Magic the Gathering: Tournament Report on Gold Rush Trials 2009


I made the Top 8 last week! This calls for a bragging-on-how-cool-my-deck-is article. Yay!

Seriously though, I am quite happy that I made the Top 8. I have just started playing Magic again a month or two ago after 5 years in hiatus. The deck I played, I bought less than a week before the said tournament. I have not played nor seen it in action in any way before I bought it. And basing on the deck list on the net, I am missing quite a few very expensive rare components like Verdant Catacombs, Dragonskull Summit, and Great Sable Stag. On some other designs, they also have Garruks. I guess by this time, you know that I played a Jund deck.

So to start my report, let me give you the list that I played with a short explanation on some of the cards:

1x Dragonskull Summit
4x Rootbound Crag
4x Savage Lands
2x Oran-Rief, the Vastwood (Seems good with Sprouting Thrinax)
4x Akoum Refuge (I didn’t have enough funds to buy a set of Dragonskull Summit)
4x Forest
4x Swamps
2x Mountains

4x Bloodbraid Elf
3x Broodmate Dragon
4x Putrid Leech
4x Sprouting Thrinax
2x Jund Hackblade (I want to kill my opponents quickly)

3x Bituminous Blast
4x Blightning (I am not cutting down to 3x the best 3cc spell in the format)
4x Lightning Bolt
3x Maelstrom Pulse
2x Burst Lightning
2x Terminate

Sideboard:

4x Jund Charm
3x Goblin Ruinblaster
4x Duress
2x Thought Hemorrhage
2x Terminate

As you can see, I have a pretty much a net-decked list of Jund except for a few changes. First would be the absence of 4x Verdant Catacombs. The accursed piece of card is just priced too insane here. I am not about to spend a few thousands of pesos for a mana fixer. Another is the absence of Great Sable Stag. I’ve been told by some friends that I needed that for my Vampire matchup. I didn’t feel threatened by Vampires especially after they dubbed it as the “Twilight” deck which further degraded the deck’s appeal to me so I didn’t bother looking for one. I didn’t play Garruk as I felt that he is too slow.

As for the sideboard, I wanted to put 4 copies of Goblin Ruinblaster but couldn’t buy one more on time. I instead included more Terminate in place.

Before anything else, let me discuss what a Jund deck is. Jund deck is basically a collection efficient red/green/black spells. Most of its spells nets you a two-for-one advantage. The superstar of the deck is from an uncommon elf named Bloodbraid elf whose cascade ability can net you a Blightning or a Sprouting Thrinax or several other efficient spells.

Bloodbraid Elf.full

So on to the tournament itself:

Round 1 vs Bant ExaltedMaelstrom Pulse.full
First game was fairly quick. I played a Blightning that was countered by a Negate but he wasn’t able to cast any other spell besides that. He’s dead after 4 combat phases. Now comes sideboarding, and this one’s funny for me. Since I didn’t know what deck he is playing at this time, since I only got to see a Negate, I assumed that he is playing some form of control. With this in mind, I sided out my Bituminous Blasts and Terminates, and replaced them with Duress and Thought Hemorrhage. Game 2 started and it turned out that it was some form of Bant Aggro. I was beaten by a hard to kill Deft Duelist. Correcting my mistake, I put back Terminate and used all my Jund Charms to kill the annoying shroud critter. Won with 2 Bloodbraid Elf netting Maelstorm Pulse and Terminate on the right situation.

Standing 1-0

Round 2 vs Naya AggroJund Charm.full
Knight of the Reliquary is going to be an expensive card now. Freaking Knight turned into a 9/9 with the help of several fetchlands.  Also frustrating is the Wild Nacatl. Scute Mob was not that good IMO. For sideboarding, I side –in additional Terminates and a set of Jund Charm, replacing the Bituminous Blast and a copy of Broodmate Dragon. On one occasion, he attacked 2 of his Knight of Reliquary that was already 6/6. I cast Jund Charm, removing his graveyard, and blocked the Knights. My most memorable moment here is when I won with one remaining life points. I looked at my scratch pad and saw that if I hadn’t played one Akoum Refuge, I would have lost that round.

Standing 2-0

Round 3 vs UB ControlSprouting Thrinax.full
This was, by far, the easiest match I had. One of my favorite moments here was when I played Thrinax on the fourth turn. I then tapped my Oran-Rief to put a +1/+1 counter on it. My opponent responded by killing the Thrinax. The fun part is, since the +1/+1 from Oran-Rief was still on the stack, I got 3x 2/2 green Saproling tokens. On game 2, I sided-in the Duress and removed the Bituminous Blast and Terminates. Bloodbraid Elf pretty much wins the game for me which often cascaded to Blightnings.

Blightning.full

Standing 3-0

Round 4 vs NayaTerminate.full
First game was when I felt the absence of Verdant Catacombs. I didn’t get any green mana producing lands for the entire game. I did what I could with what I have, Blightning-ed him on quite a few occasion, bolting his creatures, but having no creature myself just wouldn’t cut it. On game 2, I again side-in Jund Charms and Terminate again replacing the pretty much useless Bituminous Blast and a copy of Broodmate Dragon. This is when I fully enjoyed Jund Hackblade. A second turn Putrid Leech, third turn Jund Hackblade, fourth turn Bloodbraid Elf pretty much killed the Naya. The same situation pretty much happened on game 3. One awesome moment was when I attacked my Putrid Leech and pumped it, even though he had a mountain untapped. Of course, he lightning bolted the Leech. I then responded with a Jund Charm, placing 2 +1/+1 counter on the leech. The 4/4 leech then went on to dominate the board. I later learned that he was debating on using his Naya Charm against my leech in response but opted instead to return his Baneslayer Angel which was discarded earlier via the best 3cc spell in the format. Speaking of Baneslayer Angel, my opponent was only able to play him one time. It netted him 5 life and one creature kill before getting her overrated ass handed to her by a common Terminate.

Standing 4-0

Round 5 vs Jund (1st Mirror Match)Great Sable Stag.full
First loss. Nothing much to say here. I got mana screwed on game 1. I was able to get a win on game 2 via the most awesome sideboard in the format, Goblin Ruinblaster. I then lost on game 3 with 3 freaking copies of Lightning Bolt in the span of 2 turns along with an almost un-killable Great Sable Stag.

Standing 4-1

Round 6 vs Another freaking JundGoblin Ruinblaster.fullOne thing that I noticed in playing against Jund is that it always comes down to who was not mana screwed whether by natural unluckiness of shuffling or to the most awesome sideboard in the format, the Goblin Ruinblaster. Anyway, got mana screwed on game 1 and lost fair and square on game 3. And also I’m starting to have love/hate feelings towards Great Sable Stag.

Standing 4-2

Round 7 vs Yet another Jund deckLotus Cobra.full
Well this match I won. And guess how? He got mana screwed on game 2 and 3. This is also the first match where I was able to actually win with my Broodmate Dragon. The only interesting thing that happened here was when I didn’t burn my opponent’s Lotus Cobra. The moment I declined to kill it and played a Thrinax instead, all the onlookers were shouting “OMG, the cobra lives!” My opponent then proceeded to do the fetchland combo with it and was able to cast Bituminous Blast, cascading to Bloodbraid Elf, cascading to a Blightning. Luckily, a couple of Bloodbraid Elves, showed the Cobra how Jund wins.

Standing 5-2

Round 8 vs guess what? JUND!!!Vampire Nighthawk.fullWell this Jund is a bit different. It has a Vampire Lacerator and Vampire Nighthawk. Was the new tech good? Well, we weren’t able to test its effectiveness as game 1 was won because of mana screw. Game 2 was a lost for me because of mana screw. I win on game 3 because of, you guessed it, mana screw. Seriously, with 25 lands, I just don’t understand how we Jund still suffer from mana screw.

Standing 6-2

Here are the things that I learned:Baneslayer Angel.full

Baneslayer Angel and Lotus Cobra are overpriced. They are indeed strong but don’t warrant their current price tag.

Verdant Catacombs.full
I am torn between playing Verdant Catacombs or not. On one hand, it’s a great mana fixer; on the other hand it lessens the chance of drawing another land, which can sometimes hurt. There is also the issue about its insane price, freaking hoarders.

Great Sable Stag is a must, but not because of Vampires, that’s just overkill. More often than not, you’ll be matched against another Jund. The stag would be a very good creature as it can only be killed by a Lightning Bolt, a “kicked” Burst Lightning, or if he blocks or gets blocked by a 3 powered-or-more-non-black creature which in my case is just the Bloodbraid Elf.Bituminous Blast.fullBituminous Blast has minimal use and would be removed on my deck to be replaced by a main deck Goblin Ruinblaster. I feel that the Goblin deserves a promotion from a bench player to a starter. I would also remove a copy of Broodmate Dragon so as to accommodate a fourth copy of the Goblin.

So I made it to the Top 8 earning me 4 Zendikar boosters plus a bye on the Gold Rush tournament this December. I plan on playing a few more tournaments and hope to get the maximum byes of 3.

Finally got the four booster packs. Got an Arid Mesa and a Nissa Revane, lucky!

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GDAP Block Beta Testing


Today would be the pre-release of the GDAP block Magic: the Gathering card set. Click here to download the zip file. This is still in the beta stage and I would welcome your opinion on card mechanics.

I hope that MTG players new and old can give their inputs. Even non-gamedev can comment with regards to balancing and card interactions. Hopefully, people would take their time to comment so that I can release the final product by first week of October.

GDAP Block Preview Week: Day 10


Hi all and welcome to the tenth GDAP block preview article.

We have had people and locations previewed in the past weeks. Now we are previewing an event.

This event is something no AE of 2006 will forget. Some AE of 2007 may even know of this event due to the existence of the Banghouse.

After I preview the card, I won’t leave any information nor any back story. I’ll leave that part on my readers. The comment page is there, make use of it. And if no one comments, so much the better.

Amazing Race