I went to the Saint Louis Pro Tour Qualifier this weekend, hoping to earn a blue envelope and win a chance to play in Amsterdam for free. I hope I don’t ruin the surprise here, but I didn’t win that blue envelope. But that doesn’t mean that I wasted a weekend, nor does it mean I am spending all of my spare time beating myself up for my (obvious) mistakes in the tournament. Quite the contrary, I feel that my mistakes will help me be better for the SSC Standard/Legacy open in two weeks in Saint Louis. I think the playing field may be a bit easier as well, but we shall see about that.
That said, I think a good way to make sure you don’t forget your mistakes from game to game is to write them down after the tournament so you have some fairly emotionless post-game analysis. (Though I’d prefer a friend to help with that, anyone care to tape my games for me?) So, here follows a lot of technical jargon that most of you won’t follow but I hope you enjoy it regardless!
Match One; Game One
I started the day out fairly nervous (as was to be expected) so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to focus. My opponent and I sat down and said our hellos and chit-chatted, and away we went. My deck started out fairly well, I got down some early defense and artifacts and was well on my way to cantripping myself into the combo. He put a lot of early pressure on with Vengevine though, and it was looking grim with a Vengevine and Lotus Cobra staring me in the face with me at 9. Luckily I cantripped into an Angelsong, cast it when he swung, and comboed out next turn eventually punching him in the face for 29 damage. Awesome.
I dropped a turn one borderpost, and on turn two he dropped a pridemage. His turn three rolls around, he blows up the borderpost and I’m in bad shape. But I have two Wall of Omens in my hand so I can probably stall long enough to stabilize. He drops a turn 4 Sovereigns and swings putting me at a whopping 7 life. I know next turn to keep my mana safe, and live, I need to draw any land. Just one land. I can sac. the two walls and play angelsong and live. No land draw. None. I lose.
I draw decently well, but no walls or songs, and hope to cantrip into one. Turn 4 rolls around and he plays the Sovereigns again, and I still have no Angelsong. I hope to cantrip into a combo piece or an Angelsong, but nothing happens. I concede.
Match Two; Game One
I win the roll and play first. I start out well with early borderposts and cantrips. My opponent is playing vampires and goes for early aggression with Pulse Trackers. I’m not too worried, as it still leaves me about 8 turns to combo out at the current pace. The people playing next to us comment as much, and my opponent says “he has this in the bag.” Next turn, he plays a Nighthawk, and swings for two into my Walls with his Trackers. I’m at 5 life. I untap, play Tezzeret, search for a Sieve, and combo out. Good game.
Game two is very similar to game one, though an interesting side-note my opponent showed me what he was sideboarding out. That’s… odd. He duressed me and dropped a Time-Sieve, why- I don’t know I will just get it back with the first Open the Vaults, but otherwise nothing new or exciting. I play a stalling game against him, as his Hexmages wait for a Planeswalker to nuke, but I eventually assemble a second sieve and six mana and combo out and slap him in the face for 27 damage. Whee!
Match Three; Game One
This is a precarious place to be, since if I lose again I have to make the choice of staying in the tournament with no hopes of making the Top 8, but a chance to win product, or just call it a day and go home and relax. But that is neither here nor there at the moment.
The first game starts with me on the play, and I drop a borderpost and my opponent groans and knows what I am playing. This should be a great match-up for me, as naya aggro has no real answers to my threats as long as I don’t suck and die by turn six. The plays go pretty much par for the course, I cantrip a lot and survive via my walls and angelsong and he plays boat loads of creatures. Turn 11 rolls around, I still have not seen a Time-Sieve or a Tezzeret. I run out of outs and he beats me to death. Absurd.
Game two starts out decently enough for me, with early walls and board presence. I duress him to see two negates an O-Ring and Jace. I take the O-Ring because a set back on mana could be devstating and I sided in my own countermagic. Which I had in hand. The game progresses as normal with him using two negates, and I pass a turn with two mana open for Angelsong. He swings, I Song, he Negates, I laugh as he had all 4 in hand. I also forgot to take an extra turn with the Sieve.
The second half of the tournament report to follow soon!