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1  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Article]Eternal Europe: Getting Back Into Vintage on: January 11, 2015, 04:10:18 am
*Yawns after long hibernation*

This is great news. Sadly I had to sell all of my P9 sans Twister (is this even considered 'Power' anymore) and my Bazaars to pay the rent and bills 2 years ago, and in addition to this I am absolutely not up-to-date with the format. But as proxies are allowed I'll do my very best to be at that FNM as well. I guess it's about time to see some old faces again!
2  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Vintage Championships Top 8 LIVE! on: August 15, 2009, 01:24:06 am
Thanks for the great stream!
3  Eternal Formats / Bazaar-Based Decks / Re: Lets talk Cerebral Assasin 2k9 on: June 21, 2009, 06:54:48 am
Mindslaver definitely is a card that should be considered. Welding in Sharuum, which then brings Slaver with it sounds awesome to me. Though not the main focus of the ideas presented by now, Slaver offers an alternate way of winning.
4  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: GBW baghdad bob, aka canonist/sculler.dec on: October 02, 2008, 01:21:57 am
Despite this being a post with disappointingly low content, the list which is basically an update to Dawn of the Dead, seems to be a nice starting point. I like the Canonist very much as well, but I think the main strength of DotD is the massive amount of discard it features. Sadly, Canonist ist contradictory to this strategy. A single discard spell won't stop decks like Long, so ist seems that you really want Canonist or Teeg asap in those matchups.
5  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Top 4 at August Myriad w/ Ichorid *Pics and Video@!!11* on: September 04, 2008, 12:36:50 pm
Stacker was a mono-red workshop aggro deck with burn.

survival aggro was "TNT"...or Tools and tubbies.

And i'm pretty sure that TNT kicked stacker right off the metagame (since it was just better)

/Zeus

Yes it did. Searchable artifact hate combined with a comparably fast clock as well as Artifact Mutation and other goodies out of the SB was great against the newly emerged artifact decks.
6  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Tezzeret (Shards of Alarar card, quite interesting) on: September 04, 2008, 03:19:36 am
This guy is really amazing! And I am quite happy that I kept one of my Time Vaults from the time I played Flame Vault in Leagcy.  Very Happy
7  Eternal Formats / Null Rod Based Aggro / Re: The Mountains Win Again! on: September 03, 2008, 01:33:42 pm
Your list looks a little bit like 'Dawn of the Dead' short of  {W} -missing out  StP as well as Hide / Seek- and without the Bazaar / Squee -engine. I understand that you want the Crusher as a beatdown-monster on his own in there, though. Do you really think that 4 MD Extirpate is that great? I'd also like to see a basic Forest somewhere in the deck - maybe instead of the Mountain? Maybe it's just me, but I like my SB-cards to be reliably castable.
8  Archives / Adept Chronicles / Re: Tales of the Grotesque and Adeptesque on: September 01, 2008, 09:44:37 am
Congrats!

Remember to bring some real cardboard with you as there will definetely be some Vintage players around. Smile
9  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: 4xTimespiral Storm on: September 01, 2008, 05:07:42 am
If any combo deck is going to run a bunch of these, it's going to involve High Tide. I have no idea why this deck would be better than what we have already, but you've got a pretty big canvas to work from if you're willing to make the attempt.

Some years ago there was some tinkering with Hig Tide powered Combodecks in this forum as well as over here in Germany. WhateverWorks came up with different lists of his creation labeled 'Tidal Gifts' using different splashes back in 2005.

Here are the sample lists I still have on my computer from back then:

Tidal Gifts

Quote
2 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Island
2 Snow-Covered Island
3 Underground Sea
2 Tropical Island

5 Mox
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Lotus Petal

Counters:

4 Force of Will
2 Twincast

Combo or whatever:

4 High Tide
3 Gifts Ungiven
2 Merchant Scroll
4 Brainstorm
1 Fastbond
1 Gush
1 Frantic Search
2 Cunning Wish
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Mind's Desire
1 Tinker
1 Memory Jar
1 Timetwister
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Tendrils Of Agony


Sideboard:
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Pernicous Deed
2 Ground Seal
1 Extract
2 Chalice of the Void
1 Brain Freeze
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Rushing River
1 Darksteel Collossus
1 Rebuild
1 Naturalize

Quote
2 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Island
1 Snow-Covered Island
3 Underground Sea
2 Tropical Island
2 Volcanic Island

5 Mox
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Lotus Petal

Counters:

4 Force of Will

Combo or whatever:

4 High Tide
3 Gifts Ungiven
2 Merchant Scroll
4 Brainstorm
1 Fastbond
1 Gush
1 Frantic Search
1 Cunning Wish
1 Burning Wish
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Mind's Desire
1 Tinker
1 Memory Jar
1 Timetwister
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Rebuild
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Tendrils Of Agony


Key Sideboard Changes
1 Time Spiral
1 Tendrils of Agony
Good red board cards that green doesnt have


Obviously the number of Brainstorms, Gifts and Scrolls need to be adjusted. Note that Spiral was only worth a spot in the board to be wished for.

10  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: September 2008 Banned/Restricted Changes on: September 01, 2008, 12:17:43 am
These changes are only logical steps to clean up the restricted list. Way to many bad cards were assembled there over the years.

Will there be some impact on deckbuilding? Maybe some people will try to build a new Draw-7-Combodeck... maybe someone will try to abuse Dream Halls... But, to be honest, the only card that might show up in higher numbers is probably Chrome Mox. Maybe Mox Diamond finds some space in some kind of crazy land.dec, but all in all I don't expect too much impact from these changes.
11  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Is Arcane Denial viable in Type 1? on: August 30, 2008, 03:03:34 pm
I really like your way of thinking and appreciate the open discussion of your idea and the concept as a whole. I can remember that we once tried Arcane Denial - but that was in a time, when Mana Leak wasn't printed.

I'd also prefer using artifacts which could actually affect the state of the game in one or another way. Chalice and T-Crypt are obvious here, but maybe we're able to find another gem to abuse. When talking about CotV in here I immidiatetly thought about the old Mono-U Deck abusing it along with B2B as permanent disruption. B2B is out of contention considering this deck's manabase, but I like the control shell when brwosing through your latest list, as it seems comparable to me.
12  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: [Deck] Artificer's Intuition on: August 30, 2008, 02:21:32 pm
The 4 cards missing are probably Artificier's Intuition? Smile

What I don't like about the list as it stands now is the inability to search for Painter's Servant.

EDIT:
The last time I saw Artificier's Intuition actually used in a Deck was back when it was new. Smennen wrote 1 or 2 articles about possibilities to abuse it and came up with a comboesqe approach including 1-costing artifact creatures as well as Scullclamps, Ravagers and Tendrils if I remember right.
13  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: B/R masknought on: June 30, 2007, 06:34:58 am
Your deck reminds me of an old list of BU-MaskNought I tried in 2003:

Quote
3x Phyrexian Negator
3x Nantuko Shade
4x Dark Ritual
4x Duress
4x Hymn to Tourach
1x Demonic Consultation
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Vampiric Tutor
1x Yawgmoth's Will
4x Brainstorm
2x Stifle
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Time Walk
4x Illusionary Mask
4x Phyrexian Dreadnought

1x Mox Jet
1x Mox Sapphire
1x Strip Mine
4x Wasteland
4x Underground Sea
4x Polluted Delta
7x Swamp

This 2003 list obviously misses some of the great new cards which would be included nowadays. Especially Dark Confidant needs to be played in such a deck. Rebuilding it today I'd also insist on using the same colors, though adding another Splash might be doable.


A first idea of a 2007 rebuild of my old deck would probably look like

4x Dark Confidant
4x Dark Ritual
4x Duress
4x Unmask
1x Tendrils of Agony
1x Imperial Seal (maybe Consultation is still better?)
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Vampiric Tutor
1x Yawgmoth's Will
4x Brainstorm
2x Stifle
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Time Walk
1x Echoig Truth
4x Illusionary Mask
4x Phyrexian Dreadnought

1x Mox Jet
1x Mox Sapphire
1x Black Lotus
1x Mana Crypt
1x Strip Mine
4x Wasteland
4x Underground Sea
4x Polluted Delta
4x Swamp
1x Island

This list is less straightforward than yours, but includes solid disruption (hand destruction, land destruction) as well as ToA as a backup plan. I doubt that such a deck is competitive in modern Vintage, but it is fun to play for sure.
14  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: combo tendrils - play situation on: June 26, 2006, 01:59:30 pm
If I was on the play I'd choose to drop the Delta an break it for a black source - basic swamp if there were any wastelands involved in earlier games, UG Sea otherwise and try Dark Ritual. If the opponent counters the ritual I'd drop ruby and then pass the turn.

If they don't counter the game is basically over since you can Duress away a FoW he didn't want to use on the ritual and then safely combo out: tap land, B floating, Ritual (BBB floating), Duress, Ruby, tap Ruby (BBBR) -> Sol Ring (BBB), tap Sol Ring (BBB2) -> Demonic for Will (BB1) -> Ritual (BBBB1) -> Will (BB) -> Ritual (BBBB) -> Ritual (BBBBBB) -> Demonic for Tendrils (BBBB) -> ToA for 22.

In my oppinion it all depends on whether the opponent counters the aggressive 1st turn ritual. If they do you can still drop the Mox and search for some kind of draw (Necro, Wheel [if you happen to play that]) in turn 2.
15  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Morphling.de and the future... on: December 24, 2005, 11:41:01 am
I am also looking forward to Morphling.de becomming a prime resource again.

Obviously Olli found some new enthusiasm for his 'baby'  Very Happy


Thanks a lot & merry christmas!
Blitz

PS: *donation made*
16  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: [Results] Castricum 04/12/05 on: December 06, 2005, 02:53:58 am
When I saw Koen's deck on Morphling.de my first thought was 'He did it.' This of course refers to his anouncement to be willing to test TPS with a combined number of both Rituals and Drains. It seems to me that he tried to merge Gifts.dec and TPS, cut Rituals at some point and generates Storm through Rebuilds.
17  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Perfecting 5c stax build on: November 25, 2005, 12:58:42 pm
Maybe I've completely glossed over this discussion in the past, but since the issue of card draw has been brought up, I have to ask: How good is Grafted Skullcap?  It's just as useful as Bottled Cloister, as Bram suggested, but it also discards the uncasted cards, providing Welder with some bait.  Granted, it's not that marginal of a difference, but is the card worth looking at?

Grafted Skullclap was broadly used quite some time ago. The problem with it is that it includes a big out for the opponent who has access to either Hurkyl's Recall or Rebuild, as gettng all your artifacts bounced with the cap's eot trigger on the stack is very likely game over.
18  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: Anyone running 3 copies of Gifts? on: November 17, 2005, 02:09:29 pm
Shortly before the Open Dutch Vintage Championships I was convinced by both RVS and Dozer to run a full set of Gifts again as it is the card which makes the deck tick. Since then I also added a third Merchant Scroll back in and reduced the number of Thirsts to one. At the tournament TfK was card I scrolled for later in the game or which I sometimes put into Gifts as a fourth card. When I recognised that opponents refused to give me TfK I started adding it to Gifts piles with regularity and funnily received a more broken card quite often.
19  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck] Recycle Pile on: November 17, 2005, 01:46:00 pm
Dozer's idea of adding some Vinelasher Kudzu seems tempting, but that might be because I love Quirion Dryad and Kudzu obviously is some kind of descendant of her. I fear Kudzu to be too conditional too. Without Fastbond or at least Exploration out she won't grow faster than a Dryad nowdays. She might be a better topdeck, though, at least in your deck.

Another question I have is: Why should I play this deck over Sex.dec? The gameplan of endless Time Walks is the same, but  your deck has less protection and a slower draw engine. Additionally your combo of Witness + Mark seems to be very vulnerable.
20  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / TPS - still viable or just an inferior combo deck? on: November 17, 2005, 01:35:52 pm
TPS - still viable or just an inferior combo deck?


TPS was once the most controlish deck of the group of stormcombo decks which also contained Smennens Draw7 as well as Death Long. While Draw7 was quickly dismissed, both Death Long and TPS were able to combo out even against Stax with 4 Trinispheres, the one because of its sheer speed, the other because of its more controlish approach.

In January 2005 I tried to build an more aggressive build of TPS, whoose agreed-on list (mainly used in Italy) did not contain red anymore at that time. I wanted red back in because of additional brokeness provided by Burning Wish and, to a limit, Wheel of Fortune. Kim Kuck and I prepared for a small torunament and he also liked the idea. His suggestion was to also include Recoup which his team CAB had already used with success earlier. Gifts Ungiven was also not explored at this time and is the reason for the deck's name, as playing it in a combodeck feeled like a trickery in the film.

The Clou a.k.a TPS-r

3 Underground Sea
1 Badlands
1 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 Swamp
4 Polluted Delta
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

1 Memory Jar

4 Dark Ritual
4 Duress
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Necropotence
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain

4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Rebuild
1 Gifts Ungiven
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Mind's Desire
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Timetwister
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Windfall

1 Recoup
1 Burning Wish
1 Wheel of Fortune

SB 1 Hysroblast
SB 1 Stifle
SB 1 Echoing Truth
SB 1 Rebuild
SB 1 Misdirection
SB 2 Annul
SB 2 Pyroblast
SB 1 Primitive Justice
SB 1 Innocent Blood
SB 1 Cabal Therapy
SB 1 Tendrils of Agony
SB 1 Deep Analysis
SB 1 Time Spiral

The build was more a hybrid of Draw7 and TPS, but it worked out really well with Kim winning the whole thing undefeated. Shortly aftwards Germany's Iserlohn was won by an identical build which only differed in some sidebard choices and soon the deck was played by quite an amount of players. Iserlohn wasn't as defined as it is now, though.

TPS never seemed to be accepted as a good combo deck in the US despite good results were reported from Europe (and especially from Italy). I sticked to the deck for a while and was disapointed by it as well at various occasions. 'That Play Stalled' really is an accurate desription sometimes, as, for example, a Desire for 6 only revealling lands, rituals and a Duress sucks like nothing else. One of the 4 most broken cards ever, eh?

It seems that the contradicting results reported are based on

- different metagames in which a more controlish oriented Combodeck was able to perform well and not
- extremly good knowledge of the deck and it's matchups
- a bit of luck (both with pairings and during playing); this is always needed though, but I once told a friend of mine that one has to be extremly lucky at TPS's Desires  Wink
- dismissal of the deck because of dislike of the list, own testing results and so on.

Germany's Iserlohn developed and drew more and more players. It is still a sanctioned event, though, and results are hard to compare to events allowing proxies. The tournament is the biggest regular Vintage event in Germany now and is still growing in popularity. The level of competition seems to be comparable to that of Duelmen of old.
However, the most recent Top 8 had several TPS in it. Obviously people kept on working with the deck. One deck even used Perplex from Ravnica for countering and Tutoring for Will, Necropotence or Rebuild, so there is still some kind of innovation to be found. The latest versions still differ in either using Draw 7s or more one-sided draw.

Recently Smennen placed top 4 at a SCG event by using his latest development - Grim Long. Is Grim Long the best incarnation of a Storm-based combo deck or is that a different approach? Grim Tutor is an above average card for sure and allowed Steve to play several Sideboard cards as one-of's in the Maindeck such as a singleton Xantid Swarm. On the other hand TPS has the advantage of not only containing Duress but a full set of Force of Will also and is able to use 4 to 5 basic lands on top of that.

Is TPS just out-dated and Grim Long is the new stormdeck? Can TPS evolve into a more broken deck without loosing too much of it's advantages or will it remain an inferior combodeck?

I think that the deck still wants controlish elements as a reason to choose it over other stormcombo decks. This means that the deck still wants 3-4 Duress, a set of FoW and some basic lands. However, I also think that the deck needs a bit more brokeness or better tools to find it's bombs. So one can chose to either run more tutors or more draw 7s (as my old build does). It is still questionable for me, though, wether this will improve the deck or wether Grim Long is in fact the 'better' stormcombo deck. What do you think?
21  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Perfecting 5c stax build on: November 14, 2005, 10:23:31 am
I already admitted that God's Eye isn't that great at all. It has its benefits, though, and in my opinion seems to be better for 5c Stax than Barbarian Ring. This is even more true when the number of Thirsts is cut down or Thirsts are removed from the deck at all.
22  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Perfecting 5c stax build on: November 14, 2005, 04:46:01 am

Quote from: Blitzbold
With Smokestack and Crucible in play God's Eye either lets you produce an army of Spirits (and therefore doubles as a Wincondition) or support a Smokestack set to 2 for - well forever.

Can we say 'win more' boys and girls?  Yeah, I knew you could.  Mucking up the manabase w/ a card that doesnt even provide a 1 shot of colored mana or taking up a non-mana slot for a win more card is seriously weak.

Ramping Smokestack to two is neccessary sometimes. Of course there is no need to support it forever, one can just sacrifice the Smokestack to itself when it is no longer needed. However, drawing / having a God's Eye when going for the Smokie @1 + Crucible lock is really great. It also does not muck up my manabase as I kept 4 copies each of the best 5c lands available. One can argue that playing an Ice Bridge instead of God's Eye would be better to further stabilize the manabase but I didn't have problems to cast my colored spells at all. Nevertheless I am still not sure about God's Eye, but not for taking a non-mana slot but rather for causing random mana flood.
23  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Perfecting 5c stax build on: November 13, 2005, 03:07:37 am
I played 5c Stax to win a small (32 players) tournament in Berlin yesterday. I wasn't sure what to bring since I have had quite some success with Gifts, but since I also tinkered with 5c Stax recently I wanted to give it a shot. Thanks again to Kim Kluck (Shades) for helping to fine-tune the list shortly before the tournament.

This is the list I used:

4x Smokestack
3x Crucible of Worlds
3x Sphere of Resistance
3x Tangle Wire
1x Trinisphere
1x Karn, Silver Golem
1x Sundering Titan
1x Triskelion
4x Goblin Welder
1x Gorilla Shaman
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Vampiric Tutor
3x Thirst for Knowledge
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Tinker
1x Balance
1x Seal of Cleansing
1x Crop Rotation
4x Mishra's Workshop
4x City of Brass
4x Gemstone Mine
4x Wasteland
1x God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1x Strip Mine
1x Tolarian Academy
1x Black Lotus
1x Mana Crypt
1x Mana Vault
1x Mox Emerald
1x Mox Jet
1x Mox Pearl
1x Mox Ruby
1x Mox Sapphire
1x Sol Ring

SB 1 Seal of Cleansing
SB 1 Ray of Revelation
SB 1 Darkblast
SB 1 In the Eye of Chaos
SB 2 Choke
SB 2 Rack and Ruin
SB 3 Chalice of the Void
SB 2 Duplicant
SB 2 Razormane Masticore

About the cards used:
1) The Meta at the Berlin tournaments was quite aggroish recently so I went with MD Tangle Wire and abondend the Chalices to the Board.

2) 28 Mana Sources w/o Barbarian Ring but including God's Eye. Hitting Threshold can indeed be a problem without using Bazaars. I tried and probably failed in building a 5c UbaStax (with 1 Bazaar which can be tutored for) and dropped the ring since then. Nevertheless, I like it and still try to incroporate it, but cutting a 5c land for it seems wrong. God's Eye on the other hand is a card I insist on using since shortly before the German Vintage Championships in August. (I did not use it in the mono-r Uba stax I played at that tournament because Rings fit better there.) With Smokestack and Crucible in play God's Eye either lets you produce an army of Spirits (and therefore doubles as a Wincondition) or support a Smokestack set to 2 for - well forever.

3) A single Seal of Cleansing was probably needed as I scouted 3 other Stax and also expected a good percentage of Oath (as always).

4) Sundering Titan still in the Deck. The reason for this is that I wanted a real mega nuke for the case I get to resolve Tinker against two- / multicolor decks. The Titan is also nice to be discarded for TfK and welded back in but which I did not do once through the tourney. I will probably cut it for a MD Duplicant.

5) 3 TfK + 4 Welders: I like to have some kind of draw in the deck. TfK was able to draw me out of an 'emptiness of threads' once in the tournament. I have to admit, though, that it is indeed a bit clunky. I might cut one Welder and Thirst each as people were well-prepared to fight the small red man. Sensei, Sensei not only boarded Darkblast but Engineered Plague as well so 3 Welders might be the right number to avoid running into such massive hate.

6) The Sideboard is tuned for the local meta. I think there isn't a single card which needs explanation.

I went 4-0-1 at the tournament, the draw being an ID against UR Stax in the fourth round (at 1-1 when we figured out which deck we probably had to face in the last round). Throughout the tournament I played against

round 1: scrubby UWr deck (2:0)
round 2: UW Landstill (2:1)
round 3: (fully powered) 5c RavagerAffinity (2:0)
round 4: ID with UR Stax
round 5: (partially powered - no Lotus I think) Sensei, Sensei (2:0)

The problem with German tournaments is that Proxy tournaments are more an excemption than the normal case. This is the reason why my list does not have an Imperial Seal, as those are hard to find in Europe. (It's also the reason why I did not play Grim Long  Wink).

Michael
24  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: JD's Highly Anticipated SCG Chicago Report on: November 11, 2005, 06:58:28 am
Thanks for an awesome read!  Very Happy
25  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: [Report] Loosing life in Karlsruhe - 2nd place with Horden Tendrils on: November 08, 2005, 02:56:15 am
Nice report and pretty cool deck. I already liked it when browsing the results.



Props:
- Karlsruhe having more T1 players again
- friendly atmosphere



Sadly I only managed to play two times in Karlsruhe during my internship. I am already looking forward to play with you guys again. Philip is currently moving to Frankfurt - I think he already got in contact with you? - and I am definately goin to visit him. Greetings to Markus and Rich!
26  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Dutch Champs report -- Dial-Up users: Beware of pictures! on: November 04, 2005, 03:41:09 am
I really need to build that Uncle Istvan Theme deck. Anyone got 4 Little Girls for trade? And obviously for this deck to work Uncle Istvan has to be errataed to be a legendary creature.

Great report and sorry for your not-so-good result -- you should have drawn like in the train back to Berlin.


Pithing Needle naming Piledriver

Wtf was the Needle supposed to do?  Wink
27  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / [Report] Bribery is THE TECH: 17th @ Open Dutch Vintage Champs with Gifts on: November 01, 2005, 03:22:40 pm
The heading speaks for itself: I went to the Open Dutch Vintage Championships on October 30, played Gifts and used Bribery in my Sideboard. But let’s go to where it all started.

Several weeks ago Hanno (Dozer @ TMD and all other forums) approached me at a small tourney in Berlin asking whether we should go to the Dutch Championships. He already arranged accommodation at Rudy’s (RVS), so we only had to arrange how to get there. Luckily my girlfriend achieved a kind of mastery in finding an optimal train (read: most fast and most cheap) so everything was fine. We already travelled to Eindhoven on Friday because Rudy had to judge a 1,000 €-Ravnica sealed tourney on Saturday and wasn’t sure when he would be back in the evening. [short bonus section] Hanno and I also played in this tournament and placed 22nd and 18th respectively with me being one win short of making Top 8 – I love Ravnica limited![/short bonus section]

I wasn’t sure what to play on Sunday because on the one hand I have quite some experience and success also with Gifts recently, but one the other hand I recently acquired 3 Workshops and borrowed a 4th one and felt urged to use them in tournament play. I thought about playing Mono-R UbaStax, but the deck failed to work for me both at the German Vintage Opens as well as in another small tournament. Therefore I tinkered with a homebrew 5c Stax with MD Null Rods, Suppression Field and Fastbond (‘cause of the Rods). It wasn’t that bad in testing, since Null Rod turned out to be a really strong lock part and Fasbond always drew a counter. Suppression Field got dismissed quickly for not doing enough (read: nothing) to accomplish a lock though. Mind’s Eye was also great as a one-of in the deck, but all the time during testing I felt kind of naked without Force of Will, so it was only a question of time until I was convinced by both Rudy and Hanno to stick to Gifts. We settled on the following list on Saturday evening, the only difference being Rudy sticking to 4 Merchant Scrolls while Hanno and I used 3 Scrolls + 1 Thirst for Knowledge to Scroll for and for putting it into Gifts Ungiven:


Be Gifted!

4 Force of Will
4 Mana Drain
4 Brainstorm
4 Gifts Ungiven
3 Merchant Scroll
1 Echoing Truth
1 Rebuild
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Fire / Ice
1 Burning Wish
1 Recoup
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Pithing Needle
1 Darksteel Colossus

1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
3 Island
1 Snow-Covered Island
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
3 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
1 Tolarian Academy

SB 1 Echoing Truth
SB 1 Eye of Nowhere
SB 1 Bribery
SB 1 Primitive Justice
SB 2 Pyroclasm
SB 2 Rack and Ruin
SB 1 Darkblast
SB 2 Duress
SB 1 Cranial Extraction
SB 1 Tendrils of Agony
SB 1 Pithing Needle
SB 1 Sundering Titan

The list and board are mergers of three different approaches to the deck. Hanno played a single Darkblast MD as well as 4 Gifts and both 2 Scrolls and 2 TfK. Rudy always sticked to 4 Gifts + 4 Scrolls while I was fine with 3 Gifts, 2 Scrolls, 2 TfK and both bounce spells in the MD. Convincing Hanno to cut the FlameVault kill was easy and the same goes for me to play 4 Gifts Ungiven. Both Hanno and Rudy liked my SB Sundering Titan, a tech I adopted from the Hessians at the German Vintage Champs. Hanno was eager to try Bribery as a secret tech against the Mirror and probably Oath and Rudy and I joined in because it sounded cool  Wink. Finally we moved one of the SB Needles to the MD and the last SB slot was filled with Cranial Extraction against random single-card strategies.


Now on to the matches!

Round 1
Bras Bongeest, BW
He starts by Duressing my Ancestral away and played a Planar Void on his second turn. My Gifts Ungiven (which was the other reason next to Ancestral to keep the hand) suddenly doesn’t look that hot anymore. I play draw – go a bit, holding back a Fow and the Gifts Ungiven. When he plays Unmask I respond with Gifts, figuring I will effectively get only one card off it. Short two The Rack he fails to put any pressure on me, though, and I go for Mystical – Tinker. The Negator he finally manages to play comes one turn too late and the big iron man ends the game.

I board in 2 Pyroclasms and the Sundering Titan, removing one Gifts as well as both Rebuild and Thirst for Knowledge.

The second game saw me playing an early Tinker for Titan, which was sent plowing immediately, but not without nuking his whole mana base. Shortly afterwards I drain something for the mana, set up my Will by Gifts and kill him with Walk - Will – Tinker for DSC – Walk.

1:0, 3 points


Round 2
Bart Verschoor, Urw Fish (homebrew)
The first game was really ridiculous as he stripped my first turn Island and played Chalice for one off a Mana Crypt. This is followed by a turn two Coretapper. Shortly afterwards he upped the counter on the Chalice to ‘2’ and dropped a Vial. I play my Ancestral, but his last two cards are Misdirection and a Meddling Mage Sad… Some turns later he starts to beat me down with Boros Swiftblade, enchanted with Curiosity (netting him 2 cards for each attack) and a Factory. I scoop when he plays another two Chalices for zero and one which I am not able to counter.

I board in 2 Pyroclasms, 2 Rack and Ruin and an additional Echoing Ruin. I am greedy tough and fail to see the mulligan with only one mana source in my starting hand and my brainstorm revealing more gas but not another mana source. I die with 2 Gifts, Walk and Will in Hand as well as 2 Drains in the rfg zone ‘cause of FoW which obviously weren’t enough to stay alive.

1:1, still 3 points


Round 3
Marius Gutter, WGu Enchantress
Two quick Tinker end this uneven Match very fast, as he even did not play Swords to Plowshares. I even do not want to see another helpless turn of him in the second game so that I play a small Will including Vampiric Tutor for Fire / Ice and cycling Rebuild to shot him right there because he blocked the Colossus with an enchanted Phantatog.

He was a very nice guy though and I tried to help him improving his deck with my (limited) knowledge of the Enchantress-Decks of the old Extended.

2:1, 6 points


Round 4
???, UBg Dragon
After some mana development on both sides he tries a Xantid Swarm, which I drain. In the same round he tries to go off by casting Animate Dead, but I have the Echoing Truth ready to bounce the Worldgorger Dragon with the cip-trigger on the stack and he has no counter – wtf? In the following turn I lay another land, use the drain mana to cast Burning Wish for Cranial Extraction and remove his WGDs from the game. He does not scoop, though, and proceeds to draw cards by using a new Bazaar and the Squees he deployed in his yard earlier. I play Recoup targeting the Extraction to remove the Squees also. He still insists on playing on to see my win condition, which is understandable since I have like 1 card in hand and a Mana Crypt on the table. A Brainstorm reveals a Gifts shortly afterwards and he scoops when the Colossus hits play.

Again I side out each one Gifts Ungiven and Merchant Scroll and both the Rebuild and the Thirst for Knowledge for the second needle, 2 Duress and an additional Echoing Truth.

I keep a hand which was a bit light on mana but which had a first turn Duress as well as a Needle. I draw nothing useful in the consecutive turns, especially no additional mana sources. The game ends shortly thereafter when my opponent casts Vampiric Tutor during his main phase and puts the card he tutored for into his hand after I shuffled his deck. Not at REL 3, please!

3:1, 9 points


Round 5
Michael Kammer, Oath
Another German player which I met at neighboured tables the turns before and finally got to play now. Though we know each other we never played before.

The first game saw me Tinkering for Colossus early and beating him down with the iron man and Orchard tokens down once. He is then able to Wish for Swords to Plowshares. In the meantime he was also able force through an Oath and got SotN into play. I nevertheless attack him to death (the final 3 points) with my tokens which keep on coming from his Orchard, as he is low on mana.

I board Echoing Truth, 2 Duress and THE SECRET TECH for Rebuild, Fire / Ice, Pithing Needle and Gifts #4.

I am able to cast an early Gifts Ungiven for Yawg’s Will, Tinker, Recoup and Bribery. I try to play Bribery, but he forces. He can’t stop my Will in the next turn though, but during the Will I am one mana short of killing him with Tendrils through Burning Wish. I keep the Burning Wish in hand though and convince him to hand me his DSC instead. I would have taken his Salvager hadn’t I removed my Lotus in the Will… However, I don’t get to attack with the Giant as Michael top decks Balance. I force, but he finds a Force of his own when he casts Brainstorm, so everything seems to be reset. But the next turn I wish for and cast Bribery catching his Akroma this time which tramples him to death in 3 turns.

4:1, 12 points


Round 6
Aurel Bokermann, Belcher
I start with Island and Sol Ring. On his turn he lays a Bayou and casts a Mana Vault as well as Land Grant, revealing Demonic Tutor, Necropotence, Tendrils, Timetwister and Brainstorm. Land Grant fetches Tropical Island and I figure that he would go for Twister the next turn. On my turn I play Volcanic and Black Lotus to cast Gifts which nets me Mana Drain and Merchant Scroll (he refuses to give me Walk and Tinker). On his turn I let his Demonic Tutor resolve. He fetches Black Lotus and tries Necropotence but for which I have another Force. He then casts Timetwister which I can’t counter. The Twister draws him nothing castable for that turn though and he passes the turn. I drew the following cards of the Twister: Mox Ruby, Black Lotus Ancestral (yes, he cut my deck!), Mystical Tutor, Island and another card. To his surprise I killed him in that turn with Tendrils (go, figure for yourself) – “That’s not what the Twister was meant to do!?

I know that he used a transformational Sideboard (Oath) which his Deck, so I am prepared and board accordingly.

The beginning of the second game was overshadowed by a severe mistake by myself when concentrating on which card to put back with my turn had1 Brainstorm. I thought on this for some time and finally settled on shuffling away Tinker and breaking a Fetchland to cast Time Walk to further develop my mana base. However, I totally forgot that Aurel started in this game and that I actually already played a land on my turn. Of course he calls the judge when I play and use my Polluted Delta. The judge decides that the state of the game after the Brainstorm should be restored and asks me to name the cards I put back with the Brainstorm. (Aurel later told me that if he didn’t knew me he would have appealed to the head judge when I named Tinker and Flooded Strand.) So I shuffle my deck, put Stand and Tinker on top and return the Delta to my hand and receive a warning. A Game Loss probably was more appropriate.

However, on his turn Aurel indeed casts Oath of Druids of an Orchard. I answer with Tinker on my turn. Colossus and Tokens beat him once while I get hit by his Spirit and then by Spirit and Akroma, beating me to exactly one life. He then uses Akroma to block the Colossus, bringing him also down to one. Holding a Scroll I am not able to fetch a red mana source to kill him with Fire so we go on to the third game.

Aurel shuffles his whole board into his deck and takes out 15 cards. I am convinced that he returned to the combo plan, though and board out my Bribery.
My starting hand was pretty broken. I play Sapphire, Jet, Emerald and an Island and feel pretty save, holding a Drain, Force of Will and a Brainstorm. On his endstep I Brainstorm into Ancestral and Academy. The game ended shortly afterwards.

5:1, 15 points


Round 7
Markus Magera, Control Slaver
I am low on blue mana early in the first game (Emerald, Ruby + 1 Island) and have to brainstorm twice to finally find a second blue source in the form of Tolarian Academy. Meanwhile my opponent casts a Welder which I tried to fire, but he has a Drain ready and consequently casts a Crucible. 2 turns later the game effectively ends with him ‘stripping’ my Academy by playing one of his own and replaying it via Crucible later. He then Intuitioned for Strip Mine, Darksteel Citadel and Mindslaver. I tried a Gifts Ungiven for Demonic Tutor, Tinker, Needle and Merchant Scroll by breaking two Fetchlands, netting me both the Demonic ad the Scroll. I scrolled for Echoing Truth and tried to bounce his Mindslaver which he casted after Draining my Force which was meant to stop his Intuition. He just showed me another Drain and that was it.

I board in Darkblast, Pithing Needle and 2 Rack and Ruin for Vampiric Tutor, Gifts #4, Thirst for Knowledge and Merchant Scroll #3. I am pretty confident that I should beat his deck after boarding.

We do not get to play another game though because I accidently lost grip on some of his cards while shuffling his deck and flipped them over. He immediately called the judge which went on to check with the headjudge what to do. Markus and I talk about this mistake while waiting and looking out for the judge to come back. He suddenly called the judge again and claimed that I looked at the bottom card of his deck while holding it in front of me and talking. The judge comes back, and I receive a warning for flipping Markus’ cards while shuffling. He then leaves again to check with the head judge because of Markus’ claim. I confirm that I indeed held the deck in a way in which I possibly could have seen the bottom card of the deck and receive a Game Loss for that infraction.

While I totally agree with Markus’ first call for the judge (as I would have done the same at REL 3), I still can’t understand that second judge call. Playing on table 2 we also had some spectators which later agreed with me that that second call was just ‘typical Markus’.

We then play a fun game during which I totally smash him, but after which he doesn’t feel to play a third one.

5:2, 15 points


Round 8
Frits Brun, Oath
My opponent casts a turn 2 Oath of an Island and an Orchard and has a Force to protect it against my Drain. He then proceeds to smash me with Akroma and Razia.

Again I board in THE SECRET TECH as well as my Duresses and the second Echoing Truth.

I play a first turn Duress, taking his Sol Ring with him only having a single Island and 2 Intuition as well as a Balance and some irrelevant cards. Some turns later I play Tinker for DSC and counter the Balance, but I fail to counter his Oath again. I somehow fear to be raced by the two hasty ladies again, but like a true professional© I rip my Time Walk from the top and we proceed to game three.

I keep a hand with Force, Drain, Brainstorm, Bribery and Mana while my opponent seems to keep a rather mediocre hand. I steal his Akroma on my 5th or 6th and proceed to kill him with it. He tells me afterwards that any thread would have been enough as he kept on drawing land after land.

6:2, 18 points


I finished 17th out of 177 players. Top 8 was not possible after loosing the match in round 7, and even some of the players finishing at 6-1-1 did not make it because of their opponent score. Overall I had a great weekend which included meeting many ppl I only knew so far from the forums like Bram or Bic Mac (I have a nice picture of you and your new LoA - PM me for it).


Finally (and inescapably) some props and  slops:

Props
-   Rudy, for being a great host for Dozer and me. Thank you very much!
-   All the friendly opponents and players I met, played against and traded with. Vintage players still seem to be a bit different.
-   Bribery

Slops
-   Poor prize structure. Only the Top 8 players received any prizes: In addition to the foil Gemstone Mine and the   Championship shirt each player received a full draft set of Ravnica boosters as well as two Force of Will – why not distribute the boosters to the top 32? I feel especially sorry for the guys placing 10th or 11th because of like 1% difference in opp. Score…
-   Poor tournament site. Comparably small and bad air


Have fun playing the game,
Michael
28  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: Anyone running 3 copies of Gifts? on: October 26, 2005, 02:18:50 pm
My current build has 3 Gifts and 2 Merchant Scrolls and Thirsts each.
29  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Shadow of Doubt as a serious sideboard card? on: October 26, 2005, 02:15:48 pm
I did some testing today with an own build of UB VialFish. The counterbase I used consisted of (the obligatory) 4 FoW as well as 2 Stifle and Shadow of Doubt each. Sometimes I wished that Shadow was Mana Leak until I discovered that I had to use Shadow more aggresively, like on the first or second fetchland. Short of the few instances at which Daze / Mana Leak would have been better, Shadow of Doubt was really great.
30  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Gifts with Flame-Vault on: October 19, 2005, 02:52:58 am
The approx. number of sold P3K starters ans booster in Germany is even less than in the US. To be precise, P3K cards are close to non-existant. Additionally, there are only a few big shops over here so the best way to get one is probably ebay, too.
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