Grand Prix Barcelona Trial at Manaleak Worcester Tournament Report by Aaron Biddle

Grand Prix Barcelona Trial at Manaleak Worcester Tournament Report by Aaron Biddle

Hi everyone! It’s my first article for mtgUK and hopefully not my last, so I am fully aware that it might not be up to scratch. If you have any queries or things I should do to make these articles more exciting to read then feel free to comment. It would be much appreciated!

Anyway with that aside I can move back to a few days before Grand Prix Trial Barcelona where my conversation with Dad went:

ME: Hey Dad, what should I play in the GPT at Manaleak next week?

DAD: Whatever you want mate.

ME: I was hoping you’d say that, I’ll play with your Caw-Blade deck then!

DAD: I better get used to playing your Tezzeret deck in future!!


I was all set to play U/W Caw-Blade with mained Baneslayers when I stumbled on this U/W/r beauty that GerryT had just got into the top8 with (he went on to win) at Starcitygames Open Washington DC on the same weekend as GPT Barcelona at Manaleak’s Tournament Centre in Worcester.

And here is the deck:


1 Sword of Body and Mind

1 Sword of Feast and Famine

4 Squadron Hawk

4 Stoneforge Mystic

3 Lightning Bolt

2 Mana Leak

3 Spell Pierce

3 Gideon Jura

4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Day of Judgment

4 Preordain

3 Island

3 Mountain

4 Plains

4 Arid Mesa

3 Celestial Colonnade

2 Evolving Wilds

2 Glacial Fortress

3 Scalding Tarn

3 Seachrome Coast


1 Basilisk Collar

4 Cunning Sparkmage

1 Inferno Titan

1 Sun Titan

1 Dispel

3 Divine Offering

4 Flashfreeze


At first I thought well what does this deck do better than Caw-Blade, I mean its not even got any Tectonic Edges. I guess I should have thought about it harder! Anyway needless to say I decided to play it and I was in high spirits at the beginning of the day. On to my matches. (Sorry, if they are vague, but I didn’t think I was going to do a report and I didn’t take notes…)


ROUND 1. Simon Bainbridge playing his own brew of U/B Forgemaster Tezzeret:

Game 1: I mulliganed to six on the play. However I opened a sick hand of Plains, Island, Preordain, Stoneforge, Jace TMS, and Spell Pierce. T1 Preord into Stoneforge and untapped land, keeping both on top. He had no T2 accelerator so I stuck the Sword of F and F into play, untapped drew land, played it, cast Stoneforge number 2 and fetched Sword BAM, I then equipped the Stoneforge (without sickness) and bashed in untapping my land, casting JaceTMS and fatesealing him off Tezz.

Game 2 it was his turn to mulligan but he shipped his six back for a five that led to a very reluctant keep. I had the nut draw and soon enough I had Stoneforge equipped with both Swords, some Wolf tokens and a Jace TMS fatesealing him off land I believe and that was all she wrote. SWEEEEEEEEEEEET!



ROUND 2. Tu playing Caw-Blade with main deck Sun Titans and Condemns:

I won the roll and opted to play first (of course!) and we both sent our openers back for a fresh six which we both kept. We mimicked Colonnades for the first turns while on T2 I cast Hawk and he cast Stoneforge. I drew Sword of F and F, cast it equipped and really clumsily attacked right into a Condemn allowing him to counterswing with a Sworded Stoneforge. GREAT and a few turns of him countering my relevant spells, I found myself down a game. For some strange reason I didn’t side in my Sparkmage package against him and sure enough I promptly died to  his equipped Hawks (one of them equipped with a Bonehoard, NICE TECH TU!) and Colonnades, maybe it was because I knew that I would miss the ability……. Tu gave me some sideboarding advice (put in Sparkies, Collar & Sun Titan; take out Leaks and Days) and told me he’ll see me in the finals.



Round 3. John Jemmet playing Boros:

I won the roll (wow, I’m on a good run) and after I stabilise on 7 life, cast Hawks to chump until I dray a Day of Judgment leaving him with no cards in hand and no creatures on the board. He drew and cast Geopede I cast Jace TMS, bounce the Geopede and just when I thought that I had him he drew a burn spell, killed my Jace and recast the Geopede. I drew, played a land and had to sit back and watch while he drew a fetch to take game 1. This time I remember to side in Sparkmages + Collar among some other stuff that I can’t remember, maybe Divine Offerings.

Game 2: I had the early Sparkmage + Collar which KILLS! Somewhere along the line he drew a Journey to spoil the fun but I still had the mana to cast Gideon, make him attack Gideon with his 2 Hawks and I cast Stoneforge to fetch Sword (I cant remember which one). In my next turn I made Gideon a creature, equipped him with Collar, equipped the Mystic with Sword, attacked and in the next turns got a few laughs as I found my life total to be 41! I won, However he managed to drag it out long enough to mean we didn’t have time to finish the third game, which I am fairly sure that I would have won looking at the board state but hey, guess I need to win my last round to get into top 8. Sigh



Round 4. Stuart Pullin playing Caw-Blade with Sun Titans:

I win the roll (AGAIN!) and I win game 1 when I resolve a Mystic and he doesn’t.  I remember to side in my Sparkmages and I really don’t remember anything about G2 (sorry Stuart) other than we ran out of time as he fell a few points short of lethal, and I therefore won the match 1-0.





TOP 8. Derek playing aggro Tezzeret:

I win the roll!!!!! And open on a super sweet hand that stalled him with my Hawks and finished the game off by fatesealing him off land (he was landscrewed) and kept the Jace TMS alive with Gideon. Not long after he found himself scratching at the table trying to draw a card from his non-existent library!

Game 2 resulted in a super quick Sparkmage equipped with Collar. He played lots of creatures to effectively blank the Sparkmage but I reset with Day of Judgment and cast a second Sparkmage. Then every time he cast a dude I sent it to the bin. WOW Sparkmage is evil.



TOP 4. Simon Bainbridge U/B Forgemaster Tezzeret:

I lost the roll but he never got going with Tezz, and when he eventually cast Forgemaster I had gathered every answer under the sun for it! Yay 1 up. I side in Divine Offerings and Sun Titan.

Game 2: I assembled double Sword + Mystic and used my Divine Offerings to keep Manaleaks and Spell Pierces live (by killing artifact accelerators). I managed to kill him the turn after he hard cast Myr Battlesphere by attacking with the Boys for the final damage! PHEW

I guess Tu’s hope of us two in the final became reality but it was out with the friendly banter and in with the gameface!



FINALS. Tu Caw-Blade:

I mulliganned down to 6 and Tu mulliganned down to 5. BTW I WON THE ROLL! I got early Stoneforge and Hawk action but lost it due to stupid play on my part, extending into Day. Tu had mana issues and a series of lucky draws kept me in the game, first with a Jace TMS, brainstorming into Gideon and Sword of Body and Mind. Casting Gideon to keep Jace alive, whittling him down to ten with Colonnades, then when I was on 3 and he had 2 blockers (his germ token equipped with a 8/8 Bonehoard, and a Stoneforge Mystic) I bounced the Stoneforge, made Gideon and equipped it with both Swords and once he realized that he couldn’t block with either Colonnade or the black germ conceded to the lethal damage. My game!! And………

I side in Sparkmage!!! Later to find out that he took a huge risk and took out his Hawks! He went first in game 2 and we both kept 7.  He got stuck on 3 land for a few turns and somehow all his lands entered the battlefield tapped, this gave me chance to resolve both the first Stoneforge and the first Hawk. A massive advantage. He came back strongly when he recovered from his land troubles with multiple Jace TMS’s, all of which I managed to kill while still connecting to the face with the Sword of Body and Mind. The last Jace died unnecessarily to a wolf token, a Hawk, and a Colonnade when he could have animated his Colonnade to block the wolf token and before damage tap it to kill my Colonnade with Tec edge. A couple of turns later the Sword of BAM decked him out. SSSSIIICCCCKKKKKK!!!!!!!




And that was my tournament, hope you enjoyed to read about it as much as I enjoyed to play in it. NNNOOOOWWW, I can see why the deck is sooooo good!

I highly recommend it to anyone sick of losing in the Caw-Blade mirror!

Thanks to Tu and Manaleak for a great tournament.

Aaron Biddle

btw. I’m 12 years old.



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