Thursday, 27 May 2010

Magic: The Gathering Game Day (London 2010-05-22)

Went along to the Magic: The Gathering Game Day in London last Saturday (22nd May). It was a standard tournament[1] and, while I had played standard decks both casually and occasionally in sanctioned events, not at this level of competitivness (its a game day, so not that competitive in itself, but like I said, I've not really played much competitive standard matches at all). The main reason I say its more competitive is because its the first time I have had to provide a deck list at an event. Just about got there in time and signed up. There were 18 other players I believe. 

Decided to play a deck I had made a few weeks ago, lots of goblins, and a few burn spells basically. I think its fun to play, although it is very prone to running out of steam if games run on too long. Have changed the deck a little since, but will note down what I think I played[2]

I'll do a quick run down of a few of the choices here. I went with Raging Goblin over Goblin Guide because there didn't seem to be a huge difference between the damage done when I tested it - when getting enough damage through to win, there wasn't that many times when I needed a few extra on the earlier turns, so I went with the smaller version as Goblin Guide can occasionally help my opponents fix their mana, which is something I would be trying to avoid as the deck is a pretty fast one. 

Initially there was less land (about 20 I think), but as I had quite a few cards that cost 5 I upped the land count. It also meant that Spire Barrage would be more effective when cast. As a side note, the initial incantation was R/b, with a few blightnings and terminates, but the mana fixing for it wasn't great, so I switched to mono Red. 

The main reason for the Voracious Dragons is because it can break out of a board stall, either with some finishing damage, or by leaving behind a big dragon, and big dragons are always fun =D

The sideboard was mainly thrown together not really thinking what to expect (like I said, not played much competitive standard). Pithing Needles always seem to be good to include, the Earthquakes are to clear the board and/or finish off an opponent (hopefully I would have done enough damage beforehand), Traitorous Instinct was to try and get a finishing attack in, Banefire against decks with counter spells (or a good defence), and Ricochet Trap was my attempted defence against blightning or spreading seas. 

Round 1
In round 1, my opponent was playing an interesting mill deck (that wasn't turbo fog), which I managed to win through some close games. 

Round 2
In round 2, my opponent had a W/B control style deck (discards and removal), which I again managed to win through some close games. 

Round 3
For round three I was at the top table (wow), and my opponent was playing a grixis control deck. The first game didn't go well, it went on too long for my deck to handle, then a Nicol Bolas, Plansewalker appeared, and it went downhill from there. Although, having never played against Bolas, it was quite a fun card to play against. The next game I managed to win quite quickly, and it came down to the third game, when I just about managed to win another close game. Afterwards, me and my opponent played a few friendly games, and I managed to win most with lucky fast draws, getting enough damage done before they had a chance to recover. One game they did play their combo of Explosive Revelation revealing Emrakul, which was impressive to see (even if I was on the receiving end). 

Round 4
In round 4, I played against a W/B/r deck with many planeswalkers (first time I had played against a Gideon too). I did lose this round, but learnt a lot about playing against multiple planeswalkers.  

Round 5
In round 5, me and my opponent ID'ed as we both had enough points as it was to get into the Top 8 (and an extra shiny card =D yay). But we still played some games. I discovered that facing down a Cunning Sparkmage (which is already a card I think is fun) equipped with a basilisks collar is a one way trip to the Goblins not staying in play (sorry, on the battlefield) for that long. 

Top 8
Out of the 19 players there, I had come 6th (not too bad for me, not playing standard that much), so got into the Top 8 play-off's (and also got a shiny angel card). I lost in the first round to the same opponent I had in round 5, so headed home with Liz (who had opted to go shopping instead of play). 

Thoughts on the deck
Having now actually played the deck against people, I can think about changing/improving it for the future. Tuktuk wasn't overly impressive (there's a few ways to exile it, making it an expensive Raging Goblin), and I didn't see much use of the Siege-Gang Commanders. I think they still have a place in the deck, but maybe only two instead of three. I'll see how it does anyway. With the Banefire, I didn't often get to larger amounts of land in order to cast if for a lot (let alone casting it for the X=5 needed to make it awesome). In the sideboard, I defiantly need a fourth Pithing Needle (there are so many targets for it). I'm considering switching the Raging Goblins for Goblin Guides, and playing a few Pithing Needles main deck, because there are enough targets for them, and if I see what my opponent is drawing (either a man-land, or something with a nasty ability) I can pre-emptivly stop it. Also in the sideboard, Ricochet Trap wasn't overly impressive, the two times I had it in hand when blightning'd, I didn't have enough open to cast it, so it ended up just being one of the cards I discarded to it. My main additions since the Game Day to the sideboard have been Tuktuk Scrapper (goblin plus artifact destruction), and I thought I would try out some Scourge Devils, as I don't mind discarding them to blightning, as I can unearth the next turn for a pseudo bushwhacker effect. 


[2] This should be correct to a few cards, hopefully. 

24 Mountain
4 Goblin Chieftain
3 Siege-gang Commander
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Goblin Ruinblaster
3 Raging Goblin
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Staggershock
4 Spire Barrage
2 Voracious Dragon
1 Banefire
1 Tuktuk the Explorer

3 Pithing Needle
2 Traitorous Instinct
2 Earthquake
3 Banefire
4 Ricochet Trap
1 Siege-gang Commander