Sebastian Gua's picture
By: Sebastian Gua, Sebastian Gua
Sep 02 2010 9:42am
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Hiya! Thank you for reading my first article last week and I am very happy to write and share my experiences with everyone. Thank you to PureMtGO for giving me this wonderful chance and I hope to be able to repay their faith with good articles. I am a huge fan of Rich Hagon (event coverage reporter) and I would like to follow in his footsteps to link Magic and our daily life together. The subtle interactions we face while playing every game or event, mirror’s to that of our life and we can learn from one another. While it is only a game but I believe we all love it to an extent of fusing it with everything we do. How a decision cost you a game? How a decision cost you your job? This is what I will present in my writings and hope it would be of help some way down the road for anyone who comes across something similar in the future. Now let’s begin our journey!

Friday evening I received a text message from the store I frequent regarding a change in prize structure for their Saturday Standard event and they were offering (From the Vault: Relics) as first prize! Usually I only play constructed for PTQ’s and sometimes GPT’s but this was too good to not play. Entry fee is only $10 and any payout for winning that is 10 times the entry is worth playing. So I asked my friends if they have the cards for my deck which I have been playing online.

Have to back what I preached and took my baby out for a stroll. Come Saturday I was feeling good about my deck and thinking about going home a winner. There were only 27 players and five rounds to play. I was quite disappointed with the low turnout, guess (From the Vault: Relics) was not that enticing. Pairings for round one came out and took my seat. Greeted my opponent and off we go.

Round one vs RDW. Just the deck I tuned my deck for but it was uneventful. Land flooded for both games and lost. 0-2.

Round two vs Soul Sisters. Another deck I tuned my deck for, but your noob hero lost again. Made a mistake of playing a second (Valakut, the Pinnacle) instead of a Mountain. I had 3 Mountains, 1 Valakut, and 2 Forest. The moment I cast Primeval Titan I knew I lost. Unable to trigger Valakut to kill a creature made me lose card advantage. Land flooded in game two and I was out of contention. 0-2, 0-4 in total. My baby was crying.

Round three - bye.

Round four vs Naya Shaman. I had nothing to do so might as well stay on and play more to maximize my entry fee in hope of making top 16 and earn one more pack. Turn four Titan in both games for the win. 2-0, 2-4 in total.

Round five vs Runeflare Trap. Game one my opponent was filtering through his deck with Ponder, Preordain, and Time Warp with nothing else on board. I was beating down with Siege-Gang Commander and Bloodbraid Elf in hope of him not drawing Pyromancer Ascension. Then, he cast a Howling Mine. OH. I was putting my opponent on Pyromancer Ascension combo but he was playing Runeflare Trap combo. Sneaked a game off him with the beatdown strategy. Same plan for game two but he countered my initial threats. My opponent was stalled on three lands so I just tried to ramp and cast more threats in one turn. Dispel, Negate, Flashfreeze, Spell Pierce, and Mana Leak. What the?? Seems like I just have to be honest and play fair. This is where Bloodbraid Elf shines. Cascaded into Rampant Growth, Rampant got countered,and swing for 3. Another Bloodbraid cascaded into Cultivate, Cultivate resolved, but Bloodbraid got countered. When I reached 9 lands I browsed through his graveyard and saw 5 counterspells. Thought about it for a couple of seconds and slammed down Primeval Titan. What are the odds of another Flashfreeze in my opponent’s hand? The longer the game goes the better for him. Primeval resolved and good game. 2-0, 4-4 in total.

YAY! So I ended the day at 3-2 good enough for 2 packs. Baby was quite happy to earn an extra pack for her Dad. Lesson learned: try not to envision too much prior to a tournament. Have a goal but take one game at a time. Slowly make your way towards the goal and not be disheartened when it is not accomplished. When you crash out early take this opportunity to hang out with friends, have fun, and not tilt. The next tournament would justify this experience. A funny incident happened while I was browsing through my friend’s binder. Me: “How much is this Mother of Runes?” Friend: “$2.” Me: “Ok, I’ll buy your mother for $2.” Good day.

“Sunday morning rain is falling. Steal some covers share some skin.” – Maroon 5 Sunday Morning. Almost every Sunday this song comes into mind. Nice song but I only slept for 4 freaking hours! No idea why I woke up at 7.30am and can’t get back to sleep. Remembered there is a Legacy event at the store and gave my friend a ring to borrow a deck.

2 land Belcher
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Tinder Wall
12 cards

Other Spells
4 Burning Wish
4 Chrome Mox
4 Dark Ritual
4 Desperate Ritual
3 Empty the Warrens
4 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Land Grant
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
3 Manamorphose
4 Rite of Flame
4 Seething Song
46 cards
1 Bayou
1 Taiga
2 cards

1 Cave-In
1 Duress
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Hull Breach
1 Ingot Chewer
1 Innocent Blood
1 Pyroclasm
3 Shattering Spree
1 Tendrils of Agony
4 Xanthid Swarm
15 cards
goblin charbelcher

Saw a friend of mine playtest the deck on Saturday and reminded me of when I first ventured into the competitive scene with (Mind’s Desire), Dragonstorm, and Enduring Ideal combo. We had 27 players and it was really good compared to previous Legacy tournaments where we struggle to reach 16. 5 rounds and cut to top 8. First prize was 2 Force of Will. Second prize 1 Tarmogoyf. Third and Fourth 1 (From the Vault : Relics) Mox Diamond each. Fifth 1 Natural Order. Sixth and Seventh 1 (From the Vault: Relics) Sol Ring each. Eighth 2 (From the Vault: Relics) Aether Vial. The remaining foils was evenly distributed. Pretty good in my opinion. Pairings up and off I go then.

Round one vs Sneak and Tell. I hardly play Legacy and only had experience with Goblins a couple of times and Ad Nauseam Storm once so I’m not exactly sure what cards are in the decks. My opponent played a Misty Rainforest and cracked it for Volcanic Island. I thought he was playing (Counter Balance)/(Sensei’s Divining Top) control. I went for Empty the Warrens for 5 storm counts on turn one and won. Game two, my opponent countered my mana spells and proceed to cast Show and Tell for Emrakul. Made a mistake of not Burning Wish for Duress to check clear and combo off. He used Force of Will pitching a card and left with 3 cards. I got greedy and was punished by the second Force. Game three, another mistake of trying to combo off early and Goblin Charbelcher got countered. I cast Burning Wish for Duress and saw 2 Progenitus and 1 Sneak Attack. Sneak Attack was binned but he drew another one. Oh well. 1-2.

Round two vs Mirror. Mirror match! My opponent was new to Legacy and just borrowed a deck off his friend to play. He cycled Street Wraith, cast Land Grant for Taiga, and showed 2 (Lion’s Eye Diamond), Seething Song, Elvish Spirit Guide, and Goblin Charbelcher. He played Taiga and passed the turn. I stormed for 12 tokens from Empty the Warrens and hope he does not draw Lotus Petal, or any spells that lets him combo off. Lucky me, he did not draw it. Game two he chose to draw and I had the nut opening of Land Grant, 2 Rite of Flame, 2 Seething Song, and Goblin Charbelcher. 2-0, 2-3 in total.

Round three vs Counter Top. Mulligan to five and lost game one. Game two was pretty funny. My opponent had 2 Noble Hierarch and Rhox War Monk. I stormed for 8 Empty the Warrens tokens to chump box Monk and I was left with 3 tokens. He used Path to Exile on one token and we were hitting for 2 each turn until I drew Xanthid Swarm. He was flooded and I combo off after attacking with Swarm. Game three he landed an early Tarmogoyf which was 4/5 thanks to Spell Pierce, Force of Will, Chrome Mox, and Xanthid Swarm. My turn two was just a Tinder Wall. Goyf hit me for 4 and done. I drew Bayou pitched Simian Spirit Guide to cast another one in hand to try stall for some time but Hydroblast drowned the monkey. Got hit for 4 again with no other action. I drew and passed. Took another hit to 8 with no other action. Drew my card and smiled, Burning Wish. I had Goblin Charbelcher, (Lion’s Eye Diamond), Rite of Flame, and Seething Song in hand. My opponent was down to 3 cards and I was hoping to draw the Wish to end the game by next turn. The Wish was Forced and I resolved Belcher FTW. I would have Wished for Duress, lesson learned from round one, and cast it next turn. 2-1, 4-4 total.

Round four vs Goblins. No disrespect to my opponent but it was really a one sided matchup. First turn 12 tokens in game one and Belcher on turn three in game two wrapped up 2 quick games. 2-0, 6-4 total.

Round five vs Vengevine Survival. I was 9th going into the last round and had to play. I knew what my opponent was playing and did this the hard way to earn my slot in top 8. I was hoping to get paired against a non blue deck as it was a virtual bye but had luck on my side. Chrome mox was Forced and I combo off with 12 tokens. Game two I Wished for Duress and saw 2 Vengevine, a Noble Hierarch and lands. YAUS! Belcher FTW. 2-0, 8-4 total.

Quarterfinal vs Mirror. We usually say playing combo is as if stroking yourself and sees who gets to blow his load first. Game one my opponent came first but I proved to be the stronger man in game two and three. Heh. 2-1, 10-5 total.

Semifinal vs Goblins. Played against my buddy of 15 years. No kill conditions in game one means I crumble under the green menace. Game two, belcher, win. Game three was kinda tricky as I kept 2 Burning Wish, Goblin Charbelcher, Taiga, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, and Land Grant. I needed a fixer for Ritual which was easy with Land Grant for Bayou and 2 mana spells to reach 7 mana to do a one turn kill. Unless my opponent had a sick draw to kill me on turn three I should be in favour here. Turn one he played Skirk Prospector and I’m looking good. I drew Lotus Petal and ended my turn without play by discarding Wish. I did not want to jeopardize my Taiga against Wasteland or Rishadan Port thus the decision of passing the turn without play. He played a land and cast Goblin Sharpshooter sacrificing Prospector. I drew Elvish Spirit Guide and discarded the second Wish. One more mana to go. Another irrelevant Goblin on his side and done. I peeled... Rite of Flame. I played Taiga, Lotus Petal sacrificed for Dark Ritual, tapped Taiga for double Rite, ditched Elvish Spirit Guide, cast Land Grant alternate casting cost and searched for Bayou, cast Belcher FTW! 2-1, 12-6 total.

Final vs Enchantress. During sideboarding for my semifinal match we had an offer of changing the top 4 prize. 1st would be 2 (From the Vault: Relics) Mox Diamond, 2nd Tarmogoyf, 3rd and 4th 1 Force of Will each. I was down a game and thought it would be good enough for me to go back with a FoW and agreed to the change. Never thought I would reach all the way to the final. After my semifinal match I offered my buddy a trade and told him I wanted the FoW, Mox Diamond with top up, and he accepted. I split the final we took a Mox Diamond each and I bought my opponent’s share of Tarmogoyf. I covered my friend’s entry fee for lending me the deck. Without him I would never even stand a chance of playing. Went back home a happy man with a Goyf and FoW.

Lesson learned: We ought to be angry at ourselves making mistakes but never let it make you tilt. Learn from it and proceed on as it would stand us in good stead in the future and use the experience to guide us when the time comes. Take one game at a time and slowly grind your way towards your goal. Reap the rewards when it comes and never short change those who helped you along the way.

I did not expect to reach the finals but I take what I’m given. Be contented and not greedy. Had a really fun time playing and meeting new people and hope this would be of some good to anyone reading. It is the end of my article and this is your noob hero saying, “Have fun!”

Sebastian Gua (april_sebastian on MtGO)


For your standard tournament, by speks at Thu, 09/02/2010 - 16:03
speks's picture

For your standard tournament, in the first 2 matches, you lost 4 games in a row and was out of contention. For 3 of those 4 losses, you gave no details other than "land flooded and lost." I mean for playing with a deck that is 27 lands and at least half of the remaining non-land spells does nothing but search for land, that is really not saying much.

"Round five vs Runeflare Trap." ... except that he did not play a single runeflare trap?

Your mother of runes comment, i remember having those conversations like 10 yrs ago, timeless joke tho, never gets old!

I do like the more descriptive parts of your article tho, just seems like some parts could use more work.
Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Funny by Lythand at Thu, 09/02/2010 - 18:05
Lythand's picture

I had to go back and re-read the Mother of RUnes joke and it finally got to me. Funny.

Glad to see you used the card links this time. There are a few that are broken. That can either be due to mispelling or sometimes the auto link does not work and you have to manually link them. Some cards you did not link at all.

A suggestion. I see this not only in your article, but in articles of more experience writers. When writing about a certain "Something" try not to use abreviations for cards, or nicknames. Use the actual name. Sure experienced players know what "Goyf" is, but a new player just learning Magic and reading over articles for suggestions is not going to know that "Goyf" is Tarmogoyf or Bob is Dark Confidant. A better article then last time, keep at it.

Yes a better article than by Westane at Thu, 09/02/2010 - 18:19
Westane's picture

Yes a better article than last time, I enjoyed the Legacy report.

That said, I enjoyed the report, but not so much reading it. With tournament reports especially I think good formatting is particularly important. It's easy for rounds and games and whatnot to run together, and I had to re-read a paragraph or two to find my bearings. Of course, that could just be me.

@Lythand: I agree with card abbreviations to a point. I think that after a card's been identified it's perfectly acceptable to shorthand it so long as it's not the focus of the sentence. Example, "He swung with both his 'Gofys only to meet a (Wing Shards).". Also there's some could that really just should be abbreviated after they've been identified. I can't even say Krark Clan Ironworks three times in a sentence let alone spell it! The key, I think, is to identify the card prior to shorthand'ing it. But then, that could just be me too XD

Correct by Lythand at Thu, 09/02/2010 - 21:03
Lythand's picture

My point exactly Westane. It is ok to abbreviate after it has been identified the first time around.

hmm.. by Sebastian Gua at Fri, 09/03/2010 - 03:32
Sebastian Gua's picture

Hiya to all!
@speks - I was thinking along the line of not having too much in depth analysis as it would be kinda tedious for readers. I would like some seriousness with my articles but not too much to make it boring. Thus the short summary skipping parts where explanations were not needed. Really glad you like my article. I will keep learning and improve on my writing so as to let you enjoy reading them. Thanks. =)

@Lythand - Thanks for helping me out I really appreciate it (._.)*Bow*. Got the point about abreviations will improve on those. *Cardname*(Abreviation) would be better to educate newer players.

@Westane - Are there any particular writers that I can read up on? Would like to learn about their tournament writing format. I read articles on SCG and followed them mostly.

Tarmotog is a close friend of mine and he gave me his insight about play by play analysis. The legacy portion had more of those but the whole article was brimming towards 3k word count and I had to cut a little here and there. Will try to have a more serious article now and then to explain gameplays and decisions. Do let me know where to improve guys. Thanks! (^^)