Sunday, July 7, 2024

Camel Trophy VI deckpics

 For those of you that like deckpics with their stories, here are (some of) the deckpics for the Camel Trophy VI. 

We start of course with the winner, Tim his awesome mono green deck, which has seen many top 8's, so a deserving winner of the tournament. 

Then I would like to give special mention to this great deck by Thijs. It looks amazing, and I am always happy to see someone playing multiple gold legends in their deck. 

And here are the other deckpics, all of them great to look at. I love oldschool, thank you all for sending me the pictures. 

This is Thomas's normal version of the Spell Book, since it was gentlemen's rules, he was playing it with a desert instead of a Library. 

Camel Trophy VI (2024)

After all these years, playing magic in a gamestore still has a feel of the days when I had just started playing Magic in 1994, so I try to organize a tournament in a store at least once a year. Apart from the feeling of days of old, it also supports your local gamestore, which I think everyone should do. The Spelkwartier in Arnhem and I go way back, ever since I went there short after it opened more than 25 years ago. The store has gone through some different owners and has moved to another building, but it still provides a playing area. I've known the current owner, Richard, for a long time also and he really likes to take care of the players, so the playing space comes with a bar with drinks and snacks. Yes, that includes beer for the OS die-hards that think you can only play OS while drinking beer :)

Since I also would be running the tournament, I wanted something easy to play. So I made a weenie/burn deck, which, in good tradition, I decided not to play at the last minute because I wanted something that would be more fun. And not win. People still make jokes about me winning the Camel Trophy and I did not want to win this year. But I wanted to have fun and play a deck that would not lose every game, and would be easy to play, at least for me. 

So I went with an Enchantress build. I love enchantress, and I have tried at least 10 different builds/concepts over the last few years. So, Peter and I both went with Enchantress. He was playing combo-enchantress, and I was going to play Agro enchantress, which I have played off and on for the last 2 years in kitchentable games. Even though when you look at my first hand, Enchantress might not be the first thing you think about.. 

Ehm, enchantress, right? 

I looked at my hand and knew it was not going to be fast. On the other hand, I was bound to draw a llanowar elf or wild growth soon now, right? Or a Ley Druid. So I just trusted everything would work out, and I was promptly rewarded with an Ancestral Recall. Which provided an Elf. Not bad. 

After the Elf, I drew a wild growth to help the Ley Druid that also came with the recall. Ramping up now :)

My opponent played a Su-Chi on turn 3. I played Mahamoti. 

And, of course, the turn later, the other Mahamoti. My trust that I would draw some kind of ramp came to life. In the meantime, my opponent played Living plane and falling star, which reminded me of how I heard of a tournament where people flipped unsleeved. I had tried that a few years earlier, but people weren't buying it then, but I will tried it again next year. 

The following falling star took my druids and elf and some land, showing how ridiculous good the latest way of interpreting falling star can be. Fortunately, the Mahamoti's were a lot bigger, so they took care of game one.  Game 2 was a bit more explosive on the side of my opponent. I thought my opening was pretty good with land, sol ring, chaos orb (I took a risk there but was thinking about the Su-Chi's en living planes that would be coming out soon), but my opponent had a second turn Triskelion. Fortunately, I could clone that to at least make playing a living plane very unattractive. 

After an exchange of some blows and a falling star, I ended up with an empty Triskelion against the elf of my opponent. Which was fine, since I could clone the trike and turn the tide in my favor. 

A couple of turns later, the cloned trike was dead, but Enchantress joined with a copy artifact, combined with a Mahamoti Djinn. It was overkill and over quickly from there. 

This gave me ample time to take some pictures of other cardboard, which looked good, with some interesting and nice choices by the players, among the usual suspects. No "the deck" or things resembling it like Triple S fortunately. 

Here you see Thijs on the left, with a absolutely gorgeous RGW deck playing Peter with combo enchantress, which I had helpfully provided with white cards in the sideboard that nobody seems to expect, so game 2 was not really in Thijs his favor. 

On to the next round I played, which was opened by one of the best OS openings by my opponent, land, Llanowar Elves. Great start!

My opening was less spectacular, so I was taking damage fast from the green weenies and factories. 

Helpfully, I got an Ancestral recall, which provided a control magic for the cockatrice and Elf on my side. That way I was able to stall a bit. 

My diamond valley was icestormed, and I had to give up the cockatrice to gain some life to get out of range of giant growth/berserk death, but I could do that easily because I could clone the second cockatrice and keep the army on the other side at bay that way. 

I followed up by another clone and a timetwister. 

That gave me options for an Enchantress (finally) and at least the chance of some card advantage. 

Unfortunately, my island with 2 wild growths was icestormed, so my ley druid was not as useful as it could have been. 

But, a control magic, followed by another control magic, gave me plenty of options to take the game. 

The Erhnam Djinn that popped up by then was no threat at all, bcause I could play Mahamoti Djinn on my turn. 

So, on to game number 2. I boarded in Tim. And was again blessed with an Ancestral recall. Better lucky than good, I suppose.. but the Tim and a control magic quickly established control of the game. 

The next game we were off to a not very spectacular start, when I was called over to one of the other tables with the question of this was photo worthy.

Where I was shown this lovely green scenario. Definitely photo worthy!

Meanwhile, I was trying to establish some control to prevent being overrun by weenies, so I used both my Ley Druids to cast force of Nature, which met an unfortunate end in my diamond valley after my tropical Island was destroyed. 

Later on I blocked the argothian pixies with one of the druids, to prevent myself from dying to fast, but that was followed up by a Su-Chi. 

That was something I could deal with, however, with a copy artifact. Enchantress was nowhere to be found however, so it was just a blocker. 

Later on in the game, she did show up after we had exchanged our Su-Chi's, which was a good way to play the wild growth I had. And the wild growth that came after that from drawing a card. Which game me Sylvan Library. Which gave me another carddraw into control magic for the Djinn that had showed up on the other side of the table. Enchantress really shined here :)

When another Djinn showed up on the other side, I decided to force the issue. I played force of Nature and cloned it. That did the trick of deciding the game. 

The second game, I had boarded in Tim, even though he's not normally fast enough to really stop a green onslaught, but he can slow it down a little. The pendelhaven from my opponent did not help much with that idea though, and my control magic also was removed quickly. I did have ancestral recall though, to plough through the land on top. 

That helped, even though the pressure on the other side kept coming. Then enchantress showed up, which gave me reason to play the wild growth I had had all since the start, which led to another enchantress. And another wild growth in the turn after that. My opponent was playing a pretty big creature every turn, which I blocked with elves and a clone, to keep me alive. The third Enchantress and a wild growth really kicked my deck into gear, which produced 2 Mahamoti Djinns as blockers. Meanwhile I was pinging away at my opponents life, since he no longer could play any weenies because of Tim 1 and 2. 

The mahamoti's made short work of my opponent after both prodigal sorcerers had taken away 6 or 8 life of my opponent, which finished the match in my favor. 

The start of the next round, however, was terrible. Land, ritual, hypnotic specter, followed by another one in turn 4. All of my essential stuff was taken out of my hand before I could do something. The game was over in 

The second game against Roy was a bit more interesting. Although he did destroy my pendelhaven very quickly, I was able to get out a Ley Druid on turn 3, which made me able to take the Juzam Djinn with control Magic next turn, with the possibility of playing the diamond valley I had on hand. 

Since Roy was also playing white, I had played the diamond valley so I could sac the Djinn if the disenchant came. And it came. After I took a Specter as well and played a Triskelion, Roy decided to go all in on drain lifes. 

That was not enough to kill me because of the diamond valleys, but I was not doing much either after he had killed the Trike I had boarded in. Then Roy played a tome, which is of course pretty bad. 

In the end, I was able to get out another Trike to take care of a black knight and go on the offensive. Well, hitting for 3 each turn is something. Right?

So we ended up 1-1, on to a third game. I had a pretty strong start there, which made me win the match eventually. That was very unexpected, and I would have betted on Roy's deck to win 80% of the time. It seems this was the 20% when it did not in this matchup, so I won. 

Next up I was up against Thomas "Timmy the sorcerer", and I had to mulligan to 5. After which I had mostly landdraws, while he had a Timmy out after I played my Llanowar Elves. 

Being down to cards from the start against a control deck is never easy, so I pushed it and played Mahamoti and cloned it (which was one of the cards I had on hand for a long time). And then Thomas took it. 

I tried to get back in the game with enchantress, but with very little enchantments I could play and Thomas playing an Icy manipulator, it seemed very bad. I got out another clone, but to no avail. He had my mahamoti, and a tim, so he could break through a standoff with that. 

It did not get any better when he took my clone moti as well, so I lost this without much effort from Thomas. He took my deck pretty easily. 

The second game I also had to mulligan, keeping this hand, hoping for the best. Which I knew was not ging to work. Thomas has 2 more cards than me, and draws one on his turn. There is no way I can win this, unless he does something spectacularly stupid. Which he is not going to do, because he knows how to play his deck very well. 

I gave it a try, but with my enchantress countered and 2 factories on the other side, the game was over pretty quickly. Too bad, a more exiting match would have been nice. 

Playing and socializing in a game store, what's not to like :)

What was kind of nice is that I was in the Top 4 with an Enchantress deck. I was up against Tim with mono green, against which I got ahead 1-0, and I was feeling I could win this. Unfortunately, 2 massive mana screws fucked up my next 2 games, so Tim took the match 2-1 and went on to the finals, against Roy. It never feels really good to see 2 guys you beat in the swiss playing the finals, but then again, they're both experienced and good players, and very nice guys to boot, so they deserve this place in the finales. 

Roy was going pretty strong in game one, with 2 Juzams, but Tim did a lot of math and eventually managed to pull out a win because of the damage the Juzams do each turn, combined with some strategic blocking and attacking. 

The next game Roy had royal Assassin, which is great against most of Tim's deck, expect the whirling dervish. And that did a ton of damage, eventually deciding the game in Tim's favor. 

So I could hand Tim his well deserved Camel, well played!

Thanks to all who came, and hope to see you all next time on februari 8th, when the next Camel Trophy will be taking place.