Smashing Face At TOGIT: JSS Report, 1st Place

Being the lazy person that I am, and since I was playing the exact same deck that Cash won States with, I just handed in a copy of his decklist, which I had printed out from StarCity the night before.
My apologies to all people whose names I forgot, but all I have to work with here is my scoresheet. I didn’t take notes since I was only writing a report if I won – and I didn’t plan on winning after the outcome of the first match.

Most of you people probably don’t know who I am unless you live in the New York/New Jersey area… But my name is Max and I guess I’m a fairly good Magic player. I recently turned fourteen, so this was my second-to-last year of JSS. Prior to this tournament, none of my accomplishments included anything higher than top 8 at a PTQ.

Up until States, I didn’t really have any idea about what the type 2 metagame was like. Jon Hochberg, who usually gives me decks to play in situations like this, suggested I play an UZI variant from his testing – but I decided against it because it seemed boring and since I am a pretty slow player I didn’t want to end up with lots of draws. Instead, I chose to play the Braids Opposition deck played by Gabriel Nassif at the Invitational because it seemed interesting and because I like playing with decks that contain Braids, Opposition, and Shadowmage Infiltrator. I ended up going 5-2 and coming in 14th, losing to two U/G decks in a row after being 4-0.

A week later, while I was sitting at Neutral Ground waiting for a tournament to start, I was talking to Jeremy Cash and he told me a funny story involving his experiences with homeless people and kids with fireworks. Later that day, after thinking about getting smashed by two U/G decks at States and after hearing about Cash’s amazing journey through the city, I decided that I would play U/G at the JSS the next day.

I had only been to TOGIT once before – for a JSS last year, in which I made top 4. I woke up early on Sunday for the hour and a half drive from my house in Mamaroneck, NY to Somerville, NJ. When I got there, I saw most of the regular NJ players such as Mike McGee and Raul Flores as well as some kids from Brooklyn and two brothers I know from local stores who live in Rye Brook. Being the lazy person that I am, and since I was playing the exact same deck that Cash won States with, I just handed in a copy of his decklist, which I had printed out from StarCity the night before.

My apologies to all people whose names I forgot, but all I have to work with here is my scoresheet. I didn’t take notes since I was only writing a report if I won – and I didn’t plan on winning after the outcome of the first match.

Round 1 vs. Perry with U/G

He is playing U/G with four maindeck Roar of the Wurms and maindeck Phantom Centaurs. I figure that since this is a mirror match, and since he is a fairly young player I should be able to outplay him.

Game 1: I am forced to mulligan and the card advantages he gains with Merfolk Looter and madness is too much for me.

Game 2 I have to mulligan yet again, and it seems like I am in bad shape the entire game, as he once again is getting much advantage with Looters. I end up in a position where he is at nine and I’m at eighteen and I have one land in hand with a Wild Mongrel, Aquamoeba, and Basking Rootwalla on the board, while he has two Looters, an Arrogant Wurm, a Phantom Centaur, and many cards in hand. I figure that there is no way I can win, but on his turn, for some reason he attacks with all his creatures and ends his turn completely tapped out due to casting a Deep Analysis or some other non creature card. I take this opportunity to untap, draw, and attack with Mongrel, Rootwalla, and Aquamoeba – pumping all three for exactly nine damage.

Game 3: After an unexpected win in the last game, I start up game three with not one, but two mulligans, yielding a hand with only islands. I quickly lose this game due to lack of forests.

Record 0-1

After this match I’m pretty disappointed because of my bad luck and because I have to go 4-0 to make top 8 at this point.

Round 2

He is playing U/G Opposition and I can’t really remember much of this match other than that he was playing with such cards as Druid’s Call and I 2-0ed him quickly.

Record 1-1

Round 3 vs. Scott

Game 1 He is playing UZI and he’s eleven years old; in my opinion that’s not a very good combination – but hey! My brother’s eleven and he’s pretty good. Well, in the first game, he decides to play Standstill while I have creatures on the board and he does not yet have Zombie Infestation out, and his defensive Upheaval ends up in a win for me.

Game 2 I get to side in Composts for the only game of the day against black… But I don’t draw any. However he again plays Standstill while I have creatures on the board – and although he has Infestation out this time, he is forced to break it to avoid dying. This gives me counterspells to deal with his removal and I soon kill him.

Record 2-1

Round 4 vs. Greg

Game 1: He is Perry’s brother and before the match, Perry lets it slip that they are playing identical decks. During this game, he gets me down to two, but I regain control of the board. Unfortunately for me, luck runs in his family as he topdecks his fourth Aether Burst to kill me.

Games 2 and 3 I get good draws that involve early Arrogant Wurms and Phantom Centaurs followed by more good creatures and spells. I pull out the match win.

Record 3-1

Round 5 vs. Mark

Game 1: This match is important because since there are six rounds, it determines whether or not I will make top 8. He is playing the exact same decklist as me, and this match is very close. The first game takes a very long time as we trade creatures and Aether Bursts, but in the end his Looter gives him the card advantage he needs to beat me.

Game 2: This game I win fairly quickly by amassing a very large number of creatures with the help of my Looter, and I kill him with Wonder pitched to a Mongrel.

Game 3: This final game is very close and I win mostly due to the tempo gained with my Aether Bursts. It also helps that in my final attack, I have Wonder in the yard and he doesn’t, but he does have a Krosan Reclamation there. After much pondering about how he can pull this one out and listening to the judge telling him it’s over, he gives in. I let out a sigh of relief and point out to him that he had a Japanese Krosan Reclamation left in his graveyard.

Record 4-1

Now since both my brother and I are 4-1, I am hoping I will get paired against him or someone else with the same record so we can draw in.

Round 6

Game 1: …But unfortunately, I get paired down against a 3-1-1 and am forced to play the match out. He is playing Mirari’s Wake and this game I go Rootwalla, Mongrel, Wurm, while he cannot find Wrath. It doesn’t matter, as I have counter backup.

Game 2: I once again get a very good start with Mongrel, Wurm on turns 2 and 3 with Counterspell backup. He is somewhat manascrewed and I kill him before he can recover.

Record 5-1

At this point I am happy I have won out into top 8… But I look at the standings and see that I am in 2nd seed and my brother is in 7th, so we have to play each other.

Top 8, Round 1 vs. Harry

Game 1: I know his deck since he is my brother and we decide that the winner will give the loser three packs so there isn’t as much competition in the match. He is playing OBC U/G threshold – which is inferior to the newer, Type 2 version. In the first game, he makes a mistake by playing Standstill and trying to race my Rootwalla and Mongrel with his Rootwalla and two Werebears. When he is at ten, I attack and pitch five cards to Mongrel to kill him.

Game 2: I get much card advantage using Looters, which he does not have. I eventually stabilize with some big creatures, but he has me at five and neither of us has wonder. After a three turn span, which included a Mental Note on his side, he still had not gotten a Wonder. On my next attack he is forced to chump with his Mongrel, leaving him with a thresholded Nimble Mongoose. On his next turn, he finally draws the Wonder, but the Mongoose can’t do enough for the win.

Record 6-1

Top 8, Round 2 vs. Raul Flores

Game 1 He is playing Tax Man, the deck designed by Andrew Levine and played to a 2nd place finish at NJ States. This deck relies on Weathered Wayfarer and cycling lands to gain massive card advantage and kill with Terravore. I had never played against this deck before, but I figured a good strategy was to let them activate the Tax Man as few times as possible. This game I get an early Mongrel, Arrogant Wurm, and Wonder, then stick to three lands so he can’t Land Tax. He never draws Sylvan Safekeeper – and on his final attack for lethal damage, it all comes down to whether or not I’m holding Aether Burst. I have two of them in hand, so we move on to the next game.

Game 2: This game is pretty similar to game 1, except he Living Wishes for Glory, which he is unable to discard, so I kill him with flying men.

Finals vs. Mike Mcgee

This match involves some funny events, such as Mike listening to headphones and singing and a fat man taking off his shirt.

Game 1 I make the mistake this game of going for turn 1 Rootwalla, turn 2 Wild Mongrel, turn 3 Wurm, with Wonder in hand. I also have Circular Logic – but I am hoping that Worship is either in his sideboard or he doesn’t have it in his hand. However, it isn’t and he does – and so it comes down, leaving me with no way to win.

Game 2: On turn 3 or 4 of this game, when I have Mongrel and Rootwalla in play to his Mongrel and Wayfarer; I attack with my Mongrel while we both have five in hand. He blocks with his Mongrel and makes the mistake of matching mine pump for pump until we both have empty hands. Basking Rootwalla goes all the way this game, as he can’t draw anything castable.

Game 3 This game, I counter his Living Wishes and kill him with large flying creatures.

Record 8-1

So I end up winning my first JSS of the season – and although I get a nice scholarship and cards, I can’t play in anymore this year, which is kind of upsetting since they are fun to compete in. It was exciting and surprising to go 8-0 after a first-round loss, but I probably won’t gain too many ratings points since JSS events are 16k and my rating was 1836 beforehand. Well, hopefully if I can get there I’ll see you people in San Diego in June.

If anyone wants to email me or anything, I’m at [email protected].


    • Harry because you’re my brother and you’re good at Magic for being eleven.

    • Corey for showing loyalty by betting $2 I would win the whole thing

    • Homeless people and kids with fireworks


    • TJ; You should try being nice to people even when you’re not beating them at Magic