Winning a PTQ by Grant Hislop

So, you want to play Storm by Silent Requiem

Insert good intro here.

I’ve collected 3 guys from various Edinburgh locations, and a 4th will be joining us down there due to work commitments. It hadn’t started snowing yet, so this was relatively academic.

Countrymen in tow, we made relatively good time down the road, and arrive at our Oldham base around midnight, and promptly head to the pub (I think I bought these drinks). England being less alcohol focused than Scotland, the pub closes approx 30 mins after we arrive, so we retire to the rooms to play some legacy matchups, given that there’s a tournament on Sunday, following the PTQ. Obviously, I’ve called the double, and claimed to be winning both the PTQ, and the legacy tournament. I don’t think this is an unrealistic goal, as I’m pretty good at the old 60-card decks, tho my limited skills are somewhat lacking. I’ve played 2 Eternal Tournaments to date, and haven’t not made top 4 yet, and am sitting in the lofty position of 6th in Scotland. Clearly this is not an achievement, given that Ben Cabrelli is 25th with a sub-1600 rating, but still, it’s nice to mention at parties…

After falling asleep at somewhere around 2am, I roused everyone from their slumber (lies, I waited until the last possible moment, then jumped in the shower), and headed in the rough direction of the store, ably guided by Ade’s GPS. These crazy people with phones worth more than a tenner…

Following greasy full English breakfasts, we entered the store, ready to game. There’s a relatively decent Scottish contingent, with a car from Glasgow also having made the journey.

I register an entirely unremarkable pool, and am delighted to get it as far away from me as possible. The pool I receive is pretty unexciting. I have a decent amount of removal, and a Steel Hellkite, but I’m not overly optimistic. Double dual land pools are seldom the strongest… Chucked the pool away, but this is the deck I built:-

2 Turn to Slag
1 Trigon of Rage
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Tumble Magnet
2 Revoke Existence
1Trigon of Corruption
1 Galvanic Blast
1 Arc Trail

1 Iron Myr
1 Rust Tick
1 Auriok Edgewright
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Chrome Steed
1 Auriok Replica
1 Palladium Myr
1 Embersmith
1 Leaden Myr
2 Blade-Tribe Berserkers
1 Darksteel Juggernaut
1 Darksteel Sentinel

9 Plains
8 Mountain

Notable Sideboard:-

2 Kemba’s Skyguard
1 Neurok Replica (I like this guy vs infect, even off colour)
1 Auriok Replica
1 Copper Myr (should have MD’d this guy, prob over the Edgewright)

Round 1 – Jack Rowley

I lose the roll, he chooses to play.

Both horribly flooded towards the end, at low life totals. He topdecks a Kuldotha Phoenix and I die on the first swing.

Game 2, I get both berserkers swinging for 6, and Hellkite gets there in the end.

Game 3, I’m pretty quick, and I kill him without him really doing anything.

Round 2 – Stephen Milner

I lose the roll, he chooses to play.

Game 1 I land a quick Hellkite, turn 4 I believe, and he’s toast.

Game 2, I don’t see the Hellkite, but my Berserkers kill him by 6’ing on 1 turn, and the second appears the turn after to kill him.

He comments on how good my deck is. I tell him I think it’s terrible. He points to my Hellkite. I tell him that’s my only decent card, and it’s an artifact. Obv the card is insane, but in an artifact block, I’d rather my only good card had been one of the other massive fliers that kills everything else.

Round 3 – Baljeet Samra

I win the roll, and choose to draw (obv).

Game 1, I get the t4 hellkite, he arrests it, but I have the revoke existence, and kill all his 2’s (3). Nice card. He dies in fairly short order.

Game 2, I don’t see Hellkite, but my Berserkers get there again.

He asks if I’ve managed to win a PTQ yet, and I point out that I’m terrible at limited, and even if my deck was insane, I still can’t draft properly.

Round 4 – Martin Sylvester

He’s playing infect, splashing a Hellkite of his own.

G1, he makes Hellkite, and I don’t see an answer, and get blown out. He plays pretty sloppily, and allows me an extra draw step to find an answer, tho sadly it’s not there.

G2, I have Hellkite, and you can re-write G1 with me. Except I don’t play badly and let him draw extra cards.

G3 is a long one. I can’t remember the exact details, but I end up on 8 poison, and he casts a Contagion Clasp, with enough to proliferate it, and I don’t draw the Revoke Existence I need. Obv, it’s the next card.

I’m quite frustrated to have lost this match. I think this guy is pretty bad, and I don’t think I could have played any differently to change the outcome.

Round 5 – Thomas Robinson

I don’t remember this round at all. Sorry Thomas. I win somehow. Probably Hellkite related.

Round 6 – Carl Atherton

This guy is playing the RB aggro deck, with a ton of sac outlets, and a pair of Furnace Celebrations.

G1, my guys are better than his, and he dies.

G2, he goes nuts. T1 Gaveleer, T2 Painsmith, T3 Axe and equip, and I’m dead around t6.

G3, I just roll him. His cards are terrible, and he’s drawn them in the wrong sequence. I’ve got a 4/4 Chrome Steed to hold the ground, and I win with Juggernaut, which eats a guy a turn until he runs out of guys.

Locked up my 2nd PTQ top 8, and the 1st in which I was sober enough to remember enough to write a shoddy report.

Round 7 – Ross Jenkins

ID, as mathematically, all 16 pointers make it, and only 1 15. Grab Burger King. Feast on the carcasses of animals. Win.

Top 8 Draft:-

I’m feeding Mick Edwards, and being fed by Stuart Horden. P1P1, I take a Perilous Myr over a Grasp in Darkness, preferring to stay open. P2, I’m greeted with a Myr Battlesphere, with a common missing… I reason that Stuart knows what he’s doing, and it’s actually a foil rare missing. Obv it’s a foil Battlesphere he’s taken. Then he passes me Shatter. I continue, drafting metalcraft cards, without a 2nd clear colour until midway through pack 2, when blue is revealed to be open. Sadly, there’s only 1 Myr, and I’m having to play terrible cards like Blade-Tribe Berserkers again, but the deck on the whole is pretty good. It’s a little top-heavy, with not enough accelerators, but I’m pretty pleased.

I built this:-

1 Iron Myr
1 Perilous Myr
2 Neurok Replica
2 Vulshok Replica
1 Hoard Smelter Dragon
1 Saberclaw Golem
2 Blade-Tribe Berserkers
1 Oxidda Scrapmelter
1 Sky-Eel School
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Myr Propagator
2 Chrome Steed
1 Riddlesmith

1 Shatter
1 [card]Flight Spellbomb

1 Panic Spellbomb
1 Stoic Rebuttal
1 Bladed Pinions
1 Golden Urn

9 Island
8 Mountain

¼ Finals – Graeme McIntyre

G1, he’s light on land, and I aggro him.

G2, I’m light on land, and he aggro’s me.

G3 goes long, and my Hoard-Smelter gets there. The less I say about this the better. I played terribly towards the end, and was lucky enough to have been in a dominant enough board position that he wasn’t able to punish me for my terrible plays.

½ Finals – Ross Jenkins

I really don’t remember these games. He was infect, so I sided in the seastrider and a disperse for an Urn and the Golem. I win 2-0 without ever feeling particularly threatened.

Finals – Martin Sylvester

Kinda surprised to be playing this chap again, though perhaps my initial impressions were wrong, and he actually can play cards…

I mulligan to 5 G1, and almost win. I have a Battlesphere active, and topdeck a Vulshok Replica. I need him to block my Battlesphere, and take 7 damage. I attack with my Sphere, a steed, and to try to throw him, I attack with the Myr instead, to try to tempt him to block and kill, rather than chumping my Chrome Steed. He doesn’t bite, and I die on the swingback from Skittles. There wasn’t anything I could have done differently to not lose this game.

G2 I don’t remember. I won. Probably off the Dragon.

G3 was really interesting. I think I played this pretty well. He gets Ezuri’s Brigade active pretty early, but I countered with a dragon, and was able to bounce it with my Replica, and then keep him off metalcraft. Double Berserkers stopped him attacking. He plays a Necrogen Scudder, and I attack my dragon into it. He has Tainted Strike, so my dragon is a 1/1. I’ve got a 2nd Neurok Replica on the table, and am contemplating bouncing it. I figure I’ve got a decent enough board, and the dragon’s still dominating him as a 1/1, so there’s no reason not to play conservatively. For some reason, 2 turns before lethal, he attacks with the brigade, I double block with my berserkers and he untamed might’s for all his mana. I tap 2, sac my replica and it’s back in his hand.

He untaps, replays the brigade, plays a Livewire Lash, looks at his hand, says ‘that was stupid’, thinks for a while, and offers the hand. I slump back, exhausted, then shake hands with just about everyone still left in the building. Amidst much back-slapping and hand shaking, I call Andy Morrison, to let him know the news. Andy’s my magical mentor, the Merlin to my King Arthur, if you will, and seems almost as happy as me. I call Kat, my long-suffering girlfriend, who has recently become more addicted to Magic than is reasonable. She steals Tix and packs from my Modo account with vague promises to return at future dates, then drafts dreadful decks and 1-2’s the swiss queues while drunk.

I’m obviously delighted with myself, and it seems like everyone there was really rooting for me to win.

Hang out at the store for a while, collect my ‘accommodation bursary’ from Ross, and head to the pub. Pretty sure correct etiquette has me buying these drinks, right? Another 2 rounds, on me then.

We all sucked at legacy, and were driving home before round 4 finished.

Snowing obv, progress was slow, but we get in around 9.30. Domino’s waiting. Running goooooood…


Edinburgh guys. Ben, Mark, Ade and Rod. A pleasure to be in your company for the weekend, as always.
Stuart Horden, passing me Myr Battlesphere and then Shatter. That’s some strong signals.
Steel Hellkite, the sole reason I made Top 8.
Fanboy 3 for a well run, organised and fun event


Having to play both my fellow Scots in T8
Snow – You suck to drive in.
My legacy playing skills. 1-2 drop the day after a PTQ win… Sigh.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing,

Grant Hislop

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