SCG: Worcester Report (54th Place)

I begin the weekend by getting out of work early due to the holiday weekend, pick up Nick Patnode, and we’re on the road. The trip isn’t long, just under four hours, mostly just sing-a-longs and figuring out strategies for the weekend. We get to Worcester hours before our friends that we’re staying with — Sam Roukas, Royce Walter, and Phil Blechman. Nick and I try to get dinner at my favorite place there, The Armsby Abbey. The bar restaurant is ridiculously packed, we decide to pursue other options. Unfortunately, we end up at Unos, which does have a bright side — their Blue Moons were at a discount! I end up having several before going to bed.

We get to the event site fairly early, I re-sleeve my deck, and get in some practice games against Miracles before we’re off to the races:

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 4 [[Gitaxian Probe]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 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 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 2 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Bayou]]
  • 1 [[Swamp]]


  • 3 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 3 [[Xantid Swarm]]
  • 2 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 1 [[Void Snare]]
  • 1 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Massacre]]
  • 1 [[Past in Flames]]

Star City Games: Legacy Open

Round One – Mike Danto with Shardless BUG

[[Burning Wish|]]

Mike appears to be a cool person, we make some pretty great banter before our first round starts. Mike tells me that they know what I’m playing, unless there’s another Bryant Cook. I tell Mike about my internal game I play, where I look at my opponent, and based on their physical appearance or belongings before guessing what deck they’re playing. I tell Mike that they look like a Jund player or maybe even Death & Taxes. Mike scoffs at the second one, making a joke about how they wouldn’t be caught dead playing basic [[Plains]]. Can’t blame Mike, turns out my guess wasn’t too far off with Shardless BUG.

Game One:

I win the die roll and start the event off with a [[Duress]]. It discards a [[Force of Will]], but leaves Mike with a pair of [[Brainstorm]], [[Baleful Strix]], [[Creeping Tar Pit]], [[Misty Rainforest]], and an [[Underground Sea]]. Mike plays the [[Misty Rainforest]] and passes. I play a second land, [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Rite of Flame]]), [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]. Mike draws three cards with [[Brainstorm]] and then starts shuffling for game two.

Sideboarding: None

Game Two:

Mike begins the second game with a [[Thoughtseize]]. I have some discard of my own, discard [[Force of Will]], but leaving a [[Flusterstorm]], and four lands. Mike plays a land and passes. I follow up with my second [[Duress]] but it only sees lands. I play [[Ponder]] into [[Gitaxian Probe]] with [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] underneath it. The following turn I cast [[Gitaxian Probe]] and see that Mike still hasn’t drawn anything, play a handful of mana effects into [[Burning Wish]] which draws a concession.

2-0 | 1-0

Round Two – Max Medeiros with Omnitell

[[Force of Will|]]
[[Xantid Swarm|]]
[[Show and Tell|]]

Max, like Mike in the previous round starts off by immediately telling me that they know what I’m playing. Well, I think I’m beginning to see a trend. I tell them, that didn’t matter much for the last person. Max sheepishly looks at their deck and starts shuffling. I noticed that Max’s hands are trembling before we start our match

Game One:

I win the die roll and then promptly mulligan. We each spend the initial few turns laying lands and casting cantrips, my hand isn’t powerful enough to go off, but I feel my time is limited. I cast a [[Gitaxian Probe]] and get a peek at: [[Cunning Wish]], [[Impulse]], [[Force of Will]], [[Dig Through Time]], [[Ancient Tomb]], and a Dream Halls. I decide to see if I can win — [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], and then [[Burning Wish]]. Max casts [[Impulse]] and then [[Brainstorm]] (found off [[Impulse]]). A [[Force of Will]] was found. My hand is now [[Burning Wish]] and [[Dark Ritual]], cast [[Burning Wish]] getting [[Tendrils of Agony]]. [[Dark Ritual]] and then [[Tendrils of Agony]]. I was a lit lucky that Max did the work for me in that game.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Xantid Swarm]]

Game Two:

Max starts the second game with a [[Misty Rainforest]], I actually have a turn one kill with a [[Gitaxian Probe]]! I cast the [[Gitaxian Probe]] only to find out Max as a turn two win with [[Force of Will]] back-up, even with exiling a blue card. Max’s hand is: [[Force of Will]], [[Crystal Vein]], [[Show and Tell]], [[Omniscience]], [[Enter the Infinite]], and [[Brainstorm]].

Game Three:

I don’t remember much of this game but my notes say this: Turn one [[Ponder]]. Turn two [[Ponder]] and [[Duress]]. Turn three [[Xantid Swarm]] and [[Cabal Therapy]]. Turn four [[Rite of Flame]] into [[Ad Nauseam]].

4-1 | 2-0

Round Three – Max Brown with UR Omnitell

Max and I are pretty familiar with each other due to living in the next big town from one another and the PTQ circuit. No surprises here!

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Xantid Swarm]]

6-2 | 3-0

Round Four – Alex Stratton with Jeskai Delver

[[Cabal Therapy|]]
[[Force of Will|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

Alex like Max Brown is from Albany but is usually judging the PTQs. Typically plays Miracles but is playing an interesting Jeskai list with [[Myth Realized]].

Game One:

Alex wins the die roll and starts with a [[Delver of Secrets]]. I play a [[Ponder]]. Alex plays a pair of [[Monastery Swiftspear]] instead of just one and then the [[Lightning Bolt]] revealed from the [[Delver of Secrets]] transform. Now at 15 life, I resolve [[Ad Nauseam]] on my turn. I stop at 3 life with no “tutor effect” but tons of mana and cantrips. I eventually [[Ponder]] into both [[Infernal Tutor]] and [[Burning Wish]].

Sideboarding: -1 [[Ponder]], -2 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Abrupt Decay]]

Game Two:

Alex starts the game with a [[Delver of Secrets]] again, I have a turn one win through [[Daze]]. I go for it, Alex has [[Force of Will]].

Game Three:

Alex mulligans and hesitantly keeps. I start off with a [[Gitaxian Probe]] which shows: [[Brainstorm]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Force of Will]], [[Stoneforge Mystic]], [[Flooded Strand]], and [[Lightning Bolt]]. I then follow up with a [[Bloodstained Mire]] for [[Underground Sea]] and a [[Cabal Therapy]]. Alex tanks for a moment then says resolves. I quickly name [[Brainstorm]]. On Alex’s second turn, a [[Null Rod]] is cast, I now know the two previous draws. On my turn, I cast [[Ponder]] which conveniently finds [[Empty the Warrens]]. I make ten [[Goblin Token]]s and Flashback [[Cabal Therapy]] to discard [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. Alex concedes a turn later.

8-3 | 4-0

Round Five – David Petalas with Elves

[[Ad Nauseam|]]
[[Natural Order|]]
[[Dark Ritual|]]

David is someone who doesn’t look like they enjoys blue cards, but also has green sleeves, and a green deck box. David is also someone who shows their opponents what they’re playing when they shuffles.

Game One:

I mulligan, David plays a first turn [[Quirion Ranger]]. I attempt to disguise my deck and play [[Volcanic Island]] into [[Ponder]] to set up a second turn [[Ad Nauseam]] which is already in my hand. David plays a few Elves, attacks, and passes. I play a basic [[Swamp]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Duress]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], +2 [[Chain of Vapor]], +1 [[Grapeshot]]

Game Two:

I mulligan away a fine hand against control but a little too slow against Elves. I play a turn one [[Cabal Therapy]] after David’s turn one [[Deathrite Shaman]], I name [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] to avoid a [[Gaddock Teeg]] — swing and a miss. [[Natural Order]], [[Heritage Druid]], [[Deathrite Shaman]], [[Gaea’s Cradle]], and [[Windswept Heath]] are in David’s hand. David draws a [[Nettle Sentinel]] for turn and starts to mini-combo, but decides it’s not worth the [[Natural Order]] if it doesn’t kill me. I explained to David after the match that it’s actually the same clock except you shut off [[Ad Nauseam]] this way. I draw [[Dark Ritual]] for turn and then [[Ponder]] into a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], how lucky! An [[Ad Nauseam]] is soon to follow.

10-3 | 5-0

Round Six – Andy Boswell with RUG Delver

Sideboarding: None

There was some discussion going around that I read that Star Cuty Games could’ve possibly given Andy additional information by bringing out the mana symbols and a Storm counter before I revealed any defining spell. Andy knew what I was playing, if it was against an unknown opponent, I would’ve likely had told the table judge to be a little more discrete.

10-5 | 5-1

Round Seven – Jarvis Yu with Miracles

[[Cabal Therapy|]]
[[Sensei’s Divining Top|]]
[[Past in Flames|]]

Jarvis and I get called over for an off-camera feature, we shuffle. No secrets here.

Game One:

I win the die roll and start our match off with a [[Duress]]. Jarvis reveals: [[Sensei’s Divining Top]], [[Counterbalance]], [[Counterbalance]], [[Tundra]], [[Island]], [[Flooded Strand]], and a [[Swords to Plowshares]]. I dicard the [[Sensei’s Divining Top]]. On my next turn, I draw for turn and it’s [[Cabal Therapy]]! I already had a [[Gitaxian Probe]] and a [[Ponder]] to help dig for one this turn but this was terrific! Turns out that Jarvis’s draw was another land. I then play [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw [[Infernal Tutor]]. I kill Jarvis on my next turn.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Chrome Mox]], -2 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Swamp]], +3 [[Abrupt Decay]], +3 [[Xantid Swarm]]

Game Two:

This is a long game, I don’t have too many notes but I actually ran out of searchable lands. I resolved an [[Ad Nauseam]] through a [[Xantid Swarm]], but it failed — leaving me with plenty of ammunition against a [[Sensei’s Divining Top]] and no hand. Jarvis draws a [[Jace, the Mind Sculptor]] and bounces my [[Xantid Swarm]], we do this back and forth for a little bit. At some point, Jarvis plays a [[Vendilion Clique]]. I then draw [[Burning Wish]] which ends up being more than enough for a [[Past in Flames]] kill.

12-5 | 6-1

Round Eight – Ed Dominco with Grixis Delver

[[Xantid Swarm|]]

Ed and I are old Jupiter Games regulars from years back, Ed is always playing some sort of Grixis deck. My track record against Ed is pretty miserable.

Game One:

My memory on this one is fuzzy, but my notes say: “Natural Storm”. [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then [[Burning Wish]] — Ed casts [[Force of Will]]. [[Infernal Tutor]] sacrificing [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then Ed plays [[Brainstorm]], uses a fetchland, and then a second [[Brainstorm]]. [[Burning Wish]] and then [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Xantid Swarm]]

Game Two:

The thing I remember most from this game is losing because I can’t get Hellbent with a [[Xantid Swarm]] stuck in my hand due to Ed having [[Stifle]]. Which feels somewhat ironic as I brought [[Xantid Swarm]] in to help deal with Ed’s copies of [[Stifle]] and [[Flusterstorm]].

Sideboarding: -3 [[Xantid Swarm]], +2 [[Ponder]], +1 [[Chrome Mox]]

Game Three:

My notes say: “[[Gitaxian Probe]] into [[Cabal Therapy]] and [[Stifle]] with [[Wasteland]]. Also, two [[Daze]].”

13-7 | 6-2

Round Nine – Tyler Barnett with Burn

[[Tendrils of Agony|]]
[[Goblin Guide|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

Tyler wins the die roll. [[Mountain]], [[Goblin Guide]], and attack. I end up baiting Tyler into generating Storm count for me this game with a well-timed [[Gitaxian Probe]] into [[Cabal Therapy]]. Tyler casts [[Price of Progress]] and [[Fireblast]] in response, allowing my [[Infernal Tutor]] to just grab [[Burning Wish]] into [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Duress]], -1 [[Gitaxian Probe]], +2 [[Chain of Vapor]], +1 [[Void Snare]]

Game Two:

Tyler plays turn one [[Goblin Guide]] and a turn two [[Goblin Guide]]. I play a [[Gitaxian Probe]] and see: [[Red Elemental Blast]], [[Fireblast]], [[Relic of Progenitus]], [[Lightning Bolt]], and a [[Chain Lightning]]. Tyler kills me on their turn after holding open [[Red Elemental Blast]] for my [[Brainstorm]].

Game Three:

I have a turn one [[Ad Nauseam]].

15-8 | 7-2

That night the five of us successfully have dinner and drinks at The Armsby Abbey! I tried bone marrow for the first time, which wasn’t all that bad along with my Allagash White.

Round Ten – Brent Gilmore with Jeskai Stoneblade

[[Cabal Therapy|]]
[[Engineered Explosives|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

Another mtgthesource person! We know what deck the other person is piloting.

Game One:

I win the die roll. Brent mulligans and I start the game with a [[Gitaxian Probe]]: [[Brainstorm]], [[Brainstorm]], [[True-Name Nemesis]], [[Stoneforge Mystic]], [[Arid Mesa]], and a [[Jace, the Mind Sculptor]], I follow up with a [[Cabal Therapy]] on [[Brainstorm]]. On my second turn, I play a [[Brainstorm]], search, and a second [[Cabal Therapy]] on [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. On the third turn, I generate a large amount of [[Goblin Token]]s.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Ponder]], -2 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Abrupt Decay]]

Game Two:

This game was a little bit of a grind, the first few turns were just playing lands for us. I play a [[Gitaxian Probe]] around turn three or four and look at: [[Pyroblast]], [[Engineered Explosives]], [[Izzet Staticaster]], [[Lightning Bolt]], [[Counterspell]], and [[Spell Snare]]. As I did in the first game, I follow it up with a pair of [[Cabal Therapy]]. Both blue counterspells down! Bret plays the [[Engineered Explosives]] and passes. I draw [[Infernal Tutor]] for turn, then play [[Chrome Mox]] to start the turn. If Brent destroys the [[Chrome Mox]] with the trigger on the stack I actually have to wait a turn to win — Brett doesn’t. Imprint [[Abrupt Decay]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Ad Nauseam]].

17-8 | 8-2

Round Eleven – Anuraag Das with Miracles

[[Force of Will|]]
[[Past in Flames|]]
[[Ethersworn Canonist|]]

I had been scouting nearby tables and couldn’t remember what Anuraag was playing, I just had a gut feeling that it was blue. Anuraag looked like a blue player.

Game One:

I win the die roll — second of the day! My opening hand is: [[Bayou]], [[Underground Sea]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]. Welp, this hand does exactly one thing, but it certainly does it well! I keep and decide to jam everything on the table and Anuraag says, “Am I really dead on turn one?” However, the way Anuraag said it felt a little superficial. I finish playing my spells, Anuraag picks up their hand and then proceeds to remove a blue card from the game for [[Force of Will]].

I decide that I’m going to make Anuraag kill me so that I can gather any additional information. I pretty much sit there and lose the rest of the game to [[Counterbalance]] paired with [[Sensei’s Divining Top]]. Anuraag casts a [[Jace, the Mind Sculptor]] and repeatedly draws cards instead of using the plus ability. I eventually lose to a [[Vendilion Clique]] attacking for sometime.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Chrome Mox]], -2 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Swamp]], +3 [[Abrupt Decay]], +3 [[Xantid Swarm]]

Game Two:

Anuraag mulligans and I keep my seven cards. I quickly cast a first turn [[Gitaxian Probe]] to see: [[Ethersworn Canonist]], [[Ethersworn Canonist]], [[Counterbalance]], [[Ponder]], [[Tundra]], and a [[Flooded Strand]]. My hand has: [[Abrupt Decay]], [[Bayou]], [[Xantid Swarm]], [[Polluted Delta]], [[Cabal Therapy]], [[Brainstorm]] and I draw a [[Dark Ritual]] off of the [[Gitaxian Probe]]. I play the [[Bayou]] and [[Xantid Swarm]] before passing the turn. My logic is that I can [[Cabal Therapy]] next turn and then have [[Abrupt Decay]] for [[Counterbalance]] while resolving all of my spells.

Anuraag plays [[Tundra]] into [[Ponder]] and passes. I draw a [[Ponder]], attack for zero damage, and then cast [[Cabal Therapy]] on [[Ethersworn Canonist]]. Anuraag reveals another land and a second [[Counterbalance]]. I think for a moment, play [[Polluted Delta]], search up an [[Underground Sea]], and then cast [[Ponder]]. Shuffle and draw an [[Infernal Tutor]]. I decide that winning through a pair of [[Counterbalance]] will take too much time and provide too much time to recover. I sacrifice [[Xantid Swarm]] to Flashback [[Cabal Therapy]] to put Anuraag in a position where they to draw very well in order to win.

Over the next few turns, I draw a [[Burning Wish]], and Anuraag draws a [[Sensei’s Divining Top]]. I cast the first [[Burning Wish]] for [[Thoughtseize]] which gets hit by [[Counterspell]]. Anuraag draws and passes, on my draw step, a wild [[Vendilion Clique]] appears. [[Infernal Tutor]] to the bottom (right when I was about to combo!). Attacks bring my life-total down to nine over a few turns. I start my turn off with a [[Duress]] which takes the lone card in hand — [[Terminus]]. I resolve [[Ad Nauseam]], it’s unable to win the game but leaves me with a full hand including two copies of [[Abrupt Decay]] after killing the [[Vendilion Clique]] in play with the third. I’m now at one life. I take some time to redevelop while Anuraag continually draws lands. I draw a [[Burning Wish]] and get [[Past in Flames]] and on my next turn, I go for it. I cast two [[Dark Ritual]] and two [[Rite of Flame]]. Anuraag fetches once leaving another uncracked, activates [[Sensei’s Divining Top]], cracks the other, it resolves.

I start playing out mana from my graveyard first, Anuraag tells me to slow down with the request to visually keep track of storm and mana. I comply and continue, I realize the only way I lose this game is if Anuraag has a [[Flusterstorm]] on top of the deck for my [[Tendrils of Agony]]. Even if Anuraag does, I had enough mana to Flashback [[Past in Flames]] but not cast [[Tendrils of Agony]] again, I’d have to cantrip into it. Although, if I showboated the storm up, I would’ve had enough mana to Flashback [[Past in Flames]] and cast [[Grapeshot]]. Anyway, I cast [[Infernal Tutor]] and search out a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] which promptly adds to my pool so that I can destroy [[Sensei’s Divining Top]] with [[Abrupt Decay]]. Anuraag concedes. We now have five minutes on the clock. I’m told by a viewer later that Anuraag actually had the [[Flusterstorm]] on top of the library.

Game Three:

My opening hand is [[Volcanic Island]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and [[Brainstorm]]. Anuraag plays [[Island]] into [[Sensei’s Divining Top]]. I feel like the odds of Anuraag having [[Force of Will]] and a blue card are pretty low (33%-35% including the draw off of [[Sensei’s Divining Top]] with five cards in hand). I draw for turn and it’s [[Infernal Tutor]] — that changes things! I now have a few lines I can take:

  • Option one: I can [[Brainstorm]], hoping to find a [[Gitaxian Probe]] to see if the coast is clear or the very unlikely [[Dark Ritual]] plus discard spell. If this fails, just go for [[Burning Wish]] into [[Empty the Warrens]]. Keep in mind that I saw that Anuraag kept in [[Terminus]] in game two.
  • Option two: I can play [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lotus Petal]], the pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then [[Infernal Tutor]] to have a guaranteed kill.
  • Option three: I can take a slower approach and try to grind the game down to a favorable position. However, I know that Anuraag has at least two [[Ethersworn Canonist]] and then [[Counterbalance]].

I chose option two. Partially, because of the resolved [[Sensei’s Divining Top]] to helping to find [[Terminus]] to defeat the [[Goblin Token]]s route and the fact that I felt the odds of having [[Force of Will]] and a blue card were low.

Well, like game one, Anuraag had [[Force of Will]] and a blue card.

I sit there while a second turn [[Ethersworn Canonist]] enters play and starts to attack me down. I resolve a [[Burning Wish]] a few turns later and get [[Massacre]]. On Anuraag’s turn [[Counterbalance]] comes down. My [[Massacre]] resolves (which isn’t actually relevant, we’re now on turn zero of time in the round and my life-total was reasonably high) on my turn.

Anuraag clearly has a dominant board position and would win this game if it continued. However, it’s not my fault that we’re in turns, I play pretty quickly and even tried to speed up the pace of play in the second game. Anuraag expects me to concede on the final turn, I say that I won’t as it’s not my fault that we’re there and that my chances of top 8 are much lower if I scoop — I could afford a loss and top 8 this way.

The real issue is the types of decks in the draw bracket are all Miracles or Lands as there’s next to no Death & Taxes at the event.

18-9-1 | 8-2-1

Round Twelve – Paolo Cesari with Sultai Delver

[[Cabal Therapy|]]

Paolo and I are both from Syracuse and pretty familiar with each other’s list, this should be fun. Paolo is always casting [[Stifle]].

Game One:

I win the die roll, three in a row! I start off with [[Gitaxian Probe]] targeting Paolo. After a mmulligan, the hand is: [[Daze]], [[Spell Pierce]], [[Ponder]], [[Tarmogoyf]], [[Underground Sea]], and [[Wasteland]]. I play out a [[Bloodstained Mire]] and pass. Paolo begins with an [[Underground Sea]] instead. I play [[Swamp]] and pass, as my hand can’t power through both soft counters. Paolo plays [[Wasteland]] followed by [[Dark Confidant]]. My initial thought is the one unknown card has to be [[Force of Will]], Paolo wouldn’t tap out otherwise. On my turn, I search up [[Volcanic Island]] and cast [[Rite of Flame]], followed by a [[Cabal Therapy]]. Paolo tanks, “resolves.” I say, “[[Force of Will]]”. A copy goes to the graveyard, I play a pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then [[Burning Wish]] into [[Empty the Warrens]] for 12 [[Goblin Token]]s.

Sideboarding: None

Game Two:

Paolo leads off the game with an [[Underground Sea]] into [[Delver of Secrets]]. I of course have a [[Gitaxian Probe]], Paolo lays these cards on the table: [[Force of Will]], [[Daze]], [[Underground Sea]], [[Wasteland]], and a second [[Wasteland]]. Please don’t be shocked, but I didn’t win that one.

Game Three:

I mulligan and then open four non-fetchland lands, [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Keep? I play a land and pass, so does Paolo. I draw an [[Infernal Tutor]], lay a land, and pass. Paolo casts [[Brainstorm]] on my end step and then uses a[[Wasteland]]. Before passing back, a [[Delver of Secrets]] enters play. I draw [[Dark Ritual]], is this a real opening? I play another land, [[Lotus Petal]], and then [[Dark Ritual]]. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]]? Resolves. I have two options:

  • Option one: I can go for [[Ad Nauseam]], but what are the odds Paolo doesn’t have a [[Daze]]? Paolo already didn’t have a [[Force of Will]]. What are the odds that they doesn’t have both?
  • Option two: I can go for [[Empty the Warrens]], I scribble the math on my paper. If Paolo has a second creature, [[Goblin Token]]s don’t get there. If Paolo doesn’t have [[Force of Will]] what are the odds of no second creature? Considering that Paolo has [[Tarmogoyf]], [[Deathrite Shaman]], and some number of [[Dark Confidant]].

I think it’s safer to [[Ad Nauseam]] in this situation. [[Daze]]. I concede and Paolo reveals the top card of the deck is [[Marsh Casualties]]. Sigh.

19-11-1 | 8-3-1

Round Thirteen – Brian Braun-Duin with Miracles

[[Empty the Warrens|]]

I’ve played this matchup against BBD before, they’re no stranger to my deck.

Game One:

I lose my first die roll on the day, Brian starts off with a first turn [[Sensei’s Divining Top]]. I [[Duress]] and discard [[Force of Will]] leaving Brian with lands and white cards. I begin to aggressively sculpt my hand for a turn three win on my second turn, but Brian’s third turn is a [[Counterbalance]]. I manage to resolve a [[Burning Wish]] on my turn to grab [[Empty the Warrens]], a copy is countered, and I’m left with only six [[Goblin Token]]s. I attack Brian’s life-total down to six before a [[Terminus]] is found. I’m locked out the rest of the game and lose to [[Entreat the Angels]].

Sideboarding: -3 [[Chrome Mox]], -2 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Swamp]], +3 [[Abrupt Decay]], +3 [[Xantid Swarm]]

Game Two:

I cast a [[Duress]] on the first turn and see: [[Force of Will]], [[Counterspell]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Vendilion Clique]], [[Counterbalance]], [[Jace, the Mind Sculptor]], and a [[Scalding Tarn]]. My hand is a turn two win, I discard [[Force of Will]] and think to myself, “Well, I hope he [[Brainstorm]] doesn’t find another.” It didn’t need to, Brian drew another copy for the turn. I run face first into it on my turn and lose the game sometime after.

19-13-1 | 8-4-1

Round Fourteen – Rob Blocher with Moon Stompy

[[Chalice of the Void|]]
[[Dark Ritual|]]
[[Rite of Flame|]]

I saw what Rob was playing while scouting, certainly not happy about this matchup after the way my day has gone.

Game One:

I lose the die roll again and then Rob mulligans. The match begins with [[City of Traitors]] into [[Chalice of the Void]] on one — I can’t really beat that. I play a [[Volcanic Island]] and pass. Rob taps the [[City of Traitors]], plays [[Mountain]], and casts [[Goblin Rabblemaster]]. I pick up my cards.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Ponder]], -2 [[Duress]], +3 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2 [[Chain of Vapor]]

Game Two:

[[Bayou]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], for [[Ad Nauseam]].

Game Three:

I keep this hand: [[Swamp]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Burning Wish]], and [[Chain of Vapor]]. I don’t think you can really send that back. Rob enthusiastically slams a [[Blood Moon]] on the table turn one. Little do they know! I draw for turn and it’s a [[Cabal Therapy]]. I play [[Swamp]], the pair of [[Lotus Petal]], both [[Rite of Flame]], and [[Burning Wish]] into [[Empty the Warrens]].

21-14-1 | 9-4-1

Round Fifteen – David Shiels with Shardless BUG

[[Deathrite Shaman|]]
[[Liliana of the Veil|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

I watched Dave play against Anuraag the round after me and saw that the sideboard had the white splash for [[Meddling Mage]].

Game One:

Dave wins the die roll and starts with a [[Polluted Delta]] into [[Deathrite Shaman]]. Followed by a second turn [[Liliana of the Veil]] and a [[Hymn to Tourach]] on the third turn. I was always a card or mana source away from winning this game! The [[Liliana of the Veil]] was just a turn too fast.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Ponder]], -2 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Abrupt Decay]]

Game Two:

Dave has a turn one [[Deathrite Shaman]] again and a second turn [[Null Rod]]. To Dave’s surprise, I start combo-ing off on the following turn and eventually make 12 [[Goblin Token]]s and then Flashback [[Cabal Therapy]] to discard a second [[Deathrite Shaman]]. Dave draws another and casts [[Deathrite Shaman]] and [[Tarmogoyf]] in the same turn allowing three blockers. On the next turn, there is a [[Shardless Agent]] into [[Meddling Mage]].

21-16-1 | 9-5-1

Totals & Stats

  • Games & Record: 21-16-1 | 9-5-1
  • The Die Roll: 8-7
  • Mulligans: 4
  • Turn One Combos: 7
  • Ad Nauseam Wins: 10
  • Past in Flames Wins: 2
  • Empty the Warrens Wins: 5
  • Natural Tendrils of Agony Wins: 4

Closing & General Thoughts

My average record is good enough for 54th place.

The deck felt very good on the weekend, I think I hit some rough patches of back luck, and some very fortunate draws on my opponents side. I had a lot of turn ones or should’ve been turn one kills as well — the list was incredibly fast!

I do think there will be some small adjustments made with the sideboard, those will be revealed once I figure out what I’d like to do with those slots.

Until next time, keep storming!