It has been too long, it really has. But after a break of exactly a year, I threw myself back into Standard with the FNM event of past friday.
Of course I took red and aggressive, but on the contrary to more regular decks, I didn`t go for either Haste nor Burn, I went for a trainload of little weenie beasties and just tried to swarm the opposition.
That and the fact I knew next to nothing of the current metagame... meaning I was 72 points down before the weekend to even qualify this year for the WMCQ, that few I played I couldn`t even get together 300 points over a little less then 12 months span.
My decklist consisted of:
4 Burning-Tree Emmissary
4 Chandra`s Phoenix
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Firefist Striker
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Gore-House Chainwalker
1 Legion Loyalist
4 Rakdos Cackler
3 Rubblebelt Maaka
2 Lightning Strike
2 Searing Blood
2 Dictate of the Twin Gods
4 Boros Reckoner
2 Burning Earth
2 Searing Blood
2 Hammer of Purphoros
1 Seismic Stomp
So off we went with an untested deck, no knowledge of what to expect, and just a good `need` to play again at last...
It started of badly, with a 2-1 loss to a white weenie deck with a lot of First Strikers, but I did notice that there was indeed speed in the build.
Next I went up against Ben and his Red Aggro deck, but of the bigger kind. When his Eidolons of the Great Revel popped out, I was locked down as I burned myself faster then my attack power, resulting in another 2-1 loss.
Game three was another white green weenies deck, but this deck i can outrace if the mana base comes more or less stable, and it did, making it a 2-1 win.
The final round against Kenny was an offbeat. Some dwerp tossed a pint over the table, ruining a few of his temples, I luckily only lost a Gore-House. But the bloke actually kust wanted to walked away just saying `sorry, got to go now...`, but I`m glad for Kenny it all got resolved in the end. We agreed the match on a 1-1-1.
Hmm, a win, a draw and 2 losses, but there was potential in the deck, so I decided to return the day after for the weekly Saturday standard event. I did put both Dictates out to the sideboard and brought in the extra Searing Bloods, and replaced the ruined Chainwalker with one of the hammers as I couldn`t get to my place overnight to grab a fresh one...
So in we went on the saturday for 4 games of Standard... and I met my worst nightmare deck... twice...
Mono Blue Devotion... I can`t outrace it, especcially when they go turn 2 Tidebinder, turn 3 Tidebinder, Turn 4 Master of the Waves. Yet I could have had him at a 1-1 standing, as he went down to 1 point remaining versus my 19, and with 7 burns still to come. So of course, I started to flood then and out went my lights, 2-1 loss.
The second round was against a Golgari deck. Now they can pull all their Salvages and wait for Jarad all day for my part, this I outrace big time, and a swift 2-0 victory was chalked up.
Round 3, and there we have `Joeri Jund`. he`s called that because he mostly plays Jund. Coursers, Golgari Charms... game over and a 2-0 loss.
Round 4: another Mono Blue Devotion, and this one had his ideal drawing twice... so yes, that is 2-1 loss and nothing to do about it for me.
By then, I had let myself be convinced to go to the Outpost Open in Ghent as well on Sunday, a x3 multiplier WPN event. Hmm, unlikely, but I had a very small chance to make those WMCQ in the end after all, IF I really put down a solid effort there.
I tinkered a little at my deck, first putting the Dictates out and replacing them with 2 Mizzium Mortars for those pesky elementals, and then mained those Mortars for the Lightning Strikes. I also exchanged the main Hammer for the Seismic Stomp.
The event itself was mixed format, so at first you`d play Standard for 2 round, then do a three round draft, to go back to a final round of standard and a top -8 tournament. I basically needed to win like the whole event up to top-8 to be able to get to the WMCQs, so that was unlikely...
... but we started with a bang against buddy Tim. Ironically, we had travelled all the way to hent to play against each other, and we live apart a 5 minute walk...
He also played red aggro, but of the more classic variety, and I managed to win the race by purely outswarming him, resulting in a fast 2-0 win and time for breakfast and coffee galore.
Unfortunalty, I came against my second worst match up, the green white Voice deck. And if it comes like it has to, I can`t stop it. 2-1 loss and 1-1 overall, I needed to save it all in the draft.
Initially I was forced a bit towards, and allowed me to be, Green. After three boosters, I thought I had a decent almost Mono Green deck, no removal though, but a lot of BIG beasties and heroics to pump for fast damage, and with 17 lands as well as 4 mana managers in the Golden Hind, the Font, the Market and a Traveller`s Amulet, I could potentially toss down the Colossus around turn 6, go in at 7. The other beasties where mainly to buy time, but if I could get the Vulpix or the Centaurs out soon, I would rampage over their creatures.
Little did I know
The first game put me against Nathalie and a white human deck. Both games she managed to get the `give first strike` bloke out on turn 3, and down went my beasties, and my mana stocked a bit, making it a 2-0 loss.
But in the next game against Chon Sie I cried. 21 potential mana sources, and I stuck at 3 in the first game!!! The second game I did recover from the same problem (with 3 forests, the Colossus and the Market in my opening hand to boot, it took 5 more turns for a next land) but by then it was to late, 2-0 and any potential chance of getting to the WMCQ was now out the door.
The third game I got the mana as it should have be, and when I swinged in the third game (I lost the second one stuck the whole time on 2 land!!!) for a `nice` 36 damage with trample mostly with him on 15 then, I at least scored the second win of the day.
So we went back to a final round of Standard, and crap, another Vocie deck. I brought home the first round, but then he had his `perfect draw` two games in a row, and a Cackler really feels stupid by then. Experimetn One, Experiment One, First Strike bloke, Voice of Ressurgence, Fleecemane Lion... game over.
So it was only a modest 2-4 for the event, though i`m still rather okay with my deck to be honest. I had bad luck in the draft, which could have gone 2-1 instead, and the last Voice battle should have been a winner had he not had twice his perfect hand.
That put me 33rd overal on 42, but there where some familiar faces I somehow managed to keep behind me still, like Bart, Belgian champion in 1722 ;-)
Well, you win some, I lose some more... now I`m going to tinker a little bit with the deck, but ain`t going to invest in it until post rotation, slowly colecting the replacers for most of my creatures who will belong to the past come september.
I might already start trading off some of the cards in there perhaps, like the Reckoner`s, as the age of the Cow has faded, and will be definitly getting the Eidolons in. I should be able to get a life advantage before I enter them, blocking off the opponent as well and hitting / burning faster through his remaining life then the damage it does to myself.
On a yearly basis, I fell short 45 points in the end (though due to this weekend, I reached level 29 in Planeswalker Points and collected the 10 various event types achievement) for the WMCQ, so my not going to the Antwerp GP past november has really come to bite me in the ass. Had I only entered either the main event on saturday, the participation points alone would have been enough, or I should have gone there on sunday and play 2 or 3 side events... DAMMIT!
Oh well, I did decide (and talked about it with the GF) that I`m going to be playing a bit more again, I really enjoy it (though I`m losing more then winning), and the having a beer with mates part is sheer enjoyness as well...
Now to grab those 300 points ASAP for next years WMCQ, so that is out of the way at least, with the yearly having reset today, starting with some `bigger` point events like the GPT for Utrecht in the beginning of july, and perhaps even the actual GP in the beginning of August itself. Or events like the Belgic Magic tournaments that tend to draw quite a few participants. Now where did I put those `to build` Modern and Legacy deck lists again...
Cards to invest in? Not really, though perhaps I *might* go for 4 Mutavaults, of my vault sales rake up enough funds for those, as we`re talking 15 - 20 euro cards here. Another one I have my eye on is perhaps one or two Stormbreath Dragons, but that will be depending what i can do with my deck after rotating, as that M15 Goblin si very intresting for my playstyle...
BTW, I ended the previous season in the end on a very far back 410th place in Belgium, with a measly 49 points, a far cry of the 200 - 300 I obtained last year in this quarter without any GP plays and such...