Subject: [Report] PT Dallas Type I Tournament
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 23:59:42 GMT

Here's a very long report of the tourney.

I was playing a B/u/r Necro deck with Hymns, Stupors, Sinkholes, Juzam
Djinn, and Juggernauts. Here's the deck list: 

BLACK (25)
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Stupor
4 Dark Ritual
4 Sinkhole
3 Juzam Djinn
3 Necropotence
2 Nether Void
1 Demonic Tutor

BLUE (2)
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk

RED (2)
2 Gorilla Shaman

4 Juggernaut
2 Nevinyrral's Disk
1 Grinning Totem
1 Zuran Orb

MANA (25)
1 Black Lotus
3 Moxes (Jet, Sapphire, Ruby)
1 Sol Ring
1 Library of Alexandria
2 City of Brass
4 Strip Mine
4 Underground Sea
4 Badlands
2 Sulphurous Springs
3 Swamps

2 Dystopia
2 Dark Banishing
2 Contagion
2 Shatter
2 Gorilla Shaman
2 Guerilla Tactics
2 Sand Golem
1 Nevinyrral's Disk

Let's get to the Matches!

Round 1 -- Biren Amin playing U/W Control a la Weissman

Game 1

I got out an early big nasty, which was promptly plowed. Shortly
thereafter, I put down a Juzam. It smacked Biren for about 15 points, then
he was able to finally plow it. But by that time, I had a Necro on the
table and was drawing like mad. Hymns, Stupo rs and Sinkholes flew
furiously, then I finally finished him off with a second Juzam. 

Game 2

Out went three Stupors and the Time Walk and in went the Dystopias (he had
Moat) and the Guerilla Tactics. I never really got much offense going
early on. I did the Hymn/Sinkhole thing for a while, but never got a meaty
creature to slay him with. After a while, I finally dropped my first
Juggernaut. Moat. Sigh. Fortunately for me, I had a Dystopia in hand so I
just had to bide my time for one more Hymn. Even with my Necro out, I
couldn't seem to draw anything. I dropped my second Juggernaut behind the
Moa t so they were poised to attack. He Disenchanted it. Finally, I threw
a Hymn, drew a counter and dropped the Dystopia. His Moat went away so I
smacked him with the Juggernaut, once. Sure enough, it was Plowed the next
turn. To make a long story short, he dropped another Moat. I dropped a
Disk to get rid of it, but it was Disenchanted. I dropped a second Disk
which hit the table. Next turn I blew it and my last Necro up. I never had
another creature last a turn. Fireballs and Plows killed them all. Biren d
ecked me. 

Game 3

Basically, I didn't get any offense and he had just enough defense. Game 2
had taken too long. We drew as time expired. 

RESULTS: 1 Match point, 3 Game points

Round 2 - Johan Disenborg playing R/U/b Vise/Direct Damage

Game 1

I was looking forward to facing some opponents from other countries and 
Johan was the only one I came up against. He was here from Sweden playing 
in the Type I and reporting for a Swedish card gaming magazine. We had 
several opportunities to chat during Saturday's Type II while I was 
helping judge.

The first game we pretty quick. Johan didn't get much mana to speak of. I
dropped a pair of Juzams on around turn 5 and that was all she wrote. 

Game 2

Out went 3 Necro and the Time Walk and in went two Mox Monkeys and two
Shatter. He went first and played a first turn Vise. It took me forever to
get completely out from under it. By that time he had dropped another one.
I worked my Monkeys really hard an d they almost got me back into the
game, but Johan Wheeled when I was down to 4 life and finished me off. 

Game 3

Out went 1 Juzam and 1 Disk and in went two Guerilla Tactics. This turned
out to be a good move since I was able to blast his Mox Monkeys with the
Tactics. Things traded back and forth for a while. I finally got a Juzam
down and he was unable to deal with it.

RESULTS: 2 Match points, 4 Game points
TOTAL: 3 Match, 7 Game

ROUND 3: Ryan Eaton playing U/W control

Game 1: Ryan had terrible luck for mana, while I had a near god-draw. I
Hymned, Stupored and Sunk for a while then dropped my Necro and Zuran Orb.
After drawing like crazy, I dropped a Juzam then a Juggernaut and Nether
Void. Game over. 

Game 2: More back luck for mana for Ryan. He was able to get a Jayemdae
Tome rolling for a while, but it wasn't as fast as my Necro was (he had to
blow a Disenchant on a fast Juggernaut). I eventually Disked then dropped
a Juzam which finished him off. 

RESULTS: 2 Match points, 4 Game points
TOTAL: 5 Match, 11 Game

ROUND 4: Paul Ferker playing R/U/g Djinn and Juice

Game 1: I dropped a turn 3 Necro with no life gain or Disk in hand. BAD
MOVE. Even though I was able to stay alive with Paul fending off my
critters, he finally killed them all and left me with no life. I died to a
bolt when I had to Necro down to 3. 

Game 2: Out went Necro and in went the Dark Banishings and Contagions. I
smacked Paul with a Juzam for a couple turns till he blocked with a
Serendib and bolted it. In short order, he dropped two more Serendibs and
I didn't see a single card of creature c ontrol. That was very fast. 

RESULTS: 0 Match point, 0 Game points
TOTAL: 5 Match, 11 Game

ROUND 5: Peter Guevin playing Necro (very like a modified Type II)

Game 1: I went first and got my Hymns and Sinkholes moving. I dropped a
Juzam and Necro and finished him off. Peter couldn't get any land for the
life of him, not even for a pump knight. 

Game 2: He went first, but it didn't help him. I drew first blood with a
Hymn and Stupor on turn two. Peter kept drawing land and more land and
nothing to deal with my Juggernaut. Another fast game from a mana screw. 

RESULTS: Match 2 points, Game 4 points
TOTAL: Match 7 points, Game 15 points

ROUND 6: Patrick Albro playing G/W Ernhamgeddon

Game 1: I got an early Juzam and Necro. He got no land.

Game 2: In went my Dystopias and out went some Stupors. I got plenty of
Mox mana early on though I saw no creatures. Patrick saw nothing
significant. I went Necropowerful and finally saw a couple, including a
Dystopia. I dropped a Juzam to block his Ernha m. Next turn I dropped the
Dystopia. He fought to the end but there was nothing he could do. I kind
of felt bad for this one since it knocked him out of contention for a
place, but Type I is just a strange environment and mana screws do happen. 

RESULTS: Match 2 points, Game 4 points
TOTAL: Match 9 points, Game 19 points

ROUND 7: Mark Justice playing Classic Necropotence

Game 1: I must admit I was a bit nervous going into this round since we
both needed a win to have a chance at making the Top 8. We discussed
taking a draw early on, but Scott Johns did the math and figured Justice
(his teammate) needed a win to advance. I wasn't about to take a draw
either if it wasn't a guaranteed in so we played. I won the die roll which
turned out to be all important. Necro did as Necro does. I Hymned turn 1
and Sinkholed turn 2. Stupor turn 3 and Necro turn 4. Juzam Turn 5.
Juggernaut turn 6. Justice was dead turn 7.

Game 2: Sideboarding turned out to be pretty irrelevant. Justice went
first and got control of the board. I did manage to hit him a few times
with a Juzam but we ended up trading Djinns. His pumpers finished me off. 

Game 3: Even though Justice got a Turn 1 Ivory Tower, I quickly destroyed
all his mana sources. I eventually dropped a Juggernaut, Djinn, then
Nether Void and he was unable to block with creatures for long. 

RESULTS: Match 2 points, Game 4 points
TOTAL: Match 11 points (5-1-1), Game 23 points

And then we had to wait. Scott Johns and his zoo deck finished early so he
had advance time to figure out everyone's odds of making it into the final
eight. The top 6 players all took draws so they knew they were in. That
left Scott and I at 11 points, wi th Mike Dove and Darwin Kastle still
battling for a slot. Darwin had 9 points going into the round and needed a
win to make it in. Mike was playing to make Top 16 and be in the money.
They were both playing very cautiously since everything was on the line.
Scott and I were fret ting out in the hallway since we no finished players
were allowed to view other matches in progress. 

Just an aside, Mike Dove probably had the two best stories of the tourney.
He was playing a R/U/g Djinn and Juice type deck with Unstable Mutations,
Final Fortune, Berserk and Fork. Lots of very fun cards. During one game
late in a match, Mike dropped a t urn one Erhnam with a Forest and Lotus.
His opponent ritualed out a Stupor, forcing Mike to drop a Sand Golem!
Mike then chose to drop... another Sand Golem! Turn two Mutant Golem,
Berserk it and attack! Game over turn 2 with 22 points of damage. Another
time, late in a game, Mike was sitting on a Mox Monkey. His opponent
tapped out to cast someting large (Mirror?). Next turn, Unstable Muta te,
Berserk, Fork, Regrow, Berserk!! 32/4 Mox Monkey wins the game! 

Back to the match at hand... Well, I don't know how it happened, but
Darwin and Mike ran out of time during game three. That draw officially
put myself and Scott into the number 7 and 8 seeds for the finals! 

I WAS IN!! I was so totally excited at this point. This was the first Pro
Tour I had attended, even though I hadn't earned an invite to the feature
event. That win over a strong player like Mark Justice guaranteed me a
$2,250 payoff which more than paid f or my trip from Oakland, CA! :)

Guevin(1) vs Johns(8) - Johns won, 2-1 
Fleischman(2) vs Kuta(7) - Results below. ;)
Ferker(3) vs Shwe(6) - Shwe won, 2-0 
O'Mahoney-Schwartz(4) vs Cargilo(5) - O'Mahoney-Schwartz won, 2-0 

I should point out where everyone on this list hails from. Guevin,
Fleischman, Ferker and O'Mahoney-Schwartz are from the Northeast (NH, PA,
and NY) and Johns, Shwe, Cargilo and I are all from California.
Hmmm...Trend or coincidence? 

I'm pretty sure Tom Guevin played a Djinn and Juice deck much like the
other Northeastern players. Scott Johns just beat him to the punch with
his Zoo deck. 

Paul Ferker played a Djinn and Juice while Huei-Saint Shwe played a Zoo
deck similar to Scott Johns'. 

Steven OM-S played Djinn and Juice. I have no idea what Cargilo was
playing. Anyone? 

Back to the matches!

Sean Fleischman playing R/U/g Djinn and Juice with Black Vise

Game 1: Necro is as Necro does. Hymns and Sinkholes fly. I drop a quick
Juzam and Juggernaut and Sean goes down in relatively short order. 

Game 2: This is the most intense game of the tournament. Sean knows he is
up against a wall here. He MUST win to stay alive. I know he has an
extremely potent deck against mine if I don't get a quick jump. The only
thing I am really worried about is his s ideboard. Does he have Sand
Golems? I put in my Dark Banishings just in case as well as more Mox
Monkeys and the Shatters pulling out all three of my Necros and some
Stupors. Things are pretty slow early on. I drop a Juggernaut, he bolts
it. He drops a Dw arven Miner, I tactics it. He smacks me a couple times
with bolts until he drops a Monkey. I drop a Juzam. I attack, he blocks.
I'm at 7. I attack, he takes it 7-15. I attack, he takes it 6-10. I cast
my Grinning Totem! HAHA! His Zuran Orb is mine next tu rn! I attack, he
takes it 5-5. I activate the Totem with a Jet and two Badlands untapped.
WHERE IS HIS ZURAN ORB!!?? I totem'ed for his Ancestral Recall the
previous game and had seen it so it had to be there somewhere. It was
nowhere to be found. A bit f lustered, I tried to decide on an alternate
card to pick. Sean said, "Don't change the order of the cards unless
you're going to take it." Must have been some old Jedi Mind Trick he used
on me. I looked at my hand and saw I had a Tactics and a City of Bra ss. I
couldn't find any Lightning Bolts in his deck either, so I assumed he had
them in hand, so I knew I had to kill him now or he might kill me next
turn or on my upkeep. I chose - Psionic Blast. I guess I was thinking that
he wouldn't be able to draw o ne on his turn, so my Juzam would attack and
kill him on the next. I ended my turn. Sean drew his card. He played a
land and Stripped my City of Brass. I let it go not casting the Psi Blast
fearing he had a Bolt in hand. My turn, I take 1 point from the J uzam.
4-5. He Bolts me -- 1-5. He Incinerates me. I'm dead! AARGGHH!!! Onto game

GAME THREE Turn One - Swamp, Lotus, Ritual, Ritual, TWO JUGGERNAUTS! Even
though Sean is playing a Bolt deck, I gamble that he won't be able to deal
with them that fast. Sean's Turn one: Volcanic Island, Bolt. My hopes
wilt. I smack him with the remaining Juggernaut . His next turn, Mox,
land, Serendib. I attack with the Jugg and he trades creatures. Next he
lays a Black Vise and strips my remaining land. He gets a pair of Mox
Monkeys out. I draw a Dark Banishing. I start to internally curse myself
for not siding in the Contagions instead. I get plinked to death by Mox
Monkeys and finished off by a Vise and Bolt. Thankyouforplaying. 

Turns out in game two I made what I now call my "$1600 Mistake." Like I
said, Sean is a master of Jedi Mind Tricks. All I needed to do was Totem
for an Incinerate. Then I could have cast both the Tactics and Incinerate
with the four mana I had available, ending the game before he had another
turn and before I had another upkeep for the Juzam. *SIGH* There went my 
guaranteed Top 4 Finish.

Oh well. I guess it was just my time to choke at the elite levels of Magic
in the skill-intensive realm of Type Fun. 

In the semi-finals: 

Johns vs O'Mahoney-Schwartz - Johns won, 2-1 

The key here was Scott's sideboard, which contained at least three
Meekstones. Scott locked down one of OM-S's Serendibs for at least 5 turns
under a Meekstone, without drawing any anti-artifact measures, like a Mox
Monkey. Five life means a lot when two blast decks face off. 

Fleischman vs Shwe - Shwe won, 2-0

Shwe just got the faster draws. That's about all there is to say.

I should note though that ALL FOUR SEMI-FINALISTS played a speed
creature/burn deck. The only difference is that the East Coast players
used Serendibs and the West Coast players used more Red Blasts. There may
be other differences, but I'm not acutely aware of them. 

In the final match: 

Johns vs Shwe - Johns won, 2-1

Not much to say. Speed vs Speed is pretty much a toss-up.

PHEW. That's the whole tourney report. I would like to add a couple words 
about playing this deck. It's very much an 'Old School' deck. Big 
Creatures with hand/land destruction. Apparently there was much scoffing 
at my decision to use Juggernauts and even some question about why the 
Grinning Totem is in there instead of a Jester's Cap. Please allow me to 

JUGGERNAUTS. They're huge, fast, and not reliant on color. They're also 
one of the most fragile creatures in the game. Disenchant, Lightning 
Bolt, Crumble, and a host of smaller creatures can easily destroy them. 
People usually think, Hypnotic Spectre is a much sounder choice and in 
general I would agree with them. But, there were several reasons I didn't 
pack Spectres. First, I expected to face off against other Necro decks. 
My Juggernauts can kill their Juzams and Spectres. Their Spectres are 
just weak blockers compared to my Juggernauts. Second, I expected to see 
several Abyss decks there. I only faced one player who packed the Abyss 
(Ryan Eaton) and I got rid of it with my Nether Void after he buried one 
of my Monkeys. Thirdly and most importantly -- SAND GOLEMS. I knew there 
would be tons of them in sideboards and I didn't want to be reliant on 
Spectres for damage if I'd be taking 4 points the next turn and every 
turn thereafter. If people put the Golems in against me, they wouldn't be 
nearly as effective since I usually pulled out my Stupors in favor of 
better cards. Lastly, Juggernauts are still creatures if hit by a 
Contagion. True, 1/1 isn't a whole lot, but they're still on the table.

As for the Grinning Totem, there were two cards that I expected to be the
most important in the tournament. Balance and Zuran Orb. Even though I was
playing Necro, I didn't want to pack Ivory Tower since I knew there'd be
at least 4 Vises for me to compete with. It was in my sideboard until
about 30 minutes before the tourney however. I figured if nothing else I
could take my opponent's Zorb. After seeing some wild Balance decks in the
previous couple weeks, especially with Mystical Tutor in force, I knew
that this card could knock me flat. It really sucks losing two big
creatures and your entire hand with a Necro on the table and no way to
easily replace it. So, I figured if nothing else, I could put a Balance
into my opponent's graveyard. Also, it's such an advantage to have a peak
at your opponent's deck, no matter what the situation. Some cards that I
actually Totem'd for were: Demonic Tutor, Ancestral Recall, Juzam Djinn
and Recall.  It depended highly on my mana situation, and my opponent's
deck as to what I selected. I took the Recall against Biren's control 
deck which had a bit of recursion in it. I took a Juzam against Peter 
Guevin in Game 1. He never saw ANY of my creatures so he didn't know 
what to defend against in Game 2.

All in all it's a pretty sound deck. I think I would make two 
modifications to it after chatting with Zak Dolan that night. He also 
asked about the Juggernauts and came up with what I think is a good 
solution for them -- Balduvian Hordes. Now before you naysayers start 
saying nay again, listen to strategy. Not only are they bolt-proof, but 
against Black Vise, they may actually help! Plus, since I'm not packing 
Ivory Tower, it really doesn't matter how many cards I want to hold in 
hand. Necropotence will fill my hand right back up. I would probably opt 
for two Hordes in place of two Stupors, and I'd also tweak the mana ratio 
for the extra Red (there was considerable red in my sideboard so that's 
why the Sulphur Springs were in there). The only drawback to Hordes is 
that they can't be Ritualed out and they're affected by The Abyss. 
Perhaps they'd make a better sideboard creature.

I hope you all enjoyed this tourney report. It's by far the most detailed 
I've attempted to put together. See ya!

Jeffrey Kuta (