Feature Article – Junding in Amsterdam, Part 2 *7th*

“Conley Woods and Thomas Ma are the luckiest players in the room.” -Bill Stark

This statement couldn’t be truer. After everyone having a pretty successful day one, we were ready to go to sleep so Conley and I could prepare for the second draft portion in the morning. I asked the front desk for a wake-up call at 7:00 A.M., which is reasonable if everyone got up on time.

6:45 rolled around, and I woke up early since I couldn’t contain my excitement. I hurried into the showered and got some breakfast before we left for the tournament site. My roommate Grahm awoke around 7:10 when I just finished preparing to leave and he promptly showered and by 7:35 we were ready to go to the site. We decided to wait for Conley in the hotel lobby as he said he would meet us down there. 10 minutes passed and we were getting worried and I decided to call his room.

7:45: “Hey Conley, its Tom. You ready?” “You guys just woke me up. I’ll be down in 15 minutes.” At this point I got a little worried, but I figure we had 45 minutes to get to the site without having to rush it. 7:55 rolled around and Conley came down prepped and ready to go, and by 8:00 we arrived at the tram stop patiently waiting for the tram to took us to Central Station and ultimately to the tournament site.ike to get there early so I can fill my water bottle and contemplate what I would get in the draft.


5 minutes passed, and I was still feeling good because it looked like we hadn’t missed the tram, but I would still l

10 minutes passed and Conley, Grahm and I were looking around for the tram. A taxi passed by and we set a plan that the next taxi we saw we were going to took it to the tournament center, no matter the cost. No taxis arrived while we waited impatiently for our 15ish minute ride to the tournament center.

20 minutes passed and finally the tram arrived and we let out a sigh of relief because it is only 8:20 and we can make the tournament center in no time, due to the frequency of the trams the day before going to and from the site. We took our usual five minute ride to central station and rushed to the platform to ensure we could catch the tram if we were a tad late.

8:20: We stood patiently at our platform when other Magic players arrived to the platform too. We were engaged in the usual small talk of “how are you doing” and “what did you play against” and within 5 minutes our tram arrived to the platform. We waited for the passengers to flock out so we could ensure a comfortable seat and as soon as the last of them were out of the tram, we decided to head to the front of the tram.

One problem, he wouldn’t let us board. Yeah, you read that correctly. The tram operator wouldn’t let us board even though we clearly were in a rush and felt like he was intentionally daggering us, preventing us to be able to make the draft.

Fifteen minutes passed and it looked like he was letting people board! Okay, so we might be able to make the 9:00 cutoff with time to spare if we hurry, but the problem is if we didn’t know if we are going to get there without a hitch. Luckily, one of the people that we were chatting with knew one of the tournament organizers and we asked him to call them to tell that we were arriving, but the trams were being a little awkward.

We arrived at the tram stop around 8:48 and Conley told me to run to the site and tell them that there are people still on the way. He had sandals and obviously couldn’t make the trip so I hurried up the stairs and ran towards the site. It was around 8:53 when I ran in panting and look for my seat and told the judges that Conley was on his way. Luckily we got there before they were going to start the draft, how lucky are we?

Draft Time

After a bit of settling, we were ready to draft!
My draft can be found here:


I took Magma Phoenix over Doom Blade because red has very limited flyers and the Phoenix is one of the better cards in this format as it can kill problematic creatures and usually trade up while also being able to recur itself in the mid- to late game.

After that first pick, I wanted to preferably be in the R/B sac deck and I was greatly rewarded by even wheeling the Dragonskull Summit pack 1, and nabbing one of red’s better flyers while also gaining value by nabbing that Juggernaut I also had.

Here is what the deck looked like:


Overall, I felt like this was 900 times better than my previous draft and I was feeling pretty confident that I could 3-0 this draft pod and be well on my way to ensuring a top 8 on my first try! After working to find the right number of lands for a bit, I finally gave my judge my decklist and was ready to battle!

Round 9 U/W skies Won 2-0 vs. Kibler, Brian
Game 1 I won the die roll and kept a sketchy hand of Swamp, Viscera Seer, Child of Night, Black Knight, Lightning Bolt, Lilianas Specter, Doom Blade on the play and I ran out my scrying vampire out on turn 1. He played a Plains and passed it back to me. I drew for my turn (Manic Vandal), attacked and pass the turn. He played a Stormfront Pegasus and I chose to scry at the end of turn. I left the Swamp on top and played my Child of Night. Now because I missed a land drop, Brian could tell I had all spells in my hand (sick read, right?) and it seemed like he wasn’t doing anything interesting other than trying to race my double Child of Night to his Cloud Elemental + Pegasus combo. I kept on attacking and he finally scooped ’em up, clearly drawing nothing but lands during his three draw steps.

No sideboardin’ here!

Game 2 I kept a more reasonable hand and throughout this game I played [card]Hoarding Dragon[/card] three times to finally take over the game while again he struggled to find spells to play against me.

8-1 (17-5)

Round 10 B/R Won 2-0 vs. Suarez, Andres
Andres is a fellow forum member from Texas and I didn’t meet him until the day of this tournament. He is a really nice dude and I can’t wait to see him at future events. We showed each other our decks and he clearly told me that my deck was better, and I felt like it was true because I had better creatures than him that gained me more value.

Game 1 This game was pretty awkward because I was at 10 when I cast my Magma Phoenix. At the end of my turn, he Lightning Bolted my face and tanked for a bit. Then he did nothing and passed the turn back to me. I attacked him down to 1 on my turn and attempted to Assassinate my Phoenix and he responded with a Corrupt targeting my face. I corrected him and told him Corrupt was a sorcery and he scooped them up.

I sideboarded in a Disentomb (busted in these matches) and a Volcanic Strength, taking out a Rise from the Grave and a Doom Blade

Game 2- During this game I cast Lilianas Specter three times, leaving him with no cards in hand for when I cast my Hoarding Dragon nabbing my Juggernaut. After a couple of swings and him not finding any of his Chandras Outrages, I took the match!

9-1 (19-5)
I was pretty excited that I was 9-1 here and I asked Conley how he was doing, and he gave me his thumbs down and I knew that he wasn’t having as good as a day as mine. I also knew that since I was paired down, there were going to be two people that could 3-0 this draft pod and I was pretty excited about my chances!

Round 11 Lost 1-2 vs. Nelson, Brad
Game 1- I lost the roll and he led off with a Llanowar Elves while I played my Swamp and pass. He played a turn two Garruks Companion and passed without making a land drop. I played my Child of Night and decided to pass it back to him. He cracked in with his Companion clearly representing Giant Growth and I declined to block. He played a second Companion and passed again without playing another land. I decide to Assassinate the Llanowar Elves on my turn but got blown out when he untapped and played a Forest and Birds of Paradise, (nice Rampant Growth brad 😉 ) and had the Giant Growth for when I decided to block one of his attacking Companions. I quickly succumbed to his fat guys while I drew creatures that couldn’t trade properly.

I sided in my Diabolic Tutor.

Game 2- This game went a little more my way as I had a turn two Child of Night and a turn three Lilianas Specter to his turn three Cloud Elemental. I played my Juggernaut and attacked with the dude he couldn’t block. It ultimately came down to me drawing my removal spells this game and I did. I quickly took it after some more attacking with my guy.

Game 3 He was on the play and quickly had a turn 2 Cloud Elemental compared to my Child of Night. It got to a stalemate where I had a Viscera Seer and he had a Llanowar Elves and a Birds of Paradise, telegraphing he had a dead spell in hand and I attacked him. I didn’t expect for him to block since I had three cards in hand for him to consider (they were lands, but he didn’t know that because I pretended they were spells the whole time), and I decided to scry my land to the bottom. Brad untapped and cast Jaces Ingenuity and played a Conundrum Sphinx and Cloud Elemental and passed it back to me. I drew a Necrotic Plague to hopefully live for another turn and he snap played the Negate resulting in the loss for me.

9-2 (20-7)

I was still glad that I 2-1’d my draft and was pretty confident going into the Extended portion because that was what I mainly came to play. After looking at the standings I was the highest x-2 (5th) at that point and I felt like if I took it slowly I would ensure my top 8.

Round 12 Grixis Lost 1-2 vs. Jacob, Michael
Game 1 I won the roll and he quickly mulliganed to 5 and I led with a Putrid Leech. After a couple of Blightnings, he conceded while having nothing real to work with.

-3 Kitchen Finks
-2 Bituminous Blast
+3 Thoughtseize
+2 Thought Hemorrhage

Game 2- He was on the play and he had a solid start and I lead with another Leech turn two. On his turn three, he played a Coalition Relic and I was faced with the decision to either Maelstrom Pulse the Relic or Blightning him. I went with the latter and he discarded a Punishing Fire and a Mystical Teachings and he quickly played whatever he felt like with a rampant Relic and Grove of the Burnwillows active.

Game 3 I was on the play and my first creature of the game was a Great Stable Stag. He played a Coalition Relic on his turn. I untapped and Thought Hemorrhaged him naming Punishing Fire and he revealed:


and on the next turn I tried to Thought Hemorrhage again but he drew a counterspell this time and I scooped when he cast his second Cruel Ultimatum.
9-3 (21-9)

Round 13 Pyromancer Ascension Won 2-0 vs. Ruess, Jan
Before I even sat down I knew a whole lot of German pros were on Pyromancer Ascension so I knew I that I had to be as aggressive as I could with creatures and hopefully get to a point where I could burn him out.

Game 1 I was on the poll and played a turn 2 Putrid Leech followed by a turn three Great Sable Stag when he passed with two mana up (clearly had the mana leak, nice Time Walk!) The following turn, I cast a Bloodbraid Elf cascading into a Blightning, and even though he had a bunch of cards in hand, he conceded.

-3 Kitchen Finks
-2 Bituminous Blast
+3 Thoughtseize
+2 Thought Hemorrhage

Game 2 I got an early Thoughtseize and he revealed Punishing Fire, Teferi, Pestermite, and two other cards I can’t recall. Around turn 5 I play Thought Hemorrhage and in response he cast Manamorphose floating a UR, looking for a counterspell, but he failed, and he let the Hemorrhage resolve. I quickly named Pestermite, since if he had two he would have played them both and gone off with Splinter Twin (if I didn’t name correctly). II removed his secondary combo and he couldn’t do anything because I had the right call.

10-3 (23-9)

Round 15 Brozek Deck wins Won 2-0 vs. Brozek, Petr
Game 1- I win the roll and lead with a Savage Lands to his Mogg Fanatic. I played my Tarmogoyf and passed. He attacked and cast an Ember Hauler. I played my second Goyf and Raging Ravine and passed (Tarmogoyf was 0/1.) He played a Quest for the Pure Flame and attacked. He tanked for a bit then decided to double Needle Drop getting his Quest to kill me the next turn. I Pulsed his Quest and halted his attack from there. A couple of Blightnings destroyed his hand and I could finally start attacking profitably.

+3 Smother
+1 Kitchen Finks
-2 Bituminous Blast
-2 Great Sable Stag

Game 2- I am on the draw but my played were smother, finks, finks, blightning essentially negating any sick played he was going to do.

11-3 (25-9)
Looking at my breakers this would be my win and in round and I was pretty confident as I was 7th going into this round and I was paired against someone that is sitting on x-3-1, boosting my confidence some more!

Round 15 W/u weenie Won 2-1 vs. Canavesi, Daniele
Game 1- I was on the draw and he led off with a turn one Figure of Destiny that attacked me down to 18 while I played my Putrid Leech. He played a Spectral Procession while I Pulsed them away while we had a stalemate on the ground. It got to a point where he needed to deal 4 damage to me in the next two turns, and he showed me a Vendilion Clique when I tapped out to represent lethal. Daggers.

-3 Great Sable Stag
-3 Kitchen Finks
-2 Bituminous Blast
+1 Maelstrom Pulse
+3 Smother
+4 Jund Charm

Game 2 This game went entirely my way as I destroyed his hand with two Blightnings by turn four and forced him to play off the top until I eventually found enough dudes to beat him down.

Game 3 I was on the draw and I kept a hand of Putrid Leech, Tarmogoyf, Lightning Bolt, Bloodbraid Elf, and three lands. He played a turn one Student of Warfare and I killed it immediately. He followed up with an Honor of the Pure to my Putrid Leech. He played a Spectral Procession and I peeled a Maelstrom Pulse and cracked in. He played Procession again and missed a land drop while I peeled another Maelstrom Pulse. Honor of the Pure got played while I finally played my Bloodbraid and cascaded…. into another pulse, I Pulsed his enchantments and he scooped ‘em up after I went to combat.

12-3 (27-10)

So from what it looked like, I top 8’d my first PT! The feeling was absurd and couldn’t sit still from the amount of excitement I had. Standings went up and checked if anyone could swoop in my spot (which they couldn’t) and quickly accepted the ID from Kai.

12-3-1 (27-10-3)
That night I was obviously testing my matchup against White Weenie and seeing if we could do anything that would increase our chances of winning. I felt comfortable with the matchup enough to go to sleep that night.

Top 8 The day of, I got up early but the pen in my pocket decided to explode so I had to switch them out for a fresh pair, and then I headed to the site. I found LSV and he informed me that my sweet shirts (thanks again Luis!) were waiting for me as was the rest of the top 8. I, of course, was late yet again, but not that late and was also missing a Kitchen Finks… blowout. But after I resleeved my deck, I was ready to play.

You can read the match coverage here:

Comments about the match: I knew I punted game 1 after I snap Bolted his Ranger of Eos when he cast Brave the Elements and attacked, thinking I had the Bolt for the win but I didn’t. Another thing was that I didn’t cast Bloodbraid or a Pulse in either game and I felt like that was the main reason I lost, but all in all I felt like Reitzel certainly deserved the win and I hope to play him in the future!

To all my Colorado and Wyoming Friends, Luis, and everyone else. Thanks for the support it was greatly appreciated!

Spending only 100 euro for the entire trip. 🙂

Being able to do so well on my first Pro Tour – it was definitely an experience I want to do again!
Layovers, the worst.

Not being able to tour around. While I was busy playing, I didn’t have time to partake in any of the tourist attractions of Amsterdam which was pretty bad for me. This trip consisted of sleeping, eating and Magic mainly but I can’t complain 🙂

Being late almost every day, even with wakeup calls I was still late due to the tram system. I know know to leave an hour early just to be sure 🙂

Qualifying for the Pro Tour was one thing, but doing so well in my first one was an experience on its own! I can’t wait to be back and play with this wonderful group of people and hopefully making back-to-back PT top 8’s! 🙂

Thanks for taking the time to read this report and I hope to see you guys soon!

-Thomas Ma

13 thoughts on “Feature Article – Junding in Amsterdam, Part 2 *7th*”

  1. Copying this comment from the thread on Nass’s comment sections @mtg players and their hygene:

    I think Ma’s report where he says Conley woke up and was at the tram in 5 minutes sums up the amount of importance that, unfortunately, alot of magic players put onto their appearance and (even more importantly) personal hygene…

    God I hate nerd gamer stench!

  2. Now that you lost too white weenie what would you change about the deck? or do you think you just luck sacked the whole way?

  3. Because it helps mana, when he has double black and double red in the same deck, as well as having two Quag Sickness.

    Why on Earth wouldn’t he play it?

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top