PT Hollywood 2008: Decklists and outliers

Decklists are now available for day one, day two, and, of course, the top eight at Pro Tour Hollywood 2008. Here are the links:
Day One, A-M
Day One, N-Z
Day Two
Top Eight
So, are there any interesting outliers of note? Curious deck choices we didn’t hear about? The two standout “weird” decks of the tournament were Manual B’s mana-greedy control deck and Stuart Wright’s B/R Tokens build, but I’m always curious about other nonstandard choices people brought, and how they paid off. Let’s take a look (in the extended):

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Pro Tour Hollywood 2008: Watch the hall of fame in action

After dropping from the PTQ on Saturday, I eventually wandered over to the Feature Match area. I arrived in time to watch hall of famer Zvi Mowshowitz play Helmut Summersberger in game two of their round 15 match. Here’s the video:

You can read the text coverage of the match here.
Afterward, I caught a bit more video of Zvi explaining his deck’s strengths, using an earlier matchup as an example:

PTQ Berlin #2 at PT Hollywood 2008

After my eight-round dry run at the first PTQ for Berlin, 2008, I retooled my deck and hit the second PTQ on Saturday. This was a huge PTQ, even by oversized NorCal standards, with 274 players (that’s nine rounds). I went 3-2 drop, being unwilling to burn another 4 rounds in hope of prizes or competitive intelligence for later in the PTQ season. In the extended, I’ll give an overview of my deck, and the matchups. I ran a Planeswalker control build heavily influenced by Stuart Wright’s Worlds deck in 2007, and my general-purpose affection for Ms. Vess.

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Summer Magic events – Regionals, PTQs

Having just competed in the first two PTQs of the Pro Tour Berlin 2008 PTQ season, I took a look today at upcoming tournaments on the summer schedule. As it happens, Regionals is right around the corner, and the PTQs in our area come late in the season. Let’s take them in order…
U.S. Regionals take place very, very soon, on Saturday, June 7. The format is Standard. You can find information on Regionals and see where your Regionals is at the information page here. The Bay Area regionals will once again have four invites to Nationals.
Following the two PTQs we attended at Hollywood, the Berlin PTQ season is going to go into full swing starting in mid-June. You can find your local PTQs by going to your region from the PTQ info page. Our area qualifiers are:
June 28, at the San Jose Convention Center – This will be Lorwyn-Morningtide-Shadowmoor
August 16, at the Santa Clara Convention Center – This will be Lorwyn-Morningtide-Shadowmoor-Eventide
August 23, at Great Escape Games in Sacramento – This will be Lorwyn-Morningtide-Shadowmoor-Eventide
The Los Angeles PTQs (two of them) are both TBA.
Note that Eventide becomes legal on July 25.

First PTQ Berlin, 2008 – overview

SSO and I took part in the first PTQ of the season for Berlin 2008, at Pro Tour Hollywood 2008. You can read the PT Hollywood coverage here. One of the curious features of actually being at the event is that we have no real idea what’s going on in the Pro Tour proper. We’ve been popping our heads out every so often to see what’s going on, but that’s not a clear picture. After I write up this quick overview of the first PTQ, I’m going to check out the YouTube coverage, and then SSO and I will be doing some deck building for tomorrow’s PTQ.
The high-level view of today’s PTQ? Well, there were some Faeries decks, but not as many as I’d expected. There’s also a Doran aggro/tempo deck that operates much as the Extended Doran did, with Bitterblossom playing the role of Dark Confidant (i.e. “I trade life for stuff advantage”). There’s also a terribly annoying five-color Elementals deck that tries to get lots of value out of Elementals evoked, in play, and in the graveyard.
Anyway, here’s the high-level view of my eight match opponents in today’s PTQ:
Round 1: BRG Planeswalkers and removal, featuring Spitebellows, Chandra Nalaar, Garruk Wildspeaker, and Nameless Inversion
Round 2: Mono-green Elf token horde (Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Promenade, Perfects…)
Round 3: Five-color Elementals
Round 4: WBG Treefolk with Doran
Round 5: UB Faeries (with Broken Ambitions playing the role of Rune Snag)
Round 6: WR Giants
Round 7: Five-color Elementals
Round 8: WBG Doran with Bitterblossom
There were a lot more Vivid Lands than I’d expected, but I’m definitely biased against them. Certainly, many mana bases were very colorful, but the format seems slow enough for that to work out okay.
Okay. Time to go redesign for tomorrow. Today’s PTQ began at noon. Tomorrow, we start at 10am.