Time to storm it up! Not many changes after the ban. Pyromancer’s Ascension instead of Aria of Flame. Back up to twelve cantrips main and three Goblins instead of four.
They announce 167 people and eight rounds. The cheapest parking was ridiculous. Oh boy. Let’s go!
Round 1: Twiddle Storm
My opponent wins the die roll and goes Spirebluff Canal into Serum Visions. Mirror match? Readers of words will notice, no, but hey! I also figure that out when he went turn two Merchant Scroll into an Arcane spell. Turn three he went off and I had no interaction in hand. I put in Pyromancer Ascension to try to go faster and manage to get two clean turn four kills. Modern’s a turn three format still? 2-1 and I’m 1-0.
Round 2: 4C Shadow
Feeling good, my opponent this time leads with a Mishra’s Bauble into a Godless Shrine. Mm, some sort of Deathblade? Nope! Tarmogoyf comes out next turn and then some more shocks revealing the four colors of the deck and Death’s Shadows beat me in. Game two he starts off with a Leyline of Sanctity, which is not a huge deal, but then he proceeds to rip my hand apart with discard and my Pieces of the Puzzle nets me nothing good. I’m afraid of other people’s shadows. 0-2 and I’m 1-1.
Round 3: Jeskai Control
Turn five Saheeli-Felidar Combo gets me game one. Wait, what year is this? Not much I could do when Teferi, Time Raveler is on the board. Game two they just cleanly had the hate and damn, it hurt. I think I have something to talk about with my therapist. 0-2 and I’m 1-2.
I need some deep breaths and some meat. I grab a little snack and a drink from 7-Eleven, run into some friends on my way back and chat. I feel better, realizing that I am not the complete failure that my brain is trying to tell me I am. I get back and sit down for a bit before the next round.
Round 4: Goblins
I play around their removal both games and overload them with spells. Making their removal only help me win faster feels good. Although win or not, I do believe I played well these two games and that is what I should be focusing on, not my record. Habits are hard to break. 2-0 and I’m 2-2.
Round 5: Burn
I go to my table and there’s a notice telling me to go somewhere else. I’m playing against a guy who tells me he doesn’t have the use of his right arm and so has his setup for holding his cards at a different location. It’s nice to see the tournament support his needs. Game one he burns me out real quick. Game two he has a slow start and I get a turn three kill. Game three I’m not liking my chances but he mulligans and kept a one land hand. I’m able to capitalize on this and a nice clean combo off. It feels good to beat a bad matchup. 2-1 and I’m 3-2
Round 6: Tron
He wins the die roll and leads with an Urza’s Tower. Hey! Here’s the easy matchup I was hoping for! He gets natural turn three Karn and I’m not fast enough. Game two, however, I am and get a quick and clean kill. Game three gets interesting. I open up two lands, an Electromancer, Cantrips, Rituals and two Remands. He leads with a Relic of Progenitus. He then plays his turn three Karn which I remand. I play my Electromancer and third land. He plays Karn. I Remand it and draw Baral. I untap and draw Remand three. He tries Karn again and thanks to Remand and Baral’s looting I have three rituals, Gifts Ungiven and Past in Flames. The next turn I lead off with a ritual which he thinks about and allows. I cast Past in Flames. He thinks hard and sets off the Relic. Go time. Ritual, Ritual, let Past resolve. Whoops! I should have cast Gifts as well. My mistake, but I'm still able to get a Gifts pile and have enough mana that he has no option but to scoop. Even if you are winning there are things to learn. 2-1 and I’m 4-2
Round 7: Dredge
This round was intense. Game one he gets me down to seven and I start to combo off. I have nineteen Storm and he’s at fifteen so I flashback Grapeshot. He cycles Forgotten Cave and dredges two Creeping Chills. Luckily I wasn’t out of mana or cards, but cantrip into about five lands before I hit another Gifts and get Grapeshot and PiF to have him scoop. Game two he goes hard and absolutely crushes me. But I notice he doesn’t seem to be playing Leylines. So I put in Pyromancer Ascension and he starts off real slow. I’m not sure what he had but he just pokes at me with an Insolent Neonate for a couple of turns until I manage to get a Pyromancer Ascension active and create 24 Goblins, Grapeshot him down to three and pass. He draws his card, activates Insolent Neonate and scoops. Sometimes mysteries remain mysteries. 2-1 and I’m 5-2.
Round 8: Grixis Death’s Shadow
I somehow managed to scry cards backwards and cantrip into the exact card I did not need first and he kills me with a Temur Battle Rage on his Death’s Shadow. Game two he casts Stubborn Denial on my Opt, which makes me think he must have a hand full of them or expects me to be low on lands. To be fair, Storm can rely upon its cantrips pretty heavily. That’s not the case this time and I basically make him have two Stubborns for Past in Flames. Oh yeah I got lucky off of a Manamorphose draw as well, but who's counting? Game three I have a beautiful hand. He mulls down to six, contemplates keeping to the point where I almost call the judge on him for taking so long. He takes another mulligan and quickly keeps. Eek. Back to back Thoughtseizes ruin my day and then I cantrip into nothing and he finishes me off with three Death’s Shadows and a Gurmag Angler. It felt bad. I sign the slip and put my head down on the table. I know I’m being childish, but my emotions are just flaring up. I don’t know if he had removal for my second Goblin game one, but fuck, I did not give myself the chance to win that game. Emotions are powerful. 1-2 and I’m 5-3
I’m out of the running for prizes and see that I got 34th out of 167 players. However, two friends from my store are top eight. I watch them unfortunately both get taken down by the same Burn player and we head out. I grab some curry and drive home, falling asleep as I hit the bed.
I feel like I mostly played well. Storm still has problems with Death’s Shadow which will likely be increasing for the time to come, but there was also so much Tron and other big mana decks that I felt pretty good, all things told. I have another MCQ in two weeks and hopefully I’ll find the time to get some practice in and decide on a sideboard before then. Emotionally? I have a lot to work on. It’s just a game and I need to work on better controlling my emotions in the moment. Now? I can easily reflect on it and see what I did wrong or poorly, but at the moment? It’s real hard. And I need to work on that.