Dundee PTQ 2012 Tournament Report – Wisdom Fae Under the Bridge with Graeme McIntyre

Wisdom Fae Under The Bridge – The Impact of the Growth of Magic the Gathering for UK PTQ Grinders

Dundee PTQ 2012 Tournament Report – Wisdom Fae Under the Bridge


This week’s article is going to feature some discussion about draft, as well as a report of my performance at the Dundee PTQ.

The Sealed Deck

My pool is as follows:


1Ethereal Armor
2 Seller of Songbirds
1 Phantom General
1Rootborn Defenses
1 Bazaar Krovod
1 Sunspire Griffin
1 Concordia Pegasus
1 Knightly Valour
1 Trained Caracal
1 Swift Justice


1 Chronic Flooding
1 Aquus Steed
1 Mizzium Skin
1 Conjured Currency
2 Paralyzing Grasp
1 Cancel
1 Downsize
1 Inspiration
1 Stealer of secrets
2 Runewing
1 Void wielder
1 Inaction injunction


1 Cremate
1 Drainpipe Vermin
1 Catacomb Slug
1 Terrus Wurm
1 Grim Roustabout
1 Dead Reveller
1 Tavern Swindler
1 Perilous Shadow
1 Launch Party
1 Stab Wound
1 Assassin’s Strike
2 Mind Rot


1 Survey the Wreckage
1 ">Batterhorn
1 Cobblebrute
1 Bloodfray Giant
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Guttersnipe
1 Dynacharge
1 Street Spasm


1 Gobbling Ooze
1 Urban Burgeoning
1 Axebane Stag
1 Axebane Guardian
1 Aerial Predation
1 Gatekeeper Vine
1 Savage Surge
2 Towering Indrik


1 Rakdos Charm
1 Rakdos’s Return
1 Havoc Festival
2 Skull Rend
1 Spawn of Rix Maadi
1 Rakdos Ragemutt


1 Dread Mangler
1 Corpsejack Menace


1 Hussar Patrol
1 Dramatic Rescue
1 Righteous Authority
1 Detention Sphere


1 Selesnya Charm
1 Common Bond
1 Centaur Healer


2 Chemister’s Trick

Multi coloured

2 Golgari Longlegs
1 Dryad Militant
1 Judge’s Familiar
1 Vassal Soul


2 Transguild Promenade
1 Golgari Gate
1 Selesnya Gate

What I played:

1 Mind Rot
1 Assassin’s Strike
1 Stab Wound
1 Launch Party
1 Perilous Shadow
1 Tavern Swindler
1 Dead Reveller
1 Grim Roustabout
1 Terrus Wurm
1 Street Spasm
1 Aerial Predation
2 Towering Indrik
1 Savage Surge
1 Gate Vine
1 Axebane Guardian
1 Rakdos’s Return
1 ">Rakdos Ragemutt
1 Corpsejack Menace
1 Dreg Mangler
2 Golgari Longlegs
1 Dryad Militant
7 Swamp
6 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Golgari Gate
2 Transguild Promenade

I thought for a bit about playing some combination of blue and white cards splashing for both red and/or black, but came to the conclusion that it was worse than the Jund build even if it could cast both splash colours. That said, I don’t think the Jund build is very good at all either, which makes sense considering that the two decks I thought were the best options are in guilds which don’t share colours.

In short I think I opened a pretty miserable selection of cards, allowing me to build two decks that were both short on playables, but not a single good deck.

This was also the largest PTQ in Scotland ever, with 100 people, so I can’t say I was overly confident from the start.


The Tournament Report


Round 1 – Collin Glenn, Bant

My opponent seems in experienced, and asks if its ok to keep his life total on a dice, to which I reply “I don’t care, but at some point a judge is going to ask you to get a pen and paper” and offer him some paper.

Game 1 – he wins the dice roll, and I beat him down pretty rapidly with a roustabout and a dreg mangler while he plays various come into play tapped lands.

Game 2 – I mulligan to 4, stabilize for a bit on one life, but ultimately lose.

Game 3 – he stalls on land while I attack with a roustabound and a dred mangler.

1-0, 2-1

Round 2 – Andrew Stephen, Grixis

This round my opponent seems like he has been playing for a bit, but isn’t entirely used to playing at PTQ level. he seems a nice enough guy, and because of the gap in experience I’m reluctant to call a judge regarding what I would generally consider slow play.

Game 1 – I feel pretty comfortable with this game, where he doesn’t attack with his Spawn of rix maadi, dispite it being unleashed, into my golgari longlegs… but the following turn I take 15 from a traitorous instinct, and die to a tenement crasher the following turn. This is interesting because I don’t remember another creature which could have dealt the extra 2 damage there, which means I perhaps just took his word for the amount he was attacking for… if so, it was an error on my part, and I certainly should know better.

Game 2 – this game is pretty slow, and I eventually grind out the final points of damage, having gone from 20, to 4, to 2…

Game 3 – his deck comes out a lot faster this game, and I’ve kept a hand based on the slower games we just played. A combination of cheap guys and some evasion seals my fate.

1-1, 3-3

Round 3 – James (sorry – I can’t make out the second name on my life totals), Jund

Another new opponent, this time from Inverness, who seems keen and enthusiastic about the game, but inexperienced, owing in many respects it seems to his location.

Game 1 – I struggle a little to some early pressure, but stall the board up and win.

Game 2 – he struggles for mana and I win the game comfortably.

2-1, 5-3

Round 4 – Roger Stuart, Naya

Roger seems like a nice guy, who knows Adrien Fraser, so I’ve spoken to him a little prior to this point during the day. Again, a newer opponent, but my mistakes are worse than his…

Game 1 – this game goes back and forth a little, because while I mind rot his hand with some pressure on the board and some cards in hand, he draws a series of Explosive impacts and Trostani’s Judgment… the important thing about this game however is the horrific play I make with street spasm. Excited to be able to overload it, I do so when he double blocks with an armoury guard and a vassal soul against my ragemutt, meaning I do 2 damage to the guard which doesn’t fly, and zero damage to the soul, which does. If I simply hard cast the spasm, I’d have killed the guard with the spasm, and the mutt would kill the soul and survive. Horrific. Luckily, I win anyway.

Game 2 – he struggles for mana, and I take the second.

3-1, 7-3

Round 5 – Brandon, Bant

Another new face! This time from Falkirk. He seems keen and we chat a little about standard and so on after the match.

Game 1 – I win this game with a timely Rakdos’s Return, removing the hated Angel of Serenity from his hand.

Game 2 – similar to the first, although I don’t have the return, I attempt to clock him as quickly as possible so that I don’t need to beat the angel, something which most decks will struggle to do, but especially mine, underpowered as it is.

4-1, 9-3

Round 6 – Matt Light, G/B/w

Another new player… oh, wait.

Game 1 – the game is looking reasonable, until he casts collective blessing with a wild beastmaster and two centaurs in play, attacking me for 24 on turn 6.

Game 2 – Pack rats turn 2.

While I would rather have just snuck past insane cards for the whole event, I know this isn’t likely, and I would have been happy enough for Matt to have won the event, so I was as ok with this as I was likely to be.

4-2, 9-5

Round 7 – Liam Friel, Bant

Liam is in my regular draft group and is my lift to the event. I offer to ID so we can get some food, he says hes already eaten, so I shrug and beat him 2-1 (tee hee).
5-2, 11-5


I came 17th or something, and got 4 boosters for my trouble. Remember 4 weeks ago, when I was moaning about growth of the game? 100 player PTQs in Scotland, jeez… I mean it’s good, but it’s also really rough.

I thought my pool was pretty poor, but it was certainly a confidence boost to go 5-2 with it, because it demonstrates that the format rewards building the deck well and playing reasonably well (although, my play was a little bit off). Maybe this weekend I’ll open a pool on the other side of average and top 8, at which point it’s draft, and I’m a lot more comfortable with that.


The Guilds in Limited


Speaking of which, here are my thoughts on each of the guilds.


  • Its critically important to have a curve. You want 4 two drops, three drops and four drops, 2 five drops, and 1 six drop. As many cacklers as you can get, too.
  • This is definitely an aggro deck, and you don’t really want to be putting guys into play without unleash very often.
  • Play 15-16 guys, 5-7 removal, and 0-2 cards than are neither. Don’t play loads of situational stuff.
  • Under performers include Rakdos shred-freak, electrickery, viashino racketeer, launch party and mind rot.
  • Over performers include traitorous instinct, pursuit of flight, tenement crasher cobblebrute.


  • Not as much of a tempo deck as I (and probably most people) thought. You’re not going to make two flyers, and detail everything for the rest of the game nearly as often as you’d like. So you need to draft the deck in a fairly robust way.
  • Under preformers include detain guys except isperia’s skywatch and dramatic rescue.
  • Over performers include Voidwielder, dispel, doorkeeper, Concordia Pegasus, armoury guard and isperia’s skywatch.


  • This deck is about making 3/3s and beating people down, supported by giant growths. There are times when you might want to take a good “normal creature” (e.g. not a populate or token card), and as such you can get into a little bit of trouble drafting it. Generally, I just take the cards that make tokens, and the good general cards; the populate stuff comes round, and you don’t want to end up with loads of that anyway because it gives you a number of bad draws. It’s better to look at this deck as a beatdown deck with a value plan than a combo deck; making guys isn’t much of a combo.
  • Under performers include horncaller’s chant, seller of song birds, gate vine, rootborn defences and chorus of the calling.
  • Over performers include common bond, centaur healer, towering indrik.


  • I don’t have that much experience with this deck, but it took such a bashing at the start, and I thought it probably wasn’t fair. The issue is that most people seemed to assume that it was a control deck, and I actually think they got the roles reversed with Izzet and Azorius. Izzet is a fast aggro deck with some evasion and blow out tricks, not a control deck with terrible guys.
  • Under preformers are hard to find; this guild got slated so hard in my group at least and everyone was too timid to draft it. Walls, I guess, because it’s an aggro deck.
  • Goblin electromancer, cobble brute, unleash guys, chemister’s trick, essence backlash and dynacharge.


  • I’ve still not really drafted this too much, but I think this deck wants to be accelerating into big guys, and even casting off colour bombs, through axebane guardians, gate vines and gates. Tresel troll and grizzly salvage are also good fits. The guardians also get you on the way to being able to scavenge and cast a guy in the same turn in the mid to late game, which is where I think this deck wants to be doing it’s thing.


See you at PTQ Sheffield!

That’s it for this week, next week PTQ Sheffield. I’m more than happy to hear from people who have some thoughts on my sealed deck.

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing,



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Graeme McIntyre
I've been playing magic since the end of Rath Block, and I've been a tournament regular since Invasion Block. I started studying for a PhD in Sociology at University of Leicester in 2017. I was born In Scotland, but moved to Nottingham three years ago, seeking new oppertunities both academic and magical. I play regularly with David Inglis, Alastair Rees and Neil Rigby. I've been on 5 Pro Tours the 2016 English World Cup Team, and Scottish 2003 European Championship Team, but what I really bring to the table is experience. I've played 136 Pro Tour Qualifiers, 18 Grand Prixs, 11 National Championships, 13 World Magic Cup Qualifers, 51 Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers and more little tournaments than I can remember. More than anything else, my articles are intended to convey the lessons of this lived experience. Likes - robust decks, be they control, midrange, beatdown or combo. Cryptic Commands, Kird Apes and Abzan Charms. Dislikes - decks that draw hot and cold. Urza's Tower, Life From the Loam and Taigam's Scheming.