Saturday, October 26, 2019

Brugian Brew Challenge

I always like to try weird things in oldschool, and when Rob pointed out the Brugian Brewfest in our oldschool chat group, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try some weird brews. The rules for the event stated that a player would receive extra points for each of the following:

Playing only three power9 cards or less
Playing no power9 cards
Playing no library or mindtwist
Playing 12 or more creatures
Playing 8 cards from legends
Playing 8 cards from the dark

Although at first sight it seems simple to make a deck that follows all of these rules, it's actually a bit harder than I thought to make a deck that actually not loses all of the time.

When I first heard of this event, Rob told me he wanted to go and we could travel together. On my way there I would come close to where his parents live, and he could go there the morning of the event so I could pick him up. I also asked Peter, and he thought it was a fun idea, so he wanted to go as well. It was time to start brewing.The brewing actually led to several ideas pretty quickly, and within a couple of hours I already had 5 ideas of what looked like pretty decent decks within the rules of the format. My favorite idea was a deck based around tetravus/triskelion/sage of lat-nam/hell's caretaker/Su-Chi but even though the deck seemed pretty decent and at times it performed quite well, it just lost most of it's matches to Peter his dance of many deck. That deck was also built to follow all of the rules for the extra points and even though it was a pretty decent deck, I figured I would run into decks that would be a lot quicker. Especially mono white and mono black. I also had an idea with mono red, but even though that looked pretty good (with ball lightning, brothers of fire, blood moon and chain lightning and mountain yeti) I felt it was not going to be a lot of fun to play with. I briefly considered playing a deck with azure drakes and Arcades Sabboth and moats which I felt would be really good, but since the tournament organizers had specifically asked not to play the deck, I figured it would not be in the spirit of the format to play something that seemed pretty heavy control with flyers. So I had to go for something else but I just could not make up my mind. On the evening before the tournament as I was scrapping the hell's caretaker deck and taking it out of it's sleeves, I had a flash of insight that one of the decks I had played earlier (the Tim/living plane deck) probably could be converted to fit all the rules without destroying the essence of the deck. I went for it, and I ended up with something with tracker, brothers of fire, sylvan library and living plane, and kept in the Sindbad because I like it and it added to the minimum of 12 creatures. So, like many times before, I had a deck that was totally untested but looked ok enough. So I sleeved it up and went to bed way after midnight, hoping I would not be to groggy to actually play well the next day.

The next day I picked up Peter, we drove about an hour to Eindhoven, picked up Rob and then drove two more hours to Belgium. We would be playing on the first floor over a sandwich bar, so it was obvious what we would be eating for lunch today. We registered, made a couple of deck pics in case they would be needed and it was time to start. I was really wondering what the other players had came up with. I was in for a couple of surprises, but the mono black and mono white I had expected to see were also there.

Round 1 vs RG control

My first opponent was playing a quick Green/Red deck and was off to a blazing start, playing sol ring on turn one, gaea's touch on turn 2 and dropping an extra forest, while all I had was a single birds of paradise against that. 

Not looking good..
Fortunately, I had added some counters just in case, and I was able to counter his turn 2 triskelion with a mana drain and then drop an Icy manipulator. I had not expected triskelion in a RG deck, but that just shows how good that card is in pretty much any oldschool deck. Triskelion is really bad for my deck, since it consists mostly out of 1/1 creatures and it doesn't help with a living plane either.. But for now I had an icy and a sylvan library out of the mana drain and I thought I was looking pretty good.




the game developed further, with my opponent playing mishra's factories which I was trying to control with my icy and scavenger folk. He also seemed to go for drawing extra cards with sylvan library and then switching his life total with me, but fortunately I also had a sylvan library in play, so I could make sure that would not be an interesting option.



things were looking bad when he destroyed my Icy with crumble, but at least I had a Tim in play, so now all I needed was a living plane. And it showed up finally, after what seemed like ages.





I had added mana short to the deck because I thought it would help me against control decks. It also helps to make sure I get to attack with my lands without them getting blocked to much, and start pinging away with tim. The Rukh eggs were a bit of hassle, but I managed to pull out a win in this game. On to the next..  The next game would be real different one though. While I had just played one land, my opponent played channel on turn 2, and dropped a triskelion.



The beating started quickly, I missed a land drop and was never able to stop the onslaught and was down in 3 more turns, so it would have to be game three to decide.



Game three would become one of those 'if only' moments. I had an opening hand with sol ring, fellwar stone, volcanic island, prodigal sorcerer, living plane, demonic tutor, balance. My opponent was playing red/green, I figured I would be able to play tim on turn 2, draw a green mana (most of the lands of my deck produce green mana, with multiple forests, 4 taiga, 4 tropical island), play living plane and I would win quickly.



That never happened though. I did not draw a green mana for the next 4 turns, and my opponent was developing pretty well without playing any lands that provide green mana for my fellwar stone.



The green mana never materialized while my opponent played several burn spells, than triskelion and I just plain lost due to colorscrew. That really sucked because I really thought to pull out a quick win, but that's magic for you. So there I was 1-2. On to the next game, hopefully that would be better. 

Round 2: B/W Dreams, disenchants and Su-Chi's



My opponent opened with a first turn underworld dreams. My Sindbads and Sylvan libraries were making unhappy noises somewhere.




After playing an Icy my opponent still had no clue as to what kind of deck I was playing, so I was hoping to catch him by surprise before dying of the dreams. He stripped my city of brass to prevent me from playing other colors, but demonic tutor and the balance are the only offcolor cards in this deck, so that wasn't much of a bother.



I used living plane combined with manashort to get ahead in life, but than my opponent unexpectedly played an Abyss to get rid of my Living plane. I had to change my plans to try to force a win.



To beat the Abyss, I played a lot of creatures and just started beating. That worked well enough to win the end.

How does one beat an abyss? Just drop every creature you have and go for it!


So I won with just these left. I buried sindbad after trying to draw another card, and pinged with tim, and then again before I had to bury tim and that was enough. On to the second game, which started with my opponent disenchanting my Sylvan Library, dropping an Abyss and Su-Chi. Fortunately I had sideboarded in Whirling Dervishes to stall things a bit.



After stalling a bit to wait for a pyrotechnics or trackers+tims I got the Pyrotechnics to get rid of the Su-Chi and won with Tims and Dervish.



Round 3: mono black weenie with hymns

The third round started with a lot of mana in my starting hand, with a strip mine and birds of paradise. I kept it, thinking I would stall my opponent and then get to the more useful cards in my deck.





Stripping my opponents land was a good start, as he missed a land drop on his third turn. That gave me time to play my brothers of fire, which would really rock this game. I was ahead in life, so I just attacked and activated the brothers every turn to either kill a weenie, or to damage my opponent.





He Hymned me to take some of the extra land off my hands, but the brothers had made a big dent in his life total by then and were then joined by tracker.





Tracker and the brothers were enough to keep the small creatures from the board and made sure I could attack with either one or both and win the first game. Meanwhile, next to me a 'friendly' game had started with both players playing cards you just love to see against you on turn one.. 



Anyway, on to the next game. I sided in the dervishes again and because I sometimes play to controlling, I decided to go for a more aggressive approach. I tutored for my second dervish and started beating. And then I got a big reminder of why I always play more careful when my opponent played a disk..



The disk took all of my permanents, and he then followed up with 3!! dark rituals and a drain life. This was not looking good..



I got a sindbad on the next turn and used it to draw an extra card after I had drawn tracker. It was a city of brass. Moments like these make me remember why I like Sindbad so much.





The tracker got rid of the hypnotic specter which would have destroyed my hand over and over, and after that I was just beating at my opponent with 2 Sindbads, hoping I would be able to do some damage while we were both in topdeck mode.



The game quickly changed when my opponent played a Sengir vampire, and I played the control magic (one of the cards I boarded in) I had been holding for several turns.



The Sengir was doing damage while I was drawing cards with both Sindbads and eventually the Brothers of fire and a Tim showed up, which would be able to take care of pretty much everything my opponent could put in play and that was game. Another win, but in a very different way than the previous games :)



Which took me to Round 4: white weenie

My opponent started with a first turn land tax. And I was not willing to give him the advantage yet, so we were both stuck at one land for a while. Unfortunately, my opponent was playing the very usuable Ication Javelineers and he killed of my birds with that, and then started beating me one point at a time. 



Fortunately, I had some mana artifacts in my deck an another birds of paradise showed up, so I would not be having any mana problems soon. That is, until the next Javelineer would show up, but fortunately that took a while.



Eventually another land was played across the table, which let me play another land without fear of the tax collector, and I putan Icy and a Sindbad in play .



I also played a tim, but the fun was shortlived, because my opponent played a crusade pretty quickly after that. But not before Tim took a shot at an Order of Leitbur and the empty Javelineers so things were looking good. So far.



I was being beaten by two 3/3 white knights when living plane showed up and I could start pinging away at my opponents lands to make sure no new knights or orders would show up, but that still did not take care of my main problem, being beaten to death by knights. I could of course start blocking with my lands, but really did not like that idea. A maze of ith solved that problem when it joined the icy, but I knew more weenies would be coming. 



After a wheel of fortune I finally reached one of the 2 meekstones I had main deck, which shut down the knights and it all was getting better from there. 



A second Tim showed up and that was pretty much it. There was no way he would ever get any mana from there because lands become summoning sick if a living plane is in play. 



Which gave me the perfect opportunity to do one of the nerdiest things this deck can do, which is to kill your opponent with maze of ith.



Yeah! Another win for my weird deck, and again with different key cards. The main deck meekstones were definity key cards in this game. On to game 2 of this round. 



Next to me, Rob, who would win the tournament eventually played a...

cool! one of the underplayed cards in FE. Rob commented it's actually pretty good. I know :)
The second game of this round my opponent stripped an early land, hoping to overrun me with savannah lions. I had kept my starting hand with a maze of ith, which slowed things down enough for a tim to show up. 



Tim started eating at the lions, which had been joined with a thunder spirit. My mazes kept these from running over me. Which was good, as my opponent played a card I had nog expected to see. Actually, this was the first time in 20+ years someone played that card against me:





The sword was put to good use when I played my living plane, with my opponent trying to get trough as much damage as he could while the tim was taking his lands one at a time. 



I countered his armageddon, and when a pyrotechnics showed up it was game. 



After the pyrotechnics, the sword was the only permanent left on his side of the board, which again game me an opportunity to kill someone with 2 mazes of ith this time. 



So, a 3-1 finish, actually better than I had expected. In the end, mono black won, with them mighty Murk Dwellers/Zombie Master/Evil presence combo. 

Rob with his altered Prodigal Sorcerer, Tim the tournament Winner. 

Thanks to the tournament organizers for this awesome idea! I love wacky formats where you get to see old cards that are not played that much, and the absence of powercards is certainly a nice twist. Although, speaking of twists, I was mind twisted at a time I did not expect it, but then again, you were awared points for not playing with it. It was not completely forbidden. Anyway, this was certainly worth the drive. Thanks again to the organizers and for Rob and Peter for joining me on this trip down to Belgium. Till next time!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Frost Giant Cup 2019


Afbeeldingsresultaat voor lady orca


On the first of september, it was time for the frost giant cup. As always, in the week leading up to the event, I wonder what deck I want to play. Although I don't have all the cards I need for a completely Swedish deck, fortunately the Frost Giant uses the Ravenna rules in which reprints are allowed, which gives me more opportunities to build something different. I would also have to make 2 Ice Age/ Alliances decks for the side event so I had some brewing to do. I had been playing with the idea of an Eureka deck for some time now. My playset had been in my trading binder for 10 years now, but I never seem to find someone who has something interesting enough for me to want to trade them away. So in the end I just decided to keep them. Funny enough, just when I had decided to keep them, someone asked me if I wanted to trade them for something. Weird how those things go. Anyway, I had decided to keep them and give Eureka a try. I had played a competitive deck last time in Belgium which I piloted to a first place in the swiss rounds, so enough with the serious stuff, this time I was going for something more fun.

I could of course make this deck with actual good, efficient creatures, but where would be the fun in that? If I play eureka, I don't expect to win, I expect to have weird stuff on the table and laugh about it. So I took my binder with gold legends (one of the few things I collected when I still was an active player in the 90's) and drew out some of them that would be fun to play with, mainly because they have great art and you never see them played. Playing with gold legends instead of good creatures would come back to me in the tournament though :) As usual, I played a couple of games to see how the deck would do against Peter. Not as much as I normally do though, since I was not planning on winning anyway. I did make one change after the 3 testruns. Lady Orca, though she's cool, was changed for something else. In the couple of games I played, she was constantly blocked to death by su-chi's and the like. I decided that my legends would have to be a bit more durable if I was to have any chance at all of winning a game. I would not make the top 8 for sure, but I do want to win a couple of games when I'm there. So she was exchanged for something in the same set of colours and that was that.

The day before the tournament, I was at our local gamestore in the Steenstraat in Arnhem which was celebrating another year of game selling. I bought some obscure little board game and was then recognized as "that guy playing oldschool". Someone actually asked me to play a game. Fortunately, I had brought my eureka deck just in case and we played one game in the crowded game area. I barely won, but I did win in a cool way with gold legends. This was a good sign for the day after :) Also something really weird happened. Some guys passing by the table just did not believe my cards were real. They found it unbelievable that there would be someone in the store playing with actual moxen and a lotus, stating they were probably bought from some chinese webstore somewhere. I found this really weird. People have commented on my decks in the past with remarks about me being insane to play with that expensive stuff, but never before I've had people disbelieving my cards were actually real. I guess this is something we're going to have to live with as fakes get more common than the real thing, and that thought made me a bit sad. Anyway, on to the tournament!

On the day of the tournament, I picked up the usual Arnhem Oldschool crew, Peter and Thijs. There are just not that many of us around here, so we fit nicely into one car. Coming up to the store, we spotted the familiar faces of the Dutch Oldschool Guild. The group of players in our country is not that big. I think it's about 60 people, so you do tend to see the same guys over and over again. Fortunately, they're al nice, so that's not a problem. The rounds were called out and I completely forgot to note who I played against :( If someone remembers playing me, please let me know and I will add your name to report if you like. Timmy from the Timmy Talks youtube channel was also there and asked of someone had a fun deck to play on his stream, so naturally, I volunteered. He recorded the game, so you can look it back, I will link to it here when it's up.

Round 1: Counter/burn

I had an opening hand with a timetwister and a mox and a big creature. Not much, but I figured I would see what I would draw and then decide if I would timetwister quickly or not. Then my opponent was nice enough to do this:



Yes, he dropped a quick Serra Angel into play and followed it up with ancestral recall on turn 2. Argh! On the upside, this was sort of my gameplan. Lose in round 1 and 2, then win one or two matches after that against decks that had not performed that well. At least then I would have a chance with my janky creatures :) I did thought I had a small chance when I was able to play a Mahamoti Djinn (yes, not all the creatures in my deck were just plain bad), but he quickly removed it from the game with stp, played a library of Alexandria, another Serra Angel, and to top things off I met with a boatload of cheese a couple of turns later:

I really had no chance here!
Well, at least it was over quickly :) I did want to fight back to see if I could at least make it a bit difficult for my opponent. And I did manage to squeeze through an early Eureka. Even though I wasn't sure if that would bring me anything, at least it was cool thing to do. It made me smile and I was certain I would play eureka again some day. 


This was a typical 'mine are bigger' scenario, and I managed to win that game with my first legend of the day doing damage, Bartel Runeaxe. This was not a first in oldschool though, I'd played him before in another deck, just because he's actually pretty good. Probably the best legend in my deck this day. At least I had won one game :)

On to the next game, in which I had sideboarded some control magic because they I thought they would do nicely with eureka, That worked out pretty well. And after losing one of the control magic's I did what I also kept in mind while selecting my legends for the day: I just casted one without eureka, to the wonder of my opponent :)

Yes, he's not as good as Mahamoti Djinn, but boy was it cool doing damage with him!
While I was doing some damage with Torsten, I also tried to cast another legend, which would have been cool had it come through. Unfortunately, this happened:

no chance for me to boast I had hard casted a Nicol Bolas here :( To bad :)


I thought it was pretty uncool to stop me from actually casting Nicol Bolas, but hey, I understand why you would not want me to attack with him. I feared my opponent would topdeck something like a fireball after that, which would have finished me off. Fortunately he didn't, so I went beating and won. Unbelievable, I had actually won a match :) My day was already looking good. This did mean I would have to face another winner the next round, and I figured I would have some trouble winning that. But hey, who cares, I had done damage with gold legends!

Speaking of cool decks, between round one and two I spotted Robbie playing a deck trying to keep creatures in check with a card you don't see very often:


Did you spot the card I'm talking about? It's a cyclone from Arabian Nights. Cool! Kudo's to people who play with cards you don't see every day. 

Round 2: mono black

My next opponent was playing mono black. He was also playing with the disk to get rid of permanents and it came pretty quickly in game one, so I would have to get rid of that first. I ended up just casting one of my legends to force the issue. 


Unfortunately, he was also playing drain life and terror, so that did not do much. I would have to try and win this match 2-1. The next game I was doing a little better, but another card I had not seen in the first game popped up, underworld dreams. I cast Shivan Dragon and the swamp king later on in the game and I figured I would just be able to make it. 

 

Then he tapped out,  played drain life and put me at two. I had kept my Eureka in my hand to make the impact as big as possible with the concordant crossroads I had drawn earlier, but the big drain life put me at two, and in my drawfase I went to one. Waiting had its merits, as I drew one more big creature in my draw fase and went for it. My opponent had not seen Eureka that often, so this was one of those "what does that card do again?" moments.

Eh, what's that? :)
 After Eureka this was what I had on the table:

I am not at 16 here, by the way. I was using my own life counter on the red box.
Which was more than enough to take him from 20 to 0 in one swing while I was at one life :)  There was still a chance I would win this in game 3. Nice!

I had boarded out some of my creatures that are not black in game 3 in favour of control magics, figuring that would give me more chances of him having dead cards in his hand, and me not losing my cards due to Hypnotic specters. To make a long story short, this worked perfectly: 


Then another card I had not seen in the previous games showed up, an Icy. I decided to just cast one of my legends again, to make sure I would stay ahead in damage. My opponent blocked the black knight with another knight, so keeping ahead with multiple creatures was key to winning. The Icy also made for a rare sight, a tapped Bartel Runeaxe :)

 

So in the end, I won this one 2-1, just like my first match. This came as somewhat of a suprise to me, because I had not expected to win my first two matches. I had figured I would lose my first matches, and then be paired against people with less strong decks. The way this was going now, it meant I would play against stronger opponents who probably would walk over me pretty quickly. But then again, my day was great already. I had done damage with Torsten von Ursus, Bartel Runeaxe, Gerrard of the closed fist, the lady of the mountain, sol'kanar the swamp king and with Riven Turnbull. That last one would also make a great appearance in one of the games still to come. 

Round 3: Antoine, with Triskelion control

As I had feared, I would now have to play someone with a really good deck. Not only that, I had to play Antoine, one of the best players in our region. I had faced Antoine in the last round of swiss in Belgium and managed to win that match, but I had no doubts about the outcome here. But as always, I would try to make it a bit difficult for him.To make matters worse for me, Antoine was off to a great start:


Damn! Dropping a first turn Triskelion, and following that up with Mishra's factory and time walk. I think that was pretty much the best opening his deck could play, I think. Only an Ancestral recall would have made it better. He drew another factory after that, and kept on beating. I was already low on life when I pulled some big creatures out of my hat with Eureka. 


That was not enough to save me though. Antoine tutored for a Psionic Blast and I wasn't paying attention, because I could have countered it with mana drain. I have no idea why I didn't. By then I was already so low on life I figured I would lose anyway so my brain thought just get it over with and did nothing. I just made a mistake and lost the first game. Pretty bad, looking back. Perhaps it was I was also talking to Jimmy during this game, who told me he had played in the game store I have owned many, many years ago. This was of course a great opportunity to dwell on the past, so that probably did not help me play my best. Completely my own fault of course, but since I came this day to have fun anyway, I don't look back on it as a bad thing. 

The next game was a bit better for me, even though Antoine started off with another great start:


Yes, another first turn big creature. Yikes! I had an early library though, so I was going to try and keep up. This was not easy though, my first attempt to stop Antoine met with a counter. 


After that Antoine destroyed my library with Chaos Orb, and I had to act quickly to stay in the game. One of the things about Eureka is that you have to have enough creatures to make it worth while, so I had to wait a couple of turns to make it work. But work it did. Just in case you're wondering, I had to transmute artifact to get a lotus to actually play this eureka. But it was worth the effort :)


And then things were quickly different. The Elder Dragon and Bartel were there to attack while the lady of the mountain was standing in the way of the Su-Chi. Since the dragon is really big and there was no quick answer for it, this game was over quickly, even though Antoine drew a Triskelion to finish off Bartel Runeaxe together with Su-Chi. 1-1. What I wanted is to make it at least a bit difficult for Antoine. Check :) 

I had sideboarded in 4 steal artifacts and 3 control magic against Antoine, but they never really came up in the second game. This would also be the theme of the third game, where Antoine put out an early Abyss against my two gold legends, so even though they had done some damage, it was not enough. The concordant crossroads and steal artifacts/control magics never showed up and that was really a shame, since Antoine later told me he had sideboarded out his disenchants. I tried to fight back with a mind twist, but literally the turn after I had played that, Antoine came back with a nice braingeyser. 

 


I managed to draw one control magic after that when I was at about 8 life, but Antoine then proceeded to draw not one, but two Su-Chi's in a row. So I traded off one to another, which left Antoine in the same situation as before the control magic, with him pounding me for 4 every turn. 

 
 
I just did not drew any answer to the Su-Chi, and it finished me off. 1-2. Well, at least it was an exiting game. As Antoine put it: this was definitely not a walk-over. My gold legends will take it as a compliment :) Thanks for a great game, Antoine!

I took some pictures to catch some of the atmosphere of the event:

Usual top 8 player Carl on the left, playing the deck
4th edition elves and pixies beatdown :)


Cobolds/Gauntlet of might deck. Yeah!
Masters of "the deck" facing off
Round 4: Mari, with something resembling the deck. Did not see any tomes though.. 

Next up for round 4 was Mari. We decided to play in the coffee bar across the street because the store we were in was kind of crowded since 42 players had showed up for this event. There was a great way of ordering there. We would sit on the first floor where there were plastic balls. You could write down your order, stuff it in one of the plastic balls and then put the ball down a pipe like an old fashioned messaging system. And our order came about 10 minutes later, so it worked well. By then we'd already started our game, in which it would become abundantly clear why my choice of creatures should have been better if I wanted to win. But I didn't came here to win, so I just enjoyed to game. It had some great moments. 

In game 1, I was off to a good start with a first turn Libary of Alexandria. Mari was however also off to a good start, with a fast mishra's factory which was quickly copied with the help of a mox and then followed up with another one, all of which quickly took bites out of my life total. 

 

I wanted to produce some blockers quickly, but Mari did not agree. 

 

 I then tried the same trick I had pulled earlier, drawing a card with the library first, played regrowth on the eureka, transmuted for a lotus and cast Eureka again.


Unfortunately, that was met by another no from Mari and the beating from the factories continued. 

 
 
I had to keep pushing to prevent me from being beaten to death by factories, and fortunately another eureka arrived to keep me from dying. This one came through and I was thinking, yes! This might be my comeback. It would turn out to be a big reminder about how bad my creatures were. When I started dropping my big creatures, Mari was playing some lands, and then as his last permanent: Moat. Being the gentleman that he is, Mari was not smug about this at all :)



Okay.... I did not see that one coming from a deck that wanted to beat me to death with factories. Had my creatures been better, I would have made it a victory quickly. Now I was going to have to try and beat Mari with my one elder dragon, Vaevictis Asmadi who could fly over his moat. Mari thought of something during my next upkeep when I paid for the dragon's upkeep cost. He looked at my mana and disenchanted the fellwar stone to deprive me of black mana for my next upkeep. I sighed, attacked for 8 and passed the turn.


Mari was in for a suprise though, when I came to my next upkeep:

Riven's moment of glory on this day
I tapped Riven Turnbull and his ability nearly won me this game :) I swung for 8 again and Mari was at 1 life. For those of you who would like to point out I could have tapped Riven the turn before: you're absolutely right, but it was a conscious decision. I was trying not to draw attention to the fact I would be able to do so. It turns out it was a good decision, because as soon as Mari saw what I could do with Riven, he killed him right away:


He was playing main deck REB, and that would have cost me a chance of winning. Had I drawn a land that turn, I would have won because of the element of surprise. Mari then went on to a spectacular finish with disenchant on his moat, followed up by balance, depriving me of my nice set of legends and killing me off in the same turn. 


He killed me with his complete playset of Factories, all five of them :)


It was a really close game, so I had a feeling I would be able to win one game in this match. I did win the next game with some quick big creatures and then we were on to the third game. Mari had control quickly there, using counterspell and balance to get rid of my stuff and then walked over me with a bunch of factories. 


Again, a 1-2 match. A loss, but not one that was completely hopeless and exiting games going back and forth. Not bad at all for a deck with crappy creatures like mine. 

Round 5: Joep, mono red

On round 5, I was up against Joep, also the organizer of the Giant tournaments. He was playing mono red, and he was playing some pretty obscure creatues himself. On the first game, I kept a had with a Mox Sapphire and an Ancestral recall. I think this was an ok decision, but it turned out to be pretty bad. I got one land, but this was quickly destroyed by Joep with stone rain, and I was left with only one mox, while Joep was beating me with a Granite Gargoyle. He played some lightning on me, time walked and beat me some more, then finished me off while I was still looking for more land to play:


Well, that was bad. But since this was the first time this day it was really this bad, I was ok with it and figured I would have a chance against mono red. I had forgotten something though, and this would come back to me in game three. The second game was better, with me mana draining Joeps Gargoyle and then going for a quick eureka. 

Joep reading the eureka after I dropped my first permanent

This paid off, and the game was over quickly. The third game would be a turn for the worse for me though, when Joep played this early on in the game:


A blood moon. He followed up with a Rock Hydra. I figured I still had a very small chance. I had boarded in blue elemental blast and with a lotus I could still pull out a Eureka. But it wasn't meant to be. I did not draw anything usefull and this match also ended in 1-2.

Joeps crappy creatures vs my crappy creatures.
Looking back, I'm pretty happy with the decks performance, knowing how suboptimal it's creatures were. The matches I lost were all 1-2, so even though I lost 3 matches, there was a chance of winning. The matches were close and fun. And, I enjoyed playing the legends. I did damage with almost all my gold legends during the day. Of the gold legends, only Nicol Bolas did not make it to doing damage. So all in all a great tournament. And, there would still be a side event to play as well :)

Before the top 8 there were some random prizes and I won an Ivory Tower. The day was getting better and better :) 

My prize for the day :)
The finals of the main event would be two very familiar faces:

Carl vs Marten, Antoine (also top 8) looking from the left.

In the end, Carl would win the day. While the top 8 was playing out, Peter and I would be in the Ice Age / Alliances side event, trying our luck against some of the other guys. Since Peter and I played a lot of Ancient MTG, we figured we would have an edge. Perhaps this is true, but there would be more guys who had also played that format competing, so it was going to be interesting to see what everyone had come up with. I'll cover the side event in a different post, since this one is already very long. Thanks to Joep for organizing, Vendetta game store in Hilversum for hosting the event, all my opponents for the laughs we had during the day and all the guys and girl who showed up for the event. Thanks!! Hope to see you all in good health during the next one.