My First Stab At A Tournament Report

On Sunday, August 27th, I entered the one and only Star City Comics to play in one of their $1000 Type II tournaments. In advance, I had decided to write a report about this event. I was hoping to bring to my readers a primer on how to make Top Eight. Well, my plans didn’t…

On Sunday, August 27th, I entered the one and only Star City Comics to play in one of their $1000 Type II tournaments. In advance, I had decided to write a report about this event. I was hoping to bring to my readers a primer on how to make Top Eight.

Well, my plans didn’t go exactly as hoped: Let’s just say that all of those people who are advocating reports even of players who finished very low are going to be appeased . . .

Not owning the cards for a Replenish deck and being too scrupulous to play Ponza*, I went with a deck that I knew I could complete upon borrowing just a few cards from my friends, and a deck that also had very good matchups against the aforementioned decks. So, without further ado, my deck:

4x Masticore
4x Thieving Magpie
4x Powder Keg
4x Annul
4x Counterspell
4x Daze
4x Thwart
4x Foil

22x Island
3x Dust Bowls
1x Rishadan Port (I couldn’t find a fourth Dust Bowl)
2x Faerie Conclave

3x Treachery
1x Misdirection
1x Temporal Adept
4x Hibernation
4x Chill
2x Quash

It’s your average Permission deck. I had the option of playing with more counters (Rewind, Miscalculation) and without Magpies and as many lands, but I opted for aggressiveness. I’m not going to go into a lecture on how the deck works; I’m sure you can all figure it out for yourselves. So, let us begin your learning experience!

Match One: Stephen Zimmerman, playing Stompy

Game One: Having no idea what he was playing (and hoping the black sleeves held something similar to what it looked like), I mulliganed down to six and kept a hand with four lands. I won two die-rolls this tournament, and this was not one of them. His first turn brings forth a Pouncing Jaguar. "Uh oh," I’m thinking. Well, if I can get a Masticore out in a few turns, I can stabilize. After my usual "Island, go," he pays echo and plays another Pouncing Jaguar. "Rats. Where’s my Powder Keg?" After another Island-drop, he plays Skyshroud Ridgeback. "Curses!!" Another Island, and in comes an Albino Troll. Still my deck has not given me an artifact with which to save myself. The Irony Gods, seeing fit to start my humiliation early, allow a Masticore to emerge next turn. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save me.

Game Two: I lay an Island and say go. Unfortunately, this procedure isn’t mocked by him. After his Forest is laid, he plays TWO Rushwood Legates and a Skyshroud Ridgeback on the first turn. A counter and an exploded Powder Keg later finds me decimated within ten minutes of the match starting.

So, this was a rather uninspiring beginning to the tournament. However, I was having a good time. I was sitting next to a match with another blue player, and we both lost. Perhaps it wasn’t the deck choice of the year. Nevertheless, that play of "Rushwood Legate, Rushwood Legate, Skyshroud Ridgeback" will live on in my Magic-mind for a long time.

Match Two: Shawn Gearheart – the aforementioned blue player

Game One: So Shawn and I sit down and realize that we’re the two blue losers from Table Eleven (or wherever we had been the first match). He was a nice guy, and he was playing with GOLD sleeves! Now, my blue sleeves on my blue deck are mighty nice-looking, but gold sleeves are just plain cool.

It wasn’t long before I realized that the two of us were playing very different blue decks. His was fast and aggressive, and it had Rishadan Ports. Another bonus point goes to Shawn, because he doesn’t like Ports. He says it’s so hard not to play with them, and they shouldn’t have been printed. Kudos! My severe mana screw (three land, anybody?) added insult to the Cloud Sprite injuries I received every turn. Blasted one-drops… If only I’d opted to use one of the FOUR Dazes that I drew during the game on it… Not that it would have helped or anything.

Game Two: I swear that the Irony Gods were the organizers of this tournament. I had a flood of mana at my feet. However, there weren’t any Counterspells upon which to spend mana! I swiftly felt the beatings of Cloud Sprite and Waterfront Bouncer. (Stupid Bouncer… if it hadn’t been for it, I could have played my Masticore!)

At this point you may be wondering how I sideboarded. Well, don’t. I’m not bothering to tell you because a sideboard card never appeared! I drew two sideboard cards the entire tournament, and they were both countered. (But, just in case you are wondering, I put Hibernations in against Stephen, and the Adept in against Shawn. Hibernation, Quash, and Treachery were the only other sideboard cards to see movement that day.)

Match Three: Anthony McDonough playing something with Forests and Plains in it.

Game One: Finally! I drew a good hand and countered just enough spells (two Armageddons, anyone?). Two Thieving Magpies and a Masticore sealed victory for me. Also, because of such control, Anthony forgot to attack at least twice. Jedi Mind Tricks are most powerful.

Game Two: A taste of victory was all I was to receive this match. His first-turn Llanowar Elf goes through. However, his second-turn Rancor gets Annulled. Unfortunately for yours truly, his SECOND Rancor went through, and the elf-beats began. Throughout most of the game, I drew THREE Thwarts and TWO Islands. My third Island showed up in just enough time to Thwart his ‘Geddon, but there was no way I was going to win that game.

Game Three: This game I drew moderate land and moderate counters, but I couldn’t get the artifacts that I desperately needed. Either a Powder Keg or a Masticore would have swiftly dealt with his Rancorous Birds of Paradise; however, swift death came to me, not the Birds.

So, at this point, the average player would drop and participate in a booster draft, right? Right. However, devoted to my public, I stuck in there. I WOULD give a report of this event, no matter how much pain I endured.

Instead of dropping, I dropped by the snack bar at Star City. I was pleasantly surprised to find chicken salad subs, pizza bread, chips, drinks, and other filling food for reasonable prices. You wouldn’t believe how inconvenient it is to find time to order pizza in a tournament. (Well, on the other hand, maybe you would.) However, this snack bar makes it SO much easier to get lunch or a quick snack. Kudos, Star City!

Match Four: Bye, playing nothing

Game One: Islands. Counters. Masticore. ‘Nuff said.

Game Two: See "Game One."

There; that should sufficiently satisfy those that scan reports for quick matches. 🙂

Match Five: Raynor Barton playing Replenish

Game One: Finally! My day has come! "Go ahead, stock your graveyard." And that’s what happened. "Replenish?" I’m thinking no. Masticore goes in for the kill.

Why couldn’t I have been paired up with more Replenish decks? Why oh why?

Game Two: Fourth turn Masticore is some good. Especially when my opponent draws no Replenishes. {Grin} (I’d elaborate, but what else can I say?)

So, I went 2-3. Pretty, rotten, eh? I finished 19th. Whoop-dee-doo. On the up side, during the tournament I returned both Masticores and the Dust Bowl that I had borrowed and I traded for my own. I also got the fourth Bowl to go in after the tournament, and I completed my collection of Spellshapers, Winds, and Avatars with multiples of most of the cards (including FOUR Avatars of Woe). Finally, I got two Ports, finally bringing my total to four. So, a disappointing tournament day coincided with a successful trading day. The Irony Gods can only affect so much.

I hope this has been of some help or at least a bit entertaining. If not, don’t worry; I probably won’t write another report for a long, long time.

Daniel Crane
[email protected]

* – Incidentally, these two decks received second and first, respectively.