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Grand Prix Manila Grinders and Day One Decks

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Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event.

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Grand Prix Manila, Day Zero

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I met up with Switch and Alex at the venue (Megatrade hall in SM Megamall) early and got in by 10 am. I had originally been planning to play the grinders with Kithkin; but since I was planning to play five-color control in the main event I figured I might as well get some practice in and hopefully get 3 byes.

However, I was unable to assemble it in the morning; so I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 minutes to assemble it after signing up for the second trial. The mistake was that I didn’t have a 5-color control decklist to reference, and I built it with only 25 lands. We had to buy Runed Halos from the dealers (they were a bit cheap)

The 25 land count would come back to haunt me, as I kept a two-land hand in the first round of the first trial and never recovered. I believe my opponent then was from South Korea and was playing Doran. I quickly lost and was thus eliminated from the trial.

Stubbornly, I thought it was only bad luck and went in for another trial. In round one I faced a Kithkin player from Singapore. I was able to keep him under control and win in two games. In round two I faced Elementals, a pretty bad matchup for 5-color control in general, but even worse when I only had 25 lands! Two Fulminator mages sealed game one for him, and in game two I managed to get myself hit by Mind Shatter for 5! Obviously I quickly lost and was dropped from the trial.

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“Ang brutal naman ng trials!” –Alex

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Alex gave it a try as well, playing Kithkin, but lost in round one of his trial as well.

Switch on the other hand, had decided to give limited a try, playing sealed deck in the Super FNM tournament. He only managed a 1-2 record before dropping; at least he had a card pool with a Reflecting Pool!

We spent the rest of the day watching grinders, trading and building a deck for Switch. We had decided to assemble an elementals build for him and the Reflecting Pool he got from the Super FNM would help.

At the end of the day, more than 480 players had signed up for the Grand Prix. The turnout would be larger than expected.

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Grand Prix Manila, Day One

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Switch, Alex and I again made it to the venue early. Paul made it just before they closed off registration. The turnout was a lot more than expected and the venue couldn’t handle it, so they had to cut the registrants at 640.

These are the decks we played:

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Roy

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, playing

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Five-Color Knuckle-Breaker Control

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I have Call the Skybreaker here because I wanted a finisher and didn’t feel like looking for an Oona. Skybreaker seems like it would be awesome in the long game for the mirror. I almost didn’t play the 3 Broken Ambitions; I initially had 2 Negate and 1 Crib Swap in that slot, but on the way to the venue I figured the early game defense was better.

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Switch,

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playing

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Elementals

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The manabase here is pretty iffy. We basically tossed in whatever spare duals we had and looked for a third Primal Beyond to assemble this deck. Those Colossuses were signed by Darrel Riche after round five!

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Paul

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, playing

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Mirror Master

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Paul came in and I handed him the Kithkin deck he would be playing, and we had a few test games; him so that he actually knows how to play his deck, and me so that I would actually know how to beat Kithkin.

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Alex

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playing

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Necroskitter

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(Alex, this was the last decklist you gave me, just tell me if it’s wrong)

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The Demigods were a last-minute addition to the sideboard because after building all four decks we didn’t have any deck that would use them. We also had four Bitterblossoms that went unused.

Next: Tournament Reports!

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