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Author Topic: 6th at The Council Open with Trygon Empty Gush  (Read 739 times)
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« on: January 22, 2012, 08:28:49 pm »

After being out of Magic entirely for the past 6 years, I picked the game back up this past spring and the first deck I put together was Empty Gush. I ran it during the summer and had some pretty good results with it. No Top 8's unfortunately (Lost out on breakers a few times, but, that's what happens when you keep choking in the last round of Swiss), but the deck was just solid overall, especially after talking with Allen Fulmer and Shawn Anthony after the June Blue Bell tournament and the changes they suggested to me. In the fall though, I got away from the East Coast Wins build and started running different Gush builds like Bob Gush Storm, Remora Gush, and Gro, all of which did not get me there for some reason the way that East Coast Wins did. So, after a pathetic performance at Top Deck 2 weeks ago, I knew I was going to go back to a more East Coast Wins-style of Gush, with one significant change: maindeck Trygon Predators. On the way home from Top Deck, myself and Vito Picozzo, who had run ECW at that event, both liked the idea of running the Trygons in an ECW shell to go after all the Remora, Espresso, and Oath decks that made up  a large chunk of the meta while still maintaining the identity of ECW (i.e. overwhelming "broken-ness"). Unfortunately for me, 2 days after the Top Deck tourney, I caught the flu and spent the entire week in a Nyquil-induced coma instead of testing and tuning, and was unable to get a lot of testing in this past week leading into the Bloomsburg tourney to the point that I considered not going because I felt unprepared with this build. But, I ended up choosing to go anyway with the mindset of "This'll be my testing." The night before the tournament, I went up to Full of Win games to get a little practice in and got thoroughly walloped, and, instead of getting a good night's sleep to be rested up for the tournament, I stayed up until 4 in the morning trying to figure out what was wrong and how to improve the deck. At 3:30, I decided to bring back Empty the Warrens to the deck. My reasoning was that, even though the printing of Flusterstorm and the presence of Remora had driven Empty out of most Gush lists, most of the current Remora decks have been the Elias Gro-style, which normally only pack 1-2 Flusterstorms or Mindbreak Traps in their 75. So, rather than run Drains, I chose to run 3 maindeck Flusterstorms instead. While Flusterstorm is absolutely useless against Shops (except as a Force-pitch, nothing more), the maindecked Predators seemed to shore up that matchup enough in Game 1 to make up for it. Saturday morning came, the roads in Scranton were covered in snow, and myself, Vito, John, Brienne, and Dom made the trek to Bloomsburg to take home a Mox. This is what I sleeved up:

"7 Bags Of Smacked @$$. A Ramrod Deck"
(Credit to Brienne for the name. I don't remember how that phrase came about, but it was so funny that I HAD to use it as the deck name)

1 Tinker
1 Blightsteel Colossus
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Time Vault
1 Voltaic Key
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
3 Flusterstorm
1 Misdirection
3 Trygon Predator
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
4 Gush
2 Preordain
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Ponder
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Fastbond
1 Time Walk
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Lotus Petal
1 Sol Ring
2 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Island
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Misty Rainforest

2 Dismember
2 Duress
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
3 Ingot Chewer
1 Island
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Yixlid Jailer

I didn't take very many notes during the tourney on account of being tired and still getting over the effects of the flu (I'm old and I don't heal as well as I used to!), so this is mostly being done from memory. If anyone I played has anything to add that I missed of significance, please let me know via reply.

Round One - Matt with Forgemaster Shops

What a way to start the day! Nothing like a Round One Shops pairing to let you know if you have any chance at a decent run!

Game One: I Force an early Metalworker and land a Turn 2 Jace, only to have to stare down a Turn 3 Forgemaster. I spend the next 3 turns drawing nothing useful while using up my Jace to keep bouncing the Forgemaster. Jace dies, followed by me 2 turns later.

Game Two: I have Force in my opener with a Ponder, 2 Moxes (1 Jet), 2 lands, a Gush, and another Blue card (I think it was Preordain). I play Ponder, shuffle, and then draw Time Vault off it. I Force something on his first turn, pitching the Preordain, he follows up with Metalworker, and then the turn passes to me and I draw Demonic Tutor. I decide to go for the Key, play the Vault, and then pass back to him. In hindsight, this was a bad move on my part, and one I realized as soon as I ended my turn, but, I just had a feeling that he didn't have a lock-out hand and was going for the quick win. I was right as his turn produces a Metalworker-fueled Sundering Titan, which forced me to Gush my lands back,  and then Karn, Eater of Moxen. My Moxen go to the graveyard and then he passes back. I then rip a Dismember off the top to take out Karn. Then after getting punched hard by the Titan, I hit a Chewer to take out the Titan, but losing my land in the process. We draw-go for a while, I start hitting my land-drops and get a Trygon Predator into play, which buys me enough time to set up Key-Vault + Jace for the win.

In between games, we both realize and comment on the fact that he has not played one Sphere, Lodestone, or Tangle Wire of any kind. You don't see that everyday in this matchup.

Game Three: Turn One, Sphere. Turn Two, Sphere. There went that streak. Soon after, Lodestone drops, and gets met by my Dismember. The Titan hits AGAIN! The Titan punches me hard, AGAIN!. Ingot Chewer takes him out, AGAIN! Then, I land back-to-back Trygon Predators, miraculously and swing away for the win. I ended the game at 2 life. That was a hard-fought set, and an omen for the rest of the day.....

Round Two - Justin with Gro

Game One: I counter an early Remora, then counter something else the following turn (I think it was Brainstorm), only to have him follow up with Remora+Goyf. I see nothing of relevance the rest of the game and Goyf beats me like I owed him money.

Game Two: Turn 1 Duress shows me he has Tinker, Goyf, Sower, Jace, Gush, and land. I strip the Gush and then sit back and counter everything he tries to play. I land Jace and eventually set up Yawgmoth's Party. However, I can't hit a win condition. I proceed to draw 7 lands during that turn and play out all my Moxen, Lotus Petal, Voltaic Key, and Sol Ring, followed by a Time Walk. It's also worth noting that I drew Blightsteel and pitched him away 3 different times during this game, and once I hit the mana to hardcast him, he was no where to be found. I keep digging into more land, but have a hand full of counter-backup to keep him shut out. This game drags on wayyy into the deep end and goes to time as I finally hit something; Empty the Warrens. I also hit Time Vault this turn as well. I Hurkyl's myself, replay all my artifacts. He attempts to counter the Vault, which gets Forced. I then Empty for somewhere around 40, which nets me a match draw.

Round Three - Vito with Full of Win Trygon Gush

Game One: I  mull to 5, but hit a Turn 1 Fastbond ,Preordain, and then Gush to at least set up some kind of board stability. Vito then takes his turn. I have no counter back up, and he has a Fastbond of his own, followed by 3 Gushes, a Jace, and a Trygon Predator, which then beats me into pudding. I have a bad feeling that Game 2 will not go any better.....

Game Two: I was right. I don't remember how he beat me, but it was REALLY fast!.......... REALLY fast!

Round Four - Duffy with Dark Ti.....wait......Parfait?

We talked before the tourney and he had told me he wasn't running Dark Times electing to run Parfait instead. A few months ago, we were playtesting and he ran it against me.....It did not go well for me.....

Game One: He lands a turn 1 Land Tax followed by a turn 2 Scroll Rack. I keep 2 fetches in play until I can drop a Trygon Predator. As I go to crack the fetches, he flashes in a Mindcensor.....Yup, not gonna  be my day today after all.....I crack the 2nd fetch in response to get the Trop and then pray to every deity I know of that I can hit a mana producing land off my top 4. I hit the Underground Sea and land the Trygon, who keeps him in check long enough for me to bounce his Mindcensor and go off with Empty.

Game Two: I land an early Ruby and a Jace, but both get exiled (One by Oblivion Ring, and the other by something else permanent-based. I think it was a creature with an O-Ring ability). I get an Empty in hand, but my Volcanic gets Wasted, but am fortunate to hit back-to-back Predators again to "free" my Ruby and Jace to set up a game-winning Empty before his Grand Abolisher can finish wrecking me.

I wish I can recollect more from this match as it was a very good back-and-forth series that had me on edge the entire time. Unfortunately for me, it came at a point during the day that I was absolutely exhausted, leading to my spotty memory. After the match however, I realize that I'm in a "Win And In" spot going in to the last round.....A spot that I have been in before and have failed to get there every time. I get a second wind and try to lock in.

Round Five: Ryan with Snapcaster Control

Game One: I Misstep his early Brainstorm only for him to rip an Ancestral to which I lose the counterwar over. He then lands Snapcaster to replay the Ancestral one turn later, and I am just dead in the water as he then Surgical Extractions my Forces, while yelling "Empty the Warrens?!?!?!" when searching my library (This becomes relevant later), then assembles the Time Machine shortly thereafter.

Game Two: My opener was fairly unimpressive as it had no card draw and only 1 Misstep with no Force. I mull to 6 and see this hand, on the play: Force of Will, Mental Misstep, Misdirection, Duress, Time Walk, and Ponder. Something in me says "Keep it. You have triple counter back up and if you can topdeck an Underground or a fetch within the first couple turns, you can climb back in to the game." Normally, I would ignore that kind of thinking. But, knowing he's on Snapcaster, and that Snapcaster decks generally take about 3 turns or so to get going, barring a broken start, I decide to take a chance as a mull to 5 probably doesn't look too much better. So, turn 1, I pass and he looks at me like I forgot how to play the game, which is a more than fair assessment. He goes land, Mox, Scroll for Ancestral, go. Turn 2, I hit the fetch and for once, am glad that I did something so stupid as keep a no-lander on the play down a game. I get the Underground, play an uncontested Duress, strip his Recall (The rest of his hand was just land), pass. I Ponder the following turn to hit another land after drawing a Sapphire, play Time Walk, and from there I take over the game, ending with me assembling the Time Machine this time while breathing the biggest sigh of relief I ever have in a Magic game. That was crazy! I would never do that again! But, man that was something!

Game Three: We go back and forth early on with nothing a true significance. I hit the Black Lotus and then Empty for 10 the following turn, one copy of which gets Forced. I get him to 3 life, but have no counter at all, no real back-up plan in place if he can wipe out my Goblin army, and he Vamps to find a solution. While he looks through his library, he stops and says "I knew you had Empty the Warrens! Why didn't I board in the Pyroclasm?!?!", which means he only has one way to win: Go broken in one turn with no piece of Key-Vault in play or in his hand and no Tinker and Time Walk combo piece either. He goes for Ancestral, plays it, and scoops. Wow! You talk about 2 of the luckiest instances I could have ever had! And its on to the Top 8 for me!

Top 8 - Lance with "OMG....It's a Snapagus!" (Snapcaster-Moon Man control)

Both games end up being blowouts in his favor as my deck just ran out of "Good Runs and Good Luck" in the last round. So, even though I only had a cup of coffee run in the Top 8, I felt really good about the day I had overall as I overcame a lot of potential "tilt" moments and just had faith in my 75 to get the job done. I played a LOT of really tightly contested games, and managed to get there. I have a lot of confidence in this deck going forward, even in spite of the Grafdigger's Cage hitting the metagame next month. Now it's on to the 2nd Full of Win Vintage Series tourney this Saturday, and hopefully a Mox Jet!

Pimps Up!:

- Vito Picozzo and Jon Geras for beating me down so badly the night before the tournament that it ultimately led to me bringing in the Empty.

- Empty the Warrens. This card was my all-star all day long.

- Shawn Griffiths for continuing to host a great event!

- Josh Potucek for continuing to break through with "The Unbroken". That deck is just vicious.

- Kelly Ridall for suggesting an alteration for next week's Full of Win event that I am really liking.

- Brienne and Dom for providing endless amusement and entertainment during the ride down and back.

Hoes Down!:

- Crappy weather.

- Magus of the Moon. I hate that card.

- Did I mention Magus of the Moon?.....
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 10:30:50 pm by cvarosky80 » Logged
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