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Martelling Time – PT Born of the Gods Report

PT Born of the Gods is in the books. I had a great time in Valencia and am currently working on a separate piece about our team preparation and deck selection, so here I’m going to focus on my own tournament experience.

The night before the tournament, I got in a last-minute draft at the site which was my first taste of drafting outside our house. I was hoping to get at least a little exposure to what other groups were thinking as our metagame was pretty isolated. I started by taking [ccProd]Loyal Pegasus[/ccProd] over [ccProd]Raised by Wolves[/ccProd], pushing my preference for white about as far as possible. I picked up two more copies, a [ccProd]Nyxborn Shieldmate[/ccProd] and a [ccProd]Mortal’s Ardor[/ccProd], leaving me pretty confident that white was open. I also picked up two copies of [ccProd]Sudden Storm[/ccProd], one of the better blue commons.

Pack two started off extremely well as I picked up a [ccProd]Phalanx Leader[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dauntless Onslaught[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Heliod’s Emissary[/ccProd]. Owen Turtenwald, who was birding, then convinced me to take a [ccProd]Vaporkin[/ccProd] over a 2nd [ccProd]Dauntless Onslaught[/ccProd]. I thought this was a pretty interesting pick as I was low on 2-drops to power up my 3 Loyal Pegasi. In the PT I would have taken Onslaught but his logic made sense. My decision was punished pretty quickly, as I got a gift 12th-pick [ccProd]Anax and Cymede[/ccProd] to call my colors into doubt and then opened a second copy of the rare. I took [ccProd]Lightning Strike[/ccProd] over it, expecting it to table and dove into a hyper-aggressive R/W heroic deck. Gaudenis, sitting to my right, ended up hating the Anax and Cymede 8th but, I got a [ccProd]Titan Strength[/ccProd] consolation prize and easily 3-0’d.

[ccdeck]2 Akroan Crusader
1 Bronze Sable
1 Firedrinker Satyr
3 Loyal Pegasus
1 Nyxborn Rollicker
1 Nyxborn Shieldmate
1 Cavalry Pegasus
2 Leonin Snarecaster
1 Phalanx Leader
1 Setessan Battle Priest
1 Anax and Cymede
1 Spearpoint Oread
1 Heliod’s Emissary
1 Dragon Mantle
1 Gods Willing
1 Mortal’s Ardor
1 Titan’s Strength
1 Chosen by Heliod
1 Lightning Strike
1 Dauntless Onslaught
8 Mountain
8 Plains[/ccdeck]

I was hopeful that this archetype (and its closely related W/u heroic sibling) would be equally open during the PT.

Day 1

For my first draft in the PT, I was in a relatively weak pod where I only recognized Joe Demestrio (immediately to my right) and Max Sjoblom, sitting a few seats to my left. I opened a weak Born of the Gods pack, which is a common occurrence, and took [ccProd]Nyxborn Shieldmate[/ccProd] over [ccProd]Nyxborn Wolf[/ccProd]. I think the Wolf is a better card but I really wanted to be white if possible so I was willing to sacrifice a little card power.

Second pick I took [ccProd]Loyal Pegasus[/ccProd] out of a very bad pack with a rare missing. Third pick was a somewhat close choice between [ccProd]Sudden Storm[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Kragma Butcher[/ccProd]. I prefer W/u to W/r so I took the spell. Fourth pick was an easy [ccProd]Vanguard of Brimaz[/ccProd] over a second Kragma Butcher and I was feeling good about my deck.

Unfortunately it didn’t last. 5th pick I took a [ccProd]Pharagax Giant[/ccProd] out of a pack devoid of other playables, and 6th pick I took the very good [ccProd]Fanatic of Xenagos[/ccProd] over basically nothing. White completely dried up and I was worried I might need to eject. I got a huge gift with a 7th-pick [ccProd]Akroan Conscriptor[/ccProd], which is one of the best non-rares in the set. This cemented me in red but I was floundering for a second color. Even worse, red is so bad in Theros that the consolation prize is usually that you picked up a strong pack 1 and cut the color. Here I had passed several good red cards and had a mediocre deck. This is really not where you want to be when winding up with a red deck. Pack 1 rounded out with an [ccProd]Impetuous Skychaser[/ccProd], three [ccProd]Nyxborn Rollicker[/ccProd]s, and two [ccProd]Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass[/ccProd], which are all pretty unexciting.

I was hoping to open something in pack 2 that would give my deck a power boost and help me figure out my colors, but the pack didn’t cooperate. I had to first-pick a [ccProd]Soldier of the Pantheon[/ccProd] out of a terrible pack and was then passed a pack with literally 0 white or red cards. After bemoaning my bad luck for 15 seconds I took a [ccProd]Centaur Courser[/ccProd] and contemplated moving into Red/Green and playing my Fanatic. I was forced to commit with my next pick as I faced [ccProd]Leafcrown Dryad[/ccProd] vs. [ccProd]Gods Willing[/ccProd]. I took the full amount of time on the pick but decided it was too risky to switch, given how few playables I would have, and took the white card. I rounded out pack 2 with a reasonable set of playables, adding [ccProd]Hopeful Eidolon[/ccProd], [ccProd]Minotaur Skullcleaver[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dragon Mantle[/ccProd], the underappreciated [ccProd]Portent of Betrayal[/ccProd], and a [ccProd]Setessan Battle Priest[/ccProd].

I again optimistically cracked my pack and was left disappointed. I first-picked a [ccProd]Hopeful Eidolon[/ccProd], which was pretty underwhelming given my lack of [ccProd]Wingsteed Rider[/ccProd]s to stick it on. The second pack offered a choice of [ccProd]Lagonna-Band Elder[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Flamespeaker Adept[/ccProd]—I opted for the white creature to try and make my mana a bit more consistent. I added a [ccProd]Dragon Mantle[/ccProd] third, a second [ccProd]Gods Willing[/ccProd] fourth, and a [ccProd]Coordinated Assault[/ccProd] fifth, giving me a number of great enablers for my lonely, singular heroic creature.

Sixth pick I decided to take a Minotaur Skullcleaver over a [ccProd]Two-Headed Cerberus[/ccProd] despite my double Dragon Mantle as I was worried about my mana. Seventh pick I passed on another Cerberus in favor of a [ccProd]Labyrinth Champion[/ccProd], a creature I normally avoid but looked promising given my number of cheap heroic enablers. I finished off the pack with a [ccProd]Titan’s Strength[/ccProd], [ccProd]Ray of Dissolution[/ccProd], and a tabled [ccProd]Flamespeaker Adept[/ccProd].

This deck was unfortunately significantly worse than my hyper-aggressive R/W heroic deck from the night before, but it was still pretty solid.

[ccdeck]1 Loyal Pegasus
1 Nyxborn Rollicker
1 Nyxborn Shieldmate
1 Soldier of the Pantheon
1 Impetuous Sunchaser
1 Setessan Battle Priest
1 Traveling Philosopher
1 Vanguard of Brimaz
1 Flamespeaker Adept
1 Lagonna Band Elder
2 Minotaur Skullcleaver
1 Labyrinth Champion
1 Akroan Conscriptor
1 Pharagax Giant
1 Coordinated Assault
2 Dragon Mantle
2 Gods Willing
1 Titan’s Strength
2 Hopeful Eidolon
1 Portent of Betrayal
8 Plains
8 Mountain[/ccdeck]

I was torn on whether it was worth trying to make [ccProd]Loyal Pegasus[/ccProd] good in my deck, given my lack of great 2-drops. I settled on maindecking it and [ccProd]Impetuous Sunchaser[/ccProd], but I boarded at least the Sunchaser out for a land every round as I kept playing against decks that matched up well against it. I also frequently boarded in the Ray of Dissolution that I left out of my main deck to keep things as focused as possible.

I lost a very close 3 game match to Joe Demestrio’s G/W heroic deck in round 1. I crushed him pretty quickly game 1 and lost game 2 to a huge heroic monster despite [ccProd]Spark Jolt[/ccProd]ing his turn 1 [ccProd]Hero of Leina Tower[/ccProd]. Game 3 went on for quite a while and we were racing back and forth. I thought I had a good chance to win but he bestowed a [ccProd]Celestial Archon[/ccProd] on turn 7 that left me on a two-outer to draw either my [ccProd]Portent of Betrayal[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Akroan Conscriptor[/ccProd] to kill him. I bricked and died.

Round 2 I played against a mediocre Jund deck. Game 1 I was able to put early pressure on him and use my combat tricks to stay ahead while not over-committing creatures to the board, playing around the 2 [ccProd]Anger of the Gods[/ccProd] that I’d seen in the draft. He tried to stabilize with some 3/3s but I had [ccProd]Labyrinth Champion[/ccProd] plus [ccProd]Coordinated Assault[/ccProd] to blow him out in combat. Game 2 I basically did nothing and died, but game 3 he missed a few land drops and I was able to sit on my Akroan Conscriptor until turn 6, when I played it with Gods Willing up. He tapped out to play a third 3/3 and I had both Gods Willing and Coordinated Assault to close out the game.

Round 3 started off terribly, as my opponent nut drew me with turn 2 [ccProd]Kiora’s Follower[/ccProd], turn 3 [ccProd]Nylea’s Disciple[/ccProd], turn 4 [ccProd]Prognostic Sphinx[/ccProd], turn 5 bestow, turn 6 bestow. Thankfully his draws in the next two games were significantly worse and I was able to pull out the match, beating him in game 3 through his turn 5 Sphinx.

I felt pretty good about making it out of the draft at 2-1 given how the draft itself went. I went with a huge group for lunch and got ready for the Modern portion of the event. I made a pretty big mistake in not spending a bit of time just goldfishing Storm at any point that morning, as I hadn’t really played the deck much at all in the preceding 3 days of testing.

[ccdeck]4 Scalding Tarn
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Steam Vents
3 Shivan Reef
3 Island
1 Mountain
4 Goblin Electromancer
4 Pyromancer Ascension
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Thought Scour
3 Desperate Ravings
4 Desperate Ritual
4 Pyretic Ritual
2 Grapeshot
3 Past in Flames
4 Manamorphose
—–Sideboard—–
3 Shatterstorm
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Blood Moon
1 Echoing Truth
1 Defense Grid
3 Empty the Warrens[/ccdeck]

Round 4 I was facing an especially aggressive version of Zoo playing [ccProd]Goblin Guide[/ccProd]. While good against me, I was pretty surprised to see someone playing Guides in a room full of [ccProd]Wild Nacatl[/ccProd]s, [ccProd]Loam Lion[/ccProd]s, and [ccProd]Kird Ape[/ccProd]s that all blank it. Game 1 I mistakenly over-prioritized preserving my life total, playing a second Island on turn 2 instead of a [ccProd]Shivan Reef[/ccProd]. This saved me a point of damage but led to not having double-red on turn three to be able to cast an [ccProd]Goblin Electromancer[/ccProd] and then play a discounted Ritual.

My opponent had led with a [ccProd]Loam Lion[/ccProd] on turn 1 and two [ccProd]Goblin Guide[/ccProd]s on turn 2, leaving me at 13. I could either Ritual prior to the Electromancer and then cast him, losing out on one mana and making it very unclear whether if I could go off without fizzling, or wait a turn and be 80%+ to combo him. I decided it was better to wait but died on his third turn to Rampager, [ccProd]Mutagenic Growth[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Lightning Bolt[/ccProd]. I’m not sure in retrospect if I should have gone for it there or not, but I definitely should have had a 2nd red source in play already. Game 2 he ran me over and killed me on turn 3 again, and I was 0-1 in Modern.

Round 5 I was paired against a version of Splinter Twin playing a lot of [ccProd]Electrolyze[/ccProd]s. I felt great about the matchup as I saw almost no counter magic from him game 1 and I won easily. Unfortunately I mulled to six game 2 and kept a one-lander with two manipulation spells. I failed to find a 2nd land and died to a [ccProd]Vendilion Clique[/ccProd]. Game 3 I kept another 1-lander with two [ccProd]Gitaxian Probe[/ccProd], [ccProd]Goblin Electromancer[/ccProd], two [ccProd]Manamorphose[/ccProd], and a Ritual. My Probe revealed 5 lands, [ccProd]Cryptic Command[/ccProd], [ccProd]Vendilion Clique[/ccProd], but I failed to draw a second land and died to the Clique again.

I was pretty frustrated at this point and was wondering if Storm had been a poor choice. I went outside to clear my head and try to salvage the day.

I started my comeback playing against Raphael Levy’s Living End deck. I saw one of his teammates play against Kai earlier that day, so I knew he was on a sideboard [ccProd]Slaughter Games[/ccProd] plan. I won game 1 by activating an [ccProd]Pyromancer Ascension[/ccProd] despite Raph having two [ccProd]Faerie Macabre[/ccProd] in hand, as he didn’t know which of my spells I had extra copies of. For game 2, I played a turn 2 Electromancer into a turn 3 Ascension, which Raph killed EOT with a [ccProd]Beast Within[/ccProd]. On turn 4 he played Slaughter Games and took out my [ccProd]Grapeshot[/ccProd]s. I ripped another Ascension for my turn and was able to immediately go off thanks to Electromancer. I turned on the Ascensions and drew most of my deck, eventually getting 3 copies of Ascension active and playing two [ccProd]Lightning Bolt[/ccProd]s to finish him off.

Round 7 I was paired against another Zoo deck. I combo’d him out pretty safely game 1 and lost game 2 to an aggressive draw backed by a [ccProd]Thalia[/ccProd] that I wasn’t able to kill. Game 3 I was able to Empty a lot of Goblins into play and finish the game before I was in much danger.

While I was now safely into Day 2, there is a huge difference between 4-4 and 5-3 so I really needed to win round 8. I got paired against Ken Yukuhiro and the Blue Moon deck I’d heard quite a bit about. I Probed him early in game 1 and saw a few cheap counterspells but no real pressure. I played a bunch of deck manipulation, making sure I kept hitting my land drops. I slowly drained him of countermagic by playing redundant Electromancers and Ascensions, and eventually I was able to get an Ascension to stick and combo’d him out easily. Game 2 his draw was clunky and he missed an early land drop. I took advantage of the lull to Empty for 8 and killed him a few turns later.

After my 2-3 start, I was very happy to have made it to Day 2 at 5-3. Now I had the simple plan of winning 7 rounds in a row, and I’d be off to the races.

Day 2

Draft 2 kicked off with a very difficult pick in my opinion: [ccProd]Asphyxiate[/ccProd] vs. [ccProd]Reap What is Sown[/ccProd]. Reap is clearly a more powerful card but taking a gold card first is very committal. Ultimately my color preferences decided the pick for me and I took Reap. 2nd pick I took a [ccProd]Oreskos Sun Guide[/ccProd], passing a [ccProd]Drown in Sorrow[/ccProd]. 3rd pick I took [ccProd]Loyal Pegasus[/ccProd] over [ccProd]Asphyxiate[/ccProd], and then added a second copy of each common 4th and 5th. I picked up a [ccProd]Noble Quarry[/ccProd] 6th and a [ccProd]Setessan Oathsworn[/ccProd] 7th before rounding out the pack with a [ccProd]Hold at Bay[/ccProd], [ccProd]Setessan Starbreaker[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dawn to Dusk[/ccProd], and a 2nd-to-last-pick [ccProd]Karametra’s Favor[/ccProd]. I was very happy with how the first pack went as I had a great start to an aggressive W/G deck.

Unfortunately the packs once again refused to cooperate and I had to take a [ccProd]Thassa’s Emissary[/ccProd] out of a pack with basically nothing for me in pack 2. I then picked up two copies of [ccProd]Battlewise Valor[/ccProd], which I prioritized to make sure I could keep attacking with my Sun Guides even when my opponents played larger blockers on turns 3+. I took a [ccProd]Nessian Courser[/ccProd] fourth over a [ccProd]Stormbreath Dragon[/ccProd] that thankfully got hated by the person on my right. I also added a [ccProd]Nylea’s Disciple[/ccProd], a [ccProd]Traveling Philosopher[/ccProd], and a [ccProd]Voyaging Satyr[/ccProd] that I took out of an otherwise empty pack. A [ccProd]Lagonna-Band Elder[/ccProd] and an [ccProd]Agent of Horizons[/ccProd] closed out the pack. Not quite what I had in mind as I received no premium white cards.

Pack 3 started out great as I first-picked a [ccProd]Heliod’s Emissary[/ccProd] and second-picked a [ccProd]Bow of Nylea[/ccProd], but it quickly dropped off from there. I did manage to pick up a [ccProd]Nylea’s Emissary[/ccProd], taking it over a [ccProd]Nessian Asp[/ccProd], but otherwise I was only able to pick up a [ccProd]Feral Invocation[/ccProd], [ccProd]Sedge Scorpion[/ccProd], [ccProd]Savage Surge[/ccProd], [ccProd]Cavalry Pegasus[/ccProd] (in my 2-Human deck), and two copies of [ccProd]Setessan Griffin[/ccProd]. I felt that my colors were both pretty open so I was disappointed to not see any [ccProd]Wingsteed Rider[/ccProd]s, [ccProd]Gods Willing[/ccProd]s, or other great white cards.

[ccdeck]2 Loyal Pegasus
1 Sedge Scorpion
1 Cavalry Pegasus
2 Oreskos Sun Guide
1 Traveling Philosopher
1 Voyaging Satyr
1 Agent of Horizons
1 Lagonna Band Elder
1 Nessian Courser
1 Noble Quarry
1 Setessan Oathsworn
1 Heliod’s Emissary
1 Nylea’s Disciple
1 Nylea’s Emissary
1 Setessan Griffin
2 Battlewise Valor
1 Savage Surge
1 Bow of Nylea
1 Feral Invocation
1 Reap What Is Sown
9 Plains
8 Forest[/ccdeck]

Despite feeling that the packs didn’t really break my way, I was happy with the deck. I had plenty of early creatures to support my 2 Loyal Pegasus and enough combat tricks to help me push through damage.

I played against a good U/B deck in the first round. Game 1 I stalled on 3 Forests while facing down a pair of [ccProd]Servant of Tymaret[/ccProd]. I played a sad looking [ccProd]Noble Quarry[/ccProd] but was able to follow it up with my Bow. I still couldn’t find a fourth land or a Plains with my hand of all white cards, but I made my Quarry into a 2/2 and then gained 3 to offset the Servants. My opponent apparently only drew 1-toughness fliers so he wasn’t able to increase the pressure. I finally drew a Plains and played a Sun Guide to stabilize. He aggressively cashed in a [ccProd]Sea God’s Revenge[/ccProd] while I was still at a safe life total and I replayed my guys. It took me quite a few turns to find my 5th land, but once I did I was able to develop my board while keeping my Bow active to play around the [ccProd]Drown in Sorrow[/ccProd] I had passed. Once I had Bow and Sun Guide going, I was able to outpace the Servants and win the game despite the 10+ life he had gained.

Game 2 I was again light on mana but I had my Bow at the ready on turn 3. I drew out of my mana issues quickly and he wasn’t able to put up a fight. After the match, he showed me the 8 fliers in his deck that were bricked by my Bow.

Round 10 I played on camera. I haven’t actually watched the replay yet, but afterwards I was very unhappy with my game 1 play. I played the early game quite well but then made two awful attacks that made no sense. Despite my opponent playing a [ccProd]Mortal’s Ardor[/ccProd] before I could play a pump spell to try and kill him, allowing me to avoid getting blown out, my second bad attack was enough to finish me. Thankfully I bounced back and was able to punish his stumbles in the next two games, and I advanced to 7-3.

Round 11 was unfortunately very anticlimactic. My U/G opponent had great draws both games and I couldn’t find any of my combat tricks to let me push my smaller creatures through his larger green guy and multiple [ccProd]Prescient Chimera[/ccProd]s. He beat me pretty decisively and my Top 8 run was over.

Despite the setback, I still had a Top 16 to pursue. Round 12 saw me paired against another Splinter Twin opponent, and thankfully this time I was able to draw lands. Game 1 I was on the draw and I Probed him to see the “nut draw” of [ccProd]Deceiver Exarch[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dispel[/ccProd], [ccProd]Splinter Twin[/ccProd] with the lands to get there. I ran my Electromancer out on turn 2 and on his third turn he main phased his Exarch and passed with an Island untapped. I was able to force the [ccProd]Dispel[/ccProd] out on a Ritual and [ccProd]Grapeshot[/ccProd] his Exarch for 4, setting up my hand further with a [ccProd]Serum Visions[/ccProd]. He only had a [ccProd]Spellskite[/ccProd] to follow up on turn 4, and I was able to combo him out. I don’t remember much from game 2 but I believe it was a straightforward combo kill from me on turn 3.

In round 13 I faced my sole Affinity opponent of the day. He mulliganed game 1 and I had a great hand, killing him pretty easily on turn 4 against his slow draw. Game 2 involved me playing 2 [ccProd]Shatterstorm[/ccProd]s and 4 [ccProd]Lightning Bolt[/ccProd]s before dying to his 4th [ccProd]Blinkmoth Nexus[/ccProd] with my third Shatterstorm sitting in hand while my lonely Electromancer futilely tried to kill him. Game 3 went much better as I played a turn 2 Electromancer into a turn 3 combo kill without any resistance.

Round 14 was a 75-card mirror against teammate Rich Hoaen. The games actually proved reasonably interesting as each game saw multiple fizzled attempts to go off, but I stole the first game despite being on the draw and faded his attempt to go off on turn three of game 3 to squeak it out.

Round 15 was my sole pairing against Pod for the tournament. In game 1 he didn’t have a Pod but killed my first Ascension to slow me down. We ended up in a spot where I was at a healthy life total and he only had a [ccProd]Spike Feeder[/ccProd] and 4 lands in play, with one unknown card in hand. I could either play 2 copies of Ascension or I could try and go off. I decided to not risk him finding his [ccProd]Archangel of Thune[/ccProd] and went for it, realizing that I could always abort the combo and play the Ascensions later in the turn. I was probably about 70% to combo and got there. He showed me the Archangel in hand and the white land on top of his library.

I kept a hand with only blue mana game 2 and Probed him after his turn 1 Birds, seeing a Pod, Kitchen Finks, and lands. I didn’t draw a red mana source until turn 2, and I played an Electromancer without really considering if he left in his [ccProd]Murderous Redcap[/ccProd]. He did and was able to Pod his Finks into it, setting me way back. As I had a third land in hand, I could have just held the Electromancer until the turn I wanted to go off.

I still felt fine after he had to Pod his Birds into a Pridemage to kill my Ascension, but his next two draw steps were Melira and another 1-drop so he was able to combo me a turn before I got him. He didn’t have a Pod game 3 but was able to [ccProd]Chord of Calling[/ccProd] for a [ccProd]Qasali Pridemage[/ccProd] to kill off my Ascension. My life total was pretty low and I decided to play my Electromancer and try to go off, holding 2 copies of [ccProd]Lightning Bolt[/ccProd], 2 [ccProd]Manamorphose[/ccProd], and a Ritual. I was able to make just enough mana to Bolt him, flashback a [ccProd]Past in Flames[/ccProd] I’d discarded to a [ccProd]Desperate Ravings[/ccProd] earlier, and [ccProd]Grapeshot[/ccProd] him for exactly lethal.

In round 16 I was matched up against Kevin Anctil on Team Doge. Kevin needed a Top 25 to qualify for Atlanta but I needed a Top 16 to lock up Platinum, so I couldn’t draw with him. I knew other members of Doge were on U/W/R Twin and B/G Rock, so I was surprised to find him playing Bogles. It is one of my best matchups so I was very happy with the discovery. I had an almost perfect hand game 1 on the play—[ccProd]Misty Rainforest[/ccProd], [ccProd]Sleight of Hand[/ccProd], [ccProd]Thought Scour[/ccProd], [ccProd]Thought Scour[/ccProd], [ccProd]Goblin Electromancer[/ccProd], [ccProd]Desperate Ritual[/ccProd], [ccProd]Manamorphose[/ccProd].

My turn 1 Sleight of Hand found me a [ccProd]Past in Flames[/ccProd] and Kevin played a [ccProd]Slippery Bogle[/ccProd]. I drew a 2nd Manamorphose for the turn and drew a useless [ccProd]Pyromancer Ascension[/ccProd] off of my Thought Scour. Kevin put an [ccProd]Ethereal Armor[/ccProd] on his Bogle and hit me to 15. I drew another Ascension for my turn and then a Desperate Ravings off of my Thought Scour, discarding the Ascension. He put a [ccProd]Daybreak Coronet[/ccProd] on his Bogle and hit me to 9. I finally drew a [ccProd]Scalding Tarn[/ccProd], fetching a Mountain. I played Desperate Ritual and Manamorphose, floating RRU. I drew another land from the Manamorphose and cast my Electromancer, leaving R floating. I cast Manamorphose and produced RR. If I hit a Ritual there, I could cast it, giving me 4 red, and then play Past in Flames, giving me 1 red and letting me almost certainly combo kill him. Unfortunately I bricked on the draw step and had to cast a Hail Mary Desperate Ravings, which would need to draw me a pair of Rituals and then not discard either of them or the Past in Flames at random. I missed again and had to chump block his Bogle, dying to it the next turn.

Kevin again offered me a draw, and I went back and forth. The matchup is great for me, but down a game my equity was probably around 50%. Given that a win would net me 5 Pro Points more than a draw and a loss would only cost me 4, I decided it was right to press my luck. I drew an opening 7 of 5 lands, [ccProd]Gitaxian Probe[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Past in Flames[/ccProd]. Kevin hadn’t picked up his hand yet, and I told him I was going to mulligan and would take the draw if he was still offering. He quickly agreed and we signed the slip. Afterwards, a few of my friends told me they thought I should have looked at my 6-card hand first, but even I’m not going to press my luck that much.

At the end of the day I wound up in 21st place, tied for 9th. Apparently, because everyone drew (even some people at least seemingly in Top 8 contention), I was actually live to finish 8th had I won my round and a match on camera gone to an unintentional draw. This seemed inconceivable going into the round and thankfully it didn’t play out this way. I’m a bit disappointed with my finish as I feel like I let this one slip away, and with slightly better play or a little bit more luck I could have easily Top8’d, but so it goes.

I’m very happy with my deck choice and I’m convinced that our Storm list was the best deck for the tournament. I also felt fantastic about the Limited preparation we did and would love another chance to try my hand at this format. I might need to find a way to make it to Montreal for the GP in a few weeks.

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