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Day 2 Blog Archive

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


  • Blog - 4:22 p.m. - Quick Questions Redux!
    by Staff
  • Blog - 4:06 p.m. - Round 15: Robson Silveira vs. Luis Scott-Vargas
    by Zaiem Beg
  • Blog - 3:30 p.m. - Round 13: Kyle Goodman vs. Paul Cheon
    by Eric Reasoner
  • Blog - 3:00 p.m. - Scenic San Jose
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 2:36 p.m. - Round 12: André Coimbra vs. Mike Hron
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 1:34 p.m. - What's Out There?
    by Eric Reasoner
  • Blog - 11:33 a.m. - Quick Questions
    by Staff
  • Blog - 11:21 a.m. - Round 10: Pedro Motta vs. David Irvine
    by Noah Weil

  • BLOG


     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 11:21 a.m. - Round 10: Pedro Motta vs. David Irvine
    by Noah Weil


  • Brazil's Pedro Motta was the only player entering this round at 9-0

    The opening volley of Sunday competition saw of two of yesterday's undefeated face off at table 1. Representing Brazil was Pedro Motta, scoring the maximum amount of wins with his grandeur-iffic mono-red deck. Opposite Pedro was David Irvine, hailing from Miami, Florida, hoping to topple the giant and score a win with his RGW aggro deck, a popular choice on the weekend.

    Game 1: David started off with a two drop, the growing Kavu Predator off a Forest and Plains. Pedro was already in a bind. His mono-red deck, he explained, had issues with 7/7 trampling creatures on the third turn. A source of red mana and Fiery Justice from Irvine would accomplish exactly that. But did Pedro want to slow down his development on the chance his opponent had both of these? Perhaps he was short on removal or didn't want to live in fear, but Pedro pushed forward with his suspended Gargadon and a morph. David looked pleased but kept it to himself, as he dropped a Grove of the Burnwillows and used the red there to cast his Fiery Justice, making an 8/8 trampler. Pedro, stoic, nodded his head and adjusted the life totals. Motta had some degree of chance to come back with Greater Gargadon, but it wasn't to be. David followed up with Serra Avenger and a Riftsweeper to shuffle in the Gargadon, and Motta quickly conceded.

    Motta: 0
    Irvine: 1

    Tarmogoyf holds off the world

    David: "That was…a perfect draw"
    Pedro: "It happens."

    Game 2: Fortunes reverse, and this time it was Pedro who retained dominance. His opponent took a double mulligan, perhaps over-zealous in his goal of getting another perfect hand. Motta kicked off with Keldon Megaliths into morph, morph, morph. David's draw was color heavy and land light, so much so he elected not to sac his Expanse on turn one, forgoing a turn-two drop just so he could draw more land and make a more informed decision. David did find the info he was looking for and fixed up all three colors. He spent his fourth turn casting his first creature, a Serra Avenger, which immediately took Rift Bolt. Again came the morphs. Irvine finally slowed things down with Calciderm, although the 2/2s and his own pain lands made things precarious. Unconcerned, Pedro crashed in. When the dust settled, David had taken 5 from an unblocked unmorphed Gathan Raiders, one Zoetic Cavern was dead from Dead, and the other had turned into a land via combat damage. Irvine started to turn it around with Temporal Isolation on the Raiders, but by this time Megaliths was active. A few pings from the hellbent land and a couple from Keldon Marauders and the players were shuffling for Game 3.

    Motta: 1
    Irvine: 1

    David Irvine

    Game 3: Before Future Sight, mono-red was very much in vogue, partially due to its power and partially by the way it kept mono-white in check. But Future Sight brought in Tarmogoyf, a card that made many mono-white decks G/W (although there is a mono in the top 64), and some say made pure red decks unplayable. Clearly Pedro Motta would have disagreements on the viability of an all-red deck, but it is true the Goyf can be tough. In this final game, things began well for the Brazillian with Dead//Gone on a Riftsweeper and a Keldon Marauders ready to brawl. Yet the lost creature, the split card, and a Terramorphic Expanse gave Irvine a 3/4 Tarmogoyf on the third turn, happy to step in the way of any number of 3/3s. Pedro seemed a bit frustrated, playing a morph and passing back with Keldon Maurauders on defense. Note to readers: Keldon Marauders playing D is not a sustainable strategy.

    David upped the scales with Calicderm and another Riftsweeper. Then the backbreaker, a Fiery Justice aimed at two morphs and a War Marshal token. Pedro managed to save one of his facedown Gathan Raiders, but he was completely out of gas. Once the Raiders took a Temporal Isolation, Pedro was drawing dead and had to extend the hand. David shook it, the first man to hand Pedro Motta a loss on the weekend.

    Motta: 1
    Irvine: 2



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 11:33 a.m. - Quick Questions
    by Staff




  • What card were you most excited to see in Tenth Edition?

    John Pelcak: Gerry Thompson: Luis Scott-Vargas:
    Incinerate Treetop Village Quirion Dryad




    Ben Rubin: Ricky Boyes: Antonino Da Rosa:
    Mind Stone Mogg Fanatic March of the Machines




     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 1:34 p.m. - What's Out There?
    by Eric Reasoner


  • Desolation Giant. Magus of the Abyss. Amrou Scout. Mangara of Corondor. Walk the Aeons. What do all these cards have in common? They're all being played in day 2 of this last GP of the season. Most would agree that there are at least 5 or 6 completely viable lists out there and a number of ways to tweak those lists. This type of meta leaves innovation open to flourish. Whether it's coming up with a whole new build unlike anything we've seen, or just adjusting cards in an already established lists, players in the Time Spiral Block format are encouraged and rewarded for trying something new. Lets take a look at a few.


    One of only 2 White Weenie decks in Day 2, this is an interesting direction for the deck. The inclusion of Amrou Scout gives the deck what could have been a very powerful 2-drop all through the season. And now with the fall of Sulfur Elemental, this little Kithkin can come out to play again.


    This list, another Billy Moreno special, has so many things going on it's amazing. It can pretend for a while to be a normal U/G deck running out morphs and walls and delaying spells. But then down comes Rites of Flourishing, the opponent picks it up for a second, nervously shrugs and says "OK." Then the real fun begins. Sadin can use the enchantment plus Gaea's Blessing and Walk the Aeons to take gain a huge card and board advantage, and eventually, infinite turns.


    This deck looks like a blast to play. So, so many tools available to wreck your opponent. Their cards aren't safe in any zone. On the board? Void, Damnation, Soot, Dead, Disintegrate, Magus. In their hand? Augur, Stupor, Specter. In the yard? Withered Wretch. Meanwhile you're bashing their head in with Sedge Slivers and Aeon Chroniclers. Notice how easily this deck abuses Magus of the Abyss (Abyss!) with Augur of Skulls and Kher Keep.


    Coimbra's list is basically a normal Big Mana G/R deck. It's the sideboard that exciting. Against control decks, he can bring in the whole board minus the Damnations. Ever play Wild Pair plus Grinning Ignus? Sounds like fun right? What about playing Ignus to fetch Primal Forcemage into Avalanche Riders and bashing for 20? That just sounds awesome.

    This list is my personal favorite as I'm a sucker for a Desolation Giant. This deck absolutely punishes creature decks with the giant, Magus of the Tabernacle and Bogardan Hellkite. Beatdown doesn't stand a chance against hate like that. The match-up against Teachings looks tough, but with Boom/Bust and Sacred Mesa it still has some game.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 2:36 p.m. - Round 12: André Coimbra vs. Mike Hron
    by Noah Weil


  • Pro Tour Geneva champion Mike Hron

    Round 12 brought two very established pros to the fight. Mike Hron was an old-school player from Wisconsin who recently came back to win Pro Tour Geneva. André Coimbra, if you can believe this, hailing from Coimbra, Portugal, has been a remarkably consistent PT and GP competitor over the last few seasons. Both were experienced with their decks and with high level play. Both were within shooting distance of a top 8 berth, and scoring a win here would bring the feat that much closer.

    Game 1: André was playing what appeared to be a stock version of G/R, although as the match went on some intricacies would become apparent. Mike Hron was running the popular Wisconsin-based Teachings deck, featuring the iconic Gaea's Blessing for reusability of the key cards. One story over the weekend had Gaea's Blessing cast so often that its owner managed to resolve a Damnation ten times against an unlucky opponent.

    André started as well as deck could, with a third turn Mwonvuli Acid-Moss off Wall of Roots, then a Coalition Relic into a facedown creature. The morph turned into Akroma, Angel of Fury and just like that Mike was down a sizeable chunk of his life. Yet despite the early land destruction, Hron had no problem getting to four mana and casting Damnation, resetting the board back to zero.

    The excitement seemed to drain out of the match as the players began the methodical process of accumulating mana and cards. Coimbra had a Void in hand since the first turn, but seemed unwilling to raw it out with a particular number. Instead, he cast the occasional mana source and began charging his Fungal Reaches. André's mana reached Bogardan Hellkite levels, but he chose not to use it right away. Instead, he waiting until his opponent transmuted Tolaria West. In response to the transmutation, Coimbra played his Dragon. Mike reflected and cast Pact of Negation, then fetched an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to pay for it. Acid-Moss here would be game, but no dice for the Portuguese player. A couple of turns later André laid a big Tarmogoyf, but it wasn't any larger than the Teachings-fetched Urborg-powered Tendrils of Corruption. Hron over 20 life had to feel comfortable, and even Radha hits didn't get his mood down.

    Portuguese pro André Coimbra

    Coimbra was in an interesting spot. His hand contained another red Akroma and Molten Disaster, two cards strong against the countermagic of Mike Hron. He also had Void to push anything else through. However Mike had his Mystic Teachings in full swing, and even with a hand torn apart his flashback would still be available. André settled for continuous land charges and swinging with Radha when appropriate. Hron had enough of sitting on his thumbs, and used one of his tutors to fetch another, and used that one to fetch Haunting Hymn. The Hymn was savage, and left Coimbra only with his Molten Disaster. André made an error here, casting a topdecked Mwonvuli Acid-Moss on Hron's Urborg before attacking with Radha. Mike let the sorcery go, but not before aiming a large Tendrils at the legendary Elf. Mike certainly would have taken the two points had Radha attacked before the land destruction. Either way, Hron was above 30 at this point with Coimbra's momentum deflating badly. A pair of Shadowmage Infiltrators from Hron necessitated that split second Molten Disaster, putting Coimbra out of options. Mike Hron felt perfectly safe in casting his own Bogardan Hellkite, screaming in for 10. Mike had his Pacts and Tendrils backup, and after a very long game, Coimbra had to scoop to the 5/5 flier.

    Coimbra: 0
    Hron: 1

    With the first game taking 35 minutes, André knew he needed to win quickly in order to take the match. Luckily, his sideboard offered the tools for exactly that.

    This was not the result of Lobotomy

    Game 2: André looked at his opening hand, full of strong cards and sketchy mana. He clearly gave the hand more thought than normal, realizing the precarious situation he was in with the round time. But Coimbra played it safe, sending it back for an acceptable six. Hron was fine with his starter, and the players again went at it. Coimbra on the play went Coalition Relic, and used it to power out his lynchpin sideboard card, Wild Pair. He had to take some hits from Shadowmage Infiltrator to pull it off, but the enchantment promised big effects for the Portuguese. His next turn's attempt was Avalanche Riders. Promising doubles, Hron couldn't let it hit and threw out his Pact of Negation. Hron's cards were flowing, but the Pact meant down shields for a turn. Coimbra unfortunately couldn't put something together and just focused on more artifact mana and charge counters. Hron was drawing like crazy, but most of his topdecks seemed to be more ways to draw cards. André did find a creature, a Radha, Heir to Keld, and got it into play. Mike Hron seemed ready to weather the storm, but at high life he couldn't be worried.

    Wild Pair fetched out Grinning Ignus, and Hron's façade dipped a little. Mike tried to Slaughter Pact the Ignus on the way back, but André just fetched a second. Wild Pair's next pull was Primal Forcemage, and now André was firmly in the driver's seat. Everytime André spent a single red, he could pull out any 2/2 or 5/5 in his deck. By a happy coincidence, most of his deck was 2/2s and 5/5s. Coimbra's first three grabs were Avalanche Riders, turning into 5/5s after hitting play. His next was a Bogardan Hellkite and his next…well, Hron was ready for game 3. A good turn.

    Coimbra: 1
    Hron: 1

    Something is going on here…

    Game 3: With the clock rapidly ticking down, both players needed to hit high gear if they wanted to sneak a win. This clearly favored Coibmra's combo deck, but even he needed resources to set things up.

    Hron, slightly short on lands, resolved a Finkel to start dealing damage and finding mana. André used his opening to cast the key Wild Pair, just as time was called. Now Mike's play had to change. He couldn't possibly win in his few extra turns, he could only deny Coimbra the opportunity. André fought as well as he could, resolving a second Wild Pair. But all Mike was interested in was keeping creatures off the board, and that's exactly what he ended up doing. While the long game clearly favored André, in the end no one had the time to get there.

    Final result:
    André Coimbra and Mike Hron draw.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 3:00 p.m. - Scenic San Jose
    by Noah Weil


  • As mentioned in the beginning of the weekend, this tournament finds itself next to San Francisco, in a nice part of the town known as San Jose. Here are a few of the more beatific areas around this Grand Prix.


    These beauties are everywhere

    Coming from the Pacific Northwest, crystal clear sunny days filled with palm trees, are a nice treat. Repeated implorations on head judge John Carter to move the tournament outside has fallen on deaf ears.


    Where to keep your cool

    Fountains aren't out of place in your average city, but not too many are street level(although I'm told it's common enough in California). With their location and this weather, these fountains were made for cooling off. One nameless competitor was already seen splashing around, although whether it was in jubilation or anger or thirst this reporter couldn't say.


    Ultimate Tech

    In a stroke of serendipity, this tournament is connected to a building known as The Tech. May the best innovator win!


    San José is powered by these perpetual motion machines.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 3:30 p.m. - Round 13: Kyle Goodman vs. Paul Cheon
    by Eric Reasoner


  • Ah, the pinnacle of TSB constructed spectator candy- the Teachings on Teachings mirror. Both players understood the importance of finishing the match and began play as fast as possible and kept the pace rapid throughout the match. Neither player wanted a draw.

    Game 1:
    The game progressed in the normal fashion, players accelerating their mana and looking for card advantage when they could get it through Careful Consideration and Foresee and Mystical Teachings. Real action began when Goodman tutored up a Haunting Hymn and pointed it at Cheon. The GP Montreal finalist fetched a Pact of Negation to save his hand of 3 Careful Considerations and goodies, but Goodman was having none of it. He Pacted the Pact and the Hymn hit leaving Cheon with a measly one card.

    Staring down a Shadowmage Infiltrator, Cheon played Void for 4 to hopefully clear out Goodman's hand. All he found was a Triskelavus waiting to come out and make his life difficult. Not wanting to take a hit from the wizard, he followed up with a Damnation. Goodman dropped the Triskelavus the next turn, but if Cheon could find a way to deal with it, he'd be golden, as both players' Academy Ruins were in the bin.

    Eventually he did manage to finish off the construct with a Bogardan Hellkite, and now the game looked solidly in Cheon's favor. But Goodman had Damnation for the dragon and later managed to play his second Academy Ruins. The Ruins brought back Triskelavus, which ended the game.

    Kyle Goodman had a plan

    Goodman 1
    Cheon 0

    Game 2:
    Again the game proceeded with players running out Prismatic Lenses and Coalition Relics to win the mana advantage. The war of Detritivores began shortly after the building phase. Each suspended 'vore was greeted with a Pull from Eternity; neither player letting the other's destroy any land.

    Cheon had mana advantage and also an Urza's Factory that Goodman was eager to deal with. Finally a Detritivore managed to do his job and dealt with Cheon's token maker. But the party wouldn't last. Dropping another Factory Cheon exclaimed, "I've got the old back-up plan."

    Goodman attempted to put up a fight, but fell to the swarm of assembly workers when Cheon cleared the way with removal for the defenses.

    Goodman 1
    Cheon 1

    Game 3:
    The final game was all but decided in the first few turns. Both players again ramping up with artifact mana until Goodman karate chopped Cheon's throat with an Ancient Grudge on two Prismatic Lenses, putting Cheon back on 3 mana. Goodman managed to capitalize, building up a saucy hand and advancing his own mana base. Meanwhile Cheon could only sit and stare as his fate became all too apparent. Kyle was able to pump out Factory tokens and eventually made a Triskelavus to seal the deal. That early Ancient Grudge was absolutely crippling for Cheon. Had he had access to just that extra 2 mana sources he would have been able to make a game of it. Savage.

    Goodman defeated Cheon 2-1



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 4:06 p.m. - Round 15: Robson Silveira vs. Luis Scott-Vargas
    by Zaiem Beg


  • Robson Silveira

    Luis led off winning the die roll and commented, "I've won every die roll except one this tournament." After going to six, Robson countered with his own mulligan to six, then thought a long time before going to five in this critical match.

    With only five cards in hand, Robson got in an early Looter Il-Kor and Call of the Herd, but before the elephant (represented by a Wonder Woman token) could get in for three, Luis played Damnation to clear the board. Robson followed up by flashing back Call of the Herd to try to get some damage through, and this time he stayed on the table and was beating in for three a turn.

    Luis needed answers. He resolved a Careful Consideration, but on the next turn his Foresee got countered by Mystic Snake. He followed up with a Void for four, taking out the Mystic Snake but missing on the Riftsweeper and Riftwing Cloudskate in Robson's hand.

    No one knows what this card says

    Still looking for the cards that would let him take the game over, Luis resolved a second Careful Consideration, eliciting a sigh from Robson. With the Mystical Teachings he needed in hand, he searched for Strangling Soot to remove Robson's only on-board threat.

    Robson Vensered Luis's Foresee, then followed up with a Cloudskate to put him on a three-turn clock. But with Luis's massive card selection, he had answers in hand and dropped Damnation to stay alive. A Riftsweeper ran right into a surprise blocker in Teferi, and after Luis grabbed a Tendrils of Corruption with his Mystical Teachings, Robson scooped his cards up and they shuffled up for Game 2.

    "I got a very nice hand for five cards," Robson said while they were shuffling. "Yeah, it was reasonable," Luis said. Robson wistfully noted that "the Careful Considerations were pretty much game."

    Robson: 0
    Scott-Vargas: 1

    Robson elected to go first and started off with a shadowy bear when he grafted onto his Looter Il-Kor, then played Call of the Herd. The elephant met a Tendrils, but Robson was able to keep the pressure on with another elephant.

    American Luis Scott-Vargas

    Luis had a Foresee he really, really wanted to resolve, and it was a Foresee that Robson really, really didn't want to resolve. Foresee ran into a Delay, and three turns later when it would come into play, it got Delayed again. However, Luis dropped a Bogardan Hellkite on the table and things were not looking good for Robson, who was grasping at straws for the win.

    "Maybe you'll forget to pay for Slaughter Pact," Robson joked after his Venser got Pacted. With a large angry dragon on the board and with Robson having no cards in hand, there was no coming back from this position and two turns later he extended his hand.

    Luis Scott-Vargas defeats Robson Silveira 2-0.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 4:22 p.m. - Quick Questions Redux!
    by Staff




  • What is your favorite format of all time?

    Ken Krouner: Ervin Tormos: Noah Sandler:
    Odyssey Block draft I love Time Spiral limited Onslaught/Legions/Scourge draft


    Nathan Saunders: Chris McDaniels: Tomoharu Saito:
    Invasion Block constructed Singleton Champions Block constructed



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