Sunday, February 4, 2024

Edge man I

The Edgeman was held for the first time this year. I was organized by Emiel "the blessed" who got into oldschool after finding a cache of extremely rare misprints in a starter deck he bought. After selling off some of those cards, the high prices of OS cards were no problem for him to get going. This was his first tournament he organized for the OS scene with the intention of a yearly repeat. 

Before the tournament, I had made an appointment for after the tournament, meaning there should be little chance of getting into top 8, because the tournament was on a Sunday and we would all have to work the next day. I felt like playing sage of Lat-nam and had several choices. Since I had never played Robots with white, I built something around that theme. I felt it was a bit less powerful than other builds I have seen and played, which would make me able to win more than I lost in the 60+ tournament, without getting into top 8. 

On the day of the tournament, Emiel announced there would be no top 8 :P meaning that I might as well have brought the most powerful version of the sage/bots deck I could have made, but since we were already there, I got going with what I had, which was still good. 

Round 1 (Luca Mallardo) : My first opening hand though, was not that great. I could go for mulligan, or play mox, lotus, orb, balance, or hope for a land and go mox, land, lotus, braingeyser for 3. Interesting choice. Going for the mulligan was probably the best option, but since there was a pretty high probability of drawing a mana source, I kept the hand. 

With the land I drew, I went for the braingeyser approach. That did not do much, since I did not draw extra lands in the 3 cards I drew. Neither did I draw a land on the next draw step. Okay, I had not expected that.   

Since my land draw was awful, I had to give in to the idea that I maybe would have to win 2-1 if I wanted to win this match. 

So, on to the next game, which started with me taking a mulligan. Also, not a great start. But I had a tutor and even though I could not cast it right away, I felt that I could keep this hand. 

Hmm, that did not work out quite the way I wanted. The next land that came around was another Tundra while my opponent played Su-Chi after I had attacked him with the sage a couple of times. 

I eventually got rid of the Su-Chi because I got a black lotus, which gave me time to cast my tutor and get Ancestral recall. Since I had Icy, Su-Chi, Triskelion and copy artifact in my deck, drawing the 3 extra cards should fix my problem right? Well, sort of. I got a disenchant to get rid of it, and another swords to plowshares together with a workshop and a Sol ring in my next draw. Well, at least I could sac the sol ring for a card from the Sage.. but some pressure would have been nice. 

That showed up a bit later on, in the form of a Triskelion. 

I had disenchanted a second Su-Chi by then, but my opponent kept drawing new ones. At one point he joked he had 10 in his deck. Since he had drawn all 4 in the first third of his deck, I almost believed it :) Lucky for me that an Icy showed up. 

The Icy kept me out of lethal damage range for a while, and the Sage of Lat-Nam netted me a couple of cards, which in the end squeezed out a win for me. 1-1. The 2-1 win was still possible :) The third game my opponent quickly played a Royal Assassin, which is a barrier for my deck if it stays. It also has some solutions for that, so I thought I would be pretty ok once a Trike showed up. The initial play to beat him with factories (I copied one to get more mana and pressure) would definitely not work. 

To top things off, he played a disk after he het already played a chaos orb. That would not be a good idea as it would take me back to 4 mana, which is something I did not want. I had continuously kept W1 ready though, for the divine offering I had in had. I had planned to use that for the chaos orb once activated, but now chose to use it on the disk instead. 

With the disk gone, I would still need something to get rid of the Assassin, but that did not take long to show up. 

The orb was activitated, I shot the Assassin and my opponent and thought I was going to get rid of my opponent with factories, but both were quickly destroyed on my first try of attacking. Fortunately, an Animate Dead and another Trike showed up to do the trick. 2-1. 

Round 2 (Kobus Kunneman): My next opponent was feeling nice today, so he treated me to a first turn 2 black vises, which cost me 6 damage before I could do anything. 

I had kept a reasonable hand but not a quick one, so I took 14 damage from the vises and was bolted so that was over quickly, not much of a game there. 

The second game I was doubtful about this hand. He was playing red, but if he did not have a Mox and shatter on turn one, I would be able to drop a Su-Chi, and than have the blast as backup. If I drew one land, I would have 2 Su-Chi's and that should be able to win me the game. Since I pretty much have turned from a cautious player into a "if you have a lotus, use it" type, I decided it was good enough and went for it. Shatter and a Mox turn one is possible, but not that likely I was worried. 

And it worked. He did not have shatter on turn one, and the 2 bolts that came were not enough with my blast to counter one of them. The game was over a couple of turns later, 1-1. Now we would have to see if we could conjure up something resembling playing a decent game of OS for the third game. My opening hand was reasonable with a mox for acceleration and Su-Chi's which are harder to get rid of my opponent had only red at his disposal. I also had a disenchant for impending vise disasters. So I kept it. On turn 3 I played Su-Chi, my opponent missed a land drop and played blood moon, which I found rather remarkable since he had 2 factories in play, which potentially could take out my Su-Chi. The blood moon did not bother me much as I had another Su-Chi, and that was that. 2-1. 

This left me with some time to take pictures of the other action that was going on. 

This can be only one player :)

Then it was time for the next round, against Michael Schroers. He had a first turn Lion. Though I had a library of Alexandria I decided to not use that to make sure I would not die fast. 

It is a good thing that I did, considering what he did next. 

With the hand that I had, I took a time walk and then the most obvious play was going for Trike. He was tapped out, and it would be 3 for one. So pretty much a no-brainer. 

He used balance to get some of my lands and cards in hand, but I was able to animate the trike, and then braingeyser a turn later with mana free for a disenchant if I got one. He had a Su-Chi and a Chaos orb, but I was still feeling confident that this would work out. 

When he orbed, I  could disenchant. When I played another damage source a turn later the game was pretty much done. 1-0. He had a pretty strong opening on the next round though. 

Me too, I was able to play Su-Chi turn one. But this was not enough to worry my opponent, who Psionic blasted it away immediately. 

I proceeded to draw absolutely nothing for some turns, while my opponent played his Su-Chi. And that killed me, oddly enough. I would think I had plenty of removal available, but when you don't draw it, you're out of luck. My next opening hand was not spectacular, but it had a library and a mox, and would be able to get rid of a Su-Chi. I decided to keep it. 

But, as seen so many times before on these reports, my opponent had strip mine, so no chance for extra cards here. I would have to try with Mishra's factory. That worked pretty well, and the game developed from there with Su-Chi, Icy and Trike, which eventually won me the 3rd game. 2-1. 

So, 3 matches won. Not bad. I was then paired against Elon. I lost the flip, started with a factory, which he had also. Which was followed up by a Sage of Lat-Nam. Not spectacular, but well, something. 

The game slowly developed from there. My Sage was plowed and my Tetravus disenchanted. I eventually managed to get Trike and 2 icies in play, and won me game 1. 

The second game was a lot less well, with an early Energy Flux and Psychic Venom on my factory. That slowed me down a lot. 

I felt the psychic Venom was weird and should not be that strong, but it was pretty bad.  

I got rid of the flux, but another venom was played on my workshop, and that was also very annoying. 

I did my best to keep afloat but the damage I was taking from the Venoms was bad. I was able to get Rid of Serra Angel, but he was also able to get rid of 2 Abyss and my Su-Chi. There were just too many answers there. 

Eventually I died because he also played Icy and did damage with the Venoms, which was cool but at the same time it felt a bit like that card could have been something much more damaging. If they had been Triskelions, or copy artifacts or something, they would have done a lot more damage. But somehow this worked. The third game there was not a lot of mana from my side, and plenty answers on the other side, and I lost to  more Psychic Venoms on the few lands I had. 1-2. 3-1 in matches. Damn. This felt like I should have been able to win after the first game. 

5th Round was against Richard, who almost always played competitive decks. This would be hard. My opening hand was not great, but I was still hoping to at least have some advantage from the library of Alexandria in my deck. So I kept it. I mean, I should be able to get some milage out of that card, right? Right?

Well... no. It was not a first turn Strip Mine from Richard, but second turn. 

So, no library action for me. Too bad. Meanwhile, Richard was going pretty fast with 2 Serra Angels. 

And you should have seen what happened before that. Tutor, Strip mine, Ancestral recall, Lions, counterspell, lions, counterspell, swords to plowshares, mana drain. I could not get through much here. 

After that, he also had a lotus, which might seem insignificant, but it will become clear why this was great in a moment. I was trying to slow down the onslaught, and then.. 

After he had countered my braingeyser, he played his with a lotus. 

And followed that up with a library of Alexandria. I was doing my best to keep the Serra's away and do some attacking with my Sages. 

I wanted to be able to do something, but I had to wait for the right moment. 

Which came a turn later after Richard had tapped out, though I do not remember what for. I could finally play my balance, with only 2 cards in hand. 

Even though it was still not great, after all the answers Richard had drawn, I was able to stabilize and get a chance to win this game. I used the factory and Su-Chi to do some damage. The Su-Chi was removed and I drew a card with the Sage of that. I also ate some of my moxen while I kept tapping the Serra Angels on the other side. Eventually I got rid of one with Swords to plowshares, which was good since he had disenchanted one of my icies. I got rid of his blocking factory with my Triskelion. It was a very close and exiting match. 

Which I was happy to win after in the end. I had not expected that and felt really good about winning this game. It was probably the hardest game of the day. The next game however, Richard opened with Library of Alexandria. For which I, of course, did not have an answer like my previous opponents had for mine. 

I wanted to do some damage, but the advantage for Richard with the library was too great, and he won pretty quickly. So on to the third game, in which he... again had a library for which I had no answer. I could just try to start beating as fast as I could. 

The library however, was doing too much here. Even though the game lasted longer than the second, there was not much I could do. I was too slow in this game and Richard took out some of my extra mana. I had to use my Chaos orb on his Library, but that left me without something to do against his factories. I had a disenchant for one, which was countered. I did not draw a lot of creatures in this game except Sages. That was not enough. When I was finally able to cast Tetravus, he took it with control magic, which was brutal. 

So, he won this game 2-1, and I was 3-2. The last match of the day was against Edo. He was playing a black/white/blue zombie/royal/icy/hypnotic specter deck. His start was pretty good against my Su-Chi with Royal Assasin and hypnotic specter. 

Combined with disenchants and the specter eating a way at my hand, that deck was pretty bad for me. 

It was only after I got an Icy manipulator and a copy, that I could get somewhere. My deck, however, was not very helpful with a follow-up of a plains, a mox, and a scrubland. I kept them in my hand to pretend I had something, but I did not. Eventually, I trike showed up to get rid of the assassin, and that worked. 

The second game was a lot quicker, after I managed to get out a Triskelion with mana vault and a copy, and Edo scooped because it was just too much. 

So, 4-2 in matches, and both losses 1-2, so might have been better. I ended up 11th, so I kept the promise of not reaching into top 8. Looking after the matches for this tournament in Tolaria however, I noticed my match against Richard was put down as a 2-0 win for Richard, but it should have been 2-1. Perhaps if that had been correctly noted, I might have moved up a bit in the standings. Probably not to 8 though. But maybe 10th or 9th :) Even though, it was a fun day. The last match that was still going when I was done was a very, very long match where Erwin had an enormous amount of cards in play, and so had his opponent. I could not resist taking a picture. 

As always, thanks to all who played and to Emiel for organizing his first tournament. Thanks! See you all next time.