By Basam Tabet
Well Iím sitting in Kansai airport waiting
15 hours for my flight back to
I came to GP Hiroshima because I was flying
Turned up on Friday for the trial and the anticipation began, if I could win 3 byes it would be a great start to the GP. Met some pretty cool people Andre turned out to be someone who I would be spending a lot of time over the next few days, checking each others progress and being in each others corner, went 1-1 registered for the GP, grabbed a few singles and wandered back to my hotel.
Woke up feeling excited, this was my 4th GP and I had a goal, Make day 2. If I could do this I would be happy. I arrived at the GP to find 418 others with similar aspirations.
I was sat at the gaijin table to register our packs, there was about 10 of us and looking around I got the feeling "what am I doing here?". I recognised most of the table from the little pro cards in our packs these days. My one good thought "at least I wonít face any of them until at least round 4".
Why on earth did I pick this GP to attend, Its in Japan(one of the hardest countries to top 8 in) and there are no other GP`s scheduled for this weekend so any outside pros will be coming here.
Registration begins and I register and hand in a reasonable pool and wait to see what sort of pool I would get my hands on to build with.
I opened my pack, Dave Humpherys is my pro player, looking up, nope, 1 less to contend with.
Heres my pool
voltary of the conclave
(now all I need is a conclaves blessing and a zephyr spirit and my deck will be complete)
life from the loam
scatter the seeds
elves of deep shadow
ribbons of night
douse in gloom
clinging darkness thoughtpicker witch
Lands and Artifacts
vitu-ghazi the city tree
skarrg the rage pits and a foil swamp ooooh shiny
sell sword brute
surge of zeal
flight of fancy
compulsive research surveilling sprite
savra queen of the golgari hellhole rats
isperia the inscutable
It was a hard build for me in the end it came down to cutting a couple of cards here are my choices compulsive research VS flight of fancy, could I fit both, no too much blue, I weighed them up with the flight coming out on top, simply because a flying rotwurm wins games and even by itself flight is a great card, The last card to be cut was entropic eidolon - with 7 cards to bring it back I was keen for some savra shenanigans, but it was either eidolon or clinging darkness and it kills stupid ministers and stops moroii. Hereís the final build my 5 colour monstrosity.
7 forest, 3 swamp, 1 mountain, 1 island, rakdos carnarium, golgari rotfarm, dimir aqueduct, vitu-ghazi the city tree = 16 lands
thoughtpicker witch, elves of deep shadow, lurking informant, silhana starfletcher, civic wayfinder, steam core weird, nullmage shepherd, savra queen of the golgari, simic ragworm, giant solifuge, blind hunter, izzet chronarch, golgari rotwurm, scatter the seeds = 14 creatures
boros signet, orzhov signet, flight of fancy, putrefy, crackling flames, flame fusillade(MVP), disembowel, clinging darkness, disembowel, douse in gloom, ribbons of night = 10 other
I thank the mana gods for helping me out with all the fixes and while Iím there I thank the removal gods too.
Rounds 1-4 were a blur of 2-0`s due to fusillade to the face or rotwurm shenanigans. my only note is that when I sat down to round 2 a flurry of judge activity on my opponents side of the table ended with a game loss for only mis registration.
my opponents in order were Sadao Suzuki, Takashi Kurisu, Yuichiro Noguchi and Jun Moriya
Round 5 VS Masaya Kitayama
game 1 - on the play I mulligan and then stall on 2 lands and a signet, then proceed to get my face smashed in by a 3rd turn rotwurm.
Game 2 - vitu-ghazi turns up as we are stalling out my trusty flame fusillade comes to the party and makes a bbq of his side of the board before chronarching it back and going to the face.
Game 3 - I manage to stabilize on 2 life with city tree and fusillade again roasting the oppositions critters. He was over 20 life due to a beefed up mourning thrull earlier in the game. I proceed to smash back with 4 1/1`s one of which is my thoughtpicker witch, we are both in topdeck mode though he has 1 card in hand. 3 turns later he draws and plays a screeching griffin and clasps his hands in prayer. I draw rotwurm and take him to 4 life with 2 swamps untapped not enough. This was my biggest misplay(biggest consequence) I should have been happy taking 4 off a turn and controlled his draws with a 6 mana ghazi witch combo. He shows me his card in hand being none other than Mr Nizzle Mc Fizzle who I hadn`t seen yet, he needed a second island so chances are even if I had of witched him I would have given him the island as we both had lots of mana on board.
Round 6 VS Masaharu Fuma
Game 1 - he gets mana screwed and the usual thing happens.
Game 2 - he decides to draw obviously not happy with the mana screw from last game. Unfortunately for him I go turn 2 signet, 3 giant solifuge, 4 simic ragworm, 5 removal, 6 removal/death (my first turn 6 kill of the GP but not my last)
Round 7 VS Yuuji Suzuki
I cant remember much I didnít make any notes so nothing too scary, I won
Round 8 VS Takashi Ishihara
Final round at 6-1 I can play or draw, if I lose Iím probably outside the 64 due to tiebreakers an ID guarantees me day 2. My opponent offers the draw and I think long and hard. 2 things race through my mind, Day 2 goal accomplished, and crap its CS draft tomorrow of which ive only drafted once which was last week at a PTQ also I cant read the cards as they will all be in Japanese. I decide to play the match based on the fact that I feel I have more chance of winning a match with my current Rav deck than a CS draft deck.
Game 1 - goes according to plan and is over in short time I think "YES almost there"
Game 2 - Play proceeds and we both stall out me with a slightly bigger army, him with a lurking informant stopping some of my draws. I get him down to 7 with a cackle being the last card in hand(not much use against any of his creatures as he has benevolant ancestor and veteran armourer in play, we stall out again, Iím on 30 due to Savra/City tree/witch combo, I draw a lurking informant and now 2 can play that game. he lurks me and lets me have flight of fancy, I count my library 7 cards and he still has an informant his library has 17 cards. I set my witch and informant some overtime and they take to it like ducks to a pond. He strands of undeaths me and I cackle to the head dropping him to 4. Now comes my most stupid play of the whole GP , he lurks away my fusillade damn there goes an out I draw blind hunter "yes games mine" play it sack it to the witch haunt my steamcore weird in my excitement rather than any of my 3 black creatures, he sets of his seal of doom in response to the haunt and I feel like a complete and utter muppet, I count up creatures give him a turn and then lurk him, draw lurk again then sack enough creatures to the witch to remove his library from the game, he untaps lurks me in his upkeep and then fails to draw, 2 cards left in my deck! used my get out of jail free card on that one.
So I finish day 1 at 7-1 in 12th place, Iím feeling on top of the world, excited, nervous and in new ground, day 2 " I made it" .
I ask the judge for a printout of the standings as a memento(I later get a better one so I can throw this one out)
Eli lends me his coldsnap spoiler booklet so I can study CS, thanx mate.
We fill out some paperwork disclaimers and tax forms "oh my god is this really happening"
Props Ė not facing a cloak all day, The judging staff and their patience, the cool pen
Slops- my 2 errors over the day thankfully only 1 cost me
its 9pm been here since 9am, 12 hour day and then I had to go and do my homework and find out what the cards in CS do!
Day 2 continues in Part 2 Here