This tournament was a few weeks back, but since the general popularity of Ransac's reports, I figured I might as well share my experiences with the Standard format with you. I started this season playing a Tezzeret control deck (which was awesome, but with Reborn in the picture is a bit too slow). I prefer to play control or midranged decks over aggressive decks, so that meant I would play Cryptic Commands, rather than Windbrisk Heights and Spectral Procession. During a failed Grand Prix Trial (3-3) I played against a Swans deck, which totally crushed me, and although that also had to do with me mulliganning to five twice, I figured I would give the deck a shot. The original lists usually were straight UR, sometimes with a small black splash. However, during the few test-games I played with it, it turned out that the deck was strong against other control decks, but tokens and especially Figure of Destiny could get out of hand quickly. I chose to add white for Ajani Vengeant and Wall of Reverence, as well as sideboard access to Celestial Purge and Path to Exile. Here's the list of the final 61 I played (I really wanted 27 lands, yet couldn't decide what to take out ) at a Nationals Qualifier Event. 3x Swans of Bryn Argoll 3x Plumeveil 3x Wall of Reverence 4x Cryptic Command 3x Broken Ambitions 2x Negate 2x Remove Soul 3x Pyroclasm 3x Volcanic Fallout 2x Ajani Vengeant 3x Jace Beleren 1x Tidings 2x Seismic Assault ==34 spells 4x Reflecting Pool 1x Mountain 4x Island 3x Cascade Bluffs 2x Mystic Gate 1x Rugged Prairie 1x Adarker Wastes 1x Shivan Reef 1x Battlefield Forge 3x Vivid Creek 2x Vivid Crag 1x Vivid Meadow 3x Ghitu Encampment ==27 lands SB: 2x Banefire 3x Pithing Needle 3x Path to Exile 1x Plumeveil 1x Wild Ricochet 2x Swerve 1x Negate 2x Celestial Purge ==15 spells Round 1, Johan (Boat Brew). Great start, Johan is a good friend of me, and I travelled the 100 miles together with him. I know he's playing Boat Brew, and I also know that while I'm slightly favoured, it's still a tough matchup, and he's a very good player as well. First game starts out quite nice. I manage to keep the board clear of threats, dropping a swans and directly pyroclasm his board away, drawing me two cards. That's when things went wrong though, I planned on riding the swans to victory, but he got a Siege-Gang Commander, which proceeded to draw him a total of 8 cards while I was drawing nothing but lands. The second game went better, but just as I had managed to control the board, time was called. Damn these slow decks 0-1 (0-1) A great start, since just under 70 players and 7 rounds mean that 7-2 most likely won't be good enough, so no room for error anymore. Round 2, Dominique (Dark Bant) Someone I didn't know, hopefully a local whom I could outplay. I won the diceroll, and he started with a Treetop Village, giving away what he was playing. I adjusted my gameplan accordingly, and let my first striking Ghitu Encampments and Plumeveils hold his troops at bay, while I waited for a second pyroclasm-effect to take down his liege and his team. When I got it, my manlands finished him in short order. Second game was boring, he was manaflooded which enabled me to easily countered every spell he tried to play. 1-1 (2-1) Round 3, Wout (Blightning Beatdown) Game one was utterly ridiculous. He was on the play and started with Hellspark Elemental (I hate that card, since it usually does the full 6 damage =/) into Blightning, which I was ready for with a Broken Ambitions. He clashed into another Blightning, which surprisingly he sent to the bottom. I soon found out why, as the next two turns he cast the last two Blightnings that were left in his deck. I only had a Remove Soul and an uncastable Cryptic Command in hand, so was quickly out of cards. He then went on to bash me with Demigods. Game two went to me, I ambushed his Elemental with a Plumeveil, then added a wall of Reverence to the team. 4 life per turn wasn't something he was going to win, so he scooped 'm up after a few turns. Game three was great for me. I had a Swerve for his third turn Blightning, after he had mulliganed to 6. Almost out of cards I quickly got Plumeveil with double Wall of Reverence, taking the game quite easily. 2-1 (4-2) Round 4, Rik (5 Color Control) When someone started out with Vivid lands, I'm usually in for long ride, but one in which I'm favoured. I have more counterspells then they do, but their Cruel Ultimatum and Broodmate Dragons are usually good enough if they resolve. First game he indeed managed to resolve Cruel, I tried to hang on for a few turns, but it was obvious that I wasn't going to win this, and since these games always last for a long time, I decided to take my chances and go to the next game. This game went terrible for me. At the end of my fourth turn he played Wydwen, the Biting Gale. I couldn't counter this one, and since he immediately got to untap, I had no real ways of dealing with this card. Fortunately, my opponent was in a generous mood, and played a second copy of the Legendary Faerie at the end of my next turn. When I pointed this out he wasn't very happy, to say the least, and after throwing these two cards away, the game went smoothly my way with some Swans taking the air. The first two games had taken up so much time that there was little left in the round, so we quickly shuffled up for the final one. In this game I managed to counter most of his key spells, but my manlands weren't fast enough to get the job done. It turned out that my only way of winning was him playing Banefire and me Swerving that. Unfortunately, he had boarded them out after he saw I played Swerve, so we tied the match. 2-1-1 (5-3) At this point I had to win three consecutive matches for a top 8 finish. Round 5, Daan (Boat Brew) Daan is also a good friend of me, and a very good player. We had actually discussed some deckchoices while we traveled to the site, and knew exactly what the other was playing. Unfortunately, he had to mulligan to 5 both games, making them very uneventful. 3-1-1 (7-3) Round 6, Jasper (5 Color Control) Game one was very funny. We both had two Wall of Reverence in play alongside a Plumeveil, so we were both gaining 8 life / turn. He had been drawing more cards though, so after a lot of time he realized he was going to deck himself, and with both of us a lot of land on the table and a fist full of countermagic, he knew he couldn't kill me fast enough, so he conceded this game. The second game was pretty one-sided. He tried got a Scepter of Fugue, while I had a Jace. When I Purged his Scepter, I was drawing a lot more cards than him. It wasn't long before I got Seismic Assault and Swans on the table as well, which quickly got the job done. 4-1-1 (9-3) All coming down to the final round, wouldn't have it any other way Round 7, Sander (BW Tokens) He had turn two Bitterblossom, turn three Glorious Anthem, followed by triple Kitchen Finks, while I pretty much countered his draw with a Plumeveil and two Walls. I countered his next Anthems and Cloudgoat Rangers, when he was out of cards and was down to one unused Heights and the top of his deck. Finally he made a move, playing Ajani Goldmane, but since I had both Negate and Remove Soul, I could counter it. He then attacked, and showed me what was under the Heights: Another Ajani. after his attack he pumped his team. I had to answer his Ajani immediately, but had only Seismic Assault on the table and a single Pyroclasm on hand. Fortunately, I drew into Volcanic Fallout, which allowed me to make what is perhaps the best play I made that day. I mainphased the Pyroclasm, went to my end of turn step so I could still gain 8 life. Then I cast the Fallout, redirecting the damage to his Ajani, then pitched a land to it to kill it. He was left with three persisted Finks (which were still 3/2 thanks to his anthem) against my two Walls. He got another Heights, but when he attacked next turn I could counter the Anthem he hid under there and bounce the other, while taking out two Finks, so he scooped. The second game was truly lucky on my part. He had an the total nuts, opening with turn 2 Tidehollow Sculler, seeing a weak hand, and taking Cryptic Command). I had no turn two play, while he followed up with Spectral Procession, threatening to activate his Heights the next turn. Here is when my luck first hit in. The top card of my library was Pyroclasm, which wiped out his team. He sighed, but played a second Procession. The only thing I could do to stop him was play a Seismic Assault and shoot one token. He shrugged and played his third Procession. This time I was out of answers. I drew Jace and thought about my options. His attacks had brought me down to 16 already, and if there was an Anthem under his Heights I'd be almost dead. Five lands were all that I had, so the only option I had was to play Jace, draw a card and pray that one of the two Pyroclasms that were still in the deck would be on top. I dropped Jace, drew, and behold, there it was, Pyroclasm! This time my opponent was less graceful, which is rather understandable. He was out of gas at this point, while I had effectively stabilized. As soon as I played Swans with Assault on the table he scooped. 5-1-1 (11-3), 7th on tiebreakers. So there it is, the story of how I qualified for Nationals About the deck itself, I liked it, but it's a bit too slow now Reborn is here, although there's still enough good stuff in the deck to make it work. I think I'm gonna try to version without Swans and Assault, but with Demigod of Revenge instead, it looked pretty promising.