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Gillette PPTQ – A look from the bottom

Saturday was quite the day as Zane, Nolan, and I packed up the car and headed to Gillette, Wyo. To play in a PPTQ. While Zane and I walked away with less than stellar records, Nolan managed to place in the top 8. You can read all about that here.

As for me, I finished the event with an abysmal 2-3 record. I decided to play Ad Nauseam again, hoping I would put up some solid results. After all, I have been playing the deck a lot lately and doing well. Too bad that didn’t translate.

Before I get into the matches I want to talk about my play. Overall I am not happy with how I played. I made, perhaps, some of the worse decisions when it came to keeping opening hands and I paid for it.

On the positive side of things, I made some solid sideboarding choices. This is an area I have been struggling with so I feel like there was a level of improvement there. Improvement is so important.

Round 1 Fish

My round one match was against Nolan (The Endruin). What terrible luck. Not only was I having to play my friend in the opening round, but we had been testing together throughout the week. We knew each other’s decks inside and out.

For Nolan to beat me he must get Kira, Great Glass Spinner into play early. This will allow him to discard a card to activate Lightning Storm while it’s on the stack and target Kira. This will then counter the spell and leave me scratching my head.

Sure enough, he gets Kira in play early. On to game two.

Game two Nolan was extremely aggressive and put me in a position where I had to make the decision to go for it or lose. I went for it, he Remanded my Ad Nauseam. I had just enough mana to cast another Ad Nauseam but not enough to do anything else. Nolan took the win, 2-0.

Round 2 Affinity
I shook off the loss to Nolan by chatting with some other Wyoming Magic players that I rarely get to see. This was largely the crew from Casper as well as my friends in Gillette. It’s always nice to travel to one of these tournaments and meet up with folks I don’t get to see very much.

As the round two pairing went up I was not too thrilled to see I was playing against Jared who was playing Affinity. Another deck I am familiar with.

I took game one pretty fast. As we made side board decisions and began shuffling Jared told me he wasn’t sure how to play against my deck. To his credit, Jared sided in Spellskite – the best choice.

I brought in Hurkyl’s Recall, Echoing Truth, and Slaughter Pact. I saw none of these cards. Jared quickly had me reeling as my life total fell to six. Thankfully, I had my combo in hand. My only problem was Jared played Spellskite. On the hope I could outlast his life, I cast the combo and went for the win. Luck was in my favor.

I got the match 2-0.

Round 3 – Elves
Ok, 1-1, not out of this yet, right? Wrong. I was way out of it. Especially when I sat down to play Schuyler. Schuyler is a friend of mine and I knew exactly what he was playing, Elves.  Game one went to Schuyler with no contest from me.

On game two I made a decision to keep, what I had hoped, was a good hand. Three Lotus Bloom, 2 Pentad Prism, 1 Simian Spirit Guide, and 1 Ad Nauseam. All I needed was Phyrexian Unlife or Angel’s Grace.

I got the Unlife but Schuyler answered with Reclamation Sage. I followed up with another Unlife, which Schuyler answered with Collected Company into a Reclamation Sage.

That was the end for me as I was overrun by a horde of elves.


Round 4 – Zane
I knew I was out of any chance of making the top 8 so I decided to keep playing for the heck of it. Wouldn’t you know it, I have to play Zane. As he likes to do, Zane was on his own brew. Lots of planeswalker (Ajani Vengeant, Nahiri, Chandra) and a big creature with Vanishing is what I saw the most of. I got game one, Zane took game two.

Game three Zane started the game with Leyline of Sanctity in play. Thankfully, I drew an Echoing Truth in my opening hand. I also had Pentad Prism, Lotus Bloom, and Ad Nauseam, so I was feeling confident. Sure enough, when the time to combo off came, I had enough mana to lead with an Echoing Truth and follow with the combo.

Have I mentioned I hate playing against the people I travel to a tournament with? If not, let me just say it’s terrible!


Round five –  Soul Sisters
My final match of the day was against Nathaniel, from Rapid City , who was playing Soul Sisters.

This was not a deck I expected to see and, frankly, had no clue how to play against it. Honestly, lifelink is terrible for Ad Nauseam and I felt like I was outmatched from the beginning. Nathaniel won with absolutely no fight from me.

So I ended the day 2-3. I was hoping for at least a reverse of that, but oh well. As I said, I did much better at side boarding so that’s a win for me. I also picked up a foil Seachrome Coast for the Ad Nasueam foiling project, which really made me happy.

Did you play in any big tournaments this week? How did you do? What did you play? Let us know in the comments below.


Patrick Steam punkPatrick Cossel is the Publisher of The Forge Herald. He is a gamer, father, husband, and Level 1 Magic judge. Professionally he is the Operations Manager of a family-owned newspaper company. He can be reached at pcossel@gmail.com

© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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