Weekly Fat Cat's Tournament, Gro'Tog goes all the way.
by leviat

There haven't been a lot of tournament reports posted lately and that's usually
my favorite part of TheManaDrain, so I thought I would post up my report of this
weeks Fat Cat tournament. I didn't take notes, but hopefully most of the matches
will still be fresh in my mind.

We had a pretty good turnout with some people even driving an hour and a half to
come up from Wilkes-Barre, PA. In total we had a turnout of 19 people, which is
pretty good for a Fat Cat tournament.

I was playing my build of Gro'Tog because it's been good to me and I haven't
lost a tournament yet with it.

Lands (16)
3 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
3 Polluted Delta
4 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea

Creatures (6)
2 Psychatog
4 Quirion Dryad

Enchantments (1)
1 Fastbond

Cantrips (7)
4 Brainstorm
3 Sleight of Hand

Draw (5)
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Gush

Search (9)
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 Merchant Scroll
2 Cunning Wish
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Regrowth

Control (11)
2 Counterspell
2 Daze
3 Misdirection
4 Force of Will

Utility (2)
1 Time Walk
1 Yawgmoth's Will

Mana Accell (4)
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire

Sideboard (15)
1 Berserk
1 Boomerang
1 Diabolic Edict
3 Duress
1 Ebony Charm
1 Misdirection
3 Naturalize
2 ((Secret Tech))
2 Smother

Note: Yes I realize there are 61 card in the MD. I'm very happy with this and I
think the deck is solid. No, I don't have the Berserk maindeck, I much prefer
having a second Wish.

So, without further ado, on to the rounds.

The only cards that I'm not so sure about are the Duress in the sideboard. They
just don't seem that solid to me, but I really only drew one throughout all my
games, so that might be why. If anyone has any comments on the Duress, I would
love to hear them. 

Round 1: Ed (Sui-Black w/ White)
Ed is somewhat new to our crowd, I first saw him three or four weeks ago
piloting a nice Sui-Black deck. He was a welcome sight because at the time, two
Mask decks were ripping it up and his maindeck Null Rods were causing them

Ed hasn't been able to beat me in a match yet so he was somewhat disappointed to
have to start out the tourny against me. Meanwhile, across the room I could hear
moans of agony as Carl sat down next to his opponent.

(Sidenote: Carl has this bad reputation of never ever losing. Whether it's his
mad magic skillz or the Micheal Jackson you occasionally hear pumping out of his
headphone, he is fierce force to reckon with. As a result, nobody like to play
against Carl. It can be lonely at the top...)

Game 1:
I win the roll which automatically give me the upper hand. I Daze and Misdirect
his early disruption which allows me to quickly beatdown with a Dryad.

SB: -2 Counterspell, +2 Smother

Game 2:
My hand is very solid while Ed just keeps an okay hand. He gets a quick Nantuko
Shade out but it can't keep up with my quickly growing Dryad. He tries a
Vindicate and it gets Misdirected, but then he chases it with a Snuff Out. My
Dryad is dead but he's out of answers. I finish him off by going nuts with
Fastbond and Gush -> Berserk'd Dryad. Unfortunately, I couldn't go uber nuts as
he's playing some weird little creature from Legions which was happily eating my
'Tog Chow, errr I mean my graveyard.

M:1-0  G:2-0

Round 2: Derek (Sligh)
Derek has been doing pretty well lately with good ole' Sligh. I think he would
do even better with Ankhs, but he's happy so why bother him?

While Sligh can be a tough game, it's usually not a problem because after they
empty their hand, they are left in topdecking mode.

Game 1: He didn't draw any creatures and I drop a Dryad with double cantrip
backup. The game went quick and there wasn't much to it.

SB: -1 Counterspell, +1 Misdirection

Game 2: He sides in some Pyroblasts to try and slow me down. On his second or
third turn he tried to drop a Blood Moon, but luckily Carl points out that he
only had two mana on the table. I didn't even notice! Thanks to Carl, I have no
problem drawing into some counters before he gets the dangerous third mana. I
misdirect some burn and again, beat down with Dryads.

M:2-0  G:4-0

Round 3: Carl (Paragon Keeper)
I don't remember these matches very well as it takes everything in me to play
Carl. One simple mistake will easily cost you the game against him.

Game 1: I think Carl started the game with a Library while I started with a
Dryad. Carl got to draw a few cards off the Library before I finally managed to
drop a Fastbond and go nuts with Gush. I eventually find a Yawg Will and go way
overboard with a Psychatog. (Must learn that dealing 20 damage will kill just as
well as 40).

SB: -1 Sleight, -1 Daze, -1 Counterspell, +3 Duress

Game 2: I start off with a good hand, but it's just not as good as Carl's. I
Merchant Scroll for Ancestral but I hold onto it until I need it as I didn't
have much protection for it. In the meantime I drop a Dryad and get a couple
smacks in. A couple turns later, Carl casts a FoF at the end of turn. I figure
it's now or never and cast my Ancestral in response. He then casts HIS Ancestral
in response. I give him a sly grin and Misdirect it to me. He shrugs and drops a
Force of Will pitching a Mana Drain I believe. He draws three, then I draw three
lands :(, then he FoFs into some spicy stuff. I should have just scooped as it
was a lost cause, but I wanted to draw out the time in hopes that I could just
draw the match. (Ph34r Carl!)

Game 3: Carl mentions that we should draw and get some food. I quickly agree as
I'm starving and my head is starting to hurt from too much intense magic. Carl
looks around the room and changes his mind. Drawing the match would be too
risky, so we trudge on. I think the match pretty much went like this. Carl draws
lots of land, I drop a first turn Fastbond and draw a bunch of cards and then
drop a Psychatog. Carl draws some more land and I drop a Dryad. Carl draws the
final few lands in his deck. I go smash smash smash.

M:3-0  G:6-1

Round 4: Bryce (Paragon Keeper)
We intentially draw and then play a few matches for fun. I give Keeper a savage
beating but it was a pre-sideboarded so the oh-so-important REB's were not

M:3-0-1  G:6-1

After the swiss the standings were as follows:

1st. Paragon Keeper (Bryce aka kl0wn)
2nd. Gro'Tog (Me)
3rd. RGu TnT (Josh)
4th. Paragon Keeper (Carl aka CrazyCarl)
5th. U/r Phid (Chris)
6th. Void (Franko)
7th. Sui w/ White (Ed)
8th. ? (Shawn)

T8: Ed again
Ed sighs again as he finds out he's paired against me. I smile saying that if
there were a time to beat me, this would be it.

Game 1: He wins the roll and start out with some quick disruption and beats by
going Ritual, Duress, Ritual, Shade, Legions creature. I manage to get a larger
Dryad out to return fire but he gets a Pox (wtf?) through which causes me to
lose most of my hand, my life, my lands, and my creatures. He then drops a
Negator to finish the job. Ph34r Pox!

SB: -2 Counterspell, +2 Smother

Game 2: Things are just a little better now as I get to start. I Daze some early
disruption and quickly get a Dryad down, but he responds with the Legions guy
who eats my graveyard and also a Shade. I start growing my little Dryad as
quickly as I can. I drop another one to try and even things up a little but he
quickly uses Contagion to kill it. He makes the mistake of attacking with Shade
at some point and I return fire with just enough life left to survive another
Shade attack. He then drops Negator.

At this point I have pretty much lost the game. I am at six life and he has a
Negator out and a Shade with two open mana. My only Dryad was a 4/4. He asked me
how the interaction worked with Negator and I said that I didn't really want to
answer as it would affect my game. I figured he would ask Carl for an answer but
instead decides things are safe enough and just attacks with Shade. I take the
damage dropping me to two life. I then Mystical for a Gush, floating a black
mana, and then by a stroke of luck I rip a Smother off of the top. I play my
land for the turn and Smother that evil looking Negator. A couple turns later I
Wish for a Boomerang and bounce his Shade off the board. (Edit: For some reason
I thought he would win if he attacked out right, but I realize now that I could
have blocked the Negator, gone to 1 life, and he would have lost all permanents
on his side of the table).

Game 3: He starts with another Ritual, Ritual, Duress, Tainted Pact, Shade. I
respond with a Dryad and then make it Grow Grow Grow. The game didn't last too
much longer after than.

M:4-0-1  G:8-2

T4: Bryce Again
Today is the first day Bryce has ever played against Gro'Tog. On top of that,
this is the first time he's played Keeper in a couple months.

Game 1: The first game I get an excellent hand and he gets just an okay hand. I
drop a Dryad and let it grow to get some beats in. He answers, and then I drop
another Dryad. His draws crap out and I finish him somewhat quickly.

SB: -1 Sleight, -1 Daze, -1 Counterspell, +3 Duress

Game 2: Bryce starts giggling and showing his hand around. I figure it's solid
and look at my very weak hand. I decide to paris which makes Bryce even happier.
My second draw looks a little better as it has a Library in it and a couple
Dryads. I play the control match to let my hand fill up enough to get my Library
active. Somehow Bryce doesn't manage to draw any land destruction and I continue
to just keep drawing off of library and getting him to use up his control spells
on Dryads, Gushes, and cantrips. Eventually he runs out of steam and I keep
plugging away with a 3/3 Dryad.

M:5-0-1  G:10-2

T2: Josh with TnT.
It's late and I'm tired so we just split the purse and go home happy.

- Gro'Tog for winning me another match.
- Josh for just splitting with me at the end.
- Chris and Franko for driving up from PA to play with us.
- Me for ripping the Smother off the top : ).

- Mullet kid for buying a Pizza and eating it in front of starving magic