Mar
21

Monsters in the Dark, A PTQ Report Part 2

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Hi again guys, in Part One of my PTQ Journey into Nyx mentioned the deck archetype and on how we came up to pilot that deck for the tournament. Here in the second part will discuss the pseudo-preparation that we made, trip coverage and a tournament report summary. First up, here is again the decklist that I played.

Dark Monsters v. 1.0
Standard

Course of Kruphix Maindeck
5 Forest
2 Mountain
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Stomping Ground
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Blood Crypt

4 Courser of Kruphix
3 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Polukranos, World Eater
4 Stormbreath Dragon
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Elvish Mystic
2 Xenagos, God of Revels
1 Reaper of the Wilds

2 Mizzium Mortars
2 Xenagos, the Reveler
4 Domri Rade
1 Putrefy
2 Dreadbore

Sideboard
2 Anger of the Gods
1 Doom Blade
2 Golgari Charm
4 Mistcutter Hydra
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Putrefy
2 Rakdos’s Return
2 Slaughter Games

The usual Magic playtest schedule that we do is after working hours and was usually held at Rei’s place. At times, we switched to other places like here in the HQ (my boarding house), at a Coffee Break branch or at Eric’s bistro.

One week prior to the release of Born of the Gods and just right after the full complete set spoiler, we decided to test the new cards into the proxy decks. The expected top tier decks that time were Mono Black and Blue White, also considering Mono Blue and Red Green Devotion variants.

What we did was that we gauntlet each deck to a certain matchup, all three games with sideboard if possible. Let say we have this deck tech, and we have it to battle Blue White, Mono Blue, etc and note down some observations of the matchups.

The Manila Trip

We booked the flight one month before and since we didn’t to fly at the same day of the tournament due to that we are not yet familiar with its location, we decided to schedule it on February 14th afternoon. My companions were Oliver, Rei and Tonton. What was expected was the heavy traffic as because it was a special day because of (commercialized) Valentines’ Day, in addition that it was a payday Friday and we will be arriving within rush hours.

Surely enough, the scenario happened but the good thing was that we were saved of the inconvenience of getting the cab from the airport thanks to Rei’s sister who sent her driver to fetch us. We then proceeded to Glorietta for a quick dinner and to check the Neutral Grounds branch there for the sleeves. Bought some Chandra Nalaar designed card sleeves to serve as my lucky charm sleeves and also got to meet Randy Semana there, who was an old time suki card dealer.

Next was the torment part. We were deciding of a quick way to get to SM Megamall and our two options were riding the MRT and getting a cab. It was past 9pm that time so we thought that it was already past the rush hour in the train station. We were wrong. We proceeded to the Ayala Avenue station and saw whole lot of people also rushing to get ride tickets, and with these huge lines (of Humans) going to the ticket counters.

Buying the tickets let say is just the easy mode of the game. The hard more was on getting to ride the actual train. As we proceeded down the stairs to the train ramp, we saw the people clumping. Most of the crowded part was on the men portion of the ramp. The arrival of each of the train was the chaos of people pushing just to get in. We eventually get to ride after about five trains that passed. All of those push efforts weren’t gone to waste.

We got off a Shaw Boulevard station and walk around Megamall as we met up with Eric, our place sponsor for the trip. We got a little rest and then went on with the last minute preparation of the decks that we opted to use. I got to sleep past 2am after all those finalizations and edits.

The Tournament Day

Not sure if slept well that on short time span but I think I was the first to get up at 7am and went to grab myself some coffee as my normal morning routine. The rest of the team (Mao, Mark and Yammy) was to arrive that time and probably will contact us any moment. They arrived around 8am, saved from the traffic inconvenience unlike us from yesterday. It was the usual deck discussions again before we left to find the venue at past 9am.

Glimpse shot of the crowded NG Santo Domingo


With just a few landmarks that I’ve noted from various websites mentioning the NG Sto Domingo, we got to the location without any blunders. We just have to take alternate roads as EDSA was somewhat on heavy traffic that morning because of the INC walkathon event.

We registered right away and I remember that they were already 50 players that signed in before I wrote my name as participant. The player count later on went as a high as 150 before Round One pairings were posted.

The venue was rather small for this type of event and their resort was to rent the neighbor tea store and a sort-of-a meeting room for some religious group. Even the second floor of KFC on the corner side was also rented.

Anyhow, I decided not mind these inconveniences and just went one to double check my deck list on the registration to avoid misspelled words and game loss. Round one started past 12noon, did check my table number and was assigned to that table range that was in KFC’s second floor. Sigh, so much for that rant.

I did forget the detail on how each of my matchups went so I will just give you a short overview.

The PTQ Matchups in 8 Rounds,

Round 1 – Mono Green Devotion lost 1-2
Round 2 – American Control won 2-0
Round 3 – Devotion to Gruul won 2-0
Round 4 – Mono Black Control won 2-1
Round 5 – Mono Black Control lost 1-2
Round 6 – Blue White Control won 2-1
Round 7 – Mono Green Devotion won 2-1
Round 8 – Blue White Devotion won 2-0

I finished 19th place with the 6-2 record and got three BNG booster packs for prizes. I was glad that I never got paired to a team mate but the two losses did cut me short on getting into the top eight. Starting with a loss was disheartening but that did not distract me and went to win my next three matches. The Round-five loss was a severe deck blunder on the deciding game three. I did draw and play an early Domri but that didn’t provided creatures and just revealed more Domri on the top cards. I think I got a playset of that planeswalker on that game and was about 90 percent creature less.

Anyhow, on the matches that I’ve won shined the correct decision of splashing Black in the deck. The sideboard plan also worked in most of the matchups, although we did have a few cards that we missed to take note. The sideboard of Rakdos’s Return and Slaughter Games were superstar against control decks. Golgari Charm was also a blow out versus Supreme Verdict and on destroying Detention Spheres.

The deck though at times act as the control player in RG Monsters mirror and on aggro deck matchups. Curving slow is the usual play to avoid damage on your shock lands, especially facing Mono Red. The sequence would be tap lands, elf or caryatid, spot removal, courser, spot removal # 2 and more tap lands.

As of this posting, the deck strategy is now clearly out in the open with a few top finishes in recent SCG events and in GP Melbourne. Reaper of the Wilds is now the card choice over Rampager but I think there should be a balanced slot of the two in the deck. Surely Reaper is a good standalone four-drop but the Rampager has its uses in dealing the final points of damage or trampling over the 1/1 token blockers or used with Domri to fight your elf against an Archangel of Thune. My updated list would probably look like this:

Dark Monsters v. 2.0
Standard

4 Forest
1 Mountain
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Stomping Ground
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Blood Crypt
1 Mutavault
1 Temple of Malice

4 Courser of Kruphix
2 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Polukranos, World Eater
4 Stormbreath Dragon
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Elvish Mystic
2 Reaper of the Wilds
2 Xenagos, God of Revels

4 Domri Rade
3 Dreadbore
2 Mizzium Mortars
1 Putrefy
1 Xenagos, the Reveler

Sideboard
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Doom Blade
1 Dreadbore
2 Golgari Charm
3 Mistcutter Hydra
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Putrefy
2 Rakdos’s Return
1 Ruric Thar
2 Slaughter Games

Wrapping up, the deck is a strong contender in the current Standard metagame of Blue White Control and Black Devotion. I’ve also checked that it has won a Grand Prix in Buenos Aires. Adjustments though should be made in the sideboard in the case should aggro decks rise again in popularity.

That is about it for this PTQ Report, thanks for reading.

*click here for Part One.

Categories : Magic The Gathering