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T2 with Apocolypse
By Michael Groves
T2 with Apocalypse
Pendrells Oak, London, England
July 1st 2001

Sam and Padders crashed at mine the night before the tournament. The evening was spent making minor tweaks to our sideboards, me running up and down the stairs fetching cards that Padders needed to make his deck and watching South Park. In the morning we were picked up by Iain and his Dead where we drove to....a train station. Think it was Embankment, but am not so sure. Our journey was quite adventurous as the Circle Line is closed on a Sunday, and thus we had to catch a replacement bus. We struggled to find a bus stop, and then saw the correct bus (the number 8) coming down the road. It stopped at the traffic lights, and Sam banged on the door and tried to get him to let us in. He of course refused, and this led to a mad chase through the streets(ok street) of London after the bus, which thankfully stopped at a nearby stop. We made it to the venue on time to find that only 2 other competitors had turned up, and no Judge or Event Co-ordinator was there yet! Anyway, they soon arrived, and eventually 23 competitors paid their 5 to enter. Our decks were as follows. Iain was playing a G/B/W deck, embracing many of the powerful new cards in Apocalypse such as Pernicious Deed, Vindicate, Desolation Angel and of course Spiritmonger. Sam was running a R/W deck that ran Desolation Giants and Goblin Trenches. Padders was running a deck that I co-designed, entitled "TIMMAY"(after the south park character), which was essentially a fun deck, containing 14 different "Pingers"(including 2 Raths Edge), lots of walls, 4 Worship, 3 Spiritual Asylum and some Counter magic. I ran my own carefully designed and playtested G/U deck. Here is the decklist

4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Gaea's Skyfolk
4 Blastoderm
2 Air Elemental
4 Saproling Burst
4 Tangle Wire
4 Temporal Spring
4 Memory Lapse
2 Hoodwink
2 Creeping Mold
1 Rath's Edge
4 Yavimaya Coast
10 Forest
7 Island

Sideboard

2 Aether Mutation
2 Washout
1 Tangle
4 Gainsay
2 Confound
1 Hurricane
3 Penumbra Bobcat

Basically the deck was designed to run like the old saga-masques T2 "Trinity", using Tangle Wires and Temporal Springs to slow the opponent, whilst beating them around the head with Blastoderms, Saproling Bursts and Air Elementals. I was very happy with the deck despite having to run Rath's Edge where I wanted to run a Dust Bowl, and felt I had a good chance of improving on my last constructed event, where I went 0-0-6 with Fires(read that report at www.deadnet.org.uk). The format for this event was 5 rounds of swiss with a cut to top 4. The pairings went up, and the fun began!

Round 1 - Sam Duncombe - RW burn/beats
Doh! Playing against my playtesting partner.
Game 1 - I smashed his face in. My only life loss came from a painland and a Goblin Legionaire thrown at me in desperation as I finished him off with a Raths Edge.
Game 2 - Much the same except I took a grand total of zero damage.

The round was over in 2 minutes, and so I wandered around to see how the rest of team 347 was doing. James recorded his first constructed game win, but lost the match, and Iain lost too.

Round 2 - didn't record name - U/W Fish
Game 1 - I managed to get some early damage through thanks to a second turn Tangle Wire, but the fish soon came in for the kill.
Game 2 - I sided in the Washouts, Gainsays and Tangles. I had to mulligan twice, and he did once, and I kept a risky hand of 2 Skyfolk, 2 Spring and a lone Island. The gamble paid off, as I drew a forest, and played the skyfolk. He followed by plaing a Lord of Atlantis, making my Skyfolk a 3/3. I made the other Skyfolk, and sent for 3. He then played a second Lord(I couldnt work this out either) and passed to me. I sent for 8, and put a land on top of his library and said go. He dropped a 3rd(!!!) Lord, and attacked for 4, before conceding, showing me a hand of Islands.
Game 3 - This was a close game, but eventually he came out on top due to the Island walking nature of his Fish.

So, 1-0-1, which was still better than last time, yet I knew my deck could do more...

Round 3 - didn't record name - R/B Land Destruction
Game 1 - He destroys a few early lands, but once I get a Wire down, followed by a Derm and an Elemental he quickly concedes.
Game 2 - I keep a hand of 6 lands and a Tangle Wire, which proved to be lucky, as he did not topdeck anything but LD and a lone familiar. By this time I had drawn the other 3 Wires, and 2 Derms, and he conceded soon after.

That game was quite cruel. Land Destruction has no chance against my deck. Spent the time remaining with Padders(bye) and the Judge playing this CCG called "Brawl" which is played in real time. Truly excellent game, and am currently trying to find a gaming store that stocks it.

Round 4 - Keith Lovey - U/B/r Warped Devotion
Game 1 - Tangle Wire/Blastoderm/Air Elemental all the way.
Game 2 - He gets 4(!!!) devotion down, and has enough counters to stop my threats. Mahomoti soon follows, and despite me hoodwinking a devotion(hehe) it was too little too late.
Game 3 - see game 1.

At 3-0-1 I need to win this game to make top 4!!!

Round 5 - didn't record name. - Totally weird Graveyard Recursion Deck thing
Game 1 - All I see from him are a lot of different lands and a Flametongue Kavu as I quickly win this.
Game 2 - He neglects to play a land, and instead discards a Sabertooth Nishoba. His second turn involves him resurectting the Nishoba using the new Split Card Life/Death. This sends for all 20 damage.
Game 3 - His deck seems totally different, and all I see are R/B lands. He drops a first turn Kris Mage, and uses this to kill all my mana producers, and drop a Scuta, Darigaaz and a Phyrexian Delver into his Graveyard. He then played a Flametongue Kavu to kill my Gaeas Skyfolk, which I followed up with 2 Derms. He was forced to block one with the Flametongue, and then proceeded to use Twilights Call to bring all his creatures into play!!! However I held the answer in my hand, and when he passes to me I Wash Out naming black. Then charge for the kill. He attempts to use Death to bring a Flametongue back, but I kindly point out that it is a sorcery, as I march on into the top 4!!!

Wow. I have a 4-0-1 record, putting me in 3rd place overall. This means my semi-final match is against one of the 4-1-0 players who ID to ensure they both make it. Sam and Iain both went 2-0-3 and Padders managed to win his final match, finishing on 1-0-4 and earning himself a free pint!! They all decide to draft after presenting their reasons for a share of my prize!

Semi-Final - Bijan ??? - U/B discard
Bijan is a really cool guy who always talks and trades with us at the event. I had seen his deck at the last tournament, and although it had undergone some changes, I thought this would be a tough matchup.
Game 1 - I take 1 point of damage from a painland as he is mana screwed. My constant topdecking of Temporal Springs and Blastoderms does not help matters for him.
Game 2 - He does draw lands, but Tangle Wire and Spring combine to pin him back, and a Blastoderm starts to do him damage. A Persecute naming green when I am holding a Memory Lapse and an Air Elemental in hand leads to him conceding.

Oh my GOD!!! I have made the final!!! This guaranteed me 18 boosters, which more than covered my expenses for the day. Noone else could quite believe it either, but Sam, Padders and Iain were rooting for me to win(so that they got more cards out of me no doubt!) I was due to play this guy playing a 4 colour version of Counter Rebel, with no basic lands! How I wished I had that Dust Bowl!!! This was probably my most feared matchup, as it was a similar idea to mine, control with beatdown, but Counter Rebel had the edge on the control aspect.

Final - Daniel ???
Game 1: Although I manage to take him to 13, the chain is soon started and after he Orims Thunders a saproling burst I concede.
Game 2: Don't remember too much of this one, but I manage to pull out a win somehow, thanks to Washout naming white twice.
Game 3: The rebel chain gets going, and I extend my hand as I hit 3 life with no blockers for the imminent Sky Marshall....

Still, I have nothing to feel sorry about. Going from losing every match to being runner up is never a bad thing, and my winning packs give me 2 Painlands, Pernicious Deed, Spiritmonger and some other decent stuff. I sold the Deed and a Painland almost immediately, for 8, more than covering my entrance fee. Padders also won the draft pod, and picked up 5 packs of Apocalypse, which contained a Spiritmonger, Pernicious Deed and Vindicate!!! McDonalds and home soon beckoned, and we left around 9.00 and wandered round London looking for an open tube station. Once discovered, we got on a train, and I found ourselves home at 11pm.

Props - Brawl - such cool game, Padders for winning a match with "TIMMAY!", his unfortunate opponent for buying him a pint, Padders for giving me some of the pint to steady my nerves! Iain and Steve for lending me the Birds, Wires and Bursts(all kinda useful)

Slops - nothing at all! I came 2nd, and had nothing to complain about!

Hopefully I will be going back in a months time for the next T2, and will be writing another joyful report!

Michael aka Mpgsheep

Read More Articles by Michael Groves!

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