Welcome to the Grimsby Mirrordin Besieged Tournament Report by Mark Pinder

Support Your Local Playgroup by Mark Pinder

Hi, this is the first Tournament Report for the Grimsby Magic Club on mtgUK and I thought it would be nice to start with a bit of history on the club. The club was founded in October 2006 after a friend and I had gone to the Store Team Challenge Finals and been soundly outplayed. It was a sobering experience to go from someone who did well at your local shop and had won a qualifier to get your invite only to find almost everyone else in the room was better than you. The club started as mainly casual and some testing but did run some non-sanctioned events, then March 2008 and I get accepted as a Tournament Organiser running a Coldsnap Sealed Event as you could get boxes for about £30 ! This was followed in July by us getting an Eventide Pre Release and FNM. Since then the club has ebbed and flowed gaining new members over the space of that time though several members date back to within the first year.

We had fourteen players attend our Pre Release, this could have been better but Magic is growing in the area and as is the way with Pre-release’s we have a fixture clash with several travelling players attending events at their local shop which had just gained the ability to host a Pre-Release.

Player Name     –        Faction

Bass, Neil – Phyrexian

Cupples, Lester – Phyrexian

Duignan, Tom – Phyrexian

Engledow, Sam – Phyrexian

Gabbitas, Paul – Mirran

Hockney, Mike – Mirran

Hodson, Phil – Phyrexian

Howell, Josh – Phyrexian

Meanwell, Dave – Mirran

Neilson, Jason – Phyrexian

Ritchie, James – Mirran

Pinder, Mark – Phyrexian

Schofield, Mike – Mirran

Smith, Ken – Phyrexian

The Phyrexian’s outnumber the Mirran nine players to five. Indeed after the previous day in Lincoln several players have gone Phyrexian as with Faction Packs the dark side looks significantly stronger to play, well the Top Eleven out of thirty eight players certainly gave us food for thought.

We also have a few other players who turn up over the course of the day to look at the new cards, pick up a theme deck early or just to get some games in generally. We also have the lovely Annette Suddaby with us, she is quickly recruited to coverage duty which will allow me to play too.

I open my pool and the first pack I open is from Scars of Mirrordin and I smile as I see Venser, the Sojourner looking at me, then I realise the problem I might have, I’ve gone for the Phyrexian side. Eventually I settle on my deck, well I always liked Doran so it is Black, White and Green Infect, it gives me the depth in Infect creatures to go for the “Ten Life” strategy and the best removal in my packs.

However, we seem to have a winner as Mike Hockney had declared his pool is awesome and his Goldfish opponent is being annihilated.

Round One.

First blood goes to Sam Engledow as Phrexia take a 1-0 lead over the Mirran as James Ritchie succumbs to the power of Infect . Sam wins a deck box for his fast play. This win is closely followed by myself in an all Phyrexian encounter against Lester Cupples, Lester hasn’t played Magic in about nine months so not only is Mirrodin Besieged new to him, so are the Scars of Mirrodin cards. The last match sees Ken Smith beat Jason Neilson in an all Phyrexian encounter, Jason has the dubious honour of really being the worst player in the county, his Total Rating is the very bottom. You can watch part of this game below.

Tom Duignan beats Neil Bass 2-0

Sam Engeldow beats James Ritchie 2-0

Mark Pinder beats Lester Cupples 2-0

Mike Schofield beats Phil Hodson 2-0

Ken Smith beats Jason Neilson 2-0

Paul Gabbitas beats Mike Hockney 2-0

Dave Meanwell beats Josh Howell 2-1

Mike Hockney is heard to declare that his pool is now pants !

Phyrexia have fours wins whilst the Mirran’s have three wins. The Mirran though have two wins though against their Phyrexian invaders one. The Phyrexian’s are being held in check as the first battle goes to the Mirran.

Round Two.

Sam was the first to finish again but this time on the losing side as the Infect Mirror match goes the way of his opponent, me. The matches were brutal, game one was a blow out to my guys but the second was a come from behind victory as I stabilised. Looking around the room James Ritchie has won his match against Dave Meanwell after being paired up, apparently Dave’s Elspeth never made the field which was key to his decks strategy to win. Neil Bass is wearing his Hogwart’s scarf but it isn’t enough to stop Lester Cupples rebuilt deck taking this match up.

Mike Hockney beats Phil Hodson 2-1

Lester Cupples beats Neil Bass 2-0

Josh Howell beats Jason Neilson 2-0

Tom Duignan beats Mike Schofield 2-0

James Ritchie beats Dave Meanwell 2-1

Mark Pinder beats Sam Engledow 2-0

Paul Gabbitas beats Ken Smith 2-0

Again we have four Phyrexian wins and three Mirran wins, the Mirran also again beat their rivals two one in the head to head matches. The Mirran win the second battle and are pushing the Phyrexian’s back into the sea.

Round Three.

Things are really beginning to hot up now as we hit the penultimate round. I get to play a Mirran deck, not surprisingly it is White and Red being run by Paul Gabbitas. Paul is a skilled player but hasn’t found much time to play Magic as much as he would like, Paul has been a solid competitor for several years playing in both English and Welsh Nationals in the past. Game one goes to the Mirran combat tricks, Game two is a poison blow out in really quick time but the third game is scary, Blightwidow to hold the board as in go the Tine Shrike’s for the win. I had been worried about a three colour mana base but the speed of the Infect creatures was paying off. Final here we come. Sam does it again with his ultra quick poison deck to defeat our resident pro player though to be fair to Tom both games were due to mana issues. Mike Hockney and Lester Cupples have an awesome match and a deadlocked game two with awesome armies on each side as Mike comes back to level the tie but time is called as shuffling up for game three on the third mulligan.

Mark Pinder beats Paul Gabbitas 2-1

Ken Smith beats Mike Schofield 2-0

Phil Hodson beats Jason Neilson 2-0

Josh Howell beats James Ritchie 2-1

Sam Engeldow beats Tom Duignan 2-0

Neil Bass beats Dave Meanwell 2-0

Mike Hockney and Lester Cupples draw 1-1

Six Phrexian wins and a draw this round. The Phyrexians though beat four Mirran players in the head to head. The Phyrexian’s have launched a massive attack and have taken a strong position heading into the last round. The Phyrexian’s look to have well and truly turned the tide with victory in their grasp.

Round Four.

It is the Final round and the pressure is really on, even though I am in pole position and top of the standings nothing is certain. Paul, Sam, Tom, Josh and Ken are all in with a shout, if I lose it goes down to the tie breaker lottery. The pairings come out and they are certainly interesting ones.

Tom is playing Josh, both went to Nationals this year and are really good players. Tom has that bit more Magic skill and has a Pro Point from GP Amsterdam 2009 with several Day Two Grand  Prix finishes.

Paul is playing Sam, so the top rated Mirran deck is playing the most unstable deck of the day. Sam’s deck it seems kills with poison within the first few turns or burns out completely.

Mark is playing Ken, well I know I have to win to secure first place, Ken’s opponents have been mixed to say the least in their fortunes. Ken has improved his game a lot of late and his limited performances have seen him in the final on more than one occasion. Ken is a canny player on the Grimsby scene but one who blows hot and cold.

Jason finishes the day without even a game win, Jason is far from downhearted as worryingly he is quite happy at the fact he will be adding yetanother Wooden Spoon to his collection. Just a shame our cheap supply of Unhinged/Unglued Boosters dried up as we always used to hand one of these boosters as an additional Booby prize to last  place. Dave puts up another win for the Mirran.

Tom Duignan wins his all Phyrexian match up as both decks are running quite quick with mana issues for each player games one and two but the third played out properly.

Phil and Neil are battling for bragging rights in the car home and it’s the driver Phil who can crow all the way back to Lincoln.

Sam’s deck implodes against Paul Gabbitas, with both players being previously vanquished by myself I know their Tie breakers should be good.

Mike Schofield has a last round win but has been disappointing with Scars of Mirrodin. Mike Schofield won the Zendikar Pre Release and Release Event last year. Mike Hockney finishes the day with yet another loss.

James Ritchie had a PTQ Top Eight at his first attempt and GB Nationals in 2010 and is a good player in constructed formats with his favourite curiously being Extended, getting better all the time at limited.  James beats Lester two nil.

The final match up is myself verses Ken, which you can watch below. The match result was two nil to myself but Ken ran the first game really close but in the second game had to face a deck that hit every land drop and was curving brilliantly.

Finals: Mark vs Ken Game 1.

Finals: Mark vs Ken Game 2.

Phil Hodson beats Neil Bass 2-0

Paul Gabbitas beats Sam Engledow 2-0

Tom Duignan beats Josh Howell 2-1

Mike Schofield beats Mike Hockney 2-1

Dave Meanwell beats Jason Neilson 2-0

Mark Pinder beats Ken Smith 2-0

James Ritchie beats Lester Cupples 2-0

Well the Phyrexian’s seem to be fighting amongst themselves but the Mirran are fighting for their lives. All three inter faction matches go the way of the Mirran. Amazingly the Mirran have come back from the precipice of disaster to win seven matches to six from the Phyrexian’s.

Final Standings at Grimsby Magic Club Mirrodin Besieged Pre Release.

Pos Player Pts Results Tie Breaker 1 Tie Breaker 2 Faction
1 Pinder, Mark 12 4/4/0/0 52.0833 88.8889 Phyrexian
2 Gabbitas, Paul 9 4/3/0/0 58.3333 77.7778 Mirran
3 Duignan, Thomas 9 4/3/0/0 45.75 66.6667 Phyrexian
4 Engledow, Sam 6 4/2/0/0 75 50 Phyrexian
5 Smith, Kenneth 6 4/2/0/0 64.5 50 Phyrexian
6 Schofield, Mike 6 4/2/0/0 52.0833 44.4444 Mirran
7 Howell, Josh 6 4/2/0/0 52 54.5455 Phyrexian
8 Ritchie, James 6 4/2/0/0 45.8333 50 Mirran
9 Meanwell, Dave 6 4/2/0/0 41.5 50 Mirran
10 Hodson, Phil 6 4/2/0/0 37.3333 55.5556 Phyrexian
11 Cupples, Lester 4 4/1/1/0 54.0833 37.5 Phyrexian
12 Hockney, Michael 4 4/1/1/0 52.0833 40 Mirran
13 Bass, Neil 3 4/1/0/0 52.0833 25 Phyrexian
14 Neilsen, Jason 0 4/0/0/0 50 0 Mirran

The Winning Faction was Mirran.

Winning the event overall for Phyrexia was Mark Pinder.

The best placed Mirran was Paul Gabbitas in second place.

Winning Deck & Pool.

Basically I went pretty much all in Infect splashing the white for four more creatures and the Arrest. Mana base was a bit shaky and gave mulligan problems several times but when the deck fired off it was a solid performer.

Sideboard Cards.

Auriok Replica

Bladed Sentinel

Echo Circlet

Flight Spellbomb

Heavy Arbalest

Ichor Wellspring x 2


Moriok Replica

Myr Sire

Necogen Censer

Neurok Replica

Pierce Strider

Pschosis Crawler

Rusted Slasher


Snapsail Glider


Throne of Geth

Trigon Of Mending

Vulshok Replica

Caustic Hound x 2

Dross Hopper

Horrifying Revelation


Phyresis x 3

Phyrexian Rager x 2

Relic Putrescence

Fulgent Distraction x 2

Phyrexian Rebirth

Sunspear Shikari

Blunt the Assault x 2

Creeping Corrosion

Molder Beast

Pistus Strike

Viridian Revel

I’ve not recorded the Blue and Red as not really an issue for making the pool of a Phyrexian deck but the other card of note was Venser, the Sojourner.

Well that was our Pre-Release in Grimsby, thanks to Tu for additional prizes from mtgUK and Manaleak.com as the players really appreciated the deck boxes, folders and for myself an awesome play mat for my collection of prizes.

Quickest Beatings Winner!

Thanks for reading and thank you for your support,


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Mark Pinder
I have competed twice at GB nationals in 2010/2008, was Runner Up at Senior Nationals 2010, Won a Grand Prix Trial which took me to Paris 2009. My love of the game was such that I did previously win a writing competition on MTG Twincast which led to me being a Feature Writer for around a year until the Sponsor sold up but still did the occasional article. There is also a verb "To Pinder"colloquially used in northern magic communities which means "to gain life", I was a solid fan of Martyr of Sands/Proclamation of Rebirth combo and many players have heard those fateful words, Sacrifice Martyr of Sands, gain 21 life against me to see the game go out of their reach with lethal damage available to them next turn.