Mardu Vehicles

by Adam Murphy, on Mar 16 2017

Tournament Report Myles Housman Tournament Report

Myles Housman reviews GP NJ, and sheds some personal insight into tournament play


      This weekend, I attended Gran Prix New Jersey. I played Mardu Vehicles, and after finishing day one at 6 wins and 3 losses, I was able to rally back to finish the weekend at 11-4. Even though, had I won one more match I would have finished in the money, I was reasonably pleased with my record and am very proud to have gone 5-1 on day two. This is the list I played

standard

by Myles Housman

Planeswalker (4)
4
2 893ed7126c30d7f29e67018557d8567e99c786827459f5d254a279b99a60a493W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3
$ 19.93 BFZ
Creature (19)
4
W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3
$ 0.07 KLD
4
W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3
$ .002 SOI
2
X 51be5d1d133d8fdc86cb59b9d4c2c2758643d41b3b9d68e8c6d55ba6d99e3449X 51be5d1d133d8fdc86cb59b9d4c2c2758643d41b3b9d68e8c6d55ba6d99e3449
$ 6.51 AER
3
R 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3
$ .007 KLD
4
2 893ed7126c30d7f29e67018557d8567e99c786827459f5d254a279b99a60a493
$ 1.04 KLD
2
2 893ed7126c30d7f29e67018557d8567e99c786827459f5d254a279b99a60a493W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3
$ 1.31 EMN
Spells (13)
4
2 893ed7126c30d7f29e67018557d8567e99c786827459f5d254a279b99a60a493
$ 15.69 AER
2
5 f352993fcce8e4d28ae226a446d775760128b34d893fac8529167cdc971a1fed
$ 0.92 KLD
1
R 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8
$ .004 10E
2
B 2b638fb5c8ce03b41c94d1e980a693139a3239d395d9fd928f7a9b267e0a06e5
$ 4.52 AER
4
1 5f7a52d387f5ccb90f74cfa02ccf60bc7693c28deba998749a273f25f7d36a7aB 2b638fb5c8ce03b41c94d1e980a693139a3239d395d9fd928f7a9b267e0a06e5R 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8
$ .005 KLD
Land (24)
4
$ 1.59 KLD
4
$ 2.18 KLD
4
$ 2.37 AER
2
$ 0.36 KLD
4
$ .007 BFZ
3
$ .003 BFZ
1
$ 1.21 BFZ
1
$ 3.50 BFZ
1
$ 1.87 OGW
Sideboard (15)
1
X 51be5d1d133d8fdc86cb59b9d4c2c2758643d41b3b9d68e8c6d55ba6d99e3449X 51be5d1d133d8fdc86cb59b9d4c2c2758643d41b3b9d68e8c6d55ba6d99e3449
$ 6.51 AER
1
B 2b638fb5c8ce03b41c94d1e980a693139a3239d395d9fd928f7a9b267e0a06e5
$ 4.52 AER
1
4 a6765211d4ffbd90df2d9f35e7feb8c8081da1d4260aeaed68d8f26510875668W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3B 2b638fb5c8ce03b41c94d1e980a693139a3239d395d9fd928f7a9b267e0a06e5
$ 1.58 SOI
2
2 893ed7126c30d7f29e67018557d8567e99c786827459f5d254a279b99a60a493R 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8W 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3
$ 11.56 SOI
1
1 5f7a52d387f5ccb90f74cfa02ccf60bc7693c28deba998749a273f25f7d36a7aW 81dc1d658abc1e62010de63ea0d762c068493e86a0911a1dc2355ca5bf790ed3B 2b638fb5c8ce03b41c94d1e980a693139a3239d395d9fd928f7a9b267e0a06e5
$ 0.56 SOI
2
2 893ed7126c30d7f29e67018557d8567e99c786827459f5d254a279b99a60a493R 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8R 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8
$ 11.45 KLD
3
1 5f7a52d387f5ccb90f74cfa02ccf60bc7693c28deba998749a273f25f7d36a7aR 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8
$ 0.04 OGW
2
2 893ed7126c30d7f29e67018557d8567e99c786827459f5d254a279b99a60a493B 2b638fb5c8ce03b41c94d1e980a693139a3239d395d9fd928f7a9b267e0a06e5
$ 0.06 EMN
2
X 51be5d1d133d8fdc86cb59b9d4c2c2758643d41b3b9d68e8c6d55ba6d99e3449X 51be5d1d133d8fdc86cb59b9d4c2c2758643d41b3b9d68e8c6d55ba6d99e3449R 5d89270d0c3b1e1ac9e7f7f5cd523dceb1e155ccca180ef61f2dee13a627a1b8
$ 0.57 AER
75 Cards Total

      I was reasonably pleased with my list though I would make a few changes going forward. I'm a huge fan of Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, especially game one since it is so difficult to deal with before they have any artifact removal.  I usually side it out post board to try to not run it into Release the Gremlins. However, I think that was simply poor planning. After playing the event I think Archangel Avacyn would have been a better main deck choice since you don’t have to side it out after board and it gets better in multiples. Another point overlooked was that every Mardu player I saw was on the Oath and Planeswalker plan. A great trump to this plan is Avacyn since it is quite good at killing planeswalkers. Also, if you pass with 5 mana up on a stalled board, your opponent can’t cast a planeswalker into your flash 4/4 without the fear of getting it eaten. This similar sub game came up with Heart of Kiran and I think Avacyn just adds an additional threat that is great vs Mardu and 4 color Saheeli in games 1-3.
      Before this event, I was a very firm believer of 4 Fatal Push main deck no exceptions; why did I have 2 and 1 Shock main deck this time you ask? My reasoning was the rising popularity of 4 color Saheeli. Not only does shock break up the combo, but it also kills Thalia, Heretic Cathar which Push doesn’t do nearly as consistently.
      One thing I did really like, was my sideboard configuration for the Saheeli matchup. I played against it 4 times on day 2 and beat it each time. The Oath of Chandras were great at dealing with Whirler Virutoso and sometimes even Rouge Refiner just to stay aggressive. The Oaths also doubled as ways to keep their Planeswalkers in check with my own. The key to that matchup is staying aggressive at all times, while of course trying to play around the combo when you can. The game would often get to a point on turn 4-6 where they can theoretically kill you. You have a choice of getting more aggressive and tapping out, or holding up mana to represent removal to disrupt the combo. The context of the game is very important to determining the line, but more often than not I found myself tapping out in order to get the game to the point where holding up mana for Unlicensed was actually backbreaking. This is also where I found myself missing Avacyn, since it lets you hold up mana. This, in turn, makes them play around removal and you get to flash in Avacyn while never really leaving yourself vulnerable. Avacyn’s flip is also great at helping kill Planeswalkers and clearing the board of Virtuoso and his Thopters.

      The second part of my article here I wanted to talk about the mental game and the true struggle and grind of a two day, 15 round tournament. To better explain my point, I want to fast forward to round 15 where I was sitting at 11-3 playing against Black Green Constrictor. My opponent mulligans to five on the draw and my hand is as follows – Oath of Liliana, Oath of Chandra, Fatal Push, Unlicensed Disintegration, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Concealed Courtyard, and Plains. I knew this hand wasn’t great but it had all the spells I wanted in this matchup and even on the play I had a Push for interaction and if I draw any land I could cast Oath of Liliana.
His first play was a turn 2 creature which promptly got Pushed. I miss my third land drop and pass the turn. He does the same but lays a Winding Constrictor and passes back. I draw and it’s a Needle Spires I play it and pass. At this point in my memory everything sort of became a blur almost like my consciousness left my body and someone else took over. I lose, get up, and sort of storm out of the convention center to clear my head. What just happened? How did I just lose? Did I really rally back from 6-3 to 11-3 just to lose the last round not to cash? These were all tough questions for me to swallow. As I walked around outside in the parking garage, tilting off I had a point of clarity where I realized that I had just played terribly. Multiple turns went by where I didn’t think long enough about my plays, where I rushed and just walked into my opponents plays not getting the most value for all my cards. Even now writing this it still stirs my stomach to think about. I was extremely disappointed in myself and it was a shame that a good event had to have such an unfortunate ending.

      Why am I telling you this? To make a greater point of the true fatigue that can affect any unsuspecting player. The night before I didn’t go to bed until around 1 AM. I ignored the fact I was going to lose sleep to daylight savings--I was too busy hanging out with friends I rarely see. That day I also hadn’t eaten anything and honestly I think once my opponent mulliganed to five, I gave up thinking. Subconsciously I had the match won, my opponent is on five how can he ever win? All of this coupled together resulted in the perfect storm for me to lose that match and as a result not cash the event.

      This story will resonate with me for the rest of my career. I’ve heard similar stories before but to actually experience this first hand was a very enlightening experience. I have learned that I need to take better care of myself at these events. Many players don’t eat all day and that has to have an effect on one’s performance. Sleep is also very important and I definitely felt this fatigue in other rounds that I had even won. Players (myself included) put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well at these events but rarely take care of our bodies half as well as we take care of the condition of our sleeves. Looking back it’s pretty ludicrous I made sure to re-sleeve before day 2  but didn’t eat a single thing until dinner that night. I have learned a very valuable lesson and hopefully I won’t make the same mistake twice.

      Grand Prix New Jersey was still a really great experience and I hope next time I can make myself proud. I know I’m a solid player but even after playing for what feels like a long time I still make very basic mistakes. I don’t take pride in this but I do take pride in my ability to acknowledge these mistakes and hopefully learn from them.