PTQ Report 12/5 Brisbane – *1st*

Posted on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 by Levi Hinz, aka Weasel
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Posted in mtg, Tournament Report

The Brisbane qualifier for PT Paris was this past weekend, and it was the first PTQ in Brisbane in 6 months, so it felt like forever since I had a chance to get to the PT. Unless you count GP Sydney, but that was a hideous event for me. 0-6 in games in the main event, and 2-2 in the PTQ side event.

It’s for that reason that I’ve barely practiced the Scars of Mirrodin format at all. I’ve done a total of 2 drafts in the past 6 weeks. I was convinced that I couldn’t really get an edge in this format and would likely be a victim to my sealed pool, so I spent time focusing on poker…I mean losing money at poker. I also made the poor decision to drink the night before, so I was super seedy on the morning of the event.

I had my mate Justin Cheung from Sydney staying at my house for this event, which was a little scary as he’s really, really good and we’ve have far too many Brisbane events poached by interstate players, but he’s a good guy and if he’s good enough to win it, then so be it.

So all I had under my belt was roughly 5 sealed pools and 15 drafts, and the knowledge that the bombs are really, really good in this format, and good removal is essential. Lack of removal (well, and lack of bombs) was why I did so poorly at the GP, so I was most keen for a removal heavy pool at this event.

My sealed deck:

Other notable cards were:

Dispense Justice
Seize the Initiative
Glint Hawk
Chrome Steed
Auriok Replica
Heavy Arbalest
Abuna Acolyte

So what stuck out for me was the sweet colorless bombs and good red removal. Sick as. I then had a choice between white and maybe blue, but ended up going white for the Arrest, Smith, and Hawks. The last card I cut was the Chrome Steed, as my artifact count was perhaps a little bit low, and a card that was sometimes a 4/4 but more often a 2/2 wasn’t going to cut it in my super-controlling deck.

Round 1: Robbie Jackway

Robbie is a real solid player, and apparently one of the few QLD players who can top 8 at Nats PTQ. His deck is pretty sick here, but my draws were so amazing that him playing Myr Battlesphere and Contagion Engine didn’t phase me at all. My own Engine and Oxidda Scrapmelter cleaned him up. In game 2 I beat him by assembling the Bloodshot Trainee combo, and I also had another Trainee as backup should he deal with the first.

2-0 games, 1-0 matches

Round 2: Kobi Mccleod

As I’m approaching the table, Kobi says “I’m not playing you, am I!?” I slow roll it for a bit, look around at all the surrounding table numbers with a puzzled look before sitting down across from him. I also messed with his head a bit, saying “Wow, did you win? How did that happen?” Trattman laughed at me for trying to tilt a 12 year old, but it was all in good fun, as I have a history of trash talk with Kobi.

Nothing too exciting happened in the matches, I assembled a machine gun in one game, and in the other I just played big dudes. Notably I had to recast my 8 drop a few times because he had Dissipation Field. His deck was actually really, really good, with Venser, The Sojourner plus good effects to use it with, but my deck came out too fast.

4-0 games, 2-0 matches

Round 3: Dale Wright

Something really wacky happened with the pairings this round, so players got paired based on their round 1 points, rather than their round 2 points. So a bunch of win-win players were paired with win-loss players. I got paired down to Dale.

Game one was a bit of a race, he had infinite 2/2 flyers and I had some sizable guys and Spikeshot Elder. Eventually the Elder became active for 3 pings. His board was 3 artifacts, including Rust Tick and Rustic Golem. On his turn he casts Tempered Steel, and I screw up by not killing his Rust Tick in response. I end up having to chump block the Rustic Golem and just cant get back into the game despite killing a bunch of his artifacts.

Game 2 is really close too, but I recover just enough to stay alive with some powerful artifacts. However he draws like a champ, ripping multiple Sylvok Replicas off the top. I end up at about 2 life when we’re both empty again, and I end up assembling some equipment and dudes and attack him from 26 down to zero before he draws any more threats.

Game 3 he doesn’t draw very well and my sweet removal cleans him up.

6-1 games, 3-0 matches

Round 4: James Jackway and Jerimiah

I haven’t seen James in the 18 months since his accident. He was working as a rescue helicopter paramedic, being winched onto a ship when a cable snapped and he smashed his spine. Still, he hadn’t lost his ability to play magic, so with his nephew Jerimiah holding the cards and taking orders, he’s battled his way to 3-0. Not that he needed much help with Sunblast Angel, Hoardsmelter Dragon, and Geth, Lord of the Vault in his deck.

Game 1 started out pretty well, I dealt with many of his threats after taking early damage, and we were both roughly 6 life while he had an empty board and I had 3 creatures. He then topdecks Hoardsmelter Dragon and I scoop to it.

Game 2 I assembled 2x Bloodshot Trainee combo! I did take a bit of extra damage here and there though, because I never wanted to tap both of them in his turn and lose them to Sunblast Angel. (Sunblast Angel is seriously the best card to know is in your opponents deck.) Eventually I build up a board and he either just drew the Sunblast, or was slow-rolling it. He kills about 3 of my creatures including one of the trainees, and I’m able to kill the Angel and control the game.

Game 3 he just draws mostly land and none of his bombs, and I’m able to play my power cards and overwhelm him.

8-2 games, 4-0 matches

Round 5: Kyle Trattler

So somehow I don’t know anything about Kyles deck at this point, strange given I’ve sat next to him a few times. In Game 1 he plays some UW lands and spells, and I assemble 2x Bloodshot Trainee with 1 equipment. I end up taking a bit of extra damage from his guys because I’m not sure if he has Sunblast Angel, but in the end I take way more damage than I should, playing around an Angel when at times he didn’t have the mana to play it!

Still, even when playing poorly its difficult to lose with two cannons on the table.

In game 2, I mulligan a crap hand into a 1-lander, which was Mountain, Darksteel Axe, Iron Myr, Glint Hawk Idol, Oxidda Scrapmelter, and Contagion Clasp. So many powerful spells for not many mana,so I keep it on the draw. I miss on turn 2, but get there on turns 3 and 4, and play out all my awesome spells while he struggles to maintain a board presence.

Turns out his deck has TWO Venser, The Sojourner, and a bunch of good effects to abuse, but his deck never gets online.

10-2 games, 5-0 matches.

So my deck provided the nuts for 5 rounds, and I lost 1 game to a dragon and 1 game to me being an idiot. Good times. In the next two rounds I ID with Justin Cheung and Rory O’Hagan. In the end, there’s a few too many IDs, and one player ID’s themself out of top 8. Rough beats.

Top 8

There’s some discussion about what the easiest way would be to allow James to draft, and in the end he said he’d be happy to have Jerimiah hold the cards up for him to indicate his pick. To make it easier the draft was untimed. Seating was:

  1. James Jackway
  2. Chris Worrell
  3. Matthew Tyrell
  4. Thor Whilmer
  5. Levi Hinz
  6. Rory O’Hagan
  7. Nathan Wintle
  8. Justin Cheung

So I would face James in the Quarters. Also interesting that I wouldn’t face Justin until the finals, but I was fairly confident he’d at least make the finals, because he’s amazing.

My first pack I open Kuldotha Pheonix and Shatter, preferring the “Take the bomb and hope it works out” over the “keep options open” approach. 2nd pick was an Arc Trail over Shatter, which was unfortunate for signals, and then a 3rd pick Arrest landed in my pile. Nothing much else happened in pack 1 other than me taking a few blue cards because it seemed underdrafted. Also of note was a Sunspear Shikari, and I was hoping to take a few more equipment for the Shikari deck later on.

In pack two my first pick was weak but somehow I ended up with A THIRD PICK PRECURSOR GOLEM!!! It was foil, so the rare and an uncommon were missing. I don’t know what the rare was, but Rory to my left took Skinrender. I think the Golem is probably better but its debatable. Still I wasn’t complaining. I continued to get a bunch of red removal spells and white creatures, and I hate drafted some big blue flyers and a few infect cards. Both those archetypes were being severely underdrafted it seemed. I also grabbed a Bloodshot Trainee and a Barbed Battlegear in this pack.

Pack 3 had a Oxidda Scrapmelter and Glimmerpoint Stag. It would have been nicer to see them in different packs but I can’t complain about opening a Scrapmelter. I also got a Stag later on so its all good. I couldn’t find any more equipment for my shikari and Trainee other than a Strider Harness, which obviously doesn’t work with the Trainee but hopefully it would be useful.

In the end my deck was just like my sealed: Red removal, combos, and a few bombs.

Quarterfinals: James Jackway and Jerimiah

James was poison in this draft. Game 1 he was pretty slow though, and I had 3/3’s at the right time to trade with Ichorclaw Myr. I went to about 3 poison but assembled the cannon to wrap up the game.

Game 2 I was pretty slow. He didn’t have a 2 drop but had Cystbearer on 3. I had Bloodshot Trainee on turn 4, but I didn’t have the Battlegear, so I decided the best use of Trainee was to block the Cystbearer twice. Unlucky for me I drew the Battlegear after the first block. I didn’t really have other plays so I played a Strider Harness, but then my brain started working and I realized I could double equip the Bloodshot Trainee to get him active. He had a Strider Harness as well, and also a Tel Jilad Fallen, So I went to 9 poison while mopping up his team. He didn’t have much more after that so I managed to win while on the brink of death.

Semifinals: Matthew Tyrell

He had a RWg removal deck as well, except that his removal was way better than mine. “Sometimes a 1/1 myr goes all the way” he said. Double Arrest, double Dispense Justice, Shatters, Bolts, Slags, etc. He’s also hella greedy and has Acid-Web Spider as well. I was not feeling confident.

Game 1 I had Kuldotha Phoenix and Precursor Golem in hand, but he being pretty loose with how he held his hand and let me see what looked like an Arrest in his hand. I played Precursor Golem first and he had Revoke Existence, and then had Arrest for my Phoenix. I debated casting Turn to Slag on my phoenix and regrowing him, but I only had 3 artifact and figured he’d be able to kill one. He did play Acid-Web Spider, and flickered it with Stag, to kill the two equipment I had in play. I drew blanks for many, many turns and he stuck a creature which went all the way.

Game 2 I’m sketchy on the details, but I’m pretty sure it involved some flyers wearing a Battlegear. 6 power flyers? You betcha!

Game 3 he mulliganed to 6, tanked, and kept. He was basically on 1 land for most of the game, while I had turn 2 myr, turn 3 myr, turn 4 Precursor Golem + Glint Hawk to ensure at least one 3/3 was getting through should he have removal. He scooped.

Finals: Justin Cheung

So the lone invader from Sydney crashes at my house and then we meet in the finals. Like I said, Juzza is amazing. Unfortunately I hadn’t seen anything of his deck as I was playing longer than him both matches. It was probably sick though.

Game 1 He plays turn two Riddlesmith, and on turn 3 he triggers it twice but still misses land 3. Turn 4 he plays a Myr and misses again. But this point he’s discarded Sky-Eel School and Volition Reins, which he now believes was a mistake. It was also possibly a mistake of mine to not trade my myr with his Riddlesmith, but I kept it instead to play turn 4 Kuldotha Pheonix. he plays a Grand Architect, which powers out a bunch of nuts stuff, and we’re racing. I get a Snapsail Glider in play along with a Myr and Pheonix, and he’s tapped out after an attack. I draw Glint Hawk, so I’m able to attack with all three of my guys to put him at 6, then bounce and replay the myr to allow for chump blocking. He attacks with everything but the Architect, I chump with my myr, and use Panic Spellbomb to make his Flight Spellbomb irrelevant on the attack back.

Game 2 his had Architect again, and I Arrest it. He has a Sky-Eel School which I momentarily forget is a 4/4, while pondering whether I should offer a trade with an equipped Glint Hawk. I work it out before I make any dumb plays though. I play some cards, he atacks, and then I play a Glimmerpoint Stag which gets in there for haste with the Glint Hawk, and we’re racing. He has Volition Reins though, and cracks back with a hasted Stag. I try to Revoke Existence on his Reins, but he Disperses to get it back. I crack back again and play a Necropede, and equip that instead of the stag so he can’t haste me.

I’m on really low life though and he has a 4/4 flyer and a Reins in hand. I’m trying to work out if I can win if I draw Pheonix but I’m pretty sure I’m dead. He plays WURMCOIL ENGINE though and its a lot more obvious that I’m dead.

In game 3 I again have the turn four Kuldotha Phoenix, but he sideboarded in a Bonds of Quicksilver which deals with it. I have 5 mana including 2 myr, and use Turn to Slag on his Grand Architect, lose one of my myr to Instill Infection, and then use Oxidda Scrapmelter the following turn on his Moriok Replica. I’m struggling to find 6 land so I can get in with Flameborn Hellion, but I attack anyway with Oxidda Scrapmelter and Myr into his Perilous Myr. He tanks and decides to trade with Scrapmelter, and he now has a 3/3 flyer to my 1/1 myr. I drop my 5th mana and a Snapsail Glider, and we trade 3 damage for turn or two, then eventually I draw a sixth mana to cast my haste guy. He keeps attacking, but my beats are just too fast, and the best chump blocker he can find is a Necrogen Scudder which makes him lose 3 life anyway, so my next attack is exactly lethal with help of Arc Trail. He’s holding 3 land.

So after 3 years and a string of second-to-fourth-place finishes, I’ve finally won another PTQ! I’ve been excited about the idea of the super-pro-tour ever since I heard the Magic Weekend announcement. For those who haven’t heard, that means there’s a Pro Tour and Grand Prix on the same weekend in Paris, and I get to play in both of them. So cool!


  • James Jackway – For being a champ. You can break his back but not his spirit nor his magical ability.
  • Jerimiah – For spending 8 hours holding and tapping cards for uncle James. You did a great job, kid.
  • Juzza – For not beating me and stealing another Brisbane PTQ :P Bad luck mate!

Slops – How can there be slops, I’m going to Paris!

Thanks for reading.

– Levi Hinz