It’s tournament time! I’m playing in the ChannelFireball Pro Showdown again today, and I’m excited! Last time I placed in the top 16 going 4-1, so it would be cool to do that well again. However, last time I felt a lot more prepared, especially with my sideboards for each matchup. I’m also not as confident in my deck choice — last time I was running Temur Adventures, which was pretty securely in the top 5 decks of the meta, while this time I’m running Gruul Fury, which feels… jankier. However, since Strixhaven just released, there may be some others running janky decks as well. Overall, my hopes are high but I’m doing my best to keep expectations low. Since I can’t link my for this event, I’ll go through my matches in a bit more detail, and post my decklist here:

I’ll also link to the decklist on at the end of the post, if you want to take a closer look.

The first match starts in an hour. Man, I really hope I win at least the first one.

Match 1: 2-1 vs Dimir Rogues. This match was kinda funny because I faced off against the same person that I played in the first round of March’s Showdown. I’m looking forward to seeing them again next Showdown! Game 1 I keep a pretty standard hand, with Dragonsguard Elite, Lovestruck Beast, and Goldspan Dragon. Opponent doesn’t have a bad start either, with a Ruin Crab and various Rogues. I’m able to knock them down to 7 HP before they play Lurrus and start to overpower me on board. Thankfully, I’m able to sneak 1 more point of damage through in combat and Kazuul’s a 6/6 at their face for the win. I side in 3 Ox of Agonas, 1 Phoenix of Ash, and 4 Scorching Dragonfire, and side out 4 Unleash Fury, 3 Goldspan Dragon and 1 Primal Might. Game 2 they started with another Crab, but this time they played spells like Drown in the Loch and Lullmage’s Domination to deal with my creatures. There was only one play that I know I messed up: I’ve got 7 lands on board and an Ox in hand, with 8 cards in my graveyard and my opponent has 3 mana open. I chose to keep a red and a green source untapped, but I should’ve chosen to keep double red open to Escape the Ox if it got countered, which it did. Because I never drew from the Ox, I ran out of gas and lost. Game 3 my opponent had double Crab, but I drew a Dragonfire to deal with one so things never got too out of hand. I also got to fizzle a Domination on my Beast using Snakeskin Veil, which felt really good. I got pranked back when I tried to crack a Fabled Passage for a Mountain, but couldn’t because they’d all been milled. Eventually, I lowered them to 1 HP through combat and finished them off with a Stomp. First game down!

Match 2: Bye! As in, I don’t have to play this round. They give out enough byes in round 2 so that there are 64 players going into round 3. I got a bye round 2 in my previous Showdown as well, so I think it’s pretty common for this event.

Match 3: 0-2 vs Snow Red Aggro. I totally deserved this loss, as there was no shortage of misplays on my part. Game 1 started off alright, as I had an early Stomp to deal with Robber of the Rich, and an Edgewall Innkeeper to go with my Adventure creatures. When my opponent attacked with one creature and 5 mana open, I read that they had the Embercleave, and blocked accordingly — or, so I thought. I failed to account for the fact that the creature was ANAX, and they had a TORBRAN ON THE BOARD. I was probably going to lose that game anyway, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that I spaced out so badly. I side in 1 Redcap Melee, 4 Scorching Dragonfire, 1 Soul Sear, 1 Akroan War, 2 Ox, 1 Purphoros’s Intervention, and 1 Wilt, and side out 1 Primal Might, 2 Snakeskin Veil, 4 Unleash Fury, 1 Kazuul’s Fury, and 3 Goldspan Dragon. Game 2, the misplays start immediately. I play a Dragonsguard into their open mana for Frost Bite, which should’ve been an obvious read given they didn’t play a T1 creature. Later in the game, I attack with my Beast to deal 5 to their face instead of keeping it as a blocker, pass, and die to their Embercleave’d Anax AGAIN. No thoughts, head empty, apparently.

So yeah, not the best way to go out. In my frustration, I decided to spend 2 hours charting out the tournament results, which resulted in this graph.

This graph shows the archetype percentages as they evolved each round. The final showdown was between Rakdos Sacrifice and Sultai Ultimatum, which the latter deck won.

I’m taking a break from laddering today, but I’ll be back tomorrow as I try to make it to the top 1200 Mythic before the end of the month. Cya then!

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