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ďHiroshima GP : Storming to the SemisĒ

Part 2 Ė Day Two and the Top 8!

By Basam Tabet

 

After reading through the book and memorising most of the cards I make a decision, draft basic that means green/white, unless I get something stupid such as a dragon or vampire wench I wonít differ from my plan of attack. I see shackles, war crys, rangers and the 2 drops being the key to victory and possibly the sentinals if I can get enough they seem very powerful.

 

I go to sleep but its too hot then too cold, I cant get the aircon to a temp I like. Iím sick of tossing and turning after about 3 hours so decide to have a bath at 4am. Then still in a restless mood I go for a wander. I end up at the 24hr internet place so figure ill check my mail etc. Found out that id won a beta emerald on ebay "bonus" had a post from Pete wishing me luck in day 2, thanx mate, I thought yeah ill need it.

Brian Snoddy wished me luck on day 1 and it seemed to work so I was hopeful id get some of Petes luck for day 2, afraid id already used the majority of mine.

 

Went back to my room picked up my gear and headed out to day 2.Im hoping for at least a 3-3 record.

 

nervous as hell I sit down in pod 2. The draft goes pretty well and I got permission off the head judge to look at a spoiler during deck building and gameplay.

The judges printed off oracle for me, Thanks a lot guys saved me a load of judge calls.

 

Heres the deck

 

boreal shelf, highland weald, 1 snow plains, scrying sheets,

 

1 ranger, 4 sentinals, 1 owl keeper, 2 shackles, 2 squall drifters, 2 boreal griffins, swift manoeuvre, 2 kjeldoran outrider(from here on out referred to as fatass), white shield crusader, 2 into the north, 2 surging might, 1 sheltering ancient, 1 frostweb spider with another in the board, shape of the witigo, lightning serpent

 

2 unicorns in the board

 

Round 9 VS Ryousuke Masuno

Game 1 - I play and turn 3 play sentinals rippling 2 off the top and then the last 1 with the other ripples. he dies shortly after.

 

Game 2 - We stabilise him with 3 frost raptors out and me with a ranger and a unicorn, I into the north and end my turn. He shuffles my deck perfectly for me as next draw I get sentinel and ripple the other 3 off the top with a ranger in play it ends up as being pretty obscene. The game ends 2 turns later.

 

I ask Ron foster if he can put up the asterisks to mark pro players and I find out that there is 44 pros to 20 amateurs, top 16 amateurs get money so hopefully I should get something today.

The standings come up and Iím 7th "YES Iím there now all I have to do is stay there". At this point Iím going to say that I didnít recognise any of the Japanese pros which I feel worked in my favour as I was already nervous as hell.

 

Round 10 VS Tomoharu Saito

We take a game a piece and game 3 drags as we both have tappers me with squall drifters and other blockers him with 4 yes 4 active rimewind taskmage, I take one out of action with a shackles, time is called and we both look at the situation he is on 2 life I can get through for 1 damage and die on the return, and he can get through for a few and die on the return he drops Garza`s assassin but its not enough and we end it in a draw.

 

Round 11 VS Ryou Ogura

Gotta win this one - I cant remember a thing apart from the fact that I lost, I cant even remember what colour he was playing. All hope died no top 8 for me, oh well it was a good go while it lasted, Andre tells me that if I 3-0 the second draft I have a chance, yeah fat chance.

 

New goal, be the top amateur player, I take a look at the standings and Iíve got a bit of work to do.

 

Onto the second draft

After my first 5 picks Iím wondering whatís going on, they were in order

mouth of ronim, shackles, shackles, shackles, shackles, "ok somehow I think whites open" note to self "get some snow lands to go with these shackles" and some critters. 2nd pack I take a 5th pick unicorn over a darrien as I need the 2 drop and darrien isnít usually all that good and tables. sure enough he tables and I take him 13th pick, I also pick up another shackles and 4 snow plains and get a 15th pick white martyr.

My first opinion of this chick was, she sucks its life gain. When I took a closer look I saw that in a mono-white deck which mine was sheís a 1/1 1drop which is good for the war crys of which I got 3 and when she dies you gain 9-15 life. Not too shabby which is why 4 matyrs made my final deck.

 

heres the final build.

 

5 shackles, swift manoeuvre, 3 war crys, 4 matyrs, squall drifter, 2 unicorns, 2 fatass, 2 owlkeepers, 2 polar bears, 1 griffin and darrien along with the mouth of ronim and 4 snow plains

 

Round 12 Vs Ryuichi Arita - I drop my guys quick and shackles anything the comes out I win this one 2-0 with plenty of time left on the clock.

 

Round 13 VS Yuuta Hirosawa

I take game 1 quickly but game 2 stabilisers with 3 frozen solids on 2 matyrs(never thought they would draw removal) and my griffin. I have a fatass in play and 2 more matyrs. he gets a small flyer and starts to chip away at my life total, I draw and pass the turn 3 times, and then send in the troops 1 martyr dies as does my unicorn but he takes the frozen solid off my griffin on his way and I sac the martyr for 15 life then drop darrien. with 3 matyrs still in play and 4 white cards in hand he cant attack and I can sit back and send in the griffin and fatass`s until he runs out of chumpers and the games mine.

 

Looking at the standings Iím the second ranked amateur, by percentages. ďNoooo must win my final matchĒ and frig if I do I could make top 8

 

Round 14 VS Takemasa Mouri

 

We sit down and shuffle before being moved to the feature match area Ēyeah like I needed the extra pressureĒ

 

Game 1 Ė I smash face whilst shackling a creature on turn 3 and then another two on turn 4, its too much and I take it easily.

 

Game 2 Ė I get in some early damage and then he starts dropping survivor of the unseen 4 turns in a row letting each die during upkeep. I continue to send in matyr`s and fatass`s which he doesnít trade with hell matyr`s are below contempt.It gets to a point he has 2 cards in hand and an inactive survivor on the table, I swing in with all my guys and no blocks are announced, I figure he needs to keep his guy around and try and draw out of it. He does have a mouth of ronim on the table though so if he can keep his survivor on the table and drop a 2 drop he can set of the mouth and stabilise. I have two cards in hand a shackles and a Ö Ö. Ö plains. I drop the shackles on his man and give him a turn thinking that he must have a land on top as he has used the survivors quite a bit. He draws plays a land and passes, Iím thinking surging aether, I swing, I win.

 

Yes I did it everyone seems positive that Iíve made top 8 but I have an agonising wait as my tiebreakers suck courtesy of my 0 byes about 15 minutes later the head judge announces the 8 and Iím 7th. Ecstatic doesnít begin to describe it and Iím the top amateur. Iíve lost amateur status in the best way possible, $$ signs flash before my eyes then I realise shit Iíve q`d for Kobe, minimum of 3 pro points and $2300.

 

Iím walking around on cloud 9, having not played magic in almost 3 months and having no testing done with the drop and draft Coventry crew, Iím surprised to be in this situation having only drafted CS once before today. Looks like Pete`s luck worked too.

 

We all sit down and fill out our profiles and then get some photos taken, I canít remember any of it except for the question about my preferred draft strategy for CS.ďthrow it out the window and draft Rav block insteadĒ. Not criticising CS but I still love Rav block drafting too much to do anything else.

 

We sit down to draft and the judge points around the table and announces each persons byes everyone had 3 apart from Andre who had 2 and myself with 0. Apparently I like to do things the hard way.

 

We draft and I go for the same deck Iíve been drafting all day I get 5 war crys but I only see 1 shackles in all 3 packs, I get good early curve with some top end as well.

 

Was a little weird having a shape of the witigo in my sideboard but I couldnít support 2.

 

Heres my deck

Plains
Forest
Arctic Flats


16 land

Kjeldorian Outrider
Martyr of Sands
Ronom Unicorn
Squall Drifter
Ursine Fylgja
Arctic Nishoba
Boreal Centaur
Bull Aurochs
Martyr of Spores
Simian Brawler
Juniper Order Ranger


16 creatures

Jester's Scepter
Gelid Shackles
Kjeldorian War Cry
Shape of the Wiitigo


8 other spells

Jotun Grunt
Kjeldorian Gargoyle
White Shield Crusader
Brooding Saurian
Freyalise's Radiance
Frostweb Spider
Into the North
Shape of the Wiitigo
Sheltering Ancient
Simian Brawler


10 sideboard cards

 

 

Sitting down to my first match Iíve exceeded all expectations and I donít care if I go out first round now but each win is a bonus.

 

Round 15 VS Shimura Ichirou

 

Game 1 Ė this is a quick game with a turn 6 kill war cry and sack a martyr of spores revealing 3 cards for exactly lethal damage.

 

Game 2 Ė I get some quick damage in again but then it stalls out with him on 2 life, I have a squall drifter and he has a boreal griffin the ground is all locked up. We are both looking for a way through all I need is a forest to play shape of the witigo on my drifter and swing or a war cry, I get running critters instead and manage to tap enough to get 2 damage through.

 

Andre then tells me that Iíve taken a big scalp, I didnít realise how big until I looked it up on the net and found that Shimura Ichirou was on the Japanese worlds team that took the title last year.

 

Hey top 4 that means I get one of those trophies, awesome.

 

Round 16 VS Andre Coimbra Ė weíve been around each other a lot over the two days so we can guess what we are playing against. Itís a bad matchup for me reminds me of owl mining vs zoo

 

I think the judges must be cracking up by now as here I am in the top 4 and Iím still looking up oracle text to see what some of the cards do.

 

Game 1 Ė he wins significantly with a big bad vampire wench.

Game 2 Ė he pops a red martyr for a 3-1 card advantage and its downhill from here, board position is

 

Andre- 7 land (enough to cast the vampire again that he revealed when popping the martyr) gutless ghoul, deepfire elemental, greater stone spirit, and an orcish bloodpainter, 2 cards in hand, 14 life

 

Me Ė 7 land, fatass, arctic nishoba(3 counters) 2 cards in hand war cry and form of the witigo, 9 life

 

I send in the nishoba and he blocks with the stone spirit and orc, I war cry to force him to tag the nishoba rather than my face. I gain 6 life, he plays a vampire and swings with it and the elemental if the nishoba hadnít died id be forced to chump and Iím sure the gutless would have come over as well, I go to 6 hoping to draw a critter to stop the elemental and then take 5 from the vampire to go to 1 (hence the war cry play before), by playing it this way I got 2 turns to draw answers needed, rather than 1 turn to draw a sunscour which isnít in my deck so I donít like my chances. Turns out I didnít get the draws I needed. Please note this is the critical mistake that I made in the coverage, but if I had the cards back I would play it in the same manner. (Which, can be seen here http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgevent/gphiro06/welcome )

 

I finish 4th due to tiebreakers and settle in to watch the final, it was a close first game but I had to walk away when I saw Andre make the mistake that cost him the match, not paying the upkeep of a magmatic core which probably would have won him the game. Very nervous and rattled he lost the final.

 

We were presented with our trophies and had some more piccies taken. I said farewell to my new friends and headed back to my room. When I get back I canít get to sleep as the adrenalin is pumping so much.

 

I cant believe it Iíve just won $2,500 4 pro points and q`d for Kobe, hell Iím in an airport waiting for 15 hours and I cant get the smile off my face.

 

I know why I went to Hiroshima, I knew I could do it, it feels good to prove it to myself though. I look at my trophy and it all floods back. The same thought continues to jump to mind. Iíll see you in Kobe.