5-0 at Gencon



  • Let me start with the obligatory “long time reader, first time poster”. I’m not much of a writer so I usually don’t write. Since the tournament I am writing about was run at Gen Con, I know there will not be any deck lists or coverage for the vintage events. I will do my best to outline the two events I played my turbo vault deck. I played the below deck in 2 events finishing 5-0 in the first and earning a bye at Eternal Weekend. I finished 4-1 the next day. The deck is mostly a shell of a steel city vault deck but with more focus on speed.
    Main:
    1 Myr Battlesphere
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Lotus Petal
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Ancestral Recall
    2 Expedition Map
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Library of Alexandria
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Time Vault
    4 Mental Misstep
    3 Sensei's Divining Top
    1 Sol Ring
    2 Voltaic Key
    1 Time Walk
    1 Transmute Artifact
    2 Mox Opal
    1 Dack Fayden
    2 Thirst for Knowledge
    1 Timetwister
    1 Tinker
    1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    4 Force of Will
    1 Tezzeret the Seeker
    4 Thoughtcast
    1 Time Spiral
    1 Wheel of Fortune
    1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Seat of the Synod
    1 Tolarian Academy
    2 Volcanic Island
    1 Hurkyl's Recall
    SB:
    3 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Mountain
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Chain of Vapor
    1 Pyroblast
    1 Spell Pierce
    1 Arcane Laboratory
    1 Trinisphere
    4 Ingot Chewer
    1 Pyroclasm

    The first tournament for this deck was Friday. I had played Nahiri Oath the previous day and really liked the build but I wanted to give this a try as well. There were somewhere between 20-30 people at the event. I made single sentence notes as I played so please forgive the lack of details in the matches.
    Round 1:
    I play Chris who is piloting Grindstone.
    • Game 1- I drop lots of spells and moxes on turn one then turn two vault/key.
    • Game 2- I keep a slower hand with a turn 1 library but no FOW. He Tinkers for Blightsteel on T1. I don’t have a Dack after drawing so I scoop.
    • Game 3 – I have academy and ChromeMox but only 2 artifacts. We fight a huge counter war over my Sensei’s Top which he prepared for by dropping mana crypt. Noting happens for a long time as we rebuild our hands but he loses 5/6 crypt flips. Once I build up enough spells, I resolved warrens for 8 goblins and took the game.
    Round 2:
    I play Mike who is piloting White Eldrazi. This isn’t a good match-up for me.
    • Game 1 - He wins the flip and chalices for 0. He casts a revoker then a thought-knot so I scoop.
    • Game 2 – He casts some swinging type creatures which I can mostly ignore. I resolve vault/key on turn 3.
    • Game 3 – He casts revoker and names Lotus in the dark. I cast T1 Jace. On turn 2 I timewalk, then storm out 20 goblins for the win.
    Round 3:
    I play Sam on Doomsday.
    • Game 1 – He turn 2, Lotus / Doomsday/ Flusterstorm wins.
    • Game 2 – I turn 1 tinker into Myr Battlesphere for thewin
    • Game 3 – I surprise him with Trinisphere from the board and win through Tezzeret/Vault
    Round 4:
    I play Josh on Grixis Control.
    • Game 1 – I T1 Vault/Key.
    • Game 2 - He boards but I didn’t see anything so I run the same 60. He gets a small army out with deathrite, angler, and eventually a trygon. I cast a wheel of fortune and go for vault/key. I win the counterwar but his last card was abrupt decay. At 1 life, I rebuild my hand with twister and vault/key.
    Round 5:
    I play Max who is on Oath / Show and Tell. He gets paired up as he is 3-1. After confirming that I will be attending EW, he scoops so I can lock up the bye (Else no one would have finished 5-0). If you are reading this, thank you again! We play it out to see how the match-up would have finished.
    • Game 1 – I keep a hand that had a lot of promise with normal draws but I don’t draw any artifacts. He eventually tutors for vault/key.
    • Game 2 – I end up playing the control roll in this one countering the oath/shows. He eventually loses to his crypt plus the two spirits he gave me from his orchard.
    • Game 3 – I get out my battlesphere and double FOW through the attacks to end 5-0.

    They had the tournament set-up so that a player could win up to two byes. I decided to play the same deck on Saturday. I had a lot of game 3 and wanted to see how it performed over a longer stretch of games.

    Round 1:
    I play Vincent who is on mentor control.
    • Game 1 – I go full on vintage on T1 and go through about 30 cards. I drop a Tezz with an academy for the win.
    • Game 2 – I storm out 16 goblins or so around T2.

    Round 2:
    I play Sean who is on GW hate bear style humans. (This is likely my worst matchup)
    • Game 1 – I draw lots and lots of cards. I think I cast all of my thoughtcasts. I end up dead with a hand full of land.
    • Game 2 – He’s beating me up with little creatures. I’m searching for a win or a pyroclasm. He drops a knight of the reliquary when I’m at 6. I draw a now meaningless pyroclasm and scoop. He ended up winning this tournament.
    Round 3:
    I play Ryan who is on delver.
    • Game 1 – He gets out an early delver and throws a bunch of bolts at me.
    • Game 2 – I take the worst game notes possible. My note for this game is “normal”. I see my life total got down to 8 and I know I won the game. I don’t remember how. I must have thought it a very normal way for me to win.
    • Game 3 – He has some delvers, I had tinkered for a battlesphere. The battlesphere was faster so I win. I think I pyroblasted away a delver he was planning on blocking with if I remember correctly.
    Round 4:
    I play John who is on mentor control.
    • Game 1 – I storm out a good sized warrens that outpaced the mentor and tokens
    • Game 2 – He gets out an early Narset and locks me out.
    • Game 3 – I storm out a warrens, play trinisphere, timewalk, then timespiral timewalk again for the win.
    Round 5:
    I play Matt playing shops.
    • I turn 1 out a bunch of moxes, a time vault, and a map. He ancient tombs for sphere of resistance. I turn 2 cast mana vault, use it to search up academy with the map, then tap the moxes and academy for 6 and play Tezz for the win. We only play one game so he can meet up with his friends for dinner.

    The deck is about as fun as a deck can be. I wouldn’t mind fitting in a mind’s desire but I’m not sure where I would put it. The board could use some work. I didn’t even board in cage against Oath. In part it was because his build was heavy on show and tell but it was also in part because I didn’t feel like it needed it. I think any of the pridemage / stony silence decks will be tough. I have enough removal to kill null rod. I’m not sure it’s worth putting in too much for the creatures. The deck can’t board out too many cards and still be potent. Anyway, I hope you like my report. See you at EW.



  • Great meeting you, I won the Saturday with Sabboth Oath Crusher. You fizzled pretty hard game one, and all the drawing and topping and redrawing ate our time. Spell Quellers flying is the only reason I could punch through at the end. I played against Oath of Apes 3 times in a 5 round 24 person event. Pastimes wouldn't give me the lists after the event to post a breakdown. A shame that 4 ~25 person sanctioned Vintage events won't have results compiled.

    Sean O


  • TMD Supporter

    That deck looks sweet, I was toying around with Empty the Warrens in a Steel City Vault type shell the other day, but I never really tested it out. It seems like a worthwhile inclusion in a deck with so much fast mana and draw spells. A small ETW can win out of nowhere sometimes.



  • The deck looks great - a truly broken strategy with a lot of consistency through adding Expedition Maps as additional Tolarians and Mox Opal as additional Moxen.

    I also think the sideboard needs work, especially regarding Shop (because I don#t think they will keep laying low for long), but this is a very very solid start!

    Thanks for sharing!



  • This is Josh from the Friday event. Your deck seemed sweet, you drew tons of cards in game 2 and your win at 1 life was pretty impressive. Nice run!



  • Good report, thanks for sharing! The deck looks sweet. I like the inclusion of ETW. Well done!



  • How often do you find yourself having "dead" fetches with 4 Tarns and only 2 fetchable lands (and in some matchups the Mountain from the SB in games 2/3)?


  • TMD Supporter

    @Minkar it's common to run more fetches than fetchable lands, but you are right that the numbers of lands are usually higher.
    I'm not sure if there's even a problem though, usually untapped fetches are just safer than running out a dual land.



  • It was great meeting Sean, Josh, and the whole lot of opponents over the weekend. Everyone was great and it made for a fantastic experience. As far as the build, ETW was amazing. Though it's not a all in storm list,it casts enough spells to make a formidable army of gobbos. I'm going add more crypts instead of cages. The deck is fast enough that it can ignore a lot of things, specifically most creatures so I don't really need to side for that. I think a second mass removal spell should be there just in case. I did sometimes draw more fetches than I had lands but it wasn't ever really an issue. The bulk of the mana comes from artifacts and academy so i didn't really need the land after two fetches. they still provided some value as either discard for thirst/dack or let me shuffle for top/jace. I never really wanted more land.



  • Round 1:
    I play Chris who is piloting Grindstone.
    • Game 1- I drop lots of spells and moxes on turn one then turn two vault/key.
    • Game 2- I keep a slower hand with a turn 1 library but no FOW. He Tinkers for Blightsteel on T1. I don’t have a Dack after drawing so I scoop.
    • Game 3 – I have academy and ChromeMox but only 2 artifacts. We fight a huge counter war over my Sensei’s Top which he prepared for by dropping mana crypt. Noting happens for a long time as we rebuild our hands but he loses 5/6 crypt flips. Once I build up enough spells, I resolved warrens for 8 goblins and took the game.

    This was the most entertaining round of Magic I Played all GenCon. I think we had a grand total of 5 turns between those first 2 games, and it still took about half of the round. Game 3 was brutal with that Mana Crypt.

    I'm a total sucker for vault/key lists, so I might have to try this one out at the next local vintage event. I definitely wasn't happy with the Painter build I showed up with at GenCon, and should have stuck to something more familiar.



  • @Trius @CoffeeCup so I won Saturday and the OP won Friday, do we know who won Thursday and Sunday? Did John G. win Thursday?



  • I left before the last round on Thursday so I don't know who won that. I played in that silly "Champion Event" on Sunday. I wish I would have played vintage instead.



  • @nedleeds I won on Sunday. No idea who won on Thursday...I bombed out early and left.



  • @Brady-Hawkes said:

    @nedleeds I won on Sunday. No idea who won on Thursday...I bombed out early and left.

    Thanks man. Were you playing any particular archtype? I approached Pastimes for the lists after all the events and got told to kick sand.

    It really, really sucks that we can't get paper results like this posted up on the deck sites because the organizers are donkeys. We had lists this year and we fired 4 ~25 man sanctioned events whose results will simply melt into the ether. When folks like @CHA1N5 and @diophan work to compile and report on results we lose these events and the perception of the metagame further shifts towards MTGO. If we can get all the winning lists we can at least post those to tcdecks.

    Anyway, so we know every event winner but Thursday. I have the pairings for Thursday on Twitter and I know a few of the people who were 3-0. I don't think any of them post here, I'll dig around and find out.



  • Heard from a buddy he lost the Thursday 4-0/4-0 versus John Grudzina on UWr Mentor / Walker stuff.

    So that's all 4. Now if we could get the other two lists we could post them to the world wide web.



  • @nedleeds I played TKS Shops. Pretty standard list with one Crucible in the main over a Triskelion.



  • @Brady-Hawkes hey thanks man! I'll post the results we have, I have pictures of the round 1 pairings board from every event. But Pastimes told me to fuck off when I asked if I could have lists after events. They claimed they 'do something' with them, which of course they didn't do shit with except likely throw in the trash.


  • TMD Supporter

    @nedleeds said:

    @Brady-Hawkes hey thanks man! I'll post the results we have, I have pictures of the round 1 pairings board from every event. But Pastimes told me to fuck off when I asked if I could have lists after events. They claimed they 'do something' with them, which of course they didn't do shit with except likely throw in the trash.

    I've heard a lot of troubling things about passtimes and other T.O.s.
    How this is acceptable is beyond me.



  • @Islandswamp said:

    I've heard a lot of troubling things about passtimes and other T.O.s.
    How this is acceptable is beyond me.

    In my opinion, Pastimes is by far the worst major tournament organizer in Magic's history. They have a long and sustained record (15 or 20 years) of terrible customer service, overcharging players, extreme incompetence and long wait times, and delivering a piss poor play experience for players, ranging from their handling of PTQs to GPs to all of the Magic at GenCon the past decade. The head honcho Alan is a very nice guy, which is what is so surprising about how awful they are. For a sickening and yet oddly entertaining read, check out this classic thread on Reddit about GP Chicago:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/28wo29/an_open_letter_to_wizards_of_the_coast_about/

    How WotC allows them to keep operating Magic at a marquee event like GenCon alone is an indictment of the weakness of WotC's Organized Play and player outreach programs. Growing up in the Chicago area for a long time, a few friends and I went out of our way to avoid anything Pastimes ran if we could, but the problem is if you wanted to play tournament Magic in the area at a big event, the odds were that Pastimes was running the event. Thankfully some other good TOs like Hotsauce Games and Xtreme Games have taken some of this regional market share over the past few years. If WotC insists on regional TOs organizing the largest GPs, I wish they would just let Xtreme run all of the local PTQs and GPs, because their owner and customer service are the best in the area (ie. they actually give a damn).



  • Yeah it wasn't a huge ask. I was willing to wait to collect them on Sunday also to avoid "scouting" accusations. Which are irrelevant anyway given the railbirding. Anyway, its a shame we lose so many paper results but as paper players have to bear the brunt of policy influenced by results from MTGO. I was more than willing to write up the lists etc.



  • I complain about them in every Gen Con survey to try to get anew TO. Magic is the biggest game in the industry but with the poor experience that Pastimes offers, I've seen the magic area shrink year after year. It was shamefully small this year. I was happy that they did not run the vintage events at the same time as the legacy events like they did last year. That's about the only good thing I have to say. in addition to the issues that impact vintage players, they fails on some pretty common items. I had planned in playing in a few Eternal Masters drafts as well if I had down time. They were only offering the standard sets at $18 per draft. They only offered Standard and Modern for win-a-box. Anymore, I only get to play paper magic at Gen Con and E.W. so their events make up half of all the Magic I get to play in a year. I hope we get a new T.O. soon.


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