MTG Reporter – Takeaways from SCG Invitational New Jersey, 15th Place [Edward Eng]

Rather than just post a tourney report that highlights my matches at the recent SCG Invitational in New Jersey, I'd like to put more focus on a few other things.

First of all, this was my first SCG Invitational. I was never able to play in SCG events until this past year. I stopped playing Magic for about 10 years (2000-2010). And I lived abroad in Taiwan for almost 11 years (2004-2014). Since moving to Houston, Texas about a year ago, I've been lucky enough to attend a decent amount of SCG events. I've been even luckier to do quite well on the circuit so far. But the main thing I'd like to say is that my SCG tournament experiences have been phenomenal so far, especially this most recent one. I'm not gonna lie, it doesn't hurt that I finished in 15th place. But throughout the whole tournament, a few things kept crossing my mind.

1. These SCG tournaments are awesome.
2. For the most part, my opponents were all pretty respectful and pleasant to play against.
3. Legacy is an incredible format and probably attributes to point number 2.
4. Magic and its community seems to have really matured over the years.

If you haven't played in any SCG events yet, you should definitely check them out if you can.

If you haven't played Legacy, you should also try it out if you can afford the cards or borrow them from friends.

Next, I'd like to reflect on my match that ended up on camera. In round 15, the second-to-last of the Swiss portion, I was paired up against Ben Friedman and we were moved to the non-televised feature match area. I was on Abzan Aggro and he was on Bant Heroic. We both had a lot of creatures on the board and then he started to attack. Then on one turn I made a bad block. I double blocked his Favored Hoplite but forgot the damage would be prevented so I took an extra 7 damage from an unblocked Hero of Iroas. It looked real bad for me, but I tried my hardest to keep my composure. He started crashing in with all of his creatures since they were bigger and I didn't really have any good blocks left. But I kept fighting and I eventually drew Sorin, Solemn Visitor to help recover some life and attack back. We had a dispute about an Anafenza, the Foremost trigger but the judges ultimately said the trigger would still happen. In hindsight, I don't think it would have mattered. I ended up winning that game off the back of Sorin. I was in a bit of shock. And I think Ben was a bit unhappy about how that turned out considering I made a bad block earlier in the game.

He pretty much steamrolled me in game two. And then we were moved to the on-camera feature match area for game three. The clock was winding down a bit but we had a time extension for the Anafenza call. At this point, I felt Ben was trying to rush me a bit or at least play at his pace. We started game three and I immediately played the wrong land. I should've played Llanowar Wastes instead of Forest so I could play Sandsteppe Citadel tapped on turn two and been able to cast Hero's Downfall on turn three. But again, I tried my best to not let the misplay mess with my head. Eventually, we got into another creature-heavy board state. I was putting the pressure on this time and Ben was a bit forced to start making some blocks. He casted a Dromoka's Command after blocks were declared and I had a chance to cast one or two Abzan Charms. I was thinking for a bit and this is where I felt Ben rushed me a bit. I understood that time was a bit of an issue at that point, but I shouldn't have let any of that get to me. I should've just put two counters on my level two Warden of the First Tree to kill his Den Protector and used my other  Abzan Charm to exile his  Favored Hoplite. The game started to spiral out of my control from there. I was still able to get Ben down pretty low with the creatures I had left before he blew all of them up. My life total had been padded earlier thanks to Sorin, but he came crashing in with a huge Favored Hoplite. Luckily, I had a Winds of Qal Sisma to prevent the damage before I could topdeck a Siege Rhino for the win. I definitely got really lucky. I wasn't happy with my misplays, but the best I can do is learn from them.

1. Do your best to maintain focus and composure at all times.
2. Don't let anything sway you from your game.
3. Make sure you have enough to eat so you can focus on the game.
4. We're all human and we make mistakes. 
5. Learn from your mistakes and continue moving forward in a positive manner.

My Facebook and phone instantly blew up after the match was over. And I can't even begin to express how appreciative I am of all the support from everyone. I'd also like to thank my roommates (Joe Bass, Festus Resendez, Jake Peralez, and Shane Remelt) for railbirding and cheering for me as I won the match. And I'd like to give a shoutout to some of the other Texan grinders (Maxwell Dresslar, Nathan Blackmon, and Woodrow Bogucki) that were also there. Plus, thanks to Timothy 'Ty' Thomason and Karttik Patel for lending me cards.

Here's the game against Ben.

I ended up losing to Alex Bastecki in round 16. Congrats to him on winning the Invitational.

Here's what I played in Legacy.

And here's what I played in Standard.

In a nutshell, this is how my rounds went.

R1: L 1-2 vs. UG Infect (0-1)
R2: W 2-1 vs. UB(g) Reanimate (1-1)
R3: W 2-1 vs. Grixis Delver (2-1)
R4: W 2-1 vs. Grixis Control (3-1)

R5: W 2-1 vs. Bant Heroic (4-1)
R6: W 2-1 vs. Bant Heroic (5-1)
R7: W 2-0 vs. RG Ramp (6-1)
R8: L 0-2 vs. Hangarback Abzan (6-2)

R9: W 2-1 vs. Esper Stoneblade (7-2)
R10: W 2-1 vs. UW Miracles (8-2)
R11: W 2-1 vs. Sultai Delver (9-2)
R12: L 1-2 vs. Grixis Delver (9-3)

R13: W 2-1 vs. Abzan Aggro (10-3)
R14: W 2-1 vs. Atarka Red (11-3)
R15: W 2-1 vs. Bant Heroic (12-3)
R16: L 0-2 vs. GR Devotion (12-4)

That was good enough for 15th place. Overall, I had a great experience. And I look forward to competing in future Invitationals. If you're around, feel free to say hi and chat.

Thanks again to everyone for the support, kind words, and reading this.

Peace, love, and have fun…

Edward Eng


Galactic Treasures