An epic week-long competition has come to close. Was Wizards able to close the gap and steal victory from the jaws of a Kargan Dragonlord?
Here’s roughly how it all went down.
The first event was the MD5 draft, which I didn’t participate in. There were some wild plays, and the community team asserted their dominance, jumping out to a solid lead. The point system for the competition was a bit arcane — within a given three-round event, your team received a number of points based on the number of match wins you scored. The points increased exponentially with each successive win, so you’d get way more points with a single player going 3-0 than three players going 1-2. Bill Stark went 3-0 and really boosted our score.
Day two was intense. There were two competitions scheduled, one in the morning, one after a lunch break. First up was Rise of the Eldrazi draft. We were using a new format, which is apparently being developed for Magic Online and should be available to the public later this year. You open four boosters and build a 30-card deck. Typical sealed events use six boosters to build 40-card decks.
I opened my packs and found possibly the best card in the set, Gideon Jura. I built a solid white/red deck. Then, technical difficulties prevented us from being able to play in the new format, and our original card pools were lost. In a sign of things to come that day, I opened my second pool of cards and found…another Gideon Jura. I put together a deck using him, then Evan Erwin stepped in and helped me rebuild into a deck with two Time of Heroes, two Enclave Cryptologist, a Venerated Teacher and a pair of Champion’s Drakes, plus a bunch of solid levelers.
It looked like a great deck, but round one I was paired against Magic Hall of Famer Mike Turian. I took the first game, then dropped the second. Turian was playing a deck similar to mine, but he had no Gideon and more control, including at least one Deprive and some card drawing effects. The key play of the match occurred just before Turian fully leveled a Hada Spy Patrol. I had an Oust and a Heat Ray in hand. I was about to Heat Ray at the end of Turian’s turn (without enough mana to cast both removal spells), when community member Joseph Hill pointed out that we knew Turian had an Emerge Unscathed in his deck, and he had a single plains untapped. I waited until my turn, then used the Oust and finished the Spy Patrol with the Heat Ray in response to the Emerge Unscathed. I never would have made that play successfully myself. We were then able to shut him down with a Dawnglare Invoker and fly in for the win.
Unfortunately, because of the technical problems, we were out of time for the Rise of the Eldrazi event after just two rounds. The community team was dominating, and I only got to play two matches with my killer leveler/Gideon deck.
I’ll explain the insanity and controversy of the Commander event in part 2.