Savannah's Morningstar Games held their monthly Type 1 on Sunday the 22nd, and
even though it was so close to Christmas, 4 of us Charleston players made the
trip this time, mainly because we needed to continue the streak of Charleston
players winning the Savannah tourney; going into the day the streak stood at 5
consecutive victories for us  :)
The day started as it always does on Savannah tourney day, those of us going met
at a local mall to carpool down there (it's about 110 miles). Making the trip
were myself, Dave Allen, and Gohan, all from my team, and Cullen Cox, another
friend and extremely talented local player. After a quick stop at the local
Waffle House, we were ready to roll. Luckily, my wife came with us this time and
she did the driving, so we could all relax and get ready to whup some butt   :p

We expected a smaller turnout due to the holiday, but 20 people showed up, among
them such notables as Darren Dew, whose Dark Keeper is always a strong deck, and
Hill Redwine, winner of the VA states Lotus tourney. Hill has recently been
running TNT, and I expect the same from him today.

I was running my usual deck of choice, Trix, tweaked to win the inevitable
Keeper matchups and be generally strong in a varied field.
The deck:
5 Moxen
Sol Ring
Mana Crypt
4 Sapphire Medallion
Tolarian Academy
4 City of Brass
4 Volcanic Island
3 Shivan Reef
3 Island
3 Intuition
4 Accumulated Knowledge
Time Walk
4 Force of Will
Rushing River
3 Impulse
4 Illusions of Grandeur
4 Donate
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
2 Red Elemental Blast

3 Morphling
4 Pyroblast
4 Blue Elemental Blast
2 Fire/Ice
1 Rushing River
1 Haunting Echoes

Around 1:30 pm, pairings go up, and I'm less than delighted to have Hill Redwine
in the first round. I dislike the TNT matchup post sideboard, and am a little
Hill wins the roll and goes first, dropping Volcanic Island. I'm a little
confused since I don't recall him running Volcanics. On my turn I lay a land and
pass the turn. He plays Polluted Delta and I realize that he's running Keeper
instead of TNT. This isn't really making me feel any better cause Keeper is
never an easy match for combo, but at least I know what's up. I never get
anything going game 1, and after a large Mana Drain my life total goes
20-15-10-5-0, courtesy of Morphling.
Game 2
I side in Morphlings, removing about half the combo. I Force his 1st turn Mox
Sapphire after he misses his land drop(he had thought about mulliganing for a
long time before deciding to keep) He doesn't get a blue source for several
turns. I drop Superman on turn 2, and Hill takes a couple of hits before he
casts a Chainer's Edict. We seesaw back and forth for a bit, I get another Morph
down, play an Illusions for some life cushion, and eventually win.
Game 3
We only have 5 minutes and have a draw.
Not what I wanted, but not a loss either.
0-0-1 matches, 1-1-1 games

Round 2 vs. Matt playing Goblin Burn with Flame Rift

Game 1 he gets a fast start and starts swinging with a fanatic and Scrolling me.
I drop to 6 life, but my deck generally rolls Sligh due to the lifegain. This
game is no different. I hit the combo, go to 26 life, he can't pay the upkeep
for long and I win at 16 life.
Side out 2 REB's, Side in 2 BEB's
Game 2 Matt doesn't really get a chance, he taps out to play a 2nd creature on
turn 2, and I got the broken draw and comboed him. He showed me a Red Blast in
hand, but I had a Blue Blast in hand as well. Turn 2 sucks for him, but he's a
newer player and a real pleasure to talk to, and his deck is improving. He'll
get better every month I am sure.
Matches 1-0-1, Games 2-0

Round 3 vs Troy with Black discard, Hippies, and Shadow Weenies.
Game 1 Black disruption is my worst matchup, especially if LD comes with it.
Troy didn't run Wastelands or Sinkholes, but he ran a hell of a lot of
creatures. 1st turn hippy, 2nd turn Hippy lead to a 4th turn concession by me
Game 2 is a little better, but this time I'm facing a swarm of Dauthi's. I
eventually drop Illusions, but can't find a Donate, and succumb to a Grinning
Demon smashing my face.
Matches 1-1-1, Games 0-2

Well, I'm stinking up the joint with that record, but if I can win out I'll have
10 points and probably make top 8, so it's time to buckle down and play for real

Round 4 Mark Morgan 5 color control I think
Mark hasn't played in a few months but I recall that he's a really tough
opponent, but he hasn't ever faced me with Trix, so he doesn't really know what
to fo to stop me, so I figure I have the advantage.
Game 1
I take a little damage from pain lands and Mark hits me with a couple of Psionic
Blasts, but I have massive card advantage, draw out all his counters, and combo
him in 7 or 8 turns.
Game 2
Mark doesn't know that I side in Morphlings usually against control, and I drop
Superman on turn 2. He goes the distance, as Mark sided out everything for
creature control except Balance, and he never got a white mana source. Tough
luck Mark, but you were a real pleasure to play with.
Matches 2-1-1, Games 2-0

Round 5 Josh Kinner Illusionary Mask/Dreadnought
Game 1 I take some pain from my own lands, and he gets a little hand rape going,
but eventually I get the combo in hand just after he plays a couple of face down
cards  ??? (I'm a little worried)
I play the Illusions and go to 35, he unmasks and puts me at 19, then I Donate
and bounce the Illusions.
Game 2
I side in my 2 Fire/Ice and the other Rushing River to try to survive the rush.
His deck totally punked out on him though, his second and third turn Tainted
Pacts milled 37 cards before he got to a dreadnought, and by that time it was
too late, and I combo killed him. Tough luck for Josh, it seems that every time
he plays me his deck chokes at least once.
Matches 3-1-1, Games 2-0

Whew!!! 10 ponts, I make Top 8 as 5th seed

T8 vs Todd Judy with Parfait
Game 1 Todd dops 2 Aura of Silence on me fast and I scoop, as its late, I'm
tired, and Parfait gives me a headache when I face it. I figure I'll be better
after Sideboard anyway.
Game 2
I drop an early Morphling, and it beats down while Todd sacs lands to Z-Orb. I
win fast before he can come back.
Game 3
Todd stalls out after I side the combo back in, and he concedes to me about 10
turns in after I show him my hand full of counters and combo pieces. Props to
him though as Parfait is hard to play perfectly unless that's ALL you play, and
Todd rarely plays the same deck twice in 2 months.
Matches 4-1-1, Games 2-1

Top 4 Cullen Cox fellow Charlestonian playing Parfait.
Oh boy. Cullen ONLY plays Parfait, and he plays it extremely well. I'm ready for
a long match, and so is he. I break out the ibuprofen befor we play and we BOTH
take a couple, cause our matches are usually epic.
Game 1 Cullen starts dropping all the protection he can and Chanting me when he
thinks I'm about to go off. He eventually gets down 3 Aura of Silence AND a main
deck Blood Moon against me!!!!!! Unwinnable for Trix, many would think, however
I only have to make sure Sacred Mesa and Tormod's Crypt don't hit while I buid
mana sources and get the cards I need in my hand. About an hour and 10 minutes
into the match I finally have all I need, cast Capsize targeting his Blood Moon,
knowing that he will probably sac an Aura to kill his own enchantment so that my
Cap fizzles. He does so, then I Rushing River with kicker both his other Aura's.
He has a ton of land down and Scroll rack, so he could come back,so I Donate 2
Illusions within a few turns of each other, eventually he can't pay the upkeep
or gain enough life and I win. Wheeeeeeew!
Game 2
Rather anti-climactic, I drop Morphling very early and bash Cullen to bits.
Normally all our games are drawn out affairs like game 1, so I was relieved.
Matches 5-1-1, Games 2-0

Finals vs Dave Allen, my young Padawan, defending champ, playing Paragon Keeper.
We've been playtesting all week and the matchup is about 50-50 pre or post side,
it is really dependent on your draw and topdecks.
Game 1 I outcounter Dave and combo him fast (3rd turn).
Game 2 I don't sideboard, mainly to throw Dave for a loop (he is also very
skilled with this build of Trix and knows how to beat it) I try to combo on turn
2 and turn 3, he has the counter both times, and he wins quickly with Morphling.
Game 3 I Sideboard and get serious, but I keep an iffy hand which potentially
could have comboed with FOW AND Blast backup turn 2, but he has a force for my
first turn search, Wastes my Tolarian, Wishes for Shattering Pulse, limits my
mana, and basically stomped a mudhole in me.
Matches 5-2-1, Games 0-2

Props to Charleston players making the trip down, all 4 of us made top 8, 3 of
us made top 4, 2 of us made the finals. The streak stands at 6 straight! January
4th in Charleston we'll host our monthly T1 and hope that many of the excellent
Savannah players will make the trip.
Congrats to Dave, he's only been playing Paragon for a couple of weeks. BTW, the
changes that I suggested for his deck were key in him winning the whole day.
Congrats to me, I could have tanked it after starting 1-1-1, but I put my mind
to the task and went a long way.
Slops to me for not mulliganing against Dave in Game 3 of the finals, normally I
would have Parised.

Next month: The Return