Something old, something new…

…and we might imagined something borrowed from a friend’s account, and a few blue cards as well. I was checking in on the most recent Extended PTQ online earlier this week, and was pleasantly surprised to see a mix of expected and novel builds in the top eight.
You can check out the top eight and quite a few more decks here. You can also go ahead and click on through to the Extended entry for all the lists in the top eight with some commentary from me.

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All signs point to Ugin

There’s a reasonable amount of chatter in the usual places about this card being in a set with no Eldrazi spells:
I personally think this is a cool move. This excites me nearly as much as it would have back when I was a young, new player to the game. I like these “preview” elements in Magic sets.
Also, as Ben Bleiweiss points out, this land is already a tutor for Sundering Titans and Platinum Angels in Tron decks. Neat, right?
However, what’s cool in totally flavor-based terms is how the Eye plugs into this card:
Colorless spell? Check.
And the flavor text:
Only those gifted with the eye of Ugin, the spirit dragon, can see his fiery breath.
Full credit for noticing this goes to my friend Shane, who is, I think, continuously scanning each new set for connections to the Future-shifted cards from Future Sight.
I’m very much looking forward to reading more about the intent behind “colorless” as a flavor element. It certainly feels like it plugs well into the eldritch monstrosity feel that the Rise of the Eldrazi suggested.

Touch Blink Martyr Lark

Check out the top eight decks from last weekend’s PTQ in San Antonio.
Although the invite was taken down by Andres Suares with Domain Zoo featuring Bant Charm, which is a pretty good call, my eye was caught by the second place deck. Ryan Benito nearly made it there with a U/W Touch-Blink deck featuring Reveillark and Martyr of Sands. It’s been a while since there was a last-minute wave of Touch-Blink decks in Standard, so you might want to click through and review those cards and what they do. I’m just fascinated to see such a divergent deck choice make it up to the finals of a PTQ.
In fact, this is a pretty interesting top eight. We have:
1) Andres Suares with Bant Charm Domain Zoo (aka “Charmed Zoo”)
2) Ryan Benito with TBML
3) Chet Steinhagen with Scapeshift
4) James Wise with Jund Dudes
5) Sang Jung with Rubin Zoo
6) Drew Dumanski with BB Naya (where BB is Bloodbraid and Boom // Bust)
7) Hal Brady with Dark Depths
8) Andrew Jones with Affinity
This kind of top eight makes me happy about Extended all over again.

Our play space

This is a fun little video from ChannelFireball that also happens to show off the Superstars venue. Once a grain storage facility and later an art gallery, it’s a giant warehouse-style place with lots of space to play. If you’re planning on going to the $10 sealed event this weekend, you’ll be playing in that building.

BFFs after a fashion

Twitter is wigging out about the newest Worldwake spoiler:
I’m mainly entertained by the idea of having that in play with its mirror image pal:
So, for the record:
You can’t lose the game
Your opponents can’t win the game
You can’t win the game
Your opponents can’t lose the game
AKA “nothing happens.”
Tooth and Nail for Draw Team!.

Some upcoming GP trials for Oakland 2010

Are you planning on attending Grand Prix Oakland, February 13-14? If so, you may want to hunt up one or more local GP trials to make a run at those all-important byes.
I’ve just spent some time with the Wizards Store and Event Locator page and come away with the following Bay Area GP trials:
Black Diamond Games in Concord
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (925) 681-0600
Date: 1/23/2010
Games of Berkeley in Berkeley
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (510) 540-7822
Coordinator: Ralph_colby@hotmail
Date: 1/24/2010
Game Kastle in Santa Clara
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (408) 243-4263
Date: 2/6/2010
Superstars in San Jose
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (408) 777-8277
Date: 2/6/2010
Who’s On 1st in Dublin
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (925) 829-4600
Date: 2/7/2010

Lotus Omnath TNN!

Have you seen this Worldwake preview card?
Although I don’t think this will end up being super amazing in practice, I found myself suddenly struck by the idea of a Tooth and Nail deck featuring quadruple Lotus Cobra and quadruple Omnath for true mana-building shenanigans.
I suppose if we had a Lotus Cobra on turn two, and (magically) no one killed our dudes, we could see the following:
Turn 3: Play fetchland (G), break fetchland (GG), cast Omnath, tap remaining two lands for net (GG) in pool
Turn 4: Play fetchland (GGG), break fetchland (GGGG), tap all lands (GGGGGGGG)…and be sadly one mana short of Tooth and Nail.
Clearly, it needs more work. 🙂 Still, maybe someone can combine these cards to do something actually useful in a Standard or Block deck.

On game losses

Kevin Binswanger has a good article up at SCG about how rules are standardized, and why that means you may end up seeing someone game lossed in a top eight, or even game lossed out of the finals.
Worth a read.
You can also read Tom Ross’s winning tournament report over at ChannelFireball. Here’s Tom’s comment on not conceding the final game (and thus allowing his oppoennt to make that critical third error):
Remember, you never have an obligation to concede to your opponent. You paid good money to game in a competitive environment and theres nothing wrong with wanting to win. Of course, there are times when conceding is correct, such as to save time for the next game in a timed match or in response to something like Duress to hide information when the game looks unwinnable anyway. In untimed rounds such as the Top 8 of a PTQ it