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CardShark Content - Adam Fischer (1/13/2002)

Although I didn't qualify, I was very happy with making the top 4 at the PTQ in Houston the day after the Grand Prix. I hadn't made Top 8 at an extended PTQ yet, so it was very rewarding to finally do so.

Back in October and November, for the GP Vegas trials, I had played White Weenie with Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.
due to its extremely consistent performance at Worlds, but I was unhappy with the deck and realized that it was no longer as suited to the shifts in the metagame. Therefore, in late November I thought about what deck I wanted to select as a replacement. I considered several factors: 1) Which decks had been doing well at recent events such as PT New Orleans? 2) How did I expect the metagame to evolve and which decks did I expect would continue to do well? 3) Which decks suited my style of play and preference, and which did I think I could best play?

In considering all of these factors, I decided on playing Three Deuce. It had put in some strong performances recently, it had gotten a lot better with Call of the Herd
Call of the Herd
Call of the HerdSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
231
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Put a 3/3 green Elephant creature token into play. Flashback 3G (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
, and I liked the aggro-control feel to the deck, which should give it a lot of flexibility in an uncertain metagame so early in the Extended season. So, I started playing Three Deuce at the start of the Extended season in early December and had been playing it at all Extended event since. I had been tweaking it along the way and gaining more and more familiarity and skill with it, and I guess some of that finally paid off at the PTQ for Osaka in Houston the day after the Grand Prix.

As usual, I'll present the deck commentary first, followed by summaries of my matches, followed by the overall results of the PTQ. Here is the deck that I used:

Main Deck:
4 Mogg Fanatic
Mogg Fanatic
Mogg FanaticSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Brom
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Mogg Fanatic: Mogg Fanatic deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

3 Granger Guildmage
Granger Guildmage
Granger GuildmageSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Target creature gains first strike until end of turn.R, T: Granger Guildmage deals 1 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to you.

2 Skyshroud Elite
Skyshroud Elite
Skyshroud EliteSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
U
Number:
123
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Skyshroud Elite gets +1/+2 as long as any opponent controls any nonbasic lands.

4 River Boa
River Boa
River BoaSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
U
Number:
249
Artist:
Steve White
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Islandwalk (This creature is unblockable if defending player controls an island.) G: Regenerate River Boa.

2 Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.

3 Call of the Herd
Call of the Herd
Call of the HerdSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
231
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Put a 3/3 green Elephant creature token into play. Flashback 3G (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)


4 Rancor
Rancor
RancorSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
110
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Enchanted creature gains +2/+0 and trample.When Rancor is put into a graveyard from play, return Rancor to owner's hand.

3 Incinerate
Incinerate
IncinerateSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Incinerate deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Creatures damaged by Incinerate cannot regenerate this turn.

1 Engulfing Flames
Engulfing Flames
Engulfing FlamesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Text:
Engulfing Flames deals 1 damage to target creature. It can't be regenerated this turn. Flashback 3R (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

2 Cursed Scroll
Cursed Scroll
Cursed ScrollSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
3, T:Name a card. Target opponent chooses a card at random from your hand. If he or she chooses the named card, Cursed Scoll deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

4 Swords to Plowshares
Swords to Plowshares
Swords to PlowsharesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Target creature is removed from game entirely. Creature's controller gains life points equal to creature's power.

4 Seal of Cleansing
Seal of Cleansing
Seal of CleansingSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Cleansing: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

1 Wax/Wane

4 Land Grant
Land Grant
Land GrantSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
255
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
If you have no land cards in hand, you may reveal your hand instead of paying Land Grant's mana cost.Search your library for a forest card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

4 Plateau
Plateau
PlateauSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
T: Add either R or W to your mana pool.Counts as both mountains and plains and is affected by spells that affect either. If a spell destroys one of these land types, this card is destroyed; if a spell alters one of these land types, the other land type is unaffected.

4 Savannah
Savannah
SavannahSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T: Add either W or G to your mana pool.Counts as both plains and forest and is affected by spells that affect either. If a spell destroys one of these land types, this card is destroyed; if a spell alters one of these land types, the other land type is unaffected.

4 Taiga
Taiga
TaigaSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T: Add either G or R to your mana pool.Counts as both forest and mountains and is affected by spells that affect either. If a spell destroys one of these land types, this card is destroyed; if a spell alters one of these land types, the other land type is unaffected.

4 Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.

3 Treetop Village
Treetop Village
Treetop VillageSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Treetop Village comes into play tapped.T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.1G: Treetop Village becomes a 3/3 green creature with trample until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.

1 Mountain Valley
Mountain Valley
Mountain ValleySet: Mirage
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kari Johnson
Text:
Mountain Valley comes into play tapped.tap, Sacrifice Mountain Valley: Search your library for a mountain or forest card. Put that land into play. Shuffle your library afterwards.


Sideboard:
4 Pyroblast
Pyroblast
PyroblastSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Counter target spell if it is blue, or destroy target permanent if it is blue. (If this spell targets a permanent, play it as an instant.)

2 Sanctimony
Sanctimony
SanctimonySet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
16
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Whenever one of your opponents taps a mountain for mana, you may gain 1 life.

2 Powder Keg
Powder Keg
Powder KegSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.tap, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.

2 Dwarven Miner
Dwarven Miner
Dwarven MinerSet: Mirage
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dwarf
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jock
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
2R, T: Destroy target nonbasic land.

2 Phyrexian Furnace
Phyrexian Furnace
Phyrexian FurnaceSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
George Pratt
Text:
T: Remove the bottom card of target player's graveyard from the game.1, Sacrifice Phyrexian Furnace: Remove target card in any graveyard from the game and draw a card.

2 Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)

1 Chaos Charm
Chaos Charm
Chaos CharmSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Steve Luke
Text:
Choose oneTarget creature is unaffected by summoning sickness this turn; or Chaos Charm deals 1 damage to target creature; or destroy target Wall.


Comments on some of the noteworthy choices in the deck are:

1) No Druid Lyrist
Druid Lyrist
Druid LyristSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
238
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, Tap, Sacrifice Druid Lyrist: Destroy target enchantment.
:

The reason I took out these guys is that I just thought they never came in that useful. Against Donate
Donate
DonateSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Target player gains control of target permanent you control.
, they would always get Fired, and they just never seemed to stick around long enough to be that useful. The 4 Seals and Wax/Wane were usually enough enchantment removal

2) 2 Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
s:

These were a little bit of an unconventional choice, but I needed something to replace the Druid Lyrist
Druid Lyrist
Druid LyristSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
238
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, Tap, Sacrifice Druid Lyrist: Destroy target enchantment.
s. I thought about adding a Granger Guildmage
Granger Guildmage
Granger GuildmageSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Target creature gains first strike until end of turn.R, T: Granger Guildmage deals 1 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to you.
and a Skyshroud Elite
Skyshroud Elite
Skyshroud EliteSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
U
Number:
123
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Skyshroud Elite gets +1/+2 as long as any opponent controls any nonbasic lands.
, but I wanted something a little beefier that could take on an Elephant
Elephant
ElephantSet: Garruk vs. Liliana
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elephant
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
or Thresholded Werebear
Werebear
WerebearSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid Bear
Rarity:
C
Number:
282
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
: Tap: Add G to your mana pool. Threshold - Werebear gets +3/+3. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
in a pinch or survive some burn. Also, these would give me a use for any dead cards I might have in hand (particularly the Seals, which while amazing in some matchups were quite dead in others) and had synergy with the Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
s I had in the sideboard.

3) 2 Cursed Scroll
Cursed Scroll
Cursed ScrollSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
3, T:Name a card. Target opponent chooses a card at random from your hand. If he or she chooses the named card, Cursed Scoll deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
s and 1 Engulfing Flames
Engulfing Flames
Engulfing FlamesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Text:
Engulfing Flames deals 1 damage to target creature. It can't be regenerated this turn. Flashback 3R (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
instead of 3 Cursed Scroll
Cursed Scroll
Cursed ScrollSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
3, T:Name a card. Target opponent chooses a card at random from your hand. If he or she chooses the named card, Cursed Scoll deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
s:

I really wanted to include Engulfing Flames
Engulfing Flames
Engulfing FlamesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Text:
Engulfing Flames deals 1 damage to target creature. It can't be regenerated this turn. Flashback 3R (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
due to its particular use against Boas and Lynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
es as well as its general use against Birds, Pups, etc. It wasn't exactly a replacement for the third Scroll, but I had to take out something, and I just hadn't been overly enthusiastic with the Scrolls. They would often not be useful enough early enough or get Deeded away. I still wanted a couple, though, and I did agonize for a while before making this change.

3) Mountain Valley
Mountain Valley
Mountain ValleySet: Mirage
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kari Johnson
Text:
Mountain Valley comes into play tapped.tap, Sacrifice Mountain Valley: Search your library for a mountain or forest card. Put that land into play. Shuffle your library afterwards.
as the 61st card (making for 24 land out of 61 cards)

I know many of you might question going with 61 cards, but I really did often feel short of Red and White mana, and the Mountain Valley
Mountain Valley
Mountain ValleySet: Mirage
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kari Johnson
Text:
Mountain Valley comes into play tapped.tap, Sacrifice Mountain Valley: Search your library for a mountain or forest card. Put that land into play. Shuffle your library afterwards.
really helped with that. I tried taking out a Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
for it, but I really missed having that fourth Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
. Plus, I found myself mana-screwed much more often than mana-flooded, and I had several mana-hungry cards in the deck (Call, Scroll, Treetop Village
Treetop Village
Treetop VillageSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Treetop Village comes into play tapped.T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.1G: Treetop Village becomes a 3/3 green creature with trample until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
, Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
in the sideboard). This made my deck roughly equivalent to a 60 card deck with 23.6 land.

4) Sideboard choices:

To select cards for the sideboard, I considered what I had seen at the Grand Prix the day before and how that would affect things at the PTQ. There was lots of Miracle Grow and The Rock at the Grand Prix, so I expected to see a good deal of these decks at the PTQ, hence the Powder Keg
Powder Keg
Powder KegSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on Powder Keg.tap, Sacrifice Powder Keg: Destroy each artifact and creature with converted mana cost equal to the number of fuse counters on Powder Keg.
s for Miracle Grow and the Chaos Charm
Chaos Charm
Chaos CharmSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Steve Luke
Text:
Choose oneTarget creature is unaffected by summoning sickness this turn; or Chaos Charm deals 1 damage to target creature; or destroy target Wall.
(hits Birds and Wall of Roots
Wall of Roots
Wall of RootsSet: Mirage
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
Put a -0/-1 counter on Wall of Roots: Add G to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source. Use this ability only once each turn.
), Mystic Enforcer
Mystic Enforcer
Mystic EnforcerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad Mystic
Rarity:
R
Number:
290
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Protection from black Threshold - Mystic Enforcer gets +3/+3 and has flying. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
s (Deed-resistant), and Phyrexian Furnace
Phyrexian Furnace
Phyrexian FurnaceSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
George Pratt
Text:
T: Remove the bottom card of target player's graveyard from the game.1, Sacrifice Phyrexian Furnace: Remove target card in any graveyard from the game and draw a card.
s for The Rock. I also expected to see a fair amount of Sligh given Bob Maher
Bob Maher
Bob MaherSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
's success with it and its good odds against Miracle Grow. Finally, I expected a fair amount of Junk due to its overall popularity recently as well as its supposed good matchup vs. Miracle Grow. I didn't expect to see much Donate
Donate
DonateSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Target player gains control of target permanent you control.
, as it was almost completely absent at the Grand Prix and had a horrible matchup vs. Miracle Grow.


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 only 48 players, which meant 6 rounds of swiss followed by a cut to the top 8.

Match 1 vs. Sligh, played by Michael Taggart:

I won 2-0. 2 Call of the Herd
Call of the Herd
Call of the HerdSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
231
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Put a 3/3 green Elephant creature token into play. Flashback 3G (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
s were a huge factor in helping me win game 1, and a turn 2 Sanctimony
Sanctimony
SanctimonySet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
16
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Whenever one of your opponents taps a mountain for mana, you may gain 1 life.
pretty much sealed up game 2. Basically, I got really good draws.

Match Record: 1-0

Match 2 vs. PT Junk, played by Jonathan Tyldsley:

I lost 0-2. I got totally obliterated this match and as a consequence don't remember too much of it. I do recall something about 2 Swords being duressed away followed up by 2 Lynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
es and 2 Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
s one of the games, though. :(

Match Record: 1-1

Match 3 vs. Donate
Donate
DonateSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Target player gains control of target permanent you control.
, played by Tommy Knight:

I won 2-0. Despite not expecting much of this matchup, I was reasonably prepared with 4 Pyroblast
Pyroblast
PyroblastSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Counter target spell if it is blue, or destroy target permanent if it is blue. (If this spell targets a permanent, play it as an instant.)
s and 2 Furnaces able to come in from the Sideboard. Both games, I just managed to get enough early beats going before he could pull of the combo. Game 2 I finished him
off by discarding a couple of cards to the Mongrel.

Match Record: 2-1

Match 4 vs. Threshold Junk, played by Richard (sorry, didn't catch his last name):

I won 2-0. Richard was playing an interesting version of PT Junk with only 13 land (plus 7 Tithe
Tithe
TitheSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jon J Muth
Text:
Search your library for a plains card. If you control fewer lands than target opponent, you may search your library for an additional plains card. Reveal those cards to all players and put them into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards.
/Land Grant
Land Grant
Land GrantSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
255
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
If you have no land cards in hand, you may reveal your hand instead of paying Land Grant's mana cost.Search your library for a forest card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
s) and Werebear
Werebear
WerebearSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid Bear
Rarity:
C
Number:
282
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
: Tap: Add G to your mana pool. Threshold - Werebear gets +3/+3. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
s instead of Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
s. Game 1 we were both stuck on 2 land for a while. I knew he had Tithe
Tithe
TitheSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jon J Muth
Text:
Search your library for a plains card. If you control fewer lands than target opponent, you may search your library for an additional plains card. Reveal those cards to all players and put them into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards.
in hand from when he Land Grant
Land Grant
Land GrantSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
255
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
If you have no land cards in hand, you may reveal your hand instead of paying Land Grant's mana cost.Search your library for a forest card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
ed, so even once I drew my third land, I didn't play it right away as I didn't really need it all that much and I didn't want him to get 2 lands instead of 1 from the Tithe
Tithe
TitheSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jon J Muth
Text:
Search your library for a plains card. If you control fewer lands than target opponent, you may search your library for an additional plains card. Reveal those cards to all players and put them into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards.
(especially since I saw his hand was a bit mana-hungry). Well, he waited for a couple of turns to Tithe
Tithe
TitheSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jon J Muth
Text:
Search your library for a plains card. If you control fewer lands than target opponent, you may search your library for an additional plains card. Reveal those cards to all players and put them into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards.
, wanting me to lay that third land first! Finally he Tithe
Tithe
TitheSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jon J Muth
Text:
Search your library for a plains card. If you control fewer lands than target opponent, you may search your library for an additional plains card. Reveal those cards to all players and put them into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards.
d for just the one land and then I laid the third land. We both debated later whether this was the right play for each of us, but it was rather amusing. In any event, I won this game, in part due to my Mongrel taking out his Werebear
Werebear
WerebearSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid Bear
Rarity:
C
Number:
282
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
: Tap: Add G to your mana pool. Threshold - Werebear gets +3/+3. (You have threshold as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
. I was really starting to like the Mongrels more and more! Game 2, Land Grant
Land Grant
Land GrantSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
255
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
If you have no land cards in hand, you may reveal your hand instead of paying Land Grant's mana cost.Search your library for a forest card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
showed me he had a Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
as his only creature removal, and I started with a Guildmage, 2 Rancor
Rancor
RancorSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
110
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Enchanted creature gains +2/+0 and trample.When Rancor is put into a graveyard from play, return Rancor to owner's hand.
, 1 Dwarven Miner
Dwarven Miner
Dwarven MinerSet: Mirage
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dwarf
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jock
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
2R, T: Destroy target nonbasic land.
, and some other cards. So, I started off by double-Rancor
Rancor
RancorSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
110
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Enchanted creature gains +2/+0 and trample.When Rancor is put into a graveyard from play, return Rancor to owner's hand.
ing the Guildmage and hitting him for 5 points. I knew this would force him to Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
the Guildmage, at which point I played the Miner which would just wreck him. Luckily for him, he found a second Vindicate
Vindicate
VindicateSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Destroy target permanent.
, but then I got really lucky and pulled a second Miner, which went to town and sealed the game for me.

Match Record: 3-1

Match 5 vs. Sligh, played by Mike Miner:

I won 2-1. I lost game 1, despite Engulfing Flames
Engulfing Flames
Engulfing FlamesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Text:
Engulfing Flames deals 1 damage to target creature. It can't be regenerated this turn. Flashback 3R (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
being REALLY key in taking out a Ball Lightning
Ball Lightning
Ball LightningSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ball Lightning
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Power:
6
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample Ball Lightning can attack the turn it comes into play. At the end of any turn, bury Ball Lightning.
when I only had the one mana available. I won game 2, due to him not being able to find a second Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
. Game 3 was especially interesting. He was drawing LOTS of land, but somehow only 1 Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
. He finally found the second Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
, and I was worried about being Priced/Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
ed away (he had 2 Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
s that he could have used to avoid taking too much damage from the Price of Progress
Price of Progress
Price of ProgressSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
95
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Price of Progress deals 2 damage to each player for each nonbasic land he or she controls.
himself). Well, during my turn I went in for the kill with my Treetop Village
Treetop Village
Treetop VillageSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Treetop Village comes into play tapped.T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.1G: Treetop Village becomes a 3/3 green creature with trample until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
and Mongrel on the board and 4 cards in hand. He Wasted my Village, leaving him with 1 Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
, 2 Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
s, and 1 Barbarian Ring
Barbarian Ring
Barbarian RingSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
313
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Tap: Add R to your mana pool. Barbarian Ring deals 1 damage to you. Threshold - R, Tap, Sacrifice Barbarian Ring: Barbarian Ring deals 2 damage to target creature or player. (Play this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
as his land. I then pumped up the Mongrel 2 times, letting each one resolve in turn. When I attempted to pump up the Mongrel the third time (which would make it a 5/5), he Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
ed in response, sacrificing his 2 Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
s and floating a red mana. I then discarded my last card to the Mongrel in response to the Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
, in response to which he sacrificed his Barbarian Ring
Barbarian Ring
Barbarian RingSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
313
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Tap: Add R to your mana pool. Barbarian Ring deals 1 damage to you. Threshold - R, Tap, Sacrifice Barbarian Ring: Barbarian Ring deals 2 damage to target creature or player. (Play this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)
to do 2 points to the Mongrel. Well, the Mongrel died and he was able to live a couple of more turns, but with only a Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
as his only land in play, I was able to finish him off.

Match Record: 4-1

Match 6 vs. ???, played by Keith Thompson:

Intentional Draw. We drew into the Top 8, even though Keith, being undefeated, didn't have to draw to guarantee his spot. I was thankful to him that he did draw, as not only did it pretty much guarantee my spot in the top 8, but I was also starving as I hadn't had a chance to
grab lunch yet, and it was already late afternoon.

Match Record: 4-1-1

Well, the standings came out, and I was #6 and so it was on to the Top 8!

Quarterfinals vs. Zombie-Go, played by Aaron Clark:

I won 2-0. This match was very lopsided, as I got really lucky draws while Aaron got really unlucky draws. He was mana-screwed both games (though my Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
contributed to matters in game 2), and I had a very quick beatdown hand both games.

Semifinals vs. RW Goblins Sligh, played by Joel Grizzelle:

I lost 0-2. Unfortunately, this match was rather lopsided the other way. Game 1 he just had too many Fanatics and Flunkies and I didn't have enough removal. Game 2, I had to mulligan a no-land hand, and my 6-card hand had only 1 land (a Savannah
Savannah
SavannahSet: Revised Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T: Add either W or G to your mana pool.Counts as both plains and forest and is affected by spells that affect either. If a spell destroys one of these land types, this card is destroyed; if a spell alters one of these land types, the other land type is unaffected.
) but the other cards were quite good: a Guildmage (which I could cast right away and would either have to be dealt with or could hold things off), a Swords (which I could also cast as soon as it was needed), a Mongrel (which I could cast as soon as I drew any other land and would be great at buying me time), a Boa, and an Engulfing Flames
Engulfing Flames
Engulfing FlamesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
191
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Text:
Engulfing Flames deals 1 damage to target creature. It can't be regenerated this turn. Flashback 3R (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
. I agonized for a while about whether or not to keep this hand, and finally decided that my chances of getting a better hand with 5 cards weren't that great - I'd likely get 2 land, but may not have nearly as good spells. Well, it turned out not to matter, as he Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
ed my first land and I never drew a second land in my first 14 cards! Moreover, it turned out he had a second Wasteland
Wasteland
WastelandSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Una Fricker
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.
in hand! So it was a good run but I ended up losing in the
semifinals. At least I got half a box for my effort, though! :) Plus, I was very happy with the card choices I had made for the deck.


METAGAME AND RECAP:

I did a fair amount of looking around, and was able to see 36 of the 48
decks at the PTQ. The breakdown was as follows:

Miracle Grow: 19%
Sligh: 14%
The Rock: 11%
Donate
Donate
DonateSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Target player gains control of target permanent you control.
: 8%
PT Junk: 6%
Three Deuce (including me): 6%
All other decks (no more than one of each): 36%

The Top 8 looked as follows:
Zombie-Go
Three Deuce
Threshold Junk
Stasis
Stasis
StasisSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Fay Jones
Text:
Players do not get an untap phase. Pay U during your upkeep or Stasis is destroyed; cards still do not untap until the next untap phase.

RW Goblins Sligh
Unfortunately I didn't catch the other 3 decks.

All in all, an interesting field, and I'll have two more shots at
qualifying at the PTQs at PT San Diego this weekend! As always, please
feel free to email me with any comments or questions.


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