I was at the London, Ont. PTQ for Barcelona today, and inches away from the top 8. I just got back, and since I have a very bad cold and olny slept 3 hours last night (why always just before the PTQ I ask?), I'm going to keep this short (no listing sorry, maybe later .
I open up a deck with powerful cards and no depth, which I don't want back. The deck I get to play has powerful red , phyrexian scuta, and several other good cards. The only colour I can rule out is white. Green has some very powerful spells, but they are mostly GG, and I worry about the curve esecially since I plan on R/B. I go into blue instead for exclude and some quality splashable creatures. Green may have been a better choice though, in retrospect, with heavy G/R and black as backup. Anyway, my real screw up here is the land swap, which I could have set up for an awesome deck transformation, and instead left myself with limited sideboard options. Still, the deck is pretty strong.
My opponent is a nice guy with a strong deck, but mine proves too fast for him in game 1, and he draws into a land glut. Game 2 he almost had a shot until my bog down sent Darigaaz for a dirt nap.
My opponent is an average player playing an average deck, and he also has trouble keeping up. Magama Burst finishes game 1, and he was never in game 2.
So far, I'm in pretty good shape
matches 2-0 , games 4-0
A nice but relatively inexperienced opponent, who maybe has the most broken deck of all time. Game 1 I face andradite leech, doomsday spectre, flametongue kavu, power armor, and magma burst. It was a slaughter. Game 2 I was actually winning, with him around 12, and me with a battleflies and kickered scuta on the board, and mire kavu, magma burst , and nightscape apprentice in my hand. He casts void for 4 and my game ends there.
(side note: this guy was 4-1 in the last round, and ranked 4th and got paired against the 9th player who had to play, and beat him. I cant believe this deck didnt top 8).
Round 4: (must win time)
I play round #3 guy's buddy, and what do you know, he also has spectre and armor, as well as ghitu fire and tsabo tavoc. I win games 1 and 3. All were good and tight.
Round 5: (must win yet again. I am seeded 7th at this point.) This guy had a solid deck but game one got overrun while mana screwed and in game 2 magma burst and a thunderscape battlemage do him in.
Round 6: the standings are posted, and i am 8th. there are 2 people at 10 pts and the 9th place player is at 12. I figure that I have to play (as things turned out, a draw would have put me in T8, but I had no time to figure the odds correctly and it was by no means a sure thing).
My opponent is solid and has a good deck, but loses game 1 to mana screw. Game 2 I am screwed early and he gets me down to 6 with a lava zombie. I hunting drake it and by the time it gets in play again he is at 14. Meanwhile, my mire kavu also gets hunted, and on the turn I put him at 14, I cast it. he has spite malice, and pumps the zombie for the win. The only other choice for me was to cast ravenous rats instead of zombie (he had 2 cards hand), which may have bought me time but probably not.
Game 3 I come out aggresively, but stall on land. Meanwhile, he gets tons of land and makes skyship weatherlight with a stromscape battlemage, unting drake, and lava zombie behind it. My mana slowly starts out, and in a sequence of decent plays, I manage to get him down to 3 with a mire kavu out and him having no blockers. He weatherlights the drake, putting the kavu on top. Then the battle mage takes it down when I recast it. I have tons of time at 16 life but the only creature I can find is a vodalian merchant , and insult to injury, my last card before conceding is a scorching lava. By this time, he has a keldon necropolis and 4 creatures out and im down to 6. I try to fake like im dead anyway and sneak the merchant threough unblocked so i can lava, but no dice. I was 1 damage away from the top 8!
Anyway I am amazed at my peerformance considering only 2.5 removal spells and my cold/ lack of sleep, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't bitter about the near miss.
Congrats on top 16, better luck next time. Get well.