I wrote this up on Sunday, but then life stopped me from posting it until now.
I heard it was going to be a big one, but the cold must have kept people in. Fourteen players, the smallest amount I saw this weekend.
I wasn't sure whether to go GB or Copy Cat, so I flipped a coin. It came up Copy Cat but my gut said GB so I went with that
Round 1: Temur Eldrazi 2-0
Gonti, Lord of Luxury stole two Thought-Knot Seers game one. So luxurious. Then my opponent rammed Reality Smasher into Gonti. This confused me. But they had not realized everyone's favorite Lord of Luxury has Deathtouch. Whoops. Game two I stole yet another one but he dumped his hand so fast there was no value. I did clear the board and then drop a Winding Constrictor, pump up my Walking Ballista and then swing for a hell of a lot. Ballista blows to face. Good game.
Round 2: GB Aggro 2-0
My poor opponent. He got mana screwed twice. Game one he just called it after a mulligan and I went turn three Rishkar onto a Snake. Game two went longer. But I stole a Blossoming Defense with Gonti, Lord of Fucking-Your-Shit-Up. Then a Swamp protected my Snake from his Fatal Push. The amount of faking out you can do with Gonti's grabs is just too good. He dropped another Fatal Push the next turn, but the beats just began coming too fast.
Round 3: Abzan Control 0-2
I broke the cardinal rule about not tilting. I missed an opportunity to at least buy myself some time. Although when your opponent draws Ob Nixilis and Gideon off of Ajani Unyielding… While you have been top-decking lands for the past five turns... It is easy to forget that your Walking Ballista could ping Ajani to prevent him from doing his ultimate. An ultimate which in turn makes Gideon's token a 7/7 and gives an Ob Nixilis emblem. That is pretty much a lost game. The amount of answers I had remaining in the deck makes me want to cry, but that is Magic. And speaking of Magic...
Round 4: Aetherworks Marvel 1-2
Fucking Ulamog gacha-gacha. Fuck. That's the game. Sometimes there's some random shit to it and sometimes your opponent just gets the shit they need. Oh, I had answers. But then Ulamog slammed 20 of my cards into the exile and hey, look, the first one was an answer! Oh well.
Made top 8. Got another promo. Yay? Someone actually bought the store out of Aether Revolt packs so our prize pool was Kaladesh. Yikes. Nothing good in the pack I got. Oh well.
The event was over early and the day was mine! So I went to another one nearby. Entry was free! So hey, that's cool.
Round 1: BR Dredge 2-1
Ah, game one I got him with the combo but game two just dragged on. I couldn't hit a sixth land. Trying a version withoutAnticipate this seems to be a potential problem. Thing is, I just hate Anticipate so much. Putting removal instead to deal with aggro decks is a good idea. But it just doesn't work out if you don't draw the stuff at all.
Round 2: Jund Vehicles 0-2 Just smashed. I didn't have enough time to get anything going, and Unlicensed Disintegration stings hard. Both games were similar. Mulligan a one or no-land hand and then try to play stuff but nothing happens.
Round 3: BR Discard 2-1
This one was just annoying. My opponent seemed to have a mishmash of cards. Game 1 was a lot of little creatures that I didn't see games two or three. What he did have was a lot of discard and Goblin Dark-Dwellers to recur it. I had to stabilize each game. Twice I did, once I didn't. He made me discard Gisela early game three but later on when he was down to topdecking I found Bruna. That ended things.
Round 4: UR Control 2-1 All games involved us making our land drops and not doing much else. Until one of us made a push and then the counter wars began. He was playing Baral, Chief of Compliance, who seemed not so great. Yeah, he got some filtering off. I also had to count his mana for the potential spells that he could play. But Baral died to Harnessed Lightning or Immolating Glare the few times he did attack. I just had to save counters for his big spells and counter wars.
Then I somehow made top 4.
Top 4: Aetherworks Marvel 2-0
This felt like revenge. Now to be fair, my opponent whiffed with Marvel game one. I put out a Saheeli Rai followed by Nahiri, the Harbinger. Then it was just a game of "try and protect my board best I could with counters" until Nahiri used her ultimate to get a cat. He scooped. Game two was similar except I there was a conundrum. Do I cast Nahiri turn 4, leaving him the option of dropping a turn five Marvel? He didn't have much energy, and would have to wait to dig into the gacha-gacha anyway. I decided to go for Nahiri. He did have the Marvel, but he never got it off. I just plussed my planeswalkers, kept up mana for counterspells. When I used Nahiri’s ultimate he just showed me a hand of lands and two Ulamog.
So I got lucky. Which I have to realize is part of the game for both players. If I hadn't taken advantage of his low energy situation to play Nahiri, he could have drawn something. A Lost Legacy or Transgress the Mind would have ruined my plans. I had to push, guessing why he hadn't played anything. He had bad luck, but if I had not thought to capitalize on it, I could have risked my own situation.
Top 2: Temur Eldrazi It was late. I knew my opponent from one of the shops I go to. A high school kid, so he was already looking at the clock, not having expected it to go as late as it had. I asked if he wanted to split. Someone gets the mat, someone gets the Planeswalker Points. He seemed fine with that. I didn't need the mat, and I want to get the points for Grand Prix byes. I “won” and then gave him the mat.
I know there have been bans for “bribery”. So I was careful about my language, although I don't think it matters. There was nothing on the line but the mat, which I didn't want and is worth more than the 6 Planeswalker points. Plus, I made a suggestion, not saying who gets what and he forfeited to me. I don't think that’s bribery. People seem to do it at Grand Prix Trials and the like all the time anyway in front of judges. Not to mention the stakes here are much lower.
Biggest flop of the weekend was Gisela. I sided her in so many matches and never saw her. I guess she just did not want to come out to play. So disappointing. I wanted to at least see what it was like to have her against vehicles and the like. Yes, they'd blow her up. But then I'd have a turn 5 play and a turn 6 play instead of just doing nothing on turn 4 because I had none of my removal. I think Anticipate has to be in the deck. The digging is just far too important. I don't like it, but it just seems to be the way it has to be. Negate is pretty good. Disallow can be costly, but countering something like Haunted Dead’s activation is devastating.
Gonti carried so much that I think I might focus on the Green Black deck more than Copy Cat. By the time Grand Prix Shizuoka rolls around things might change. Hell, there is a ban announcement five days before the event begins. So we’ll see. I'll be practicing with both decks.