Grand Prix: Columbus (06/10-12/2016) 28th

My Grand Prix: Columbus weekend began with hitting the road early Friday morning, which was something I’m not used to. Normally, I leave for trips after work on Friday, which normally works out pretty well — but Columbus is a seven hour drive. Joining me was Royce Walter, Adam Van Fleet, and Aaron “Big Cat” Webster. It was very refreshing driving through the early morning and mid-afternoon on a long trip, rather than at night. It certainly made the seven hours go by a lot faster than one would think.

We arrived in Columbus, met up with Phil Blechman and Sam Roukas, and found a bar & restaurant (more importantly, we decided to not get drunk the night before. We did so at SCG: Philadelphia and everyone was hungover all day Saturday). After dinner, we found the hotel and then play tested before the big event the following day. I was already set on my deck list, but I figured I could get some games in.

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 4 [[Gitaxian Probe]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Past in Flames]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 4 [[Cabal Therapy]]
  • 2 [[Duress]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 4 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 3 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 2 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Bayou]]
  • 1 [[Swamp]]


  • 4 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 2 [[Hurkyl’s Recall]]
  • 2 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 2 [[Past in Flames]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Massacre]]
  • 1 [[Dark Petition]]

What changed?

Between the MTGthesource user FinalFortune and Caleb Scherer, I had a slightly newer strategy. Caleb has been trying [[Chrome Mox]] in his sideboard to become more like TES in post-board games and FinalFortune has been playing a sideboard with two copies of [[Tendrils of Agony]] and two [[Past in Flames]] to become more like ANT post-board against blue decks. I liked the concept, but I think it was slightly off. In my games of testing, I never actually needed a second copy of [[Tendrils of Agony]]. My initial plan was to side in all four copies of the cards and go into full “Grinding “ mode against blue-based decks, this wasn’t really working for me. Due to that, the new plan just became to side in one [[Past in Flames]] and the single [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Other than that, the only other change was bringing back Massacre.

Grand Prix: Columbus

Round One & Two – **BYE**

4-0 | 2-0

Round Three – Khrystian Wildes with 4c Chalice Loam

[[Gaddock Teeg|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

Khrystian is dressed very well and definitely provides a vibe that they take pride in their Legacy feats. That said, I don’t have any idea of what they’re playing based on appearance.

Game One:

Khrystian wins the die roll and starts with [[Taiga]] and then casts [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] for [[Dryad Arbor]]. I begin the event with a [[Gitaxian Probe]] revealing: [[Liliana of the Veil]], [[Wasteland]], [[Scavenging Ooze]], and a pair of [[Mox Diamond]]. I follow this with a [[Polluted Delta]] to find basic [[Swamp]] and a [[Cabal Therapy]] on [[Mox Diamond]]. Khrystian draws, plays [[Wasteland]], attacks with [[Dryad Arbor]] and plays [[Scavenging Ooze]]. I draw, play a [[Bloodstained Mire]], and pass. Khrystian attacks me and misses a land drop. I play a third land, [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Burning Wish]]) and then cast [[Burning Wish]] for [[Grapeshot]], then use it to clear the board of creatures. My hand is now [[Ad Nauseam]] and non-mana cards. Khrystian lays a [[Forest]]. I don’t draw a fifth mana for [[Ad Nauseam]], Khrystian draws [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] for [[Gaddock Teeg]]. While shuffling the deck, I notice there’s sideboard cards face up in the library and going the opposite direction. The judges rule that it’s a loss for an illegal deck.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Ponder]], -2 [[Cabal Therapy]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2 [[Thoughtseize]]

Game Two:

Khrystian starts with a pair of [[Mox Diamond]], a [[Wasteland]], and [[Gaddock Teeg]]. I play [[Underground Sea]] and [[Ponder]]. Khrystian plays another land and [[Knight of the Reliquary]] before using the [[Wasteland]], I quickly lose after this.

Game Three:

I start the third game of the day with [[Bloodstained Mire]] finding [[Underground Sea]] and casting [[Ponder]] into [[Brainstorm]], [[Empty the Warrens]], and [[Burning Wish]]. Draw [[Brainstorm]]. [[Lotus Petal]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Brainstorm]]), [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and then cast [[Brainstorm]]. In response, add and then cast [[Burning Wish]] into [[Empty the Warrens]] for 16 [[Goblin Token]]s. Khrystian concedes on the spot.

I felt very badly about taking the game win in the first game when I was completely locked out by [[Gaddock Teeg]], but this is a Grand Prix. No excuses for things like that.

2-1 | 3-0

Round Four – Sean O’Neal with Stoneblade

[[Past in Flames|]]
[[Stoneforge Mystic|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

Looking at Sean when they sat down, they look like the type of player that really values card advantage. They’re wearing a polo of a gaming store and has a gaming store deck box — they seem competent. Because of these things, I determine that they’re the type of player that plays [[Stoneforge Mystic]].

Game One:

Sean mulligans, plays [[Underground Sea]], and passes. My initial thought was that I must’ve been wrong about [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. I play a [[Polluted Delta]] and cast [[Ponder]], which is immediately hit by [[Spell Pierce]]. I am then hit by a [[Thoughtseize]] on my [[Ad Nauseam]]. Due to this, I use [[Burning Wish]] to retrieve [[Past in Flames]]. Sean plays [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. I play a few ritual effects into [[Past in Flames]], that then Flashback [[Ad Nauseam]].

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +1 [[Tendrils of Agony]], +1 [[Past in Flames]]

I tell Sean that I put them on [[Stoneforge Mystic]] and explain why. I then told Sean I got very nervous after the initial [[Underground Sea]], I was worried that they might be playing Reanimator. Then went on to explain why Reanimator is very bad for Storm combo. The match going on next to us apparently had a Reanimator deck in it, their opponent snaps at us for making small talk about Reanimator. Neither of us had any clue about the games next to us. I understand why, but a kinder request would’ve been appreciated.

Game Two:

I mulligan. This is a very long game with [[Meddling Mage]] on [[Burning Wish]] and [[Pithing Needle]] on [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], I cast [[Past in Flames]] that is countered by Sean’s draw step [[Spell Pierce]]. I have to use [[Dark Ritual]] to cast [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. I eventually find the [[Tendrils of Agony]] but am forced to use [[Brainstorm]]. In order to win the game, I have to hit one of the remaining two copies of [[Dark Ritual]], I do not.

Game Three:

Sean mulligans and starts with a [[Tundra]] into a [[Ponder]]. On the second turn, I play [[Burning Wish]] for [[Massacre]] preemptively to avoid a [[Meddling Mage]], I also still have a [[Burning Wish]] and [[Infernal Tutor]] in hand. On the third turn, Sean casts a [[Brainstorm]], shuffles with a fetch land, and casts [[Rest in Peace]]. I play another [[Burning Wish]] for [[Empty the Warrens]], three [[Lotus Petal]], and then lay a land. [[Empty the Warrens]] for ten [[Goblin Token]]s. I attack through a [[True-Name Nemesis]] twice, Sean starts counting, but has to use a fetch land to drop down to two before casting [[Batterskull]]. I have exactly lethal. Although, I had the mana to [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Burning Wish]] for [[Grapeshot]]!

A tight match!

4-2 | 4-0

Round Five – Joe Lossett with Miracles

[[Sensei’s Divining Top|]]
[[Force of Will|]]

Joe and I acknowledge each other and there’s no acting like we don’t know what deck the other is playing, which is very refreshing. It’s our first time meeting, Joe is very polite and my initial impression was that Joe is very nice.

Game One:

I win the die roll and hit a [[Counterbalance]] early with [[Gitaxian Probe]] into [[Cabal Therapy]] on [[Counterbalance]]. This is a long game where because of the [[Cabal Therapy]], I’ve spent most of it being beaten by a [[Snapcaster Mage]] and a [[Vendilion Clique]] after a poor [[Ad Nauseam]]. There’s a pivotal moment where Joe decides to use the [[Vendilion Clique]] main phase, which is the proper play. But of the two unknown cards in my hand, one of them is a [[Brainstorm]]. I’m able to leverage this into a [[Past in Flames]], but I’m short a post-[[Past in Flames]]. I’m actually one Storm short of just killing Joe with [[Grapeshot]]. I have to kill the two creatures and leave Joe at three life. My hand is a [[Bloodstained Mire]] that I can’t use and a [[Brainstorm]]. Joe draws and passes. I draw [[Dark Ritual]], then cast [[Brainstorm]] into another [[Dark Ritual]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. I Flashback [[Past in Flames]] and [[Grapeshot]].

During my [[Past in Flames]], a judge walks by and Joe asks them how long is acceptable on a turn/decision. I felt like this was an attempt to make me slip up. I was definitely playing at a reasonable pace and the judge agreed. I don’t hold anything against Joe, but it seemed like a trick — I wasn’t having it.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Chrome Mox]], -1 [[Lotus Petal]], -1 [[Swamp]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]], +1 [[Tendrils of Agony]], +1 [[Past in Flames]]

Game Two:

Joe just demolishes be with a [[Sensei’s Divining Top]] and a pair of [[Counterbalance]] in the first five turns.

Game Three:

I keep a hand of: [[Burning Wish]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Abrupt Decay]], [[Badlands]], [[Gitaxian Probe]], [[Ponder]], and [[Duress]]. It’s definitely not ideal, but it has a lot of potential. I never hit a second land before Joe kills me with [[Snapcaster Mage]], [[Vendilion Clique]], and later a [[Venser, Shaper Savant]]. I use [[Rite of Flame]] for [[Burning Wish]] and grab [[Massacre]] on turn 0 of turns. I cast it, Joe tanks for a minute. Casts [[Brainstorm]] and then activates [[Sensei’s Divining Top]] to look at a third card. Joe finds [[Force of Will]] to stop my attempt of drawing the round.

It was a great match, I still think the third hand might’ve been a keep. Congrats to Joe for making the top 8, Joe was a solid opponent.

5-4 | 4-1

Round Six – Daniel Buzzie with Miracles

[[Force of Will|]]
[[Abrupt Decay|]]

Dan is a very happy-go-lucky person, I have no read on them.

Game One:

Dan wins the die roll and starts with [[Island]] into [[Sensei’s Divining Top]]. I have the option of [[Volcanic Island]] into [[Ponder]] to look for a [[Gitaxian Probe]] and more business or just jam my [[Polluted Delta]] for a [[Underground Sea]] and cast [[Cabal Therapy]] blind on [[Counterbalance]]. I opted for [[Ponder]] — I was punished. I concede the game on turn four after only playing the blue spells.

Dan makes a comment on how beautiful my deck is and how they can’t wait to see if I have EMA Japanese foil [[Force of Will]] yet. Then goes on to talk about the Grixis Delver match-up.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Chrome Mox]], -1 [[Lotus Petal]], -1 [[Swamp]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]], +1 [[Tendrils of Agony]], +1 [[Past in Flames]]

Game Two:

I play a blind [[Cabal Therapy]] on [[Counterbalance]] on the first turn and hit. Leaving Dan with a [[Sensei’s Divining Top]], [[Terminus]], and lands. I later [[Gitaxian Probe]] and see [[Flusterstorm]], I play another [[Cabal Therapy]]. Turns out Dan’s draw step was [[Brainstorm]], after it’s cast I name [[Force of Will]] and hit a pair. No other blue cards. On Dan’s end step I play a pair of [[Dark Ritual]] into [[Ad Nauseam]] with [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and an open land. Daniel flops top and uses [[Force of Will]] pitching [[Flusterstorm]]. The [[Brainstorm]] was THREE [[Force of Will]]! It doesn’t matter much as I draw [[Burning Wish]] for [[Past in Flames]].

Dan says how they couldn’t believe that they fell for me not being Storm, Dan immediately grans their sideboard.

Game Three:

On turn two, Dan slams a [[Counterbalance]]. On turn three, a [[Rest in Peace]], which is fine — I [[Abrupt Decay]] the [[Counterbalance]] on the end-step. I then cast [[Gitaxian Probe]] and then a pair of [[Cabal Therapy]] discarding [[Vendilion Clique]] and [[Monastery Mentor]] leaving them with only a [[Karakas]]. On my next draw step, I draw a [[Dark Ritual]] which allows me to [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Burning Wish]], and then cast [[Empty the Warrens]]. The [[Goblin Token]]s got there!

7-5 | 5-1

Round Seven – Conner Oakes with Eldrazi

[[Empty the Warrens|]]
[[Chalice of the Void|]]

Conner is a very friendly person, asks me how I am doing non-magically — but in life. I chuckle and tell them that I believe I’m getting a raise next month, so I can’t complain too much. We discuss what we do for a living, Conner is an attorney, I could tell that Conner seemed intelligent and was definitely better dressed than most people there. In the process of shuffling, Conner like every other opponent in the day made a comment about how my deck is triple sleeved. I felt like a bit of a jerk (especially considering how nice they were) for abruptly asking them to stop trying to riffle shuffle, it wasn’t my intention, but it’s not good for the cards.

Game One:

I play a first turn basic [[Swamp]] into [[Duress]], stripping away the [[Chalice of the Void]]. Leaving Conner with: [[Umezawa’s Jitte]], [[Eldrazi Mimic]], [[Endbringer]], [[Thought-Knot Seer]], [[Reality Smasher]], and [[Ancient Tomb]]. Conner plays the [[Eldrazi Mimic]] falling to 18 life. I play a [[Cabal Therapy]] discarding the [[Umezawa’s Jitte]] and then follow that play up with 14 [[Goblin Token]]s. Which was too much for Conner.

Sideboarding: -4 [[Ponder]], -4 [[Cabal Therapy]], -2 [[Duress]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2 Hurkyl’s Recall, +2 [[Thoughtseize]]

Game Two:

Conner is having a rough time as they shuffle down to four starting cards on the game. They play a land that only produces one mana and pass. I put 14 [[Goblin Token]]s into play on the first turn and Connor does not find a [[Ratchet Bomb]].

9-5 | 6-1

Round Eight – Darren Smith with Eldrazi

[[Thought-Knot Seer|]]
[[Chalice of the Void|]]
[[Ratchet Bomb|]]

Darren sits down and you can tell they’re just thrilled to be there, Darren says it’s only the second Grand Prix that they’ve ever played in and just happy to have made the second day. Darren’s enthusiasm and my assumption that they didn’t know much about Legacy tells me that they’re playing Eldrazi.

Game One:

Darren mulligans and plays a first turn [[Eldrazi Mimic]], second turn [[Thought-Knot Seer]], and a third turn [[Reality Smasher]] on cue. I don’t stand a chance with the cards my cantrips found.

Sideboarding: -4 [[Ponder]], -4 [[Cabal Therapy]], -2 [[Duress]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2 Hurkyl’s Recall, +2 [[Thoughtseize]]

Game Two:

I play 10 [[Goblin Token]]s on turn 1, Darren draws, and then plays [[Ancient Tomb]] into [[Chalice of the Void]] for 1. I attack. He peels [[Ratchet Bomb]] and activates it, I should’ve caught this but Darren left the [[Chalice of the Void]] on the table. I might’ve actually been able to win this game if I was paying close enough attention.

I tell Darren as we’re putting things away and I could tell that they were shaken up about it. I told them not to worry about it as it’s my fault for not noticing, I wish Darren the best of luck in day two.

9-7 | 6-2

Round Nine – Robert Connolly with Burn

[[Monastery Swiftspear|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

Robert was actually sitting next to me in the player meeting, we chatted a bit but I never asked what they were playing. Robert was discussing my deck during the player meeting, how foolish of me! I jokingly ask Robert if they’re a Say Anything fan due to their last name, Robert replies that they are and that their cousin is actually touring with Say Anything at the moment. I ask, “What band?” the response is Modern Baseball. Pretty damn cool!

Game One:

I am in a weird spot against a pair of [[Monastery Swiftspear]] at 13 life and I previously just made 12 [[Goblin Token]]s. Sacrificing one to Flashback a [[Cabal Therapy]]. I can attack all in against two [[Monastery Swiftspear]] and an unknown card or leave one back. I opted to leave one back. Robert then proceeded to keep drawing blockers until I was just one damage short of winning the game. If I had attacked all in, I would’ve won.

Sideboarding: +4 [[Abrupt Decay]], +1 [[Past in Flames]], +1 [[Tendrils of Agony]], -4 [[Gitaxian Probe]], -2 [[Duress]], -1 [[Ad Nauseam]]

Game Two:

I have a first turn [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Dark Petition]], and [[Empty the Warrens]].

Game Three:

Robert starts with a [[Bloodstained Mire]] digging up a classic [[Mountain]] into [[Lava Spike]]. I draw and cast [[Brainstorm]], putting [[Empty the Warrens]] on top. [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Ponder]] (sacrificing [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]), and cast [[Empty the Warrens]]. Rob’s burn spells aren’t enough in time.

11-8 | 7-2

End of day 1, can’t complain with an X-2 record, but would’ve obviously preferred something better. The plan was to avoid any more Eldrazi and play tight. That night we went to a steakhouse called Rodizio Grill where it was $35 unlimited steaks. Needless to say, I almost couldn’t contain the amount of food I had eaten.

Round Ten – William Craddock with Sneak & Show

[[Show and Tell|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]
[[Leyline of Sanctity|]]

Maybe it was because it was too early in the morning, maybe it was because I was just off my game, but I wasn’t playing the decks based on appearance game. If I was, I would’ve nailed this on the head. William is a larger guy, with an impressive beard, and big smile hidden somewhere underneath it. William was friendly and our banter some probably some of the best I had all event.

Game One:

William starts with a [[Volcanic Island]] and a [[Gitaxian Probe]]. My initial thought was a [[Delver of Secrets]] variant. I take my turn and play my own [[Volcanic Island]] and cast [[Ponder]]. On William’s turn, they play [[City of Traitors]] and my chest sinks. [[Show and Tell]]? [[Griselbrand]]. I put in a land, on my turn I go all in on a [[Burning Wish]] after a [[Gitaxian Probe]] revealing three lands. William draws seven, says there’s not even a blue card. The next seven provide William with both the [[Force of Will]] and the card to remove.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +2 [[Thoughtseize]]

Game Two:

I use the common strategy that Storm does best against Sneak & Show, three discard spells in the first three turns. One of which hits an [[Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]] to force a trigger after William kept on [[Ponder]]. After the third discard spell. I safely resolve [[Ad Nauseam]] from 14 life.

Game Three:

William says they’ll keep but has a question for the judge. This immediately tips me off that they have a [[Leyline of Sanctity]] in their hand. I then immediately ask the judge when the [[Leyline of Sanctity]] would come into play, before or after scrys? The answer is after. I scry and see a [[Thoughtseize]], immediately bottom. Although, this might’ve actually have been questionable. My hand was: [[Burning Wish]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Chrome Mox]] and a pair of lands. Any color card would allow me to make [[Goblin Token]]s on the first turn. William plays [[Ponder]] on the first turn. I go all in, William reveals a [[Force of Will]] exiling a [[Force of Will]].

My next three draw steps are [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]… My [[Ad Nauseam]] resolves! I end up storming for longer than I needed to as I was setting up a way that if William had [[Kozilek’s Return]] that I could make a horde of [[Goblin Token]]s again on the following turn. I also wanted to make sure that a blocking [[Griselbrand]] wouldn’t keep William alive. I cross my fingers hoping that William doesn’t kill me.

13-9 | 8-2

Round Eleven – Matthew Severa with Eldrazi

[[Empty the Warrens|]]
[[Thought-Knot Seer|]]
[[Ratchet Bomb|]]

Game One:

On the play, I cast [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Infernal Tutor]]), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and cast [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Empty the Warrens]]. Matthew concedes before I can see what they’re playing.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Ponder]], -2 [[Duress]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]]

Game Two:

Matt shuffles down to five and starts with turn one [[Eldrazi Mimic]], turn two [[Thought-Knot Seer]], and turn three [[Reality Smasher]]. I can’t compete.

Sideboarding: -4 [[Ponder]], -4 [[Cabal Therapy]], -2 [[Duress]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2 Hurkyl’s Recall, +2 [[Thoughtseize]]

Game Three:

I’m on the play for our third game and my starting seven is: [[Gitaxian Probe]], [[Bloodstained Mire]], [[Underground Sea]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Matt lays a [[Leyline of the Void]] on the table. I start off with a [[Gitaxian Probe]] and see: [[Ancient Tomb]], [[Mishra’s Factory]], [[City of Traitors]], [[Warping Wail]], [[Ratchet Bomb]], and [[Thought-Knot Seer]]. I really need to draw a [[Lotus Petal]] or [[Chrome Mox]]… [[Rite of Flame]]. I play [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] as a trick to get Matthew to play and use [[Ratchet Bomb]], but Matt doesn’t bite. Matt leaves open [[Ancient Tomb]] for [[Warping Wail]]. I continue to draw blanks, Matt takes my [[Infernal Tutor]] with [[Thought-Knot Seer]].

I have a window to draw something, I draw a [[Ponder]]. Cast it, shuffle, and draw [[Gitaxian Probe]]. Cast it, draw [[Empty the Warrens]]… I draw a [[Burning Wish]] later and try to get Matt to use [[Ratchet Bomb]] in response before I’m too dead to [[Empty the Warrens]] — once again Matt doesn’t fall for my tricks. I lose.

14-11 | 8-3

Round Twelve – Tyler Mollenkopf with Elves

[[Ad Nauseam|]]
[[Abrupt Decay|]]
[[Cabal Therapy|]]

Game One:

I mulligan and lead off with basic [[Swamp]] into [[Duress]]. I miss. On turn two, I play [[Underground Sea]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Ad Nauseam]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Duress]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]]

Game Two:

My opening hand on the draw is: [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Bloodstained Mire]]. I’m ready to win as long as Tyler doesn’t play a discard spell. Tyler plays a [[Bayou]] and a [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] for [[Dryad Arbor]]. I draw… [[Abrupt Decay]], no! I play [[Lotus Petal]] and [[Bloodstained Mire]]. Tyler passes and then upkeep kills my [[Lotus Petal]] with [[Abrupt Decay]]. I draw another [[Bloodstained Mire]] and lay it on the battlefield. Tyler then plays a [[Birchlore Ranger]] and then a [[Heritage Druid]]. I make a misplay of not using [[Abrupt Decay]] in response – because of this, I am hit by a [[Cabal Therapy]] naming [[Infernal Tutor]]. Tyler flashes back on [[Dark Ritual]]. We spend the next few turns drawing and attacking, in the mean time Tyler shows me that they do not have [[Gaddock Teeg]] as an option for [[Green Sun’s Zenith]]. I draw [[Burning Wish]], I’m at 11 life. I play all of my mana into [[Burning Wish]], [[Dark Petition]], and [[Ad Nauseam]] ( floating and an untapped land). I lose a total of two life before stopping my [[Ad Nauseam]] — it was nuts.

16-11 | 9-3

Round Thirteen – David Jimenez with 12 Post

[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]
[[Emrakul, the Aeons Torn|]]
[[Dark Petition|]]

Game One:

I win the die roll and cast [[Duress]] hitting David’s [[Brainstorm]]. Leaving behind: [[Crop Rotation]], [[Pithing Needle]], a pair of [[Repeal]] and two lands. David plays a [[Pithing Needle]] on [[Polluted Delta]]. I have one of each fetch land in hand. I purposely play [[Polluted Delta]] and then [[Cabal Therapy]] (another in hand) to hit [[Crop Rotation]]. On the following turn, I use the other to discard [[Repeal]], David opts not to respond. David is left with only lands in hand. On my next turn, I draw a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] that allows me to become Hellbent for [[Infernal Tutor]]. [[Ad Nauseam]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Cabal Therapy]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], +4 [[Abrupt Decay]]

Game Two:

I open with a pair of discard spells in the first few turns and then [[Burning Wish]] for [[Dark Petition]]. On David’s turn, David plays [[Show and Tell]] into [[Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]]. On my turn, I put [[Ad Nauseam]] on the stack.

18-11 | 10-3

Round Fourteen – Greg Dougan with Grixis Delver

[[Tendrils of Agony|]]
[[Invasive Surgery|]]
[[Burning Wish|]]

Game One:

Greg has a second turn [[Young Pyromancer]] and a third turn [[Gurmag Angler]]. I [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tendrils of Agony]]. On the following turn, I do the classic, tons of mana and then cast [[Burning Wish]] (I think they were afraid of adding to my storm count so it resolved) for [[Grapeshot]]. [[Grapeshot]] you. [[Tendrils of Agony]] you.

Sideboarding: none

Game Two:

We end up at a point where I’ve discarded Greg’s hand down quite a bit, I’m ready to go in for the kill. Knowing Greg’s draw step would’ve had to have saved them, I get hit hard by an [[Invasive Surgery]].

Game Three:

I’m on the play and play [[Lotus Petal]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Burning Wish]]), [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Burning Wish]] for [[Empty the Warrens]]. Greg draws and extends their hand!

20-12 | 11-3

Round Fifteen – Paul Cheon with ANT

[[Cabal Therapy|]]
[[Past in Flames|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

Unlike Joe Lossett, Paul initially pretends to not know what I am playing. We’re making small talk and I mention how I’ve seen Paul’s stream and at that point Pauk then says, “You’re the guy with the website, right?” Damn, got me!

Game One:

I win the die roll with a pair of box cars, this set the tone of the rest of the match — that was huge! My initial hand is: [[Lotus Petal]], [[Swamp]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Ponder]], and [[Cabal Therapy]]. Not a bad hand! If my [[Ponder]] finds [[Infernal Tutor]] Paul is just dead. I begin the last round of the event with [[Lotus Petal]] into [[Ponder]], which sees: [[Burning Wish]], [[Empty the Warrens]], and [[Ponder]] — I quickly shuffle and draw another [[Ponder]]. I lay my [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], play [[Swamp]], and [[Cabal Therapy]] naming [[Dark Ritual]]. A pair go to Paul’s graveyard and it’s clear Paul is not happy about me knowing the match-up. Paul draws, plays a [[Ponder]], and then follows up with a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Looks familiar!

I draw for turn… IT’S [[Ad Nauseam]]! [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]. In response, I add . At this point, Paul makes a comment about how I’m going to make [[Goblin Token]]s and pass, which makes me believe Pauk doesn’t really understand the differences between the decks. The game ends with a [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +2 [[Thoughtseize]]

Game Two:

I keep a hand of: [[Ponder]], [[Ponder]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Underground Sea]] and [[Bloodstained Mire]]. Paul starts with a [[Gitaxian Probe]] into a [[Ponder]]. I use my own [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw [[Gitaxian Probe]]. Paul’s hand was actually discard proof if I had one, I pass and die to a [[Past in Flames]] loop.

Game Three:

Paul mulligans and then does so again. I kept a weaker hand, but it had a [[Duress]] and a pair of [[Ponder]]. I end up playing three discard spells, shredding his hand before I make twelve [[Goblin Token]]s and Flashback a [[Cabal Therapy]]. This renders Paul’s hand useless — the game doesn’t last much longer.

Paul was a great opponent, our banter was fun, and it was an intense match.

22-13 | 12-3

Totals & Stats

  • Games & Record: 22-13 | 12-3
  • The Die Roll: 6-7
  • Mulligans: 5
  • Turn One Combos: 5
  • Ad Nauseam Wins: 8
  • Past in Flames Wins: 3
  • Empty the Warrens Wins: 10
  • Natural Tendrils of Agony Wins: 1

Closing & General Thoughts

The deck list felt great, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ll be running the same list next weekend in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania at Eternal Extravaganza 4. My losses I believe were to a questionable keep and high variance, but that’s magic. One less loss and I would’ve been in top 8 contention, that’s how big events go. One lucky break is the difference between greatness and mediocrity.

Thanks for reading, feel free to drop me a message or ask a question using the contact form below. Any questions will likely be featured in an upcoming TES Mailbox article. I’ll see you all at EE4!

Until next time, keep storming!