My plan for this week of dailies was to use the new “Draftcap” software to show some drafts and give commentary on my decisions. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to get it to work properly, and have found that it often misses individual cards if not entire packs. Hopefully I can get it to work in the next few days. For now, I’ll write about my experience at Grand Prix Toronto.
My Sealed deck, and the process I went through in building it, is posted here. I didn’t have many options as far as the build goes. I had to play Blue and Green, as they were by far my deepest colors, and I pretty much had to splash Black as that held the mana fix and powerful splash cards. My only decision was whether or not to play a Faith’s Fetters off a signet, Terrarion, and Utopia Sprawl. I decided to play the Fetters, since my only other removal was a Seal of Doom. At the last minute of deck construction I cut the Utopia Sprawl, since it let me play less Forests with a Golgari Signet and Golgari Rot Farm. Because of this I was short on White sources, so I sideboarded out an Island for a Plains each game.
I spent my byes drafting and having lunch with some other pros. The tournament started for me in Round 4, against Scott Menzies. I lost a long first game in which he played Tolsimir Wolfblood and Seize the Soul, both exceptional against my Blue Green base deck. I was a little frustrated losing this game, because Scott tried to play a Brainspoil at the end of one of my turns, and put a creature in his graveyard after it hadn’t received lethal damage. Each time I corrected him without trying to make him mana burn or pretending not to notice his creature wasn’t dead. The next two games were close, as his deck was much more powerful than mine, even without drawing the two rares.
Round 5 I played against Ben Lundquist. Ben went 8-0 in Sealed with what I called the best deck in the room. Game 1 I got a quick draw and he stalled on four lands, so I was able to steal that one. His deck came out to play game 2, with a turn 3 Patagia Viper, turn 4 Ribbons of Night, turn five Last Gasp, Dimir House Guard, turn 6 Wrecking Ball, turn 7 Demonfire. I cannot beat that draw. The next game was closer. I missed my fifth land drop, so he Wrecking Balled my Island. I was lucky enough to draw two straight lands to get back in the game, but on the pivotal turn I didn’t have a second Blue to Muddle his Demonfire because of the Wrecking Ball.
Round 6 I was paired against Wesley White. His deck appeared to be a triple Ravnica Selesnya deck. He showed Evangel, Sandsower, Scatter the Seeds, and Seeds of Strength game 1. I remember few details except the important one from this match. He was dominating me the entire game with the Sandsower, until he decided to attack with it one turn. This confused me, since I had a 2/2. a 2/4 and a 2/5 untapped. I blocked with Sporeback Troll, and Nullmage Advocate. He had Gaze of the Gorgon, but I had Remand, and he could no longer win without the Sandsower. He had a similar draw next game, but I had Fetters for his Evangel and a giant monster every turn from turn 5 on. He couldn’t maintain a three creature to one advantage for the Sandsower after I played Fists of Ironwood on my Bramble Elemental.
As the Round 7 pairings went up, they announced that I had a feature match against my teammate for Pro Tour Charleston, Johan Sadeghpour. Fortunately, after we were sat at the feature match table for a few minutes, they announced a re-pair and I ended up being paired against a far less Swedish opponent in Matt Hansen. My games against Matt here were very similar to our games in Madison: a complete blowout. Matt mulliganed and had a two and three drop. I had Dimir Doppelganger on turn 3, and took his last two cards with Strands of Undeath on turn 4. One of Matt’s last two cards was a Viashino Fangtail, which I took with the Doppelganger and used to decimate his team. Next game he chose to draw. I mulliganed and still managed to kill him on turn 6, thanks again to a Fists of Ironwood on Bramble Elemental.
In Round 8 I was paired against Curtis Clack. He said he had zero byes, so I decided to draw even though I could have lost into Day 2. I drew for a few reasons. First, since it takes a record of x-2-1 to make top 8 I would rather get my draw in Sealed Deck than draft. Second, since most of the people on 6-1-1 are the people who had no byes and had to draw to get into Day 2, therefore the pod should be weaker than the average 6-2 or 7-1 table.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the disaster that was Day 2, and hopefully with drafts later in the week.