Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tournament Report: Eventide the Odds

I. Introduction

Finally! I am writing my report for the Eventide Prerelease weekend recently held here in Iloilo. Sorry for the delay guys and gals. My writing mood just kicked in after a few days of blank thoughts. Grrrr... I don't know why, maybe because of the “Superstar Syndrome”. Lol...

Anyways, the Eventide Prerelease was held with 15 players participating and with Mr. Francis Profeta as the tournament organizer from Neutral Grounds. Everybody was excited (including me) on what new cards we're going to get from the fresh packs. I was still hoping for more players coming to join, but unfortunately the tournament has to start. That was around 11:30am. Sir Francis arranged the names on the table according to the registration list and distributed the packs. The players seated in and the sealed deck listing and creation started.

Iloilo Players getting ready for the Prerelease.

II. The Deck

I started off by opening my Shadowmoor Tournament Pack. I was pretty excited when Sir Francis announced that no card rotation will be made but upon opening my rares, I was like “Wat duh???” My rares from that pack were Polluted Bonds, Swans of Bryn Argoll and Elemental Mastery. Sigh. The only card that I think was worth selling was a Tattermunge Maniac. Oh well, maybe on the Eventide packs I'll get lucky so I opened the remaining three Eventide packs. I got a Sapling of Colfenor, a Wake Thrasher and a Pyrrhic Revival. It wasn't even close to the good cards but still okay. My other cards looked playable in this tournament. I listed the cards one by one as carefully as possible just to make sure I won't miss one.

Deck Building 101

Ok, now for the deck creation. I was browsing my cards on what two-color deck I can possibly make. I was confused on which color to stick to because a lot of options are popping in my mind due to the hybrid cards. Plus, I haven't gotten enough sleep because of the night out at MO2 (its Saturday night you know). Hehe... I know what you're thinking.

Ok, going back, I decided to go red-green because of lots of removal spells on my red pile. Unfortunately, there are less red creatures and bombs so I checked the lists again. I've noticed that the most number of hybrid cards that I have are on the black-green hybrid pile. Also checking the black and green piles, I discovered that I have enough black removal spells and possible threats on my green hybrid critters. So I've listed my possible components and came up with the final decklist. Here's the list:

B/G Eventide Prerelease Sealed Deck 7/13/2008
by Mark Ian Alloso

Lands (18)
9 Forest
9 Swamp

Creatures (14)
1 Sootwalkers
1 Kulrath Knight
1 Slippery Bogle
1 Quillspike
1 Grazing Kelpie
1 Wickerbough Elder
1 Wildslayer Elves
1 Morselhoarder
1 Desecrator Hag
1 Sapling of Colfenor
1 Gloomwidow
1 Faerie Macabre
2 Rendclaw Trow

Spells (8)
1 Blowfly Infestation
1 Gloomlance
1 Cankerous Thirst
1 Syphon Life
2 Gift of the Deity
1 Barkshell Blessing
1 Favor of the Overbeing

The inclusion of the two Gift of the Deity was pretty solid I think because most of my creatures are black green hybrid and it can single-handedly kill all of the opponent's creatures. I've also chosen Favor of the Overbeing plus Slippery Bogle as having these two on your starting hand could be a possible early GG.

III. The Match-ups

I wasn't able to jot down my matches so some accounts here are somewhat inaccurate. Its just an overview of what I've remembered during the matches.

Round 1 – Jonathan Tabalina

Jonathan was playing black-white with a splash of red. I got lucky on the first game as I've drawn what I call my mini-combo, Favor of the Overbeing and the little troll-shroud guy. I won the die roll and I was pretty excited to play the 1/1 critter on my first turn. Athan didn't have any action on his first three turns so I took advantage by playing the Favor on turn 2 and a Gloomwidow on turn 3. After several beats of the 3/3 flying, vigilance and troll shroud beast, he conceded.

In game 2, we started off trading early creatures but he ran out of gas while I played some evasion and persist creatures, overpowered his and get in for a quick kill. The result was 2-0.

Round 2 – Rei Anthony Coo

As I was called by Rei to seat in for the match, I said to myself, “Omg, I'm facing the 2008 Cebu Regionals second placer. This is going to be a tough one.” So I just prayed that my deck will do its job well, hopefully. Rei was playing black-red.

In game 1, he got me in an early rush of critters and the two Noggle Bandits seemed unstoppable. In Game 2, I mulligan my draw to a better hand of six. I started the beats on turn three and saw him not playing any threats. Maybe he got mana-screwed as I only see Mountains in his side. He was able to stabilize turns later but wasn't enough to stop my creatures for the kill. In game 3, he was able to get me into 6 life with an early beats. I was playing creatures turn after turn just to keep up with his Noggle Bandit. Luckily, he ran out of blockers and seeing his next draw to be of no use, he extended his hand. Game result: 2-1

Now I'm just two wins away from that Prerelease T-shirt. I was already happy because of the two booster packs I've won and seemed contented with it.

Round 3 – Elmer Casipe

Seeing Elmer defeating Master Mao in the previous round gave me the chill. Maybe his deck is composed of bombs and good cards. Still, I have no choice but to play it and hope my deck will maintain its good tempo. Elmer was playing Red-Green-White.

In game 1, Lady Luck was on my side again. He seemed to be mana screwed! Seeing the opportunity, I took advantage to get some early damage on him. After seeing me playing several threats, he casted Hallowed Burial. Wtf! Still, he continues to draw-go and I was able to play the rest of my hand, getting in for some damage and playing removal on his critters. My Wicker-bough Elder withered with three counters and the Quillspike, very happy to see those -1/-1 counters, took him from 10 life to zero.

In game 2, we had an early trade of creatures and he hold on defense 3 critters, including a Lockjaw Snapper. A wrong decision of block and having a Blowfly Infestation in play resulted in a domino effect of -1/-1 counters and left him with a 1/1 Wildslayer Elves. We were both able to stabilize our defenses again until he played a Volleymaker. I had no removal in hand and was praying for a good top deck. God is very good and my top deck was a Gift of the Deity. Woohoo! I quickly enchanted it to my Desecrator Hag and swing in to kill all of his creatures. He seems to be mana flooding after that and my two remaining critters took the game and the win. The game result was 2-0.

Wow, a 3-0 record. My first time to have this record in a Prerelease and I was very happy about it. Only one more to go, can I do it in the last round?

Round 4 – Oliver Mastilero

Nice. I was paired with card pool partner, Master Oliver. He was very considerate and we agreed that I will be the winner of the match. Game result: 2-1.

Games: 8-2
Matches: 4-0

IV. Conclusion

Overall, I was happy of my decision and card choices on the deck. I must also say Luck is a part of Magic and it plays a very good part. Even though I have no bomb rares and only got a Sapling of Colfenor as a rare threat (I don't consider it as one though, lol), the deck's performance was good. Gift of the Deity was my MVP card at that tournament. The other cards worth mentioning are:

  • Rendclaw Trow – Persist and wither are very good combination in this card.
  • Quillspike – Trow's best friend. I can imagine his eyes glowing as he sees those wither counters in my other creatures. Wait, his eyes are really glowing! Lol...
  • Wicker-bough Elder – For eating my opponent's Scuttlemutt and providing a good beatdown.
  • Slippery Bogle and Favor of the Overbeing – For the two-card combo and a very good early threat.
  • Cankerous Thirst – A definitely good combat tricks card, killing two for one.
  • Blowfly Infestation – For serving it's purpose well in Round 3.

After the tournament, we decided to have a drinking session with Sir Francis to make him enjoy his stay in Iloilo before he goes back to Manila that night. Here's a glimpse of that event.

Enjoying the night.

You can check the rest of the Prerelease pics here.

That concludes my tournament report peeps. Thank you very much for reading. Till next time... =)

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