M14 Game Day tournament report

I went to the M14 Game Day tournament at my FLGS and fluked my way into a 2nd place finish out of 14 people by going 3-1.

Why a fluke, you may ask? Well, there were only two undefeated players after three rounds, but one of them didn't want to intentionally draw to guarantee himself at least 2nd place. Ah, principles! Thanks for getting me a better standing!

I played a fairly standard Jund Midrange deck, still using Thundermaw Hellkite instead of Arbor Elf or Lifebane Zombie because I'm old-skool that way:

4  Blood Crypt
2  Cavern of Souls
2  Dragonskull Summit
2  Kessig Wolf Run
4  Overgrown Tomb
3  Rootbound Crag
4  Stomping Ground
4  Woodland Cemetery

4  Huntmaster of the Fells
3  Olivia Voldaren
3  Scavenging Ooze
4  Thragtusk
2  Thundermaw Hellkite

1  Abrupt Decay
3  Bonfire of the Damned
1  Dreadbore
4  Farseek
2  Mizzium Mortars
2  Putrefy
2  Rakdos's Return
2  Tragic Slip

2  Garruk, Primal Hunter

1  Deadbridge Chant
2  Gaze of Granite
1  Liliana of the Veil
1  Mizzium Mortars
2  Pillar of Flame
1  Rakdos's Return
2  Ruric Thar, Unbowed
2  Slaughter Games
1  Tragic Slip
2  Vraska the Unseen

Here's how my four rounds broke down:

Round 1: versus RWB Midrange (Eimantas)

I'm sure that there's a name for this kind of deck, because I've seen it fairly often. It's fairly light on creatures, and relies on planeswalkers (Liliana of the Veil and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad) to put pressure on before dropping an Assemble The Legion or two and rolling over with swarms of little dudes. I was able to (often just barely) sneak in lethal damage to planeswalkers when it counted, and got lucky enough to finish my opponent off with a trampling Thragtusk while two Assemble the Legions were in play. Whew!

2-0 for me.

Round 2: versus RG Aggro (John K.)

This is the match I expect to see more often than any, since I feel that a lot of people are running RG Aggro right now. He was using one of the configurations that runs Temple Gardens just to make sure he can cast Boros Reckoner at any time.

One thing I hadn't played against before this match was Burning Earth. Man, that shuts me down right proper. Luckily for me, I won the first game, and was able to close out the second game before his sideboarded-in Burning Earth could finish me. Playing two Thundermaw Hellkites over two turns will do that ;)

2-0 for me

Round 3: versus RG Aggro (Oskar)

I think this was close to Brian Kibler's build. I did not do so well. I lost the first match very quickly because I didn't have enough removal to deal with his creatures. I may have been able to drag the match out for a couple rounds longer than it went, but I misplayed and attacked with too many guys once and left inadequate defences behind.

You'd think that, based on my previous match, I'd be cognizant that Burning Earth would wreck me and I should sideboard in answers to it (Vraska the Unseen, in my case). NOPE I kept her at home and paid the price when the Burning Earth hit and I couldn't do anything except tap mana and die.

0-2 for him

Round 4: versus Jund Midrange (Lucas)

A mirror match! I got lucky and was able to get the jump in both games. In the first game I got some good acceleration and was able to Rakdos's Return away five of his six cards in hand before he could get a foothold (although his Scavenging Ooze got pretty big). In the second game I was the first to play a Huntmaster of the Fells, which let me kill any Huntmasters he played (due to the favourable flips into Ravager of the Fells.)

2-0 for me.

All in all, my deck performed pretty well, and it was mostly my own idiocy that lost me games. The more I use this deck, the more I love it. I hardly ever saw Rakdos's Return, but the times I did I was usually able to capitalize. My Scavenging Oozes didn't do as well as I thought they would, but I think that's a learning experience for me since I usually played them as soon as I could. In the future I'll try to be more willing to hold onto them until I can grow one to massive proportions the turn that it's played.

Since it was a 14-player field, I won four boosters, which I took in store credit instead of actual packs. What will my $12 buy me? Who knows!

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