Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The First Step To Magic's Pro Tour: Our First PPTQ

Hello Exiles!

It's me, Jason - your Level 2 Magic Judge-In-Exile - and one of the proud owners of North Of Exile Games in Penetanguishene, with another blog post to talk about all of the excitement that Central Ontario's Magic community has had recently.

A Busy Saturday in the North... and in North Bay!

It has been a busy couple of weeks up here in the North!   Just one week ago, we held a 'Trial Event' for the North Bay Face To Face Games Modern Open.  This past Saturday we followed that up with our Rivals Of Ixalan: Store Championship, while at the same time I myself was away in North Bay serving as the Head Judge for the Face To Face Games Modern Open.

Here in Penetanguishene, we had 8 players come together for our Store Championship which we held as a Sealed Format event, with one of our frequent players Kevin Hopkins coming away with the prized Championship playmat by day's end.

(L-R) Winner Kevin Hopkins, store co-owner Janis, and our runner-up Andrew Forget

In North Bay, 65 players came out to the West Ferris Community Centre to form the largest Face To Face Open in North Bay to date.  We had 7 rounds of swiss and a cut to Top 8 in order to determine a winner, which made for a very big day of Magic. 

Some of you might recall that just one week ago we held a special trial event in Penetanguishene that was connected to the North Bay Open.  The winner of our Trial Event was Steve Nutbean, and he certainly used his 1 round bye in the Open to great success - his 5-2 record at the end of swiss would earn him 16th place thanks to tie breakers, and got him a share of the Top 16 prize payout!  Nice work Steve! 

Once the event ended I was back on the road for a 3 hour drive south, as I finally got home shortly before 1am Sunday morning.

Congratulations to our Trial Event winner, Steve Nutbean, on his Top 16 finish making prizing in North Bay!

They say there is no rest for the wicked, and I certainly could have used a bit more rest myself, but there was no time for that this weekend!  Even with all of the excitement of Saturday now behind us, Sunday was still the day I was most looking forward to, as we would finally host our first ever Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier here in the North.

Sunday: A PPTQ appears in Penetanguishene!

Fourteen Magic players from around the region would gather here in Penetanguishene on Sunday, all with hopes of taking their first big step towards playing on Magic's illustrious Pro Tour.

Round 1 has begun!
Players came from a variety of places to try their luck with their best Standard format decks.  We had players coming to the North from Midland, Barrie, Elmvale, Wasaga Beach and even all the way from Toronto!

Level 2 Magic Judges Graham Schofield and Kaitlin McLachlan both came to the North to play!

The first Cut is the deepest

The Top 4 prizing, with the invite to an RPTQ being a potentially huge reward.

After 5 rounds of swiss play, we would have our cut to Top 4.  Making it into the single elimination rounds would be:

Graham Schofield (13pts) - Bant Approach
Bradley Sinopoli (12pts) - B/G Constrictor
Justin Zettler (10 pts) - Sultai Constrictor
Kyle MacDonald (10pts) - B/W Vampires

Our Top 4!  (L-R) Kyle MacDonald, Graham Schofield, Justin Zettler, Bradley Sinopoli

In our first semi-final match to conclude, Bradley would manage to win the battle for supremacy between our two Constrictor decks in contention.

Justin Zettler (semi-finalist)
Sultai Constrictor

4 Forest
4 Swamp
4 Aether Hub
4 Blooming Marsh
3 Botanical Sanctum
2 Fetid Pools
2 Drowned Catacomb
2 Rhonas The Indomitable
2 Yahenni, Undying Partisan
4 Fatal Push
2 Ravenous Chupacabra
4 Winding Constrictor
4 Jadelight Ranger
2 The Scarab God
2 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
2 Vraska's Contempt
3 Hadana's Climb
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
4 Walking Ballista
3 Verdurous Gearhulk


3 Hostage taker
1 Hour Of Glory
1 Noxious Gearhulk
2 Duress
3 Appetite For The Unnatural
1 Never // Return
2 Lost Legacy
2 Yahenni's Expertise

Our second semi-finals match was a thrilling back and forth, between Graham's Bant Approach deck and Kyle's Vampires.  Kyle's intuition was good, as he attacked with 2 or less creatures each turn, ensuring that Graham would not get maximum value from casting any instant speed 'Settle The Wreckage' spells.  It would come down to game 3, with Graham casting an Approach Of The Second Sun to put Kyle on a countdown of 6 draw steps or less.   Unfortunately for Graham, Kyle's vampires were mighty strong thanks to a Legion Lieutenant and two Radiant Destiny in play, both naming Vampires.  It would all come down to whether or not Graham would draw a much needed untapped land, in order to be able to reach his Approach Of The Second Sun that was waiting in his top 4 cards of his library, and then cast it in his last turn.  The deck would refuse to give up a land for Graham though, and Kyle's Vampires would move on to meet Bradley in the finals.

Graham Schofield (semi-finalist)
Bant Approach

4 Botanical Sanctum
1 Desert Of The Indomitable
1 Forest
1 Hashep Oasis
4 Ipnu Rivulet
4 Irrigated Farmland
1 Island
3 Plains
1 Scavenger Grounds
1 Shefet Dunes
4 Sunpetal Grove
3 Baffling End
2 Essence Scatter
3 Search For Azcanta
2 Thaumatic Compass
1 Disallow
3 Gift Of Paradise
3 Supreme Will
2 Cast Out
3 Settle The Wreckage
1 Fumigate
4 Hour Of Promise
1 Azor, the Lawbringer
4 Approach Of The Second Sun
3 Spring // Mind


2 Authority Of The Consuls
2 Carnage Tyrant
1 Cast Out
2 Fumigate
2 Ixalan's Binding
3 Negate
1 Oketra The True
2 Regal Caracal

And then there were 2...

The finals of our event would turn into an example of how one great card can sometimes completely shut down another great deck.
Bradley was playing a Constrictor deck, whose whole winning strategy is to place tons of +1/+1 counters onto creatures and then proceed to layeth the smack down on your opponent.

Unfortunately for Bradley, Kyle was all to happy to remind him that the card Solemnity is a thing.

While Bradley's deck certainly felt like it had a good chance to take the day, all Kyle would need was to draw a Solemnity in two separate games to win the match, and the invitation to the next Regional Pro Tour Qualifier.

Congratulations to Kyle - winner of our PPTQ, and Bradley on an excellent performance!  

Bradley Sinopoli (runner-up)
B/G Constrictor

4 Fatal Push
4 Blossoming Defence
4 Winding Constrictor
4 Merfolk Branchwalker
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
4 Jadelight Ranger
2 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
3 Walking Ballista
3 Verdurous Gearhulk
2 Vraska, Relic Seeker
2 Vraska's Contempt
1 Field Of Ruin
2 Hashep Oasis
2 Foul Orchard
4 Aether Hub
7 Swamp
8 Forest


3 Duress
3 Naturalize
2 Die Young
2 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
1 Dispossess
2 Lost Legacy
2 Yahenni's Expertise

Kyle MacDonald (winner)
B/W Vampires

3 Cast Out
2 Ixalan's Binding
3 Fatal Push
3 Legion's Landing
4 Call To The Feast
4 Queen's Commission
4 Legion Lieutenant
3 Martyr Of Dusk
4 Dusk Legion Zealot
2 Champion Of Dusk
4 Concealed Courtyard
2 Scavenger Grounds
2 Forsaken Sanctuary
3 Ifnir Deadlands
4 Shefet Dunes
3 Plains
4 Swamp
4 Radiant Destiny


2 Doomfall
2 Golden Demise
1 Fatal Push
2 Fragmentize
2 Profane Procession
1 Arguel's Blood Fast
2 Solemnity
3 Duress

More exciting events to come!

We've got tons of exciting events coming up here in the North to look forward to, including our first ever Team Trios event this Saturday (a trial for a Face To Face Open happening in Toronto on May 5th), and another Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier coming up on May 12th.  

If you haven't played Magic in the North yet, you're going to want to soon as we have a lot to look forward to!


No comments:

Post a Comment