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(G/R/w Control)
Gravesend Monthly Type 2
Gravesend, Kent, UK.
Number of Players: 18
By Matthew Hudson

So it was that time of the month again. After my terrible showing last month
playing a U/W Mill deck, I decided to go back to G/R and play a deck that
was tuned with anti Fires cards. The only reason for this was that I
believed (correctly) that Fires would be the deck to beat in the run up to
the UK nationals.


4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Horned Kavu
4 Voracious Cobra
4 Thornscape Battlemage
4 Thunderscape Battlemage
3 Flametongue Kavu
4 Blastoderm
4 Ancient Hydra
1 Nemeta, Grove Guardian
1 Rith, The Awakener
2 Sulphurous Springs
1 Rith's Grove
1 Darigaaz's Caldera
3 Karplusan Forest
10 Forests
4 Mountains
2 Plains
1 Swamp


3 Sunscape Battlemage
1 Flametongue Kavu
3 Fleetfoot Panther
3 Kavu Chameleon
3 Chimeric Idol
2 Simoon

So, I as mad as Darwin Kastle. Only five spells. Mainly creatures and lands.
And it worked. The usual format of five rounds and a cut to the top four
(prizes, however to the top eight).

Match 1; William Dunn B/U Pet.

William is about 10 years old or so, but plays very well and never gives up.

Game 1 was all William. I lost the dice roll and William went first. First
turn was Swamp, Dark Ritual, Blood Pet and Ravenous Rat. I discard a forest
and try to work out what I'll need to sideboard in against the Perish he is
bound to bring in for game 2. A couple of turns pass as I play out a Bird,
Elf and a Red kickered Thornscape Battlemage and William plays out a few
small threats and counterspells a Flametonuge. Anyway turn 6 arrives and
William bribes my Rith. I die a couple of turns later.

I sideboard out Rith, Nemeta and a Cobra. In come the three Chameleons.

Game 2 was all me. First turn forest, bird. Second turn forest, play Horned
Kavu bounce Bird and play an elf. Beats happen now as next turn I get a
Blastoderm in and that goes all the way.

I don't sideboard now as I figure that I have seen all his threats for me to
wrap this match up.

Game 3. No much happens for the first 4 turns. I play out a Bird, Horned
Kavu and a Thornscape Battlemage. Good I'm in control. Will's turn 4 goes
tap three islands and a swamp. Cast Dark Ritual. Okay lots of mana in the
pool.Cast Dranlu's Pet and discard Coffin Puppets. Great, I'm on 15 life. I
have three turns to find an answer. The answer would have been a Flametongue
with a Hydra in play. No such luck. I die to the kicked pet. Marvellous.
Could have been worse I suppose in that William could have discarded Draco.

Games 1 - 2.   Matches 0-1

Not the start I had been looking for, but the deck worked well in the second
game so there was some hope. However I'm now in the lower half of the draw
and all the Fires decks won. So much for my tech. This could get rough.

Match 2: Luke with G/W Blastogeddon.

Luke is a regular and likes to play semi-rogue decks. By this I mean he will
take a net deck or archetype and add his own touches to it. However he
turned up late and took a first round loss to join the tournament.

Game 1. I lose the roll and play second. Cobra stops the Blastoderms.
Thunderscape Battlemages with Black kickers destroys his hand. My
Blastoderms finish him off. Yeah!

No sideboarding, as I know that he has few answers to the Cobras.

Game 2. I go second again. The Cobras kill the Blastoderms again. I play
strangely. 3 Cobras act as walls. However I eventually pull out Rith and
name green. Next turn I drop Nemeta and attack with 14 token saprolings that
Luke has blockers for 5 of. Sac the blocked ones and I waltz in for 60
points of damage (including Rith). End of Luke.

Games 3-2. Matches 1-1.

Okay I'm on a roll.

Match 3. Mike with G/B beats and discard.

Game 1. I lose the die roll (a pattern is emerging here...) and play second.
Turn 1 is forest Bird. Turn 2 is Forest, Horned Kavu and replay the bird.
Turn four is Blastoderm. Turn five is Thunderscape Battlemage with a black
kicker, forcing Mike to discard his last two cards. Two turns, plus an
Ancient Hydra and a Flametongue later it is all over.

Now I'm stuck. I know that he will bring in Perish. So I think hard for a
minute and bring in the 2 Simoons and two Idols. I remove Rith, Nemeta, a
cobra and a Horned Kavu.

Game 2. I go second. Play a Forest and a bird. Next turn I play and elf and
pass as Mike has a River Boa in play. On his next turn he plays a second
Boa, attacks with the first one and has no green mana open for regeneration.
Good. At the end of his turn I cast Simoon. I kill two boas, an Elf and a
bird. Mike never recovers (even after casting a kicked Scuta) and even tries
to terminate a Blastoderm.

Games 5-2 Matches 2-1

Things are looking up.

Match 3. Richard Dunn (father of William) with B/???

Richard is William's father and is more of a trader than a player. But he
plays good decks, which are always rogue decks never seen before.

Game 1. I win quickly due to Horned Kavu and two Blastoderms. Some
resistance was provided by a couple of chump blocking Ravenous Rats and that
was it really.

Now, I saw some Black and I figure that Richard is playing a copy of his
son's pet deck. In come the Sunscape Battlemages and out goes Rith and

Game two. The same as the above except that the last two points of damage
come from a freshly cast Hydra that was just two strong. This did bring up a
rules query from Richard about using the ability of the Hydra on the turn it
was cast. All the judges agreed that because it does not tap to us the
ability, the summoning sickness is irrelevant. IMO this does make the Hydra
very powerful and I still can't see why more people don't play it (except of
course for the toughness of 1).

Games 7-2. Matches 3-1.

The final round. Unfortunately, due to William having a bad day after I
played him, I couldn't draw into the top 4 so I had to play on 9pts and +5.
Note that this is usually enough for a top 4 appearance here. But not today
as there where 3 other people on the same score and one on 12pts.

Match 5. Graham with Fires.

Graham is a regular who is very good, but I did win our last encounter at

Game 1: I won the dice roll (not a good sign) and went first. The 'God' hand
for fires kills me ASAP. That is turn 1 Forest bird. Turn 2 Fires. Turn 3
Blastoderm. Turn four Burst. Right where's my sideboard.

In come the Simoons. Out goes two Horned Kavu.

Game 2: A better start for with a bird and Horned Kavu out in the first two
turns. Graham plays a Blastoderm on turn 4 and passes, even though he has
fires on the board... I play a kicked Thornscape Battlemage to kill one of
his birds. Next turn Graham plays a Lumbering Satyr. Oh dear problem. I take
ten from the forest-walking duo. Okay I can't deal the necessary 13 damage
to Graham this turn unless I topdeck an Ancient Hydra. A Flametongue is no
use to kill the Satyr as Graham can sac the Fires to give it the necessary

I draw my card.

It's a forest.

Final result. Games 7-4. Matches 3-2

It was enough in the end for 6th place and a booster each of Invasion and

A good enough result for me after my last effort. And I did get the fourth
Global Ruin I wanted in the Invasion pack so it wasn't all bad.

The only down side of the deck was the sideboard. I think that the Panthers
and the idols would have been better off being 2 Simoons, 1 Chameleon and a
fourth Sunscape Battlemage. Apart from this I can't see what changes I could
make, apart from including Fires in sideboard or maindeck and maybe a couple
of Urza's Rages.

However, as a side to what happened in the tournament, an interesting
discussion occurred. After discussing how good/bad 7TH edition is, we
noticed that no one had yet to get a new Serra Angel. Between the people at
the tournament, 21 boxes of 7TH had been opened and not one rare slot has
been found to contain a white bordered Serra or the foil one. Okay it could
be a mathematical anomaly (the maths lecturer who comes to the tournaments
worked out that the chances of this happening where somewhere in the region
of 13 to the power of 17) but it seemed so unlikely.

This led to the discussion that have Wizards, after the advertising
campaign, only released Serra as a black bordered foil only? If anyone has
found the same thing, or has found a white/black bordered Serra can you
please let me know at the e-mail address below. I do not need any (as I
still have the original ones from 4TH edition to play with) but it would be
nice to know where all the Serra's are.

Thanks for reading and an answer to the Serra question would be helpful.

Matthew Hudson

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