Star City Games Open Philadelphia – Tournament Report


By Kevin Michael

Today I’m going to share with you my tournament report from the Star City Games Open-Philadelphia. Like any good Magic player, I procrastinated my deck choice until Friday night. I ended up playing this (a couple of cards might be off because I can’t find my decklist from the event).

Creatures: (28)
Arbor Elf
Gyre Sage
Flinthoof Boar
Burning-Tree Emissary
Borderland Ranger
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Falkenrath Aristocrat
Thundermaw Hellkite

Spells: (9)
Bonfire of the Damned
Pillar of Flame

Lands: (23)
Blood Crypt
Overgrown Tomb
Stomping Ground
Dragonskull Summit
Rootbound Crag
Kessig Wolf Run

SB: (15)
Domri Rade
Garruk Relentless
Pillar of Flame
Ground Seal
Rakdos's Return
Zealous Conscripts

This deck was great for the tournament and I would’ve done much better if I had actually played the deck before round 1. I made more mistakes in the tournament then a teenager shaving for the first time. But, because the cards in my deck were so powerful, I was able to win a lot of games I shouldn’t have.

Round 1- The mirror match!

Of course I get paired against the mirror match in round one. I kept this hand on the draw game 1: Thundermaw Hellkite,Thundermaw Hellkite, Arbor Elf, Bonfire of the Damned, 3 lands. I thought it seemed like a reasonable keep, but my first 4 draw phases were something like 2 Falkenrath Aristocrat, 1 Gyre Sage, Bonfire of the Damned, Ghor-Clan Rampager. The game was pretty much over after he Bonfired my mana guy away. I was stuck with all these cards in my hand and no mana. Luckily for me, he had his own mana problems in game 2 and tree, and I took the match quite quickly by just curving out.


Round 2- Junk Tokens

These games were not close in the least. I remember his deck curving out each game with the most ideal card on each turn. There was almost nothing I could do during these games to win, and his deck pretty much rolled me over. Alas, it was time to join the losers bracket.


Round 3- Junk Tokens

I mean really? Again? I had to play this dumb deck that just nut-drew me the round before. I kept an opening hand of 3 Bonfire of the Damned, Thundermaw Hellkite, Arbor Elf, Lands (I knew he was playing tokens). Thankfully though, my opponent refused to play around Bonfire either game and actually rage quit both games because “Bonfire is unfair and Standard is a luck-based format” so I got a pair of free wins.



Round 4- Jund Midrange

This round I really played like a donkey. I made entirely too many mistakes in this match, but my biggest one was role confusion. I was severely punished in game 2 when I thought I could take an aggressive line and draw a big creature to finish him, but I completely forgot the deck played cards like Vraska The Unseen. So, by making attacks to push his life total down and 1-1 with him, he was able to stabilize with a Vraska in play that ended up killing me because I drew 4 lands in a row.


Round 5- Peddle to Da Metal

I was considering dropping after my last round because I played so poorly, but I figured I would stay in because I don’t get to play much live Magic anymore. This round was quite easy actually. Even though I did lose g1 to some mana problems, g2 and g3 were extremely easy to win. All you really have to do is kill one part of their combo and the deck rolls.


Round 6- Reanimator

I actually didn’t even know my opponent was playing Reanimator, that’s how bad his draws were. The only cards he ended up casting in the entire match were 2 Fiend Hunter and a Restoration Angel. I felt really bad for him, but he didn’t seem to torn up about it. Oh well, free wins!



Round 7- G/B Midrange

This match made me sweat a bit, even though I 2-0’d him. At one point in g2, I was able to Rakdos’s Return his whole hand away, leaving him with only a Deathrite Shaman and 4 lands I believe. On the next turn he draws a Sign in Blood, and all of the sudden I start to draw dead. With my back against the wall I need to draw something, and thankfully I drew a few big creatures to put the game away before he could stabilize further.


Round 8- ???????????

Is it bad that I have no idea what I played against? Well I won I guess?


Round 9- R/G Aggro

These games weren’t very close. G1 he came out of the gates very fast but I was able to stabilize around 7 life and beat him. G2 was even worse for him thanks to back to back Thragtusks.


Round 10- Jund Aggro (Dreg Manglers, Strangleroot Geist, etc.)

I played quite awfully in this round too. I made many mistakes in the match, but it was again mostly role confusion. I should’ve been the control game 1 and I should’ve been the aggressor g2.


Even after playing some of the worst Magic I’ve played in a while, I was able to finish in 55th place, which isn’t all that great but was still good for $50. This would’ve been pretty nice because the tournament entry was $40, but I of course had to park in the parking garage across the street from the convention center and got to pay a premium of $33. All in all, I would say the weekend was a success for me and I had a great time. Special thanks to all of The Comic Book Store guys for making the weekend great!

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