Done PTQing? Time to PTQ.

Wizards has posted the Austin PTQ schedule. You can click here for the full list of North American PTQs.
Here are the California dates and locations:
May 9 – San Diego
May 23 – San Jose
June 20 – Sacramento
June 27 – Los Angeles
August 22 – San Jose
August 29 – Los Angeles
I’m surprised that there’s only one Sacramento listing so far. Perhaps that will change.
For thus of us who range a little farther afield, here are the adjacent PTQs:
August 1 – Phoenix and Las Vegas and Portland
Conveniently, all on the same day. This does mean, on the plus side, that none of these PTQs are guaranteed to be inundated with California players (although it’s my understanding that Las Vegas usually gets the biggest California crowd).

Crime Harvest

Nyxathid.jpegKnightoftheReliquary.jpegWormHarvest.jpeg
That sounds like a Batman graphic novel title.
As i’ve been considering Standard decks, it occurred to me to return to the retrace mechanic, which saw a ton of play in the recent Extended season, and which I used to decent effect in a previous Standard deck. Although Standard lacks the card advantage juggernaut that is Life from the Loam, there’s still an opportunity to use (if not abuse) the retrace mechanic in the appropriate deck.
Click through to the extended entry for the Crime Harvest deck list and some commentary.

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Drafting with Melissa DeTora

This week over on the Evolution site, we have a “drafting with” column featuring Melissa DeTora. If you’re the kind of person who likes this style of column (I’m not, so much) you might want to head over and take a look. You’ll need to be able to read Spanish to read the commentary, but all the card names are in English if you just want to follow Melissa’s picks.
Click here to go to “Drafting with Melissa DeTora”
I realized, in posting this, that I had no tags related to limited in my categories. That’s a pretty solid reflection of my play preferences right there.

Super Friends in Standard

As the most recent Extended season wanders off into memory (with the last round of PTQs gone by, and just one Extended GP left to go), it’s time to turn back to Standard. In the near term, Superstars is running a Standard $1K next weekend, which I may attempt to attend. Looking a little farther out into May, we have PTQs starting for Austin, and that’s in the Standard format as well.
With all these things in mind, I had to plug back into Standard and figure out what was going on, then do some thinking about a deck that I’d really enjoy playing. The first one I went for was a planeswalkers deck that started out quirkier, but ended up looking rather more like the sole planeswalker deck that made it to the “top Standard decks” registry from Pro Tour Kyoto.
Click through to the extended entry for deck list and some development and play commentary.

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PTQ Honolulu – 50 minutes to victory

I attended the second of the Bay Area PTQs for Honolulu today, hosted as they ably are of late at Superstars Game Center in San Jose. Superstars is having a Standard $1K next weekend. However, if you’re in the general NorCal area and still want a shot at qualifying, there’s also a PTQ the same day at Great Escape Games in Sacramento (click here for more info).
I had a fun, if insufficiently successful day today. The title is only sort of misleading; I’ll explain it in the extended entry, along with the deck I brought, and a round-by-round of my tournament experience.
Overall, the tournament metagame this time around was a mix of Faeries, which really does seem to be the favorite of skilled pilots, as well as B/G Loam, Naya Zoo, Affinity, Storm, Slide, Elves, and Conley-Woods-style ReliquaryGeddon (if you don’t know what that is, click here for BDM’s column discussing Conley’s deck, and click here to read about Conley’s PTQ win). As far as I could see, the Big Domain style decks seem to have fallen away since the last Sac PTQ, probably because they’re actually not all that great.
Once again, click through to the extended to see my deck choice and my round-by-round.

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