Grand Prix Brisbane 2011 Day 2 Blog

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  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 4:00 p.m.:
    Judges of Grand Prix Brisbane

  • by Pip Hunn
    Sunday, 3:42 p.m.: Deck Tech
    Tezzeret with Shouta Yasooka

  • by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 2:42 p.m.: Quick Questions
    When is the next full moon?

  • by Pip Hunn
    Sunday, 2:24 p.m.: Deck Tech
    Mono-G 'Outback Dunny' with Aaron Nicoll

  • by Pip Hunn
    Round 13: Feature Match
    Corey Hill vs. Jacky Zhang

  • by Pip Hunn
    Sunday, 2:19 p.m.: Deck Tech
    G/W Tokens with Tim Fondum

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 1:40 p.m.: Day 1 Undefeated Decks

  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Round 12: Feature Match
    Aaron Nicoll vs. Ian Wood

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 11:11 a.m.: Deck Tech
    U/B Control with Dan Unwin

  • by Pip Hunn
    Round 11: Feature Match
    Jeremy Neeman vs. Jiann Hua Chin

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 10:33 a.m.: Quick Questions
    What are you playing?
    What's your worst matchup?

  • by Pip Hunn
    Sunday, 10:23 a.m.: Interview
    Melissa DeTora and James Searles

  • by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 10:10 a.m.: Quick Questions
    Best Innistrad Card This Weekend

  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Round 10: Feature Match
    Chikara Nakajima vs. Luke Mulcahy

  • by Pip Hunn
    Round 9: Feature Match
    Tim Fondum vs. Jacky Zhang

  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 10:00 a.m.:
    Metagame Breakdown

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet
  • Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - Metagame Breakdown

    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Number Deck Type
    20 Green/Red Ramp
    10 Blue/Black Control
    8 Solar Flare (Blue/Black/White Control)
    7 Mono Red
    7 Mono Green
    4 Caw Blade (Blue/White Aggro Control)
    4 Tempered Steel
    4 Green/White Tokens
    2 Green/White/Blue Tokens
    2 Mono White Puresteel Paladin
    1 Green/Red/Blue Aggro Control
    1 White/Blue Puresteel Paladin
    1 Green/White/Black Heartless Pod
    1 Red/White/Black Control
    1 Mono Black Infect Aggro
  • Round 9: Feature Match - Tim Fondum vs. Jacky Zhang

    by Pip Hunn
  • Tim Fondum and Jacky Zhang are two of GP: Brisbane's three undefeated players coming into Day 2. Both players won their byes in the last-minute Grand Prix Trials held the day before. Zhang actually made the finals in 2 GPT's: the first to win the byes, the second just to 'dream crush all day long'.

    Game One

    Fondum led with a Bird of Paradise, while Zhang started his action with Rampant Growth. Fondum accelerated into a Garruk Relentless, who brought a Wolf along with him. Zhang used a Green Sun's Zenith to search up a Viridian Emissary.

    Fondum developed his board with a Mortarpod and a Viridian Emissary of his own. Zhang cast a Slagstorm to wipe the board of everything but Garruk and an unequipped Mortarpod. He then activated an Inkmoth Nexus and attacked to kill Fondum's Garruk.

    Fondum ponders his conundrum.

    A Geist-Honored Monk came down from Fondum, while Zhang could only muster another Emissary. His Nexus attacked, but a Spirit token stood in the way. Elspeth Tirel arrived for Fondum, pumped out some Soldiers, and grew the Geist-Honored Monk to a 5/5. The Monk and Spirit attacked, Zhang's Emissary sacrificing itself as a chump blocker.

    With his mana finally boosted to the magic 6, Zhang was able to summon his Primeval Titan, fetching out a Nexus and a Kessig Wolf Run. Fondum activated Elspeth again, leaving him with 8 creatures and a very intimidating Monk indeed. The Primeval Titan was forced to chump block, and Fondum's army just kept crashing in.

    Tim Fondum 1 – Jacky Zhang 0

    Game Two

    Zhang mulliganed, then began with a Rampant Growth. Fondum had a Viridian Emissary and a Birds of Paradise. Zhang summoned a Garruk, Primal Hunter and looked questioningly at Fondum, who had two untapped Plains.

    Zhang's stare: a veritable Shrine of Piercing Vision.

    "No, I am not countering your Garruk", Fondum said. Fondum stroked his beard – well, stubble – and looked over at the imposing Planeswalker on the wrong side of the board. He cast and equipped a Sword of Feast and Famine and attacked Garruk with it, killing the Planeswalker but leaving himself open to Zhang's return swing from his Emissary and Garruk's Beast token.

    Zhang had another Emissary and a Rampant Growth. Fondum summoned an Elspeth Tirel and a Hero of Bladehold, quickly overrunning Zhang's board.

    Tim Fondum 2 – Jacky Zhang 0

  • Round 10: Feature Match - Chikara Nakajima vs. Luke Mulcahy

    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Luke Mulcahy has been quietly becoming a player to watch in Australia, with a top 8 at this year's National Champs, and a top 16 at Pro Tour San Diego in 2010. Across the table, Chikara Nakajima has been a Japanese player to watch for quite some time, skirting around the edges of various Grand Prix and Pro Tour top 8's, and battling to an impressive second place finish earlier this year at Grand Prix Singapore.

    Game One

    Mulcahy won the die roll, and quickly set to ramping up his mana, while Nakajima tried getting in for some early damage with Stormblood Berserker. A Slagstorm from Mulcahy took out the first Berserker, while a Solemn Simulacrum powered out a Wurmcoil Engine.

    Luke Mulcahy is comfortable in control.

    The Engine attacked, trading with one of the Berserkers, and a Volt Charge. On a healthy life total now, thanks to his Wurmcoil and its descendants, Mulcahy continued to attack. Nakajima's smaller beaters looked awkward on defence, and couldn't hold them off for long.

    Mulcahy 1 – Nakajima 0

    Game Two

    Nakajima had better start in game two, with a Grim Lavamancer enabling a turn two bloodthirsted Berserker, followed by a Shrine of Burning Rage. Mulcahy again wiped out the creatures with a Slagstorm, happily catching his own Viridian Emissary in the fray. Nakajima recovered with a Spikeshot Elder, and another Lavamancer, which prompted a second Slagstorm. Nakajima wasn't done yet, summoning Koth of the Hammer, as if to suggest "Slagstorm this."

    With Nakajima's mana tied up, Mulcahy Green Sun's Zenith'd out a Viridian Corruptor to destroy the Shrine, and played a Spellskite. Nakajima untapped, and pointed a Volt Charge at the Spellskite, winding the die on Koth up to five. Mulcahy could only sigh. Nakajima ultimated Koth, and finished off the Spellskite with a Mountainous ping. With no way to race the Emblem, Mulcahy was soon packing up his cards.

    Mulcahy 1 – Nakajima 1

    Game Three

    Game three began a little slower, and Mulcahy again had a Slagstorm to keep his life total out of Nakajima's reach. Nakajima found and got to work on powering up a Koth, but Mulcahy was able to keep it in check with a Viridian Emissary. Mulcahy summoned a Batterskull, causing Nakajima to sink into the tank. He removed the last two loyalty counters from his Koth to add five mana to his pool, before playing a Shrine and replacing his Koth with a new one. He then took the germ token with a Traitorous Blood, and attacked with it and a Mountain.

    Chikara Nakajima winds up his Koth.

    On 15 life, Mulcahy gave a great deal of thought to the idea of chump-blocking one of the attackers with his Inkmoth Nexus, before finally dropping to 7. He attacked back, his Germ taking down Koth, and the Emissary bringing Nakajima back down to 22. Despite the disparity in life, Nakajima was running on fumes alone, and it wasn't long before the life totals were reversed. Mulcahy continued to play conservatively to protect his Batterskull, giving Nakajima no outs, and took the match with a Devil's Play to the face.

    Luke Mulcahy defeats Chikara Nakajima 2 – 1

  • Sunday, 10:10 a.m.: Quick Questions

    by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • What is the best Innistrad card in your deck this weekend?

    Yuuya Watanabe
    "Liliana of the Veil."
    Isaac Egan
    "Snapcaster Mage."
    Shuhei Nakamura
    "Kessig Wolf Run."
    Dan Unwin
    "Snapcaster Mage."
    Chikara Nakajima
    "Stromkirk Noble."
    Shouta Yasooka
    "Liliana of the Veil."
  • Sunday, 10:23 a.m. - An Interview With DeTora and Searles

    by Pip Hunn
  • Melissa DeTora and James Searles popped up on the coverage radar last weekend at GP: Milan, where they announced a Magic road trip that left people either either green with envy or planning their own adventures. After Milan, they've made their way out to Brisbane, and will be heading off to Chile, then Hiroshima, and then to the World Championships for a week of side events.

    I asked them how it had come about. Both players had been inspired by the announcements of the Planeswalker Points system, which rewards attendance at large tournaments with a multiplier effect. Their conversation apparently went a little like this:

    "Hey, we should go to every Grand Prix!"

    "You're crazy... Let's do it."

    Melissa DeTora and James Searles

    So how's it all going? Both DeTora and Searles are happy but a little jetlagged. "Flying into the future is hard work!" jokes Searles. The pair have come from Milan, through Dubai and into Sydney. Not only is Australia far away from everywhere else and filled with creatures that want to eat you (we're not joking about the Drop Bears), it can be a challenge to adjust to the way Australians do things. The pair went hungry their first night in Brisbane, not expecting restaurants to close as early as they do here.

    A little bit of local sight-seeing has been squeezed in around a weekend of Magic, but it's clear where their priorities lie. The pair's Twitter handle - @AllWeDoIsWinPWP – highlights their determination to score as many Planeswalker points as possible. Searles has made Day 2 of the GP, while Melissa is registering a sealed pool for the Sunday PTQ.

    The coverage teams will keep an eye on DeTora and Searles, and you'll be sure to hear how the rest of their epic roadtrip goes!

  • Sunday, 10:33 a.m. - Quick Questions

    by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • What are you playing this weekend?
    What is your worst matchup?

    Andreas Ganz
    "Outback Dunny (Mono Green)
    Green/White Tokens."
    Jeremy Neeman
    "Blue/Black Control
    Mono Green."
    Shuhei Nakamura
    "Mono Green
    Blue/Black Control."
    Tzu Ching Kuo
    "Green/Red Ramp
    Green/White Tokens."
    Justin Cheung
    "Blue/White Caw-Blade
    Chikara Nakajima
    "Mono Red
    Anything with life gain."
  • Round 11: Feature Match - Jeremy Neeman vs. Jiann Hua Chin

    by Pip Hunn
  • Both player sat down and shuffled up for some long games. Neeman and Chin were both piloting U/B control, running counterspells, Liliana, and a plethora of tricky things to do with a Snapcaster Mage.

    Neeman calculates how many triggers he can put on the stack at once.

    Games One and Two

    I'm going to be honest here, things got a little complex. The game involved a lot of cards, mostly played at instant speed, and most cards played more than once thanks to flashback and Snapcaster Mage. Listing them would be an exercise in futility. Both players had a plethora of removal to keep the other's creatures off the battlefield. In the end, Neeman found a Nephalia Drownyard and rode it to victory.

    Jeremy Neeman 1 – Jiann Hua Chin 0

    Chin drowns in his mounting graveyard

    Then it happened again.

    Jeremy Neeman 2 – Jiann Hua Chin 0

  • Sunday, 11:11 a.m. - Deck Tech: U/B Control with Dan Unwin

    by Pip Hunn
  • Dan Unwin shows off a Nephalia Drownyard, a Consecrated Sphinx, and Wring Flesh.

    Unwin is one of Australia's best-known and most respected deck designers. His creations have been piloted to Australian Nationals championships, as well as placing several local players highly at Pro Tours over the years. This weekend, Unwin rolled a dice to decide which of his creations he was playing, and ended up with U/B Control.

    "We'd been testing a U/B Control deck for a few weeks. This is a team deck, it came from a group getting ready for the Grand Prix, probably the biggest testing team we've had. We refined the deck, but then a few slots have come down to individual choices, so there's some variance between team members.

    The deck itself is very slow. Against other controlling decks, it has the Nephalia Drownyard to put it ahead in the long game. The basic plan is to deal with all of your opponent's threats, and then cast a 6 Mana-drop that will seal the game. Our win conditions of choice are Wurmcoil Engine and Consecrated Sphinx.

    We've got a removal package that can deal with most of the early threats in the format. Wring Flesh has been a really valuable card, even against control decks. Killing an Inkmoth Nexus or Snapcaster Mage at an opportune time can be incredibly valuable. So the card isn't really dead, even if it's not the best in control matches.

    The maindeck counterspells give us resilience across the board. Our worst matchup is the Mono-Green deck – 'Outback Dunny' -with Dungrove Elders and other untargetable threats.

    The sideboard is pretty elegant. Phantasmal Image is amazing in a lot of situations. There are always creatures you want to copy. The decks that have Thrun have answers to all the other responses that U/B can produce. You can also use it to copy other threats – Viridian Emissary, Solemn Simulacrum, Primeval Titan are also good targets.

    Unwin is sitting on an X-2 record and keen to play out the rest of his matches.

  • Round 12: Feature Match - Aaron Nicoll vs. Ian Wood

    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • While Ian Wood has been on the Australian National team twice now, 2010 and 2009, Aaron Nicoll will be leading it in San Francisco next month.

    "I'm so glad I'm not playing control," Nicoll quipped with a croaky voice as they shuffled, "I was out until 6am."

    "So you're playing Blue/Black Control then?" Wood replied with a smile.

    Game One

    But he wasn't. Nicoll summoned a Solemn Simulacrum to find a Mountain to go with his Forests, while Wood summoned a Blade Splicer. Nicoll tried to keep Wood off of Blue mana with an Acidic Slime, before slamming a Primeval Titan, fetching a second Inkmoth Nexus and a Kessig Wolf Run.

    Wood had a Doom Blade for the Titan, and an Archon of Justice. Beast Within killed the Archon, which took the Kessig Wolf Run with it, allowing the Inkmoths to infect Wood. Nicoll was falling lower and lower in life however, as Wood continued to attack with his Golem token, and now a Beast Token. Nicoll summoned a 7/7 Dungrove Elder to hold the fort. Wood searched for an answer with Forbidden Alchemy, but could only pass the turn back without play. Nicoll untapped, and summoned a Batterskull.

    "So do you have the removal spell?" Nicoll asked.

    "I dunno, do I?" Wood replied.

    Nicoll animated one of his Inkmoths, and moved to equip the Batterskull to it. Wood quickly summoned a Snapcaster Mage to flashback a Doom Blade. Nicoll shrugged with "ehh, it was still the correct play."

    To Ian Wood, it's Business Time.

    Wood untapped and dropped an Oblivion Ring on the Batterskull, but the remaining Inkmoth took Wood up to 8 poison counters. Nicoll summoned another Primeval Titan, finding a backup Inkmoth, and another Forest. Drawing the very trump he needed, Wood summoned and +2'd Gideon Jura.

    "This card is gonna be Beast Within," Nicoll stated, pointing to the top of his library, before admitting, "maybe that was a little optimistic." His team trundled in. The Blade Splicer got in the way of the Elder, so Gideon only took 6 from the Titan, surviving to taunt another day.

    With Nicoll on 10 life, Wood attacked back with his two Tokens and the Snapcaster. An Inkmoth blocked the Snapcaster, and Nicoll fell to 4. Wood rounded out his turn with a Grave Titan.

    "Big daddy!" Nicoll remarked, before drawing his next card, and scooping.

    Wood 1 – Nicoll 0

    Game Two

    Nicoll led with a Birds of Paradise, while Wood denied him the Dungrove Elder in his hand with a turn two Despise, revealing three Forests and a Green Sun's Zenith. "I'ma get another one!" Nicoll chided, and did just that a turn later. Wood dug for an answer with Forbidden Alchemy, but came up short, falling to 11, and then 5. Sensing weakness, Nicoll summoned a second Elder, goading Wood with "You seem to be doing a lot of thinking, and not much doing, bro."

    So Wood did something, casting Day of Judgment to clear the board. Nicoll rebuilt with another Green Sun's Zenith for a 7/7 Dungrove Elder.

    Wood summoned Gideon, and directed the Elder towards it. Nicoll drew and slapped down his eighth Forest to crush Gideon. Wood summoned an Archon of Justice, which only succeeded in exiling a Forest as it played the role of "speed bump" before it was Woods turn to do the same.

    Wood 1 – Nicoll 1

    Game Three

    Wood quickly sent back his opening hand in the decider, while Nicoll took longer to do the same. Nicoll summoned a Llanowar Elves on turn one, and paused in the face of an open Island and Plains, before summoning two Birds of Paradise and attacking with the Elves. Wood played a third land and passed it back. Nicoll pointed a Beast Within at Wood's Seachrome Coast, forcing Wood to Forbidden Alchemy in response, discarding three lands. Nicoll then played a Sword of Feast and Famine.

    Aaron Nicoll has six mana on turn three, and wants to know what you're gonna do about it.

    Wood played another land, and summoned a Blade Splicer. A Birds of Paradise took up the Sword, knocking a Doom Blade out of Wood's hand, while a post combat Acidic Slime destroyed a Darkslick Shores.

    Wood played an Island, and attacked back with his Golem and Beast, dropping Nicoll to 11. The Birds attacked, dislodging a Snapcaster Mage, before the Sword was passed to the Slime, which kept Wood's attackers at home. Wood had nothing, so the Birds attacked again, discarding a Despise. Nicoll then searched out a Thrun, the Last Troll with Green Sun's Zenith, leaving enough mana open to regenerate the legend, if need be.

    Wood summoned a Phantasmal Image, copying the Acidic Slime to take out the Sword. Thrun attacked, dropping Wood to 9, and Nicoll summoned a 5/5 Dungrove Elder. Thrun dropped Wood to 5, while Wood's Slime Image traded with the Elder. Wood tried to attack back with his Golem, but Nicoll had plenty of mana creatures to spare, throwing a Birds in front of it. Without enough defence to fend off Thrun, Wood could not muster enough offense to race Thrun to the finish, and Nicoll took the match.

  • Sunday, 12:40 p.m. - Day 1 Undefeated Decks

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Sunday, 1:19 p.m.: Deck Tech - G/W Tokens with Tim Fondum

    by Pip Hunn
  • Tim Fondum's spent his weekend rocking out an interesting G/W Tokens deck. "I picked the deck because it's powerful, fast, resilient. It's got a lot of speed from the Avacyn's Pilgrims and Birds of Paradise, which lets it power out threats early. The deck's full of one card threats – Blade Splicer, Hero of Bladehold, Geist-Honored Monk, are all threats in and of themselves. Their synergies with Gavony Township and Mikaeus, the Lunarch are outstanding. Any combination of those cards in multiples just increases the potency.

    Tim Fondum

    G/W Tokens has lots of resistance against the control decks, with the two Planeswalkers, Garruk Relentless and Elspeth Tirel. Both generate creatures to put pressure on control turn after turn, and obviously the tokens interact well with the rest of the deck. One of the nicest interactions in the deck is between Mortarpod and Garruk: you flip a Garruk, and then you equip Mortarpod to the deathtouch wolf, which lets you deal with the format's larger threats like Consecrated Sphinx and Titans.

    The sideboard package is geared to beat the mirror, Tempered Steel, and control. Thrun and a package of Swords come in against Control, but the swords have been underwhelming. You always need a guy to equip to, which can be a challenge. Snapcaster makes swords less good, and the prevalence of Solemn Simulacrum and Wurmcoil Engine means you can't rely on your swords to connect.

    I've yet to resolve an Elesh Norn, but I reckon it will be great when I do. Another Garruk comes in when you want to win the Planeswalker war; having recurring creature generation is imperative to the deck's success."

  • Round 13: Feature Match - Corey Hill vs. Jacky Zhang

    by Pip Hunn
  • Corey Hill and Jacky Zhang both started the day undefeated, and have picked up two losses since then. They're playing each other in the penultimate round, working with the classic 'bash for the win' strategy.

    Game One

    Zhang won the roll and led with a Birds of Paradise, while Hill had an Avacyn's Pilgrim to keep pace. Zhang cast a Green Sun's Zenith for a Viridian Emissary. Hill had an Oblivion Ring for the Birds, while Zhang simply attacked with his Inkmoth Nexus. Hill summoned a Hero of Bladehold.

    Hill cast a Parallel Lives, prompting a careful reading of the card from Zhang. When his Hero attacked, Hill got 4 soldiers instead of the normal 2 – quite impressive! Zhang double-blocked the Hero of Bladehold with a pair of Emissaries, ramping up his lands but sitting with an empty board.

    While taking some coverage photos, I remarked on Hill's intimidating game face. "Twenty years in the army will do that to you,", said Hill, who warmed things up with a smile. His grin barely flickered when Zhang played a Wurmcoil Engine, as he had an Oblivion Ring and an Intangible Virtue to take home the game with a horde of pumped-up tokens.

    Hill struggles to contain his delight. "Charge, my minions!"

    Corey Hill 1 – Jacky Zhang 0

    Game Two

    After a quick rendition of 'Everyday I'm Shufflin', courtesy of Youtube, both players had randomised in style and were ready for the second game.

    Zhang once again began with a Birds of Paradise, which let him Beast Within Hill's sole land. Hill followed up with a Doomed Traveler and both attacked into Zhang's Viridian Emissary, creating quite the advantageous board for Zhang.

    Hill played out some more mana men and attacked, while Zhang happily chumped with a Solemn Simulacrum and the summoned a Wurmcoil Engine. Hill had the Oblivion Ring and attacked again, knocking Zhang to 11. Karn Liberated landed on the table with an audible thump, removing Hill's Oblivion Ring and bringing the Wurmcoil Engine back.

    Despite Hill's best efforts, an active Karn and Wurmcoil Engine made short work of his board, hand and life total.

    Jacky Zhang 1 – Corey Hill 1

    Game Three

    Zhang plots the downfall of all who oppose him, card by card.

    On the play for the first time this match, Hill began with an Avacyn's Pilgrim and a Birds of Paradise. Zhang had a Rampant Growth, but Hill had a Garruk Relentless and associated faithful hound.

    Zhang had four lands and an empty board, and passed rather glumly. Gideon Jura added to Zhang's woes as Garruk continued to bring more Wolves along for a rumble. Zhang used a Beast Within on the Gideon, and another on Hill's freshly-cast Intangible Virtue. With both players spending cards to add to Hill's growing army of creatures, things looked glum for Zhang unless he could sweep the board.

    Slagstorm did just that. Hill began rebuilding with Garruk Relentless. Zhang summoned a Wurmcoil Engine. Hill cast a Doomed Traveler and then used it to battle his Garruk, flipping it. The Spirit token blocked Zhang's Wurmcoil Engine, but when Zhang summoned another 6/6 in the form of a Primeval Titan, Hill's creatures suddenly started looking a little small. The end came swiftly.

    Jacky Zhang 2 – Corey Hill 1

  • Sunday, 2:24 p.m.: Deck Tech - Mono-G 'Outback Dunny' with Aaron Nicoll

    by Pip Hunn
  • "So what's the idea?"

    "Turn green guys sideways!"

    Aaron Nicoll, Australian National Champion, can be counted on for an enthusiastic interview. He's piloting a Mono-Green concoction featuring difficult-to-kill threats, chiefly Dungrove Elder. The eponymous name of this creation? 'The Outback Dunny', Nicoll says proudly. How does it work?

    "The deck aims to power out cheap, untargetable threats, cast on turn two with mana dork. The threats ramp up very quickly, and apply lots of pressure to the opponent. As long as you draw something to sustain you into the mid-game, you'll usually win. All the threats in the deck are designed to be very resilient.

    Garruk, Primal Hunter and Karn Liberated are amazing resources. Karn is probably the weaker, but he's so cool – I mean, every time I cast him, he wins me the game.

    Aaron Nicoll

    Batterskull hasn't been particularly impressive, but it's a necessary evil for Red. It gets sideboarded out pretty regularly. Solemn Simulacrum hasn't been so impressive, despite being pretty standard in ramp lists. Thrun, on the other hand, has been fantastic against control all weekend, there are only a few answers to him in the format.

    Beast Within gives the deck some strategic flexibility. If you can cast it on your opponent's upkeep on turn 2, the added pressure on their tempo and mana base is fantastic. This deck doesn't care about an opponent with a 3/3, it pumps out its own men that can deal with it.

    The sideboard's designed for specific answers.Sword of Feast and Famine is fantastic for the mirror, and good against solar Flare. Giving yourself more reach and being able to ambush black or green blockers aggressively is really valuable. Ancient Grudges have been absurdly powerful. Arc Trails hasn't really achieved anything, and Garruk Relentless has been less overwhelming than we'd have liked."

  • Sunday, 3:18 p.m. - Quick Questions

    by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Do you happen to know when the next full moon is? Uhh, I'm asking for a friend...

    Vidya Jois: "There was one recently, I can tell you that."
    Dan Unwin: "No ...maybe I should?"
    Jeremy Neeman: "No idea."
    Andreas Ganz: "I can only hide my true identity for so long."
    Tzu Ching Kuo: "Honestly, no. *scratches neck and looks suspicious*"
    Rob Teirney (GP Brisbane Organizer): "...Nerd."
  • Sunday, 3:42 p.m.: Deck Tech - Tezzeret with Shouta Yasooka

    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Japan's Shouta Yasooka has 10 Grand Prix top 8's within the last 5 years, and was a part of the team that took down Pro Tour Charleston in 2006. So what's special about his deck this weekend? Well, for some reason, Yasooka has been very attached to playing Tezzeret over the last year or so, and this weekend is no exception.

    Shouta Yasooka

    Okay, so if you've scanned the metagame breakdown I did earlier, you're probably stifling the urge to say "but Ray! There were no Tezzeret decks in that breakdown! What are you, crackers?!" and you'd be correct. Well, about the breakdown, and probably about the crackers. I take full responsibility for skimming over his list, and not noticing the four Tezzerets he'd hidden way down the bottom of it. Like, seriously the last card.

    I asked Yasooka why he chose to play Tezzeret over say, a more conventional Blue/Black Control deck, to which he replied, "I always play Tezzeret!" Well, that's true. He even finished in the top 8 of Grand Prix Singapore earlier this year with Tezzeret. I asked him to elaborate further as to why, and got "is good!" for my troubles.

    He did admit if he could make any changes to his deck, he'd swap some cards between his main deck and sideboard.

  • Sunday, 4:00 p.m.: Judges of Grand Prix Brisbane

    by Event Coverage Staff
  • One of the most integral and handsome* parts of any tournament are the judge staff. Without these highly trained and hard-working men and women, the Grand Prix simply couldn't go ahead. Despite having all expectations for player turnout blown out of the water, the judges for GP Brisbane managed to keep everything running smoothly over the course of the weekend.

    Your hard-working and professional Judge team... Well, Judges, anyway.

    Head Judge James Mackay, Level 4

    Level 3: John Alderfer, Nathan Brewer, Fabian Peck

    Level 2: Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan, Jason Doan, Michael Hall, Danesh Smith, Jason McDonald, Gareth Pye, Sean Roffey, James Stewart, John Tong, Jonathan Trevarthen, Zhaoben Xu

    Level 1:Graham Croucher, Jonathon East, Rajesh Genesan, Morgan Meehan-Lam, Matthew Miles-Watson, Harley Morphett, Dylan Petrusma, Devin Smith, Leroy Smith, Ken Suto, Chris Worrell

    *The fact that both your coverage reporters are certified judges influences this statement not at all.

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