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CardShark Content - Dave Andrews (9/6/2001)

Searching For a Ray of Hope – GP: Minneapolis Trial in Grand Rapids, MI
Dave Andrews

For those of you who haven’t been faithfully studying every tournament report to track my progress through the IBC season (shame on you!), I’ll review how it has gone. With four PTQ’s behind me, my track record has been less than stellar. I’ve seemed to develop a knack for randomly losing in the most senseless ways, and have started to feel like the only article I’m qualified to write about this format would be titled “The Drop Column and You – A Magic Player’s Guide to Getting Home Early.” It hasn’t helped that since Origins I’ve barely had time to play Magic, let alone do any thorough playtesting, due to recently increased responsibilities at work. So, as the Grand Prix Trial in Grand Rapids on September 1st approached, I was hoping to get caught up with the latest trends in the IBC format and hopefully use the smaller tournament to build my confidence back up and get my season on track.

On the Wednesday before the tournament, I sat down to put a deck together. I hadn’t had the time lately to even keep up with the latest IBC tech on the Internet, but I had a few goals for deck construction. First, the two most important colors in IBC seem to be blue and red, so I figured I might as well play both of them. Besides, I really wanted to play with Fire/Ice, partially thanks to the number of times I personally have had a land tapped by an opponent who was preparing to cast something he didn’t want countered, which I figured was a pretty nice trick from a removal spell that even had the possibility of going 2-for-1 vs. creatures with 1-toughness. Also, I am pretty fond of 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.
, as it is the most punishing counterspell available, and one of my favorite cards from Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
. That plus the two coolest bears around, Gaea’s Skyfolk and 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.
, cemented green as my third color. I also wanted to look for opportunities to gain card advantage other than with the 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.
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.
, and Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker R and/or W. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the R kicker cost, Thornscape Battlemage deals 2 damage to target creature or player. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, destroy target artifact.
and the amazing burn-and-replace spell 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.
seemed to stand out. Finally, at the end of the 4th round in the last PTQ I’d played in, I tallied up the number of decks that didn’t have blue that I and three of my friends had played against, and the answer was 2 out of 16, which made maindeck Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
seem like a pretty good idea. Here is the list I drafted up:

4:Gaea’s Skyfolk
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:Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker R and/or W. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the R kicker cost, Thornscape Battlemage deals 2 damage to target creature or player. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, destroy target artifact.

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.

4:Fire/Ice
4:Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s Rage
3: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: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.

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

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.

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.

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

3:Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

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


On Thursday before the tournament, I got to play a few games against Troy Skinner’s Domain, Black-Blue-Red, and Black-Blue-White. The deck won some, and it lost some, often based pretty much on what kind of draw each deck got, and I continued to feel frustrated at the very random nature of the Invasion Block format. I searched carefully for mistakes I was making and did notice several, but for the most part, the deck with the better opening hand was the winner. That evening, I didn’t even really feel like going to the Grand Prix Trial to randomly lose to some player with 200 fewer rating points than me, and considered doing something else with my Saturday instead. Besides, even though I felt maindeck Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
would be a good idea at a PTQ, I figured it probably would not be so good at the Grand Prix Trial, as I thought the metagame would be a bit more G/R, if not just generally a little more random anyway. However, I resolved to leave the Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
in if I went to the trial, to see just how bad it would be if it really did turn out to be a bad metagame call at a future PTQ.

On Friday I decided I should put a sideboard together, just in case. However, it certainly didn’t seem like the best plan for digging out of my recent slump would involve playing a barely tested deck with a completely untested sideboard, especially since I couldn’t shake the idea that I wanted Sleeping Potion
Sleeping Potion
Sleeping PotionSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
34
Text:
When Sleeping Potion comes into play, tap enchanted creature. Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step. When enchanted creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice Sleeping Potion.
in the board to help deal with 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.
. This is what I put together:

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.

2: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.

2: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.

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

3:Sleeping Potion
Sleeping Potion
Sleeping PotionSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
34
Text:
When Sleeping Potion comes into play, tap enchanted creature. Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step. When enchanted creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice Sleeping Potion.

2:Scorching Lava
Scorching Lava
Scorching LavaSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
164
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Kicker R (You may pay an additional R as you play this spell.)Scorching Lava deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, that creature can't be regenerated this turn and if it would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.


When Saturday morning arrived, I woke up feeling like playing some cards. I was determined to play perfect Magic for the day, and with a little luck I wanted to start digging myself out of the IBC slump I’ve been in. As I headed off to Grand Rapids, I started to feel as if good fortune was on my side that day, as every slow driver politely switched into the right lane to keep from holding me up, and nearly every traffic light I came to was green, so I got to the tournament site in plenty of time despite getting a late start on my normally hour-long drive. A little help from above was exactly what I needed to get my IBC season on track, and I seemed to be receiving that help from the very start of the day.

The tournament had exactly 32 participants for 5 rounds of Swiss under the expert eyes of head judge Glenn Cannon. The prizes had even been beefed up a bit thanks to a generous donation by CardShark. The stage was set for a good day of Magic.

Round 1 vs. Joe w/ Domain

I got a turn 2 Mongoose to start the assault, but Joe had played first and begin accelerating, with a turn 2 Star Compass
Star Compass
Star CompassSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Star Compass comes into play tapped. T: Add to your mana pool one mana of any color a basic land you control could produce.
followed soon after by Harrow
Harrow
HarrowSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Eric David Anderson
Text:
Sacrifice a land: Search your library for up to two basic land cards and put them into play. Shuffle your library afterwards.
, leading up to his turn 5 Legacy Weapon
Legacy Weapon
Legacy WeaponSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
7
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
137
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
WUBRG: Remove target permanent from the game. If Legacy Weapon would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal Legacy Weapon and shuffle it into its owner's library instead.
. Thankfully I was able to put out some creatures to keep the Weapon from targeting my lands, including a 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.
that countered a Global Ruin
Global Ruin
Global RuinSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
18
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Each player chooses from the lands he or she controls a land of each basic land type, then sacrifices the rest.
if I remember correctly, and a pair of Battlemages that each took 2-point shots at my opponent’s face. The game ended with a flurry of 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.
, Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s Rage, and Fire/Ice, and we moved on to game 2.

I started game 2 with a mulligan, and then proceeded to come out with another turn 2 Mongoose followed by more 2-drops. My opponent got Collective Restraint
Collective Restraint
Collective RestraintSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
49
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Creatures can't attack you unless their controller pays X for each creature attacking you, where X is the number of basic land types among lands you control. (This cost is paid as attackers are declared.)
on the table, and from there I paid mana to attack until he got a second Restrain
Restrain
RestrainSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt by target attacking creature this turn.Draw a card.
t on the table. After a few burn spells to my opponent’s face, I drew into 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 turned loose the army that had been loafing on the table to take the 2nd game.

Games: 2-0
Matches: 1-0

Round 2 vs. Matt Seguin w/ Red-Green Beatdown

Not only did I have to play the first game with 4 dead cards in the maindeck (Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
), I also lost the die roll and had to play second versus this very fast deck. However, I was able to get the board stabilized in this game while at 10 life, due in no small part to the Battlemages. From there, it was a race to burn the opponent out before he burned me, and thanks to 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.
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.
, I was able to reach 12 mana first, so I face-Raged Matt before he had the mana to make similar use of the Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s Rage in his hand.

Matt’s deck was a bit different from the standard Red-Green in that it had maindeck Dodecapod
Dodecapod
DodecapodSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
If a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Dodecapod from your hand, put it into play with two +1/+1 counters on it instead of putting it into your graveyard.
instead of Raging Kavu
Raging Kavu
Raging KavuSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
262
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)You may play Raging Kavu any time you could play an instant.
, as Matt felt the Kavu was always running into bears anyway. I’m not sure if that is a good idea, but it turned out to be a real pain in this match, as in this matchup I really try to hold on to Fire/Ice until I can get a 2-for-1 with opposing Thornscape Familiar
Thornscape Familiar
Thornscape FamiliarSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Red spells and white spells you play cost 1 less to play.
s and/or Raging Kavu
Raging Kavu
Raging KavuSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
262
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)You may play Raging Kavu any time you could play an instant.
s. When Dodecapod
Dodecapod
DodecapodSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
If a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Dodecapod from your hand, put it into play with two +1/+1 counters on it instead of putting it into your graveyard.
s came down instead of Raging Kavu
Raging Kavu
Raging KavuSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
262
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)You may play Raging Kavu any time you could play an instant.
, it turned out I had taken extra hits from the Familiar unnecessarily, and only Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s Rage and 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.
could take out the ‘Pod, and I needed those to go the face.

Anyways, Matt put in the Raging Kavu
Raging Kavu
Raging KavuSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
R
Number:
262
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.)You may play Raging Kavu any time you could play an instant.
s for the second game, which helped to make Fire/Ice better, but giving him a little extra punch. This game was much scarier, as I was at 4 life when I stabilized the board, but once again superior card-drawing let me burn Matt out before he was able to burn me.

Games: 4-0
Matches: 2-0

Round 3 vs. Al McCandless w/ Red-Green-black Beatdown

Take your standard Red-Green deck, add in a few Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
s and a 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.
or two, and you get Al’s deck. Game 1 was very interesting, as we pretty much just spent the early part of the game trading creatures for removal. Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker R and/or W. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the R kicker cost, Thornscape Battlemage deals 2 damage to target creature or player. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, destroy target artifact.
s were key in this game of critters vs. removal, and we both drew several. The deciding moment in this game came when I was at 9 life and Al was at 10. We had just traded critters to clear the board, and I topdecked my 3rd Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker R and/or W. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the R kicker cost, Thornscape Battlemage deals 2 damage to target creature or player. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, destroy target artifact.
for the match. I considered holding the Battlemage until Al played a creature first, but elected to play it with a face-shot to try to get in a few swings to bring Al to lethal burn range. However, Al took out my topdecked Battlemage with a topdecked Battlemage of his own, and that Battlemage brought me to death’s door, and Al’s burn pushed me through it.

During game 2, Al had even more removal, as I got my early 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.
Terminate
Terminate
TerminateSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.
d. Things went from bad to worse when Al dropped 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.
, and I began praying to draw the one random Sleeping Potion
Sleeping Potion
Sleeping PotionSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
34
Text:
When Sleeping Potion comes into play, tap enchanted creature. Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step. When enchanted creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice Sleeping Potion.
I had sided in since I had seen Al with a Shivan Wurm
Shivan Wurm
Shivan WurmSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wurm
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Trample. When Shivan Wurm comes into play, return a red or green creature you control to its owner's hand.
in play earlier that day. My prayers weren’t answered, and the 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.
did me in.

Games: 4-2
Matches: 2-1

Round 4 vs. Steve Black w/ Black-Blue-Red Control

This round began with a deck-check, and when the judges returned, Steve was given a game loss for misregistering his deck. I can’t imagine how anybody can get losses for not correctly registering a deck – with so many things that can randomly go wrong, registering your deck is one easy thing that you have complete control of. Why do a careless job, and potentially throw away your entrance fee and hours of work invested in a tournament when a game loss might eliminate you just to save a few minutes of going through your deck and registering it correctly? Anyways, it turned it to be very important this match, as my opponent played so slowly during game 1 that without that game loss, there might not have been time to complete the match.

In game 1 I took a mulligan and kept a hand that was light on early pressure, which I think is very important to beating the Black-Blue-Red decks. Nevertheless, I was on the beatdown when I made a very subtle but costly mistake. I had 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 a Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker R and/or W. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the R kicker cost, Thornscape Battlemage deals 2 damage to target creature or player. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, destroy target artifact.
in play, and my opponent had one blocker ready to trade with one of my critters when I attacked. I had a strong gut feeling that my opponent was holding a Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
. An experienced player should always pay attention to gut feelings, as generally a gut feeling is the result of experience subconsciously coming to a conclusion that your conscious mind is too busy at the moment to work out. There is definitely a difference between a solid gut feeling based on experience and pure unsupported paranoia about a potentially troublesome card in your opponent’s hand, and this definitely felt like a solid gut feeling. Based on this feeling, I considered attacking with only the Battlemage, so that my opponent would trade with the Battlemage, then call 2 with his Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
to remove the Mongoose. I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-9 lands in play at the time, and a hand consisting of another land and an Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s Rage, so a Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
for 3 could take out my win condition. However, I couldn’t reason out why I felt my opponent had Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
, and decided to ignore my gut feeling and attack with both, as those 2 points of damage could be important in a close match. As it turned out, my opponent traded with the Mongoose, and did have the Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
, which took the Battlemage out and forced me to cast the Rage for only 3. Steve had control of the game from that point on, I got burned out while he lived on at 9 life, and we moved on to the next game with less than 15 minutes remaining in the round.

In game 2, I got the early pressure that I had been missing during game 1. I came out with Mongoose and Skyfolk to start beating, and by the time he was able to deal with those I had the burn ready to head-shot this game to its conclusion. With Steve’s game loss, this added up to the match.

Games: 5-3
Matches: 3-1

Round 5 vs. Tony DelBarrio w/ Solution

At this point, I was at 9 points with good tiebreakers, so I was in a position to draw. Tony was also at 9 points, but his tiebreakers were in the bottom half of the 9-point players. I offered the draw, but since I like Tony, I warned him that even though I was offering the draw I didn’t feel he had the tiebreakers to accept my offer. Then we looked a little closer at the pairings, and realized that every 9-point player with good tiebreakers had been paired with a 9-point player with bad tiebreakers, preventing anyone at 9 points from drawing in. Tony seemed really eager to make top 8 at this tournament, and I told him that I was relatively certain that he would make it in by drawing due to the pairings, but that there were problems with that plan, such as if someone else decided the same thing or if someone naturally played to a draw. I told him I’m about 75% sure he’d make it in, but if I were in his seat, I’d play. I mention that maybe I’m a bit cocky, but in that situation I like to take my destiny into my own hands, and just expect to win when the pressure is on. He elected to play rather than draw, which I feel is the right choice, even though it did actually end up eliminating him from the top 8 when he would have made it by drawing. It is so much easier to drive home knowing you did everything to make the top 8 and got beat fair and square than it is when you draw yourself out of the competition when you could have played and had a chance to make it.

Anyways, game 1 of this match was very close, and surprising Tony with the maindeck Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
when he went for an early 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.
may have been the deciding factor. When it got down to the end of the game, Tony was on the offensive with a pro-red Voice of All
Voice of All
Voice of AllSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. As Voice of All comes into play, choose a color. Voice of All has protection from the chosen color.
and a U3BlY3RyYWwgLynx
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.)
, helped through my forces by a Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape ApprenticeSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
75
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.B, T: Target player loses 1 life.
. A little more steam and I would have ended the game at 0 life instead of 4, but I was able to hold out through careful play until I reached 12 mana, and I face-Raged during Tony’s end step and again during my turn to send him from 16 to 0.

Game 2 was the textbook game for my deck, as Gaea’s Skyfolk brought his life down low, and burn spells finished it off. That’s what the deck was designed to do.

Games: 7-3
Matches: 4-1

Quarterfinals vs. Brian w/ Red-Green Beatdown

Once again I had 4 dead cards in my maindeck, and I was going second versus an unforgiving deck. However, I was very careful to get 2-for-1 with Fire/Ice, and Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker R and/or W. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the R kicker cost, Thornscape Battlemage deals 2 damage to target creature or player. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, destroy target artifact.
helped stabilize the board, and my life total went no lower than 4. The finishers this game were a combination of burn and Gaea’s Skyfolk.

For game 2, 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.
came up huge, and my life never dipped below 17. I had good draws throughout this match, and was thankful to be moving on to the next round.

Games: 9-3
Matches: 5-1

Semifinals vs. Matt Seguin w/ Red-Green Beatdown

Once again I sat down against Matt’s Red-Green deck with maindeck Dodecapod
Dodecapod
DodecapodSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
If a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Dodecapod from your hand, put it into play with two +1/+1 counters on it instead of putting it into your graveyard.
, and this time that Dodecapod
Dodecapod
DodecapodSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
If a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Dodecapod from your hand, put it into play with two +1/+1 counters on it instead of putting it into your graveyard.
really gave me fits, as I couldn’t find a burn spell to deal more than 2 damage. That ‘Pod drove my life from 20 to 17 to 14 to 11, and from there was joined by a bear to bring me to 0.

Unlike in our first match, Matt left the Dodecapod
Dodecapod
DodecapodSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Artist:
John Howe
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
If a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Dodecapod from your hand, put it into play with two +1/+1 counters on it instead of putting it into your graveyard.
s in for game 2 of this match. Nevertheless, I was able to wrestle out control of the board, and steal game 2 after Matt had mulliganned into a less than powerful draw.

I started the critical 3rd game with a mulligan, as my opening hand contained only 1 land. My 2nd hand also contained only 1 land, but it had 3 2cc spells, including 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.
, which is guaranteed to trade with an opposing creature, and Fire/Ice, the potential 2-for-1 removal spell. It also had a Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker R and/or W. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the R kicker cost, Thornscape Battlemage deals 2 damage to target creature or player. When Thornscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, destroy target artifact.
which can be so key in this matchup, provided I could get to 4 mana. I resolved to play error-free Magic and kept the 2nd 1-land hand. I managed to make my first 2 land drops so was able to defend myself early, but did miss a few land drops on my way to 4 mana. As the mana slowly came from my deck, I played very carefully, dipping down around 7 life before stabilizing the board with the help of 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.
. I looked to turn to the offensive before my opponent drew too much burn, but stayed careful not to push too fast, always careful to leave enough mana for an emergency 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.
in case Matt threw Ghitu Fire
Ghitu Fire
Ghitu FireSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
144
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
You may play Ghitu Fire any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Ghitu Fire deals X damage to target creature or player.
at me. Once the mana started to flow, it kept on coming, helped out a bit by multiple 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.
s. Despite stumbling a bit early in mana, I was able to keep the table in control until I could bring my burn to bear on Matt’s head, and managed to find my way into the final match.

Games: 11-4
Matches: 6-1

Finals vs. Rocky w/ Kowal.dec

As game 1 got rolling, I realized my mana troubles weren’t over with yet. I started with 2 land in my hand, and drew only 1 more for quite a few turns. I did start with 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.
in my hand, and drew 2 more, but was afraid of overcommitting for fear of Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.
. Passing an opportunity to drop a Mongoose gave me the opportunity to Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.
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.
, which Rocky thought was safe while I only had 2 mana. As Rocky continued making land drops, I figured he did not yet have Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.
, and figured I’d better drop all 3 Mongooses to try to get as much damage in as possible, since land didn’t seem to be showing up any time soon. Rocky had (or drew) the Deed, and wiped out all of the Mongooses, and took over game 1 from there, eventually winning with Spirtmonger.

In game 2, I was tight on land yet again. However, I was once again swinging early with 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.
. I attacked Rocky down to 14 and drew and played another Mongoose. Rocky dropped a 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.
while at 6 life which could have ended my assault, and he Undermine
Undermine
UndermineSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
282
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller loses 3 life.
d the Ice I tried to use to tap the monger during his end step. The Ice was the bait, however, as I had the worst card in my sideboard in my hand: Sleeping Potion
Sleeping Potion
Sleeping PotionSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
34
Text:
When Sleeping Potion comes into play, tap enchanted creature. Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step. When enchanted creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice Sleeping Potion.
! I put the 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.
to sleep, swung with the Mongoose brothers for 2 more turns, and moved on to the 3rd game.

After 2 games with no more than 3 mana for most of each game, I was hoping for a good draw. Once again, I was light on mana, and could only drop bears onto the table. However, game 3 was also Rocky’s turn for mana problems, and while the amount of mana he had wasn’t so bad, he didn’t have any green mana. When my bears brought him down to Rage range and I finished him off, he showed me a hand of all green spells, including 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.
, Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.
, and 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.
, any of which could have ruined my day. The Magic gods certainly were looking out for me that game.

Games: 13-5
Matches: 7-1

So, at the end of the day, I had 3 byes for Grand Prix Minneapolis, the generous prize support provided by Glenn Cannon and CardShark, and, most importantly a renewed confidence in my ability to play in the Invasion Block Format. From here, I just have to keep some steam rolling into the remaining PTQ’s this season; I’m not ready to give up on this season without at least making one PTQ Top 8!


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