Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know by now that I had a poor outing at the main event of GP Lille, starting with two 0-1 Last Chance Trials on Friday, a 2-4 start at the GP, and barely breaking even at side event on Sunday (4-3-1). First two days I played with Merfolk and I felt dismantled in many ways possible, starting with bad keeps, bad draws (I felt like I took mulligan frequently) and a few key misplays, like a big one in Game 3 of Round 2 against Merfolk that costed me the series, and another one against Suicide Zoo in Round 6, but that was Game 2 and resulted in a 0-2 loss for me.
What hurts me the most are many one landers without Vial, or Mutalanders with Vial or no Vial. A friend of mine said to me a few times before, and he is right. It’s just variance, and I agree to some extent. Merfolk are a relatively consistent deck, but it is still prone to mana flood or screw just like any other deck, but it was not just that. It’s not that I lost all the fun playing Merfolk, but I felt like I got tired of the deck, it’s interactions and gameplan, resulting in sloppy play, bad sequencing and misplays.
We traveled to Lille from Slovenia in a group of four, and two of my friends were able to get into day 2 (congratz) and they performed well enough to almost make it into the money. One played a fairly stock Affinity while the other went with the RG Valakut (without Breach and with Pia).
Either way, I lost motivation and went for a short sight-seeing tour of Lille on Sunday morning, and with a few Modern swiss side events on the schedule, me and a buddy of mine (who missed on the win-and-in for day 2) went for two of them. As most of the meta was creature based, I chose to play Skred Red and lost Round 1 against Bring to Light Scapeshift that Remanded me out of Game 2, and got beaten by Ad Naus in Round 2 after my Pithing Needle got wracked by Engineered Explosives. Yea I lost 0-2. I did manage to finish the first side event with an even score of 2-2 after sweeping with Kuldotha Red (Volcanic Fallout and Anger of the Gods) and Abzan Midrange with Spike Feeder combo (Anger + Blood Moon).
At the last event of the weekend I managed to Blood Moon and bash Bant Eldrazi after three games, and after I saw that mainboard Stubborn Denial to counter my Moon. I played around it in Game 2 and landed one turn 3 after his Stubborn Denial was paid with my Simian Spirit Guide. Funny enough I got demolished by Merfolk in the second round after two quick games, in the second one I mulled down to 5 and it was looking alright until the opponent copied his Merrow with an Image, then played a Cursecatcher, followed by a double Lord into Mutavault attack for lethal. My starting hand was 3 lands, Stormbreath Dragon and a KotH, but drew a Bolt and Roast to delay, only to face lethal too fast to stabilize or even respond. Round three is where it gets funny, as I eagerly await my opponent only to receive a free win due to no show, which is odd but I didn’t mind it at the time but later I kinda wanted to play after waiting for the whole hour only to split in the last round. However, I played one game against RG Ponza for fun (round 4 opponent) but he was screwed on mana, so there was no contest.
There has to be a lesson to learn. In fact, the first lesson for me is to be more concentrated and prepared. With misplays still present, I have a lot of work to do in order to become a better Magic player in general.
After taking a few days off from Magic I attended PPTQ Ljubljana this Saturday and to be honest I didn’t improve much, if at all. Sure, I had better starting hands, and lost to Infect and Ascendancy Gifts in the second and third round after beating UW Control in two grindy games, but I felt powerless against Ascendancy as I was unfamiliar with the deck, while losing yet againt to Infect was nothing new with my fish. The trend continued with the deck. Needless to say, I capped off the fourth round with a win against Thing Ascension only to lose the last round against Dredge (yet again). All facts combined (many creature decks in the local metagame, Dredge on the rise), I’ll probably play something like this at the upcoming tournaments: