Ok, it won't be as long as my last reports because i'm lazy. First things first, the decklist :
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Lava Spike
4 Rift Bolt
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
4 Boros Charm
2 Lightning Helix
3 Sacred Foundry
2 Copperline Gorge
1 Stomping Ground
3 Destructive Revelry
3 Path to Exile
2 Atarka's Command
2 Molten Rain
2 Deflecting Palm
1 Searing Blood
1 Volcanic Fallout
1 Rending Volley
I was a bit nervous because few days before the starcitygames modern top had been full of zoo and burn, so i expected people to be prepared for aggressive decks. I also added the 4th searing blaze in place of a shard volley in order to fight nacatls.
Round 1 against non existent deck number 1 : U/R faeries
I lost the die roll always until round 4, then always won until round 8.
He mentions that he hopes i am not playing burn because his testing mate is also on burn and he hates it.He leads with fetch into steam vents into serum visions. I obviously think it's twin but then he starts countering everything i cast with spell snare, mana leak and Spellstutter Sprite that is a terribly annoying card against us. I lose because i never draw a third land and i am not able to kill him before he kills me with his creatures. He was also playing mutavaults, scion of oona, vendilion clique and snapcaster.
Game 2 i have guide into eidolon on the play and you never lose with this draw against a tempo deck. Game 3 i flood horribly and die.
I think this matchup is a lot play/draw dependant, and you are a huge favored if you start with creatures on the play, while it's very hard to win with just burn spells because they will get countered. Anyway, who cares about this matchup ? i will probably never face it again, since usually faeries is black for bitterblossom.
Now i can't lose anymore, and i don't have high hopes.
Round 2 against u/r twin. He has exarch and pestermite but not splinter twin in the first game, and in the second one he is forced to try and combo because i am applying too much pressure but i have a path to exile.
Round 3 against small zoo with burning tree emissary/experiment one. I am in the draw which is a huge disadvantage here, but fortunately he doesn't pay enough attention to his life total and he gets a bit choked on mana both games so i win very close races. This was the match where me being a better player than him mattered the most, i think. (well, he also didn't see his firewalkers).
Round 4 against Bant merfolk. i don't know why he's playing 3 colors because i only see the usual merfolk cards, but i'm glad he loses life to his lands. I suppose he was playing company and path to exile. I win game 1 with a fast creature start, i would have been dead to spreading seas but fortunately he doesn't have it. Game 2 he has cursecatcher into spellskite into counterspells. Game 3 he is stuck on one land and concedes on turn 3.
Round 5 against uwr twin. Game 1 i think i'm playing against uwr control and i feel lucky because he never casts a lightning helix and i'm able to win fairly easily. Game 2 i'm surprised by his end of turn deceiver exarch, but he doesn't have twin, doesn't see his sideboard cards and dies, He didn't play any lightning helix, he told me.
If you noticed it, until now i only faced matchups that i consider from even to slightly unfavorable. The top tables were filled with jund and living end and i never got to play against them due to losing my first match and always being paired down.
Round 6 and round 7, however, are both against living end which is very very difficult to lose. The only game i lose is because he casts Gnaw to the Bone , gains 10, than flashbacks it and gains another ten. I could have hold a skullcrack and played around it but i didn't expect it.
Round 8 against non existent deck number 2: U/W control anti-burn.
Let me start with saying that u/w control is a terribly bad deck in modern. Besides the fact that playing control is always bad because there are too much things to face in the format and the tools control has at disposal are not powerful enough to fight them all (you don't have counterspell, you don't have force of will), playing straight u/w means that you rely only on path to exile to kill early attackers, and path to exile is a very bad card to cast on turn one and makes your mana leaks worse.
Anyway, game one i keep a one lander and immediately draw land, so he is basically dead when he casts a timely reinforcements. I don't care because i have double goblin guide, eidolon and swiftspear on the board and i just keep attacking. The next turn he casts another timely reinforcements. I am still in good shape but i now decide to not attack with eidolon because i don't want him to trade with 2 tokens. If i attacked with him i would have won this game because the next turn he casts supreme verdict so i missed two damage. i am still fine after the verdict, i have enough burn spells to kill him in a couple turn, the problem is that the following turn he casts the third timely reinforcements. i consider flipping the table but i stay calm even when he reaches 5 mana to snapcaster timely reinforcements.
Game 2, i have all the skullcracks and atarka's commands in the world, but instead of gaining life he casts a geist on turn 3, so i start to burn him and in the end he wins at one life point because : - i draw a molten rain that doesn't let me cast two spells in a turn - he has a prairie stream instead of any land that would have dealt him damage or come into play tapped.
When i looked at the decklist, i saw he was playing just 3 reinforcements main deck (and 2 chalice of the void in side as relevant cards against me that anyway are also problematic for him), so yes, i lost the pro tour qualification just because my opponent drew the only three cards in his deck that could have saved him. If he cast 2 of them, i still would have won. If i knew a bit better what he was playing, i would have played slightly different and would have won. If he didn't have island plains prairie stream in game 2, any fetch would have killed him. If i didn't lose the first round of the tournament, i wouldn't have gotten paired down in the last one ( i had 18 points while this u/w control player had 16) To clarify : i was not and am not salty, going to the pro tour is not an essential ambition in my life, but now that some days have passed i have a little bitter feeling because i realize that it's possible i may never have this occasion again. I don't play a ton of magic anymore, winning a preptq and then a ptq is very difficult as is winning a gp, and now that i came that close is sad to fail in such a strange way. I just wish i lost to any normal deck, it would have felt better, but life goes on