OMGWTFPTQ – Green Bay

It’s no secret to anyone who will give me a few seconds to run my mouth that these last few months have been the most successful of my Magic-playing life. The train kept right on rolling this past weekend, and I was a big enough lucksack to bring home another yellow playmat but enough of a choke artist to leave the blue envelope for someone else.

I’m just going to do a quick rundown of the Green Bay PTQ this week since there’s only so much I can say after a season filled with reports. Here’s what I played:

4 Huntmaster of the Fells
3 Scavenging Ooze
4 Thragtusk
3 Olivia Voldaren
2 Garruk, Primal Hunter
1 Doom Blade
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Putrefy
2 Tragic Slip
1 Dreadbore
4 Bonfire of the Damned
1 Sever the Bloodline
4 Farseek
1 Rakdos Keyrune
2 Rakdos’s Return
4 Blood Crypt
4 Dragonskull Summit
2 Kessig Wolf Run
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Rootbound Crag
1 Forest
4 Stomping Ground
4 Woodland Cemetery

Sideboard
2 Lifebane Zombie
2 Curse of Death’s Hold
1 Underworld Connections
3 Liliana of the Veil
2 Barter In Blood
1 Duress
1 Pillar of Flame
1 Rakdos’s Return
1 Tragic Slip
1 Vraska The Unseen

Yep, it’s vanilla Jund. Not too many surprises, but it’s changed a lot in the last few weeks. I started with the stock deck that Reid Duke posted, which has been winning pretty much everything.

I don’t like Arbor Elf. It gives decks with shitty removal spells things to do with those shitty removal spells. Also, the original list only had 11 Forests. I didn’t like the odds of having to have both a Forest and an Elf by turn 2-3 in order for it to do anything. Drawing the Elf late was miserable, and we already had enough endgame dead-draws with 4 Farseeks.

I swapped them out with one Rakdos Keyrune, a manly ramp spell, and one copy of Sever the Bloodline. Sever is very mediocre against the fastest decks, but against things like Jund, Junk Reanimator, and Bant Control, it’s the best one you could ask for. The value is incredible, and it kills everything short of Aetherling, sometimes nabbing an extra guy in the process.

The sideboard is pretty wonky. I was expecting quite a bit of Reanimator, so I cut one Duress and an Underworld Connections for two copies of Lifebane Zombie, which over-performed.

I wanted a Pillar of Flame in there somewhere as a concession to the human deck that’s been floating around. Exiling one of their guys instead of killing it seemed like a big deal. I added one by cutting a Tragic Slip.

Finally, I was anticipating a good number of mirror matches, and with Garruk unable to kill opposing Garruks, I wanted a way to handle him with a little value left over. I shoved Vraska back in the sideboard, cutting a Grafdigger’s Cage, which was shit for me in testing.

Our trip was pretty typical. Rath, Metzger, Wyatt, and I all packed into Rath’s supercar, which gets roughly seven thousand miles to the gallon, is equipped with DC outlets and 4G wifi, and has a banging satellite radio system so we can listen to conservative talk radio for hours without ever having to adjust the dial. Skogen rode up on his own with plans to hang out in northern Wisconsin after the event.

We ended up passing the time by playing Squee’s Game, a fun activity that turns the prospect of making “top” lists into a competition. It basically involves picking an obscure category (activated abilities that cost {4} or more, lands that are euphemisms for vaginas, cards that make you lose life in exchange for something good), and then having one judge who rates people’s suggestions.

Someone starts by naming a card that fits the category. The judge then ranks it from first to fifteenth, based on what they think the rest of the cards will be. For example, for activated abilities costing {4} or more, the first one named off was Oblivion Stone’s explosion. It got placed at eighth, meaning that we had to come up with seven that were better and seven that were worse.

If the next person said something that was just slightly better than that ability, it might get ranked seventh. At that point, if someone said something that was worse than the seventh place ability, but better than the eighth, there was no place for their entry, and they were eliminated, leaving everyone else to fill in the list.

It was pretty cool because you have to think of cards that fill the role, but they can’t always be good. For pump spells that only last until end of turn, Rath needed to come up with a card that was a guaranteed 15th place in my eyes in order to avoid elimination. Tragic Slip did a great job of filling that role.

We stopped to eat at The Old Fashioned in Madison on our way out. There was an hour-long wait, but luckily there was a concert out on the street just a few blocks away. We immediately got some beers, but only stuck around for 15 minutes or so before we got called back for our table. I drank some awesome whiskey, ate a delicious hamburger, and then generously offered to pay for Rath’s meal after forfeiting the credit card game.

We made it to our hotel with enough time to get a good seven hours of sleep, which is more than enough for nine hours of Magic, somehow. In the morning, a small child knocked on our door looking for his mom. I wished I could make a joke to him about his mom hanging out in a hotel room with five dudes, but I don’t think he was ready for it yet. Instead, Metzger led him down to the front desk and got it all sorted out.

The PTQ – Rapid Fire Style

RD 1 – Shitty RUG

Guy was friendly, deck made no sense. Game one he Farseeks into a Jace, -2s, and reveals these three cards. I Abrupt Decay his Savageborn Hydra after he Ghor-Clan Rampagers it to close out the match.

Record: Phantom Tiger

Rd 2 – Brian Kowal with Not-Shitty RUG

I’ve played against BK a few times and he’s always been fun and friendly. His deck was solid, and I think he’s usually an awesome player, but holy shit was he sloppy during our match. He totally missed that his Scavenging Ooze could get rid of my Sever the Bloodline immediately after he countered the removal spell when I pointed it at his Ooze. I flashed it back the very next turn to actually remove his guy.

He also had life totals wrong a few times during the match, tried to attack with a summoning-sick guy, etc.

He ended up winning the match, though I could have drawn it with a judge call. During our second game (he was up), with about two minutes left on the clock, I made an attack that was lethal if he didn’t chump block, and I wouldn’t die on the swing back unless unless he had a burn spell.

He just said “yep” when i attacked, which immediately made me cock my head since I knew his hand was blank except for one card. Right away he said, “err, block, block”. I’m almost positive a judge would have left him dead, but with such a small amount of time left in the round, it would have just meant us drawing, and that’s almost as bad as a loss this early anyway.

I let him block, he had the burn spell, and I fell to a record of Zodiac Goat

Rd 3 – Zegana Bant

Lifebane Zombie stole his Angel of Serenity, and I stole his will to live.

Record: Bumped up to a Zodiac Rooster

Rd 4 – RG Elf Ramp

I killed his Elvish Archdruid during his upkeep so that I could Tragic Slip something during his combat as needed. He floated mana in response, and then tried to use it to pay for a Bonfire that he miracled.

In game two I boarded in my Curses of Death’s Hold, but he led with turn two Domri and a bunch of Thragtusks. I boarded the curses back out for game three and shitstomped him with an Olivia.

Record: Rocket-Powered Turbo Slug

Rd 5 – Bad Blitz

My opponent’s plays:

Turn 1 – Boros Guildgate

Turn 2 – Gruul Guidgate. Champion of the Parish.

Turn 3 – Burning Tree Emissary. Madcap Skills on the Champion.

A Doom Blade and a Thragtusk later, the game is over.

In game two he mulls to five. He attacks his 2/2 Champion into a Wolf token. When I block, he gives his guy doublestrike with a Boros Charm. He tries to mark me down two life, and I have to call a judge to convince him that I take no damage. The same thing happens two turns later.

Record: Dandân

Rd 6 – UWR Flash

Game one he gets stuck on lands and I Rakdos’s Return him for six.

Game two he end step Warleader’s Helixes ME on my end step after I play a Huntmaster on turn four, and then the Huntmaster kills him four turns later.

Record: Spined Fluke

Rd 7- Brandon Nelson with Naya Mangs

Our first two games are completely non-interactive blowouts. In game three he keeps a slow hand and I’m able to Barter in Blood for a ton of value, leaving him with no gas as I dump a few Thragtusks onto the board.

Record: Gigapede

Rd 8 – Bant Hexproof

My opponent tells me that I’m the third Iowa City player he’s faced.

Our first game is bullshit.

In game two I have a Barter in Blood that wrecks him.

In game three he has a turn two elf and a turn three Geist while missing a land drop.

I play a turn three Keyrune. My hand has a Barter and a Bonfire, so if he plays a guy and no enchantment, I get to Bonfire the shit out of him. If he plays some enchantments and no guys, I get to Barter for ALL his blood.

Because I run so bad, he ends up with both an enchantment to protect his Geist and a Voice of Resurgance. Because i’m a giant sack, I ripped my singleton Pillar to kill his Voice and then Barter his squad away.

He plays another elf and passes, and I play an Olivia with two open mana. I draw a Liliana on the next turn

Record: B-B-B-Blistering Firecat

Quarters – Ben Rasmussen with Jund

An exciting Jund mirror. In game one I Rakdos’s Return him before he sends one back at me. Fortunately, I’ve got the better board at that point and am able to race him.

In game two I mulligan to five and get stuck on lands while he generates an absurd amount of card advantage with an Underworld Connections.

For game three I keep Blood Crypt, Blood Crypt, Wolf Run, Farseek, Rakdos’s Return, Vraska, Putrefy, thinking that I have plenty of time to draw one of my 15 green sources before the game gets going. (if i’m doing my math right, it’s a 64% chance to hit by turn 3,  and a 74.8% chance to hit by turn 4) I never hit.

Soon i’m going to make a blanket out of Top8 mats. It will keep me very comfortable while I watch the Pro Tour from home.

On our drive back, we fire up Rath’s laptop and run some DGR drafts. We crush the first draft with a RG deck, and even won off a mull to thee(!) in the finals. My opponents all bitched at me about how terrible I was as I proceeded to wreck them over and over.

We ran it back and drafted a super clunky 5CC deck with Obzedat, the white Primordial, and a Boros Battleshaper, but our internet cut out during round two and we were forced to have conversations like real people for the remainder of the drive. Dagger.

That’s all for now. Here’s a song I think is awesome:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIVrCZ5sNwE