Star City Games: Baltimore, MD (07/03/2011) — 11th Place

This tournament report really starts with getting picked up by my good friend, Dan Walton — our driver for the weekend. We make a pit-stop to buy some sleeves and Commander decks then head out to pick everyone else up. The trip down to Baltimore, MD felt pretty fast, I think it’s because we were all excited for the weekend. We arrived to the hotel by 7pm — which gives us some time to do night-life in the city.

We meet up with other Syracuse locals and then head over to the event center, just to find that it’s not even set up yet! We head out to dinner. We’re walking downtown, right next to the stadium (which is honestly pretty cool). Their fans were nuts after winning a home-game. We end up going to a Hard Rock Cafe because a handful of us had never been to one, the food wasn’t great. We decided the next day that we’re going to go to PF Changs because of the Hangover II.

We’re up bright and early for the 9am start time of the Standard open, which I scrub out of fairly quickly. I end up joining the Legacy Challenge and end up going 3-1 to win six packs. I end up opening [[Sword of War and Peace]], [[Spellskite]], and a foil [[Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur]]. I trade the [[Sword of War and Peace]] for a [[Batterskull]] just in-case I decide to play the [[Stoneforge Mystic]] package in the BANT deck I’ve working on. I go to watch Dan’s last match in the Standard Open, Dan beats his CawBlade opponent with Mono-Red Aggro. Afterwords his opponent says, “That’ll be the last time I touch these [[Jace, the Mind Sculptor]]s.” I end up working out a pretty good deal for them due to the Standard banning — $30/each!

As promised, we end up at PF Changs. I’m one of the few people out of the group that has never used chop sticks and quickly make an ass out of myself. We have a great time, the food and drinks were pretty good too!

We wake up early and we’re on our way to get breakfast when someone tells us that the registration is earlier than the Standard Open. We sprint to the event site, skipping breakfast, and barely get there with enough time to sign up for Legacy.

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 3 [[Duress]]
  • 3 [[Orim’s Chant]]
  • 2 [[Xantid Swarm]]
  • 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 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 1 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 1 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 2 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]


  • 2 [[Pyroblast]]
  • 2 [[Xantid Swarm]]
  • 2 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 1 [[Wipe Away]]
  • 1 [[Duress]]
  • 1 [[Meltdown]]
  • 1 [[Shattering Spree]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]
  • 1 [[Diminishing Returns]]

Star City Games: Baltimore, MD — Legacy Open

Round One – David with Burn

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

Game One:

My opponent shows me what they’re playing while they’re shuffling, I felt like I had an edge. Although, I couldn’t become Hellbent for [[Infernal Tutor]] and die to a [[Goblin Guide]] and some burn spells.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Xantid Swarm]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -1 [[Orim’s Chant]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Duress]], +1 [[Wipe Away]]

Game Two:

I use a [[Scalding Tarn]] for [[Underground Sea]] into a [[Ponder]], my opponent has another [[Goblin Guide]]. I play [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]] get a second [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], then play both copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. At this point, cast [[Burning Wish]], [[Ill-Gotten Gains]],[[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Burning Wish]], and [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Game Three:

My opponent suspends a [[Rift Bolt]] and I cast [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]] into [[Grapeshot]].

2-1 | 1-0

Round Two – Greg with Reanimator

[[Xantid Swarm|]]

Game One:

My opponent has an end-step [[Entomb]] into [[Reanimate]] on [[Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur]]. I attempt to win on my turn, but Greg has what feels like a million counters.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -3 [[Orim’s Chant]], -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], -1 [[Ponder]], +2 [[Xantid Swarm]], +2 [[Pyroblast]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]]

Game Two:

My opponent mulligans and I starts with [[Xantid Swarm]], they [[Force of Will]] removing another [[Force of Will]]. They just play a [[Polluted Delta]] and pass. I play a second [[Xantid Swarm]], resolves! I don’t have the win so I need to swing a few turns as a bluff, but on the third turn I draw [[Infernal Tutor]].

Game Three:

Greg keeps a six card hand plays a [[Swamp]] and passes, meanwhile, I play [[Xantid Swarm]] and it gets countered by [[Mental Misstep]]. On the next turn cycle, my opponent has [[Entomb]] into [[Reanimate]] on [[Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur]] with two cards in hand. On the end step, I [[Echoing Truth]] which is hit by [[Force of Will]] removing the last card in hand ([[Daze]]). I [[Pyroblast]] the [[Force of Will]], but am now low on cards. A few turns later, I build into [[Dark Ritual]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Burning Wish]], and [[Grapeshot]].

4-2 | 2-0

Round Three – Rich with NO-Bant

[[Xantid Swarm|]]

My opponent while settling down unrolls their playmat and its Cloud and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. We start talking about the series — I’ve played 7, 8, 10, and 12. Rich thinks that 9 was the second best, I disagree, it was the only game and I never finished. My personal favorites are 10 followed by 8 due to the card game in FF8. We talk about Blitzball a bit and begin our round.

Game One:

I keep a decent hand with one land, protection, cantrips, and rituals. I play [[Underground Sea]] into [[Ponder]] and shuffle. [[Wasteland]] on [[Underground Sea]] essentially ends the game.

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

Game Two:

I open with a turn one [[Xantid Swarm]] followed by turn two [[Ad Nauseam]].

Game Three:

Rich opens with a [[Flooded Strand]] and I play a [[Polluted Delta]]. The next turn, we each play another fetchland and pass. On turn three, Rich plays a [[Wasteland]]. The stalemate is real, we sit there like this for a few turns. The silence breaks when Rich plays a [[Tarmogoyf]]. I use [[Polluted Delta]] on the end step, and its countered by [[Stifle]]. I fetch again and cast [[Brainstorm]], Rich uses [[Wasteland]] on my land. I find a [[City of Brass]] off of [[Brainstorm]]. On my turn, I play [[City of Brass]] into [[Xantid Swarm]] and it resolves?! I couldn’t believe it. I attack and win on the following turn.

6-3 | 3-0

Round Four – Andrew with Manaless Dredge

[[Ad Nauseam|]]
[[Leyline of Sanctity|]]
[[Mindbreak Trap|]]

I faced Andrew in the Legacy Challenge the day before on Manaless Dredge, so I knew what I was in for. After our match, Andrew told me that my deck sucked and that they couldn’t believe they lost to a deck as bad as mine. I wanted to send a message now, I told myself I was going to win with [[Grapeshot]].

Game One:

I play a turn one [[Ad Nauseam]] with a [[Grapeshot]] attached.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -2 [[Orim’s Chant]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]]

Game Two:

My opponent opens with [[Leyline of Sanctity]]. My hand is: [[Underground Sea]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Echoing Truth]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]. I play turn one [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Brainstorm]]) and a [[Gemstone Mine]]. On Andrew’s end step, I cast [[Echoing Truth]] on [[Leyline of Sanctity]]. I draw [[Duress]] for turn and cast it — no [[Mindbreak Trap]]! I go all in and a pair of [[Street Wraith]] cycles into [[Mindbreak Trap]].

Game Three:

Andrew doesn’t open with [[Leyline of Sanctity]], which is great news for my [[Duress]] which is also a [[Time Walk]] against Manaless Dredge. I untap, draw, and cast [[Ponder]], shuffle, draw. Andrew draws and passes. I draw [[Ad Nauseam]] for turn, cast it, into [[Grapeshot]].

[[Grapeshot]] twice in one round gives the message I wanted to deliver!

8-4 | 4-0

Round Five – Pete with NO HULK

[[Orim’s Chant|]]
[[Gitaxian Probe|]]
[[Cabal Therapy|]]

I’ve played against Pete at Grand Prix: Providence, where absolutely Pete crushed me — now is my chance to get even. I mention to Pete that I know, they’re not playing Reanimator because we sat near each other one round. Pete mentions it was actually their cards I defeated in the second round.

Game One:

Pete does a number on my hand with [[Gitaxian Probe]] and [[Cabal Therapy]]. I’m feeling like my time may be up soon, so I cast an [[Orim’s Chant]] in Pete’s upkeep. On my turn, I draw [[Infernal Tutor]] and cast [[Ad Nauseam]]. It turns out if I didn’t cast [[Orim’s Chant]] that I was dead.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Xantid Swarm]], -1 [[Orim’s Chant]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]]

Game Two:

[[Leyline of Sanctity]] and a couple of [[Cabal Therapy]] with a [[Gitaxian Probe]] are enough to slow me down before Pete can combo.

Game Three:

I don’t remember this game… My notes have my life total going from 18 to 5 and Pete’s at 19 to 0. I’m guessing there was an [[Ad Nauseam]] involved.

10-5 | 5-0

Round Six – David with UW Stoneforge | Feature Match

[[Mental Misstep|]]
[[Stoneforge Mystic|]]

Game One:

My opponent opens with a [[Wasteland]] on my land, and then destroys my second land with another [[Wasteland]]. Then a turn 4 [[Stoneforge Mystic]] and when I try to win on turn 6 a [[Mental Misstep]] on my [[Orim’s Chant]] and [[Force of Will]] on [[Infernal Tutor]].

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

Game Two:

I mulligan and look at: [[Scalding Tarn]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Ad Nauseam]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Burning Wish]]. I go all in and win. David says, “Turn one on the play after a mulligan! Ridiculous!”

Game Three:

He mulligans because, “it can’t compete with a turn one.” I open with: [[Rite of Flame]], [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Gemstone Mine]], and [[Underground Sea]]. David leads with a [[Tundra]] and I play a [[Gemstone Mine]]. David plays [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. I play [[Underground Sea]] and [[Infernal Tutor]] — [[Force of Will]]. I draw another [[Infernal Tutor]] and try again, it resolves, I get another [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. David drops a [[Sword of Feast and Famine]] and equips to [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. A [[Wasteland]] happens as well. I’m pressured into going off and David’s hand has two [[Mental Misstep]] as well as a [[Force of Will]].

11-7 | 5-1

Round Seven – Tommy with Zoo

[[Diminishing Returns|]]
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]
[[Lightning Bolt|]]

Game One:

I play turn one, [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Brainstorm]]), and [[Burning Wish]] for [[Diminishing Returns]]. My opponent plays [[Grim Lavamancer]]. I play [[Underground Sea]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Diminishing Returns]], I draw [[Tendrils of Agony]] but don’t have enough to win tge game, so settle for a mini-[[Tendrils of Agony]] putting them to four life. Untap and [[Burning Wish]] into [[Grapeshot]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Xantid Swarm]], -1 [[Orim’s Chant]], -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Duress]], +1 [[Wipe Away]]

Game Two:

A turn one [[Steppe Lynx]] and then a few burn spells have left me low on life-total. I am forced to go off with [[Diminishing Returns]] but my opponent has a red open. However, they have a [[Qasali Pridemage]], I bait out a pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and they bite down hard. I then [[Burning Wish]] into [[Diminishing Returns]], play out my hand, [[Burning Wish]], and [[Tendrils of Agony]]! They reveal a [[Lightning Bolt]] from hand.

13-7 | 6-1

Round Eight – Paul with UW Stoneforge | Feature Match

[[Echoing Truth|]]
[[Ethersworn Canonist|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

Paul plays a turn two [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. I play [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Empty the Warrens]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Tendrils of Agony]]. He picks it up.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Empty the Warrens]], -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +2 [[Xantid Swarm]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]]

Game Two:

My hand is pretty good, but I wanted to wait a turn for protection. Paul casts end step [[Enlightened Tutor]] for [[Ethersworn Canonist]]. On Paul’s turn, [[Ethersworn Canonist]] is cast. In response, I play [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]. I untap and cast [[Echoing Truth]], it gets countered by [[Pyroblast]].

Sideboarding: -1 [[Brainstorm]], +1 [[Wipe Away]]

Game Three:

Paul casts [[Enlightened Tutor]] for [[Ethersworn Canonist]] with a bunch of counter backup. I lose.

After the round a friend tells me, they think I should’ve cast [[Xantid Swarm]] and passed in the second game. Maybe this would’ve been a better line?

14-9 | 6-2

Round Nine – Doug with Bloodbraid RUG | Feature Match

[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]
[[Diminishing Returns|]]

I play against Doug a lot in Syracuse and know that all Doug has is four copies of [[Force of Will]] to stop me because of [[Bloodbraid Elf]].

Game One:

My life total goes: 20, 19, 15, 11, 7, 6, 4, 1. His goes 18, 0. I think I won with [[Diminishing Returns]]? I don’t remember.

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

Game Two:

I open with: [[Bloodstained Mire]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Ad Nauseam]].

16-9 | 7-2

Closing & General Thoughts

I end up finishing in 11th place and opt to take 125$ store credit instead of cash, go to the dealer booth and get a [[Karakas]], [[Tarmogoyf]], and two [[Vendilion Clique]] for the Bant deck I’m working on.

We begin the car ride back and start talking, the guys in the car don’t believe that I created the deck I was playing, or that I have played [[Tendrils of Agony]] combo as long as I claim. Then they ask me, “Why is it called The EPIC Storm?”, I begin to explain that I was on the team, The EPIC Syndicate that is now pretty much defunct. They question why people are on teams and why people would ever join them, ect. I just ignore it and fall asleep.

Until next time, keep storming!