Monday, May 6, 2013

MTG: Legacy, 8th @ Heroic Dreams Mox Tournament with RU Delver

Yesterday I played at a Legacy tournament hosted by Heroic Dreams with UR Delver, finishing in 8th place. My preparation for this tournament consisted of reading every one of Andrew Schneider's articles and Adrian Sullivan's recent tournament report. Armed with all that knowledge and my past experience with the deck in Buffalo (79304 years ago) I came to this deck list . . .

Lands: 19
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Arid Mesa
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Volcanic Island
2 Island
2 Mountain

Creatures: 15
4 Goblin Guide
4 Delver of Secrets
3 Grim Lavamancer
4 Snapcaster Mage

Card Draw: 9
4 Brainstorm
3 Ponder
2 Gitaxian Probe (Great with Snapcaster, and the info helps me prioritize spells to counter)

Burn: 9
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Chain Lightning
3 Price of Progress (Some men just want to watch the world burn)

Counters: 7
3 Force of Will
2 Daze
2 Spell Pierce

Random: 1
1 Cerebral Vortex (Adrian Sullivan special)

Sideboard: 15
2 Engineered Explosives (Good at killing one-drops, particularly Nimble Mongoose)
2 Relic of Progenitus (Graveyard hate for RUG’s creatures)
2 Flusterstorm
1 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Daze
2 Smelt (I like this over Smash to Smithereens for the mana cost and synergy with Snapcaster)
3 Sulfuric Vortex (#Amazing)
1 Price of Progress (Excessive?)
1 Vendilion Clique (Versatile threat vs. control decks)

Round 1: UR Delver Mirror
Gotta love being paired into a mirror that you've never played before when there is literally only two of you in the room.
g1: He'd seen what I was playing from practising earlier, so he never cast his Goblin Guides until late in the game. At that point, they were guaranteed burn spells vs. my low life total while I didn't realize what was up until I had given him extra lands from my own Goblin Guides. I tried altering my game plan halfway through, but was too far behind on material and got smashed by a trio of Goblin Guides.
g2: I put him on the play and adopted him game plan, my Relic of Progenitus kept his Snapcasters and Grim Lavamancers in check while we both sat back sculpting our hands and killing opposing creatures. Despite neither of us playing slow we went to time, and I managed to sneak in the last bit of damage by finding a Bolt off of a Brainstorm.
0-0-1 "I did not expect this result playing a Burn deck splash blue"

Round 2: Bant Maverick
g1: I lost the roll and had a hard time keeping up with triple Noble Hierarch and Stoneforge Mystic into Jitte (had Batterskull in hand) despite having a Grim Lavamancer on the draw. He ripped a critical StP to remove my Grim Lavamancer and give his Jitte some delicious blood counters, which preceded to murder my board.
g2: We both mulled to six, he kept two lands and four StP on the draw. Surprisingly I didn't quite muster an acceptable offence, whiffed on having a Bolt vs. a Stoneforge Mystic into Batterskull. I'm starting to think I'm skimping on Bolts and Ponders to find said Bolts or other clutch sideboard cards.
0-1-1 "Well, time to never lose again I guess?"

Round 3: 4-Color Spirit Mystic Jund (this deck has everything for all people)
g1: I got smashed by Stoneforge Mystic for a Batterskull and Bloodbraid Elf cascading into Tarmogoyf.
g2: My opponent mulliganed to five, a Gitaxian Probe saw Chains of Mephistopheles which prompted a judge call for oracle text. Thank God my opponent stalled out so that card never hit play, because I still don't know what it does (does anyone?).
g3: Unfortunately my opponent mulliganed to five again, and didn't want to pay life with his Sylvan Library and stalled on two lands (Forest, Wasteland).
2-1 "Ya I really earned that win..."

Round 4: Esper Stoneblade
I get paired down against a 1-2; he's practically out of top 8 at this point, unless something really crazy happens. I ask for the concession since I can still "win out" awesomely I get it, We play 3 games for fun and practice and I get thoroughly rolled.
2-1-1 "Still "earning" these wins!"

Round 5: BUG
Paired down...again. Same routine as last time, and my opponent concedes the match to me. He's slightly tilted and not in the mood for a few fun games and goes off to watch his teammates.
3-1-1 "This is getting ridiculous"

Round 6: UWr Countertop
What are the odds I get paired down a third time? Apparently 100% since I'm paired vs. David Neganiwina. But this person – this man – has a fire and chose to go for it, no matter how low the odds are that a 4-2 can make it in. Despite getting infinity free wins all day I respect his decision and frankly I want to, you know, play Magic – just a little bit.
g1: From what I saw he kept a more mid-late game focused hand, and my first turn Delver on the play into Daze on his Sensei's Divining Top prompted a Force of Will. From there I blind flipped Delver revealing a Bolt (#Skill), played a second Delver, that would also blind-flip immediately, and somehow I managed to pull that game out.
g2: David kept five lands, StP, and a Brianstorm on the play. I Probed him, into Chain Lightning, Snapcaster into a second Probe and started the slow beats. I was able to protect the clutch Sulfuric Vortex from Vendilion Clique with Force pitching my own Vendilion Clique. The Vortex miraculously resolved, and I won the match.
2-0 "Drew above average g1 and average g2, I don’t know what to say”
4-1-1 "Make top 8 with one legit win, jeeez"

Round 7: Rug Delver
g1: His hand was loaded with Spell Pierces and Forces while I had no pressure off my mulligan to six. I ran out a Goblin Guide around turn five, it resolved, I turned it sideways, it didn't hit and land and he took two (to my surprise). An unflipped Delver, Grim Lavamancer, and Snapcaster Mage joined the fight and combined their powers in order to seal away game one.
g2: There wasn't much action this game; I mulliganed to six and kept a one lander (Mountain) with Relic of Progenitus on the draw. After not drawing my second land I ran out my Relic hoping it would resolve and I'd be able to cycle it into a blue source if I didn't naturally draw it, tragically it got Dazed. From therem all he literally did was play a Tarmogoyf and beat me to death with it. Ironically, the Relic in my bin made it a 5/6, keeping it out of Grim + Bolt range.
g3: I mulliganed five lands and two Goblin Guides into Gitaxian Probe, Goblin Guide, Chain Lightning, Force, Brainstorm, mystery card. I roughly figured I was about 33% to draw a land off the Probe (35.8% to be exact), and had to decide if I felt a mull to five had a better chance of winning then 33% times my odds of this hand winning. I think I chose wrong by mulliganing to five, as RUG Delver can trade cards effectively, and any offence I'd be able to muster would most likely be shut down easily. My six card hand had enough going for it; it had a better chance of winning the game despite having a 66% chance of straight losing on the spot. My five had Land, Delver, Chain Lightning, Price of Progress, mystery card. My Delver got bolted and practically grinded my offence to a halt. My opponent’s turn two Tarmogoyf pretty much sealed the deal from there.

1-2 "Didn't respect the match up enough and lost, seems right"
4-2-1 -> Dead @ 8th place

The main point of this tournament was to get practice for future Legacy tournaments, so breaking even for the day was a fine result. I can't complain about my finish or constantly mulling in the top 8 since I got ridiculously lucky to get paired down three times in a row. My only real complaint was how top-heavy the prize structre was, it wasn't the classic 1st=8x, 2nd=4x, 3/4th=2x, 5-8th=1x but 1st=600, 2nd=300, 3-4th=100(would be 150$), 5-8th=50$ (would be 75$). That's just the awkwardness that comes up with a variable number of participants and a big random card prize like a Mox. I still like the deck, though; it's kinda neat that the only two people piloting it came in 4th and 8th (me), respectively.

  • Stoneforge Mystic into broken equipment, cards to consider...
    • Smash to Smithereens seems slightly better than Smelt if these are the only artifacts I'm blowing up despite being worse with Snapcaster Mage.
    • 4th Ponder can help dig for more Burn/Shatters for the Mystic and its toys.
    • Spell Snare – because we’re ballers like that.
    • Fire/Ice (as a burn option)

  • Tarmogoyf/Nimble Moongoose
    • Relic of Progenitus: Keeps both in check very well.
    • Mind Harness: My first-round opponent swears by it, and since he made top 4 I'm inclined to believe him.
    • Spell Snare: Only hits the Tarmogoyf and suffers from timing issues, I'd probably have to the full four to get the results I want.

Cards on the recruit list
  • Maindeck
    • Fire/Ice: A Patrick "Ofelia" Dickmann suggestion, I'm really digging this as a way to keep my burn count high, and give myself a potential 2-for-1 vs. one-toughness creatures, and a tricky race winner or Force of Will fodder all in one neat package.

    • Umezawa's Jitte: Another Ofelia suggestion, I'm worried about paying that much mana and getting blown out by my creature dying since everything I have is very vulnerable to spot removal.
    • 20th land: taps for mana, sometimes other cool shit.
    • Vapor Snag: A great way to force through damage while having a maindeck card that's good vs. a Goyf/Goose or decent vs Griselbrand. Might be slightly worse than Fire/Ice.
    • Izzet Charm: I know I'm biased when it comes to this card, it's probably too expensive for what you get.

  • Sideboard
    • Mind Harness: I’ll most likely play three, I’m sick of losing to Tarmogoyf.
    • Meekstone: The 3rd piece of Ofelia tech; seems like a nice way to keep big dumb creatures back and in check.
    • Dismember: Probably the weaker option, but it's good to know about and the card is insanely efficient and versatile.

The only cut I'm sure of is the Cerebral Vortex; it was basically just Force of Will fodder all day. Besides that, it'll take some time to brew and test up the updates for the Decked Out/Untouchables tournament next week. Thanks to Jon Teigesser and Ryan Duffield for loaning me ze cards,Seth Black for the ride, and Andrew Boa for editing. Hopefully I can one up myself next week.

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