Sunday, October 2, 2022

Farmstead 2022

 Ah yes, Farmstead, another oldschool experience from Mierlo. Farmstead is an idea by Robbie and Roy, and it is a CSO tournament, meaning Core Set Only. This is a bit like the Ancient CSO tournaments that I used to organize a while back, but with a difference. Whereas I allowed cards that were printed in beta and reprints of those cards, Robbie and Roy decided it would be nice to make it an ABUR tournament, meaning Alpha, Beta, Unlimited and Revised cards are allowed. This makes for a very interesting mix of cards, as you can play the reprints of certain cards that were reprinted in revised. The catch is you have to play them in their revised version though :) In the week before the tournament I had a acquired a beta two-headed giant of Foriys. In general, I don't care that much if a card is either beta, unlimited or revised (though I have been drawn into liking unlimited cards a bit more), but a beta two-headed giant is something that have wanted to have for some time. I don't know why exactly. So naturally when I got it, I wanted to play it in this coreset only tournament. I could have made a variant of the deck I made it into the finals with last time in the first Farmstead, but I wanted to try something with some more green in it. One of the good things is in this format, is dat something resembling arabian Agro is actually quite good, since there is no city in a bottle. And I like Arabian Agro a lot, in and in this format it is not utterly destroyed by just one card. So, RUG it was:

A good option for my new old giant to get to work

I built basically an AN agro deck variant with Elvish Archers, Kird Apes and Serendib efreets (all in good revised fashion). I thought the Archers and the Giant would be good since I saw a lot of Savannah Lions last year. Last year, I also played with Atogs, but these felt quite underwhelming, so I took one out for the giant. On the day of the tournament, there were 20 players there, next to Robbie and some traders with lots and lots of goodies to look at. Or buy :) Unfortunately, I did not write down my opponents, so I don't have the names :( Sorry!

Round 1: mono black

My first match was against a mono black deck with racks. Okay.. did not see that one coming. Racks are actually very good against a quick and agressive deck like mine and I had chosen the leave the artifact hate in the sideboard to go all in on agro. I was on the draw and played a Scryb Sprites, after my opponent played a first turn rack. My Sprites were quickly removed. 

I did not have a lot to follow up except a vise, and that did not do that much. 

My elf that showed up later was paralyzed, but I had a chance to fireball his Royal Assassin and a black Knight with it. After that, another elf showed up, but nothing a bit more like and ape or archer. Serendib would have been great at this moment, but no such luck. 

When an archer eventuall did show up, it was terrored. 

Nothing showed up to do damage with, so I just had to sit there and bolt his hypnotic specter to make sure I would not be killed by racks, but another showed up, and a mind twist.. with 2 racks, that game was over. I left out mind twist out of my deck because I wanted to have a nice evening playing. Almost felt sorry I had not kept it in to return the favor. Almost. 

My opening hand for game 2 was, let say, not great. But also not that bad, a serendib would be nice and I could draw into red mana. A volcanic island would make this hand pretty great, a Taiga was also good. Even a badlands would be okay here. So, I kept it to see what happend. 

My opponent played a first turn deathgrip and a rack, so my vise did basically nothing. But he decided to tap out to play an Icy, which gave me an opportunity to play a green card. 

In this game, creatures did show up, and even though the were taken care of by the Icy and Terror, I was still doing a lot of damage. I was also helped along with an Ancestral recall and the game was over pretty quickly. 1-1

The second game I started with Kird Apes, but no forests after my only forest dual was sinkholed. Perhaps this deck is a bit too greedy playing 3 colors (well, 4 if you count the 1 demonic tutor in the main deck). But hey, one damage at a time is something.. 

The one paralyze quickly turned into 2 which kind of sucked, especially with a hypnotic specter attacking me, costing me a bunch of cards. 

I had to use my chaos orb on his Royal Assasin to make sure I would have creatures left later on. While my 2 kird apes were paralyzed doing nothing. Where was that tranquility I had boarded in? Fortunately, another ape showed up. And, my two-headed giant :)

My opponent reading 2 headed giant. 

No damage for my giant though, because he was quickly terrored out of the game. Damn. But, you know, I still did damage with my ape. And an Elf showed up. I was drawing a lot of land in this game, not a lot of creatures. 

To see if I could get things started up again after a paralize was dumped on my serendib efreet, I played timetwister, hoping very much for that tranquility or a demonic tutor to get it. 

Unfortunately, that did not show up, but I was able to get rid of both his specter and his sorceress queen, and untap my efreet every upkeep for a couple of turns, and that fortunately did the trick. Pfff.. 2-1. These were very grindy long games. Not what I had expected with this deck. 

Round 2: White/blue/Red control

I had a pretty quick opening, with a mox and an elf. No dib to follow it up though. 

But I did get an Archer, so that was good. 

After doing a bit of damage, I played a vise, which did nothing until I got timetwister, with another vise. Now we're talking. I was almost doubting putting in the vises, but this did finish game 1 pretty quickly. 

The second game, an unexpected card showed up on the other side, a first turn white knight. 

This was quicklow followed up by a serra angel with help of a sol ring, while I was hoping to draw one of my terrors. I had gloom in my hand from the start, but this game I was very slow in the mana drawing department. You could call it a screw I suppose. 

With 2 headed giant and gloom still in my hand, I got a third land and had to play some efreets to not be killed by the Angel. 

My land draws kept sucking, and I just went dawn without having been able to play the gloom. My third game I was hoping to get my opponent stuck with glooms and vises, but the start was not very promising. 

I did manage a second turn gloom though, so I thought I was on the road to victory. 

But, things turned out differently, my opponent drew quite a lot of lands, played them, together with a tome and a Knight, while I was not doing any more damage because I got no creatures expect for an Elf. Playing carefully, but drawing 2 cards each turn, my opponent did me in because I could not keep up. I had hoped for a bit better, if only something like an archer of an ape had shown up, this would have been a win, but hey, it was not in the cards. 1-2 it was. 

Round 3: black pestilence with living walls

My first turn vise did not do that much against my next opponent either. He opened with a sol ring, and followed up with specter on turn 2. 

Fortunately, I had a bolt for the specter, but the archers I had cast was looking up against something very strange and unexpected.. 

A... living wall? Yes, indeed.. 

I got a serendib out a turn later, after I had finished off his first living wall with my chaos arb when he tapped out. 

That was not doing that much either, because an Icy Manipulator was stopping my efreet. I played my two-headed giant which was, again, not doing damage due to the walls in his way. My archer did some damage eventually. I was 

An enormous pile of walls that were animated back from the dead, together with an Icy and an animated specter stopped my entire offense completely, and I was beaten by drain life. 

This was very unexpected. Living walls? I mean, who expects that? I had disintegrate in my sideboard against trolls, so I put that in and decided to just see what happend. I was off to a classic start with a kird ape. 

My second turn I followed up with 2 sprites, to start hammering quickly before a wall or maybe a pestilence would show up. 

My ape was terrored away, but I could keep my sprites and another elf showed up. I decided to bolt my opponent to see if a quick finish was possible. 

That was when he decided to destroy both my lands with sinkholes :( That really sucked. 

but, I kept beating him with the sprites, but of course, a wall and an Icy showed up quickly. Sigh. That would mean it would take for ever again to get through. 

I did get through tough, eventually. 1-1. The second game I started with an ape again, but he was quickly taken out of his habitat when my land was destroyed. 

I got some more land though, and was able to play an efreet. That was risky, but I had to try to get through before enormous drain lifes would show up again. 

The efreet was terrored, and a knight and a wall showed up. I had to try to get through, so I kept attacking to get some damage across. 

After I drew my second psionic blast, I decided to finish it off quickly, and that worked. 2-1. 

Round 4, Hero with multicolor gauntlet 

I do have a picture of my opponent in the 4th round, so I'm sure that was Hero. I got off to reasonable start with some creatures, but here showed my pretty quickly why a deck with red and white is pretty bad for my deck. 

He bolted and plowed creatures from the board pretty quickly, and topped that off with an ancestral recall to keep going. 

But, my Elvish Archers did some more damage, and so did the vises here and there. The game was up when I used my single control magic (remember, it is restricted in this format) to get his Shivan dragon over to my side and attack with that. 

The second game, Hero had nog drawn bolts or plows, but decided to get rid of my Kird Ape quickly with a berserk. 

That was a pretty good choice, since I only had a Llanowar Elves to add to the field, while he had a Dragon Welp. 

Fortunately, I could shoot that out of the sky with lightning bolt, and did some damage with my Elves. It was only one point every time, but hey, slow and steady also works. 

After I thought I was going to be doing some real damage with my two-headed giant, Hero thought it would be a good idea to use to swords to plowshares he had drawn. So again, no damage with the giant. Alas. 

But since my deck was full of creatures, I eventually got more on the board, thinking I would finally get somewhere. 

But, red and white are not the most optimal colors for this deck to play against, so my elves and efreet were quickly removed again. 

Hero decided to Timetwister after taking out my creatures, and I put out some more on the board. I guess recycling all that creature elimination is a good game plan. I got this after the twister. Not bad I suppose. 

But, Hero had drawn a demonic tutor, and went for a balance to take out my creatures. I could see he was pleased with his decision :)

So, I lightning bolted him in response to the balance, played ancestral recall on my turn, and played some more creatures. 

Hero took out the Efreet immediately, and then played some creatures of his own, attacking me with a dragon whelp. I used my orb to get rid of the enormous dragon staring me in the face, untapped, played a land an wheel of fortune. 

That gave me a bolt for the remaining whelp, another efreet and a time walk, which was enough to wrap up the game. 

That gave me some time to take some pictures of people still playing:

just going for it! Lord of the pit with no creatures to back it up. Nice!

Round 5, Rob with Atog artifacts Burn

For the last round, I played Rob. I kept a reasonable hand, I thought. 

So, after a first turn Elvish archers from my side, Rob played sol ring, black vise. Fortunately, I would not be taking that much damage from that. 

I followed up with a Serendib Efreet, but rob played copy artifact on his sol ring, and played an Icy Manipulator. Ouch. 

Rob followed up with Ancestral recall. With even more artifacts on the board, Rob then played Atog. 

I responded by playing psionic blast on Rob, and more Archers, hoping that with a little damage at a time, I would manage. 

That proved to be enough. 1-0. Rob started on the next game with an obscene opening: 

With me taking 9 damage before I could do anything, that game was going to be over pretty quickly. I scrambled to get stuff out of my hand as quick as I could and managed to squeeze out a win while being on only 3. Fortunately, my sideboarded in terrors got rid of his Atogs. 

That gave me some more time to take some more pictures of people playing old cardboard :)

Farmstead did not have a top 8, but a top 4, in which I had placed first by defeating Rob. So, on to the top 4 it was!


I think I was playing Steven in the semi-finals with his control deck, the only match I had lost during the day. But, I started with a good feeling with a first turn scryb sprites, while my opponent played, ermm, a bit more spectacular opening?

ok... that is bad

He played a first turn timetwister with all the restricted artifacts on the board, so that was not a good sign for me. 

But on the upside, I did have a black vise that finally did something, and a Kird ape. Which was swords to plowshared away quickly. Damn. And then followed up from his side by a turn 3 Serra Angel. That was not looking good. 

I tried doing some damage with the small creatures I have, but that was not going well with all the swords to plowshares flying around. 

I was taking hits from the Serra, and my opponent had played a Jayemdae tome. I had to do something or I was going to lose. Fortunately, I got another black vise, and played wheel of fortune. 

That did a lot of damage, which I could then follow up with a fireball for the win, that was close. 

The second game was a bit of a non game for both of use. We were both not getting a lot of mana, I was missing out on red, he was missing out on blue. My creatures were doing little damage before being removed, but every point counts. My elves did a bit, and the black vise that showed up on turn four or five also did some damage. Little at a time, the game was going in my direction, even though I had a fist full of red cards I could not play. 

the kird apes would have really helped speed things up.. but they never hit the board

The game ended with a psionic blast and more vise damage. Not much of a game, but it is what Magic does sometimes. 

Meanwhile, the other semi-final was still going on. Rob, on the left, eventually won because his opponent was so gracious to let hem take back a mistake. That was very sportsmanlike! 

Rob winning with his Atogs


So, I was in the finals again, just like last year. My opening hand was not very speedy, but did contain an ancestral recall, which I wanted to keep because there was also a regrowth there. That should net me some small and quick creatures, right?

Looking back, that was a mistake. I played my Ancestral recall and Rob his, but he had a mox and a vise to follow that up. 

And then a copy artifact, while I had not drawn any moxen or one-drops. I had to play an archers, and take a lot of damage. 

To top it off, Rob played winter orb, so there was no way for me to get out of this quick enough. With only serendib efreets and archers, and no sprites, elves or apes, I could not get though quickly enough. 

So, 0-1. The next game, I did open a bit quicker. 

I followed up with a mass of quick creatures, and took almost no damage from the vises of Rob. 1-1. The last game, Rob had a strong opening with Ancestral Recall and moxen again. 

I tried to keep up with all the power coming out, but I could not keep up with his quick mana. In the meantime, I was drawing a complete mana screw, and was stuck with Serendib Efreets and the like with no mana to play them. Also, the shatters I had boarded in never showed, so getting rid of the Icy also was not happening. I was stuck on a land and a mox for way too long and lost because of the lack of mana. Another final lost with Efreets in my hand, just like last year :( That was a bit of a disappointment, because my deck had shown it could take Robs, if only I have enough mana. But in the end, he won fair and square, so I congratulated him and packed up my deck. 

By that time, most of the players had gone, with only some hardcore players left :) 

Great guys stay until the final is over :)

Seeing a pile of Black Lotusses is always nice, so I thought I'd should take picture

After cleaning up a bit together with the others, we had pizza at Robbies places. And we had some of the best pizza I had al year! It was great. So was the company :)

I also could not resist buying some more cardboard, especially when an end-of-the-day discount was announced. So I got an extra Mirror Universe, signed by Phil Foglio for my decks containing Eureka and Titania song. I enjoy both decks very much, and the mirror will do good work in them. 

and the war barges I just have to try some time.. just like the kobolds

All in all, it was a great Oldschool experience, like always. Thanks to all who came, see you all next time!