This tournament was fun and exciting, finishing ninth wasn’t bad, but the circumstances left a lot to be desired. Also, writing this a week after the fact has left me forgetting a few of the finer details. Enjoy.
R1 Jason Jaco – Variant of Inferno Oath (with white splash)
G1 – I’m on the draw, and have a 7 that has Force, Preordain, Forbidden Orchard, Oath of Druids, Volc, and a card I can’t remember. He leads off on Black Lotus, cracking it for GGG and playing an Oath of Druids off it. I decide with the I just need to let that resolve and hope he doesn’t have the Forbidden Orchard. He follows up with Forbidden Orchard and passes the turn. I play an Orchard and pass. He tries to Recall on my end step, I feel like I am priced into forcing that here. He plays a second Orchard on his turn and passes. At this point the only thing I’m not sure of is which exact variant he is on. He flips 2 Inferno Titans onto the battlefield and that’s all the information I need before I decide to scoop it up.
G2- This one ended up being a very odd game, with my hand being very on the controlling side. I believe it was something like: 2 lands, fluster, pyroblast, mox, sylvan, force. This game played out very weirdly as he had a very Forbidden Orchard heavy draw, so by about turn 4 I decided the best path to victory was just beating down with Spirit tokens. Eventually he has to mystical for balance. Which I was a little surprised to see, but it made the mana confluences make a lot more sense. I force that, and play and Arlinn Kord and he has seen enough.
G3 – I don’t remember a lot about this game, but I remember probing him midway through the game, and his hand being Force, Nahiri, and a Forbidden Orchard. I believe at this point he was either a mana short of Nahiri or was looking to play it with force backup. Eventually the card advantage from Jace and Sylvan Library buries him and an Arlinn Kord ticking up on a wolf token prompts a concession.
Side note: It was awesome to play against one of the big names in Vintage/ Old School community, and even coolor to win. Also Jaco seemed like an awesome guy (even though he was suffering a little from the previous night).
1-0 (2-1 games)
R2 – Ryan Dail – Shops
My notes from this match are a little bit more sparse.
G1- on the play, I go fetch go. Force his sphere, untap and play Forbidden Orchard + Oath of Druids. I forget what he played here, but I flipped Gisela into play. Ryan reads it for a few moments and does not like what he sees. He metamorphs the Gisela, but I flip an Inferno Titan into play, and Dack the Metamorph Gisela, and with that my opponent has seen enough.
G2 – I don’t remember a lot about this one, but there are two ancient grudges followed by Inferno Titan into Gisela.
2-0 (4-1 games)
R3 – Stephen Menendian - Jeskai
The second well known vintage name of the day. Having listened to the So Many Insane Plays previewing the event, I put Steve on playing a Jeskai variant as it would be well positioned against the anticipated metagame.
G1 – This was a grindfest with lots of back and forth. I think the biggest decision from my side this game was forcing a mentor in the late game, which seemed correct but it seemed to surprised Steve. He Sworded my first two Oathed in creatures, but eventually a Griselbrand was able to allow me to fight through his disruption. From my notes I think I drew 14 cards off Griselbrand that game, being very fortunate with the position of my creatures in my library.
G2 – Was much less of a game that would have like it to be. The jeskai matchup is always puzzle to navigate from my point of view. Unfortunately Steve kept an action packed one lander and brainstorm locked himself on turn 2. Orchard plus Oath cemented this one. We had a good conversation about his game 2 keep after the match and it seemed entirely correct from him to keep, and was just an unfortunate bit of variance to not see another land or even a mox to get him off to the races,
3-0 (6-1 games)
R4 – Michael Scheffenacker – Shops
More of the matchup we are hoping to see.
This was a very one sided affair both games. I have my opponents life total disappearing in large chunks while my life total didn’t drop below 15 in either game. I believe that in game 2 of this match my opponent took a very explosive line game2, and went workshop, inspector, lotus, into Lodestone Golem. I mindbreak trapped the Lodestone golem, and played mox, oath, orchard. After the match my opponent and I were talking about his game 2 hand, and in hindsight, as explosive as it was we think it would have been correct to mulligan as the hand had no hate and was more of a beatdown hand that wasn’t quite good enough.
4-0 (8-1 in games)
R5 – Eric Marich – Shops
(This would be the first of multiple Top 8 players I faced over the weekend)
This was one of the grindiest Shops matchups that I played throughout the weekend.
G1 – Eric’s hand was very explosive and turn 2 Oath of druids wasn’t quite fast enough to get there.
G2 – I get off to a pretty slow start. A couple ancient grudges and a nature’s claim allows me to turn the corner and one shotted Eric with an Inferno Titan after I flipped a Gisela into play. (Attack trigger, 6 damage, pump twice for 16 more damage)
G3- I mulliganed to a mediocre 6, and died very quickly to an army of robots
Eric was awesome to talk to throughout the match and had an awesome banter. Glad to see he made it as the runner up.
4-1 (9-3 games)
R6 – Marland Moore – PO
Marland mulliganed to 5 both games and I had the opportunity to counter his business spell and bury him in card advantage both games.
As one sided as this matchup was, it was awesome to see another player recognize he ran into some variance and not be frustrated at me. (At this point I’m just starting to remember how pleasant it vintage players are)
5-1 (11-3 games)
R7 – Nathan Marzka – Grixis Thieves
Some backstory here. Nathan and I went to college together and were suitemates for a period of time. My group of friends and I at the time convinced him to start playing magic. There was a point in time where he said I will never play modern, legacy, etc. I got him to start playing vintage at SCG Baltimore, and when he knew he had access to power, he was all on board to play this.
Not too much too summarize here.
G1- I mulliganed to a functional five that had some counter magic, but eventually lost to vault + key.
G2 – I kept a 7 with library on the play, and ended up losing to vault + key
Variance has to catch up to me eventually, and I was glad that it was someone that I have and continue to have such positive interactions with.
5-2 (11-5 games)
R8- Bryan Brady – Unmask Dredge
G1 – I made a misplay with timing of my ancestral that would have allowed me to ancestral end step, draw orchard + oath, and something else.
We had the awkward after sideboarding deck check for this one, which made us both nervous as they were checking my power and his bazaars.
G2 – My notes don’t offer much here, but I believe tormod’s crypt into dack take your hollow one into oath guys into play made quick work of this one.
G3 – The craziest game I played all day. I mulliganed to 5 keeping land, flusterstorm tormod’s crypt, and two cards I don’t remember. Bryan kept double unmask and no Bazaar, with the idea that it allows him to beat two hate pieces. He unmasls me, the unmasks himself to put a dredger into his yard. His first dredge is incredibly anemic, and I rip tormod’s crypt as my second draw step. I draw out of my mulligan and end up making quick work out of this one
6-2 (13-6 games)
From the perspective of a day1, this was better than I was hoping to do.
R9- Ryan Fisher – Jeskai
G1 – I don’t remember the exact sequence if the game, but I remember Ryan resolving an ancestral, and then all of my spells resolving after that. Discussing after the game revealed my suspicions that the ancestral didn’t yield anything of value
G2 – I remember the turning point of this game being that he played a teferi and tucked my dack fayden. I was hellbent and drew preordain for turn. I preordained into preordain + dack. I then preordained into dack + sudden shock. I sudden shocked the teferri and played dack on my following turn. A treasure cruise let me turn the corner after that.
7-2 (15-6 games)
R10 – Brian Demars - Shops
G1 – I had a slower hand that died to an army of robots on the draw. I don’t think Bryan took a point of damage this game.
G2 – This was a very close one with an ancient grudge or two into oath into Inferno Titan into Gisela closed up the game with the last life total markings I have being myself at 3 and him at 1.
G3 – I had a pretty good draw that was able to disrupt him enough to flip a Gisela into play. He reads it to make sure of what it does and scoops it up.
8-2 (17-7 games)
R11 – Stephen Quinn – PO
G1 – I we play a very grandly game, where I counter most of business and flip a few dudes into play. I end up dying to a tendrils with storm 4 as my Griselbrand only revels 1 flusterstorm and nothing else of value. I found my 1 of damping sphere in here which makes me wonder if I should have drawn main phase. In hindsight I think I played it correctly, and lost to a very tight line from Stephen.
G2- I end up dying on turn 3, in which we have a friendly banter as he is comboing off.
8-3 (17-9 games)
R12 – Andy Markiton – Shops
The unfortunate scenario I mentioned at the beginning of this happens this round. As I draw my opening hand, it has an upside down null rod in it. I accidently shuffled my sideboard cards for PO back into my deck after last round. I immediately call a judge. I know that there is also an extra ancient grudge and damping sphere in the deck from the null rod, and communicate that to the judge. It is explained to me that since the cards are not unique to my sideboard that it is an upgrade path to a game loss. Andy and I discuss this while the judges confer their ruling. We have a very good conversation with the underlying tone being I would rather lose than cheat, which I will forever hold as the way I feel.
G2 (not sideboarderd) – I am able to flip a Gisela into play, and andy tries to go all in on Ravagers next turn, and before damage I remind him of gisela’s halving of damage ability. He scoops it up. He would have been 1 damage short even Gisela was a vanilla a 5/5.
G3 (sideboarded) - I mulligan to 6 and make some poor decisions with my scry and subsequent preordains. I slowly die to an army of robots.
While it was painful to lose this win and in. I will always maintain that integrity is more important than any prize. (this was essentially a $1500 judge call, but that’s life )
8-4 (18-11 games)
R13 – Patrick St. John – PO
I offer my opponent the split to secure the top 16 prizes and he declines (and ends up finishing in 19th)
G1 – He mulligans to 5 and I force his only business spell. I don’t remember what I had in play, but he scoops it up, but has no cards in hand to my 4.
G2 – He mulligans to 6 and I take a lot of damage off of spirit tokens throughout the game. Eventually a flusterstorm and a pyrobloast into an oath of druids wraps up the game.
9-4 (20-11 games)
All in all the event was an absolute blast. I continue to love the vintage community and their attitude of “I love playing the game and I’m happy to be here”
Also, congratulations to all 4 of my losses as they all ended up making it into top 8.
Finishing 9th in my first paper vintage tournament since eternal weekend was exciting. I was happy with my deck choice and happier with some of the card choices that I made.
If I had to make a change to the deck I would definitely cut the sol ring. To me it doesn’t help the deck’s color problems and I ended up boarding it out a lot against PO, however it always felt pretty good against shops.
If anyone has any questions feel free to ask