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GP Brussels 2010 Report, part II

April 8, 2010

So with day 1 ending up with a short run from my part, it was Extended time for Sunday. I was set at playing Scapeshift again since I know the deck in and out and feel it got a lot of potential. The list has changed a little bit since my last PTQ. This was the 75 I registered on the Sunday morning:

Scapeshiftin’.dec

// Lands
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
4 Steam Vents
4 Stomping Ground
2 Flooded Grove
1 Mountain
4 Forest
4 Island
2 Breeding Pool

// Creatures
4 Wood Elves
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

// Spells
4 Remand
4 Peer Through Depths
4 Scapeshift
4 Search for Tomorrow
2 Electrolyze
4 Ponder
4 Cryptic Command
3 Into the Roil

// Sideboard
SB: 1 Into the Roil
SB: 2 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
SB: 4 Ravenous Trap
SB: 4 Kitchen Finks
SB: 2 Negate
SB: 2 Oona, Queen of the Fae

The biggest changes is that the Coiling Oracles in the main has been cut in favour of 2 Cryptic Commands and the secondary win conditions in the sideboard has become Oona, Queen of the Fae. The Oracles was cut because I really wanted to field the full max of Cryptic Commands in the current meta game. The meta has slowed down a bit, the Zoo decks has become slower and there are a myriad of blue/black deck out there as we speak. So the Oracle isn’t has needed as they were earlier in the season. The Oona’s is a tech I got from the Japanese Grand Prix where the two guys from that Top8 had them. What makes Oona so sweet compare with Meloku or Rude Awakening is this:

Decks with the Thopter combo usually sports Extirpates, which means if you get your Scapeshifts Extirpated you only have the Meloku/Rude Awakening left. However, both those cards get trumped straight up by the Thopter combo.It’s here where Oona got an edge. If it gets down to Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek versus Oona, Queen of the Fae you usually can’t beat them down for the win but it’s often not too hard to just mill them. And just this situation happened during the PTQ, but we will get there shortly.

Round 1 Dredge

Game 1 he got of to a pretty good start. I did have an Sakura-Tribe Elder though which kept him from doing anything too crazy. I was also a bit surprised that he had Empyrial Archangel instead of Ioona as his Dread Return target. Empyrial Archangel doesn’t do anything so I managed to stall to 8 mana at which point I played Scapeshift and won.

Game 2 he mulled to 5 and got of to a slow start. I had the goods and killed him on turn 5 with a lot of backup.

1-0

Round 2 UGr Scapeshift (mirror)

In game 1 I mulled down to 5, but my draw had double Cryptic Command which made it to a game. However he eventually out manaed me so he could force through a lethal Scapeshift.

For game 2 things got a little awkward in sideboarding, since I realised that the new configuration of the deck left me with a card too few to bring in, which left me to bring in a miser Oona. Funny enough by turn 4 I had taped out for just that card. It stuck and I just beat him down with it.

Game 3 was very exciting. He out raced me in mana and he played his first Scapeshift with 8 lands in play. Things got complicated however since I had a Boseiju in play while he already had 4 Mountains in play. I wasn’t completely sure but I put him on having 6 more Mountains in his deck. This meant (I was at 20 life) that if he went for the double Valakut plan I could just bounce a Mountain with the Valakut-triggers on the stack which meant he would deal 0 damage and he basically lost his ability to win the game. So I let it resolve.

To my surprise he sacrifices all his lands and goes and gets 6 Mountains, a Valakut along with a Breeding Pool. That right, that is only 18 damage. But here I mess up and tries to Cryptic Command a mountain to fizzle the damage. For some reason I don’t use Boseiju (so terrible) and he counters my Command by a Command from his side. So when all the dust has settle I’m at 2 life while he is basically out of ways to deal the last 2 damage. What’s awkward is that I can’t use Boseiju for the rest of the game which made is a bit tricky for me to actually win the game. The match goes to time and on the finally extra turn I managed to force through a lethal Scapeshift. Puh!

2-0

Round 3 Grixis Control

Game 1 was really strange. He gets down a Blood Moon, a Night of Souls Betrayal and uses Wrecking Ball twice. I do fight through it, and thanks to an early Scapeshift which I uses simply to get out all my basic Islands in play I can stitch it together and win the game.

Game 2 he basically had the same stuff as well as a Jace, the Mind Sculptor which gets me.

Game 3 was also strange. He has a triple Blood Moon draw, I counter the second one but the third sticks. At that point I evaluate my hand which is land, Cryptic Command, Scapeshift and a Oona. I decides that my best bet is to just go all in on the Oona so I use Scapeshift to get all my basic Islands and then I play my Oona. Unfortunately we are running out of time and I can’t beat him down in time, so we ended up with a draw.

2-0-1

Game 4 Boom//Bust Zoo

I don’t remember much from this match, sorry. I know that he didn’t flipped Boom//Bust from a Bloodbraid Elf nor did he have a Blood Moon. Without either of those cards the deck isn’t too hard to beat and I got it in 2 games.

3-0-1

Game 5 DDT

Game 1 is a blur. I know I stopped his combo once and soon after that I forced through a Scapeshift through his Muddle the Mixture.

Game 2 was epic however. This game has it all, not kidding. In the early game he harasses my hand with Duresses and Thoughtseizes. He follows that up with an Extirpate which removes all my Scapeshifts. He feels pretty content at this point and he starts to try to win the game on his own.

He goes for the Depths combo twice but I string the right cards together to stop him from beating me with a 20/20. After I bounce the second token we are both out of gas and starts to try peel from the top of our decks. After a couple of turns of draw and go I rip Oona, Queen of the Fae which I windmill slam onto the table. I pass the turn and he draws Thopter Foundry (he has a Sword of the Meek in his graveyard). The race is on and I manges to win the race, my life totals versus his library. Milled him! At this point paying 6 euros for a copy of Oona, Queen of the Fae at the dealer stands the day before didn’t seem too bad :).

4-0-1

Round 6 Boom//Bust Zoo

Game 1 he mulled once and he can’t put out enough pressure to make it a game.

Game 2 winds down to I untap on my turn with a Scapeshift in hand and have 6 lands in play. I draw an Electrolyze which I point at his dome. A land would be game. I do in fact draw a land, but it’s a Valakut… Frown.

Game 3 goes for a long time according to plan until he sneaks down a Blood Moon on the table. He has a lot of pressure and I can’t stitch it together in time.

4-1-1

Round 7 DDT

Game 1 I stops his combo once then he seems to be out of gas. He plays very passively, which a DDT player shouldn’t do in this matchup. He gives me a lot of time and can soon assemble Scapeshift with Cryptic Command backup.

I don’t remember much from game 2 except it looked very much like game 1…which meant I won.

5-1-1

Round 8 UB Control feat. Sorin Markov

Before the round starts I look on the standings and to me demise I see that my tiebreakers are terrible. Most likely even if I win my match I’m cold. Still after seeing the pairing I calculate together with a friend that I need 3 matches to go my way in order to make it. So I just went to my table and try to win my match and see how it goes.

I won game 1 but to this day I can’t belive how. I mulled down to 5 on the draw and he resolves a Jace, the Mind Sculptor on turn 4. For 8 turns in a row he activates the +2 ability and fateseals me. This hampers me much in my developments but at the same time he doesn’t have much else going. For those turn all I do is pretty much playing lands along with attacking with my lone Wood Elves into his Jace in order to keep him from going ultimate. After a bunch of turns I have 10 lands in play along with a Remand and a Scapeshift in hand. I play my Scapeshift, he tries to Cryptic Command it. I respond with Remanding my Scapeshift and playing it again. He doesn’t have any responses and I win. Unbelievable.

Game 2 he harasses my hand with Duresses and Thoughtseizes. One gets through my counters and along with a Extirpate from his side I’m out of Scapeshifts for the rest of the game. After that the game goes on for a while without much action from both sides. It boils down to him countering a Peer Through Depths with a Cryptic Command on his end of turn step. I untap, draw a Ponder, ponder into a Oona which I play. It resolves and he untaps, thinks for a bit before offering the hand. OONA! OONA! OONA!

6-1-1

However my joy is soon followed with a big let down. After the standings is posted I found out that I’m indeed 9th. Close but no cigar. I have to content with 6 draft kits which is at least something. Still I’m not that sour about it all mostly because I played very well during the day (overall) and that is something I haven’t done in a long while.

After the PTQ I head back to the hotel, have some beers with my traveling group (the beer in Belgium is amazing by the way) and just chills. The next day (Monday) it’s time to go home. We spend the morning with some sighting (see the picture from the photo essay) and lunch before we head out to Charleroi. The rest of the trip is pretty uneventful and I’m back in Stockholm by 10 pm.

Well that was pretty much it. I had a great weekend but it was nice to me home. For those who have a PTQ left I can highly recommend in playing Scapeshift. It’s really powerful and is very rewarding for those who can play it right.

Next up is my report from GothCon, which happened last weekend. Stay tuned.

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