By Kristian Grummel
It all started with the deck selection. I had played in two previous modern PPTQs. In the first I played infect which was the deck I had the most experience with. I ended up playing against a lot of midrange decks which are the worst match-ups for Infect and went 2-2. In the next PPTQ I decided to play a brew. I built a pretty interesting Bant Collected Company deck that some friends helped me tweak. I went 3-3 on the day which was a bit disappointing. Everyone at this tournament was playing Tron and Twin decks. The metagame seemed to have completely changed in the time span of a week.
After this I began playing Grixis Twin and had been playing it for a good amount of time. My partner is nerd and fellow Nerdy Boy Scott had been playing a lot of Grixis Delver on MTGO. We decided it would be best for him to play a deck he was comfortable with and I went back to infect. I felt pretty comfortable with infect and thought that my chances were okay. I had never done well in a Modern PPTQ before and was a bit weary.
The journey started Saturday morning as Scott and I journeyed to our local comic book store, Metropolis Comics. Here we met up with friend and occasional scum Austin Kim. We both hopped in his ride and set off for Carmichael where we would hop into Jeremiah’s car. On the way Austin showed his scum side by yelling at another driver in his blind spot and proceeding to be ignore certain red tinted colors. We made it to Jeremiah’s in one piece and not without many Korean jokes. We all then took a journey with Jeremiah to Folsom where we would all then get into Gary’s car and make our final departure. The car ride to Chico was not bad but it was long. We made it there on time and began the process of filling out decklists and waiting for the tournament to begin. I include this part about the journey because the trip to and from tournaments can have a lot to do with the mind-state of the players throughout the tournament. We had a great trip and it was a lot of fun. Here is how my tournament went.
Round 1 vs Burn
Round one I played against burn, which is not necessarily a good match-up. We played game one and I won. Right after game 1 match slips came around and it appears that the guy sitting next to me and myself had sat at the wrong table. I should have been playing against affinity, which is a match-up I had no experience against. Because it was only round one the judge just repaired our two matches and let us off the hook to continue playing. Game 2 I lost. She drew the nuts and just burned me out. Game three, with a stroke of luck and some skillful protection spells, I won with damage from a Dryad Arbor.
Round 2 vs Boggles
Round two didn’t take long. Boggles has a very bad matchup with infect and it is worse when she mulled down to five in game two.
Round 3 vs Tron
Tron is another deck that doesn’t have a great match-up with infect. Game one he did not have anything and just died. Game two I spell pierced his turn 3 Karn with another one waiting for him to play an Ugin. He played a Wurmcoil Engine instead which can’t do anything against an Inkmoth Nexus and a Blighted agent.
Round 4 vs Grixis Delver
Round four I got paired up against Scott who was also 3-0 at the time. I won game one because he had nothing and I game two he mulled to five and kept a one or no lander.
Round 5 and Round 6- Draw Draw
I made top out as the second seed.
Top 8 Quarter Finals vs Loam Aggro ft. Seismic Assault
Game one I lost to flame jab. Game two I had the nuts. Game three, I lost to seismic assault life from the loam. Probably the worst match for infect. There is nothing infect can really do against life from the loam + Flame Jab + Seismic Assault. Luckily we all agreed to split prizes and I tripled money.
All in all, the tournament was a good experience. I was undefeated going into top 8 and got paired up with one of the worst match-ups I have. However, that is what modern is. Most decks have some great match-ups and some awful match-ups that just are pretty unwinnable. I feel like I played pretty well with some misplays that did not end up hurting me too bad. Gary is the only other person who made prizes and Scott losing to me was the turning point of his tournament.
This weekend there is another PPTQ and this time it is Standard. I have played a lot of different Standard decks recently but this time I am going in with a brew (another Bant brew in fact). Let us see how this tournament turns out as Scott and I make our way to playing higher level magic.