Sneak Attack: GP Minneapolis Report, 14th (Part 2)

Sneak Attack: GP Minneapolis Report, 14th (Part 2)

May 29, 2014

Welcome back and it’s time for me to finish my Grand Prix Minneapolis experience. As we left off our hero has just survived Day 1 of GP Minneapolis at respectable 8-1 losing the final round. Now it’s time for the finale.

Nothing of note happened before the tournament, however I will say this about the weekend. Food and drinks are a necessity. Eat and drink better and it will help you play Magic better. Thankfully for me there was a Dunn Bros. in the convention center as I drank four smoothies during the Grand Prix, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. I dare say I’d have probably lost at least one more round without these.

Obligatory (Reposted) Decklist time:

Melira Pod
by James Beltz (sneakattackkid)

Lands (23)
Forest
Gavony Township
Godless Shrine
Marsh Flats
Misty Rainforest
Overgrown Tomb
Razorverge Thicket
Stomping Ground
Swamp
Temple Garden
Verdant Catacombs

Creatures (28)
Birds of Paradise
Eternal Witness
Harmonic Sliver
Kitchen Finks
Melira, Sylvok Outcast
Orzhov Pontiff
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Murderous Redcap
Phyrexian Metamorph
Reveillark
Shriekmaw
Spellskite
Voice of Resurgence
Viscera Seer
Wall of Roots

Spells (9)
Birthing Pod
Chord of Calling
Thoughtseize
Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Dismember
Entomber Exarch
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Kataki, War’s Wage
Obstinate Baloth
Qasali Pridemage
Realm Razer
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Sin Collector
Thoughtseize
Thrun, the Last Troll

Round 10 vs. Kai Burnett

I go to sit down and he just looks exhausted. Admittedly I was tired but had my smoothie. He just looked out of it and I felt if I played tightly I would be able to win this.

My opening hand had Birds of Paradise, Kitchen Finks, Melira, Sylvok Outcast, Viscera Seer and 3 lands on the draw. This is very safe hand as it can generate infinite life on Turn 3 out of nowhere. He plays a Celestial Colonnade tapped, and I put him on American Control. At this point I draw a Viscera Seer and play out the Birds. One his Turn 2 he plays a second Colonnade. I slam down Kitchen Finks on my turn knowing I can combo out next turn. On his turn he plays a Steam Vents untapped and says go. This makes me put him on an Electrolyze, since I’ve noticed that card getting played a lot more in American Control. I draw a Birthing Pod and slam it down paying 2 life. He obviously plays a Mana Leak. I then play out Swamp and a Viscera Seer, with my hand containing the other copy and Melira. Sure enough on his turn he plays Electrolyze on Birds and Seer. I sacrifice both to the Seer and on my turn play both combo pieces ending the game.

Sideboard

– 2 Kitchen Finks – 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence – 2 Melira, Sylvok Outcast – 1 Orzhov Pontiff – 1 Shriekmaw – 1 Spellskite – 1 Viscera Seer

+ 2 Dismember + 1 Entomber Exarch + 1 Qasali Pridemage + 1 Realm Razer + 1 Sin Collector + 1 Sigarda, Host of Herons + 1 Thrun, the Last Troll + 1 Thoughtseize

I don’t remember much of Game 2 other than me slamming a Turn 2 Voice of Resurgence, Turn 4 Thrun, the Last Troll and facing 2 Restoration Angel that got cast Main Phase so I wouldn’t get a token.

1-0, 2-0 games, opponent’s final standing 19th

After this round I go to talk to some friends during deck construction of the Sunday Super Series Sealed. As I’m about to talk to one, the head judge yells out, “No talking to anyone”. If anyone is talking during deck construction they’ll be given a match loss. Well okay never mind. I started talking to a judge I know in the event. He explains that this is the only side event going on, and there’s 15! judges judging a 100 person side event. While we’re talking three different people call for a judge, and each time after 10 seconds I point them out to the judges “running” this event. The head judge comes over to ask me to walk away, I explain I’m also a Level 1 judge and he’s no longer upset since I’m just there to help out.

Round 11 vs. Gregory Orange

This round I play against a fellow Minnesotan who’s always been slightly off to me, but we’ve had some good matches and he’s a good guy.

My keep is 2 Birds of Paradise, Birthing Pod, Kitchen Finks, Overgrown Tomb, Thoughtseize and Voice of Resurgence. I think about for a few seconds but decide to keep it. His Turn 1 is a Celestial Colonnade. This is a frown for me unless I hit some lands. I miss my land and run out a Birds. On his second turn he plays a Sulfur Falls tapped and passes back. On my turn, I miss again and decide to Thoughtseize first as I need to know what’s going on. His hand is 2 Electrolyze, Remand, Snapcaster Mage and 2 Sphinx’s Revelation. I think about it for a minute, note the greediness of the keep and take the Remand. I then pass the turn without playing Birds. At the time my logic was if he peels the land he can kill both. After thinking about it, that was really bad, as if he misses and I miss I’m still on minimal plays, where if I play the Birds I can run out a Kitchen Finks which is better than Voice of Resurgence here. No worries, he never misses a land drop for the rest of the game and Revelation for 3 and 4 kill me.

Sideboard

– 2 Kitchen Finks – 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence – 2 Melira, Sylvok Outcast – 1 Orzhov Pontiff – 1 Shriekmaw – 1 Spellskite – 1 Viscera Seer

+ 2 Dismember + 1 Entomber Exarch + 1 Qasali Pridemage + 1 Realm Razer + 1 Sin Collector + 1 Sigarda, Host of Herons + 1 Thrun, the Last Troll + 1 Thoughtseize

Well after that fun game I make another shaky keep. This one has Entomber Exarch, Gavony Township, Godless Shrine, Kitchen Finks, Murderous Redcap, Reveillark and Swamp. I keep this on the play since he’s playing a slower deck and this hand has the potential to fight his late game. Well on Turn 4 I have 3 lands and some Birds of Paradise in hand but I don’t draw land 4 until Turn 7, which ends this quickly.

1-1, opponent’s final standing Top 4

At this point I feel relatively tilted, as I’d kept some shaky hands, but so did my opponent. Greg is definitely a guy that I’m always tilted after losing to for multiple reasons, including his use of dice to keep track of his life total and not yours. Thankfully, I have 25 minutes to listen to some music and get back in the game.

Round 12 vs. Patrick Williams

Time to get off tilt. My opponent was a nice guy but flashed me a Mox Opal in shuffling. Great it’s Affinity time. The judge says we can start, but the timer doesn’t start. Timer gets started a minute later I figured it didn’t matter cuz of Opal.

Game 1, I don’t remember how the board state got to the point but we effectively ended up with a stalemate. We both had the same number flyers and I had Birthing Pod and Gavony Township but no sacrifice outlet. He has Cranial Plating though so I can’t attack with flyers and Master of Etherium so I can’t attack on the ground. Thirty minutes later I win Game 1 by just shooting flyers with Murderous Redcaps sacrificed to Birthing Pod, while missing on search.

Sideboard

– 2 Kitchen Finks – 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence – 1 Shriekmaw – 2 Voice of Resurgence

+ 2 Abrupt Decay + 2 Dismember + 1 Kataki, War’s Wage + 1 Qasali Pridemage

Game 2, I get to use Birthing Pod to find Kataki, War’s Wage. He kills Kataki and I can’t do enough so I scoop quickly.

Game 3, goes longish in the way I can’t die and he’s playing for the draw. I get a quick Birthing Pod out and use it for value. This game goes to time and I thankfully win on Turn 4 of turns. Thank you judge staff for fucking up the timer.

2-1, opponent’s final standing 61st

Time to get another smoothie in the two minutes I have to get it. Thank you friends for being out of Main events.

Round 13 vs. Harry Corvese

I don’t remember a ton of my Game 1 here. He was playing Jund and I think Igained infinite life on my final turn before dying.

Sideboard

– 3 Chord of Calling – 1 Harmonic Sliver – 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence – 2 Melira, Sylvok Outcast – 1 Spellskite – 2 Visera Seer – 2 Voice of Resurgence

+ 2 Abrupt Decay + 2 Dismember + 1 Entomber Exarch + 2 Obstinate Baloth + 1 Sin Collector + 1 Sigarda, Host of Herons + 1 Thrun, the Last Troll + 1 Thoughtseize

After Sideboard I go away from the combo hard and instead go towards big beaty beats. I’ve learned it’s hard for them to deal with Thrun, the Last Troll and impossible to deal with c]Sigarda, Host of Herons[/c]. Turn 1 he slams down a Grafdigger’s Cage, which does minimal post sideboard against me. In fact I use Abrupt Decay on his Tarmogoyf, use Eternal Witness to get it back and kill another creature and the cage stays in play the entire match. I then win the game on the back of Gavony Township, first making Obstinate Baloth huge, then making a Birds of Paradise huge for lethal.

3-1, opponent’s final standing 23rd

After this round, my opponent after signing the slip, goes immediately over to a judge. At this point I knew he was pissy after losing, complaining about mana flood the entire time when I had more lands, etc. Really he got outsideboarded, but whatever. The problem was I was playing a few foils in my sideboard namely the Obstinate Baloth he saw and a Sigarda, Host of Herons. I quickly went over to one of the dealers I knew and swapped them out for the rest of the tournament. It helps to know dealers at these events.

Round 14 vs. Vidianto Wijaya

So we start the smalltalk and he asks if I’m a pro. Obviously I’m not, but he “recognizes” my name from GP Indianapolis where I Top 8’d and and at this point either he’s a savant with names or research was done by his group. So I ask if he’s part of the Chinese team, then apologize when he isn’t. It stopped the name game though which worked.

We’re playing the mirror and Game 1, my keep on the draw is slow. Thankfully he plays the first Birthing Pod and when I play mine I get Harmonic Sliver destroying his. This allows me to have the only active Pod and I use it to win the game maybe four turns later.

Sideboard

– 2 Kitchen Finks – 1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast – 2 Voice of Resurgence

+ 2 Dismember + 1 Entomber Exarch + 1 Qasali Pridemage + 1 Thoughtseize

Game 2, I keep a mediocre hand and once again kill his Pod with my Pod, but then he has a second and the game ends. Well, I mean awhile later, but really it ended then.

Game 3, I mulligan to 6, draw shitty and almost win. I’m getting to the point where I need to hit a ton of cards, but I effectively got a free creature when he plays Murderous Redcap targeting me expecting to sacrifice it to Birthing Pod against my Birds of Paradise and Reveillark. I slow him up, look at my hand and ask him what the 2/2 Redcap was targetting. He quickly changes it to Birds expecting a Path in response. I allow it to resolve and then uses Shriekmaw to kill Reveillark allowing the Birds to come back into play. The Virds allowed me to stall a few points of damage keeping me from being dead. After the play he asked me how I could make a cold decision like that with a bluffed Path to Exile. Vidi floods out needing one spell or Gavony Township to kill me and I actually get back in the game and get control. Unfortunately, he hits double runners to end the match on the fourth turn. They were Very close games and I truly wished him luck playing for Top 8. I can’t describe how close the final game was so I won’t.

3-2, opponent’s final standing 17th :(

I was definitely talking with my friends after the match, and we saw a few minor plays that could have been different, but nothing that got me out. Sometimes you can play well, and your opponent plays just as well and you lose those games. The goal is to have fun doing it.

Round 15 vs. Jeremy Barbeau

We’re both sitting here in the “playing for money” bracket after losing the previous round. He looked very depressed to be here, which is a good sign of tilt. At this point I want a good hand to win with.

Game 1, my opener is Birthing Pod, Thoughtseize, Wall of Roots and 4 lands on the draw. I play Thoughtseize on Turn 1 and see 2 Birthing and a Bird of Paradise. I take a Pod and he plays the other Pod on Turn 2. I play Wall of Roots, hoping he doesn’t topdeck a Kitchen Finks. He doesn’t and sacrifices the Birds for Voice of Resurgence. I then play Pod, go get Harmonic Sliver and slowly kill him.

Sideboard

– 2 Kitchen Finks – 1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast – 2 Voice of Resurgence

+ 2 Dismember + 1 Entomber Exarch + 1 Qasali Pridemage + 1 Thoughtseize

Game 2, he doesn’t have the Birds and neither do I and he plays a Turn 3 Kitchen Finks. I have a Turn 3 Birthing Pod and hope he doesn’t kill it. On his turn he plays a Pod and misses the mana to activate it. I then play out a Wall of Roots and a Harmonic Sliver to once again destroy his Pod. On his turn he misses a land and plays a second Pod. On my turn, I play Eternal Witness, bringing back a fetchland, sacrifice the Witness for Phyrexian Metamorph and copy the sliver and kill his remaining Pod. He gets pissed at this point. He plays a third Pod. At this point I can’t kill it so I play a Murderous Redcap, kill his Kitchen Finks, sacrifice Redcap to get Reveillark and have Redcap finish of his persistent Finks, leaving him with no creatures in play. He plays a Birds of Paradise, which he uses to search for Qasali Pridemage and kill my Pod. I then bash him to death with donks.

Final record 12-3, good for 14th (as my editor made sure to include prominently), opponent’s final standing 39th

Grand Prix Minneapolis gave me enough Planeswalker Points for 3 byes at upcoming Grand Prix Chicago. I may write an article about my that tournament, so keep an eye out.

James Beltz (sneakattackkid)
Owner of Sneak Attack’s Games
Twitter: sneakattackkid

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