Jupiter Games NELCQ (03/03/2012) — Top 8

The night before was my birthday, I went downtown with a few Magic players &mdaash; it was a good time. Luckily, I was in tip-top condition to sling cardboard the next day! Jon Quackenbush picked me up in the morning, we headed over to Adam Phillips’ place where we met up with Phillips and Tariq White, and left for Jupiter Games. Jon Quackenbush was going to play Maverick for the second time in two months, Tariq was going to pilot UW Stoneblade with [[Mirran Crusader]] over [[Geist of Saint Traft]], Adam Phillips was going to try out a new UW Landstill deck, and you know what I’m playing!

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 2 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 3 [[Duress]]
  • 3 [[Orim’s Chant]]
  • 2 [[Silence]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 4 [[Gemstone Mine]]
  • 2 [[City of Brass]]
  • 2 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 2 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 1 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 1 [[Bloodstained Mire]]


  • 3 [[Pyroblast]]
  • 2 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 1 [[Wipe Away]]
  • 1 [[Silent Departure]]
  • 1 [[Duress]]
  • 1 [[Shattering Spree]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]
  • 1 [[Past in Flames]]
  • 1 [[Diminishing Returns]]

Jupiter Games NELCQ

Round One – **BYE**

Due to winning the last month’s NELC Qualifier, I leveled up twice in their point system. I have accumulated enough points for a round one **BYE**, as has Eli Kassis — we’re neck and neck in this race!

During the round, I walked around the room to scout the field. The one thing I noticed was there was severe lack of [[Island]]s in the room — with an increase in basic [[Plains]] and [[Mountain]]s. I got the feeling that today would be an easy day. The reason being that Jupiter Hames is trsditionally a predominately blue metagame with a higher percentage of RUG Delver than the average metagame. These midrange decks with [[Plains]] and [[Mountain]]s happen to do quite well against a field filled with [[Island]]s. I end up chatting with the Jupiter Games owner Ryan Green and discuss the field for the day with him, then the conversation changes to the turnout for the event. Ryan tells me there are 58 players, just short of seven rounds due to competing events in the area. This is an all-time low for Jupiter Games.

0-0 | 1-X

Round Two – Alex Barker with Burn

[[Ill-Gotten Gains|]]
[[Goblin Guide|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

While we’re shuffling up for game one Alex falls into a classic mistake — showing your opponent what you’re playing while shuffling. I know that Alex is playing Burn, which puts Alex at a big disadvantage. [[Mountain]] into [[Goblin Guide]] is how the day begins for me. I play [[Polluted Delta]]. [[Chain Lightning]], [[Lava Spike]], and attack from Alex. I search out [[Underground Sea]] and [[Brainstorm]] for value to put a land on top. I untap, play a [[Chrome Mox]], [[Lotus Petal]], tap my two lands for [[Infernal Tutor]] revealing a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], play both copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Using [[Lotus Petal]] and [[Chrome Mox]] for mana, [[Burning Wish]] for [[Ill-Gotten Gains]], cast it, returning [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]. Cast them all into [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -3 [[Orim’s Chant]], -2 Silence, +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]],+1 [[Silent Departure]], +1 [[Duress]]

Game Two:

Alex begins the game with a [[Mountain]] Suspending a [[Rift Bolt]]. I began the game with [[Underground Sea]] into [[Ponder]]. I take three damage from the [[Rift Bolt]] and then take one from the [[Keldon Marauders]] that Alex casts that turn. On my turn, I draw and play a [[Gemstone Mine]] into [[Dark Ritual]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Ad Nauseam]] (in response adding to pool). I play around [[Fireblast]] the entire time.

2-0 | 2-0

Round Three – Jeff DeLeRee with Burn

[[Ad Nauseam|]]
[[Pyrostatic Pillar|]]
[[Diminishing Returns|]]

Game One:

[[Mountain]] and Suspend [[Rift Bolt]] is Jeff’s first turn. My first turn of the game is [[Scalding Tarn]] searching for [[Underground Sea]] and casting [[Ponder]]. Jeff casts the [[Rift Bolt]] and then plays a [[Barbarian Ring]] into [[Hellspark Elemental]] while attacking. On my turn, I play [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and successfully [[Ad Nauseam]] from 13 life.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Orim’s Chant]], -2 Silence, -1 [[Ad Nauseam]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]],+1 [[Silent Departure]], +1 [[Duress]], +1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]

Game Two:

To be honest, I don’t remember much about this game other than I had a loose keep which didn’t pan out. Then on turn five I went for [[Diminishing Returns]] with three land in play and drew four more from the [[Diminishing Returns]].

Game Three:

I keep a less than average hand of: [[Duress]], [[Duress]], [[Ad Nauseam]], [[Echoing Truth]], [[Underground Sea]], [[City of Brass]], and [[Gemstone Mine]]. Luckily for me, Jeff is forced to mulligan to five. The double [[Duress]] hurts a five card hand pretty badly. I end up discarding a [[Pyrostatic Pillar]] and a [[Lightning Bolt]]. Even with us both not performing optimally this game, it continues to the point where I cast [[Ad Nauseam]] floating a from 14 life. I stop at 6 life and then cast a mini-[[Tendrils of Agony]] to put Jeff to 3 life and myself up to 19. My hand at that point is: [[Burning Wish]], [[Echoing Truth]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Duress]]. Jeff attacks for 6. I draw a [[Ponder]] for turn, cast it finding a [[Rite of Flame]] which provides to play [[Burning Wish]] into [[Grapeshot]].

4-1 | 3-0

Round Four – Nick Patnode with Goblins

Sideboarding: -3 [[Orim’s Chant]], -2 Silence, +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]],+1 [[Silent Departure]], +1 [[Duress]]
6-1 | 4-0

Round Five – Doug McKay with Mono-White COntrol

6-1-1 | 4-0-1

Round Six – Si-Ning Li with RUG Control

6-1-2 | 4-0-2

Top Eight – Jon Quackenbush with Maverick

[[Gaddock Teeg|]]
[[Ethersworn Canonist|]]

Game One:

I mulligan and keep a hand of: [[Duress]], [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Scalding Tarn]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Gemstone Mine]]. I figured that it was better than going to five — this hand still had life if I could draw a [[Dark Ritual]] or [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Well, my draw steps this game were [[Silence]], [[Chrome Mox]], and a [[City of Brass]]. I played the pair of [[Chrome Mox]] in order to become Hellbent for [[Infernal Tutor]] to find [[Ad Nauseam]]. If I get to untap and draw a mana source, I probably win. However, Jon plays a [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] for [[Gaddock Teeg]] with a [[Mother of Runes]] in play — this is a hard lock against The EPIC Storm in game one.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Orim’s Chant]], -2 Silence, +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]],+1 [[Silent Departure]], +1 [[Duress]]

Game Two:

I keep a hand of: [[Scalding Tarn]], [[City of Brass]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Ad Nauseam]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Duress]], and [[Duress]]. The [[Duress]] discards a [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] leaving Jon with a handful of dead cards including a [[Stoneforge Mystic]] and some lands. On my third turn, I draw a [[Dark Ritual]] and cast [[Ad Nauseam]].

Game Three:

Jon begins the game with [[Noble Hierarch]], [[Ethersworn Canonist]], [[Gaddock Teeg]], and [[Aven Mindcensor]] in consecutive turns. Sometimes you just get out-drawn.

7-3-2 | 4-1-2

Totals & Stats

  • Games & Record: 7-3-2 | 4-1-2
  • The Die Roll: 1-2
  • Mulligans: 1
  • Turn One Combos: 0
  • Ad Nauseam Wins: 5
  • Ill-Gotten Gains Wins: 1
  • Empty the Warrens Wins: 0
  • Natural Tendrils of Agony Wins: 1

Closing & General Thoughts

Alright, well it certainly wasn’t the most difficult tournament that I’ve played in with the match-ups that I had. However, a top 8 finish is a top 8 finish! I’ve been on a real hot streak recently and I need it to continue if I’d like to win a [[Black Lotus]].

While I was a bit disappointed to lose to Maverick in the quarterfinals, it happens sometimes — you can’t always be perfect. Variance is something that happens in the game of Magic, in fact, it’s what makes this game worth playing. But if you are going to lose to a good match-up, it might as well be to a friend. I’m glad Jon took down the entire event after beating me, he definitely deserves it. Although, losing to Jon has me reevaluating a couple of sideboard slots. I think it’s time to cut [[Silent Departure]] with Reanimator not being very popular right now for a sideboard [[Pyroclasm]]. Maverick winning both Jupiter Games and Star City Games in the same weekend is going to cause its numbers to go up a bit in the next few weeks.

Congratulations to Si-Ning Li and Doug McKay who also made Top 8 again, the three of us have been on a real tear the last few months. Eli just barely missed top 8 on tiebreakers allowing me to gain an additional point on him for the [[Black Lotus]] race. I can’t wait to see how the normal Jupiter Games crew does in Indianapolis this upcoming weekend!

Until next time, keep storming!