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Here's One for the Home Team - Billy Mitchell (12/16/2012)

Last weekend I made my way down to Langhorne, PA for its Grand Prix Trial in order to pick up 3 byes for Grand Prix: Atlantic City. For those of you who have never been to a Grand Prix, Day One is typically 9 rpunds. If you’re on the East Coast, you should be warned: these events are huge! The two Grand Prix I have attended (Baltimore and Philadelphia 2012) have been huge events sporting over 1500 players hungry for the Pro Tour. By gaining 3 byes, you set yourself up well for passing the threshold into Day 2 with the necessary 7-2 or better record. Nine rounds, especially for a deck that requires a high amount of concentration and sequencing, can be both mentally and physically taxing. By reducing it to a 6-round event, you increase your chances of not only surviving but thriving in the later rounds.

I made some slight changes from my list I posted last week:


Billy Mitchell
Esper Flash
Flash
FlashSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
David Ho
Text:
Put a creature card from your hand into play. You may pay its mana cost reduced by up to 2. If you don't, sacrifice it.

11-30-2012

Creatures (10)
2: Snapcaster Mage
Snapcaster Mage
Snapcaster MageSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
78
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash When Snapcaster Mage enters the battlefield, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

4: Augur of Bolas
Augur of Bolas
Augur of BolasSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Augur of Bolas enters the battlefield, look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

4: Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel
Restoration AngelSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash Flying When Restoration Angel enters the battlefield, you may exile target non-Angel creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.


Instants (23)
2: Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.

4: Thought Scour
Thought Scour
Thought ScourSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Draw a card.

3: Azorius Charm
Azorius Charm
Azorius CharmSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
145
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn; or draw a card; or put target attacking or blocking creature on top of its owner's library.

3: Think Twice
Think Twice
Think TwiceSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Draw a card. Flashback 2U (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

3: Ultimate Price
Ultimate Price
Ultimate PriceSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Destroy target monocolored creature.

1: Midnight Haunting
Midnight Haunting
Midnight HauntingSet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
22
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield.

2: Dissipate
Dissipate
DissipateSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. Remove that spell card from the game.

1: Rewind
Rewind
RewindSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Counter target spell. Untap up to four lands.

2: Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

2: Sphinx’s Revelation
Revelation
RevelationSet: Chronicles
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant World
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
All players play with the cards in their hands face up on the table.


Artifacts (2)
2: Runechanter’s Pike

Land (25)
4: Hallowed Fountain
Hallowed Fountain
Hallowed FountainSet: Dissension
Color:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
174
Artist:
Rob Alexander

4: Drowned Catacomb
Drowned Catacomb
Drowned CatacombSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
224
Artist:
Dave Kendall
Text:
Drowned Catacomb enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Swamp. {T}: Add {U} or {B} to your mana pool.

3: Isolated Chapel
Isolated Chapel
Isolated ChapelSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
242
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
Isolated Chapel enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or a Swamp. {T}: Add {W} or {B} to your mana pool.

3: Glacial Fortress
Glacial Fortress
Glacial FortressSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Glacial Fortress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or an Island.{T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool.

3: Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia DrownyardSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
245
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {1}{U}{B}, {T}: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

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

3: Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.


Sideboard (15)
2: Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

2: Clone
Clone
CloneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clone
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Upon summoning, Clone acquires all characteristics, including color, of any one creature in play on either side; any creature enchantments on original creature are not copied. Clone retains these characteristics even after original creature is destroyed. Clone cannot be summoned if there are no creatures in play.

1: Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic RiftSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
35
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Text:
Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand. Overload {6}{U} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")

1: Terminus
Terminus
TerminusSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Put all creatures on the bottom of their owners' libraries. Miracle {W} (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)

2: Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.

1: Talrand, Sky Summoner
Talrand, Sky Summoner
Talrand, Sky SummonerSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, put a 2/2 blue Drake creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

1: Dispel
Dispel
DispelSet: Worldwake
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Counter target instant spell.

2: Purify the Grave
Purify the Grave
Purify the GraveSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Exile target card from a graveyard. Flashback {W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

1: Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.

1: Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.

1: Curse of Echoes
Curse of Echoes
Curse of EchoesSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Enchant player Whenever enchanted player casts an instant or sorcery spell, each other player may copy that spell and may choose new targets for the copy he or she controls.



This list is extremely similar to my previous list except for the Curse of Echoes
Curse of Echoes
Curse of EchoesSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Enchant player Whenever enchanted player casts an instant or sorcery spell, each other player may copy that spell and may choose new targets for the copy he or she controls.
in the sideboard. I previously played Curse of Exhaustion
Curse of Exhaustion
Curse of ExhaustionSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
U
Number:
5
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Enchant player Enchanted player can't cast more than one spell each turn.
. Most people thought this was an error but I actually am a huge supporter of that card. Curse of Exhaustion
Curse of Exhaustion
Curse of ExhaustionSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
U
Number:
5
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Enchant player Enchanted player can't cast more than one spell each turn.
allows you to out-resource your opponent if you have the spells. You can win every counter-war if you already have the counter.

Okay, okay, Curse of Echoes
Curse of Echoes
Curse of EchoesSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Enchant player Whenever enchanted player casts an instant or sorcery spell, each other player may copy that spell and may choose new targets for the copy he or she controls.
is better. Aside from the extra mana, Curse of Echoes
Curse of Echoes
Curse of EchoesSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Enchant player Whenever enchanted player casts an instant or sorcery spell, each other player may copy that spell and may choose new targets for the copy he or she controls.
is less dependent on the contents of your hand and more on the quantity of instants and sorceries the opponent plays. I do believe Curse of Exhaustion
Curse of Exhaustion
Curse of ExhaustionSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
U
Number:
5
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Enchant player Enchanted player can't cast more than one spell each turn.
is better against a mana light, creature heavy list along with a full set of Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.
and Azorius Charm
Azorius Charm
Azorius CharmSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
145
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn; or draw a card; or put target attacking or blocking creature on top of its owner's library.
. But that is another article for another day.

Well, That’s Not Bad
I made it to the event 10 minutes before the beginning of the event. After scribbling down my list (and realizing I was missing Glacial Fortress
Glacial Fortress
Glacial FortressSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Glacial Fortress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or an Island.{T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool.
es…oops!) I sleeved up some Azorius Guildgate
Azorius Guildgate
Azorius GuildgateSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Gate
Rarity:
C
Number:
237
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Azorius Guildgate enters the battlefield tapped. {T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool.
s and prepared for the pairings. I was hoping to avoid the two Reanimator decks roaming around the rooms and get paired against a control deck of some sort. The event was 25 participants and would be 5 rounds. The pairings were announced but I need clarification on my opponent.


Round 1: Bye
Most people would say a bye is great thing but there is a dark side. Obtaining a bye guarantees you a win (and free Planeswalker Points, isn’t that weird?) but it also guarantees you will have among the worst tiebreakers of anyone in your point bracket and will often get paired down. This can easily come back to haunt you later in your event.


Round 2: G/b Aggro
This strategy has been oddly popular at my local FNM. The list is a rather aggressive swarm strategy, hoping to maximize damage by pumping Wild Beastmaster
Wild Beastmaster
Wild BeastmasterSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Wild Beastmaster attacks, each other creature you control gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is Wild Beastmaster's power.
with pump effects such as 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.
and Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
. Most people opt for a black splash for Lotleth Troll
Lotleth Troll
Lotleth TrollSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Troll
Rarity:
R
Number:
177
Artist:
Vincent Proce
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample Discard a creature card: Put a +1/+1 counter on Lotleth Troll. {B}: Regenerate Lotleth Troll.
, Ultimate Price
Ultimate Price
Ultimate PriceSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Destroy target monocolored creature.
or Deadly Allure
Deadly Allure
Deadly AllureSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
58
Artist:
Steve Argyle
Text:
Target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn and must be blocked this turn if able. Flashback {G} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
along with the strong manabase. I think this list might be better as RG Aggro once Gatecrash hits but we won’t know until then.

In these types of matchups, Azorius Charm
Azorius Charm
Azorius CharmSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
145
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn; or draw a card; or put target attacking or blocking creature on top of its owner's library.
, Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.
and Snap
Snap
SnapSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand. Untap up to two lands.
caster truly shine. It is hard to deal damage without dudes on the board. Between Unsummon
Unsummon
UnsummonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand; enchantments on target creature are discarded.
and Ultimate Price
Ultimate Price
Ultimate PriceSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Destroy target monocolored creature.
, the opponent cannot get anything too dangerous started.

After winning game 1 handily, I put all the walls up with Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
s, Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
and Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic Rift
Cyclonic RiftSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
35
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Text:
Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand. Overload {6}{U} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
. I stalled early, got the beats in early with some extra spirit tokens, and then went for the throat with a Runechanter’s Pike with a Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
back-up. He didn’t have any effects and I was on to the third round unscathed.


Round 3: UR Aggro-Control
Despite winning my Standard FNM for the past two weeks, I did manage to put up a loss to this list. Though I pride myself on my excellent memory and ingenious ideas, I cannot recall seeing or thinking of this archetype. Needless to say, the first time I saw a UR Aggro-Control I had difficulty lifting my jaw up off the table.

The first list I saw was more combo-centric, focusing on Guttersnipe
Guttersnipe
GuttersnipeSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
98
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, Guttersnipe deals 2 damage to each opponent.
and Goblin Electromancer
Goblin Electromancer
Goblin ElectromancerSet: Duel Decks Izzet vs. Golgari
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
— Goblin Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Instant and sorcery spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.
. The list I faced in Round 3 had more control elements such as Dissipate
Dissipate
DissipateSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. Remove that spell card from the game.
and Counterflux
Counterflux
CounterfluxSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Counterflux can't be countered by spells or abilities. Counter target spell you don't control. Overload {1}{U}{U}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
. Both lists had Delver of Secrets
Delver of Secrets
Delver of SecretsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. You may reveal that card. If an instant or sorcery card is revealed this way, transform Delver of Secrets.
. Don’t get it twisted: Delver of Secrets
Delver of Secrets
Delver of SecretsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. You may reveal that card. If an instant or sorcery card is revealed this way, transform Delver of Secrets.
, even without Ponder
Ponder
PonderSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
79
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Look at the top three cards of your library, then put them back in any order. You may shuffle your library. Draw a card.
and Preordain
Preordain
PreordainSet: Magic 2011
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Scry 2, then draw a card. (To scry 2, look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
, will kill you if it has any counter backup. There’s no point in telling you how his Delver in game one got freaky and began attacking for 3 a turn until my life total was finished by a flurry of burn spells. You would be bored to hear how my main phase Ultimate Price
Ultimate Price
Ultimate PriceSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Destroy target monocolored creature.
on Delver of Secrets
Delver of Secrets
Delver of SecretsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. You may reveal that card. If an instant or sorcery card is revealed this way, transform Delver of Secrets.
only opened the door for his twin, who valiantly avenged his brother dealing me 24 while I Azorius Charm
Azorius Charm
Azorius CharmSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
145
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn; or draw a card; or put target attacking or blocking creature on top of its owner's library.
ed and Sphinx’s Revelation
Revelation
RevelationSet: Chronicles
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant World
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
All players play with the cards in their hands face up on the table.
’d.


Round 4: Big Jund
Jund
JundSet: Planechase 2012 Edition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Alara
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
Whenever a player casts a black, red, or green creature spell, it gains devour 5. (As the creature enters the battlefield, its controller may sacrifice any number of creatures. The creature enters the battlefield with five times that many +1/+1 counters on it.) Whenever you roll chaos, put two 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens onto the battlefield.

I hate Thragtusk
Thragtusk
ThragtuskSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
193
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Thragtusk enters the battlefield, you gain 5 life. When Thragtusk leaves the battlefield, put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
. I hate Angel of Serenity
Angel of Serenity
Angel of SerenitySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Angel of Serenity enters the battlefield, you may exile up to three other target creatures from the battlefield and/or creature cards from graveyards. When Angel of Serenity leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to their owners' hands.
. I hate Unburial Rites
Unburial Rites
Unburial RitesSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Flashback {3}{W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
. I was lucky enough to avoid these staples until Round 4.

“Hello, my name is Joe. Are you Billy?”

“Joe, we’ve met before.”

This is way to get your matches started, folks! I met Joe in August at a PTQ at the same store. I remember his happy-go-lucky attitude. He remembered nothing. No matter. As soon as I played my Isolated Chapel
Isolated Chapel
Isolated ChapelSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
242
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
Isolated Chapel enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or a Swamp. {T}: Add {W} or {B} to your mana pool.
on turn 1, he remembered that I was a control freak and planned accordingly. He played a number of good men into my counterspells while I advanced my board state. By the time I countered his turn 6 Thundermaw Hellkite
Thundermaw Hellkite
Thundermaw HellkiteSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
M
Number:
150
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying Haste (This creature can attack and {T} as soon as it comes under your control.) When Thundermaw Hellkite enters the battlefield, it deals 1 damage to each creature with flying your opponents control. Tap those creatures.
, he was dead to my Runechanter’s Pike.

I brought Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
in draw out the match along with Clone
Clone
CloneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clone
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Upon summoning, Clone acquires all characteristics, including color, of any one creature in play on either side; any creature enchantments on original creature are not copied. Clone retains these characteristics even after original creature is destroyed. Clone cannot be summoned if there are no creatures in play.
and Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
. I’m still playing around with Clone
Clone
CloneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clone
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Upon summoning, Clone acquires all characteristics, including color, of any one creature in play on either side; any creature enchantments on original creature are not copied. Clone retains these characteristics even after original creature is destroyed. Clone cannot be summoned if there are no creatures in play.
in matchups without Angel of Serenity
Angel of Serenity
Angel of SerenitySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Angel of Serenity enters the battlefield, you may exile up to three other target creatures from the battlefield and/or creature cards from graveyards. When Angel of Serenity leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to their owners' hands.
or Geist of Saint Traft
Geist of Saint Traft
Geist of Saint TraftSet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit Cleric
Rarity:
M
Number:
213
Artist:
Igor Kieryluk
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Hexproof (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.) Whenever Geist of Saint Traft attacks, put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield tapped and attacking. Exile that token at end of combat.
. If they are playing Thragtusk
Thragtusk
ThragtuskSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
193
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Thragtusk enters the battlefield, you gain 5 life. When Thragtusk leaves the battlefield, put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
, I certainly don’t mind drawing out the match more than they already plan on doing, especially with the Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia DrownyardSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
245
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {1}{U}{B}, {T}: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
s in the list. Clone
Clone
CloneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clone
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Upon summoning, Clone acquires all characteristics, including color, of any one creature in play on either side; any creature enchantments on original creature are not copied. Clone retains these characteristics even after original creature is destroyed. Clone cannot be summoned if there are no creatures in play.
showed up to the party but never got to dance. Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
and Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel
Restoration AngelSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash Flying When Restoration Angel enters the battlefield, you may exile target non-Angel creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.
cut a rug (a cloud maybe) and I was moving into round 4 with a record of 3-1.

After the round, I did some quick math a figured that 3-1-1 would be just enough to make Top 8. I was hoping to draw in until my fifth round opponent needed a win in order to make it to the Top 8. That’s fine. It’s time to dream crush!


Round 5: Reanimator
Ouch! So close! This matchup is so close to unwinnable. You’re only hope if to beat them down and not allow them to land Angel of Serenity
Angel of Serenity
Angel of SerenitySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Angel of Serenity enters the battlefield, you may exile up to three other target creatures from the battlefield and/or creature cards from graveyards. When Angel of Serenity leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to their owners' hands.
or Craterhoof Behemoth
Craterhoof Behemoth
Craterhoof BehemothSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
8
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
M
Number:
172
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Haste When Craterhoof Behemoth enters the battlefield, creatures you control gain trample and get +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of creatures you control.
. Angel of Serenity
Angel of Serenity
Angel of SerenitySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Angel of Serenity enters the battlefield, you may exile up to three other target creatures from the battlefield and/or creature cards from graveyards. When Angel of Serenity leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to their owners' hands.
typically will not allow you back into the game without a Clone
Clone
CloneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Clone
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Upon summoning, Clone acquires all characteristics, including color, of any one creature in play on either side; any creature enchantments on original creature are not copied. Clone retains these characteristics even after original creature is destroyed. Clone cannot be summoned if there are no creatures in play.
. Craterhoof Behemoth
Craterhoof Behemoth
Craterhoof BehemothSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
8
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
M
Number:
172
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Haste When Craterhoof Behemoth enters the battlefield, creatures you control gain trample and get +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of creatures you control.
just kills you.

Game 1 the plan was counter, Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel
Restoration AngelSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash Flying When Restoration Angel enters the battlefield, you may exile target non-Angel creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.
and Pike my opponent to death by turn 7. By turn 3, my plan was to find a white source to play one of my two Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel
Restoration AngelSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash Flying When Restoration Angel enters the battlefield, you may exile target non-Angel creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.
s and gain more advantage on my Augur of Bolas
Augur of Bolas
Augur of BolasSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Augur of Bolas enters the battlefield, look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
. By turn 6, the plan had become find a white source to play one of my four Restoration Angel
Restoration Angel
Restoration AngelSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash Flying When Restoration Angel enters the battlefield, you may exile target non-Angel creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.
s or my Sphinx’s Revelation
Revelation
RevelationSet: Chronicles
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant World
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
All players play with the cards in their hands face up on the table.
. By turn 8.5, my plan was to scoop in response to my opponent’s second Angel of Serenity
Angel of Serenity
Angel of SerenitySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Angel of Serenity enters the battlefield, you may exile up to three other target creatures from the battlefield and/or creature cards from graveyards. When Angel of Serenity leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to their owners' hands.
.

Game 2 started with a mulligan to 5 with three lands. I drew a ton of action. Unfortunately, I could find no more lands and lost the game after playing a Thought Scour
Thought Scour
Thought ScourSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Draw a card.
and half of Purify the Grave
Purify the Grave
Purify the GraveSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Exile target card from a graveyard. Flashback {W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
.

I finished the event in 10th place and with plenty of ideas for tuning the deck. I have a lot to do before I attack The Encounter in Allentown, PA for it 2k Standard tournament this upcoming Saturday.


Can’t Keep a Good Deck Down
The first and overall most valuable piece is to have my deck ready to go the night before. That is a lot of stress to have early in the morning that is not needed. Also I must get plenty of rest the night before. I have a bad habit of staying out late the night before events. There is nothing worse than a pulsing headache throughout an event. If you drink coffee like I do then be sure to get your fix before the event.

As for card selection, I need to down the number of counterspells. There are simply too many Cavern of Souls
Cavern of Souls
Cavern of SoulsSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
As Cavern of Souls enters the battlefield, choose a creature type. {T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a creature spell of the chosen type, and that spell can't be countered.
running around. I would worry about the spells you can counter. Cards like Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.
, Dispel
Dispel
DispelSet: Worldwake
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Counter target instant spell.
and Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.
are simply better than your worthless Rewind
Rewind
RewindSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Counter target spell. Untap up to four lands.
for an uncounterable Thragtusk
Thragtusk
ThragtuskSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
193
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Thragtusk enters the battlefield, you gain 5 life. When Thragtusk leaves the battlefield, put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
. If the coast appears clear, the opponent will slow roll a Cavern as long as possible.

I do not know if the Reanimator strategy is winnable but I believe Rest in Peace
Rest in Peace
Rest in PeaceSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
18
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
When Rest in Peace enters the battlefield, exile all cards from all graveyards. If a card or token would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.
goes a lot further in the matchup than Purify the Grave
Purify the Grave
Purify the GraveSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Exile target card from a graveyard. Flashback {W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
does. I hope the sideboard retooling will allow me to find help against the Rakdos decks which is also very poor.

Maybe I want Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.
in order to help my game against the aggressive decks. I am definitely adding Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.
to the main deck. I wish that Gideon Jura
Gideon Jura
Gideon JuraSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Gideon
Rarity:
M
Number:
21
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: During target opponent's next turn, creatures that player controls attack Gideon Jura if able. -2: Destroy target tapped creature. 0: Until end of turn, Gideon Jura becomes a 6/6 Human Soldier creature that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
was here to help me in my time of need but I’ll just have to wait until he returns.

Oh Mighty WOTC, please save me from hordes of Zombies! Return me Gideon Jura
Gideon Jura
Gideon JuraSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Gideon
Rarity:
M
Number:
21
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: During target opponent's next turn, creatures that player controls attack Gideon Jura if able. -2: Destroy target tapped creature. 0: Until end of turn, Gideon Jura becomes a 6/6 Human Soldier creature that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
, bane of aggressive decks everywhere! Gift me an answer to Cavern of Souls
Cavern of Souls
Cavern of SoulsSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
As Cavern of Souls enters the battlefield, choose a creature type. {T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a creature spell of the chosen type, and that spell can't be countered.
, destroyer of control! Deliver me from haste and lifegain and huge uncounterable Angels forever and ever. Amen!


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