Australian National Championships Day 1 Blog

Posted in Event Coverage on July 22, 2011


  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Quick Questions
    Round 12
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Deck Tech
    Round 12: Deck Tech Matthew Anderson
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Sunday, July 24: 12:46p.m.
    The Judges (of course!)
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Deck Tech
    Round 11: Deck Tech with Daniel Unwin
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Feature Match
    Round 10: Wilfy Horig vs Aaron Nicoll
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Quick Questions
    Round 10
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Draft Tech
    Round 9: Draft Tech with Wilfy Horig
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Sunday, July 24: 9:02 a.m.
    A tribute to Allan Sharp
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Blog: Catch up on Day one's event coverage!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

Sunday, July 24: 9:02 a.m. - A tribute to Allan Sharpe

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Earlier this year, the Sydney Magic community lost one of its most beloved and long standing players, the Mighty Allan Sharpe.

Allan was known for both his love of the Red cards, and his willingness to help new players. It's been said that if there was a Magic tournament held in Sydney, Allan would be there. However, it was travelling further afield that proved difficult for him. Allan was plagued with a degenerative respiratory disease, and ended up dependent on a portable oxygen machine to help him breathe.

Despite being unable to be a part of the Sydney Magic Community's biannual road trips to Canberra for the National Championships and CanCon, Allan competed at Regionals every year without fail, because hey, it was a tournament and it was in Sydney! Why wouldn't he?

Inspired by his determination, several members of Sydney's Magic community managed to convince Allan, oxygen machine in tow, to make the trips to Nationals in 2009. He may not have made it through the Last Chance Qualifiers, but everyone there agreed Allan had a great time playing in the Public Events that weekend.

Unfortunately, as Allan's health continued to decline over the last few years, his tournament attendance also lessened. That didn't dull Allan's love of gaming or Magic, though. When Allan could no longer make it out to the games, the world of online gaming (including Magic: Online!) brought the games to him.

While Magic in Australia will miss the Mighty Allan Sharpe, it will forever be better because of him.

Long-time friends Paul Van Der Werk, Lindsay Heming, Scott Hunstad, Scott Smith, and Jim Bandas hold aloft Allan's favorite card; Mogg Fanatic.

Round 9: Draft Tech with Wilfy Horig

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Melbourne's Wilfy Horig was the last undefeated player at the end of day one. For a few years now, Wilfy's name has been echoing through the grapevine as a young player to look out for.

"I've done infinite M12 drafts," the 16 year old stated with a shrug. "I never really did very many M11 drafts – just Nationals last year, and that was it. I didn't really like the format all that much, so I didn't draft it on Magic: Online at all."

Wilfy Horig is out in front this weekend.

I asked if the format felt very different to M11, despite his lack of experience with last year's set. "This Is way faster, definitely. Like, Zendikar fast. I also don't like Green in M12. Their best 2-drop is a 3/2, so it just trades with everyone else's 2-drops, and the rest of their cards are 5 mana 4/4's. The other colors have real cards. I don't think I've even played a Forest in this format yet, and I'm happy about that."

Here's the draft deck Wilfy smashed Draft Pod One with yesterday.

Wilfy Horig

Download Arena Decklist

Quick Questions: Round 10

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

What color combination do you prefer to draft in Magic 2012?

Luke Mulcahy Aaron Nicoll Oliver Oks
“Black/Red if it’s open. It’s pretty heavily drafted.” “Blue/White.” “Blue/Green, because Jarrod Scriven said so!”
Wilfy Horig Ian Wood Dan Unwin
“Not Green!” “Blue/Black.” “I haven’t drafted the same combination twice. Just as long as I’m not Green and I have a good curve.”

Feature Match - Round 10: Wilfy Horig vs Aaron Nicoll

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Coming out of the draft rounds, both Aaron Nicoll and Wilfy Horig were sitting on top of the standings each with 5-1 in draft, and 3-0 in constructed. Horig's Vampire deck stumbled in Game 1, missing a pair of land drops before drawing into lands than entered the battlefield tapped. This gave Nicoll's three-color Splinter Twin deck room to set up the kill, by using Birthing Pod to fetch out Deceiver Exarch, and then Urabrask the Hidden, letting the Splinter'd Exarch copies attack immediately.

Aaron Nicoll takes Game 1 from Wilfy Horig.

Game 2 was even worse for Horig, as Nicoll had an early Pyroclasm, and then a pair of Solemn Simulacrum's to continue slowing him down. Nicoll mopped up the mess with a Frost Titan.

Aaron Nicoll defeats Wilfy Horig 2 – 0

Deck Tech - Round 11: Deck Tech with Daniel Unwin

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

You may not have heard of Dan Unwin, but his decks have been putting up results for Australians for some time now. Jeremy Neeman took 15th at Pro Tour Paris, and Top 8 at Pro Tour San Juan with Unwin's decks. John-Paul Kelly finished 10th at Pro Tour Austin with one as well. Oh, and every deck the Australian team used to reach second place at the World Champs last year? All designed by Unwin.

This weekend, Unwin brought a Red/Blue/Green (RUG) Splinter Twin/Birthing Pod deck to the table, which had a combined record of 12-3 after the first three rounds of standard. "11-1 if we pretend John-Paul Kelly wasn't playing it," he joked.

Unwin acknowledged that RUG Twin is clearly not his idea to begin with. "It's been on Magic: Online for a while, but obviously not with M12, and it seems like none of them are running all four Splinter Twin," he explained. "I also didn't like that they were running things like Lotus Cobra and Nest Invader. I think Pyroclasm is one of the better cards in the format, and being weak to it seems like a bad idea." Instead, Unwin has chosen to run the full complement of Overgrown Battlements alongside his Birds of Paradise. "It also lets us drop down to 24 lands, and run Pyroclasm in the board ourselves."

Dan Unwin has plans. Lots of them

Something that they've left out is the Fauna Shaman/Vengevine package. "It takes up a lot of room, and removing it gives us a more consistent deck," Unwin explained, as he fanned out the cards he could now fit. "Preordain and Ponder to help smooth out our draws, and the fourth Splinter Twin, because it's still really good on most of the other creatures we can search up as well. Sometimes the Exarch-Twin game plan isn't the best plan to go for, and both Ponder and Preordain help you set up what's going to work for you in that game."

So what were the most exciting things about M12 as far as this deck goes? "Ponder and Solemn Simulacrum, as well as Phantasmal Image. They really change the deck for the better."

Daniel Unwin

Download Arena Decklist

Sunday, July 24: 12:46p.m. - The Judges (of course!)

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

I don't want to imagine what a competitive Magic tournament would be like without judges present, do you? Thankfully, nobody has to worry about this here this weekend, as we have a trusty team of tournament officials to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.

Our Head Judge is level 3 Nathan Brewer. Supporting him are level 4 James Mackay, level 3's Fabian Peck, Mark Brown, Ryan Dare, and Lindsay Heming, and level 2's Sean Roffey, Gareth Pye, Warren Yung, Jason Doan, and Simon Hall. The rest of the Judge team are Steven Clarke, Julian Rzechowics, John Tong, Morgan Meehan-Lam, Scott Millington, Ken Suto, Rony Wang, Mackenzie Stratford, and Graham Croucher.

Feature Match - Round 12: Deck Tech Matthew Anderson

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

In the Mass Polymorph Deck Tech with Dylan Brown, I mentioned that he had won a Grinder on Friday with a Goblin deck that featured Pyretic Ritual, which prompted this tweet:

So this morning, I found Dylan and asked him. "Haha, it's his deck!" Dylan smiled, pointing to the pony-tailed gent he'd been conversing with, "ask him."

Matthew Anderson was sitting at 6-1 at the end of day one, and was more than happy to talk about Pyretic Ritual. "It's amazing. There's nothing better than turn one Goblin Guide, turn two Ritual, Goblin Guide, and a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker. You're on 10!" he cackled. I got the feeling more than one player had been defeated in this manner already this weekend, however unlikely that sequence of events seemed. "Turn three Hero of Oxid Ridge is great too, sending the team past any Spellskites or Overgrown Battlements."

Matt Anderson is looking like a very solid lock for the top 8 going into the last round.

"I've paid for Mana Leak with Pyretic Ritual, and it's also great with Shrine of Burning Rage. I even managed to activate a Shrine with only two lands untapped when someone tried to kill it, it's awesome."

Matthew Anderson

Download Arena Decklist

Quick Questions: Round 12

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

What’s the best deck in standard right now?

Wilfy Horig Aaron Nicoll Vidya Jois
“It’s a good question, what is the best deck in standard? Vampires is strong, and consistent. I mean, I beat three Tempered Steel decks in a row with it (laughs).” “RUG Twin. It has a generally good combo, and has a good plan against every deck.” “I really like Mono Red. Most decks have strong match-ups and weak match-ups, but Mono Red doesn’t really have any bad game one matches, and it’s powerful enough to sideboard for most decks. The poor match-ups are Splinter Twin and Blue/White Control, and most Blue/White Control decks have become the new CawBlade lists, which is a fine match-up.”
Adam Witton Dan Unwin Hugh Glanville
“Tempered Steel. It’s fast, and some decks just can’t beat it.” “I don’t think there’s a best deck. Tempered Steel is the most powerful, and Valakut is the most consistent. It’s a Paper, Scissors, Rock format, really.” “Tempered Steel, because it’s fast.”

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