Three Simple Words: A PT Charleston Report *26th*

Steve, a member of Two Headed Giant, gave a creditable performance at Charleston but finished just outside the money. Finishing 9th in the Top 8 of life is always a bitter pill to swallow… Steve’s report examines the games played, and reveals the changes he’d make to the deck that almost took him all the way.

First off, my bad on the matchup series that Mike and I did last week. If we had known that those decks weren’t going to show up at Charleston we probably would have done a hell of a lot better than one spot off the money.

Before the first round, Pat Sullivan handed me a folded-up note and told me to “read it when you’re in a tight jam in the tournament.” Fair enough… as soon as I’m in a tight jam I’ll give it a read.

For reference, these were our decklists:

Look at how wacky Paul’s deck is. I firmly stand by my position that this is the type of deck that can only be designed from within the confines of prison bars.

I wish I had tested this deck in sideboarded games, if I had I would have ran a completely different sideboard.

Mike’s deck was total gas. I don’t think we would change a single card if we had to play this tournament over.

Round 1: Kadlec, Phillips, Thoren

I beat B/W aggro, Mike wins, and Paul loses partially as a result of the following play.

It’s Paul’s fifth turn, and he has four lands on the board with a Crime / Punishment, a Signet, a dual land and some action in his hand. His opponent has a Watchwolf and a Civic Wayfinder. The play here is pretty obvious just Punish away the Watchwolf and lay a land tapped. Rather, I should say the play is pretty obvious unless you’re Paul and myself; we were able to engineer a play in which we took two extra damage and binned our own Signet in order to kill the Watchwolf with our Punishment. At around this point I started thinking that maybe calling ourselves Two Headed Giant was a little generous.

Team record: 1-0

Round 2: Asahara, Ikeda, Okamoto

These guys are really, really good. Jin’s deck was very interesting. He was running a four-color burn concoction that included Rise / Fall and Consult the Necrosages. I took game 1 on the back of Lightning Helixes. He promptly destroyed me game 2 by picking up his Giant Solifuge from his graveyard and bouncing my Firemane Angel with Rise.

Paul and Mike took their matches before Jin and I got a chance to play game 3. Needless to say, I was very happy that we managed to dodge a bullet on this one.

Team record: 2-0

Round 3: Chan, Heitzmann, Putnam

Paul and I win before Mike and his opponent were able to take care of some rules squabble (but Mike won game 1 and maintains he was going to win anyway).

Team record: 3-0

Round 4: Levy, Siron, Wiegersma

This match was covered by the Sideboard here. Mike pulled out his match, but Paul lost, and I got bashed by Jelger’s second Simic Sky Swallower.

Team record: 3-1

Round 5: Golan, Manor, Trachtenberg

Our opponents were in quite a bit of disarray this round; I think it’s fair to say that their entire team was on tilt. I was playing against their U/G/R Sky Swallower deck, but I was able to win pretty quickly on the back of Demonfire.

Team record: 4-1

Round 6: Dao, Musser, Steele

I got bashed by my opponents Sky Swallowers and Hierarchs, but my teammates were victorious.

Team record: 5-1

Round 7: McDaniel, Pelcak, Szleifer

I took game 1 against Gadiel on the back of a Hellbent Demonfire. I then stupidly boarded out some of my Lightning Helixes in favor of overpriced attrition spells. I obviously got destroyed, as I didn’t have a reliable way to win before he was able to kill me with Sky Swallowers.

I was pretty upset about the loss, as I would have had a good chance of winning had I left my deck in dedicated burn mode.

Team record: 5-2

Mike and I had the following Messenger conversation while I was writing this article:

Flores: I was thinking
Flores: what if I looked at you during the Gadiel matchup and asked
Flores: Steve,
Flores: who’s the beatdown?
Sadin: I probably would have mauled him
Flores: yeah
Flores: man
Flores: we’re dumb
Sadin: 🙁
Flores: who’s the beatdown lol
Sadin: 3 simple words, who’s the beatdown
Sadin: instead we get to use 2 simple words, which are…
Sadin: we stink

Day 2

Round 8: Goodman, Ioli, Lundquist

Kyle was playing a four-color Sky Swallower deck with a limited amount of countermagic. Armed with the proper sideboarding strategy, I’m finally able to follow up my game 1 win with another to seal the match for our team.

Team record: 6-2

Round 9: Krempels, Moreno, Sonne

This match was covered here.

I bashed Billy despite losing game 1 and going down to five in the final game. He brought in a full set of Rain of Gores, which didn’t cause as much trouble as you might imagine. Had I known he was bringing in a full set, I would have boarded out some number of Fetters, but as it was I was still able to beat him with quick Angels and Demonfires.

Team record: 7-2

Round 10: Nygaard, Oks, Sibast

Sibast was playing a heavy counterspell Sky Swallower deck that brought in Rumbling Slums. This matchup is pretty miserable for me, and to make matters worse I mulliganed down to five in both games.

Team record: 7-3

Round 11: Fleming, Jacob, Taylor

I got destroyed again this round. Jacob was playing an American Angel deck that was quite similar to my own, save for the inclusion of four Dream Leashes and four Copy Enchantments (vomit). This matchup was basically unwinnable for me as he had a never-ending stream of trump cards.

Team record: 7-4

Round 12: Aridome, Kitayama, Takakuwa

I don’t remember quite what happened this round, except that we won pretty quickly.

Team record: 8-4

Round 13: Hoaen, Jonsson, Sadeghpour

Anton was playing a Supply / Demand deck with Court Hussars, Glares and Sky Swallower. His Court Hussars and Birds put him out of Ends range, and he quickly beat me.

Team record: 8-5

After we took our fifth loss, I approached Pat and told him, “We just lost. We now need to win our last match to even have a chance at making money. I guess its time to read the note.”

I unfold the first leaf and it says “Shorts +” …

I unfold the next leaf and it says “Belt” …

The next leaf contains “=” …

And the final leaf says “Nombo.”

I finish reading the note, glance down and… Damn it, I was wearing shorts with a belt again. Pat got maximum value out of his beat.

Round 14: Harvey, Horvath, Sullivan

Needless to say, we’re paired against Pat’s team in the final round. I swiftly bash him and pretty much ignore my teammates’ matches. Paul got destroyed by Eugene, and Mike out-Skeletal-Vampired Horvath in the Batman mirror.

So, we won our last match and quietly awaited the standings.


And by that, I mean we came in 26th place, a.k.a. dead last.

If I had to play my deck again, this is the list that I would run:

The Dream Leashes and Copy Enchantments are very significant in control matchups – if I’d had them in my sideboard for the PT, we would have been able to win at least one additional match. That match (and the subsequent intentional draw that we almost certainly would have had) would probably have made the difference between virtual (or actual) Top 4 and virtual last place.

The deck is already very favorable against beatdown, and the removal of idiot Muse Vessels would allow the deck to destroy beatdown even more than the name might suggest.

The only matchup where my new deck might be less successful than my PT version is against midrange B/W, where the Muse Vessels were superb.

Man, 26th place stinks almost as much as my sideboard.

Steve Sadin

* Nombo: not a combo.