KTK/FRF: GP San Jose recap

Last week, I posted our pool from GP San Jose, the decks we built, and how I would build them today. We had a ridiculous pool, with Duneblast, Elite Scaleguard, Sage-Eye Avengers, 2 Sagu Maulers, Silumgar the Drifting Death, and several other powerful cards, but dropped at 5-2-1 and finished in 94th place. I’m unsure whether we misbuilt because my teammates wanted to follow a fairly ad hoc method for building our decks, or due to tournament time pressure. (While I’d built a few team sealed pools with local players under timed conditions and with deck registration, neither of my teammates had.)

Teaming with friends that live near a GP makes certain things easier: there’s less worry that they will cancel because they can’t find cheap flights, and you may also not have to pay for a hotel room. However, it makes it far more difficult to practice together and agree upon an approach to building a pool. In addition, not having to pay airfare could result in them treating the event as just another local tournament, so they may approach the event less seriously than you do. I would still rather play with friends and do poorly than play with good players and do well, and made the conscious decision to team with Chris again, even though he was having a wisdom tooth surgery a week before the tournament. But I was still disappointed with the outcome since I believe we could have been among the 7.2% of teams that made day 2 with the pool we opened.

Here are our results for each round, what each opponent was playing, and what the game results were. (I was playing U/G/r/b ramp in seat A, Alan was playing B/G/w control in seat B, and Chris was playing R/W aggro in seat C.)

  1. Elliott Ballard Ballard (211th place after the swiss): 2-0 vs Jeskai, 1-0 vs Mardu, 2-1 vs Sultai
  2. Modarressi Diamond Twerdahl (377th place): 2-0 vs Mardu, 2-0 vs Abzan, 2-1 vs Temur
  3. Martin Martin Martin (363rd place): 2-0 vs Temur, 2-0 vs Sultai, 2-0 vs Mardu
  4. Cipriano Nabi Pannell (29th place): 2-1 vs Abzan, 2-1 vs Mardu, 0-2 vs Temur
  5. Sperling Williams Rietzl (2nd place): 2-0 vs Temur, 0-2 vs Sultai, 0-2 vs Mardu
  6. Dentith Hardin Mulligan (172nd place): 2-1 vs U/B, 2-1 vs R/W, 0-2 vs Abzan
  7. Ma Cerone Post (96th place): 1-1-1 vs Jeskai (game 1 took 28 minutes and ended with me running out of cards in my library), 1-2 vs Abzan, 2-1 vs Sultai
  8. Rubin Boccio Bragg III (5th place): 1-2 vs Jeskai, 1-2 vs Sultai, 2-1 vs Mardu

Some observations gleaned from this very small sample size:

  • All but one of the teams we faced had each player playing a 3-color deck, although the third color was frequently a splash.
  • The decks we faced most often were Mardu (6 times) and Sultai (5 times). We faced Jeskai the least (3 times), all in seat A, and both my losses were to that deck.
  • None of the teams we played had a color that was either unplayed or played by all 3 players. (I wasn’t keeping track of which colors were main colors and which ones were splashes, so it is possible that some teams may have had 1 or even more colors that were not main colors in any deck.)
  • Black was the most popular color among our opponents, occurring in 16 decks. White and red appeared in 14 decks, and blue and green appeared in 13. (Again, this does not distinguish main colors from splash colors, and black may have been more in more decks because multiple decks were splashing black removal while fewer decks were running it as a main color.)
  • There was no pattern to which deck the middle players were playing. Alan (our player B) faced 2 Abzan, 2 Mardu, 3 Sultai, and 1 R/W deck. (We’d talked about putting the deck that could beat aggro in the middle based on some of my observations, but ended up with Abzan control in our middle seat because that’s what Alan decided to play.)
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2 Responses to KTK/FRF: GP San Jose recap

  1. Alex says:

    Perhaps a better question than the COLORs associated with certain seats might be the ARCHETYPEs?

    • sameer says:

      That would be optimal, of course, but I didn’t track that information this time. (Sometimes, it was difficult to get my teammates to even recall what colors they’d played against a few minutes after their match was completed :))

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