Robbert is back! He wrote a big tournament report of his Winterderby 2021 adventure and wanted to do this again for this year’s Summerderby. Check it out below!
It’s Derby time!
This is my second derby and my first Swedish legal version. I was long in doubt whether to play or not. My time schedule was already quite full with multiple 36hr shifts and an international congress to Italy for half a week. But I figured that I could not write a tournament report without playing so I felt that I had no choice… So, I just went for it and hoped that with quick reaching out, it would be possible to schedule the matches on the few days I was available.
Just like prior editions we had a great Dutch (with a single Belgian) Whatsapp group with others who played in the derby as well or played in prior editions and stayed in to help out or to enjoy the great stories from those who played. In the app it was possible to share your deck ideas and to give or get feedback for your deck. It was especially great to tell or hear about the experiences you and others had in the derby whether a match resulted in a game or loss. These small things make tournaments like this even better.
Now I had to decide what to play. Last derby I played a sweet GUb Nether void deck and finished 5-3. Now I opted to go for a more spiky deck. If I had more time I would have played a midrange goodstuff BRUW list with hippies, trolls, bolt, swords, psionic blast and blue power as I had a good run with it in the Online Dutch Old School (ODOL), going undefeated. But instead I chose to go for a marriage between the aggressive liondibbolt and atog-ankh-vise build.
I tried to build it as aggressive and as tight as possible. After calculating the average mana cost I determined that the deck needed about 22 mana sources to function normally. With the inclusion of factories/strip mine/ black lotus and sol ring I always opt to go for +2 mana sources in a single strip mine format, so at least 24 sources. However in Old school format it appears that to be greedy wins games. So instead I went with 23 sources in total, giving me 2 to 6 cards more than some of my opponents, less chances on manaflood but a bit more chances on mana screw. However, as the deck relies on ankhs and only really needs 3 mana sources to play most cards, it was a worthwhile risk to take.
The core of the deck: 37 cards and 23 mana sources
Creatures (14): 4 Savannah Lion, 4 Serendib Efreet, 2 Atog and 4 Mishra’s Factory
Ankh/ vise plan (12): 4 Black vise, 3 Ankhs of Mishra, 2 Armageddon, Wheel of Fortune, Timetwister and 1 Hurkyl’s Recall
Direct damage (10): 4 Lightning Bolt, 3 Psionic Blast and 3 Chain Lightning.
Removal (3): 2 Disenchants, 1 Chaos Orb
Restricted Power (2): Ancestral Recall and Time Walk
Mana sources besides factories (19)
Moxes (3): only the on-colored moxes
Multicolor lands (13): 4 Tundra, 4 Plateau, 3 Volcanic Island, 2 City of Brass
If you look well you can find a few odd choices. Hurkyl’s Recall, for example could be surprising, but in fact it does a lot of work in this deck (when it works). It helps to unsummon multiple opposing artifact creatures (especially factories), moxes and other artifacts, hereby gaining advantage/ momentum to attack through, to be able to do more ankh or vise damage and by wheeling/ twistering those cards away. Furthermore, I omitted a black splash for demonic tutor or mind twist. Including these cards would have resulted in needing more mana sources, which I did not want, and more city of brass. Due to the abundance of self-inflicting cards like ankh, psionic blasts and dibs I did not want to play more than 1 or 2 city of brass. So splashing black was out of the question.
Debatable was also my choice to put LoA and balance in the sideboard instead of main. Although both LoA and balance are game winning cards by themselves, they did not fit in my game plan. I wanted to be as aggressive as possible which is a different game plan than the LoA game. Similar counts for balance, it does not work well with the vises and/or playing out all my creatures. Is this a bad decision? I am not sure, Mano and his team did not maindeck LoA either at noobcon 2019 and it worked pretty well for them.
My sideboard contains some Su-Chi’s if I suspect CiaB, blood moon and/or the Abyss, some artifact removal, BeB, ReB, my own CiaB against Arabian aggro/ juzams to let my vises do some more damage and earthquake against weenie strategies.
So enough deck tech. Up to the games. Let’s see how it goes. I do think that I have a competing and aggressive deck, but would I be able to pilot it correctly? My goal was to end at least 6-2 or higher with this deck. After batch 1 was published, I reached out quickly to my opponents and within 1 day all matches were scheduled and played within a few days. I tried to reminder my matches as good as possible, but some errors could be made. I tried to make some pictures during my plays, but sometimes I forgot it and other times they were not that sharp or more focused on cards I had in front of me than the screen with both our ‘battlefields’.
I played against Marc Heider from Germany. He played a copy of Henk/ Richard BB8 deck which won a big tournament a couple of weeks ago (see another report on this website). A robot deck with 8 robots and 8 burn spells. It was known that he asked for a deckpic of this list. So I expected that he would be playing this list. He apparently played the first version of that deck, missing the improvements they made in the second version. The Abyss and Ciab makes it a difficult deck to beat.
I lost the coin flip (0-1)
I had to mulligan and kept a sketchy 6 card hand with enough mana sources, lions and chain, but as he was back to 6 as well, I opted to keep it. It had not yet any answer for a robot but I did not want to go back to 5 cards.
He started with a turn 1 Su-chi of a mox and workshop and that was that. I was too early too much behind and could not recover. His burn killed me.
Out: chains (he was playing red as well and no good targets), lions (trikes).
In: divine offerings, disenchant, ReB, Su-chi (His deck could be playing abyss or CiaB)
Mulligan to six but a snap keep.
I played a factory, sol ring, vise, black lotus and wheel, discarding a dib. He had kept a hand with a lot of fast mana (mana vault and black lotus) and a mind twist, good riddance. I played a mox and a second vise. He took 6 damage on his first turn and played land + 2 moxes going to 5 cards. I played 2 dibs, 1 received a psionic blast. But the other dib and the 4th(!) dib followed up with a factory killed him quickly.
Out: 2 vises
In: LoA, Balance
I kept my seven: 2 land, mox, dib, ankh, ReB and disenchant
He played a land, mox, fellwar stone.
I played a land, mox and ankh. He played a land (18) and Su-chi
I played land (18), go. He attacked and I disenchanted his Su-chi. He played a factory (16) and a time walk. I opted to counter it but in the end decided to keep it for something else. He attacked with the factory which I bolted.
I played my dib which received a psionic blast. I could not play a ReB as I did not have a 4th mana source yet.
He played a land (10) – go for 2 turns. I played a land (14) and a second ankh, planning to play an Armageddon next turn.
Unfortunately, he drew into a mox and played his trike. I drew and played my twister – this was a gamble but I had no answers otherwise. I did not draw any moxes or artifact removal, but some land, 2 psionic blasts and an atog. So I played a land (10) and an atog of a city (9). Which was not good enough against his 2 bolts and trike damage. If only I had R.e.Blasted his timewalk… or played the Armageddon instead of the second ankh. Sometimes these small errors make the difference in winning or loosing.
Marc played pretty well with his deck, going 4-0 in the first batch and 4-0 in the second batch as well. He finished as nr. 1, as one of the only two 8-0 finishers of this derby. Congrats Marc on this very nice result.
I played against Jesse Miralia, USA. He played a copy of the deck which won lobstercon 2022 with only a few changes. He was on a UWb 4 Serra/ 2 moti control deck.
I lost the coin flip (0-2)
I kept my hand which consisted of 1 land, 2 factories, lion, disenchant, bolt and Armageddon.
He started with land, 1 mox, ancestral recall and a sol ring, I played a lion. He played a land, a jayendea tome which I disenchant in my second turn and put him on 18. Due to his mana base and book I put him on The Deck so I wanted to kill him as quick as I could. I did some damage with my lion and factory (14). He played another mox and a Serra with counter magic open. I had drawn into a psionic blast and chaos orb. I tried blasting it but it was countered. In his next turn he drew into a mind twist resulting in me discarding a chaos orb, armageddon and lightning bolt.
I could not recover and the Serra did 20 damage while my lion and factory were sitting on the bench. I put him on a the deck build with main deck Serra’s and as of such no The Abyss.
Out: no idea, 3 chains most likely maybe 2 dibs
In: 2 divine offering, disenchant, ReB and 2 su-chi
I mulliganed to 6 cards. As did he. My new hand had a plateau, sol ring, black vise, atog, timetwister, disenchant and psionic blast. As I had no blue sources, I put the psionic blast back on the bottom. I opened with plateau, sol ring, vise go. Putting him on 18. He played strip mine, sol ring, black lotus, Serra go … damned, I did not anticipate this. Luckily, I drew into a volcanic island. I played a timetwister…
… and I drew factory, atog, lion, Divine offering, time walk, vise and wheel. I played my second black vise putting him on 12. He played a tundra, and a fellwar stone and attacked me to 16. I played my factory, time walk and wheel. My next 7 cards were not that great, no direct damage, a strip mine, 3 land, disenchant, atog and divine offering. I stripped his tundra and he disenchanted 1 black vise going to 10 in his upkeep. As he had no land, I disenchanted his sol ring and divined his fellwar stone leaving him with only a strip mine. I played an ankh and atog next turn. He drew into land and plowed my atog when I attacked him after blocking with his Serra and I sacced my sol ring and vise. He was on 5 and I was on 13 life. He played a chaos orb and kept attacking me with his Serra. I drew blanks unfortunately and I needed to try something desperate when we were both on 5 life. So I attacked with my factory into his angel hoping that he would be more afraid of losing his Serra than that he would be worried about his own life (as if I was able to kill his Serra I would definitely be able to kill him as well). It paid off! He did not block (3 life). Next turn he attacked with his serra, stripped my plateau and orbed my volcanic island leaving me with only a factory and ankh in play at 1 miserable life while he had only 1 plains and a Serra in play(!). I was in need of a top deck….
…. which I got: bolt. I played a plateau (I had kept ~3 land in hand), put damage of the ankh on the stack, tap plateau and bolted his face before dying to my own ankh….
I still had him on a deck build as I only had seen 1 serra and many control elements
In: LoA, dibs (2?)
I kept a slow but good hand.
He had a slow start as well but his first 4 land were factories and a LoA. His LoA was not yet active, but I orbed his LoA nevertheless as I could not win that game. I played a lion and dib. He then goes aggro with the factories after swording my dib and atog later on. I doubted whether to play wheel or twister, I had an ancestral in my grave and he had 2 swords. I played the wheel, hoping for Armageddon, bolts, disenchants or hurkyl’s recall. But unfortunately my new hand consisted of more lions, vise, atog, land and 1 bolt. I did play the lions and atog as these should hold of some factories.
However he had drawn into a great answer: wrath of god. A mind twist a turn later meant that his factories went further uphill. I had 1 bolt for 1 factory, but unfortunately he had drawn factory #4 and he had a disenchant for my freshly drawn factory. After the match he showed me the moti’s and Serra’s he was not able to cast
He went 4-0 in the first batch as well. And 3-1 in batch 2, so ending at 7-1 as nr. 3. Congrats to Jesse! So apparently, I had bad luck playing against really good decks/ opponents. Both were close games and maybe if I would have won the coin flip, things could be different. O well – up to the next game. But now I needed to win 6 consecutive games in a row to fulfill my goal.
I played against Tim Atwood (USA), he already won 2 or 3 of his previous games with a sweet white weenie build with crusades, pendelhaven and army of allah. Again a tough match-up.
I lost the coin flip (0-3)
He played a turn 1 tundra wolves while I played a second turn dib. He played more white weenie and we both attacked each other. I played some vises. A timetwister getting me some burn and him 7 cards sealed the deal quickly.
Out: 2 dibs (I had not seen any arabian cards yet, so I expected a CiaB), 1 Armageddon, 4 vises, hurkyl’s recall
In: 3 su-chi, 2 earthquake, LoA, balance
I kept a hand with 1 earthquake, psiblast, lion, ankh, factory and some land. I get a second quake. I kill 3 creatures and my own lion with the first earthquake. He then played a Pegasus. I needed to play my second earthquake for a single creature. My dib is met by a CiaB. We got into a stalemate. Both were already low in life he was on 6 life and me on 2 life. I had a factory and lion into play and he had a maze and a lion. I went for a daring play. I attacked with my factory which he blocked with his lion. I played an Armageddon with 1 mana floating, leaving me with only a lion and a mox and him with only 1 Mox in play and no cards in hand. I played my last two cards a plateau and an ankh with the floating mana.
I hoped to deal 4 damage against him with my lion before he would be able to cast anything. But unfortunately, he drew and played a Hero. I drew and killed his hero with a bolt. Attacked him to 4. He played another hero. I drew a land and attacked my lion into it as I was expecting him to attack otherwise and they both got killed. He played a factory going to 2 life as well. Going for a top deck bolt: no
In: 2 dibs (needed more beef and lions were no good), 3 vises and 2 divine offerings (some life gain / ciab)
Out: 3 ankhs (I was in doubt whether to keep the vises or ankhs), 4 lions (I had seen too much first strike creatures on his side)
Both mulliganed to 6.
I kept an aggressive dib hand. So turn 1 I played land, mox, sol ring and dib. A great start! He started with a black lotus, white knight, tundra wolves go, leaving 1 white open for a swords in my upkeep. I chained the knight, he played a new knight and attacked for 1. I played an atog and gained 1 life due to a swords next turn after blocking his knight and pumping a mox into it. I drew a bolt for his knight. He kept attacking with his 1/1s and played another pikemen and disenchanted my sol ring. He made a mistake by playing his pendelhaven in his second main phase after attacking with 1/1’s. I drew a bolt but decided to keep it for later. I played a black vise and he played a chaos orb. I drew a wheel! I needed to play it this turn as I was afraid that he would orb my only red mana source, thus discarding my bolt in the progress. I played a plateau and a second black vise. He dropped to 14 life. He did not use his orb yet but instead played more creatures. I had drawn into a timetwister which I played in my turn. He reacted by trying to chaos orb my black vise, but luckily I had a disenchant in hand. He dropped to 8 while I was on 16 life. He attacked with his four creatures and played an Army of Allah…
….dropping me to 1 life, pfew. In my turn I played a bolt (5), chain (2) and an ancestral recall on him.
In his upkeep he had 9 cards in hand and 1 disenchant was not enough to save him. Close games but my first win! And who would have thought at forehand that the vises would be useful against such an aggro deck!
Tim played well and finished 3-1 in the first batch. In his second batch he went 2-2. Finishing as nr. 46, on a 5-3 record.
So my final match of the first batch was against Brian Limbacher. He played a sweet spice build consisting of rasputin, Armageddon, pyramids, tabernacle and trike deck. A nice build, but just too slow against me.
I won the coin flip, finally! (1-3)
I kept a fast hand:
Resulting in turn 1 dib, turn 2 dib, turn 3 armageddon. He started with a LoA which he could use for 2 turns. After the Armageddon he played a balance. However he was too far behind and quickly or already in bolt range.
Sideboard: I was not sure what he played. I saw some trikes… but otherwise I had no idea.
In: Some su-chi
Out: lion I think
My hand: city, mox, sol ring , dib, su-chi, bolt and twister. I played a first Turn dib,
a second turn su-chi (he played a disenchant), turn 3 an orb for his tabernacle. He played a balance which gave me room to play my twister. Next turn I could play 2 dibs and 2 bolts which closed the deal quickly.
Brian finished 1-3 in batch 1 and in Batch II. Making it 2-6 as nr. 148.
Results were in. Standings and Batch 2 were published
I ended as #72, highest seeded with 6 points and an OMW of 77%, after the first batch,. Apparently, I played against opponents who played well. Perhaps, I still had the chance to end high if I would be able to win my next 4 matches and if my OMW stayed high enough…
I came back from my congress to Milan just before pairings were published. It was a great congress, but unfortunately I came back with COVID. Luckily, I had only mild symptoms and (apparently) it did not interfere with my ability to play games.
For batch 2 I was paired against other 2-2 players. I reached them out quickly. For 2 I had to dust off my discord account. It took me some time to find out how it worked. But after finding DFB OS discord link for on the schedule/ ruling link I was able to contact them and schedule the matches. Within 24 hrs I was able to play all my four matches.
I played against Evan DeWitt (nr. 125), USA. He played a WUrb robot deck with dibs
I lost the coin flip (1-4)
I needed to mulligan to 6 and kept a hand with 2 Lions, 2 land, mox and a psionic blast. He played a city, mox and a copy artifact (mox) in his turn. I played a lion. On turn 2 he played a Factory and a Su-Chi. In my turn 2 I kept my 2 lands open as I had drawn a hurkyl’s recall.
He played a second factory and an icy. He attacked with his Su-chi and in response I played my hurkyl’s recall. In his second main phase he replayed his mox and copy artifact (factory). I played my second lion and a dib. As he is tapped out I attack with my lion putting him in 15 (due to prior city damage) He replayed his Su-Chi. I kept the pressure on and attacked with my dib putting him on 12. Next turn, I thought he would counter attack with his Su-chi and/or factories but instead he stayed on the defense. In his next turn he did not play his icy (I am not sure what he did play). But he keeps counter magic open. In my turn I only cast a useless black vise while I had 2 psionic blast in hand. I attack him to 9. He played his icy next turn and had 3 mana available. I played a psionic blast on his turn on his Su-chi, he countered it. In my turn he tapped (city, 8 life) my dib. I attacked with my lions, 1 was blocked the other went through (6). A chain and blast was enough to kill him.
It was really nice to see that the included hurkyl’s recall made a big difference!
Sideboard: I had not seen any dibs and I was not sure whether he played any the Abyss, CiaB, or none.
In: 3 su-chi, 2 DO, 1 ReB, 1 LoA, 1 balance, 1 disenchant
Out: 4 lions, 3 chains, 1 Vise and 1 ankh. I was in doubt whether to remove my dibs, but chose to keep them.
I mulliganed. My next 6 cards were a snap keep. Although it had no lands… it consisted of a sol ring, mox pearl, dib, black lotus, a bolt and a su-chi. He played a land. I drew my first and apparently my only land for the next ~7 turns. I played a land, mox, sol ring, black lotus and dib. He played a factory and a demonic tutor. I played a Su-Chi and attacked for 3.
He played a city of brass, a chaos orb ultimately choosing my Su-chi as target. Tapping his city (16). I drew a blue mox, I attacked him to 13. Then to 10. He played his own dib. I attacked with my dib, he blocked. I killed his dib with a bolt. I Played a my second dib. On his turn he needed to do something, and that he did. He played a balance. Devastating for me as it destroyed my dibs. But I was on 1 land and 1 card in hand as well, so devastating for him as well as he had to sacrifice 3 land and discard 2 BeBs and he had no artifact mana while I had 2 moxes and a sol ring.
I got lucky and drew a Su-Chi, which hit the board. After 2 swings (2 life) he was able to swords it. I had drawn a psionic blast for the kill (in his upkeep) but he had a counter for it. In my turn I played a divine offering on his mox, and played a balance while still having 1 land in play and no cards in hand. It was waiting for the finishing blow and it arrived in the form of a dib a few turns later, just after drawing my second land. Sometime it’s a good thing to be mana screwed…
Evan managed to go 2-2 in his second batch, so finishing on 4-4 as nr. 106.
I played against Philip Boehm (nr. 116) from Germany. I had played against him before in the Online Dutch Oldschool League (ODOL) and mostly he plays a RU Blood Moon deck. So I expected to see some moons again. He had played against a friend in batch 1 and he confirmed that he was indeed playing UR moons. He apparently played a sweet RU singleton blood moon deck.
I won the coin flip (2-4)
My hand had an answer against a bloodmoon so I kept.
I start with a turn 1 lion. He played a land and a mox. I attacked with the lion, drew another, played a land and kept mana open for a disenchant. He played a land and a demonic tutor. I attacked him to 14, played a chain (11). I was anticipating a blood moon, but he played a timetwister instead. Apparently searching for a better hand. He received a bolt from me in response (8).
He shattered my mox. Next turn I was able to kill him with my lions and a psionic blast
In: 3 su-chi, LoA, 2 BeB, 1 ReB, 1 disenchant
Out: 3 psionic blast, 1 chain, 1 hurkyl’s recall, 1 lion, 1 Armageddon en 1 dib
I mulliganed as it would not be good enough against a quick blood moon.
My new six were a bit better: 2 land, 2 atog, 1 lion, vise and bolt. I ditched 1 atog to the bottom. He had a slow start. I dropped my lion and second turn my vise.
He had a fellwar stone and played out some lands. I played a dib. He played a fire elemental which kept my lion from attacking. I played an atog and an ankh. Attacked with my dib. Next turn he played a blood moon and a psionic blast on my dib. Hereafter, I drew my disenchant which I could not use. I attacked with my lion and atog, killing his fire elemental after saccing both vise and ankh. He played a Shivan and I drew a BeB which I could not cast. He attacked with his Shivan and put me on 8 life, while he was on 7 life. I played my bolt putting him on 4 life. I had a lion and atog without any artifacts in play (3 potential damage) so I needed a top deck. Wheel! Great! I needed only 1 of my 16 outs (moxes, black lotus, sol ring, vises, ankhs, orb, bolt, chain). So I wheeled and ….
I kept my openings hand with plateau, blue mox, factory, dib, bolt and chain. I played a vise. He played out land, mox, mox, time walk, next turn wall of air.
I played my dib. Next turn I attacked into his wall and chained it. I made a mistake not attacking with my factory as well. Hereafter, he played an icy, but he was tapped out. I attacked with factory and dib, than I played a time walk, and attacked again. This put him on 5, I had a bolt in hand.
If I would have attacked him with my factory earlier he would be dead.. instead he was able to play a wheel for an answer… but that did not help him. While I drew into even more burn.
Philip played 1-3 in his second batch, finishing as nr. 116.
I played against Geoff Matteson (nr. 76) from the USA. I expected him to play a big red deck with howling mine/blood moons/ gargoyles/ Shivans and lots of burn as that was what he recently played at lobstercon and I saw mostly red decks with blood moons in earlier events. And indeed I saw only red, lots of burn, gargoyles and howling mine.
I won the coin flip (3-4)
My hand consisted of 2 factories, vise, ankh, dib, atog and wheel. A good vise plan with factory back up but no colored sources. But if he would play a blood moon than I would have had access to red mana. I went ahead and played the vise. He apparently had a LoA in hand, but wisely choose not to play the LoA game. He played a hammerheim and a chain. I played my ankh with my second factory.
In his upkeep he went to 15. Dropped a factory (13). I did not draw any land, but because I want to keep the pressure on, I attacked with my factory which he blocked. In his upkeep he went to 11 life and gave up as he did not see any outs. Maybe it was a bit too soon, as I was mana screwed as well…
Out: 2 lion, 1 psionic blast, 1 hurkyl’s recall, 2 vises, 1 ankh and 1 chain
In: LoA, 3 Su-chi, 2 BeB, 1 disenchant, 1 balance
Apparently, because he had not seen that much of my deck he had put me on artifact atog and boarded out the blood moons…I did not anticipate that…
I got this 7. I did find the hand to risky as it needed some cards to function
My next 7 were slow: 3 land (3 mana sources), 2 su-chi, 1 black vise but with an ancestral. I ditched the vise to the bottom as he started and I wanted to make sure to make my landdrops for my Su-chi’s (remind this).
Turn 1: he played a LoA… I played an ancestral in his upkeep getting 2 lands and a sol ring (6). Great some acceleration. In my turn I drew a mox pearl (7) as well so I played my su-chi in my second turn. He kept drawing extra cards and played a shatter. My next turn I drew land (8) and played my Su-Chi. He played a maze and he chained me. I drew a land (9) and he played a gargoyle. Luckily, I drew no land but a bolt and killed the gargoyle. He still made use of his active LoA. I had played a dib, he played another maze. I drew land (10).
He bolted me and stripped a land. Then finally, I was lucky and drew a game changer: Armageddon. I had kept 5 lands in hand. I played the Armageddon, removing his LoA and pesky mazes and now I was dealing 7 damage a turn.
He played a howling mine, but it was too little too late. I played a chain and put him on 3 life, played another dib while I was at a comfortable 9 life. Next turn he was dead
Geoff finished 2-2 in his second batch as well. So he finished 4-4 as nr. 79.
Against Marc Flore (nr. 94), USA. He played a UBr robot build with sages and animate dead. He already played against a friend so I knew he was on robot’s with a black splash for animate dead.
I Lost the coin flip (3-5)
My hand consisted of 2 lands, lion, dib, ankh, mox pearl and psionic blast. He started with a LoA (where are my vises?). I drew a twister and played land, mox and ankh. (Ankh rather than lion as it is better use of my available mana and I expected that he needed to make more landdrops to deploy his robots and to maintain his LoA). He kept getting cards of his LoA. He played a land. I drew a lion and opted between playing a dib or 2 lions. I went for the latter.
He played a land, mox and icy without any available mana. I played my dib and attacked with my lions. He played a su-chi which I blasted. He tapped my dib and I attacked with my lions. He animated his Su-chi and copied it. The tables had turned… so time for a twister… he was on 7 life. I did not draw into that much burn, so I played an Armageddon keeping him of enough mana sources to deploy his hand (and to avoid any drawn huge mind twist) and making him pay for putting more lands in play it.
He had 2 moxes in play, while I had 2 moxes and a sol ring. I had a disenchant in hand for his icy and was still 13 life. He played a land (5) and a sage. I played a land and disenchanted the icy in my turn so that he could not yet use his sage. In his turn he attacked with his animated su-chi which I blocked with a lion. He sacced it to the sage and he played an ancestral recall. Resulting into another su-chi and another copy. As he was tapped out, I could swing in with my dib and a psionic blast made it game.
Out: 4 vises, 4 lions, 1 ankh
In: 2 divine offering, 1 disenchant, 3 Su-chi (afraid of a possible abyss), 1 ReB, 1 LoA, 1 balance
I had a risky hand. It had a fast clock but the risk is that he could have a copy artifact.
He played a turn 1 sage. I played a turn 1 su-chi. He, unfortunately, did have a copy artifact… so he copied the su-chi next turn.
I chained the sage and attacked into his Su-chi and both went to the graveyard. He played a chaos orb and was quickly on top deck mode. I still had 1 chain and 2 bolts in hand, but only 1 red source available. I attacked with my factory and atog. He orbed my atog. Next turn he played a land. I attacked with my factory and bolted his factory. I continued attacking and bolting him, but then I drew blanks and he had a tetravus which he deployed.
I had no answer and he finished me off while standing on 6 life. Maybe it would have been better to safe my chains/ bolts for this…
Sideboard: back to full aggro.
Out: su-chi’s, LoA, balance, chains
In: lions, vises, ankh
GAME 3 – last game
I kept my hand, it had a good plan while he mulliganed to six. He appeared to be not happy with his new 6, but kept nonetheless
I only hoped that he was not able to play a first turn su-chi.
I played a city and a lion. He played a factory and mana vault. I played a land, timewalk and attacked with the lion. In my extra turn I drew a disenchant (great, this meant I could answer a next turn threat!), I attacked again, played an ankh and stripped his factory.
He played a new land (14), but no su-chi or other threat. I attacked with my lion (12) and disenchanted his vault to keep him low on mana sources. I played a factory as did he (10). I attacked with both the lion and factory. He activated his factory, but I had a bolt ready for it (6) and he went down to 1 land again.
With 4 damage next turn and a psionic blast in hand it was enough 🥳
Marc finished 2-2 in his second batch as well, finishing as nr. 85, on a 4-4 record.
Wow.. after losing my first 2 matches I was still able to reach my goal to win at least 6 games.
With prior editions there were one to four 6-2 finishers who were lucky enough to continue to the top 16. This was of course dependable on the tiebreakers. As a few of my batch I opponents performed quite well, even in the second batch, I even had some small hope to get there. I expected that my batch I tiebreakers would be 70,75%. The tiebreaker from Batch II was lower with 46,88%, as what you would expect from a 2-2 bracket. So I ended on 58,81%, certainly not bad. In 2021 (190 contestants instead of 194 now) there was 1 person with a 6-2 record and a tiebreaker of 55% who got in top 16. So waiting until the announcement was initially nail-biting (as Dutch would say ~ nervously waiting). Ron Dijkstra was in a similar position but with better expected tiebreakers. He had it all figured out. We expected that four 6-2 results would continue to the top 16. There were already four with tiebreakers better than 60, all from the 4-0 bracket, so my, and most likely Rons, tiebreakers would not be enough. So it was no surprise to me when the standing were announced. DFB Ultimately, I ended as nr 20 out of 194. Still a great result. Especially, as I had to go via the 2-2 bracket.
Looking back, I am happy with the deck choices I made and how it all played out. I had some bad luck, but I had quite some good luck and Godly draws as well. I am disappointed loosing against a slow control deck (UW Serra/ Moti) as I think that I should have a favorable outcome. But I was happy winning against some other decks which were maybe less favorable, such as Tim’s Band of Justice deck. Looking back at my card choices, I think the only card which is debatable is hurkyl’s recall. I am still not sure whether this or disenchant would be better. I has a higher ceiling but also a lower floor. It is difficult to determine its value as a one off, as it depends on drawing it when needed. A few times I hoped to draw into a hurkyl’s recall and in at least one match it helped me winning by bouncing mox, copy artifact, su-chi and an icy to gain just the momentum needed to get ahead.
The Armageddon’s worked great almost each time I drew them. Locking the opponent out of mana sources, pesky mazes, and locking them into ankh or vise damage. The question is whether winter orb would be as good or even better. It can be played earlier, is also good against mazes, factories, restricting players from playing cards and is food for atogs. But Armageddon removes lands and works even better with ankhs. I only played 2 atogs, and I think that was the correct number for this deck. I did not like drawing more than 1 in my opening. Mostly they were killed on site, gaining me some life in progress. Never did I have a game in which a lethal atog made a difference (if only the wheel had given any artifact against Philip). One change I would consider maindeck, is that I would remove 1 chain lightning in favor of a 4th psionic blast as 4 toughness creatures like serra’s were otherwise difficult to kill. For my sideboard, I used all cards in my sideboard but 2. I never boarded CiaB in. Maybe those can be replaced by 2 other cards, I am not yet sure which cards instead would be of any help though.
I want to thank my opponents for reaching out and quickly scheduling the games. I had really nice games and chats with all of you. I would also thank DFB for organizing yet again a fantastic smooth derby.
This report is written before the top 16 took off. I wish the top 16 good luck and I hope to see some exciting matches.
Until next time