Q: What did you play in Choose Your Own Standard and Vintage at the Magic Invitational?
A: On Friday night, I needed to gather cards to build both of my Constructed decks. I had decided to play Mirari's Wake in Choose Your Own Standard and GaT in Vintage. I had never played Wake in my entire life, even when it was the top deck in Standard. I figured it could be a good choice if the other Invitational players opted for aggro decks.
After I asked the French Magic Vintage community for some help, I was lent a full powered Dreadnought/Illusionary Mask deck for the last portion of the tournament. I had the time to play a couple of games with it and was not satisfied about it at all. I decided to go classic and play GaT, the most stable deck in the format. But for that, I needed to find Library of Alexandria, Mana Drains and some more unaffordable cards. Oh, and as a side note: we were not allowed to use proxies.
I had spoken with the boss of the trader booth standing on the opposite side of the tournament, and he agreed on lending me the cards I needed, as long as he had extras to sell while I was having them.
On Saturday morning, I managed to collect all the cards I needed but one: A Berserk. They only had one Beta Berserk to sell, and I would need to pass on that one... unless I found a way to play it somehow...
Berserk is a Cunning Wish target in the sideboard, able to make your Quirion Dryad or Psychatog trample any blocker to assure you victory. While thinking about it, I did not actually need the card for long. If I needed it, I would just need to stand up, go to the trader's booth, ask them for the Berserk for a minute, come back to the match table, show I could actually cast it, and give it back right after! In the best case, I would just have to tell my opponent that I wish for a Berserk for the kill and would not even have to fetch it. I talked to tournament organizer Scott Larabee and head judge Falco Goerres if I could list the Berserk and go get it if I needed it. Their answer was: As long as you do not delay the tournament, it is all good. It would not take me more that one minute to get it, so I was all set to play my optimal decklist!
Choose Your Own Standard did not really go as planned. The decks were a lot more controlish/combo than aggro, and the facts that I had never played Wake before and lost faith in making top two influenced my game... a lot. Gabriel's Tog, Tiago's Cluster Bomb and Shota's Dredge all took care of me.
Not knowing Vintage did not help so much to play well either. I played against Shuhei's Flash deck in Round 13. On turn one, he tapped out and fetched a Flash off his Merchant Scroll. On my turn, I could play an Underground Sea and Duress him. Not knowing whether or not I should play my Mox, I Duressed him first... running into Daze. I rolled eyes, played my Mox, embarrassed, passed the turn, and died. I eventually lost the match 2-1. I would proceed to win the two following rounds, playing mirror matches against Steve Menendian and Evan Erwin.
I did get to fetch the Berserk. In fact, I wanted to board it in for Game 2 against Evan, and the traders were kind enough to lend it to me for the duration of the last games.
That was a nice tournament to play in. A fun fact is that I lost to both finalists, all three Japanese and all three French, beating everyone else.
Special thanks to everyone who advised me and lent me cards for the tournament:
Lois, Philippe "Astre", Nico "Neobob" from Mtgfrance; www.funtainment.de (the shop that lent me the Vintage cards I was missing), and all of you who made it possible for me by voting! Next time, I promise to do better!
Coming next, globetrotting...