The tournament was held last 29-March at Neutral Grounds Galleria. The format was Standard and my deck was Heavyweight Ramp. 256 people, 9 rounds (!)
I debated internally whether to just play ‘Lark (which I had played for the last two tournaments) or play with my last-minute list above that had a better game against Faeries (in theory!). I didn’t want to play a UW control deck for five rounds, so we go Mana Ramp.
Round 1: BG Elves
Game one goes long, he stalls the ground with a lot of elves while I’m holding him off with Walls and Colossi. I’m at 9 and a Troll Ascetic with a Warhammer has gotten him to 36. After burning 3 Harmonizes I finally get a Sulfurous blast and wipe his side, going down to six. Unfortunately, the the Ascetic and 2 Treetop Villages survived, making it too dangerous to counterattack. I already have a Disintegrate in hand, so I just need to wait for the Hostility to win the game with. Unfortunately, he draws Profane Command before I draw Hostility.
Game two he has no blockers on turn two so I foolishly send in the Treetop, which of course gets sent to the ‘yard via Nameless Inversion. I stall on land afterwards and never recover. Funny, I remember another Green player making the exact same mistake against me on turn 2 when I used to play Mannequin – I need to learn from my opponents’ mistakes as well.
0-2 games, 0-1 matches (Not a good start obviously)
Round 2: UBW Hakkon Reanimator
I’m at table 100! The opponent’s deck is fun with lots of neat graveyard interactions. Unfortunately, the power level is not that high, and I win in 2.
2-2 games, 1-1 matches
Round 3: G/W Mana Ramp
Game one I gain a ton of life from triple Condemn; He plays Crovax and next turn he casts Primal Command for Akroma, Angel of Wrath. I untap and play Hostility. Crovax blocks and returns to hand., taking him from 27 life to 25. He untaps and plays Akroma. End of his turn, cast Incinerate, creating 3 3/1 tokens. Cast Skred to kill Wall of Roots (blocker). My turn, untap, draw. Incinerate, creating 3 more tokens. Disintegrate for 5, creating 5 more tokens. Attack with 11 tokens + Hostility, 39 damage on the board and only Akroma as the blocker… nick deck.
Game two… my notes make it appear that I just played a fatty and pummelled him to death.
4-2 games 2-1 matches
Round 4: UB Faeries
Wow! This is the matchup I was prepared for! I should totally dominate this.
Obviously, my lack of play testing killed me here.
Game one I cleared his Faeries with spot removal, then when the coast was clear, inexplicably decided to hardcast a Cloudthresher (“Now it’s my turn to attack!") Of course he played the Sower, and I was out of burn. Trying to go aggro when I was obviously the control in this matchup… “Misassignment of role = game loss”
Game two I played a bit better, and the game went long, but I still lost to a misplay. I needed to play a 3 damage burn spell so that Bitterblossom would kill him, and having both Incinerate and Sulfurous Blast in my hand, I went for the greedy blast, hoping to clear away the Faeries on board as well. Of course I then got hit by an Rune Snag that I could’ve paid for if I had played the Incinerate instead! I got too greedy and didn’t think it through… clearing the Faeries on board wouldn’t have mattered as long as I won the game.
4-4 games 2-2 matches
Round 5: UB Mannequin
Easy, I win in two games. Nothing of note happened. Even when I was playing Mannequin before I knew Mana Ramp wasn’t a good matchup.
6-4 games, 3-2 matches
Round 6: BR Goblins
After hitting me with the trigger off Earwig Squad, he commented that my build was very unusual obviously anti-Faerie. Luckily, the deck is good against BR Goblins as well. Between Colossus, Sulfurous Blast and Pyroclasm out of the board, he doesn’t have much chance.
I so wanted to board in the Heavyweights here, given that I hadn’t had a chance to play them yet, but I was afraid that he might have had either Gargadon or Shriekmaw.
8-4 games, 4-2 matches
Round 7: UB Faeries
I play a lot better this time, and the maindeck Spectral Force goes to work, tearing across Bitterblossom Tokens like nobody’s business.
10-4 games, 5-2 matches. I haven’t played a game 3 yet, and with two more wins I still have a very small chance to make top 8!
Round 8: UB Faeries
My third Faeries matchup today. I easily win game one due to the 6 board sweepers in the deck. I must have had some sort of fattie as I have a record of him going from 17 to 7 to 0.
Game two I mulligan to five and fall to 2 life before I can muster a good defense. At two life, Threshers and Blasts are useless, so on to game three.
My first game three! We trade blows and go long, eventually I’m at 7 and he’s at 8. I have six lands and am holding both Incinerate and Disintegrate, so I can kill him by EOT 3 damage and Sorcery-speed 5 damage, but I’m afraid of Rune Snag so I wait. Eventually, he resolves a Mistbind Clique that teams up with Conclaves to kill me. After the game he tells me that he boarded out the Rune Snags – apparently it’s a common tactic vs Mana Ramp, something I would have known if I had bothered to do any research on the deck at all.
11-6 games, 5-3 matches
Round 9: UW Reveillark
My opponent and I knows each other from prior tournaments and we’re both known to have used ‘Lark before so he assumes it’s the mirror. Sadly, it’s actually a good matchup for him and I just shake my head as I play turn one Treetop Village. As expected, the Village gets Vensered and Cloudskated before it could do anything useful, and my attempts to Thresher to clear his side of the board are only met with a Pact of Negation. I shake my head and shuffle up for game two.
Finally I get to use my anti-Lark sideboard. I knew coming in that Mana Ramp generally lost to ‘Lark, so I packed ten sideboard cards for the matchup: 4 Cryoclasm, 3 Extirpate and 3 Void. I don’t remember how I boarded, but I reduced my creature count (expecting Moat), keeping only Hostility among my fatties.
And of course… it didn’t go well. I resolved a Void, named five and he showed me his hand full of 2s: Rune Snags, Blinks and Remove Souls. He eventually draws into two Larks, and I don’t have the Extirpates to fight back.
11-8 games, 5-4 matches, finished #95 (won Extended Art Imperious Perfect)
Underperformed again as usual. Of course, given that I came up with the decklist the night before and had zero playtesting I suppose it’s not so bad. And given the 3 faerie decks I faced I don’t think I would have done as well with the Lark deck. This deck is workable but could use a bit of tuning. (Obviously the Heavyweights are such a joke and have to go… ) People don’t usually expect the unusually high amount of burn, and I even have the ability to deal upwards of 30 damage with the Hostility combo, so it’s pretty flexible. I’ll see what I can do to improve the Lark matchup…