Grimby’s first Magic The Gathering tournament

So, after playing Magic casually with friends and Mrs. Grimby over the past 4 years (on and off), I finally had the chance to attend a tournament. It was the M12 Pre-release, and since I am on vacation I figured I would hit it up. Magic 2012

I carted my wife with me – she paid the entry fee and got the 6 boosters and promo (the very cool Bloodlord of Vaasgoth) but opted not to play. We arrived a bit late so I only had half an hour to open my boosters and prepare a deck. First pack: Primeval Titan! Definitely a good sign. Further packs revealed some decent black rares (Vengeful Pharaoh, 2 Sutured Ghouls) and 3 other not so useful rares. Having quickly torn through my packs and sorted, my spell counts were 21 Green, 17 Blue, 11 Red, 12 White, 17 black, 3 artifacts. Given the concentration of colour in Green and Black, and the Titan, I decided to roll with it. The final version of my deck looked like this.
Primeval Motherfucker

Round 1

The guy was eccentric but entertaining. He was playing red-black-blue. The first game got off to a slow start on both sides of the board, until he played Jace and I knew I was screwed. He countered my Titan – I scooped. Game 2, again off to a slow start and it looked like I would have a chance – up until he took out Jace again. Argh! 0-2 to start – not good!

As this was my first match in my first ever tournament, I was feeling a little dejected. I had a few minutes to kill until the next match, so I took some time to analyze my deck, what went well and what didn’t. I realized that I had too many high-cost creatures, so I ditched the 2 Sutured Ghouls and a Wurm, and added a couple of black and green weenies. On my wife’s advice, I also added a Crumbling Colossus and a Kite Shield.

Round 2

I thought I was going to be the oldest player there, but my second round opponent looked to be in his late 40s. He and his wife got into the game because of their son, and all 3 were playing in the tourney. He was playing black-red. I don’t remember too many details of the 2 games, except that in the first game we were both down to single-digit life by the time I took out Primeval Titan. A couple of turns later, I had won my first ever tournament game. The second game, I held on to Consume Spirit and once again took out Titan to fetch some swamps. Next turn, attack, two more swamps, Consume Spirit to deal 8 damage to finish him off. 2-2, things looking up!

Round 3

My opponent was one of three Phils in the pool of twenty. He looked to take the game pretty seriously, offering me his deck to cut and cutting mine at the same time. He was playing white-green, relying heavily on soldier tokens and the same hexproof green weenies that I was using. He looked quite dejected after I cast Titan. Rightfully so. It was game over in no time, although my life total was in the single digits. The second game actually went a lot like the first one, with me bringing out Titan, attacking the next turn for 2 more Swamps. I finished him off with Consume Spirit, and my tournament record improved to 4-2. The two loss-free rounds meant I had six points, and the potential for a top 4 finish! Exciting! My master was most pleased.

Round 4

My last round was against a familiar face. Stef & I were in the card shop a couple days prior and this guy was there picking up some cards. We had had a good conversation about the game and bid our adieus saying we’d see him at the tournament. So anyway, prior to our first game, he tells me that he is super-tired from having pulled an all-nighter. Advantage: Grimby. He was playing black-red much like my round 2 opponent. Advantage: Grimby. Indeed, when I cast the hexproof Sacred Wolf, he said “aw man, I hate those hexproof guys”. I could only guess that he had lost prior games to players running green. I cast Titan both games, finishing him off with a Titan attack in game one, and using Titan’s fetches to load up swamps in game two for a final Consume Spirit. Good times as I finished the tourney 6-2 with nine points. The tournament winner had eleven points, but I was in a three-way tie for second (including my round 1 adversary). We three split the 18 pack prize pool for 2-4 finishers with 6 packs each.

All in all, a great experience for my first tournament ever. Alas, my vacation is nearing its end and I’m afraid my focus will have to return to my career as well as my continuing (non-MTG) education. I hope to play at least another tournament before year’s end, as they are quite fun.

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