Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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I was busy this weekend with Magic: The Gathering. Four of us from the office played at a Nationals Qualifer today at Galleria. I played a custom-built aggro-control blue-white beauty called Azorius-12. Considering that I threw it together at practically the last minute, I think I did fairly well (but not enough to get the Nationals invite). Large turnout; rumor has it more than a hundred and thirty players participated, and NG quickly ran out of chairs and tables to use.

Edit 24-Dec-2008: Decklist migrated from the wiki, removed dead link above (anchor tag retained for posterity):

Deck notes:

  • Named after the 12 Azorius creatures.
  • Awesome thing about this deck is that I only had to borrow 3 cards to build it: Remands. This is also the reason why there are no Hallowed Fountains.
  • First played on 30 July, 2006 – Standard Constructed Nationals Qualifer at Robinson’s Galleria.
  • Built-in spell snare rocks the house. Every deck has something important in the two-slot, and it’s never been a dead draw.
  • The sideboard is rough, because I threw it together in about ten minutes.

(end Edit)

Quick match reports:

Round 1: vs Black-Green aggro

I played a build similar to this deck last week at Eastwood, so I know it pretty well. Spell Snares are reserved for Jittes and Hands of Cruelty. I take a beating in game 2, come back in game 2, and lose game 3 by a close fight despite an Azorius Guildmage holding down the board.

Match record: 1-2, Game record: 0-1 (not a good start)

Round 2: vs Owling Mine

Lost game 1, as I was expecting Vore after the turn 1 Sleight of Hand. Siding in Repeals, Seed Sparks and Arbiters, I easily took games 2 and 3. First-wings provide excellent aggro, but Seed Spark saprolings provide the win.

Match record: 3-3, Game record: 1-1

Round 3: vs Ghost Husk

Hah! Complete and utter domination. There is nothing in black-white aggro that my deck can’t answer. His card advantage pales in comparison to the might of Court Hussar! Game 2 I side in Repeals out of courtesy (if I didn’t board he might think I wasn’t taking him seriously! And Repeals are instant-speed removal… better than Fetters against Husk), but they never show and I still win easily.

Match record: 5-3, Game record: 2-1

Round 4: vs R/G/W Fatties

First game, he never showed any creatures, I won easily with him stuck at 4 land. I was wondering if I would bring in the Wraths, given that I saw R/G/W from the lands. I decide to not board anything and just see what his deck brings out. Turns out he’s playing medium-huge creatures: Burning-Tree Shaman, Firemane Angel, Rumbling Slum. These are the types of decks Faith’s Fetters is made to handle. I win with 10 life to spare.

Match record: 7-3, Game record: 3-1

Round 5: vs Firemane Control

Horror of horrors… I’ve now faced variations on two decks that I played before in Nationals Qualifiers. Unfortunately, Firemane Control was not a matchup I was anticipating… and it’s a pretty bad matchup for me as well. I have no way to stop the recurring Angels / Shard Phoenix (no Azorius GMs show up to save the day), and my creatures are too small to overtake his awesome lifegain. This deck packs Isperia the Inscrutable!

Match record: 7-5, Game record: 3-2

Round 6: vs “Equipment Deck”

I have no idea what this deck is called. Basically relies on Godo, Bandit Warlord, Firemane Angel and Sunforger searches to win. I won game 1 due to my awesome weenies. Game 2 our life totals were 21-37 when the round ended… he had a Godo, an Angel, 2 Sunforgers and Tatsumasa out, but the board was locked by a single Azorius GM backed by around 17 lands. Best play: he manages to draw a helix to hit my GM, and I had no cards left in hand. I cast Remand and draw a card. He casts the Helix again, the GM dies and he passes the turn. Then I show him the GM I drew from the Remand…

Match record: 8-5, Game record: 4-2

Still have a chance to win packs! (Probably not the invite though)

Round 7: vs B/W aggro

eh, I dominate this guy even more than the Ghost Husk from earlier. I win so quickly I forget to pick up an Ensaymada I had brought to the table.

Match record: 10-5, Game record: 5-2

Round 8: vs Sea Stompy

This U/G/R aggro-control deck is simply awesome. The guy I’m fighting also beat me in Eastwood the week before, and I still don’t know what to do against his deck! The deck relies on cheap and quick threats (Kird Ape, or BoP into Ninja of the Deep Hours), and always leaves two mana open at the end of each turn for Mana Leak, Remand or the ever-so-awesome Plaxmanta. He takes game 1 quickly; I side in Wraths for the first time, then manage to win Game 2 after a bit of dragging out. Game 3 we trade blows and counters for a while. But eventually he manages to get out a Jitte’d Rumbling Slum which I pitifully chump block with a few Heralds before giving up.

Match record: 11-7, Game record: 5-3

I finish at 35th place… not bad, but not enough to get an invite. I’m wondering if I’m still going to play at next Saturday’s qualifier… which is the last chance for me as I don’t plan to go to Baguio to play. But, how can I tweak my deck further to win?

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