean time I was doing a ton of tutors setting myself up and riding my life total, I think between Merchant Scroll & Cunning Wish I used 4 of them, 3 scrolls 1 wish I believe, that either drew counters out of his hand, or netted me what I was aiming for, so it was looking good. Then I go combo mode, the life totals say 20, 17, 16, 13, 10, 9, 6, 3, 2, 1, to which I believe means I used 2 Force of Wills which got me 3, then 2, then 1. Anyhow, my hand was LOADED and I knew my first Time Spiral was resolving, to which it did, then we drew our new hand of 7, and I cast a Merchant Scroll with some floating mana, to which he in response casts Lightning Bolt, it turns into another counter war, though not as insane, & I get to the point to where I have to counter the Bolt, & keep going, and I'm unable to do both, on top of "If I do just counter the bolt & pass, there's a Goyf in play which means I'm dead next combat step." So it's a game 1 loss. The only thing I can think of is having gone off a turn earlier, instead of waiting so that I could get 1 more card in my hand that was more back up, every tutor after the combo in hand became a counterspell and I knew rug could fight back so I wanted to wait as long as possible & be loaded in my hand, though I think I waited until I was at 3 life before I started comboing, or I did it at 6 and they resolved another bolt before that, in either case, if I waited until 3 life, because it was game 1 against a deck that can burn for 3, I should have gone off 1 turn earlier.
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 Snap 1 Wipe away 1 High Tide / IN 2 Pact of Negation 1 Flusterstorm.
    Game 2: High Tides casted: 1 / I'm at 20, 19, 16, 13, 10, 7, 4, 3, Dead. I'm pretty sure I attempted to cast the 1 High Tide at the lower end of my life total, since I'd wait every turn I could against a deck with countermagic, but in either case, I just lost the counter war attempting to go off as in this game, RUG just did what RUG does best, giving High Tide a hard time if they draw & play their deck correctly.
    End result: 1-win 1-loss 0-draws

    Round 3, Table 92, -vs- Spencer Sacht-lund, playing Elves
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 0 / I'm at 20, 19, 17, 16, 11, 9, Dead to an army of elves in play, note that with that many intervals of life changes, it was at least turn 6 before their army got me, because the first couple turns they didn't attack, they were tapping them for mana as Elves does best with creatures. Along the way I Force of Will an opposing Craterhoof Behemoth, & Flusterstorm against a Glimpse of Nature. What I do not see however is what I need to combo, I don't remember which half I needed, it was likely Time Spiral since High Tide is easier to tutor for, but I never got the other half in my cantrips that were at least some number of Ponders & Preordains, as I have both written down on the notes, but not how many casted.
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 Wipe Away 1 High Tide / IN 2 Grafdigger's Cage.
    Game 2: High Tides casted: 1 / Life totals, 20 me, 20, 19 them, below that it says (loss), below that it says "Mindbreak Trap", below that it says Ponder > Preordain > Candel -next to- Burn Force food = Preordain. If you don't understand what it means being written like that, it means I forgot another critical error that I am very strict on myself about, as with round 1 earlier with the extraction mistake, any deck can bring in a potential 2 cards against you, one is Surgical Extraction, the other, is Mindbreak Trap. Well I don't know what my brain was doing but it didn't remember this possibility from any deck, so as I do High Tide, I have a Force, Ponder, & Time Spiral in hand, yet I have a little more mana so I can use the Ponder, possibly draw into another High Tide or a Candel and get it into play, then cast the Time Spiral, basically "setting myself up as best I can" for when I draw my new 7, so I cast the Ponder, look at the top 3, I think I shuffled it away & then drew a random Preordain, I use that, see 2, a land and a candel, take the candel, play it, then I have exactly 6 mana left, cast Time Spiral, AANNDDDD in response, an opposing Mindbreak Trap, to which I have a Force of Will in my hand the card I COULD have pitched to it to play it just a moment ago, is now a Candelabra in play. & Since I didn't have any mana floating, I couldn't even use the Candel to untap & generate mana to hard cast the force, though that largely wasn't the problem, it was just forgetting that "any deck can possibly be running Mindbreak Trap, keep any protection going off -just in case- yet my brain didn't remember this for some reason." So I pass the turn, they next turn have enough elves in play that they cast a Craterhoof Behemoth, or they Green Sun Zenith'ed for it, and then swung for Lethal.
    End result: 1-win 2-losses 0-draws
    So lets look at those critical notes again:
    Don't ever EVER forget that any deck can have Mindbreak Trap on you games 2/3, again, this is now another mistake I made that I usually am very good about not forgetting! So go off with as much protection as possible, & surely don't go off blindly with not even 1 protection at all.

    Also a special shout out to Spencer Sacht-Lund who was playing the deck, from the 1st game I could tell they knew what they were doing, they played the deck accordingly from my point of view and it wasn't long before I knew "this person isn't going to mess up, they are playing it perfectly"

    Round 4, Table 77, -vs- Kristopher Kopseng-Ferderer, Playing one of the two Ad Nauseam Storm decks known as ANT/TES, but for some reason I don't remember which, probably because once I realized it was one of the 2, I just wrote down Ad Nauseam, & my plan is largely the same against either version, 1 run's Silence, the other runs more discard.
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 5 / Game 1 he gets to the point of going off early and putting 12 1/1's into play, I think he did it turn 2, but I realize that means, I have 2 turns before I'm dead, so that means 2 more draw steps, 2 more Islands into play, his hand's empty, I get to basically cast what I want, I think I'm fine. Sure enough, I combo out accordingly with my life total at 8, meaning I took one swing of combat damage from the goblin army of 1/1's
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 High Tide 1 Snap 1 Wipe Away / IN 1 Flusterstorm 1 Pact of Negation 1 Blue Sun's Zenith (Though it's not likely he's running Extirpate, or even Surgical Extraction, since most decks like ANT/TES/Belcher focus the sideboard on Wish targets, then stuff for opposing counters like Counterbalance/Counterspells/etc, I still sideboard out a High Tide because you just never know)
    Game 2: Because of Flusterstorms I am able to disrupt him enough that he can't go off properly, it gets to the point to where I actually Cunning Wish & Extract his Infernal Tutors with 1 in the graveyard (In which he reveals another Infernal Tutor in hand, 2 Dark Rituals, a Lion's Eye Diamond, Rite of Flame, & ill-Gotten Gains), there was an attempt to start going off but I either had 2 flusterstorms in hand, or 1 flusterstorm & 1 force, there was also earlier disruption as I believe he hit me with a Duress, but I just turned my Merchant Scroll to net another countermagic. In the end I get to a point of being able to go off just fine, while I spent the previous disrupting my opponent from comboing off to the point that it was "Basically" solitare. There are so many reason I maindeck 3 Flusterstorms instead of 2 & 1 Pact of negation, and this is one of the BIG ones.
    End result: 2-wins 2-losses 0-draws

    Round 5, Table 45, -vs- Jordan Schey, playing U/R Delver though for a bit, I thought my opponent was playing the same deck I was (No, the High Tide mirror match at a major event hasn't happened to me, yet, but I know it's going to happen one day, and it's going to be insane)
    Game 1: Well speaking of that "scare" my opponent plays a turn 1 BASIC ISLAND, and then, PONDER. IMMEDITELY my brain screams at me the following information:
    ~Most decks that do run an Island as a basic don't run more than 1 or 2, so it's unlikely it's something with multiple colors.
    ~Merfolk & High Tide are the only 2 decks that run a host of Islands to where you'd expect to see a turn 1 Island from the hand directly.
    ~Merfolk does not play Ponder.
    That means my opponent could be playing High Tide.
    Luckily however, the next turn saw a Volcanic Island, and a Goblin Guide, which then steered my brain with "ok, it's safe, it's not the mirror it's UR Delver"
    Anyhow, High Tides casted: 4 / Life total 20, 18, 16, 10. Of course with the Goblin Guide I get that freebie, Brainstorming a land to the top of the deck only to draw it, gotta love that freebie against the card. Anyhow, at 10 life it's combo time, and I go off accordingly fighting through the countermagic, nothing really stands out here.
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 High Tide 1 Snap 1 Wipe away / IN 1 Flusterstorm 2 Pact of Negation
    Game 2: High Tides casted: 1 / Pact of Negations casted, 3 (that's 15 mana on the next upkeep or it's game over!) Life totals are 20, 17, 14, 11, 8, 5, COMBO TIME. In the process of comboing, they attempt a Surgical Extraction, I counter the 1st one, but then they attempt a second one on my High Tide, at this point I don't want to waste too much more of my counter magic if they are holding a Blast & Force of will in hand, so I just let them eat the High Tides from the deck and ride plan B, which is either to Wish for a High Tide if I'm lower on my number of spells played, or just go for Brain Freeze if I'm at 17 spells played. This is only more reassurance that Brain Freeze really does belong in the sideboard, because it makes Surgical Extraction even weaker, they extract and you just go to plan B, I'll just keep Spiraling until I hit 17 Spells & a Cunning Wish.
    End result: 3-wins 2-losses 0-draws
    Critical Notes: At this point I will likely never run without Brain Freeze, on top of that, I'd go so far as to say it was a mistake to not run it in the past, & I just got a little lucky for a while never running into the "I need a plan B".

    -Mid report- So we're 5 out of 9 rounds, I started with a 1/2 record, which meant I was playing for at best top 16 right now since I'm 3/2, but that's still acceptable if I pull that off. Though the 2 massive mistakes I've made already with BOTH universal rules of "any deck can bring in Mindbreak Trap" & "any deck can bring in Surgical Extraction" were 2 serious errors that I doubt I will ever make again, especially having the impact of a loss from one of them. I still don't know how I did that, anyhow. I go around to the many different people I'm talking to off and on all day and see how they're doing, like some previous opponents & other people I've just gotten to know in the Magic community, especially since this is a local even in the area I play at regularly at local game stores. All in all, it's about as expected, some people have dropped, some people are still going, & only a couple are really "running hot" to which I believe at this point, was only a few people as expected, since after 5 rounds, there was only 54 people left still in contention for top 8. (Yes I checked the numbers via the standings, I was curious as to what it was after just 5 rounds of 261 anyway.)

    Round 6, table 44, -vs- Andrei Krotkov, playing Elves
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 5 / Storm count noted up to the 7th spell played, then stopped keeping track as it was more than enough for Flusterstorm. Life total 20, 19, 17, COMBO TIME. Unfortunately I don't remember much else from our match up game 1, and this is all I have written down for notes as nothing dramatic stands out to be written down, or in my memory by default. On to sideboarding.
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 Wipe Away 1 High Tide / IN 2 Grafdigger's Cage.
    Game 2: "Mental note, Don't fall for a possible mindbreak trap again!" High Tides casted: 4, mana noted at 8, probably during a Time Spiral. Life totals are 20, 15, 13, stops.
    The other life total is even weirder to read right now, because it reads on the right side which is usually their life total (I think i mixed sides on this one and wrote the players in the opposite colum) the life total is 20, 19, 17, 15, 14, 8, stops. Below that it just says win. In typing this out now though, I remember now, the 1st life total is theirs & they went from 20 to 15 because they were using Overgrown Tomb instead of Bayou, and I think it was them playing an Overgrown Tomb untapped, while poping a fetchland & getting another one into play untapped, which equals a loss of 5 life. There was also a point to where I had to Snap a Gaddock Teeg, and Flusterstorm with just 1 more mana than my opponent could pay, meant it resolved. Anything else, I don't recall, it was likely that I just combo'ed off accordingly, since elves don't have alot of disruption, on top of my plan which is just to stall them out from comboing, while comboing myself before they overrun me with their army.
    End result: 4-wins 2-losses 0-draws

    Round 7, table 24, -vs- Daniel Baker, Playing Jund
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 4 / Mana noted at one point for "9" Life totals 20, 18, 19(Grove of the Burnwillows), 16, 17(Grove of the Burnwillows) then Win! The initial hit from 20 to 18 was from an at end of turn Punishing Fire, and the 19-to-16 was an at end of turn Lightning bolt, this is all I really remember from the match, though I'm sure I used some counter magic on any opposing discard if it hit, Flusterstorm early, Brainstorm, or Force of will of course.
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 Wipe Away 1 Snap 1 High Tide / IN 1 Blue Sun's Zenith 1 Flusterstorm 1 Pact of Negation.
    Game 2: High Tides casted: 4 / Mana noted at one point for "5". Life totals, 20, 19, stops. & 20, 19, 18, stops. Below that is 3 dash marks for I don't remember what, and below that is that it's a win. I do apologize at this time as for some reason this match, & the previous elves match I remember much less about, possibly in part due to the fact that these were my second match up's of the day against these archetypes, and the previous ones against Jund / Elves were far more significant because I made such huge, critical errors, so those matches got burned into my brain while these ones were much more typical of what's expected, I'm guessing that's the reason anyhow, continuing on.
    End result: 5-wins 2-losses 0-draws

    Round 8, table 12, -vs- Edward Nguyen, playing Shardless BUG
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 1 / High Tide's casted that I regretted: 1. There was some back and forth, disruption, counters, putting some creatures into play, shardless agents and a tarmogoyf, having to decide whether to burn a counter on an ancestral visions or hope he draws 3 dead cards for a bit, anyhow that's what's not important here. What is, is that it's my turn, with our back and forth, he's basically top decking at this point, while I'm ready to combo, but I only have 2 lands in play and 1 candelabra, I can wait 1 more turn and take another combat step, but I risk him drawing into a relevant disruption spell & I exhausted my counters on stopping the discard already, or I can combo now and when I spiral and get a land in hand which is so likely to get at least 1, just play it and keep going, plus I'm not giving him another free draw, so why wait another turn at this point? So I go High Tide, tap the other island for 2, use candel to untap them both, then tap them both again for 4, use 1 to cast candelabra, then 2 to untap my islands again, then tap my islands again which give me 4 mana + the 1 i had floating, however, that only ='s 5 and for some reason, my dumb brain thought that was enough to cast Time Spiral, or I was thinking I was going to get 6, whatever it was, it was a huge, massive, 3rd critical mistake I had made today with the deck and for now the 3rd time, I was floored with myself in now, this 3rd mishap I had never made before, it took me a bit just to get over it and move on because obviously, reacting to the absurdity of it when a clock is ticking on a match isn't something I should be focusing on, I've got to win the next 2 games now.
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 High Tide 1 Snap 1 Wipe away / IN 1 Flusterstorm 2 Pact of Negation
    Game 2: High Tides casted: 0 / Life totals, I'm at 20, 19, 17, 14, 13, 11, 5, 4, dead and it's over. I don't know if I even got a high tide in hand, or if I did but it got discarded, or countered in an attempt, really the whole memory is burned into my head what happened to game 1, but at the risk of beating myself up further over it ^.^ I will just have to leave the match at that because game 2 was much less eventful, to the extent that I don't remember anything else.
    End result: 5-wins 3-losses 0-draws
    Critical notes: After the fiasco with Surgical extraction, and then Mindbreak trap, I didn't think I could do anything more absurd than forget those to very basic mistakes, but then this happened. the only thing I can think of is that I was either thinking Time Spiral costed 5 when I started, or I just didn't do the math right because I'm not used to having only 2 Islands in play, in either case, this is probably the mistake out of all of them I am most critical of, I didn't feel like a previous champion of the deck at all sitting across from my opponent when I did that, I felt like that new person that just picked the deck up and brought it for the first time like "I'm gonna try this deck out today and I've never played it before!" ~This one will eat at me for a while, but I'll get over it.

    Round 9, table 30, -vs- Mike Elliott, playing Show and Tell
    Game 1: High Tides casted: 3 / Life totals 20, 19, 18, 17 -their life total: 20, 18, 16, 15, 14. below that is "High Tide" then underlined, then under that "2 land / open" and then "Win." I don't remember the play error that occured here but both of us messed up at one point, my opponent later pointed out what they should have done at one point and I did my mistake as well, but aside from that the major thing here that stands out to me is that card called Flusterstorm. It stops those Show and Tell's from going off early and can't be so easily hard countered back. Because of the "Show and tell is a hard/bad match up for High Tide" chatter that I have heard from so many high tide players, I tested the HELL out of this match up, it's one of the main reasons I maindeck 3 flusterstorms, and in my testing I know that the aim is to play the control deck, prevent them from comboing at all costs, which is the route of play I took in this game. Game 1 I don't know what turn it was, but when I finally went off, it was after some number of turns with both of us going "draw, play a land, go" or "draw, cast ponder, shuffle, draw random card, go" basically "draw, go, draw, go, draw, go" waiting for what we needed for the next attempt, I used every opportunity however to pick up more and more counter magic, I didn't even think about comboing until I just drew into both pieces on their own. Here is something that might help with insight, as the game goes longer, High Tide doesn't really have any dead cards in hand, even worst case scenario, I can pitch one half of my combo if I'm waiting on the other half, to a force of will, but Sneak & Show will draw into cards that are actually completely dead on their own, that being, Griselbrand & Emrakul, When it was finally over, my opponent revealed to me just that, their hand was 4 bombs & nothing else, being I think 3 Emrakul's & 1 Griselbrand.
    -Sideboarding- OUT 1 High Tide 1 Snap 1 Wipe away / IN 1 Flusterstorm 2 Pact of negation
    Game 2: High Tides casted: 2 / Storm count note, stops at 19, I believe because they had untapped Islands in play and I had to count it up to the point of flusterstorm finally being a hard counter. They sideboarded in Flusterstorm, so when I went to turnabout them they flusterstormed it, so it took longer than usual as I had to use more time & resources before I finally got them to tap out so I could declare the attack step and empty their mana pool. They also had a lotus petal in play untapped, but I either tapped that too "just in case" of flusterstorm from them, or I bounced it with Wipe Away, or just ignored it since I could flusterstorm their flusterstorms and they'd have no mana, I don't remember which but I know it was there, yet not an issue. Again I played the control deck the whole time, waited accordingly to combo off, and had to play around their counter magic that now included blasts & flusterstorms in their list, it was a very trying match and they played the deck very well, and it took a LOT of energy to push through this one, so to Mike Elliott I can only say very well played, though I know you got more mana flooded than myself during one of those games, I don't remember which, you made my job hard as hell and at some points I was riding very thin from the hand.

    End result: 6-wins, 3-losses, 0-draws, for a 41st place out of 261 players.
    Also, I don't know how it happened, but every single match I played, was in 2 games, whether I won in 2, or lost in 2, surely wasn't expecting to write that in any tournament report.

    Ok so, tournament over, people, like the person that brought me to the tourney and played in it themselves, wanted to go home, I can understand that, so it's that "we need to go" time and I'm kinda standing around a bit, talking with who I can before I know I'll have to leave, and Matthias Hunt comes over, who we had been talking a bit previous to eachother off and on between him not commentating & me between rounds, I learned he has pushed High Tide which I thought was awesome! Well, at this point in time as I'm basically just waiting for that 50 bucks as prize money, Matthias says something along the lines of "Oh well do you have to go, do you want to play a High Tide mirror match, I have a deck with me right now we can play?" & I'm thinking, my ride is going to kill me if I do this, I know he wants to go already, I should be going, but I also knew, there was no way I could pass up this opportunity, so I said "Yes I do" & we sat down, talking a bit as usual, it was probably obvious to anyone that observed that we were both very excited to do something this insane ha ha! I don't think either one of us could have resisted.

    I even tweeted to Matthias after I got home "If we're both at an open in the future, from now on we have to do that again every time after it's over" basically setting a possible "tradition" that I would love to see continue, and with us both being High Tide enthusiasts, I think that is a definite possibility, but anyhow, lets read some crazy stuff:

    Round 10, table, ?I don't know? -vs- Matthias Hunt, playing High Tide (note, only had time for 1 game, since I had to go after & he had to commentate on the top 8 a bit after it finished)
    So I win the die roll, and of course, we're playing totally casually, yet totally seriously with the decks, but basically speaking the obvious out loud to eachother, making different comments here & there, & I think out loud saying "I wonder if I should play first, or be on the draw for the card advantage" after a bit of thinking, I decide to just be on the play because I could sit here for 20 minutes and keep going back and forth for a ton of reasons:

    PLEASE NOTE: I am writing this from memory, it is likely not perfect as to what actually happened
    Anyhow, I play an island, do a cantrip, pass, I think he does the same, I know at one point we sort of "do the same thing" as 1 side plays a candel, then the other side does, then he Merchant Scrolls for a Turnabout, then the very next turn I do the same, it's kinda like that weird game of chess where up to a point, whatever 1 side does, the other side does the same thing until it gets to a point to where that can't happen anymore. Anyhow, I'm TRYING to get more than 5 Islands into play, sculpting my hand to get as much counter magic into my hand as possible, while my opponent is playing a 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th Island, I think they had 9 or 10 in play when it "finally happened"...

    "Ok, attempt to cast 1 High Tide" & I look at my hand and I realize, if I burn anything now, I'll have less mana available, so I should just let it resolve so I can cast all these counterspells, the -pay 1 life- alternate casting cost for Force of Will was not an option, I had to actually hard cast them because the card disadvantage would be HUGE if I didn't just cast it for 5, so I let it resolve & then I believe he goes to turnabout targeting me, and of course he knows the trick about the combat step pointing out with a bit of humor that it is the pre combat main phase, we both just smile a bit as I say "yes I am VERY aware of that" or something along those lines.

    I decide "I need more mana, period, if I don't, I'm getting tapped out, and I can't fight like that I need to be able to cast everything, it takes me a while in between all these decisions but I come to the conclusion "Ok, I'll cast High Tide in response" it resolves, then I tap all my islands to get as much mana as possible, then cast turnabout on myself to untap, then I tap out again in response and put enough mana in my pool to hard cast 2 force of wills, 2 flusterstorms & a Cunning wish.

    Some players walk by, one of them says "OMG what are you guys doing, do you like pain/are you nuts?" or something like that, to which I believe we both just laughed and I think we said something along the lines of "no way this is awesome!" or one of us said it, anyhow back to the match...

    I think at this point (notice I said "I think" because I might already be messing up in my own head wuat actually happened) the turnabout targeting me just resolves, then the next thing happens which I think is my opponent saying. "Ok declare my attack step" & then I have a response, which is I think Cunning Wish which then leads to my opponent I think casting Meditate in response, to which I think I casted a hard cast Force of Will targeting the Cunning wish, then somewhere at the end of it, I am just dam confused at this point the specifics, but I know it lead to me going "Ok I need to make sure enough spells are played so that my Flusterstorms will actually do something" so I saved them for last, while keeping his Island count in play untapped noted, spells played, etc etc. This was the reason I wanted more Islands in play on my end, I know that opposing Flusterstorms are weaker when I have more mana available, but anyhow back to the match.

    SUDDENLY OVER THE LOUD SPEAKER/ANNOUNCER'S MIC from one of the judges for the entire room to hear, though it's mostly empty now other than randoms, the top 8'ers getting ready, staff, judges etc. The words are "Feline Longmore, would you please come up front to collect your 50.00$" or something like that, we both just laughed I believe and I got up real fast, got the money, said it was "Matthias's fault because he asked me to do this" then I ran back to the table and sat back down

    So after some regular flinging of counterspells, the Flusterstorms start coming down, and going back and forth, casting, targeting, splitting copies in some instances, not splitting in others, casting a second one in response, I got to a point to where he didn't have enough mana to pay for all the flusterstorm copies, BUT, he had another flusterstorm and just used that to counter all my copies, or my spells again, whichever it was, and it was more mana than I had. Then it came down to one card in his hand, 2 cards in mine (There was also a Repeal on my Candel in play I forgot to mention in there somewhere, but anyway), basically everything removed on the stack but his Cunning Wish & his Meditate, so I at first go, "Ok I'll let him get Cunning Wish" but then I realize "O crap that means Brain Freeze, can't do that" so I just cast pact of negation on the Cunning Wish, and it comes down to Meditate, and he draws 4 and 1 of his spells is another Cunning Wish, and that means Brain Freeze & he got me!

    I have to say I really hope to do this again, it was absolutely one of the fun'est things I could after the day I had, and he was an awesome person to talk to, though as likely expected from anyone doing SCG commentary, he very much loved the game that we all play that is Magic the Gathering, whether it's for 9 rounds of Swiss all day to walk out with success, failure, or even some crazy ending that has you typing out a whole section dedicated to a crazy ending that I hope was as fun for you reading about it, as it was for my opponent & myself to actually participate. It has also caused me to reevaluate the mirror match, since when I tested it before, it was quite a while ago, & I wasn't running Brain Freeze, so in that regard thank you, it showed me that there's an area I can improve on, so if that mirror match ever happens one day in the rounds, I'll likely be better prepared for it now.

    Special thanks/props/notes for Sunday:
    1st place Bryan Eleyet, congrats on the trophy & Hive Mind success!
    4th place Kyle Hersey, a local who I have talked to before, as well as his friend & regular ~Chris Wessel, who are both always fun to have at our local game store!
    7th place Daniel Nguyen, who I've both played against at a previous open, & at an open before that, learned was the Elves player involved in this: (Skip first paragraph not in italic Hive Mind + Too many Pacts = INSANITY
    8th place Joe Lossett, I know I will be seeing you around some more, & I'll be returning the favor! (St Louis / Minneapolis SCG's this summer *hint hint*)
    9th place Cedric Phillips, congrats to having success on both days as such!
    12th place Greg Peloquin, top 8'd the previous day, & is someone I've seen a few times at the local card shops I play at, who I also learned made a High Tide deck themselves, which is totally awesome that they foiled it too!
    16th place Martin Goldman-Kirst, <---This guy top 8'd both the last 2 Seattle SCG's pushing Aluren, I was paired against him once but we just ID'd, so we never got to talk and play and such.
    ~Brendan Goold, someone who I've talked to a bit off and on more recently, and also made top 8 on the previous day for Standard.
    ~Daniel Sonderland, you're always playing goblins & since one of my other decks is goblins, I just think that's awesome!
    ~Matt Pavlic, I don't know how you got paired up against 4 Ad Nauseam Storm decks in the first 6 rounds, & as always, will continue to be bugging off and on at & future Seattle opens where I'll see you around.
    ~Brett R Bartholomew, one of the locals I play sometimes at the local game shops around here, awesome to see more of us showing up to these big events!
    ~Reese Skogen, whom was the person I was helping at the beginning of Sunday, as well as another local regular I play with at card shops around here.
    ~David Rehm, another regular at the local card shops for those Legacy Sundays, still miss seeing those Japanese RUG Delver cards.
    ~Charles E Glaspie, another Legacy Sunday regular at one of the card shops I play at, and the only person to beat High Tide playing Enchantress, & also beat High Tide playing Battle of Wits (Yes I could mill Blue Sun them for enough as it was game 3, the issue wasn't time but something else too long to explain)
    ~BJ Judd, another local regular Legacy Sunday card shop player that is always playing something crazy
    ~Joe Bono, it was awesome talking to you off and on all day, as well as your commentary during that 1st High Tide feature match back in July
    ~Matthias Hunt, we have got to do that again! That was the craziest thing ever!
    ~All of the Judges & Staff involved in helping put everything together, forgive me if I didn't mention your name directly, & I'm glad some of the judges said they actually had fun watching a High Tide match, when I know the reputation of the deck is that, watching it is boring, it's always nice to make it fun!
    ~Also thank you to all the random people that have been so awesome in the community when it pertains to magic itself, Starcitygames, Legacy & High Tide, as long as they don't reban Time Spiral, I'll keep pushing it!

    Also thank you to my opponents this tournament who included:
    ~Alex Thompson who I played 1st round, a match that will be burned into my brain forever after that game 2!
    ~Jordan Aisaka who was my toughest match of the tournament, also placing in the top 40 at the end of the day!
    ~Spencer Sacht-lund, both for playing Elves, playing it without any mistakes that I could see, & for playing a combo type deck! Sometimes it's fun to watch someone else tapping & untapping & drawing cards, even if it's from the other side of the table ha ha!
    ~Kristopher Kopseng-Ferderer who was also playing a storm type combo deck! you Ad Nauseam Storm types are one of the main reasons I maindeck 3 Flusterstorms.
    ~Jordan Schey, who gave me the biggest scare of the tournament with that Island & Ponder. For just a bit there, I was really thinking about the possibility that it meant I finally hit a mirror match! One day I know it will, it's gonna be insane!
    ~Andrei Krotkov, my 2nd elves match of the tournament, again I'm sorry if it was boring to sit there while I combo/play solitaire for the time it takes to make High Tide work, hopefully it was at least fun to watch.
    ~Daniel Baker pushing Jund, again I do apologize that I remember only minor stuff from game 1 about our match, if you read this though enlighten me, if you remember game 2.
    ~Edward C Nguyen who placed 24th at the tournament, from my side of the table you played the deck just fine, I just wish I didn't shoot myself in the foot like that.
    ~Mike Elliott, that was a long game 1, & the fact that you're running Flusterstorm in your sideboard is something I hope does not catch on, it's a great card for what it does!

    ~I don't think I'll EVER forget about Mindbreak Trap or to sideboard out 1 high tide again like that, also I don't think I'll ever screw up the math the way I did when just barely starting to combo. 1 thing I can say that in a twisted, weird way that I can actually be thankful for, is that ALL 3 of these critical, backbreaking mistakes that should never, ever happen, & have never happened before, at least they all happened in the same tournament, so hopefully I just got that "bad one" out of the way and the next one if I get losses, it's not to what I lost to today, which was mostly to myself.
    ~Brain Freeze is now 100% in, before it was in but I was not 100% on it, now I am. Not needing it before this tournament, I've just gotten lucky enough that the issue never came up that I needed a Brain Freeze & it went for so long that I really thought I was fine without it.
    ~Ravenous Trap is offically the weakest card in my sideboard out of them all, out of the 52 matches I've played at the Open Series now, I've only had 1 time where it would have helped in a game that it made a difference, and each match is 2 games, that makes it stastically an "I needed it" only 1% of the time.
    ~Meditate being gone was never an issue, I tested the crap out of it to make absolutely sure, and now doing it live for the 1st time, I feel ok with running 1 maindeck / 1 sideboard Intuition & 0 Meditate total, however, there are still some things about Meditate that I like, as in how you can use it against slower decks to basically draw you 4 cards before comboing, or to draw out a counter at the end of their turn, though Turnabout can draw out a counter at the end of their turn as well so it's mostly the former. Going the other way again though, having Brain Freeze in my sideboard means if I get stuck & low on mana and I can't get to a Time Spiral, wishing for a brain freeze & using it to just mill and pass so they die on the upkeep, is very acceptable as it still means a win.

    Next opens to look at pushing:
    Possibly something in June, probably St Louis
    Possibly Minneapolis in August
    Seattle again in October for sure as it's west coast
    LA in November for sure as it's west coast
    Possibly Dallas/Ft Worth in November, though it's between alot of west coast opens around this time, still too far out to tell right now
    San Fran/Oakland December for sure as it's west coast
    Las Vegas in December for sure as it's west coast, & I still need to use my invite for the year!

    Thank you again for reading ~Feline Longmore, just 1 perspective out of 261!
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

  2. #2
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    Re: SCG attempt #6, Seattle, Apr-21st-2013, just 1 perspective out of 261! (41st)

    Awesome report. Thanks for this.
    And congrats on the finish!

    Whitin the 1st few weeks Time Spiral was unbanned, me and a teammate decide to test the mirror in an afternoon (both playing the CoF / Counterspell version by then), and it was insane. The crazy thing was our realization that, with that version, the best way to win was to T2 one of more Cloud of Fearies, and hold the greater number of counters you could. He actually managed to do that in a tournament the following day!
    Super Bizarros Team. Beating everything with small green dudes and big waves.

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    Re: SCG attempt #6, Seattle, Apr-21st-2013, just 1 perspective out of 261! (41st)

    Oh wow ha ha, I didn't even think about that.
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

  4. #4

    Re: SCG attempt #6, Seattle, Apr-21st-2013, just 1 perspective out of 261! (41st)

    Thanks for the detailed report. The mirror match sounds like a fantastic time.

    As always, you make me want to be playing high tide. Or at least to get back to playing some other storm combo deck.
    "If magic is your crutch, cast it aside and learn to walk without it." —Teferi

  5. #5
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    Re: SCG attempt #6, Seattle, Apr-21st-2013, just 1 perspective out of 261! (41st)

    Another awesome report, Feline. You weren't joking about it being long on twitter :p
    What it takes to be a pimp:
    1. Knowing the right people.
    2. Have the money
    Not one or the other, but both.

    The fastest way to become a millionare is to start with a billion dollars, then start collecting magic cards, eh? - dry cereal

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    Re: SCG attempt #6, Seattle, Apr-21st-2013, just 1 perspective out of 261! (41st)

    Of course.
    Last edited by feline; 04-25-2013 at 07:11 PM.
    Primary legacy deck High Tide primer

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