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. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Gaea's Avengers

August 3rd, and already it's time for another oldschool event. This time it's in Hasselt, Belgium for the first Gaea's avengers tournament. In my last tournament I played a fun deck and had a lot of fun, but I also wanted to try a bit of competitive play again. I had no time or inspiration to build something really original (not to mention no time to playtest it beforehand) so I decided to just go in full Spike mode, build a deck that could win and go for a top 8 finish.

I made a plain old "the deck" variant with some surprises in the sideboard. Looking back I was happy with the decks performance, but I probably would make some changes for a next time. On the day of the tournament I picked up Thijs from Arnhem. I'd asked him if he wanted to go and needed a ride since he has no whatsapp, so he missed the fact there was a tournament at all. He wanted to go so I picked him up in the morning and after a little over two hours we were in Hasselt. Which was bigger than we expected, we actually had to look for an affordable parking place. Hasselt is apparently growing in population quickly. We parked somewhere on the edge of the center and passed several apartment blocks that were still under construction but had signs on most of the apartments that they were already sold. There must be something really nice about living in Hasselt besides an opportunity to play oldschool and good Belgian fries.

The playing area was upstairs from a bar and there were plenty of tables and space to play. It was a bit hot so all the windows were open. As far as I know, no cards flew out the window due to a draft since there was virtually no wind at all. Which also meant it was quite hot in there, so I would not only be sweating because of the tense games :) There were some of the people I know but also some faces that were new to me, so there would be a chance to play some guys I had not played before. Wouter was also there, and he had brought my Angel that had accidentally stayed over in his deck after the last Knights of Thorn tournament after he took it from Peter. Thanks Wouter, for taking good care of her :)  After the first pairings were called, I was to play against someone I had not seen before, but he had a lot of old cards and told me he didn't know a lot of people who played oldschool. So he was happy there was an occasion to do so. 

Round 1 - Nicolas

For my first game, I had a pretty nice opening hand with 2 moxen and a lotus, but nothing to do with it, so decided to go for first turn demonic tutor and then second turn braingeyser 4 to get the game started. My opponent would only have one bayou and a sol ring by then, so I was not to worried that something really bad would happen.He surprised me with this on turn 2 :)

Eureka! Awesome!
He played a couple of basilisk and cockatrice with that eureka. I put down a tome. I quickly started drawing cards as fast as I could to prevent me from being overrun. I managed to get rid of the creatures one by one and then stabilize and start beating back with factories. On the second game, I sideboarded in something he probably did not expect, and with concordant crossroads in play, I got to do this (I had gotten rid of his creatures by then). 

He also played a couple of other classics that don't see enough play:

Fortunately for me, the creatures in his deck weren't the biggest ones available, or I would have been in trouble. I sideboarded in both Djinns and Abyss to have a good chance of playing either of those if an early eureka would come. In the end, the djinn, factories and fireball won me the match.

Round 2 - Stan 

Stan played a deck he normally plays with fallen empires (probably French Oldschool then). I think this deck is called something like Temple of Sped, I've seen Carl or Antoine play it a while back in the Draconian Cylix Series in Eindhoven. This was a version where orders had been replaced with Thunder Spirits since FE is not allowed under Swedish rules. 

It was a pretty long match, with the first match going to me after I got a tome working, the second game he ran over me with Lions, Serendib, Spirit with counter backup and direct damage before I could stabilize. The third game I won after I could stall him a bit and then kill him with some factory damage and a fireball. It was an intense match so I did not have a lot of time to take pictures. It was hard work, but I managed to squeeze out a 2-1 win.

Round 3 - Wouter

Wouter was playing a red kind of Tron deck and he told me he was actually quite surprised he had won 2 matches with it. There were some surprises in it with which he had managed to overcome his previous two opponents. 

Shivan Dragon! Rock!
Other things were less surprising :) but of course an excellent choice

I managed to get some control with extra card draw from the book, but the game was really over after this (isn't it always)

Fortunately Wouter told me he was all for the card in the format so I didn't have to feel guilty. To be honest, I probably would have won without the mind twist. Another thing that I almost never have in play all at once is this playset, but when I do, it usually means I'm winning :)

The second game he had an early tron complete:

and started playing bigger spells fast. In the meantime I was trying to get ahead by drawing extra cards with the tome. That worked and eventually the game was decided in a nice good old counter battle:

I won this one 2-0 and with a 3-0 showing I was pretty confident I would make it to the top 8. After the game, I put all my stuff in my bag and chatted with Frenk. And took some pictures of others playing:





When the new pairings were called out, it turned out I was to play Frenk on table 2 :) I could have just stayed there and not put away my playmat, lifecounter and deck :) 

Round 4: Frenk
Frenk getting out his stuff
The first game was not much of a challenge for Frenk. I did not draw counters or swords to plowshares to take care of his fast weenie horde. There are just those games when you don't seem to be able to draw anything useful. To be honest, I did have one counterspell in hand when Frank disenchanted my Mox Sapphire, but it would not have a lot of difference, since he then would have played the Djinn and killed me anyway:

The second and third game were a little bit better, though I was not really pleased with drawing three early game cities of brass, than one other land, and than another city of brass. That's not the best land draw against a pretty aggressive deck.

I managed to pull out a 2-1 win with the factories and a fireball in the end so I was at 4-0 by then. Top 8 would be not problem now. This meant I had to play against Antoine in round 5. He has shown to be one of the most competitive players of Oldschool in this area and has won several tournaments. He's a very frequent top 8 player. I've played him in a couple of top 8's before and these were always tense but great games so this would be an interesting match, even though Antoine told me he felt no pressure as we would both be in top 8 anyway. This did not mean he would not play his best though. Another interesting remark he made was that guys that win every game in Swiss usually don't win the tournament. He himself had never managed to do that.

Round 5: Antoine

The opening was interesting from both sides. I had kept the hand to play this on turn one. 

and Antoine played this on turn one:

I had to act quickly or it would get out of hand fast. I followed up destroying the libary with my orb, and I drew this a couple of turns after that. 

That left my had pretty much without anything, so we would go into topdeck mode from there. It was a pretty insane match where a lot of crazy plays followed each other.

I don't exactly what I thought, but wanted to push for a win in game 2, so I drew five cards, but then Antoine literally did this next turn

He had drawn the tutor from the top of his deck, searched for mind twist and then took my entire hand from there. And then this happened while all I was drawing were moxen. That was over quickly. 

The next match was also tense with both of us drawing on lots of cards. I was trying hard to  keep up with the working library Antoine had dropped shortly after playing an ancestral.

My library was not working yet, so spending a lot of mana to keep up.

It was a tough match, with lots of power going back and forth, but in the end I managed to squeeze out a 2-1 win for a 5-0 perfect swiss record. Achievement unlocked :) So this was the top 8. Special mention for Roy, who reached top 8 in spot 5 with a Land tax/Land's edge deck with almost no power, just one mox!

Now I had to try to get as far as I could from here.

My quarterfinal game was against a mono black dreams deck with howling mines. I do like to draw a lot of cards, so that's not really the best of matchups for me. But since drawing cards is what the deck has to do, I just went for it even though my opponent had played dark ritual/dreams on turn one. I cast a tome, copied it and just kept drawing cards in spite of the damage that was eating at my life. Eventually I found a disenchant and from there I was able to take control of the game.

The second game, I was not so lucky though. I started with a library and a city of brass, expecting to draw more lands. The library was quickly destroyed though, and this was what I ended up with:

I was losing life fast, but not fast enough that I couldn't make it back and eventually we ended up here

He did kill one of my moxen with that poltergeist. Cool :) That's a first in Swedish Oldschool  for me I think.

The COP black was protecting me and I counted on him sideboarding out all of his creature elimination, so I had sided in my djinns as a quick win, and it worked. As soon as the djinn was there, the match was over in a couple of turns. 

In the semi-finales I met Alban Lauter, and there my luck ran out. I got ahead with a 1-0 win after he scooped when I got a tome working, but the next two games were not much of a competition. Alban mindtwisted me early on game two and had an active library of Alexandria. Game 3 I was trying to get some cards out of my hand to play balance since Alban was drawing cards with a library again, but I did not drew enough lands to actually cast the cards with. I think I was at two lands (he had destroyed my factory) while he was at five lands and had just more opportunities. I couldn't play my balance quick enough with any impact, and by the time I had managed to get some cards out of my hand (one per turn) he countered it easily and that was game. So I ended up Top 4, not bad.  It would have been nice to see what would have happened in that third game I had had drawn 2 more lands, but it was not meant to be.

In the meantime Antoine was winning his semi-final with the Serra Angel he had animated from his opponent:

So the finals would be Rottiers against Lauter from there. The finales were a set of insane plays. 

Game 1, turn 1
Turn 2

That's a balance right there on Albans side.

Suffice to say, Antoine won game 1. Then it was time for Alban to do broken stuff:
Look at the graveyard. And yes, he has just played regrowth on the ancestral he's playing
Antoine was also a bit low on land, so Alban won the second game. It would be up to the third game now. In game 3, it was a bit of a repeat of game 2. Antoine was a bit low on land, and in the meantime Alban was drawing major broken stuff he played in quick order. 

I mean, you only have to look at the graveyard to see what Antoine is up against here:
and this was like, turn 5... 
With a card advantage that big (I think it was more than 10 cards with the mind twist, ancestral and braingeyser) it was impossible for Alban to lose, and so he didn't. He won 2-1 and the first Gaea's avengers had it's first winner!

While all that was happening, I actually did some trading. I think I haven't traded for over a year now, and last time it was with professional trader Robbie, so I didn't trade a lot of cards with other players. And I was happy my second Ramirez which has been in my binder for over 15 years found a new owner in Roy, who I know will take good care of him :)

I also traded a couple of weakstones which I plan to use in my multiplayer deck (yes, I still play old fashioned multiplayer decks with my best friends, with none of that commander/highlander stuff.) It's the small trades like these that make you feel good :)

After the tournament I was kinda hungry, (it was also around 8PM) so we wanted to have some food quickly. Fortunately, Belgium is famous for it's fries and Peter Monten pointed us in the right direction, so went with Fries and burgers. 
waiting for the fries to arrive :)
After our dinner we walked back to the car and drove back home for 2 hours, only to find out the last part of the road to Arnhem had been closed due to maintenance. Usually I check that kind of stuff first, but this time I'd forgotten it, and there we were, driving back around the city to actually get in from the other side. It was around midnight when I got home, and I could look back upon another amazing oldschool journey. Thanks to Peter and Simon for organizing this event, thanks to everyone I played, traded with or just chatted with. This great community makes me really happy I never sold my cards after I stopped. In about 3 weeks I'll have another go at oldschool cardboard in Hilversum, were Joep Meddens has organized one of his Giant tournaments again. You can still join, so send him a message if you want to. You can mail him from the upcoming events section of this site. Thanks to all and till next time!