Guestblog: Winterderby 2021

Robbert played his first Derby and has written a great tournament report to share his experience.

I have been playing old school for about 2 years now. My first ‘real’ tournament would have been the Raging Bull Series in 2020. However, the live-event got canceled due to the covid restrictions in the Netherlands and instead it was turned into an online event. Hereafter, I joint many, but not all, ODOLs (do not google it). Playing different decks each month and meeting a lot of great people of not only the Dutch Old School society but of other countries as well. I had to wait until last November to finally play a live event at the Uthden Troll cup, finally meeting many great people of our Dutch Society.

I had skipped prior derby’s mostly due to time restrictions, but this time I knew that I would have enough time to play so I thought about giving it a try. Planning games with my ODOL opponents living in The Netherlands and different parts of North Western Europe never had been a problem. So, I hoped that planning with others from overseas would go as smoothly as well. We had made a nice WhatsApp group ‘Winterderby’ consisting of 14 Dutch guys participating in this derby. Helping each other out in deck construction choices and telling each other about our bad losses and our earned victories. The derby was fun, but it is even better if you can share the fun with others.

The derby followed the Atlantic rule set. This was new to me as I normally play Swedish legal. I thought about using cards I normally could not play. But ultimately, I ended up playing a Swedish legal deck I had played before: bUG aggro-void. I had yet to see whether mana burn would be an issue or not. While searching for ways to abuse my than newly acquired Nether Voids about a year ago, I first saw a deck played by Ole Rustad in a prior Atlantic derby where he finished 15th, which is quite good. An aggressive BUG list with elves, Dibs, Hyppies and Hymns.

Ole’s deck at the 2020 winterderby, 7-1 finishing 15th of 256

 

After we had some contact last year discussing some deck options, I played a Swedish legal variant in ODOL last year. The deck performed quite well – going 4-1, but it was not good enough for the top 8 due to the group structure. I also played the Elves of the Deep Shadow and Hyppies but it missed some earlier pressure like Pixies and I did not like the Falling Angels in the list.

My ODOL list 02/’21 Going 4-1

 

Hereafter, Ole played a bUG list in the next online Raging Bull Series with pixies instead of Hyppies, going 9-0 before losing in the final.

Ole’s RBS list, finishing second.

 

For the derby, I had to decide whether to go for a heavy black or a light black build. Going deep with Elves of the Deep Shadow instead of Llanowar Elves, Hyppies instead or Scryb sprites/ Erhnam and Hymn’s instead of some other cards (higher risk/ reward ratio) or without them (more consistent build). After consultation with others, I got some mixed opinions, at the end I had chosen for the latter build. Apparently, the format is quite aggressive with a low curve, many Bolts, Knights and land destruction, besides the expected robot and Hymn/Rack decks. Therefore, there was a higher chance that the Elves and more Cities would have been a problem due to the pinging and it was expected to have a higher chance of mana issues due to playing multiple cards with a double black in the casting cost. Combining Pixies, Dibs with Hyppies and Hymns would certainly not be easy on the mana base.

I wanted to have an aggressive build with about 20 creatures and some tempo cards (with Unsummon and mana source denial with artifact removal, land removal and Nether Void). The core would consist of: 4 Elves, 4 Pixies, 4 Dibs, 4 Factories, 3 Voids, 4 artifact removal, at least 2 or more land destruction, 3 Unsummon and 7 restricted cards. For the artifact removal I hesitated whether to play the energy fluxes main or in the sideboard. As I expected to encounter more nonrobot lists and some list low on artifacts I choose to put those in the sideboard. I choose for 1 Hurkyll’s recall as it can give quite the blow out, especially in combination with a nether void (or a Twister). Just returning all those nice free Moxes and such to their hands while playing a void next turn or in reaction on a Twister or Wheel is sweet. Furthermore, I choose for 2 Crumble and 1 Scavenger Folk. I hoped that these, in combination with the Pixies, would be enough against robots.

Based on the mana curve there were 5 spots left of which 3 were dedicated for creature (17/20 creatures already). I had a hard time choosing which creatures to select. Going for more Scavenger Folk, Whirling Dervish main, more Erhnams or more Scryb sprites (the better Flying Men). Ultimately, I choose for 2 Scryb sprites and 1 Erhnam Djinn. I was afraid that 3 Erhnams would be too clunky and would put me in a real disadvantage playing against a City in a Bottle. The Sprites would go better with my aggro plan. They even could hold of a Hyppie when combined with a Pendelhaven. For the other 2 spots I choose a Giant Growth. I always like to have 1 as it can help dealing the last few points of damage quicker or it could save a creature from a bolt or blast. Having 1 could result in some mind tricks with your opponent…For the last spot I choose a Mana Drain. I was doubting whether to play another Ice Storm, Sylvan Library, Power Sink or Force Spike instead and perhaps any of these would have been better as the double UU and a possible mana burn could be an issue. Maybe, at the end, it was better to play a Force Spike or Power Sink but choices were made…

My average mana count was quite low with 2.05 CMC, so I needed about 22 lands. Counting Strip, Factories (4), Elves (4) and Sol Ring for half. This meant I needed 28 sources. I was doubting whether to play some basics or 2 Pendelhavens as my last 2 lands. Ultimately, I opted to play 2 Pendelhavens as I expected that the chance would be higher to face 2/Xs as compared to Blood Moons. But this meant that I would have a hard time if I would be facing any Blood Moons. This left me with a real old school deck consisting of 20 ~creatures, 20 spells and ~20 mana sources.

For the sideboard I choose to go for 3 Energy flux (against robots or the deck variants), 2 Gloom (against anyone playing with white), 3 Whirling Dervish (against black and The Abyss), 3 BeB (highly needed against Blood Moon… but other red spells like Atog will do as well), 1 Ice Storm (more mana denial/ against Mazes) and 3 Control Magic (against Djinns / Juzams ed). Due to the Control Magics I decided to play 1 Birds instead of an Elves to have access to 1 more blue source (11 sources instead of 10) available.

The deck I played

 

So, onto the matches. How would this deck perform? Would it be good enough to break through the Atlantic field? Could I repeat Ole’s score? Besides playing a similar deck last year, I did not have any time testing it. So, I had to learn from my mistakes during the matches. I have tried to recall my matches as good as I could without taking any notes, but some recollection errors could have been made. So, if any of my opponents observes one, then please let me know. I did only make a few pictures during the games; I was mostly to focused on my gameplay. When Dave Firth Bard publishes all deck, I will try to collect and add my opponents decks as well. A total number of 286 players, registered for this derby. In batch number 1 I was paired against 2 guys from the USA, 1 from Canada and 1 from Denmark. All were nice opponents and luckily it was quite easy to plan a match date with them.

Match 1:

Mourad juice krid from Denmark. He played a Lion/Dib/Bolt deck

Game 1:

He won the flip. He opened with a first turn and second turn Lion of a Mox Pearl and a Factory, I had an Ice Storm for his Factory in my second turn, Pixie to block a Lion and a Dib to stop the onslaught. But I was already on 14 and although he was light on mana sources, this meant that he had a hand filled with direct damage. So, in 2 consecutive turns he Bolted and Blasted me down to zero while I misplayed a Mana drain resulting in 3 damage from mana burn (welcome to Atlantic) instead of 4 from a Psionic blast…..

0-1

Sideboard:
In: 2 Gloom (taxing his white spells) and 2 Control Magic (I expected to see some Serra’s or otherwise Dibs to steal)
Out: Crumble, Ice Storm, Nether Void and Mana drain (?)

In hindsight perhaps BeB would have been good to play as well. But I had some trouble choosing which cards to remove. Maybe I included 1, but I am not sure anymore

Game 2:

I had a hand with two Elves, two land, Pixie, Gloom and Nether Void so my plan was to get them in play ASAP. Turn 1 Elves received a Bolt, turn 2 Elves received a Fireball, then I landed a Gloom in my third turn and a Nether Void in my fourth turn. I love it when a plan comes together. I am stalling him sincerely, but he drew enough lands in the following turns and I was not able to give him a lot of pressure. My Pixies got Bolted, a Bib got hit by an Orb after 1 turn attacking, I had 2 Factories which got destroyed as well and that was all the action I had.

It looked so promising….

I drew only land. Hereafter, I had no good answer for his Dib, besides an Unsummon which stalled for 1 turn, which killed me in a few turns. At the end he told me that he boarded in many white cards against me and that he was lucky not to draw them…

Loss 0-2
Matches 0-1, 0-2 in games. This was not the start I hoped for… I now needed to win 7 matches in a row to still have a chance on the top 16. With this deck…o well.

Match 2:

William Kirkwood from the USA. He played a nice Candleflare brew:

Game 1:

I won the flip. I opened with a first turn LoA and I was able to aggro out a few creatures. He could not stop the assault and I was able to kill him quickly with some Pixies, Dib and a Giant Growth. Unfortunately for me, he only played some Factories, Volcanic Island and a Copy Artifact so I was not sure what I was up against.

1-0

Sideboard:
In: 2-3 Energy Flux. I had put him on ‘artifacts’. Although, I had seen a Volcanic Island I did not think about adding any BeB…
Out: good question… where are my notes?!

Game 2:

This was quite a long game. I played some early creatures and Factories while he played two Mazes and a Mana Flare. Mmm… did not expect that … there goes my Void plan… I got some damage through, though. I put more creatures in play which get met with a Disk. Instead of using the Disk he Fireballed two creatures. As I was sure he wanted to use his Flare for something big, I wanted to force him to use his Disk. After playing Energy Flux and another creature he blew up the Disk. I played an Unsummon, saving 1 of my creatures. We played draw-go for a few turns, my 3 creatures were met with his 2 Mazes and Factory. He got to draw more cards with Ancestral Recall, Tome and Braingeyser. In the mean time I got him on 3 life. Then he played a mirror. Would it be on time?

The board State consisted of 1 untapped City, Factory and 2 untapped Mazes on his side against my Factory and Dib. I drew an Ancestral Recall which I played and drew into an Ice Storm and Crumble. I played the Ice Storm on his Maze and attacked with both creatures hoping that he would activate his Factory using his City. If he would do that than I could Crumble it and I would deal him enough damage to put him exactly on zero. He had seen a Giant Growth the prior game (killing him) and Unsummon this game (saving me a creature)…but no Crumbles yet … so what would he gamble….?, He Mazed the Dib and my Factory went unblocked, damned… He had put me on an Unsummon … putting him on 1 life while I was on 9.

Change of plans, I crumbled his Mirror before he could use it, putting him back on 7. In hindsight I could have opted to manaburn myself to make the mirror useless – saving my Crumble for his Factory in the next turn. Though than he would have been able to play a Fireball if he had 1 in hand. But.. Apparently, he did not have one yet. We played draw- go for few turns when he drew a lethal Fireball. I could have played a Nether Void the turn before but opted not to play it to not give him important information as it would not have saved me

1-1

Sideboard:
In: 3 BeB
Out: 2 Unsummon (about useless, but 1 remaining to save a creature or bounce a Factory) + Birds

Game 3:

I got a hand with Factory, land, Lotus, Pixie, Timetwister, Dib, Nether Void… I planned to go for the aggro route and to hope for an early Void. I opened with a first turn Factory and Dib of a Lotus which got met with a Maze, I played a second turn Pixies and he played a Candelabra… I played my Twister to hopefully draw into some artifact / land removal but got none. I attacked for 2. In my next turn I played a Factory and an Elf. He played a second Maze (neutralizing my 4 creatures). I drew a Time Walk while holding a Regrowth. What a luck! He was on 16. I attacked with all, they got Mazed. I played my Time Walk, attacked again dealing 8 damage, rinse and repeat… A bunch of restricted cards doing their thing.

Win 2-1
Matches 1-1, 2-3 in games

Match 3:

Peter Simpson from the USA. He played robots with icy’s and winter orb

Game 1:

I won the flip. He mulliganed to 5. I opened with a Mox, land and Ancestral Recall. He played a workshop, Mox and Su-Chi. I was in doubt whether to play a Pixie or an Ice Storm, I choose for the latter on his Workshop to stop any possible more incoming robots or artifacts, he attacked with his Su-Chi and played a Copy Artifact. Ouch… This is going hard .. or it seemed… I played a Pixie and in his attack phase an Unsummon on his real Su-Chi. I blocked his other copied Su-Chi with my Pixie. He only had 2 land in play, so he was not able to recast his Su-Chi for a while. He played a Winter Orb instead. I managed to play a Mind twist 1 turn later leaving him with only a known Su-Chi in hand (1 of his cards was an Icy which he could not cast) and played a Dib next turn. He did not draw the land he needed. A Time Walk and Giant Growth helped me killing him quickly hereafter.

1-0

Sideboard:
In: 3 Energy Fluxes and 2 Dervish
Out: 2 Sprites and….some other cards… notes! I need notes!

Game 2

I kept a risky hand with only a LoA as land, Black Lotus, some Elves and a Flux. I could land an early Flux with this hand so I kept it. He opened with a Mox, land and Chaos orb. I decided to slow play my flux and put my LoA on his orb radar. He missed the orb flip though, ouch. I played the Flux using the Lotus. In his third or fourth turn he played a Timetwister, drawing and playing a City in a Bottle of a Workshop killing my LoA. I had drawn into only 1 land – Pendelhaven and a Mox Emerald which survived 1 turn (due to my own Flux). I played an Elf and a Dervish while having an untapped Pendelhaven.

He played a Trike and killed my creatures using all counters. Next turn he decided not pay the upkeep for the Trike and he played Disenchant on my Flux. But fortunately for him… I had drawn into my other 2 Fluxes and played 1 and an Elf next turn. He played a second Workshop and 2 Su-Chi’s with 4 other land out (2 of which were Factories). I played my second Fluxes and a Scavenger Folk. He sacrificed 1 Su-Chi and used the mana to pay the upkeep for the second one, which attacked. He used his other 4 mana to play The Abyss. This looked quite serious now…

Which creature to sac? Scavenger could kill his Su-Chi however I had another plan and needed my Elf for mana as I still had not drawn into more land (still 3 land in play). I played an Ice Storm on his Factory leaving him with only 3 land which was not enough for the upkeep for his Su-Chi. In his turn he puts the Su-Chi mana into his remaining Factory which I than Crumble leaving him crippled with only 2 lands, 2 Workshops ….and still The Abyss in play. My Elves died the next turn. After drawing finally some land (a Factory!) I was able to play my Nether Void I had already in my hand for a few turns, which destroyed The Abyss due to the world enchantment rule. Putting some real tax on the robot player with a Void and 2 Fluxes in play… while he has 8 mana available he was not able to do anything….the table had turned!

2 Energy Fluxes and a Nether Void out!

 

Especially after drawing some more pressure: I played a Pixies and another Factory which managed to kill him in a few turns. He drew some lands and managed to play a Su-Chi but an Unsummon cleared the way

Win 2-0
Matches 2-1, 4-3 in games

Match 4

François Rousseau from Canada. He played a powerless mono red deck with Blood Moon, Trolls, Gargoyles and Dragon Whelps. One of the decks I feared most playing against

Game 1:

I won the flip. I had a slow opening but could play a threat each turn. I opened with a Factory. He played a Mountain. At this point I was already afraid for a Blood Moon (my only outs are Elves, Moxes, Mana Drain and Orb, but I had none in hand) and decided to aggro out all what I had ASAP and played a Pixie and a Dib in the next turns. He played a few Mountains. He shattered my Factory, Bolted my Pixie and then played a ….Blood Moon. I could not do anything anymore. Though, I could still attack with my Dib putting him on single digits. But next turn he played a Fireball killing my Dib and then he played a Dragon Whelp… which killed me in a few turns.

0-1

This is really not a good match up due to Blood Moon and his creatures are basically better than mine. The only thing is that he has a slow deck without any fast mana.

Sideboard:
In: 3 BeB and 3 Control Magic
Out: 1 Hurkyl’s Recall, 2 Sprites, 2 Unsummon, 1 Scavenger Folk

Game 2:

I was happy with my 7 cards as I had some gas and a BeB. I needed to be careful to keep a blue source open all time. I played a first turn Time Walk of a Mox, to play a second turn Dib before he could do anything. I guessed that he would not be able to play a first turn Blood Moon. He played a Mountain and Sol Ring. I played a second turn Pixie and left a blue mana source open. He played a Blood Moon which I could counter with BeB. I put more pressure on him playing an Elves and Erhnam and kept attacking with both creatures. He was low in life but could almost maintain by playing a Troll, Gargoyle and a Maze against my Elf, Pixie, Dib and Erhnam. Unfortunately, he only had 1 red mana open for this Troll or Gargoyle to use and he was too low on life to block favorable which was just not enough to stop the assault.

1-1

Game 3:

I had a questionable opening hand which I kept… because it had a way to fight a Blood Moon. I assumed that he would mulligan for it as he had only seen nonbasic lands on my side. It had a strip mine, lotus, Timetwister, Ancestral Recall and a few other cards. I planned to play the Timetwister with the Black Lotus/ Strip and to keep a blue floating for a Recall if he could counter. He opened with Mountain and Sol Ring. Damned, this possibly could give him a small window for a Blood Moon if he would draw it…

I nevertheless Twister and get a mediocre hand. I played an Elf of a green Mox – at least my green mana was saved. He luckily did not get a Blood Moon and played a Dragon Whelp instead. I played a Factory, Pixie and an Ice Storm on a Hammerheim as he had a single Mountain. He stripped my Strip instead of my Factory apparently keeping me of stripping his single Mountain. He attacked with the Whelp putting me on 17. I counter attacked with my creatures putting him on 15. He thought that he could put more pressure on me and attacked again with his Dragon Whelp. After he pumped twice with his only available red sources I played my Unsummon which worked as a Time Walk. I drew a BeB which I would save for his Whelp or Blood Moon. I attacked again and put him on 10. I expected him to play the Whelp, but he did not play anything, instead he Bolted my Pixie and me in my turn but left my Elf be. He played a Wheel in his tun. I only had a land and BeB in hand while he had 3 cards in hand (1 of being a Whelp). Countering it won’t help me and as he had no power and only 1 land untapped I was sure he could not play anything dangerous before I got to use my hand. So, I let it through. He discarded a Fireball, Whelp and ReB. He tapped out for a Fellwar Stone (I think). I got a nice hand full gas and a Demonic Tutor. I DT for a Mind Twist and Twist for 5, his entire hand. I than attacked with my newly drawn Factories, Elf, Pixies and later on a Dib to kill him in short notice.

Win 2-1
Matches 3-1, 6-4 in games

 

So, a 3-1 record going towards the second batch. A nice result with this deck. I am placed 104th – one of the lowest ranked player on 9 points. Apparently, my opponents did not win that many other matches. But nevertheless, still in competition to continue. For the second batch I Was paired against two guys from the USA, 1 from Canada and 1 from Finland. All were nice guys and it was also quite easy to plan the matches with them within 1 week.

Match 5

Unfortunately, this opponent dropped mid-way batch 2 without playing any games. Apparently, shit had happened and he was not able to play any games anymore….

Matches 4-1, 8-4 in games, but really 6-4)

Match 6

Richard Arevalo from the USA. He played Erhnamgeddon – sort of a mirror match. Instead of Unsummon, Crumble and Nether Void he played Swords, Disenchants and Armageddon’s.

Game 1:

He won the flip. I had to go back to 6 cards: Mox Jet, Black Lotus, Dib, Pixie, Crumble and Demonic Tutor. Unfortunately, no lands, but I had some choices in my opening hand. He opened with Savannah, Mox, sol ring so I opted to go for Mox, BL, pixie and crumble on his sol ring. Unfortunately, I did not draw into any land for the next 3 turns and he played a Erhanm in his third turn. I had some damage in with my pixie but he was no match against a Erhnam. I drew into a Mox emerald. I played my DT for a tropical island to have at least 3 mana for my dib, a Mox sapphire would have been a better choice though…. Because next turn he played a Geddon… and attacked again with his Erhnam. To make it worse… next turn he mind twisted me for my entire hand (nether void, dib and ice storm). He puts me in no time on 4 while I was on top decking modus searching for answers, he played swords on my pixie and puts me on 2 after an attack. I had drawn into some land and drew an Unsummon which I played as he attacked for the kill. As he was still low on land as well, he was not able to play Erhnam again. We played draw-go for a couple of turns with both of us drawing not much land. With a new pixie and factory I got him down from 15 to 4 where he stabilized after another Armageddon killing my 2 factories (I think I just played my second into his geddon- but maybe it was my third… it would have been better to slow play at least 1 of them). Also, he got rid of my pixie, I am not sure anymore how.

Wow, this was a very exciting game – I thought I would lose it after Erhnam + geddon but now it was about even again… me on 2 life and he on 4 life… and it still could go either way. I drew another factory but he played a perfect answer: a pixie. I played a llanowar to have a blocker for his lethal pixie. He played a chaos orb …. But he had no mana yet to activate it. In my turn I played a Timetwister to dig for answers. I got a crumble and an orb and mana left to go for only 1 solution. I could crumble his orb in response of activation but I was afraid of a swords on my llanowar, so I played a chaos orb and choose to kill the threat – his pixie – instead. I was tapped out, so could not put any more pressure. He played a bird and a city of brass. I played a sprites. He played an Erhnam off the city putting him on 3 life. In response of his chaos orb activation in my turn I crumbled it putting him back on 5 again. I played a dib as blocker. I am not sure what he played (a creature) but he needed to tap his city again and taps his birds – 4 life. He attacked with Erhnam. What to do – go for the safe route and block with my dib (I was holding another 1 in hand) or block with llanowar and hoping to draw into my only out (giant growth or some unsummons). I opted for the latter which was a mistake as he played a second bird. I dropped to 1 life and had no options left.

0-1

Sideboard:
In: +3 control magic and +1 ice storm,
Out: -3 nether void, -1 hurkyl’s recall

As he was on the same plan as me and played Llanowar + birds. I opted to still play nether void to make sure he does not have the mana available for Erhnam and Armageddon but I thought that the control magics would work better against him. I did not think about boarding in gloom, but as he plays swords, disenchants and Armageddon (not sure whether he has balance or even Serra’s in his deck) in hindsight it would have been better to board then in as well

Game 2

I opened with a land, Mox and birds with the idea to play a possible twister second turn after another land or llanowar elves. However, he opened with Savannah, swords on the birds, Mox and sol ring so I kept my twister in hand. I played a llanowar elves and a pixie and he played a factory. We both attacked, he with the factory and I with my pixie. He disenchanted my Mox jet and Mox sapphire in 2 consecutive turns. Leaving me with only 1 blue sources while I had a control magic in hand. He then played a pixie. I drew into my second blue mana source – I opted to wait until he would play an Erhnam, but if he would have it than I guessed he would not slow play it as he would have been able to play it last turn as well ….and now I had enough blue sources available … so I decided to go with the aggro route and steal his pixie. I attacked with my pixie and forgot to attack with my elves (factory was tapped as it attacked me)

The following turn I attacked with both pixies and I put him on 8. He drew into an Erhnam and played it. While I drew into a dib on my turn to put more pressure onto the table, having 8 possible damage on board and an Unsummon in hand. He played a swords on my dib (15 life) and kept his Erhnam as a blocker. My llanowar elves gained forest walk… while he still had no forest (only a mox emerald) in play and a factory to block….I played an Unsummon on his Erhnam and put him on 4. He played Erhnam again. I played a regrowth on my Unsummon to go for the win….. However, he had a surprise ReB of a city of brass (putting him on 3 life). I was not sure whether playing it on my control magic, hence gaining back his pixie, would have been better… As I had drawn into a scryb sprites, I decided to attack with my pixies (thus offering 1 of them) to put him on 1 life, hoping that my single sprites would give the finishing punch. Unfortunately, he drew a chaos orb for my sprites and he did not miss the target. He still could not attack with his Erhnam and factory as I had a pixie and llanowar in play. I drew a demonic tutor. What to get? An Unsummon – that was possible because his only red source was a city which he could not use anymore – but I did not think of that. Instead, I found a crumble, attacked with both creatures. I crumbled his factory when he activated it and did the last 1 damage with my elves… While I still hold my time twister in hand..

1-1

Game 3:

This was a pretty fast game. We both started with many factories (both 3 in 4 turns I think). I crumbled a factory when he attacked me second turn and played an ice storm on his city of brass turning him of colored sources for a turn and making sure that he did not go towards 4 mana. I played my single Erhnam for which he had no answer. I played a pixie and a time walk to deal him 10 damage. Next turn I was able to Mind twist his hand minus 1 and it was game.

Win 2-1
Matches 5-1, 10-5 (8-5) in games

So, this was going quite well. Only 2 wins away for a chance of the top 16….

Match 7

Quinn Maurmann, USA. He played the Danny Friedmann Twiddlevault deck

Game 1:

He wins the flip. He started with an underground sea. I had a nice hand consisting of Lotus, bayou, factory, time walk, dib, pixie and apparently a useless unsummon. A perfect aggressive hand. I played a factory, lotus and dib. He drew an ancestral recall.. just his luck….played a tropical island and the ancestral recall, with 8 cards in hand he discarded a fireball. What a luck… I drew an ancestral as well! Great! …. A hand with a time walk and ancestral, but unfortunately lacking any blue sources… o well. I played my bayou and pixie. Attacked for 3 and passed the turn. He played a land, go. Counter magic up. I drew no lands and attacked for 7 dropping him to 10. He played a howling mine, copy artifact of a lotus and had still 2 countermana untapped. I put him on Twiddlevault on that spot…I hoped to draw something disruptive but I drew a bayou (still no blue), elf and another card. I attacked and put him on 3. I played my elves which gets mana drained, off course. Although I had no answers in my hands and he had no choice to go for the combo next turn as I had lethal next turn… This wasn’t a smart move as I was tapped out and I gave him just the 1 extra mana he needed and the information that I would not do anything to try to disrupt him…

In his fifth turn he played a demonic tutor for a vault and he had a single mana left for a twiddle and of he goes. After about 8 turns in, at least 3 turns remaining and knowing his fireball as wincon I decided to go for the second game. If I had not played the elf than most likely he had to go find a time walk – had to play recall the turn thereafter and maybe in those 6 cards would have find the solution as well… but a higher chance to fizzle as well..

Sideboard
In: 3 energy flux, 1 ice storm, 2 whirling dervish
Out: 3 Unsummon (really useless), 2 sprites, and 1 mana drain (?)

Plan was to disrupt him as much as possible. Whirling dervish can do more damage than sprites when they go unblocked.

Game 2

I was not really happy with my opening hand but It had a factory, lotus and Timetwister so I’ll kept it and I hoped for some luck for my next 7. I gave him a free mulligan as he went down to six cards. But hopefully he would not draw in anything good.

My new hand looked great on paper but unfortunately it was slow as hell as it lacked any fast mana (LoA, factory, underground sea, flux, void, ancestral recall and a pixie). I had to pass the turn. He played a land, a mox and an ancestral in my upkeep. I played my LoA and mistakenly used it in my turn drawing a second void so that I had to discards my pixie which I could not cast due to missing green sources… what made it even worse is that he played out a Mox, lotus and then a mind twist for 5….. leaving me with only two cards (an underground sea and a void) instead of at least three. I drew another land which would help me cast the void next turn and passed after attacking with the factory. As he had seen my strategy (discarding flux and void) he tapped out for a Sylvan Library and a chaos orb… damned… most likely his only out (besides counter spells). I just played my void into his orb and I just hoped that he would miss as I did not see any other outs… he did not miss…unfortunately. He drew 3 cards with his sylvan going to 10. He gave me 1 more turn in which I could put him on 8 with my factory and played my newly drawn card.. a dib. Tapped out again and no cards in hand….I could not make it any better for him…but holding back the dib would not have helped as well.

In his fifth turn he played a LoA, drew an extra card and played a time walk. Hereafter, Regrowth for the time walk, mines and recall shenigans sealed the deal. Some extra turns later his vault comes online with 3 extra twiddles turns, seeing 7 cards a turn…. Time to give up as the chance of fizzling was just too low…and I did not like waiting again

Loss 0-2
Matches 5-2, 10-7 (8-7) in games

Final match number 8

Antti Turtianen from Finland. He played a hybrid UR atog list with dibs, vises and ankhs. He was at 5-2 as well

Game 1:

I win the flip. I needed to go back to 5 cards, but luckily did he as well. I had 3 lands (1 Factory), a Pixie and a Chaos Orb which was not bad. I played a Factory go, he played a land, Mox and an Ankh. I played a land (18) and a Pixie. He played a Factory go. I attacked with my Pixie. He had a Chain Lightning for my Pixie in his turn. I drew and played a Dib. He played a Dib as well which I Chaos Orbed next turn. I attacked with a Dib and Factory trying to lure him to activate his Factory so that I could play an Unsummon to make him make another land drop (Ankh). But afraid for a Bolt, he did not activate his Factory. He played a Fireball in his turn on my Dib. I saved my Dib with my Unsummon which I luckily did not use a turn earlier. I played my dib again and attacked with my Factory. He was on 9 life. He attacked with his Factory and passed the turn. I drew a Time Walk and was at 9 life as well. I was in doubt whether to play another land and attack with my Factory as well. But I was afraid of a Bolt and decided to keep my Factory back to avoid being burned to zero. So, I only attacked with my Dib putting him on 6. After my next turn I thought he would only get 1 turn to dig for an answer. But I was lucky and I drew a Giant Growth, hence short for GG.

1-0

Sideboard:

What to do… I expected to see some Vises and maybe Atogs. The BeBs should go in – Energy Flux yes or no – just went for 1 and also 1 Control Magic. I thought about putting in 2, but I had not seen that many creatures and I did not want to have too many blank cards against Vises

In: 1 Energy Flux, 1 Control Magic, 3 BeB
Out: 1 mana drain, Timetwister, 1 Ice Storm, 1 Sprites and 1 Unsummon

Match 2:

Again, a mulligan to 6 now. Not a great hand as well… but it was better than going toward 5. He had a good opening of, Mox jet and Mox Sapphire. I played a bayou and past the turn. In his next turn he played a Black Lotus, Demonic Tutor finding a Time Walk. He played the Time Walk. And with the remaining mana cast a Timetwister. In response I crumbled his Mox Jet. My new hand was not that much better. A bit slow, land, 2 Factories, Pixie, Unsummon and 2 Nether Voids. He played a Black Vise and passed the turn. I dropped to 17. I played my second land, a Factory and a Pixie. In his turn he played an LoA and an Ancestral, going up to seven again….. he drew a card of the LoA. He played another Black Vise and Bolted my creature. This was going hard…. I went to thirteen, played another land. He played a Dib. I played my fourth land but only had land, Unsummon and Nether Void in hand. I hoped to play my Unsummon at the end of his turn and then a Void in my turn to stop the onslaught. But he had other plans…In his turn he attacked with the dib. Dropped another Vise and played a Time Walk and played it. I played Unsummon on his Dib in the extra turn. He played it and 2 atogs. I drew a land and passed the turn. He wanted it to finish nicely so he played a wheel of fortune. I got a really nice hand now … but it was a bit too little too late. He played a third Vise, attacked with his Dib, 2 Factories and 2 Atogs. I had a Hurkyl’s Recall in hand but not enough mana to cast it and use both of my Factories… Too much power drawn in this game to stand a chance….

1-1

So up to the final game

Small side board change:
In: 1 Control Magic + 1 Energy Flux (he had a board state full of artifacts now)
Out: 1 Nether Void and 1 Ice Storm

Game 3:

I had a questionable opening hand, but it had some land and fast mana I was lacking before …. But it had no really good follow up. Nevertheless, I kept and hoped finally to draw into some good stuff. I opened with a bayou, scavenger folk, Mox Jet and Mox Sapphire. I passed the turn and the only thing I could think of was that I should have mulliganed.

He told me that he was happy with his hand, but the nice Folk apparently ruined his plans. He played a Factory, Black Lotus and Twister. What a luck! I shuffled a land, BeB and Unsummon in my library and I was happy to draw 7 new cards…. I received 2 BeB, Control Magic, 2 land, a Pixie and a third Mox. He played another Mox sapphire, Sol Ring, Black Vise and an Ancestral Recall. I drew an Elves, I played a Pixie and activated my Folk to destroy his Mox, his only blue source. He played a Badlands and Bolted my Pixies. I doubted whether to counter it or not and ultimately I choose to counter it with BeB as I wanted to have an answer for his Factory and/or some creature in play. I drew into a Dib (!), attacked with the Pixie and played my Dib and an Elves. Unfortunately, the Dib promptly met a Psionic Blast of a Volcanic Island, putting him on 16. I drew a land and attacked with my two creatures, putting him on 13. He played another Factory and an Earthquake of 1 in his turn. I had to play my last BeB to save my 2 remaining creatures. I wanted to save the BeB for Atogs … but I still had a Control Magic and even a few artifact in play…. He attacked for 3 putting me on 14. I drew a Sol Ring, wanted to attack with my creatures but he Bolted my Pixie so I only attacked with my Elves putting him on 12. The tables were turned…. He attacked again putting me on 10. I drew again land. I saved my Elves for blocking as I did not want to go too low due all the expected burn, putting me on 8. Next turn I drew a Pendelhaven… and he attacked me to 4. Finally, I drew a real card: Ancestral Recall. Would this card save me? I got the following cards: LoA, another Pendelhaven and a Bayou… with still 2 City of Brass and a Control Magic in hand ….if only he would have played a creature…

Mana flood can happen…

 

A bit unlucky ending due to drawing 14 mana sources of 20 cards..  but that just won’t do … game set and match…

Loss 1-2
Matches 5-3, games 11-9 (9-9)

 

So that ends my derby adventure. I think it was a great result for this deck. I had some luck, some bad luck and made some mistakes during these rounds. I had a good time playing all my opponents, it’s such a nice community. I won 4 games in which the deck performed quite well, especially against the robot player. I lost against a Twiddlevault deck; I think that it could have gone either way. And I lost both matches against faster aggro decks with lots of burn. I was a bit unlucky with my draws but I felt that I had too few and too weak creatures to compete. Maybe some Su-Chi’s from the sideboard or more Erhnams would have helped. I haven’t played my Void as often as I would have liked, unfortunately. Mostly as I needed it, I did not draw it and when I did not want it, it was plenty present in my hand.

I am still not sure whether I liked Unsummon or not. Some games it just helped me win the game by bouncing my opponent creature gaining the tempo I needed to win the game or by bouncing and thus saving my own creature which were needed to outrun my opponent, but other times it was useless or just buying me 1 more turn to dig for answers I did not have. The combination of Unsummon and Void only happened once against the robot player. Also, I never drew Hurkyl’s Recall when I needed it… so I could not say whether I liked it or not. In my ODOL list I had 3 Su-Chi’s in the sideboard, I think I missed them as well. As I do not play that many artifacts, it is expected that artifact hate would be sided out by my opponents.

For the next time I would opt one of these three changes:

  1. To be more aggressive: adding 2 Scryb Sprites, 3 Giant Growth, 1 Force Spike, 1 Crumble, 1 Ice Storm, removing 1 Erhnam Djinn, 1 Scavenger Folk, 1 Mana Drain, 3 Unsummon, 1 Hurkyl’s Recall, 1 Birds of Paradise and 1 land.

 

  1. To be more midrange: Adding 1 Llanowar Elves, 2 Erhnam Djinn, 3 Psionic Blast, 2 Power Sink, 1 Ice Storm and 1 Crumble, removing 2 Scryb Sprites, 1 Scavenger Folk, 1 Giant Growth, 1 Hurkyl’s Recall, 3 Unsummon, 1 Mana Drain and 1 Birds of Paradise

 

  1. To be more Atlantic: Adding 3 Hymn to Tourach, 4 Hypnotic Specter, 1 Crumble, 1 Ice Storm, 4 Elves of the Deep Shadow, removing 2 Scryb Sprites, 1 Scavenger Folk, 1 Giant Growth, 3 Unsummon, 3 Llanowar Elves, 1 Birds of Paradise, 1 Mana Drain and 1 Erhnam Djinn

What would your choice have been?
Thanks for reading.

 

Author: TaGMoM

Started playing in 1995 when Ice Age was launched and quit playing in 1999 since I didn't like the fast rotation of cards. When I heard about Old School Magic in 2017 I returned to the scene and now I'm spending way to much time on Magic, loving it all the way!

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