Grand Prix Singapore is now wrapped up and in the books but the experience of bringing brews to GPs will always remain etched in my memory. As you all know, my first feature article by WotC was back in GP Manila in 2017 when the standard meta was Pro or Anti-Aetherworks Marvel. I was playing a Gearhulk/Amalgam Refurbish combo deck then and Chapman Sim saw my board state of Amalgams and Noxious Gearhulks in the absence of blue mana.
Fast forward to 2018 in Singapore, I decided to bring another brew which gave me some sizable success in the local scenes of Manila. Esper Conjecture Control. Here’s what I registered for the main event.
I ended with a 4-2-2 record with 1 bye. Let me go through my matches very quickly
Round 2 – vs. Esper Control (0-2)
- Game 1, I mulled to 5 and lost rather quickly after getting denied with back to back Disallows and Syncopates.
- Game 2, kept a slow hand and got punished by my opponent who drew 2 of his 3 Duress, 2 of 3 Negates and 1 or 2 Doomfall and a turn 2 Azcanta while I drew 1 of my 13 sideboarded cards.
Round 2 – vs. Mono Red (2-0)
- Game 1, I was down to 2 after getting Lighting Striked twice but a popped Mirari allowed me to double Contempt his Hazoret and Chandra and go back to 6, and double Fatal Pushed his 2 Chainwhirlers thanks to Mirari dying and triggering Revolt.
- Game 2, I was put to 1 after settling his last remaining Hazoret and Phoenix with no cards in hand and my opponent just waiting for any hasty creature, a Shock, or a Chainwhirler to deal that 1 last point of damage. I drew Conjecture, played it and took back Vraska’s Contempt to combat anything non-lightning strike/non-shock. He drew and passed, checking if any Scrapheap Scrounger was left in his yard to bring back. I drew for my turn and took back Mastermind’s Acquisition and cast it to look for my Oketra’s Last Mercy from the sideboard. Cast it and went back to 20. My opponent read the card twice and shook my hand with an impressed smile.
Round 3 – vs. RB Chainwhirler (2-1)
- Game 1, I kept a hand of roughly 3 lands and 2 Settle the Wreckage and banked on them to keep me alive. A back to back Approach sealed the game with my opponent not drawing any of his Phoenixes or Scrapheap Scrounger.
- Game 2, I lost to a very fast double Bomat, Ahn-Crop Crasher, Chandra curve and only had 1 Settle the Wreckage and didn’t draw my Contempt before Chandra went to 7 loyalty.
- Game 3, I managed to beat my opponent at 24 life after gaining 14 life from a double-cast Approach with Mirari Conjecture. My opponent looked at his hand of 3 mountains and shook my hand. He initially thought I would win instantly but had to explain Approach has to be cast and not copied to work.
Round 4 – vs. Esper Knights (1-1-1)
- Game 1, I won after 34 minutes with a late drawn Approach of the Second Sun but not after my opponent drew 8 cards from Karn and me killing 3 of his Teferis. I really like how this deck plays out because of the sheer variety of threats that is quite difficult to negate. Knight of Malice and Grace, History of Benalia, Karn and Teferi gives the deck a huge upswing at each curve.
- Game 2, my opponent played rather quickly after jumping the gun with 2 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner (I assume it came in from the sideboard) and History of Benalia. I was pushed back on the defense with my life nearing zero fast and after 2 Market attempts and 1 Divination and failing to get that Settle, I lost.
- Game 3, we went to time after going to the last 5 turns. By turn 4, he has 2 History of Benalia on the play while I had 2 Pushes, 1 Settle. It wouldn’t have ended quickly either way.
My flight is boarding so I need to stop here. Stay tune for the next 4 rounds and my lessons learned, deck idea exchanges with players around Asia.
See you all back in Manila soon!
Special mention to Matt Paluay who made it to a top 30 finish, Leonardo Cruz for making top 8 of the PTQ, and to Kristoffer Payumo who had the chance to battle and win against Tomoharu Saito!