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1  Vintage Community Discussion / Non-Vintage / Re: Old School Magic in New York! New Website & Format! on: March 21, 2016, 09:18:49 am
@Katzby - Sorry that you feel like that about the new fun variation of the format we've created here in the US.  I totally get why you consider it a bastardization of the European format, but what's the point of a format (or even a game, for that matter) to exist if no one can access cards to play? 

While I completely respect and appreciate what the Swedes have done for the promotion of Old School formats, US formats reveal an evolution of Old School.  Locally at tournaments between rounds, we promote the fun and intrigue it brings to those actively playing it and even bystanders curious to see these older relics being cast and played.  The Swedes may have their hardcore format, but years down the line, I guarantee you that they will grow tired of the same card pool and stagnant player base.  Even US Old School is at risk of this, considering most players want to play, but the supply of the older cards (even through FBB, FE & Chronicles) is continually shrinking.  The whole point of New York Old School Magic is to help generate future and further appreciation of the older sets. 

Lastly, just because you hate this format, it does not suddenly empower you tear it down.  For example, while I may not like Modern, I do not go out of my way to knock it.

@Smmenen - I've added that link to NorCal Old School in the Links sidebar of the site.  Thank you for letting me know the correct link to use.

@fsecco - The Armageddon Clock Overtime rule was put in place so we could potentially have a more finite resolution to ongoing long matches.  You make a pretty solid point about Mirror Universe and its power to make things tricky toward the end.  If that particular situation arises in overtime, I would consider that a success.
2  Vintage Community Discussion / Non-Vintage / Old School Magic in New York! New Website & Format! on: March 18, 2016, 02:00:26 pm
Attention all Old School MTG players on the East Coast!

We have launched the New York Old School MTG site!  In the coming months leading up to NYSE Open IV, there will be a few Old School events held at The Geekery HQ, The Comic Book Depot, Inc., & A Store of Fire and Dice using this format.  In a attempt to recapture the nostalgic olden days of the game, it features the standard Old School rules of mana burn, stacking damage, an older B&R list, and an Overtime Armageddon Clock.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible with their great feedback and suggestions.

Time to jam some organized Old School!!!  Very Happy

Check out our site:  http://newyorkoldschool.tumblr.com/
3  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: The Comic Book Depot 1/24/16 $1,000 Vintage Credit Tournament! on: January 26, 2016, 03:05:34 pm
It might be worth updating the tournament's Subject line to 1/31/16.  Looking forward to it!
4  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: The Geekery HQ (Astoria, NY)-Friday Night Vintage - 12/11/15 Unsanctioned Proxy on: December 08, 2015, 03:34:36 pm
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy... right in my backyard!  I'm there  Very Happy
5  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Top Deck Games [Westmont,NJ] - MTG Vintage Sept. $1000 Event - September 19th on: September 18, 2015, 03:49:00 pm
Reg starts at 11, correct?
6  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Comic Book Depot Vintage - 8/2 Credit Tournament on: July 30, 2015, 09:45:49 am
I'll be there with a few in tow from LIC  Very Happy

Looking forward to it!
7  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: 5c Stax @ GPAC - A journey from the bottom to the top! on: June 09, 2015, 03:24:16 pm
First of all, I'm not a native English speaker, therefore I apologize in advance for my limited choice of words but I'll try to express my ideas as clearly as possible.

Being a long-time MUD Shop decks, I always wanted to find a color version of the build - mostly for the welders.
This one is a very interesting list, I have been playtesting it a little bit and I have a few thoughts I'd like to share with you:

1. I hate getting mana issues in MTG (to me, losing to a mana/color death is the worse). Which is why I really enjoy playing Shop decks in Vintage, and Ramp decks in EDH.
I think the weak point in Colored stax decks in usually fixing the manabase: How to create such an efficient one that you will get enough colorless for your big machines, while still being able to cast your colored spells through all these spheres?
I understand that finding your Tabernacle might be crucial against Dredge decks, but I'd like to know how you preferered Crop Rotation to, let's say, Chromatic Lantern or Expedition Map (which I would also list in this "mana helper" utilities).

2. Ratchet Bomb is amazing against Zombie/Monastery Mentor tokens. However it does blow up your Moxen as well (how often do you sacrifice it for 0?). I usually see Smokestack as the universal solution to every possible trouble on the battlefield. Is this addition really helpful against specific matchups?
(My point here would be, or shoudn't this slot be changed to a mana-fixer as well?)

3. About the choice of the "big robots", I am living a very long love-story with Karn. I'm just wondering between this guy and Triskelion, wouldn't it be amazing to cut the Trike in order to pack a 2nd Karn MD? It seems to me they both serve the same objective (dealing damage). Even if it's true that Trike is amazing when it comes down to shoot Trygon Predators, it seems to me that Karn is a very efficient beatdown clock, able to kill multiple PWs on the spot, eating Moxen and get rid of opponent's life total within 3 turns maximum. As well as being really good at providing multiple blockers when necessary (monastery mentor, young pyromancer). The fact that he costs 5 mana seems more of a reasonable mana cost, unlike 6 which rather appears as "over the overcosted threshold" to me.

4. These lists usually run 1 or 2 Bazaars MD. I'd like to know the reasons that led you to run a Bazaarless version of the deck? I understand it's mostly thanks to Dack's looting abilities, but since Dack is a 3-mana permanent, how did you feel about this difference in utilization?

Thank you in advance, I hope my questions bring an interesting discussion on your list!

B.

edit: oh, and what about the missing Memory Jar as well? I know it's been an all-time favourite in this kind of build. Is Dack's ability strong enough to replace the Jar's broken card-advantage generation?

@Baradoz - great questions and I'm glad you asked!

1.) Those are valid concerns regarding the seemingly fragile mana base.  The way the deck combats that disruption is through the stability of Crucible of Worlds.  As risky as Crop Rotation may be with so many Mental Missteps around, it's worth the risk to potentially put the game away if they don't have the answer.  Crop Rotation is faster and overall more powerful than Chromatic Lantern or Expedition Map.  I tested those two cards and they proved underwhelming for their cost and resource dedication.  The Chromatic Lantern offered a sense of stability that did not further the ultimate plan of establishing a hard-lock.  While the Expedition Map had a better chance of resolving without setting off opponents' alarm systems (Misstep), it required an activation cost not easily done in 1 turn (3 non-Workshop Mana).  So, I went the more aggressive route through Crop Rotation, putting more at risk to potentially earn some greater reward/return.  The way to play this card safely and correctly comes down to timing.  If you know you're against a blue deck, you just need to take more care of resolving the 1cc spell, sequencing against running it right into a Misstep.

2.) Ratchet Bomb is great and I think it works best when shrinking the opponent's board back down to size when you have an active Smokestack on board.  The key is not to just throw out your Moxen just because they can be cast for free.  Consider treating them as information about your hand.  The less resources they realize you potentially have, the less possibilities they can piece together in their mind about what you're going to play next.  So putting that theory into practice, you would be less likely to run into situations where Ratchet Bomb is destroying more of your board / Moxen than intended.

3.) Six mana is really at the top of the curve.  Past that, you're likely not going to be casting a Sundering Titan very quickly.  Though, stranger things have happened (Workshop, Lotus, Crypt, Titan).  The Big Robot choices are solely dependent on your predicted metagame.  A Big Robot setup that works in one metagame for 5c Stax won't necessarily be the right formula for the next, so it's important to understand what is at your disposal and which matchups they will be good for.  Triskelion is a recurring machine gun when combined with Goblin Welder and if proactively played, he can stave off opposing Dack Faydens quite effectively.  Also, against opposing Phyrexian Revokers, your locked-down Welders could be freed up when Trike resolves.  Thus, creating headaches for opponents running Workshop Aggro decks.

4.) This is true and at times I do miss having at least 1 Bazaar.  I won't rule it out as it was never really a terrible card.  However, my experience with it was often 50/50 and I always felt further behind when I had to desperately dig with it.  It also ate up a valuable land drop which could have been the difference between dropping more mana resources into play vs just seeing more cards off the top of my library.  It's also quite possible that I've been playing the land incorrectly all along, so I've never been able to capitalize on it.  When Thirst for Knowledge was restricted, my first impulse was to add in Imperial Seal, Darkblast, and Bazaar to help compensate for the "lack of" draw engine.  It has since been replaced by an extremely well-positioned card, Dack Fayden, which has the ability to single-handedly steal an opposing Workshop deck's momentum.  Dack then continuously helps dig further into the deck, filtering through cards more efficiently without the fear of reducing the hand count.  Bazaar always left me feeling desperate, searching through so much of my deck at the cost of staying at 1 or less cards in hand.  I typically wanted to build up to a 2-threat turn, so if one moderate threat was countered, the 2nd would have a higher chance of resolving and put the game even further out of reach of my opponent.

5.) Memory Jar is quite good, but does it accomplish a harder lock quicker?  There are a lot of resources that you must dedicate to casting it or potentially welding it back in.  I'd say it's a 50/50 for me, which is not strong enough, so I have not included it in my lists for quite a while.

I hope this helps you understand my rationale/theory behind the deck.  Like I've said before, it's my pet deck and it's clearly not the easiest deck to pilot, but with the right card choices for a particular metagame, it can have the right silver bullets to win.  Definitely an uphill battle!  Very Happy
8  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: N.Y.S.E. Open III - Power Eight, Workshops & Bazaars Tournament - 6/26 - 6/28 on: June 08, 2015, 01:13:41 pm
Are you sure you want to cap this thing?  Wink
9  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Comic Book Depot - 5/17 Mishra's Workshop Tournament on: May 15, 2015, 02:05:51 pm
Just to give the field a heads up, Forino and I are both on Delver this Sunday.  Please prepare accordingly.

In that case, I'm on Oath!
10  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: 5c Stax @ GPAC - A journey from the bottom to the top! on: May 15, 2015, 10:07:05 am
Thanks everyone!  I'm happy to see that most of you are confused by some of the card choices.  That only means one thing... there is work to be done.  It's scary & exciting for me to work on something new that may or may not have any success.

Re: Chromatic Lantern - it was underwhelming, but definitely helpful when stabilizing my manabase.  The Crucible of Worlds had a similar effect, so I replaced it with the Crop Rotation to aggressively seek out answers/lock pieces.

@JD - thanks for the kind words.  I've been working on cleaning up my play lately, though Mikey Noble was quick to point out that I mistakenly tried using Workshop mana to cast a planeswalker with two sphere effects on board.  Yeah, that doesn't work like that Wink

@Kenan - good games, sir!  I was fortunate that you simply didn't have the right answers for my disruption.

@Rich - 20/20 rawr!

@serracollector - Thirst for Knowledge served the same purpose of Dack, essentially pushing 5c through when it stalls.  Dack also has synergy with other parts of the deck, stealing precious mana/combo pieces from your opponent early on or allowing for a turn 2 Titan welded in from the graveyard.

@Dave - definitely good work from Vintage regulars!

@LotusHead - We are your team =)  A good friend recently challenged me to not withhold this list and also share my experiences instead of keeping tech secret.  There are advantages to keeping tech to myself, but at the cost of the rest of the format remaining relatively stagnant.  There are no Lodestone Golems simply b/c of a personal choice not to play them.  Plus, they push out my own fun spells/bombs just out of reach.  Don't get me wrong - they are really strong, but I still think of them as a 5/3 Juggernaut, especially looking at all of the current answers available these days.
11  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / 5c Stax @ GPAC - A journey from the bottom to the top! on: May 14, 2015, 01:24:59 am
A long time ago in a metagame far, far away... I played 5c Stax and it was glorious!

You might think I'm crazy and the deck is far-fetched, but to me this deck is the epitome of fun in Vintage.  It's a direct result of my experiences in the last two years since coming back to play Vintage Magic.  People have their pet decks and this IS my pet deck.  I would like to share with you a few of these card choices and then what ensued during Sunday's event in Atlantic City.

2015 5c Stax

Maindeck:
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
1 Ratchet Bomb
3 Sphere of Resistance
1 Trinisphere
3 Crucible of Worlds
4 Tangle Wire
4 Smokestack
1 Karn, Silver Golem
1 Duplicant
1 Triskelion
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Sundering Titan
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Tinker
2 Dack Fayden
1 Crop Rotation
4 Goblin Welder
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
3 Gemstone Mine
4 Mana Confluence
4 Mishra's Workshop
4 Wasteland

Sideboard:
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Balance
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Homeward Path
1 Pithing Needle
3 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2 Tormod's Crypt

1.) Ratchet Bomb - This shrinks the board back down to a manageable size to help magnify Smokestack's effect and opens up pesky Chalices on 0 or 1, locking you out.
2.) Threat Package (Karn, Dupe, Trike, Wurm, Titan) - The package is not permanent, but does a good enough job securing board position and mostly has an immediate impact once in play.  Wurmcoil Engine is a necessary evil to help the deck stabilize from too much loss of life.
3.) 4-Sphere Package - With only 4 sphere-effects in the deck, it's definitely light on disruption.  Reason being, it allows for the rest of the deck to function while establishing soft and incremental locks.
4.) Dack Fayden - Combine this with a Welder in play and it shines.  It is an excellent addition that allows for the deck to push through late game stall outs.
5.) Crop Rotation - This was originally Chromatic Lantern, but I audibled and wanted an extra way to access Strip Mine or a Tabernacle.
6.) Goblin Welder - Just 1 weld can make all the difference.
7.) Ancient Grudge - One in the main allows for some quick response to opponents hinting at a Vault/Key plan.  It also opens up the door against Null Rod/Chalices pinning you down.
8.) Cavern of Souls - This was just a cute addition to help resolve my Welders or one of the five bots.  Welder gets through Chalice at 1 here as well.
9.) Chalice of the Void - These are in the sideboard.  It's a personal preference and I just enjoy knowing that these are ready for me to unleash on opponents when I know for sure that I'm on the play (games 2 or 3).  That's where they seem to do the most damage.
10.) Homeward Path - *Forino Tech Alert* - Stolen bots via Dack, come back!

Sunday's GPAC Vintage Plus Event


Round 1 - Oath
I took g1 down with a Tinker to 3-sphere, followed by a Smokestack.  Games 2 and 3, I proceed to lose to Vault/Key combo, courtesy of a Griselbrand.
Record: 0-1

Round 2 - BYE
I spent this round counting up the number of Oath players in the room (6 to be exact) and proceed to watch folks have fun playing sanctioned Vintage.
Record: 1-1

Round 3 - Oath
Hoping to redeem myself and have a good match, I get 2-0'd by another Oath player.  I'm convinced the hands I kept were simply suboptimal for combating Oath and I should have mulliganed more aggressively to search for something better.  After the miserable 1-2 start, I had just about given up and seriously contemplated dropping.  Obviously, I decided against it, in hopes that I would play against something other than Oath.
Record: 1-2

Round 4 - Landstill
I got paired up with my old friend, JR.  He had a 2-1 record and I had a 1-2 record.  We played it out because I wanted to compete and see what crazy shenanigans I could pull out against his control deck.  In one of our games, I managed to land a Trinisphere after he landed a Crucible.  The following turn, he tapped out his mana to cast a Standstill.  On my turn, I break the Standstill, resolving a Trinisphere-protected Dack Fayden to steal the Crucible and then proceeded to control the game from there.  It was a 2-0 victory and I immediately find out from JD Nir that because of my win, I opened up the door for two X-2's to make the cut to top 8. 
Record: 2-2

Round 5 - Merfolk
This round did not really count since my opponent was clearly new to Vintage and he made it that far without power in his deck.  His inexperience showed with some play decisions that allowed for me to win game 1, even after a mull to 4.  My g1 hand was Mana Crypt, Mana Confluence, Tinker, and Tangle Wire.  I knew he was on Merfolk, so I felt the safest route was to extend the game and crush through with Wurmcoil Engine via turn 1 Tinker.  Sure enough, he had a Wasteland waiting for my remaining mana source, but 4 or 5 turns later, he ran out of chump blockers.  Game 2 included a timely Balance, which knocked out two of his cards in hand as well as his small army.  He didn't recover from the Hymn-Wrath.
Record: 3-2

Cut to Top 8 - 8th Place after 5 Rounds of Swiss

Quarterfinals vs 1st Seed and my 1st Round Opponent Kenan Diab (Oath)
I do my Tangle Wire + Smokestack thing to him and he's eventually left with nothing on board.  In game 2, I get lock components in play, but manage to keep him off just enough mana, landing a Cage, Chalice on 2, and using Tangle Wires to keep him 1 mana off from casting his Show and Tells.  I won this in a quick 2 games, somewhat redeeming myself from my losses to Oath earlier in the day.

Semifinals vs Will Dayton (Terra Nova)
FINALLY, the matchup I had been waiting for - another shops deck!  In theory, my deck was more resilient, provided it had a chance to breathe and not die too quickly.  Martello technically has that advantage over Terra Nova, but what Terra Nova gives up in a speedy kill, it makes up for with harder lock pieces.  More sphere-effects and Null Rods push many players out of maintaining any board state, denying most forms of acceleration. 

Sitting across from me was a seasoned Terra Nova player who had previously beaten me with some pretty relentless aggro-MUD plays including multiple Lodestone Golems.  However, this time, I was prepared to shock him and steal/weld out his best threats.

In game 1, Will managed to land a quick Chalice on 0 to shut out my quick acceleration, followed by sphere effects.  The sphere effects pushed my game out so much that I had to discard a Duplicant.  A few turns later, while I struggled to build a board and mana, he dropped in his Lodestone Golem to start swinging in for the kill.  With a clock and time running out, I played a Smokestack to start eating away at his board, tapping my Mana Confluence sparingly to try and delay the inevitable.  He continues to bash in, getting me down to 8, which puts me almost completely out of reach.  With a little luck, I top-decked a Goblin Welder and threw the sucker into play immediately through the Lodestone and Sphere of Resistance in play on his side.  On Will's turn, he swings in to bring me down to 2 and then passes.  On my turn, I welded in my Duplicant to remove the threat and proceed to take over the game from the brink of death.  That game was quite honestly one of the hardest-fought victories I've ever had, considering the uber-complex board state involving a Smokestack at 3 and new Wires coming in and out of play.  Game 2 was not as eventful, but once I landed Dack Fayden on turn 2 or 3, Will conceded on the spot.

Sorry, but there wasn't a Finals match played.
After a long day (and weekend), Vasu and I decided to split the crazy loot and we each walked away with 820 tickets, which equated to 82 packs of Khans.  He generously offered me the recorded win and I took it.

Looking back, I somehow managed to squeak into the top 8, edging out JD Nir by 3.33% in my tiebreakers.  The deck is clearly a work in progress, but truly an exciting list for me to play.  Its intricate lines of play require a good feel of the metagame and format, reminiscent of my 2005 list.  The new additions and card choices in the latest list have been influenced heavily by what I have felt and seen in the last two years.  Dack Fayden still remains an enemy, but is incredible as my ally in this build. 

I hope you enjoyed the read and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

-Roland
12  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Black Magic Sanctioned Trial Event(The QEW) on: April 28, 2015, 09:03:03 am
Great event, Calvin!  Thanks for putting this together and not totally freaking out when Brian stole your keys =)

Jon - thanks for playing some split-deck 95.  Hope to see what you come up with on your own!
13  Vintage Community Discussion / Non-Vintage / Re: The Conference of Professionals - April 4th 2015 - Old School Magic - Brooklyn on: April 06, 2015, 01:33:55 pm
Thanks guys! This tournament was awesome and one of the best events I've been to since coming back to the game. 

In terms of prize support, organization, coverage, and attendees, it surely held its own and brought joy to everyone playing. Even last place received a Sewers of Estark!

I'll put together a write-up/report when I have a chance.  In the meantime, here is the decklist:

//MAINDECK
Artifact:
1 x Black Lotus
1 x Mox Jet
1 x Mox Sapphire
1 x Zuran Orb
1 x Ivory Tower
1 x Sol Ring
1 x Chaos Orb
1 x Nevinyrral's Disk

Black:
4 x Dark Ritual
1 x Demonic Tutor
1 x Mind Twist
2 x Hymn to Tourach
2 x Terror
4 x Order of the Ebon Hand
4 x Sinkhole
1 x Oubliette
2 x Necropotence
4 x Hypnotic Specter
4 x Juzam Djinn

Blue:
1 x Ancestral Recall
1 x Time Walk
1 x Psionic Blast

Land:
1 x Maze of Ith
1 x Urborg
2 x Island
2 x Strip Mine
3 x Underground River
4 x Underground Sea
7 x Swamp

//SIDEBOARD
1 x Ashes to Ashes
2 x Dark Banishing
3 x Gloom
1 x Nevinyrral's Disk
2 x Pestilence
2 x Terror
4 x Underworld Dreams

14  Vintage Community Discussion / Non-Vintage / Re: The Conference of Professionals - April 4th 2015 - Old School Magic - Brooklyn on: April 01, 2015, 01:22:22 pm
Hey TMD peeps, this is IN my backyard (Brooklyn/Queens)!  Let's put those old cards to use this Saturday and have some old school fun  Very Happy

I'm rockin' Sui-Bluey - surprise, surprise, no Workshops.  Hope you see there!
15  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: 8th with Shops [MOL Belgium] 14-3-2015 on: March 16, 2015, 10:19:28 am
Nicely done and welcome back, Marius  Very Happy

16  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Northeast U.S. - Vintage at Undiscovered Realm - Hartsdale, New York on: March 01, 2015, 07:48:40 pm
I voted yes from NY, and would love to see more events at this location.  The events previously run here were great and solid prize support.  Considering this is the closest store (outside of Long Island) that supports Vintage and the use of proxies, it definitely deserves more attention and attendance.

Greg - let me know how I can help!
17  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Black Magic Sanctioned Trial Event on: March 01, 2015, 07:43:14 pm
Calvin, count me in please!  Very Happy
18  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: N.Y.S.E. Open III - Power Eight, Workshops & Bazaars Tournament - 6/26 - 6/28 on: February 12, 2015, 03:34:20 pm
Looking forward to it!  Very Happy
19  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Top 4 at Black Magic Invitational 1/31/2015 on: February 05, 2015, 11:15:09 am
Well done, sir.  Always a good time when we clash!  Very Happy
20  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Top 4 the Black Magic Invitational! on: February 02, 2015, 12:48:29 am
Well done employing the use of Caverns at the tournament!  Seems like you were well prepared for things with your build... minus that random Precursor Golem  Wink

Congrats on successfully navigating the incredibly tough field and making Top 4, Nick!
21  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Mishra's Workshop Vintage Tournament at The Comic Book Depot Sun Jan 11th on: January 09, 2015, 03:44:44 pm
Got a car full of 5 players going from Brooklyn/Queens.  At least one of us is rockin' shops!   Very Happy
22  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Semi-Annual Black Magic Invitational(formerly the MVPLS invitational) on: December 30, 2014, 03:02:13 pm
Where's the "like" button on this site?

Two thumbs up, Calvin!  Very Happy
23  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: [PANDEMONIUM] Weekly Tuesday Night Vintage on: December 30, 2014, 11:53:48 am
Will be there in about 5-6 hours  Wink

Bringing a +1, who's a newbie to the Vintage scene, but I've spent the last 2 days prepping him to take y'all on!

Drinks after if anyone is interested!

-Roland
24  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: 1st Place at Blue Bell Game Day #1 (Saturday, 12/20) with Martello Shops on: December 30, 2014, 11:05:14 am
1.  Why are you running 3 Spheres and 4 Thorns?  I would have cut the Thorn first as I figure it leaves me vulnerable more vulnerable to Ingot Chewer and Delver.  Is it just so you can drop your creatures more easily?

2.  Why no Grafdiggers in the sideboard?  I've found them to be the most useful card in there.  What's your plan against Oath?  Also I had been planning to cut the LotVs, but was thinking Relic of Progenitus instead of Tormod's Crypt.  I figured the additional mana cost of the Relics were outweighed by the card draw. 

Happy to help guys!  You're welcome  Very Happy

1.) I have found that 3 Sphere of Resistance feels about right, not pushing crucial creature spells out of range of being cast.  Whereas Thorn does not negatively impact my spells turn to turn and I can sneak in additional creatures / Metamorphs under them.  Ingot Chewers are for sure a liability, but Thorns still serve a solid purpose of preventing them from playing any additional cantrips, tutors, planeswalkers.  Pushing up the casting cost on those can still be effective, even if it means letting them chip away at your wall of spheres.

2.) No Grafdigger's Cages in the sideboard because I am more comfortable with Tormod's Crypt simply removing a graveyard.  It can apply to Dredge, Treasure Cruise, Oath, Workshop Waste/Strip battles, or even ritual-based combo with Yawg Will finishes.  It's a playstyle choice, plus it dodges the all-important Chalice at 1.

@Meddling Mike - Needle was for shutting down Bazaar, Jace, Dack, Griselbrand, Vault/Key, Engineered Explosives, or opposing Forgemasters/Hellkites.  It has been instrumental as a more versatile 5th Revoker, if you will.  Triskelion is more for opposing Revokers shutting me down, a proactive answer to Dack and his buddies (Young Pyro & Delver).  Duplicant is there mainly for an opposing Griselbrand, Blightsteel Colossus, or Emrakul.  The 1-2 punch against those guys is Metamorph them, then Dupe them, swing in for the kill.  Often times, it requires using the first Forgemaster to copy the guy first, then bringing out the Duplicant to clear the path when you attack with your Metamorph'd copy.
25  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Gush Tendrils @ Top Deck Games Winter Open, T4 Split on: December 30, 2014, 10:51:39 am
Congrats on the win, Tom!  Glad I could help out  Very Happy

...and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, old man!
26  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / 1st Place at Blue Bell Game Day #1 (Saturday, 12/20) with Martello Shops on: December 25, 2014, 04:14:30 pm
Once again, I found a Workshop list that worked for me...

Since finishing 1st overall in the Swiss and placing 5th at Vintage Worlds this year, I've been on a hot streak playing only Martello Shops (designed by Raffaele & Vincent Forino).  Fortunately, along the East Coast there have been Vintage tournaments almost every weekend to compete in.  Below is a quick summary of what my tournament trail looked like:

11/1 Comic Book Depot (Bellmore, NY) - 1st Place
11/8 Mark's Comics (Valley Stream, NY)- 2nd Place
11/22 Top Deck Games (Cherry Hill, NJ) - 1st Place
11/29 Comic Book Depot (Bellmore, NY) - 2nd Place
12/20 Alternate Universe (Blue Bell, PA) - 1st Place

Most recently, I took down the Emerald/Workshop Blue Bell Game Day @ Alternate Universes, hosted by Craig Berry & Chas Hinkle.  It was a fantastic 40-person tournament, with 6 rounds quickly moving from one to the next that I seriously had to ask Chas to postpone firing one of the rounds just so I could take a leak.  Props to those guys for running such a smooth event!

Here's the list I ran...

MARTELLO SHOPS

//Maindeck (60)
1 x Black Lotus
1 x Mana Crypt
1 x Mox Emerald
1 x Mox Jet
1 x Mox Pearl
1 x Mox Ruby
1 x Mox Sapphire
4 x Chalice of the Void
1 x Sol Ring
3 x Sphere of Resistance
4 x Phyrexian Revoker
4 x Thorn of Amethyst
1 x Trinisphere
4 x Tangle Wire
3 x Phyrexian Metamorph
4 x Lodestone Golem
4 x Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 x Duplicant
1 x Steel Hellkite
1 x Sundering Titan
1 x Strip Mine
1 x Tolarian Academy
4 x Ancient Tomb
4 x Mishra's Factory
4 x Mishra's Workshop
4 x Wasteland

//Sideboard (15)
3 x Crucible of Worlds
2 x Dismember
1 x Duplicant
1 x Ghost Quarter
1 x Pithing Needle
4 x Tormod's Crypt
1 x Triskelion
2 x Wurmcoil Engine

If you compared the list above to what I actually ran at Worlds, it's only two cards off.
+1 Pithing Needle
+1 Triskelion
-1 Sphere of Resistance
-1 Witchbane Orb
The deck in the current metagame is a solid choice to combat Delver & Oath builds.  I won't go into crazy detail about matches, but here's how they unfolded.

Round 1 vs. Matt Bevenour w/ Dredge
G1: On the play, kept a terrible hand vs Dredge = L
G2: Multiple Tormod's Crypts = W
G3: Multiple Tormod's Crypts = W

Match Record: 1-0

Round 2 vs. Josh Fuller w/ Martello Shops
G1: Overpower him with a perfect hand on the draw = W
G2: An early Lodestone from him knocks me down quickly to 6, but I stabilize and come back = W

Match Record: 2-0

Round 3 vs. Adam Pollini w/ Rage Extractor Shops
G1: Quickly find myself burned to death via a Moltensteel Dragon + Rage Extractor combo = L
G2: We grind it out shop vs shop style = W
G3: With less than 10 minutes left, we scramble and play through the 3rd game.  I failed to notice that Revoker had shut down his Sol Ring and then played & used my own Sol Ring to resolve the game-winning Duplicant, imprinting his Moltensteel Dragon.  My apologies Adam, and thanks for being a good sport about it.  A bystander pointed this out to us only after cards were put away and the match slip was signed. = W

Match Record: 3-0

Round 4 vs Ryan Glackin w/ URg Delver
G1: Stabilized at 2, grindy match that eventually got him = W
G2: So much hate! = L
G3: Again, so much hate! = L

Match Record: 3-1

Round 5 vs Steven Colby w/ Martello Shops
G1: Quickly dismantle him with an army of bots = W
G2: He somehow forgets to sideboard I stabilize at 1 life to take over a very grindy and prolonged game = W

Match Record: 4-1

Round 6 vs Nick DiJohn w/ Martello Shops
Intentionally draw into Top 8 as 3rd seeded player.

Overall Swiss Match Record: 4-1-1

Quarterfinals vs Matt Bevenour w/ Dredge
G1: It was a landslide of zombies and I was dead before I knew it.  Kept a hand that quick solid on the play against Dredge, but I always felt about 1 turn behind. = L
G2: Controlled the game with turn 1 Pithing Needle on Bazaar of Baghdad, coupled with a Wurmcoil and other hate. = W
G3: Matt unfornately mulls down to 1 and I even have a turn 1 Needle on Bazaar, so this one ends quickly. = W

Semifinals vs Nick DiJohn w/ Martello Shops
Every game in this match was so complex and grindy, it hurts my brain just trying to recall what happened.  It went the distance of 3 games with many Revokers, Metamorphs, Duplicants being named at every twist and turn.  Somehow after all the dust settled, I pulled out this victory.  Nick's an excellent and rising Shops player, so I expect him to find plenty of success with the deck in the future.

Finals vs Ryan Glackin w/ URg Delver
G1: Although I'm on the draw, I get a busted hand and quickly land a Chalice on 1, which seals the win. = W
G2: My ending life total was 23, but it did not fully represent how much of a crazy game this one was.  Early Revokers and Wires contained him, but he was always one card/mana short from blowing the gates wide open.  Toward the end of this epic game, I started topdecking consecutive bots (Trike, Wurmcoil, Wurmcoil, Steel Hellkite) to seal the deal.  It was like a windfall of brute power to close things out with a win in the finals.

* * *

After all of that, I was lucky enough to walk away with a nice Unlimited Mox Emerald.  I had a blast in all of my matches and overall quite happy with the way I played the deck.  A few uncharacteristic errors on my end, but it didn't stop me from playing the deck optimally.

In closing, it's only a matter of time before the next metagame shift, so I can only hope the minor tweaks I continue to make to the decklist stay ahead of that curve.

Best,

-Roland
27  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: [PANDEMONIUM] Weekly Tuesday Night Vintage on: December 22, 2014, 02:59:12 pm
I should be able to arrive for this.

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!  Looking forward to some great games on 12/30!  Very Happy
28  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: [PANDEMONIUM] Weekly Tuesday Night Vintage on: December 21, 2014, 07:13:30 pm
Just found this thread!  Anyone planning on going next Tuesday (12/30)?

Definitely making plans to visit Boston and attend this one early next week.  Would love to jam some Vintage with you New Englanders =)

-Roland
29  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: [PANDEMONIUM] Sanctioned Vintage FNMs on: December 21, 2014, 06:56:21 pm
Hey guys,

I'm planning on making a visit up to Boston (12/29 - 12/30) next week and may do Tuesday night's Vintage @ Pandemonium.  Gonna bring a friend along with me, so that could increase attendance slightly  Wink 

Any guys wanna throw down?

-Roland
30  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: [12-20-14] BBGD#1 Meta Report + Top 8 Decklists & Results! on: December 21, 2014, 06:12:46 pm
Thanks Keith  Very Happy 
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