Match 1: vs. Carl (my brother!) and his signature mono Green Devotion deck
Me and my brother went to the Got Game-sponsored PPTQ for PT Milwaukee last Saturday and the reasons that made me go out of the house and play Magic at the GG shop are a.) the high prize pool (even though my chances of winning are non existent as the prizes are top 8 centric), b.) the great camaraderie at the GG community and c.) I missed the Got Game DTK Prerelease (with the patented free food and good company) and I wanted to make it up to myself by playing in a relatively big live event.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t do well (I’ll detail my play mistakes later) but I had a blast playing my DTK-updated Sultai Whip Deck. I am quite familiar with how the deck works as I’ve used it during GP Manila and it actually feels stronger now with the addition of the new Sidisi but I needed to have constant playing time in order to not suck and I’m more of a Limited player when I’m on my MTGO account. I ended up at 1-1-2 drop but I’m not too disappointed since I wasn’t expecting much anyways and I lack practice. Here is the list that I played with Silumgar being replaced by Sould of Innistrad:
Enough preamble and on to the games!
Out of almost 130 players, I get to play with my brother! Talk about friendly fire. We actually had a couple of warm-up games and I actually defeated him quite easily there which was surprising – my midrange deck usually loses to decks that can go over the top and his Green Devotion deck can really be insane with its infinite mana and big monsters. The biggest change in my deck though is that it now has a tutor effect in the new Sidisi Undead Vizier and my singleton Crux of Fate can really wreck his board and pull me way ahead in the game. I proceeded to repeat our practice games in our official match games and I won comfortably in 2 games. My satisfaction in winning this match went a couple of notches higher when my brother told me later in the day that he got into top 8 and I was his only loss in the elimination round. He’s been playing really well in the past couple of weeks, winning a couple of Prerelease passes and a PPTQ pass as well so congratulations to him as well.
Match 2: vs Richmond Tan and his Abzan Control/PW deck 0-1
It’s not enough that I get to play with one of the end bosses in the tournament on my very first match so fate paired me up with THE end boss himself. Richmond Tan has probably one of the highest Planeswalker Points in the whole tournament (if not the highest) and I couldn’t have been more excited to play against him. Of course, I was just cool on the outside. (He won the whole PPTQ by the way so congratulations!)
I realized very early on in our match that my inexperience and my ineptness will cause me to lose this game (not taking away anything from his play skill, of course). I managed to Downfall his early beats and Crux the board to clear all creatures then he cast a Ugin. I smiled inwardly as I had a new Sidisi and can fetch for a Downfall but as it turned out, I discovered (while I was sifting through my deck) that I already used all my Downfalls which left me without no other decent alternative to fetch. On the succeeding turns, he managed to resolve two more planeswalkers (an Elspeth and a Sorin) and I didn’t have the good sense to move on to Game 2 right then and there so Game 1 dragged long enough that there wasn’t enough time to finish Game 2. I don’t think it needs to be said that he won Game 1 (but I said it anyway).
Match 3: vs RW Aggro
Game 1 and 2 showcased the consistency of the deck where I fetched my Whip of Erebos and trumped whatever fire an RW Aggro deck can throw at me. I won game one in relatively easy fashion as I stabilized quite early and had all the answers. He came out stronger in Game 2 and had Erase for my Whip so things got a little too tight but I’ve managed to survive his final Alpha strike wherein I was left with one life and he was down to a blocker for my lethal new Sidisi. Then my stupidest play happened. For anyone who’s watching, it was quite clear that my out is a removal spell to clear his single blocker (his board is too huge already to just combat it with life gain) but at that point in time, my brain froze and didn’t even know what it needed in order to win so when I drew a Murderous Cut… I outright conceded. Yep, that’s right. I conceded when I drew my out. It took all the self control that I had to not flip the fucking table and curse myself into oblivion. This play is reminiscent of my booboo in GP Manila where in I Scryed down a Downfall when there’s an Anafenza on the board but now, I don’t have the excuse of losing my deck minutes before my first GP match of the day. Match ended in a draw as we didn’t have enough time to finish the third game (due to Whip life gain).
Match 4: vs Abzan Aggro 1-2 Loss
I was really debating with myself if I will still be playing for this match. I just drew out of a very winnable game so I was pretty down but I heard that X-1-1 still has a chance to reach top 8 so I still played. As soon as I deduced that I was against Abzan Aggro, I knew that I’ll be at a disadvantage. My opponent won the roll and started first and laid down the beats hard and fast and I wasn’t able to keep up so I lost Game 1. He got stuck on two lands on Game 2 and the same happened to me on Game 3. Very anticlimactic but there it is.
I dropped out after that round and went home already. Some last thoughts:
– New Sidisi is really good for the deck, makes it more consistent, the big butt makes it immune to most burn spells and the death touch means it trades with almost everything and can’t be gang blocked profitably. Saw the deck list built by Todd Anderson at Starcity and just literally copied it except for the New Silumgar which I replaced with Soul of Innistrad (which I think is a mistake). The deck needs max Hero’s Downfall and more Thoughtseizes (only had 2 in my 75). Here’s an updated list by Reid Duke that he used to get 2nd place the Starcity invitational:
– Not to take anything from my opponents but I was committing errors like crazy. Spell sequencing, missing triggers, mental lapses, you name it, I did it. I wouldn’t have made those silly mistakes in MTGO but it just highlights how different F2F is from online. F2F is definitely harder as there really is a different type of pressure when you’re going against someone you can see compared to playing Magic in your pambahay against an unknown opponent.
– I sincerely regret not wearing my Got Game shirt in a Got Game event. I will wear one in my next GG event. One thing I noticed is that a fair amount of people are wearing a GG shirt which is nice and a very good sign of support and community building for Got Game. I’m excited for GG Manila and I swear I’ll wear a Got Game shirt there if my injury will let me attend.