from Hendrik S.
From Zombiecalypse trauma to Top8
If you already read this post you already know that my feeling before the tournament wasn’t the best. I got smashed up by Scapeshift and was in great fear to get overwhelmed by a hord of Field of the Dead Zombie Tokens. Anyway, a still had confidence in my deck and I felt quite well in the morning before the start.
CC2019 7th - Gwb Ramp CradleHo of the Reliquary
Round 1 – Jeskai Midrange (2:0)
Double strike Marit Lage
It’s pretty clear pretty soon that my opponent is playing Jeskai. Damn. As this isn’t one of the good matchups, I definitely don’t want to play against it in Round 1 but here we are. I keep a very explosive hand with a lot of dorks but without bigger payoff cards in hand. My opponent had a lot of burn spells to get rid of some of my dorks and is starting to develop a very scary board with Young Pyromancer. I take a few hits and my life total is going down way too fast. Luckily my deck shows me a Crop Rotation from the top with Thespian’s Stage already in play. Self-confidently with my probably game winning spell in hand I pass the turn without doing anything. My Opponent is tapping all his three mana to cast Teferi, Time Raveler and it almost happened that I’m going to miss responding to the Teferi with my Crop Rotaion. My opponent is now aware that next turn the deadly Marit Lage Token will make short process with his life totals.
My opening hand is way better than my first one. Besides Mana Dorks I have my MVPs Garruk Wildspeaker and Knight of the Reliquary in hand. But again my opponent isn’t passive either and starts to swarm the board again but this time with the even scarierMonastery Mentor. And it’s becoming even worse. He removes my Garruk with Council’s Judgment, leaving me with KotR (still sick) as the only noteworthy permanent and attacks me for pretty much damage. But secretly I was happy that he left KotR on the battlefield because on my next turn I’m tutoring for Thespian’s Stage with Reap and Sow and pass the turn. I was sure that my opponent was already aware what’s about to happen as he swings with everything. But than it happened, before damage my opponent desides to play his Swords to Plowshare on my KotR that was asigend blocking the Mentor which would have died. With The Swords to Plowshare on the stack I activated the KotR to get Dark Depth.
2:0, puh the land combo did a very good job this round…
Round 2 – Temur Aggro (2:1)
My opponent takes a Mulligan on 6 and has a hard time to get into the game. I keep a mediocre hand but as my opponent doesn’t do anything note worthy, Garruk and Garruk Relentless and their Wolf and Beast Tokens take home the first game for me. 1:0
I’m having on of the scarier starts: T1 Elf into T2 Grim Monolith into T3 Archon of Valor’s Reach which excludes instants from the game. The Archon is some kind of a meta card, as I expect it to be the strongest against combo. But it often also shines against the flyer heavy URx Decks which are always problematic. Short after the Archon I can also resolve a Sword of Fire and Ice which in combination with the Archon seals the game quickly. 2:1
Round 3 – Marcel with Izzet Control (2:0)
I already know (Facebook 😉 ) that Marcel is a dedicated control player and will probably play Izzet, yikes.
My opponent is more than unlucky as he has to Mulligan down to 4(!). I kept a solid 6 card hand with Garruk, and again Garruk Relentless and KotR. This wasn’t a game. 1:0
The streak of bad luck of Marcel continued as he has to go down on 5 again. But therfore he had a pretty solid start with a Daze followed by an early Dig Through Time and Back to Basics. But I draw Garruk from the top with Gaea’s Cradle already in play. In the following something like areal game of Magic develops. Before the final turns he has Baby Jace, Bonecrusher Giant, Crackling Drake and Pia and Kiran Nalaar on his side. I have a few Elfs that got treated well by my and Gavony Township and Shalai Voice of Plenty that prevents Pia and Kiran from doing their work. I’m playing a Voracious Hydra taking care of the Giant. Marcel tried everything to steal the game with his flying force but in the end he couldn’t make it. 2:0
You can read Marcels enjoyable report on his block, too.
Round 4 – Steffen with RDW (2:1)
Steffen is a very good player I already know from Berlin. Most of the time I saw him playing either Scapeshift or RDW. Since the still present experience with hordes of zombies from the night before I secretly hope that he is playing RDW. And he is. But I sure know already that I need some good draws and plays to defeat Steffen and his fiery deck.
I start on the draw, what’s not what you want against RDW. But I keep a very strong opening hand against RDW with Golden Goose, Birds, Scavenging Ooze and Knight of Autumn but with Brushland as my only green source which is just worse against RDW. Steffen starts with Tattermunge Maniac followed by 2 burn spells for my dorks. Later, I’m very happy that my goose left a food token behind. Steffen continues to play his fireworks and also my Ooze has to die as well as my 4/3 Knight of Autumn that has to block a Boggart Ram-Gang.
At this point the Board is quite empty and I decide to play a Reap and Sow for City of Traitors as I have a Garruk and a Primeval Titan in Hand. This Turn was crucial as Steffen continues to put creatures on to the Battlefield and Figure of Destiny joined by another (hasty?) creature putting me close to bolt range. After I traded a Garruk Token for the other creature, the figure had the chance to bring me down to bolt range. In my turn I can resolve the Titan (getting the combo) and Kitchen Finks my Deck showed me from the Top thanks to Garruk and City of Traitors. But thanks to my mana base I can’t manage to get out of bolt range and so I “stabilize” on 3 life. If I understand Steffen correctly after the game he made a decision that was in the end game losing for him as he didn’t played a Mountain every turn and so he wasn’t able to level the Figure of Destiny to the 8/8 flyer in time. Finally a Titan, Marit Lage and Kitchen Finks + Garruk Ultimate sealed the first game for me. 1:0
Wow, what a close and thrilling game.
This was a very short game where RDW did what it does. 1:1
Sadly, my notes and memory to Game 3 are all gone, but certainly I won. 2:1
Round 5 Naya Midrange (2:0)
Again, my notices and memory are fuzzy. All I remember is that my creatures are bigger than his and that my Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite surely was a kick in the teeth for him, clearing his board and carried me to victory. 1:0
My opponent on the play catches a very good start with a T3 Palace Jailer that detains my Fauna Shaman and draws him a lot of cards in the following turns. But my start wasn’t bad either, with Courser of Kruphix followed by a Whisperwood Elemental. But the latter one has to follow my Shaman soon, as my opponent plays a Flickerwisp targeting his Palace Jailer. My Courser is doing a good job at this point of the game, slowing down my opponents assault and granting me landdrops and a little life gain. My plan at this point is to survive the attacks of my opponent, who preasures me hard with Raging Ravine, and ramp until I can tutor for Elesh Norn again with my Chord of Calling in hand.
However, when my opponent resolved Parallax Wave in his next turn, this plan seems to be a long way off. But instead of exiling some of my creatures (Whisperwood, Courser, Manifest Token) right away, he passes his turn after attacking. In my draw step he wants to exile my Courser with his wave. I’m responding with a Crop Rotation which resolves and fetches me my MVP Cradle. With cradle on board and concoke I now have exactly 10 Mana to cast my Chord of Calling in response to the exile trigger of the wave, tutoring for the devastating Preator which already won me game 1. He now eats up all my creatures to stay monarch but after his next turn I get back all my creatures exiled with the wave joining the already returend creatures which were exiled by the Jailer. 2:0
The next two rounds I use my possibilities to draw myself into the Top8 which gets me over 2 hours of resting time that I really needed. Finally, I finished the swiss rounds 5-0-2 as 5th place which means that I have to play against Luca with Temur Tempo in the quarter finals.
But this report will spare these kind of thrilling games with a lot of good plays (mainly from Luca 😉 ), because the Hogtalk Crew will upload a Video coverage of these games soon and I don’t want to spoil the fun for you 😉
Never the less, as you may have noticed I managed to win all my games without my beloved Craterhoof Behemoth and in return I dogged Combo and also ugly new cards like Wrenn and Six and Oko completely (at least in swiss rounds…).
All in all, I’m totally satisfied with my results reaching the Top8 of MGM for the 6th time and the 5th time in the row. Surely there was a lot of luck involved over all these games, but the deck is also an important component of my success. Although many opponents are aware of this deck it happens often enough that my opponents are surprised about certain cards and don’t really know what this deck can do. Furthermore, I think it was a perfect metagame call in the past as often there are a lot of midrange decks at these greater tournaments and control decks with sweepers are usually kind of rare.
It was a great Tournament with great players, TO, judges and everyone else and I’m already looking forward to the next big tournament in Halle (or elsewhere).
But the best for the last. One part of my price was a really awesome looking Crop Rotation with alternate artwork from @sailor_alters I just have to show to you:
(If I miss something or actually told something wrong in my report, I’m sorry. In that case please contact me if you have something to add to the games.)