By Kevin Michael
It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to play any Magic at all. With working 2 jobs, I’m lucky to even play a single game of Magic once a week. I was actually very excited to play in this tournament though. I’ve been preparing (but not actually practicing) to play in this tournament for about a month. Going into this tournament I knew I wanted to play with the most powerful cards possible, so my initial thought was to build a R/G monsters deck. The deck list looked something like this:
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Sylvan Caryatid
3 Scavenging Ooze
4 Boon Satyr
4 Ember Swallower
2 Polukranos, World Eater
4 Stormbreath Dragon
2 Ruric Thar
Other Spells (9)
4 Domri Rade
3 Mizzium Mortars
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Stomping Ground
This particular deck list played about as well as I play basketball. The deck was focused, but this particular strategy was weak to almost every deck it came up against. The aggro matchups felt bad because they would just go under you, the control matchups felt bad because they would just bury you in card advantage, and while playing against the other midrange decks, all of your cards feel outclassed when put aside cards like Boros Reckoner and Hero’s Downfall.
It didn’t take me long to realize this deck is not where I wanted to be. After talking a bit with Shane Mingin, I figured out I wanted to play a WBR deck. After searching the internet for all of 5 minutes, and realizing all the WBR decks looked pretty much the same, I went to work and came up with this list:
After throwing this bad boy together, beating up on Justin Shuster in mental magic, and watching Men in Black 3 until 2 AM, I was ready to play in the tournament the next day, with zero testing with my deck. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever actually played with any of these cards before the tournament now that I think of it.
On to the actual tournament!
Round 1- Esper Enchantments
Game 1- My opponent was never really able to get off the ground in this game. He was stuck on 3 lands and never really did much of anything.
Game 2- See game 1.
Round 2- Mono Red
Game 1- I had complete control over this game. I don’t think I dropped below 18 at any point of the game. I just seemed to be able to answer every threat my opponent could throw at me every turn, making it very easy to win.
Game 2- This game is a little foggy, but I believe i was run over quite badly and I was never really in this game.
Game 3- My opponent was stuck on 1 land the entire game, so it didn’t take very long for me to take over the game with my powerful creatures.
Round 3- Mono Green
Game 1- My opponent was in a very commanding board state for the first few turns of the game, but after a well timed Rakdos’s Return I was able to grind him out of the game.
Game 2- My opponent didn’t keep a very good hand I think. His first 2 plays of the game were an Experiment One on turn 1 and 2. After sweeping them away, and killing his next fat guy, he never really did much else besides play lands.
Round 4- Esper Control
Game 1- My opponent had complete control of me in this game. After playing all the spells in my hand out, he was able to answer every single one. I was shortly dispatched later by a Blood Baron of Vizkopa.
Game 2- This game was also looking quite bad for me until I top decked a Rakdos’s Return for the exact amount of cards in his hand, and he just so happened to be tapped out. After this happened I was able to draw into a few of my threats to beat him.
Game 3- This game didn’t go well for my opponent. He needed more mana the entire game, and after thoughtseizing him and seeing he had no way to deal with my Desecration Demons, I was able to beat him in about 3 turns.
+1 Duress, +1 Thoughtseize, +1 Underworld Connections, +1 Obzedat, Ghost Council, +1 Wear // Tear, +1 Devour Flesh, +1 Glare of Heresy, +1 Whip of Erebos, +1 Mizzium Mortars, +1 Hero’s Downfall
-3 Chained to the Rocks, -3 Anger of the Gods, -4 Boros Reckoner
Round 5- I.D
Top 8- Mono Green
Game 1- I never really felt threatened by his deck in this game. I was able to play conservatively and kill him with my Desecration Demon.
Game 2- This game felt like game 1. My opponent did get me with Tower Defense though, which is pretty funny.
Top 4- Mono Red
Game 1- My opponent had an okay draw, while I kept a shakey hand with an Anger of the Gods. His creatures were able to push through enough damage in the early turns to put me into burn range, and after a lightning strike to the face, and a freshly top decked Ash Zealot, we were off to game 2.
Game 2- This game felt really good for me for the first 4 turns of the game, that is until he slammed a turn 4 Burning Earth, as I looked down it seems all of my lands are non-basics, and all of the lands in my hand are also non-basics. So I was promptly locked out of this game.
This deck was extremely powerful and I would recommend it for tournaments in the weeks to come. If I were to play this deck next week, I would play a list like this:
Thanks for reading! Good luck to everyone playing in TCG states next week.