As you may or may not have heard I just won the Star City Games Standard Open this past weekend. The journey began over a month ago. Let’s take a look on how I made my deck decision for this event, and the obstacles I faced along the way.
April 14th – Crazy Bobcat
I scurried out of work at 5pm to rendezvous with some friends and make the four hour trip to Tallahassee for the PTQ on April 15th. I made the decision to play Wolf Run based on the results Stephen Mann and Logan Mize had on Magic Online. During the car ride up, at about 8:30pm, a Bobcat decided that it was a good idea to jump in front of my car. This stranded us two hours away from Tallahassee and taking about four hundred bucks out of my wallet for car repair. Undeterred we spent the night at a local hotel and had a friend pick us up in the morning. I left my girlfriend Allie there to take care of the car situation. (best girlfriend ever?)
April 15th – PTQ Time
We had to wake up early to make it there in time, so the amount of sleep wasn’t at a premium. We arrived at the PTQ with thirty minutes to spare. After sharing some final thoughts with Smann and Mize, we came to the following list :
Wolf Run Ramp
That is not your average Wolf Run list. The main difference you probably notice is the Glimmerposts, and the smaller quantity of Huntmaster. Here is the reasoning behind the choice. Arguably the most powerful play in the format is a turn four Titan. This deck tries its best to accomplish this goal by playing the maximum amount of acceleration. It also tries to avoid the mid-game Huntmaster and go straight for the late game Titan. Aggro decks seem to be all over the place and having six board sweepers helps you survive and stabilize. Things don’t always go as planned however, and Primeval Titan with Glimmerpost can help you get out of lethal range allowing your Titan to take control.
The swiss portion of the tournament went as planned. My only loss during the swiss was to Zombies which is by far the deck’s worst matchup. In the top eight I plowed through a mirror match with the trusty Vorinclex in the board. I had a close call in the semifinals against an Esper Control deck. The finals was a heartbreaker against B/W tokens; in all three games he had a turn four Hero of Bladehold. If you have played Wolf Run against the Hero you will know why I lost. Four toughness is a lot when all your sweepers do less than than that.
April 21st – MTGO PTQ
I took a break from testing for Pro Tour Avacyn Restored to give myself another crack at it on Magic Online. This is what I ran for a 12th place finish.
There wasn’t much of a difference in this list. I shaved a few cards from the main to make room for Beast Within. This card really shined for me in the Florida PTQ and I wish I had more. I also made a few adjustments in the sideboard to tighten up matchups I thought needed improvement. The end result however was close, but not close enough. I finished in 12th place, but learned a lot more about the deck.
April 28th – A PTQ with a Twist
Like the week before I took a much needed break from testing (again) to give it another try. From all the experience I had gained over the past few weeks, I decided on the following:
Wolf Run Ramp
The main again is hardly changed from the prior week, with the board having a few minor adjustments. The deck performed wonderfully in the swiss. My only match loss was at the hands of RG Aggro with a terrific draw and a mana bump on my behalf. The quarterfinals was a little tough, but I managed to squeak out the victory.
Then all hell broke loose.
While waiting for the last match to finish in the quarterfinals the server crashed. After a painstaking twenty or so minutes it came back up. Holding my breath, I was relieved to see the event load. Phew… it wasn’t cancelled! A minute passed and one of the players still playing made the statement “our game is frozen”. Crap! I immediately headed to the support room on Magic Online and asked what was going on. The response looked grim as they said it was unknown if the event would continue. Twenty minutes passed, then thirty. Hope was beginning to fade.
Then I received a message from a fine gentleman named Wotc_K to join a private room. Upon entering he told the remaining players in the event that they were going to relaunch the event! A sigh of relief and one victory dance later I was back to playing. I quickly trounced a Naya Pod player with a lot of confidence. The matchup is quite good for Wolf Run. After dispatching him the finals was against….. you guessed it, Delver.
This would be the third time I faced off against Delver that day. The matchup is definitely close, and you need to understand it well to succeed. Sometimes you have to be lucky, and lucky I was. Delver quite literally had flipped once in those two prior matches, and only once in the finals. I ended up winning game one with relative ease. Game two was a nail-bitter but I managed to squeeze my way to victory on the back of Primeval Titan and Glimmerpost. Dealing lethal damage at one life, and having all four Glimmerpost in play.
May 19th – SCG Open
Having just got back from Barcelona on the 14th, I didn’t exactly get much play testing in. What I did have, however, was data from the recent Star City Standard events. I wanted to sculpt my deck to make sure I could take down the RG aggro deck, along with the usual suspects.
The addition of Avacyn Restored gives the deck new options. I’ve added three new cards to the deck from Avacyn Restored. Let’s take a look at the list I played with for the SCG Open, and the suggested sideboard options in the popular matchups.
Wolf Run Ramp
Round 1 – Brendan Cohen: U/W Delver (1-2)
Round 2 – Byron King: R/G Wolf Run (2-1)
Round 3 – Christopher Piedra: Mono Black Control (2-0)
Round 4 – James Marino: 4 Color Good Stuff Aggro (2-0)
Uncommon matchup. Can’t even accurately describe this deck. It had Avacyn’s Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise, Geist of Saint Traft, and Huntmaster of the Fells. I’m guessing it was a pod deck of some sort that never drew pod. But at any rate, we beat these decks pretty easily.
Round 5 – Justin Soler: R/G Aggro (2-0)
Round 6 – Ryan Hockersmith: Esper Control (2-1)
Round 7 – Joseph Herrera: Bant Pod (2-0)
Round 8 – Kurt Carriveau: Blink Control (2-1)
Uncommon matchup. My game 3 of this match was under camera. 8:31:44
Round 9 – Trek Barnes: Infect (2-1)
Yet another uncommon matchup. The summary of the match can be found here: http://www.starcitygames.com/events/coverage/round_9_john_cuvelier_vs_trek_.html
Round 10 – Bruce Strong: U/W Delver (2-0)
Game 2 was under camera at 17:33:30 http://www.twitch.tv/scglive/b/318719051
Round 11 – Lewis Laskin: Grand Architect (2-1)
Another uncommon matchup.
The entire match was under camera at 21:52:56. http://www.twitch.tv/scglive/b/318719051
Round 12 – Logan Mize: R/G Wolf Run (2-1)
The entire match was under camera at 22:53:43 http://www.twitch.tv/scglive/b/318719051
What a crazy month. Wolf Run Ramp has been treating me very well. PTQ win, SCG win, all I’m missing is a GP and PT win. Looking forward to GP Atlanta next month where I think I am on to something…….. Until next time.
Gosu. on MTGO
@JCuvelier on Twitter
Trackback from your site.