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The Philippine Open tournaments (one Standard and one Block) are held as side events to the Philippine Nationals. (I was not qualified obviously). I played in the block portion last Saturday, August 9 at Robinson's Galleria. I played a version of the PWC Special from GP Kobe, the so-called "Greedy Deck"

As usual, assembled the day before with zero playtesting. I've been busy for the past two weeks so was not able to think of Magic during that time period...

Round 1: PWC Special vs Demigod deck wins

I had actually assembled the Demigod deck wins deck the day before, intending to play it, but later changed my mind when I decided I wanted to play something with Cryptic Command. Going in, I had an idea that my matchup against red was not very good (same as Faeries I guess), so I groaned inwardly when my opponent started with a mountain and a Figure of Destiny. This was not a good matchup to play my first game with this deck. I lost the two games without putting up much of a fight.

Games: 0-2, Matches: 0-1

Round 2: PWC Special vs BRg Goblins

Apparently, the "g" here is for the flying side of Firespout. My opponent started game one with Mountain, Tattermunge Maniac. I play a land and pass. He swings with Maniac, I drop to 18. I play another land and pass. He swings with Maniac, I drop to 16. He prowls out Earwig Squad (!) and I lost 3 Cryptic Commands from my deck. EOT, Nameless Inversion on the Earwig Squad. I play a land and a Banneret. He swings with the Maniac again. I don't want to trade my mana discount for 2 points of damage, so I let it through and drop to 14. Obviously, he has a second Earwig Squad, this time taking out 3 Reejereys from my deck (I was holding the fourth Cryptic Command, obv.) I play another Nameless Inversion for 1 black mana, then untap and lay down a Bitterblossom. Quite possibly a mistake, as he then plays a Squeaking Pie Sneak and a Mad Auntie, then swing with the Maniac for 3. Next turn he plays a second Mad Auntie, and my lone Faerie token won't be able to hold off those hordes. I scoop for game two.

I sigh and wonder if I'll be going home early. I board out 1 Bitterblossom, 1 Mirror Entity, bringing in 2 Eyeblight's Ending.

The second game goes quick; he doesn't have much action and I have a turn 2 Bitterblossom. I hold him off with Peppersmokes and Nameless Inversions while accumulating Faeries, then bring down the surprise Mirror Entity to win.

Game three is anticlimatic, as he draws no black sources and my fish easily stomp over him.

Games: 2-3, Matches: 1-1

Round 3: PWC Special vs Faeries

He mulls to six in game one, and I have a Bitterblossom first. He gets me down to one, but I resolve a Mirror Entity and the tokens swarm in for twelve damage to win the game.

He mulls to five and I don't take a single point of damage in this game.

Games: 4-3, Matches: 2-1

Round 4: PWC Special vs Doran

I win the first game since my Bitterblossom came out before his. I board in Wispmares for his Blossoms.

Game two I lose to a turn four Chameleon Colossus that I have no answer for.

Game three I made a play mistake that may have cost me the game. He had Doran out and was beating down, I had Wispmare and Nameless Inversion in hand but didn't play out the Wispmare, still hoping to catch a Bitterblossom (which I later found he sided out!) After passing the turn, I realized I could've killed Doran with those two cards and the Wispmare would survive to counterattack. I did that play the following turn and got rid of Doran, then started rallying with a Bitterblossom. We hit the time limit here, but due to Bitterblossom I would die in turn four of extra time; meaning I had to win with a lethal attack on turn two. It's turn one; I'm at two life and he has no blockers; he plays out Treefolk Harbinger and tutors for Crib Swap, putting it on top. That Crib Swap didn't matter; what mattered was the Crib Swap he had in hand. On turn two, during my upkeep, I drop to one life and he turns one of the active Faeries into a changeling, and suddenly I'm short by one point of damage to win the game (the Harbinger can block my ground guy!). I need to topdeck: any sort of removal (to clear the blocker) or Wispmare (to clear the Bitterblossom) or Cryptic Command. I go into my draw step and rip... a swamp.

I'm signing the result slip and I keep thinking about if I had played that Wispmare a turn earlier, I would've had an extra point of damage to work with...

Games: 5-5, Matches -2

At this point, I'm thinking of going home and back to the metaphorical drawing board, but the people I'm playing with convince me to keep going.

Round 5: PWC Special vs Monoblue Merfolk/Wizards

Hooray, someone actually made a deck with the Sage of Fables/Glen Elendra Archmage combination!

I lose game one for some reason, but then I board in Pollen Lullabies. I never win the clash on these things, but the fog effect is more than enough to win me games two and three.

Games: 7-6, Matches: 3-2

Round 6: PWC Special vs Doran

Game one he has only two lands for like five turns, so it's a blowout.

Game two he puts up a fight and we reach a stall where has Doran and Vexing Shusher on the ground at nine life, I'm at ten life with Bitterblossom, some faeries and some fish on the ground. On his turn he declines the attack and instead goes for Profane Command for eight (not even reserving mana for the Shusher!), losing me 8 life and taking out one of my Reejereys. He figures he'll just stall the ground with Doran and Shusher and let my own Bitterblossom take me down. I've been chump blocking the Doran with Faerie tokens for several turns now, so he figures I have no removal among the two cards in my hand. He finds out he's wrong when I show two Eyeblight's Ending at EOT, leaving him open. I swing with everyone without even counting, and it's exactly nine points of damage, enough to win the game.

Games: 9-6, Matches: 4-2

One more round, rankings are up and I'm at 22. Top 16 still within reach!

Round 7: PWC Special vs Red/Black Demigod Deck Wins

Game one I got hit with a Stigma Lasher, but the Stigma has no effect on me. I stabilize at around 10 life with a blossom in play and manage to take the game.

Game two he goes turn one Figure of Destiny; turn two attack, pump; turn three Ram-Gang, attack for 5, etc. I make a misplay when I let one of my tribal lands come into play tapped on turn two (instead of leaving mana open for the Nameless Inversion in my hand.)

Game three is too close, but I correctly counter a Flame Javelin when it matters, leaving him only with a Puncture Blast to shoot me when I'm at five (with Bitterblossom in play of course!) the turn before I swing for lethal.

Final Record: Games: 11-7, Matches: 5-2

X-2 finish is good enough for me to land in the 16th spot, and I win... 3 boosters! The only good rare I get is Cascade Bluffs.

This deck is awesome and fun to play, but having Bitterblossom out against red or doran is really scary and leads to quite close finishes. I don't know yet about the Faerie matchup (only fought one, but seems positive) and the Kithkin matchup (none encountered!), although I think the Pollen Lullaby would work well against the Kith.

Next week: PTQ Berlin!

Mon, Aug. 11, 2008, 3:55 p.m. / / blog / #mtg / Location: Robinsons Galleria / 1431 words

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