I'm back again to give my report on my Week 5 of the VML Tournament! Yes, the tournament is already in the finals, so my report is a bit late, but if you've kept up with my progress then you already know that I haven't made it into the finals. However, I will still recount all the gory details of my last few weeks of the tournament for you!

Week 5 Round (with 2 matches)

That's right, week 5 was a double week, so there were 2 matches! At this point, Uro had been banned, but Omnath and Lucky Clover were still around. I had decided to play a Mono Black Discard deck hoping to make my opponents discard everything that they loved and with Uro gone, this felt like it could be pretty strong against Omnath Clover, Mill Rogues, and even Aggro decks!

Match 1

For match 1, my opponent was playing Omnath Ramp, but I was ready for this! Game 1 started off pretty badly, since I was going first and I spam clicked Draw First. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! On top of that, my opening hand had one land, so I had no choice but to mulligan, got ANOTHER hand with one land... I was down to starting with 5 cards. Omg why.

Well, this was horrific and honestly I'd lost any confidence I felt like I'd had before the match, but I had to keep playing! I got 2 lands out and cast an Agonizing Remorse. My opponents hand was pretty intimidating with a Forest, `Beanstalk Giant, Terror of the Peaks, Genesis Ultimatum, and Omnath, Locus of Creation. gulp

I wasn't really sure what to discard here and went with the Genesis Ultimatum. In hindsight, I probably should have gotten rid of the Beanstalk Giant since my opponent only had 2 lands out at that point and only 1 more in hand. I pushed on and cast Inscription of Ruin without Kicker, choosing 'Target opponent discards two cards'. Okay, things are happening and my opponent's hand is getting smaller! Maybe this isn't the end of the world??

On their next turn, Omnath came out and I didn't have enough mana to kick Bloodchief's Thirst, so I had no way of getting rid of it yet. I decided to cast a Nighthawk Scavenger that I had drawn into, hoping to just put some pressure on with combat damage? Next turn, opponent cast Escape to the Wilds... yikes. Then cast a second one... double yikes. Things were looking very bad at this point. I was drawing no lands and nothing to get rid of Omnath. My opponent only had 1 card in hand, but lots of cards playable from Escape to the Wilds. Over the next few turns, Terror of the Peaks came out, along with Lotus Cobra and Kenrith, the Returned King.

Game 1 ended like this:

Onto Game 2 after being completely pummeled. :(

I did do some sideboarding, by removing a couple Bloodchief's Thirst and adding 2 more Feed the Swarm to deal with those bigger creatures, but I'll you what... my spirit was already broken at this point.

Game 2 started out with a much better opening hand which I kept.

I was able to get an Agonizing Remorse out on turn 2 and exiled a Lotus Cobra, but saw a couple of counter spells in my opponents hand... UGH! I kept trying with an Inscription of Ruin next turn, which did get countered with Negate but I was expecting this and wanted those gone! My opponent continued to ramp, but I was drawing very nicely with lands. They cast a Terror of the Peaks, but that tapped out their mana and I was able to destroy it with Swift End! Okay... maybe this will be fine??! (Don't get your hopes up, Pixie... KEEP IT TOGETHER YOU ONLY DESTROYED ONE CREATURE.)

I think my opponent was getting flooded because they were just playing a land and passing turn. I could see that they still had a Negate in hand and I tried casting another Agonizing Remorse to get rid of it... which worked! My opponent eventually cast a Lotus Cobra, but I was out here with an Elspeth's Nightmare to destroy it and was slowing doing some damage with two Acquisitions Expert's out. Opponent was at 16 life, and I was at 14.

On their next turn, my opponent cast Terror of the Peaks, but I had a Murderous Rider in hand... mwahahaaa! Back to my turn, Elspeth's Nightmare went to chapter 2 and my opponent only had one card in hand to reveal... Genesis Ultimatum, WHICH I COULD TOTALLY MAKE THEM DISCARD! Okay, my heart was really starting to pound here! Swift End was cast on their Terror of the Peaks and a few more combat damage through!

My next turn, I cast both of my Murderous Riders. Then opponent cast Lotus Cobra. Back to me and I went to combat attacking with all! Would they block with their Lotus Cobra??

THEY DID! But they cast ANOTHER one on their turn again. I activated Castle Locthwain at the end of their turn and drew Elspeth's Nightmare. THIS WAS PERFECT. I drew Inscription of Ruin, but it wasn't very helpful since my opponent didn't have any cards in hand and it couldn't help me do any damage to my opponent. I just attacked with all and they were down to 2 life! Opponent went to their draw step and then conceded!!!! I WON AGAINST OMNATH!!!!!!

Omg. One more game and once again, it all came down to THIS.

So.... my opening hand.

Welp. This is REALLY a difficult position to be in.

One swamp.

Three Duress.

It was risky, but ...


All you need to know about this game is that I didn't draw another land the entire game which lasted about 3 and a half minutes. sad face

Here's the replay of the match for your viewing pleasure:

Match 2

Since it was a double week, I had to torture myself twice! My second match of week 5 was against an Omnath Clover deck, so I was just getting really close to my good buddy, Omnath!

Game 1 started out with a decent opening hand, so I kept it!

I started out with a Duress and was able to get rid of a Lucky Clover! Lucky for me!! A couple turns in and I got stomped from the Bonecrusher Giant which was fine actually, but then it came out as a creature. However, I had 2 Nighthawk Scavenger's in hand and cast one to discourage any attacking. I also had some nice removal in hand in case anything worse came out.

On my opponents turn, they cast Granted, the adventure card on Fae of Wishes and searched for an Escape to the Wilds. Okay. Do not like. They went to combat and attacked with Bonecrusher Giant which I decided not to block. Back to my turn and I had some nice options, but I ended up casting Agonizing Remorse revealing 2 Escape to the Wilds, a land, and a Fae of Wishes. I really hated all these cards, and once again, in hindsight, I maybe should have gotten rid of the Fae of Wishes, but I chose one of the Escape to the Wilds.

My opponent cast their other Escape to the Wilds on their turn, but they were tapped out, so just attacked with Bonecrusher Giant. I was not drawing any lands, and even though I had enough to cast everything in my hand, I couldn't do more than one thing, unfortunately. I was trying to decide what to do, and I ended up casting a second Nighthawk Scavenger for the lifelink. Back to opponents turn where they cast a Lucky Clover (groan) and then Fertile Footsteps grabbing a bunch of land. They were also able to cast an Edgewall Innkeeper AND Stomp targeting my untapped Nighthawk Scavenger and killing it since Lucky Clover was out.

My turn again, and I still hadn't drawn a fourth land so was feeling kind of desperate. I cast an Elspeth's Nightmare to get rid of Edgewall Innkeeper and attacked with Nighthawk Scavenger, leaving myself open. BUT! My life total was at 17 and opponent was at 8.

On my opponent's turn, they started tapping lands manually, so I started freaking out. That's never a good sign. They cast Granted and Lucky Clover made it happen twice! They searched for a Shadowspear and... Primal Might?

Yikes. Shadowspear went on the Bonecrusher Giant which then attacked me for 5 combat damage, AND THEN my opponent cast the Primal Might where X = 2 making our creatures fight and kill each other.

The lifelink from Shadowspear brought my opponents life total back up to 20. UGH ALL MY HARD WORK.

This game really ended up dragging out for some time, but eventually I was overpowered by creatures and lost game 1 without ever even seeing Omnath!

I decided to sideboard again, and this time I removed my 2 Liliana, Waker of the Dead to add 2 Covetous Urge. Why? I don't know. I wasn't loving the Liliana made me discard a card as well as my opponent, and if I could maybe cast some of my opponents cards against, that would be cool?? I have no idea what I'm doing, okay?!

Game 2 I was playing first and kept my opening hand!

I was able to cast an Agonizing Remorse right away, and exiled Omnath, Locus of Creation! Turn 3 and I cast ANOTHER Agonizing Remorse, this time exiling Escape to the Wilds! Wow, this was nice! I started casting a couple Acquisitions Experts and continuing to make my opponent discard everything they loved. I was also able to cast a Heartless Act and destroy a Brazen Borrower they had flashed in in response to my second Acquisitions Experts.

On their turn, my opponent was back on the Granted searching for Shadowspear again. Back to my turn, and I cast the Elspeth's Nightmare I had just drawn, destroying their Giant Killer! Shadowspear was useless if there were no creatures to put it on! But they cast Fae of Wishes and attached Shadowspear to it next turn. Oops. BUT HOLD ON! I had a Murderous Rider in hand! Goodbye little fae! I was slowly doing combat damage with my 2 Acquisitions Experts.

My opponent was down to no cards in hand, but was able to cast Beanstalk Giant on their turn. Luckily on my turn, I drew another Murderous Rider and used my Swift End of that big boi!

I was removing everything, but life totals were still pretty much staying equal. Opponent drew ANOTHER Beanstalk Giant and cast it next turn. Since I had a Hagra Mauling I'd been holding onto, I was able to destroy it right away! I could not let the Shadowspear get on one of those giants!

Opponent passed turn! This made me a little nervous. I didn't remember if their deck had counter spells or not, but I knew it had some bounce stuff. I attacked first. Nothing. I attempted to cast both my Murderous Riders and they came right out!!! My board was looking good now!

On my opponents turn, they cast Edgewall Innkeeper and attached the Shadowspear to it. Back to my turn, where I drew Nighthawk Scavenger, but I REALY wanted something to destroy the Edgewall Innkeeper and get rid of that life gain, so I activated a Castle Locthwain AND GOT HEARTLESS ACTTTTTT!!!!!!!

This was so perfect! I cast it attempting to target the innkeeper. Opponent had mana up and a card in hand, so this was terrifying! BUT IT RESOLVED! I attacked with all and they were down to 4 life!




Okay, it's fine. I still had this. Just maybe not next turn. Back to my turn and I drew Malakir Rebirth. USELESS. I cast Nighthawk Scavenger, and attacked for 3 combat so opponent was down to ONE LIFE AND THEY CONCEDED ON THEIR TURN!!!!



Why Arena? Why do you do this to me and give me ONE LAND OPENING HANDS?!

I had to mulligan to six, and cast Duress right away but couldn't discard anything. UGH. (Why don't Adventure cards work with this for real though?)

A few turns, and I was able to make my opponent discard quite a bit and had removal, but my opponents deck drew much better this game and they played it very aggro-y so I got destroyed pretty quickly in this game, and lost the match.

Here's the replay of this match as well:


Well, I'd lost both matches, but won a game each match against some really tough Omnath decks. However, at this point in the tournament, I was feeling pretty down on myself for losing every single match so far. Yes, I'm not a competitive player, but it still felt bad. I did have one more week to play and I'll be back with a recap of that and some of my thoughts on the tournament as a whole, and my experience into competitive Magic for the first time!

Stay tuned!