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SCG Des Moines report and adventures

Recently I came to a realization about my performance at magic events.

  1. I wasn’t doing well after my second place PTQ finish.
  2. I wasn’t having fun
  3. After reading Jason Fords article, I figured I wasn’t playing enough magic.

So the answer I came up with was to play more Magic Online and FNMs. Normally I hadn’t been doing either since I was busy with work and making sure to spend time with the family. Thankfully I found the answer, Momir Basic.

Momir Basic is fun to play, but has still has magic fundamentals to give me some practice. I challenged myself to try and play at least one match of magic a day. So I delved into the just for fun room and started having fun which was a sadly missing element from my game play.

I also started going to FNM at my local store and even though I wasn’t doing well, I didn’t let it get to me. I knew that if I just played more it would all turn out okay. It’s easy to say that, but it’s a hard thing to do since it’s so easy to get down. How many times have you seen someone go on tilt because they had to mulligan to five and then lost. Like life you just have to take your lumps and learn what you can from them.

So after a week of playing more often, I won my local stores Minneapolis Grand Prix Trial with Delver, which felt great after a string of mediocre finishes. So coming into the StarCityGames.com Open: Des Moines I was feeling pretty good and decided to play delver again because it played so well at the GPT.

Deck is up on Star City Games

My only change to the deck was to add Midnight Hauntings back into the deck as it really helps you both offensively and defensively.

In the sideboard I add Flash Freeze since there are a lot of green decks in my area and I have really liked it. May times I have countered a Whipflare or Slagstorm when my opponent thought they were safe because they were out of Mana Leak range.

Personally I like Delver because it mulligans well and you have a certain degree of control over your draw steps. I ‘m not sure if it’s the best deck, but I do think that it’s the best deck for my style of play.

I’m not going to bore you with a report of playing Delver in the Standard Open, but I am going list some highlights. Feel free to jump down to the Legacy section if you’re more interested in that.

Round 1 against Naya Pod was in the feature match area and it was a lot of pressure. For some reason “Enhance your calm” from Demolition Man popped in my head and I did just that. I managed to remain calm even after he won game 1 at 6 life after he used Birthing Pod for Inferno Titan, copied it with Phyrexian Metamorph and then had a metalcraftedGalvanic Blast to wipe my board so that I couldn’t kill him with a Runechanters Pike. Seriously it took all that stuff just for him to win that game, so the next two should be better. Thankfully I managed to come back and win the match 2-1.

Round 8 in the feature match area.

6-1

Game 1 I played Geist of Saint Traft and then tried to kill it with Garruk The Relentless. I point blankly replied “No!” he then remembered the hexproof and killed my Delver of Secrets instead, then attacked me with Strangleroot Geist  his only creature. On my turn with no better plays, I played Runechanters Pike equipped Geist of Saint Traft and killed Garruk and hit him for 4. It was a really weird turn because you would think that he would know that Geist of Saint Traft has hexproof, then after his attacking me with Strangleroot Geist instead of leaving it back to block Geist of Saint Traft I just got the impression that he was terrible.

After winning game 1 and seeing that he was Naya and had Strangle Root Geists. I guessed that he was Naya Pod and just had Inkmouth Nexus so that he could pod into a Primeval Titan and win with Wolf Run. My lack of experience in the format caught up to me here since he was actually Wolf Run with white.

Game 2 I play Delver on turn 1  and Pondered on turn 2. I didn’t see a spell but I saw Geist of Saint Traft and the lands that I needed, with Runechanters Pike in hand I figured that Saint Traft and Pike would be good enough to pull me through. Had I known that he was Wolf Run with white I would have shuffled since he could have Day of Judgement but being under the wrong impression really cost me here. So I passed with an Island open andVapor Snag in my hand. On his turn with him at 19 and me at 20 he cast TimelyReinforcements. I said okay then I felt like the terrible player for not Vapor Snaging my Delver to make the Timely Reinforcements do nothing.

With the three solder tokens he was able to chump Geist and then resolve a Primival Titan. I attacked with my 3/2 first striking Geist of Saint Traft into his Primival Titan and two solder tokens. He blocked with all of them so I Vapor snagged a token and cast Gut Shot on the Primeval Titan to first strike it down and leave Saint Traft alive. He then resolved Elesh Norn and I didn’t draw Oblivion Ring or Phantasmal Image before his Inkmouth Nexus could kill me.

Game 3 I played turn 2 Runechanters Pike, Turn 3 Midnight Hauntings after he cast a Strangleroot Geist and attacked. So turn 4 I equipped and swung for 4, after he took the damage and since my hand was weak I decided to play the second  Runechanters Pike. That way I could equip next turn and win the race with the Vapor Snag in hand. At the end of my turn he played Ancient Grudge and flashed it back to kill both Pikes. I had thought the coast was clear because he hadn’t played Ancient Grudge when I attacked, but he wanted to take the extra damage because he had Timely Reinforcements for the next turn to gain 6 life and three tokens. So without a Runechanters Pike I was pretty much done for and lost shortly thereafter.

Match 1-2

6-2

I was pretty bummed out after this round because I should played better, without the life and solder tokens I’m pretty sure I could have won game 2. Also if I had thought about it more I would have left in the Mana Leaks and could have fought the Elesh Norn.

Also in game 3 I could have left the second Pike in my hand and left open Vapor Snag to counter his getting three solders, then played the Pike when I had a Counterspell.

Round 9 Tempered Steel

I was sitting in 21st place and offered the draw so that we could each top 32 for 50 dollars and then I could drive Matthias to Easter mass, but my opponent declined.

Game 1 when I played Delver he was very happy because he had built his deck to beat Delver and hadn’t faced it all tournament. I think he is the first person to ever be excited to play against Delver. He started strong with double Memnite and Signal Pests, but Midnight Haunting blew him out by taking care of the Signal Pests and he drew some land while I was able to stabilize.

Game 2 He came out fast and I wasn’t able to stabilize. He played a Grafdiggers cage against me which seemed terrible since it only stops my four Snapcasters and doesn’t advance his board presence.

Game 3 I he mulliganed and drew a lot of land.

Since it was a quick match I was able to get Matthias to the Basilica in time, so it was a win win situation for me.

So they posted the final standings and I was in 17th place the only 7-2 not in the top 16. I took it fine since I did the best I could and figured that all my tiebreakers must have lost.

But then they announced that the standings were incorrect and posted the correct ones with me ending up in 15th place. My last round opponent finished 33rd, he was kicking himself for not taking the draw.

So I go up to get my money and Nick Sabin asks me if I had fun. I think about it and replied that no, I hadn’t. Round 8 was still bugging me and all the other matches had been a grind and people don’t have fun playing against Delver, so I couldn’t really joke with them.

Afterwards we went to Perkins and it was fun, hanging out and joking with friends is the reason I go to events and we finally had time to accomplish that.

My friend Brandon Downs won the Standard Open which was awesome, a much deserved victory for Garruks Companion and him.

So for the Sunday Legacy I borrowed a Esper Stone Blade deck from Jason Schousboe.

Legacy

4 Snapcaster Mage

4 Lingering Souls

Stoneforge Mystic

Brainstorm

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Force of Will

Spell Snare

Inquisition of Kozilek

Thoughtseize

Vindicate

Zealous Persecution

Counterspell

Swords to Plowshares

Batterskull

Umezawa’s Jitte

Flooded Strand

Polluted Delta

Marsh Flats

Academy Ruins

1 Swamp

3 Island

1 Plains

Underground Sea

Tundra

Scrubland

Karakas

SB:

Engineered Explosives

1 Inquisition

Spell Pierce

Force of Will

Vendilion Clique

Hydroblast

Zealous Persecution

Disenchant

1 Inquisition

Perish

Surgical Extraction

Darkblast

Sword of Feast and Famine

It seemed like the deck would be a natural fit as I had experience playing Stoneforge and have been playing for so long I know what all the cards did. The only thing that I know about the deck that is special is I was playing one main deck Zealous Persecution to help against Maverick, but it could also allow me to kill a turn faster which isn’t irrelevant against decks that it wouldn’t kill their creatures.

Round 1 Maverick.

Game 1 He starts with Mother of Runes, since I had the main deck Zealous Persection in hand I let Mom stay around until I had some tokens from Lingering Souls and he added aNoble Hierarch. It was as good as you could dream about and I won after landing a Jace.

I knew what I wanted to side in, but no idea of what I wanted to side out. So I ended up bringing in the Darkblast, two PerishZealous Persecution and Engineered Explosives. Taking out a Force of Will, Jace The Mind Sculptor, Inquistion and both Thoughtseize. I had thought about boarding up to the full amount of Inquistions but I just didn’t know what to take out. My friends informed me that you normally take out all the Force of Wills since you have enough removal that you don’t have to care about countering a creature at a disadvantage.

Game 2 He again started with a Mother of Runes but I had Darkblast to kill the Mom. The game ended up being a long drawn out game with him getting Crucible and Wasteland to kill all my nonbasics. Since I had done a decent job of fetching basics I had enough mana to land a Jace and the card advantage carried me through. I say a decent job of getting basics since I got the Scrubland on turn 1 for the Darkblast when I should have just fetched the swamp as I had enough other white sources in my hand.

After the round I had the chance to talk to Ian Ellis about Legacy.I mentioned how in the previous round I didn’t know if I was playing against Maverick or New Horizons since they both played Horizon Canopy. Ian explained the New Horizons played blue and lots of counter magic. I also mentioned that I didn’t know when I was supposed to side out myForce of Wills as we never did that when I played Standard. He told me that you do in matches when the card disadvantage was just too much to justify the cost such as against RUG Delver.

Round 2 Mike Hawthorne RUG Delver.

Mike and I have known each other for quite a while but we weren’t sure that we had ever played. I thought that we had but Mike thought that we didn’t. We ended up having a lighthearted and fun match.

Game 1 he mulliganed down to 5 and started with a Nimble Mongoose. I knew that he was playing Stifle but I didn’t play around it like I should have by using them in the early turns when he was tapped out. Instead I was trying to use them to shuffle after castingBrainstorm, which isn’t the worst plan but not the best line of play with the hand that I had.

So he Stifled my first two fetchland activations after I had Brainstormed, but I was careful enough to anticipate that he may have Stifle and made sure the I put the two cards back in the order I wanted in case he did have Stifle.

So it ended up that I was land light and facing down a big Nimble Mongoose. I managed to draw a white land so that I could land Stoneforge and get Jitte but he had the Bolt for the Stoneforge.

After drawing a Snapcaster I cast it at the end of his turn while I was at 8. My turn I cast Jitte leaving only an Island up.

He attacked for 3 dropping me to 5 and cast Fork Bolt on me and the Snapcaster Mage. I told him that he had me taking one correct and countered it with Force of Will pitching aSpell Snare going to 4.

On my turn I drew a blank and equipped the Snapcaster but he used his freshly drawnStifle to counter the equip. With no fourth land I bashed for two and passed. There was no reason to leave the Snapcaster Mage back to block since it I needed it for Jitte to Survive.

So bashed me to 1 and I winced in anticipation of a burn spell, but Mike just had to pass. So I untapped, equipped and bashed for two counters on the Jitte. To play around him drawing the fourth Stifle I gained the life on my turn. He continued to not draw any burn spells and conceded when I got out of burn range.

After that thrilling match I used my fresh knowledge from Ian Ellis and sided out my Force of Wills bringing in Perish and discard.

Game 2 I kept a one land hand with Brainstorm and Perish. I played a Tundra and was unsure if I wanted to Brainstorm on my turn but decided to wait. On his turn he Wasted my Tundra so I Brainstormed and found a fetchland. Unfortunately he had the Stifle for it so not only did I not get the land, I also had to draw the other two nonland cards. He was also out of lands and we played draw go for a while. I drew another blue land and Brainstormed, after I put the cards back Mike tapped my deck as if I had just shuffled. So I’m like “why did you tap my deck? “

He shrugs and says ” I don’t know, but I’ll tap your deck if I want too. “

This of course lead to a deck tapping war where I would respond to a spell by tapping his deck and he would tap mine at other random times.

I of course lost the game to a Nimble Mongoose or some other cheap threat.

So as we are shuffling for Game 3 I ask him to stop. He stops and I reach over and tap his deck.

He laughs and shakes his head “You had me going Bearl! I thought maybe I had shuffled a Delver into the deck.

Game 3 I don’t remember but I’m sure I was mana screwed from a combination ofWastelands and Stifles.

Round 3 BUG?

Game 1 I Thoughtseize him and he reveals a hand of Grim TutorBrainstorm and five land including some fetchlands. So I took the Brainstorm figuring that his plan was toBrainstorm and shuffle away the excess land. Plus I had Snapcaster toflashback theThoughtseize and get his Grim Tutor before he could use it.

The plan worked out with him drawing land and me beating down with Snapcaster and some Spirit tokens.

For sideboarding I had no idea what he was playing so I sideboarded in the discard,Vendilion Clique and Surgical Extractions, taking out some Sword to Plowshares and theZealous Persecution thinking that he was some sort of combo deck. I was informed after the match that Combo doesn’t play Bayou so I should have known.

Game 2 I lose to Tamogoyf and company. I do Surgical Extract his Spell Pierce and get to figure out what he is playing seeing Pernicious Deeds and Engineered Plaques.

So I bring my removal in and take out some discard and a Surgical Extraction. I should have taken out both but we were running out of time and I just didn’t think about it.

Game 3 I win in extra turns with Batterskull and Vendilion Clique after Jace fatesealed his deck. It was pretty fun to leave a Pernicious Deed on his library since he didn’t have enough to cast it and kill the Vendilion Clique.

3-1

Round 4 High Tide

I lose 0-2, basically I didn’t get enough disruption to prevent him from going off.

2-2

Round 5 Burn

I won 2-1 after trying to fetch basics to play around Price of Progress and managing to stick Batterskull or Jitte if he destroyed the Batterskull.

3-2

Round 6 Andy Ellis with B/W Tokens

Game 1

ThoughtseizeBitterblossom but he draws two more. I Brainstorm and see Spell Pierce, if you remember the above deck list I didn’t have Spell Pierce main, so I instantly call a judge. The judge double checks that I hadn’t see the card before and had not influenced the deck pattern at all. Since it was my first offense in the tournament and had called the judge on myself the head judge downgraded it from a game loss to a warning. It turns out I had left it in instead of a Spell Snare after the last match.

I then had the pleasure of casting my maindeck Zealous Persecution and killing eight Fairie tokens. Unfortunately he got his Batterskull so I couldn’t use Snapcaster on the Zealous Persecution to have his Bitterblossoms kill him.

Game 2 he killed a lot of my lands and that was all she wrote.

3-3

So I decided to stick it out and ended up finishing 3-4-1

Ryan Overturf and Mike Hawthorne made the top 8 and even though I wanted to watch, I took a nap and then had to take care of an emergency at work.

So after Ryan won everyone came up to the room and we toasted with the Tequila that Matthias had brought up. Since we only had two shot glasses, Ryan and Schousboe took the first toast. Unsure what to toast to I recommended Delver of Secrets as it won Ryan his trophy.

When it was Matthias and my turn we were going to toast to Star City Games, but Schousboe stated that we should toast to Insectile Aberration since they had toasted to the other side. We agreed and after the toast Schousboe and Ryan realized that they had toasted a 1/1 with no real abilities.

So it ended up being a very fun and interesting weekend and I’m looking forward to StarCityGames.com Open: Madison, May 12th and 13th.

May the Delver flips be ever be in your favor.

Ken Bearl

Kbearl on twitter.

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PTQ Adventures

So I didn’t have enough time to finish this article before the end of last year and it’s really dated so I’m posting it here. Enjoy


PTQ 4 Sioux Falls, South Dakota November 26th

Again wake up at 3:30 and get together with Kyle Stoll, Jesse Westphal and Steve McKenna. All of us were hoping that it would be a small PTQ since it was in South Dakota and Thanksgiving weekend. It didn’t disappoint with 69 people registering.

So they seat us for deck registration randomly, so I got to sit next to Matthias Hunt our newly crowned Rookie of the Year. The second pack I open has a Garruk the Relentless but whatever it’s just a planeswalker. The fourth pack I open has a Foil Garruk the Relentless! Now a lot of people like to think about trying to drop and just take the cards. I however don’t think of the cards I open as my cards at all, plus I’m here to play for the Pro Tour slot. Of course now everyone is trying to figure out how my cards could get passed to them.

So first I passed the pool to Matthias and he verified that I registered it correctly and confirmed that it was an insane pool. In addition to the double Garruk the Relentless, it had Gavony Township, Mentor of the Meek and a Moorland Haunt if they wanted to splash blue.  He then had to pass it on down the line to someone who of course misbuilt it and didn’t top 8.

My obviously worse pool was okay with Skaab Ruinator and Evil Twin. I ended up with a decent U/W deck splashing black for Evil Twin.

Round 1

Game 1 my opponent plays turn 4 Bloodline Keeper, I killed it two turns later with Geistcatcher’s Rig so he only got two vampire tokens. Then he cast Curse of Death’s Hold, yeah not a really good start. I think I may have had a better chance if I would have used my second Geistcatchers Rig to kill a vampire token and cast Bonds of Faith on his Makeshift Mauler and tried to beat him down since he was somewhat flooded.

I won game 2 and was in game 3 before I lost.

0-1

Round 4

Game 1 my opponent started with the turn 2 Invisible Stalker turn 3 Trepanation blade which was okay until he hit me for 9 damage in one hit. So with me at 3 and having lethal fliers next turn he attacked me and I flipped a land first to survive.

Image link http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35iy7n/

3-1

Round 5 against Jack Christopher

I lost game 1.

Game 2 he had a Galvanic Juggernaut equipped with Mask of Avacyn so I blocked with my Mausoleum Guard so I would have the fliers to kill him before the other creatures he would cast could kill me. Sadly he had Geistflame to pick them off and untap Juggernaut.
3-2

Round 6 Iowa State Champion Bill Hahn

Game 2 I started with two Silver Chase Fox and alluded to Fox and Socks which is a Dr. Seuss book for those without kids. It was really funny because then Bill continued with

Knox on fox in socks in box.

Socks on Knox and Knox in box.

Fox in socks on box on Knox.

We had a good laugh about it since if you read to your kids like you should, you always end up memorizing more Dr. Seuss that you would like.

I lost that game to his mastery of Foxes by killing them so that his Bond of Faith could contain my fliers. Then he finished me with an Army of the Damned.

Game 3 I managed to finish him off before he could cast Army of the Damned.

4-2

I ended up 5-2 after beating my friend Victor when he could draw three black mana in game 3 to cast his Reaper From the Abyss.

Kyle Stoll made it in the top 8 after schooling people with the following plays.

Against Victor he cast Forbidden Alchemy and put Frightful Delusions into the graveyard, making the mental note to side it out now that Victor had seen it. Later Victor cast his Reaper from the Abyss and Kyle cast Snapcaster Mage on the Frightful Delusions and countered the Reaper of the Abyss.

Against his next round opponent he countered his opponents turn 3 play and then on turn 5 Snapcastered the Frightful delusions and countered his opponents Pitchburn Devils.

So well Kyle was drafting we did the only logical thing and cube drafted. I was trying to draft the 5 color green deck but I ended up with U/G/b with a lot of goodies including Simic Sky Swallower nicknamed Lebron James by the guys.
Kyle ended up drafting this brew.

So in my final cube match against MN state champion Mike Abraham to decide which team would win the cube draft.

Game 1 I suspended Ancestral Visions on turn 1. Turn 2 I cast Enclave Cryptologist, Turn 3 I put a counter on it and on his turn Abraham cast Phyrexian Revoker so I looted and discarded Simic Sky Swallower.

Turn 4 I passed and when he attacked with the Revoker and some other dude, I cast Makeshift Mannequin returning the Simic Sky Swallower and crushing the Phyrexian Revoker to turn my Cryptologist back on. Then untapped and played Vesuvan Shapeshifter to clone Simic Sky Swallower for the assist, Mike shakes his head in disbelief. As he scoops up his cards I proclaim, wait I forgot to take my Ancestrol Visons off suspend and draw three cards.

Later
Ken Bearl

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Tearing it up at the Magic Celebration

If there anything that gets a magic player interested it’s  the word free, free tournament don’t mind if I do. Unfortunately it was the Mini Master format which is pretty luck based. But it was a lot of fun to play with cards I never would.  So here’s some of the highlights of my playing at The Gamers Den in Cambridge, MN.

Round 1

Game1

I got Firebreathing on my Thran Golem for the ridiculous combo. Sadly it  died the next turn to Doom Blade, I drew a Reclaim but decided against using it since I would need my Auramancer to get the Firebreathing back and the 3/3 wouldn’t do much. Luckily I drew my Flameblast Dragon and could cast it. Since it was late in the game it was a Blaze for 10 on a stick.

Game 2 I had Goblin Tunneler making my Firebreathing Acidic Slime unblockable. But then he killed my Goblin Tunneler and then I drew my Thran Golem (Daggers). Thankfully I drew Levitation and the 3/3 flying Golem delivered the beats. Pushing through his Griffin Sentinel after I cast Hideous Visage.

Round 2 pack 2

I opened Worldslayer (Daggers) but got another Levitation and a Manalith 😉 So I cut the green cards.

In game 1 he was color screwed so he couldn’t cast his Primordial Hydra.

Game 2 a Firebreathing Stormfront Pegasus wins the race.

Round 3 Pack 3

Opened Rootbound Crag and Golbin Grenade. But got some more white fliers, Great Sword and Phantasmal Dragon. So I cut the black.

Game 1 he was color screwed and Griffin Sentinal with Great Sword finished him off.

Game 2 nothing cool since I don’t draw Flameblast Dragon.

Round 4 Pack 4 Frost Titan oh yeah baby, Sengir Vampire, Gravedigger and more solid filler. Sadly we cut the Flameblast Dragon and Firebreathing so I could splash Black for Sengir Vampire and Gravedigger. Probably should have just splashed for Flameblast and Fling. Note I was splashing because I had to two Manaliths.

Game 1 I come out fast with fliers and Mana Leak his Serra Angel.

Game 2 I have a slow start and he cast Serra Angel and Mind Controls my Chasm Drake. Then copies his Serra Angel with Phantasmal Image. Yeah nice deck.

Game 3 I cast Frost Titan and lock down his Gideons Lawkeeper. But he cast Stonehorn Dignitary to keep me from attacking and keeping the lock on his lawkeeper. I figured he would forget about Frost Titans ability and try and tap him without having the 2 extra. Instead he just lets me attack and I lock down the lawkeeper. I could have lost the game the next turn because he had been milling me with Jace’s Erasure. Thankfully he never drew his Jace Mind Adept, but he did get Belltower Sphinx. Since I had nine cards in my library I had to tap the Belltower so he couldn’t block the Frost Titan with it and mill me for exacties with the Merfolk Mesmerist and Jace’s Erasure.

Round 5 pack 5. Hello Pentavus!

I got to Play again Nate Smaker. He’s a good local player and always a ton of fun to play against. He was playing three colors but he had a Chandra Firebrand.

Game 1 I win with Frost Titan keeping his Lurking Crocodile on crocdown.

Game 2 Chandra shoots my Stormfront Pegasus and he enchants my Chasm Drake with Arachnus Web. I draw Frost Titan to again put his Lurking Crocodile on crocdown. With Levitation in play I fly over and kill Chandra next turn. But he draws Oblivion Ring and without my titan I die to his big guys.

Game 3 Every turn I started counting towards Frost Titan. So on turn 2 I said one thirds of the way to Frost Titan, then halfway to Frost Titan, two thirds away to Frost Titan. Turn 5 it was next turn Frost Titan. Turn 6 I lay my land and sadly Frost Titan didn’t show up. But he was super land flooded and I drew a Manalith for my seventh mana to cast Pentavus.

So I won the 6th pack and the tournament. I went in thinking it was going to be mostly luck based. But since a lot of the players are not the good, skill ruled the day. I think it was pretty awesome for Wizards of the Coast to run this promotion.

Later

Ken Bearl

Posted in Magic Tournament | 1 Comment

Now with multi choice search.

In case you didn’t notice I changed it so that you can search for multiple formats and types. Should make it easier to find what you want.

Next up I plan on letting you bookmark and share that calendar.

Plus adding Modern events. Looking to get stores more involved in MTG Finder.

Thanks

Ken Bearl

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In case you didn’t notice

We recently added overextended as a format. If you don’t know what the format is, all the overextended information is here http://mtgoverextended.com/. If you have a tournament in your area just contact me or Gavin and we’ll add the tournament.

Thanks

Ken Bearl

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MMS Promotion

On Sunday evening before the weekend of the Midwest Masters Series, mtgfinder will issue a tweet to start the contest. Everyone who retweets that will be entered for a chance to win free $30 entry to the MMS/TCG Qualifier. The contest will end the following Tuesday at 11pm Central time when a random person is chosen. MTG Finder will send that person a direct message to provide details about receiving the free entry. Free entry is only valid for  the MMS/TCG Qualifier.

This contest brought to you by MTG Finder LLC, Legion Events and the Midwest Masters Series.

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Thoughts from Grand Prix Kansas City

Well I didn’t have the greatest sealed deck, but I did have Sword of War and Peace and some big dinosaurs. So with my one bye I got off to a 7-0 start, but after going to 7-1, I lost my focus and played the last round badly to finish at 7-2.

The only interesting thing was after round 5 when Luis-Scott Vargas asked me if I was just Bearling around. I was like yeah, I’m 5-0 and he was the same of course. So then I got to ask him about how his wife feels about him traveling because I know my wife hates it when I travel. Of course with my three kids my wife Angela has more responsibility when I’m gone. LSV said that well his wife doesn’t always like it, it is his job to play magic and she understands. I’m sure not a lot of you would understand but it’s hard to play magic when you have other people involved in your life. Of course LSV makes it look easy when he makes top 8 in Nagoya and then wins GP Kansas City.

So for Sunday I was hoping to win a trophy as my Fathers Day present since I have 3 kids.

The first draft went perfectly as my read as to what was open was correct. After second picking a Blinding Souleater, I continued with taking white card and near the end I got a Immolating Souleater and a Slash Panther. Well not an obvious signal that red was open it hinted that it could be.

So I opened my second pack and was gifted with a Thopter Assembly, but I made sure to note what other cards were in the pack. Second pick I got Spine of Ish Sah and noted that there was a Rusted Slasher in this pack plus my first pack, so I didn’t have to be red to take advantage of the Spine of Ish Sah. But I was able to get some red plus two Rusted Slashers to make the Spine a great part of my deck. Sadly no Treasure Mages to find my Bombs.

Third pack I took Revoke Existence first and was rewarded with a Galvanic Blast third for my good read of red being open and Glimmerpoint Stag fourth pick. So I ended up with the following deck.

1 Porcelain Legionnaire
8 Mountain
9 Plains

It was a more controlling R/W deck but it worked out okay.

My first match was against Lucas Duchow with U/B

He chose to play first which made me think that maybe he was on poison. So I was happy with my opener that had Galvanic Blast and Ichor Wellspring and some later guys. So I Galvanic Blasted his turn 2 Plague Myr to slow him down no matter what his plan was. It’s kind of a risky play because if he has a Vedalken Anatomist I would just lose to it if I can’t get my Heavy Arbalast to kill it. But hey no guts no glory and I liked the tempo swing. It worked out as I did get Heavy Arbalast to kill his guys and then him since I couldn’t get through his Spire Serpent.

Game 2 I came out fast with a Relic Warder on his Plague Myr, but then got flooded which wasn’t too bad as I had the Spine of Ish Sah. It came to the point where I had the played the Spine and a Ferravore and the Relic Warder against his empty board with him at 6. I knew from the first game that he had multiple Spire Monitors, but I had already killed one and he would have had to have drawn the Spire Monitor in the last two turns so I decided to attack with both. He had drawn the Spire Monitor, but then I drew my Thopter Assembly to finish him.

Second match I played against Chris Kuehl from MTGO Academy with U/B. I knew he was on U/B  since I saw some of him playing Kibler.

Game 1 I had Blinding Souleater to handle his Phyrexian Obliterator and Thopter Assembly to kill him.

Game 2 He got the Phyrexian Obliterator out again and then I drew my Souleater. So I ended up taking 12 damage from the Obliterator equipped with a Flayer Husk before my Souleater could lock it down since he bounced my Blinding Souleater with a Neurok Replica. So at 6 life I played my Thopter Assembly and tapped his Phyrexian Obliterator, and then returned the Thopter Assembly on my upkeep for the 5 thopter tokens, which I was very disappointed to learn that the judges didn’t have thopter tokens. Then on his turn, with him at 13 and a board of lands plus Silver Myr, Darksteel Myr and a tapped Phyrexian Obliterator he tapped a land and the Silver Myr to equip the Darksteel Myr with the Flayer Husk and passed.

This is very interesting because my board was the Blinding Souleater, 2 Rusted Slashers and 5 thopter tokens. So I could on just tap his Darksteel Myr and attack for 13. So I deduced that he must have a removal spell possibly Grasp of Darkness. So I just attacked with my guys for 13 and sacrificed a thopter token when he blocked with the Darksteel Myr. As I thought, he had Grim Affliction to kill my other Rusted Slasher since he couldn’t couldn’t afford to take that much damage. I then played my Thopter Assembly and he conceded after I tapped his Phyrexian Obliterator since he was dead to the fliers. I have to give him credit that was a great play on his part. I know a lot of people who would have just gone for the win and probably lost because of it.

Third Match I faced Logan Nettles with U/B, who despite being a Magic Online player was a slow player.

Game 1 I lost to his Viral Drake when he Stoic Rebuttaled my Thopter Assembly and killed my Ferravore. I cast Remember the Fallen to get them back but then wasn’t able to kill his Viral Drake with my Heavy Arabalast in time. I think maybe I should have cast the Relic-Warder sooner and just tried to kill the Viral Drake earlier.

Game 2 I had another slow start and was behind. When I cast my Thopter Assembly he started thinking and was taking so long a nearby judge who had been watching prompted him to make a play so he then cast Quicksilver Geyser to return my Thopter Assemly and Rusted Slasher. This goes to show how slow he was playing as I was tapped out and was left with only a Ferravore and Immolating Souleater after this obvious play against his board of Skinrender, Necrotic Ooze, Razorfield Rhino and a Silver Myr. So with Trespassing Souleater in his graveyard he paid 2 life to make his Necrotic Ooze unblockable. So I chumped his Rhino with Immolating Souleater to go to 8. Next turn he killed me with Necrotic Ooze by making it unblockable and then pumping with Immolating Souleater‘s ability.

Draft 2

I started out good with Volt Charge first, Shrine of Burning Rage second and Spellskite third. I followed it up with some more Immolating Souleaters, Ogre Menial and Flameborn Viron so I was definitely red and hoping to go U/R. Then disaster struck I opened Red Sun’s Zenith, Kuldotha Flamefiend and Corrupted Conscience. I took the Red Sun’s Zenith since it’s always good unlike Kuldotha Flamefiend which can get stuck in your hand. I was punished since the person to my right into red  took Flamefiend and went red. I then got Barrage Ogre as the only good red card in pack 3 despite getting passed good red in pack 1.

The correct pick is Flamefiend since the next person may just take Red Sun’s Zenith and just splash it . They still might go red but at least I have a better chance at good cards. Plus since my deck is going to be weaker regardless the Flamfiend will win me games where I’m behind on board, which Red Sun’s Zenith won’t do.

So with my mediocre R/U deck I went 0-2 drop losing to Christian Calcano with U/W aggro and Lucas Blohon with U/B. I did get to burn Lucas for 14 with Volt Charge and Shrine of Burning Rage which was pretty fun. I could have played the last round and hoped to make top 64 but I was beaten emotionally, tired and ready to go home.

So then I decided that I might as well go to the judge booth and answer the rules questions and try and get some sweet foils or tokens. I was interrogated by the nameless judge, seriously he put on a badge with no name. So I got all three questions correct and was rewarded with a m10 foil Solemn Offering that was bent like it was used in a three card Monty racket. Daggers! Not even a special edition foil. I think he was going to give me something else but as they were closing down the booth the reward box was empty. I later gave the card to Mike Hawthorne and since it was so bent he decided to put it out of it’s misery.

So sadly I didn’t even make money on Fathers Day, but it was a good trip. I got to meet Steve Sadin and eat some Kansas City barbeque finally.

Well till then be sure to use mtgfinder to find all you local and regional tournaments.

Ken Bearl

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GP Kansas City Winner

The winner of the free entry is @chewy106 David King from Illinois.

In two weeks we will be giving away free entry to the MMS in Ohio.

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GP Kansas City promotion

On Sunday evening June 12th, mtgfinder will issue a tweet to start the contest. Everyone who retweets that will be entered for a chance to win their choice of free $40 entry to Grand Prix Kansas City or $30 entry to the MMS/TCG Qualifier. The contest will end Tuesday June 14th at 11pm Central time when a random person is chosen. MTG Finder will send that person a direct message to provide details about receiving the free entry. Free entry is only valid for Grand Prix Kansas City or the MMS/TCG Qualifier on Sunday.

This contest brought to you by MTG Finder LLC, Legion Events and the Midwest Masters Series.

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My top 4 deck from the MMS

Heres the deck I made the top 8 of the MMS with. I’d go over the changes but I’ll probably write an article about it for a site.

4 Arid Mesa
4 Celestial Colonnade
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Glacial Fortress
3 Island
3 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Deceiver Exarch
2 Spellskite
4 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Batterskull
2 Gitaxian Probe
3 Into the Roil
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Lightning Bolt
4 Preordain
3 Spell Pierce
3 Splinter Twin
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of War and Peace

Sideboard
2 Combust
2 Divine Offering
1 Crush
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Pyroclasm
1 Sun Titan
1 Celestial Purge
1 Consecrated Sphinx
2 Condemn
1 Mortarpod

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