Round 1 & 2 – Byes
Round 3 – Boggles, 2-0 – (3-0)
My opponent starts with a turn 1 Boggle and I joke about how we’re about to have some interactive games of Magic. Infect is usually a turn or two faster, and having a Blighted Agent is usually game over.
Round 4 – 8-Rack, 2-1 – (4-0)
My opponent wins the die roll and chooses to draw first, which is a huge tell, but I lose game 1 anyway to 2 racks after having my hand picked apart by Thoughtseize and LoTV. Game 2 & 3 (where my opp puts me on the play again), I’m more careful with my resources. I managed to ‘counter’ a Wrench Mind by never playing a Spellskite, and win before he can fully set up.
Round 5 – Mardu Midrange, 0-2 – (4-1)
This was a bit a a brew, but it tore me to pieces. It had Monastery Swiftspear and Young Pyromancer for early pressure back up with hand disruption, removal, burn spells and Lingering Souls. I sideboarded like I would for Death’s Shadow (bringing in Finks, mainly), but I’m not sure if that was correct.
Round 6 – Naya Scapeshift, 2-0 – (5-1)
A classic good matchup. In game 1 my opponent goes for a lethal Scapeshift but scoops after I counter it with Spell Pierce. Game 2 his hand is very reliant on Anger of the Gods, but fortunately I have a hand based around Inkmoth Nexus. Turns out he still had Sudden Shock in his board, fortunately he didn’t draw them!
Round 7 – Death’s Shadow Jund, 0-2 – (5-2)
I playtested this matchup a lot before the tournament. It definitely isn’t a good matchup, but it isn’t hopeless either. Basically any hand with creatures in it is a keep, they’re all effectively the same in this matchup. The amount of hand disruption they play is very unforgiving to mulligans though, which is what happened here. I’ve often found things were safer on the battlefield than in your hand in this matchup, with Inkmoth being the best card by miles.
Round 8 – Dredge, 1-2 – (5-3)
This was a good matchup before the bans, and I still think it is now. Game 1 was a classic T1 Hierarch, T2 Agent, T3 double MoOK win. Game 2 I have to decide between Noble, Elf or Grafdigger’s Cage as my T1 play. I choose Cage, but it immediately meets an Ancient Grudge and I fall too far behind. Game 3 I mull to 3 without seeing a green source and concede with no permanents in play *sigh*.
Round 9 – U/B Mill, 2-0 – (6-3)
I prayed to the Magic gods for a favourable matchup and boy was I rewarded. He had very limited interaction and fuelled my Become Immenses for me. Not much more to say here, the games were not close.
Round 10 –, Naya Zoo, 2-0 – (7-3)
I hadn’t played against this deck in a long time. Elf is really poor in this matchup because it’s just so hard to connect. I win both games with an Agent. In game 2 I’m under a Blood Moon with 1 basic and no dork. All I can do is attack for 1 each turn while holding up a Vines and chump blocking with elves, fortunately it’s enough to get there.
Round 11 – Eldrazi Tron, 2-1 – (8-3)
I also tested this matchup a lot, as someone I travelled to the GP with was playing it. I don’t think this matchup is great, which can be hard to adjust to after years of beating up on old Tron. I lose game 1 to a massive Walking Ballista. Game 2 is looking bleak with no creatures in play and a Pithing Needle naming Inkmoth, but a miracle topdecked Seal of Primordium lets me steal it. Game 3 hinged on my opponent using 2 Ghost Quarters trying (and failing) to destroy an Inkmoth, leaving him too short on lands to do anything.
Round 12 – Death’s Shadow Jund, 1-2 –(8-4)
My opponent is Andreas Ganz of Team Lingering Souls. My first game against a pro!
Game 1 I’m reduced to a Hierarch and some pump spells. I choose to declare no blocks rather than chump a Tarmogoyf and lose to Temur Battle Rage. Game 2 is an incredibly grindy resource battle which I eventually win with an Inkmoth Nexus. Game 3 I deal no poison damage, but at 2 life and facing down lethal next turn, I fetch a Dryad Arbor knowing if draw a Distortion Strike I can steal a normal damage win with Become Immense, as my opp had no cards left in hand. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
Round 13 – Affinity, 1-2 – (8-5)
Not too much to say here, the deck on the play in each game outraced the other, neither of us seemed to draw any sideboard hate, so we effectively played 3 game 1s.
Round 14 – Eldrazi Taxes, 0-2 – (8-6)
I’m also inexperienced against taxes, so I don’t think I played this too well. Game 1 I have 3 Elves but they can’t break through Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Game 2 I keep a solid 6, but it doesn’t have an infect creature, and I never draw one.
Round 15 – Bant Spirits, 2-1 – (9-6)
Game 1 I lose the race to a T2 Geist of Saint Traft. Game 2 & 3 the fatigue of 2 days play really begins to show and my play starts to get really sloppy. I declare combat too early, miss points of damage from Pendelhaven and even forget a Distortion Strike rebound. Fortunately I have Spell Pierces for his Collected Company both games, which is always a back-breaking tempo swing.
If anyone has any questions I’m happy to give any help I can! The deck definitely still felt powerful & competitive, and I really liked the list I played, even if my record wasn't the best. I’ll almost certainly be running infect again at GP Brimingham in August.