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Author Topic: The TRIALS and tribulations of Kird Ape *top 8*  (Read 2473 times)
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« on: September 13, 2005, 01:20:56 am »

Hello, this is Dave Feinstein.  I haven't been excited with t1 lately but have been frothing at the mouth to play legacy, since turn 1 kird ape is not actually a laughable play in this format.  I decided to try my hand at the format by attending a GP Philly trial in the outskirts of massachusetts with my friends Paul Lyons and Dirty Mexican.  2 and a half hours later and we arrive at a store called fantasy realms, which might as well be in Albany since it's teetering on the line.  A very healthy turnout of 20 people show and I recognize plenty of faces, which is not a good thing since I really want to go to Philly but won't do it without byes.

For those who know me, the following decklist will shock and surprise as there are no green cards in the maindeck.  For those who really know me, it won't be shocking to find out what the starring creature is in this MONO RED deck.

Ape Shit

4 Kird Ape (yeah, I'll splash for him!)
4 Chain Lightning
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Jackal Pup
4 Incinerate
4 Hearth Kami
4 Magma Jet
3 Fireblast

1 Forest
2 Wasteland
1 Barbarian Ring
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Taiga
9 Mountain

3 Red Elemental Blast
4 Pyrostatic Pillar
(^High Tide can kiss my ass)
4 Naturalize
4 Lava Dart

The deck is not exactly rocket science, but there are actually some tricky plays that need to be made at least once a match and they usually involve magma jet and correctly scrying.  Early drops are very very key, particularly knowing what turn 1 creature to start with.  If my opening hand is Kird Ape and Jackal Pup, I'm going to usually start with the pup believe it or not.  It's hard for me not to run out my favorite and most broken creature of all time on turn 1, but against a non-red deck the pup basically reads 'This creature deals four damage before it is bent over by a more superior creature.'  Now Kird Ape, he has no equal, so you can run him out there on turn 1 or turn 21 and the result will be the same (the death and destruction of your opponent and hearing the screams and lamentations of their women).  Also, with the very high ratio of wastelands in this format I find that the most broken play in any format ever (turn 1 taiga/kird ape) just isn't the greatest.  So unless I'm holding 2 green sources I think it's always correct to play Puppy before Kirdy.

The sideboard is very straightforward, with hate being aimed squarely at control and combo.  Sadly,  no combo showed up (if you don't count the horn of greed/honden of each color deck <same person>)which shocked the hell out of me.  High tide is a freaking wrecking ball but no one had the balls to play it.  The field was predominantly Red, with goblins and burn clashing all over the place.  My favorite metagame deck, white weenie, only had one player representin'.  I like white weenie because it just smacks around red decks and can go toe to toe with most of the field... I knew facing white weenie would not be a picnic and just hoped to dodge it.

Round 1: Dan /w White weenie
So much for that.  Normally, I'd cringe at this matchup, espeically since I've played Dan before and he's a Pro tour caliber player.  When he sits down and starts complaining about having to run the deck, I was puzzled. 
Game 1: I lead with kird apes.  he drops the pro black soltari guy.  He taps 3 to cast empyrial armor.  I win the race with just enough damage.
Game 2: He drops crusade and some guys.  I burn the guys.  I have yet to see silver knight.  He has a full grip and passes the turn.  I'm holding a legion of burn and can start going to his dome, but my memnarch sense tingles and I realize he has no silver knights and is instead running honorable passage.  Sometimes you just know.  So I pass for a bit and wait for him to play another guy and try to armor it.  This is why I hate e. armor... if you know it's coming you just can't lose.  This doesn't apply for just burn either, as most other decks have a way to totally negate the spell.  The most popular non burn removal spell is definitely plow, and I saw plenty of it at the trial.  Just that reason alone makes e. armor totally not worth it in my opinion.  Back to the game, I burn the guy in response, he taps 2 to honorable passage, I burn it in response again.  He says I still take 3... I inform what the words "In response" mean and we settle that without a judge call.  I think I'm in the clear but he drops soltari priest and then worship.  I ignore worship and start the burn at his head, since my entire hand is burn except for naturalize.  Another race situation occurs as I have to topdeck that last burn spell to finish him off and do it just before I do to a crusading priest.  Tip: Destroy the worship before aiming lethal at your opponent, or it isn't lethal.  I almost forgot to do that :p

Round 2:
Paul Lyons with Goblins
Paul and I lent each other cards for our decks, and our sideboards are almost identical.  The key difference is that between the two of us we only had 4 cursed scrolls and 4 lava darts.  Cursed scroll costing you your first born will do that.  We both agreed pre-tourney that he would need the scroll more than me, so I settled for the darts.  After the tourney, I must say I don;t think the darts are going anywhere.  They were being sided in almost every time and were doing things that scroll just couldn't do (mostly because getting to and staying at 3 mana reliably is a challenge for my deck).

Game 1: I lead with Kird Ape.  He leads with Lackey.  That's like Aces against Two's pre-flop.  My Aces hold up. 

Game 2: I fall in love with a one land hand that has plenty of one drops, including my muse.  It doesn't help that the one land is a taiga, so I foolishly keep.  He has the wasteland, my Kird ape is circumcised and I hang my head in shame.

Game 3: I lead strong with some guys, he's starting slow.  I burn his first few threats and get him to 13.  He taps out to drop a second warchief with 4 cards in hand.  I'm holding a magma jet .  Remember when I said the tough plays usually involve magma jet?  Well this one wasn't so tough, but I still screwed it up.  I tap 2 and cast the jet, he starts to put chief in the yard when I inform Paul that I was aiming it at him.  Why did I do this?  Who knows.  I probably thought that I could scry to a fireblast to finish him off, but even if I scry to it I still can't hill him unless I draw a fireblast and random bolt consecutively.  As is mathematically correct, I do not scry to fireblast + 3 damage spell.  I swing in and he lets the guys through.  I let him untap.  He drops a hasted lackey and piledriver and just bends me over.  A sharpshooter also finds its way in here and I lose a game I shouldn't have.  I'm not mad at the deck because I screwed up trying to go for the fancy play when I should have just cleared jetted the damn chief. 


Round 3: Nick with burn
Nick was a very nice guy and gracious opponent.  Game 1: He leads with Jackal Pup.  I chain it.  He gets stuck on one land and I burn him out.  Game 2: We Both fire burn spells at each other back and forth, basically racing to a fireblast.  He draws his first.
Game 3: we again both fire the same spells at each other, with chain lightnings getting passed around like a slut on prom night.
It again comes down to who can draw fireblast first, but this time I luck out and draw it before him.


Round 4: forgot his name with Non ATS survival.  Forgot his name wasn't a bad guy, he had showed up with his buddy Also forgot his name.  Both of them ran very techy Survival builds that swapped out the blue for white.  this meant that I was not only up against brushopper, but also his good friends ravenous baloth AND exalted angel.  Yippee.

Game 1: Forgot his name comes out strong with turn 1 birds, turn 2 survival and squee pop.  He is holding baloths but never reaches that crucial fourth mana and I eek out the win with my random barbarian ring.  W00t.

Game 2: Forgot his name shows leads with a chalice for 1.  Ruh Roh george.  I skillfully peel a naturalize then drop an army of weenies.  He draws a mountain of lands.


Round 5 I draw with Also forgot his name.  Paul glides in as 4-0-1 and dirty went something like 0-11.  Good old Suicide black.

The top 8 was predominantly red, with variations of burn and goblins making it in.  I don't like Ball lightning red but two of them made it in there so I guess it can't be that bad.  There was also a landstill and a pure block affinity in there.  Notably, Forgot his name and Also forgot his name both make it with their techy survival build.  This spells pure and utter doom for this top 8, because other than the landstill I think both survivals will just pillage and plunder their opponents.  Lucky for me and Paul, we are the first round opponents for Also forgot his name and the sneaking into top 8 om two losses forgot his name.

Quarterfinals: Also forgot his name.  Also was very friendly, even more so than Forgot his name.  I really do wish I remembered their names.  If his deck does what its supposed to then I should be crushed.  Sad

Game 1: I give it a go with some early drops and burn/waste his resources where and when I can.  This unfortunately only goes so far, as he eventually draws that fourth mana source and the writing is on the wall.  Baloth and angels come out to play and I get THWOMPED.

Game 2: I guess this can be called a game.  He bent me over so bad here that not only did baloth and angel come out to play, but squee was HARDCAST just for kicks. 

Oh well, no byes this time around.  Paul also predictably get destroyed by Forgot his name.  Forgot and Also forgot face off in the semis while Block affinity faced off against landstill.  20 minutes later and the finals was Forgot his name versus affinity.  I don't know who won.

All in all I was very pleased with the deck.  I love this format to bits and pieces.  the rounds go by so fast.  The only changes I see making in the forseeable future is sulfuric vortexes in the sideboard and possibly one more wasteland in the main.  That's really it, as I think the deck is picture perfect otherwise.  As much as would love to lay claim as being the guy behind the mono red kird ape deck, I modified this from a list played by the mysterious 'Dev the ninja', who finalsed a 73 person legacy tourney 3 weeks earlier.  The changes were very minor, with the main one being incinerates in the main.  How could you not maindeck that card?  The hearth kamis were also new additions and were stellar.  I really think this deck is tier one and is a 'blast' to play. 
Man oh man, what a pun.  Well I'm off, comments always welcome.  Tootles.


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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2005, 02:04:44 am »

Thanks for the great report. We need more awesome Legacy players.

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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2005, 08:37:21 am »

I'm glad to hear you liked Lava Darts - I had a friend play RG and he loved them.  <-- That's the thread on the archetype of RG beats.  I was hoping you'd comment and let us know where you think the archetype is going.  I'm surprised you just splashed for Naturalize and Kird Ape -- it seems like you could get some serious benefits out of stuff like Rancor, Troll Ascetic/Albino Troll or even some of Green's 2/2s for G.

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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2005, 08:38:26 am »

Not a single person played combo huh?  This looks like a metagame ripe for the picking...

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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2005, 06:36:22 pm »

One time, Dave Feinstein splashed a red card in his mono red deck. True story.
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2005, 11:38:06 pm »

I would just like to point out that I was the first "Forgot his name" with the techy Survival deck.

Basic Report:

Round 1 - CounterSliver

Game 1- He drops an army of guys, but no Crystalline. I Survival out Masticore/Rofellos and shoot his army off the board.

Game 2- He sees trip counterspell, but no guys. My Baloth beats him to death.


Round 2 - Intruder Alarm Combo

Game 1- As soon as I see Orchard, I know what he's playing and I fetch out Kami of Ancient Law.  This only delays him a turn as he has Intuition to get the others, and proceeds to combo me out on turn 5.

Game 2 - He begins his ccombo but his animated Orchard is met by StP. He Forces, and I Chant in response.  I then use Settlers to play a one sided Armageddon.

Game 3 - I mull to 5, and have to keep a good aggro hand, hoping that I draw into some hate.  I see none as he combo's out turn 4.


Round 3 - Dan's WW (Angel Stompy)

Game 1 - I lead with Savannah, Savannah, Rofellos. I topdeck the Angel, and hardcast it on turn 3.  I wind up playing Angel Stompy, as he doesn't come up with an answer.

Game 2 - Things get dicey as he gets trip Priests, one enchanted by Empyrial Armor.  I search out Frog lock, and keep him under it until I can set up Masticore/Rofellos and an StP.


Round 4 - Dave's burn deck

He already adequately covered it, but I would like to add that game 2 I get turn 2 Chalice for 1, turn 3 Survival and turn 5 Jitte... just no guys to work with.


Round 5 - Nick with Burn

Game 1 - He starts burning me, until I drop Brushhopper and Baloth. Angel seals the deal.

Game 2 - dont remember much about this game... only that it was really good and I stabilized at about 3 life.


I make top 8 as the 8th seed. It doesn't matter what seed you are at the dance, as long as you get to dance.

Top 8 - Paul Lyons w/ Vial Goblins

Game 1 - He gets a really good draw, but I clear his board with Sharpshooter/Ranger. We go back and forth for a couple turns, then I get hasted Angel.

Game 2 - This was a fun game.  I drop a Jitte and a Brushhopper, and StP his Sparksmith (I'd like to save it for something, but he'd eat my army alive) The one problem that I've got is that he can't stop drawing Incinerators, so my Brushhopper keeps phasing out (thankfully I maindeck 2 Squees, and had one here).  He gets double Scroll, and I finally get to keep the Hopper equipped long enough to gain counters.  Now we're in a race that I'm going to win, and eventually do.

Top 4 - Allan playing the Mirror

Drive an hour and a half out to play somebody you came in the car with.  This is the other "can't" remember that Dave talked about.

Game 1- Start the Dueling Banjo's music, since our first 2 turns were exact mirror images.  That's where the similarity ends, as I drop turn 3 Kami, and blow up his Survival.  I now have the ability to recur Kami w/ Genesis, and he's forced to Survival for all of his Witnesses early to try and keep pace.  I win a very long game of resource denial.

Game 2 never happens, as he is nice enough to scoop to me, since I've got a SB more readily able to beat the Ravager deck that won it's top 4 match, and we don't want to take the 2 hours to finish the mirror.

Finals - Ravager Affinity

Game 1 - He gets double Disciple out early, with a Plating.  This could hurt a lot. I start to take some damage, as I set up my Survival engine. I then get Sharpshooter to kill his disciples, and he responds to the first activation by Shrap Blasting the Shooter. I then begin the slow process of Monkey Lock (Orangutang, block, Genesis it back). He finally drops a Ravager, and swings with his Frogmite wearing the hat, and his 5/5 Enforcer. I immediately put my Monkey in front of the Frog, and then sit back thinking when he makes the statement that wins me the game "Anything else?"  Like a retarded monkey, I look back at the board and see that whatever I'm planning is irrelevant, as he can modular onto whatever I don't block. I then put a bird in front of the Enforcer, and he realizes the mistake. I wind up winning the game, because I can get Hoppers and Angels out.

Game 2 - This didn't last nearly as long.  Turn 1 he plays art land - go. I play Savannah - go. Turn 2 he plays another art land, Ravager - Go. I Tutor at eot for Null Rod, and cast it on turn 2.  He didn't board in his Overloads, so he scoops.


MacGyver - Justin Valley (niknight) & Allan Race (scrumdogg)

Land -
5x Forest
4x Savannah
3x Taiga
3x Foothills
3x Heath
2x Plains
1x Mountain

4x Survival
4x StP
2x E. Tutor

4x BoP
4x Baloth
3x Brushhopper
3x Exalted Angel
3x Witness
2x Troll Ascetic
2x Squee
1x Masticore
1x Goblin Sharpshooter
1x Rofellos
1x Anger
1x Genesis
1x Quirion Ranger
1x Kami of Ancient Law
1x Uktabi Orangutang

3x Orim's Chant
2x Gaea's Blessing
2x Tormod's Crypt
1x Spore Frog
1x Orcish Settlers
1x Solitary Confinement
1x Null Rod
1x Enlightened Tutor
1x Chalice of the Void
1x Umezawa's Jitte
1x Viridian Zealot
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2005, 04:07:17 pm »

How have the brushhoppers been working for you? I recently refound the card and have been testing it as well! I love it in most matchs and a 3/4 body for 3 isn't a bad deal at all even if you never use the ability.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2005, 02:45:02 pm by urza_insane » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2005, 11:02:54 pm »

The Brushhopper has done everything I could ask of a card (except have my opponent remember my name....)  Cool Oh well, if I have to be Also forgot his name, at least I can be a nice Also.... The Brushhopper can come down Turn 2 with a BoP, and is lamost always castable on Turn 3, which is important in a field which can see a lot of small red annoying men. He can dodge lethal damage, removal both pinpoint and global, and can also sac to Baloth for even more lifegain. I am excited about being able to run Loxodon Hierarch instead of Angel post-Ravnica, if only it were a beast. The lifegain aspect of MacGuyver allows the deck to stabilize against burn & red aggro far more often than you would believe possible since it combines the gain with effective blocking & attacking (and recursion...). Quick tourney report:

RD 1 vs Albany Lava Dart Sligh (which was literally 1/4 of the tournament)

Donnie, nice guy, starts with usual small red man. I have 2 lands in the deck which do not produce green, they are 2 of my 3 land....and I never get 2 green sources active (his Wastelands are very good this game) and I die with a grip of Baloths & Witnesses. Sigh. Minor sideboarding, Game 2 I never get beyond 2 land, both Green, but never develop anything relevant as he deep fat fries me. He took 1 point of damage the entire game...and it might have been a fetchland....


Sweet Jesus, I wasn't going to play combo because I knew of at least 2 good aggro-control decks and the overload of burn (which meant very scary sideboarding all day...) but I should beat this match. Repeatedly. About the face & shoulders until it cries.

Rd 2 Ken KK Krouner, former Pro Tour Player, Internet Magic Celebrity, and all around large nice guy playing Albany Lava Dart Sligh

Deep breath, I have never beaten the man, ever, at anything, and he is playing a deck that just beat me 40-1. No problem  :lol:

Game 1: Yauss! Survival, multiple green land, STP...just what I want to see. His Lavamancer meets STP, his Ball Lightning meets STP after it runs into it's old friend Witness, and then the Baloth beatings start. He scoops after Baloth #2 hits the board (after he has to 3-1 to get rid of number 1...)

Game 2: My life total goes 20-19-18-16-15-19 (Baloth #1)-17-16-14-18 (Baloth #2)-16-20 (hasty face up Angel) at which point his life total of 20-19-15-scoop takes precedence. He was not able to get enough pressure or disrupt me enough to stop my mid game development - which should & did spell his doom.


Round 3 Chad playing U/W Landstill...another good deck for which I should be prepared

Game 1 sees him having to try and keep double Survival off the board, using his counters to do so (and Witness and Baloth) while trying to go aggro with Factory - which does half my life before I get a Survival to stick. At which point I set up Genesis in the yard and develop haste to set up Orcish Settlers. He can't STP it and I have more life than he has counters.....

Game 2, side in the extra Genesis, extra Settlers (MVP to date vs mana intensive combo & control) and a few cards which I don't remember. See Game 1, second verse, same as the first. Chad was a decent player but he had tells which were a huge advantage to me (although I'm sure he was used to much better results versus Survival decks, which can be quite discouraging).


Round 4: Jason playing the Orchard-Infinite deck that had just taken advantage of Justin's deck screwing him....

Game 1 I have no SotF but a good aggro hand and an STP. I keep and proceed to go Turn 1 Birds, Turn 2 Brushhopper (which meets FoW.. curses, foiled), Turn 3 Ranger + topdecked Rofellos (I think, based on hazy recollection & his life totals), Turn 4 Baloth, crunch him one land shy of going off. Whew, pant, gasp. SB in the Chants, extra Settlers, extra Genesis.

Game 2 he gets a strong draw/tutor start and is set up to go off Turn 4 but I have gotten T1 BoP T2 SotF + pitch Anger (lucky), set up T3 Ranger + Settlers, pop 1 delay him. T4 get Rofellos, use him & Ranger & Witness to set up 1 sided Armageddon at need. After which he draws some cards & dies to combat damage.


Round 5 ID with whats' his...oh wait Dave Feinstein  Very Happy after carefully checking numbers. Gave me a chance to get food & avoid the deck screwing me in a crucial moment (although I am confident of the red matchup in which we both draw anything close to normal).

Top 8
Quarters vs some guy...oh wait, Dave Feinstein  Mr. Green He summed up the match very well with Angel x2 making a huge difference in Game 1. He does drop me to 6 at one point Game 1 but Game 2 never sees me below 12. Nice guy, fun match, to set up

Top 4 The Mirror....with the guy who developed the deck with me....and is my ride....we agree to see who matches up better with the other finalist (Albany Ravager vs Albany Lava Dart Sligh, their match should be over before we get to sideboarding for Game 2...and it is). I roll an 18, Justin rolls a 20. D'oh, assuming normal draws, I am dead. Yep, exact matching plays up until Turn 3. We play it out, Ravager wins, I scoop to Justin who has a better board (we ran slightly different versions of the deck). Why exhaust ourselves when the goal is to bring the byes back to Woosta?

Finals - already described well (and other than the verbal slip & not sideboarding in the Overloads well played by Joe Snyder). His quote of who runs Null Rod? validates our sideboarding strategy (and Justin had my Chants in his board, we focused them on one deck, next time it will be mine)  Cool Well done, can't wait for the next GPT.

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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2005, 07:58:58 am »

His quote of who runs Null Rod? validates our sideboarding strategy

[random points]HA!  This Firday night, Joe was complaining about the Rods.  He also mentioned that his opponent mullied down to five to find the E-Tutor to fetch the Rod.

Ravager, much like the maligned Illusions Donate, has a suprisingly viable game against the field.  It seems solid against Goblins, can overwhelm Landstill early, and can race Solidarity.  Sometimes it is simply too fast for other decks.  I believe that with the right SB, Ravager could make a decent showing.

Well, congrats to Woosta even though I would have prefered to have an Albany player win it.[/random points]

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