PTQ Tournament Report: From Chesham to Seattle! By Aaron Biddle

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Chesham PTQ Tournament Report with UW Delver.

Well that was an eventful weekend but I would like to start a week earlier at the PTQ in Manchester.

I was inspired by AJ sacher’s u/r delver deck at one of the SGC Opens, but saw an opportunity to change the deck and play in a major tournament with my own creation!

Here it is in all its glory (which isn’t much):

3 Talrand, sky summoner
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Augur of Bolas

3 Bonfire of the Damned
2 Gut Shot
1 Pillar of Flame
3 Gitaxian Probe
3 Thought Scour
4 Ponder
4 Mana Leak
4 apor Snag

3 Runechanter’s Pike

4 Sulfur Falls
4 Mountain
8 Island
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Evolving Wilds

I played this deck at PTQ Manchester as I was practically attached to it since I’d made it! I started 3-0 and then got all kinds of mana problems, and experienced an abnormal amount of bad luck(!?) This deck is quite good, however inconsistent, and doesn’t have too much in the way of raw power.

So how did I get to u/w Delver for the PTQ in Chesham?

Well the answer is, I finally came to the conclusion that I wanted to play u/w Delver for Chesham, after testing U/R Delver vs Tu at Manaleak, and then reading Gerry T’s article which reaffirmed what I had just learnt in our final bouts of playtesting. Anyway I was completely knackered so went to bed after testing and when I woke up I’d found out that my Dad had spend the rest of that night building me the u/w list which I wanted to play– but he managed to even build it better than I’d originally thought! He’d managed to go back to when LSV won a WMCQ in America and modified it so that it could compete with the current UK meta.

And without further ado, here is the list I played:

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Geist of saint Traft
4 Restoration Angel
4 Snapcaster Mage

2 Sword of War and Peace

3 Gut Shot
1 Dismember
3 Gitaxian Probe
2 Thought Scour
3 Mana Leak
4 Vapor Snag
4 Ponder

4 Seachrome Coast
4 Glacial Fortress
1 Plains
8 Island
2 Moorland Haunt
3 Cavern of Souls


2 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
2 Dissipate
2 Phantasmal Image
2 Hero of Bladehold
2 Divine offering
3 Celestial Purge
1 Dismember
1 Mental Misstep

Onto the Tournament!

Round 1: Hristoph – u/b Discard

I lost the die roll and was up against a u/b discard deck that he said he chucked together which gave me confidence!

GAME 1 It wasn’t too close even though I took a few beats from some ravenous rats and black cats combined with quite a lot of self harm (Phyrexian Mana!). However whilst he was durdling around with discard I cast an angel at the end of his turn then untapped and put a sword on it. The angel then flew off to be of use in game 2!

GAME 2 Once again I’m on the draw but I kill him very quickly with a Geist of Saint Traft and lots of Vapor Snags! (2-0)

SB: +2 Image, + 2 purge, – 3 Gut Shot, – 1 Dismember

(I didn’t know what he was playing so sideboarded based on assumption!)


Round 2 : James – Esper Midrange

I got the pretty nut draw of turn 1 Delver flip, turn 2 ponder, Delver flip and he couldn’t deal with the double aberration.

GAME 2 went long but I had a worse draw and he had a substantially better one with multiple Blade Splicers and Restoration Angels.

GAME 3 Once again I had something close to the nuts and being on the play meant my opponent was too far behind to catch up! (2-1)

SB: +2 Image, – 2 Gut Shot

(After talking with Ben Heath, he informed me that the correct sideboard for this match is nothing but I couldn’t help but feel that Phantasmal Image was good so deviated from what he said a bit)


Round 3: Ben – b/w Tokens

GAME 1 Was pretty uneventful but I managed to suit up a Geist of Saint Traft with a Sword of War and Peace whilst his army of Lingering Souls tokens just looked on in fright.

GAME 2 Was also very quick but from the other side as he had an army of eight (I think) Lingering Souls tokens and an Intangible Virtue.

GAME 3 I think I got an Angel with a sword on it and beat him to death.

None of our games were close (including the one I lost) and the match was over in about 10 mins. (2-1)

SB +1 Mental Misstep, -1 Dismember

(I brought in the Misstep as he was playing Champion of the Parish and Doomed Traveller, also the matchup is bad so it’s possible I should have had 2 Ratchet Bombs in the side for the matchup. However, saying that, the deck is not widespread so I doubt it’s worth the effort.)


Round 4: Ross – Invisible Stalker Bant

I lost the die roll and got 4 x Geist of Saint Trafts. This mean I was able to just suicide roll my guys for 4 damage each then the one Snag I had in my hand finished him off.

GAME 2 I think I remember losing in short order to 2 Invisible Stalkers one with a Rancor and one with a Spectral Flight(!)

GAME 3 Was close but I got an edge with an end of turn Restoration Angel which led me to a perfect 4-0 record! (2-1)

SB: +2 Image,+2 Divine Offering, – 1 Probe, -1 Thought Scour, -2 ? ( I forgot)

(I saw Stalker so brought in 2 Offerings as he is definitely playing equipment)


Round 5: Tom Harle – Esper Midrange

2 Very close games and one blowout.

Game 1 I lost the roll and opened the nut. By turn 3 I had 4 Delvers in play and Pondered a Thought Scour to the top. However Tom played 100% correct and scoured me milling the instant that would have spelt his doom!… Sadly, Toms good play wasn’t rewarded as I flipped my Delvers off a Mana leak anyway :/

GAME 2 Was fairly close but even though I got him to 9 fairly quickly, the game stalled and as you would expect from esper when the game goes long Tom landed a Sphinx and we were off to game 3 to fight for the 5-0 record!

GAME 3 Once again I had all four Delvers but not by turn 3 this time I had to wait a little bit, this meant I didn’t get the free win I was hoping for! However I flipped my Delvers on turn 4 (I think?) and attacked into his 4 Lingering Souls tokens, he double blocked 2 insects and I snagged 1 token saving an insect and killing all of his tokens. He cast a second Souls and made 4 more spirits, I repeated my play of attacking in and saving 1 insect and wiping his board.

He cast Tamiyo, tapped one insect and I attacked him to 7. He passed with a Cavern on Angel keeping an insect tapped. I cast my Angel at the end of his turn and drew hoping for the Snag which would kill him!.. I drew Probe.. and that drew me a Snapcaster… which allowed me to flashback a Snag which killed him. A lucky win for sure but well played by Tom and very, very close. (2-1)

SB: Same as Earlier


Round 6: Michael Parker – RUG Ramp

After losing the die roll once again I Probed him and saw a slow hand that had no Titan. I then proceeded to cast Delver, flip it in two turns time and put a Sword on it which allowed me to rapidly force Mike into picking up his cards and reaching for his sideboard.

I know Michael is a very good player from experience and did not let myself get excited about the possibility of double ID ing into top 8.

GAME 2 I had a reasonably awkward hand and never drew my second white for double Hero of Bladehold .

GAME 3 The same happened and he turn 4 Primeval Titan’ed me! (1-2)

SB: +2 Hero, +2 Image, +2 Tamiyo, -3 Gut Shot, -1 Snag, -1 Probe, -1 Dismember

It is entirely possible that I should have mulliganed my hands but I figured that with lots of cantrips I should be able to find a white mana source by turn 4, and if I draw a white source by turn 5 I have 2 hero’s which are very good against Ramp!


Round 7: Steven – b/w Homebrew

I drew very well after losing the roll once again and killed him turn 4. I flipped a Delver on turn 2, attacked for 3 putting him to 17, durdled around with some cantrips, attacked him to 14 on turn 3 and cast a Sword, turn 4 I equipped and bashed him for 5 plus 7 cards in hand putting him to 2 I then cast a Gut Shot followed by a Snapcaster!

GAME 2 Much the same happened but a turn later I think! (2-0)

SB: +1 Offering, +1 Dissipate, + 2 Image, -3 Gut Shot, -1 Dismember

(I once again sideboarded on assumption as I didn’t see much apart from 2 swamp and 2 plains!)


Round 8: Chris Cooper – Elves

After doing the math based on standing I was fine to ID, so I offered the draw to Chris who promptly accepted.

6-1-1 (5th Place)

I was happy about top 8’ing but only had one goal in mind; that Blue envelope! So I focussed myself and took some advice from my dad and Ben Heath about sideboarding!

The Top 8

Semis: John-Joseph – Naya Pod

I was not only up against a tough match up but was on the draw due to being lower seed than JJ.

GAME 1 I Got annihilated and overrun by turn 2 splicer into Thalia and many more creatures with him not taking a single point! At this point I admit I was not confident as the match up was not a good one and I was a game down. I put that aside however, and refocused for the next game.

GAME 2 The exact opposite happened in that I snagged his mana guy after playing a turn 1 Delver. This put him too far behind to come back.

GAME 3 JJ kept a very mana light hand and I had multiple Gut Shots for when he drew his mana guys. I then promply killed him with the one man army in Hero of Bladehold! (2-1)

JJ was disappointed and understandably so as it was a good matchup and he had only lost two games in the Swiss.

SB: +2 Hero, +2 Image, +2 Offering, -2 Scour, -3 Mana Leak, -1 Geist of Saint Traft.


Quarters: Ian Bennet – Bant Pod

Again on the draw due to being a lower seed we shuffled up and drew our seven. We both kept but an unanswered Restoration Angel with a Sword on it took me to game 2 with me 1-0 up.

GAME 2 was rather one sided as I got him very low when he mulled to 6 and when I countered his pod it was not looking good for Ian. However he resolved a second pod. I think I misplayed here though; I had board presence; with him on 2; with me having 2 guys. I had Snapcaster in my hand and a Gut Shot in the bin. I should have Gut Shot’ed the Elvish Visionary but as it was I was too excited to be where I was and passed. He then Fiend Hunter’d with Pod off the Visionary and Restoration Angel’ed it with the trigger on the stack exiling my two creatures.

I managed to draw the Snag thought to deal him 1 and the Gut Shot him for the final point. I was lucky that I didn’t get punished for my misplay but I learned from it and I was up to face a favourable Elves matchup in the final. (2-0)

SB: +2 Image, +2 Offering, -2 Scour, -1 Probe, -1 Leak.


Finals: Chris Cooper – Elves

I was once again on the draw due to my lower seed of 5th, however I knew Elves was a good matchup and after about 10 mins of Gut Shot’ing Elves and attacking I was on my way to my first Pro Tour in Seattle!

I was soooooo excited I don’t think I shut up about it in the car on the way home so I’m gonna say sorry to my dad for making his trip home hell! (2-0)

SB: +1 Misstep ,-1 Leak



Final Thoughts

Now for thanking the following people as I would not have won without their help and input:

My Dad – For driving me, building my deck, and supporting me through my ups and downs in magic and for his wicked sense of humour (he told me to add that!)

All my friends for all the deck advice and support (Matt Light, Cameron Simmonds, George Newbould, Lewis Mcleod, Rob Catton, Rob Wagner, Joe Fletcher, Adam Murkin, Stu Townsend, Jonno Randle, Ben Heath)

David Inglis – for helping with my deck, supporting me AND letting me crush him at Mental Magic :p

Ben Heath and everyone from Manaleak who helped me with my sideboarding in the top 8!

All of my opponents for being really nice to play against.

And last but not least Tu for testing with me to help me find out that the u/r deck was pretty bad and for teaching me how to play about 2 ½ years ago!

If I have missed anyone out I’m sorry!!

Here I come Seattle!

Aaron Biddle – mtgUK


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