Sunday, December 6, 2009

NY States Fail 4-3

Nobody wants to read losing tournament reports, so I guess I don't expect anyone to go through a full report... I'll just go over my results briefly and relay the most useful things I learned. Here's the decklist.

// Lands
    2 [ZEN] Forest (1)
    3 [M10] Dragonskull Summit
    4 [ZEN] Mountain (1)
    1 [ZEN] Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
    4 [M10] Rootbound Crag
    4 [ZEN] Verdant Catacombs
    3 [ZEN] Swamp (1)
    4 [ALA] Savage Lands

// Creatures
    4 [ARB] Putrid Leech
    4 [ALA] Sprouting Thrinax
    4 [ARB] Bloodbraid Elf
    3 [ALA] Broodmate Dragon

// Spells
    4 [M10] Lightning Bolt
    3 [ARB] Terminate
    3 [ARB] Maelstrom Pulse
    4 [ALA] Blightning
    2 [M10] Garruk Wildspeaker
    3 [ARB] Bituminous Blast
    1 [ALA] Resounding Thunder (why did I stick this in? silly of me)

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [ARB] Maelstrom Pulse (for turbofog mostly)
SB: 1 [ZEN] Burst Lightning
SB: 3 [M10] Great Sable Stag
SB: 4 [ZEN] Goblin Ruinblaster
SB: 3 [ALA] Jund Charm
SB: 2 [ZEN] Malakir Bloodwitch (need one more, she's too good)
SB: 1 [M10] Mind Rot

Match One vs Vampires, Cody Warchol
He didn't Mind Sludge me, making it easy to win.
2-0 / 1-0

Match Two vs Jund, George Dicataldo
He had Vampire Nighthawks in the main. They didn't seem to do that much for him. But what really determined all three games was mulligans/manascrew. I was on the losing end of that. Garruks seem kind of weak in the mirror. I might take them out of the deck.
1-2 / 1-1

Match Three vs American Control, Chris Laiacona
I have a very weird perception of control while playing Jund. Their 1-for-1's just do not sustain them in this matchup (and indeed, Double Negative is JUST a one-for-one against Cascade), and so I kind of felt like I was playing against a deck full of air. However he did get manaflooded in game three.

But his sideboard plan may not have been optimal. I asked him about his sideboard plan, and it sounded like he just kept in lots of 1-for-1 removal, while adding Purges, which sounded like the wrong way to go. He did keep Wraths, though. He kept out Baneslayers.

Stags and Malakir really went the distance here. (Funnily I used almost my entire Sideboard against him.) I didn't realize he had kept in his burn, though, so Stag might not have been wise. He just didn't draw burn. No Mind Springs either. He had to Path all three Stags I played. Haha.

By the way, if they have two cards left, Blightning first. Bloodbraid second. Smart, Lauren, smart.
2-1 / 2-1

Match Four vs Bant, Alex Bertoncini
Malakir again. Wow. (And Bit Blast into a lucky Pulse. And Blightning, basically the way Jund tends to win.) Helped me come back after a 6 to 29 life difference. But this matchup is kind of still a mystery for me.
2-0 / 3-1

Match Five vs GW token landfall with Eldrazi, Michael Lapine
I respect my opponent for being a good sport here. And I apologize to him for acting a little frustrated. I am not a fan of having my emotions on my sleeve while playing. I think subconsciously I was trying to garner sympathy for my situation, which wasn't very sportsmanlike of me. Sorry! I got stuck on mana both games, and he crushed me. His deck seemed good, though. Eldrazi was a nice finisher. Tokens are a bad matchup for me anyway.
0-2 / 3-2

Match Six vs Barely Boros, Mike Flores
Check the website for his decklist. It's like, mono-red but with a splash for Ajani. I think Brian David-Marshall and Mike Flores playtest and discuss the deck in more depth in this podcast. I could be wrong, though.

I only knew about the decklist vaguely before playing it. But I think my sideboard plan was okay... Burst, Jund Charms, Malakirs. I'm still not sure what the matchup is really like without having played against it much. Or against mono-red much either. I am just aware that it's a poorer matchup than Boros. Boros is a bit slower, and easier to chump block against. This deck isn't.

The only awkward moment for them might be Pulsing a double Zektar Shrine. Or a board wipe with Jund Charm. Although they can play around that. The rest is a lot of burn to the face, which is hard to avoid or deter. Try not to go below 12 life against this deck is all I can say. El-oh-el.

Match Seven vs ???
No show. Auto win. Watched Brian (Junk) vs Anthony (Boros) -- both vying for Top 8 at this point, and both from JHU. Sad circumstances brought them together at this critical moment. Brian would continue on to the Top 8 after Anthony got mana-screwed Game 3. (He would then lose the quarterfinals match to Jund.)

I brought a suboptimal deck with suboptimal sideboard plans and wasn't completely prepared for every matchup I might face. I was expecting more Jund mirror and surprisingly only faced one. I hate when the numbers do that to you. But honestly, I think facing all the random stuff I did was what won me matches. I'm really, really thankful I didn't face Turbofog. Normally I enjoy the challenge of control matchups, but it's not quite the same.

I'm changing my list. The meta was not entirely what I expected.