If you're interested in the first part, you can find it here.
When we left our hero (me in this case), he had just thrown away his chance to make day 2 of Grand Prix Strasbourg by making one of the most elementary mistakes possible. But he sought comfort in the knowledge that he would get a minor chance to redeem himself in the big Legacy Challenge tournament on Sunday.
The experience left me shaken enough to consider just playing Miracles on Sunday when I drifted off to sleepy land.
Sunday morning found me well refreshed and with my faith in playing Cabal ANT restored. Given the matchups I'd faced in the main event, there was no deck I'd rather have been on, so I decided to tighten up and sleeved up (metaphorically speaking—the sleeves stayed the same between both days for once) the same list I'd rocked on Saturday. To wit:
If you're interested in explanations concerning some of the less standard card choices, check out part 1 or the original article I wrote on the deck. If you'd like an impression of what playing this deck entails, check here or here.
It was brought to my attention that I didn't actually talk about my sideboarding strategy last time; expect that to be remedied in today's matches. Keep in mind, though, that I simply don't use fixed sideboard plans. I often decide to board slightly differently for the exact same matchups, letting my intuition lead the way. Alright, let's get back to the report, shall we?
Fresh and excited, at roughly 9 AM we went to the venue, where I scribbled down my decklist and waited for first round pairings to be announced. Registration had thankfully been open the day before, eliminating the need to stand in line for a prolonged period of time. Nine rounds plus Top 8—it was going to be another long day!
Obligatory disclaimer: I didn't take any notes—though I did find my life pad—so I couldn't remember the names of most opponents and might have mixed up a few other things. The high points of most games and matches are clear enough in my mind that there shouldn't be any trouble with that, though. Alrighty, back to Magic!
Soon it was time to game.
Round 1: Cloudpost
My opponent won the roll and opened on Tropical Island—I mentally prepared for slogging through the heavy disruption of RUG—but followed it up with Pithing Needle on Wasteland. Excellent, Cloudpost it is, then—a much better matchup. On turn 3 or 4 a Gitaxian Probe confirmed he really had nothing to interact with me, so I went ahead and won with Past in Flames.
Cloudpost usually has Chalice of the Void and Flusterstorm in the board, sometimes even Mindbreak Trap and Trinisphere. That meant I needed to keep my discard in to fight through the stack-based disruption but also wanted some Abrupt Decays. On the other hand, he is much slower than I am, so I decided to trade a Lotus Petal and a Preordain for two Abrupt Decays and figured that should be enough.
He mulliganed to five and opened with Cloudpost go. I had a slow but interactive hand with both Gitaxian Probe and Therapy as well as cantrips and lands. My turn 1 Gitaxian Probe showed me he was holding Expedition Map, Oblivion Stone, and double Sensei's Divining Top, which I Cabal Therapyed away. He missed his second land drop and played the Expedition Map, while I set to sculpting. I won on turn 4 with Ad Nauseam after checking his hand again and finding nothing of relevance.
Round 2: Lands
When I sat down, my opponent was discussing his round 1 match with a friend of his. He had just beaten a The Epic Storm player that didn't seem to know what he was doing given that he went for ten Goblins via Empty the Warrens against a known Crop Rotation in hand before losing game 2 to Burning Wish for Thoughtseize, taking his only business from a hand full of mana after having Duressed a Crop Rotation instead.
I expected him to have some form of permanent based-hate, either Chalice of the Void or Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and not much else given that he didn't mention anything out of the ordinary like Mindbreak Trap when talking about his game 1 match. As a result, I took out my Cabal Therapys and three Duresses for Chain of Vapors and Abrupt Decays.
My opponent kept his hand with the comment, "I'm not winning this match anyway, so I might as well keep a loose one." When I Gitaxian Probed him on my first turn, I saw what he meant. He had a land in play, and his hand was:
I'd be very dead once he hit four mana—gotta win fast now! I cantripped and made sure to play around the sideboard Thoughtseize by leaving business on top. Good thing that I did since he ripped Mox Diamond, discarded The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, and Thoughtseized me, taking a cantrip I didn't really need while leaving the Chain of Vapor I had in hand alone. I cast Ad Nauseam next turn but could only leave either Island or Swamp up afterwards. As I was at fourteen already from multiple Gitaxian Probes and the use of fetchlands, I wasn't confident I'd actually be able to win straight up. Given I'd lose hard to him getting to four mana, I kept the Island up to make sure I could Chain of Vapor the Mox Diamond if necessary.
I flipped a bunch of Cabal Rituals, a land, an Abrupt Decay, two Ponders, and an Infernal Tutor before hitting three life—which is where I had to stop to not be killed by his Punishing Fire. Good that I decided to keep the Island up! I chained his Mox Diamond and discarded the two Ponders, thinking I wanted an out to a topdecked Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.
Only once I'd passed the turn did I realize I just screwed myself—there is no target for Abrupt Decay, so I couldn't go hellbent anymore! So much for not making bone-headed mistakes...
I got lucky, though. He missed on drawing lands twice in his roughly 40-land deck, while I drew a Brainstorm two turns later so that I could finally tutor chain him. Note to self: stop being an idiot.
Round 3: Goblins
My opponent recognized me and complimented me on my articles (much appreciated!) but started the match on the wrong foot by mulling to five after doing quite a bit of calculating before each mulligan. At that point, I expected this to be some form of broken deck mirror, and I was positively surprised when my turn 1 Duress revealed a hand of Mountain, double Aether Vial, Goblin Warchief, and some other Goblin I can't remember. Faced with no resistance, it didn't take me long to goldfish him.
Once I grabbed my sideboard, he commented he should probably have scooped in response to the Duress, and I could only agree with him since I got to bring in my three Chain of Vapors for three Duress to deal with possible Thalia, Guardian of Thrabens and Chalice of the Voids on zero while keeping some discard around to deal with possible Mindbreak Traps and Surgical Extractions.
He thought for a while on turn 1 before finally dropping a Chalice of the Void on the board. Given that my hand was full of Lotus Petals and Lion's Eye Diamonds, he definitely made the right decision there. Unluckily for him, I also had the Chain of Vapor, meaning the match ended once he tapped out for some Goblin or other on turn 3 to leave my Chain of Vapor free reign.
We talked some more about possible article subjects, among other things, and after I left he caught up with me to hand me my stopwatch. After playing so much control, I'm in the habit of stopping round time independent of the main clock to always be conscious of how much time I have left. Thanks a lot for taking care of my stuff even when I'm too absent-minded to remember!
Round 4: The B/U/R/G Deck
I got hit down to seven by a Delver of Secrets while getting Wastelanded but was allowed to cantrip freely. When Duress finally resolved, he revealed a hand of Stifle—which he flipped the Delver of Secrets with—Abrupt Decay, and double Nimble Mongoose, which meant I could tutor chain him out without trouble.
I saw lands of four different colors during game 1, so I put him on the German RUG plus Deathrite Shaman list and only did what I usually do against RUG—I switched Ad Nauseam for Empty the Warrens and called it a day. Both Ad Nauseam and Empty the Warrens serve the same purpose—having something to take advantage of early game openings in hands with few Rituals but a lot of artifact mana—but Empty the Warrens is cheaper and usually just as deadly against tempo decks, while Ad Nauseam becomes bad rapidly against Delver of Secrets draws.
He started the game with unthresholded Nimble Mongoose beats but had enough disruption to keep me from doing much of anything. No discard spell resolved this game, and I never drew a Gitaxian Probe, so when Deathrite Shaman joined the fray, I had to run headfirst into his Force of Will.
I Duressed him on turn 1 and took a Flusterstorm out of a hand that also had Daze, Ponder, Volcanic Island, and two Spell Pierces. I traded a surplus Infernal Tutor for his Daze on my second turn, while he still didn't have a clock, and when I found a Cabal Therapy to deal with his Spell Pierces, I could once again tutor chain him out.
Round 5: Timo Schunemann with Cabal ANT
Well, at least I knew what my opponent was playing, though I'd rather face someone who is less experienced with this particular broken combo deck.
He won the roll—uh oh—mulliganed, and Duressed me, taking my Duress out of a hand that had mana, two cantrips, a Duress, and a Cabal Therapy. Naturally, I topdecked Gitaxian Probe—running good! I saw a hand of:
I took the LED—makes it hardest for him to actually find a critical mass of mana and business—and he cantripped next turn before passing. I used Ponder and Brainstorm over the next two turns but didn't find a business spell and was now Brainstorm locked.
I cast another Brainstorm that whiffed on business but at least found another Duress I could cast a turn later. I had to leave him with a hand—I don't remember the exact configuration, but it involved two Lotus Petals—that would allow him to tutor for Ad Nauseam and cast it if he drew any mana source.
I had one more Brainstorm in hand and could either try to hit now—seeing only two new cards while risking to Brainstorm lock myself for the third time—or wait a turn and pray he either doesn't find the mana source or can't win instantly off of Ad Nauseam, which is reasonable given that he had to use up two Lotus Petals already. I decided that missing on Brainstorm killed me for sure and decided to wait a turn. Unfortunately for me, he topdecked the land he needed to go for Ad Nauseam—not that his odds were bad there.
Relieved to get another turn, I Brainstormed and lo and behold found the Infernal Tutor waiting for me. I showed him my hand of multiple Rituals, Lion's Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, and Past in Flames and asked him if he wanted me to play it out. He scooped.
In the Storm mirror, there are essentially two types of games to consider. The first is the grind fest, as exemplified in game 1. If both players draw a lot of discard and no turn 1 kill happened, hands empty out fast, and it's a race to see who can rebuild to a winning hand first, which generally involves finding some way to Past in Flames. The second is the stereotypical combo mirror. At least one player has the nuts, while the other doesn't have disruption and dies very early in the game.
There was nothing dedicated in my sideboard for this matchup, but given the types of games that exist, there were a few tools that might prove useful: Sensei's Divining Top and Surgical Extraction. Sensei's Divining Top is good in the first type of games—if both of you are trying to recover from a flurry of discard spells, Top is nuts.
Surgical Extraction, on the other hand, is a weird one. It usually only has marginal utility against Storm, but it interacts favorably with both safe early win lines of play. It sometimes disrupts tutor chaining by getting rid of the tutors and disables a safe Past in Flames win in the same way. In a similar vein, it works reasonably well to try to get your opponent during the grind fest, possibly stopping an otherwise lethal Past in Flames from taking over the game.
The problem with bringing in either card? It weakens the internal structure of the deck, making it more unlikely for you to be able to actually just win early.
He Preordained, keeps both cards, and dropped a Lion's Eye Diamond into play. On my turn, I Gitaxian Probed him and saw Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Lion's Eye Diamond, Brainstorm, and Infernal Tutor. Nice. Hand. When I said so, he remarked, "It obviously didn't look like that when I started turn 1; otherwise, you'd be dead!" I could only nod in agreement.
I Pondered and found Infernal Tutor waiting for me alongside another piece of fast mana, so I let it chill on top of my deck and passed, to which he remarked, "If you didn't board some weird stuff, I guess you're dead." I shrugged. "Sure looks like it."
He drew and cast his Rituals, and I prayed for him not to gamble on going for Ad Nauseam. It turned out the second card he kept on top with Preordain was another Infernal Tutor—the nut protection against me having a Duress. That's what he cast next, doubling up on Lion's Eye Diamond. I sighed in relief and revealed I did indeed board some weird stuff by Surgical Extracting his tutors in response to him casting the Lion's Eye Diamond, leaving him with no business whatsoever. On my turn, I revealed my own nut hand, and he scooped them up.
Round 6: Tomoharu Saito with RUG Delver
My opponents definitely were no slouches today! At least my voracious Magic reading left me forewarned that Saito doesn't run Stifle in his RUG list. I so love my fetches being safe!
He had an early Delver of Secrets, and I had the damned Tendrils of Agony in hand preventing me from going hellbent, so I was forced to short Tendrils him for twelve when I hit four life after he'd added a Tarmogoyf to the board. The short Tendrils also involved a Duress that left him with nothing but another Tarmogoyf and a land.
He attacked me back down to ten, and on my turn I Brainstormed, ready to go off again, and found a Grim Tutor in addition the Infernal Tutor I already had, so I put Grim Tutor back on top of my library because Infernal Tutor is categorically superior. Fittingly, he'd drawn his only out—Spell Snare—and I topdecked the Grim Tutor next turn when at one life. Note to self: don't give your opponent outs just because one card is usually better. Had I used the Grim Tutor instead of the Infernal, I would have won easily.
I made my standard switch of Empty the Warrens for Ad Nauseam but decided to also bring in a misers Xantid Swarm instead of a Lotus Petal, reasoning that he had more countermagic than normal RUG but didn't attack my mana as harshly.
He didn't have an early threat. I played land go for the first four turns, while he cast the occasional cantrip. I Probed him on turn 5, and he thought for a moment before revealing this monster of a hand, smiling confidently:
Quite impressive, though when I peeked at my hand, I saw that misers Xantid Swarm smiling back at me. So I calmly cracked one of my fetchlands for a Tropical Island and put the Xantid Swarm on the table. He rocked back in his chair. Instead of being annoyed, his comment was an excited, "Ooh, like Vintage Storm!" Gotta hand it to Saito, he has a great attitude. Xantid Swarm survived for a turn, and I got to make a lot of Goblins via Empty the Warrens—not enough Rituals to Past in Flames with.
He resideboarded furiously—I guess he wanted some of his removal back—and having seen so many Flusterstorms, I wanted a second Xantid Swarm in the deck in spite of that removal coming back in and cut either the Grim Tutor or a Preordain for it. As I said, I don't have fixed sideboard plans.
He again didn't have a one-drop, while I Gitaxian Probed him on turn 1—god that card is so sweet. He revealed:
A few more turns passed with both of us Brainstorming and Pondering while I also drew out a Spell Pierce and Duressed one of the Force of Wills. When I Gitaxian Probed him again a little later, he now had Tropical Island, Flusterstorm, Ponder, Force of Will, and Spell Snare in hand. I pulled the Flusterstorm with another discard spell, and he Pondered twice on his turn. My Dark Ritual resolved the following turn, though, and my first action was to cast another Duress, seeing his hand hadn't improved and was now Spell Snare, Rough / Tumble and Force of Will. I pulled the Spell Snare and looped Infernal Tutor into Past in Flames.
Round 7: BUG Delver
I won the roll and Duressed him, seeing:
I snagged the Force of Will, pulled the Daze with a turn 2 Infernal Tutor while he was deploying his Delver of Secrets, and won by tutor chaining on turn 4 after Gitaxian Probe showed me the way was still clear.
He seemed to be the tempo list, so I only brought in Empty the Warrens for either a Preordain or the Grim Tutor. Empty the Warrens is still great against BUG, but the deck doesn't have the reach of RUG to deaden Ad Nauseam as rapidly and also has Hymn to Tourachs, which means you often need to Necro-Ad Nauseam to recover.
I, on the other hand, had only four lands but a hand of Dark Ritual, double Cabal Ritual, Lotus Petal, and Infernal Tutor. I cast a Dark Ritual, which, after some thinking, he allowed to resolve—he'd have to blow his whole hand to stop it, after all. As it turned out, though, once that Ritual resolved, I had all the mana in the world to just push through his soft counters. And by all the mana in the world, I mean exactly thirteen so that I could Infernal Tutor for Past in Flames and have a single black floating to start Ritualing again after paying for all of them.
Round 8: Tue with the Danish U/W/R Standstill
I happily expected to be able to draw into Top 8 from here on out, but fate didn't collaborate as I was paired against someone who had a draw already. It's important to note that I hadn't seen the GP decklists at that point and had no idea what exactly my opponent was playing.
After some deliberation, I decided to take the Brainstorm to make sure that my Cabal Therapy would either connect or pull a Force of Will. He Force of Willed the Cabal Therapy as expected and Vendilion Cliqued my Infernal Tutor away on turn 3. I had to dig like mad to find a new one, and when I finally did—off of a Brainstorm that left me with chaff on top of my library—I was on six life. I had four lands in play, multiple Rituals, Lion's Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor in hand as well as two Duress and a Cabal Therapy, while my opponent had a Cavern of Souls naming Wizard, a Mishra's Factory that hadn't been attacking, and Tundra in play—all untapped—with three cards in hand.
Here's where unfamiliarity with my opponent's deck came into play. Clearly, he had something to play with his three mana; otherwise, he would have been attacking with the Mishra's Factory. Not knowing how much—and which—countermagic he was running, I decided to Duress him first:
Bummer. I took nothing, and he Vendilion Cliqued my Infernal Tutor away again in response to the Cabal Therapy, killing his other Vendilion Clique in the process. But with Mishra's Factory and Snapcaster Mage, his clock was easily fast enough to kill me while I was still Brainstorm locked.
Had I known the exact configuration of the deck, I'd have been reasonably sure that the one thing my hand was still likely to lose to was exactly that third Vendilion Clique and could have opened on Cabal Therapy. I suspect he would have let that one resolve—after all, I'm most likely to name Force of Will blind if he doesn't know about the Duresses, and he'd have to kill his in-play Vendilion Clique and give up on end-of-turn Snapcaster Mage for the win when I might just as easily miss—and could have snagged the game that way.
He tapped out for Standstill on turn 2, and I broke it with Duress, seeing Vendilion Clique, Spell Pierce, Red Elemental Blast, Mishra's Factory, Arid Mesa, and Plateau. Seeing as he was tapped out now, Ritual, Lion's Eye Diamond, and some other shenanigans combined with Infernal Tutor made sixteen Goblins, which got there.
I Gitaxian Probed him on turn 1 to see:
I managed to pull the Force of Will but couldn't win before the Vendilion Clique snagged my business spell again. Soon I was bleeding life rapidly to two Mishra's Factorys, a Snapcaster Mage, and the Vendilion Clique and was forced to try to go for it by floating blue and black mana through a Lion's Eye Diamond while trying to cantrip into the Tendrils of Agony. I didn't get there.
Tue was a great opponent and has since contacted me to share the decklist and tell me he and a friend of his played the deck to a combined 14-3-2 record on Sunday—pretty sweet! Not drawing also turned out well for him—he made it to the Top 8, luckily in a different bracket from me.
I think the list he was playing holds quite a bit of promise for anyone interested in playing a deck that can both beat down and play the control role. Here it is in all its glory—very close to the one Andreas Petersens, one of the deck's creators, played to 14th place in the GP:
Round 9: Unknown
As soon as pairings for round 9 went up, it became clear that one person at 7-1-1 could be left outside of Top 8 if everyone drew. As soon as the players started to sit down, the judges swooped in and asked everyone at the top tables if they wanted to draw—to eliminate the possibility of waiting to see if anybody played it out, I suppose. When my opponent arrived, I was already seated, and the judge was standing next to me and asked him, "Do you want to play or draw?" My opponent looked a little confused, but when the question was repeated, he answered, "Uh, play?!"
I said alright and started to get out my deck, dice, and related tournament gear, which was when my opponent turned to me frantically and asked, "Wait, what was the question?" I explained that the judge had asked if we wanted to ID, and he was all aghast, calling the judge back and explaining, "Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I thought you were asking if I wanted to play first or draw first. I do want to draw!" Figuring that having started out 7-0 should give me solid breakers, I agreed, put the ID on the match slip, and got ready for a well-deserved break.
As it turned out, the lower-ranked 7-1s decided to play it out anyway, and I made it safely into Top 8.
Everyone would have liked to split given the time, but as that would have meant not even taking home 100€ after playing Magic all day, we all agreed that playing it out was better value.
Quarterfinals: BUG Delver Again
I met my round 7 opponent again in the quarterfinals and also won the die roll again. Winning the roll turned out to be pretty sick tech, as I Gitaxian Probed him on turn 1 and saw:
Without fail, I had a Cabal Therapy to make his hand totally uninteractive (I took Daze). Turn 2 was spent hard casting Ad Nauseam off of Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and two lands with no mana floating. I could have gone all in here with Lion's Eye Diamond and another Cabal Ritual but wanted to preserve my otherwise still awesome hand of Cabal Ritual, Lion's Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor in case he had drawn or Brainstormed into a Force. I ended up getting Dazed. Bummer.
He couldn't mess with the threshold—I think I missed an opportunity to bait him into trying and casting another Ritual in response—so he removed the Infernal Tutor with Past in Flames on the stack. That left me with a ton of mana, fifteen life, and Ad Nauseam in the graveyard. A flashbacked Duress showed me I'd have run headfirst into Force of Will had I gone all in turn 2 (luckily, his other card in hand was a land), and Ad Nauseam found a win eight life down.
I Gitaxian Probed him on turn 1 again after he'd dropped a Delver of Secrets:
I didn't have the Cabal Therapy this time but hid business on top of my library with a Brainstorm. He Brainstormed, fetched, and Thoughtseized into a hand of all mana and a cantrip, taking the latter. He also had the Force of Will for my Ad Nauseam two turns later, leaving me with nothing but Infernal Tutor in hand. He kept beating down with Delver of Secrets, but I topdecked the nuts: Lion's Eye Diamond. One mana short of winning on the spot, I played the Lion's Eye Diamond and Infernal Tutored for Past in Flames to set up for next turn while also playing around discard.
He ripped a Hymn to Tourach, which did nothing—why did Yawgmoth's Will need flashback again?—and I had another nutty rip with Infernal Tutor off the top to get a Cabal Ritual and flashbacked Past in Flames into the straight win.
My opponent had taken losses mainly from Tendrils decks throughout the weekend and was wondering why he was losing what is supposed to be a good matchup. He also asked if I thought he'd done anything wrong during our games. This is exactly the attitude you need to get better at this game, so kudos to him. I informed him about some of the minor choices I disagreed with and told him what I can only suggest to anyone interested in beating Storm: playtest with the deck. If you haven't sat in the combo pilot's chair, you don't know what the deck plays like and won't be able to pick the correct junctures to mess with.
We considered splitting again but found out that there was a special prize—a full set of Korean Gatecrash—that would not be awarded if there was no clear winner. So we kept playing.
My opponent seemed rather disheartened from the get go but opened gamely on Noble Hierarch before passing the turn saying, "And now you kill me." I had a hand of two lands, a Gitaxian Probe, a Brainstorm, a Ponder, two Lotus Petals, and a Lion's Eye Diamond, so I was a little doubtful about that. I opened the game on Gitaxian Probe, seeing this:
Now my back was against the wall—if I didn't hit a Cabal Therapy or the nut turn 1 kill, he'd Green Sun's Zenith for Gaddock Teeg to lock me out of the game. Gitaxian Probe drew another Gitaxian Probe, which drew a Lotus Petal that I used to Brainstorm, hitting the full nuts: Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and Infernal Tutor. I put back a land and a Ponder and made my opponent's prediction true from an initially pretty normal-looking hand. Well-behaved deck, nice timing on the turn 1 kills! [Editor's Note: When you're running good, you're running good!]
Luckily, I'd seen my opponent sideboarding during one of the Swiss rounds while rail birding and knew he didn't have any Mindbreak Traps for me, just more hate bears and Leyline of Sanctity. I traded Duresses and two Cabal Therapys for Chain of Vapors and Abrupt Decays.
He mulled to five in the hopes of finding a Leyline of Sanctity. He said he mulled hate bear only hands, which I don't understand since they are much better than Leyline of Sanctity against me, but he still had the turn 2 Gaddock Teeg. I, however, had Abrupt Decay ready in hand and killed his Gaddock Teeg on his turn 3, and he only cast Knight of the Reliquary as a follow up. So I won with an easy Past in Flames chain after seeing he had drawn a Leyline of Sanctity thanks to Gitaxian Probe.
Finals: Tomoharu Saito with RUG Delver Again
Tomoharu was quite interested in playing the finals and getting his revenge—because Magic is fun, and I agree—but we at least decided to split the store credit 225€ each to make sure the dealers could finally start packing. Saito, six spectators (including five other Berlin players), two judges, and I were all that were left in the hall. After our little shopping spree, we played for the Gatecrash set and the honor of taking first.
A turn 1 flipped Delver of Secrets tried to take me down in three life sized chunks, but when I Duressed him on turn 5, his hand was Wasteland, Scalding Tarn, Nimble Mongoose, Lightning Bolt, Spell Snare, and Force of Will. I took the Snare to disable both counters and Past in Flamesed for an easy win.
I took the Brainstorm, and Past in Flames made short work of him again. And just like that, I'd won one of the biggest Legacy tournaments I've gotten to play in against someone with a million times more Pro Points than me (me having zero and all that). Next time I'd like to do the same thing during the Grand Prix itself!
Tomoharu was a very easy person to be around during the whole match, and we talked for a while on the way back to our respective hotels. For those interested, he doesn't run Stifle because he feels that Snare is a more consistent late-game card, especially with all the Deathrite decks around, and it seemed to have done well for him against everybody but me. Something to consider, I guess, as much as I believe the Stifle plan to be superior. Either way, after playing Magic for the last thirteen or so hours, I was ready to fall into bed when I got back to the hotel.
Back to Berlin
So there you have it—the tournament I actually did well in at GP Strasbourg. This article is much too long already, so I'll skip straight to the end now. Until next time, ride the storm!