MWC+ In Action – Mid-Atlantic Regionals *14th*

Now that you have the theory behind the deck, here is what went down in the actual tournament. This tourney marks something important for me, for in my quest to become a Featured Writer, I tried to be professional and write down all my match info and salient points of the games with which to bring you a better article. Unfortunately, that does not include any of my opponents’ names, but the rest of it is pretty detailed.

Now that you have the theory behind the deck, here is what went down in the actual tournament. This tourney marks something important for me, for in my quest to become a Featured Writer, I tried to be professional and write down all my match info and salient points of the games with which to bring you a better article. Unfortunately, that does not include any of my opponents’ names, but the rest of it is pretty detailed.

Round 1 – Goblin Bidding

In the first game, I play a second-turn Silver Knight. On my next draw, I get another one, and I’m so happy I stupidly slap him down onto the table before I remember my plan was to goad him into a Wrath of God. He plays tons of guys and I have to Wrath away my two Silver Knights; the next turn he drops Siege-Gang Commander. I cast Pulse many, many times to stay alive while searching for the combo, but in vain. He never even had to cast Bidding – multiple Siege-Gang Commanders tear me apart.

Sideboard: +4 Worship, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance, -2 Decree of Justice

Game two, I keep an opening hand of Plains, Plains, Plains, Silver Knight, Silver Knight, Worship, Worship. I hear that’s good. I managed to draw a fourth mana and played all four cards. I started beating down and got him to around twelve, but started to get nervous when my life total got to eight; I mean, if Gobbos just folded to Knight / Worship then people wouldn’t play Gobbos. So I sat back and chilled behind the Knights to try and combo, putting the game out of reach. This was a mistake on my part; I should have killed him, rather than letting him search for answers. My opponent, however, made the terrible mistake of letting a Skullclamp sit unused while futilely knocking on the top of his deck trying to draw his answer (it was Goblin Charbelcher to kill my Knights). Eventually I play an unmorphed Angel and kill him with it.

Game three we have about seven or eight minutes left before time, which favors him. However, he keeps a sketchy one-land hand and I go third-turn morph, fourth-turn flip up Angel and he concedes. Yay!

Matches: 1-0

Games: 2-1

Combo Action: 0

Round 2 – U/W Control

Ugh. I knew this was a bad matchup because he has more Decrees, he has more card-drawing, and he can counter my”Good Stuff” like Mindslavers. He also has Echoing Truth for my Decree tokens or Angels, plus Stifle in the board. The only advantage I have is Weathered Wayfarer. On a side note, this was the same kid that I played in the last round of Swiss before top 8 at States, with a very similar deck. He’s a good player and it was pretty cool to play a rematch, and he definitely had a score to settle. After the match, we ended up being seated near each other several times and chatting a lot – he’s a cool kid with a solid grasp of the game, and I think he’s someone to watch out for. [Too bad we’ll never know his name. – Knut, smirking]

Basically, this matchup is race to see who can get the most Eternal Dragon action. First game, I play first-turn Wayfarer and manage to grab a couple of Cloudposts before he Wraths. I play a Silver Knight and beat him down to around twelve before he gets Wrathed away. I play another Knight and start Dragon action, aided by triple-Cloudpost. He kills all my Knights, but the mana advantage from Dragon allows me to play a lethal end-step Decree of Justice.

Sideboard: Totally lacking. +4 Duplicant, -2 Pulse of the Field, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance. I figured maybe I’d get lucky and Dupe a Dragon.

Game two, he gets early Dragon action and I get none. This led to a lethal Decree.

Game three, we play three turns apiece before they call time. He gets the first and last of the five extra turns. Due to insane-o Cloudpost action on both sides, he could actually have killed me if I had tried to play a spell on my last turn, by floating mana, casting Rewind, floating more into a gigantor Decree. The reason I didn’t play a spell was not because I am a good player, but because I figured neither of us could win so screw it. Lucky me.

Matches: 1-0-1

Games: 3-2-1

Combo Action: 0

Round 3 – Tooth and Nail

This was a complete and utter gift from the Magic Gods above. While this is not normally the best matchup for me, the player piloting the deck really had no clue what he was doing. By all rights, I should have lost this match 2-0, but due to terrible and repeated mistakes by my opponent I won in my quickest match of the day.

First game, I play a Weathered Wayfarer and start searching out Cloudposts. I almost always go for Cloudposts first unless I have the rest of the combo in my hand. He plays mana acceleration in the form of Solemn Simulacrum, and Vine Trellis. This is where he starts making errors: with one piece of the Urzatron on the table, he casts Sylvan Scrying to fetch a Mountain (he already had one). Next turn he casts Reap and Sow (unentwined, when he had entwine mana) to fetch another Mountain! I’m confused, because I think he has some secret plan. I start beating him down with Angels and his plan never coalesces. I Mindslaver him the turn before he’s going to die, just to see what’s in his grip. When I get to see this is what I find: Forest, Platinum Angel, Symbiotic Wurm, Viridian Shaman, Tooth and Nail, Tooth and Nail. I can’t believe it! Even without finishing the Urzatron, he’s had entwine mana for two or three turns. I’m so incredulous I don’t even cast the Tooth so I can look through his deck, I just pass the turn and beat with Angel for the win.

Sideboard: +4 Duplicant, -2 Pulse of the Fields, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance

Game two was basically the same. An early Wayfarer starts fetching lands while he accelerates mana. This time, he has two pieces of the Urzatron when he casts Sylvan Scrying for a Mountain. Next turn, he Nails out a Darksteel Colossus and a Viridian Shaman to empty his hand; I Duplicant the Colossus and win shortly thereafter. I pointed out to him that if he had finished the Urzatron, he could have cast Tooth and Nail with entwine, then still had enough mana the next turn to hard-cast a Colossus. He looks at me with a blank stare and says,”Oh.”

Matches: 2-0-1

Games: 5-2-1

Combo action: 0

Round 4 – W/g Control

The unfortunate thing about getting a draw early is that I am more likely to get paired up against other plays that have a draw. Most of the decks that draw are control decks; therefore, I am doomed to play against control all day, which isn’t so good for me.

I’m still not sure exactly what the role of Green was in this deck. He used Rampant Growth and Jens for mana acceleration, and ran maindeck Oxidize because he stopped me from comboing out in the first game. He also ran Naturalize in the side; other than that, his Green components remain a mystery.

First game is another Eternal Dragon race. He gets it, I don’t, and I lose. Shuffle up for game two.

Sideboard: Ugh. +4 Duplicant, -2 Pulse of the Field, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance. More creatures is good, right?

Game two, he sees early Dragon action and once again, I see none. That’s not good for me. He’s so far ahead on the Dragons that my only chance is to combo out; fortunately, I’ve got a Silver Knight on the table as well as a Starlit Sanctum, and a couple of Daru Spiritualist in hand; all I need is the Lightning Greaves. I draw them and they get Oxidized. I draw them again and they get Naturalized. I draw them again and he’s got a full grip; however, I’m going to die soon and I can’t wait for him to tap out (which he probably wouldn’t do anyway). I go for it, and he has no answer! I write”Yay!” in my life column and go to thirty-five billion. Things are peachy until my end step, when he Pulses for sixteen. At my next end step, he Pulses for twenty. He quickly reaches over one hundred life and it’s quite obvious I will never kill him through damage.

At this point I try to reason with my opponent. I say, look, you’ve cycled Dragon five times, used three Windswept Heaths, and two Solemn Simulacrums. I will deck you if we play this out. If I do have to deck you, we will draw this match, putting us both at 2-0-2 and in a position that we’d have to win out to make top 8. If, on the other hand, you’d like to concede this game, we still have twenty-five minutes left in the round and we can finish the match. One of us will win and move on; the other person will lose but can still top 8 if they win out. Hell, we might even still draw. So what’s the deal? He says that if we draw, he’s going to drop; I’m pissed because that will screw us both (he’s not playing anymore, my tie-breaks are shot). I try to reason with him, but he refuses to concede the game.

Now what he does is try to fill his turn with actions, like returning a Dragon to his hand during upkeep, so that he can take as long as possible during each turn without”technically” stalling. He’s taking his sweet time putting his mana in nice neat piles of three for Pulsing and trying to cast each Pulse individually instead of saying twenty-one mana = seven pulses. I say, you can have a million life every one of my end steps. Draw your next freakin’ card. He’ll return Dragon to his hand, play it, then Vengeance it away so he can take time doing it the next turn. Totally weak, when we could have played a third game and had a real match.

Eventually, I Mindslaver him, which was awesome. I say, during upkeep, return both Dragons. Cycle both Dragons. Cycle Decree of Justice (no tokens – as if it mattered). Cycle Decree of Justice. Cycle Secluded Steppe. On my turns I would draw a card, discard it, and say”Go.” To make this long story short I decked him, and they called time while we were shuffling up for game three. We fill out the slips and he drops. I’m pissed.

Matches: 2-0-2

Games: 6-3-1

Combo action: 1 (finally).

Round 5 – B/u Clerics

This is a bad matchup for me as well. Rotlung Reanimators stick around after Wrath, maindeck Withered Wretch eats my Dragons and Persecute out of the board… let’s not go there. Also, I know the blue is in there for stupid Mana Leak – late game it’s a non-factor, but in the early game it wrecks me and this is a matchup where the early game is the most important.

Game one he plays a Dark Supplicant and a Withered Wretch. During his upkeep, I cycle an Eternal Dragon, hoping that he’ll remove it from the game; then if he drops a land, he’ll have only two mana left and won’t be able to play a Rotlung. I will follow up with a Wrath and everything will be peachy. He drops another Cleric and passes the turn. On my turn, I look at the situation, and decide that if I Wrath he can respond by getting his Scion of Darkness with Supplicant’s ability. What I wasn’t thinking about (stupidly) was that the Scion would die anyway. This was my single worst play mistake of the entire tournament. I pass the turn, he gets Scion, then smashes my face and takes my Dragon. I go to Wrath, and the single card left in his hand is Mana Leak.

Sideboard: +4 Purge, +2 Duplicant, -2 Pulse of the Fields, -2 Decree of Justice, -2 Eternal Dragon

Game two, I go first and play a Weathered Wayfarer. My second turn I deliberately miss a land drop to search out a Cloudpost. This probably wasn’t the smartest play, because I forgot about Persecute. He rapes my hand on his fourth turn; I cycle Akroma’s Vengeance into the much needed Purge, which is discarded along with Wrath, Silver Knight, and Daru Spiritualist. By next turn, I have another full grip thanks to Wayfarer, but it’s all lands. He gets out a Scion and smashes me, taking my Silver Knight, before I cast Duplicant on it. Then I start beating down and it looks like I have the game in hand when I make my second worst mistake of the tournament.

It’s actually three mistakes.

First, I forget to cycle Secluded Steppe on his end step. This is minor. I draw, then think, I am going to cycle the Steppe, so I should drop a Plains so I’ll still have two White mana available. My other (and correct option) would be to cycle the Steppe first, find out what I get, then drop a Plains if necessary or Cloudpost if that’s better (had three active already). I drop the Plains, cycle the Steppe, and get a Mindslaver. Yay! I cast it with six Cloudpost mana. He Mana Leaks it, which I can pay, but I no longer have activation mana, which I would have had if I had dropped the fourth ‘Post. I pay the Leak, but his next turn he drops Damping Matrix. Boo. I’m beating down, and get greedy, attacking with everything when I should leave back a Wayfarer. On his turn, he attacks, Echoing Truths his own Damping Matrix, then Cabal Archons me to death. Either of these games was easily winnable for me, and it was terribly frustrating to lose to my own play mistakes.

Matches: 2-1-2

Games: 6-5-1

Combo action: 1

Round 6 – Tooth and Nail

Game one, we both accelerate, him with Sylvan Scrying / Urzatron and me with Wayfarer / Cloudpost. I play an Angel, he plays a Molder Slug. We start to race, but he plays two more Molder Slugs. I Wrath the board and play a second Angel, but he get out Akroma, Angel of Wrath. My next turn I get to play and activate Mindslaver. Woo hoo! It was the best Mindslaver ever. I cast an entwined Tooth and Nail and look through his whole library; I find out that he’s playing a suboptimal build with four Molder Slugs and only one Colossus, so I put out Duplicant and Viridian Shaman, stacking the effects so that Duplicant removes Akroma from the game then gets killed himself by the Sex Elves. I mean, what are the chances that he’ll draw the single Colossus left in there? Whoop! He hard casts it next turn. It’s a race between my Angel and his Colossus; I deal the final points sitting at one life, the result of sacrificing a Wayfarer to Starlit Sanctum.

Sideboard: +4 Duplicant, -2 Pulse of the Field, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance

Game two was super fun. I get all four Cloudposts active before he can cast Tooth and Nail with the entwine; he grabs Colossus and Akroma, and smacks me for six. I tell him he’s not going to like it, but I have to do what I’m about to do.

I untap, take twelve mana from Cloudposts, and cast two Duplicants. Best play ever! On his turn, though, he topdecks another Colossus! I was like, I looked through your whole deck and you only had one! He informed me that he sided in the second. I was glum for a second because my ridiculous double-dupe was going to be for nothing if I didn’t draw…

Duplicant! I dupe his second big-dog and swing for seventeen and the win.

Matches: 3-1-2

Games: 8-5-1

Combo action: 1

Round 7 – Goblin Bidding

First game, he has slow mana development, missing a land drop for one turn and ending up with two City of Brass and a Mountain. I start out by racing him with Silver Knight, and I’m actually winning due to the Cities, but on turn 5 I have all the combo pieces. I drop them and combo out; my opponent concedes.

These are the notes I wrote about the second game, reproduced verbatim: He’s one turn away from a lethal Bidding, when Mindslaver makes it lethal – for him!


Matches: 4-1-2

Games: 10-5-1

Combo action: 2

Round 8 – Control Tooth and Nail

This was an interesting take on the standard Tooth archetype. He ran acceleration, four Akroma’s Vengeance / four Wrath, Oxidize, and a normal range of super-great critters. One great addition to the deck that I didn’t expect but looked great (and he assured me that it had been) was Planar Portal. He said he pulled win conditions out of it all day long.

Game one, he kills my Cloudposts with Reap and Sow while fetching his own. That’s basically the worst thing that can happen to me in this matchup. We both had remarkably bad and slow draws, but eventually he Tooth and Nails out some stuff; I deal with it all except the Colossus that smashes my face in.

Sideboard: +4 Duplicant, -2 Pulse of the Field, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance

Game two is very similar to game one. We both have slow draws and aren’t really doing anything, except that he’s got more mana than me. He gets a Mindslaver and uses it, casting a Duplicant on my Wayfarer then Wrathing it all away. I play my own Mindslaver, but don’t have the mana to activate it; on his turn, he plays another one and gets my turn. On my turn, he targets me with my own Slaver, so I never even got to use it. This was something that really pissed me off during the day; every time I played against control, they always got to Mindslaver me first. Solution: play more Slavers.

Continuing on, he didn’t get to do much with his second Slaver since I had all land. Eventually he hardcasts Colossus and I Dupe it. I win right as they call time; he asks me to concede since with three draws, neither of us will be able to top 44 and win product. I tell him there’s nothing he can do to get me to concede; I’ve had two draws since the second round, and one more means jack to me. Besides, I’m doing it for the article!

So what does he do? He thinks hard for a few seconds, then concedes to me. No mention of prize splits or anything; I think it was a combination of him being a little tired and no longer wanting to play, and maybe realizing my deck had a little better chance to do well. At first, I had found him to be mildly annoying; he was younger, around fifteen, and very chatty while he played, which drove me crazy since it was very close. However, my initial convictions were totally wrong. He proved himself to be a stand-up kind of guy by giving me the chance to do well, and also he stuck around to root me on for the rest of the tournament. When I claimed my box at the end of the tourney, I tried to give him six packs for being so nice to me, which he refused – but I forced them on him, in the end. He is an great example of the general camaraderie that makes Magic appeal to me, and reminded me never to judge a book by its cover (or play style). [I think I got annoyed at this same kid in round 1 for playing the slowest Magic ever. My apologies if you are reading this. – Knut]

Matches: 5-1-2

Games: 12-6-1

Combo action: 2

Round 9 – Goblin Bidding

I can’t be sure, but it seemed like there were twice as many Gobbos at Regionals than there were Arcbound Ravagers. Since Goblins is my best matchup, it worked out well for me.

Game one was awesome! He got a quick start and began to beat down, but I went off on turn 4 (for everyone keeping score at home, that’s the earliest I can go off). At first, he was incredulous, and it took three or four minutes for it to sink in. Then, he was determined to find a way to win anyway. He would attack with two Goblin Sledders, then take care to write down my exact life total, i.e. 34,999,999,998. After playing five more turns and counting the cards left in each of our libraries (I went first) he conceded.

Sideboard: +4 Worship, -2 Decree of Justice, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance

Game two I go Silver Knight, Silver Knight, Worship, Worship. Sound familiar? I win with a combination of Exalted Angel, his own Sparksmith, and Silver Knight beats. I asked him what he sided in against me – two Shatters were it. I asked if he had a way to beat Worship / Silver Knight, and he said no, because so few people would have it that it wasn’t worth sideboarding against. Also, any deck that did have it, wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to get up to the”good tables.”

Why, oh why, does everyone hate to lose to my decks? Losing sucks, and everyone knows that, but why does it suck to lose to mine more than to others? States, Regionals… every tournament I attend I leave a wake of incredibly bitter defeated opponents. On the other hand, I see a lot of my previously bitter opponents at other events, and they always root for me. It’s a paradox.

Matches: 6-1-2

Games: 14-6-1

Combo action: 3

In Between Rounds: Funny Anecdote

This is a story that one of the guys I playtest with, Robbie, told me. He was playing Elfclamp and had a rough day, going 1-5-2, but sticking with it to finish up 4-5-2 (props to Robbie for hangin’ in there!). In round 10, he finally got to play against Ravager, one of the better matchups for his deck. First game he crushed all of their Artifact Lands with Oxidize, Viridian Shaman, and then Wirewood Symbiote / Shaman combo made them scoop.

Second game, the Affinity player goes Artifact Land, Mox (imprint), Mox (imprint), Mox (not imprinted) tap three mana producers for Myr Enforcer, emptying his hand, then passing the turn. Robbie goes Mountain, Electrostatic Bolt.

Round 10 – Ravager Affinity (R/B version)

So I finally get to play Ravager! Yay, I guess. I wished my opponent good luck and said something about how I hoped we had a good match, to show what each deck could do, rather than some kind of wanky mana screw. He agreed.

First game, the draw he got was very slow featuring two Arcbound Workers, two Disciple of the Vault, lands and a Shatter. It was basically the best draw I could hope for. Unfortunately, I got color screwed – I couldn’t have prevented him from Shrapnel Blasting my morphed Exalted Angel, but I did have two Wraths in my hand and a high life total. By the time I drew another White source, (a Secluded Steppe, of course) it was too late and I took a second Shrapnel Blast to the dome.

Sideboard: +4 Purge, -2 Pulse of the Field, -2 Decree of Justice

Game two was the opposite – He got mana screwed and I mashed him with an Exalted Angel. Also, a triple-Purge draw didn’t hurt. When we were shuffling up I said well, we had our two crappy games now comes a good one!

Game three turned out to be a roller coaster. He got some early beats, but I was holding onto a Purge and a Wrath. He had a Disciple, a Ravager, and a Myr Enforcer, as well as a Welding Jar, which complicated matters. I decided to Wrath first, then Purge the leftover. When I Wrathed he made the terrible mistake of sacrificing stuff to Ravager then saccing Ravager himself to deal me loss of life points, rather than sac to Ravager then regenerate him with Welding Jar, leaving him a 3/3 beater to smack me with next turn, as well as forcing me to use my Purge. This mistake would cost him the game, although I don’t think he ever realized it.

Eventually I cast Akroma’s Vengeance, decimating his board, but he Shrapnel Blasts me to the dome to put me at two. I play a couple of small critters, get some Dragon action, Mindslaver him, then finally plunk down an Exalted Angel. He uses Scrabbling Claws to remove my Eternal Dragon from the game, then plays a Skullclamp and starts to regain position on the board. I get my life up to something respectable while dropping his in chunks of four. On the first turn of extra turns, I play a second face-up Angel and a Daru Spiritualist. I attack to put him at six, and everything looks peachy for me. I figure I’m about to win, but wait!

He plays a Genesis Chamber, then drops an Ornithopter. He clamps the token, and drops a free Frogmite. He clamps the token… and so on and so forth. He’s looking for more Ornithopters, but can’t find any.

On my next turn I draw Lightning Greaves, and I go Arbitrarily Large more for fun than anything else. I attack with both Angels; he blocks one with Ornithopter to put him at two. On his turn, he plays a Blinkmoth Nexus, but he needs to block both my Angels next turn to survive; so he activates it and Clamps it. He drops a ‘thopter and Clamps the token. He searches through about ten cards, but can only find another Blinkmoth Nexus, so I attack for the win.

Matches: 7-1-2

Games: 16-7-1

Combo action: 4

Round 11 (last round!) – Goblin Bidding

My opponent offers a draw, but I figure that I have to win if I want to get anything. I’m paired down and besides, it’s Bidding, that’s an easy one right?

First game he mulligans, and for some reason I keep a completely mediocre hand. I don’t know what I was thinking – oh yeah, I was thinking that I mulliganed into mana screw first game of the previous match. Siege Gangs, Sharpshooters, and Piledrivers are screaming towards me; I Wrath, but he flashes Bidding, so I scoop.

Sideboard: You know the drill. +4 Worship, -2 Akroma’s Vengeance, -2 Decree of Justice

Game two, I get Silver Knight and Worship. Angel starts to mash him, but he kills her; a second Angel starts mashing. Then he casts Bidding and I get the first one back. He goes,”I don’t even know why I cast that,” while scooping.

Game three, he mulligans to six, then starts off slowly. I topdeck the Greaves on my fourth turn and once again write”Yay!” in my life column. He realizes he’s lost and graciously concedes, then offers me luck on my final position in the tourney.

Matches: 8-1-2

Games: 18-8-1

Combo action: 5 (twice on fourth turn!)

I knew I couldn’t make the top 8, but I was still hoping against hope when they made the announcement. Imagine my surprise when they call out”John Matthews!” I was like, oh my God, holy hell, somehow I made it! Then they said,”And we’re sorry, Ian Bennett, you’re ninth place.” I thought to myself, if Ian was ranked better than I was, and we both won, and he didn’t make it… wait a second. It turns out they had mispronounced”John Mathius” and gave me a little false hope – but hey, I still got a box and (I hope) a solid article. Also, I think that this deck is, to put it plainly, ridiculous. Brain farts in the fifth round aside, the deck performed better than my expectations, and should continue to be a solid contender.

Finally, how could it be a good tourney report without props and slops? I promise I won’t say anything bad about the Judges, because Todd correctly recorded his decklist, and they did a great job.


To Todd, John Davis, Andrew, and Robbie, my buddies that loaned me the cards I needed. Props to Ian Bennett for almost making it. Props to the guy (Ryan something?) that returned a very valuable box of cards that had been stolen from Delano. Props to my second round opponent, and special props to my eighth round opponent for graciously conceding.


To everyone that called my deck”Infinite Clerics” (that includes you, Knutson!). [You build good decks with”bad” cards. Of course your opponents hate to lose to you. – Knut, amused] It’s MWC+, dammit! Also to my fourth round opponent for his non-conceding shenanigans. Finally, very special slops to the guy who stole Delano’s cards – I know who you are and what you look like.

Thanks for reading – and until next time, sacrifice to go to 35,000,000,000.

John Matthew Upton

I like back, feed me!

jmumoo AT yahoo DOT com