BATTLING WITH BLUE MOON: GPT MANCHESTER TOURNAMENT REPORT

Hey Team,

We’ve got Alex the Cat Wilson back again after running deep at a local GPT.

Take it away!


Hello again readers!

It’s me, the guy who was rambling about how great Blood Moon is and lamenting the loss of Twin in a previous article!

I recently went to a GPT in Cardiff piloting Blue Moon after having been to a lot of FNMs.

The highlight here being that unlike where I normally play, people don’t expect me to jam Turn Three Blood Moons.

This made me quite happy.

tr
Blood Moon wins trololo!

I’ve added a Blood Moon counter below to tally the times I wrecked unsuspecting opponents.

The list I ran is the list with Ancestral Vision and Thing in the Ice from the previous article. The exception of adding a singleton Invasive Surgery to the board in place of a Negate (because Negate is bad and it should feel bad) and Keranos over the third Batterskull.

So, without further ado, on to the match reports:

Round One: Jeskai Control – 2:0

Game One:

With no idea what my opponent might be on I kept a fairly stable seven and my opponent, in traditional polite magic fashion, led off with Ancestral Vision. Time to buckle in for the long game. Remand gave me a lot of control over the Vision and by forcing my opponent’s counters out with Batterskull I resolved a Blood Moon into a single basic on my opponent’s side. After that he was pretty much locked out an unable to cast his big haymaker cards. I beat him to death with Snapcasters.

(Blood Moon wins: 1)

Out: 2x Burst Lightning, 2x Remand, 1x Batterskull

In: 1x Keranos, 2x Dispel, 1x Clique

Clique came in to help provide pressure against the durdly control deck and Keranos replaced a Batterskull since I was expecting Wear/Tear to come in.

Game Two:

The Clique showed me an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion which scared me more than a little. I maneuvered into a position where he couldn’t counter my Blood Moon whilst he only had one Plains and locked him off of Elspeth.

After that winning became trivial. Moral of the story: respect the Blood Moon.

(Blood Moon wins: 2)

scoop
Scooping Crane Technique

Round Two: Bogles – 2:0

This is about my worst matchup. Lightning Bolt does nothing against a Hexproof 1/1.

Game One:

I have no edict effects, no generic Wrath effects and no Disenchant effects. All that said, I saw a chance when my opponent mulled to six and played a tapped Temple Garden on the draw. Expecting something along the lines of Abzan Company I just held up Remand and waited. Spiritdancer tipped me off to Bogles and my opponent never cast another spell thanks to Blood Moon.

(Blood Moon wins: 3)

Out: 2x Burst Lightning, 1x Bolt

In: 2x Spellskite, 1x Engineered Explosives

cat
I’m not normally a praying cat..but Superman if you’re out there…

Game Two:

Boarding against Bogles is miserable, basically UR just doesn’t have the tools to deal with it effectively. The secret tech is that you pray nobody brings the deck to a tournament or if they do, hope that they match up against all the GBx players and go 0-4 drop.

In the end I ran out Spellskite in Turn Two to force my opponent to Path it. With the ramp I powered out an early Batterskull. Batterskull held off losing until I could flip a Thing in the Ice, which punched for 7 until I won.

Praise be Thing in the Ice.


Round Three: Affinity – 2:0

Game One:

Affinity is Affinity. My opponent failed to turn their Opal on and I use Bolts to keep it that way. The Affinity draw felt fairly anemic with a couple of manlands and only a Cranial Plating as payoff. Blood Moon shut off me dying to manlands and Cranial Plating targets were non-existent.

(Blood Moon wins: 3.5)

In: 1x Engineered Explosives, 2x Spellskite, 2x Anger of the Gods, 2x Shatterstorm

Out: 4x Remand, 2x Cryptic Command, 1x Ancestral Vision

Game Two:

I wasn’t sure what my opponent might have bought in but he mulled to five and I kept Shatterstorm. The rest of the game was essentially irrelevant,  he just didn’t have the tools to fight through a one sided Wrath of God on five cards.


Round Four: Boros Land Destruction – 2:0

album
Just imagine the album is called “Boros Land Destruction”

This one was interesting to say the least. I’d been sat next to this guy for the last few rounds and his plan was essentially Stone Rain the opponent to hell and back. Part two of the plan is then lock them out with cards like Magus of the Tabernacle, Suppression Field and Ghostly Prison.

Game One:

The matchup was straight up bizarre. Since I was trying to Blood Moon him to death and he was trying to Stone Rain me to death, things got a bit odd. Essentially my plan was to pressure him whilst using Ancestral Vision to not run out of lands to play. This plan got worse after he played out Ensnaring Bridge. Essentially my plan boiled down to: make sure each Snapcaster casts a bolt or a Burst Lightning and point all possible burn at face. This turned out to be a winning strategy.

Out: 2x Blood Moon, 1x Batterskull

In: 1x Keranos, 1x Clique, 1x Invasive Surgery

Keranos came in as a way to ensure I had land and a hard to interact with clock.  Clique helps apply pressure and Invasive Surgery messes up his game plan. I’m always sad to take out Blood Moon but it really wasn’t doing much against this guy, although it would have been nice to make my fetches tap for mana in the face of Suppression Field.

Game Two:

I ended up on the Thing in the Ice plan. My opponent ran out Mystifying Maze, which is kind of a death knell to Thing in the Ice…..but then also ran out two Suppression Fields. This made the Maze cost eight to activate. I flipped Thing in the Ice and rode it to victory.


Round Five: Burn – 2:1

I was really rather hoping to ID in to Top Eight this round but for whatever reason my opponent decided we were going to play it out.

Game One:

I kept a one lander with Serum Visions to dig and a Spell Snare for the expected Eidolon of the Great Revel. I never saw the second land and died.

Out: 4x Blood Moon, 4x Remand, 2x Cryptic Command

In: 1x Invasive Surgery, 2x Dispel, 1x Engineered Explosives, 2x Anger of the Gods, 2x Dragon’s Claw, 2x Spellskite

Remand is useless against burn, Cryptic is far too slow and tapping out for a Blood Moon on Turn Three is as likely to kill you as it is to turn off Boros Charm and Atarka’s Command.

We board in:

  • Things that kill floods of creatures
  • Counterspells that essentially gain us 3+ life,
  • Claw to make Bolts do two instead of one and our Bolts keep us alive
  • Sweet, sweet Skite to lock out bolt effects late.

Game Two:

This was me putting the brakes on the burn player with removal and Dragon’s Claw, and then getting out of range with a Batterskull.

Game Three:

praying
Superman? Are you still there?

Game was very close! I managed my life total and managed to get the game to the point where my opponent was nearly dead and I was on two with him having no cards in hand. I clenched up and prayed he didn’t draw a sorcery to make my Dispel look stupid, he flipped a Bolt off the top and I won.


Round Six: Jund – ID

I paired against a Jund player and we drew in to Top Eight and got lunch. Thanks to the friendly neighbourhood burn player last round I was locked first with the ID so that was a bonus.


First Round of Top Eight: Bogles (again) -1:2

This was in fact the selfsame Bogles player from Round Two and with him came all the sadness of trying to play against hexproof creatures with Lightning Bolt.

Game One:

He had a slow draw with Spiritdancer which I was able to remove and then Snap+Bolt my way to a victory before he drew any other creatures.

Game Two:

I kept an hand with Engineered Explosives and was pretty happy. Unfortunately he was able to get a couple of umbras on his Bogle whilst I stuck on lands. I was forced to pop it with only a couple of enchantments on it. He promptly re-armed and murdered me with it.

Game Three:

I kept with a Spellskite and a Thing in the Ice which both got wrecked by Path. Later on first strike made Batterskull tokens look like chumps.

End of the day I couldn’t deal with a DIY Emrakul.


Overall I was fairly happy with the results from the tournament, although I’d have liked to have my byes (which I’m now probably grinding for at LCQs). The only thing I’d change is how I board for Bogles. I think I’m better off taking out the Electrolyzes for Anger of the Gods. Whilst it won’t often kill a Bogle, it is more likely to than Electrolyze.

Thing in the Ice (which I’ve been consistently happy with) again proved very powerful and I’m definitely going to keep it over P&K, who never felt overly powerful to me.

Invasive Surgery will stay for now, as I’ve only drawn it a couple of times but it’s normally been fine or better when I do. Further testing required!

Let me know your Blue Moon experiences in the comments below.

Alex.

cscscc
Blood Moon me do! You know I love you…so pleeeeaase Moon me do!

 

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