Welcome welcome welcome! The first ever GDC March Madness Tournament of Spikey EDH Generals has commenced and we’re here to share Day One’s results from round one.
Before we get into Round One results and match write-ups – a quick note. We got tons (nearly 30) of submissions. So that’s totally rad. Good work. We are super excited for everyone who chose to participate.
Also, some minor housekeeping. Matches conveniently conclude such that we’ll have results Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. That means the round of 64 will have three days of results before we get to the second round and such.
Alright, the games are in full swing and boy are they exciting. We have a lot to cover.
Here’s the bracket, because we know you all just want to see the results.
Rhys attempted to race Oona’s combos with token swarms and we found out that it just isn’t a race that can be consistently won. Oona basically just ignored Rhys unless she needed to stop an Armageddon from locking out her mana. At the end of the day, this matchup showed exactly why aggro decks have a hard time competing with blue combo decks. One important lesson Oona delivered: mass bounce spells are mass removal spells when used against token swarms. Queue the sad elvish trombone.
Winner: Oona, Queen of the Fae, score: 47-13
Let’s all act surprised that a mono-white deck couldn’t beat an Esper powerhouse. The only reason Yosei got such a decent ranking is that mono white is short on busted generals. This match was offered no surprises to disabuse us of that notion.
Winner: Sharuum the Hegemon, Score: 44-20
Now this was a match. Our panel of judges gave Niv-Mizzet the slightest edge due to the combo potential in the matchup, but otherwise these two Commanders are as evenly matched as they come. It came down to racing to see if Niv could find Stranglehold or Momir could find Llawan, Cephalid Empress quicker. Unsurprisingly, tutoring is faster than drawing. On a side note, it turns out that Stingerfling Spider was flying way under my radar. In multiplayer commander there are always flyers, and this card has been popping up all over in toolbox decks, including in Vig’s win.
Winner: Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, Score: 55-49
Lore tells us these two heroes that gave their all to fight against the Phyrexian menace. Two legends who stood toe to toe with the boogeymen of the entire Magic multiverse. Well, guess what? The character who can defeat the Phyrexians can beat the character who just survived them. Or UW control with an enchantment package and a combo finish proved to have too many cards for the aggro deck.
[card]Numot, the Devastator vs Karador, Ghost Chieftain
After this matchup Numot may have to change his title to “the Devastated.” It usually takes the world’s most reviled law enforcement, the LA Police Department, to put on a beating like this. Numot really showed that you might be able to make it into the tournament off of your color identity, but it won’t be winning you any games. Numot tried it’s hardest to break away in this match, but continually found itself getting blown out by Bane of Progress. Note to players – counterspells become much less effective when a Commander gets to recast that same card from the graveyard. Numot really wanted to get ahead then use mass land destruction to stay ahead. He never got the chance.
Winner: Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Score: 48-7
In keeping with the famous Jarad’s expertise (from Subway), the Lich Lord showed us how good he was at losing. Instead of delicious 6” sub sandwiches, he got a mouthful of Hinders and Spell Crumples. This may be one of those situations where you root for the little guy, but Edric is a #1 seed and rightfully so. Jarad did as well as he possibly could and he survived for quite a while. But sometimes your best just isn’t good enough, love of recycling or no.
Winner: Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Score: 39-20
We had some classic battlecruiser Magic today as these two gunships slowly – oh so slowly – turned and fired everything they had. Mostly we found out that neither of these decks had any sort of aim. This match went on forever and was inevitably ended by the oh-so-fun Tooth and Nail into who cares to win a relatively close match. We can call this one the dating game, because it knocked me out quicker than chloroform.
Winner: Maelstrom Wanderer 22-12
The upset of the tournament! The #1 seed Azami gets knocked out by the wild card hate bear deck. This little legend that could pummeled the librarian into submission, books, disapproving shushes, and all. Gaddock Teeg showed how easy it is to put, ironically, Linvala, Keeper of Silence into play to shut down all that darn fangled reading. Turns out a mono blue deck can do very little when it can’t cast counterspells, x spells, or use creatures’ activated abilities.
Winner: Gaddock Teeg, Score: 36-29
Pro-tip for all you Commander players who think it’s a good idea to make all your permanents indestructible and then blow up the world over and over with Disk: Make sure the permanent you play can’t be cloned or stolen easily. Avacyn did a wonderful job at making all of Animar’s permanents wrath proof. Whoopsies. Another tip: make sure you have some colorless removal and blockers to keep you from dying to a Commander who has protection from your deck’s colors.
[card]Rafiq of the Many vs. Vendilion Clique
Classic mono-blue control is much better in 1v1 than in a group setting. Vendilion Clique is also a lot better when the threats are in the opponent’s hand instead of in the Command Zone. With no inherent card advantage to speak of, Clique’s efforts to control an entire table proved an uphill battle. That battle is going to be even harder to win when Rafiq is charging downhill at you. Before the match we all thought the faerie needed luck on their side to stand and chance and sadly, things just weren’t cliquing. The game was painful to watch, and Rafiq will be cleaning faerie gore out of his armor for a long time.
Winner: Rafiq of the Many, Score: 44-3
That’s all the awesome results info we have for today. Be sure to follow along and track your performance. Feel free to jump in the comments and argue about how ridiculous and unlucky any of the results were. You know what they say: Magic is a high-variance game that’s all about being good enough to get lucky at the right times.