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My Nationals 2009…

July 27, 2009

…was a disappointment. I felt well prepared for the event and had a good vibe about the event but I crashed and burned day 1.

I did a lot of drafts during the last 2 month and I felt good about the upcoming limited portion of Nationals. I noticed that green in particular was in general under drafted in ACR, so that was a thing I had in mind coming into Nationals. It’s not that I particular like green in Alara limited, but I certainly doesn’t dislike green either, which many does. Anyhow, I felt comfortable playing Alara limited.

Coming up with what I wanted to play in Standard was more challenging. Kithkin, which was my default deck for Nationals, was very hyped. I really like Kithkin (and I still do) but I really don’t like to play a deck that everyone is gunning for. Also, elf-combo was on the rise which is a horrible matchup for Kithkins, so that plan was out of the picture. 5cc control looked nice and all, but it wasn’t a deck that I wanted to play at a high level event. I did however like the idea of playing a jund cascade deck. This is the list that I and my buddies came up with and what I did ended up playing at Nationals this year:

// Lands
1 Forest
5 Swamp
1 Mountain
4 Savage Lands
2 Graven Cairns
4 Twilight Mire
4 Reflecting Pool
2 Vivid Grove
2 Vivid Marsh

// Creatures
4 Putrid Leech
4 Black Knight
4 Boggart Ram-Gang
3 Sprouting Thrinax
4 Bloodbraid Elf
2 Broodmate Dragon

// Spells
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Blightning
4 Bituminous Blast
2 Doom Blade

// Sideboard
SB: 1 Doom Blade
SB: 4 Dragon’s Claw
SB: 4 Anathemancer
SB: 3 Infest
SB: 3 Maelstrom Pulse

The list showed good results against 5cc, Faeries and combo-elves and with some help from the sideboard I felt that I could take down Kithkins as well. With that in mind I thought it was a good deck to play for the expected meta game. The list above had some flaws thou’, like having no good answer at all for a Chameleon Colossus, but that was something I thought I could take. Snakeforms in the sideboard would have been nice, but just couldn’t find the room for it.

I got down to Gothenburg (where this years Nationals was held) last Monday along with 2 friends. We had a great time, play testing, drafting, hanging out with some local players and just enjoying ourselves. However Nationals itself would not be so pleasant. During the 6 rounds of Standard I played (counting 3 rounds of PTQ the day before Nationals) I went 2-4 with my Jund deck, faced 5cc, Faeries and Combo-Elves zero times which was very disappointing. So I started of 1-2 after 3 rounds of Standard, won against GB Elves and lost against Merfolks and the mirror (with Chameleon Colossus).

I then 2-1ed my first draft with a ridiculous deck. I got a 4th pick Feral Hydra and there after I was hooked in green. I ended up with a very tight aggressive green/white deck with Feral Hydra and Martial Coup and trix Qasali Pridemage. I only lost the finals of my pod due to a set of top decks by opponent. My next draft however was a dissaster. I opened up Preadator Dragon, got shipped Infest and got into Red-Black. I then opened up a Nicol Bolas in Conflux but after that I just got nothing. My deck ended up terrible except for the 2 bombs I had. I lost my first match against a very good Naya deck (he had Uril, Goblin Razerunner, double Branching Bolt).

With day 1 done, I was 3-4 with a very loose draft deck I decided to drop out. My breakers were not good and I needed to basically 5-0 and hope the next day just to make top 16, which I wasn’t up to mentally. Mattias Anderson, one of the friends who I play tested with did make top16 which gave 1 pro points which leaves him 1 point shy of making level 2, so that is something at least.

Before I wrap up this post I want to congratulate Tore Hedbäck, Patrik Thor and Peter Wallin who will represent Sweden in Rome later this year. Well done!

Next weekend there is a PTQ in Stockholm that I’m planning to attend to. I will not play the same list I played at Nationals, but I’m still hopeful with Jund in general. We will see what I will end up with. Until next time…

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