I’m with my usual group of friends, eating at a pretty lackluster cafe in a pretty lackluster mall, discussing decklists. Josh Harris was on Naya Birthing Pod. Isabel Hayes on R/G Aggro, Raja Burrows on Humans. This was where I made the change from Whipflare to Dismember. Brian Kibler brought up a point to Izzy, saying that you really need a way to deal with Phyrexian Obliterator. Dismember fills that role, replacing Combust.
I don’t really do full on tournament reports, but I wound up going 5-2-1, dying in round eight. I had one bye, and my wins were against Humans, Delver, R/G Wolf Run, and a sweet Tezzeret Birthing Pod. My losses were to Humans, and Reanimator, and my draw was against Solar Flare, in which I punted incredibly bad.
His board consisted of a Sun Titan, Phantasmal Image (Sun Titan), Phantasmal Image (Primeval Titan). two Ghost Quarters, among many other lands, zero cards in hand. My side had Primeval Titan, Primeval Titan, Thrun, the Last Troll, Sphere of the Suns with zero counters two Galvanic Blasts in hand, two Kessig Wolf Runs, two Inkmoth Nexus, and about fifteen other lands. He’s at seventeen life, I’m at twenty four. There’s literally thirty seconds left on the clock, and there are about two ways I can win this game:
1. Triple block his original Sun Titan, eat the twelve damage, backswing and Wolf Run for everything but two, Galvanic Blast him for the rest.
2. Take the eighteen damage, going to six. Wolf Run the Images at the end step, then backswing for lethal.
I do neither of these, and wind up drawing. There were literally about sixty people watching this game, and I definitely started sinking as more people watched. I really need to work on playing under these types of circumstances if I want to continue doing well.
A good handful of us lost our win and ins. Anthony Conta (ACMaverick here on wrongwaygoback) made day two with Delver. I was generally happy with how the deck was performing. While I was clearly frustrated about missing day two, I came out with much more confidence in my own decisions and thoughts. While listening to other people’s input is always something you should do, don’t let people tell you things like “don’t do this, trust me”, especially if you know what you’re doing, and especially if these people have little to no credibility. Sounds harsh, I know, but I feel that it’s what’s been holding me back for a very, very long time.
Later in the evening, I continue to fight this cold that’s been kicking my ass all day. I actually can’t taste anything at this point, which made me enjoy the parfait I was eating much, much less than I could have.
The rest of the weekend was pretty much hanging out, catching up on old friends, and watching an insane top eight. I think I learned more in that single top 8 than I did at any stretch of events.
Moving forward in Standard, I feel that the format is as healthy as it could be. There are a ton of different angles that you could go with. In my next piece, I’ll have a more in depth view on the pillars of the format, as well as the best cards at each (relevant) converted mana cost.
As I’m finishing this, I’m still fighting this cold. If I manage to beat it by this weekend, I will be at at least one of the PTQ’s in the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area.