Friday, October 13, 2023

Farmstead IV

The farmstead cup, from the famous town of Mierlo in the Netherlands, is another yearly returning event in our country. It started as ABUR tournament (yes, a tournament in which you can play with revised cards, which is actually pretty logical if you play 93/94 since it was printed in 1994). This had the interesting twist of being able to play cards like Kird ape and Serendib Efreet in reprint form, which I did twice in the first 2 tournaments. They worked great as they landed my in the final twice, but I also was not able to win both of those. Reports are earlier on the site.

This year, you could still play with revised, but not with the reprints. Instead, one could play with the gold legendary creatures from Legends (but not any other legends cards). Being a great fan of gold legends (I played several Eureka decks with them, but also added Xira Arien, Adun Oakenshield and Bartel Runeaxe to several of my tournament decks more than once) I made a deck with plenty of them. Adding to the theme of legendary creatures, I also added a Serra Angel and a prodigal sorcerer to my deck. I initially also had Shivan Dragon in my deck since it it also kinda legendary, but I looked at the pile of cards and decided that would be too greedy with the manabase, even though if the base was all duallands. This was no risk, since this format has no blood moon. See how this is an interesting format?

On the day of the event there were 26 contenders, which is a nice number for a format that is a bit weird. I've noticed that some of the OS community are quite purist, so they play either Swedish or Alpha or Alpha/Beta and nothing else will do for them. I kind of like the tournaments with a twist, and was glad to see a lot of people showing up. 

On Round one, my opponent opened with a blazing start:

This spells trouble, right?

But, I was pretty quickly in also adding a lot of mana. Since I had a lot of 5 and 6 mana cost spells with 2 or 3 different manacolors, I of course played with 4 birds of paradise. But when my opponent tapped 4 mana I was thinking: what will come? A Juggernaut? But it was... 

Ayesha Tanaka. Awesome!!!

After taking some hits I decided to use the Swords to plowshares I had on Ayesha, since I had no blockers yet. 2 turns after that I was able to play the mighty Bartel Runeaxe. 

Unphased, my opponent swords to plowshared Bartel and played a Savannah Lions to start beating me with it. I tried Rubina Soulsinger, but she was taken from me. 

After I disenchanted the control magic, my Rubinia was otherwise taken care of. So no stealing creatures for me in this game. 

Fortunately I drew into a swords for the Lions, but I would have rather kept that for other things that might come. Also, the turn after, I drew Jasmine which would have been a good solution for stopping the lions. 

But, she was also not allowed to stay on the battefield. 

To get things going, I played wheel of fortune. Not a very wise decision, but hey, I was here to play gold legends, winning was secondary. I got Gerrard after the wheel of fortune, and played him. My opponent had Serra Angel and Air Elemental. Slightly better odds.. 

After fireballing the Serra Angel, I started attacking with Gerrard. In this picture you can also see the life counter I had been waiting for for about 8 months before they could come over from the other side of the ocean. Just in time, because it is only fitting to play a real gold-plated lifecounter together with golden legends. Thanks to Fulco for bringing it to the tournament :)

With Sol'Kanar also bringing in blows to finish off, I was ahead one game. The second game was again an exchange of blows. 

After a slow start, we were hammering each other, with the high point of the game when Tobias Andrion entered play. Here my Serra Angel is blasted off the table. That was pretty much my own fault, as I could have Mind twisted my opponent in this game, but decided not to because I thought the game deserved better. It was too much fun. 

That was also what cost me the game in the end though, so we were at 1-1 pretty soon. 

Showing that no good deed goes unpunished, I was rewarded with a major mana screw the game after that and beaten very quickly. No pictures were needed during that proces, alas. 

The second game I was up against Roy, who had a really quick start, and to rub things in, he decided to destroy my land and mind twist me after that, pretty much winning the game with that. 

Taking the land I had on hand and my tutor, I was screwed. I hate the randomness mind twist. But it is there, and where there is mind twist there is no game, so that was over pretty quickly. 

I boarded in COP red and black and forcefield to see if I could have a chance, and was promptly mindtwisted for 3 on turn 3, taking my balance, a swords to plowshares and Sol'Kanar the swamp king the turn before I could have cast him. 

Roy destroyed one of my lands, played a disk and left me with a severe card disadvantage. 

I could not come back from that, so it was 2 mindtwist - 0 in this game. Not an excellent way to continue this tournament. By this time I was wondering if I had misjudged the spiciness of this tournament, though match one at least had a lot of legends :) Round 3 I opened with an Elf, which was quickly removed. That was followed up by a black knight. 

I am not sure, but I think I tutored for a timetwister here, and played it after first playing 2 birds of paradise. 

Hypnotic specters are always a pain, especially if your own deck is pretty slow and need time to build up. I was able to do some blocking with birds, and then got Bartel and Sol'kanar out, repectively. 

Meanwhile, next to me someone also had the right idea and played lots of legends :)

Unfortunately, his palladia mors was unsummoned and then his birds killed :( it could have been so nice. I drew this as my first hand and decided to keep. 

I went for Ancestral recall with a first turn tutor, next turn played the lotus, took a gamble and sacrificed it for blue, got a second mox, which together wit my land let me play Gerrard of the closed fist. It seemed pretty impressive until it was removed by a simple terror :(

Meanwhile, in the game next to me, Nicol Bolas was hard casted. Awesome!

And then immediately killed by a forked psionic blast. Not so awesome then.. 

I somehow managed to win the match I was in (with Bartel, I think), but forgot to take any pictures. I was already thinking about taking pictures of the rest of the tournament. 

When it was time for round 4, I saw my opponentplaying this for opening. Again, I was fearing something that would break my deck. Hypnotic specter? Juggernaut? The latter would be better I suppose. It turned out to be.. 

A first turn sedge troll. With mana to regenerate. Pretty good but not the worst that could happen. It did mean I would have to get some tempo going, because this was going to make short work of me. 

I was taking some pretty bad damage from the troll, but I was fortunate that my opponent was unfortunate, he did not draw a lot of extra lands, zo I had some time to find a solution. When I played Solkanar and blocked, he was quickly taken care of by a bolt. 

I did have a tome working though, so at least I could get working on finding something. After a while, I did. Fortunately the mind twist was only for one, so I lost only a fireball. 

What was bad though, was that my Sol'kanar was taken back on the other side of the battefield. Pretty epic play, I think. 

I disenchanted the animate dead, so I could continue attacking with the Serra without being swampwalked to death. That would have been pretty awesome in a way. We exchanged our elimination in the form of disenchant from my side and psionic blast from the other side, and both our big hitters were gone.  I followed up with Angus MacKenzie, and this is one of the few moments that I actually attacked with him. Multiple times even. I think I did 6 or 8 damage with him and that was enough for the game. 

I got this hand as next draw. Since I had seen nothing in the likes of enchantment removal and the main damage source seemed to be red, I decided to keep this hand. Having to wait one or a couple of turns te draw into blue mana would be worth it. It was a bit of a risk, but I thought it worth it considering I was already one game ahead. 

So, first turn COP red, before anything could be countered. 

I was able to play a bird and underground sea later on, but my power was mind twisted before I could play them. I decided to just take the damage from the trolls for a turn, just to play a tome and make up for lost cards. 

That was pretty good decision, since it helped me get rid of the Trolls and play some of my own creatures. 

I did however, have a problem when Rubina was taken. This left me with no creatures and a disk on the board on the other side. Since my opponent had a lot of artifact mana, I was kind of hoping into pushing him to let the disk go off, but he chose not to for a while. 

I drew some extra cards with the tome, and produced a threat. That was not enough though. That was taken care of the classic red way. 

After a couple of turns of me drawing extra cards and playing new threats, my opponent had enough and blew up his disk. This gave me the opportunity of playing Gerard of the closed fist, who had been lingering in my hand while I was waiting for the disk to go off. 

Since Gerard is quite big, a couple of hits from him were enough to decide the game. This was quite the game :)

Next up I was playing Edo, always a pleasure! I played an Elf, he cracked his lotus for a pretty blazing start. 2 first striking white knights. If those would be accompanied by giant growth or lightning bolts, that would pose a pretty big threat against my legendary creatures. 

I drew into another mox (had one on hand) and quickly played my birds of paradise. Together with the moxen I had to only take a couple of hits from the knights before I could get rid of them. 

Because I had taken advantage of the situation with the fireball and Edo was low on land, the first game was mine. The second game, I was the one more or less screwed. By turn 4 I had only played the lands I had in my opening hand, and the birds was killed. 

I was trying to hold on by fireballing some creatures, while Edo was playing Ancestral Recall and a Serra Angel. 

Oh, and a Time walk. This was not looking good here. 

I managed to get a forcefield in play which kept me alive until I could get rid of the Serra Angel. I also destroyed Rubinia a couple times. Turned out Edo had multiple copies in his deck. Cool choice! Edo had also boarded in COP red. Since most of my threats were red, that would be a problem. I had disenchants, but that would mean they would have to show up. I also had tomes and a forcefield, but nothing that could do something. 

I had boarded out my timetwister, and that turned out to be a huge problem. I had just one disenchant in my deck, but Edo had 2 cop red, and I could not kill him before I would deck myself. This meant the game was over for me. 

After this round, I took a couple of pictures of the top 8. I heard one of the guys wanting to call home to be picked up, but since I was practically passing by the city he lives in, I offered to spare his family the trouble. This meant I did not stay until the end. I thanked Robbie for a great day and was home at a time I could still have a (bit late) dinner. 

Looking at the top 8 decks, they seemed pretty serious. Looking back, I probably should have gone for a couple of creatures that were faster/better than the legends, but it was great fun to beat people with Bartel Runeaxe, Gerrard of the closed fist, Sol'Kanar did not do much unfortunately, but I did manage to land some hits with Angus Mackenzie and Rubinia Soulsinger. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the day :)

Thanks to all that were there for another great day! Till next time!