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CardShark Content - Adam Fischer (10/8/2001)

Well the good news is that I did A LOT better at Grand Prix Minneapolis
than I did at GP Denver. The bad news is that I still missed day 2. I
went 5-2 on day 1, which put me at #80 at the end of the day, short of
the top 64. Oh well, it was a decent finish to the season, and I think
it was mostly due to the extra practice I had had with the deck since
Denver.

Since the IBC season is over now, I won't worry so much about talking
about the metagame and focus much less on the individual matches but
instead focus more on some general techniques that I found helpful in
preparing for this or any (though particularly constructed) tournament
season. I'll present the deck commentary first, followed by brief
summaries of my matches, followed the ´´lessons learned´´. Here is the
deck that I used:

Main Deck:
4:Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.

4:Gaea's Skyfolk
Gaea's Skyfolk
Gaea's SkyfolkSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying

4:Kavu Titan
Kavu Titan
Kavu TitanSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
194
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker 2G (You may pay an additional 2G as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Kavu Titan comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it and has trample.


4:Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.

3:Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.

3:Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.

3:Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.


4:Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.

4:Fire/Ice
3:Urza's Rage
Urza's Rage
Urza's RageSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Kicker 8R (You may pay an additional 8R as you play this spell.)Urza's Rage can't be countered by spells or abilities.Urza's Rage deals 3 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, instead Urza's Rage deals 10 damage to that creature or player and the damage can't be prevented.


7:Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

6:Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

4:Shivan Oasis
Shivan Oasis
Shivan OasisSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
327
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Shivan Oasis comes into play tapped.T: Add R or G to your mana pool.

4:Yavimaya Coast
Yavimaya Coast
Yavimaya CoastSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add G or U to your mana pool. Yavimaya Coast deals 1 damage to you.

4:Shivan Reef
Shivan Reef
Shivan ReefSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add U or R to your mana pool. Shivan Reef deals 1 damage to you.


Sideboard:
4:Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.

4:Jungle Barrier
Jungle Barrier
Jungle BarrierSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
106
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
2
Toughness:
6
Text:
(Walls can't attack.) When Jungle Barrier comes into play, draw a card.

4:Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.

3:Tranquility
Tranquility
TranquilitySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
All enchantments in play must be discarded.


Comments on the deck and some of the changes made from last time:

1) 3 Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
instead of a Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
, an Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
, and a Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
:
From what I had seen online and at tournaments I went to, RG, the main
deck against which Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
s were almost useless, was becoming less and
less popular. At the same time, decks such as Domain, UBR, etc., which
were the decks against which Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
was most effective, were gaining
in popularity. Moreover, the old GoMar decks were now packing cards
like Gerrard's Verdict
Gerrard's Verdict
Gerrard's VerdictSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
102
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Target player discards two cards from his or her hand. You gain 3 life for each land card discarded this way.
much more frequently, and Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
is AMAZING vs.
Verdict. All that is why I decided to maindeck the Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
s that were
formerly in the sideboard. They have much more surprise value in game
1. In fact, sometimes if I used Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
in game 1 I might even side it
out for game 2 if I was struggling with what to side out, as my
opponents would often play around it anyway if I left one blue mana
open. The Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
, Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
, and Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
came out because I had
to take out something. Granted the Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
and Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
weakened my
deck slightly against creature-based decks, but I made up for that in
the sideboard. As for the Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
, the Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
s did provide
some added card drawing and I felt that 4 high-casting-cost
card-drawers were sufficient.

2) The fourth Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
instead of the Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
:
Well, I really liked how the bolts worked previously and read in
various tournament reports how useful they were, and I also was seeing
a lot more RWU at tournaments, which meant more Lightning Angel
Lightning Angel
Lightning AngelSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
108
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying; haste (This creature may attack and TAP the turn it comes under your control.) Attacking doesn't cause Lightning Angel to tap.
s, so
that's why it seemed to make sense to swap a Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
for a
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
.

3) 4 Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
in the sideboard:
As previously mentioned, by putting in the Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
s maindeck and taking
out a Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
and an Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
, I had weakened my main deck against
aggressive creature-based decks in general and RG in particular. The
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
s made up for the weakness in games 2 and 3. Plus,
they were also great against the increasing numbers of RWU aggro decks.

4) An additional Tranquility
Tranquility
TranquilitySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
All enchantments in play must be discarded.
in the sideboard:
This was mainly to combat the increasing numbers of Domain decks.


MATCHES:
OK, now on to the matches. As before, I'll talk about what decks I
faced as well as the interesting highlights. There were 100 players,
which meant 7 rounds of swiss followed by a cut to the top 8.

Match 1 vs. RWU Aggro, played by Josh Roman:
I won 2-1. As expected, the Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
s were HUGE in this
matchup - I think I killed 2 Lightning Angel
Lightning Angel
Lightning AngelSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
108
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying; haste (This creature may attack and TAP the turn it comes under your control.) Attacking doesn't cause Lightning Angel to tap.
s with them in game 3
alone.
Match Record: 1-0

Match 2 vs. UBR, played by Sean Wiene:
I won 2-0. Game one I just cast a Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.
and rode it all the
way, which is essentially one of my best ways to with in this matchup.

Match Record: 2-0

Match 3 vs. BWR, played by Matt Hobbs:
I lost 1-2. Game 1 I lost to Goblin Trenches
Goblin Trenches
Goblin TrenchesSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
2, Sacrifice a land: Put two 1/1 red and white Goblin Soldier creature tokens into play.
. Game 2 I won thanks
mainly to Skyfolk and Flametongues. Game 3 was preety interesting. He
was at 14 life with a Nightscape Familiar
Nightscape Familiar
Nightscape FamiliarSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
48
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blue spells and red spells you play cost 1 less to play. 1B: Regenerate Nightscape Familiar
and 2 Blazing Specter
Blazing Specter
Blazing SpecterSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
236
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying; haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)Whenever Blazing Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card from his or her hand.
s on the
board, and 1 card in hand. I was at 10 life with a kicked Kavu Titan
Kavu Titan
Kavu TitanSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
194
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker 2G (You may pay an additional 2G as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Kavu Titan comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it and has trample.

on the board which had just attacked. In my hand I had another Kavu
Titan, Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
, Tranquility
Tranquility
TranquilitySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
All enchantments in play must be discarded.
, and Gaea's Skyfolk
Gaea's Skyfolk
Gaea's SkyfolkSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Merfolk
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
. Unfortunately,
however, I have no burn to deal with the Specters. OK, I figure I'll
just drop another kicked Kavu Titan
Kavu Titan
Kavu TitanSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
194
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker 2G (You may pay an additional 2G as you play this spell.)If you paid the kicker cost, Kavu Titan comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it and has trample.
and outrace him. He'll attack with
his Specters next turn to bring me to 6, but I'll keep the Skyfolk in
hand to cast next turn while bringing him to 5, then on his turn block
one of the 2 Specters to stay up at 4, and then be able to kill him
next turn. Well, this would have been a great plan except on his turn
he cast a THIRD Blazing Specter
Blazing Specter
Blazing SpecterSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
236
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying; haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)Whenever Blazing Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card from his or her hand.
and attacked for 6, causing me to
discard my ENITRE hand, including the Skyfolk! So I lost what ended up
being the deciding match of the day for me.
Match Record: 2-1

Match 4 vs. RWU Aggro, played by Randy Rierson:
I won 2-1. I really was liking this matchup with my new sideboard.
However, game 1 was really scary as he got out Goblin Trenches
Goblin Trenches
Goblin TrenchesSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
2, Sacrifice a land: Put two 1/1 red and white Goblin Soldier creature tokens into play.
and
Lashknife
Lashknife
LashknifeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Hannibal King
Text:
If you control a plains, you may tap an untapped creature you control instead of paying Lashknife's mana cost. Enchanted creature has first strike.
IEJhcnJpZXI=!
Match Record: 3-1

Match 5 vs. BW, played by Rocco Christopher:
I lost 1-2. We split the first 2 games but I had to double-mulligan in
game 3 (a 1-land hand followed by a 1-land hand) and never got going.
Match Record: 3-2

Match 6 vs. GoMar (counter-heavy), played by Zachary Sutherland:
I won 2-1. There was an interesting point in game 1 where I though I
would win it after I double-fired his kicked Desolation Angel
Desolation Angel
Desolation AngelSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
Brom
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kicker WW (You may pay an additional WW as you play this spell.) Flying. When Desolation Angel comes into play, destroy all lands you control. If you paid the kicker cost, destroy all lands instead.
, but he
recovered faster than me. Luckily I won games 2 and 3.
Match Record: 4-2

Match 7 vs. GoMar (discard-heavy), played by Marc Haase:
I won 2-0. Game 1 was interesting as he double-Verdicted,
double-Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
d, and double-Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
ed me, but he never drew any threats
and I had really good draws that enabled me to recover. Plus, he took
LOTS of damage from painlands.
Match Record: 5-2

So I ended up 5-2 but without any byes I knew I didn't really have much
of a chance at making Day 2, and it turned out I was right. Only about
20% of the people at 5-2 made Day 2. Oh well, it was a good try.


LESSONS LEARNED:
There were many things I learned from this IBC season, and I'd like to
summarize them here in case anyone else can find them useful for future
tournament seasons:

1) Do EXTENSIVE online research.
This may seem obvious, but I can't stress enough how helpful this was.
Read strategy articles, tournament reports, and anything and everything
else you can. Know which decks are doing well - both in case you
decide to play one of them as well as so you can become familiar with
what you're going to face. If you're planning to play a deck that is
similar to one of the decks played a lot at previous tournaments, read
ALL the tournament reports featuring that deck that you can - get tips
on plays, sideboarding, etc.

2) Take and keep lots of notes.
Take notes of key plays that you read about in tournament reports.
Take notes on which matchups you've found to be good and which ones are
bad. Take notes on what the pros sideboard in and out vs. various
other decks. I took these notes with me to tournaments and looked them
over before and after my matches.

3) Analyze your previous games.
Think about why you lost the games you lost and why you won the games
you won. It's easy to focus on mana-screw, but although that will be a
factor in some of the games, there will be many other games where the
PLAYS that you or your opponent made were what mattered. Especially
try to figure out if you could have won any of the games that you lost.
Add your observations and analysis to your notes.

4) Get advice from other players.
People watching you play a game often are able to see things and plays
you could have made that you didn't see. I would ASK friends
(particularly friends who were really good players) to watch me play
games and then provide me with constructive criticism afterwards.
Sometimes plays were debatable, but sometimes, especially early on,
there were outright mistakes or bad calls I made. Add these criticisms
to your notes.

Speaking of notes so much, I'd like to include the notes I accumulated
for this deck. Feel free to skip beneath this section if you find it
boring, but it should hopefully give some idea as to what I've been
referring to:
- Play more conservatively more often - ´´know when I'm the control´´
- Think HARD about how the opponent can win and what I can do to stop
it
- If I'm afraid of playing due to what opponent might have, consider if
I'd die anyway
- Bluffing is sometimes a good idea (e.g. attack with unkicked Titan
and Mongoose into Angel)
- It's better to plan on casting spells for a while and then sitting
back on Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
than to sit back on Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
first
- KEEP SNAKE MANA OPEN
- Don't cast Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
during my turn, especially if I have a
full or near-full hand
- Feel free to mulligan into green mana
- Can cast Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
just as surprise blocker if REALLY need to
reduce opponent's offense
- Play Skyfolk BEFORE opponent has Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
mana open
- Feel free to Ice lands
- Often, play ForF in response to opponent casting a spell you have
counter for anyway, as they will overvalue counters
- If Opponent mana-screwed, consider splitting FoF into tapped land and
spells vs. untapped land
- It may be wise to Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
my own creature in response to my opponent
Repulsing it
Watch for double-Rage in response to something like FoF (both as Rager
and Ragee)
- If Snake and Mongoose vs. Legionnaire, just attack with Snake
- In Mirror, hold back so as not to run into countermagic
- Be the Beatdown vs. RWU Control
- I may not want to Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
Skizzik
Skizzik
SkizzikSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
169
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
Kicker R (You may pay an additional R as you play this spell.)Trample; haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)At end of turn, sacrifice Skizzik unless the kicker cost was paid.
if I can just Rage it
- Be careful of (not?) Repulsing Legionnaire when opponent has mana
open, as I won't get the card
- Against UBR control, possibly just cast Mongoose and sit back (maybe
Bolt)
- Side out FoF against heavy control as I can't be the control as well
as they can
- Make sure I have a turn 2 threat vs. Domain or Mulligan

5) Make a ´´sideboarding chart.´´
I found this to be an invaluable tool. BEFORE the tournament, I took
out a sheet of paper and wrote down my decklist along the left edge.
Then, across the top I wrote down each of the major deck types I
expected to face. Then I treated each matchup as a column and beneath
that deck type I indicated which cards I should side in and which ones
I should side out (the hardest part by far). Doing this before the
tournament enabled me to refer to my notes on what other people
sideboarded in and out, gave me more time to think about what the best
choices were, and allowed me to discuss the options with other players.
I then memorized this chart and although I didn't necessarily follow
it exactly because decks have many variations, I did use it as a guide
and it proved invaluable.

6) Practice playing your deck.
I probably didn't do this as much as I should have, but the more I
played my deck, the more comfortable I became with it and the better I
did. This is probably another obvious point, but I think it is a main
reason I went 3-4 at GP Denver whereas I made top 8 at the PTQ
afterwards and went 5-2 at GP Minneapolis.

Well, I hope those tips are helpful - I know they were for me. I guess
IBC season is over now, but I'll be at GP Montreal in a couple of weeks
since I won a trial for it in Toronto - time to practice Odyssey
limited . . .


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