Stuart's MTG Page, or more accurately entitled, "Why am I so bad at sealed deck tournaments?" - Read on to see the painful mistakes or just plain bad luck I have....

Home - Links - League Table - Last tournament
Kamigawa Booster Draft

Date: July 30th 2005

Location: My House

Event: None

Type: Booster Draft (3x Kamigawa Boosters, one of each of Champions, Betrayers and Saviours)

Attending: (6) Me, Chris, Rob, Keith, Kon, Mike

This is being written 6 weeks or so after we actually played, so forgive me for the lack of specifics for original colour choices. The main reason that I cannot check what other colours where possibilities for my original deck are because we add all unused cards to the pool, whereas in a proper sealed tournament I would still have the cards left that where not played, either as they where incorrect colour wise, or cut from the colours I ended up playing.

Other information is more detailed as I took notes as I played the games, and deck breakdowns are obviously possible as I kept the deck to comment on at a later date. Anyway, on with the days results....

As usual, the places we sat at the table and the overall Match positions (i.e. A v B, C v D, E v F) where rolled randomly, producing the results below:

Table Setting
Match Position
Keith >
Rob >
Mike >
A) Rob, B) Keith, C) Mike,
D) Chris, E) Stuart, F) Kon
< Stuart
< Kon
< Chris

We started with the Champions booster, moving clockwise as normal (as shown above - Keith to Rob to Mike etc) and then the Betrayers booster packs anti-clockwise, then Saviours clockwise again. Through all the research and reading on these sets (as well as nearly having all the common and uncommon cards in each of the three sets) its easier to think of colours you would like to start off with. Again, all goes to pieces when you try and put it into practice, and I ended up with red and green as colours, ones that I was actually perfectly happy with, although knew that I was being cut off colourwise in both colours quite badly.

- the deck

As mentioned, my colours this time where Red and Green, with mostly red direct damage spells, and green creatures. My mana acceleration was helped by the dual land, as well as a Kodama and Sakura Elder for land retrival. Creature wise, I had a few snakes to help justify the high casting cost of the Patron of the Orchi, and combined with the extra mana I could get I thought the card was worth including - despite my normal 7 casting cost or more exclusions for a limited format.

Sosuke, although only giving one creature in my deck the +1/+0 bonus, gave the basilisk type effect to more than one creature - plus a 3/4 creature for 4 mana is not to be sniffed at any way. The Shinen was added without a second though, and a Burr Grafter for its ability to swing the game in a way to either take out a larger blocker or do more damage when needed, and the Budoka/Ichiga for the same reason.

Okina is a good card within the 'wisdom' mechanic cards - only requiring more cards in had rather than a full 7, while Hana Kami is excelent to retrieve any of the red arcane spells I had or even the Kodama for a second time. Combined with other soulshift cards, this could provide a nice combo enabling a single card to be used multilpe times.

Aryuni the legendary landwalker was added as 7/3 for 5 mana is good anyway, but I also deliberatly passed on Mikokoro, Centre of the Sea during the draft, purely so I could landwalk for 7 damage to the unlucky person that picked it up. Sozenzam Spellblade is probably one of the best red commons, and even more of a game winner when combined with a Shinen, along with a Sokenzam Bruiser for mountain walking. The last of the red creatures where things like Frostlings to help my mana curve as I was lacking in single and low mana casting creatures.

Spellwise, all my spells where arcane or creature removal / direct damage, and all red except the Kodama. Overall though, I was happy having some of the best common cards from across the sets in the shape of the Shinen, Sokenzam Spellblade, Kodama, Tribe Elder and Barrel.

Land - 18

Creatures - 15

dd

My Card of the day

Forests x 9
Mountains x 8
Pinecrest Ridge x 1

R: Frostling x 2
R: Akki Drillmaster
R: Shinen of Furies Fire
R: Sokenzam Bruiser
R: Sokenzam Spellblade
G: Ayumi, the Last Visitor
G: Patron of the Orochi
G: Hana Kami
G: Okina Nightwatch
G: Sakura Tribe Elder
G: Budoka Pupil
G: Burr Grafter
G: Shinen of Life's Roar
G: Sosuke son of Seshiro

Spells - 7

G: Kodama's Reach
R: Sidesweep
R: Barrel Down Sokenzam
R: Spiralling Embers
R: Lava Spike
R: Path of Angers Flame
R: Overblaze

Deck Stats: 40 Cards
Colours: Red/Green
Breakdown: Rare: 2, Uncommon: 6, Common: 15

- the games

Game One - Kon

Kon was playing a Red/Black Demon / Ogre deck, which worked very well despite having only a few of each of the creature types, and more importantly, having not really seen the cards as this was his first real magic game in ages having been out of the loop for a good few years. Also playing red and sitting to my right meant he was one of the main people cutting me from that colour.

The first game went evenly, as we traded life, and even though his creatures where tougher than mine, I managed to get my mountain walker into the fray while holding off his larger demon with chump blockers. After killing the demon not once but twice, I managed to pull things together and win.

I started the second game with a muligun, and things didnt go all that well for either of us really, but Kon managed to start to get it together, and I couldnt get the last mana I needed to put down the larger creatures in my hand before he finished me off.

The third game went well enough to start, mana was fine and then suddenly I had too much of it. Kon dropped the big demon, and then he used a ninja to kill off my Shinen, and even though I was at 18 life and Kon on 5, I had nothing in my hand, and over the next 4 or 5 rounds drew nothing that would help me finish him off, and died to more Ogre Demon destruction.

Result: Lost 2-1

Game Two - Keith

Well, now I knew where some of the green went that I was looking for as keith was playing mono Green, but unsure how I ended up with three very good cards (Shinen, Kodama, Tribe Elder) while he was still able to stay within one colour - he must have had some very good cards indeed.

The first game went well for us both, and we built up larger forces while sniping at each other when we could. I stopped laying creatures at one point as I had enough to win on the table, just needed card advantage to pump the Okina and help the Spellblade, and the next turn would see me sweep his forces aside with the Shinen and deal the 18 damage I needed to win. Keiths next card was a life gaining one, bringing him to 26 and outside of the scope of my win situation. Knowing I couldnt kill him outright, I swung for 16, leaving a creature as backup, but Keith managed to kill me off before I could do the last 10 damage to him.

The second game went badly for me, mana problems to start, and Keith came out hard and fast and actually started attacking when he should rather than mass an army and attack in a huge charge. I hardly touched him, and he took me down nice and easy.

Result: Lost 2-0

Game Three - Mike

Game started off ok, and I knew that I was going to have a hard time versus Mike (who was playing White/Blue) as he started off by countering a spell of mine and stopped another from blocking, and had a few fliers. I managed to come back with a larger ground force to force him to chump block, but his little tricks finished me off before I could do the last 3 damage I needed to win. Close game though.

Got to watch young Michael. Despite being mana screwed (3 lands? in 6 turns) he had a small army of creatures and kept some of my larger creatures at bay with spells. A very good game, and skillfully played, and won without much effort on his part.

Result: Lost 2-0

Game Four - Rob

We both muliganed to start, and then I was quickly off once more, assembling a large ground force to start my attacks. Rob (playing White/Black) held me up with a few creatures, attacked with some white fliers, and then dropped a Choice of Damnations, forcing me to choose between life or permenants, a bomb card in limited. Luckily for me, my Sideswipe was in hand, mana to cast, and so he was forced to choose. The game ended quickly after that funnily enough.

The second game went well in Rob's favour. His larger Ogres where smashing through my defenses, and he was a round (two at the most) away from winning, but I managed a lucky draw, got to get enough cards to Shinen/Spellblade my way through for 8 damage and win.

Result: Won 2-0

Game Five - Chris

Not much I can say about the first game against Chris (playing Green/White) other than it went how the others should have gone. In the first few turns I had multiple land due to the Kodama and Tribe Elder and an Okina in play, followed quickly by the land walker and then Ichiga turned with ki counters. Game one was mine.

The second game went the same way more or less, and I returned the Kodama for more acceleration with the Hana Kami. Chris kept himself alive with a Kabuto moth pumping something to fend off one of my larger creatures, but by the time the Okina was 7/6, my landwalker at 7/3 and the legend snake at 7/7 where in play, he had nothing to do except chump block and try and draw something to help him win. Which he didnt.

Result: Won 2-0

The Final

Keith [13 points] vs Mike [11 points]

The final was between Keith and Mike, with Chris's 7 points marking him as third place, just one ahead of me with 6. We where very short on time at this point, as even though we where quite strict with the time allowed per game, things just went over time, and I had used up all my brownie points by continuing the game :p.

Game One: Mike started to gain a life total advantage as he whittled Keith down with the flying white weenies, while Keith slowly amassed his green army. This quickly swelled to a point where Keith could attack on mass, and he did so. Mike starts to assign blockers, and things where not looking good for the weenies until Mike, with a defiant "...suck my dick!" dropped a +7/+7 to all blockers (Hold the Line?) and wiped out a large section of Keith's jolly green giants. Mike then used the white baku to tap the remainder of the green army and attacked on mass to win comfortably.

Game Two: Mike quickly layed down the blue defender creatures and a Hand of Honour and was attacking when able, while Keith once more (and I see a pattern emerging here) continued to mass a green army. The only way Keith stayed in the game for so long was due to life gaining cards, and after he had used two of those he fell quickly afterwards.

The game had to end there, and it was taken as a victory to Mike rather than play the last game or so at another location. To be honest, I dont think Keith could have pulled the last three games out of any additional matches - his deck just could not handle Mikes fliers, and the other little tricks that he had (tapping of opponents creatures, pacifying type enchantments etc.) Keith's deck relied too heavily on a large green army, holding others at bay as he gained life - dont get me wrong, this worked very well for him in this tournament as he reached the final (I think only drawing against Mike and winning the rest of his other games.)

Mike Wins the final 2-0

- hindsight

Not sure where to start - my deck worked on completly different poles; against Kon, (who despite being out of the loop for ages made a very good Demon/Ogre deck) the deck was just getting started, and it was unlucky to lose. How else can you explain losing from 18 life when your opponent only had 5 life?

With Mike and Keith, I lost both games 2-0, and was just unlucky as I feel that both games should have gone to 1-1 (and obviously I may well have still lost afterwards, but at least it would have levelled the field to 1 all.) Well, thats obviously my view, and it may be a tad biast....

Then we have the games versus Rob and Chris which went to the other end of the spectrum, and which where won comfortably at 2-0 each. I am sure they, like myself a mere paragraph ago will claim 'unlucky' in much the same way, but I am the narrator here, and as such, can twist things to make it sound as I please :p

My card of the day was the Sideswipe, just for the fact that it worked so very well against Rob. Probably would have put the 7/3 legendary landwalker down, simply because the bugger appeared nearly every game, but returning Choice of Damnations was just so much of a bitch slap it was unresistable.

The games now are getting much harder as we play more, and the players are getting much better at the sealed format - which is a bad thing :p. Keith, although still 'massing armies and attacking' is showing some signs of change in his habits to make him less readable during a game, and also put together a deck that got him to the final, even if it was not that different from decks that he plays outside of the tournaments. Mike is a very good player, and his deck construction skills are also very good indeed - his card choices are showing a lot of thought behind them, and linking them well with other strategies. Anyway, congrats to both of you, and well done Mike!

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Magic the Gathering images used without permission, design by me.