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Subject: Lorwyn release tournament rss

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Adam Ruprecht
United States
Seattle
Washington
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One day I'll get in another draft, but for now it's yet another Lorwyn Sealed event. This was the release tournament at Genesis Games; it drew somewhat over 32 people.

My pool:
Blind-Spot Giant
Boggart Sprite-Chaser
Faultgrinder
Fire-Belly Changelin
Flamekin Harbinger
Giant Harbinger
Inner-Flame Acolyte
Lash Out
Lowland Oaf
Smokebraider x2
Tar Pitcher
Tarfire

Bog-Strider Ash
Briarhorn
Cloudthresher
Elvish Handservant
Gilt-Leaf Ambush
Jagged-Scar Archers
Lace with Moonglove
Lignify x2
Oakgnarl Warrior
Rootgrapple
Woodland Guidance

Dawnfluke
Entangling Trap
Goldmeadow Dodger
Goldmeadow Stalwart
Judge of Currents
Kinsbaile Balloonist
Kinsbaile Skirmisher
Kithkin Greatheart
Kithkin Healer
Knight of Meadowgrain
Neck Snap
Oaken Brawler
Sentry Oak
Soaring Hope
Springjack Knight

Bog Hoodlums x2
Faerie Tauntings
Footbottom Feast
Hornet Harasser
Liliana Vess
Makeshift Mannequin
Moonglove Winnower
Nath's Buffoon
Nameless Inversion
Nectar Faerie
Nettlevine Blight
Peppersmoke
Quill-Slinger Boggart
Scarred Vinebreeder
Skeletal Changeling
Weed Strangle

Aethersnipe
Aquitect's Will
Broken Ambitions
Faerie Harbinger
Mulldrifter
Ponder x2
Protective Bubble
Sentinels of Glen Elendra
Stonybrook Angler
Turtleshell Changeling

Herbal Poultice

Brion Stoutarm

Shimmering Grotto
Vivid Marsh x2
Seculded Glen

This is a very nice pool. Brion, Liliana, and Cloudthresher are all very strong rares; I probably can't get all three into a deck, but if I play either white or red as a main color I can probably manage to splash for Brion without too much trouble. I suspect that Nettlevine Blight also has a lot of potential, but I haven't yet seen it in play - it may be too slow even for sealed. I suspect the best build for this pool is black-white splashing red for Brion and Lash Out, but I just couldn't make that deck come together properly. Instead, I ended up running this:

Faultgrinder
Flamekin Harbinger
Giant Harbinger
Inner-Flame Acolyte
Lash Out
Smokebraider x2
Tarfire
Bog-Strider Ash
Briarhorn
Cloudthresher
Gilt-Leaf Ambush
Jagged-Scar Archers
Lace with Moonglove
Lignify x2
Oakgnarl Warrior
Rootgrapple
Neck Snap
Nameless Inversion
Aethersnipe
Mulldrifter
Brion Stoutarm
Shimmering Grotto
Vivid Marsh x2
Mountain x8
Forest x6

Yes, that's a five-color sealed deck. It's not quite as bad as it seems, though; all of my off-color spells are elemental other than Brion and Neck Snap, and the two Smokebraiders can handle the elementals just fine. I also have three lands that give me any color; between them I thought that would be enough.

Round 1 vs. Justin

This round was effectively a bye for me; Justin was obviously a very new player. He said that he had played in the past, but had been out for a while; I had to explain what swampwalk did and that he didn't need to tap his blockers. He was playing black/green treefolk, and he had Timber Protector and the Harbinger, but he didn't deal a single point of damage to me over the course of the match.

Round 2 vs. Patrick

Patrick was playing red-black with elementals and goblins. In game one, we both stalled out at two land for a while, and just sat looking at each other for a bit. He did draw Ashling the Pilgrim, but luckily I had my lash out. However, he drew land number three before I did, and killed me before I really got off the ground. Game two saw him start with Flamekin Brawler beatdown, but this time I had both more than two land and a Smokebraider. He was able to get a Changeling Champion on the table, but I lashed out at it and dropped Brion. Brion went up in a Consuming Bonfire, and he dropped Wort, Boggart Auntie. This looked bad for me, but I was able to Invert it with Smokebraider mana and drop my Oakgnarl Warrior. He had no more answers and my Warrior smashed him. Game three saw me open with Smokebraider on turn two, which led to Hurly-Burly turn three. I think it's the right play - killing my Smokebraiders can be crippling - but I was hoping my opponents wouldn't realize that quite yet... He did some damage with a Flamekin Brawler, but that kept his mana tied up while I dropped Giant Harbinger, then Brion. The Harbinger traded with the Brawler, and Brion once again was Consumed. At this point, we started racing each other with Inner-Flame Acolyte against Glarewielder and Boggart Sprite-Chaser. This was a race he was destined to win, but Oakgnarl Warrior showed up on my side, and Oakgnarl Warrior is very good at racing.

Round 3 vs. Dylan

Dylan was playing WBG elves. He had some very nice cards - Ajani and Militia's Pride explained the white, and he also had a Wren's Run Packmaster. Unfortunately for him, I was able to take out the Packmaster with Gilt-Leaf Ambush, and I beat him to death with Aethersnipe and a collection of weenies before he could fire off Ajani's final ability. In game two, he dropped an Imperious Perfect early, but decided to attack with it into my four open mana - Briarhorn devoured the Perfect. I followed up with Brion. He dropped the Hunter of Eyeblights to try to take out Brion, but I decided that the Hunter really needed to turn into a tree and started swinging with my freshly minted 5/5 lifelink giant. My life total quickly climbed to absurd levels, and he was unable to find an answer to Brion in time.

Round 4 vs. James

This is the same James I played against at the Gold Tier tournament round 2 last month; he was playing WBU. In game one, he got down an early Militia's Pride, along with a Goldmeadow Harrier and a Plover Knight, and just smashed me. I was mildly mana-screwed and didn't manage to touch him. Game two saw me open with Flamekin Harbinger into Smokebraider, then drop Mulldrifter. This is a great opening for my deck, and James couldn't come up with an answer fast enough. Game three was my worst-played game of the event. I had to mull down to six, but I once again started with Harbinger into Smokebraider. Unfortunately, those were my only two land. The elementals in my hand were so high casting-cost that I stupidly decided to just smash in with my men, but James was able to Neck Snap the Smokebraider. After quite a bit more trading, we ended up with a simple board state - James had enough land to do anything and a Dreamspoiler Witches. I had Briarhorn, three mountains, and three forests in play. My hand was pretty much concentrated goodness - I eventually accumulated Faultgrinder, Aethersnipe, Brion, Neck Snap, *and* Cloudthresher. James was at a fairly low life total, but he just kept drawing chumps to throw in front of Briarhorn, and he was slowly whittling me down. Every time I drew a card, he expected to die, but I just kept getting more unplayable beatings. He eventually got a Runed Stalactite down, and I faced a critical decision - whether or not to evoke Cloudthresher to kill the Witches. I decided not to, because if I drew a forest with Cloudthresher in my hand, I would just win. This is, of course, absolutely the wrong play - Faultgrinder will also be enough to win the game if I find the forest, so I should blow Cloudthresher to force him to find another threat. The second misplay was fatal, as I never drew another land, and the Witches beat me to death.

Round 5 vs. Jeremy

Jeremy was playing red-white. I don't think he was splashing anything, and I can say this with reasonable confidence because I think we saw every land in his deck over the course of our two games. I was mildly mana-screwed in both of them, but his deck just wouldn't give him any threats and I was able to come back to take both games.

I ended up finishing fourth - very respectable, but if I had avoided obvious misplays against James I could have drawn the final round for first/second. James certainly deserved the win in that match more than I did, though. I was pleased with how well my deck worked out; taking the basic plan (five-color elementals) as given, the only thing I think I should have done differently is replace Jagged-Scar Archers (which I ran primarily as an anti-Faerie card, only to never see a Faerie deck) with Makeshift Mannequin. I'm ambivalent about the card in most decks, but it's very strong with evoke creatures, and I'm running a ton of them. I had moved it to my "not playing" pile when I was trying to build the black/X decks, and I failed to move it back when I changed gears. A lesson for next time - always recheck your whole pool when you make a major shift in strategy.
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