So I wasn't planing on doing much of a write up but a few people asked and i'll try to do this as best as I can as I took 0 notes through the day and have an awful memory. Ill do my best to keep this simple and quick. Before the actual report about why I chose the deck and what happened in my rounds I'd like to say thank you to a few people: Nick D. for running such an amazing event, The members of The Blowout Train for always keeping me from tilting off into space and the Long Island crew who let me test with them every week that I can, The Forino's for helping me with theory and finally Matt Murray for telling me to stop playing bad cards <3.
Night Before NYSE:
I am unsure if I am on Dredge, BUGr or Shops, I have 8 people at my house testing and im just staring at cards. I end up on Shops because a buddy of mine ends up needing to borrow all of dredge and I lent out most of my blue cards. Anyone who knows me knows proxies aren't going to fly so we're on to shops. I had a mystic forge list build with 4 powder 4 spheres 0 defense grids earlier in the week. I am thinking of that shell or the list that had done well in the challenge earlier in the week. I think it was JdPhoenix's list. After talking it out with Matt he suggested to go back to grid over Sphere. It made a lot of sense to me as Sphere is awful vs Vorce of Vigor (unless they are on the 0 land dredge list) and BUG in general. So by the time I get the 75 thrown together I tested 0 games on it and I am off to try and sleep. I spend most of the night back and forth going back to my list that I at least had games on or trying this one.
The List: Before we get into the list I just want it to be known that the deck is fucking stupid and multiple cards should be banned.
James Kohler -3rd NYSE
4 Mystic Forge
4 Karn, the Great Creator
3 Karn, Scion of Urza
4 Foundry Inspector
2 Walking Ballista
3 Manifold Key
1 Voltaic Key
3 Defense Grid
3 Sensei's Top
4 Serum Powder
4 Grim Monolith
4 Mishra's Workshop
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Blast Zone
2 City of Traitors
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Urborg Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Time Vault
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
3 Tormod's Crypt
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Mycosynth Lattice
1 Walking Ballista
I chose no Key effects in the board since its super tight and most games I board out the single voltaic anyway giving me the tutor for games 2-3. It didn't come up once all day where I wanted to have a card in my board that wasn't there outside of when I forgot to put lattice back into my sideboard heading to game 2 of a match.
If I were to play this tomorrow, the 4th Blast Zone is probably egregious and could be the 4th Defense Grid which was the MVP a lot.
People asked me why the split between Sorcerous Spyglass and Pithing Needle. the vast majority of the time games 2-3 I am wishing for a Needle effect I know what I want to name and the spyglass doesn't bring me anything extra. Whereas the one mana difference was crucial in 3-4 games especially in a deck with Inspector in it.
Everything else is about what you'd expect from a Mystic Forge/Karn build.
Lets hop into the least detail oriented report you'll ever see:
Round 1 - Dan Miller (Dreadhorde Arcanist Jeskai) 1-2/2-1
Game 1: I lead on Grid, he forces grid I have Karn into Vault Key, He stumbles on mana, game ends.
Game 2: He blows me out with Arcanist, double Recall and double Shattering spree.
Game 3: This was a doozy, the game itself was uneventful but we have a judge call due to Dan using a Mox under Karn for the second time in the match accidentally. Judge is called we're too far forward to rewind. I am a bit frustrated as its the second time it happened and it costs me the match. At the end of the match I tell Dan im upset, I know its my own fault as well, its my Karn. I sit with a few friends and contemplate dropping as I am tilted and frustrated about the whole situation. I find out from Matt Murray that Dan decided to give me the win (I hadn't asked for it or spoken to him about it) and before I can speak to Dan and tell him not to, the results are in. I have to regain some composure, thank Dan and move on to round 2.
Round 2- Sean Came (Dredge, no pitch spells) 2-0
Game 1: I land a turn one Karn Great Creator on the draw get a Tormod's Crypt and am able to run him out of gas with a pair of Crypts before landing a Lattice a few turns later to seal the deal.
Game 2: Sean lands a turn 2 serenity and my board is top forge 2 open mana. I blind draw for turn knowing I need a piece of fast mana as my only out and sure enough I hit a sol ring which allows me to cast the inspector in my hand and with top I draw my entire deck until I hit the academy and just make a ballista to one shot him.
Round 3- Feature Match with Raf Forino 2-1 (Terra Nova)
I am dreading this match. Raf is on 6 needle effects and quad Null Rod. It is a brutal brutal match. I am not going to talk too much about the match as It was on stream and I'll just drop the link here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/455452179
Round 4- Nick Kent 2-1 (Mystic Forge Mirror)
Oh boy the mirror. Let me tell you guys something, the mirror is the least fun or skill intense match I have ever played. Your mulligans are the only thing with skill.
Game 1: He lands a turn 1 Karn. I flash him a hand of Mox Mox key Mana Vault Karn Top Forge. We move on to game 2.
Game 2: I play my entire hand turn one including a Karn, get Lattice to cast next turn. He has forge puts about 12 perms in play but has no reach due to Karn's static ability, has to pass turn, I cast Lattice he scoops.
Game 3: He mulligans to 6 I powder Mull Powder Keep a 6. He has a slower hand and has a Top and Inspector in play. I lead on: Shop, tap Shop, Serum Powder, Lotus, Crack lotus, Tap Powder Play Karn. Tick Karn up to 6 Target my tapped powder. He swings 3 into Karn and doesn't get a ton going. I land a Karn Scion of Urza, make a dude, plus again on my powder so I now have 2 blockers to protect my Karn. He makes a forge and again puts some perms into play but has really no reach and eventually Lattice gets him again.
Round 5 - I don't remember my Opponents name 2-0 (Jeskai)
I feel terrible but I don't take notes and I think this match went about 5 minutes (Deck is fucking dumb)
Game 1: I cast a Grid, he forced my Grid, next turn I did dumb shit with karn and win.
Game 2: I don't remember much but again it was a quicker one I think that ended with Karn and no more spells.
Round 6- Clone9 (PO) 2-0
Im hoping I can draw at 5-0 but it turns out I am paired down to the 4-1. So lets play!
Game 1: I have the game wrapped up I have a Karn on 2 and a Defense grid with a key in play, I go to get my Time Vault I tick Karn down and get it. Karn leaving play turns his rocks back on and he is able to Hurkyls Recall me through Defense Grid and then force my Mox Ruby which keeps me off mana as my land is Tolarian Academy. Well Fuck. He is low on cards with a Tolarian Academy 3 Mox and a Mana Vault in play. I manage to rip an Ancient Tomb which lets me rebuild my entire board minus the Defense Grid. He Forces my Time Vault. Then I think I assemble Voltron with Mystic Forge Top and Inspector and go off making a massive Ballista.
Game 2: I don't remember a ton I think I stick a Karn and get the Lattice lock.
Round 7- Vasu (Forge Shop Mirror) 2-1
I just want some rest. I didn't get to draw last round I couldn't. Vasu and Joel decide they wanted to play for seed as being in 1st after Swiss on this deck is so big. I say I think one of them can bubble themselves if they lose but they decide to play (Unfortunately I think Joel ended up coming in 9th after losing his match to Joe Brennan).
Game 1: Vasu has a turn 1 Karn, I kept a hand with a turn one Karn assuming if he has the mystic forge hand I can win.
Game 2: I kept a turn 1 Karn hand. He loses to my turn 1 Karn.
Game 3: He had a mystic forge hand he put some perms into play but had to pass turn to me. I mulled to 5. My 5 was Academy Mox Mox Mox Forge. I draw for turn, Hit something that doesn't matter. I cast forge with 1 mana in pool. I know Vasu is going to go wild if the turn gets back to him but its my only play. Top card off Forge is Mana Crypt. Second card is Lotus.... Third Card: Karn himself. The Great Creator. I am able to windmill him shutting off Vasu's board and the game ends up mine.
Ryan Eberheart Mirror 2-0
I am able to go into the top 8 at 7-0. Feels really good. Fun side note, the 2 NYSE's I played in this venue, I am a combined 13-0-2 in Swiss.
So I am on the play and being on the play in this mirror is the way to get there. Game 1 I have a turn one Karn into lattice by turn 3. Game 2 Ryan makes a million mana plays Karn and tutors for spyglass knowing the next turn he can win the game. Unfortunately my turn 1 was needle Karn and then I hit 2 inspectors while he blanked. I was able to kill his Karn and eventually get Forge/Inspector online draw my deck and thats the end of it.
Vasu Mirror Match 1-2
Welp I am still a bit frustrated as I right this but sometimes it happens. In my 4 powder deck I mulled to 3 Game 1. He had a Karn, I lost. Game 2 I mulled to 5-6 but managed to get there off a turn 2 Karn. Game 3 I mulled again to 5. His opener was good enough to blank mine. Sometimes the hottest runs can end that way.
Overall it was a great day. Nick runs an amazing event, it's sad it'll be his last. Grats to the eventual winner Joe Brennan and everyone in top 8. Sorry that this is more or less an abominable and shoddy report but really a monkey can pilot this deck when its giving you draws like I had.
"Don't need, decks insane"