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Journal of the Texas Guildmages – Battle for Zendikar Booster Draft

Written by Jeff Zandi on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Limited

Journal of the Texas Guildmages – Battle for Zendikar Booster Draft

Jeff Zandi

Jeff Zandi is a level 2 judge and an eight-time veteran of the Pro Tour. He has written continuously about Magic for over eighteen years. His team, the Texas Guildmages, have the longest running regular game in history, meeting at his home every Tuesday night since 1996.

Meeting 932, December 8, 2015

Welcome to the 932nd meeting of the Texas Guildmages. Almost twenty years ago, I was part of a group of guys that played Magic regularly at a store in Arlington, Texas, called Games Galore. The Pro Tour was brand-new that year (1996) and the group from Games Galore started traveling together to go to Pro Tour Qualifiers all over Texas. That same year, Magic teams began to form all across the country. The Southern California hotshots were called the Pacific Coast Legends, Shawn Regnier capitalized on his Pro Tour New York finish by creating Hammer’s Hitmen, and of course there was the team from Your Move Games. Down here in Texas, George Baxter, another top eight finisher from the first Pro Tour event, decided to create his own team. Instead of picking his friends, George put on a series of tournaments. The seven players that finished best across this handful of tournaments would join George to become Team Dallas. I finished eighth in that competition. Several of my friends from Games Galore had already qualified for the Pro Tour and had some good results. Minh Huynh won the first Dallas PTQ and did well enough at Pro Tour Los Angeles to win money and qualify for the next PT in Columbus. He didn’t do that well in Columbus, in part because he trusted me to build his deck, but another of our Games Galore pals did well. Scot Martin finished twenty-first at Columbus and won $1500. Me and the guys decided that we needed to create our own team. We started meeting at my house in Coppell, Texas, in October 1996 and my upstairs game room, the “Guildhall,” has been busy one night a week ever since. Our original team had seven members and every one of us played on the Pro Tour before the end of 1997. The guy who was supposed to be our eighth member, Jason Page, became more interested in campus life at University of Texas at Arlington and basically gave up Magic. That’s okay, there was a sharp teenaged kid going to the math academy in Denton, a friend of Jason’s, eager to take his place. That kid was David Williams.

Nineteen years and over nine hundred weekly practices have passed since then. From our original roster of eight players we have grown to a lifetime list of thirty-seven players. Most have moved on to other pursuits, careers, families. However, the goal today is the same as it was two decades ago, to work together to play better Magic in order to perform at a high level in competitive tournaments. The primary focus of our Tuesday night meetings is to engage in booster draft battles. All you need to practice constructed is a friend and a couple of decks. To practice booster draft you have to put in a little more preparation. That’s what the Guildmage meetings have been very successful at, putting on a good booster draft week after week after week.

Tonight we had ten players sitting around the big draft table in the Guildhall shortly after seven o’clock. My sixteen-year-old son would have been the eleventh but he had something to do at the high school. In order to get the most meat out of our booster drafts, we play a number of Swiss rounds and have a playoff. This takes some of the variance out of the drafts. With ten players, we play four rounds of Swiss and then cut to a top four. There’s no rare-drafting at our meetings because we play for the mythics, rares and foils that are opened in the draft. This keeps everyone honest and sharp. I keep score for our draft on paper, but I use all the same pairing and tiebreaker logic that I would use if the tournament were being run using Wizards of the Coast software. When we cut to the top four, the first seed plays the fourth seed and the second and third seeds play each other. When the semifinals are over, the tournament is over. The two finalists are given all the prize cards to divide up however they see fit. Years ago, we used to play out the final match but that match would tend to take a long time hampering our ability to draft a second time if we wanted. Also, we think it’s nice that in all of our Swiss drafts two people “get paid.”

How does the meeting sound so far, weird or cool? Well it’s time to make it a little weirder. When the two semifinals matches are finished, I collect the decks from the two winners. For a few years now, we have this tradition. Each finalist selects a common MVP from their deck and autographs it. I add the date of the meeting. After recording and replacing the rares, mythics and foils in each deck, I collect the winning decks and put them away. Eventually the autographed commons all go into a special binder that is displayed in the Guildhall each week. It’s fun to page through these binders and not only see all the times your own autograph appears on cards, but also to see the different commons that have been a key part of draft decks over the recent months and years.

Later, on my own, I play some games with the two finalists’ decks, just to see what might have happened if the finals had been played out. At the end of a month, I do something similar with all the winning decks from the month. From those decks emerges the best draft deck of the month. I keep the monthly winners together, well, forever. It’s fun to take these decks out and play them against each other when we don’t have anything better to do. Naturally, I play all of the monthly winners against each other at the end of the year in order to determine a champion draft deck for the year. I’m in the process of doing that right now, for 2015. I can tell you that Jon Toone’s Modern Masters 2015 deck that won in May is the heavy favorite. No one ever promised that Magic would always be fair.

Tonight’s Winning Decks

Brian’s deck has a bunch of creatures in the cheerful Naya colors but in reality, it’s a control deck that can set up a number of different powerful end games. A lot of good Ally decks rely on the ability to access green, white and red. Because of this, Brian played two copies of Fertile Thicket. This card can be very key on turn one because it helps you find one of the other two colors that you need for your deck. This card gets some hate because initially, some people read this card as though it put the card that you found from looking at the top five cards of your library and put it directly into your hand. That would be awesome, but it’s not how the card works. Once people understood that Fertile Thicket only puts a basic land on top of your library, they intuitively rejected the card. In reality, it’s very helpful for multi-color Ally decks like this one. One reason Fertile Thicket is so important for this strategy is that many of the red or white spells in the deck are valuable early in games. It’s completely worth the trouble to use Fertile Thicket to help you get all three colors of mana as soon as possible. When you use two copies of Fertile Thicket, as Brian did in this deck, you greatly increase the chances that you can play one on turn one. This is when the card is at its best.

This deck looks like a creature beat down deck, but what it’s really going for is a blowout in the late game. Early creature plays are almost defensive, necessary primarily to keep Brian from losing the game before he gets to his bigger plays. If he gets the Fertile Thicket payoff, and he often does, Tajuru Stalwart (his common MVP) does wonders, potentially entering the battlefield with three +1/+1 counters on turn three. Woodland Wanderer is a rare that also capitalizes on you having multiple colors of mana available on turn four. Although it’s a rare, the fact that so many fewer players even bother with green in booster drafts make Woodland Wanderer a rare that the green drafter will have access to a little more often than you might think. These creatures, as well as Kor Bladewhirl and Rot Shambler, are mostly in this deck to fill the curve and keep the enemy at bay in the first four turns of the game.

Things get real with this deck when Brian starts getting card advantage. In this deck, the card advantage comes from three copies of Eyeless Watcher and one copy of Unified Front. In each case, the goal is to put three creatures in play with just one card and one investment of four mana. I also believe the landfall effects from Retreat to Kazandu and Retreat to Emeria represent card advantage. Eyeless Watcher and Unified Front are good plays in that they produce quantities of creatures, but how does Brian turn these quantity plays into quality plays? With three different five-drops. When I first started playing games with Brian’s deck, after the guys had all gone home, my first impression was that Tajuru Warcaller was his only finishing move. I was wrong. Warcaller might be the best finishing move because it does the most pumping, but Hero of Goma Fada and Resolute Blademaster also serve similar purposes. Each of these late game Allies help pump up what Brian hopes is a small army of creatures. Again, Warcaller does it the best, giving each creature +2/+2 until end of turn. Resolute Blademaster is the next best giving the team double strike. Hero of Goma Fada doesn’t make the team bigger, but it does make the team braver by making them indestructible until end of turn. If you can survive your opponent’s swing back, Hero of Goma Fada can turn on the green light for your team to attack en masse this turn without concern for losing anybody. The beauty of the rally ability is that you don’t need another Tajuru Warcaller to give all your creatures another +2/+2 upgrade, you just to play another Ally. There are actually only six Ally creatures in the deck. But wait, Unified Front puts Ally creature tokens onto the battlefield. If you have Tajuru Warcaller in play and then you play Unified Front with three different colors of mana, the Warcaller will trigger three times and give your team +6/+6 until end of turn. Are you excited yet? When you play a land with Retreat to Emeria in play you can get a 1/1 white Ally creature token. This also pumps Warcaller as well as the other two five-drop rally allies.

The Ally combos in Brian’s deck provide most of the wins for the deck, but you wouldn’t want to forget his other big plays. Omnath, Locus of Rage is not that hard to get into play with Brian’s mana base and his mana fixing spells. Once on the board, Omnath gives you a gigantic 5/5 Elemental creature token whenever you play a land. Why not play three lands at one time with Nissa’s Renewal? This deck represents the best use of Nissa’s Renewal that I have seen in BFZ draft. It combos with Omnath and with both of the Retreats. When Retreat to Emeria triggers multiple times in the same turn, things get very sick with Tajuru Warcaller.

Altogether, Brian drafted and built a heck of a good deck. It bowled me over and gave me my only loss of the night when we battled in the fourth round of Swiss. However, in repeated play, with greater familiarity of both decks, my blue/black ingest deck wins slightly more than half the time.

After I draft, but before I start building, I always lay out the cards in the order that I drafted them and take a picture. I don’t always refer back to this information later but I’ve found it’s helpful to have this available at times. Here is the order I drafted my cards, and a few thoughts I was having as I drafted the cards:

Pack One
Complete Disregard – the cards I completely disregarded were red, I like starting with black
Sire of Stagnation – Tuan tells me later he passed this keeping instead Grip of Desolation
Oracle of Dust – kind of a filler, if I go BU, one copy often makes the cut
Breaker of Armies – if the deck is slow and defensive enough I might play it
Sludge Crawler – much better than the non-pumping two-drop
Courier Griffin – I might be BW, Hendrickson two to my right drafts blue a lot in BFZ
Kalastria Nightwatch – a decent body on the ground and a win condition in BW
Prairie Stream – splash a white card in BU or a blue card in BW?
Felidar Cub – sideboard card versus enchantments
Incubator Drone – not exiting but playable
Tandem Tactics – not splash-worthy but an auto-include in BW
Mortuary Mire – I don’t play too many of this cycle of ETB tapped lands
Canopy Vista (Expedition) – I’ll hold on to this and make sure it doesn’t get played
Voracious Null – I don’t want to play this card but I would if I needed it for my curve

Pack Two
Clutch of Currents – I love one or two of these in slow BU control decks
Ulamog’s Nullifier – the blue is open in pack two! I need some early ingest to make this work
Malakir Familiar – solid in all black decks
Evolving Wilds – still not sure that I’m a two-colored deck yet
Dominator Drone – just a filler in this deck, but it has ingest and fits my curve
Ulamog’s Nullifier – now I REALLY want some ingest cards
Spell Shrivel – surprisingly effective
Ulamog’s Despoiler – almost certainly in the deck
Retreat to Coralhelm – I don’t play this card very often
Culling Drone – the lesser ingest bear but I need him
Retreat to Coralhelm
Culling Drone
Dutiful Return – I play this fairly often, I think the format is slow enough to make it worthwhile
Hedron Blade

Pack Three
Scatter to the Winds – very solid in slower control decks where you can awaken it
Retreat to Hagra – better in a more aggressive deck
Complete Disregard – a great one-two punch with one or two-drop ingest creatures
Bone Splinters – goes great in control decks with Eldrazi Scion tokens
Aligned Hedron Network – I never play this main but sometimes bring it in
Ulamog’s Nullifier – Mark (two to my right) passes me a Nullifier! Is he not in blue?
Anticipate – don’t fill your deck up with this card, maybe one copy at the most
Benthic Infiltrator – first pick worthy, I’m thrilled with it as an eighth pick
Sludge Crawler – a second Crawler sets my deck up pretty well
Mind Raker – if I have enough ingest I will probably play one copy
Nirkana Assassin – only if I’m really low on other creatures
Nirkana Assassin
Altar’s Reap – better in more aggressive decks
Blisterpod

With potentially five counterspells, this deck has the ability to be very annoying to opponents. The ideal line is a Sludge Crawler on turn one followed by another ingest creature on turn two. If I play my fourth land (and have both colors) and my opponent has two cards in his exile zone, I’m going to sit back and wait to counter something with Ulamog’s Nullifier. I don’t care if, after game one, my opponent figures out what I’m doing. What are they going to do, quit playing spells? Even when my opponent puts me on Nullifier, they still have to try and develop their board state. If I care at all about the spell they play, I jump right in and counter it with Nullifier. It’s such a punch in the gut to have your spell countered while your opponent adds a flying creature to the board. Setting up this play is so important that I might mulligan an opening hand that doesn’t have either Sludge Crawler or Culling Drone. That doesn’t happen much, though, because I have two of each. With eight Swamps and four ingest creatures that cost two or less, this deck is able to predictably play one by turn two. Opponent plays a blocker? I play a land on turn three and Complete Disregard their creature and swing in for ingest. Getting those first two cards exiled from the top of my opponent’s deck is important enough that I’m happy to play Clutch of Currents without awaken in order to set my opponent back and get another swing in with my little ingest monsters. Of course, Benthic Infiltrator is a great card for this deck because it doesn’t get blocked and simply puts cards into my opponent’s exile zone turn after turn.

This deck runs eighteen land as much for overall stability and consistency as for the ability to play six, seven and eight-drops. I particularly like an eighteen land setup when I have Evolving Wilds. When I have Evolving Wilds in my opening hand I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds, the tightness of playing seventeen land and the dependability of playing eighteen. One copy of Mortuary Mire made sense to me because there are so many good cards it can bring back, notably Sire of Stagnation or Ulamog’s Nullifier. Actually, Sire of Stagnation didn’t actually play like a bomb for me tonight. Taking it with my second pick pushes me into two colors very early in the draft. Sire’s ability is amazing, if it ever triggers. Even though I landed the Sire onto the battlefield many times tonight, my opponents never played a land while it was around. I didn’t draw any free cards. Even so, Sire of Stagnation was an easy play for my deck and the card definitely had a chilling effect on my opponents.

I don’t have any regrets about the deck, but I don’t have an over-inflated sense of its greatness, either, even though I went 4-1 with it. I fully recognize that the deck sort of has one good trick and if I don’t get ingest creatures chewing away at my opponent’s deck early and often, a lot of my other cards get much worse. This deck doesn’t play as well from behind as the blue/white flyers deck can. The best thing my deck can do is counter spells. In game two of my semifinals match with Jon Toone, he was blown out when I had a second Ulamog’s Nullifier in hand with cards in his exile zone. I had just countered something with Nullifier number one a turn earlier. Nullifier number two wrecked his last chance to win game two. When he conceded I showed him the last card in my hand, Nullifier number three! It was a good deck but you can hardly count on getting three copies of Nullifier very often or being lucky enough to draw them at the right times.

At the bottom of this article I have included the extremely detailed play-by-play account of a match played between my deck and Brian’s.

2015 Guildmage Meeting Draft Finalists

A player gets on this list each time he reaches the finals of one of our Swiss drafts. Team draft results are not included on this list. We’re almost at the end of the year so there have been quite a few Swiss drafts on the books. With just three meetings left in 2015, there’s no chance of anyone catching Mark Hendrickson for first place. He has the distinction of winning the most drafts at Guildmage meetings for at least the last three years in a row.

22 Mark Hendrickson
11 Lawson Zandi
8 Cesar Collazo
8 Ian Jasheway
8 Scot Martin
8 Tuan Doan
8 Jeff Zandi
6 Blake Bombich
6 Patrick Lynch
5 Brian Heine
4 Jon Toone
3 Matt Tuck
2 Steven Bruce
2 Mike Ferri
2 Matt Banks
1 Aaron Tobey
1 Eric Jones
1 Mark Dean
1 Drew Iafrate
1 Bryan Spellman
1 Ken Pender
1 Joe Panuska

More Texas Guildmage Business

In December, our team votes for Guildmage of the Year. We don’t do this because we think we’re the best team ever. No one on our team has ever won a Pro Tour and only a couple of us have ever finished in the top eight of a Pro Tour event. We choose a Guildmage of the Year in order to recognize the achievements of our hardest-working competitors. This just in, you compete in Magic tournaments for more than just the money. Recognition is a valuable thing and we want to be sure to recognize our own teammates each year for going above beyond.

We didn’t start the Guildmage of the Year program until seven years ago. Therefore, along with voting for the current year, we have also reached back into history and voted for the oldest year and the most recent year that we have yet to vote on. This means that when we had the first Guildmage of the Year vote, back in 2009, we voted not only for 2009 but also for 1996 and 2008. This year, in anticipation of our twentieth anniversary next year, we are closing the last gap in our history by voting for the current year as well as for 2002 and 2003. Here are our candidates for this effort.

2002 Nominees

Jonathan Pechon finished 7th and won $800 at Grand Prix Houston

David Williams finished 6th and won $800 at Grand Prix Cleveland and finished 3rd at Pro Tour Boston (teams) splitting a prize of $18,000

2003 NOMINEES

David Williams played in 4 Pro Tour events in 2003 including 6th place at PT Boston (teams) splitting a prize of $10,500. David also finished 62nd at PT New Orleans

NOTE – Neil Reeves was very active in 2002 and 2003 but was not a Guildmage until November 2003, after all of these events.

2015 NOMINEES

Mark Hendrickson finished 208th at Pro Tour Vancouver and won a PPTQ for the PT season after Vancouver as well.

Ian Jasheway played in five Grand Prixs, finishing 14th at GP San Jose (with Jon Toone), finishing 30th at Memphis for $400, also 78th at Omaha and 104th at Oklahoma City. Ian also won the SCG Modern State Championship, finished 21st at a Dallas SCG Open in Standard and 36th at a Dallas SCG Open in Modern.

Jon Toone finished 14th at GP San Jose (with Ian Jasheway) and he finished 56th at GP Oklahoma City for $300

David Williams finished 2nd at GP San Jose (teams), he cashed at GPs in Las Vegas, Madison, Atlanta and Atlantic City, played in Pro Tours at Brussels and Vancouver and Milwaukee

Here’s how we do our balloting. Each of the thirty-seven official Texas Guildmages, active and inactive, all have one vote they can cast by email, Facebook message, text or whatever other way they can get a hold of me. In addition, members that attend Guildmage meetings in December can also cast an additional ballot in each December meeting they attend. The vote totals are announced at the end of the last meeting of the year. No one’s individual voting preference is ever revealed. Tonight we had five voting members, Mark Hendrickson, Jon Toone, Brian Heine, Scot Martin and myself.

Here are the past Guildmage of the Year recipients:

1996 – Minh Huynh
1997 – Jeff Zandi
1998 – David Williams
1999 – David Williams
2000 – David Williams
2001 – David Williams
2002
2003
2004 – Neil Reeves
2005 – Neil Reeves
2006 – Neil Reeves
2007 – Mark Hendrickson
2008 – Hunter Burton
2009 – Hunter Burton
2010 – Hunter Burton
2011 – Mark Hendrickson
2012 – David Williams
2013 – Ian Jasheway
2014 – Ian Jasheway
2015

Yes, I know that’s a whole heap of personal team navel-gazing. I included it all because I thought readers might be interested in the kinds of special things that you can do when you are a part of a Magic team. Our team hasn’t won Pro Tours and we haven’t won millions of dollars, but we’ve helped put at least three dozen players into the Pro Tour when they never had before. I would say our strengths are consistency and longevity. Next year is our team’s twentieth anniversary, it’s also the twentieth anniversary of the Pro Tour. There’s no coincidence, we started our team specifically to chase the Pro Tour. We never could have imagined the fun would last so long.

Thank you very much for reading.

Here is a detailed play-by-play description of a match played between this week’s two finalist’s decks. I played both sides of the match, as I do all the time with all kinds of decks. As an only child, I grew up playing all of kinds of games all by myself. I am more than capable of playing fair games of Magic between two decks without putting my thumb on the scale to give either side an advantage, even when one of the decks is my own. I don’t care at all if one deck wins or the other, all I’m interested in seeing is what the cards do when they come up in whatever order the shuffle provides them. I played easily twenty practice games between these two decks before the detailed match below.

GAME ONE
T1 Brian keeps Forest, Fertile Thicket, Outnumber, Resolute Blademaster, Retreat to Kazandu, Natural Connection and Omnath, Locus of Rage. Plays Fertile Thicket, Brian looks at the top five cards of his library revealing and putting a Mountain on top of his library and putting Tajuru Warcaller and Eyeless Watcher and two Forests.
T1 Zanman keeps three Swamps, Island, Breaker of Armies, Ulamog’s Nullifier and Sludge Crawler. Draws Culling Drone, plays Swamp, plays Sludge Crawler.
T2 Brian draws and plays Mountain.
T2 Zanman draws Ulamog’s Nullifier, plays Island, attacks with Sludge Crawler (20-19), Crawler triggers exiling Forest from the top of Brian’s library, Zanman plays Culling Drone.
T3 Brian draws and plays Plains, plays Retreat to Kazandu.
T3 Zanman draws Benthic Infiltrator, attacks with Sludge Crawler and Culling Drone (20-16), Crawler and Drone trigger exiling Forest and Plains from the top of Brian’s library, Zanman plays Swamp, plays Benthic Infiltrator.
T4 Brian draws Nissa’s Renewal, plays Forest, Retreat to Kazandu triggers and Brian chooses to gain two life (20-18).
T4 Zanman draws Spell Shrivel, plays Swamp, attacks with Crawler and Drone and Infiltrator (20-14), Crawler and Drone and Infiltrator trigger exiling Fertile Thicket and Mountain and Unified Front from the top of Brian’s library, at end of turn Brian plays Natural Connection searching his library putting a Mountain onto the battlefield, Retreat triggers (20-16).
T5 Brian draws and plays Plains, Retreat triggers (20-18), plays Nissa’s Renewal, Zanman responds playing Ulamog’s Nullifier returning Plains and Mountain to Brian’s graveyard from his exile zone and countering Nissa’s Renewal.
T5 Zanman draws and plays Swamp, attacks with Nullifier and Infiltrator and Drone and Crawler (20-12), Infiltrator and Drone and Crawler trigger exiling Tajuru Stalwart and Forest and Retreat to Emeria from the top of Brian’s library.
T6 Brian draws and plays Mountain, Retreat triggers (20-14), plays Omnath, Locus of Rage, Zanman responds playing Ulamog’s Nullifier putting two Forests from Brian’s exile zone to his graveyard and countering Omnath.
T6 Zanman draws Ulamog’s Nullifier, attacks with two Nullifiers and Infiltrator and Drone and Crawler (20-6), Infiltrator and Drone and Crawler trigger exiling Eyeless Watcher and Tajuru Stalwart and Stonefury.
T7 Brian draws and plays Eyeless Watcher, Zanman responds playing Ulamog’s Nullifier putting two Tajuru Stalwarts into Brian’s graveyard from his exile zone and countering Eyeless Watcher.
T7 Zanman draws Ulamog’s Despoiler, attacks with three Ulamog’s Nullifiers and Benthic Infiltrator and Culling Drone and Sludge Crawler (20- -4).
ZANMAN WINS GAME ONE ON TURN 7, LEADS MATCH 1-0

GAME TWO
T1 Brian keeps two Mountains, Plains, Retreat to Emeria, Rot Shambler, Kor Bladewhirl and Tajuru Stalwart. Plays Mountain.
T1 Zanman keeps two Islands, Swamp, Scatter to the Winds, Sire of Stagnation, Mind Raker and Ulamog’s Nullifier. Draws and plays Evolving Wilds.
T2 Brian draws and plays Plains, plays Kor Bladewhirl, at end of turn Zanman activates and sacrifices Evolving Wilds searching his library putting a Swamp onto the battlefield tapped.
T2 Zanman draws and plays Island.
T3 Brian draws and plays Forest, plays Tajuru Stalwart using three different colors of mana, Stalwart enters the battlefield with three +1/+1 counters, Bladewhirl triggers, attacks with Bladewhirl (18-20).
T3 Zanman draws Culling Drone, plays Island, plays Culling Drone.
T4 Brian draws and plays Mountain, plays Rot Shambler, attacks with Stalwart (15-20).
T4 Zanman draws and plays Swamp.
T5 Brian draws and plays Tajuru Stalwart, Zanman responds playing Scatter to the Winds targeting and countering Tajuru Stalwart, Brian attacks with Stalwart (12-20), plays Plains.
T5 Zanman draws and plays Swamp.
T6 Brian draws Outnumber, plays Retreat to Emeria, plays Mountain, Retreat to Emeria triggers and Brian chooses to give his creatures +1/+1 until end of turn, plays Outnumber targeting Culling Drone, attacks with Bladewhirl and Stalwart (5-20), at end of turn Zanman plays Ulamog’s Nullifier.
T6 Zanman draws and plays Island, plays Sire of Stagnation.
T7 Brian draws Mountain.
T7 Zanman draws and plays Swamp, plays Mind Raker.
T8 Brian draws and plays Turn Against targeting and taking control of Sire of Stagnation, plays Mountain, Retreat triggers and Brian chooses to give his creatures +1/+1 until end of turn, attacks with Sire and Bladewhirl and Stalwart and Shambler, Raker blocks Sire, Nullifier blocks Stalwart (0-20).
BRIAN WINS GAME TWO ON TURN 8, TIES MATCH 1-1

GAME THREE
T1 Zanman keeps two Islands, Swamp, Evolving Wilds, Mortuary Mire, Incubator Drone and Sludge Crawler. Plays Swamp, plays Sludge Crawler.
T1 Brian keeps three Forests, two Mountains, Resolute Blademaster and Turn Against. Draws Outnumber, plays Mountain.
T2 Zanman draws Benthic Infiltrator, attacks with Sludge Crawler (20-19), Crawler triggers exiling Eyeless Watcher from the top of Brian’s library, plays Evolving Wilds.
T2 Brian draws Tajuru Warcaller, plays Forest, at end of turn Zanman activates and sacrifices Evolving Wilds searching his library putting a Swamp onto the battlefield tapped.
T3 Zanman draws Sludge Crawler, plays Island, attacks with Crawler (20-18), Crawler triggers exiling Forest, plays Benthic Infiltrator.
T3 Brian draws and plays Forest.
T4 Zanman draws and plays Swamp, attacks with Infiltrator and Crawler, pumps Crawler one time (20-15), Infiltrator and Crawler trigger exiling Rot Shambler and Mountain from the top of Brian’s library, Zanman plays Sludge Crawler.
T4 Brian draws and plays Plains.
T5 Zanman draws Ulamog’s Nullifier, plays Island, attacks with both Crawlers and Infiltrator (20-12), both Crawlers and Infiltrator trigger exiling Mountain and Plains and Fertile Thicket from the top of Brian’s library.
T5 Brian draws Tajuru Stalwart, plays Mountain, plays Tajuru Stalwart using three different colors of mana, Zanman responds playing Ulamog’s Nullifier putting two Mountains from Brian’s exile zone to his graveyard and countering Tajuru Stalwart.
T6 Zanman draws Mind Raker, attacks with both Crawlers and Infiltrator and Nullifier (20-7), both Crawlers and Infiltrator trigger exiling Plains and Tajuru Stalwart and Eyeless Watcher from the top of Brian’s library, Zanman plays Mind Raker choosing to put a Plains from Brian’s exile zone to his graveyard, Brian discards a Forest.
T6 Brian draws Kor Bladewhirl, plays Forest, plays Resulute Blademaster, plays Outnumber targeting one of the Sludge Crawlers.
T7 Zanman draws Oracle of Dust, attacks with Nullifier and Infiltrator and Crawler and Mind Raker, Blademaster blocks Sludge Crawler, Zanman pumps Crawler two times (20-1), Infiltrator triggers exiling Hero of Goma Fada from the top of Brian’s library.
T7 Brian draws Natural Connection.
T8 Zanman draws Scatter to the Winds, attacks with Nullifier and Infiltrator and Crawler and Raker (20- -6).

ZANMAN WINS GAME THREE ON TURN 8, WINS MATCH 2-1

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