MTG Reporter - 38th Place SCG Dallas, Abzan Coco [Karttik Patel - Sorcerer, Level 39]
This is my tournament report for SCG Dallas (actually Fort Worth #whoyoutryingtofoolwizards?). Seeing as how I am only half the man that Aaron Boyce is, I can't simply link my deck from SCG. So I'll just have to type it out like the peasant I am.
Abzan Coco - Karttik Patel
I rode with Edward Eng and Ty Thomason. On the ride over, I told Ty that I decided to play Abzan Coco for the tournament because I wasn't liking the variance of the Merfolk deck. Ty said he thought it was a good deck choice, but every time he played the deck he felt like he couldn't cast any of his spells. I wrote it off as a madman's ramblings.
Round 1: Suicide Zoo
I hadn't really played against Suicide Zoo before and had only briefly looked at the deck during the last modern Pro Tour and as such I was mostly unfamiliar with the deck. I knew most of the main deck cards but the sideboard was a mystery and seeing as how Hal Brady and the Collin Rountree were both on it it must have been good. I win the die roll and play a mana dork. My opponent has a interesting turn one of cycling Street Wraith, casting Gitaxian Probe, cracking a fetch into a Shockland and Thoughtseizing putting himself down to 11 life. I followed up with Kitchen Finks and after another turn of passing the turn with no creature my opponent scoops.
In game 2 my opponent did much of the same but this time culminating in a Tasigur on turn 3. However, with my Finks and Bird in play and me activating Gavony Township every turn my opponent was finding attacks to be unfavorable. He activated Tasigur and I gave him a Mishra's Bauble which he promptly played. After missing his Bauble trigger on my turn and neglecting to activate his Tasigur at the end of my turn my opponent decided to concede.
Round 2: Elves
Both games were uneventful. As this match up usually goes I am just a little too fast and both times kill my opponent at instant speed in response to lethal attacks.
Round 3: Burn
I played against a very cool guy who is part of a band named Wildspeaker that will be touring Texas and coming to Houston later this year. I haven't heard their stuff yet but anyone interested should look them up.
Kitchen Finks is a beating in this matchup and almost single-handedly wins both games. It helps that my opponent isn't very familiar with the combo and taps out turn 4 game 2 allowing me to safely end the game.
Round 4: Infect
Before this round, I checked in with Aaron Boyce and we applauded each other’s undefeated records before heading to our matches. Little did I know the fire that was raging in Aaron’s heart was a raging inferno that would soon consume me.
I played my good friend Viet Nguyen. I have a very poor record against him in competitive REL. Fortunately, Infect is a very good matchup. Game one I mulligan to 5 and lead with a Bird into natural Melira. Game 2 I again have Melira but this time he has a Dismember. In response I Chorded for another Melira and sacced the targeted one to the legend rule. Then the next turn I Chorded for Spellskite effectively locking my opponent out of the game.
Round 5: Kiki Chord with Nahiri
Game one my opponent mulligans low and has little interaction as I bombard him with Cocos like a rabid monkey in a coconut tree.
Game two is closer and I almost throw the game as I only attack his Nahiri that is at 8 counters with a single Bird with exalted triggers and he is able to chord for 1 and chump with a bird. I thought he was going to Emrakul me but instead he goes to get Kiki Jiki and taps it to copy his Eternal Witness to get back his chord which I promptly eat with my Scavenging Ooze. I then untap and combo him.
Round 6: Jund
This is when the wheels started to fall off my perfect run. I played against a very competent Jund player and mulliganed to 6. This matchup is historically bad and it doesn't help when the only Coco of the match that you cast hits a lone Viscera Seer. Game 2 is much of the same and I can't overcome a Tarmogoyf and protected Liliana from taking over the game.
Round 7: Affinity
Another good matchup!!! (or so I thought). I stumble game one and he has a fast start to punish me. I assemble the combo as a last ditch effort to steal the game but the last card in his hand is Galvanic Blast to put an end to my shenanigans.
Game 2 is even worse as I am stuck on two lands and constricted as to what I can do. On the last turn of the game I could safely assemble the combo if the top card of my library was an untapped land. I peeled it to reveal a wall of roots and just like that I was 5-2.
Round 8: Burn
Knowing I needed to win out was not a fun thought to dwell on so I begged the universe for a couple of runner runner good matchups. And boy did it deliver!!!
Both games played out similarly as I powered out early Finkses and assembled my combo quickly both games to steal this match in record time. The game I lost was one where I mulliganed to 5 and kept an Overgrown Tomb as my only colored source. As I quickly became engulfed in fire, my mind went to Ty’s words to me in the car, "How does this deck cast its spells?".
Round 9: Infect
With my fingers crossed, I kept my 7 as my opponent casted a Gitaxian Probe to start the last round. I revealed a hand of mana dork, Melira, Coco, and Finks. My opponent lets out an audible groan and proceeds to fetch a Breeding Pool and casts a Glistener Elf. SCORE!!! I quickly take over game one and combo out. In Game 2 my opponent has a start with Noble into Glistener and Blighted Agent. I am able to make him tap down to one mana and then Chord for Orzhov Pontiff, effectively locking the game and Day 2.
After Day 1, Ty and I had made day 2 and needed to refuel. We decided to go to this well-rated taco place nearby called Velvet Taco. We ran into Drew Iafrate and some of the judges, including Head Judge Evan Cherry. We had a few drinks and some insane tacos followed by passing out in the hotel for some much needed rest.
Day 2 started by getting to the event site a bit early for Edward and Tad to enter the Legacy Classic. I found myself a bit jealous, but I decided to focus and try to get in the zone.
Round 10: Tron
Game one I mulligan to 5 while my opponent has natural Tron followed by Ugin for the instant scoop. Game two I cast Tidehollow Sculler revealing a hand of 2 Tron pieces, Grove of the Burnwillows, 2 Nature’s Claims, and Karn. I take a Nature’s Claim, expecting him to use the other to kill the Sculler. My reasoning was that his hand had no real cantrips or tutors, so if I can fade Tron for a couple of turns I can go for the combo. He draws and plays Star into naturally drawing the last piece to really knock me into the tilt house.
Round 11: Bant Eldrazi
Unfortunately, I get paired against Aaron Boyce playing Bant Eldrazi. We had played each other the previous week and I told him that because of our matchup I put in more hate to deal with Grafdigger's Cage. Game one I combo off and he doesn't have a fast enough clock or enough paths to stop it. I assumed he brought in EE, Grafdigger's, Pithing Needle (naming Viscera Seer), and Dismember. Games 2 and 3 come down to him having Grafdigger's Cage and me not being able to answer it in time. He was also able to disrupt me at the right times with Path. I told him after the match that I brought in 6 or so cards just to deal with Grafdigger's but I just couldn't find them in time.
Round 12: Bye
A real low point in the tournament for me. I’m in almost literal last place going into this round and am awarded the bye. I use the round to center myself and go with Tad to eat at The Little Red Wasp. While munching on cheddar biscuits and tomato soup, I decided I wasn’t gonna lose anymore today.
Now to see if I could turn it around.
Round 13: Bant Eldrazi
This time I’m able to get a lot more going and my opponent isn't jamming turn one Grafdigger's Cages, allowing me to function. We trade games and I’m able to combo off game three but make a fatal mistake where I scry a Redcap to the top of my library instead of a Chord of Calling. This allows my opponent to flicker his Thought-Knot Seer and strip it from my hand. Unable to close the game out in turns, I punt into a draw. I learned a valuable lesson in this round and will likely never make this mistake again.
Round 14: Grixis Control
This matchup is very bad and it’s evident in the fact that my opponent mulliganed in game one to 5 and is able to steal the game anyway. In game two things are looking bad for me but eventually I am able to assemble 4 creatures and start activating Gavony Township to take over the game and win from a poor position. In game three my opponent gets stuck on two lands and I’m able to ruin his hand of all red removal with my singleton copy of Burrenton Forge-Tender. Somehow I am able to pull a rabbit out of the hat and win an atrocious matchup.
Round 15: Infect
I’m hoping to God for a good matchup and see that I’m playing against my friend Taylor May. We start the match by having some playful trash talking, including Taylor showing me his notes where he has already written that this match ends with him winning 2-0. Collin Rountree who is seated next to me laughs and changes it to 2-1 saying, "We'll give Karttik one". Game One I’m able to take the game by getting down an early Pontiff and Melira. Game two I’m killed by a quick hand from my opponent. I started to realize that not only was Taylor May the best Infect player I played against but rather one of the best players period. I shake as I keep for game 3 and am able to get a substantial board state. On the pivotal turn I’m able to get Taylor to tap out and I combo off in response with Melira. After drawing for his turn Taylor tanks for a few seconds and concedes.
In the end I’m able to finish in 38th place. Taylor also manages to finish in the top 64, making our final match irrelevant after all. I’m left with my first SCG cash and feel my competitive spirit reinvigorated.
Shoutouts to my roommates Ty Thomason, Tad Macaraeg, and Edward Eng. Also to the whole Heroes group and specifically Aaron Boyce for dealing with my salt after our match. Lol. Hoping to continue the success.
Thanks for reading,
A Little Bit about Karttik
He's a competitive Magic player who's been around since the tail end of the Shards of Alara block. As a Constructed specialist, Karttik's expertise lies mostly in Standard, Modern, and Legacy. His non-Magic life includes a pursuit of a masters in accounting, an avid love of films, and being a part of the growing foodie culture in the greater Houston area. He's also a serving board member and founding partner of Dusty Mesa Productions, a Houston-based film production company.