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Grand Prix Manila -- Snafubar and the Road to the Grand Prix

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magic-the-gathering

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.


Cast of Characters

It was about three weeks before the Grand Prix, and I still had no idea what I was going to play. I didn’t have a regular playtest group, and I needed some people to bounce ideas off. I formed a mailing list on Yahoo Groups and added the following (last names withheld unless they request it):

Mike "Switch" – Switch and I have known each other forever and basically started playing Magic around the same time. Mostly participating in Limited events/prereleases, the Grand Prix would be his second Constructed event ever.

Paul "I’ll just wing it" – Primarily a limited/prerelease player as well, Paul’s most serious constructed efforts was classic U/W control. You know, with Tundras/Wraths/Swords to Plowshares/whatever. Paul doesn’t play often, but he said he wanted to play, so I said we’d just build him a deck that would be easy to play. Translation: Kithkin

Alex "Necroskitter guy" – Former co-worker and one of the last 2 among the former Magic players at my office to still be playing (the other one is me), Alex plays in both constructed and limited events. Alex would be the one to come up with our team name and would be playing a Necroskitter deck for the GP.

And thus Team Snafubar was born.


Decks!

In the end, we never did manage to get much playtesting done (mostly because I’m lazy) beyond a few matches on MWS. But we did manage to bounce around some deck ideas, some crazy and off-the-wall. I was looking for some innovative new deck to play, trying to break the format on its last week.

Here’s a sampling of the decklists that were conceptualized and proposed to the group (None of these ever went past MWS test games!)


God Green

Creatures

4 Devoted Druid
4 Fertile Ground
3 Cloudthresher
3 Chameleon Colossus
3 Deus of Calamity
3 Oversoul of Dusk

Spells
4 Lash Out
4 Nameless Inversion
4 Firespout
2 Makeshift Mannequin
2 Garruk Wildspeaker

Lands

2 Fire-lit Thicket
2 Graven Cairns
1 Twilight Mire
2 Gilt-Leaf Palace
4 Reflecting Pool
4 Vivid Grove
5 Forest
2 Mountain
2 Swamp


Dramatic Spike

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  Creatures
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  4 Devoted Druid<br /> 4 Quillspike<br /> 4 Soul Snuffers<br /> 2 Shriekmaw<br /> 3 Cloudthresher<br /> 4 Woodfall Primus
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  Spells<br /> 3 Dramatic Entrance<br /> 3 Rite of Consumption<br /> 3 Makeshift Mannequin<br /> 4 Nameless Inversion<br /> 3 Fertile Ground
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  Lands<br /> 4 Gilt-Leaf Palace<br /> 4 Twilight Mire<br /> 4 Reflecting Pool<br /> 8 Forest<br /> 5 Swamp
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  <strong><br /> Scarecrows!<br /> </strong>
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    Creatures
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    4 Fang Skulkin<br /> 4 Scarecrone<br /> 4 Chameleon Colossus<br /> 4 Taurean Mauler<br /> 3 Reaper King<br /> 3 Horde of Notions
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    Spells
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  4 Firespout<br /> 4 Lash Out<br /> 4 Nameless Inversion<br /> 2 Makeshift Mannequin
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  Lands
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4 Vivid Crag
4 Vivid Grove
4 Primal Beyond
4 Reflecting Pool
4 Fire-Lit Thicket
4 Mountain


Wither Skitter

Creatures

4 Necroskitter
4 Corrosive Mentor
4 Doran, the Siege Tower
4 Treefolk Harbinger
4 Order of Whiteclay
4 Stillmoon Cavalier
3 Reveillark
27

Spells
4 Unmake
4 Nameless Inversion
1 Crib Swap

24 lands

Too bad we didn’t have the cards to assemble that last one. Looked fun.


Knights!

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  Creatures
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  4 Figure of Destiny<br /> 4 Knight of Meadowgrain<br /> 4 Order of the Golden Cricket (baduy)<br /> 4 Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers<br /> 4 Stillmoon Cavalier<br /> 3 Chameleon Colossus<br /> 4 Wilt-Leaf Liege<br /> 3 Kinsbaile Cavalier
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  Spells
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4 Unmake
3 Pollen Lullaby (tech)

Lands
4 Wooded Bastion
4 Vivid Meadow
4 Reflecting Pool
11 Plains

This one was a bit too cute, and would not have won one game against Kithkin. But you have to admit the possibility of double-striking Chameleon Colossus is attractive.


The Plan

In the meantime, I decided to assemble a netdeck that I could PTQ with until I could think of a better deck to play. In the worst case, I would play my PTQ deck in the Grand Prix itself.

I went with a tweaked version of Shuhei Nakamura’s Greedy Deck/“PWC Special” from GP Kobe. See

PTQ Berlin I results

and

PTQ Berlin II results

for how well that went.

In the end, I wasn’t getting enough of a winning percentage from this deck as I had hoped. On the Monday before the Grand Prix, the only decks we were sure to be playing (and had already been assembled) were Paul’s Kithkin and Alex’s Necroskitter deck. I proposed the following plan: For the grinders on Friday, I would play the Kithkin deck, and we would assemble Switch’s deck on that same day. For the GP proper, I would assemble a five-color control deck similar to Gerry Thompson’s GP-winning decklist.

Next: The Grinders

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