Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we're going to talk about Extended, what was winning and what was not, this weekend's StarCityGames.com $5000 Standard Open in Indianapolis, and live coverage of a PTQ finals featuring StarCityGames.com's own Sean McKeown. Let's go!
Extended & Co.
So this past weekend I was in Roanoke, Virginia for not just one but two Pro Tour Qualifiers, where our own Sean McKeown will be on the show in a bit to tell us about his Faeries deck complete with Ponder and battle a Naya Zoo build from Jimmy Rogers.
With that said, there are just a few more weeks of PTQs left. What is the right choice and what was rocking the top tables? Well, a few things. First, Elf Combo is really, really scary. It's ability to nullify sideboard cards like Pyrostatic Pillar by merely playing Chord of Calling for Burrenton Forge-Tender and going off anyway is just nuts, or how about Chord of Calling a Mirror Entity instead and beating you to death with Insect tokens and Llanowar Elves pumped to ridiculous sizes? Either works great and while it's incredibly difficult to play well, it's incredibly difficult to beat when piloted by a skilled player. Also, when I lost to a TEPS deck that beat me on TURN 2, I was fully reminded of how incredibly powerful a mixture of library manipulation, mana production, mana filtering, and one big nasty Storm spell can be. Again, difficult to pilot, but for those who are good at math, putting the pieces together, and are a little lucky, these are the decks to wield.
All I know is, this weekend I not only got a good look at the power of Naya Zoo close up - specifically the interaction that Woolly Thoctar cannot be enchanted with Threads of Disloyalty, which is huge. I also got a chance to get a good look at Top 8s all over the world. And I think there's some really interesting and deeply-hidden tech found there.
First up? The card that is defining Standard even more so than Cryptic Command or Bitterblossom, Reveillark. This guy is going to see a ton of play over the years, so get used to him. Now he's hit Extended, and some of the interactions are just nasty. How about Eternal Witness and Meloku the Clouded Mirror? Man, returning Meloku to play with a Reveillark has to be the sickest thing since I've seen since watching Jackass 2. Plus Eternal Witness to return the Reveillark back to your hand? Oh man, stop it, you're going to make me nauseous.
Another deck that has snuck up quietly in a few Top 8s overseas is Paruns Aggro. This is the deck that utilizes the once quite crappy but now quite powerful Dissension rare Pillar of the Paruns to play almost any spell in the deck. This one takes the aggro approach with Noble Hierarch and Rhox War Monk, along with your Negates fully upgraded to Countersqualls. Lightning Helix and Lightning Angel join the party giving you hasty damage and lifegain to boot. What I see here is not a perfect decklist. Instead, I see a huge area of potential. There are simply hundreds of gold and hybrid cards to choose from these days, and Pillar of the Paruns seems ripe for abuse. The problem, of course, is living through Blood Moon as my buddy Patrick Chapin pointed out, but hey, what's a silver bullet here and there for a deck with a lot of potential?
Either way, this Extended season has been incredibly diverse and healthy despite the fears of Elf Combo taking over the metagame after Pro Tour: Berlin. Speaking of PTQs, you'll find one this weekend at the StarCityGames.com $5000 Standard Open in Indianapolis on Sunday, following the Standard action tomorrow. Better yet, there's one of the first Magic Cruise Qualifiers there, happening Saturday afternoon with the champ getting a full ride - so to speak - on the cruise, it's a hell of a good time to be a Magic player.
Lastly, before we move on to the Extended footage, Wizards of the Coast announced Zendikar this week, the name for the first set of the new block coming this fall. The logo and the phrase "Deadly Perils, Priceless Treasures." Now much speculation has been spurred by these four words, this 'tagline' for the set as it were, and I think that's great. Set taglines have only been used since Shards of Alara, and they drive both interest and guessing in regards to what Zendikar will actually be about. My guess is this will either be a Mayan / Aztec world or, what I'm really hoping for, a prehistoric world filled with dinosaurs and such. Imperiosaur here we come! More on this new set as we get details.
So with no further ado, let's take a look at the PTQ finals in Roanoke. This was filmed at the first PTQ on Saturday evening.
PTQ Finals Coverage
- 2 Glen Elendra Archmage
- 3 Sower of Temptation
- 4 Spellstutter Sprite
- 1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
- 4 Vendilion Clique
== GAME 1 ==
In Game 1 Sean wins the roll and keeps a hand of Sower of Temptation, Mutavault, Snow-Covered Island, Secluded Glen, Spellstutter Sprite, Mana Leak, and Vendilion Clique. Jimmy mulligans a hand of Char, Keldon Marauders, two Wild Nacatls, Incinerate, Mogg Fanatic, and Mountain. Jimmy keeps his six-card hand consisting of Mountain, two Mogg Fanatics, Windswept Heath, Stomping Ground, and Sacred Foundry.
Sean gets things started with a tapped Secluded Glen while Jimmy leads with a Mountain and Mogg Fanatic. Sean plays Mutavault and says Go while Jimmy attacks with Mogg Fanatic taking Sean to 19. Jimmy then plays and immediately uses Windswept Heath going to 19, getting a Forest and playing Keldon Marauders right into Sean's Mana Leak. For Sean's turn he once again plays land, go. Jimmy meanwhile attacks Sean to 18. He plays and uses Wooded Foothills and plays a Mogg Fanatic. Sean responds with Spellstutter Sprite, leading Jimmy to kill the Spellstutter with the in-play Mogg Fanatic, then plays another after that.
Sean plays draw, go. Jimmy attacks as Sean plays Vendilion Clique in response, seeing Jimmy's exciting hand of Sacred Foundry and Stomping Ground. Vendilion Clique blocks one of the Mogg Fanatics, which deals 1 to Sean after damage is on the stack, taking him to 16. Sean suspends an Ancestral Visions and passes. Jimmy uses a Bloodstained Mire, going down to 17. On Jimmy's turn he attacks, taking Sean to 15, and passes. Sean meanwhile plays Sower of Temptation targeting Mogg Fanatic. Jimmy sacs it in response taking Sean to 14.
On Jimmy's turn he rips and plays Woolly Thoctar and passes. Sean attacks with Sower of Temptation taking Jimmy to 15 and plays another, targeting Woolly Thoctar. Jimmy merely plays another Mogg Fanatic and passes. Sean plays Secluded Glen, revealing Vendilion Clique. He then attacks with everything as Jimmy blocks the Thoctar and deals 1 to Sean. Jimmy goes down to 11 while Sean is comfortably at 13.
During Jimmy's draw step, Sean plays Vendilion Clique to see Bloodstained Mire and Tarmogoyf, putting the overpowered two mana creature on the bottom. Jimmy then draws and plays Char targeting the Sower of Temptation controlling Woolly Thoctar, but Sean has the Spellstutter Sprite to counter it and we're on to Game 2.
For sideboarding, Jimmy removes 4x Keldon Marauders and two Mogg Fanatic while bringing in two Umezawa's Jitte and 4x Duergar Hedge-Mage. Sean takes out Ponder, Meloku the Clouded Mirror, an Ancestral Vision, and Vendilion Clique for three Threads of Disloyalty and one more Engineered Explosives.
== GAME 2 ==
For Game 2, Jimmy is on the play and keeps a hand of Lightning Helix, Mogg Fanatic, Tarmogoyf, Sacred Foundry, Wooded Foothills, Incinerate, and Windswept Heath. Sean mulligans a hand of Riptide Laboratory, Mutavault, two Secluded Glen, Snow-Covered Island, Umezawa's Jitte and Threads of Disloyalty. He keeps his six-carder of Secluded Glen, Flooded Strand, Umezawa's Jitte, Ponder, Spell Snare, and Polluted Delta.
Jimmy begins by playing Wooded Foothills and going to 19 life, fetching a Mountain for Mogg Fanatic. Sean begins by playing and sacrificing Flooded Strand going to 19, gets an Island, and passes. Jimmy attacks Sean to 18, plays a Windswept Heath uses it to find an untapped Stomping Ground going to 16 life. Jimmy's Tarmogoyf runs smack into Sean's Spell Snare. Sean simply plays Island, go.
Jimmy attacks with Mogg Fanatic, plays Windswept Heath and passes. Sean plays Ponder on his turn, lays Polluted Delta and passes. Jimmy fetches at the end of Sean's turn going to 15. Jimmy attacks with Mogg Fanatic taking Sean to 16, plays Sacred Foundry and passes. Sean uses the Polluted Delta at the end of his turn, going to 15. Sean plays Ponder, then Mutavault, and passes.
Jimmy attacks Sean to 14 and plays Woolly Thoctar which runs into a Mana Leak. Sean uses his Polluted Delta at the end of his turn, going to 13. Sean plays another turn of draw, go. Jimmy meanwhile sacrifices Bloodstained Mire at the end of Sean's turn going to 14.
Sean plays a Vendilion Clique to which Jimmy responds by Lightning Helixing it, bringing the life totals to 17 and 13 in Jimmy's favor. Clique takes the Char from Jimmy's hand as Jimmy attacks Sean to 12.
Sean suspends an Ancestral Visions and passes while Jimmy goes to 16 from sacrificing Wooded Foothills at the end of his turn. Jimmy attacks taking Sean to 11 and plays a Wild Nacatl. Sean meanwhile plays a Jitte on his turn and passes. On the following turn Jimmy attacks Sean to 7 and successfully resolves Sulfuric Vortex.
Going to 5 from Vortex, Sean plays a Glen Elendra Archmage and passes. Jimmy is down to 14 on his turn from Vortex, plays Incinerate targeting the Archmage, who returns thanks to Persist. After another attack Sean is down to two life, who scoops it up before Sulfuric Vortex can finish him off.
== GAME 3 ==
In Game 3 Sean removes two Umezawa's Jitte's for a Glen Elendra Archmage and Ponder. As for their openers, Sean is on the play and keeps a hand of Threads of Disloyalty, Vendilion Clique, two Snow-Covered Island, Glen Elendra Archmage, Ponder, and Mana Leak. Jimmy meanwhile keeps a hand of Woolly Thoctar, Incinerate, Bloodstained Mire, Windswept Heath, Seal of Fire, Tarmogoyf and Umezawa's Jitte.
Sean starts off with Island and Ponder before passing the turn. Jimmy sacrifices a Bloodstained Mire to find an untapped Stomping Ground going to 17 and playing a fully-powered Kird Ape. Sean simply plays Mutavault and passes. Jimmy sacrifices Windswept Heath and goes to 14 for an untapped Sacred Foundry. He attacks with Kird Ape and runs his Umezawa's Jitte into Sean's Mana Leak before passing.
Sean plays another Island and passes. Jimmy meanwhile attacks Sean to 16 and plays Woolly Thoctar which resolves. Sean plays Vendilion Clique at the end of his turn. Jimmy shows Umezawa's Jitte, Tarmogoyf, Incinerate, and Seal of Fire. Sean chooses to put the Jitte on the bottom. For his next turn, Sean simply plays Flooded Strand and passes.
On his next turn Jimmy plays Seal of Fire and Sean has the Spellstutter Sprite. Jimmy then Incinerates the Vendilion Clique and attacks Sean to 9 life. At the end of Jimmy's turn Sean sacrifices his Flooded Strand, going to 8. Sean plays another turn of draw, go. Jimmy attacks with Kird Ape and Woolly Thoctar and Sean activates both of his Mutavaults. Before blockers Jimmy decides to Incinerate the Mutavault, allowing Sean to chump block the Woolly Thoctar with Spellstutter Sprite and take 2 from the Kird Ape going to 6. Jimmy plays another Kird Ape and passes.
Sean uses his Polluted Delta, falling to 5 life, and playing Threads of Disloyalty on one of the Kird Apes. Jimmy meanwhile turns em sideways as Sean blocks Woolly Thoctar with Kird Ape, going to just 3 life. Tarmogoyf meanwhile runs into Spell Snare, but a Wooded Foothills into Temple Garden takes Jimmy to 11 and allows him to play a second Tarmogoyf, which prompts the concession. Jimmy Rogers is your Honolulu PTQ Champion!
Evan "misterorange" Erwin
eerwin =at= gmail =dot= com
dubs dubs dubs themagicshow dot teevee
Now officially a Level 1 Judge. Got there!