The Fall of Tournaments, part 1

This is written as of a two-week delay, because I never really got the chance to write it back when it took place.


I attended the Innistrad pre-release and Dragons Lair in Stockholm. Most of my close magic-friends were there and overall we had a really good time. On top of this Sandra was away visiting her parents in Sandviken so I had no problem preparing and playing as much magic as I wanted (not that I do otherwise either, but this was one of those once-in-a-lifetime chances of saying this, so I took the bait).


The pool I got was quite horrible. No bomb-rare, and not much variety on my colours: neither blue, green nor black had more than 2-3 playables so I was left with a bunch of red aggressive cards and bunch of white controlling cards including quite a lot of removal. Aggro it was then. 15 land and 2 land-fetching artifacts was my mana base including an island for a splash for a flashback-effect. It wasn’t really something I liked that much.


First round I played against an blue-white Italian guy. I won the first game after a lot of struggle and a couple of good plays on my part. I lost the second due to 2 lands drawn my first 12 cards (starthand + 5 draws). Third I lost due to 12 lands drawn in my first 16 cards. Life wasn’t fair.


Second round I played against a white-black deck with a lot of token making creatures. A plethora  of cheap blockers wasn’t really good for my deck. I won the first however but lost the second to mana fizzling (something like 2 lands in 11 cards) and I lost the third to mana flooding (something like 9 lands in 12 cards). Life wasn’t fair. At all.


Also, at this point all my friends were 2-0.


I felt quite miserable. But then I had them all look at my pile of cards and everybody agreed that I had (basically) built the best deck out of the available cards (giver or take 1 or 2 cards), so we all agreed that I just had to pull better draws. Basic as that.


Round three I sat down against a green-white deck. My opponent proudly announced that he’d been playing for little more than a month and we had a jolly good time even though my deck kept 2-for-1-ing his deck and even though I lured him into one combat trick after another. As I said; he was a nice guy though. I won 2-0.


Fourth round I played against a red-black deck. Apart from making a couple of stupid plays and walking into a reeeally stupid combat trick (‘oh, you have your 4/3 vampire standing on defense and two mana open, guess I won’t play my ‘you can’t block’ creature and attack with my 7/6 trampler – whaaat, did you play +2/+0 to and first strike to all your vampires?! Bummer.’-kind of thing) I don’t think my deck was better than his, but I believe it was more consistent and streamlined (less cards that were only situationally good, mostly). I 2-0’d. It felt good, considering my misplays.


Round five I played against a green-white (red splash) deck. I won 2-0, and the games were quite brutal: One game it was turn two Elite Inquisitor and turn three Furor of the Bitten. He played werewolves. As I said: It was brutal. That I finished off both games with a top-decked Brimstone Volley didn’t make him less discontent.


I was not 3-2. Round six I squared of against a red-black-splash-white deck with a total of 7 first strikers. One game I held a hand of only removal spells and no aggro. Took me quite some time to draw into my good creatures, and all the while I could only put on the show of drawing the right removal at the right time, over and over again. Our decks were much the same, yet different in some crucial ways. I drew better than he did, twice. 2-0.


At 4-2 I knew I had a chance on top8. To be fair, this chance was something like ‘well, yeah, if all other people on 4-2 lose, or draw, and the guy you met in round 1 wins (he was 6-0 at the time, hooray for my tie-breakers!), and two other people decide to randomly drop out of the tournament…’ and it went on for another two minutes, sorta’. Still, it was worth playing for! (and don’t forget the Planeswalker Points that were on the line, as well!)


Last round commenced and it was against a green-black-red deck (first triple coloured opponent of the day, yay!) packing (most notably) Olivia Voldaren and Cellar Door (which didn’t net him close to as many zombies as he deserved). First game I won by aggroing him down (I think), but it’s the second that’s of interest: It was (by far) my longest game of the day in which we both got the chance to play the majority of our business spells. It was a really fun game (Killing ms. Voldaren is fun. Attacking into an untapped cellar door is… scary =/ ). I did, however, in the end, draw the longest straw and finished 2-0.


5-2 finish and 18th place out of 105 participants. Not bad for my official comeback, and it even binned me 3 Innistrad boosters, to boot!


So there you have it: A 5-2 comeback in Sealed, and soon, soon I’ll try do redo the feat (even improve it!) at Grand Prix Milano. Wish me luck!


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