This is my first tourney report, and since I really wasn't expecting to finish
in the money, I didn't take any notes. Everything in here is from memory, so if
I get any names or play-by-plays wrong, I'm sorry, please correct my mistakes.

Anyway, I'm Justin Bransfield, or Negator13 just about anywhere on the internet.
I've attended the last two Waterburies before this one, going 4-3-1 in the first
with FCG and 5-3 in September with Titan. I love Ray's tourneys and they're
always a great experience no matter how well I do.

About a month ago, I noticed the massive amounts of TPS winning in Europe,
namely Italy. I started testing with a generic U/B list, and tweaked, tweaked,
and tweaked some more over the following weeks. I started with a normal Draw-7
based list, morphed it into the Tutor-TPS build with multiple Gifts, Scrying,
and FoF, and eventually moved back to a more normal modified list with Draw 7's.

Here's what I took to battle on the 15th:

The Not-So-Perfect Storm

3 Island
2 Swamp
2 Underground Sea
1 Tolarian Academy
2 Flooded Strand
4 Polluted Delta
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Crypt
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Frantic Search
2 Rebuild
1 Tinker
1 Cunning Wish
1 Gifts Ungiven
4 Force of Will
1 Time Spiral
1 Mind's Desire
4 Dark Ritual
1 Vampiric Tutor
4 Duress
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Necropotence
2 Tendrils of Agony
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
1 Memory Jar


1 Darksteel Colossus
1 Hydroblast
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Stifle
1 Hurkyll's Recall
1 Brain Freeze
1 Echoing Truth
2 Energy Flux
1 Rushing River
1 Misdirection
2 Engineered Plague
2 Skeletal Scrying

I'll just take the opportunity to comment on some (bad) card choices. My
maindeck was, IMO, very close to optimal, for a version using Draw-7's at least.
I definitely wished I had a third Sea in place of the second Flooded Strand
multiple times. I also found Time Spiral to be just a little to clunky to be
effective. It did win a couple games, however.

The sideboard, on the other hand, was pretty much a disaster. DSC was horrible,
and Platinum Angel would have been better in every possible way. I never Wished
for or boarded in Hydroblast. Engineered Plague, which was intended to kill
Welders and Spirits, was completely useless as Welders never impacted any of my
games and I faced no Oath. The Energy Fluxes were atrocious. I only played
against one Workshop deck, but I know from testing and from that match that 2
Rebuilds in the board would have been 100% better.

Since Saturday, I've made the following changes to the deck:

-1 Flooded Strand
+1 Underground Sea


-2 Energy Flux
-2 Engineered Plague
-1 Darksteel Colossus
-1 Hydroblast

+2 Rebuild
+2 Mystic Remora (more on this later)
+1 Platinum Angel
+1 Coffin Purge

Anyway, enough on card choices, onto the actual report.

Round One vs. ??? with TPS

Ah, first round of my first tournament with TPS, and I get the mirror. Little
did I know it was just a taste of what to come- during our match I looked over
and noticed the two tables next to us were both occupied by two other TPS
mirrors. Shocked

Game One

I don't remember much about this match, to tell the truth. I won the die roll,
and just flattened him turn 2 with some bomb or another. I think it was Bargain,
but I'm not sure.

Sideboard: -2 Rebuild, -1 Time Spiral, +1 Stifle, +1 Misdirection, +1 Skeletal

Game Two

This game was just kind of sad, for my opponent. He mulliganed all the way down
to four. Of course, I had to Duress him. Insult to Injury? Yes please. Anyway,
he did a grand total of nothing relevant during the first few turns while my
otherwise pretty abominable draw of 4 lands and a Gifts Ungiven tutored out
Lotus, DT, Necro, and Bargain for him to mull over. I won the following turn

Games: 2-0
Matches: 1-0

A good way to start out the tourney, the 2-0 win followed by some great pizza
really helped put me in high spirits for the next match.

Round Two vs. (Adamdod with MUC

Game One

I win the die roll, and then win the game. EDIT: It's a Mind's Desire for about
10, followed by Time Walk into Bargain.

SB: -2 Rebuild, -1 Time Spiral, +1 Darksteel Colossus, +1 Misdirection, +1
Skeletal Scrying

Game Two

This game starts out pretty uneventful. I open up pretty slowly and of course,
he does too. I accumulate a hand of Misdirection, Force, Force, Brainstorm, and
another blue card. He drops an Arcane Lab. I Force, pitching the blue card, and
he Forces back. I Mis-D pitching Force, and the Lab is countered. Unfortunately,
we're both left with one card. Mine is Brainstorm, which I play, netting me
nothing worthwhile. His is Ophidian, which he easily rides to victory.

Game Three

SB: Nothing! I'm an idiot, and I didn't board in any bounce for the Labs I saw.

This game was just demoralizing. For me. About turn three or so, I have a hand
of like, Necro, DT, Ritual, and Lotus with two or three mana sources in play. I
play Ritual, Necro. In response, he Impulses with one mana open and, to my
surprise, Annuls it. Okay... I play Lotus, DT, and fetch a Will, assuming he has
no counter since he's tapped out and had to dig for the Annul. Wrong, he's got
the FoW, and the following turn he drops Arcane Lab. It's downhill from there,
as he accumulates three(!!!) Ophidians and counters every single relevant (read:
non-mana producing) spell I play. Had I boarded in Truth and River, I think I
may have been able to pull it out, since his only win was a very slow
Mystical-for-Tinker-for-DSC. Oh well.

Games: 3-2
Matches: 1-1

So I'm 1-1, a mentally ready to give up and drop. Of course, I'm obviously not
out of the running, but I know I have to win out to make it. It's both inspiring
and depressing at the same time.

Round Three vs. Patrick with Slaver

Game One

My memory is really fuzzy about these games. I -think- I won pretty early, like
turn 2 or so, off a busted draw, but I'm not completely sure. All I know is I
won this game.

SB: -1 Rebuild, -1 Time Spiral, -1 Tinker, -1 Memory Jar, +2 Engineered Plague,
+1 Misdirection, +1 Skeletal Scrying

Game Two

He gets an early Tinker for Plats, and I don't find an answer. Simple as that.

Game Three

*Shrug* My memory is REALLY hazy about his game. I know I won, but I don't
remember how or when.

Games: 5-3
Matches: 2-1

Allright, I think to myself. I can do this. Win the next four, and I can draw
in. Yeah right.

Round 4 vs. Andrew (The Brassman) with TPS

I met Andy at during round 7 last Waterbury. He's a great guy, and we spent the
rest of the time after the round and after the tourney discussing the finer
points of TPS and T1 in general. He kindly gave me the Mystic Remora tech I
talked about earlier, for the mirror. Think about about it.

Game One

I can't remember exactly what happened in this game, but I'm pretty sure I won
turn two or so off a Time Spiral.

SB: Same as in round one

Game Two

I keep a shady hand of Lotus as my only mana source, Ancestral, Brainstorm, and
some other stuff. I debated mulling it but it turns out to be inconsequential as
Andy opens up with Lotus, Ritual, Ritual, Bargain. Oops.

Game Three

This was the funniest game I played all day. I mull to six and go land, go. He
plays LoA, draw a card and passes. On my turn, I Duress, seeing Remora, and take
it. I play Crypt and Tinker for Jar, and pass. He goes Mox, Tinker, Plats. On my
upkeep, I pop Jar and get a hand full of brokenness. To make a long story short,
I play tons of mana sources, Will, Desire for 13, Twister, Necro, Tendrils him
to negative life, and pop Jar again, and I STILL can't find my Cunning Wish for
an answer to Plats, after looking through about 35 cards. I pay like 11 life to
draw off Necro, and enter my EOT. I go to pick up my Necro cards and Andy stops
me and reminds me of the Jar trigger. We get all confused; he thinks I want to
play something between the Jar and Necro triggers, I think he wants me to pitch
the cards I draw off Necro to Jar. We figure it out eventually. My Necro hand
contains Time Walk and Vamp, which I use to fish out my lone copy of Cunning
Wish for Echoing Truth to end the game. I was so nervous that I accidently
boarded it out, a real nail-biter.

Games: 7-4
Matches: 3-1

At this point I'm tied with four of my teammates. We get the pairings for round
5, and, of course, I'm paired against my friend Mike Dozois and my other two
teammates are paired against each other as well. They ID, but I don't want to
with Mike because that will put us all in the same bracket again. We agree to
play it out.

Round 4 vs. Mike with TPS (#3!)

Game One

I draw an insane hand and clean him up on turn two with the help of my good
friend Yawgmoth's Bargain. Oops.

SB: I decide to get creative and board my usual mirror plan, plus taking out Jar
for Colossus.

Game Two

He starts off with a simple land, Brainstorm. I play Land, Mox, Duress, Crypt,
Tinker for DSC. He goes land, Mox Tinker for DSC. Interesting. On my turn, I
Cunning Wish for Rushing River, and, to his dismay, bounce his Iron Giant,
sending mine over to bash him down to 9. He goes ahead and draws his card,
Timetwister, and plays it. I draw the worst hand ever; 5 lands, Rushing River,
Skeletal Scrying. He thinks for a little while and plays Petal, Mox, Mox, Tinker
for DSC. Well then. I untap, Rushing River his DSC, and that's all she wrote.

HOWEVER, after the game I ask to see his hand and see the options he was mulling
over. When I see it, I nearly have a heart attack. In addition to the Mox, Mox,
Petal, TInker, he had DT, Ritual, and Tendrils! Shocked I nearly shit myself. I
told him he had the win in hand- Tinker for Lotus, sack, Ritual, DT for Will,
Will, win. Apparently, he never thought of Tinkering for Lotus. Sigh.

Games: 9-4
Matches: 4-1

At this point, I'm pretty damn excited. Two more match wins to go, come on!

Round Five vs. John (Ultima) with Control Slaver

I didn't recognize John's face or name, but it turns it he was (is) Ultima here,
whom I have talked with on the message board. Should be an interesting match.

Game One

This game was pretty disappointing. He gets a Plats out via Tinker at some
point. I go into a HUGE turn while he is tapped out involving tons of mana
production followed by a Cunning Wish for Skeletal Scrying. I have like 11 mana
available with 7 easily expendable cards in my yard, so I opt to go for the Scry
for 7. Unfortunately, I draw pretty much nothing and lhave to pass the turn. At
this point, he gets to untap with a hand full of counters and ride Plats to
victory. The card I draw when he passes is: YawgWill. If only I had drawn one
more off Scrying. I attempt to cast it, but it's predictably met by Drain and
that's that.

SB: Same as round three

Game Two

I Duress him early, put down a Necro, and win the following turn.

Game Three

This game was more or less a freebie. He mulls pretty low, and I Duress him,
like in game two of round one. He can't do much of anything and I win easily.

Games: 11-5
Matches: 5-1

Allright, I am pumped. One more win to go, and I can draw into my first ever
Waterbury single elim.

Round seven vs. Jeremiah with EBA

I sit down across from Jeremiah and he asks me if I'm Justin Bransfield and I
say "yes". He says he recognizes my name from somewhere and asks if I've met him
before, I shake my head in bewilderment and with that we begin our match.

Game One

Not alot to say here, I just wrecked him, turn two. Turn 1, I Duress him, seeing
no counters, but Angel, Mage, Swords, and some other stuff. Turn two, I play
Tinker => Jar with four mana open, and decide to go for it and pop it
immediately. I am rewarded for my bravery and draw a handful of b0rken, winning

This is when I remember playing against someone on MWS who was playing EBA and
talking to them about it. I ask him if he has AIM, he says yes, I ask him what
his screen name is and he gives me that of the person I played on MWS and
buddylisted. There you go, he did recognize my name. It's pretty cool because I
gave him advice on his EBA build, (including tips on what to name with Meddling
Mage vs. TPS). Small world.

SB: I know he has Arcane Labs from our games on MWS, so I board as such: -2
Rebuild, -1 Time Spiral, -1 Gifts Ungiven -1 Memory Jar, +1 Rushing River, +1
Echoing Truth, +1 DSC, +1 Misdirection, +1 Skeletal Scrying

Game Two

He starts off with land, go. I look at my hand and nearly piss myself. Land,
Land, Vault, Lotus, Bargain, Duress, extra card. I play it safe and go land,
Duress, seeing no counters. He untaps and does nothing special, I lay Vault,
Lotus, Bargain, and win the match with my second turn two win against him.
Twisted Evil

Games: 13-5
Matches: 6-1

I wait for the Round 8 pairings and standings go up, very excited. When they do,
I find my opponent, and we ID. Sick! My first Waterbury t16!

Final Record

Games: 13-5
Matches: 6-1-1

I come in at 7th place with 19 points.

I and two teammates, Matt McNally and Ben Taraskevich, make Top 16 with 6-1-1
records. Of course, Ben has to be tenth, and we get paired for Top 16. Damn.

Top 16 vs. Ben with Control Slaver

Game One

Ben is really confident going into this match, having won both TPS matches he
played. Of course, so am I, having beaten both Slaver decks I faced. I lead with
land, Duress. He draws some cards, as do I, and eventually I just drop a bomb,
Bargain prolly, and win.

SB: I know he too has Labs because he was talking about them before the tourney.
I board as such: -1 Tinker, -1 Memory Jar, -1 Time Spiral, -2 Rebuild, +1
Skeletal Scrying, +1 Misdirection, +1 Echoing Truth, +1 Chain of Vapor

Game Two

He opens up with Land, Lotus, Lab. Uh oh. Fortunately for me, and much to his
dismay, my deck decides not to care. Over the next seven or so turns, while he
is casting EOT Brainstorms and AK for 1 and 2, I duress him FOUR times, build up
to 6 mana, play Bargain, draw 12 cards, and Echoing Truth his double Lab for the
win. He is incredibly distraught about my quad- Duress draw and the fact that I
was able to deal with double Lab starting on turn 1. But hey, whatadaya gonna

So I've made it to the T8. I'm ready to take my guarunteed LoA and leave at this
point, I own no cards worth more than $20 and I'm ecstatic at my performance so

Top 8 vs. Travis (JuggernautGO) with U/B HyperMUD thing

Game One

I don't remember too much about this game. He gets an early Tinker, and thinks
awhile about what to get. I would have practically scooped to a Titan, but after
much thought he decides to get a Jar and passes the turn. I untap, play my own
Tinker for Jar and pop it that turn. I draw an amazing hand and win.

SB: -1 Time Spiral, -1 Gifts Ungiven, +2 Energy Flux

He opens up with a turn 1 Juggs, I believe. I play an Energy Flux off two land
and a Mox Sapphire. In the process, I fetch using a Polluted Delta. I see my
board of Swamp, Sapphire, and fetch a Swamp, fearing Wastelands. Turns out he
doesn't run them, and I should have gotten a blue source anyway. My flux messes
up my only source of blue mana and in turn my chance of winning the game. He
manages to upkeep his 'Naut long enough to beat me to 0 with it.

SB: -1 Tinker, -1 Memory Jar, +1 Gifts Ungiven, +1 Time Spiral (I really didn't
know what was in his deck or how to board against it.)

Game Three

This is a huge nail-biter. I resolve a Bargain pretty early. The first few cards
I draw look golden: Mox, Mox, Vault. As I keep heading to 0 all I can find are
more Lands, Forces, and like all four Brainstorms. I end up going to 1, casting
3 Brainstorms in the process. As I am about to exhaust my last expendable life
point and therefore my last chance of winning, I play the final Brainstorm and
draw: Rebuild, Rebuild, Tendrils. OOPS! I bounce my Storm count up to about 30
and blast him for 3x his life total (well, not really, I just show him the cards
and he scoops.)

Wow, I can't believe it, I'm in the TOP FOUR of Waterbury. Me. Justin
Bransfield. Well, I will be anyway, but I have to wait another 2 and a half
hours until about 3 am. for those damn slaver mirrors to end. Argh.

Top 4 vs. Jeff (I think) with Slaver (#4!!!)

Game One:

He comes out pretty slow, and I tutor up a Duress to clear the way for a
Necropotence. Unfortunately, very unfortunately in fact, all the cards I get
with it, all the way down to 1 life, are HORRIBLE. I lose embarassingly with a
hand full of land and no draw step Crying or Very sad.

SB: Same as Top 16

Game Two

MUCH to my dismay, this game is more of the same, except more spectacularily
embarassing. I resolve no less than Necro, Time Spiral, Ancestal x2 (using
Scrying + Wish) and a Desire for 6 and just can't pull off the win. I think I
just got finally shafted by lady luck, but maybe I was just playing horribly. I
would have had to be playing incredibly horribly to lose with those cards,
though. It was 3:30 am. I was fucking tired.

So, I got up with a smile, walked over to Ray, claimed my Mox Jet prize (which
the other Top 4 player had left for me to choose from Mox Ruby, since his
bracket was over much earlier than mine). I said my goodbyes, and headed out
with my first piece of power.