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Tourney Report: $5,000 Qualifier
By Robert Hilliard
Another Train tourney report – this time from the player’s perspective…

Texas Magic League $5,000 Qualifier
Format: Extended

Place – Mad Hatter’s House of Games, Lubbock, TX.

Getting geared up for the tourney I had no one to practice with, considering everyone here in San Angelo plays casual and 1.5… So I went with an old stand-by of mine… Sneak Attack. Though Sneaky lost a lot of it’s speed when dark ritual wasn’t allowed… it still is a strong deck against any other out there, especially since I run 4 Defense Grids base deck, with 4 Mind Slicers as back up. Gotta beat Blue somehow, and those are 2 great ways!

On with the day of the event…

I show up at Hatter’s about 1.5 hours before the tourney begins, and am stunned to find no available sitting room! Great turnout I thought. Then a cruel joke revealed itself to me. Of all the people in the place, only 2 were even looking at anything that resembled a Magic card. The rest had Yu-gi-oh spread all over the tables. My stomach turned and I dodged the little munchkins running around trying to find a safe haven in the place to sit and try to banish this sight from mine eyes. I found refuge in the back of the store. The only reassuring thing was that they would all be gone before our tourney began.

Now off the soapbox and on with the tourney report:

13 players showed up, 16 really, but only 13 played.
I’ll report on my games and games and top 8’s I know of.

Round 1:
Sneak Attack vs. U/G/w
Game 1: The game started off well for my opponent, and after seeing blue I waited until he tapped out to play the Sneak attack. He’d never seen one before. Needless to say Crater Hellion demolishes Werebears and Nimble Mongooses. He then bounced my Sneak with a Rushing River and played a thresholded Werebear.
I played Sneak again(he was tapped out) and dropped a Symbiotic Wurm. A Scoop followed.
Game 2: He was able to Meddling Mage my Sneak Attack. Steam Blast answered. He hadn’t seen one of those either. He won with threshold beat down.
Game 3: He watched Defense Grid hit early. Sneaky Time. Then I realized why he let me beat him down. He soon played a Worship. I was sucking it up. I’d never seen Sneaky run Draw-Go before… Finally he meddling maged Laquatus’ Champion. I said… “okay…”, and we resumed the game. Finally I drew a Champion and snuck him into play. Needless to say a judge was called for as he and another person thought the mage stopped Sneak Attack. Alas your Victor.
Matches 1-0 Games 2-1

Round 2:
Sneak vs. Re-anime
Game 1: I didn’t get a sneak attack first game, and got beat by a second turn Phantom Nishoba.
Game 2: I got a sneaky and snuck out a Mogg Maniac when he came over with Multani. Then I got royally beat the next turn. And the turn after that.
Matches 1-1 Games 2-3

Round 3:
Sneak vs. Extend-a-tog
Game 1: I took tog to the limit, but never saw a defense grid. Loss for me.
Game 2: This game was a battle, but when tog is Shadow Rift-ed, well, there’s not much you can do against a 21/23 creature with Shadow.
Matches 1-2 Games 2-5

Round 4:
Sneak vs. Fluctuator
Game 1: Not a great draw, and only 3 lands. I got the beats to a 5th turn cycling-Rift kill.
Game 2: Great draw, and the Keldon Vandals I sideboarded in for Fluctuator decided to get in play.
Game 3: Best draw I could ask for against this deck, a Keldon Vandal, and a Volrath’s Stronghold, with enough mana to fuel the cycle. Sneak took over, and the Runes of protection required colored mana, so he was forced to use the CoB. He pretty much pinged himself. I will say though: Hard-casting 2 Shivan Phoenix and a Champion is not what my deck is supposed to do.
Matches 2-2 Games 4-6

Cut to Top 8: My losses were to the 2nd and 3rd seats respectively. So my tie-breaks were awesome.

Sneak vs. Re-Ani-Druid
Game 1: Beat by a second turn Verdant force is not nice. But it happens.
Game 2: 3 land with a Sneak and everything I could ask for in hand… Beaten by a Force again. Never got a 4th land.

The finals was the Extend-a-tog vs. Re-Anime, the first one I played. Tog got it. Glad I lost to the winners of the tourney though. Made me feel a lot better. And I got a pack of Visions and 3 packs of Weatherlight.

Other decks played that I recall.
Black Red Control

‘Til next time!


Read More Articles by Robert Hilliard!

 - Wednesday (July 18. 2018)
 - Thursday (May 17, 2018)
 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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