How To Lose Friends And Alienate People – The Road to the PTQ Part 1
You can find Part 2 here.
Earlier this month I decided that I would attend the PTQ in Sheffield, for those who missed it it was grey and wet and on the 15th of Feb so at that point where our respective spouses had probably had enough of us being under foot anyway.
However, this is where my journey started, about a month before, in Birmingham. It had been a while since I had played any kind of competitive Magic, and to be honest net decking isn’t my thing, so I decided to try a few home brew decks to see how far they would get.
Draft 1, Monoblack (sort of)… Effort Level: *****
During the run up to the event, I decided I would try and make a competitive deck and made a few high value trades to try to get it together and tuned before the day.
I did what everyone seems to do, and took it to my local FNM to test it.
It was not great, it was black devotion, it had nothing but swamps, [card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/card] and a few [card]Chromatic Lantern[/card]s to aid the [card]Nightveil Specter[/card]s in their task, but it did not do well at all.
I called it my Monoblack Domain Deck partially to cause people headaches and partially because technically it was.
If I couldn’t get it working at an FNM I doubt I could have pulled it off at the PTQ, I was expecting speed, control and devotion decks far superior to the deck that I had worked on.
I went back to the drawing board and put Lilly back in my trades folder.
Draft 2, Deathtouch Fight Club… Effort Level: ***
I thought I might get away with playing the deathtouch deck I had made for the Theros Game day.
Golgari Deathtouch fight.
It was basically a Hydra slaying deck, lots of small creatures with deathtouch and cards that made my creatures touch the faces of my opponents.
The problem with that deck is that although it is good at what it does, it relies on my opponents having creatures, and doesn’t really have a win condition. Plus it’s rather embarrassing for all involved when it comes up against a control deck.
I mean I feel silly sitting there with a hand full of cards, and they are quite reluctant to put a [card]Detention Sphere[/card] on a [card]Deadly Recluse[/card]. Besides, when it did come up against creature decks I ran out of steam (and creatures very quickly).
So, moving swiftly on, the PTQ was getting closer, I had less and less time to make a list and try it out and started to become quite desperate.
Draft 3, Blast from the past… Effort Level: *
On rare occasions I have a really strange insight into patterns, I mean, I enjoy chaos because it allows me to think on my feet and improvise, but when I get hold of a pattern I try and work out why it’s important and work out how i can use it to my advantage.
In this case it was to do with the sheer amount of decks running tap land (as in land that enters tapped regardless) and most decks running more than one colour were making use of Temples and Shock land to mana fix.
Then I realized that they were either giving up life for it, or they were giving up a turn and both were valuable resources in Magic. The easiest way to exploit this willingness to give up a mana now for a Scry (or a mana fix) was to make sure it wasn’t there when they needed it.
So I started looking into land destruction cards and was quite pleased when I discovered that one of my favourite Cube-worthy cards was back in Standard after a good long rest.
So I built a deck around it.
Just in case you are unaware, that is the original art for [card]Frenzied Tilling[/card], originally printed in the Invasion block.
At the time it seemed pricey, “5 mana for a land destruction with a basic land come into play on my side, bit much isn’t it? I could get a stone rain and a llanowar for less”. How young and naive I was.
At this point I only had one FNM to test it and I had pretty much rushed home to get it together in a playable state.
And… that’s where it stayed that week.
Seriously, I was gutted. I had left my PTQ deck at home on the table and had picked up the wrong deck box, the deck went completely untested.
I thought “sod it” and took it to the PTQ anyway.
The following is the list of cards that I threw together in that deck, it is not for the faint heated, but it is very funny.
1x [card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/card]
2x [card]Temple of Abandon[/card]
4x [card]Stomping Ground[/card]
3x [card]Encroaching Wastes[/card]
4x [card]Elvish Mystic[/card]
2x [card]Ember Swallower[/card]
3x [card]Nessian Demolok[/card]
2x [card]Oracle of Bones[/card]
3x [card]Satyr Hedonist[/card]
3x [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card]
4x [card]Frenzied Tilling[/card]
3x [card]Magma Jet[/card]
2x [card]Mizzium Mortars[/card]
2x [card]Unravel the AEther[/card]
1x [card]Elixir of Immortality[/card]
3x [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card]
In part 2 we will find out how that random assortment came together and the reception that the deck got. Also, a sideboard list that many were not expecting.
Until next time. that’s me done,
You can find Part 2 here.