Monday, May 3, 2010

Back from a Long Day in Boston

After missing out on yesterday's PTQ in New York (because of work), I decided kind of last minute to hitch a ride to Boston with people, and apparently it was a good decision. I got there! 6-1-1 in the Swiss, and 6-0 in the Top 8. My Tournament Report will be up later, as well as a decklist. It is Zvi's Mythic list but with a few changes. The changes are small but proved to be incredibly critical in the deck's success.

This was also my first Top 8 of any large event and my second PTQ since starting Magic. The first was the Edison PTQ where Dan Rein made first for San Diego. I went to that PTQ grudgingly and woefully unprepared. I did it because I felt some sort of obligation. I performed dismally, and I realized that I never performed well at events I didn't "feel like" going to. As a result, I don't attend a whole lot of big events. But I had a lot of fun at this one, and I didn't feel any obligation to go. I just wanted to for the sake of playing. I believe this helped relieve a lot of the pressure at the top tables.

The PTQ was 8 rounds, and there were ~180 people (correction, 155 apparently). It was a 3-hour drive, and I roomed with 4 other guys since we arrived the night before (probably a good plan). That way, we didn't have to wake up at 5 AM to drive all the way to the site. Much thanks and appreciation go out to Morgan Chang who drove us there and back on little sleep.

To be honest I was running on almost no sleep for the past two days, so it was interesting. It is kind of remarkable how it didn't totally destroy my concentration.

I lost in round 2, so I was x-1 going all the way up. Then I drew in the final round (being in 4th place with the highest tiebreaks out of the x-1's). As is probably typical of people who win PTQs, I ran hot. Mulled little. Drew well. Played well. Had great focus. (Although was really jittery near the end. Managed to recover from nerves in the semis and finals.) I liked my deck, and my deck liked me back. One of my opponents (Open the Vaults) mulled down to 3 cards. My opponents in the Top 8 also seemed to mull more than on average. The road to the top was very awkward in spots, and I accumulated various warnings from judges along the way. Fortunately never the same warning twice. I will have to write about some of the judge calls and decisions because they were all interesting. Eric Shukan (Lv 3) was our head judge.

I played against a ton of UW or UWR control decks and also managed to beat Open the Vaults. When you think about Mythic, you don't really see the deck beating any of these. But I feel people have been overexaggerating how bad the matchup is. In my testing I had been the dog - but by a margin that I felt could be bridged. My friend Elliot helped me to bridge that gap. After seeing the field at the NY PTQ, I realized that UW was the new big bad. It was all over the Top tables. Jund was sparse. Everyone was playing Spreading Seas and Wall of Omens.

So I made a few changes, and they turned out to be good.

The full disclosure coming soon. Decklist, matchups, who mulled, who played, sideboarding, etc. Although I will have to recall much of my matches from memory because unlike Alexander Shearer, I never noted what was happening in the game. Or what was dealing damage. In the Mythic deck, it rarely matters what is dealing the damage, though. It is often more important knowing what answers my opponents had, and what they tried to do to stop my threats. Without mind-reading my opponents hands, I can't tell what all their decisions were, but I will try to surmise based on my observations.