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Author Topic: 10th at Vintage Champs with MUD: A story of triumph and heartbreak  (Read 6257 times)
BC
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« on: October 29, 2014, 01:51:18 pm »

After missing Eternal Weekend last year, I was unreasonably excited to attend this year. I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to play Magic over the last year, so I was just hoping that I would at least do well enough for the weekend to be fun. As it turns out, I came just short of another unlikely run to the top 8 of Vintage Champs.

I got in Friday late afternoon. Too late to play in the Eternal Central Old School MTG event, but nonetheless I met up with the remaining Old School players for dinner and some additional bonus matches of Old School. I highly recommend this format for anyone who enjoys Magic: the Gathering. It is truly the purest form of the game.

On Saturday I woke up early to play in Legacy Champs. I was playing Sneak & Show, with basically the same list I have been playing for several years, but with -2 Intuition, +2 Dig Through Time. It was good enough, and I was in it for most of the day. At one point I was 6-1, but then my brain started to give up, and I started making mistakes. I dropped at 6-3, even though I probably could have drawn the last round into top 64. It was already very late, and I was tired and hungry, and the main event was still to come…

Vintage Champs 2014
I played MUD (obviously), with a build that was very similar to my 2012 Champs list:

4 Mishra's Workshop
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Wasteland
4 Buried Ruin
4 Mishra's Factory
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Strip Mine
1 Sol Ring
5 Mox
1 Mana Crypt
4 Lodestone Golem
4 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Triskelion
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
4 Tangle Wire
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Sphere of Resistance
3 Crucible of Worlds
3 Smokestack
1 Trinisphere

Sideboard:
4 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Tormod's Crypt
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2 Null Rod
2 Ratchet Bomb
3 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Batterskull

The mana base is a little different (+Factories), and I am running Spheres in the main instead of Karn and Ratchet Bomb, but other than that it is pretty much the same. I got a couple questions from people while just milling around on Sunday to the tune of “Are you still playing Buried Ruin?” (yes) “Still 4?” (YES). Card is good.

Round 1: Richard Lessmann – Shops
He mulligans himself into oblivion both games, and I don’t have to do much to win.
(1-0, 2-0)

Round 2: Stu Somers – UR Delver
Game 1 consisted of me dropping something like 4 Tangle Wires (including a Metamorphed Wire and one recurred with Buried Ruin). Eventually a Smokestack finishes him off. Game 2 I also win somehow.
(2-0, 4-0)

Round 3: Jim Sharkey (Templar) – Oath
I met Jim on Saturday before the Legacy event. I was hurting for caffeine, but I didn’t know if I had time to run to get a drink before the first round started (turns out I did). He took mercy on me and gave me a cup of coffee from the Card Titan booth. Truly a class act.
Game 1 he Oaths me pretty fast. Game 2 I land something like 4 Grafdigger’s Cages. Game 3 is really close and grindy. The key turning point in this game was Buried Ruin getting me back a Grafdigger’s Cage, which then absorbed a Steel Sabotage that otherwise would have bounced my active Smokestack, which would have potentially allowed him to rebuild.
(3-0, 6-1)

Round 4: Jacob Hilty (merfolkOTPT) – Tendrils/Oath
Game 1 I soft lock him pretty well with Spheres and Chalices, but am only putting on slow pressure with Factories. Eventually he is able to build to the point of hitting a Hurkyl’s Recall. In response to Recall I hit him with Trike bullets to put him at 1 life. This limits him enough that he is not able to assemble a combo. Game 2 he sides into Oath and catches me off guard. It is very effective. Game 3 I play a Cage and a Chalice @ 0. The Cage doesn’t stick, but I get it back with Buried Ruin and play it again, then hit Chalice @ 1.  This shuts him off enough to slowly kill him.
(4-0, 8-2)

Round 5: Josh Potucek (oshkoshhaitsyosh) – Landstill
I know Josh from NYSE Open I, where he beat me in the X-0 bracket, sending me on a downward trajectory that resulted in me scrubbing out of the event.
This time I win in 2 games, but it was by no means a blowout. Game 1 I think I just cast multiple Lodestone Golems, which is a good card. Game 2 I won by having a Crucible of Worlds, although he destroyed it at one point and I had to restore it with Buried Ruin.
(5-0, 10-2)

Round 6: John Grudzina – 4c Delver
We get selected for a feature match, even though it was not on camera, and nobody was watching, so it wasn’t really “featured” in any way.
I win game 1. Game 2 he gets a Deathrite Shaman, then some other creatures. Tabernacle does some serious work this game (it’s the MVP vs. Delver), and keeps his mana locked down. Eventually I finish the game in increments of 5 life.
(6-0, 12-2)

Round 7: Ryan Glackin – RUG Delver
My first “win and in” round. Game 1 I mulligan and keep a sketchy hand with land, 3 moxen, and a Lodestone Golem, which gets countered, leaving me with not a lot to do. He gets some creatures, easily handle my threats, and that’s pretty much it.  Game 2 he gets a couple Delvers, but I keep his board locked down with Tabernacle (MVP) and Tangle Wires, and Smokestack eventually finishes the job.
Game 3 is long and grindy and very close. He plays and flashes back 2 Ancient Grudges, taking out 4 of my pieces. Late in the game I make a critical mistake when I draw and play a Wurmcoil Engine, which he then proceeds to take with a newly cast Dack Fayden. If I had been playing right, I would have cast the Lodestone Golem I also had in my hand, since it is more disruptive, and also not fatal if stolen by Dack. I also had a Revoker (or drew one the following turn), which would have kept his Dack Fayden from continuing to do work while I came back with my Wurmcoil. I think this play specifically may have cost me the top 8. Disappointing.
(6-1, 13-4)

Round 8: Paul Lynch – UR Delver
I’m on the play and have Chalice @ 0, Crucible. On his turn he Strip Mines my Workshop, which I replay the next turn, then cast Tangle Wire. He scoops. At this point I still don’t know what he’s playing, although I think I remember him running Shops, so I board accordingly. Turns out he is actually on Delver, so my sideboard plan is somewhat off. Game 2 he beats me with small dudes while I do very little.  Game 3 is very close, but I land 2 Wurmcoils at different points in the game, and am able to finish him off before he can draw a Dack Fayden to steal something (my new worst nightmare).
(7-1, 15-6)

At this point I am 7-1 with one round to go, and my tiebreakers are insane (OMW = 71.3%). I am really hoping I can draw into top 8, but there are a total of 11 people with 21 points or more, so some matches will definitely have to play it out. My possibilities of drawing in are dependent on the pairings. Of course I get paired up against Roland Chang, who is sitting at 7-0-1. I offer him a draw, which he declines. This is completely the correct thing to do on his part, of course, because he is playing for top seeding. I was in the exact same position in 2012 and chose to draw rather than play the last round. This resulted in me finishing 7th, and I was on the draw for the whole top 8. I am disappointed for sure, but this is how tournaments work with the modified play/draw rule. I am still in if I can win…

Round 9: Roland Chang – Shops
Game 1 I keep a hand with Mox, some lands, Crucible, Tangle Wire. It’s not a great hand, but it has a Crucible, and I can keep things slow with Wire until I draw some more business. He wins the dice roll and starts with Mox, Mana Crypt, Land, Chalice @ 0, Steel Hellkite. There’s nothing I can do about that but laugh. My only answer to that is Workshop, Metamorph, but unfortunately I don’t have either of those cards in my hand. I play land, go. He attacks with Hellkite, then plays Lodestone Golem. I play land, go. He attacks me to 5. I draw a card and scoop.
Game 2 I am on the play, but have to mulligan to 5. I keep a hand of Factory, Mana Crypt, Chalice, Smokestack, Lodestone.  I play my land, Crypt, Chalice @ 0. I figure if I can draw a land in the next 2-3 turns, I can play Stack and Golem, and my Mana Crypt will get eaten by Stack so I won’t die to it. Unfortunately that land never came. We both drew some Tangle Wires, which extended the game for many turns. I got hot with coin flips, so at least Mana Crypt wasn’t killing me. I probably drew 8-10 cards by the end, but no lands. None.
(7-2, 15-8)

I have a glimmer of hope of still making the top 8 even with the loss. If all 6 of the top tables played it out, there would be 1 or 2 people with 2 losses to make the top 8. Unfortunately, table 3 ID’ed, and table 5 also ID’ed for some reason. This left 9 people with 22+ points for 8 spots. I finished in 10th, still with the best tiebreakers among 21 pointers (OMW = 71.0%).

So that’s it. It was a good run, and if nothing else, at least I showed that my performance in 2012 was not a fluke. I had a great time the whole weekend, and I hope I can make it back again next year.
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mr.grim
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 02:48:16 pm »

Props on your performance !
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oshkoshhaitsyosh
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 02:58:07 pm »

It was a pleasure playing you Blaine...I owe you an ass whooping next time we play haha. Hopefully see you at the next NYSE or next year's champs event Wink
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 03:13:48 pm »

How was Triskelion for you? Better than Staff of Nin?
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Smmenen
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 03:40:38 pm »

Nice Job Blaine! 
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 03:44:20 pm »

I was your 9th round opponent in Legacy. I'm now totally jealous that you dropped. I played round 10, won, and still missed top 16 on breakers. Congrats on the Vintage run! I'm glad we battled on Saturday instead of Sunday!
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 04:17:34 pm »

How was Triskelion for you? Better than Staff of Nin?
Yeah, I'm still on Trike, although I have given serious consideration to Staff of Nin. The main upside to Trike is that he is able to do more than 1 damage per turn. This is crucial if you need to take out a planeswalker, a flipped Delver, Lodestone Golem, etc. He can also attack for 1-4 damage, which can be very important. Also, Workshop players have a new enemy in Dack Fayden. If Dack steals your Staff of Nin, it's very bad. Triskelion is essentially unstealable. Nin does draw you cards, though, which is always a good thing. I think either is appropriate in this spot.

I was your 9th round opponent in Legacy. I'm now totally jealous that you dropped. I played round 10, won, and still missed top 16 on breakers. Congrats on the Vintage run! I'm glad we battled on Saturday instead of Sunday!
My match with you was what really made me realize how tired and out of it I was. I do not regret dropping.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 09:07:43 pm »

Blaine is a real gent and was a pleasure to play.  Buried Ruin turned out to be the difference maker in our match, which is probably not something that has been typed all too often, I imagine.   Smile
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 09:16:00 pm »

Buried Ruin was insane against me since I kept a hand that hinged on oath in game 3.  My opener was something like needle, oath, emerald, force, blue card, preordain.  I had to counter the cage, and then the chalice blew me out.  I think I mulled in that game, but either way, it was a good set of games, and I feel your pain on the non-top 8.  Good to meet you and to play.
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KIP_NZ
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2014, 04:28:48 am »


Round 6: John Grudzina – 4c Delver
We get selected for a feature match, even though it was not on camera, and nobody was watching, so it wasn’t really “featured” in any way.

I'm pretty sure this was my fault, I was nagging the people in the stream to put shops and specifically you on camera round 4-5-6. Indie told me during round 5 if you won you'd be selected but then Randy wanted Joel so that was the video match hence being the backup match. I was also hopeful that you'd put your R9 on but sadly no. I'm a shops player and a fan of your grindy play / deck style. As someone who plays a bit online, we need a solution for that %$&# Dack Fayden, he's EVERYWHERE!
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BC
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2014, 01:32:28 pm »

I'm pretty sure this was my fault, I was nagging the people in the stream to put shops and specifically you on camera round 4-5-6. Indie told me during round 5 if you won you'd be selected but then Randy wanted Joel so that was the video match hence being the backup match.
Awesome. I'm glad somebody out there was advocating to get me in a feature match. I would have loved to have had my round 6 match on camera, because I think it was a great example of how Shops can successfully match up against Delver.

...we need a solution for that %$&# Dack Fayden, he's EVERYWHERE!
Well, I was running 4x Phyrexian Revoker, in no small part due to Dack Fayden being everywhere. Triskelion is also good. Dack also costs  {1} {U} {R}, which is not trivial to get when the Shop player is dropping Spheres and Tangle Wires everywhere. In testing, I haven't found Dack to be backbreaking for Shops too often, although it clearly can be in the right situation (see my round 7 match).
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2014, 01:59:19 pm »

Agreed. I've found the delver match to be a winnable one too. Trygons can still be a nightmare, but dack can sometimes be played around. Usually you've cleared their board a little and can attack into dack. 
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 09:46:20 am »

Nice work, Blaine!  Wish I wasn't that guy against you in the 9th Round, but definitely looking forward to playing you again next year.  Long live Stax!!!  Very Happy
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2014, 04:45:32 am »

A sad story to miss the top8 that close after such a strong start... but anyway, well done, and 10th place at a 300+ tournament is nothing to feel bad about. Hope to see you next year, then I'll hopefully be back as well Smile
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2014, 07:46:18 am »

No lotus?
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BC
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2014, 12:48:04 pm »

No lotus?

No Lotus. This is fairly common with Workshop decks over the past year or two. Basically you trade some turn 1 explosiveness for reusable mana sources that can also do other stuff (i.e., Wasteland, Factory, etc.). I don't plan on adding it back in anytime soon.
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rbartlet
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2014, 09:38:08 pm »

You wouldn't consider running 61, or cutting a ruin or off coloured mox?

How about a Razormane Masticore in place of a Wurmcoil?
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Samoht
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2014, 10:20:33 pm »

You wouldn't consider running 61, or cutting a ruin or off coloured mox?

How about a Razormane Masticore in place of a Wurmcoil?


He's on MUD, they are pretty much all off color. The steady supply of mana is worth much more than the one shot juice that Lotus provides. It's been elaborated before by several Shop pilots and builders.
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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2014, 02:29:13 am »

Some of this discussion was transcribed in the VSL topic here

Could also be part of the discussion about consistency over variance.
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