maandag 9 juni 2014

GPT Milano 2014 report

32 degrees... that was how hot it was yesterday around midday.  I hate heat, I`m a winter's man, preferring temperatures around the freezing point to be able to function the most.

With my family of to a far barbeque, I remained behind.  I just couldn`t take it (as well for health reasons) to sit in warm temperatures all afternoon, so I looked for other options.  Option of choice number one was the local zoo and especcially the pinguin house.  I`ve spend hours their in the cold climate last years, during lunch breaks at work I even went as far as to actually hug the cold glass windows for half an hour.

Option two was my local watering hole, where the games are played in a cellar and all the local geeks hole together for the mucho airco and coldness.  And there was both a Conspiracy fun draft going on as well as the GPT Milan, so I opted for the second tournament of option two.

Now, attendance (and general population) was low with the fact tody is a bank holiday, so lots of people where out for the extended weekend, but I took along my ill fated red deck, though it had some minor tweaks compared to the poor showing it gave last week.  So 13 players stepped in the arena of this x3 multiplier event (the main reason I picked this, for 2015 I want those WMCQ points in order asap to avoid a flunk like this year), so that would at least grant me 3 points to that goal just for stepping in...

Red Aggro

Tomsche Murrath - DCI 6300 210 147

Creatures - 30

4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Chandra`s Phoenix
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Firefist Striker
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Rakdos Cackler
3 Gore-House Chainwalker
1 Satyr Firedancer
1 Archtype of Aggression
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

Spells - 10

3 Titan`s Strength
2 Lightning Strike
2 Searing Blood
2 Mizzium Mortars
1 Magma Jet

Lands - 20

20 Mountains

Total: 60 cards

Sideboard - 15

4 Skullcrack
2 Searing Blood
2 Peak Eruption
2 Boros Reckoner
2 Eidolon of the Great Revel
2 Hammer of Purphoros
1 Blinding Flare

Expectations where low however, as the current big hitter in Standard is apparently Naya Midrange, so I expected one or two of those, and for the local metagame Jund and general Black / Green are the most popular decks, something that if I can`t do the race at once, I can not recover against.  I did decide to sideboard more aggressively if I bumped into those, taking out all 1 toughness creatures if possible for burns and the holy cows.

Game 1 - Adam with Black aggro, splashed by a bit of green

A deck that plays around Gray Merchants and Pack Rats, I went down in the first round, as he survived my initial onslaught and could recuperate at turn 6 and 7.
The second round I had a better start and quickly dispatched him, but in round 3 my lights went out and I blundered.  For some reason, I kept a 0 land hand after a mulligan to 6, for some reason thinking I was on the play instead of the draw.  Sure I had 3 1 drop cards as well as 2 Skullcracks in hand to handle the Merchants, but I should have never kept that.  It then took three more draws for the first mountain to arrive, and by then the pack rats had eaten me all the way

Game 2 - Bye

Okay, extended lunchtime, and 9 points bonus

Game 3 - Siegfried with Mono Black Aggro

The rounds where easily summarised: he won the dice roll for the first round.  Mono Red Aggro with a lot of Unleash versus Mono Black Aggro with a lot of Unleash.  He won the first, I the second, he the third again as we tried to remove each others beasties.  And each time, if the other one would have one more go, that one would have won. 

Game 4 - Seth with Blue White Control

So now we where firmly in the last spot and out of the possibility of Top 4.  The event had been decided on 5 rounds Swiss with then a Top 4 for the byes, price support for the first 8 players after the Swiss rounds in Boosters. 
Perhaps I could aim for the top 8 spots with a bit of luck and score me 2 boosters that where awarded on places 5 to 8, the highest possible spot left to me.
My opponent played the old school control deck, with a lot of Detention Spheres,Sphinx Revelations and the likes.  Oddly enough, the kind of deck my creatures like the most, IF I don`t over commit to give the Detention Spheres a field day and outrace big Sphinxes.
The first game this went perfectly, getting attacked not once, but the second one was closer as he had Mutavaults attacking me all the time.  I grinded him down eventually right before he could draw a bog Sphinx, and a 2-0 win put me now in 8th place.

Game 5 - Kenny with Black Green

The deck I fear.  Gaze of Granite, Golgari Charm, all cards that can wreck my little weenies to high heaven, so even before we began, I knew I would be outboarding a lot of my 1 toughness creatures and replace them with all my sideboard burn.
I won the first round as he stalled in mana though and overran him thanks to the Burning Tree Emmissaries, which I could plump down two on turn two after opening with a Cackler, following up with a Chainwalker, and then go Phoenix in turns 3 AND 4.  Never the less, this being the perfect opening hand and draws, I didn`t want to take the risks
I got him beaten down to 5 again smoothly in game 2, but then he recovered with the Coursers (including my foil one from the boxes last week, I traded him for two regulars, a fair deal for me).
So it all came down to game three, and I was lucky he screwed in his mana.  The draw back of the deck is the wide mana base, even with the scrying, and if he can`t get the plant out, he has a backfooting that my racing deck can exploit.  And I was right on time for that, one more turn and his deck would have started turning, but this way, i put down a 2-1 win and ended the day in 6th, with two boosters yielding a Twin Flame (hmm, intresting card for this deck perhaps) and a Dictate of Ereboros.

But more importantly, I scored 30 Planeswalker Points, the first of this Yearly as the counter had reset past monday, and in one go 10% of the needed quota for next year.

But I shouldn`t make myself believe things, the era of the Red Aggro is ending in the local meta game, and I am building at the moment a Blue / Black Inspiration deck, in `Block` format to not worry about rotation in two months time.  I`ll be bringing an even more tweaked deck to the small Standard tournaments the coming weekend as the deck won`t be ready by then, I`m awaiting a few more cards to arrive.

The Wildfire Satyr`s are definitly going out.  I just can`t see the use of the card.  If I get on the play AND can open with him, he gets to do 2 damage on turn two with most opponents starting with a scry land, but then there is a blocker and he usually hurts me for 2 as well the turn after.  Chump blocking with him ain`t an option either, I not only lose the guy, but get the damage none the less...

So I`m replacing him for now with 2 more Lightning Strikes and the 2 Searing Bloods from my sideboard, while 2 Fanatics of Mogus go in the sideboard.  If I come up against the Black Greens, I`m putting down my creatures after all the burn went in, but won`t attack and keep them behind to build up devotion for either Purphoros and the Fanatics to show their heads then.  If I had more Firedancer Satyr`s, I would have put in more of those, but I don`t have a play set of them, and go the burn route.

Even though I didn`t see Purphoros show this game, he is a handy asset in the deck, as a last cause resort.  It`s his passives I`m after in the end, I don`t care of getting him active that much in the end.

But the card of the tournament for my deck was... Titan`s Strength.  An additional qucik 3 damage on turn 2 has helped a lot of rocket starting the deck, or put in on a Phoenix in turn 4 or 5 has even finished off two rounds for me.  That one stays for sure in the deck for the times to come...

But all in all, though I initially didn`t plan on attending, this ended up rather well, with a 50/50 win rate pulled into 60% by the bye, not to shabby with a deck that has no place in the current setting anymore... it `blasted` better in the previous Innistrad / Ravnica block (Vexing Devil, I miss thee...)

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