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2009 Pittsburgh Regionals Recap May 19, 2009

Posted by Norm in Constructed, Organized Play, Tournament.
Tags: , , ,


First of I wanted to note that Dillion of the Power 9 Pro Blog came down Friday evening to crash at my place and take the regionals by storm. He finished in 14th place playing B/W Tokens and would have made it to the finals if he didn’t face a pesky lark deck. I have to give a big thanks to Dillon for helping me crash course the meta game, play test against his deck, and hook me up with some cards. I also want to thank Duncan Hewes and Aaron Iforgetyourlastname each lending me an Ajani Goldmane. The card was going for $17 the day of the event and rightly so because it is an all star right now.


So yesterday I shared a link to the list I started with. Here is what I actually ran:

3 Cloudgoat Ranger
4 Figure of Destiny
3 Goldmeadow Harrier
4 Knight of Meadowgrain
4 Wilt-Leaf Liege
4 Wizened Cenn

4 Path to Exile
4 Spectral Procession
4 Ajani Goldmane
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

2 Mutavault
15 Plains
4 Rustic Clachan
4 Windbrisk Heights

3 Burrenton Forge-Tender
2 Stillmoon Cavalier
1 Celestial Purge
2 Lapse of Certainty
2 Martial Coup
3 Moonglove Extract
2 Runed Halo

The only change came in the sideboard because I wanted Runed Halo for possible Banefire or unknown monstrosities, like Chameleon Colossus. I wasn’t expecting to rely on Celestial Purge and I actually never brought it in. If I had to do it all over again I would probably  drop Celestial Purge for an extra Lapse of Certainty and, maybe, trade Martial Coup for two Wrath of God. I never played Martial Coup all day, either not having enough mana for the wrath or not drawing it. The games I had it and didn’t play I didn’t need it for the win, and I didn’t draw it in a few games where it could have helped. People have been down on Stillmoon Cavalier but I think he was really good. Whenever I played him, especially against B/W Tokens I won the game.

I think that this deck was successful for two reasons. One, people were expecting it to be B/W Tokens and boarded accordingly. I won round three against a control variant because he boarded in Whispermare and other board sweepers. So that surprise element was a huge advantage. Two, this deck is just full of gas especially with Ajani and all the pumpers. Dee wrote on the Magic Game Plan that there are 12 Glorious Anthem effects in this deck and they are either creatures or giving vigilance. In my mind I traded Wilt-Leaf Liege for Glorious Anthem and I think the Liege is better because it is also a creature.

The biggest surprise of all was main deck Goldmeadow Harrier. Not only for defense but on the attack I needed to tap a chumping Bitterblossom token more than once. I didn’t have a problem ditching Stalwart for Harrier, because either Stalwart is good on turn one or lame in mid to late game. Harrier is good in either place because it can keep you protected later.

Round 1

I played Mike who was running a Naya/Bloodbraid Elf deck that I assume had overrun but I didn’t see it during the match. Game one he got out fast bringing me to 2 life quickly with 3 Wild Nactal and a Bloodbraid Elf. I was able to stabilize with, you gessed it, Goldmeadow Harrier, Spectral Procession tokens, and Cloudgoat Ranger. One Elspeth later and I’m able to bring him from 17 life to zero in four turns. Game two, I get a turn one Figure of Destiny and get in for two damage. He drops a turn three Wolly Thoctar and I take beats for a few turns until I can setup 2 Windbrisk Heights each with Wilt-Leaf Liege. In a turn where I swing with spectral tokens and bring out both Lieges he takes a lot of damage, like 12 and he can’t recover from my pumped guys.

I’m glad this match played out like it did because I had to come back game one and it quickly made me focus on how I was playing as well as give me the confidence to do a lot of damage fast. 1-0

Round 2

My first match results were miss recorded so I needed to get that sorted out. I was worried I filled out my slip wrong but fortunately it was just entered into the computer wrong. This round I played another Mike running B/W Tokens. Game one he gets the good tokens draw and plays Finks, Redcap with Ajani and keeps me held back with Zealous Persecution. I basically draw into slow cards and don’t have the gas.

Game 2 he gets double Bitterblossom but I’ve got the gas, Figure of Destiny, Wizen Cenn and Ajani I steadily smash until his two Bitterblossoms kill him on his upkeep turn five.

Game 3 is a bigger battle. He gets multiple Zealous Persecution and a finks with Ajani. He gets me down to 9 but I’m able to path his creature and kill his Ajani. When I stabilize I’ve got Spectral tokens, two Windbrisk Heights with a Liege under each (I know), and I am smashing for six three turns in a row before he scoops. I think I got lucky in this game because he was only drawing land mid game. If he had gotten a creature to follow up me Pathing his Kitchen Finks I don’t know I would have been able to recover. 2-0

Round 3

I play Brock who is running some sort of four color control, I’m not sure if it was lark but I didn’t see one. Game one he gets land screwed and I get him down to to twelve with double Knight of Meadowgrain and when I stick an Ajani he scoops.

Game 2 we get to play. This game is a lot of back and forth at first. I play a creature and he drops a Kitchen Finks he goes up to 25 life before dropping Wrath of God. I see some counter and get hit with Broken Ambitions a few times. I keep playing creatures and eventually stick a Figure of Destiny and hit him a few times for four damage. He kills the figure with path eventually I get another and am able to edge it out against him. Just in time too because he was about to draw into his cards. I don’t remember what he showed me but it wasn’t lark. He did say he thought I was playing B/W Tokens and brought in Whispermare and other tools to fight tokens. He did have a lot of Wrath and I was lucky to keep a step ahead of him. 3-0

Round 4

I play Joe with B/W Tokens. I remember this match as being a tough game but looking at my notes I seem to have game one pretty much in hand. Turn one Figure to Cenn. I swing for more than five a few times and don’t take one point of damage.

Game two was the difficult one. He gets me down to 15 fast until I rebound and take him down to 9, when he drops kitchen finks and bitterblossom, but my guys just get too big for him and I swing for damage. I think this is one of the games were I was able to use Harrier to tap a Bitterblossom token to swing in for the match. 4-0

Round 5

I play Bill who is playing, yep, B/W Tokens. I get an early Knight of Meadowgrain and we trade beats until he drops Spectral Procession in two consecutive turns. With Ajani he flies over for 12 points in one turn and I can’t recover. I figured I’m bound to loose a few games to B/W but I bring in Stillmoon and we start game two. I’m out of the gate with a good start and get Stillmoon and Knight of Meadowgrain. His next turn he plays Spectral Processon and we trade beats with me ahead because of the knight. Until he gets a Cloudgoat Ranger from the hideaway land and Ajani. I get him down to two and will win next turn with Stillmoon except I loose when he attacks after pumping with Ajani and then pumping Cloudgoat still hitting me for six with the tokens. I’ll admit I wasn’t aware of this trick and that is how I lost. Anyway good game and at least I learned a trick I could use. 4-1

Round 6

I face Grant playing Revelark. I know Grant from around Pittsburgh and we were both at the same FNM the night before, however we didn’t play each other so we didn’t know what each other was playing. Unfortunately (for him) he gets really mana screwed game one. I don’t have an amazing hand but  knock him out in about 6 turns. Game two he gets mana screwed again and I have one of my best hands. I open with Figure, turn two Wizen Cenn, turn three Wizen Cenn. He would have had to have wrath to stabilize. 5-1

Round 7

I play David who also made top 8, at this point I’m paired up against him at 5-1 and he is 6-0. We are at table 2 and the other two 6-0 guys are drawing into the finals. David was playing a very interesting B/W Token deck but had been destroying people all day with a combo using Marsh Flitter, Sigil Captain and Murderous Redcap. Game one he gets an ok start and I’m at it with my usual beats until he stabilizes with tokens and gets all three of his combo creatures on the board. I loose.

Game two, I board in Runed Halo for the first time of the day, and I get one in my starting seven. I come out strong with Knight of Meadowgrain and Sillmoon. He gets a Kitchen Finks, that leaves the game with my path, and really doesn’t get anything else he needs. I win quickly. Game three, I get out early again getting him down to 15 and he has Bitterblossom. We jockey for board position and he is taking damage from his bitterblossom and I am swinging with a  figure of destiny, killing his token. I either get Ajani or Wilt-Leaf Liege because I smash for 8 points when he is at 10 forcing him to block with his spectral procession tokens and Sigil Captain. I win next turn. 6-1

Round 8

At this point I’m ranked 4th in the overall standings with first and second at 19 pionts (6-0-1) and one other guy in 3rd at 18 points. We are all facing each other and everyone wants to draw into the finals. I’m nervous about this because there are about 10 other people with 18 points. I consult a few people and decide to draw. Luckily I get in on tie breakers at 8th place overall.

In retrospect if I would have played and won this round, I probably would have finished first overall. Especially since the other two people ahead of me drew. My matchup was against B/W Tokens and I have been playing really good against that deck. I was also really tired at this point and the break was welcome. Too bad I spent most of it worried I was going to get bumped out of top 8. 6-1-1


I face Adam who is playing Revelark. I was a little worried about facing this matchup all day and I got lucky against it in round 6. Dillon who was watching over my shoulder pointed out some misplays in game one that basically cost me the match. I get out to my usual turn one Figure of Destiny and a turn two Knight of Meadowgrain. My mistake was I was holding Ajani and Rustic Clachan. I didn’t play the Clachan with my other kithkin and so my turn four land came into play tapped. I couldn’t play Ajani which would have given me a huge advantage in this game. I get him down to 13 and he stabilized, wraths my board and keeps counter mana open at all times. He ends up getting a lot of guys and winning. I did get him down to 3 life by the end of it… so close.

Game two I board for power, by not taking out anything that will slow my deck down. Especially since his deck is meant to streatch out the game and win later, I need speed. I do bring in my two Lapse of Certainty but that’s all. Draw, I get the gas. Turn one Figure, turn two Cenn, turn three Cenn. On turn three he plays stillmoon which is just a wall with my pumped guys. His turn four he is at 5 life and I thought he would wrath, but instead he drops another Stillmoon. On my turn I’m holding Ajani which will stick but I’m also holding something special. I swing with my guys he blocks a 6/6 figure and one 3/3 Cenn leaving one 3/3 to get in for damage. I have four mana open and discard two Rustic Clachan for the extra two points and the game.

Game three I have an ok hand but not what I need. I get him down to 12 before he can stabilize and I’m never able to resolve another creature. By this game I’m making a lot of silly mistakes and I missed a couple plays to help me stay in the game somewhat. I loose.

All in all this was an amazing day and I’m really proud of how I played and finished. I wish I wasn’t so drained in the finals. The day was really long with the event starting at 10 am and the finals didn’t start until 8:30 – 9. There were around 230 participants in this event.



1. Norman Huelsman » Blog Archive » Top 8 at Regionals - May 19, 2009

[…] I’m painfully aware that the above could happen to me for reporting this but here goes. This past weekend I made top 8 at the Magic: the Gathering 2009 Pittsburgh Regionals. The regionals are basically a big qualifer for nationals. So it kind of works like the world cup. All the little countries get play in quaifier rounds and only the top four get to go play in the big game. Except in Magic there is a Worlds and you go there after Nationals, I think. Anyway there were around 230 people at the Omni William Penn Hotel on Saturday and I finished in 8th place. If you want to read more about it click here. […]

2. Jia - May 20, 2009

Congrats, so what did you win?

Norm - May 20, 2009

I won some RESPECT and 36 packs of Alara Reborn.

3. MTG Mono White Kithkin Standard/Type 2 Deck - Regionals Top 8 - May 20, 2009

[…] Update on May 20, 2009: Norm posted his tournament report. […]

4. Dee - May 20, 2009

Good job. Enjoyed the report. I forgot how fast Kithkin can be as an aggressive deck.

5. Rachel - May 21, 2009

Dude, congrats!

6. Interview With a Top 8 Regionals Player Running Mono White Kithkin - May 21, 2009

[…] sure to check out his blog at casualmagic.wordpress.com. He recently published his regionals tournament report. And finally if you like beating down, definitely try out his […]

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