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GP Brussels 2010 Report, part I

April 6, 2010

Hello everybody! I’m finally home for real now after an almost two-week long magic journey. So I have lots of stories from both GP Brussels and GothCon, but for I will start with the GP and leave the GothCon report for another time.

So, the trip started with me taking a bus on thursday eve (25th) to Västerås, where I crashed at my friend Tim Källs apartment before we would leave for the airport at 2 in the morning the next day. We got up in time, swung past Strängnäs where we picked up the rest of the crew for the trip to Brussels (David Fallgren, Samuel Korsell and Johannes Alberyd) before heading to Stockholm Skavsta Airport. The flight and the transfer bus from Charleroi (Ryanair’s airport in Belgium) to Brussels where pretty uneventful, except for the fact that we got down to Brussels at 11 am or so. So we idled for a couple of hours, had some lunch before going to the convention area where the GP was held.

Well there we picked up supplies and stuff and myself jumped into some GPTs (despite not being in the best of state of minds, considering the 4 hours of sleep and long journey). I choose to play White Weenie for the tournament, with Cedric Philips list from a 5k (somewhere, can’t remember where) as my base:

White Weenie 2k10

// Lands
    4 Marsh Flats
    4 Arid Mesa
    12 Plains

// Creatures
    4 Kor Skyfisher
    4 Kor Hookmaster
    4 Kor Firewalker
    4 White Knight
    4 Knight of the White Orchid
    4 Steppe Lynx
    4 Elite Vanguard

// Spells
    4 Honor of the Pure
    4 Path to Exile
    4 Brave the Elements

// Sideboard
SB: 4 Lapse of Certainty
SB: 4 Oblivion Ring
SB: 4 Devout Lightcaster
SB: 3 Ranger of Eos

The reason why I choose to play this deck was this. I really didn’t want to play Jund for this event, because (particular if I had no byes) I imagine myself playing against 3-4 Jund deck over the course of 9 rounds and I couldn’t see myself reliably winning more than 50% of my Jund mirrors. That would leave me with X-0 the rest of the matches which didn’t seem like a good strategy to me. So I wanted to play something else, didn’t mind gambling a little bit with my deck choice since A) you need to have some flow in your gaming anyways to win at least 7 matches of day 1 anyways and B) sooner or later the opposition will compose of good opponents, so a simple deck which leaves them with a lot of problems and pondering is what I want to bring to those matches.

I playtested a few options, this deck stood out for me. I felt after a couple of matches that I between my main and sideboard had a good shoot versus all the major decks in the meta, with the disclaimer that I could keep hand with at least 2 lands in them, which turned out to be a bigger issue that what you can expect. I felt particularly pleased with the Jund matchup, which was I felt was the most important thing coming into the Grand Prix.

After kind of quickly bouncing out of 2 GPTs my head was pounding and I didn’t feel like playing anymore that day, so we called an early evening and headed to our hotel.

The next day I felt much better, the headache and dizziness from the day before was gone and I felt ready to fight. We got some breakfast before heading to the site. Seatings got up, I was to sit on table 406 on the green side. After scouring the green side without finding numbers higher than 400 I started to panic a little. “Where the fudge is my table!” After ranting around a couple more seconds I saw a judge walking in front of me with a couple of table numbers, which included 406. Nice, I thought and just followed him. To me surprised he stopped in the middle of nowhere and started to lay down the table numbers on the floor. I was little puzzled and asked him what was going on.

Apparently they where out of tables so myself along with 10 or so other players (mostly czech players) had to stand for the Seating ceremony. Nice. After that debacle pairings got up and it was time to deliver the business.

Round 1, Boss Naya

Game 1 was kind of stale, we builded up our boards. I had 5 2 power dudes on the board to his Knight of the Reliquary (7/7), Bloodbraid Elf along with a Behemoth Sledge. On his turn, he decides to equip his Knight and bash. I put all of my 5 guys in front of the knight. Before damage, he tries to use Path to Exile on one of my guys which I responded with a Brave the Elements, calling protection white. It ended up with a bloodbath for him and he couldn’t recoup from that.

Game 2 was also not very exciting. It was like the typical games goes against the GWx-deck. You basically need to have a Path to Exile or Oblivion Ring for every threat that they have that matters (Knight of the Reliquary, Behemoth Sledge or Cunning Sparkmage with a collar) or you lose. This time around I had that and I won.

1-0

Round 2, French WBr concoction

This was a deck that I had never seen before and haven’t seen since after the GP. It was basically a white and black based control deck that touched red for Ajani Vengeant and some other stuff. After his first 2 land drop I put him playing Burn (he started with a Lavaclaw Reaches and an Arid Mesa) and played accordingly. To my surprise he fetched out a plains with his fetch and after that things started going downhill. I got him down to 3 or 4 before he got a Baneslayer Angel to stick and rode that to victory.

Game 2 I mulled to 5 and kept Elite Vanguard, Plains, 2 fetch lands and a Ranger of Eos. The vanguard along with a topdecked Kor Firewalker got him down to around 10 at which point he used Day of Judgement. I recouped with Ranger of Eos and pushed him hard. It came down to a point where he used a Blightning to empty my hand a Path to Exile and a fetchland before he played his second Baneslayer Angel of the match (I dealt with the first one). I didn’t topdeck an answer (which would had been instantly game) and got mowed down in short order.

1-1

Round 3, GWr Allies

At first I thought this was a joke deck but I soon realised that I was mistaken. Game 1 I got rolled when he displayed what that deck can do. Turn 2 Kazandu Blademaster, turn 3 Kabira Evangel followed by a turn 4 Paladin. I was cold to that.

For the next two games I had just enough tricks and removal to force through 20 points of damage and win those games with the skin of my teeth.

2-1

Round 4, French WBr concoction

I faced off pretty much the same deck as in round 2. This time I had more gas that he did in game 1 and got him. Then the next game was really weird. He stalled on 2 plains and a swamp for a couple of turns while I hade 2 dudes that got him down to 8-ish. While he finally started to draw some lands I flooded pretty badly, drew something like 8+ lands. So when he started to chain Bituminous Blasts and what nod I succumbed pretty fast.

Then the third game was a real anticlimax. I mulled to 4 and was never in it. Sour grapes.

2-2

Round 5, Jund

Game 1 I was on the draw, mulled to 5 and stalled on 1 land for 5-6 turns. Funny enough it took a while for him to beat me because all he had was a single Putrid Leech, but that got me in the end.

Game 2 my deck did was it was design to do. Smash face. I managed to kill him on turn 4 despite a removal spell from his side. That was pretty sweet.

Then in game 3 reality struck again. Mull to 5, but this time my hand was pretty saucy. I came out strong but walked into a pretty devastating Chain Reaction which I didn’t see coming at all. After the Chain Reaction-blowout I couldn’t recoup and he get me with 2 copies of Putrid Leech. Looking back at the game I felt that would at least had a decent shot at the game if I had the card Chain Reaction in my mind but alas. Didn’t expect it and it got me…hard.

2-3 and drop.

Not too happy with my results, I was expecting a bit better from my side. The GP along with a lot of goldfishing with the deck really displayed the deck biggest weakness. inconsistency. I was surprised how much a deck like this mulligans. The deck is very simple and straight forward, basicly 9/10 hands that has 2-4 (sometimes 5) lands or 1 land on the draw is a keeper and yet I mulliganed a lot.

I still very much like the deck and the match ups, I’m just a bit disappointment that a simple White Weenie deck like this mulligans so much. If a White Weenie deck can’t edge out the opponents in the consistency department, what else do you have?

Anyhow, with me having an early exit of the main event I left me with the time and opportunity to play in the Extended PTQ the next day. How that turned out along with the of rest trip is up for next time. Cheers.

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