Good afternoon! What a weekend!

Long story short: I beat Jund Midrange round one and Esper Control round two. The quote of the second match was, “You can’t get pregnant from a cartoon,” said by me. I mulled to four (a total of one land, and it was colorless, in 22 total cards) and then was out classed by a very good Wolf Run Bant player in round three. Round four went three games each more stupid than the last. I lost game one on a mull to six that wasn’t so hot and took some Aurelia damage to the face. I won game two as we both mulled to five and my draws were awesomer. I cast Angel of Serenity game three and would’ve won if he hadn’t Think Twice’d, drew the Dissipate he needed, and Dissipated my Angel. He got to Aurelia shortly thereafter and I lost.

I was not disappointed in my deck. It looked something like this:

2 Acidic Slime
3 Angel of Serenity
3 Arbor Elf
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
4 Breeding Pool
3 Cavern of Souls
2 Clone
1 Collective Blessing
4 Farseek
3 Foresta
2 Garruk, Primal Hunter
2 Gavony Township
1 Hallowed Fountain
3 Hinterland Harbor
4 Loxodon Smiter
3 Prime Speaker Zegana
4 Restoration Angel
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden
4 Thragtusk

2 Acidic Slime
3 Centaur Healer
3 Memory’s Journey
2 Fog
2 Selesnya Charm
2 Supreme Verdict
1 Ray of Revelation

Kings was a total shit show. The event started an hour and a half behind schedule. They weren’t prepared to host 213 players, and threw us into three different parts of the store including the basement which was referred to by a name I will not type here. Kadar and Hunter both 0-4 dropped. Kadar didn’t win a game. I’d guess Hunter learned a lot. He’ll probably tell you all about it in 23/17 on Friday.

I wanted to go home and paint so I dropped at 2-2. I couldn’t make Top 8 anyway. Birdlaw went 6-2 and came in 18th. If this tournament was in Philly, or any other large venue PTQ town, I’d have played it out, but I’ll take my 55 points and get the fuck outta that place. I’ve played some good Magic with some good players and had some good times at Kings. This wasn’t one of those times (though round one, I admit, I played really well).

It surprised me that the second floor didn’t collapse under the collective weight of Magicians.

I want to talk about my preparation going into this event. Over the last few months I’ve had success with Jund Midrange (won a Grand Prix Trial at Kings with Jund), Junk Reanimator (which I switched to this the week after the GPT because Jund can’t beat Junk without lots of luck and Groundseal, I guess), then spent a week between Junk and Prime Speaker Bant. I have played twenty or more two person queues and am able to beat any non-aggro deck with either midrange strategy. I 2-2’d a daily event with Prime Speaker Bant losing to Aristocrats and Naya Blitz. When they drop a Frontline Medic turn three I don’t think I have a way to win. I have won a single game against aggro decks. One game. Out of dozens. I 0-1 dropped from a daily event after being absolutely annihilated by Naya Humans.

Frontline Medic Mayor of Avabruck

When I played Jund Aggro and Naya Humans the amount of times I would flood or be mana screwed were high. The variance was too much. I felt myself aching for Farseek to fix and slim my mana and draws. Jund Midrange had been good to me but the rise of reanimator was too much. Reanimator without removal had trouble with Naya Humans. Did I say all of this twice?!

The cycle is driving me fucking nuts! The format seems pretty open. Look at these decks:

Geist of Saint Traft Gift of Orzhova

Deck: Bant Hexproof Auras is back (hooray!)

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard

4 Arbor Elf
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
4 Fencing Ace
4 Invisible Stalker
4 Geist of Saint Traft

4 Ethereal Armor
4 Rancor
2 Spectral Flight
4 Gift of Orzhova
3 Increasing Savagery

4 Breeding Pool
4 Forest
2 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Hinterland Harbor
3 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden

2 Faith’s Shield
2 Fog
3 Ground Seal
3 Nearheath Pilgrim
2 Simic Charm
3 Nevermore

Lightning Mauler Hellrider

Deck: GR Aggro

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard

4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Stromkirk Noble
3 Ash Zealot
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Flinthoof Boar
4 Lightning Mauler
4 Boros Reckoner
3 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Hellrider

2 Rancor
4 Searing Spear

12 Mountain
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground

3 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Pillar of Flame
2 Mizzium Mortars
3 Skullcrack
3 Volcanic Strength
2 Flames of the Firebrand

Skirsdag High Priest Cartel Aristocrat

Deck: The Aristocrats

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard

4 Champion of the Parish
4 Doomed Traveler
4 Cartel Aristocrat
3 Knight of Infamy
3 Skirsdag High Priest
2 Silverblade Paladin
2 Vampire Nighthawk
4 Falkenrath Aristocrat
2 Zealous Conscripts

2 Tragic Slip
3 Orzhov Charm
3 Lingering Souls

4 Blood Crypt
2 Cavern of Souls
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Dragonskull Summit
4 Godless Shrine
4 Isolated Chapel
2 Plains
4 Sacred Foundry
1 Swamp
1 Vault of the Archangel

1 Cathedral Sanctifier
2 Tragic Slip
2 Mark of Mutiny
1 Vampire Nighthawk
2 Rhox Faithmender
1 Sever the Bloodline
2 Slaughter Games
2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
2 Obzedat, Ghost Council

Aurelia, the Warleader Snapcaster Mage

Deck: UWR Flash-ish

Counts : 61 main / 15 sideboard

3 Augur of Bolas
3 Snapcaster Mage
3 Restoration Angel
2 Aurelia, the Warleader

2 Pillar of Flame
4 Azorius Charm
2 Essence Scatter
4 Searing Spear
3 Think Twice
2 Dissipate
3 Sphinx’s Revelation
2 Rewind
2 Supreme Verdict

3 Clifftop Retreat
1 Desolate Lighthouse
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
1 Moorland Haunt
3 Sacred Foundry
4 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls

2 Dispel
2 Electrickery
1 Pillar of Flame
2 Negate
2 Izzet Staticaster
3 Clone
1 Supreme Verdict
2 Assemble the Legion

Experiment One Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Deck: Naya Humans

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard

4 Boros Elite
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Experiment One
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Flinthoof Boar
4 Lightning Mauler
4 Mayor of Avabruck
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Frontline Medic
1 Ghor-Clan Rampager

4 Searing Spear

4 Cavern of Souls
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Rootbound Crag
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Stomping Ground
2 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden

4 Boros Charm
2 Gruul Charm
2 Pacifism
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Boros Reckoner
2 Fiend Hunter
2 Mark of Mutiny

And this monstrosity (not that it’s the best, it 4-0’d a daily on MTGO, but I love Fettergeist and needed to post a control deck):

Fettergeist Drogskol Reaver

Deck: Esper Super Friends

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard

2 Snapcaster Mage
3 Fettergeist
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
1 Drogskol Reaver (there aren’t enough cards representing Drogskol in Magic)

4 Azorius Charm
3 Blind Obedience
2 Devour Flesh
3 Think Twice
2 Detention Sphere
2 Liliana of the Veil
4 Sphinx’s Revelation
4 Supreme Verdict
2 Jace, Memory Adept

4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Glacial Fortress
3 Godless Shrine
4 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
4 Isolated Chapel
3 Nephalia Drownyard
4 Watery Grave

3 Duress
1 Purify the Grave
2 Negate
2 Rest in Peace
1 Detention Sphere
3 Dissipate
1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
2 Terminus

My arms are kind of up in the air, you know? Realizing you’re a big monster midrange player and whining about the rise of aggro when everyone thinks you’re an aggro player seems fruitless. The format is insanely diverse. You don’t have to prepare for aggro, midrange, and control, you have to prepare for four aggro decks, five or more midrange decks, and I guess one control deck. Each has subtle enough variations to warrant blowouts in the right matchup and/or if you’re not hedging your bets (sometimes from many directions).

The format is alive, well, and totally fucking bonkers. I don’t care that Reanimator won a bunch of shit. It was not a sea of Reanimator at our non-pro level this weekend. I played four rounds against four entirely different decks. I didn’t see a single mirror match on either side of my any of those rounds. Things seem okay, just…WTF does one play in this sea of anarchy?

Last Standard PTQ season I stared off playing a RUG deck with Dawntreader Elk and Niv-Mizzit to similar results at Kings. The RUG project failed, was revitalized by Li later on and abandoned again. Is the key for me staying away from blue? Probably, it’s clearly the worst color.

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love,
MTGO: The_Obliterator

PS: As blue as it is, this card seems hilariously fun:

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