small town gpts are the best

So, at last night’s FNM at Pegasus, local L1 judge Tom Grimm told us all about a GPT Salt Lake City he was judging down in Delavan. I had never heard of this town before, so there was a lot of smartphone Google Mapping going on. Turns out it’s about 1.2 hours from Madison, not terribly far. The store was also opening at noon, so I wouldn’t have to wake up super early, and they were doing sealed, so I didn’t need to worry about deck testing or anything. Having no other plans for my Saturday, I drove down to the extremely small town of Delavan, WI, to crack some packs.

When we were getting started, there were exactly 8 players registered. Since exactly 8 people would be a single-elim sealed, the store “sponsored” one of their employees to play (i.e. this person registered a pool, then dropped before round 1 and the store kept all the cards for its stock). Now, with “9 players,” we instead had a 4-round sealed with a cut to top 8 (i.e. everyone makes top 8! hurrah!). I was sitting at the same table as Charles, another Madison player, when we opened packs. We were both pretty annoyed with our pools, him opening a Thalia, foil Vorapede, and Snapcaster, me opening Elite Inquisitor, Sorin, Wolfbitten Captive, both of our pools having the nuttiest GW ever. Of course, we both got passed pools with absolute crap in them (as far as rares). My pool was actually kind of the nuts for sealed… click here to see it (*.doc file).

Here’s what I ended up building for sealed, with which I went 3-0-1, splitting the extremely meager prize pool (5 packs, and promo Strangleroot Geist + Zombie Apocalypse… I took 2 packs and the promos, other guy took 3 packs (and opened a Huntmaster, obviously)).

8 Forest, 7 Plains, 2 Island

Burden of Guilt, Prey Upon x2

Silverchase Fox, Scorned Villager

Niblis of the Mist x2, Midnight Haunting x2, Orchard Spirit, Ulvenwald Bear, Villagers of Estwald, Drogskol Captain

Elgaud Inquisitor x3, Thraben Sentry, Briarpack Alpha, Ulvenwald Mystics, Demonmail Hauberk

Geist-Honored Monk, Kessig Cagebreakers, Gutter Grime

I did live the dream one game! Turn 4 Thraben Sentry, turn 5 Elgaud Inquisitor, turn 6 Demonmail Hauberk sacrificing Inquisitor to equip my Sentry, flipping him and getting a token, attack for 9, turn 7 play a Scorned Villager, sac it to move the Hauberk to the spirit token, play an Ulvenwald Bears putting 2 counters on my Militia, attack for 12. Another game I went block with Inquisitor to get a token, EOT Midnight Haunting, main phase Captain, attack for 6, that was pretty fun.

Draft probably went better than I felt it did while I was actually drafting. I started off first-picking Increasing Savagery into Dawntreader Elk, Tracker’s Instincts, Nephalia Seakite, then going deep UG from there. Other notables from pack 1 were Young Wolf, Chill of Foreboding, Stormbound Geist, Gravetiller Wurm. In the Innistrad packs, I got a Skaab Goliath, a couple Avacyn’s Pilgrims, opened and took an Undead Alchemist and randomly picked up Dream Twist, Curse of the Bloody Tome, and Cellar Door to go with my Selhoff Occultist, but I decided that would be my transformational sideboard instead. My deck ended up being UG ramp into fatties, basically. Here’s the list + sideboard:

9 Forest, 8 Island

Avacyn’s Pilgrim x2, Young Wolf, Silent Departure, Hunger of the Howlpack

Ambush Viper, Dawntreader Elk, Tracker’s Instincts

Armored Skaab, Selhoff Occultist, Stormbound Geist, Orchard Spirit, Villagers of Estwald, Cackling Counterpart, Spidery Grasp

Makeshift Mauler, Nephalia Seakite, Grasp of Phantoms, Increasing Savagery

Grizzled Outcasts, Hollowhenge Beast

Skaab Goliath, Gravetiller Wurm

Sideboard:

Chant of the Skifsang, Chill of Foreboding, Curse of the Bloody Tome, Dream Twist, Hysterical Blindness, Memory’s Journey, Undead Alchemist

Curse of Oblivion

Ancient Grudge x2, Burning Vengeance, Talons of Falkenrath

Favor of the Woods, Gnaw to the Bone, Spidery Grasp

Cellar Door, Executioner’s Hood, Geistcatcher’s Rig, Sulfur Falls

I ended up losing in the semis to a WR deck. I made a huge mistake in game 3, since he accidentally flipped a Falkenrath Marauders when he was playing his Bonds of Faith, so I knew he had it. He was stuck on 4 land, so I decided to attack with my Stormbound Geist anyway; sure enough, he topdecked a land to play it and get it out of kill range. I still almost killed him, though, since I had both Cackling Counterpart and Ambush Viper when he attacked with the team when he was at 6; I was able to block his Marauders with my Geist, chump his flipped Cloistered Youth, and take 2, going down to 3. I then Counterparted my Geist and played the Ambush Viper EOT, giving me 7 damage on board while he took another 1 from the flipped Blair Witch. However, he had 1 card in hand and all his mana up, which happened to be a Hollowhenge Spirit. Basically, if he had anything, I’d be dead next turn anyway, so there wasn’t much I could do. But, that’ll teach me to attack when I don’t have a blocker for the bomb I know is in his hand :/

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