Sunday, September 19, 2021

The first Farmstead

A couple of weeks after the Camel Trophy III it was time for another OS experience, the first Farmstead tournament organized by Robbie and Roy. This tournament was originally planned for last year but postponed due to obvious reasons. What would be different about this tournament is that it would be a CSO (coreset only) tournament, but with a twist: it would be with ABUR legal instead of the other CSO like tournaments in the Ancient (ABU) or Dwarven Warriors (AB) formats. It would also give us access to some cards normally not in the CSO formats, like Serendib Efreet and Shatterstorm, to name a few. 

On top of that, there was extra set of rules where you could earn farmstead brewpoints if you would add farming themed cards to your deck, like for instance Farmstead. You could also earn extra points if you showed up in farmer attire. The winner of the most points would win a altered beta swords to plowshares. 

I misread the different versions of the rules (especially the part where you could both points for winning matches and for brewpoints) and ended up building a deck that I thought would be both competitive and earn some brewpoints. 

The first version of a deck I built was not very high on brewpoints, but I thought it was quite enjoyable to play.  It's up tempo and contains a lot of creatures I like. There aren't that many options in decks I usually build to play both channel/fireball and elvish archers. I like the archers, but they generally are trashed by factories in the Swedish format. This would be different. 

I added things like giant growth and bolts to help the archers be effective against bigger critters. When I brought this deck for a kitchentable session it did quite well and won most of the games I played with it. The week before I decided to do some testing against Peter. We built a pretty standard white/blue deck with Serra angels, white removal and counters. And it utterly trashed my deck. Like 10-3 in games. That wasn't good enough for me, so I decided to do some more thinking and play another deck. The only thing I wanted was to play a deck that contained expansion cards that were reprinted in revised to make use of the unique flavour of this tournament. I ended up chosing Serendib and Atog to fill these slots, combined with vises and ankhs. And some flavourcards like Mesa Pegasus and Water Elemental for brewpoints. 

On the day of the tournament I couldn't reach Peter, so I was in the car to Mierlo on my own. This wasn't good because I spent a part of the trip thinking about the deck and how to maybe change it. So I did change some cards on the morning while I already was in the venue. I tried to get an Unlimited Water Elemental to add to the deck, but no-one had one for trading, so I ended up playing with a Revised version. 

It ended up being a long day for me in which I had no dinner, so I was pretty exhausted in the end. This means I may misremember some things that happened. Especially because most of the matches were pretty tense, so I had not as much time as I usually have to take some pictures. If you were one of my opponents and I mispresent something, by all means let me know. On to the rounds:

Before round one we sang happy birthday for Edo, who had decided that playing Magic on his birthday was an excellent way of spending the day. Couldn't agree more :)

Round 1 I was paired against a familiar face from the Ancient days, Marco. He was playing  U/B/R deck with Serendib Efreets. 

This match was probably the most enjoyable of the day because it was so absurd and shows how completely bonkers random OS games can be. I got to start and after some thinking decided to play a plateau first. It was a good thing I did, because Marco opened with a land, two moxen, a lotus, played a Sedge Troll and then Wheel of Fortune. 

As you do when you have a hand like this :)

The choice for the plateau was a good one, because I was able to lightning bolt Marco's troll to get rid of that before my entire hand was in the graveyard. My turn two felt a bit underwhelming after that, but at least I was doing something :)

A couple turns later a Serendib turned up on both sides, but Marco was unphased and psionic blasted mine. I tried to do some damage with black vises followed up by wheel of fortune, but Marco had no problem staying out of range. 

I thought 2 vises and a wheel of fortune would do it, but no!

In a desparate attempt to not be crushed, I played my (restriced in this format) control magic. Only for Marco to... you guessed it, play his control magic :)

He won the game quickly after that, so on to game 2 we went. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures here, while 2 timetwisters and a wheel of fortune went over the table and powercards being played by both Marco and me. I think at least 15 restricted cards hit the table in the pretty short game, which I somehow ended up winning. So on to game 3 it was. 

My opening hand meant it was my time to start of with some broken shit:

Quite a nice turn one, isn't it?

After commenting on how stupidly random this game can be, I thought this meant I would win probably win this one, but again, Marco was unmoved by the display of power. He dropped 2 moxen and started playing his own creatures. 

Marco unimpressed by my vise

He ended up winning after a game in which I remember a Time Walk being played with me on the receiving end of extra damage. We played until the last minute in the round, and Marco ended up winning this match. Even though I lost I had a great time, with all the weird randomness of power cards and the way the game flipped back and forth between who had the advantage. 

The second round I was paired against Edo, who was playing Rats. Yes, you read that correctly. Because of the farming theme here, you could play an unlimited amount of plague rats with a minimum of 16. Edo, who's a big fan of spicy decks, told me after the game he had just bought 20 extra revised plague rats to be able to play them :)

The first game, Edo came out strong with a land and a mox, then a rats on turn 2. And on turn 3. And on turn 4 and 5. So I was quickly facing 2 2/2's then 3 3/3's and then 4 4/4 rats. 

I had kept a bit of a slow hand with 5 land. I had kept it because I didn't know what Edo was playing and in general, if I mulligan a hand like that, I tend to end up with a hand with no land whatsoever. Because of Edo's quick opening and my slow response (turn 3 Serendib Efreet is just not that great against a lot of big rats) he quickly ran over me in like 5 minutes. My second game was a bit quicker from my side: 

Edo played land, sol ring and started playing rats after that. I kept up in the damage race by producing creatures to keep up the damage while the vises were no longer doing anything.

Revised reprints of dib and tog for the win

The third game was a bit less spectacular from my side but I ended up winning the match 2-1, again with some vise and Serendib damage, and I think an elemental. This gave me some time to take some pictures of the others playing for your viewing pleasure:

manabarbs in the sideboard, cool!

Look closely! I bet you've never had damage from a tree like that :)

Marco being less than nice against a white player :P

This last picture deserves its story to be told!

Anies' opponent played a bird of paradise and a mox on turn one. Anies played land, black lotus, control magic on the birds :) His opponent then did nothing on turn 2 expect play a land, which gave Anies the opportunity to disenchant his mox and gain the advantage because he had more mana available! Winning a game by playing land, black lotus, control magic your bird of paradise must be one of the best ways to win a game, don't you think? I thought it was a really cool story which deserved writing down. 

By then it was time for round 3, I was paired against Bas who was playing a R/W deck. 

The first game I thought I was off to a strong start with 2 vises in hand, but then Bas decided to mulligan to 6, making my opening less strong than I had initially thought. 

Strong opening, right? Less than you would think..

Bas was, like many of my opponents this day, not impressed:

He dropped a lotus, played a Savannah lions and 2 meekstones, which made the Serendib Efreet I was planning to play on turn 2 less than optimal to say the least. It also meant he was starting to beat me with the savannah lions with no way for me to get rid of them. I would have to play the Serendib to take less damage. Fortunately, I finally got some blockers in the form of Atog and a lions myself to win this game, but it was far harder than I had thought it would be looking at my opening hand. T1 2 vises and T2 Serendib, you would think this would be a great opening. Fortunately, olschool gives your opponents plenty of opportunity to get back at you. 

The second game Bas opened with Savannah Lions, which is always a strong opening. I stopped this by playing a first turn Atog. 

The Atog was plowed away and I started taking damage from the lions. My deck proceeded to do what it sometimes does, giving me land, land, a by then useless vise, and then 3 more land in a row. 

What a great game this is! Ehmm..

I finally got the bolt I needed to get rid of the lions. We exchanged some creatures and elimination back and forth and eventually got to play some more creatures and win with it, but it wasn't easy. It felt like a really hard fought game. 

Onto round 4, where I think I played Koendert playing a W/B/R millstone deck with Ivory towers. 

I opened turn one Lions, then followed up with an Ankh of Mishra. Koendert played a millstone and started milling me. 

A revised millstone, you don't see that often in an OS game :)

These were also nice games but a bit less intense than the previous ones. Koendert was happily milling away my deck and destroying my creatures and artifacts, but in the end every creature would do a bit more damage before being removed. Key in both games was that I managed to get rid of his Ivory Towers to prevent him from getting more life. Good thing I had added some artifact hate in my sideboard, these were really useful in this match. 

Round 5 I was paired against Marten, who was playing "a typical Marten deck", which means there are some unexpected one-offs in there so you have to expect everything. Marten had built a 5-color-black deck, which I was about to find out had main deck both Nightmare and Drain life. 

The first game Marten was off to a strong start with tutor, ancestral and a Hypnotic Specter, which is an absolute nightmare in my eyes. My opening was.. let's say... less impressive?

Well, it does damage I suppose.. 

I tried with a Serendib, which was quickly removed with a terror. I then decided to go for drastic measures and play Armageddon, because it would leave Marten with no way to follow up because he would have no mana, while I had a mox and a sol ring. This proved to be the right play because I could play a vise, an Ankh, then get rid of the specter with a swords to plowshares and follow up with another Ankh and a Savannah lions, which eventually won me the game while Marten was stuck taking damage from Vises and Ankhs. 

I didn't take many pictures of the second game, other than that I started out with an Atog, which, looking back, really isn't that good in this format. 

Marten had opened with land, sol ring, which he copied on turn 2. I thought that something really big would be coming, I just didn't know what it was. I attacked a couple of turns with the Atog when Marten hit with an earthquake for 8 damage! So that what he was up to! I also expected at least one fireball or disintegrate in his deck so somewhere in the game I pushed through another Armagedon and it's a good thing that I did, or Marten would have played a really big drain life to get back. I managed to stay ahead just a little because I could do some direct damage with bolts and a couple of points with the vise, in the end it was just enough to squeeze out a win in a very close match. 

So I was 4-1, which meant I would be playing top 8. A nice opportunity play some more games :)

Before the Top 8 however, the person with the most brewpoints was announced, which was Rob, who had gone all the way for the points:

Running around in a chicken suit all day, that's dedication!

Then it was time for a live Legends booster opening. You can see it Timmy the sorcerer's livestream from about 6 hours and 1 minute of the tournament livestream.

I am not going to mention what the rare was, but I do want to give an impression here:

Legends boosterpack, always exiting. 

What will it hold? Will it be Tabernacle or Elder land wurm?

There it goes, look at the serious faces :)

The first card was a pit scorpion, which was followed up by a very playable divine offering. 

I won't show the entire booster pack here, go watch the opening on Timmy's youtube channel :)

Because I had been watching the Legends booster opening and trading and buying some cards I sort of missed the opportunity to get some dinner.

But I did add some nice cards to the collection, although I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with all of them. I had a quick cheese bun in the venue and went to play my quarterfinal. He was playing an aggressive zoo build with giant growth and berserks. 

On the first round he played a classic Taiga - Kird ape. When he did not play a land on the second turn, I decided to make use of my Chaos Orb (which I had missed 4 flips during the day... did I mention how stupid this card is? It's dumb. ) to destroy his taiga. That way I was sure he would take some damage from the Ankh I had on hand and I could attack with my Atog and Lions. 

He was low on land though, while I was playing a land each turn (quite a rarity for this deck). Fortunately, I also had something to play with the land in the form of my Air Elemental. This made for a quick win because he had no blockers that would be big enough in time, even he started drawing lands. After I won game one and was hit with his sideboard, I fully onderstood why this deck had managed to reach the quarterfinals. 

After the first Tsunami

During the game I was hit with Tsunami twice, and then by a flashfires. Fortunately, my deck does not need a lot of mana in general, so I could keep playing. 

After the Serendib was hit with Chaos orb I was able to play my Water Elemental, which was quickly fireballed. 

The most enjoyable play I remember was my opponent playing a berserk to get rid of my Air Elemental, which cost made him take 8 damage. Only for me to unsummon it after it did it's damage, so it could live and fight another day. Fortunately I was also able to Swords to plowshare his Force of Nature. 

After I was hit with the flashfires, it was getting a lot harder to keep in the game, but since I was ahead in damage, I could squeeze in a win with my flying Mesa Pegasus after my Air Elemental was blasted out of the sky. So I managed to win even after 2 tsunami's and a flashfires. Wow.. though game.  

The semifinal was against a control deck, for which I was a bit to fast and keeping up damage with a vise and then creature after creature and some direct damage won me game 1, I was just too fast for the slower deck. The second game he decided to mulligan, and after I was able to counter his Ancestral recall with red elemental blast, I was able to stay ahead and win the second game also. So I was in to the final! Pretty cool!

vise and burn against control

So, time for the final against Bas. I was pretty exhausted at the time and wished I had some more to eat, because I was feeling a bit lightheaded. 

The Farmstead Final

The first game was quite close with some a lot of nice plays. Bas was playing with Elvish Archers, als I had originally planned to. I think deciding to control magic his Scryb Sprites even though I didn't know what else would be coming was the key play, because it kept me ahead in damage.

The first game

After leading 1-0, the second game was a total non-game in a bad way. My opponent decided to mulligan twice and then opened with turn 1: two black vises, followed up by turn 2: another vise, while I had kept a pretty normal hand with no moxen. 

The moment I felt how stupid this game sometimes is :)

This meant I was down 14 damage by the time I was getting from under the vises, and my opponent was also bolting me. I felt I might be able to do something with some creatures I got out, but I was on 4 and then on 1 for a long time. All it took was another bolt, and that came quickly. 

Third game I kept an opening hand with 2 lands, pegasus, vise, serendib and timetwister, figuring I would be able to play T1 vise, T2 pegasus, and then T3 I would have drawn another land for the Serendib and timetwister to follow up, to also do some damage with the vise. 

It was not meant to be however, as I did not draw a single land in the first 5 turns, and when a land did show up in turn 6 it was too late. My opponent had out two Elvish Archers, a sprite, a Kird ape and a vise, so I had take way to much damage by the time I could play my efreet. I tried stopping the Archers with an Atog, but it was bolted in response to my eating my vise and that was it. The 5 turns it took for a land to show up did me in. Had I drawn one of my earthquakes or Swords to plowshares, I might have been a different game. But instead I was stuck with 2 serendibs, a psionic blast and a timetwister, with no lands to play them. Oh well, that's Magic for you. 

The farmstead champion

I will post some more atmosphere pictures under this text, but first I want to thank everyone, especially Robbie and Roy for organizing this event! Also thanks to all of my opponents for the (mostly) nice and exiting games! I had a really great day, OS in real life is the best. 

Wijnand, our local cardboard crack dealer

Timmy the sorcerer playing his elementals deck

And just some people really enjoying OS in real life: 

Thanks for reading and all the players: thanks for showing up, you're the greatest. Until next time, see you then!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Camel Trophy III

In the last couple of months, the requirements to stay at home were a bit loosened in our country because the number of people in hospital were going down. This gave me an opportunity to finally meet up with some of the OS-players in our country and flop some cardboard, talk, have some drinks and a good time with nice people that share my love for old magic. This made me realize that while online events are great (with a big thanks to the organizers of these events, like Henk in our country), they are just a substitute for the real OS experience. So when the rules where loosened a bit more, I went looking for an option to run an OS-event again. There are of course still restrictions, so less people in a room, ventilation, etc. I know that most OS-players I know are vaccinated, so felt reasonably comfortable organizing something. 

I went to Richard, in who's store both previous Camel Trophy's were held. He has since taken over another game store and moved there. This also meant the return of a nostalgic name, "het Spelkwartier". This was the name of the gamestore which is tied with the store The Joker for the most hours I spent playing magic when I was still in highschool and as a student. I wanted to have the event in the store, but Richard told me we could have a maximum of 18 people because of the restrictions and he was willing to make some more room to a maximum of 20. For a while, this didn't seem like an issue because we were around 20 people who wanted to join. Then a couple weeks ago, I got a couple of more questions from people that wanted to join, which brought me over 20. Richard was really great and said he could ask if we could use the restaurant in an office building in Arnhem, even with restrictions this would be able to hold about 35 people. The catch was, we would have to rent it. Even though the price was reasonable, you don't want to rent a space of a couple of people drop off the list and you go under 20 again. Anyway, I decided to just go for it, ask everyone to please send me the money ahead of the event and it was the good choice, because in the last couple of weeks some more people were added and we were up to 30, a great number for a nice OS event. We did some talking about lunch and diner with the new place, some more mailing with the participants and we were set. Oh, nope. I also had to swing by the gamestore to pick up some cards for the lottery I traditionally hold on a Camel Trophy event. Fortunately, Richard still had some old cardboard left, even though he told me there was quite a hausse just after the lockdowns started. It was as if everyone was hoarding old cardboard just to have something to do. I ended up with LG Carrion Ants, Beta scryb sprites, an AN desert, a playset UL Timmy, DK scavenger folk, DK marsh vipers, and a couple of AQ rocket launchers. Now I needed a deck to play myself. 

I also noticed these among the gamestore stock and since I didn't have them, I got them as well. 

I wanted to play something I had not played before on a live event, even though decks like that become increasingly rare. I've played quite a lot of different decks over the past years. I still have not played a Lauter-like Lions/Dib deck on an event, but I didn't feel like playing that. I've sleeved it up a couple of times, but so far I haven't taken it to an event yet because I always end up wanting something a bit more surprising or less common. I'm sure it will come, but this was not the time. While I was flipping through my binder, I stopped at the playset of power artifacts that are in there. I've played with them a while back for a couple of casual games, but then but them away again. I hadn't played this on a tournament, so I thought, why not?

I mean, what's not to like. Infinite damage, my inner Timmy will be very happy. I wanted to have an option to win against COP red and the like, so I added a rocket launcher just to be sure. But when you play a combo deck like this, it tends to be weak against a lot of counters and artifact removal. With all the disenchants, crumbles and shatters you see in main decks, I also wanted something else to be able to win with, and I also didn't want the monoliths to be just combo pieces. So I did some more digging and came up with these options:

I ended up adding all of them, and some more. Dropping a T2 monolith with a mox, and have your opponent think they will just destroy the monolith when you add power artifact is nice, because then you get to tap it on t3 or t4 just for mana and drop a big dragon or djinn. It provides an extra way to win which they don't expect. Even though this makes the combo option somewhat less focused I thought it would be nice to see if I could win with this. I wasn't building this deck to end up winning. 

the usual suspects

After that I added the usual suspects. I thought it would be pretty good, even though not the best of options. Who cares. Infinite damage and dragons. What's not to like :).

On the day of the tournament, Peter told me he was having a fever and was coughing. To take no risks of maybe infecting others with covid, he decided to stay home. Good decision if you ask me. "Fortunately" I got another cancellation, so we would be playing with an even group. 

Even though people were a bit doubtful about playing in an office restaurant, they were convinced once they arrived. Free parking in front or a 2 minute walk from the bus stop, it was easy to reach. It was also recently redecorated and looked great. We could use tables usually for four people for every pair, so keeping a distance would not be a problem. Also there were some big doors opening to outside to let in plenty of fresh air, so it would be no problem keeping with the covid demands. 

While I was setting up the laptop with extra screen for pairings, Timmy the sorcerer arrived to stream the event live. I brought an extra camera mount and extra playmats for feature matches. It took some time to set it up with minimum glare, but I think we managed well. The entire live stream is over here: though it's probably better to watch some of the matches after he finishes reworking the video. 

After everyone was checked in, it was time to start. Time for round 1, I was paired against Bas, who was playing a classic U/R counter-burn deck. Shatters and counterspells. Not my best match-up I guess. 

Game one was as expected, Bas played a flying men and started beating. I tried to set up rocket launcher to maybe set up the combo, or in worse case scenario, just shoot the flying men with it. 

It was quickly shattered before it could do anything. So then I went for the alternative. 

The Shivan came into play after some countering and was then missed by the orbflip (Did I mention how stupid chaos orb is? It's either frustrating because it hits for your opponent or frustrating for you when you miss. It's dumb.) so that did a lot of damage and won me the game. 

The second game I opened with a library, but this time Bas did not miss his flip.

So the library was gone before it could do a lot. Bas was doing what counterburn does, bolt me, blast me and play creatures while I was assembling my combo. After he played serendib and almost tapped out, I went for it and played rocket launcher with my lone monolith, then time walk. 

The turn after that the power artifact came into play after a red/blue blast exchange and that was it. One game with a dragon, one game infinite. My inner Timmy was happy! 

In the meantime, on some other table, someone was dying from walls and sword of the ages :)

plenty of space to play in a nice atmosphere in the Stikker building

Round 2: Antoine with blue manavault-ramp into djinns. 


Game 1, Antoine had a pretty strong opening with turn one sage and a chaos orb after that. I was a bit low on mana and was attacked. I was a bit slower in this game, but eventually the combo did show up in time. 

├Źn game 2 I managed to slow Antoine up with an Abyss. I had sideboarded out the creatures. He had opened with 2 quick sages, but I had Abyss and chaos orb to keep 'the damage away. 

here I already have power artifact in my had, however.. 

Even though I managed to keep him away, antoine had mishra's factories, which proved to be key in this game. Since my deck was a hardcore combo deck now, I had no way to get rid of them. I was close to winning in the sense that I could finally play power artifact when I got my second blue mana (this took quite a while) and I had braingeyser in my had, but I had to wait a turn to play it. And that turn was just enough for Antoine, we took me down with factories. 

The third game, Antoine had an incredible opening:


And he used his mana artifacts to drop a first turn Trike:

Fortunately for me, he also played an Su-Chi which I could control magic just in time thanks to a mox that gave me a turn advantage. I exchanged the Su-Chi with the trike after Antoine attacked, and then could play a Abyss. I thought this would at least slow Antoine down. He just went on with his powerplay :)

A turn after his Ancestral Recall, Antoine played library of Alexandria, so I quickly used my orb to get rid of that. I'm not sure if he expected this, but he played a disk after that. I didn't check the decklists I had recieved as tournament organizer, so I was suprised by Antoine's Nevinyrrall's disk. A disk is basically the death of a combo deck if it stays. And I could not counter it with my powersink, because Antoine would just have enough mana. 

I had power artifact and two fireballs in hand, and a rocket launcher in play. All I needed was monolith. With Ancestral recall, time walk, timetwister, braingeyser, wheel of fortune, demonic tutor and four monoliths still in my deck, I decided I would either need to win or lose horribly because of the disk. So I power sinked Antoine, who paid the mana but was now tapped out. My next draw was Ancestral recall, which I played: 


And there the monolith was. Yes, this was a gamble, but from where was sitting, I figured out Antoine had still counters in his hand, and with more counters and a Disk in play, I had about a 90% chance of losing so I just went for it on the basis that there were plenty of chances for me still in my deck. This time, it worked out and I won. 2-1, pfew. 

The 3rd match, I played Jorgo, who was playing Joldersma-Visser Atog-geddon with vises, ankhs and burn. This an enormously quick deck and unfortunately, I did not get my 3rd mana to play the monolith in my hand. So I was taking massive damage from the vise. 

Jorgo followed up with a Savannah Lions and when I finally did get my second land, he destroyed it. 

I managed to get out the monolith with sol ring, but being stuck without the right mana, I lost quickly. The second game was not much better, with an Ankh and lions arriving very quickly. 

Then an Atog joined, and even though I could play my monolith and power artifact before dying, I did not have an X-spell to finish off Jorgo, so I was down 2 games. The second one was closer than the first because I did manage to get infinite mana, but with nothing to do with it, I was stuck. Too bad :)

Round 4: Evan, with powered blue fish. 

Even had decided to keep a hand with no colored mana, but with mishra's factories and started beating me quickly in game 1:

When he got to blue mana, I decided to quickly get rid of his merfolk and do one damage to him also before a lord of Atlantis would appear. This was possible because I had drawn a sol ring. The lord did not appear, but neither did any more land appear on my side of the table, so I just lost to the factories. 

The second game went better for me, with a second turn monolith. 

I played a rocket launcher after that, but still had to wait for power artifact. I figured rocket launcher would not hurt against a lot of small creatures. If necessary, I could use it get rid of those. 

Fortunately for me, Even tapped out to attack me with his factory a couple of turns later, so I could play power artifact without fear of being countered and that was it. The third game, I had an early library of Alexandria and a mox ruby, so I could assemble a lot of mana quickly. 

The red elemantal blast helped in keeping down some early damage when Evan but down energy flux. That would be bad for my artifacts, but fortunately, I still had my backup plan:

The backup plan worked fine, with Evan sacrificing his creatures to block, and the game was over when I played a second dragon. Again one game infinite, one game dragons. Very happy I had two ways of winning in this deck :)

Round 5 I was paired against Marten, who tends to play his own brews, so you never know what's coming. Apart from being a nice guy, he's also one of the best OS players I know, so this was going to be a tough match. When I saw his opening, it was even worse then I had expected:

T1 library. Crap!!

I don't really know how I managed to pull of a win after that library opening, but somehow I managed to get together the combo and just won. The second game Marten dropped a black lotus and played first turn Su-Chi. Damn.. 

This game was over pretty quickly. I had kept a hand with a library, but Marten quickly took in more card advantage then me by playing an Ancestral Recall on T2. 

I could not keep up with the onslaught, so it was 1-1 after a couple of minutes. The third game was broken on both sides, I mean, look at this turn one:

I could assemble power/monolith, but I did not have a fireball, disintegrate or rocket launcher to finish it. I could have played earthquake which I had sided in (Marten also had Atogs), but decided not to draw yet. Marten then played Hurkyl's recall and got rid of my power artifact. 

He then started beating me with factories. I saw a theme here, this deck cannot really handle Mishra's factories. When he started counting his mana, I knew there was no way I was going to win this. So I played my second power artifact and played earthquake for a 1000 damage to us both and take a draw. 

On round 6, I played against Frank who was playing white weenie. He also made one of the coolest plays I saw all day in this match, but more about that later. His opening was quite surprising to me:

Beware of the vultures

Frank followed up with more vultures, lions and a mishra's factory. To speed things up, I played the monolith in the same turn I could then tap it, to play braingeyser. In that case I would at least have some cards in case Frank would disenchant the monolith. He didn't. Good for me, because next turn:

The second game, Frank had a classic and pretty strong opening:

nothing wrong with first turn lions!

The second turn, he dropped 2 more! I needed to slow things down which I could with a chaos orb and a control magic. 

Or at least I thought so, because Frank dust to dusted my 2 artifacts promptly. That card feels so unfair :P

After we exchanged 2 lions in an attack, Frank wanted to speed things up and proceeded to:

Yes, you saw that correctly. He played deathlace on my mountain. Why, do you ask? Well... 

Now I had a black permanent. And Frank had a 4/2 Lions, so that was pretty bad for me. I managed to counter a psionic blast and waited for the combo to assemble. Which was just in time, because I went for it when I was on 2 life. And it worked, fortunately. 

After 6 rounds of swiss, it was time for the Top 8, but not before I did the lottery. With a random number generator which generated the same number 3 times and once landed on myself (I did not want to win a prize myself), I managed to skip all those and hand out the prizes to the happy winners. 

coronaproof handing out of prizes :)

In the meantime, me and Wouter were looking through the deck pictures to figure out to whom we wanted to give the spice price. After some deliberation, we could not figure out if we liked Arno's deck better or Robins. Fortunately, they were playing each other, so in stead of letting that end in a draw because of time, we let them play out and awared the spice price to the winner, which was Robin. But both decks are really cool I think: 

Arno's animator ( snap)

Robin's Arboria Bees 

After this, it was time to figure out the Top 8. These were the standings after swiss:

I was in the top 8, with which I was happy. Unfortunately, I would be playing Jorgo, which out of all the people in the tournament is probably my worst matchup. 

In the meantime, we heard that the cook of the venue we were in was home sick, so he could not make dinner for the people that had pre-ordered this. When Richard, our local gamestore owner, heard of this, he offered to take over as chef and make us lasagna. Or have us order food via the internet. All of us who wanted to have dinner there took Richard up on his great offer, and he made lasagne, both vegetarian and with meat. This guy must be one of the greatest gamestore owners in the world. At least I think so. Again, a big thank you from all the people you made dinner for, Richard. The food was great! 

Possibly the greatest gamestore owner in the world in the kitchen

We had some food and then played top 8 (or first played a top 8 game and then ate, by then the orderly part of the tournament was over :)). 

Not only was Jorgo my worst matchup, he opened with a great opening as well. 

I managed to get out a monolith but could not finish the combo before I was dead. The chaos orb did not help either. In the second game,  he promptly dropped multiple black vises, stripped my land, etc. It was a total disaster and over in minutes, he just had all the awnsers. If I had an artifact, he disenchanted. If I had more land, he destroyed it. Like I said, the worst matchup in Top8 I could have possibly had. Oh well, top 8 with Dragon Power Monolith it is not a bad finish, I was happy with the decks performance and perhaps one day in the future I'll improve on it. 

But first, I have some other decks to make, because these were the next two acquisitions of the day:

my third pit scorpion and a tawnos wand!

 The last I had to think about a bit longer, because it was quite the sum of money. They are italian, but then I'm more of a player than purist. I like to make as many different decks as possible. And the offer was a good price, and 3 all at once. I figured I would either have to buy them now, or probably never. So I just went for it. I have some happy brewing coming my way :) 

the best reanimation art in the game, I think :)

In the meantime in the Top 8, Peter had won, Marten had won and Frenk had won. Which meant that Frenk and Marten who are friends would be playing each other (this game is on Timmy's stream by the way!). 

I will try to get all of the deck pics together and make another post of it. This is what the top 8 looked like:

Frenk - Robots variant

Rob - Stasis

Marten - Su-chi/Atog good stuff

Bjorn - Dragon Power Monolith

Jorgo - Joldersma-Visser Atog/geddon

Antoine - monoblue fatties

Peter - UW Lion/dib/serra

David - WRB Troll Disco. 

During the semifinals, I could finally pass along an Ifh-Biff efreet to Alex and a Personal Incarnation to Wouter, both of which had been waiting for over a year after we made the deal during lockdown. And just as my UL bird of paradise had waited for a year to come over to me these were still waiting for their new owners. OS is just a great community like that. 

After the dust of the semis settled, Frenk had beaten Marten, and Jorgo had beaten Peter. So the finals were Frenk against Jorgo. Unfortunately, the finals were not very exiting. Frenk was basically manascrewed and Jorgo won pretty easily. Too bad, I feel this could have been a much more exiting finals if you look at the decks, but that's magic for you. Sometimes you draw your ancestral just in time, sometimes you're just shit out of luck. 

The winner of the day!

Looking back, I think this was a great event. We had a good place to play, the food was good during lunch and even better with dinner. I can't thank Richard enough for contacting this place for me and then showing up to make us dinner. The atmosphere was really great and I enjoyed seeing all the people having fun at flopping cards again. This is why I organize events like this. OS is best enjoyed in real life, and I hope there are many events that will follow. Till next time!

Some atmosphere shots:

Library vs vise. Doesn't this happen more often than expected?