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PTQ San Diego @ Stockholm *15th*

December 14, 2009

This weekend held the last PTQ for San Diego in Sweden, which I off course attended to. This time my pool left me a little more to work with. A 15th place seems a little scrubby, but I was playing for top8 in the last round and my bad breakers got me down to 15th. This was the 40 cards that I registered for the event:

1x Gruul Draz Vampire
2x Plated Geopede
2x Surrakar Marauder
1x Blood Seeker
1x Vampire Hexmage
1x Torch Slinger
1x Hellfire Mongrel
1x Giant Scorpion
1x Shatterskull Giant
1x Bladetusk Boar
1x Geyser Glider
1x Tuktuk Grunts
1x Hellkite Charger
1x Adventuring Gear
1x Burst Lightning
1x Quest for the Gravelord
1x Hideous End
1x Slaughter Cry
1x Inferno Trap
1x Spire Barrage
1x Unstable Footings
1x Marsh Flats
1x Teetering Peak
8x Montains
7x Swamps

Notable sideboard cards:

1x Zektar Shrine Expedition
1x Bog Tatters
1x Spidersilk Net
1x Vampire’s Bite

Playing red with this pool was a no brainer, and blue and green was quickly dropped as playable colors. White had good cards, the cards just didn’t go well with red and/or black cards (multiple Kor Outfitter, Kor Aeronaut). So black it was (not that I complain). 22 of the cards was easily picked out, then I had to ponder a bit about the 23rd card.

Zektar Shrine Expedition and Unstable Footings are more or less basically the same card in an aggressive deck and I didn’t really need another “2 drop” in my deck. Bog Tatters and Spidersilk Net was never in maindeck contention (although fine sideboard cards). I was eyeing the Vampire’s Bite but it got shelled out because of bad experience of the card in the past.

I know many people are dismissing Unstable Footings as playable in this format and I think they are just plain wrong. Normally I don’t like those type of effects (i.e. not a big fan of Breath of Malfegor or Lightning Axe in corresponding formats) but Zendikar is different. Since the average decks in Zendikar limited is so much better at attacking comparing to blocking a lot of games simply goes to “who can throw the biggest punch”. And there is where Unstable Footings fits in, at least IMO.

The last option was off course just don’t have a 23rd card in the deck and just go with 18 lands. I certainly can’t say that approach is crazy or something, with multiple Plated Geopede and Surrakar Marauder you will get some value of those lands. But if you the math you see that 18 lands in a 40 card deck is the equivalent of running 27 lands in a 60 card deck… That is a bit too much for the above deck in my opinion…

Tournament summary:

Round 1 Vs. August Green with RBw 1-2

I lost game 1 when I mulled to 5, my hand was really good anyways (something like 3x lands, a Plated Geopede and a Surrakar Marauder). He was on the play however and I struggled to race his beats and lost. Game 2 I got off to a good start and when he couldn’t muster a black source until turn 5-6 I had the game in hand. In the 3rd game he went turn 2 Bloodghast (I was like, really!? considering that he played 3 colors in his deck) turn 3 2x Adventuring Gear while I had some mana problems. I lost that one quite fast.

Round 2 Vs. Mats Furby with GBr 2-1

Game 1 I kept a semi sketchy hand of 2x Swamp, Marsh Flats, Surrakar Marauder, Gruul Draz Vampire, Adventuring Gear and a red spell. It seemed okay since it had an aggressive early start and draw a red producers in time is pretty likely, since I didn’t need red early. I however managed to draw a swamp and red spells for the rest of the game. Territorial Baloth and a Rampaging Baloth stomped me over shortly. After that fizzle I won 8 straight games, basically I drew land and spells in a reasonable order and played solidly and let the deck to the work.

Round 3-5 2-0

Round 6 Vs. BW

Game 1 we stalled out on black men on both sides until he got down a Shepherd of the Lost. I didn’t draw the removal I needed and the Angel got me. I thought I lost that on a missplay where I used a Burst Lightning prematurely, but in the end he had an Arrow Volley Trap which I couldn’t possibly beat anyways. Then in the next game I kept a 3 land hand and it took me 7 turns to find me land number 4. He was a bit flooded on the other hand which made it a game anyways. He got out a Bog Tatters that I killed with a Burst Lightning while he had a Soulstair Expedition on board. Therefore I planned to sandbag the Torch Slinger I had in my hand. He trump me however with a Trusty Machete which meant that I couldn’t kill the Bog Tatters. In the end a second red source never showed up regardless so that was that.

It was a little disappointing to lose there at the end but hey, that Magic. I felt that I built the pool reasonable and played solidly baring a mulligan decision in round 2 and a play error in the last round (which didn’t turn out to be relevant anyways). No trip to San Diego for me but there is always next season. I see you around.

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