Jun 21, 20181572 views

Still Had Adeliz - Top 4 at GP Vegas

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Dominaria Draft has been a rollercoaster for me.
I started my exploration into the format by winning a lot with various BW midrange decks leading up to Grand Prix Dallas. They seemed to overperform at the time, but I think that was because people still hadn’t figured out the format yet, playing too many random creatures and underappreciating blue. In the first draft at the GP I took a The Antiquities War, which I didn’t know yet was a major trap. I scraped together a 1-2 record, even though I thought the deck would do much better. Then I drafted a reasonably solid GW aggro deck and promptly went 0-3, losing at 0-2 in the “playing only for pride” bracket to Martin Juza. Not until later when our team had built up a lot of stats on the format did I get to see how badly GW usually performs.
I tried to get back on track with my preparation for Pro Tour Dominaria, but the losses continued to pile on. I’ve always considered myself to be strong in Limited and I felt I was learning a lot from our team’s collaboration — what was going wrong? I liked the decks I was drafting, but I kept losing in the first round. Eventually the Pro Tour came and I ended up with a weak 1-2 record in draft and a missed day two. At that point I felt like I might never find success in the format; I couldn’t figure out what the issue was and thus I had no idea how to fix it. I knew which archetypes were good and which cards were good. Was I just getting unlucky? Or was I washed up? GP Vegas Limited was one last chance to redeem myself so I hit the books again, starting with Intermediate Swiss Leagues on Magic Online to build up my confidence before swapping back to Single Elimination Competitive. Everything changed when I swore my fealty to the Cinder Wind.



GP Vegas Draft Preparation At some point during my testing for Vegas I started heavily biasing towards drafting UR. My key realization was that because the color pair has strong aggro / tempo cards as well as late game value cards, UR decks don’t necessarily need to be built entirely in one direction or the other. Sometimes the tempo cards will give you the time you need for your endgame options to come out, whereas other times your value cards help your aggro plan by keeping enough fuel in the tank to relentlessly assault your opponent. Of course, sometimes the draft works out perfectly and you have the tools necessary to stay dedicated to one gameplan, but it’s nice to have that flexibility available. Let’s go through my two most recent draft decks from Magic Online which I feel highlight this point. It turns out that my experience drafting them would put me in a much more comfortable position for the drafts at GP Vegas as I went 3-0 with both.
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The first deck happens to be a prime example of a deck that takes advantage of both aggressive cards and grindy cards. The Ghitu Journeymages, chunky creatures at 4-5 mana, and the two Run Amok mean I can maintain pressure on my opponent. Tetsuko helps my small creatures peck for damage if I don’t need them to block. On the flip side, double Ghitu Chronicler along with The Mirari Conjecture, Blink of an Eye, Rescue, and a couple removal spells mean that I can repeatedly 2-for-1 my opponent until I grind them out of resources. Although there are a few inflexible cards like the pair of Run Amok, most of these cards can easily swap roles.
Seismic Shift was the last card I included in the deck and I thought for a long time about whether I would want that or Sorcerer’s Wand. Doing it “for science” certainly played a role, but it seemed like it could actually be pretty helpful to either clear away blockers to go for the kill or make life miserable for my opponent with the help of Conjecture loops.
One spicy endgame option via Conjecture is to have Raff Capashen in play and then flash in Guardians of Koilos in response to the third saga trigger to return Conjecture to your hand. Then you replay the Conjecture and use a Rescue or Blink of an Eye with the double-cast trigger to return both Conjecture and Guardians back to your hand. Of course, if you need to just end the game, doubled Run Amoks should do the job.
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I didn’t set out to draft a UR auras deck, but I got some late pick Champion of the Flame and it seemed interesting to try. I felt comfortable sliding into that option given the success that testing group member Thien Nguyen was having with RW Champion decks. Wizard’s Retort is a lot more clunky than Adamant Will for protecting your key creature, but at least it can stop things like Blessed Light, Icy Manipulator, Deep Freeze, Academy Journeymage, and Vicious Offering. It felt so difficult to fill the final slots of the deck since if I could have I would have liked to include the third Arcane Flight and an Unwind. Unwind helps alleviate some of the mana strain, since on a key turn you might want to play Arcane Flight and hold up countermagic, which would be triple blue if using Retort. I frequently added an Unwind and cut an Arcane Flight post-board since I faced decks that had many answers to flying Champions. Cold-Water Snapper would have been an excellent pickup for the deck with all of these Arcane Flight but I didn’t see any. Valduk likewise would have been an impressive addition given how quickly it can kill when enchanted with Arcane Flight.
Although I was short on effective blockers and had a lot more inflexible cards in this deck than the other, some games I was able to win in the late game by drawing extra cards with Divination and answering key cards from the opponent with counters and removal. My three artifacts had a bit of bonus value in that they could help turbo out Zahid or be sacrificed to Goblin Barrage for reach. This deck is not utilizing the two Vodalian Arcanist to their full potential given how this build was slanted more towards aggression, but simply by being a cheap wizard they opened up a lot of options for me such as two mana Wizard’s Retort. The 1/3 body could help me defend myself in a race, and they were good at holding equipment if I didn’t have a Champion.



GP Vegas Day 1 Sealed
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I thought my deck was really good; it had one of the best cards in the format Multani and plenty of cards that synergize with it. As we will see later, since there are various ways for Multani to be permanently answered or ignored, my deck wasn’t nearly as strong as I thought it was, though it was certainly above average. It did play a couple mediocre creatures in Corrosive Ooze and Howling Golem just because I needed to have some early game bodies. Ooze gave me an out to annoying equipment such as Forebear’s Blade and Jousting Lance since my deck had no Naturalize effects. It’s possible I should have played Divest over the Ooze. Seal Away was the last card cut from the deck in favor of Adventurous Impulse, which I played because I already had a reasonable removal suite. Plus, I didn’t want to push my splash too hard, especially because in some awkward scenarios I could mill my single Plains and need to resort to The Mending of Dominaria or Nature’s Spiral to get it back.
I showed the deck to my friends to see what they thought about my build and to get opinions on whether I should play or draw in game 1 when in the dark. I had some cards that pushed me to wanting to be on the play and others which pushed me to wanting to be on the draw. People chiming in were mostly split on the decision. If it’s close, I personally tend to go with being on the play. After playing the deck, I was glad I went with that as I think this deck definitely wants to be on the play. Other than having a pair of cards which are super clunky on the draw (Dark Bargain and Mending), it has some curve-out options and doesn’t have a ton of ways to prevent getting run over.
The first three rounds I had byes, and the following three rounds my deck fired on all cylinders and did not face any significant resistance. My first reality check came in round 7.
Round 7 vs. Andrew Cuneo
Andrew was playing an aggressive UR deck with a low curve, many flyers, and interaction to glue it all together. I felt very good when my resolved Multani resolved and stayed on the battlefield, completely halting Andrew’s offense (thanks, reach!). I felt a little less good when my Dark Bargain hit three lands, but it at least grew my Multani (thanks, growing with lands in graveyard!). My Multani was a 10/10 when I finally decided to attack, feeling reasonably safe about the back-swing and hoping I could win the following turn, either directly or effectively by forcing chumps. I worried about the game going too long, increasing the possibility of Andrew finding an answer. I was at 13 life, had a 4/4 Baloth and 2/2 Ooze left on defense, and 5 mana up for Blessed Light. I was facing Adeliz, Ghitu Lavarunner (one spell in the graveyard), Rampaging Cyclops, Tempest Djinn (three islands), and Aesthir Glider. Unfortunately, Andrew’s draw was Shivan Fire, which he cast on Ooze, followed by Fiery Intervention on Baloth. If you did the math, even if I killed one of the 4-power creatures, I would be exactly dead. I could have avoided this by casting Blessed Light on Adeliz on my main phase and was very frustrated with myself to lose in this manner. In retrospect, leaving up the Blessed Light may have been the highest percentage play, because unless Andrew had specifically double removal I think I would have won.
In the second game, I pressured Andrew on the ground with Territorial Allosaurus while he pressured me in the air with a Glider and Adeliz. Andrew had a single blue mana up, which could only be Opt, Rescue, or nothing. I cast Dark Bargain leaving up a Forest, Swamp, and Plains to leave me with the most options for what I drew, but got punished since I had Vicious Offering in hand and couldn’t play it along with the sideboarded Divest I just drew off the Bargain. I ended up narrowly losing the race as the Glider continued to peck me until Radiating Lightning, which I saw with Divest, ended me. Once again I was frustrated since my decision effectively cost me the game; I think given the cards I had left in my deck and the overall situation I was supposed to leave two Swamps and one Plains untapped. I should have gone one level deeper into deciding what mana to keep up instead of relying on what seemed like a reasonable metric (one mana of each color). Lesson: Watch out for autopilot!
0-2 in match, 6-1 overall
Round 8 vs. Alexander Lamp
In round 8, Multani once again was not enough to save me. It got answered by Alexander’s Icy Manipulator and Blessed Light. I still had reasonable things going on in game 3, but with Multani exiled and no removal in sight except for The Eldest Reborn, Rite of Belzenlok took it home for my opponent.
1-2 in match, 6-2 overall
Round 9 vs. Daniel Son
I was pretty disappointed to lose two matches in a row with what I thought was such a great deck. What you open for sealed can be a toss-up and it feels bad to waste an opportunity when you do get lucky. I really wanted to win the last match of the day to get things back on track and keep myself alive for a solid finish. At the time, given the size of the tournament, I thought I might be dead for top 8 at 6-2.
My first game against Daniel was razor close. I was getting beaten down by an Untamed Kavu while I had a couple smaller creatures and a Vicious Offering with a Torgaar in hand. He had a Short Sword but didn’t equip it onto the Kavu, so I thought he might have a trick. Equipping it to the Kavu would require me to either play the Offering right away or try to trade Torgaar for it. I really wanted to avoid throwing away a creature to Vicious Offering the Kavu since the body helped hold off Daniel’s smaller creatures. I didn’t feel too bad about waiting since I could just target myself with Torgaar to go back to 10 life. My opponent played a Pegasus Courser which I had to kill using the Offering. A Multani eventually came to my aid but then one appeared for my opponent as well! Fortunately mine was bigger but unfortunately Daniel’s Gideon Reproach was just enough to kill me with trample damage when he made an alpha attack.
In game 2 on the play I got to visit Magical Christmas Land. Turn 3 Yavimaya Sapherd turned into a turn 4 Torgaar while Daniel could only muster a pair of Pegasus Courser. I attacked for 7 putting him to 3 and played a Guardians of Koilos. Daniel left up all of his mana and I attacked with both. He had to 4-for-1 himself to stay alive using the two Pegasus Courser along with a Charge and Gideon’s Reproach. I won soon after.
In game 3 Daniel led with turn 1 Llanowar Elf and I was worried since my hand was a bit on the slower side. I drew and played Divest which saw a hand of Memorial of Unity, two Pegasus Courser, Sergeant-at-Arms, and History of Benalia. I took a Courser and really hoped to fade white mana. It didn’t appear on the first draw but did appear on the following in the form of a Memorial to Glory. On my turn 4 I had a Territorial Allosaurus while Daniel took his Llanowar Elf to the air via his Pegasus and added the Sergeant. On turn 5 I kicked Grow from the Ashes and used the untapped mana to Seal Away the Pegasus. Daniel didn’t draw the second white for History and passed back. It turns out that turn 5 kicked Grow curves perfectly into hardcast Torgaar which I played and then attacked for 5 with my dinosaur. From there it was too much to overcome as I had multiple lethal creatures forcing chumps or topdecked answers.
2-1 in games, 7-2 overall



GP Vegas Day 2 Draft #1
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Wizards and Flying Turtles
Cold-Water Snapper gets to be a superstar on both offense and defense when you have some Arcane Flights! Although there was some card overlap with the previous two UR decks, this deck's overall strategy was unique among the three. It is also unique in that some of the cards have judge signatures on them instead of stamps, since apparently someone ordered the wrong kind of ink. There was a huge delay at the beginning of the day as thousands of cards with fully or partially missing ink were signed by judges.
Round 10 vs. Tomas Langer
Tomas was playing a BW midrange deck with a historic subtheme featuring Traxos. In the games I did what I could to build up a defense force, using answers on especially potent threats, eventually winning in the air with big flyers.
2-0 in games, 8-2 overall
Round 11 vs. Robert Wilson
Robert was playing a BG deck which seemed a bit soft to flyers other than his Mammoth Spider. I managed to bounce it to keep up the pressure and I eventually got the kill. After I won the postboard game, he flashed me the three Pierce the Sky that he brought in but didn’t draw. I felt fortunate to dodge those since most of my game 2 pressure hinged on my early Tempest Djinn.
2-0 in games, 9-2 overall
Round 12 vs. Drew O’Donnell
Drew was playing a UW deck with some tricky elements like Raff Capashen. In both games I drew great curve outs including plenty of evasive threats. I was able to Syncopate the turn 4 Raff and my follow-ups were too much. I almost got to live the dream of Arcane Flight on Valduk but the legendary red creature got hit with Blessed Light before I got to untap. The Flight was still good enough to help win a few turns later. In one of the games, Drew made an impressive play when he used Merfolk Trickster to ambush my Tempest Djinn. It was doubly potent since it removed the flying and all of its power! I had Blink of an Eye to bounce the Benalish Honor Guard that double blocked with the Trickster and my Djinn lived on.
2-0 in games, 10-2 overall
3-0 (6-0) with the deck



GP Vegas Day 2 Draft #2
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The Fight with Fire Anthology
After the first pack, I had a reasonable assortment of blue and red cards, but nothing too special. Pack 2 pick 3 presented me with a Fight with Fire which changed the entire course of the draft. Vodalian Arcanist, a card I already like a lot in general in UR, jumped up in priority since it could help ramp out the spell while holding the ground so I don’t get run over. Ghitu Chronicler became basically top priority but I didn’t see any until the third pack. Unlike Multani, looped Fight with Fire is an extremely difficult endgame to deal with. Tetsuko was a great pickup to give my huge pile of 1/3s something to do when not blocking or helping to cast spells. Keldon Overseer is a particularly brutal follow-up to a turn 2 Tetsuko. The Fire Elemental was not in my first few iterations of the build but I’m glad I included it in addition to the two Rampaging Cyclops. Other than Fight with Fire, there are very few single cards in this deck that are impactful, able to hold the fort or go on the offensive to win the game once I’ve cleaned up the board. The 4-5 power creatures also conveniently smash through a creature enchanted by Deep Freeze. Run Amok is one of the weaker cards here but it works well with the midgame creature package and I like the card a lot in general. I thought I would have more games where I did a bunch of chip damage and Run Amok would help me obtain lethal but they didn’t really play out that way. But it did play an important role in one of the final games.
Round 13 vs. Randy Perez
Randy was playing a RGb deck. The first game was long and drawn out since my 1/3s helped hold off his 2/3s and Rampaging Cyclops. I answered his Champion of the Flame carrying Frenzied Rage with the help of Merfolk Trickster. I had to ask a judge to confirm what exactly would happen - it would be a 3/2 Champion without menace. I countered his Untamed Kavu with Syncopate. I did take a lot of damage along the way as I was answering threats since I was flooding out without a Fight with Fire. I was at a not particularly healthy 6 life but I finally drew the key card. I used it to kill three creatures including a Valduk, then brought it back with Chronicler and killed some more. I brought it back one last time with my second Chronicler and that one was good enough to get the kill.
In game 2 Randy had turn 2 Blackblade Reforged. I was worried about a turn 3 Valduk so I decided to leave up mana for a couple of turns instead of playing anything. With no 4th land or Valduk in sight for my opponent, I decided to go for the throat and tapped out for Rampaging Cyclops. On that turn Randy drew Valduk and cast it, so the situation suddenly got awkward. I didn’t have a way to get it off the board so I added a Fire Elemental. A 4th land appeared and the Valduk got equipped but as a 7/6 couldn’t really attack as it would just trade for a 5/4. A 3/1 hasty token briefly entered play as I blocked it out of existence. I drew a Fight with Fire but the 6 toughness was too much so I just added another Rampaging Cyclops. My Fire Elemental died to a Goblin Barrage but Randy was still having trouble finding lands. I continued to develop my board, hoping to have enough creatures in play to threaten to block the Valduk, giving me time to build up to a kicked Fight with Fire. Eventually that happened and the game ended quickly.
2-0 in games, 11-2 overall
Round 14 vs. Andrew Blackwood
Andrew was rocking a Sultai midrange deck featuring Tatyova and Josu Vess. Since he had strong cards I needed to rely heavily on Fight with Fire. I used my card draw to find it and one or two casts was enough to take the first game. In the second game I brought in Radiating Lightning and Aesthir Glider. I cast Radiating Lightning to kill a Llanowar Elves when it seemed like Andrew had Josu Vess in his hand and was just waiting for the 10th mana. I killed Andrew with some evasion and he flashed me the Josu Vess he had to go along with his 9 mana lands. I felt I dodged a bullet, though we agreed that he might have still lost even if he pulled off the 10 mana kicker.
2-0 in games, 12-2 overall
Round 15 vs. Dylan Nollen
Who would have thought, two UR decks in the finals! In game 1 I had Deep Freeze, Fight with Fire, and Ghitu Chronicler so I felt well-equipped for the lategame. My draw did have some clunky aspects so I decided to Deep Freeze a Rampaging Cyclops. It was followed up by a Cloudreader Sphinx which I didn’t want to bounce with my newly drawn Academy Journeymage. I opted to save three damage by holding up Merfolk Trickster which was perhaps a mistake rather than immediately using Fight with Fire, but I felt like I could build up to enough mana to kick it. I was immediately punished when Dylan played a 5/6 flying Zahid which I couldn’t kill with Fight nor did I have a Trickster anymore to remove flying. I bounced it with Journeymage and took 3 from the Sphinx. I was too far away from kicking the Fight with Fire and needed to use it to kill the Sphinx. I tried attacking with my small creatures to induce a block so I could finish the 5/6 off with Fight with Fire, but the Deep Freeze decision bit me a second time as the frozen creature helped hold off pressure meaning Dylan didn’t have to risk his flyer in combat. I eventually died to Zahid before I could find an answer.
In game 2 I had a great curve out against a slow draw from Dylan. Rampaging Cyclops and Fire Elemental attacked into Zahid which got run over with Run Amok.
For game 3 on the draw I sided out a Skittering Surveyor for an Aesthir Glider. I wanted to reduce my risk of flooding and the body didn’t seem very useful, whereas the Glider could deal a lot of damage in the air if I saved my removal for Dylan’s flyers. Funny enough, Dylan started with a turn 2 Voltaic Servant into a turn 3 Aesthir Glider of his own. I went deep in the tank and decided to use my premium Fight with Fire on the Aesthir Glider. My other cards included Divination, Deep Freeze, and Chronicler and I felt like my main way to lose this would be to receive too much pressure. It didn’t feel great but I of all people know how good the Glider can be after winning a miracle game with a sideboarded one in the Team Sealed GP and getting beat down by Andrew Cuneo’s on day 1. Zahid, my nemesis from the first game, soon appeared which I used my Deep Freeze on. Dylan had a Squee but it was effectively bricked by my Vodalian Arcanist. The Rampaging Cyclops I played could freely attack into the board of Voltaic Servant, Squee, and 0/4 Legendary Wall and at least tie up some mana for Squee rebuys. I eventually got up to a kicked Fight with Fire after rebuying it with Ghitu Chronicler. I was afraid about Syncopate which I had seen in the first game but I went with my gut and it resolved killing a Sphinx, the Servant, and doing 3 face damage. My sided-in Aesthir Glider finally made its grand appearance with a completely open sky to attack. It had a lot of work to do since Dylan still had quite a bit of life. Turn after turn it pecked in while Dylan played a Rampaging Cyclops and Tolarian Scholar. When I drew Syncopate I could taste victory. Down to 3, down to 1, still no answer, and that was that.
2-1 in games, 13-2 overall
3-0 (6-1) with the deck
I went to go celebrate with the group of friends that had made their way over to spectate. I thought it was still going to be a toss-up as to whether I would top 8, but I checked the previous round standings and saw I was in 8th. That was a huge relief and I felt on top of the world. I took a walk to decompress but decided it still wasn’t worth it to go outside in the Vegas heat.


GP Vegas Top 8 Draft
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I was seated with Andrew Cuneo to my right and Steve Rubin to my left. I started with an Aryel and got passed a Shalai. Although I wanted to draft UR again, this card being passed confirmed that Andrew really didn’t like playing white. One or two picks later I got passed an Evra so I tried to stay on track with white cards for the rest of the pack since it seemed really open. I wasn’t locked into playing WB as Aryel is splashable; I wasn’t sure yet what my other color would be. I think I got a late Keldon Overseer and Ghitu Lavarunner in pack 1, leading me to consider RW as well. In pack 2 I got passed a few solid black cards but then there were late, powerful red cards such as Haphazard Bombardment and Shivan Fire. I took them and started to highly prioritize fixing. Other than one Navigator’s Compass which I didn’t really want to play, I saw no fixing for the rest of the draft. In retrospect, it was because a bunch of people were playing multicolor decks. From there I took mostly white cards, two Fiery Intervention, and a Run Amok as I considered that I might want to have an option to fully audible to RWb when I build my deck. I knew I would be on the play in my first match due to my seeding and went with a purely RW build. I had alternative options in RW splash black and WB splash red. The RW deck I built could have used a Jousting Lance to power up the random bodies. Overall, I was not super thrilled about the draft given all of the uncertainty about my color pair during the draft and the fact that I may have had a route to a UR deck.
Quarterfinals vs. Jose Daniel Garcia Rosas
Jose started game 1 with three plains and a Mesa Unicorn while I curved out. He was stuck on his fourth land for a bit before finding a swamp. By this point, however, I had 6 lands and Haphazard Bombardment and decided to use it on his four lands, ignoring his Voltaic Servant. He ended up redrawing some lands and staying in the game with the help of a Fungal Infection, but I pushed the pedal all the way to the metal, using my Fiery Intervention just to kill a 1/3 and maximize my clock. The Unicorn got rebought with Soul Salvage and recast but I had just enough for lethal before he could stabilize and start playing out the rest of his hand.
In game 2 I boarded into a three color build since I was going to be on the draw. I was surprised when Jose put me on the play. Karn completely took over the game for my opponent as it was protected by creatures and removal. My Pegasus Courser got killed and I couldn’t find any other evasive creatures to threaten the Planeswalker. I had built up a small selection of tricks including a Shivan Fire, Healing Grace, and sideboarded Invoke the Divine but the board had grown far out of control.
For game 3, Jose mulliganed to 6 and wasn’t sure if he should keep, but ultimately did. I had a very strong curve out as he continued to be stuck on just a single Swamp for multiple turns. It was a rough ending for my opponent; he discussed the hand he kept with his friends and I and I think it was a correct keep that simply didn’t work out.
2-1 in games
Semifinals vs. Austin Mowrey
I had never gotten farther than the semifinals in a GP and I hoped to beat my high score this time. Austin was playing UR so I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
In the first game I had early pressure and got my opponent down to 4. I had a Guardians of Koilos and an Icy Manipulator versus a Ghitu Chronicler, Cloudreader Sphinx, Two-Headed Giant, and an Academy Journeymage that just bounced my Shalai. I tapped the Chronicler end of turn, then on my turn tapped the Journeymage and cast Fiery Intervention on the Giant, forcing a chump by the Sphinx. Unfortunately on the following turn when I recast my Shalai my opponent stole it with In Bolas’s Clutches. From there I flooded out badly as Jaya Ballard helped my opponent have plenty of cards to work with.
In the second game I did a lot of early game damage and once again my Shalai got stolen. Austin had my Shalai and a 4/4 Academy Drake, so my Pegasus Courser was fully neutralized. I still had some outs including a sideboarded Invoke the Divine, plus if I could bust through the air my opponent didn’t have much life left. I drew an Evra which helped me make sure I wouldn’t randomly die and it opened up a new out of drawing Run Amok. I eventually had Evra and Pegasus Courser in play, 14 life, and Run Amok and Healing Grace in my hand. Since Austin could have bounce or counters, I tried to be patient. Eventually Austin played a Jaya, discarding some excess lands and leaving up just three mana. At this point the only real punish could be an unkicked Blink of an Eye and I decided to go for it, swapping my life total with Evra’s power at the end of turn to give me maximum mana on my turn. I didn’t realize until I untapped that my opponent would effectively have to act first in a way that would clue me in as to whether I would Run Amok. If he blocked the Pegasus with his 4/4 Academy Drake and not the Evra, I would just pass priority, he would Blink the Evra, and I would Run Amok the Pegasus and recast the Evra. If he blocks the Evra, it’s not super likely he has the bounce effect, but I’d need to go for it regardless. He blocked the Evra and I made a humongous trampling avatar which was good enough for the win and I let out a huge sigh of relief.
The final game of the match started similarly to the others as I had a strong early game. Then my Icy Manipulator got stolen and I began flooding out while Austin continued to cement his advantage with Firefist Adept, Cold-water Snapper, and kicked Academy Drake. I really wanted to draw Invoke the Divine to get my Icy Manipulator back, but instead found an amazing topdeck waiting in Haphazard Bombardment. It killed the Firefist Adept, then the Turtle, then the Drake, so I was going to be in excellent shape if I could find the Invoke. In the meantime I had taken tons of damage as the stolen Icy made defending myself difficult. On one of the turns of the game I used Healing Grace simply as a “gain 6” while trading some two Sergeant-at-Arms tokens for a Bloodstone Goblin. At some point I found a Fiery Intervention which I could cast on my Icy, or cast it on my opponent’s 4/3, or save it. I decided to save it and Austin found an Academy Journeymage and decided to go all in with it and an Icy tap to put me to 1 life. On my turn I had to pull the trigger on the Fiery Intervention and used it on the Icy. I replayed my bounced two drop and the one I drew off the top and passed the turn, exactly not dead on board. Austin’s deck produced a Jaya which cycled some extra lands to find a lethal Ghitu Journeymage.
1-2 in games
Dream dead, dead inside, etc. I felt a lot better after walking it off, though that may have been the sleep deprivation and hunger kicking in. I was happy with what I accomplished, especially after all the difficulty I faced in previous tournaments, but my first trophy would have to wait.



Closing Thoughts Dominaria Limited has been a lot of fun. Although some color pairs are stronger than others, within each there seems to be a lot of freedom to how you construct your deck. Aggressive strategies and durdle strategies are both viable. All four of my UR decks were unique in their own way and there are many more ways to build the color combo. For me personally it seems to be the end of the road for the format since GP Sacramento will have M19 and the team Pro Tour is only Constructed. If you are going to either of those, come say hi!
One last thing-
Near the end of day 2, as I was talking to Marcus Luong about my UR drafting, I realized that through this 12 match ongoing win streak with the archetype, not once did I have Adeliz, the Cinder Wind. He pointed out that although Adeliz was not in my decks, she must have been there in spirit, guiding me to my victories. You might say that I still had Adeliz.



Previous Articles · Meet the Massdrop Teams: http://dro.ps/mtg-team-announce · *2nd* at Pro Tour Ixalan: http://dro.ps/ixalan · Unclaimed Creature Types: http://dro.ps/ari-creatures · Why I Never Drop From Tournaments: http://dro.ps/eric-nevergiveup · The Art of Sideboard Construction - Sultai Energy: http://dro.ps/jon-sideboard · A Commoner’s View on Pauper: http://dro.ps/mark-pauper · Blue Moon Beach Control: http://dro.ps/scott-bluemoon · Top 5 Modern Decks: http://dro.ps/pascal-modern · Storm in Vintage Cube: http://dro.ps/ben-storm · An Early Look at Rivals for Standard: http://dro.ps/shaun-rivals · A Standard Approach to Evaluating New Cards: http://dro.ps/rob-newcards · Drafting Rivals of Ixalan: http://dro.ps/tim-ixalan · Team Sealed Secrets: http://dro.ps/eric-secrets · Steal My Standard Ideas: http://dro.ps/tommy-secrets · Vexing Devil. Any Questions?: http://dro.ps/jon-devil · Team Massdrop Rivals of Ixalan Limited Primer: http://dro.ps/ari-primer · Gestation of RG Eldrazi: http://dro.ps/ben-gestation · Top Tim Tournament Training Tips: http://dro.ps/tim-tips · What Makes Someone Bogle?: http://dro.ps/tommy-bogle · A Pauper Adventure: http://dro.ps/pascal-pauper · Blue Moon at GP Phoenix: http://dro.ps/rob-bluemoon · Brawling into Dominaria: http://dro.ps/scott-brawling · Looking at The Current Lands(cape) of Legacy http://dro.ps/jarvis-land · Deconstructing Dominaria Limited: http://dro.ps/jon-dominaria · Diving into Dominaria Standard: http://dro.ps/mark-dominaria · What are your.. drives?: http://dro.ps/tommy-drives · Top 10 Cards for Dominaria Modern: http://dro.ps/rob-dominaria · Brewing Standard with Dominaria: http://dro.ps/pascal-dominaria · Dominaria Team Sealed: A Case Study: http://dro.ps/tim-dominaria · Battlebonding in Vintage and Legacy: http://dro.ps/jarvis-battlebond · Decks I Almost Played at PT Dominaria: http://dro.ps/ben-dominaria · RB Chainwhirler for the Non-Aggressive Player: http://dro.ps/jon-chainwhirler
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