[Today, I am posting up a tournament report submitted to me by Davies Clarke, otherwise known as Sprout (his deck at his first FNM was Mono Green Saprolings).  Sprout is a member of Team Face, arguably the most competitive team in Quebec, and this year's Nationals Qualifier marks his first significant finish.  How did he do it?  Read on to find out!  –KYT]

So the results from the national qualifier season are popping up and for once I placed well enough to talk about my day without people laughing at my 0-2 drop finish. By now you are all asking yourselves “who is this guy?”.  Well I’m Davies Clarke (but you probably know me as Sprout) and I finished 13th at the Montreal Nats Qualifier.

I had been testing a Naya Vengevine build for this event, but the numbers were too low for me to sleeve up a deck that had a 30% chance of winning game 1 in most match-ups and a 45% chance of winning side boarded games. I knew I needed a deck that was good against a control heavy field seeing that both Tap Out and UWR Walkers would be popular so I sleeved up the Jund list I had been playing for 6 months.

Here is the list that I showed up with:

Creatures

4 Putrid Leech

4 Sprouting Thrinax

4 Bloodbraid Elf

2 Siege-Gang Commander

2 Broodmate Dragon

Sorceries

4 Blightning

4 Maelstrom Pulse

Instants

4 Lightning Bolt

2 Terminate

2 Bituminous Blast

Planeswalkers

2 Garruk Wildspeaker

Lands

4 Savage Lands

4 Raging Ravine

2 Lavaclaw Reaches

4 Verdant Catacombs

2 Dragonskull Summit

2 Rootbound Crag

3 Forest

3 Swamp

2 Mountain

Sideboard:

3 Great Sable Stag

3 Duress

2 Jund Charm

2 Malakir Bloodwhich

2 Consuming Vapors

3 Doom Blade

I was confident that I would do well seeing as I have played this deck since the start of the season and I knew all the ins and outs.

Round 1: Eric Gaudreault (Time Sieve)

In a 208 person tournament I didn’t expect to play anyone I had heard of for the first few rounds…but I was wrong, in round 1 I found myself sitting face to face with a player that had just won a PTQ and was top 8 of the PTQ 2 weeks prior to this tournament.

After losing the die roll I knew I wouldn’t be in good shape after Eric plays a turn 1 island into a Borderpost. I manage to land a turn 2 Leech and a turn 3 Thrinax, but it wasn’t enough to break through the 12 Time Walk effects in the Esper combo deck. I also played very sloppy, after being Silenced a few times my frustration caused me to forget my turn 5 land drop when I had 2 lands sitting in my hand.

After losing game 1 to Angel Song, Silence and Time Warp I figured I would like to have some disruption rather than creature removal, so the following changes were made.

Out:

2 Bituminous Blast

2 Terminate

4 Lightning Bolt

In:

2 Jund Charm

3 Duress

3 Great Sable Stag

The Stags didn’t seem to exciting but I wanted to have a creature that could smash and attack through Thopter tokens.

Game 2  I get a fairly aggressive start but thanks to a heavy silence draw for Eric I don’t get to cast a spell after my turn 2 leech. Good thing the leech was enough to get there.

Game 3 wasn’t very exciting.  I kept a hand without any disruption in it and can’t apply pressure with Garruk and Thrinax alone.

0-1

Round 2: Mark Acres (Mythic Bant)

This round started well for me, as I sat down to play my opponent gets a game loss for his 16 card side board.

He got off to a quick start but I could tell he kept a hand that wanted to ride the strength of a turn 3 Sovereigns of Lost Alara but I had the terminate for his 4/5 and his Cobra swung for 3. I then crushed him with a Blightning and Bloodbraid into Leech.

1-1

Round 3: Sebastien Paquin (Jund)

I wasn’t happy to have to play the mirror this soon.  I had built my sideboard to beat decks with Islands, leaving myself only 3-5 cards for the mirror.

I win the die roll, and lead off with the first spell of the game: Blightning. The game goes long and I seal the deal by casting Bit Blast on his Bloodbraid at the end of his draw step, because Jund is a brutal deck I cascade into Blightning to take out his Broodmate and the land he had drawn that turn.

For side boarding, I took out:

2 Maelstrom Pulse

2 Terminate

1 Lightning Bolt

And swap in:

3 Great Sable Stag

2 Consuming Vapors

I felt very weird leaving in Maelstrom Pulse in the mirror but he had both Garruk and Sarkhan the Mad, so I left 2 in.

Game 2 he sticks Garruk and then eats my board with Consuming Vapors…if only I had 8 thrinaxes.

Game 3 he makes a fatal play error and discards his 2 additional green sources to my turn 3 Blightning, he then can't cast his Garruk on turn 4 and quickly looses to my Siege-Gang.

2-1

Round 4: Brad Fischer (Mythic Bant)

After losing the die roll, I thought I would be in for a rough match, but I was wrong. My opponent threw away game 1 by tapping out to swing with a double exalted Colonnade to bring me to 4, I then untap and activate my man land and bash for 13 and we move onto game 2.

Now I finally get to board against <ythic! I take out:

4 Sprouting Thrinax

1 Blightning

1 Broodmate Dragon

1 Siege-Gang Commander

I bring in:

3 Doom Blade

2 Malakir Bloodwhich

2 Consuming Vapors

Game 2 was a blowout as I have the doom blade for his turn 3 Sovereigns, I then untap and Blightning away his last 2 cards…another 2 Sovereigns of Lost Alara. I win with my Malakir that he can’t beat.

3-1

Round 5: Louis-Philippe Laprise (Emeria Bant)

I had no idea what he was playing game 1, it started out like Mythic, as he had the turn 1 mana dork, but then his turn 3 play was an Emeria Angel. The game was fairly quick as I had the answer for all of his threats and bashed with my Lavaclaw and Raging Ravine for the win.

Side boarding was simple, I take out:

3 Sprouting Thrinax

1 Blightning

1 Broodmate Dragon

2 Garruk Wildspeaker

I bring in:

3 Doom Blade

2 Malakir Bloodwhich

2 Consuming Vapors

Game 2 was simple, he plays a creature and I kill it. There was only 1 point where I was worried. I had foolishly pumped my Putrid Leech leaving myself at 2 life, my opponent had 0 cards in hand but all he had to do was top deck a Sejiri Steppe to break through for lethal but luckily for me he didn’t.

After the game I told him about the misplay and he got really surprised and said “Oh wow I should have put that in! It would be so good with my Knight of the Reliquary!”

*Facepalm*

4-1

Round 6: Adrian Davidian (Jund)

Game 1 was a typical Jund game, both players had cascade spells but I get a surprising Vengevine played against me on turn 4.  After playing around the Mythic green creature for the rest of the game being sure to not waste removal on it, I seal the deal with a dragon.

For side boarding I take out:

1 Terminate

4 Maelstrom Pulse

1 Putrid Leech

In favor of:

2 Consuming Vapors

3 Great Sable Stag

1 Jund Charm

Game 2 had my first mulligan to five of the day and I can’t keep up with his extra 2 cards and his Blightnings coming out a turn sooner than mine.

Game 3 was one of those very slow games that just has the 4 turns of draw go with neither player willing to attack their Leeches into the others Thrinaxes.  But I draw a Siege-Gang and chip away at his life total.

5-1

Round 7: Nicholis Rahill (Jund)

Nick and I were joking around as the pairings were going up, as both of us were 5-1 we knew that winning this round would allow us to draw into the top 12 and have a spot for Nationals, but our jaws dropped as we saw that we needed to play each other for our spot at nationals.

Game 1 Nick keeps a slow hand, and I keep an aggressive hand.  I land a turn 5 siege gang, but my Goblin tokens meet the fate of a Maelstrom Pulse. The next turn I play my second Commander and Nick scoops up his cards.

I went into the match thinking that Nick was playing Geopede Jund to I took a while to make my sideboard choices but settled on taking out:

4 Maelstrom Pulse

1 Terminate

I figured that I would want:

3 Great Sable Stag

2 Jund Charm

Game 2 I see that he is not playing Geopede as I get wrecked by his mid game. I try to stabilize by playing both Siege-Gangs I drew, but Nick played his 2 Broodmate Dragons and we moved onto game 3.

I can’t say much about game 3, I had 3 Bloodbraids, and Nick didn’t.

6-1

Round 8: Robert Anderson (UWR Planeswalkers)

For this match Rob and I drew thinking we were both in top 12, Rob was locked and I could only fall short if 3 out of the 4 people that were 5-1-1 won their round. Funny enough it happened just like that and I finished 13th.

I had a great day.  Finishing 6-1-1 showed me that I can only beat 2 decks, Mythic and Jund. With the new meta still blooming I’m very confident that Jund can still be the monster of the format as long as no one plays silly cards like Eldrazi Monument or Plated Geopedes and stick to the timeless staples like Bituminous Blast. Jund has always been a card advantage based aggro deck that plays any role it needs to in its matchups. When paired against aggro Jund, it will play control with its loads of removal, and when facing control, Jund can be the beatdown with its blisteringly fast 2 drop.

One final note to leave you with, I recently got an email from Wizards own Scott Larabee informing me that someone who had finished in the top 12 of the National Qualifier that I played in had lost his invitation to nationals and as a result of my 13th place finish, I will gain his Invitation. Way to sneak my way into Nats!

Thanks for reading,

Sprout
 

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