I Played in a PTQ in Sydney on Sunday, not sure how many people there were total, there were 7 rounds, so I guess between 70 and 100ish, I went 5-2 and finished in 11th place, just missed the cut to top 8 (Going into the last round at X-2 I thought I may have had a shot if some of the x-1's decided to battle it out, however due to ID's only 1 person from the 5-2 bracket made it in to top 8, unfortunately that wasn't me).
I was very happy with my final choice of deck, basically RDW splashing green for Bloodbraid Elf and some sideboard tech: Here is what I played:
4 Goblin Guide
4 Figure of Destiny
3 Hellspark Elemental
3 Boggart Ram-Gang
2 Hell's Thunder
4 Bloodbraid Elf
2 Hero of Oxid Ridge
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Flame Javelin
2 Burst Lightning
2 Flame Slash
2 Koth of the Hammer
4 Fire-lit Thicket
4 Raging Ravine
4 Rootbound Crag
2 Copperline Gorge
3 Volcanic Fallout
2 Gutteral Response
2 Great Sable Stag
2 Demigod of Revenge
3 Smash to Smitherines
1 Koth of the Hammer
After playing the tournament I'd probably drop the Koth's and the Hero of oxid ridge, go up to 4 hellspark and 4 boggart ram-gang and play 2 more player damage burn spells (probably staggershocks). As for the board I'd probably play less artifact hate (didn't play any tempered steel decks all day), maybe play slag storm / firespout instead of the smash to smitherines and pithing needle instead of the demigods. The two matches I lost were to Scapeshift and Elves, if i'd had slagstorms in the board I could have dealth with the Wren's Run Vanquishers that were beating me down in the elves matchup and needle would have shutdown khalani heart expedition in the scapeshift match.
Matches I played were:
Match 1: Tribal Goblins (2-0)
I remmeber that I thought I was playing Jund game 1 when he opened on a Red/Black Dual land, I was on the play can't remember exact sequence think my opening went T1: Goblin guide, T2: hellspark, he played a Warren Instigator on his turn 2, which I had to waste a flame javelin on, He missed his third land drop I then cast Bloodbraid, cascaded into a Ram-gang and opponent scooped. Game 2 went much the same only I sided in Volcanic Fallouts, bloodbraid whiffed on the cascade and hit one of the fallouts but I still won pretty easily. Apparently my opponent had double seige-gang in his hand game 1.
Match 2: R/G Scapeshift (1-2)
I screwed up filling out my deck rego sheet, rego'd a 59 card deck, forgot 1 of the hellspark's judge pulled me up after match 1 and gave me a game loss for 1st round of match 2. So went into round 2 a match down and on the play, kept a dream hand and basically goldfished against my opponent, think I won turn 4, was an absurdly fast opening hand, something like double goblin guide, hellspark, double bolt, 2 mountains).
For final game I had to mulligan to 5, kept a slow hand which I was unhappy with, my opponent also had a pretty slow hand, got him down to 9, then he cast primal command, gaining 7 and got a primeval titan on the top of his deck. I was able to kill the titan through a combo of bolt + flameslash but not before he'd fetched 2 valakuts. I bought myself some turns by casting deglammer on a khalni heart expedition. My Goblin guide revealed a harrow and I knew I was in trouble, the next turn he was able to valakut away my attackers, I drew another guide and it flipped over a scapeshift
Match 3: Fairies (2-0)
I had practiced this matchup a lot and my deck did what it was supposed to in game 1 and rand all over the opponent, we got deck checked after presenting each other our decks in game 2, the judges seemed to be gone for ages before they handed my deck back saying it was fine but calling my opponent over to talk with them and afterwards my opponent was handed a game loss for an illegal deck.
Oh well I guess a win is a win but sucks to win in a technicality like that. I think this also may have had a bearing on my opponent match win % which could have cost me the top 8 slot
Match 4: Jund (2-0)
I think this in the key match I played for the day, I hadn't tested this matchup much and after I won it pretty convincingly (both games took no more then about 5 minutes) I thought I may have had a real shot at the tournament.
Game 1 I win the roll keep a decent hand on the play (T1 guide, T2 Hellspark, T3 Ram-gang), opponent keeps a slow hand with double tap land opening, doesn't play anything until turn 3 when he plays a ram-gang (he attacks into me with it, I think the life totals are something like 17-12 at this point), my turn 4 Bloodbraid cascades into a Hell's thunder putting him to 5. He misses his 4th land plays a fauna shaman and passes the turn back. In my turn I bolt the shaman and unearth the hellspark (in case he had bolt of his own) and swing for lethal
Game 2: My hand is Figure, BBE, flame slash, bolt and 3 lands pretty slow for my deck, turn 1 I draw a second bolt. He plays a fauna shaman turn 2, I draw a land, so I flame slash level up my figure and bash, he plays a land and passes the turn, I draw a goblin guide, play it and attack with it and the figure, he terminates my figure. So he is on 16 life after turn 3 not exactly great for my deck (especially if he has finks) but I have BBE maybe I can make something happen. He bloodbraids into a bolt (might have been a terminate) and kills my goblin guide (17-16). I draw a burst lightning and My bloodbraid hits a Ram-gang. (17-10) my hand at this point is 2 bolts and a burst lightning. He plays a demigod I go to 9, I swing send him to 4 and double bolt for the win. Slow hand gets there.
Match 5 Elves: (0-2)
Game 1 my deck completely lets me down and I mulligan to 5, keep a hand double raving no other lands, die horribly.
Game 2 he plays two Wren's run vanquishers in subsequent turns and I'm starring at double volcanic fallout in my hands with no way to get through the 3/3 death touch guy, the next turn he plays a Leatherback baloth and I'm completely screwed, I play around for a few more turns hoping to draw into an answer or somehow live to double fallout. He plays a jorraga war caller sealing my fate.
Match 6: R/G Scapeshift: (2-1)
Game 1 he gets an early game khalni heart expidition is forced to kill my guys with his first lot of valakut triggers, a turn or two later he draws the scapeshift.
Game 2 I have the perfect goldfish hand run over him very quickly, he shows me the primal command in his hand he would of been able to cast the next turn.
Game 3: My opponent muligans to 5 keeps a hand with 1 forest, casts explore a few time fails to hit double green, meanwhile I'm bashing him with guys and his health is getting lower and lower, I get to deglamer a khalni heart expedition makes my day as I bought this card into the board specially for fairies (wurmcoil engine) and only time I cast it all weekend was the scapeshift matches. He eventually draws the forest manages to get a primal command off gains 7 and puts raging ravine on top of my library (this put me down to 3 mana) him up to about 12 health, I shrug bash in with my guys then tripple lightning bolt.
Match 7 Fairies (2-0)
I win on the draw after mulling to 6 despite (or maybe because of) being double thought seized (Thanks for the free double shock), my opponent chose to make me discard, a lightning bolt and a Flame Javelin when I had a figure of destiny in hand, I also luck sacked into drawing a hellspark between thought seizes which I played out turn 2. I asumed he had removal for the figure to my surprise he didn't, figure was able to get in quite a lot of damage. He cast a bitterblossum a few turns later to chump block (a mistake I think, let me know he wasn't holding cryptic). Since I knew he didn't have cryptic I was safely able to play out my bloodbraid with out fear of getting fogged into a mistbind.
Basically went something like this.
Opponent: Land, Thoughtseize, I show him my hand (Bolt, Figure, Flame Javelin, 3 land)
he takes bolt. Goes to 18.
Me: Draw a land, play land, play figure go
Opponent: Play creeping tar pit, thought seize (he takes flame javelin). goes to 16 I think I'm asuming he has a removal for the figure and think I'm pretty screwed at this point.
Me. Draw a hellspark, play land , play hellspark bash for 4. Opponent goes to 12.
Opponent: Land go
Me: Draw a Bloodbraid Elf. I put him on manaleak + removal spell (or maybe a spell stutter), I unearth hellspark, level up figure bash for 5, expecting figure to die opponent does nothing and goes to 7.
Opponent: 4th land + plays bitter blossum.
Me: Draw a bolt, I think he definately has manaleak at this point I play the Bloodbraid cascade into a hellspark, he leaks the elf, chumps the hellspark he takes 4 after I point out it has trample. He goes to 3 life.
Opponent goes to 2 from bitter blossum looks at his hand and his next card and scoops. Obviously didn't draw cryptic.
Game 2: I keep the following hand (Goblin guide, Figure of Destiny, 2 bolt, 1 ram-gang, 1 gutteral response, 1 land). I draw like a god, mountain into hellspark into a land. I win from there I think fairies is a good matchup for me especially with the stags in the board, from testing only way I loose is if they can fog me with cryptic command long enough to cast a wurmcoil engine, pretty much the whole reason I play deglamer on the sideboard.
I was pretty happy with how I did disapointed not to top 8 but part of that was due to my own stupidity getting the game loss round 2. If my first scapeshift had gone to 3 games I think I would have had a shot as with a fast hand you can definately race this deck as I did in match 6.
Never cast koth at all during tournmanet almost always sideboarded him out, I thought it would be awesome in any red deck mirrors but never really saw any other red decks (apparently 2 were in the top 8), I didn't stay for top 8 as I had to get train back and it was getting late so not sure what deck ultimately won.
Elves seems to be a Sydney metagame thing, there were quite a few of them around, my friend who travelled up with me was playing fairies (I tested this matchup a lot with him) he was going well to begin with then went on a tilt after a bad beat against a 5CC deck with wall of reverence (I'm glad I never saw this deck) and ended up in the lower brackets where he saw a lot of random decks like kithkin and tribal shamans etc.
So yeah my advice is ignore the nay-sayers and play red.