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US Nationals Report *Winner*

My weekend started like most do before a big tournament. I was trying to figure out what deck I should play and what the best draft archetype’s were, etc etc. Well, for those of you who don’t know me very well, I play Magic Online pretty much all day every day and have come to find that I didn’t like any of the Standard decks and I disliked SCR as a draft format. Not the most promising start…

I flew to Nats with a good friend of mine, Jamie Duguid. He was on the mission of grinding in, so naturally I did what I could to help by offering up advice. He choose to battle with 5cc in the grinders, and we found that the spot removal was good vs Kithkin and …. well that was about it. So after he lost the his 1st grinder in the top 4 to Fae while Fae also won the other semi’s, I got to thinking what else would be good for other matchups. Negate felt like a great card for the main after watching some of the matches and thinking about the field, so we added a few of those and he tried again.

Sadly, it was not to be as he missed in the next 2 grinders due to lack of sleep. But, while watching his matches i realized this was the deck to play. I woke up the next morning talked it over with Ben Lundquist and Gfabs and they also agreed with my main deck Ajanis and the addition of Negates so I was feeling good about my Standard deck choice.

Round 1:

I played against a pretty standard Kithkin deck played by Matt Sperling. I won’t bore you with details of all my games since I played a deck that takes forever to win and all my games were pretty long.

Game 1: Long story short, he mulled to 5 game 1 and I bashed him.

Sideboarding: -2 Negate – 1 Cruel Ultimatum – 1 Mulldrifter
+1 Hallowed Burial +1 Essence Scatter +2 Firespout

Game 2: Kithkin did its thing and Cloudgoat Ranger said hi to my face.

Game 3: I Wrathed and he couldn’t recover.

1-0

Round 2: vs Elf Combo played by Nathan E. Hopkins.

Game 1: This felt like pretty much a bye as I cast Fallout twice and he couldn’t win (basically why I chose not to play Elves – LSV)

Sideboarding: -2 Negate – 1 Cruel Ultimatum – 1 Ajani
+ 1 Hallowed Burial +1 Essence Scatter +2 Firespout

Game 2: I got too far behind when a Primal Command slipped though on turn 3, and Regal Force did its thing soon thereafter.

Game 3: was very close and one of the more interesting games I played. He drew a timely Archdruid so he could activate his Mosswort Bridge and cast Primal Command but instead of gaining 7 when I had a Broodmate in play, he thought he would be able to race with his 2 Forge-Tenders and a Stag. On the final turn he was at 2 and I was at 6, and he sacked a Forge-Tender to live though my attack. I then cast a Fallout and he could do nothing but pack it.

2-0

Round 3:

I played vs Matthias B. Hunt with R/B Blightning

Game 1: I made what I would consider a very amateur mistake. I de-sideboarded from the previous round but didnt put my maindeck cards back in my deck. I realized this only after i mulliganed, which means i had presented a less then 60 card deck, so i told my opponent and he called the judge. We explained the sitution and I got a game loss. Interesting thing to know: if i had just called the judge myself, the judge told me there is a chance of a decreased penalty (wouldn’t you telling your opponent almost amount to the same thing? – LSV, wondering if any judges could chime in, since it looks like Gindy wasn’t trying to hide it or anything)

Good to know in the future…well needless to say, the game loss cost me.

I won Game 1(2?), but Game 2 I took the trip to paris 2 times and that was enough for me to lose almost straight up to a turn one [card Figure of Destiny]Figure[/card].

Sideboarding: -4 Fallout + 2 Runed Halo +1 Negate +1 Hallowed Burial

2-1

Round 4:

I played vs Tommy Kolowith playing Elf Combo again.

These games weren’t close; Fallout a couple times and THAT IS!

3-1

On to the draft portion!

I’m in a good position at 3-1 and i have some good players in my 1st pod.

17 Hachar, Richard
18 Boss, Brian
19 Sacher, Aj
20 Gindy, Charles
21 Modi, Parth
22 McElyea, Jonathan
23 Herberholz, Mark
24 Ross, Tom

Lucky for me I know how to open some rares! I ended up with a pretty good Jund deck sporting none other then Broodmate Dragon and his buddy, [card]Defiler of Souls[/card]. I was short on removal otherwise, with just 1 Terminate as direct removal, but I couldn’t complain since my rares were going to win me most of the games I drew them.

Round 5:

I played vs Mark Herberholz, a great magic player. I knew the match wouldn’t be easy as he was playing all 5 colors and all powerful spells.

Game 1: Due to his 5 color manabase he stumbled a little, which was enough for me to take it down when I dropped Defiler on the table.

Game 2 He draws his lands and spells, and I can’t win.

Game 3 Broodmate makes its first appearance of the draft, and all by itself wins the game…BIG SURPRISE.

4-1

Round 6: I played vs Parth Modi, playing a pretty sick Grixis deck.

Game 1: I kept this hand

Swamp
Swamp
Swamp
Viscera Dragger
Trace of Abundance
Ember Weaver
Defiler of Souls

on the draw and I drew 2 more Swamps, which were all 5 of the Swamps i had in my deck. I died without playing a spell…. awkward.

Game 2: I had a more reasonable draw and Broodmate showed up, so i was able to outrace his guys pretty easily.

Game 3: I ended up hitting him 3 times with Defiler then casting Breath of Malfegor to finish him off.

5-1

Round 7:

The last round of Day 1 and I played vs Richard Hachar. He admittedly beat his last round opponent because of mana screw, and said his deck wasn’t very good.

Game 1: I beat him pretty easily, since it turns out his deck was in fact not very good.

Game 2: I lost when he cascaded into Asha’s Favor…yeah thats right, Asha’s Favor. Putting it on Jungle Weaver is pretty hard for a deck with 0 removal to beat, so I lost to a pretty embarrassing card.

Game 3: I beat him before he could cast anything really as his curve was too high and he drew alot of 5,6,and 7 drops. He had 6 cards in his hand at the end of the game, which is pretty bad.

That was the end of Day 1, leaving me 6-1 and 9th overall, feeling good about the next day. I went to bed early; getting enough sleep is a pretty underrated strategy at magic tournaments.

I wake up and arrive on site for the day and see I have a pretty good pod again. I only didn’t recognize 1 guy at the table.

9 Gindy, Charles
10 Lachmann, Chris
11 Black, Samuel
12 Nelson, Brad
13 Rietzl, Paul
14 Utter-Leyton, Josh
15 Hunt, Matthias
16 Cleveland, David

My deck again was removal light, not because I didn’t value it highly but more becuase it is valued so highly. Sometimes you just don’t get enough removal. I still ended up with a good Naya deck, highlights including [card]Wooly Thoctar[/card] and [card]Naya Charm[/card].

Round 8:

against Sam Black.

Game 1: I have a Stun Sniper in play to his 5 lands and a Suicidal Charge. I play my 5th land and play Kranioceros when I had 2 more lands in hand already, which left me open to so many different cards. He played a 2nd Charge and killed my team, wrecking me. I didn’t draw another big guy, thus throwing the game and match in the garbage.

Game 2: I pressure him early, but he drops Gorger Wurm and Mosstodon, then uses Suicidal Charge to eat my Wooly Thoctar and the rest of my guys.

6-2

Round 9:

I played vs Josh Utter-Leyton, and I put my A-game on since I knew he was a good player.

Game 1: His Esper deck couldn’t deal with an early Wooly Thoctar backed up with Hissing Iguanar, and he died shortly.

Game 2: His flyers were too much for me to keep up with, since I had mostly slow ground guys when Wooly Thoctar didn’t show up.

Game 3: I mulled to six, but again get Woolly Thoctar down turn 3 and the race is on. My turn two Stun Sniper mostly dealt with his Fatestitcher, and he took a bunch of early damage. We play the tap game for like 7 turns, while he built a flying offense. He was at 2 and i was at 20, and I had to wait for him to overextend just 1 attacker too many while I was holding a Jund Hackblade. Eventually he made the attack I was waiting for so I had to go for it, and he had nothing but blanks in hand.

7-2

Round 10:

I played Matthias B. Hunt again but this was a feature match. All the details of this match can be found here.

8-2

Round 11:

I played vs Paul Rietzl with Kithkin, another great magic player.

Game 1: He won mostly due to the lack of decisions that could be made on his part. He got Figure out turn 1 and on turn 6 it was an 8/8, since he had nothing better to do with his mana. I had 5 lands uptapped and 6 cards in hand…all blanks.

Game 2: I won by going Firespout into Cruel Ultimatum and just like that we were on to game 3.

Game 3: This game wasn’t a game since on my turn 3 i was drawing dead. I’m not joking, I was just dead on turn 3.

He went turn 1 Goldmeadow Stalwart, turn 2 Wizened Cenn, turn 3 Wizened Cenn and bashed me.

8-3

Round 12:

I played vs Adam Gunderson, playing Combo Elves.

This match wasn’t close.

9-3

Round 13:

I played vs Mark Hendrickson. This could have been interesting but he was 11-1 at this point and guaranteed Top 8, so he graciously conceded to me so i could draw in to the Top 8 as long as my opponent could (How lucky! – LSV)

10-3

As soon as Mark gave me the win I went over to my good friend Tim Aten, who asked me to come find him when my round was over to go get milkshakes. We walk over to the mall and found a place that sold milkshakes, and man oh man was this ever a good milkshake. It was called a “Grasshopper Concrete”, and it was a milkshake with oreos and mint ice cream. A tastier thing might not exist on our planet! (GP Champion) Tim Landale saw me eating it and could not stop asking about it the rest of the weekend, to give you an idea how good it looked and was. I got back with enough time to bird some matches and watch some Catchphrase (which I’m sure you have all heard enough about by now) and then pairings for the last round went up.

Round 14:

I I.D. with Brad Nelson and we went ahead and congratulated each other and waited for Top 8 to be announced.

10-3-1

That night I playtested my match ups with a couple of friends in my room: GerryT, Kyle Sanchez, Donald J. Kastner, Michael Jacob and a couple others (I was there! – LSV) and would like to thank them for all the help with playtesting my matchups – thanks guys!

The Top 8 was covered very well on the main page, so I don’t feel the need to go over the matchups since they were all control matches and you can read about them in great detail here.

But before I go I will go over my sideboard for the Five-Color match up:

-4 Volcanic Fallout – 2 Hallowed Burials – 1 Broodmate -3 Plumeveil -1 Essence Scatter
+2 Identity Crisis + 4 Great Sable Stag +2 Jace Beleren +1 Negate + 2 Runed Halo

That’s it for now! If you ever have a question or feel like talking I am always willing to chat at events.

Charles Gindy

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