GP Yokohama

Posted By: Creator of Zsup

As some of you may know, our trip to Japan has allowed us to participate in a really special event for Magic: The Gathering, to be specific, the Yokohama Grand Prix.

So this post will detail my experience there.

The deck I was playing was rather new, and rather cheap, it was a Hive Mind combo Deck. During my playtests in Singapore with the group of friends that I play Magic with, the deck was really consistent, having the combo go off on turn 3 or 4 easily. However, as I entered Japan, some of that 'Magic' seemed to have faded, because I seemed to have more and more trouble with the deck when playtesting it here.

So then came Yokohama GP today. Where I was nervous, because I really didn't know what to expect or experience. Especially since I was playing in a foreign country where I did not speak the language, and considering that most of the way was plagued with vague hand waving and English words spouted with an impeccable LACK of grammatical accuracy.

So came match one. I was playing against a Japanese guy, who apparently was playing the same colors as me, Red and Blue. It was a really interesting match up during the first game because I mirrored him for laying the lands and playing the spells (He laid an Island and played Sleight of Hand, while I laid an Island and played Ponder), whereupon he started looking flustered and stressed. The next thing I knew he was throwing away two Blood Moons, and I concluded that he must have been convinced that I was playing the same deck as him. He eventually managed to see my hand using Vendillion Clique, and realised I was playing a Hive Mind deck, and so he prepared his counterspells. I lost the first game eventually because I was too hasty, playing two Pact of the Titans, and a Pact of Negation, which he countered his copies using Spellstutter Sprite, which promptly caused me to lose the game being unable to pay 10 mana during my next upkeep.

I learned from my mistakes and Sideboarded in 2 more Pact of Negations, and started the remaining two games. Which I won, being able to counterspell his Spellstutter Sprites and throw the Pact of the Titan with impunity. Sadly he had a really bad time with his lands, being stuck at 4 lands and 2 lands for the 2nd and 3rd game respectively. Which made me realise I really didn't know what he was playing, Faeries? Blue? Red? Didn't make sense at all.

I went on the my next matchup feeling all cool and calm as I won the first. Whereupon I was matched with a Bant Thopter Foundry deck. It was a terribly played match as I lost my first game due to a bad play. I had Tolaria West, Hive Mind, Pact of the Titan and Seething song in my hand, which I played without searching for a Pact of Negation, hence ending up having the Hive Mind countered and losing to a torrent of Thopters. The second game I learned from my mistake only to make another. I didn't have a Pact of the Titan in my hands when i played Hive Mind but I did have a Pact of Negation. I countered his counterspell once again and managed to put Hive mind into play, BUT lost during the next upkeep as I didn't have the mana to pay for my Pact of Negation. Stupid stupid me.

3rd match I came up against another Hive Mind Deck. O.o Which I lost terribly to, but it was admittedly wayy more consistent than mine. The player played Summoner's Pact along with the other two Pacts I played and won me twice on turn 3. My hands were extremely bad, with me either missing the Pact or Hive Mind entirely, resulting in me losing. First round was lost as I pulled off my combo but he had 2 Simian Spirit Guides to remove making him have enough Mana to pay, which he then conveniently slapped a Summoner's Pact to my face. Round 2 was promptly lost on turn 2, with Summoner's Pact once again. I consider it fair that I lost to him, because his lands were wayy more consistent, with fetches and shocklands. I was using cascade bluffs as I was on a budget, and as he pointed out, its a Turn 1 no colored mana which is the only downside. :D Played a couple more rounds with him while waiting for the paper of results, and I won once, which satisfied me, as it proved that I was NOT that lousy.

4th match was against Affinity. I won the first round against him, on turn 3, which he was rather surprised to see. Afterward, he took me down on the 2nd round easily, as I had no answer to his creatures, and sadly my combo refused to appear. The hand I had was rather ok, considering I had 3 Serum Visions, and I drew 2 ponders, but all that amounts to nothing without the combo pieces. 3rd round was lost as he killed me with a Man-land equipped with Cranial Plating.

Last match was in the loser pool, where I met up with a really nice guy who apparently played a treefolk deck. I won him easily with my combo on turn 3, and he had no answers. I was quite sorry for him, as the deck he played had no chance against mine even if my combo went off late.

After the last match, I headed over to the head judge and told him I wanted to drop out. I figured I had enough experience of the proper decks, and had more stuff I wanted to do for the rest of the night; taking into consideration the rest of the deck I would play with were would be having X-3 and below scores.

Overall this GP has been an excellent experience, and being able to know that my deck actually works, and proving that a budget deck can actually play in GP is great. Furthermore, coming out from the playing ground with a Jitte, and a Jap Mogg Fanatic is rather cool. My only gripe is this time there is no shirt. WTF.

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