Amatuer Championship Top 8 Report
Hello again fellow magic players. You may have read my last tourney report a few months ago from PTQ: Osaka in Indianapolis, where I top 8'ed with mono black in Extended. Well since then I placed poorly at Regionals to mana screw and now was my time to gain vengeance on the Magic world. So 3 major events for me and 1 top 8's and one top 15. Can I keep up good play? Sure, why not? As many of you know the Amateur Championships is over and you are probably just fed up by now that not a single person has given any info to Brainburst about it. Well fear not fellow mages, here is my top 8 report for the Amateur Championships held in Columbus, Ohio at Origins on July 6. The tournament held 364 participants, which meant 9 long rounds of swiss. The format was Standard which gave most players their first opportunity to use Judgment. I opted to go with a deck I had built a couple months prior but had not tested very much. I had about 15 mintues to build the deck and register. Enough rambling here is the decklist and tournament report.
Round 1 : Versus UGW Timestretch Combo Deck
Game 1: He plays some early elves, birds, and random mana producers which enable him to cast a turn 3 Mirari's Wake. I had no clue what he was playing and honestly still am not totally sure. He ends up casting Time Stretch about 3 times and winning with random creatures.
Game 2: I FTK a few creatures and he doesn't get anything to stop a Call of the Herd and the FTK. They go the distance.
Game 3: He gets mana screwed. I beat him down with Call of the Herd tokens. Easy victory.
Round 2: Versus UG Madness
Game 1: He gets mana screwed and I kill his first two creatures, Merfolk Looter and Basking Rootwalla, with a Fire/ Ice. He doesn't ever get rolling and elephant tokens alongside FTK win the game.
Game 2: His madness engine gets rolling quickly with Arrogant Wurms and Roar tokens flying in from every direction. I lay down and die in an embarrassing fashion.
Game 3: A very similar game as Game 2, except I get out a few more threats, but not enough. He wins with another very good draw.
Round 3 : Counter Trenches (with Lightning Angel)
Game 1: We go into a long game in which I maximize the efficiency of Force Spike countering two end of turn Fact or Fictions while he was at 4 land. I manage to overrun him with Call of the Herd tokens.
Game 2: A very close game in which at one point my life total reaches 3. One swing away from death from Lightning Angel starring me down. However, I had a Possessed Aven waiting to gain threshold on the board with 6 cards in the graveyard. He attempts to cast a spell (repulse I think), I counter (giving me threshold). He counters my counter and I Mystic Snake his second attempt. He lets Snake resolve and declares an attack with the Lightning Angel! I block with my beefed up 4/4 Flying Aven and he closes his eyes in disgust with himself. I swing the next turn for victory.
Round 4: 'Tog (splash Green)
Game 1: I gain too much card advantage via Prophetic Bolt and Fact or Fiction. FTK kills a Nightscape Familiar and Call of the Herd wins the game.
Game 2: The game goes long and he gets out multiple Psychatog's and Familiars. He taps out at the end of my turn to cast a repulse which I memory lapse (it was bait for the counter so he could Fact) then casts the Fact which I Snake, the Fire his two Nightscape Familiar's. His blockers go bye and so does he a few turns later.
Round 5: Noir
Game 1: His Regionals Tech deck doesn't hold up too well as I burn away his midget creatures ( Ravenous rats and Nantuko Shades) with Fire/Ice and Urza's Rage. He gets stuck at 4 land and I Force Spike a Braids and a Shambling Swarm. I kill him off with Elephants as I counter his threat cards ( Mutilate etc).
Game 2: Pretty much like game 1 except I SB in the Squirrel Nests which fed Braids the entire match until he killed off my Birds and one land leaving me with only 3 mana sources in play for about 3 turns. I end up getting another land and eventually Fact or Fiction my way to victory.
Round 6: Versus UGR Madness
Game 1: He gets out an early Merfolk Looter and Flametongue Kavu killing a bird. I get a FTK of my own and kill a Looter. He attacks and we trade FTK's. He casts a Mongrel which I Mystic Snake. He doesn't get any madness outlets and I roll him with FTk and Call of the Herd.
Game 2: I get a very controlish hand ( Snakes, Spikes, and Counterspells). I counter his first few threats and then comes the beef in form of FTK and Call of The Herd. I blast away one of his creatures with a Prophetic Bolt and win with the beef on board.
Round 7: Red Green Beats (Frog in a Blender style)
Game 1: He gets land screwed and I don't. FTK's kill any creature in sight and I roll in for an easy victory.
Game 2: He pounces on me like nobody else in the tournament could. He Rec Charges a creature a couple strait turns and burns me down to 1 life! I get lucky and he draws land for about 6 turns and I win with multiple Call of the Herds.
Round 8: Versus GW Beatdown
Game 1 : His little Llanowar Elves don't get the job done against Fire/Ice and FTK. He doesn't get out anything worthwhile and Glory never gets in the graveyard. Fairly easy game.
Game 2: He swarms me with creatures. Wild Mongrel and Spellbane Centaur enter play, and Glory finds it's way to the graveyard. Brushopper makes it in play and I die soon after.
Game 3: The game goes long and he gets a decent army, but I FTK Mongrels and Fire the elves and Proph Bolt the Arrogant Wurms. Comes down to a few crucial plays where Force Spike saves the day. For three out of 5 turns he casts a Might of Oaks on an unblocked Llanowar ELf for the game, but I fear not because with only 4 land on the board he must tap out to do so and my lowly Force Spike counters them. I win a hard fought match.
Round 9: Versus 'Tog
Before the first game I check the standings and see that I am in 6th place overall and that a draw will get me into the top 8, so I am pretty relaxed going over to my table. When I get there however, I realize I am paired with the person seeded 10th! This means I must play out the match and hope for at least a draw.
Game 1: He is playing 'Tog so obviously it is a long game. Fortunately for me he never gets out an Upheaval and I eventually win after killing off his Psychatog's.
Game 2: This game goes down to the wire, with momentum shifting many times during the game. He gets out Nightscape familiars and I get out Squirrel Nests. He Cunning wishes for some Enchantment stealing instant and snatches my Squirrel Nest. I cast a few Call tokens and he has to Wish again for Hibernation. I get my Nest back! yippee, he didn't realize that Hibernation returned permanents and the judge caught him trying to keep the Nest and thank God because I would not have noticed. He eventually is on the ropes when I have about 4 Call tokens and a couple Snakes. He has to chump block the Calls with Togs and he kills a couple off, but his last effort to win he casts an Upheaval floating some mana, I counter and he casts Circular Logic and I have the backup counter in hand. He dies the next turn.
Whew, 9 rounds finally over and I am 8-1 ! Not too shabby. I am thinking I'll be in the top 5 but it turned out I was the only 8-1 therefore putting me in irst place with 24 points. The Judges and TO do deck checks and I have to switch 5 sleeves. No big deal considering one guy had to buy all new sleeves! Anyway I am paired with the 8th seed who is playing my deck's worst matchup: Counter Trenches.
Top 8: Versus Counter Trenches
Game 1: I can't get going because he has too many darn counters! Wrath of God wipes me clean and out comes Trenches for the Victory.
Game 2: A very long game. I am very tired. I make some jokes and get the crowd laughing. My SB rushing rivers aren't enough against his deck and once again even Squirrel Tokens cant keep up with the Mighty Goblins.
I lose 0-2 and go home happy.
The prize is 1 box of each new set for a year which comes out to 4 boxes of cards ( They gave me a box of Judgment there).
Top 8 looked like this:
Winner: Thomas Wood - Mono Black
Runner Up: Ben Sowards- GRW Beatdown
Top 4: Tom Lapille- UG Madness
Joshua Ochse- Counter Trenches
Top 8: Brad Davis (me)- UGR Snake Tempo
Brandon Rickard- GW Beatdown
As you can see not a single 'Tog deck made top 8. Is 'Tog dead? I don't think so but the new Judgment archetypes are closing the gap and 'Tog needs to change to adapt to these new beatdown strategies and Madness Monstrosities.
Well that is my two cents worth. I hope you gained at least a good deck to copy if nothing else ( I know that is why most of you read Tourney Reports anyway). Well good day to you all and keep playing MTG.
Your Fellow MTG fanatic,