Jupiter Games NELCQ (05/12/2012) — Top 4

The alarm went off at 7AM and the day had finally come — the last Jupiter Games NELC qualifier! All I had to do that day was beat one man, Eli Kassis. In case you don’t know going into this event, I had 35 points and Eli had 33. I needed to at least tie Eli today to be named Jupiter Games Player of the Year and win a [[Black Lotus]]!

I prepared for the day like I do any other, shower, walk the pup, etc. I filled up the gas tank then picked up Nick Patnode, Tariq White, Brian Thomas, and Adam VanFleet before heading down 81s. The trip was spent mostly talking about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother and how disappointing it was! Other than TV, we shared our Grand Prix: Providence experiences from the previous weekend.

Before we knew it the Johnson City exit was close and the Jupiter Tournament Center was just around the corner.

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 2 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 3 [[Duress]]
  • 1 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]]
  • 2 [[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 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]]
  • 2 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 2 [[Deathmark]]
  • 1 [[Shattering Spree]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Infest]]
  • 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 this year’s player points system at Jupiter Games I have accumulated enough points for a round one **BYE**, as has Eli Kassis. We’re neck and neck in this race!

0-0 | 1-0

Round Two – Doug McKay with Blue Skies

[[Phyrexian Revoker|]]
[[Chalice of the Void|]]

Game One:

I play a turn one [[Duress]] which reveals: [[Phyrexian Revoker]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Sower of Temptation]], [[Island]], [[Island]], and a [[Serendib Efreet]]. I’m forced to discard a copy of [[Chrome Mox]]. Doug plays a [[Phyrexian Revoker]] naming [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. On my turn, I lay a land, then [[Ponder]] into a [[Dark Ritual]] and a [[Rite of Flame]]. Doug attacks and plays another creature. I play a third land ([[City of Brass]]), [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], and then [[Ad Nauseam]].

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], -2 [[Orim’s Chant]], +3 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]]

Game Two:

Doug begins the game with an [[Island]] and a [[Chalice of the Void]] for zero. I cantrip for a few turns while Doug plays a [[Serendib Efreet]] off of an [[Ancient Tomb]]. Doug’s life total is slowly going down over the turns between [[Serendib Efreet]] and [[Ancient Tomb]]. I play a pair of [[Rite of Flame]] followed by an [[Echoing Truth]], which draws out a [[Force of Will]]. I use the remaining mana to [[Burning Wish]] for [[Shattering Spree]] to destroy [[Chalice of the Void]] and a [[Phyrexian Metamorph]] copying [[Serendib Efreet]]. On my next turn, I pay for [[Ad Nauseam]] the hard way by tapping lands and [[Lotus Petal]] leaving me with two mana floating and a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] in play.

Doug had me covered by using the only card in hand as aa five mana to answer my [[Ad Nauseam]] — [[Force of Will]]. A [[Sword of War and Peace]] on [[Serendib Efreet]] comes down and attack. At this point, Doug is at seven life from self-inflicted damage. I have no cards in hand. I draw a second [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and pass. Doug attacks going to eight and puts me to two life with a [[City of Brass]] in play. A [[Wasteland]] denies me another mana source after combat. On my turn, I draw [[Brainstorm]]! Play [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and [[Brainstorm]]. In response, I sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for . The first card is [[Rite of Flame]], the second is [[Chrome Mox]], and the third is [[Infernal Tutor]]! Keep the [[Infernal Tutor]], cast it, and [[Tendrils of Agony]] for exactly lethal!

2-0 | 2-0

Round Three – Sam Roukas with BUG Control

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]]
4-1 | 3-0

Round Four – Andre Segarra with UR Delver

[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

I begin the game with a turn one [[Scalding Tarn]] finding an [[Underground Sea]] to cast a [[Ponder]]. Andre begins the game with a turn one [[Delver of Secrets]] that blind flips revealing a [[Ponder]] on turn two. Andre then plays another [[Delver of Secrets]] and passes with four cards in hand. I decide I have to go for it, I know that Andre doesn’t play [[Force of Will]] but he has four copies of [[Daze]]. The unfortunate part is I could only create five mana to cast the [[Ad Nauseam]] in my hand. If I pass Andre attacks likely to attack for six damage and then has access to [[Spell Pierce]] and [[Lightning Bolt]] making the [[Ad Nauseam]] less effective. I play a [[Gemstone Mine]] and cast [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]? resolves.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]]

Game Two:

I’m a tiny bit flooded as I kept a three land hand and then drew two additional lands for my first two draws of the game. That said, on the third turn at fifteen life from Andre’s [[Delver of Secrets]] I resolve a [[Silence]]! I cast [[Dark Ritual]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Infernal Tutor]]), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Chrome Mox]], in response to the imprint trigger, cast [[Ad Nauseam]], in response sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for discarding the two lands.

6-1 | 4-0

Round Five – James Higgenbottom with Sneak & Show

6-1-1 | 4-0-1

Round Six – Eli Kassis with Sneak & Show

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]]
7-3-1 | 4-1-1

Top Eight – Nick Patnode with Goblins

[[Orim’s Chant|]]
[[Past in Flames|]]
[[Chalice of the Void|]]

Game One:

I open my turn one on the draw with [[Underground Sea]] into a [[Ponder]]. Nick then attacked me with a [[Goblin Lackey]] which puts a [[Goblin Warchief]] and then a second [[Goblin Warchief]] is cast. I play a [[Brainstorm]], then activate [[Scalding Tarn]], and [[Ponder]] (shuffle). Nick plays two more copies of [[Goblin Lackey]], attacks, abd doesn’t use a trigger. I play another [[Ponder]], shuffle, and pass. Nick attacks me again. I’m forced to [[Duress]], Nick in response casts [[Tarfire]] putting me to six life. The [[Duress]] allows me to [[Infernal Tutor]] (Hellbent) and cast [[Ad Nauseam]] from six life. I reveal some cards, none of them are good enough to win and I stop at a single life. I play a [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Silence]]). In Nick’s upkeep, I cast [[Orim’s Chant]] with the Kicker as an effective [[Time Walk]].

On my turn, I play [[Brainstorm]] and then cast [[Infernal Tutor]] just to shuffle. At this point, I am forced to “Chant-walk” again on Nick’s upkeep. On the next turn, I draw [[Dark Ritual]] which was enough for me to win the game with [[Past in Flames]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Silence]], -3 [[Duress]] +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +3 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]].

Game Two:

Nick mulligans into a [[Chalice of the Void]] and then plays a [[Rishadan Port]]. I play a [[Volcanic Island]] and [[Ponder]]. I eventually work up enough mana to [[Burning Wish]] for [[Shattering Spree]]. I let Nick attack me until I have another mana source to destroy [[Chalice of the Void]] and win in the same turn, rather than risk losing to a second copy of [[Chalice of the Void]] in Nick’s hand. I draw a second [[Rite of Flame]], play both copies and [[Shattering Spree]]! From here I play [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Ad Nauseam]] from 11 life which was just enough to get the job done.

9-3-1 | 5-1-1

Top Four – Eli Kassis with Sneak & Show

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Inquisition of Kozilek]]
10-5-1 | 5-2-1

Totals & Stats

  • Games & Record: 10-5-1 | 5-2-1
  • The Die Roll: 3-3
  • Mulligans: 0
  • Turn One Combos: 0
  • Ad Nauseam Wins: 5
  • Past in Flames Wins: 1
  • Empty the Warrens Wins: 0
  • Natural Tendrils of Agony Wins: 4

Closing & General Thoughts

That last match may have been the most intense Magic I’ve ever played. Even if I didn’t win, it was a spectacular set of games. Am I upset I didn’t win? It’s Magic. You can’t expect to win them all and no one deserves to. I honestly didn’t think Eli had the blue card when [[Force of Will]] didn’t counter the [[Burning Wish]].

I knew what I was getting into when I didn’t prize chop with Eli. It’s part of the territory of being the person who doesn’t split prizes. Will I consider prize splits in the future? Absolutely not. Where would the fun be in that? I play this game as a hobby, not for a career. I’m looking to maximize my enjoyment, not expected value.

On the ride home, the Syracuse crew went to Tully’s and we had a great time! Being the driver, I couldn’t order a real drink when the news came in that Eli won the whole event and the [[Black Lotus]]. What made it a little more bitter was that his finals opponent just conceded without playing, which put even more emphasis on our match.

Until next time, keep storming!