Grand Prix Vignettes: GP Melbourne Edition

With GP Melbourne in the books, the team here at GASmtg feel that it is time to share a few funny tales and tight plays from the tournament floor. So, we present you with the second instalment of Grand Prix Vignettes, GP: Melbourne edition.

An Ignominious Insult

In a Feature Match on Day 1, GASmtg’s own Chifley Cole was paired against Japan’s Kentaro Yamamoto. Despite Chifley’s proclivity for writing on such a FAMOUS and all-around Magical website, his fame is significantly overshadowed by Yamamoto’s multiple Pro Tour Top 8s. Still, none of this prevented a spectator from loudly proclaiming “Why is this a feature match?”

An Idiom for the Ages

After a particularly drawn out game 1 of the Eldrazi mirror in which an unheard of 25 minutes of clock were used, Patty decided that it was probably worth getting a judge to observe his opponent Tomoharu Saito for slow-play. After examining his opening hand for Game 2 at length, Saito decides to throw it back and begins to pile his deck. At this point a judge intervenes and informs Saito that “he should not pile count his deck more than once per match”, Saito is somewhat confused by the request, so after a pause he asks for clarification, “I should not… or I must not?”

New Horizons

In round 2 of the Grand Prix, GASmtg’s noble Italian compatriot Riccardo Bragato was battling versus the notorious ELF deck with his UW Tribal Home Brew. Deep in game 3, his opponent has gotten himself a comfortable lead, with Riccardo down to 4 life and cowering from his opponents Elven army behind a rag-tag group of Eldrazi and Scions. Did we mention that the opponent had multiple Worships in play? As fate would have it, the Elf player passes the turn and Riccardo draws a 5th land and is finally able to play his TRICK card, the tribal-sorcery All is Dust. Suddenly, with his back against the wall, Riccardo’s opponent taps one of his many manas and wisely sacrifices his Horizon Canopy to see if he can draw something to help him overcome this sudden turn of events… upon drawing his card he slams down what would have been a lethal Shaman of the Pack, and yells loudly in frustration and starts kicking the table in anger! And we are left with yet another stark lesson that sometimes you need to play instants or abilities before the last possible minute.

Soul Reads

Tim Hughes was rewarded handsomely for his format knowledge and understanding on Day 1, when his affinity opponent lead Mountain, Springleaf Drum, Mox Opal. Tim, who was playing UW control, calmly played turn 1 Ghost Quarter and destroyed the opponents land in their draw step, correctly assumed that his opponent would only have 1 basic land in his list, and that he would have zero lands in hand given that he lead with Mountain. A shining example of preparation paying dividends.

Multiple Decklist Errors

On Day 2, Shota Yasooka’s and his opponent are stopped by a judge during the game and Shota is asked to if the judge may look at his sideboard, to which he obliged. After the match is complete, the judge explains that they had lost Shota’s decklist and that they needed to write him a new one.

This would not be the only decklist error corrected over the weekend. After the tournament had finished, Patty received a Tweet from the Ray Walkinshaw, asking if he was sure that his decklist was correct. It turns out that as Ray was writing up the top 32 decklists (oh, how funny, you managed to bring up the fact that Patty was in the top 32… 13th actually, now that you’ve asked) he noticed that Patty had registered 4 Eldrazi Obligator, instead of Eldrazi Displacer. Fortunately, Patty managed to dodge any random deck checks, and also somewhat fortuitously dodged going 9-0 or top 8ing to avoid any infraction for this decklist error. In his defence, who could possibly know the names of Magic cards – but as of press time, the Duelists’ Convocation International is currently investigating him for FRAUD.

Does This Count as “Getting” Them?

In round 13, Patty’s opponent leads off with Eldrazi Mimic into Eldrazi Displacer (or Obligator, there is no way of knowing). Patty, loath to fall behind in the mirror, Dismembers the 3/3 Displacer. The opponent then confidently says “attack you with my 3/3 mimic”, upon which Patty seeks clarification that he intends to copy the power and toughness of Eldrazi Displacer. The opponent confirms and then a judge is called to explain the situation and the following conversation ensues.

“Did you intend to copy the power and toughness of Eldrazi Displacer?”
“yes” says the opponent, “attack for 3”
“well your creature is not a 3/3”
“not a 3/3?”
“Dismember gives -5/-5, so 3, 2, 1, 0, -1, -2… your creature is a -2/-2”
“aahhh” says the opponent, who proceeds to bin his Mimic and calmly pass the turn.

Running Hot and Playing Tight

Chris Cousens had a Cinderella run this weekend. Starting with zero-byes after losing in the finals of an 80 player GPT to perennial runner-up Maitland Cameron, Chris lost his first round of the GP to Affinity. On his way to his first Top 8 and topping the Swiss, Chris repeatedly displayed his mastery of his Abzan Company deck. Aside from the obvious tight plays of hitting nut perfects off of Company in tight spots, Chris exhibited other small moments of brilliance. The most demonstrative of these was his match against Kentaro Yamamoto playing The Living End. With the combo assembled on board, but no protection against a Faerie Macabre from Yamamoto, Chris waiting until his opponent went for a Living End, his cascade revealed all 4 Macabres were still in the deck, giving Chris the necessary information to go off safely. Now, if only Chris could teach us how to CoCo?

Lastly, we’d like to acknowledge everyone who came up to us during the event and said they “liked, loved, hated, or didn’t think we were funny”. Getting feedback like that is a great feeling and none of what we do here (what is it we do exactly?) would be half as much fun without all of you reading along and your support, and although we could go on forever, this article is best left short and sweet. So we’ll just end it by giving a big shout out to ‘Big Tix’ event announcements.

Peace. Love. GASmtg.