PTQ Ireland Tournament Report: Junk Reanimator (Standard) by Alan Warnock
Hey folks, welcome to my premier article on mtgUK! Before I begin the article I thought I’d tell you a bit more about me. My name is Alan Warnock, I’m 19 and a Magic grinder from Belfast. I have some amount of Magic success, I was the 2011 Irish National Champion, Team Captain for the Northern Irish team in the 2012 World Magic Cup and level 3 pro for the 2012 season. Anyway onto the article.
The real story starts one week before the GP in Utrecht. A bunch of Northern Irish players had decided to make the trip out to the team grand prix, with a few of us staying together in the hostel we thought it could be a good time to grind some Standard between the grand prix for the upcoming ptq.
We play a few games on the Thursday in which I get very annoyed with junk reanimator (Juza’s gp Verona build) exclaiming that it’s impossible to win games with. Annoyed and realising I would have to pick a new deck and get cards for it for next week was quite frustrating.
The next day we pack up our stuff and head to the tournament centre. I was hoping for standard gpts to grind but there was in fact none and I was not so baller to play in £140 team sealeds, so the guys and I sat down to grind a few games of standard. About half way through Sam Black walks over and watches the games. We soon start discussing the deck, match ups and why he thinks his build is better than the non- soul/non-troll builds.
On the Sunday with nothing to do I decide to sleep-in and head to site to check out the how the Northern Irish team that made day 2 were doing. Not very exciting I know but it was between this or a £100+ naked spa with no money. During the Sunday however I see Sam Black in the Sunday Series, I follow his record and watch a few games in which he crushes the tournament with an undefeated record. Needless to say I was sold and this was the 75 I decided to sleeve up for the PTQ:
1st – Alan Warnock – Junk Reanimator
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Angel of Serenity
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
4 Lotleth Troll
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Restoration Angel
3 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
4 Lingering Souls
4 Unburial Rites
4 Grisly Salvage
1 Sever the Bloodline
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Woodland Cemetery
2 Sunpetal Grove
3 Godless Shrine
3 Isolated Chapel
4 Temple Garden
1 Vault of the Archangel
1 Cavern of Souls
The list was awesome and I don’t think I would change a thing. I’ll give my match ups and break down of the tournament. That way I can talk more in depth of the deck which would provide more valuable for upcoming WMCQ’s and PTQ’s.
Round 2– Adrain Donnelly – PS Bant – Win
Round 3 – Pj Moth – Jund – Loss
Round 4 – Bevan Nolan – Tokens – Win
Round 5 – Rob Colton – Mirror – Win
Round 6 – Stephen Madden – Jund – Win (by concession)
Quarterfinal – Pj Moth – Jund – Win
Seminfinal – Steve Toombs – UWR – win
Final – Sean Shortis – Mirror – Win
I’ll give a recap on the final turn of the game. Sean on the penultimate turn cast a Grisly Salvage, slowly but surely revealing the top 5 cards. I wait in suspense as each card comes, and then there it is staring right at me . . . a Behemoth. The crowd was going wild . . . but this was only because they had seen a mouse, which I will say seemed infinitely more interesting. I thought to myself that this was it back to grinding for the rest of the season.
Sean then activates his Deathrite’s mana ability and then I had it, I activate mine in response and removed his target to buy one more turn. Sean passed the turn and I had that same feeling back when I won nationals in which I have this voice inside my head going, “ Just draw Behemoth and end this” . I go to my draw step . . . draw . . . look at it . . . Behemoth! I pause for a few seconds, then realize I need a mana. I check Seans graveyard for a land . . . its there! Cavern and it’s time for the HOOF!
Winning this PTQ means a lot to me. I was level 3 last year and couldn’t use my invite for timing/money issues, but now that I am qualified for Dublin I wanna take this one down for the home crowd. Not much is ever mentioned anymore of Irish magic since the days of Larkin and Shenkins, but hopefully that will change soon and some of the up and comers will get a breakthrough.
As of writing this the 75 I ran also won the Northern Irish WMCQ in the hands of former National Champion and Armored Ascension enthusiast Conor Holmes. Below ill give the sideboard guide I provided him.
Overall I would highly recommend you take this guide with a pinch of salt. When it comes down to it, intuition, knowledge of deck/cards/player can factor into quite a bit. I have included notes on matchups which I highly recommend you look during sideboarding as I’ve listed cards that could make you wanna change things eg. Thundermaw Hellkite>souls, would mean that you may like to side out a lingering souls over a different card because it matches up against Hellkite quite badly etc.
+: 2 Deathrite Shaman, 1 Sever the Bloodline, 3 Abrupt Decay, 1 Obzedat
–: 2 Lotleth Troll, 2 Lingering Souls, 2 Thragtusk, 1 Unburial Rites
Note: The mirror gets to the Thragtusk grind stage and basically after that comes down to who can get behemoth. Never cast Angel first unless you’re sure they don’t have one or can take one from their graveyard. Unanswered Deathrites can also go a long way in this matchup.
+: 1 Cavern of Souls, 2 Deathrite Shaman, 1 Obzedat, 2 Acidic Slime
–: 2 Angel of Serenity, 1 Sever the Bloodline, 3 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
-: 2 Lotleyh Troll, 1 Sever the Bloodline, 3 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Don’t run Troll into Azorious Charm as it’s a big set back.
Watch out for cards:
Rest in Peace + Tormod’s Crypt < Abrupt Decay
Assemble the Legion < Acidic Slime
Purify the Grave > Unburial rites
Ghost council is the nut. Do not run into charm.
Big Jund/ Big Naya:
+: 1 Slayer of the Wicked, 1 Sever the Bloodline, 1 Obzedat, 1 Cavern of Souls, 3 Abrupt Decay
-: 1 Thragtusk, 1 Unburial Rites, 3 Avacyn’s Pilgrim, 1 Deathrite Shaman, 1 Craterhoof Behemoth
Could side Slime to deal with Kessig Wolf Run. Cavern as land comes in as you’re losing mana guys.
Thragtusk+rites> their Thragtusk
Angel+ Angel loop > their deck
+: 2 Acidic Slime, 1 Obzedat, 1 Cavern of the Souls, 3 Abrupt Decay
-: 3 Avacyn’s Pilgrim, 1 Angel of Serenity, 1 Unburial Rites, 1 Lingering Souls, 1 Lotleth Troll,
You pretty much always wanna take out mana guys vs Bonfire of the Damned/Supreme Verdict decks for value purposes and more live late game draws.
These decks are easy match ups as you have a better long game deck . However a combination of graveyard hate like Rest in Peace and a Planeswalker/ Assemble the Legion/ Wolf Run can take over the game very quickly.
Save cards like Slime for Rest in Peace or Assemble etc.
+: 2 Tragic Slip, 1 Sever the Bloodline, 2 Rhox Faithmender, 3 Abrupt Decay
-: 2 Craterhoof Behemoth, 2 Angel of Serenity, 1 Unburial Rites, 1 Deathrite Shaman, 1 Mulch, 1 Lingering Souls
Basically become a midrange deck and grind with Thragtusks.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben> Lingering Souls
Troll is the nuts!
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