Two days until the CFB Pro Showdown. I don’t have much time to play tomorrow, so I’m going to play as many matches as I can today to make up for it. Starting from Plat 2 Step 2, let’s see where we end up.

Match 1: 2-1 vs Yorion Sultai Ultimatum. Game 1, I managed to kill my opponent on board post-Emergent Ultimatum, thanks to a Snakeskin Veil to protect my creature from Tibalt and a Shatterskull Smashing to kill the Vorinclex. Game 2 I got locked out by an Elder Gargaroth. Game 3 I accidentally played a Forest instead of Kazandu Valley on T4, meaning I didn’t have a way to play my Dragon on T5. Instead, I played the Mammoth and still managed to make it work, with a Roiling Vortex coming in clutch to bleed them out and stop their Gargaroth from healing them.

Match 2: 2-0 vs Jeskai Tokens. Game 1, I stayed on the aggressive and managed to sneak through a 5/5 Mammoth, which I double Fury‘d into a 20/5 for lethal. Game 2, we were actually fairly close on board when they conceded out of nowhere. I suppose my opponent had better things to be doing.

Finally made it to Plat 1! Onwards and upwards!

Match 3: 2-1 vs Snow White Aggro. Game 1, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to race or defend, so I made some weird priority decisions and lost because of them. Game 2, I cleaned up my act and ground them out, with the Ox basically carrying me to victory. My opponent conceded before going to game 3. Two in a row, kinda strange.

Match 4: 2-1 vs Snow Izzet Flash. Game 1, the race was on as my opponent opened with double Sprite Dragon. However, my T4 Mammoth double Fury was exactly enough to get to the finish line. Game 2, I didn’t find any of my removal and got run over by just one Sprite. Game 3, my opponent got stuck on 2 lands for 2 turns, giving me enough of a tempo lead to easily take the game.

Match 5: 2-1 vs Jegantha Naya Runes. Second time I’ve faced this deck now — maybe it is an actual meta deck? If you’ve never heard of it, check out yesterday’s post where I go over their key cards and strategy. Game 1, I mess up a whole bunch, forgetting to crack Fabled Passage on their end step and then lean into the mistake, keeping it uncracked so I have a shot at a 7/7 Mammoth. Meanwhile, they played Showdown into Showdown, and combo off harder than I thought was possible. So, that game was a mess. Game 2, I keep what I thought was going to be a slow hand with no untapped lands, but actually turns into a very aggressive hand after drawing an untapped land on T2. They don’t have much time to react before I’m swinging at them with an increasingly large Dragonsguard Elite, and soon enough they throw in the towel. Game 3, we both start out slow, so slow that my opponent plays T5 Jegantha. They try to make a big Jegantha with their runes, but I easily overpower them and close out the match.

And with that, I’m in Diamond! I’m going to be playing more matches today, but first, a brief two-part interlude. I was checking out ChannelFireball, and found that I had actually missed an article that Reid Duke wrote a few days ago about Jegantha Naya Runes. So, it is a somewhat competitive deck, which is cool. I’m not that interested in playing it, just because I don’t like White, but I don’t mind running into it on the ladder.

The other update is that someone’s finally posted a Temur decklist, and it features Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast and Koma, Cosmos Serpent. I do tend to enjoy playing Temur more than Gruul, so I’m tempted to try it out. However, I don’t have even a single copy of Lukka, and only one copy of Koma, so it would require a handful of mythic wildcards that I’m not thrilled about spending. I’m going to keep my eye on the deck, but for now, I’ll stick with Gruul Fury.

Match 6: 1-2 vs Yorion Sultai Ultimatum. In both of the games I lost, I kept hands where T2 Stomp T3 Giant were my opening plays, and in both games I was locked out pretty early on. I may need to start mulling more aggressively in this matchup. In game 2, I was feeling spicy so I kept a hand that was 3 land, 3 buff spells and one Roiling Vortex, and it actually worked out, which surprised me. My first creature was a Mammoth on T4, followed by a Dragon on T5, which I played all the buffs on and won. I’m not sure if there’s a lesson to be learned from that game, or if I just got lucky.

Match 7: 2-1 vs Obosh Temur Adventures. Game 1 I somehow managed to lose despite drawing 3 Innkeepers and 2 adventure creatures — he raced me down in the air, and I didn’t have enough removal to deal with both the Brazen Borrower and the Dragon. I either needed to go faster, or draw as many cards off the Innkeepers as I could to look for removal. Game 2 I won because I had 3 Bonecrusher Giants, and Stomped his face a whole bunch. Game 3 I played a T2 Dragonsguard Elite into what should’ve an obvious Stomp read, but another 3 Innkeepers later that blunder didn’t matter much.

Match 8: 2-0 vs Snow Golgari… Midrange? Control? Not exactly sure, but I do know one thing: I’m the beatdown. Game 1 I kept a bad hand that I probably shouldn’t have, with 2 lands, a Mammoth, and 4 buff spells. Thankfully, it ended up working out after I drew a Dragon. Game 2 I kept a much more reasonable hand with an actual curve, and the game was a breeze.

Finishing off at Diamond 4 Step 4 tonight. I’m pretty happy with that! Only 10 more wins until I get to Mythic, and then a whole bunch more matches to struggle into top 1200. Okay, so maybe I’m not actually that close to my goal for this month, but still, progress! I’m not sure if I’ll have time to play tomorrow, but at worst I’ll be back for my recap of my Pro Showdown. Cya next time!

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