Wearing dice on my head since 2008 Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart. Randomly amazed.

Regionals 2008

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Regionals was today, 18-May. The format was standard and I went to play at Galleria.

I have a mixed track record for regionals. During Regionals 2006, I went 1-4-drop with a rogue deck of my own design. During Regionals 2007 I played Korlash/Mishra built by Flores, going 5-and-3.

I was debating whether I would even go to play in the tournament, as I was totally unprepared and was quite tired. I figured a straight aggro deck would be fine, as I didn’t want to play Reveillark again for the expected nine rounds. I lent out the merfolk deck, so I cobbled together a build of Elves the night before instead:

  • 4 Treetop Village
  • 19 Forest
  • 4 Llanowar Elves
  • 3 Elvish Hexhunter
  • 3 Riftsweeper
  • 4 Wolf-SKull Shaman
  • 4 Wren's Run Vanquisher
  • 4 Imperious Perfect
  • 4 Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers
  • 3 Jagged-Scar Archers
  • 3 Wilt-Leaf Liege
  • 3 Tower Above
  • 2 Overrun
  • 3 Tormod's Crypt
  • 3 Primal Command
  • 3 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Cloudthresher
  • 2 Squall Line
  • 2 Chameleon Colossus

I figured the Riftsweepers, Jagged-Scar and Hexhunters main gave me good game against the consensus best deck of the format (Faeries), and the relatively large size of my men, plus Finks and Primal Command in the board meant I would have favorable odds against other aggro. Control decks with Wrath of God will probably be either a coin flip or an uphill battle, although the Treetops will help. I hoped I wouldn’t meet any Reveillark or Wrath-based decks.

Round 1: Monogreen Elves vs WGr Mana Ramp

Wow, the first matchup had both Wrath and Firespout via Glittering Wish. Good portents. I won game one with an Overrun with five creatures in play. Before combat, a Jagged-Scar shot down Akroma (the White) with nine points worth of Jagged arrows, then I swung for 16ish to win.

I boarded -3 Riftsweeper, -1 Wolf-Skull Shaman, bringing in 2 Chameleon Colossus (to fight his big creatures) and 2 Cloudthresher (to eat Akroma)

In game two, I was taking beats from two Oversouls, but was one turn from winning off Overrun when he cast Primal Command for 7 life and Akroma, giving him enough to stay alive and finish me off.

I board out -1 Hexhunter (didn’t see any Oblivions Rings), -3 Jagged Scar, +3 Kitchen Finks (better against Wrath), +1 Wolf-Skull Shaman.

I draw my seven for game three and see Forest, Llanowar, Wren’s Run Vanquisher, Imperious Perfect, Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers WIlt-Leaf Liege. I figure what the hell, I have gas, and drawing a second forest will put me over the top. I keep.

My opponent mulligans his seven, then agonizes over the six before mulliganning again to five.

I play Forest, Llanowar, go. He drops a land, go.

I draw Llanowar Elf. I play Vanquisher, go. He drops a land, go.

I draw some non-land thing. I swing with the Vanquisher, then tap the forest to play Llanowar Elf. _ (Misplay here obviously, the other llanowar should have attacked!)_ He drops a land, go.

I draw a third Llanowar. I play Imperious Perfect using the forest and two llanowars. I swing with Vanquisher for four. He drops to thirteen. Go. He plays the fourth land, and if he plays Wrath, I’m basically done. He looks over his hand and I know he doesn’t have the Wrath. He plays Mwonvuli Acid Moss, taking away my only land. (I suppose he boarded them in to slow-down me getting to Overrun mana). He searches his library before finally settling on Highland Weald. He’s looking at ten damage next turn, so the Wealed optimizes his chance of topdecking either Wrath, Firespout, or Glittering Wish to get Firespout.

(Did you spot the misplay in this paragraph?)

I draw a forest and play it, then swing for ten. He’s at three life. He windmills the top card – and it’s a Wooded Bastion. He scoops.

Game record: 2-1

Match record: 1-0

I felt pretty good, going up against a Wrath deck and winning (mostly due to lucking out in the third game?). It’s a bit of a struggle, but chances are I wouldn’t face any more such decks right?

Round 2: Monogreen Elves vs WG Mana Ramp

Right. His deck is more solid, I lose mostly to him reloading off Harmonizes while I run out of gas.

Game record: 2-3

Match record: 1-1

Round 3: Monogreen Elves vs GWU Reveillark

Oh wow. If regular UW Reveillark was a tough matchup, this one is even worse, since he has green both to gain life and tutor for creatures (Primal Command) AND accelerate. I’m going home early.

Game record: 2-5

Match record: 1-2

Summary: 1-2 Drop

Well, if it’s one thing I’ve learned during the past few weeks of mediocre performances: it’s usually not worth to keep going after taking two losses. Playing today might very well have been a mistake; if I didn’t have trading meetups set for the day, I probably wouldn’t have gone at all. It was 4 PM and there were six more rounds to go, I wasn’t going to bother.

Will I make it to Nationals this year? I don’t know – the ratings cutoff is still a month away, and I’m only two 5-2 finishes away from making it (assuming I didn’t lose too much today). In any case, time to focus on block constructed for GPTs…