We both start off ultra quick with a Scythe Tiger down for both of us on the first turn, which meant his deck was as fast as mine and possibly better in the end game. Not good. I attack into the Tiger, thinking we trade or just start to get the damage in on both sides.
We trade, and after a quick burst of mana I get a Grazing Gladehart down and Harrow to make more mana and life.
I hit 30 before he gets rid of it, and can even afford to take a massive 12 points of damage from a boosted creature without worrying too much about it.
Some more beats and again I draw into the cards I need and guess what, smack him with a Needlebite Trap.
Game two was a blink and you miss it thing. His deck powered out creatures and I blocked as ineffectively as I attacked. I didnt even get a point of damage through, and before long we where shuffling for the deciding game - all over for me in 7? quick rounds.
At this point we discussed how things had gone during the day (our previous opponents match results) and even the rest of our decks contents - comparing how bad our rare pool had gone and him asking if my deck was like his cost wise. I dont recall what his rare was (better than mine but not that much) and he said that a fist full of bombs was not always what you needed to get through to the top table. Not sure why I did this, as normally I am the person that conceeds a losing game so you dont see the cards in my hand..I was jolly relaxed I suppose.
We were playing for the top positions by the sounds of it - he like me also had not lost any games before we started this match. There was talk from him about declaring a draw, but no one forced it, and so we drew cards for Match three.
Match three was driven mostly by my card drawing demon self, as I powered from one creature to another, dropping Grazing Gladehart and Harrow's to gain 8 or so life. Then (obviously I am biast) some excellent play from myself - I drop Harga Diabolist to put him on 10, which along with a land has triggered both Intimidates on Guul Draz Vampire and Surrakar Marauder to attack.
With 5 life left, he fires off some life gain, and I have a Needlebite Trap and a Swamp waiting to hit him for 5. Not a bad effort for one round of play.
He is on 4 life to my 17, and I draw my other Needlebite Trap and have exactly the amount of mana I need to hardcast it without even having to attack.
8 - 1 - 0
And there we go, my first Pre-release win. My opponent mentions now he should have pushed for the draw, and at 1 all, I may well have taken it - not sure though, I already had points, but of course I am saying this after I had already won....
I later find that my score had put me top, 1st of 32 in Flight 5 - I am chuffed, obviously - Huzzah! With my 12 points I earn 12 Boosters, a Zendikar storage box and a huge t-shirt that would fit a super sized American living next to a Maccy D's.
Mike won his last game to give him 9 points and prizes, and Chris got 6 points, so a very productive day for us all! At this point Mike and Chris rob me of two boosters to play a draft themselves back at Mikes, while I join the queue for the artist Aleksi Briclot. I had queued earlier but caught him just as he was leaving for lunch.
So I queued for just over an hour, watching some excellent art being drawn - it was weird though as he had a Rolf Harris thing going on, some weird scribbles (he started with a thin black pen on a black binder) that turned into a Masterpiece. Yes, with a capital 'M'.
Take a look at this, which cost me the grand total of a fiver, to which I commented to him "..the best £5 I have ever spent..."
Other than my cards I sold earlier, I also traded as follows:
Two Fetch Lands plus £3 = Sorrin (ZEN) and Ajani (M10) Planeswalkers, a textless Terminate (£3) and the Lady vampire (£1.50)
No booster draft for me, and I left at around 6pm, and yes it was still packed. The Sketch topped my excellent day off quite nicely thanks.