I figured we should have a thread exclusive to some tournament results and reports - just a space for us MtG players to discuss and share our experiences, successes, and shortcomings. Before I start off, I'll just mention a few guidelines and the format to follow.
1. Constructive criticism only.
2. Only discussion on tournament and event happenings, other discussion can be taken elsewhere.
3. More as we go along.
-Introduction to the event
-Brief deck synopsis
Round # and brief explanation on opponent's deck.
Game 3 (when necessary):
For the above, try to offer as much detail as you can on the decks and plays made during each game. Make mention of your sideboard choices and winning/losing plays. I'll offer my most recent report as an example.
So last night was the local shop's first tournament for one of their Commander's Arsenal sets. I think there were a total of 12 people involved. Less than expected, but still enough to get the tournament going. I got there extra early (because I only live a few minutes away) to hang out and do some trading/testing.
And who did I see there but a friend of mine and an AMAZING Magic player, Anthony Lowry. Lowry is all-around a great guy and a fantastic Magic player. He writes for LegitMTG.com, so you can check out all his articles here (you'll be a better player/person if you read them). He's unnervingly serious during his games, but I find that playing him brings out the best in me and pushes me to my limit. We chit-chatted while he deck-tested against another friend of mine (who I'll call Thundermaw Hellkite here), and this let me get a look at the decks they'd be playing later that night.
Lowry and I did some trading. I ended up with a Temple Garden, Overgrown Tomb, Blood Crypt, and 2 Restoration Angels. He got a Tamiyo, a Terminus, an Entreat the Angels, and a Rhox Faithmender. I know...I only got lands and the 2 angels, but Lands are probably the best investment you can ever make when it comes to Magic...EVER (and I had more-than full playsets of all the other cards I traded).
I did some testing of the changes I made in Bant Control against another friend of mine who was playing Four Color Control - Grixis Colors (Red/Black/Blue) and Green for Ramping and Thragtusk. Game 1 I didn't see any of my counterspells at the right time, and he managed to get out his Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. We boarded and then I swept through games 2 and 3.
I tested my Naya Midrange deck against him too. Lost game 1 but took Games 2 and 3 pretty easily. I was in a great mindset for the tournament with 2 victories under my belt so I just decided to do some scoping out of the competition and talk with people.
Then the Tournament began. Four Rounds and then cutting to the top Four.
I was playing Bant Control (White/Blue/Green), a deck I'd been testing and tweaking for a long time now.
Round One I played against Thundermaw (my friend, not the card). He used to play the WUr Midrange/Tempo deck with Thundermaw Hellkite (which is why I gave him the name), but before the tournament switched over to UW Flash. I think the switch and lack of testing really hurt him. I've played this guy SO many times in the last month. We probably play more than 50 games a week, easily, so we're both very familiar with the other's play-style.
Game 1: He was wearing me down with just a Snapcaster Mage, knowing that he had to get the damage in first. I managed to remove the mage but he had 2 Restoration Angels, and then I was down to 9. I threw a Detention Sphere on the angels and continued taking hits from the Snapcaster until I was down to 5. I took 2 damage off of a Shockland coming in untapped so I could play Centaur Healer and go up to 6. All this time the only damage he'd taken was off a Hallowed Fountain coming in untapped. But I managed to stabilize at 2 life with Sigarda and Angel of Serenity (Thragtusk and a Restoration Angel under it) on the field before Restoration Angel targeted Centaur Healer and I went up to 5. My two big angels swung for 10, dropping Thudermaw to 8 and leaving me with 2 blockers and 5 life. He drew his next card and scooped.
Game 2: I had a much easier time. Side-boarded in Artifact-removal for his Runechanter's Pike; a Jace, Memory Adept, and MANY more Counterspells. I don't have as many notes on this game, but I ended up landing Memory Adept and milling him out. Not my favorite way to win the round, but I still managed to win.
Round Two was against another good friend playing Junk (White/Black/Green) Reanimator. It's one of my hardest matchups, and he's very very good.
Game 1: Went back and forth for a while. I just didn't see enough answers and he managed to Unburial Rites a Craterhoof Behemoth with 5 other creatures on board and swung for Lethal.
Game 2: I sided in Graveyard hate and counter-magic, but I saw none of it and couldn't stabilize. I managed to get rid of most of his real threats, but he'd sided in Sigarda which was very tough for me to deal with. I was forced to Terminus at 3 life, but then he played a Selesnya Charm to make a Knight token and attacked with that (and Gavony Township) for lethal.
Round Three was against another Bant Control deck. This guy and I had played a few weeks before and our first game went over an HOUR AND A HALF long. I was prepared for the long game, so I knew to play with my A-Game.
Game 1: He took a mulligan to 5 cards, and I kept my 7. I was very happy with my hand: farseeks, counterspells, and just the right amount of mana. The game went back and forth. It was a long one, and I went down to 9 while he was all the way at 30 off of Thragtusk life-gain. I killed his Jace, Architect of Thought with one of my own, and played my second one. I got a lot of card advantage off of him and managed to stabilize with Tamiyo. I even got her Emblem. I was swinging with Angel of Serenity and Thragtusk and had infinite ability to counter his spells because of Tamiyo's emblem. He scooped and we went to Game 2.
Game 2: I sided in more countermagic and Jace, Memory Adept. He took a mulligan to 6 again and I kept my hand. I kept all of his threats in check, even when he played Restoration Angel on his Thragtusk to go to 25. But I had Jace, Memory Adept and Tamiyo out on the field, and then played a Garruk, Primal Hunter. We went to time and he scooped (he was 0-2 at that point and admitted he just didn't have the answers to my game position.
Round Four was, of course, against Lowry. Of all the games we've played, I think I've beaten him once. But I didn't let that get to me and went in with my gameface on.
Game 1: I took a mulligan to 6 and started off trying to get my threats on board. He managed to keep my threats off him and his Tamiyo with Supreme Verdicts and Terminus, allowing him to get her Emblem. At this point he had infinite access to Ghost Quarter (to destroy my land), Sphinx's Revelation (to gain life and draw), and Dissipate (to counter all my spells), so despite being at 31 life to his 17, I decided to scoop and go to game 2.
Game 2: was a bit more back and forth. He got his Tamiyo out early, which I promptly Oblivion-Ringed, only for him to play a second Tamiyo. I killed the second one, but he used a Detention Sphere on my Oblivion Ring to get the first one back. He had several Geist of Saint Traft, too, which I had to spend my resources against. In the end, the plays I made keeping his Tamiyos and Geists in check let him get up to 40 life via Sphinx's Revelation and draw into an Entreat the Angels. He used it and got out 4 angels. At that point I was at 11 life and had only my one Angel of Serenity. He was swinging for lethal next turn. I scooped and wished him luck.
I got one prize pack along with the other 2-2's that night. One opened a Jarad, one opened some other junk rare, I opened Armada Wurm.
Lessons of the night: Tamiyo was a powerhouse, both for me and against me. Sphinx's Revelation worked better against me than it did for me, since I seemed to always be drawing it in the early game. But it's such a good card when you use it right. Jace, Memory Adept was the breakout star of the night, and I'm very happy with him in my sideboard. Jace, Architect of Thought didn't pull the same weight he usually does, but I played some unfortunate matchups where he just wasn't that well situated.
Overall I'm very happy. My two losses were against two incredibly skilled players and I put up as good a fight as I could. I learned a lot about what was good to do and what not to do. This was one of my best tournaments and the one I felt I did best in (in terms of growing/learning/playing). In the end Lowry and Reanimator-guy ended up splitting the Arsenal. I was not surprised. They were both very good and both played incredibly good decks.
On a side note: my Naya Midrange deck performed pretty decently too. It'll be a fun pet-project for the next few weeks while I continue to tinker with and tech Bant Control.
This is the deck I played, just in case anyone was interested.
Spoiler:- Bant Control:
2 Centaur Healer
3 Restoration Angel
1 Sigarda, Host of Herons
2 Angel of Serenity