The venue is, as always, NG Galleria. The format, Standard. I was playing Mike Flores’ “Legends of Team CMU” – the Mishra/Korlash aggro/control/combo deck that placed seventh in New Jersey Regionals, with a modified sideboard since I couldn’t get all of the cards in time. Flores discusses the deck in detail here (requries a Premium SCG.com account)
Round 1 0-2 Loss vs GUB NarcoBridge (Dregde combo)
Round 2 2-1 Win vs Mono-black Rack
Round 3 1-2 Loss vs Mono-red Burn
Round 4 2-0 Win vs White Weenie
Round 5 0-2 Loss vs Dragonstorm
Round 6 2-0 Win vs Rakdos
Round 7 2-0 Win vs BW Rebel Control
Round 8 2-0 Win vs Gruul
Specific game notes:
Round 1: First game went long, eventually two large grave trolls and a svogthos managed to overwhelm the defense with 5 cards left in his library. I guess I should have mulliganned the 2nd game when I didn’t have either a Crypt or the Leyline, as I died to 20+ zombies on turn 4.
Round 2: Game 1, I went down to 1 he had four racks down and I had three cards in hand. Over the next few turns I brought him down to zero from eighteen while at that precarious state. www.down-to-one.com. Game 2 went fast for him, taking me out with fast discard. Game 3 sees him keep a one-lander. I transmute for Persecute and name black, obviously. Mishra and Korlash walk across and end the game.
Round 3: This deck is very good against aggro. At least the normal Gruul aggro that has like 33% creatures and 33% burn. My opponent here was more like 50% burn. Four Tendrils simply can’t keep up. His deck is an autoloss to Paladin en-Vec + Worship, but it has game over mine. I made a play mistake here in that while I was getting trounced in Game 2, I showed him Korlash (which didn’t show in game 1) in a desperate move to stave off the loss. I lost anyway, and now knowing that I had the Korlash, he boarded in Dead/Gones to handle him in game 3. In the 3rd game, I actually had a naked Cloister on the board for four turns, hoping to draw a Tendrils – I had not drawn any of the four yet at that point. I drew eight cards over four turns from a library of maybe forty cards and didn’t see a single Tendrils. :(
Round 4: He went first, playing Ication Javilineers. I yawned inside. Easy match. I was right.
Round 5: We were 5 turns into game 1 and I hadn’t seen any Lotus Blooms so I was thinking it was some sort of R/U counterburn, and held back on the Rise / Fall until I knew what was going on. Then I died. Game 2, I had the Rise / Fall on turn 2. But I was thinking, “Gee, I don’t wanna waste it and hit lands, I’ll wait for him to play a couple more lands.” Then I lost. Stupid, stupid, stupid play against what should have been a favorable matchup. In my defense, I was really tired and pissed-off at my 2-2 (now 2-3) record. Yeah, bad excuse. Must… stay… in… top… mental… form… (and think about adding Stupors to the board).
Round 6: Most people need to read the Epochrasite when I play it, so I was surprised when the guy just went “Ok” after I played mine on turn 2. it turns out he had some of his own. He had a few Tombstalkers as well, but no Korlash in sight. Easy win once I got out a pair of Cloisters to stop the discard.
Round 7: Blowout. Sorry if he reads this, but his deck isn’t very good. I get to four Epochrasites early in the first game, then back it up with Arrows to take out the rebels. Game 2 was fun, with me at 2 life and no blockers, he swings with a Phyrexian Totem. Tendrils for 9. Ouch, your board is wiped.
Round 8: Again, blowout. The matchup is pretty much as Flores describes it, block with Epoc during early turns, trade one of your legends for card advantage, then climb back quickly with either Korlash or Mishra.
Final record: 5-3, finishing 42nd. Despite my game win ratio, I had the worst tiebreaks of all 5-3s (since I climbed back from a 2-3 deficit). At least it was better than my disastrous 1-4-drop Regionals record last year.
Random mistakes I made:
- Tapping Academy Ruins for mana when I should’ve used it to get back Chromatic Stars (Mishra was in play)
- Playing a Graven Cairns first turn when I had a shockland
- Not being aggressive enough against Dragonstorm
- Random boarding mistakes – I need to keep better track of my sideboard.
On playing net decks: This was the first time I had brought to a tournament a deck that someone else built. Maybe I was growing up. :p Despite my love of being a rogue deckbuilder, I have to admit I haven’t been really successful at it. I realize now that one way to get better is to play some well-designed decks that other people have built so I can learn from their design. I was already playing a Korlash deck prior to this, and had heard of variants that splash blue for various reasons. But I don’t think I would have ever been able to think of this current design – the deck is just crazy. It plays very solidly and randomly gets blowout draws. I will probably play it for at least one more tournament and hope that I actually play a lot better than I did today.