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Honolulu PTQs: Stockholm PTQ *Top4*

March 29, 2009

Last Saturday (28/3) I played in a Honolulu PTQ in Stockholm, which I ended up Top4-ing. Close but no cigar. Today I’m going to talk about the deck I played and give a little summary about the tournament itself.

First off, heres the list that I played:

TEPS

3 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
2 Cascade Bluffs
4 Dreadship Reef
2 Island
4 Steam Vents
4 Remand
4 Desperate Ritual
4 Rite of Flame
4 Seething Song
4 Manamorphose
4 Lotus Bloom
4 Ponder
4 Peer Through Depths
4 Mind’s Desire
2 Tendrils of Agony
2 Sleight of Hand
2 Electrolyze

Sideboard:

2 Gigadrowse
3 Pact of Negation
3 Echoing Truth
3 Brain Freeze
2 Ad Nauseam
2 Hurkyl’s Recall

I ended up playing TEPS for mainly two reasons. First, I have played the deck quite a bit online, both during our testing for Berlin and after LSV toured GP LA with the deck. Secondly, I thought the field wouldn’t contain many Elf decks while Zoo, Affinity and Loam decks would be a big factor so I felt that the TEPS would be a good call for the metagame. The list I ended up playing isn’t that spectacular. I started off with LSV list and not much hasn’t changed since I started playing the deck online. I felt that 7 lands that doesn’t produce color was a one to much for my own liking. I ended up cutting a Cascade Bluffs, which could easily be a Dreadship Reef depending on the meta, for an another Steam Vents. Also I removed the Shattering Sprees for Hurkyl’s Recall. Since the first time I played Shattering Spree out of the board I have been disliking it. It’s worse than Recall against Affinity since Spree is a sorcery and often requires you to spend at leasta ritual of some sort to create a relevant number of copies. The only time I wish having Shattering Spree over Hurkyl’s Recall is to fight Chalice of the Void on 2, but that very rarely happened for me so i opted to just ignore that factor.

During the week before the tournament I agonized about cutting Sleight of Hand from the main deck for either Magma Jet or move the 2 Gigadrowse from the sideboard and add something for the mirror in the board (either Trickbind, Telemins Performace or Gaea’s Blessing). The reason for me wanting Magma Jet was the fact that Saito won in Singapore with a Naya Zoo list with Gaddock Teeg in the main, which I feared many Naya players would be adopting. With Gaddock Teeg in the main the matchup is much closer and I reckoned that Zoo would be pretty popular, so I wanted an edge pre-board. And Gigadrowse is quite self explanatory. Faeries is a tight matchup pre board, personally I find the match up pre-board being that they can’t beat your really good hands, but average draw vs. average draw they tend to win a bit more than you. So Gigadrowse was intended so give that matchup a boost while also leaving me a couple of cards for the mirror.

In the ended up not changing anything (I’m not a fan of late audibling) and running with the build I have played online and felt confortable with. So now on to the tournament:

Round 1: Erik Ekenstedt, Affinity 2-0

What a nice start of the day, was the first I thought when I saw my opponent lay Seat of the Synod, Arcbound Worker. I did have a mulligan for this game, but my 6 card hand was solid with a Lotus on turn 1. He did however have a Eathersworn Canoniston turn 2 (eek!), but I managed to Peer into Electrolyze, kill it on turn 3 and then went off with a whooping storm count of 11 with the first Desire. Guess what happened.

1-0, -2x Electrolyze, -2x Sleight of Hand for 2x Echoing Truth and 2x Hurkyl’s Recall

The second game was very straight forward. My opening hand contains a 4th turn kill with a Lotus and with Hurkyl’s Recall backup. I never needed to use the recall and I went for it on turn 4. I only get to play Desire for 4, but I have another Desire in hand along with 3 mana from untapped lands in play. I need to hit another Desire or a ritual to keep going essentially. I flip land, land, land… and the last card is another Desire and the rest is academic.

2-0, 1-0

Round 2: Patrick Vreede, Elves 2-1

I’m on the play and starts of with a mulligan. My 6 card hand is however really good and I felt really good about that game until my opponent dropped Forest, Nettle Sentinel. I was facing Elves, which meant that a turn 4 kill is probably not enough. On my turn 3 I draw a Rite of Flame, which could in theory let me go off that turn with a Desire for 4, with nothing else in hand or spare mana. I didn’t like my chances, and choose to wait for my Lotus next turn and hope that my untapped mana looked scary. Obviously I didn’t get there as he untapped and killed my with infite/infite sized Elves.

0-1, -2x Tendrils of Agony, -1x Sleight of Hand for 3x Brain Freeze

We both keep our hands. My hand is not that exciting except for I have a storage land along with the important Brain Freeze. My opponent who seems not to be so experienced gives me the pleasure however when he walks into my Brain Freeze on his turn 3 when he goes off.

1-1

We both keep our opening hands again. My hand is once again pretty good for the matchup, a Lotus, Brain Freeze, a searcher, a ritual or two and two lands. His draw is however pretty poor. He only plays dudes for the first 4 turns, but he keeps some guys untapped so I smell a Chord of Calling for something looming. I have Peered into Mind’s Desire and I go off on turn 4 with a storm count of 7. I from there managed to set up a Brain Freeze to mill 90-95% of his library. He responded with a Chord for 2. In response I Remand my Brain Freeze and replays Brain Freeze to mill his whole library in response to his Chord. Nice.

2-1, 2-0

Round 3: Anders Görling, Faeries 0-2

I knew that my opponent was playinga blue deck and I was pretty happy with my opening hand of 3 lands, 3 rituals and a searcher. However things goes pretty grim from there. He has trouble in the beginning to muster 2 blue mana which gives my I window to just draw Mind’s Desire (or something that get me Mind’s Desire) and just go off. However I don’t see a Desire for the rest of the game and I die when I have about 9 mana of rituals in hand and the same amount on the board.

0-1, -2x Desperate Ritual, -2x Sleight of Hand, -1x Remand for 3x Pact of Negation and 2x Gigadrowse

I have a double mulligan to start of the game and I got Cliqued 3 times during the match. It wasen’t pretty and I die from little blue men.

0-2, 2-1

Round 4: Fredrik Löf, Affinity 2-0

I don’t have much to consider as notes from this match. From what I can remember I killed him on turn 4 both game 1 and 2 and he did nothing of relevance (i.e. he didn’t kill me or disrupted me). I boarded exactly as I did in round 1.

2-0, 3-1

Round 5: Joel Dahl, Burn.dec 2-1

I got to admit, when I have one match to decide if I will Top8 or not, I’m pretty relieved that the opponent is going Mountain, Bolt you on his first turn. Game one is relatively close, I have a Remand thou’ that insures that nothing goes crazy and allows me to untap and kill him on turn 4 with a Desire 6 which flips over enough gas so I can cast the Tendrils I have in my hand for the kill.

1-0, -2x Electrolyze, -1x Sleight of Hand for 3x Echoing Truth

He is on the play and has a good draw that contains a Pyrostatic Pillar. My opening hand doesn’t have a Echoing Truth, but it does have a Lotus, a Mind’s Desire along with a Peer Trough Depth and I couldn’t imagine myself mulligan that hand. In the end I don’t find a Echoing Truth for his Pillar and is forced to go off on turn 4 on 1 life with a Desire for 2. Doesn’t look to good right? I flipped Echoing Truth and another Desire. I play the other Desiree and managed to hit another Desire along with rituals so if the next Desiree hits a Tendrils so I can gain some life, which allows me to bounce his Pillar and I can keep going. However my luck runs out there and I died fizzeling.

1-1

Game 3 was very anti-climatic. I have a turn 4 Desire for 7 and he doesn’t have have a Pyrostatic Pillar. Didn’t fizzle, etc.

2-1, 4-1

Round 6 (last round): Richard Hårdänge, TEPS ID

After a quick check on the standing before the round we take an ID as we are both safe to Top8 with a draw.

4-1-1

Quarterfinal: Erik Eklundh, Naya Zoo 2-1

So for the first round of the elimination rounds I’m facing off against Naya Zoo. I have witnessed early on the day that he does in fact have Gaddock Teegin his main deck, so I know this can be a rough one. In game 1 we both have qutie unspectacular hands. I’m allowed to untap on turn 4, but my Desire for 5 isn’t enough and I die from beats and burn to the dome on the following turn.

0-1, -2x Sleight of Hand, -1x Desperate Ritual for 3x Echoing Truth

I start of the second game with a double mulligan and my opponent has a Gaddock Teeg on turn 2. Uff. However I managed somehow to stitch it together, I manage to assemble 3 lands, kills his Gaddock Teeg and then goes for it on the following turn. Thanks to 3 Manamorphose I managed to get a storm count of 6 with my Desire. My opponent conceedes when I manage to flip up both Mind’s Desire and Tendril of Agony on the first round. Yauss!

1-1

For the final game we both keeps our opening hands. His draw doesn’t contain any disruption and thanks to a Remand from my part he can’t kill me on his turn 4. So in return I’m allowed to Desire for 6 on my turn and Tendrils of Agony was flipped with enough extra spells to make it lethal.

2-1

Semifinal: Sami Häggkvist, Faeries 1-2

I’m a bit concerned about the matchup. He is running a Faerie-build with Chapin style Disrupting Shoals, which is very tricky to play around.  The first game went down pretty much as the first game I had against Faeries in the swiss. I had a couple of lands out and a bunch of rituals in hand, but this time I managed to draw the Desire and thanks to all the extra mana I’m able to go off trough his 2 counterspells. My first Desire (for 6) flipped over another Desire and he conceeded when I flashed him a Tendril of Agony I had in hand.

1-0, boarded as I did in the swiss against Faeries.

Game 2 my draw was very flat. He managed to assemble a Clique lock so he can cast Vendililon Clique every turn at somepoint. At the point when I’m at 4, having9 lands in play (along with 5 counter on a Dreadship Reef) I half-heartly points a Pact of Negation the Vendilion Clique to try to protect the Mind’s Desire I drew. He sees throu it and counters the pact and I’m forced to conceedwhen my Clique draw doesn’t get me anything.

1-1

The last game looked pretty good for me, I managed to set up first Gigadrowse him down to 1 blue manaand 1 Riptide Laboratory and then go off witha Desire for 5 on my turn with Pact of Negation backup. He does however have Trickbind. Oh what I got punked. I don’t get lucky off my single Desire and I die 2 turns later.

1-2

My run ended up a little short. A bit consulation was the fact that a friend of mine (also playing storm) managed to beat the player I lost to in the semifinals. So congratulations for your trip to Honolulu, David! For me, it’s just go and try again. I’m playing in a PTQ in two weeks in Gothenburg, so I will be testing and prepairing for that one in the following weeks. I’m not 100% I will be playing storm again and if I do I don’t think it will be the exact same 75. More of that might come up here on the blog the following weeks. Until next time…

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