Hey everyone! I know I haven't posted in quite some time...almost 6 months, however life has changed for me quite a bit and I've come to find some time and a post worth posting to the avid readers :D. SO! With that said this is a MTG post / tournament report for SCG Invitational Qualifier Temecula.
4 Jace TMS
3 Gideon Jura
3 Day of Judgement
3 Spell Pierce
3 Mana Leak
2 Into the roil
2 Tumble Magnets
2 Sword of Feast and Famine
4 Squad Hawks
4 Stoneforge Mistics
3 Tectonic Edge
1 Mystifying Maze
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Seachrome Coasts
4 Celestial Colonnade
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Marsh Flats
3 Kor firewalker
2 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Sylovk Lifestaff
2 Volition Reins
2 Divine Offering
1 Jace Beleren
So yeah, thats it! Nothing too different about most Caw-Blade archetype, mainly based of Mike Flores' deck in the last StarCity open in atlanta. However, swapping out 1 Tech edge for 1 Mystifying Maze proved to be beyond clutch.
In terms of boarding... I was determined NOT to lose to red decks anymore. Thats why I bring in 10 hate cards against them (everything except the last 5). Caw-Blade is naturally strong vs everything in the format maindeck-wize except RDW, RUG control (draw dependent), and the pesky elves...
Anyway, that was my mindset going into the tourney, crush the red decks, out-play the mirror and just let the birds peck everything else to death.
Round 1 RDW
So this was where I needed to see if my sideboard strategy would work...With RDW, for those who aren't familiar with the matchup, they almost ALWAYS win game 1, almost always. Unless they draw terrible or you just somehow get there the odds are against you. However this was a random case of the "run goods" because I actually took game 1 off my opponent, putting me in great shape to win the match.
Game 2 was insanely good for my opponent, he casts a goblin guide and beats for 2, I take it and he passes to me. I oust the annoying guide on my turn 1, saving me almost another 4-6 damage. He then casts a wardriver and passes. I cast hawk, get a couple more and pass back. Then then bursts my hawk casts goblin wardriver #2, and swigs for 5, putting me at 13. I have day-o and need to survive just 1 turn to cast it. I decide the best way to do it, is to cast a hawk and tap land. He then casts another goblin guide and an ember-hauler. Which....he then ember's my hawk, and beats for...13....yeah exacties on turn 4 for him, that'll happen, not a whole lot i could do.
Game 3 was VERY difficult as I had to mull to 5 and didn't draw a single board card, minus sylvok lifestaff. There was a crucial point in the game where I was at 3 life, zero creatures on board, but lifestaff. Gideon at 2, Jace at 9, two tumble magnets with 1&2 counters respectively, with my opponent having ember-hauler and goblin guide; no cards in hand. I fateseal with jace putting him to 11, i see a burn spell and send it to the bottom. I'm forced with a tough decision here, where I'm supposed to either decide to play the odds and pray he doesn't draw a draw spell, OR trade a high amount of resources to make sure i don't die. So I decide to animate Gideon, and equip it with lifestaff. I beat for 7, and then cast ANOTHER gideon from my hand legendary ruling them out so i could gain 3 life putting me to 6. Normally I would never have to kill my own gideon with another one of my own gideons but you have to do whatever it is to make sure you win. I ended up fatesealing him out with jace, but thats another story. That play caused me to win the game. Out-of-the-box resource use is how you sometimes get there!
Round 2 Caw-Blade
Mirror Match! The only difference is my opponent seemed to be playing Sword of body as his first choice search. This was a mistake most people would agree to. Sword of B&M is significantly worst than sword of F&F, in current format. There is no reason to be playing sword of B&M over F&F because the mill is almost irrelevant + with the amount of hawks you can fetch out, having a creature is really insignificant. Discarding a card from you're opponents hand + timewalking lands is far better almost every scenario.
I was able to take game 1, lost game 2, didn't have the draw :( But game 3 was mine for the taking, I was able to out-resource my opponent with a volition reins on HIS jace (V Reins is the BEST mirror match card, there is nothing else that comes close to it in the board). He had to cast his 2nd jace to legendary rule his out, while i casted my jace the following turn, with him down 2 jaces, and me only down a volition reins the game quickly swung in my favor. GG.
Round 3 Elves
By far the worst matchup for my deck in the meta. I day-o'd 2 times game 1, but because he was able land a garruk afterwards and have infinite 3/3 beasts i was unable to come back from it. Game 2 was a bit more of a landslide win for him, he shit-out elves like you do, and then when i tapped out; lead the stampede for 4/5 hitting crucial creatures. I was fk'd, very bad matchups are terrible. Scooped and went on with the tourney.
Round 4 RDW
Another RDW deck, I rolled my eyes at seeing goblin guide from my opponent and then was determined NOT to lose to this crappy archetype. I lost game one as I'm supposed to. However, my firewalkers seemed to show up in games 2-3, which was a blow-out card against RDW. I actually ended game 3 with 21 life as i oust'd two of my squad hawks at the end for style points, only to cast the 3rd and get them back :D
Also my opponent liked the doodles i did on my hawks, especially the freedom hawk. Which, I explained to him that the freedom hawk was a symbol of America! Dropping freedom bombs on goblin terrorists. :D
Round 5 U/B control (non-infect)
This was the home-brew deck that had been doing well in the tourney. But it was time to come across a real deck and it ended up dying. I boarded in my volition reins against him and was able to steal his Abyssal Persecutor and proceed to beat him down with it only to into the roil it back into his hand ftw :D
My Record at this point is: 4:1:0
Round 6 Elves (draw)
My opponent was 4-0-1 so I was lucky enough to get paired up and draw into top 8. At this point I was able to get some dinner with Edwin Rivas, a long-time player of magic and his friends over at the pizza place next door. Edwin had already qualified to go into the Star City Invitational so he was just there to cheer his brother and friends on.
TOP 8 - Boo yea!
Quarter-Finals - Elves
I ended up playing Corey again, my only loss in the swiss, for the first round of top 8. He had me game 1 without much trouble, i fought hard but the elves came out and I had no solution to deal with them. Game 2 I was able to take the win with double sword of Feast and Famine hitting him on turn 5 without him having a fauna shaman to tutor up an Equipment destruction elf.
Game 3 was the grudgematch, but the thing that won it for me was Mystifying maze! There was a scenario where we were both about to lethal eachother in a all-out attack, he being elves had more damge to deal but i was at 12, while he was at 7. He was able to throw another blocker in me to give himself 1 more turn of attacks, as well as being able to tutor up ezuri and use his ulti. Which he did, the only thing that saved me was being able to maze out his archdruid, minusing his elves by 1 each preventing the druid damage and the lord effecting dealing me 11 not 12 damage. I attacked for lethal next turn. Very good match, strong opponent, we both played incredibly well.
Semi-Finals U/W Control Pilot: Edwin Rivas
We had an amazing match. really strong on both sides.
Game 1 was a landslide win for me. He tried to roll out a baby-jace on turn 3, after I casted a stoneforge on turn 2 with open mana. I suppose he was thinking I was going to play a land maybe a hawk and pass turn on my turn 4, however I roll out papa jace and end up raping him in resources. The sword connects a few times and its gg.
Game 2 I kept a 6 lander with a Divine offering. Against Edwin, thats not horrible especially with two of those lands being tec-edges. My plan was to either draw into business, OR edge him out sticking him to 3-4 lands. No edwin managed to get ALL the lands in the world and land a baby jace, I lose. Yes, it's almost that simple land jace 1.0 or 2.0 and you win.
Game 3 I keep a 1 lander after mulling to 6 because it has preordain and a baby jace. I get to 3 lands I will probably win as I'm going first. So, the plan works. I stick baby jace but Edwin sticks his sea-gate oracle. Which was annoying, because i only get to minus jace once before I have to plus him again. This happened a few times, until I finally got a hawk with a sword and proceeded to take away the card I was giving him with jace. I stick a gideon to protect my baby jace and proceed to win from there on out. It was a fun match, Edwin played well he set up a good defence but was unable to stop the hawks beating for 3 a piece.
Finals - Draw
Amazingly enough Edwin's brother had made it to the finals. I knew that was the whole point of them coming so they could all go and play in the Invitational together. Edwins brother Michael is a good player, but I've seen him make some pretty crucial mistakes, (like searching for Sword of B&M at non-optimal times). My instincts told me I could probably beat him, but to dreamcrush him out of going on a trip with his brother wasn't really my style. Also, out of all probability I was not going to be able to go the invitational anyway, AND have never played a legacy tourney in my life. Sooo, with all that on the stack I decided to split-second a Split.
Me --> 1/2 cash and 2nd place packs
Michael --> invite + 1/2 cash
We both profit this way, although it'll say he got first when the official Standings come up. Even though this kinda bugs me that I could have beat him, I felt like I made out like Charley Sheen; WINNING! :D
All in all a couple of cards that did nothing for me:
White Leyline - the only matchup with having it in is valacute. I brought it out against red deck and firewalker was key in winning that 1. I think that volition reining a Primeval is almost as good as having white leyline. But all in all I could have been playing 1 more firewalker and another tech-edge and it would have probably been better. 4 Converted mana cost is too much for the tempo of this format sneaking it in turn zero is the only way to go and even then its only semi-useful.
Into the roil was amazing. Super awesome. Cannot tell you how clutch that spell was. Playing two in the main board saved me from a lot of pitfalls i could have ran into. I boarded it out A LOT especially against red deck and a couple of other fast-pased decks, but being able to bounce something, only to have them discard it with the sword trigger is by far one of the best plays caw-blade can do.
Baby Jace - Was very very very clutch as well, having the 5 jaces in the mirror match allows you to make sure you never run out of jace supply. Like i mentioned earlier my opponent drew two jaces, which killed each other only to have my jace hit the board and start wrecking the subsequent turns.
MVP play of the day: Legendary ruling Gideon with another 1 of my own Gideons to gain 3 life...
That's pretty much everything! Hope you guys enjoy, comments, concerns, discuss!