Last weekend, Radio Atog, a 2-day Pauper event with two different events, took place.
The day after the Team Trio (you can click here to read how it went) there was a Pauper Tournament with the classic 1vs1 formula.
I decided to continue to bring my Heroic. I was considering some changes to the sideboard after the Team Trio, because I was fearing to have to face more Boros Bully, but in the end I decided to keep it like that.
You can click here to see my current decklist.
At the tournament there were 40 different players! It’s the biggest tournament I ever got to join! It was also an open list tournament so we knew what we were playing against right from the start, with six swiss rounds and then the top 8
Match 1 vs Orzhov Pestilence
The open list really helped me in the match ups with Black because I’m able to know what to fear from them. This Pestilence ran some Edicts in main deck so I knew that it would be a tough match up were I would have to control both the number of creatures on the field, so to don’t have my main one removed by them… while also having my creatures big enough to avoid having my board obliterated by Pestilence.
I start with a Vault Skirge, enchanting it with a Cartouche of Solidarity and by playing Akroan Skyguard. He leaves mana open and I’m fearing some instant spell and so I try to bait him with Hyena Umbra and it kinda works… but it wasn’t what I was expecting! I was fearing some kind of spot removal but instead he plays Suffocating Fumes! I was lucky enough to have enough cards in my hand to play and pump my creature enough to survive it! He isn’t able to find other answers to my board state and so I’m quickly able to get ahead and win this first game.
I have another strong start but he is able to find enough Edicts to clean my board. I don’t see my side and he is able to close the game thanks to a double Kor Skyfisher that continuously hit me while keeping my board clean with Pestilence and other removals.
Third strong start of the game with Lagonna-Band Trailblazer plus other creatures to protect her from Edicts. He sees Pestilence but I’m ready and I flash out a Cathar Commando that I use to remove it. The game gets stalled a bit but I’m able to bring it down to 4 life. He has only a single Skyfisher as a flying blocker while I’m able to drop two Skyguards. I attack with both and close the game by using Karametra’s Blessing on the unblocked one.
1 win – 0 losses
Match 2 vs Dimir Teachings
Another deck full of removals and Edicts in the main deck where knowing it beforehand helped me keep the right hand in the first game.
I keep a hand with only one land but with Cartouche to protect my main creature from the Edicts. I set up a really fast clock where he isn’t able to find enough removals to go over my protections or make me sacrifice my best creature and I close the game by hitting hard.
I again fill the board with creatures in the first turns, making it hard for him to slow me down. However, he is able to fully stop my race with a Suffocating Fumes that removes all my creatures, followed by an Edict that kills my last one. After that I’m not able to get back in the game as he is always ready with a counter or a removal. He plays a Gurmag Angler and proceeds to kill me with it.
I start with the Trailblazer, enchanting it with Cartouche to give her a first protection from Edicts and then I also play a Standard Bearer to redirect all targeted removals. This put him in the spot where he would need at least two removals to take down my Trailblazer and I have enough Protections in hands that let me buy enough time to finish him off before he is able to find all the cards that he needs.
2 wins – 0 losses
Match 3 vs Goblin Combo
This matchup was basically only a race to see who is able to close the game faster as we both didn’t have any type of strong interaction versus the other.
I basically started filling my creature with auras and I got one turn from the wins before I was able to combo off.
I started and so I was able to get damage in sooner and so I’m able to close the game.
I was on the draw and he was again able to close the game one turn before I was able to swing for the kill.
The report of this match was really short and there wasn’t much to say; all the games finished around turn 4 and we weren’t doing anything besides playing our cards, almost not looking at our opponent board.
2 wins – 1 loss
Match 4 vs Dimir Delver
Another match up against Black and another deck with Edicts in the main; however they weren’t Chainer’s but Diabolic Edict. I was curious about this choice and so I asked him about them after the match and he explained to me that he preferred the Instant speed and that the flashback cost so much mana that it doesn’t matter in most games.
I play Skirge and another creature and I start pumping the Skirge to have a blocker for Delver while also gaining advantage from the Lifelink. He is able to remove both my creatures and after that he only needs to counter or remove all the ones I’m playing while putting me on a slow clock. I don’t have many creatures in the deck and so he is able to remove each one of them and win the game.
I start with Death Speakers and Trailblazer but he is able to remove both of them by using Cast Down on the second while using an Edict to make me sacrifice the first one.
The game then proceeded to go like the first one.
2 wins – 2 losses
Match 5 vs Goblin Aggro
I absolutely loved as it reminded me a lot of my Modern 8-Whack and it shared a lot of cards with it.
I start with Trailblazer and I enchant it with Sentinel’s Eyes to give it Vigilance and so use it to add pressure both by attacking and by always having a blocker ready. When he starts keeping his pieces back to protect it is too late as I’m able to use Benevolent Blessing to give it Protection from Red and freely swing for the win.
He plays a Martyr of Ashes too late as I think he wanted to add more pressure with another creature in the first turn. However I’m still able to play a Trailblazer and enchant it with Lifelink and Ethereal Armor, quickly bring it out of Martyr’s range. The Lifelink makes the game too hard for him and when I cast a second Ethereal Armor he concedes.
3 wins – 2 losses
Match 6 vs Abzan Wildfire
This was a really interesting deck, playing the Wildfire plans but removing the counter from Blue for the Black removals.
I start with Deftblade Elite that gets immediately destroyed by a Galvanic Blast. However I’m still able to recover by playing Akroan Skyguard and pumping it really fast with various auras. He isn’t able to find other removals quickly enough and I close the game by swinging multiple times in the air.
I commit the error of getting greedy and keeping a powerful hand with a single creature… that gets quickly removed by a Chainer’s Edict. It takes too long for me to find another one and in the meantime he is able to fully set up his board while also sculpting his hand. I don’t see any way out and so I decided to concede the game.
I start with Benevolent Bodyguard with the plan of enchanting it with Cartouche and then start putting auras on the Token while always keeping it protected with the Bodyguard. However I’m really lucky and in turn 2 I draw a Trailblazer and I enchant her instead. Feeling strong against both targeted removals and edicts, I go all out and I fill the Trailblazer with all the other auras I have in hand and I’m able to win by turn 4.
4 wins – 2 losses
With the result it was pretty unsure if I would be able to join the top 8. In fact there were three other players with the same amount of points and only one remaining spot in the top 8. Luckily my ranking was pretty high and so I was the one able to join the top.
Quarter-Finals vs Goblin Combo
Same guy I lost against in match 3 and the modus operandi of the games was almost the same.
I start with Skirge, even if the lifelink here doesn’t matter, but I wanted to have a flying attacker to avoid being chump blocked. However my deck decided to not collaborate and I started drawing various lands in a row, losing when he assembled the combo.
I mulligan my first hand because it wasn’t fast enough and then I get punished by having to mulligan down to four cards before finding a creature in my starting hand.
With a start like this I quickly end my gas and I don’t have enough auras to put up a serious race against my opponent that combos off rather easily.
I guess my deck is a bit shy as it’s the second time I reached the top 8 in a big tournament and the second time it decided to not collaborate.
The finals ended up being Goblin Combo versus Jeskai Wildfires. After some long games where we almost saw both the players draw their entire decks, Wildfires ended up being the winner of the Radio Atog tournament.
I had so much fun in these two-days events and I wanted to end my report with thanks to Pauperwave team, especially my dear friend Nicola aka IlFritto, who organized the whole event and gathered together to bring some fun to all the players! Really a magistral work that totally deserves a virtual applause!