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Stark Reality – Planeswalking at the 5k

 

I missed the 5k in Orlando because it was the same weekend as GP Brussels, so Atlanta was my first opportunity to play in a Starcity 5k in my neck of the woods. Atlanta isn’t actually especially close to where I live; it would be about 10 hours by car (I flew), but since it’s the Airtrans hub I was able to get direct flights both ways for a whopping 130 dollars total. It would actually have only been 113.00 but I waited a week after seeing the 113.00 and the price went up. If you factor in that Airtran has guaranteed wirelesss on every flight, the overall travel experience was great. My longtime good friend Joseph Crosby also lives in Atlanta, so I was excited to be able to visit him as well, since I haven’t seen him in a couple years because I am pretty bad about visiting people as I am just a generally very lazy person. I heard that GerryT and Cedrick would also be staying with Croz and that Gerry would be coming earlier in the week to brew and hang out, though unfortunately I had finals so I couldn’t come till that Friday. Therefore, my brewing would be done in South Florida.

Preparation

Generally speaking I am way overprepared for any Type 2 or Limited format and way underprepared for any Extended or Legacy tournament. This is mainly because I play a fairly competitive FNM at Cool Stuff every Friday night and do endless drafts on Tuesday night draft night, Thursdays, Fridays, in between rounds and well, you get the idea. My Type 2 work for the past few months has consisted of playing Jund every week but rotating different cards in and out of my decks to try and get a feel for what I would want for any given field.

I think I had a very good Jund list with Explores as the happy medium between Rampant Growth and nothing. Basically the mana acceleration is the nuts in the Jund mirror but bad against UW. You usually end up flooded and lose the late games against UW if you play it, whereas in the Jund Mirror whoever can come out “more perfect” usually wins. Gindy went a dissapointing 3-2 with my deck I believe, but it happens. My friends Lewis, Omar, and some of the other people at the store seemed pretty excited about Lewis’ UWR Planeswalker deck, so Tuesday night after the drafts wound up around 2am, me and Lewis headed over to Dennys for some food and testing. I made some modifications to his list that I thought would improve the deck, but all and all he was kicking the crap out of my Jund deck and it was obvious the deck was the nuts against UW so that left me feeling pretty good about the deck.

Fastforward to Friday night. Upon arriving in Atlanta I start talking a little Magic with the boys and find out Gerry’s running an Open the Vaults brew. Gerry is a great deck builder and I always MTGO up anything he posts. I didn’t like the flow of the Open decklists but clearly Wall of Omens and See Beyond seem like they are a pretty good fit for that deck. I didn’t really know if his deck was good but I didn’t have any desire to Open. I told Crosby that I expected half the field or so to be Jund as it had been at home and pretty much every tourney I have been seeing as of late. He said that this was wrong. All the talk in Atlanta was about UW and he expected loads of it. While I felt my Jund list was well tuned for the mirror I didn’t especially like my UW matchup. I probably was more afraid of it than I should have been since I knew I had sideboard tech in Consuming Vapors that really swung that matchup, but all in and all it still wouldn’t be too great. After the 5th time I asked Cros if he was sure or just generally said I think there will be alot of Jund, he reasserted that there would be more UW then Jund, especially amongst the good players but probably even in the whole field, I decided that Lewis’ Planeswalker deck was going to be the way to go.

Oh, and I read Chapin’s article about the deck and the little naming dilemma. People can always call a deck anything they want but the deck does have names. Lewis named it Superpals. Which he said was a Southpark reference that I was unfamilar with. I personally wanted to call it 4 Buddies because there are 4 Planeswalkers that work together to give the deck its power and my favorite Thai place in South Florida has an appetizer called 4 Buddies which I always thought was a ridiculous name for an appetizer but I order it anyways because it couldn’t be more delicious. Anyways here is the decklist I played if you are still somehow unfamaliar with it.

U/W/R Planeswalker Control

Lewis played a few different sideboard cards. While his Meddling Mages were useful against Polymorph I don’t think they’re overall useful enough to warrant sideboard slots. Truthfully, the deck ran beautifully and there isn’t a whole lot I would change. The only edit I would make would be cutting 1 Path to Exile for 1 Day of Judgment. While the deck is very good against UW and Jund, the heavy hitters of type 2, it is very vulnerable to beatdown decks. I expect due to us demonstrating that it isn’t ok for a whole Type 2 tournament to be comprised of Jund and UW more people will be playing the various beatdown decks, so the third Day of Judgment main will help those matchups drastically, giving you access to the full set after sideboard. I only lost one game in the Swiss of the tournament, Round 2 to Vampires, which is by far my worst matchup. I got great pairings and played UW pretty much every round.

Round 1 Polymorph 2-0
Round 2 Vampires 2-1
Round 3 UW 2-0
Round 4 UWR (not our deck) 2-0
Round 5 UW 2-0
Round 6 UW 2-0
Round 7 Jund 2-0
Round 8 Polymorph 2-0
Round 9 Lewis I.D.
Round 10 Mythic I.D.

I was pleased to see I got paired against the stock UW deck in the Top 8, and I believe the match was covered on GGslive.com. Basically it was another quick easy 2-0. Game 1 he missed land drops and Game 2 I was flooded, but UW without counters just really doesn’t do anything against all our Planeswalkers.

T8 Chris Simpson UW 2-0

My T4 matchup was not nearly as good, as it was Lewis playing the mirror. We were both pretty beat by this point in the day and I don’t think either of us played particularly well. Basically, in the games he won, he had a lot more Planeswalkers then I did, and in the game I won I had a Coup and he didn’t draw an answer.

Inexperience in Legacy cost me. GerryT got 2nd, which was nice, since he didn’t run too well in the Type 2. There really wasn’t too much else that went down on the trip. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I definitely plan to attend more 5ks. I won 2 of the 3 the Rise Limited drafts I did, though they were team drafts, not 8-mans, and my total match record since Rise has come out is something like 45-4. Hopefully I can run/play good at GP Lyon. I will be writing an overall analysis of how to win at Rise Limited next week, regardless of my tournament results there. Oh, and of course, what would a trip to Atlanta be without epic Fogo de Chao battles which I attended Sunday night with Kitt Holland, Keith McLaughlin, and their friend Jack from Tampa whose last name I don’t know.

Thanks to Cros for hosting, and before I go here is a little sideboard guide for anyone who will be running the deck in any upcoming type 2 tournaments. This will be assuming the list with -1 Path to Exile and +1 Day of Judgment from my maindeck.

Jund

– 1 Mountain, -3 Ajani, -3 Day of Judgment, -1 Oblivion Ring, -1 Jace, -1 Gideon
+ 3 Wall Of Denial, +1 Mind Control, +2 Celestial Purge, +3 Flashfreeze, +1 Tectonic Edge

UW

– 3 Wall of Omens, -3 Day of Judgment
+ 1 Mind Control +4 Negate +1 Tectonic Edge

Mono-Red

– 2 Martial Coup, -3 Day of Judgment, -4 Spreading Seas, -1 Oblivion Ring, -1 Tectonic Edge
+ 3 Wall of Denial, +3 Flashfreeze, +2 Celestial Purge, +3 Negate

Polymorph

– 4 Wall of Omens -1 Tectonic Edge
+ 1 Mind Control +4 Negate

Obviously their lists tend to vary, but this is assuming stock UG with no manlands.

Vampires

– 3 Elspeth, – 2 Oblivion Ring, -2 Tectonic Edge
+ 2 Celestial Purge + 3 Negate +1 Mind Control + 1 Day of Judgment

If you see they end up with a lot of discard, like 3+ Sludges and 3+Duress, you may want to bring out 1
Path to Exile for the 4th Negate.

Gl in your upcoming tournaments,

Ben

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