Kathryn Plays Standard @ GP Toronto (on the side)


Myles asked me to play. I didn’t really want to, but he asked so nicely and he made me a deck (one very similar to the sealed decks I played at GP Ottawa) so I agreed, even though I’ve never played Standard. The participation bonus for the Saturday Morning Special at GP Toronto was too good to pass up – $25 entry fee for 5 packs of DTK, GP playmat, and the Griselbrand promo(!!) – and the prize payout was EVEN BETTER.

The actually ADDED another prize: 18 points = 85 tickets + GP Side Event Playmat
They actually ADDED another prize: 18 points = 85 tickets + GP Side Event mat…CRAZY!!

So, of course, this was going to be a pretty popular event. What the tournament organizers weren’t expecting, though, was the high number of people who dropped immediately. This, they discovered after they had already announced that the event was going to be 8 rounds instead of 5, thus giving the participants an extra 3 rounds to earn more points and a LOT more prizes tickets.

My first round opponent stopped me from setting up my play area, saying that he had no intention of playing – in fact, he didn’t even have a standard deck on him! So, my hopes of earning at least a few packs were looking pretty good!

Round 1: 1 – 0


Hmm…maybe I should take this time to go over my deck. It’s an Abzan build (of course), that Myles says has mana problems and doesn’t have any of the heavy hitters that did well in the main event (Deathmist Raptors, Den Protectors, Elspeths, for example). But, it does have lots of Siege Rhinos, which did so well for me that I have named this deck Rambi, after my favourite rhinoceros!



 Creatures (30)

3 x Elvish Mystic
2 x Warden of the First Tree
3 x Sylvan Caryatid
4 x Heir of the Wilds
4 x Fleecemane Lion
3 x Rakshasa Deathdealer
2 x Courser of Kruphix
3 x Anafenza, the Foremost
4 x Siege Rhino
2 x Wingmate Roc

 Planeswalkers (3)

2 x Ajani Steadfast
1 x Garruk, Apex Predator

 Spells (4)

3 x Abzan Charm
1 x Utter End

 Lands (23)

4 x Windswept Heath
4 x Temple of Plenty
3 x Temple of Silence
3 x Llanowar Wastes
4 x Sandsteppe Citadel
1 x Plains
4 x Forest

In Round 2, I actually had to play my very first Standard match. My biggest problem with the deck – which is silly, really – is the size. Since I usually only play limited, I’m used to 40-card decks that I can easily shuffle with my tiny hands. I was most nervous about shuffling this 60-card monstrosity because, if I wasn’t careful, cards would fly out of my hands, or flip, or become ‘boxed’ (a term Myles uses, that I think means upside-down). My opponent was patient and had a neat attitude about home-brewing and having fun. I felt very bad for him because, after I won a very tight Game 1 with my Wingmate Roc, he got stuck on one Plains after mulling. Especially bad for him and his GW Devotion deck. 🙁

Round 2: 2 – 0


Dragons-of-Tarkir-GoblinGoblin RabblemasterDragons-of-Tarkir-Goblin

In the next round, I was matched up against a mono-red deck. Myles has played this type of deck before, so I kinda knew what to expect: goblins, goblins, and probably some more goblins. My opponent couldn’t get them out fast enough in Game 1 (I think maybe he was mana-screwed?), but in Game 2 they came out in droves, so I had to fight it out in Game 3. After the first few turns, he chipped away at my life total, but after I put 2 Rambis in play and attacked with both, he took 8 damage to take his life down to 2…and then I played my third Rambi. Yuck.

Round 3: 3 – 0


So, Myles and I goofed up a little bit in Round 4 – we didn’t hear the seating announcement and arrived a few minutes late to our tables. My opponent was extremely kind and informed the judge, who gave me a gentle scolding to remind me that if we were playing super serious rules (Regular REL?? Something like that….), I would have received a game loss. Instead, he gave us a 4 minute extension which, after finding out I’d be playing against black-blue control, I was pretty sure we were going to need. And need it we did. I lost Game 1, I think because of dragons. I won Game 2, but it took a LOOONG time for me to get creatures into play – I’m not sure how many times I said, “well, I gotta TRY” and then waited to see if my spells would resolve. In Game 3, we used up our 4 minute extension and I was getting super nervous because we were at Table 1 where a crowd had gathered to watch and a judge had sat down beside me. He called time, looked at me and said “turn zero”. I think I went for an alpha strike (my memory is pretty fuzzy) with my Wingmate Roc, its bird token ally and my two Elvish Mystics. After damage was dealt my opponent was down to 1 life and had only one untapped island, so I was confident that I would be able to cast…wait for it…Rambi.

mysticWingmate-Roc-Khans-of-Tarkir-Spoilerbird tokenmystic

Round 4: 4 – 0


I made it to 18 packs! Myles suggested that I offer to draw in order to get a THIRTY PACK BUMP in prizes. No-brainer. The group of us at Tables 1 through 4 realized we all had 4-0 records and, as long as we paired up against each other in the next 3 rounds, we could draw into the 15-point prizes, which we did. Unfortunately for me, my final round opponent wanted to play for the extra 13 packs instead of splitting, and I promptly lost to his RG Aggro deck.

Final Record: 4 – 1 – 3, 15 points, 72 packs, GP Toronto Side Event Mat


Myles insists that I accomplished something great, but I’m reluctant to agree. I think it was a combination of beginner’s luck and regular Magic luck (which is often your opponent’s bad luck), and the little bit of skill I have acquired by spending the last 8.5 years of my life in close proximity to a person who is quite skilled at Magic and who has taught me everything I know about the game. Does this mean that I will be playing more Standard? I don’t know. I still prefer opening packs and shuffling 40-card decks, but I’m more open to it now…as long as I get to play with Rambi. 🙂

Check out Myles vlog of the event and enter his 3000 Subscribers Contest!!

2 thoughts on “Kathryn Plays Standard @ GP Toronto (on the side)

  1. I have never heard of someone doing this well at their first Constructed event before. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think Kathryn fully understands the feat she accomplished at GP Toronto.

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