This is a team PTQ tournament report. If you want to hear my thoughts on Team Limited, you’ll need to wait a few days for the next article to be published. If you want to hear about the life and times of yours truly, read on. If you’re just killing time, mise keep reading amiright?
Team Limited is my second favorite format. Inf Draft (a.k.a. Limited Infinity) is my favorite format. There’s nothing more satisfying than flipping over Volley of Boulders, Palinchron, Beast Attack, Seize the Day, and Grab the Reins over…. with an Animal Magnetism.
The process of finding a team in Arizona was somewhat difficult. I can count the number of people with half-assed Pro Tour aspirations on one hand. Even worse, my team would have to travel long distances, six hours or more, to any PTQ we played in. I had a wedding to go to the week of the lone Phoenix PTQ. Even worse, three of the people I would be willing to team with won said Phoenix PTQ and seemingly every other person I play Magic with on a regular basis was on the same team.
Phimus Pan was literally the only person left that I wanted to team with. Despite what Roberto Gonzales may feel, two people does not a team make. To my rescue came James Davis. His team did not fare well in Phoenix, and his other Phoenix-based teammates did not want to make the 7.5 hr trek to New Mexico. Pants Pants Revolution was born!
How lucky right?
So Phimus and I went on a roadtrip, and no roadtrip is complete without some tunes
5. Hoobastank – The Reason
I’m obsessed with this song.
4. Maroon 5 – This Love
James is obsessed with this song.
3. Murphy Lee – What Da Hook Gon B
Phimus is obsessed with this song. [So are Jim and I. – Knut]
2. Jay-Z – Dirt off your shoulder
If u feelin like a pimp Phimus
go on brush ya shouldaz off
Chinese is pimps too
go on brush ya shouldaz off
Davis is crazy baby don’t forget what Prosak told ya
ya gotta get. that. dirt off your shoulder
1. Usher f Lil John and Ludacris – yeah
See I don’t need no f’n hook on this B
<lil_John> Leeets Go!
Like, I live in Arizona. The sun should always be shining upon us, submissing us indoors with its 110+ degree power. Of course it rained, violently, as we left Phoenix.
At least it didn’t snow in Arizona on the drive up, unlike the snowstorm we encountered on the way back from New Mexico. Snow! In April! In the desert!
I guess I should talk about our card pool at the PTQ. It was really bad. There were a billion mediocre cards in our pool. Instead of listing every card, I’ll just show you what we had to base our decks around
Lots of Blue evasion: 3 Neurok Prodigy, 2 Neurok Spy, the aforementioned Somber, as well as Looming Hoverguard. There were also a Bonesplitter and Vulshok Morningstar that our White pool did not demand.
At first, we had a nice B/R/u affinity based deck, but the problem was that our pair of Chittering Rats were not good at all in this deck, and we had nowhere else to put them. Double Oxidda Golem, however, was particularly nice in this deck. This deck ended up being a little too good and there wasn’t much to build the other decks with. Then we tried pairing Blue with White or Green. U/W was interesting, but then we couldn’t build a good deck with the Green cards. We tried pairing the evasion with the Stand Togethers, but for some reason we didn’t like that. W/R looked pretty good too, with double Oxidda Golem and the Blinding Beam. I don’t know why we didn’t end up with these decks. The U/G deck would’ve liked the Essence Drain and Betrayal that didn’t really belong in our Black deck.
Phimus and I decided to put James in the B seat just so we could”Thanks, B” him all day long. To make up for it, we gave him all of the best cards in the pool. He built a U/R/b aggressive flier deck backed with all of our huge bombs. The splash was easy with Solemn Simulacrum, a Mirrodin’s Core, and a U/B Talisman. The splash was only for Betrayal and Essence Drain. I think we should’ve put the splash in the G/W deck.
Phimus got an awful G/W deck. When I looked at it, it seemed fine. A reasonable creature curve with some nice spells. It seemed like he’d win any game he was being the aggressor in. However, most of his creatures were godawful. Double Soldier Replica and Bottle Gnomes are certainly not platinum hits. This deck would’ve been helped a lot by late game bombs. Many of Phimus’s games went long, but in the end his cards were outclassed.
I got a B/u affinity deck. To solve the artifact problem, I took both Steel Walls and both Viridian Longbow(my favorite). The only reason I played this deck was because it had two Viridian Longbows. I should have either taken more acceleration or played different creatures. I had way too much at the four spot. I don’t think I lost a game when I had four mana on turn 3 though.
Round 1 was fairly eventful. I get dominated by a W/r deck that has an early Razor Golem with a Auriok Bladewarden to punch through my Steel Walls and a Blinding Beam/Leonin Bola to lock me out of the game. Both games.
However, Phimus used his Bola on the 11/11 in response to the Shaman destroying it, then got in there with Fangren Hunter and friends. He played a Fangren Firstborn and took a hit from the 11/11. Blinding Beam tapped down some blockers next turn and prevented Colossus from untapping, so he could swing in for the W next turn. Winning when your opponent kicks Tooth and Nail at twenty requires some mastery.
Round 2 we destroyed some little kids. One of the little kids took all the good cards by convincing his teammates he needed all of the artifacts (Platinum Angel, for example) for his Affinity deck. He beat Phimus, but James and I won without breaking a sweat.
Round 3 we played against the store owner’s team. My decks bad points come out when I have to decide on turn 4 whether or not to play a empty Moriok Scavenger, or a one-artifact-powered Nim Shrieker or Nim Shambler. He plays turn 3 Razor Golem, turn 4 Skyhunter Patrol, turn 5 Skyhunter Patrol. I’m at the point where I can attack back for lethal damage next turn, I’m at nine, and he attacks with his Patrols. His last two cards and his seven mana produce unkicked Stir the Pride and Roar of the Kha. Hmmphf. Phimus gets crushed by a Death Cloud and friends. James did pull out his meaningless match after being down huge. It required an impressive set of topdecks and suboptimal plays by his opponent, but he obliged. Good thing it counted.
Round 4 I played against some B/G deck, which probably means they misbuilt their decks. One game I got from his manascrew, and the other was a thing of beauty. He had Tangle Golem and Moriok Scavenger and was being the aggressor after a Wail of the Nim got two of my guys. However, he traded the first Tangle Golem for a 4/1 Nim Lasher. The return of the Golem traded for Echoing Decay and my own Scavenger. I had weathered his storm with a Steel Wall, an unequipped Longbow versus his Moriok Scavenger. I draw Chittering Rats and he puts a card back. I draw and play Aether Spellbomb, play it and use it to return my Chittering Rats. I equip the Longbow and finish off the Scavenger. The third time I played Chittering Rats gets the same card that he holds the entire game. I win with my stupid clock of Rats and Longbow on Steel Wall.
James wins his match with double six-mana Oxidda Golems. Both players were somewhat manascrewed, but James was actually able to play creatures. Thanks B!
Going into the last round, there was a twelve-point team, and three nine-point teams. Of course we get paired against the twelve-point team. They want to play for two reasons. First to help their friends from Denver make t4 with two losses, and second to boot us out of t4, since we were one of the better teams.
I play against Jonathan Cassidy, who top 8’d Grand Prix: KC. His U/W deck is really no match for me and my Viridian Longbows. Game 1 told me that he has an Arrest and scouting told me that he has double Psychic Overload (the reason he was able to go U/W, probably). In comes the Synod Sanctum! I start to race with my Nims, but he has a lot of retards that block quite well. He miscounts and Roar of the Khas for ten damage when I’m at twelve. I Irradiate to save some lifepoints and begin to rebuild. I get enough blockers out the turn after so I don’t die if he goes all in. This dissuades him from attacking. I draw the Synod Sanctum and get a strong enough position where I can threaten to win and still not die. The Sanctum saves my creatures on a few trades, as I begin to run out of creatures, the Sanctum gives me an army protected from Psychic Overload and Arrest.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, James dominates his match (Thanks B) and we’re in the top 4.
The result of us winning means that we don’t have to play the competent Denver team until the finals. Instead we play some team that decided to play together the day before.
I play against an absurd Mono-Red deck, complete with Ravager, Shatter, multiple Electrostatic Bolts, lots of Oxidda Golem/Vulshok Berserker, Isochron Scepter, Shrapnel Blast. Even the Slith Firewalker!
Game 1, he essentially triple Stone Rains himself to keep mana open for his Darksteel Brute. I make a critical mistake by playing both my Viridian Longbows. They get Echoing Ruined. Eventually I decide to run a guy into the Brute to get some damage in before Atog gets me. The next turn I draw the Irradiate for it. By this time he has Arcbound Ravager and Vulshok Battlegear.
Game 3 I play overly cautious, since I’m under the impression that he doesn’t have a long term game. If I had known about Isochron, I’d have played much more aggressively. That card destroys me, and I probably would’ve scooped with anything reasonable on it. God forbid a Shrapnel Blast. I have two Welding Jar, a Steel Wall, a Chittering Rats, an Aether Spellbomb, and a Viridian Longbow mowing down his team. He only has the Darksteel Brute again. I deal about fifteen with the Longbow moving it back and forth while both of us draw blank cards. I finally draw a Quicksilver Behemoth and use the Spellbomb to clear his Brute for a lethal attack.
The good Denver team lost in their top 4 match, so we’re up against the team we played round 1 in the finals. When James came down to Phoenix for a few weeks, we practiced Team Rochester a bunch of times and we had an idea on what to do. Apparently they had no clue.
We destroyed them during the draft. Our color matchups were good, they were putting the wrong cards in the wrong seats. For example, they put Goblin Replica in the R/W deck vs my G/w, instead of their R/G deck against the Black deck. The only pack they got any Myr was in the second set of Mirrodin packs that I opened. We took Viridian Shaman, Megatog, and Terror (vs R/G) and let them have two Myr. In the first Darksteel pack, their U/B player took Neurok Prodigy and let Phimus wheel Chittering Rats and Echoing Decay while his teammates took random cards for their colors. I got a sixth pick Oxidize too. They almost passed Forge[/author]“]Pulse of the [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] to us after getting three shots at it. Heh. After that pack, we just stopped caring for the most part and fought over rares. James punched me in the kidney when I hated his Darksteel Reactor. I won in the end, as I was able to keep his stack free of Myr Moonvessels.
My deck was insane. I had Viridian Shaman, Copperhoof Vorrac, Fangren Hunter, Tangle Golem, Oxidize, Taj-Nar Swordsmith, Mask of Memory, Leonin Bola and a host of other quality cards including four accelerators. I had a Skyhunter Cub and a Leonin Den-Guard, so I had to prioritize Equipment a little. I ended up taking Equipment in packs we opened a lot. First-pick Mask of Memory, Second-pick Vulshok Morningstar, first-pick Leonin Bola. James was originally going to go Affinity, but the packs dictated a standard evasion/removal based R/U. Phimus was a heavy Black deck splashing a few Red sources and a few Blue sources.
My opponent played Spincrusher. And Fists of the Anvil. Of course I have severe mana problems and almost manage to lose my match. Game 1, I paris to five and don’t cast a creature all game. Game 2 I paris to five again but I’m mana flooded and I’m able to get my Taj-Nar Swordsmith and fetch out a Mask of Memory. Fangren Hunter picks up the Mask and I’m back in the game. A few Mask-powered turns later and I can roll over him. In game 3, he gets a Razor Golem and equips it with a Fireshrieker. When I don’t block, he Fists of the Anvil for fourteen damage! Too bad I draw a Viridian Shaman for Razor Golem, a Loxodon Mystic for his Skyhunter Patrol, and after awhile I go on offense after Altar’s Light on his Spincrusher (how embarrassing). Since James had won three paragraphs ago (Thanks B), we were PTQ champions.
Some people would be content with just winning a slot or winning the money, or whatever they came to do. It’s usually what I come to do. But I’m greedy. It felt really good to play the finals of a PTQ. And win. No splits.
Because no tournament report is complete without it….
James Davis – Being a powerful spellcaster and willing to team with me. 7-0ing the PTQ. Getting good use out of his gadgetry, including pictures of me vomiting in the Hong House sink and pictures of Rocco and Harry… or Harry and Rocco? Thanks B
Phimus”Peter” Pan – Enduring the road trip with me, including a snowstorm outside of Albuquerque – vomit inducing if you think about it. Beating a constructed Tooth and Nail with Blinding Beam. For shutting the hell up and finally Qing.
Tim Aten – thanks for the team name. Pants Pants Revolution is so catchy.
New Mexico”staff” – Last time I went to a PTQ in New Mexico, I had to tell the organizer that thirty-five people did in fact mean six rounds (not five) of swiss. This time around the guy was a lot better. Prize support was still godawful, but at least Phimus and I weren’t Solomon drafting 8th Apoc Apoc afterwards.
New Mexico squads – for coming to the PTQ. Fourteen teams was more than the eight that showed up for the Phoenix PTQ.
Riad and Tubby – thanks for letting us borrow James for the PTQ
Arun – I slop you too much
Outback – For making my PTQ win worth $220 and a delicious steak. Frowns.
Gas Prices – Yeah.
Magic Online – This college dropout usually doesn’t claim to be good at anything (especially programming), but I could run any part of the Magic Online process better than the people currently involved.
Lil John – I wish I could make bajillions simply by shouting a few words per song. Whatalife.
I’m spent like an alcoholic’s paycheck.
ihatepants or AProsak on modo
jezuitsoljaz at yahoo dot com