I wake up to get ready for school when my mom tells me, “You have a two-hour delay, also, happy birthday!” I go back to bed with no intention of going to school that day. I wake up hours later but am now excited for my trip to Connecticut! Before I know it, it’s almost time to go, and friends along with teammates are wishing me luck. Matt (Bigbear), Zack (LonelyBaritone), and Jim< (Jim) pick me up and we’re hitting the road.

the epic Storm

Main Deck
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Plunge into Darkness]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 2 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 2 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]
  • 1 [[Diminishing Returns]]
  • 4 [[Xantid Swarm]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 3 [[Cabal Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 4 [[City of Brass]]
  • 4 [[Gemstone Mine]]
  • 2 [[Undiscovered Paradise]]
  • 1 [[Tomb of Urami]]
  • 4 [[Dark Confidant]]
  • 2 [[Defense Grid]]
  • 1 [[Meltdown]]
  • 1 [[Shattering Spree]]
  • 1 [[Duress]]
  • 1 [[Tranquility]]
  • 1 [[Diminishing Returns]]
  • 1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Earthquake]]

The Mana Leak Open II

Round One – Matt McNally with Solidarity

Game One:

My opponent lets me know that they know what I’m playing, I jokingly say back, “Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal.” — which they did not find nearly as funny as I did. Matt then wins the die roll and our day is underway! Matt plays , “[[Island]], go.” I play [[City of Brass]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Tendrils of Agony]]), [[Burning Wish]], and retrieve [[Empty the Warrens]]. Matt plays another [[Island]]. I’m thinking, “Is this mono-blue control?” I draw and cast a [[Brainstorm]] putting two copies of [[Chrome Mox]] on top. I play an [[Undiscovered Paradise]], [[Rite of Flame]] (which is met by [[Remand]]), [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], off of [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Chrome Mox]], and [[Empty the Warrens]] for 16 [[Goblin Token]]s. My opponent draws and concedes.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Diminishing Returns]], -1 [[Cabal Ritual]], + 2 [[Defense Grid]].
Game Two:

On the draw and my opening hand is: [[City of Brass]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Chrome Mox]], and [[Gemstone Mine]]. I draw for the turn and it’s [[Xantid Swarm]]! I cast [[Xantid Swarm]] and it resolves. Matt plays, “[[Island]], go.” I draw another copy of [[Xantid Swarm]] for turn but it doesn’t matter. I attack with [[Xantid Swarm]] then proceed to combo out using multiple [[Ill-Gotten Gains]].

2-0 | 1-0

Round Two – Steve Talbot with Goblins

Game One:

I win the die roll. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Cabal Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Gemstone Mine]]. I look at my hand in and think, “Force of Will would be bad here… IF MY OPPONENT WAS PLAYING BLUE” However, I sat next to my opponent in the first round and knew they were on Goblins. I then proceeded to not let him have a turn one! [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Cabal Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and then [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Ill-Gotten Gains]] — return [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]. Cast all of these cards again into a lethal [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -4 [[Xantid Swarm]], + 3 [[Dark Confidant]], +1 [[Meltdown]]
Game Two:

I keep a hand of [[Brainstorm]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Plunge into Darkness]], and [[Chrome Mox]]. They begin on [[Rishadan Port]] into [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero. OUCH! I Brainstorm into nothing and eventually concede.

Game Three:

I start out with one of my favorite plays. Main-phase [[Brainstorm]]! After my Brainstorm resolves my hand is [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and Land. I’m forced to pass the turn, my opponent plays [[Goblin Lackey]] but no [[Chalice of the Void]]. I do the same thing that I did in game one.

4-1 | 2-0

Round Three – Alix Hatfield (Obfuscate Freely) with Aluren

Game One:

I honestly don’t remember much about this game, all I have on this is a few words I wrote down. Alix plays a pair of [[Cabal Therapy]] me, I play a [[Xantid Swarm]], and it doesn’t matter he plays [[Aluren]] and goes nuts.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Cabal Ritual]], -3 [[Plunge into Darkness]], +4 [[Dark Confidant]], +2 [[Defense Grid]].
Game Two:

I look at my opening hand [[Chrome Mox]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Confidant]], [[Burning Wish]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]. Alix Mulligans a few times after he mulliganed for [[Force of Will]]. I begin to think Alix must’ve mulled into [[Force of Will]] again. Then I said, “no guts, no glory!” [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Dark Confidant]]), [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Burning Wish]]), [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Infernal Tutor]] (Sacrificing [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for ) then casting [[Empty the Warrens]] for 12 [[Goblin Token]]s. Alix concedes shortly after.

Game Three:

I’ve yet to mulligan this tournament and this is Alix’s fourth time in three games. The game is dragged out due to a timely drawn [[Force of Will]] on an [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]. We’re both in top-deck mode in the mid-game when Alix draws [[Brainstorm]] into multiple combo pieces including [[Cavern Harpy]].

5-3 | 2-1

Round Four – Cody Mannion (Ta Jugs) with Angry Tradewind Survival

Game One:

I win the die roll, mulligan to five, and keep a hand of: [[Brainstorm]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[City of Brass]], and [[Infernal Tutor]]. I play [[Gemstone Mine]] and [[Brainstorm]] into [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and two cards that just didn’t matter. Turn two [[Ill-Gotten Gains]] loop kill.

Sideboarding: -4 [[Xantid Swarm]], +4 [[Dark Confidant]]
Game Two:

I mulligan again and then I play a first turn [[Dark Confidant]] on the draw. Robert reveals a [[Dark Ritual]] and I draw another for turn. I attack and pass. Cody plays [[Survival of the Fittest]] and then dies on the third turn.

7-3 | 3-1

Round Five – Brandon LePage with UGwr Gro

Game One:

I lose the die roll; my opening hand is [[Lotus Petal]], [[Tomb of Urami]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and a [[Lotus Petal]]. I draw a [[Cabal Ritual]] for turn I play [[Tomb of Urami]] (which raises an eyebrow) and I then play [[Lotus Petal]] into [[Dark Ritual]] which is countered by [[Force of Will]]. I play [[Dark Ritual]] and then [[Cabal Ritual]] and another [[Force of Will]] is cast. I then play [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] — Brandon had a third! A third! [[Force of Will]] and a blue card. Brandon casts an end step [[Brainstorm]] on my next turn. Untaps, draws, and plays [[Werebear]]. I draw a [[Dark Ritual]], pass. I don’t recover in enough time.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Cabal Ritual]], -3 [[Plunge into Darkness]], +4 [[Dark Confidant]], +2 [[Defense Grid]].
Game Two:

This game is a little blurry; I play an early [[Xantid Swarm]] followed by a [[Defense Grid]]. The opponent plays [[Meddling Mage]] on Cabal Ritual. I draw into a piece of acceleration and cast [[Diminishing Returns]] getting the absolute nuts and [[Tendrils of Agony]] for lethal.

Game Three:

I mulligan. I play a first turn [[Xantid Swarm]]. It resolves! On the second turn, I swing, and play [[Dark Confidant]]. On the opponent’s draw step, they reveal their drawn [[Lightning Bolt]] and then kill [[Dark Confidant]]. I draw a [[Tomb of Urami]] and play it. I attack and then all I have is [[Dark Ritual]], [[Rite of Flame]], and [[Infernal Tutor]] — I’m on the edge of my seat. I make 8 [[Goblin Token]]s and pass fearing [[Pyroclasm]]. Brandon doesn’t have it and passes the turn back. I need any sort of mana acceleration to activate [[Tomb of Urami]]… and I draw a [[Dark Ritual]]! I swing out (including the [[Xantid Swarm]]) putting Brandon to 7 life. I cast [[Dark Ritual]], the opponent attempts to [[Force of Will]] but I point to our favorite insect. I activate [[Tomb of Urami]]. On Brandon’s turn, a [[Brainstorm]] is cast and Brandon says, “I need either [[Pyroclasm]] and [[Lightning Bolt]] or [[Pyroclasm]] plus [[Swords to Plowshares]].” Neither happens.

9-4 | 4-1

Round Six – (Bruenor) with BHWC Landstill

9-4-1 | 4-1-1

Top eight – Zach Tartell (LonelyBaritone) with Enchantress

Game One:

I win the roll, play land, and cast [[Brainstorm]]. After [[Brainstorm]] resolves my hand is [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Burning Wish]]. Needless to say, I win on the second turn.

Sideboarding: -4 [[Xantid Swarm]], +4 [[Dark Confidant]].
Game Two:

Zach plays two lock pieces. I [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tranquility]]. I can’t draw the third land and then Zach plays [[Null Chamber]] naming [[Tranquility]].

Game Three:

I can’t remember anything about this game besides that I win turn two and it involves [[Diminishing Returns]].

11-4-1 | 5-1-1

Top four – David Price (Quicksilver) with RG Survival Advantage

Game One:

The notes just say, “2x [[Cabal Therapy]] and beatdown.”

Sideboarding: -4 [[Xantid Swarm]], +4 [[Dark Confidant]].
Game Two:

I “combo-off” with an early with [[Ill-Gotten Gains]], but beat myself up over a small play-mistake over a [[Cabal Ritual]] not having Threshold.

Game Three:

This is a long one! David disrupts me a lot with multiple [[Cabal Therapy]] and removal for [[Dark Confidant]]s. All I have left is a [[Burning Wish]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. I need to draw any acceleration to go for the sideboard copy of [[Diminishing Returns]]. Dave tanks but ultimately decides not to Flashback [[Cabal Therapy]]. I draw [[Dark Ritual]] and win from there.

13-5-1 | 6-1-1

Finals – Kyle Dorgan (Dr. Teeth) with Hulksmash

Game One:

My opening hand is [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], and [[Empty the Warrens]]. I play [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Brainstorm]], and finally [[Empty the Warrens]]. Kyle plays [[Force of Will]] on a copy and is dead shortly after.

Sideboarding: -3 [[Cabal Ritual]], -3 [[Plunge into Darkness]], +4 [[Dark Confidant]], +2 [[Defense Grid]].
Game Two:

I play turn one [[Xantid Swarm]] he plays [[Force of Will]]. We play land go for awhile, I slowly build up double [[Tendrils of Agony]]. I attempt the feat of the pair of [[Tendrils of Agony]] but Kyle has enough counter magic to stay alive at one life. I draw a [[Burning Wish]], Kyle allows it to resolve but I can’t get the mana back up to four before losing to a [[Psychatog]].

Game Three:

My opening hand is [[Gemstone Mine]], [[City of Brass]], [[Xantid Swarm]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Burning Wish]]. My turn one [[Xantid Swarm]] resolves! Kyle doesn’t have the removal spell and I win!

15-6-1 | 7-1-1

Thank you all for reading! Until next time, keep storming!