(Fellow Nagoya native and Magic player Kamiken gives us his insight into the final World Magic Cup Qualifier on June 1st, 2013. He did much better than any other foreign player in the country and I’d like to congratulate him on his wins!)
Saturday I played in the WMCQ tournament for the final spot on Japan’s team. I had a respectable finish of 6-3 on the weekend and placed 51st out of 386 players. One of the players I defeated just happens to be a legend in the Japanese Magic community.
My deck of choice for the weekend was Reanimator. This is my deck list:
- 1 Cavern of Souls
- 1 Godless Shrine
- 2 Galvony Township
- 2 Woodland Cemetery
- 3 Forest
- 3 Isolated Chapel
- 3 Sunpetal Grove
- 4 Temple Garden
- 4 Overgrown Tomb
- 4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
- 3 Arbor Elf
- 2 Sin Collector
- 2 Fiend Hunter
- 3 Acidic Slime
- 3 Angel of Serenity
- 4 Thragtusk
- 4 Restoration Angel
- 3 Mulch
- 4 Grisly Salvage
- 4 Unburial Rites
- 1 Sever the Bloodline
- 3 Loxodon Smiter
- 2 Blood Baron of Vikopa
- 1 Obzedat, Ghost Council
- 2 Garuuk the Relentless
- 1 Sin Collector
- 3 Abrupt Decay
- 2 Deathrite Shaman
- 1 Gaze of Granite
All of my sideboard cards were put to good use at some point this weekend vs various decks. Gaze of Granite outright won me my last match of the day, while Blood Baron was an all star everytime I played him over the weekend. The smiters were a nod to agro and absolutely wrecked my round 1 opponent when he couldn’t get around them early giving me enough time to win. The weakest cards for me this weekend were Garuuk the Relentless from the side and Fiend Hunter from the main. Unless I was pulling a crazy trick with my own creatures to reuse enter into play effects, I rarely liked casting Fiend Hunter. They end up dying to all kinds of things in this format and end up being just a mild annoyance for my opponent.
Round 1 I was paired up against a fast gruul deck. Game 1 I go turn 1 elf into turn 2 Grisly Salvage, hitting Angel of Serenity and Unburial Rites and I take a land. Turn 3 I basically end the game by casting the angel off the rites and now his board no longer matters. I side in the Smiters and Decays. Game 2 I go turn 1 pilgrim into turn 2 Smiter. He can’t get past the Smiter so he passes the turn and I start going Mulch/Salvage into Angels from the grave.
Round 2 I got paired against Shuhei Nakamura. You know, just the Hall of Fame player from Osaka, Japan. He is playing G/W exalted beatdown. Game 1 I take a bunch of damage from early beats and then turn 4 Angel him after he tapped out for Sublime Archangel. I get in with the beats after that. Game 2 he drops me low early and I go all the way down to 3 at one point. I get down a blood baron and an angel of serenity with a backup angel in my hand to start the loop. Blood Baron pushes through a bunch of damage while I am looping angels to keep his board cleared while he keeps attacking me. Eventually he declines attacking so he can build up his Sublime Angels after he gives his 1 angel protection from white to prevent me from trapping it under my angel. At this point I am at 25 life with an angel and Thragtusk on board with another Thrag in hand, he has 7 life. He has 2 Sublime angels on the board with 3 other creatures. He drops his remaining 2 cards from his hand, rancor and Silverblade Paladin soulbonding with the Sublime Angel and attacks hitting me for 26 points of damage after my angel blocks. The final game was less eventful, I go turn 4 Angel of Serenity again and drop a Blood Baron of Vizkopa after and start pumping things with Gavony Township the turn after. By far this was the most exciting match of my weekend because it was all about making the right plays at the right time.
Round 3 I play against a Heartless Summoning deck. He mulligans 3 times game 1 and I beat him down. Game 2 he mulls again but gets the Progenitor mimic and my Angel of Serenity combo going and I don’t find another Angel in time. Game 3 he mulls 2 times again. I turn 3 start blowing up his lands with Acidic Slime and 1 Restoration Angel, but he hits lands each turn and then hits heartless before I can kill him. He then goes Sylvan Primordial into Progenitor and I don’t hit a black source in time to flashback the Sever the Bloodline.
Round 4 is Zombies and I get thrashed. I absolutlely hate zombies and am 0-X vs them.
Round 5 is the time for me to get back on track for the weekend. I am now out of contention for top 8, but I can still put up a strong finish and get in the top 16. I am facing a UWR control deck. These weren’t much of games because he scooped early each time. Game 1 he mulls 2 times and I strip his hand of spells with sin collector and 2 angel of restorations starting from turn 2. Game 2 I go elf, pilgrim, acidic slime in to restoration angel and he scoops them up when I show him the next restoration angel.
Onto Round 6. Deck check time. Everything comes back ok for both of us and we start our round. I turn 4 Angel of Serenity wiping his board and then 5th turn Thragtusk. I swing a couple times and it is over. I sideboard as if he is playing junk and not reanimator. Game 2 he gets down an early Deathrite Shaman, but I get down an early slime and start taking his lands while he is trying to grisly salvage a way out. I hit all his black mana with restoration angels and the slime, eventually getting down an Angel of Serenity. I finally start putting the hurt on him and start pumping my team with Galvony Township. Another win.
Round 7 is another bout with Zombies. This version runs some more mid range guys. I promptly get run over without being able to do anything due to land screw 2 games in a row. Each game he had the early elf kill and I missed completely on a mulch.
Round 8 is finally time for my Jund matchup. Game 1 he gets an early Olivia after I Sin Collector some removal. He is stuck on 4 lands so I help him get stuck on 3 lands with an Acidic Slime cutting off some red. He goes to poke the slime with his Olivia the next turn to try and pump her on my turn and I blink it with an angel and drop him to 2 lands, none of which produce red. After that it is just getting to the Angel of Serenity and finishing up the game. Game 2 I Sin Collector him multiple times but he gets the Olivia going and I can’t slime him enough off red lands and finishes me with a 9/9 Olivia. Game 3 was a replay of the first game except with more slimes.
Round 9…..it’s the final countdown. I am playing against the aggro version of UWR. Game 1 he mulligans a few times and I start Arbor Elf into Sin Collector and then double down with a Resto Angel. I strip out everything he has to interact with me and go the beatdown plan with galvony. Game 2 he gets the early geist and just stomps on me. I change my sideboard plan and toss in the Gaze of Granite at the last second along with some blood barons. I get some early elves which he leaves alone and mulch and get a resto angel to block his geist and start pumping things with galvony all while holding my 1 of gaze in hand. I hit 7 mana and he goes Thundermaw. I miss my next land, but play a blood baron while holding back 1 thrag and some reanimation. He Thundermaws me again dropping me to 5. I top deck a check land to hit 8 mana. I swing in with all but the elves putting him to 11. I go back up to 9, then Gaze the board. He is sitting with only 2 cards in hand at this point. He Beckon Apparitions the Restoration Angel and then suits it up with the enchantment that gives it 2/2 and flying dropping me to 6. I play Thragtusk and pass going to 11. He swings dropping me to 8 then pillar of flames me leaving 1 card in hand. I attack dropping him to 4 and reanimate the Blood Baron of Vizkopa. He untaps and swings in with the spirit putting me at 3 and flashes in a snapcaster and pillars me to 1 leaving 1 card in hand and 4 mana open. I attack in with lethal and he realizes his mistake in mainphasing the Snapcaster Mage and burning me. He shows me the Restoration Angel to prevent the lifegain and to be able to block everything. He loses off of a bad play.
Overall this was a great tournament and was well worth the time to play. I hope to be able to attend next year.
(Congrats again Kamiken! Sadly I didn’t do as well as he did with my deck. I’ll be writing my own report in the next few days so be sure to check back before the weekend. Thanks for reading.)