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Grand Prix Nashville - Sealed Scars of Mirrodin

Matthew Ratz
Monday November 29th, 2010

This will be a lengthy report as there are 16 Rounds I played. If you want the short and sweet, I started the tournament with 1 Bye. I went 7-2 Day 1 which qualified me for Day 2. I won the last round of Swiss Making me 8-2 before the drafting started. First Draft of Day 2 I went 1-2 and the Second Draft I went 2-1 Finishing the Event at 11-5 I missed the money ($200) by 1 point which was sad, but overall the experience was fantastic. I beat two Pros that I know of but I didn't / don't know anyone that everyone else appears to know. I was wrongfully pissed for about 30 minutes, and I got visited by the judges on a handful of occasions.

If you haven't played in a Big Sealed event before than some of this may be new to you, but most probably not. We started the day with table assignments and our 6 packs. (We also got a GP Jitte and a nice little Deck Box). We open packs, and set out registerring every card we open. I open poop, which is fine as I most likely will not be playing it. I Register all the cards and pack it up. The gentleman directly to my left is having a very difficult time alphabetizing the artifacts as their are a billion of them. (Helpful Hint: I divided mine into A-M and N-Z for faster sorting) After registering, we were instructed to pass the decks across the table so they could be verified that the cards written were infact there. We did this and then we passed the decks back. Then we pass our decks to the Left twice and stop. These are now the decks we will play. I was stoked! As I could see the deck I was being passed while it was being registered. (Hoard Smelter Dragon, trip Galvanic Blast, double Turn to Slag, double Shatter among others) MY glee quickly turned to anger when I find out the cards I am expecting are not in the deck box. It appears the two who were responsible for this deck did not "un-pass" after they verified the decklists. I was pissed and I let it be known. I called a judge, and he said where the decks are is where they stay.

So now I start building a deck from what appears to be a pile of feces. I do have good cards, but not compared to what I was "supposed" to have. First I build an Infect deck, and hate it. Infect is terrible in limited unless you are able to draft the nuts. Sealed is not the nuts. So I make a last minute switch from Infect to a moderate Red / White build. The artifact base is pretty much unchanged between the two decks, So I know If one fails hard I will be able to switch relatively easy during sideboarding. After deck-building, I go find some friends to discuss how I got hosed. This is where I find out that we were not supposed to switch back. I ask multiple people and in fact I am the one who did the wrong thing by passing the deck back. Whoops. Not so much pissed anymore. Noob Point 1

Rust Tick
Chrome Steed
Sunspear Shikari
Iron Myr
Kemba's Skyguard
Sylvok Replica
Blade-Tribe Berserker
Glimmerpoint Stag
Auriok Sunchaser
Etched Champion
Precursor Golem
Darksteel Juggernaut
Abuna Acolyte

Instants / Sorceries
Galvanic Blast
Arc Trail
Revoke Existence
Tumble Magnet x 2
Trigon of Corruption x 2
Sylvok Lifestaff
Origin Spellbomb
Glint Hawk Idol
Panic Spellbomb

Plains x 9
Mountain x 5
Copperline Gorge

Relevant Sideboard
Necrogen Censer
Wall of Tanglecord
Soul Parry
Relevant Infect
Corpse Cur x 2
Tangle Angler
Blight Mamba
Tel-Jilad Fallen
Ichorclaw Myr
Trigon of Infestation
Throne of Geth

Unplayed Rares
Ezuri's Brigade
Engulfing Slagwurm (Foil)

Round 1 : Bye
Record 1-0 (Off to a good start!)

Round 2 : Benjamin Saenz

This match was pretty straight forward stomping. I won the die roll and am on the play. Ended the first game still at 20 and the Second at 19 After Kemba's Skyguard and my opponent popping his Volshok Replica on me. He was playing a Red / White build with nothing substantial that I saw. He played Tumble Magnets and the Volshok Replica. Nothig else really of note except an Elspeth Tirel that I crushed as his board only had the three tokens and I had Precursor Golem, Kemba's Skyguard and Auriok Sunchaser.

Match 2-0
Record 2-0

Round 3 : Brian Six

This guy seriously looks like Napoleon Dynamite but I don't bring it up. (Was I supposed to?)

He wins the die roll and decides to draw. Sweet! Of course that means he is playing some kind of control right? I win the first, lose the second, and win the third. He is playing Blue / White and his deck is pretty slow and has very few early creatures. His deck does have a Contagion Engine, Contagion Clasp, Soliton and Heavy Arbilesque. He see's the Contagion Engine EVERY game and even bounces it with a Glint Hawk in game 2. Luckily for me it doesn't seem he can back it up. It pretty much Wraths my board every time it hits, but then I just play another creature and it seems to go unaswered. This was also my first experience with a judge as I was tracked down because I had neglected to write my name and/or DCI number on my deck list. Noob Point 2.

Match 2-1 | Sided out Trigon of Corruption for Necrogen Censer
Record 3-0

Round 4 : James Walker

James sat next to me the previous match, so I knew in advance that he was playing Green / Black Infect. Good information before the match starts. I win the die roll, and am on the play. First game he Mulls to 6 and doesn't draw any Infect. I blow him out still at 20 and wonder if maybe he has 2 different decks built and this was not the Infect one. He also gets me with Contagion Engine in the first game which is still like a Wrath. Second game he mulls to 5. Turn four he Slice in Twain's something, can't remember, and then Putrefax on turn 5. He later draws a Corpse Cur returning Putrefax, and the following turn swing for 7 infect. I block the Corpse Cur and play Soul Parry. Game over. After the match, he says "Soul Parry eh?" I reply with "I hear it is good against Infect" Luckily for me he sat next to me the previous round as our first game had zero Infect in it. This match had my second interaction with a judge. After sideboarding for the second game, I present my deck and then look at the card I had sided out. Look at it and put it on top of my deck box. Right when I did this, a Judge slaps his hand on the table yells stop and says "Give me the Decks." I pretty much immediatly freak out. Is it illegal to look at your sideboard after you present? Did he watch me mis-sideboard? I was confused. I was flustered and he was bald and looked mad. It probably only took 15 seconds, but it felt longer as the players sitting next to me explained it was just a simple random deck check. Oh..... Noob Point 3.

Match 2-0 | Sided out Darksteel Juggernaut for Soul Parry
Record 4-0

Round 5 : (No Name)

This guy has on a Harry Potter scarf, and his friends behind me keep saying "Go Gryffendor" funny. He wins the die roll and lets me play. Second time this has happened I assume control again. First game, I crush him until Steel Hellkite hits the table. I hold it off for 6 turns with a Tumble Magnet and Glimmerpoint Stag that bounces the Tumble Magnet, but I never see a permanent answer and lose. He is not playing control, he is playing Red / White much like mine (with a Steel Hellkite) Which makes me wonder why he chose to be on the draw. I win the second game after a Glimmerpoint Stag resolves targeting Precursor Golem. He has no answers and gets pounded. Third game I apparently didn't take the best of notes. I only have "4 lands" written down. Which is the top of my curve, but I lost that game and apparently I needed more lands, who knows. Game, Gryffendor.

Match 1-2 | Sided out Darksteel Juggernaut for Wall of Tanglecord
Record 4-1

Round 6 : Joseph Pamalon

Joseph is playing Black / Blue / Red. He, like the others before him, wins the die roll and chooses to be on the draw. I am in full on crush mode until Carnifex Demon hits the table. Yay! So now, I have three creatures, and a Arc Trail in hand. I am running through any and every possible scenario that will get me out of this situation. He has open black, and the only way his Demon will die is if He blocks and doesn't use the ability.... But while trying to do the math and make my decision, a judge walks over and says, "Someone needs to take a turn." As if we (me specifically) were just slow playing. It could have only been a minute tops. Anyway, I attack, he does use the ability. So I lose. Pretty rough. Game two, is a good one, I get out early like the deck is supposed to and hit the wall that is Contagion Engine. I Revoke Existence it before it can do it's proliferate thing and start to take beats from his Soliton. I eventually lay double Tumble Magnet, which are next to useless against Soliton. He is at 8 when I draw my Blade-Tribe Berserker. He has two blue untapped. I drop it as a 6/6 haster and swing away. He untaps the Soliton and blocks. Now, of course before he blocks I have the chance to tap it (twice because he has an extra island) and get him down to 2. I choose to not do that as I don't know that I will be able to get those last 2 points in and his Soliton is bigger than my creatures. He block, Soliton Dies. I'm pretty sure it was the right play and I did win the game, so it must have been, right? Game three is pretty one sided again until the Contagion Engine hits... again. I am still able to play more creatures and I get him down to 5 with an expired Necrogen Censer in play and a Glimmerpoint Stag in hand. He plays Carnifax, which isn't enough and I draw a Galvanic Blast, so I have 3 ways to win the game. Shake hands, Good luck and move on.

Match 2-1 | Sided out Abuna Acolyte for Necrogen Censer
Record 5-1

Round 7 : Patrick Chapin

Being the only name that I would ever recognize, I go back to check the pairing a second time to make sure I wasn't seeing things. Nope, my eyes work fine. I sit down and he doesn't look like what I thought he looked like, don't know where I got my picture from. Anyway, we sit down shuffle and chit chat. I pretend I don't know who he, or anyone for that matter, is. He tells me "I'm not very good." So we were both playing it down. We have what appears to be a 95% same pool. At least the cards we played. He played Black / White with a Contagion Clasp that I didn't have, and he didn't have the Trigon's of Corruption. He plays a "guess which hand the penny is in" game to see who goes first I guess wrong. He chooses to go second... again... I ask him what the deal is as he is the 4th player to do this. He doesn't really give me an answer, probably wants to keep the super secret pro tech to himself. Game one is a blow out unitl I make the most pro-play a newbie to a giant tournament could ever dream to make. He is at 5, I have Galvanic Blast in hand. He also has a Moriok Replica I am just hoping he pops... He never does. Anyway, Pro-Play. He drops a Precursor Golem. Cool. I draw Precursor Golem. I don't have metalcraft to Use the Galvanic Blast on his Golems, so what would a pro do? Drop my Precursor Golem to give me metalcraft. 5 artifacts now, time to Galvanic Blast away. I hit his Precursor Golem. And He says, "So that kills all the golems right?" And I look around like "Wait?" Cause we both have Rust Tick in a perpetual lock down. No, those aren't golems. "Yep," I reply. and then he says, "Yours too," Pointing to my Precursor Golem. DOH! So I used my Precursor Golem to get metalcraft to kill his Precursor Golem. Pretty pro if you ask me. Little does Chapin know that I had a Sylvok Lifestaff in hand so I didn't need to lose the game in order to get metalcraft! His two friends who were standing behind me knew it though. As they immediately took 3 steps backwards and began discussing. That's the game, I lose.

Game is slightly easier, as he keeps a terrible hand, and gets stuck on two lands. Game three he lets me go first, Thanks, and the game for me is very similar to the first two. I play creatures and beat face. He gets the Contagion Clasp, Necrogen Censer combo on-line and keeps using that, which doesn't allow him to play anything relevant. I can only assume his hand is garbage. On his last turn, he is taking FOREVER, doing who knows what. We have a huge crowd watching with a judge on his left. Judge is kinda chit chatting with another spectator the first time I look up at him. The second time, he is staring at his watch presumably thinking the same thing I am. The third time I look at him he is looking at me, and shakes his head in agreement. But never tells Chapin to make a play. It is also around this time that I realize that throughout the entire first game, I was holding a Revoke Existence. It was in my opener, and it was the only card in my hand when I lost game one. I contemplated using it 1000 times to break my Rust Tick out of the Rust Tick lock, but never did. I then thought that Revoke Existence would have been an excellent way to kill his Precursor Golems. My ears got hot, real hot. Anyway, he has no real play. He swings with Glimmerpoint Stag which I block with Etched Champion (metalcraft). He then plays a Glint Hawk Idol, and I assume hopes I don't move my Strider Harness off My Razor Hippogriff onto my Glint Hawk Idol (He's at 3 with no cards). I win game three and the match. None of the games were close except the one I chose to lose.

Patrick had a weird style about him and I can only assume it was intentional. He would take his time, A LONG time to make his decisions, and then start chatting or something and make plays real quick as if to try and make me lose track of what was going on. It was kind of weird, but never effective. Maybe he was doing it because he saw how adept I was at screwing myself over and just thought he's help out with the confusion. Either way I got him in the end I was happy. Word on the street was that Patrick tweeted about me saying "My opponent used his Precursor Golem to get metalcraft to kill my Precursor Golem" Which was rather benign compared to what actually happened. I'm sure someone had to tell him what I was holding.

Match 2-1 | Sided out Darksteel Juggernaut for Necrogen Censer
Record 6-1

Round 8 : Nick Henning

This match wasn't very interesting. I lose the die roll, and again get to go first. I win the first game pretty easy as he is playing Black / Red / White and has mana issues. Second game he sticks a Bloodshot Trainee with a Darksteel Axe. I have one chance for him to block and get his guy Arc Trailed, he respectfully declines. I take a couple more draws, hoping for removal, find none and concede. My hand was FANTASTIC, aside from the fact that all the creatures had toughness 4 or less. Sad Face. Game three Was a really close game that he got in the end I make one play where I neg his Darksteel Juggernaut with Trigon of Corruption instead of his Glint Hawk Idol so he can block my Kemba's Skyguard and trade. I don't think that cost me the game as the Darksteel Juggernaut would have been 1 bigger (he didn't need to block yet) while I could swing for 2 flying.

Side note, Nick is ranked second overall after Day 1.
Match 1-2 | Sided out Darksteel Juggernaut for Necrogen Censer
Record 6-2

Round 9 : Brian Zunter

This is the bubble match. I am nervous, but my opponent appears to be "Not a good player" his playmat says otherwise as it has 3 top-8 pins on it, but those could all be from constructed events where he piloted Jund, who knows. Brian is playing the all-American Deck, very patriotic. Game one, he let me win which I am very grateful for. He has bigger creatures than me and a Barrage Ogre on board with a couple of artifacts. I have two artifacts, (one being a Chrome Steed) and an Auriok Sunchaser on board. I play my third artifact which he does not respond to, so I take my free gift of metalcraft and bigger creatures and beat face. After game one he comments, "You know I was going to win next turn." Which gets the response of "You know I DID win that turn." He says "Yeah" and kind of shrinks away. Game two was a beatdown although he did rip an Revoke Existence off a spellbomb to kill my Precursor Golem. It did, however, fail to kill all my other creatures and he lost. Match over, he gave a weak limp wristy handshake, just fingers, kinda weird.

Match 2-0
Record 7-2

WOOOT I made it to day 2!

Day 2

Round 10 : Zack Hall

Round 10 was the last round of Swiss although it counted toward Day 2. Zack was playing a Red / White Deck but it wasn't very notable as I have no notes on it. He won the die roll and went second and I won two consecutive games, the first at 14 life and the second still at 20.

Match 2-0
Record 8-2

So, it turns out the deck that I thought was garbage was really agressive and good. I do think that I luck sacked a ton as I never saw a single Oxxida Scrapmelter, nor did I ever really see much removal at all. Contagion Engine mostly, but I feel very fortunate for my match-ups as I know some decks were crazy stacked with removal. I should have played Necrogen Censer over Darksteel Juggernaut since i sided it out nearly every game. Round 10 was also played on Day 1, although it counted for Day 2. So anyway, I can go and sleep now. 10 rounds is a lot of Magic for one day.

The morning of Day 2 I get a 15 minute crash course from Nate Huff and Dan Crawford. Not that I don't know how to draft, but they offer some insight into specific picks and that Infect is terrible etc...

Draft #1

I had planned on taking pictures of my pick order so I could remember and comment on them, but I didn't, so I can't. The Draft was crazy strict organized. Nothing going to go wrong there, Wizards is sure of that. All the cards are stamped with specific stamps for each pack so there is zero chance of slipping in extra cards. I try to play Red / White as it is typically real strong while people fight over Infect. A few Notables, I wasn't really in a color until pack three. You can do that when most of your picks are artifacts. Pick 4 of pack 2, I have a choice of Glimmerpoint Stag, Origin Spellbomb, Glint Hawk, Glint Hawk Idol, and Tumble Magnet. All Great Picks, probably higher than 4th and in the color I want to play.... Why can't they come in seperate packs? I take the Tumble Magnet and ship the color away. Pack three I open an Indomitable Archangel and then get passed 3 Razor Hippogriff. So I'm pretty stoked.

Here's the Deck I built:

Indomitable Archangel
Razor Hippogriff x 3
Necropede x 2
Perilous Myr
Iron Myr
Gold Myr
Sunspear Shikari
Glint Hawk
Saberclaw Golem

Instants / Sorceries
Turn to Slag x 2
Seize the Initiative
Tumble Magnet
Strider Harness x 2
Sylvok Lifestaff
Origin Spellbomb
Panic Spellbomb
Accorder's Shield

Plains x 10
Mountains x 7
Relevant Sideboard
Tower of Calamaties
(Should have played this over Saberclaw Golem)

Round 11 : Tom Martell
Tom is Playing Black / Green Poison and gets blown out in the first game (I have 2 poison counters). Necropede is really good against Infect and I have 2. They also Recur with Razor Hippogriff. Game two is an entirely different story as he lands an Ascetecism and I have no removal for enchantments. We play a little, but it is pretty much over. Game 3 I get out early with a Sunspear Shikari. Equip Accorder's Shield on 3 and Strider Harness on 4 and start Gaining Life. I stop swinging at some point because he stabalizes with Wall of Tanglecord and Ascetecism. Not thinking clearly, (My life total doesn't matter against Infect Right?) I should have continued to attack just for the lifegain as Bellow Tanglewurm started to drain my life fast. As far as the Infect is concerned, luckily for me he only has 1 Plague Stinger and needs it to block as I have out Indomitable Archangel< and a Razor Hippogriff. I rip a Tumble Magnet and think "Game Over!" Then I remember Ascetecism. Poop. I then Rip Shatter. Same Poop. Drawing dead cards that are usually really good kinda sucks. I eventually get a third flyer and equipment to swing for the fences. I win the third game after Tom realizes he can only get in for a total of 9 poison. He was by far the most pleasant person I played on Day 2, but apparently was very upset after the fact!

After the match Dan Crawford asked "Do you know who that was?" "No idea." "That's Tom Martell!" "He's a super Pro." "Oh? and he was playing Infect?" "Yep, Just cause you're a pro doesn't make you a good drafter." But he was a great player. And my other supporter, Nate Huff, walked out mid Game 3 as I was sure to lose. Where's the faith? Match 2-1
Record 9-2

Round 12 : John Kolos

John is playing Blue / White. I don't know what his deck really is supposed to do until game 2 when I find out hard. Game 1 was a blowout, as all my game 1's seemed to be He gets out an Argentum Armor which he gets to use once and then gets slagged. He also has a Clone Shell that hits Grand Architect. Nothing Great. Game two I am rocking again. He mulls to 6 and appears to be mana shy. Stuck on 2, he plays a mana myr and then Pallidum Myr and then a myr reservoir. This is when things get bad. Myr Battlesphere hits the table followed by Myr Galvanizer. I have him at 1 life and cannot finish. The turn I think I have him he plays a Golem Artisan Which lets him chump block my 2 fliers. At some point he also played a Sunblast Angel which I tapped with the Tumble Magnet to also kill. He was generous enough to give me 2 extra turns as with a Myr Battlesphere and Myr Galvanizer on board he has more than enough damage, and I have zero cards in hand. But alas, I could not draw an out. Game three was better and worse. He doesn't Battlesphere, but he does play a Myr Propagator. And a Heavy Arbilesque and an Argentum Armor. I work around the Arbilesque by tapping anything he tries to equip and Turn to Slag the Argentum Armor Which he gets back with Salvage Scout. In the end He has to much mana and to many activated abilities he can use. And I draw 5 lands in a row. I did make a minor misplay, possibly, blocking with Perilous Myr I targeted his Myr Propagator. I should have just hit his face, taking him to 4. Not that I could have gone anywhere from there, but 4 is lower than 6.

Match 1-2
Record 9-3

Round 13 : David Humad

David was playing Blue / White metalcraft. His deck was really good, and he was also really pleasant, so not just Tom. Game 1 was a blowout, with him still at 20. I would play somethng, and he would bounce it. be it Dismiss, or Lumingrid Drake. I didn't have much to do. Game two was thankfully different. We were both agressive and I did my best to keep him off metalcraft. He plays his Sunblast Angel which is so much a bomb. I am able to play through it and get game 2. Game 3 I feel I have a fantastic Hand. 3 lands, Indomitable Archangel, Razor Hippogriff. First draw is a land, and then another Hippogriff. The problem with the hand was that I never drew any of the little guys, Perilous Myr or Necropede, so while Razor Hippogriff is fantastic as a 3/3 flyer, it is not doing it's second duty. I don't think that it matters much since I am swinging in for 7 and he has no blockers. He does have double Chrome Steed and I blast 1. The very next turn.... Sunblast Angel. Game over. Lots of things I probably could have done, I probably over extended attcking with bth creatures, knowing he has the Sunblast Angel. I could have waited on the Slag for the Angel, but then he still has 2 Chrome Steeds for 8. It was a rough game, and I don't think anything different would have had a different outcome. But I did have options I suppose.

Match 1-2
Record 9-4

Draft #2

Starting this draft, it is apparent that we are not at the table of "Good" drafters. They were however good at sucking out any and all removal they saw. I though my first Draft deck was Awesome, and it was. Sunblast Angel wrecked my tournament, but the Deck was very good. This second deck was not. I had super beatdown and if you couldn't deal with that, then you were in trouble. But if you had removal, or say.... a flyer, then I was going to lose.

Here's the Deck I drafted:
Precursor Golem
Chrome Steed
Trinket Mage x 2
Sky-Eel School
Sunspear Shikari x 2
Glimmerpoint Stag
Gold Myr

Instansts and Sorceries
Revoke Existence
Seize the Initiative
Lux Cannon
Glint Hawk Idol x 2
Liquimetal Coating
Rusted Relic x 3
Accorder's Shield
Darksteel Axe
Flight Spellbomb
Nihil Spellbomb

Plains x 9
Islands x 8

Relevant Sideboard
Soul Parry

Round 14 : Steven Hicke

Steven's Deck is pretty terrible. But he does have one of my cryptonites in the form of flyers, or at least a Bladed Pinions that gives his crazy big dinosaurs flying and first strike. I crushed him in the first game, and lose the next two as I have no way to deal with Bladed Pinions. Yay.

Match 1-2
Record 9-5

Round 15 : Brian Kowal

I am fairly pissed right now. Pretty sure I am out of the top 64, but nobody knows for sure, so I am playing for 1 more loss. Brian is terrible deck #2. He is playing Red / Green / Blue. I get out fast and roll him pretty easily. He doesn't do much except play big dinosaurs and lose. I did get to play next to millionaire David Williams who lets me have it for complaining my deck was bad and then landing Rusted Relic, Rusted Relic, Precursor Golem. Whatever.

Match 2-0
Record 10-5

Round 16 : Joseph Price

Joseph is terrible deck #3. He is playing a Blue / Green Infect / Proliferate Deck. His most effective weapon seems to be Grindclock which he gets up to 6-7 counters and then loses. In the second game he does manage to get me to 7 poison counters and that is about it. My Tournament ends in a whimper.

Match 2-0
Record 11-5

So that was Grand Prix Nashville for me. Day 1 I felt extremely fortunate for my matchups and the lack of removal I faced. Day 2 was pretty terrible with Sunblast Angels and a terrible terrible second draft pod. I played and beat 2 pros, and never made a play mistake that cost me a match (that I know of). I look forward to playing more such tournaments in the future, and I encourage everyone to try them out also!


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