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Grand Prix Trial: London (Onslaught Block)

Saturday, 2. of August, I went to Munich to play in the Grand Prix Trial for Grand Prix London. I knew I would not attend the Grand Prix, but the trial would be a good training in the Onslaught Block format, as I expected some good players to attend the tourney. As my deck I chose the monstrousity that Alex Shvartsman piloted to a Top 8 performance in Grand Prix Detroit, Bad Form.
Here the Decklist as I played it:

Main Deck:
3 Form of the Dragon
4 Temple of the False God
19 Mountain
4 Forgotten Cave
4 Solar Blast
4 Lightning Rift
4 Starstorm
4 Spark Spray
4 Shock
4 Gempalm Incinerator
2 Rorix Bladewing
4 Lay Waste

3 Menacing Ogre
4 Thoughtbound Primoc
4 Misguided Rage
2 Sparksmith
2 Carbonize

I changed the Sideboard by cutting two Sparkmiths and adding two Carbonizes, as the deck would win against Goblins anyways. I thought the Carbonizes would be good against Oversold Cemetaries.
I did not test much, as my normal playing partners did not have any good Block decks.
Arriving at the Site, I was lucky enough to get the last two Starstorms I needed for the deck.
After having written the decklist and subscribing for the tourney, I had some more time to trade.
The Tournament began a bit late. There were around 20 players fighting for the three byes for London.

Round 1: Manfred Hermann

I talked with him before the tournament a bit. He said he had no deck, but luckily he could get a deck from a friend.
As he laid down a Mountain and a Sledder, I was very lucky, as Goblins are my best matchup.
He had no good draw. I had to kill three creatures before laying a fifth turn Form of the Dragon, thanks to two Temples of the False God. His life wnet something like 20-15-13-8-scoop.
During the first game he let me know he had no Stabilizers, so I could let the Rifts in the Maindeck.
In the second game, his first play was a third turn Sulfuric Vortex. Hmm...!
I had a fifth turn Rorix, after having shocked his Gang-Bang Commander. In his 6th turn, he played a Clickslither, and with his other Goblins and the Vortex, he could bring me to exaclty one life!
If the last card in his hand would have been a Shock, it would have become interesting, with a third game!
Luckily for me, it was just a Mountain.... Phew!!
2:0 , 1:0

Round 2: Olleg Gallimov

Now it should become more difficult, as I recognized fast that he was playing WR-Control.
In the first turns, we both cycled a lot, in order to find some better cards. He played a Vengeance when I had a Rift on the board, before It could become seriously dangerous. I continued playing threats, as I did not cycle a Gempalm Incinerator but I laid it down and sent it to attack. Next turn I played a Rorix, and then I made the first big mistake of the tournament. I thought a bit and came to the conclusion the he must have a Wing Shards.
I attacked- and both of my creatures fell to the mighty Shards.I should have waited one turn for the Wing Shards not to have a stormed copy.
That mistake almost spelled game for him, as he could lay down a Akroma, which I can’t handle, and attack a couple of times for the win.
Next game I had a better hand. I layed down a 2nd turn Rift and could inflict some early damage. In the fourth turn I Lay Wasted one of his Land. When he was at ten life, I played a Menacing Ogre. He read the card and bid- 7 life, what meant I could beat him with the 3/3 Ogre. Afterwards he told me he had misunderstood the card(what i had already remarked). He said he thought the Ogre gets Counters equal to the bid of life(i coudl not follow this logically).
In the third game the luck was on his side, as my deck gave me too much land. He could easily beat me with an Eternal Dragon.
1:2 , 1:1

Round 3: Felix Seibl

As I saw in the last round, he played Goblins, what meant I would have enough time to eat something, cause normally I beat Goblin decks in maximum 15 minutes.
It did not look like a straight 2:0 at first, as he laid two Goblin Warchiefs.I killed one. He then could play a Sharpshooter. I drew a Form- and took the risk. While his life points went down five per turn, he laid a second Sharpshooter. I oversaw the power of this little machine gun Goblin, as i did not kill it, but it had a lucky for me.
He had only one shock and could have done only four damage. I was lucky he had no Sledder to sac one Goblin to untap a Sharpshooter, so he was dead next turn.
The next game he laid a 3rd turn Sharpshooter, which fell to a Spark Spray.
He answered my Thoughtbound Primoc with a Goblin Piledriver. He then played a Gang Bang Commander which brought three tokens. I could saw a little smile on his face – which luckily didn’t last very long!
After the dust settled from a Starstorm, there was only my Primoc left. He laid a Sledder which I killed with a cantripped Solar Blast. My creature ate away his life slowly, until the big red bird appeared. I followed the Rorix with a Lightning Rift. That was surely enough for his sweet little Goblins!
2:0 , 2:1

Round 4: Michael Landl

As one of my friends played against him in an earlier round, I knew he was playing WR control, but with neither Astral Slide nor Lightning Rift.
The first game was something like very boring. We did both almost nothing but cycle and play Lands.
I fell to Akroma.
Now I had to win the following two games to make Top 8.
In the next game my deck turned into a land destruction deck.
In the complete game, which lasted about circa 9 rounds I think, I destroyed four or five of his lands, which is deadly for a such mana hungry deck. He had to remove a Primoc with a Starstorm for one and a Shock – pure card advantage!
When I played two Menacing Ogres, he had not enough mana to handle them and soon he died.
Next game my opponent took the first Mulligan in the games I played the entire day.
I can’t remember much of this game, only that he drew no removal and some of my creatures finished him off.
2:1 , 3:1

I came in the top 8 as 7th. There were three Goblin decks, three players with white-red control decks, one Monowhite deck, and my Monored one.

Quarterfinals: Vesale Nicolas

Guess which I had the luck to play against?
Yes, it was Monowhite, what is not a good matchup for me. All those Dawn Elementals and Silver Knights, next Akroma, cause headaches.
My opponent is french, and as I ask him if he was In Germany for vacations, he responds that he has hard work to do as he has 5 hours of german lessons each day(ouch!!).
The Game starts good for me, as he has to mulligan down to five, which means a free Hymn to tourach for me!
In spite of this big disadvantage, the game is balanced. He has some beatings with an Silver Knight.
He pumps this creature with two Dragon Scales, that I am almost forced to play out the Form of the Dragon I have in Hand, after destroying a land. I don’t want him to play Akroma!
I can bring him down to two life, and he has not yet reached eight lands. I attempt to cycle him to death with rift in play, but he has the essentially Renewed Faith which he plays out to survive. He has still one turn left before my Form kills him, and he has the luck!
His deck gives him the 8th land and he is now able to play his last card, and the hasty Akroma attacks for the 1:0.
The luck is still on his side as in the 2nd game, I can only play lands.
I have nothin to stop his creatures and so he can attack for the win soon!
Reinhard Blech wins the whole thing with the Cycle deck that led Bob Maher to the Win at Grand Prix Detroit.
I hope you enjoyed the article,
have a good time,

Juergen Geiger

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