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City Champs Trials III 2008: Reveillark Blink

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The tournament format is Morningtide standard, 09 March at NG Galleria. My decklist, pirated from Benjamin Peebles-Mundy, with slight modifications :

Tournament report follows.

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Round 1: 1-2 loss vs Monoblack Rogues

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Not a good start. This was one of the aggro matchups my scant playtesting focused on, so I already knew it was a beating. The Windborn Muses in the board were my reaction to the bad matchup vs this deck and Faeries. They weren’t in Peebles original decklist which made top 8 at the SCG 5k, but he recommended the tech in the forums. Still it wasn’t very effective against this particular build, due to 3

[Cloak and Dagger][1]

which he just put on a single attacker with Fear. In hindsight, I should have boarded in at least one Moat as well.

Also, I should probably learn to mulligan better. I kept a suboptimal hand in game one and missed land drops on turns three and four, and only had a lens on turn five.

Sideboarding: -3 Mirror Entity, -3 Bonded Fetch, +3 Windborn Muse, +3 Aven Riftwatcher.

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Round 2: 2-0 win vs Snow Red

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This matchup is so one-sided, I see no way for the red deck to win this matchup especially if I draw Venser which I did both games.

I did the Reveillark combo in game 1, which is the only time I was able to for the entire tournament.

Sideboarding: -1 Riftwing Cloudskate, -1 Mirror Entity, -1 Bonded Fetch, +3 Aven Riftwatcher

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Round 3: 2-0 win vs Monowhite Kithkin

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I stabilized at 5 life in game one and at 4 life in game two. Scary, but the UW deck easily gains control. He made a bad decision to O-Ring my 2nd turn Prismatic Lens in game 2, when I had the Moat two turns later. I only had a Mulldrifter on offense, but since I had both the Magus and Teferi’s Moats on the board, he just scooped.

Sideboarding: -3 Riftwing Cloudskate, +2 Teferi’s Moat, +1 Magus of the Moat

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Round 4: 1-2 loss vs Monoblue Merfolk

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This was heartbreaking. The build was a rogue deck that worked surprisingly well against Reveillark-Blink. Curse that

[Lord of Atlantis][2]

and his islandwalk! I also made a mistake in sideboarding here since I should have brought in the Moats, instead of the do-nothing Riftwatchers. I need to make better sideboarding choices.

Sideboarding: -1 Riftwing Cloudskate, -1 Mirror Entity, -1 Bonded Fetch, +3 Aven Riftwatcher

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Round 5: 2-1 win vs Monogreen Aggro

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I lost game one to a

[Stonewood Invocation][3]

(Really? Who plays that?). Game two, he just scooped after seeing me play both types of Moats. Game three he doesn’t have the Llanowar Elf on turn one, and I have him under control early. He tries playing

[Spectral Force][4]

for three turns in a row, I get virtual time walks from Venser + Blink.

Sideboarding: -3 Riftwing Cloudskate, -1 Mirror Entity, -1 Bonded Fetch, +2 Teferi’s Moat, +1 Magus of the Moat, +2 Sower of Temptation

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Round 6: 1-2 loss vs Monoblack Rogues

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Game one I lose to the bad matchup obviously. Game two he keeps a one-lander with like 5 one-drops, but I show him the Windborn Muse on turn three, and a second one two turns later. Game three is a heartbreaker, and reminds me that I really need to be careful with my plays under pressure as I tend to give away games that I should have won.

His board is like six ground guys, including Stinkdrinker Bandit, plus Marsh Flitter.

I’m at 4 life. My board is Magus of the Moat and Body Double (copying Mulldrifter). and a Cloudskate. I had spent most of the game burning my two blinks on the Body Double to draw into the combo so that I could win despite my precarious situation. I already have the Entity in the yard, along with every other possible creature except for the Reveillark and the Body Double. Finally, with 10 mana available, I draw into the Reveillark.

Since I’m an aggro player by nature, I know how to smell victory, and drawing the Reveillark told me I could win on that turn. So I went ahead and evoked it. Then I looked through the graveyard to get two guys I realized

_

I couldn’t combo while the Body Double was still in play!

_

Mentally, I panicked, and decided to just get the Entity and Mulldrifter, and hope to draw into the last Momentary Blink (to turn my Body Double into a Reveillark). Instead, I drew a Prismatic Lens. Not mindful of the consequence (since I was supposedly still safe behind the moat), leaving 3 mana untapped. Next turn I could use Venser on the Body Double and win the game.

Of course, he top decks into the Nameless Inversion, killing the Magus and taking me out of the tournament in one swing.

Terrible… so many things gone wrong. I should have reserved a blink to protect the Moat. If I hadn’t played the lens, the Mirror Entity could have protected the Moat. Or I could have Venser’ed. I also evoked the Reveillark purely out of instinct, thinking something like I could bring back Cloudskate+ Entity, bounce the Body Double, recast it and win the game, but I wouldn’t have had enough mana for that.

Lack of experience with the deck was partly to blame, since I didn’t have the instinct to recognize that I couldn’t combo with the Body Double in play. Still, I need to address this lack of thinking-through my plays since I often turns wins or draws into losses unnecessarily.

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Final record: 3-3-Drop

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Afterthoughts:

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I found it hard getting back into the groove of a whole-day tournament after being out of it for so long, especially playing with a new deck. In the middle of the tournament I found myself so tired and wondering why I’m even still playing competitively given that I make so many bad plays. With so many other things vying for my time I could easily justify quitting tournament magic for a while. But that last game was a bit invigorating, it made me wake up to a challenge to improve my game. I’ll be back next week for the last Trials; and for the City Champs as well.

[1]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Cloak and Dagger [2]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Lord of Atlantis [3]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Stonewood Invocation [4]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Spectral Force

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