Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Grand Prix Trial Manila IV

The tournament was Sunday, June 15. The format was of course Block Constructed.

I was playing the same Commandments deck as the day before, except I managed to get the second Mind Spring (taking out the Fathom Trawl). During last minute playtesting on Sunday morning I also decided to take out the Plumeveils from the board (they were redundant with Nameless Inversion) and put in Faerie Macabres to help the Elemental matchup.

Here was the decklist I played:

Round one vs Commandments: Mirror Match!

I’m glad I played the mirror match as well the day before, so I had a good idea what to expect. In game one we have a staring contest, building up lands and trading counters over evoked Mulldrifters. I take the early beats and drop to three with him at around fourteen. End of my turn he Mannequins a Thresher and I have no blockers. Crap! I’m dead! However, for some reason he untaps and thinks the Thresher still has summoning sickness so he passes the turn without attacking. On my turn I take it out with a Shriekmaw, then climb back up in life on succeeding turns using Kitchen Finks, eventually managing to take the game.

Game two The situation is reversed, at the end of his turn I Mannequin Horde of Notions, then use the ability to bring back a Shriekmaw and a Mulldrifter, then swing for lethal on my turn. I explain to him that as long as I untap with a creature, it no longer has summoning sickness.

Game record: 2-0

Match record: 1-0

Round two vs Faeries

This was the same guy to whom I lost the day before so I was hoping for some payback. In game one I tapped out at a comfortable nine life while he only had a Faerie token and a Mutavault. He swung for three and played Notorious Throng and I had to scoop. In game two, we get into a staring contest basically just laying down lands during the early turns. We get into some counter battles, but between Ponder and Cryptic Command we’re basically staying at full hand size. I can’t get any advantage as he refuses to let my Mulldrifter resolve. I sweep his side several times, but eventually he manages to get in another Throng to finish me off.

Game record: 2-2

Match record: 1-1

Round three vs Monored splash black

Kitchen Finks are at a disadvantage against Puncture Bolts and Boggart Ram-Gangs, but I still manage to put it away in three games, always being careful to stay away from the range of two Flame Javelins. We end game three with me beating down with 3 creatures, him with no black sources and three Eyeblight’s Endings in hand.

Game record: 4-3

Match record: 2-1

Round 4 vs Kithkin

It’s the same deck I lost to in round six the previous day, so I’m told. I win game one easily same as yesterday. In game two the sideboarded BFT don’t make an appearance and I manage to win that as well.

Game record: 6-3

Match record: 3-1

Round 5 vs W/x

The first turn plains made me think it was Kithkin, but the second turn Shinewend meant it was something different. I’m unsure what to expect but after seeing Spectral Procession, Wilt-Leaf Liege and Kitchen Finks it was definitely an aggro build with play style similar to Kithkin, except slower to allow for more flexibility. I stabilize at two life with a Cloudthresher under an Oblivion Ring. I manage to win from there, and the opponent later realizes he could have won by playing a Shinewend and taking out the Ring.

In game two I’m at fourteen; he swings with Burrenton FT, WL liege and a Kitchen Finks. I block the Liege with a Finks, hoping to finish it off with Nameless Inversion. He plays Mirrorweave on the Liege, hoping to win on the spot; I don’t panic and take out the Forge Tender with NI, taking only six damage and getting to kill the Liege. From there I play Mind Spring for four and take control of the game.

Game record: 8-3

Match record: 4-1

Round six vs Faeries

Game one, he mulls to five and is still color-screwed, so I win easily.

Game two I mull to six and am less color-screwed, but still lose the game.

Game three was too close; I had him two turns away from losing to his own Bitterblossom, the life was 14-2 in my favor, I had a 2/1 Finks and he had a bunch of Faerie tokens. I play Kitchen Finks so I could survive the next two turns, but he shows me Cryptic Command, bouncing his own Bitterblossom in the process. On his turn he swings for four, taking me to ten. On my turn I topdeck the Firespout, play it for 1GG and he has no permission left. The 2/1 Finks win me the game.

Game record: 10-4

Match record: 5-1

Five and one! If I win the next round I can draw into the top eight…

Round seven is Faeries again! We trade game one and two, and game three I thought I had it lost…

It was his turn, the third turn in extra time and I was at nine. I had no chance of winning at this point, but he had Bitterblossom and seven tokens without summoning sickness. I had nothing. He plays Mutavault, his fifth land, then swings with the seven tokens. I would take seven and go down to two, losing on the fifth turn even if I had a sweeper because of the Mutavault. I signal no blockers and prepare to write down “2” on my life total…

He signals wait. He taps his mutavault and indicates he’s animating it. He plays Mirrorweave targetting Mutavault.

My hand shoots into the air, “Judge!”

Some explanations later, we get the ruling: the Faeries become lands and are removed from combat!

I survive into turn four, topdeck a Cloudthresher and sweep away the Faeries. The game ends in a draw.

Game record: 11-5

Match record: 5-1-1

Must win in order to top eight. Hopefully I fight anything other than Faeries which has been difficult for me so far (probably because I’m not playing the matchup correctly)

Of course, round eight is Faeries!

Game one the first play is Vendillion Clique from his side, followed by two Scions on succeeding turns. I manage to sweep, but by that time I’m at five and lose to his Mutavaults.

Game two went pretty much the same way (Vendillion into Scion into Scion), except I had Kitchen Finks on the ground to stall the ‘vaults. We trade removal and counters for a while, but eventually he manages to tap down my guys with Cryptic Command and swing in with three ‘vaults.

Final Game record: 11-7

Final Match record: 5-2-1

Finish: 17th, winning two packs. The packs contained Wheel of Sun and Moon and Order of Whiteclay.

A bit disappointed, since I had begged out of Father’s Day dinner in order to finish the tournament since I was doing well. Still, it’s a decent finish and brings to an end my month-long streak of bad tournament results. The Commandments deck is exhausting yet fun to play, now all I need to do is figure out the Faeries matchup…

Next week: I don’t know if I can play in the last GPT.

Posted by under post at #mtg
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Uh. Decklist needs fixing? The Plumeveils are still in the board and I see no hint of those Macabres. :D 5-2-1 in a GPT is a nice record.

Corrected…I forgot to edit after copy and paste.

5-2-1 is a good record yes, but I want to do better!