Jeff Zandi is a five time pro tour veteran who has been playing Magic since 1994. Jeff is a level two DCI judge and has been judging everything from small local tournaments to pro tour events.

Jeff is from Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, where his upstairs game room has been the "Guildhall", the home of the Texas Guildmages, since the team formed in 1996. One of the original founders of the team, Jeff Zandi is the team's administrator, and is proud to continue the team's tradition of having players in every pro tour from the first event in 1996 to the present.


 

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Wichita Linemen Dominate Top Eight
2004 Kansas State Championship Report - 10.29.04
by Jeff Zandi


The best Magic players slugged it out on Saturday with the Kansas State Championship title on the line. In a field of fifty players featuring a wide array of different deck ideas, the top eight featured both aggressive and control strategies. Twin brothers Shane and Shawn Houston fairly dominated the six Swiss rounds, each making it to the top eight. When the two brothers saw the single elimination bracket for the top eight, they found themselves on the same side of the bracket, on a collision course for the semi-finals.

In an exciting semi-final match, Shawn Houston prevailed after losing game two. Shane and Shawn are big boys, each big enough to play offensive line for the Wichita State Shockers football team. But while these Wichita linemen were putting it all on the line, Peter Nguyen quietly eliminated Edward Dudley and Granger Peterson before facing Shawn Houston in the finals. The finals proved to be a two game sweep in favor of Nguyen’s green/black Death Cloud deck over Shawn Houston’s white/red agro/control deck. With his State Championship victory, Peter Nguyen becomes the second player in a row of Vietnamese heritage to win the Kansas State Championship.

Last year’s champion, Tanh Huynh, was eliminated early in this year’s championship playing a blue/white control deck. Play by play of the exciting Houston on Houston semi finals, as well as play by play of the decisive final match can be found further down in this story.

The tournament was held at Prairie Dog Comics’ spacious warehouse location on East Pawnee in Wichita. The location is the same site used for last year’s Kansas State Championships as well as most Wichita pre-release and Pro Tour qualifying tournaments. Curiously, this location was the home of a different game store a year ago, but not houses a big piece of the extremely impressive Prairie Dog Comics collection. Even as the walls of this spacious facility are literally lined to the ceiling with filled comic book storage boxes, there is still more than enough room to house up to a hundred players.

The tournament was run by Aussiefox Productions, the tournament organizing arm of Edward Fox’s entrepreneurial empire. Running the tournament and judging today is yours truly, experienced tournament official and DCI Level II judge. Today’s field of fifty players meant there would be plenty of room for the players to spread out in and six rounds of Swiss play.

Kansas’ Magic scene, particularly in Wichita, is an interesting mix of very serious tournament competitors and completely casual players. This mix makes it necessary for the better players to prepare for a very diverse field of opponents and deck designs. There was no clear metagame for the State Championship tournament, although it is clear that more Affinity decks were expected. While some of the Wichita old timers like Jim Dowell did not play this year, the fifty player field for the 2004 Kansas State Championship provided plenty of challenges for the top eight finishers. Wichita, Kansas remains an important destination for players from six different states.

AN INTERESTING COLLECTION OF DECKS

The decklist breakdown, in order of popularity, looked like this:
7 blue/green control decks featuring Rude Awakening
7 Tooth and Nail decks (4 blue/green, 2 red/green, 1 green/white)
6 Ravager Affinity decks
6 mono black control decks
4 green/black agro/control decks
4 mono red decks (2 aggro/burn, 2 Ponza land destruction/anti affinity)
3 blue/white control decks
3 red/white agro/control decks
3 Ironworks combo decks
2 mono green decks, one was called Snake Attack
2 red/black control decks
1 red/blue control/burn deck
1 white/green weenie/equipment deck
1 blue/black Intruder Alarm bounce deck

The top five decklists by match points earned looks like this:
63 match points – blue/green control decks (7 decks averaging 9 match points)
61 match points – blue/green Tooth & Nail (7 decks averaging 8.7 match points)
47 match points – Ravager Affinity decks (6 decks averaging 7.8 match points)
46 match points – green/black control (4 decks averaging 11.5 match points)
46 match points – mono red decks (4 decks averaging 11.5 match points)

SEMI-FINALS MATCH
Shane Houston versus Shawn Houston

Shawn Houston wins the die roll, chooses to play first.
T1 Shawn plays Plains, Hound of Konda
T1 Shane plays Swamp, Chrome Mox imprinted with black card, plays Wicked Akuba
T2 Shawn plays Plains, attacks with Hound (18-20). Plays Leonin Skyhunter.
T2 Shane plays Swamp, attacks with Akuba (18-18). Plays Chittering Rats.
T3 Shawn plays Plains, attacks with Skyhunter, Hound, Hound blocked by Chittering Rats (16-18). Plays Kami of the Ancient Law
T3 Shane plays Swamp, Echoing Decay targeting Kami. Attacks with Akuba, activates Akuba twice (16-14).
T4 Shawn plays Leonin Skyhunter. Attacks with Skyhunter (14-14)
T4 Shane plays Swamp, attacks with Akuba, activates Akuba twice after damage
(14-10)
T5 Shawn attacks with Skyhunter, Shane plays Rend Flesh targeting Skyhunter.
T5 Shane draws and says go.
T6 Shawn plays Mountain, plays Electrostatic Bolt targeting Wicked Akuba.
Attacks with Skyhunter (12-10)
T6 Shane draws, says go
T7 Shawn draws, attacks with Skyhunter, Shane plays Rend Flesh targeting Skyhunter.
T7 Shane plays Nezumi Shortfang, at EOT Shawn plays Magma Jet targeting Shortfang.
T8 Shawn plays Hound of Konda.
T8 Shawn draws, says go
T9 Shawn attacks with Hound (10-10).
T9 Shane plays Aether Vial
T10 Shawn attacks with Hound (8-10).
T10 Shane plays Swamp.
T11 Shawn attacks with Hound, Shane responds by playing Echoing Decay targeting Hound
T11 Shane draws, says go
T12 Shawn plays Hound of Konda, Samurai of the Pale Curtain
T12 Shane draws, says go
T13 Shawn attacks with Hound, Samurai, Shane plays Echoing Decay targeting Samurai (6-10) Plays Hearth Kami
T13 Shane draws nothing useful and concedes SHAWN HOUSTON WINS GAME ONE

T1 Shane plays first, plays Blinkmoth Nexus, Aether Vial
T1 Shawn plays Plains, Chrome Mox imprinted with a white card, plays Leonin Skyhunter
T2 Shane puts a counter on Vial, plays Swamp, Ravenous Rats, Shawn discards Shrapnel Blast
T2 Shawn attacks with Skyhunter (18-20), plays Samurai of the Pale Curtain.
T3 Shane puts a counter on Vial, plays Swamp, Echoing Decay targeting Samurai.
T3 Shawn attacks with Skyhunter (16-20). Plays Hound of Konda.
T4 Shane puts a counter on Vial, plays Swamp, Echoing Decay targeting Skyhunter
T4 Shawn attacks with Hound (14-20).
T5 Shane puts a counter on Vial, plays Ravenous Rats, Shawn discards Hearth Kami, Shane plays a second Aether Vial
T5 Shawn attacks with Hound, blocked by both Ravenous Rats, plays Hound of Konda
T6 Shane puts counters on his Vials, plays Nezumi Shortfang
T6 Shawn plays City of Brass, plays Electrostatic Bolt targeting Shortfang.
T7 Shane puts a counter on the second Vial, taps first Vial to play Greater Harvester.
T7 Shawn draws a card and says go
T8 Shawn puts Harvester’s upkeep ability on the stack, then taps first Vial to play a second Greater Harvester, sacrifices second Vial. Plays Rend Flesh targeting Hound, Attacks with Harvester (14-15)
T8 Shawn draws nothing of value and concedes.
SHANE HOUSTON WINS GAME TWO

T1 Shawn plays Plains.
T1 Shane plays Swamp, Chrome Mox imprinted with Cranial Extraction. Plays Ravenous Rats, Shawn discards Kami of Ancient Law.
T2 Shawn plays Ancient Den, Isochron Scepter imprinted with Magma Jet.
T2 Shane attacks with Rats (20-19) plays Ravenous Rats, Shawn discards Leonin Skyhunter.
T3 Shawn plays Plains.
T3 Shane attacks with both Rats, one is targeted with Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter (20-18). Shane plays Wicked Akuba.
T4 Shawn plays Mountain, Isochron Scepter imprinted with Electrostatic Bolt
T4 Shane plays Swamp, attacks with Akuba, Rat, Akuba targeted by Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter. (20-17) Shane plays Wicked Akuba, Aether Vial.
T5 Shawn draws a card, says go
T5 Shane puts a counter on his Vial, attacks with Akuba, Rats, Akuba targeted by Electrostatic Bolt copy from activated Scepter (20-16). Shawn targets Shane with Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter. (18-16).
T6 Shawn plays a THIRD Isochron Scepter, imprinted with Electrostatic Bolt.
T6 Shane puts counters on Vials, attacks with Rats, Rats targeted by Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter
T7 Shawn plays Ancient Den
T7 Shane plays Nezumi Shortfang. Shortfang targeted by Electrostatic Bolt copy from activated Scepter. Shane targeted by Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter. (16-16)
T8 Shawn plays Karma.
T8 Shane loses three life to Karma during his upkeep (13-16) Shane is targeted by Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter (11-16).
T9 Shawn plays Plains.
T9 Shane loses three life during his upkeep (8-16) plays Swamp. Shane is targeted by Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter (6-16).
T10 Shawn draws a card and says go
T10 Shane loses four life from Karma during upkeep, Shane is targeted by Magma Jet copy from activated Scepter.
SHAWN HOUSTON WINS GAME THREE
SHAWN HOUSTON WINS SEMI-FINAL MATCH

KANSAS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

Peter Nguyen versus Shawn Houston
Shawn Houston wins die roll and decides to play first.
T1 Shawn mulligans to six cards, keeping a hand of Plains, Chrome Mox x2, Electrostatic Bolt, Kami of Ancient Law, Shrapnel Blast. Shawn plays Plains, Chrome Mox imprinted with Shrapnel Blast, plays Kami of Ancient Law.
T1 Peter plays Forest
T2 Shawn attacks with Kami (18-20) Plays Hearth Kami
T2 Peter plays Swamp.
T3 Shawn attacks with both Kami, Hearth Kami targeted by Peter with Echoing Decay (16-20)
T3 Peter plays Swamp, Viridian Shaman targeting Chrome Mox. Shawn plays Electrostatic Bolt targeting the Shaman
T4 Shawn plays Chrome Mox imprinted with Electrostatic Bolt. Attacks with Kami (14-20)
T4 Peter plays Viridian Shaman targeting Chrome Mox, Shawn responds by playing Electrostatic Bolt targeting Shaman.
T5 Shawn attacks with Kami (12-20)
T5 Peter plays Swamp.
T6 Shawn attacks with Kami, Peter plays Lose Hope targeting Kami
T6 Peter plays City of Brass, plays Solemn Simulacrum putting a Forest into play (11-20)
T7 Shawn plays a Plains
T7 Peter attacks with Simulacrum (11-18). Plays Death Cloud for 2 (using City) (8-16)
T8 Shawn draws a card and says go
T8 Peter plays a Forest, Eternal Witness returning Solemn Simulacrum to his hand
T9 Shawn plays a Plains
T9 Peter attacks with Witness (8-14) Plays Nezumi Shortfang, Solemn Simulacrum putting a Swamp into play.
T10 Shawn draws a card and says go.
T10 Peter attacks with Witness, Shortfang and Simulacrum (8-9)
T11 Shawn draws nothing useful and concedes PETER NGUYEN WINS GAME ONE

T1 Shawn plays Great Furnace
T1 Peter plays City of Brass
T2 Shawn plays Great Furnace.
T2 Peter plays Forest, Night’s Whisper (17-20) At end of turn, Shawn plays Magma Jet targeting Peter (15-20).
T3 Shawn plays Plains, Savannah Lions
T3 Peter plays Forest
T4 Shawn plays City of Brass. Attacks with Lions, Peter plays Lose Hope targeting Lions. Shawn plays Hound of Konda and Savannah Lions (15-19)
T4 Peter plays Forest, Solemn Simulacrum (14-19) putting a Swamp into play.
T5 Shawn attacks with Hound (12-19) Shawn plays Hound of Konda, Isochron Scepter imprinted with Shrapnel Blast. (12-18)
T5 Peter plays Swamp, Viridian Shaman targeting Scepter, plays Echoing Decay (11-18) targeting Hound
T6 Shawn attacks with Hound blocked by Simulacrum.
T6 Peter plays Swamp, attacks with Shaman (11-16), plays Nezumi Shortfang
T7 Shawn plays Electrostatic Bolt targeting Shortfang (11-15)
T7 Peter draws a card, says go
T8 Shawn plays Leonin Skyhunter
T8 Peter plays Swamp, attacks with Shaman, blocked by Skyhunter. Peter plays Lose Hope targeting Skyhunter.
T9 Shawn draws a card, says go
T9 Peter plays Swamp, attacks with Shaman (11-13), plays Death Cloud for 4 (7-9)
T10 Shawn plays Plains
T10 Peter draws a card, says go
T11 Shawn draws a card, says go
T11 Peter draws a card, says go
T12 Shawn plays Hound of Konda
T12 Peter plays Swamp
T13 Shawn attacks with Hound (5-9)
T13 Peter plays Viridian Shaman.
T14 Shawn attacks with Hound blocked by Shaman.
T14 Peter plays Eternal Witness returning Nezumi Shortfang.
T15 Shawn plays Chrome Mox imprinted with a white card, plays Isochron Scepter imprinted with Magma Jet. At end of turn, Peter plays Oxidize targeting Scepter. Shawn is cardless and concedes PETER NGUYEN WINS GAME TWO PETER NGUYEN WINS FINALS MATCH


TOP EIGHT DECKLISTS
In order of top eight finish

Peter Nguyen
1st place
Swamp x11
City of Brass x3
Forest x8
Echoing Decay x3
Solemn Simulacrum x3
Horubi, Death's Wail x2
Molder Slug x3
Sakura-Tribe Elder x4
Nezumi, Shortfang x3
Eternal Witness x4
Lose Hope x3
Viridian Shaman x3
Death Cloud x2
Oxidize x3
Night Whispers x4
Kokusho, the Evening Star x1
SIDEBOARD:
Cranial Extraction x3
Duplicant x3
Viridian Shaman
Kodami's Reach x4
Tel-Jilad Chosen x4

Shawn Houston
2nd place
Kami of Ancient Law x4
Samurai of the Pale Curtain x4
Leonin Skyhunter x4
Isamuru Hound of Konda x4
Savannah Lions x4
Hearth Kami x4
Magma Jet x4
Electrostatic Bolt x4
Shrapnel Blast x4
Isochron Scepter x3
Chrome Mox x2
Mountain x2
Plains x8
Eiganjo Castle
City of Brass x2
Great Furnace x2
Ancient Den x4
SIDEBOARD:
Karma x2
Shatter x4
Isochron Scepter
Arrest x3
Ethereal Haze x2
Sacred Ground x3

Shane Houston
3rd place
Ravenous Rats x4
Chittering Rats x4
Horabi, Death's Wail x4
Nezumi Shortfang x4
Wicked Akuba x4
Aether Vial x4
Chrome Mox x3
Echoing Decay x4
Distress x3
Rend Flesh x3
Phyrexian Arena x3
Blinkmoth Nexus x4
Shiza, Death's Storehouse
Swamp x15
SIDEBOARD:
Phyrexian Arena
Distress
Rend Flesh
Greater Harvester x4
Relic Barrier x4
Cranial Extraction x4

Granger Peterson
4th place
Darksteel Citadel x4
Blinkmoth Nexus x3
Glimmervoid
Vault of Whispers x4
Great Furnace x4
Seat of the Synod x4
Arcbound Worker x4
Disciple of the Vault x4
Arcbound Ravager x4
Atog x2
Myr Retriever
Frogmite x4
Myr Enforcer x4
Thoughtcast x4
Pyrite Spellbomb x2
Aether Vial x4
Cranial Plating x3
Chromatic Sphere x4
SIDEBOARD:
Moriok Rigger x3
Shrapnel Blast x3
Shatter x3
Relic Barrier x4
Pyrite Spellbomb x2

Anthony Schaefer
5th place
Seething Song x4
Electrostatic Bolt x4
Stone Rain x4
Molten Rain x4
Hearth Kami x4
Magma Jet x4
Demolish x4
Chrome Mox x3
Arc-Slogger x3
Slith Firewalker x4
Kimano Master Yamabushi x2
Mountain x15
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Blinkmoth Nexus x4
SIDEBOARD:
Zozu the Punisher x3
Pulse of the Forge x3
Detonate x3
Relic Barrier x3
Pyroclasm x3

Edward Dudley
6th place
Eternal Witness x4
Molder Slug x4
Viridian Zealot x4
Rude Awakening x4
Cranial Estraction x4
Kodama's Reach x4
Budoka Gardner x4
Beacon of Creation x4
Sakura-Tribe Elder x4
Kodama of the North Tree x2
Boseiju, who Shelters All x2
Swamp x4
Forest x16
SIDEBOARD:
Echoing Decay x3
Plow Under x4
Sylvan Scrying x3
Wear Away x3
Dosan the falling Leaf x2

Nolan Chaney
7th Place
Condescend x4
Solemn Simulacrum x3
Birds of Paradise x4
Rude Awakening x3
Mana Leak x3
Plow Under x3
Sakura-Tribe Elder x4
Kodama's Reach x4
Echoing Truth x3
Uyo, Silent Prophet
Eternal Witness x4
Forest x11
Island x9
Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
SIDEBOARD:
Oxidize x4
Viridian Shaman x4
Annul x4
March of the Machines x3

Dustin Thurman
8th place
Demolish x4
Molten Rain x4
Stone Rain x4
Magma Jet x4
Electrostatic Bolt x4
Night's Whisper x4
Arc-Slogger x4
Kumano, Master Yamabushi x2
Slith Firewalker x4
Talisman of Indulgence x4
Chrome Mox x4
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
City of Brass x2
Stalking Stones x2
Swamp
Mountain x11
SIDEBOARD:
Pyroclasm x3
Shatter x4
Echoing Decay x4
Isochron Scepter x4

A FEW OF THE OTHER INTERESTING DECKLISTS

Ian Robles
Blue/green Tooth and Nail
9th place
Sakura-Tribe Elder x4
Tooth and Nail x4
Sylvan Scrying x4
Eternal Witness x4
Reap and Sow x4
Mindslaver x2
Oblivion Stone x1
Solemn Simulacrum x4
Platinum Angel x2
Darksteel Colossus x1
Kiki-Jikki x1
Sundering Titan x1
Duplicant x1
Triskelion x1
Rude Awakening x1
Urza’s Tower x4
Urza’s Mine x4
Urza’s Power Plant x4
Mountain x1
Stalking Stones x1
Forest x10
SIDEBOARD:
Fireball x2
Oxidize x4
Pyroclasm x4
Boseiju x1
Viridian Shaman x3
Duplicant x1

Barry Smith
Ironworks
15th place
Condescend x4
Thoughtcast x4
Thirst for Knowledge x3
Fabricate x3
Serum Visions x3
Fireball x1
Goblin Charbelcher x1
Krark-Clan Ironworks x4
Myr Incubator x4
Chromatic Sphere x3
Pentad Prism x4
Chrome Mox x3
Talisman of Progress x3
Talisman of Dominance x2
Ancient Den x2
Tree of Tales x2
Vault of Whispers x3
Darksteel Citadel x4
Seat of the Synod x4
Great Furnace x4
SIDEBOARD:
Fireball x1
Cranial Extraction x3
Echoing Truth x3
Pyroclasm x4
Defense Grid x4

Russell Nibarger
Red/Black Control
17th place
Promise of Power x4
Distress x4
Rend Flesh x4
Consume Spirit x4
Fireball x4
Diabolic Tutor x4
Night’s Whisper x4
Dark Banishing x4
Barter in Blood x4
Drudge Skeleton x4
Echoing Decay x1
Extraplanar Lens x1
Cranial Extraction x1
Swamp x16
Mountain x5
Boseiju, who Shelters All x1
SIDEBOARD:
Shatter x3
Echoing Decay x3
Pyroclasm x2
Stone Rain x2
Night of Soul’s Betrayal x1
Extraplanar Lens x1
Oblivion Stone x1
Boseiju, who Shelters All x1

As usual, I’m always interested to know what YOU think.

Jeff Zandi
Texas Guildmages
Level II DCI Judge
jeffzandi@thoughtcastle.com
Zanman on Magic Online
 

 

 

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