Magic 2014 Game Day: Tournament Report

(This blog post I’m posting right now is both of a judge’s perspective and player’s perspective of the game. I played on both Game Day weekends, but I will narrate what transpired on the Sunday part of the weekend.)

Magic 2014 Game Day. Everyone was really preparing for it. A lot of people are getting pressured to the fact that the grand prize is a Chandra play mat, as shown below:


That’s one good play mat, and everyone wants it!

Now I’ll get to the interesting parts. Our setup during the Game Day and how the event turned out. I’ll try to remember things, so most part may be skipped out because I might not remember it.

[12:22 PM]

Me and Jon Nisperos (and some of the R4 crew) met up in our village at this time. They’ve eaten lunch somewhere, as I recommended to them a place to where they can eat (other than Jollibee). I guided them to the venue. We parked, and had everyone give their blank deck lists for them to write on. While everyone was busy writing down their deck lists, we setup some new tables to accommodate everyone in the venue, and setup the laptop for score keeping.

I’ll write down my deck list at the end of this post for reference to what I used.

[1:15 PM]

Round 1 started with 16 players, not bad for a tournament in our location. I hope we can get as much people with this attendance all the time. I’m paired up against Gomer Caasi, in which he’s using a Green/White token deck. Here’s how the games went:

Game 1: I won the die roll. He started playing Elvish Mystic into Loxodon Smiter early. I stopped the Smiter with Azorius Charm before it gets out of hand, and my lands showed up nicely to get to the tempo that I need to finish the game with Restoration Angels in the sky (while burning his creatures from the ground). (1-0)

Game 2: He started again with the Elvish Mystic, but I was lacking the lands that I need. They showed up late, even if getting to some defenses, he managed to cast that Angel of Serenity to get rid of my blockers and attack for lethal. (1-1)

Game 3: I played first this time, but the same scenario happened from game 2. I managed to burn early his mana elves, but lands weren’t popping up. I conceded the game immediately after realizing that my draw spells aren’t giving me the lands that I need. (1-2)

Gomer Caasi, our local Selesnya advocate.

[2:03 PM]

It started raining hard, as Dan from R4 Hobby Shop informed me that there is a typhoon approaching. We need to move some tables so that people won’t get wet from the rain splashing outside. We decided to put two tables inside the house. Back in the game, I was paired up with Gio Aguila using his Black/White Midrange deck.

Game 1: I won the die roll and proceeded early to put up some defenses. He manages to cast an early Vampire Nighthawk, only to meet the heat of the Searing Spear. His Alms Beast got countered, but no mass removal spells are being thrown (well, it wasn’t in my hand the entire time). Lacking the cards that I need, he manages to overwhelm me with Angelic Skirmisher, Dutiful Thrull, Pack Rats with a Ravenous Rats, and dropping Vizkopa Guildmage to activate the life loss ability twice… and giving lifelink to every creature he has via the Skirmisher. (0-1)

Game 2: I tried a good sideboard approach of denying all of his creatures, so I put a lot of removal spells. It paid off, as I was able to deny all of his creatures and attack with Aetherling for lethal. (1-1)

Game 3: The same thing happened here, making Aetherling finish the job and applying more pressure with Warleader’s Helix and burn spells. (2-1)

Gio Aguila and his girlfriend

[3:15 PM]

I was paired with Dan from R4 Hobby Shop, and he’s using a very spicy Mono Red deck. As I was already used from dealing with red decks (a lot of players here are using red decks…), the matchup wasn’t that hard for me.

Game 1: I won the die roll and proceeded to kill every creature he drops, except for the lone Rakdos Cackler I left on purpose (from his turn 1 play). He never got to curve out his creatures, and all his deck is giving are lands. (1-0)

Game 2: I was expecting that he’ll put Burning Earth from his sideboard, so I boarded in the necessaries:

-1 Restoration Angel
-2 Dissipate
-1 Think Twice
-2 Syncopate
-1 Aetherling

+2 Ratchet Bomb
+1 Supreme Verdict
+1 Wear // Tear
+1 Oblivion Ring
+1 Detention Sphere
+1 Mizzium Mortars

While his Burning Earth never managed to enter the battlefield, I stopped all of his creatures from attacking as much. It was a nicely played tempo deck, and it didn’t failed me at all. Highlights of the game would be… Dan casting Boros Reckoner, slapping on Volcanic Strength to it, only to be met with Wear // Tear and dropping Restoration Angel for the crucial block. Also, his repeated Boros Reckoner after being knocked away by Azorius Charm. How I wish my deck had Thought Scour to deal with it permanently. (2-0)

Roldan Rosales – D&D Dungeon Master

[4:18 PM]

I was paired with Jon Nisperos, owner of R4 Hobby Shop himself, but after seeing the standings, we just agreed to draw as to we don’t want to be cut off the top 8. Also, I want to see the remaining games and take photos for the event along the way.

Who’s that Pokemon?! 😀

[5:03 PM]

The swiss rounds are over, and we distributed the prizes. Interestingly, we didn’t do a top-heavy prize structure. We did the prize structure like this:

1st – 4 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL
2nd – 4 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL
3rd – 4 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL
4th – 4 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL
5th – 3 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL
6th – 3 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL
7th – 3 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL
8th – 3 boosters + 1 Goblin Diplomats FULL ART FOIL

9th-16th – 1 booster + 1 Colossal Whale Release Party FOIL

Everyone was happy in the end, as they got something even for just playing. Some people not in the top 8 went home after the swiss rounds to prevent getting caught in the rain that’s supposed to get stronger later in the evening. As for the rest of the top 8, they’re about to slug it out for the coveted play mat. For the top 8 people, here’s the top 8:

Jonathan Bisana – Red Deck Wins

Philip Peña (ME!) – UWR Flash

Ronie Constantino – Rakdos Red

Angelo Velez – Mono Green Midrange

Raymond Baligaya – UWR Flash

Gomer Caasi – Selesnya Tokens

Adrienne Catalan – Gruul Aggro

Jon Nisperos – UWR Flash

And the top 8 starts! Here’s the bracket, and how my matches went:

Jonathan Bisana VS Philip Peña
Angelo Velez VS Raymond Baligaya

Adrienne Catalan VS Ronie Constantino
Jon Nisperos VS Gomer Caasi

Quarterfinals (vs Jonathan Bisana)

Game 1: He won the die roll and did a great start with Rakdos Cackler and Burning Tree Emissary, but his Emissary mana is missing a creature and instead he’s casting Searing Spear to toss it out to my face. Seconds later, he isn’t getting much creatures in play as I am killing them off one by one. First Pillar of Flame to the Cackler then Snapcaster Mage to Pillar of Flame to the Emissary. Aetherling hits play, and it sealed the deal from here. (1-0)

Game 2: The same thing happened here, and his sideboard cards aren’t popping up. Burning Tree Emissary is throwing the Spear again but this time, Restoration Angel hits the battlefield to take it in the skies and win the game for me. (2-0)

Semi finals (vs Raymond Baligaya)

This is the most frustrating matchup so far, as it involves a mirror deck. As I said to him before the match, the best draws will win this game.

Game 1: I won the die roll, and the game is pretty silent from here on. Augur of Bolas from his side, netting him a Searing Spear. While my Augur of Bolas only revealed a Think Twice, which I proceeded to draw a lot of cards. It was a perfect game for him, making me fall for the baits and putting my life total to dangerous levels, as he revealed a Searing Spear and Pillar of Flame after his attack from his Restoration Angel and I wasn’t able to provide an answer to his burn spells. (0-1)

Game 2: This was one of the most exciting plays so far. His fourth turn revealed that he had a Restoration Angel in response to my Warleader’s Helix on his Augur of Bolas, making him tap out on his own turn. My turn came next, and I was able to resolve Assemble the Legion without problems. This was the start of the dreaded win condition, and I began applying more threats in the form of an uncounterable Snapcaster Mage into Warleader’s Helix to his fliers. The tokens keep piling up, and I revealed a game-winning Warleader’s Helix before he can even untap to proceed with the next game. (1-1)

Game 3: One funny thing in this matchup, is that I was able to win with the Warleader’s Helix again, but only he wasn’t able to answer it. He gave an answer with the Thundermaw Hellkite, which I was able to remove with Detention Sphere. He went to do Sphinx’s Revelation with 2 mana left for possible backup counter magic, only for him to see no answer cards but a single Wear // Tear to deal with my Detention Sphere. I revealed the Warleader’s Helix for lethal, and that was it. (2-1)

Finals (vs Adrienne Catalan)

Two local players, one grand prize.

Game 1: I won the die roll, and he started applying pressure with Stromkirk Noble, multiple Ash Zealots and a Gore-Clan Rampager. Add the Kessig Wolf Run, and I wasn’t able to do much with clunky draws and no answers. (0-1)

Game 2: I chose to play first, and started controlling his creatures with burn spells… one after another. An Aetherling sealed the deal, and he was left with no creatures in play. How do you deal with 3 Supreme Verdicts on hand? You don’t. 😛 (1-1)

Game 3: This was much of a one-sided matchup, as I was able to read his thoughts while he’s casting spells. He landed a Gore-Clan Rampager successfully after his other creatures got killed by my removal spells, only when he attacked, I blocked with Augur of Bolas. He proceeded to pump it with Kessig Wolf Run, only to be Charmed down by Azorius Charm. He landed his second Gore-Clan, which I approved of. He attacked with his new Rampager, only to be met with the same fate, even doubled. he bloodrushed in the other Gore-Clan, and I revealed a Snapcaster Mage to remove it again. It was pretty one-sided from here on, attacking endlessly with Augur of Bolas and Snapcaster Mage and burning him with Warleader’s Helix and other burn spells later on. (2-1)

Mission Accomplished!

And here’s the deck that I used to accomplish the mission:

UWR Flash

4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls
3 Sacred Foundry
3 Clifftop Retreat
1 Island
1 Plains
1 Desolate Lighthouse
1 Cavern of Souls

3 Augur of Bolas
4 Restoration Angel
3 Snapcaster Mage
1 Aetherling

2 Supreme Verdict
2 Searing Spear
1 Turn // Burn
3 Sphinx’s Revelation
2 Warleader’s Helix
2 Syncopate
2 Dissipate
3 Think Twice
3 Azorius Charm
3 Pillar of Flame

SB: 1 Detention Sphere
SB: 1 Oblivion Ring
SB: 2 Assemble the Legion
SB: 1 Wear // Tear
SB: 2 Ratchet Bomb
SB: 2 Counterflux
SB: 2 Negate
SB: 1 Psychic Spiral
SB: 1 Mizzium Mortars
SB: 1 Dispel
SB: 1 Supreme Verdict

I like to point a few things. First, Game Days are run with Regular Rules Enforcement Level (REL) in mind, so the focus of Game Days are casual setting… to play with friends and have fun. Although the competition was fierce, the day turned out great in the end (amidst the heavy rain that followed). Second, be a sport when you lose, and don’t blame anyone else. Magic is also a luck factor, so keep in mind that you can still lose with a very great deck. I’ve seen someone during the tournament lament over their losses in the following rounds. Be a good example and we’re playing here to have fun, not to make fun out of other people.

Many thanks for all the MTG Canlubang / Calamba community for making this event successful, and to R4 Hobby Shop for making this event possible. Theros Game Day will be on October 19-20th, and for sure I won’t be there to cover it up (as I will be in GP Hong Kong for those days). Nevertheless, have fun… and may the top deck Gods be with you. 🙂

4 responses to “Magic 2014 Game Day: Tournament Report

  1. @Ryan Data
    I might not be a really good, competitive player like you are… but hopefully I will be able to follow in your footsteps like before. It’s just that I’m more fond of judging than playing, but playing for fun is what matters the most for me. 🙂

    @Gomer Caasi

    You win some, you lose some. It’s part of the game that we all need to accept. You get lucky, you also get unlucky. No one can tell one’s fate during the game. You might have good starts, but your opponent can be the most lucky and outclass you because of good draws.

  2. I’m simply more experienced than you are. And I’ve noticed that for the past few weeks, you’ve been consistent with your UWR Flash deck. It just goes to show that you’re playing it well and you’re doing something right. Maybe it’s about time you let other players have fun!? Give chance to others. Hehehe. 😉

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