Tin Fins Tournament Report: Grand Prix New Jersey (Nov 2014)

[Editor’s note: This report is reposted by permission and on behalf of Josh Bingaman. He piloted Tin Fins with a Doomsday transformational sideboard in GP NJ in November 2014 to a 58th place finish at 12-3. Enjoy!]

This is going to be rather lengthy, so get yourself some popcorn. Or better yet, an Onion Burst or Blooming Onion or something! As long as it’s onion related, I’ll accept it.

Our story begins the Monday before GPNJ. I’m still sorta debating what I’m going to play, considering UB Tezzeret, but pretty set on 5 Color DDFT with a 7 chant disruption suite. I haven’t played too much magic recently as life has gotten the better of me, so I headed over to Wanderlust’s house to jam some games with both of these to see how they fare against the format’s new boogeyman: UR Delver. Played lots of games with both and we’re not too happy with how they turn out. UB Tezz is a beast when you’re on the play, but seems very hard to catch up on the draw to be able to play Chalice or a Planeswalker through Daze. DDFT seemed about a turn too slow for my liking against UR,although emidln disagrees – I’ll defer to him, as he’s way better with the deck than I am. Could easily have just been playing suboptimally. But regardless as to whether my conclusions are correct, I wasn’t feeling them. They just felt too slow vs. UR’s incredibly fast clock. So… what to do about speeding up? Oh, I know, play one of the fastest combo decks I’ve ever laid my hands on: Tin Fins! Turns out UR seems to have pushed a lot of the Deathrite Shamans out of the format, barely runs any graveyard hate itself, and overall is pretty light on disruption. Wanderlust points all this out to me, and I’m re-convinced to pick up my old deck again.

However, I’ve always struggled with the sideboard plan in modern incarnations of the deck. The best success I’ve ever had was a terrible ANT transformation at GP Atlanta 2.5 years ago… I didn’t want to run that again. And I did really want to run Doomsday… yep, that makes for a much better transformation. Dodges graveyard hate and is stronger against discard spells as it is a one card combo. A few awesome people (Koby, Shivan Goat, warfordium, and Acclimation) toss some ideas around in an email thread discussing reactive plans as well as a couple of other transformations. I don’t see anything that looks any more appealing to me than casting Doomsday out of the board, so I’m sold.

Busy week goes by, and I don’t even get around to getting cards out to build the deck until late Thursday night. I only grab the cards I need for the 75 I settled on and the rest needed for 5C Doomsday (just in case for side events). Settled on this 75:

4 Marsh Flats
4 Polluted Delta
1 Scrubland
1 Swamp
1 Tundra
3 Underground Sea
1 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal
4 Brainstorm
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Children of Korlis
4 Dark Ritual
4 Entomb
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
1 Reanimate
2 Thoughtseize
3 Goryo’s Vengeance
2 Lim-Dûl’s Vault
4 Shallow Grave
1 Tendrils of Agony
2 Griselbrand
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Sideboard:

1 Shelldock Isle
3 Lion’s Eye Diamond
1 Pithing Needle
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Ideas Unbound
4 Doomsday

Done. Could I have found a more hilarious 75? I don’t think so. Time to burst some Onions of DOOM! Why bother drawing only 3 with Treasure Cruise on Turn 4 or whatever, when you can draw 21 with Griselbrand on Turn 1? See, I like card advantage as much as the next guy!

The standard transformation is:
-4 Shallow Grave
-3 Goryo’s Vengeance
-1 Reanimate
-1 Children of Korlis
-4 Entomb
-2 Griselbrand

And swap in the entire sideboard, cutting all reliance on the graveyard.

I flew out from Boulder/Denver at 8am, arriving at 2, fully intending to play in some grinders to actually remember how to play the deck as I hadn’t played it in well over a year in any real competitive sense. Possibly GP Denver? But I get distracted by dealer tables and end up trading in a pile of extra chaff to a dealer for a French Underground Sea, French Tundra, and French Scrubland. Deck just got a little bit prettier! By that time, I’m hungry, without a car, and the rest of the Boulder crew had arrived at the hotel. So I end up walking back to the Edison Hotel to get some food at Harold’s where we proceed to eat the largest sandwich in the history of humans. Really, wtf is that place? Finally get to jam some games against Jason to try to remember how to play this deck, and he crushes me with UWR Stoneblade and UR Delver. Great start! I’m feeling REALLY good about my deck choice… I screw up left and right and decide that I’m perfectly ready for the main event. But the meta does seem really soft to fast combo, and I still really want to be casting Doomsday because I hate myself according to that flowchart. #YOLO

And the event….

Round 1: Zach with Team America
I win the die roll – Good sign!
G1: I mulligan to 5 – bad sign! He goes to 6, so could be worse. T1 he plays Deathrite. Great – the exact matchup I was hoping to dodge. This is going to be a short event… T2 I fetch, Thoughtseize seeing Force, Goyf, Stifle, Delta, and Brainstorm. Stifles too,huh? Probably means Wasteland. Uh oh… I end up doing nothing this game and die to Deathrite and Goyf beats.

G2: I transform as he saw enough of what I was doing game 1 and I really don’t like trying to play through Deathrite. I keep 7 and he goes to 5. I can’t say I remember exactly what happened, but I baited a stifle with a fetch I didn’t need, and won with Sensei’s Diving Top in play, cast Doomsday with Gitaxian Probe in hand, and Tendrils for 22.

G3: I transform back to Tin Fins for some reason. Maybe because I was tired? I keep a strong 7 with Shallow Grave and lots of search, but could never find Entomb and I died.

In hindsight, I boarded wrong both games. I should have stayed Tin Fins on the play, and Doomsday on the draw. Very auspicious start to my tournament.

0-1/1-2

Round 2: Zach with Esper… Something (I played a lot of Zachs in this event)
I win the die roll again – time to make up for round 1!
G1: We both keep 7. I have the nuts and lead off with Dark Ritual which gets forced. I play Lotus Petal and Entomb which resolves. Hard part done… T3 I Shallow Grave, which gets Forced. Then cast Lim-Dul’s Vault on his end step on the next turn and see Goryo’s Vengeance in the Top 5 – DING! Onions were then burst all over the place and he died.

G2: Go to Doomsday as I don’t want to play against Rest in Peace with reanimation. I keep a good 7 with Ideas Unbound in hand. It was a little slow, but lots of search with Cantrips, Sensei’s Divining Top and Doomsday, but not a lot of mana. He casts Ashiok (sweet) and exiles some irrelevant stuff. I finally get Dark Rit and Doomsday in hand, but can’t beat the Force of Will I suspect he has. So, I cast Ideas Unbound looking for a discard spell. And…. he Notion Thiefs in response. Wow. Gross. I empty my hand and get Doomsday Forced (expected) before I have to discard my hand at end of turn. SDT eventually finds a Petal and Doomsday, and Shelldock Isle + Emrakul get there.

There that’s more like it.
1-1/3-2

Round 3: Dan with Oops… All Spells
He wins the die roll – didn’t know what he was on, but he smelled like combo. I’m not scared.
G1: I keep 7, he keeps 5. Sure enough, he dumps his hand and casts Undercity Informer, but doesn’t have the mana to activate it. Oops… he passed the turn. Oops… I burst some Onions off of Lotus Petal on my turn.

G2: I stay on Tin Fins because it’s faster, but board out both Lim-Dul’s Vaults for the Chain of Vapor and Pithing Needle. LDV will never ever ever come up in this match, and those 2 cards might actually do something. We both keep 7. Uh Oh… yeah, I don’t get a turn and he kills me T1. Better hope for a strong hand game 3…

G3: I’m on the play, but I mulligan down to 5. Shit. He keeps 7. Double shit. I keep a hand of Marsh Flats, Cabal Therapy, Brainstorm, Griselbrand, and Pithing Needle. That’s about as good as I’m going to get. So I cast a T1 Pithing Needle naming Street Wraith. He responds with, “well shit.” Pass… He goes off, flips his library, casts Lab Maniac, but can’t win right now because Street Wraith is Needled. He then Therapies away my Brainstorm… I’m essentially on a 1 outer off the top – either Chain of Vapor or a Brainstorm into an IMS and Chain of Vapor. He passes, I just flip the top card of my library over on the table… and it’s most definitely the perfect Chain of Vapor! Bounce Lab Maniac, pass the turn, win. #getrekt Yep, I’m a lucksack! Let’s hope it keeps up!

He’s not salty at all but just can’t believe his bad luck.

Also, I really hate the name Oops… All Spells. I can appreciate the cereal reference and all, but really? Can’t it just be another non-sequitur like Grape Nuts or Kashi Go-Lean Island Vanilla Shredded Wheat?

2-1/5-3

Round 4: Sean (Juice11) with Natural Order BUG
Yeah, of course I win the die roll again after that Chain of Vapor…
G1: I keep 7, he keeps 6. I keep 2x Entomb, Shallow Grave, Ponder, Rit, USea. I play USea and pass to play it safe, planning on baiting out countermagic with the first entomb on his turn. I do that at the end of his turn – he Dazes. I untap, draw and play another land, and Entomb – this one resolves… Rit, Shallow Grave, Burst some Onions! Get it!

G2: I keep on Tin Fins as I thought he was Bant. We both keep 7, but I don’t remember what I kept. He T1 Thoughtseizes me – guess he’s not Bant. He took something important (we think it was Ponder), and my hand isn’t looking as good anymore. I think I play a cantrip and pass. T2 he plays Deathrite… Uh Oh. He casts some Tarmogoyfs and eventually kills me with dudes.

G3: After I saw Deathrite and lots of discard, I switch to Doomsday. I keep 7, and he keeps 6. My hand is an easy T1 kill provided he’s got no protection. I Probe and see Brainstorm, Craterhoof Behemoth, Noble Hierarch, Deathrite Shaman, Scavenging Ooze, and Natural Order. What the hell am I playing against? Doesn’t really matter cause he can’t interact with me. Proceed to cast Doomsday and Tendrils for 24+ or something.

I look at his deck afterwards and see it’s Nature Order BUG. That was the only way I figured out what he was doing.

3-1/7-4

Round 5: Chuck (cab0747) with Imperial Painter
Win that die roll again… run goods!
G1: I keep 7, he keeps 6. I think I lead with Thoughtseize seeing Blood Moon, Revoker, Imperial Recruiter, City of Traitors, and 2 Bloodstained Mires. I take Blood Moon and Pass. I don’t do much of anything for a while – eventually save up land drops to discard Griselbrand to hand size but no reanimation yet, while he is beating me down with Recuiters and Painters Servants. He Pyroblasts my Tundra, and I’m running low on land now too. He attacks me down to 2, Revoker’s Griselbrand, and I have 2 pieces of reanimation in hand as well as Lim-Dul’s Vault. He attacks me with 2 Recruiters for exactly lethal, so I Dark Ritual and Shallow Grave Griselbrand as a blocker and gain 7 life. I live, and then use the floating black and an open blue to cast LDV – find Entomb in the second set of 5. Untap, Entomb for Emrakul, Vengeance in response to the shuffle trigger, and kill him as he’s down to 13 from Ancient Tomb activations. Nail biter…

G2: I think we both kept 7, but my notes kinda suck from this game. I transformed to Doomsday in case of Tormods Crypts with Goblin Welder or the like. I believe I lead with Thoughtseize again, seeing Recuiter, Painter, Pyroblast, Revoker, Ensnaring Bridge, Blood Moon, and a land. I take Blood Moon. If I remember correctly, I think I passed the turn, cast Doomsday into Shelldock on my Turn 2 for the win. Hopefully if I got that wrong he can correct me.

Was a fun match and a very nice guy.

4-1/9-4

Round 6: Billy with BW Leyline/RIP/Helm/Something
Lose this die roll… can’t win ’em all I guess.
G1: He starts with T0 Leyline of the Void. Shit. I keep playing so I can see more of his cards to figure out what is going on. Between probes and thoughtseizes, I see Stoneforge Mystic, Dark Rituals, Batterskull, Defense Grid, and Helm of Obedience before he kills me with something. Just… wow. What am I playing against?

G2: I couldn’t transform into Doomsday fast enough. I keep 5, he keeps 6. I have LED, Doomsday, a cantrip, and a land. I T1 cantrip into a land floating Dark Ritual on top. He T1 Thoughtseizes me… and takes LED. THANK. GOD. I untap and cast Doomsday… which he then proceeds to read and says, “Guess I should have read that before taking LED…” Yeah dude, guess you should have. Shelldock Isle and Emrakul punish him for not reading cards.

G3:I go down to 5 again (geez) and he keeps 7. I don’t remember this game very much, but I probe or thoughtseize and see Vampire Hexmage, E-tutor, Ritual, Thespians Stage, some land, and Inquisition of Kozilek. What is even going on? He eventually makes a batterskull and swings in once going to 21. I then cast Doomsday and win… somehow. I think it was Tendrils as I don’t see another hit from Batterskull on our life totals after that, and I would have needed to pass the turn had it been Shelldock.

What a weird deck. I’m pretty sure this guy is actually crazy.

5-1/11-5

Round 7: Zach (the third) with Elves
I win the die roll. Luck is really on my side today!
G1: I probe and see 2x Quirion Ranger, Green Sun’s Zenith, Elvish Visionary, WIndswept Heath, Cradle, and Bayou. I don’t care about any of that! My hand is close to going off with Reanimation, Brainstorm, and Therapy, just needing Entomb or a Dude to therapy away. I brainstorm into Emrakul, and something else. I must have been constrained on mana as I tank thinking of the best way to go off. I must have distracted myself somehow, as I manage to put back both Therapy AND Emrakul AND crack a fetchland before I realize what I even did. What was I even doing? Whoops… I do nothing after that while he Craterhoofs me.

G2: I stay on Tin Fins as he doesn’t know what I’m doing yet since I screwed up that last game so badly. I board in Chain of Vapor and Pithing Needle for 1 LDV and 1 Probe. I open on Probe seeing 3x Elvish Visionary, Nettle Sentinel, 2 Natural Orders and Windswept Heath. Oh, what’s that I have in hadn? A Pithing Needle? I play Needle naming WIndswept Heath and my opponent’s jaw drops. He gets very sad. I have Therapy, Ritual, Griselbrand, and Brainstorm in hand, hoping to Brainstorm into reanimation next turn. I don’t need to as I rip it off the top and proceed to burst Onions in my sad opponent’s face.

G3: I’m on the draw, so I board into Doomsday in case of Deathrite Shaman. We both keep 7, mine is insane with SDT, Delta, THerapy, Chome Mox, Ritual, Doomsday, and Probe. He plays Forest and some irrelevant Elf. I cast Top, Ritual, and Doomsday and kill him to answer his elf. Yeah… Doomsday is pretty sick.

6-1/13-6

Round 8: Richard with UR
I just keep winning die rolls…
G1: I keep 6, but I don’t remember exactly what they were. They were good, whatever they were. He plays Volcanic into Delver – finally, the matchup I’d been hoping to play! Seems like a good one… He reveals Daze and Force to Delver triggers, so I know I have to beat those. I finally get a hand that does it with Ritual, Petal, Therapy, Entomb, Shallow Grave, and 2 lands in play. I sequence poorly like an idiot and lead with ritual. I realize my mistake immediately and and that my only hope is…. hope. Fail. He forces the Ritual and I lose. Damn, that one stung.

G2: I stay on Tin Fins as UR doesn’t have a lot of grave hate and I’m on the play. I go to 6 again and he keeps 7. He attacks me with Swiftspears for a couple of turns and taps out. In return for his generosity I make a Griselbrand, draw 14, make some Children, and Tendrils for a bunch.

G3: I stay on Tin Fins because he still doesn’t have hate… he’s still UR. I keep a great hand that just needs another mana source, but I don’t have any cantrips. I Thoughtseize and take Pithing Needle. He eventually drops Blood Moon. I ponder off of a Petal and finally find what I need to go off next turn. Pass. And then he drops Grafdigger’s Cage. Sad face. Can’t win ’em all. Didn’t find chain of vapor in time, and died to beatdown and burn.

6-2/14-8

This was honestly a not very enjoyable match. My opponent bothered me for some reason, and it was getting really late by this point with no food anywhere. I was getting hangry and wanted to take it out on someone… lucky for me, my last win and in obliged me with…

Round 9: Chris with Jund
He wins the die roll… could my luck be running out?
G1: He keeps 7, I mull to 5. Yeah… luck. Seems bad… but then he plays Badlands and something irrelevant. I cheer up and make a Griselbrand on T1. Cast Children. Onion Burst for a billion. Yay!

G2: I swap into Doomsday in case of Deathrite Shaman. I keep a pretty good 7, and I think he kept 7 too. He inquisitions and takes Ponder, I think, when I have Brainstorm in hand as well. Weird… He hymns, and I brainstorm in response. Of course I screw it up. I hide Doomsday and LED that I drew off Brainstorm, but but Hymn hits the Emrakul i left in my hand for some dumbass reason. I’m wishing I had less fun at this point as the shuffle trigger shuffles away my Doomsday and Ritual. I play a land, and Sensei’s Diving Top that I drew – could be worse! He casts Liliana and I discard a land. I cast Lim-Dul’s Vault end of the turn and find a Doomsday to go with the RItual in my hand still. Liliana doesn’t beat Shelldock Isle -> Emrakul.

7-2/16-8

That’s a wrap on Day 1 – finishing around 11:15 or so. Have to go find some shitty food that I don’t want to mention, and don’t get to sleep until around 1am, with the players’ meeting starting at 9am the next morning. Greeeeeaaaaat.

Day 2…….

Round 10: Lucas (toor) with URW DelverBlade
I lose the die roll.
G1: He keeps 7, I keep 6. And it’s an iffy 6 that I probably should have shipped and gone to 5 for. I was really tired and probably not all that awake enough yet. He is beating me down, but is at 3 from fetches and Gitaxian Probes. I have reanimation and Thoughtseize in hand to go along with a Dark Ritual and a Brainstorm. Cast Brainstorm into Emrakul!!! Too bad I’m at 2 life though and I can’t Thoughtseize myself. So I die.

G2: I keep on Tin Fins as he hasn’t seen what I’m doing, so there is no reason for him to bring in Rest in Peace. I keep 7, Thoughtseize T1 and see Force of Will, Swiftspear, Dig Through Time, Containment Priest (!?!?), Treasure Cruise, Volcanic Island. Even before I do anything, he comments that he brought in Priest because he thought a 2/2 Flash guy would be more useful than a Young Pyromancer. Prescient, this one… But i don’t care as I take Force of Will and then Burst Onions on Turn 2.

G3: I swap into Doomsday after seeing Containment Priest and see him boarding more – likely Rest in Peace I’m thinking. I probe T1 and see 2x Force, Scalding Tarn, Fireblast, Volcanic, Ponder, and Price of Progress. I keep searching for more disruption to fight through that brutal hand. Doomsday is looking pretty bad in the face of Price and Fireblast. I Thoughtseize, and manage to nab 2 Forces as he counters it, protecting his Fireblast and Price. He ends up killing me before I can do much – I have Doomsday and a win in hand, but I can’t cast it as my life total is too low for his untapped lands for Price.

7-3/17-10

Out of Top 8 contention at this point, but definitely still in the money.

Round 11: Spencer with Esper Stoneblade
I lose the die roll again. Seems my luck is drying up…
G1: We both keep 7. He Thoughtseizes away my Shallow Grave, and I respond with Probe seeing 2x Spell Pierce, Tundra, Ponder, and Swords to Plowshares. Next turn I bait with Brainstorm and a fetch land, and he pierces it as expected with his only open mana. I Ponder into bursting onions from there. Nope, luck is running just fine.

G2: Board into Doomsday in case of Rest in Peace. I keep 7 and he keeps 6. I probe and see Stoneforge, Cruise, Brainstorm, Pierce, Strand, and Delta.I have Dark Ritual and Doomsday in hand. I ponder and see Land + Doomsday, and keep the land in case he draws discard after he presumably Forces my Doomsday in hand. I then cast Doomsday assuming he will Force it, but he DOESN’T and I don’t know why!! I can’t believe what is happening, so I needed to rethink through my Doomsday pile as I wasn’t planning on doing it this turn. Because I had already played a land, I had to make a slow Shelldock Isle pile with Needle in it in case of Wasteland. Pass. He Treasure Cruises and then drops Karakas. Hmm…. I have to get Needle through his Force now. My turn, I fake counting storm and life totals for a bit, and then put Pithing Needle on the stack. He tanks……… and lets THAT resolve! I name Karakas, activate Shelldock Isle, cast Emrakul, move to wreck your face step. He made some pretty bad plays there… He told me afterwards that he didn’t force doomsday because he thought he could deal with whatever I did after that. And he didn’t force needle because he thought I had Griselbrand or something under Shelldock and he would counter that. Whoops!

8-3/19-10

Round 12: Mike with UR Delver
I win the die roll – Hooray!
G1: I keep 6, he keeps 7. I probe and see Swiftspear, Brainstorm, Young Pyromancer, Delver, Flooded Strand, Force of Will, and Treasure Cruise. He plays Delver, and then I Cabal Therapy away his Force of Will. Delver flips to Lightning Bolt, but I burst Onions on Turn 3.

G2: I board into Doomsday out of habit, but I don’t think I should have. Too many burn spells for that. He does… something… and I lead with Probe and see 2x Force, 2x Daze, Treasure Cruise, Price, and land. My Therapy gets Forced. Somewhere he forces something Else. We get somewhere where I know he has Price, Daze, and Cruise in hand, I have SDT, USea in play, along with Petal, Ideas Unbound, Dark Ritual, Brainstorm, Doomsday, and Probe in hand after a cantrip. I pass, and he drops Blood Moon. Hmm… I tank for a while… and figure out how to play through Daze and Blood Moon. Petal, Ritual, Doomsday, building Petal, LED, LED, Dark Ritual, Tendrils. Probe draws Petal, Petal Casts Brainstorm putting back Ideas Unbound and Dark Ritual. Play LED, LED, crack them for UUUBBB. Draw with Top and cast Ideas Unbound, drawing Top, Dark RItual and Tendrils. Cast them all and Tendrils for 24, all with my USea/Mountain untapped the whole time.

Whew, that was a fun one! Shouldn’t have gone to Doomsday, but get there anyway.

9-3/21-10

Round 13: Mike with Dark Maverick I think
I ended up misidentifying the deck twice during the match before I figured it out, leading to awkward plays.
He wins the die roll
G1: I keep 7 and a Turn 1 hand. He mulls to 5. Gross. He plays Plains and Mother of Runes. Excellent… I kill him and put him on Death and Taxes. I shouldn’t have been lazy and should have probed or discarded him mid-combo to see the rest of his hand. But I didn’t.

G2: I sideboard into Doomsday because Death and Taxes has Rest in Peace and Karakas. He leads with Deathrite Shaman… welp, there goes that theory. I probe, and see Knight of the Reliquary, and some other stuff. Maverick? I cast Doomsday, and my opponent pleads to Ari Lax sitting next to him to not let Doomsday kill him – Ari pauses in the middle of his play and gives me a hilarious look like, “wtf, you’re casting Doomsday!?” I snicker… But of course this all managed to distract me. I think I need one more storm than I really do, because I’m thinking his Deathrite Shaman can gain life when there are no creatures in the yard. So I could have killed him that way, but screwed that up – went for Shelldock instead. I put Needle in the pile to name Knight of the Reliquary to get around Wasteland or Karakas… but I managed to screw that pile up too, and I died before I could cast Emrakul. My opponent’s pleading and Ari’s sidelong look worked to protect him. 😦

G3: I got back to Tin Fins because I’m on the play, but maybe I shouldn’t have because of Deathrite. I keep a great 7, and he mulls to 5. I Ponder and find what I need and Pass. He drops Deathrite. I case Petal, Ritual, Entomb, and Reanimate on Griselbrand. Then cast Children of Korlis off my Scrubland. Onions were Burst all over the place! No Doomsday required.

10-3/23-11

Round 14: Zach (2moon1) with Sneak/Show (4th Zach)
I win the die roll
G1: He keeps 7, and I mull to 5. I do nothing basically, while he casts Show and Tell and drops Emrakul. Sweet, I scoop to make sure he can’t see what I’m up to.

G2. I stay on Tin Fins as it is faster and more things to drop in off of Show and Tell. We both keep 7. I Probe and see 2x Emrakul, Ponder, Force, Tarn, Show and Tell, and City of Traitors. Draw Griselbrand off of Probe – Sweet!!!! Cast Entomb on his turn to bait Force of Will, but it resolves. I play a land a pass the turn. He casts Show and Tell. He puts in Emrakul, I put in Griselbrand. Sad days for him! He passes to me and then I burst the Onions!

G3: I board into Doomsday in case of Surgical or something. I don’t know if that is right – just in case. I don’t know enough about Sneak/Show sideboards. I think we both keep 7. Turn 1 I case Pithing Needle naming Sneak Attack. Subsequent turns, Thoughtseize and Therapy both meet Spell Pierces. Pass. Next turn, draw another Therapy – resolves! Name Force of Will… DING! He’s left with 2x Show and Tell and Through the Breach. Dark Ritual, Doomsday, Probe into Therapy, and take Through the Breach (he’s got 5 mana). THen Shelldock Isle with Doomsday on the bottom so that I don’t deck myself after my Emrakul trigger given I need to attack twice to actually kill him.

11-3/25-12

Round 15: Pete with UR Delver
I saw him beat Ben Sherman earlier when I was playing against Maverick, but I couldn’t remember what he was on. He sits down, sees me, and says, “Oh, DOOMSDAY, huh.” I laugh on the inside as he apparently only saw my sideboard games. Well, he’s in for a treat…
I win the die roll.
G1: We keep 7’s, mine has everything and Probe see Volcanic, Delver, Swiftspear, Young Pyromancer, Bolt, Chain Lightning and Force. Play a land, Pass. He plays Delver (his only non-Force blue card that I saw). I draw a second entomb so I go for it. Turns out he didn’t draw another blue card so he was unprotected. Whoops! Wouldn’t have saved him anyway. I Onion Burst going infinite to get get vengeance for Ben! Tendrils for approx. 160 or something.

G2: LIke I’m supposed to, I stay on Tin Fins, and swap 1 Lim-Dul’s Vault for Chain of Vapor. We both keep 7, and mine is pretty good with some cantrips and the combo in hand. He just… passes. Huh? I draw a redundant entomb, and pass. He just discards Forked Bolt. Ok…. Entomb on his end step, and he Forces it. During my turn, the second entomb gets there and I go nuts! Matt Braddock (astormbrewing) gets some oracle text on cards for my opponent during Game 1, and ends up birding the entirety of Game 2. Neither of us can figure out why he kept a no land Force of Will hand! He was really salty too, particularly that I wasn’t ACTUALLY on Doomsday like he thought I was. Sorry brah.

12-3/27-12

Wow. Awesome. Standings go up, and I see I’m at 58th in the Top 64 and go nuts! Good for $300 and my first 3 Pro Points! I don’t think I put on my resume that I’m a professional spell slinger though. I see HoneyT (who got 24th!!!! with Nic Fit) and we congratulate each other before the Boulder crew heads back to Harold’s for a celebratory dinner (for me) and conciliatory dinner (for them). I order a Rueben and they bring me the biggest sandwich I’ve ever seen. Holy. Hell. If you’re reading this 3 weeks later, I’m still eating that sandwich every day, 3 meals a day. Seriously the size of a small child. That filled my meat quota for the year. Anyway…

Thoughts on the deck: I wouldn’t change a single card in the 75 if I were to play it again. The meta seems super soft to Tin Fins and soft to fast combo in general right now, especially at a larger event where you can just steamroll random things. Treasure Cruise got ya down? Just kill ’em before they can cast it.

Also, if any of my opponents read this and see any mistakes or misrepresentations I’ve made, please let me know and I’ll fix them. My memory is a bit unclear in some places, and I don’t always take the greatest notes.

Props:
– 4003 people showing up to play a dead format
– Meeting a bunch of people that loved Richard Cheese and my creation (Tin Fins!)
– Harold’s insane food (I think it’s a good thing?)
– Richard Cheese for going 7-2 drop with Zoo cause he wasn’t coming back on Sunday
– Trading in mostly trash for FBB Duals
– Getting Wastelanded only ONCE the entire tournament
– Mostly enjoyable Opponents

Slops:
– Why the hell doesn’t New Jersey have sidewalks?
– Why was the event in the middle of the warehouse district?
– 1.5 hour rounds on Day 1 led to finishing at 11:15
– Not enough food around for dinner, and I even brought a ton with me

Random Stats:
– Judge calls for Oracle wording on Russian Children of Korlis: 6
– Judge calls for Oracle wording on ENGLISH Lim-Dul’s Vaul: 4
– Treasure Cruises cast against me the entire event: 1

And of course meeting and hanging with a bunch of awesome people –
Eldon
Jason (thanks for letting me take the bed!)
thecrav (thanks for letting me sign your Eternal Warrior and Playmat!)
ShivanGoat
Richard Cheese (thanks for the Russian Children of Korlis!)
Ben S
James V
astormbrewing
r3dd09
HoneyT (great work 12-2-1!!)
Ellomdian
Other Denver/Boulder warriors!
Did I miss anyone? Probably. Sorry. 😦

Awesome event overall – see you nerds in Seattle next year, if not sooner.

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SCG Somerset quick n dirty Subway report

Quick and dirty NYC Subway version:

I placed T16 at SCG Somerset, NJ with this Maverick build:

15th place Maverick list by Jacob Kory

R1 vs Lands (1-2), split games then g3 on the draw he opens up with 2 Mox Diamond turn 1, 2 Dark Confidants turn 2, reveals 2 Punishing Fire turn 3, and triple ports me turn 4.
R2 vs DeathBlade (2-1), Three Pridemage handle any potential shenanigans with Equipment. Marit Lage makes mince meat of ground creature decks and Choke locks him out.
R3 vs OmniTell (2-0), Thalia is a goddamned bitch.
R4 vs BUG Delver (2-0), Abrupt Decay can’t handle enough permanents. Knight is a house. Sigarda was hard cast for beatdown.
R5 vs Elves (1-2), on camera. Double Glimpse is a beating.
R6 vs DeathBlade (2-0), opponent flooded out while I get down to biz.
R7 vs Big Red (2-0), Thalia slows down Seething Song and Teeg shuts off ways to cheat fatties. Met Henry Decker and enjoyed a good chat!
R8 vs BUG Walkers (2-0), intense game of grinding attrition. Sword of Fire/Ice means TNN can’t block lethal Knight.
R9 vs RUG Delver (2-0), say Good Knight Gracie. Playing around Daze is sweet.
R10 vs Sneak Show (2-1), Sigarda off S&T and a natural Karakas takes G1. Marit Lage takes game 2 thru Blood Moon, thanks to Pridemage and Knight and basics.

Deck felt consistent against blue decks, since they can’t reasonably trade FoW+blue card to keep up with all the threats. Elves is still a little spotty, and if they draw Glimpse were dead. Lands was a case of opp’s luck being better than mine. They have a hard time with a resolved and active Knight, but we have a hard time with Punishing Fires. Having to Swords a Marit Lage is painful, as is drawing StP and not GSZ for Ooze.

I wish I drew Canonist vs Elves as that would have made a big difference in G3. Otherwise a good run with a consistent deck. Thoughtseize is pretty nice addition against Combo to supplement Canonist and the other hate bears.

Dark Depths served it purpose and feels Ok in the mana base. Sometimes you have awkward hands but it provides a new “fast win” vs combo decks which is rather nice when paired with Crop Rotation in the SB. Happy to have crushed at the East Coast too 🙂

Tin Fins, Sample Hands #1

Today I’m going to be walking through a few sample hands of Tin Fins, a Legacy Reanimator-Combo/Storm deck that packs a big punch.  Below is the decklist featured, and three sample hands.  All games were simulated on MTGO with fictitious decks/hands for demonstration. Real games will play out differently. Practice well!

Main deck [61]

2 Griselbrand
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Children of Korlis
1 Tendrils of Agony

4 Entomb

1 Reanimate
3 Goryo’s Vengeance
4 Shallow Grave

1 Silence
4 Cabal Therapy
2 Thoughtseize

4 Brainstorm
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
2 Lim-Dûl’s Vault

4 Lotus Petal
4 Dark Ritual
1 Chrome Mox

4 Polluted Delta
4 Marsh Flats
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
1 Tundra
1 Scrubland

Hand 1

Thoughtseize
Lotus Petal
Brainstorm x2
Tundra
Dark Ritual
Entomb

01

Keep.

Tundra -> Brainstorm (Reanimate, Goryo’s Vengeance, Scrubland), putting back Goryo’s Vengeance and Scrubland.

Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Thoughtseize (18), Entomb, Reanimate Griselbrand (10). Pass turn.

At first this hand seems like a mulligan because we don’t have a permanent black source, but Petal with Ritual and Entomb give us a great chance to find something useful. If we don’t hit a land, then we have another Brainstorm to help us out again next turn.  This one ends up being a slow hand because we can’t kill on turn 1 with protection or knowledge of the opponent’s hand, so Thoughtseize + Reanimate is preferred to just Goryo’s Vengeance without knowledge.

Hand 2

Brainstorm x2
Lotus Petal
Marsh Flats
Shallow Grave
Entomb
Dark Ritual

02

Keep.

Play Marsh Flats (19) -> Underground Sea. Cast Dark Ritual, Entomb for Griselbrand, and Shallow Grave. Draw 7 cards (12) and evaluate these 7 cards:

Dark Ritual, Underground Sea, Thoughtseize, Brainstorm, Griselbrand, Dark Ritual, Scrubland

Not anything to help us continue. Let’s draw another 7 (5):

Chrome Mox, Shallow Grave, Silence, Brainstorm, Swamp, Shallow Grave, Gitaxian Probe

At this point we have another form of reanimation for next turn. We still don’t have another Entomb to win on the spot with Emrakul, not have we drawn Tendrils of Agony. We can Gitaxian Probe (3) for information, and find out opponent is playing a Maverick deck. We draw a Marsh Flats.  We have the option of casting Brainstorm now to dig three cards deeper with Lotus Petal.

Cast Lotus Petal and Brainstorm. We draw Polluted Delta, Tendrils of Agony, and Lotus Petal. Storm after casting Brainstorm is 6. Put back two fetchlands. Cast Lotus Petal, both Dark Rituals, and Tendrils for 10 copies. We didn’t need to attack in this game.

Hand 3

Cabal Therapy
Chrome Mox
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Goryo’s Vengeance
Marsh Flats
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

03

This hand gives us good information, disruption, and a little bit of digging.  However, we have neither a way to bin a Griselbrand nor a way of returning him.  The Ponder needs to do a lot of work to help us out.  This hand may be keepable against a Show & Tell deck due to the Probe/Therapy combo, but it lacks our own combo.

Mulligan into:

Lim-dul’s Vault
Gitaxian Probe
Tendrils of Agony
Cabal Therapy
Polluted Delta
Reanimate
This hand has a little more movement with LDV and a reanimation effect.  We can’t reliably cast LDV yet, but we have enough disruption to give us a few turns. Let’s try it out.

Probe (18) for information, finding we’re up against a Counterbalance deck with CB, Top, StP, Vendilion Clique and 3 lands. We have limited time to pull off our combo.  We draw Marsh Flats. Play Polluted Delta, fetch (17) for Underground Sea and Therapy Counterbalance to give us a fighting chance for future turns.

Our opponent plays Flooded Strand, fetching for Tundra and plays Top.

We draw Goryo’s Vengeance. We play Marsh Flats, fetch for another Sea (16) and cast LDV main phase. There’s no sense in waiting for our opponent to draw more counterspells.  We have a 50 card library, so there’s no chance for us to restack our deck. We’re looking at the same 5 after 10 activations.

First five:

Underground Sea, Griselbrand, Brainstorm, Dark Ritual, Brainstorm.

No Entomb which we need with the reanimation. Ideally we want to see Dark Ritual, Brainstorm, Entomb together.

15 life, next 5:

Children of Korlis, Marsh Flats, Gitaxian Probe, Polluted Delta, Thoughtseize.

Nothing useful.

14 life, next 5:

Shallow Grave, Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Silence, Chrome Mox.

No Entomb.

13 life, next 5:

Cabal Therapy, Goryo’s Vengeance, Shallow Grave, Marsh Flats, Ponder.

No Entomb. We’re really digging for it!

12 life, next 5:

Swamp, Marsh Flats, Dark Ritual, Entomb, Lotus Petal.

We have Entomb and fast mana, but no way to get two cards into our hand on a single turn.  At this point we’ve seen half the remaining deck of 25 cards. There are 3 Entombs and 2 Brainstorms left.  Running a hypergeometric calculation would lead us to about 13% chance for these two cards together.  If we miss on Brainstorm, we will have to settle with Entomb. We can conceivably do 4 more loops before we can’t activate Griselbrand anymore. Luckily, we have a Cabal Therapy in the graveyard to reanimate Griselbrand once we bin it, and further disrupt our opponent. Let’s continue.

11 life, next 5:

Lim-dul’s Vault, Lotus Petal, Polluted Delta, Polluted Delta, Scrubland.

Brick.

10 life, next 5:

Cabal Therapy, Entomb, Entomb, Shallow Grave, Gitaxian Probe.

We have the 2nd and 3rd Entomb now known, but no Brainstorm and Entomb combined. We have 15 more cards remained unknown.  The odds of seeing both together is now about 11%. This seems pretty grim. If we miss on the next three sets we’re left in a bad spot.  We can keep this but we’re going to be vulnerable to any counter magic and Vendilion Clique if we decide to go off two turns from now. Given both StP and Clique available to our opponent, let’s take a risk.

9 life, next 5:

Lotus Petal, Goryo’s Vengeance, Shallow Grave, Gitaxian Probe, Cabal Therapy.

Nothing.

8 life, next 5:

Brainstorm, Emrakul the Aeons Torn, Brainstorm, Entomb, Dark Ritual.

JACKPOT! Keep this configuration, stacking from top to bottom: Brainstorm, Dark Ritual, Entomb, Brainstorm, Emrakul.

Pass the turn at 8 life.

Our opponent spins Top at upkeep, draws, plays a fetchland and passes.

We draw the Brainstorm, cast it to draw Dark Ritual, Entomb, and Brainstorm, putting back Tendrils of Agony and Brainstorm, holding Reanimate in case we draw into a way to get Children out of the graveyard. We cast Dark Ritual, Entomb for Griselbrand, and Goryo’s it into the battlefield; all of which resolve. Activate to draw the following 7 (1 life): Gitaxian Probe, Gitaxian Probe, Marsh Flats, Entomb, Ponder, Silence, Shallow Grave. We can’t activate the fetchland for additional mana this turn. Instead, let’s attack to regain life or bait the StP.

Declare attack.
Opponent StP’s the Griselbrand as expected. Same effect results: we’re at 8 life and another shot for Entomb/Shallow Grave with Silence for backup. We can also play for Emrakul. The main issue is dealing with the Vendilion Clique’s disruption. Play Marsh Flats and fetch for Scrubland (7). Pass and discard Probes to get to 7 cards.

Opponent plays a land for his turn, and passes. The unintuitive play would be to Vendilion Clique as a main phase action, but most players are reluctant to be aggressive against a fast combo deck. On our draw step, we draw Tundra and our opponent Clique’s us. This is our opening: cast Entomb for Emrakul and Shallow Grave it with its shuffle trigger on the stack. Clique resolves to take a Silence and we draw another Brainstorm.  Everything resolves as last turn, and we Annihilate 6 our opponent down to zero permanents and 3 life.  Our hand is still bad, but we have Ponder and Brainstorm to continue digging, as well as a 4th land. Opponent scoops to Emrakul destroying his shot in frustration.

*****

I will be posting more hands like this in the coming week to get an idea how Tin Fins plays out. If you have any questions or comments, Tweet me @MTGKoby or leave a comment on this post. I will try to answer them reasonably quickly.

Oozing for trouble

Hello there fine internet citizen!

It’s time for another post about the best MtG format: Legacy!

A while ago I jumped back into MTGO to kill some downtime with Daily Events. Naturally, the my stream was fired up as well, and Tin Fins shenanigans ensued.  We did well enough and decided to try a variant.  Enter Oozing.

Necrotic Ooze is a unique card that’s wildly out of flavor for black. It gains activated abilities of creature cards in all graveyards. This includes my home boy Griselbrand; but also opens up the possibility of Phyrexian Devourer/Triskelion combo. In short: Phyrexian Devourer grants the ability to grow with +1/+1 counters for zero mana. Triskelion then can remove those counters to ping. Recent errata on Phyrexian Devourer divorced its “if power is greater than 7 power, sacrifice it” from the ability itself; thus making the combo fool proof. The best part is that it can win in response to anything while on the stack outside of Rest in Peace or Extirpate. Finally, Necrotic Ooze can also gain Griselbrand’s draw ability at instant speed thanks to Entomb, all while being immune to Karakas or Extirpate. Really neat!

Thus, the task at hand is to build a shell that can take advantage of both the speed of Griselbrand wins and also the ability to win with Necrotic Ooze combo, or a combination of both since Necrotic Ooze can also draw cards with Griselbrand in the graveyard. In the past, Buried Alive has been used to set up the combo as early as turn 1 with Dark Ritual. That is our goal here today. Using the Tin Fins as the shell…

Oozing
2 Griselbrand
3 Necrotic Ooze
1 Triskelion
1 Phyrexian Devourer
1 Putrid Imp
4 Dark Ritual
4 Lotus Petal
1 Chrome Mox
4 Entomb
3 Buried Alive
2 Cabal Therapy
2 Thoughtseize
4 Reanimate
3 Shallow Grave
2 Exhume
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Polluted Delta
4 Marsh Flats
3 Swamp
1 Island
3 Underground Sea

Sideboard, is well, an experiment. The ones I’ve tried so far has not seemed to work incredibly well so far, outside of 3-4 Tendrils of Agony and playset of Cabal Rituals. I suspect playing Delver of Secrets with other tempo creatures might be the thing to do; but that requires more testing.

The maindeck needs a few more lands than Tin Fins because casting Necrotic Ooze and Buried Alive is going to matter a lot of times.

Good luck!

Winning with Big Red

[Koby’s Note: This is a report posted on behalf of my friend, Michael Tseng.]

The History
I’ve been playing Magic: the Gathering on and off for a while, but mostly Limited. Drafting was a fun way for me to be a scrub and constantly play new decks to appease my gaming A.D.D. Slowly but surely Legacy caught my eye as a format that I wanted to get myself into. The price tag was obviously a huge deterrent, but luckily (maybe) for me, there was a local “dealer” present, who’s more than willing to give you your first taste for free. After a handful of local tournaments, and trying out miscellaneous decks he was able to concoct for me (Miracles, Maverick, ANT, Belcher) he was all about ready to give up on getting me hooked and move onto his next unsuspecting victim, but he had one last trick up his sleeve. A Big Red trick. I never thought myself to be a red mage, but this deck just felt right. One GP Vegas and all my tradables later, and I’m the proud new owner of a Legacy deck.

Sky High Comics, San Marcos, CA
$20 Entry

Prize Pool:
1 Foil Liliana of the Veil
1 Foil Judge Flooded Strand
1 Volcanic Island
1 Tropical Island
1 Foil Geist of Saint Traft
1 From the Vaults: Realms
1 From the Vaults: Realms
2 Foil Prerelease Emrakul, the Aeon’s Torn

Total Players: 23

The Setup:
After attending a wedding on Friday, and hosting a goodbye party for a close friend on Saturday, I had no intention of waking up before it hit the PM on Sunday. Guess the powers that be had different plans.

11:29AM, text received, “Want to Legacy tournament it up?”. I wanted more than nothing to ignore this text and go back to bed, but I just couldn’t. Having not been able to play FNM or the normal play-testing on Saturday, I hadn’t had my fix for the week just yet. Alright, I’m interested. Where at? San Marcos… That’s close to two hours away, when does this thing even start anyways? 3PM? Doing math… won’t be home ’til late… probably shouldn’t… but the urge is too strong, I cave, here goes nothing.

My carpool arrives at around 2:00PM and we scope out the scene and surroundings. Sky High Comics is located in a nice plaza with a grocery store and food options nearby, seems fine. The store itself is pretty roomy and was running an M14 prerelease towards the back while people were playing casually and prepping for the Legacy tournament up front. Scoping out what’s going on, I make a last minute audible and adjust the recipe for Big Red a little to better fit the situation.

The Concoction:
4 Sneak Attack
4 Through the Breach
2 Pyromancy
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Worldspine Wurm
3 Griselbrand
3 Inferno Titan
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Seething Song
4 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Faithless Looting
3 Trinisphere
1 Blood Moon

3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
4 Sandstone Needle
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Arid Mesa
5 Mountain

Sideboard:
3 Pyroclasm
1 Trinisphere
3 Pyroblast
3 Blood Moon
3 Chalice of the Void
2 Grafdigger’s Cage

The Audible:
Normally, the Trinisphere’s in the main would be Blood Moon but in past trials, it seemed like more often than not the moons would come out for Spheres in games 2 and 3, so why not, let’s start with them in there, why not. Also, one of the Pyroclasms in the board should be a Cage, but preliminary scouting showed next to no graveyard decks, but plenty of fair decks. In comes the fire! Now onto the good stuff.

The Rundown:
Unfortunately I wasn’t planning on doing a write up, so my notes weren’t geared for that. So hopefully my memory serves me well enough to guide you through the day.

Round 1 – Xavier Ovando – Omnitell
I’m putting him on Omnitell, but I’m not certain, he could’ve been on a different Show and Tell variant, but I didn’t see enough cards in the matchup to know.
He wins the die roll, and is on the play.

Game 1: We both keep. He plays island, ponders, no shuffle. I play Mountain, pass turn to his confused quizzical look at my land. He follows with Brainstorm, Scalding Tarn. Things get fuzzy here but according to my lifepad, I used my Ancient Tomb twice, probably once for SDTop + spin, and the other one to Seething Song into Through the Breach into Worldspine Worm, swing for 15, end turn, get 3 trampling 5/5s. Easy Peasy. 1-0.

Game 2: I keep a turn one Trinisphere hand. He opens with ponder, I Trinisphere, he does nothing for awhile why I top for what looks like 3 turns, smash with a 15/15 worm again, and that’s a wrap. 2-0.

In: 1 Trinisphere, 3 Pyroblast
Out: 2 Inferno Titan, 1 Seething Song, 1 Faithless Looting

Round 2 – Corey Armstrong – Junk
He wins the die roll and goes on the play.

Game 1: He has a turn one Deathrite into Confidant, another creature? Meanwhile I’m fishing around with my fetch land and top. I stick a turn 5 Emrakul via Through the Breach to wipe his board crispy clean. He passes turn, I hard cast a friendly Ape to bring the beats. He promptly scoops at the sight of the fearsome 2/2.

Game 2: He goes turn one Forest into Deathrite. I play City of Traitors, remove SSG into turn 1 Blood Moon. To my dismay, he plays basic swamp, and turns Deathrite sideways. This happens 3 more turns while I dig for answers, and it looks like I was worried for no reasons about his basics. I stick Wurm, and he extends his hand. Turns out, if he fetched first, he would have been able to stick Gaddock Teeg with Deathrite and the game would’ve been much different. Oops, Blood Moon 🙂 4-0

In: 3 Blood Moon, 3 Pyroclasm
Out: 3 Trinisphere, 2 Griselbrand, 1 Faithless Looting

Round 3 – Danny Alexander – Tezzerator
Forgive my inexperience about the Legacy meta and not knowing the names, but he’s playing some artifact concoction with Tezzeret animations and blah blah, and I assume it’s Tezzerator. Whatever moot point. Again I lose the die roll, and the game goes under way.

Game 1: He has turn one insignificant. I have turn one Worldspine Wurm. He taps his deck looking to draw Engineered Explosives, no such luck. 5-0

Game 2: This game went a little bit longer, he plays chalice on 1, which doesn’t do much to disrupt me, but it’s an artifact for him to shenanigan with. Not much happens for the next few turns, but a turn 3 Blood Moon turns off his mana base completely. I misplayed by not following up with Chalice on 0 on the same turn, which allows him to cast Mox Diamond giving him a few outs, but nothing happening. He draws irrelevant for the next few turns as I’m able to find Pyromancy and stick that onto the board. I promptly Seething Song to clear my hand of Faithless Looting and Sensei’s Top (countered by his Chalice) to be able to pitch my hand of Pyromancy + Emrakul to deal exactsies and put myself to 6-0.

In: 2 Chalice of the Void, 2 Pyroblast, 1 Blood Moon
Out: 3 Trinisphere, 1 Inferno Titan, 1 Griselbrand

Round 4 – Xander Forral – Jund
At this point, I’m the only undefeated with 9 points, everybody else has drawn at this point so they’re all 7 points or lower. Going into this matchup, I was the most worried. I had been absolutely decimated by this deck prior at the MTGDeals Open and was definitely not looking forward to it.

Game 1: The match as a whole is pretty fuzzy, I think he plays a turn 1 Deathrite, does a bunch of misc. stuff. Dig for something, manage to play a turn 3 or 4 sneak attack, activate to play Mr. Draw 7 Demon. Draw 7, activate sneak attack again to bring in the Tentacles, lethal.

Game 2: The turns goof around, I think he plays Inquisition, grabs something? Can’t remember, I’m able to cast a Blood Moon, we durdle around a bit but he’s able to cast a few things off of Deathrite, I’m able to use SDTop to assemble Emrakul and Through the Breach, put him to 1. Interestingly enough he sacrificing everything BUT his Bob. He goes, bob triggers land, too good at magic. He plays a land, I do nothing, on my endstep he Bolts his own Bob, getting a handful of chuckles from the tables around us. He does a bit more nothing, I hard cast Inferno Titan, game. 8-0

In: 3 Pyroclasm, 3 Blood Moon
Out: 3 Trinisphere, 2 Griselbrand, 1 Faithless Looting

Round 5 – Rory Draxler – Elves
I’m the only one with 4 wins at this point and can draw to a comfortable first place. I offer the draw, my opponent wants to go for the win to dethrone me. Let’s play it out! Finally, I win my first die roll, game on.

Game 1: Turn one Ancient Tomb to get SDTop spinning, find just what I need at top, Trinisphere. He’s able to resolve a turn 1 Llanowar, and I promptly fetch a Mountain and play my Trinisphere as he grimaces in dismay. He goes a few turn unable to play spells, while I keep spinning to find a threat. I can’t remember what I resolve to end the game, as my lifepad shows him at 19, I would assume Emrakul or Worldspine worm.

Game 2: I keep a hand with turn 3 Inferno Titan, which should be more than enough to clean his board. Turn 1, he plays some mana dork, I play Sandstone Needle. Turn 2, he vomits his hand, plays out everything, gets Gaddock Teeg. Amusing my friend, but nothing doing, I draw Seething Song, play Ancient Tomb, cast turn 2 Inferno Titan. 10-0, Undefeated, first place.

In: 3 Pyroclasm, 1 Trinisphere
Out: 2 Griselbrand, 1 Blood Moon, 1 Faithless Looting

The Wrapup:
Waking up Sunday, I didn’t expect this outcome at all. Taking first with a perfect record. Better lucky than good, I’ll take that any day. I appreciate that the opponents never saw this deck coming, and also had the heart to laugh at the ridiculousness of it. My prize of Foil Liliana of the Veil was swiftly traded to a local player for a play set of Wastelands, thus building my collection of Legacy playables, further solidifying my addiction to the Legacy drug.

Highlights of the Day:

Round 3: Combo Elves and Sneak/Show hit time, go to turns, and draw… What?

Koby going 3-2 dream crushes, nay dream obliterates another 3-2 by beating him in 2nd tie breakers to take 8th place and take home a foil Geist of Saint Traft

First trip to Phil’s BBQ after the tournament. Very filling for a very good price. As far as the food itself, I’d give it a B+/A-, only because I prefer my BBQ that’s a little less sweet, and a little more kick. Nothing Frank’s Red Hot couldn’t fix up.

Michael Tseng

Big Red

No, not the gum… The old school Red deck the eschews Red’s classic and perennial Burn theme for something bigger. Much bigger…


Eldrazi big!

So the question then becomes simple: how will we put Eldrazi into play?

We have to be Sneaky about it.

We incorporate an efficient Sneak Attack engine into the fast mana Stompy shell and come out with a surprisingly powerful and very fun deck:

Big Red

Creatures
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Worldspine Worm
3 Griselbrand
3 Inferno Titan
4 Simian Spirit Guide

Being Sneaky
4 Sneak Attack
4 Through the Breach
2 Pyromancy
1 Chaos Warp

Digging
4 Sensei’s Divining Top

Other Things
3 Trinisphere
4 Seething Song
1 Lotus Petal

Lands
5 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Arid Mesa
4 Sandstone Needle
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors

Let’s start with the creatures:

  • Emrakul – biggest baddest thing there is. Annihilator 6 is the main draw as well as avoiding most spells
  • Worldspine Worm – a close cousin to Emrakul but more vulnerable to removal. Trample is as effective as Annihilator and it brings around a team of tokens for that extra punch
  • Griselbrand – here mostly to draw some cards and gain life in tough spots. His inclusion in this deck is weaker than in Sneak & Show because there is no easy way to abuse his card draw and protect your lifetotal
  • Inferno Titan – this is the Big idea in Big Red. He can hit hard when the way is clear and clears the way for himself. He is often hardcast with Seething Song
  • Simian Spirit Guide – much needed mana acceleration for the Stompy shell

Sneak Attack and Through the Breach provide us 8 redundant copies of the sneak effect, analogous to Sneak & Show. In addition, Pyromancy provides another way to close the deal since we already maintain a high average CMC. Chaos Warp is our removal/utility and can also be used on our own permanents in a pinch to try and land a big creature.

Trinisphere had once started in the sideboard to answer combo and was quickly swapped for Blood Moons. Trinisphere is just better in the metagame right now and is directly responsible for this deck’s ability to win games. Blood Moon still resides in the sideboard to fight greedy three color mana bases from the Deathrite Shaman decks.

Seething Song, Simian Spirit Guides and Lotus Petal give us the classic Dragon Stompy acceleration needed to deploy our powerful cards ahead of schedule.

Finally, Sensei’s Divining Top is here to help us filter. It is a concession to the fact that Red has poor library manipulation and is the sole reason for including fetchlands in the deck. A common turn 1 play is to use Ancient Tomb to play and spin Top for improved topdecking.

This deck can be a budget version of the popular Sneak & Show deck.

Enjoy, and may you attack for 30 as early as Turn 2!

Maverick redux

Maverick might be making a resurgence in the coming weeks. This has nothing to do with new cards, but rather more with the shifting metagame. Miracles seems to be on the decline and this is all good news for Maverick!

Maverick played out very well in Bazaar of Moxen partly for this reason. The GSZ version still has a lot of play, but it’s a little weaker to Deathrite Shaman still.

I recently played Maverick at a local weekly event with anticipation of combo and tempo decks; where the 4 Thalia version is favored against.

Maindeck
4 Mother of Runes
1 Sylvan Safekeeper
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Knight of the Reliquary
2 Qasali Pridemage
2 Scavenging Ooze
1 Scryb Ranger
1 Gaddok Teeg
1 Stoneforge Mystic

4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
2 Sylvan Library
2 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

4 Windswept Heath
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Savannah
2 Forest
1 Plains
4 Wasteland
2 Horizon Canopy
1 Karakas
1 Gaea’s Cradle
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Maze of Ith
1 Dryad Arbor

Sideboard options:
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Garruk Relentless (vs midrange)
Harmonic Sliver (vs equipment)
Graveyard hate
Oblivion Rings (multiples will be needed)
Life from the Loam
Thrun, the (Second to) Last Troll

Sideboard have to be tuned to specific metagames so be mindful of the tough matchups and the relative strengths of the decks in your metagame.

Maindeck flex slots can be the Stoneforge Mystic, but even at a singleton it has a huge impact by finding Jitte at opportune times. It works very well with Garruk Relentless to be able to find it at a moments notice as well.

Good luck and may all you shuffle twice a turn every turn!