Hi everyone. Ryan "Greg" Maddux here. Sean - always a pleasure to play. I lost, but I learned a lot from our match, which is always a huge win. Great show, as always. This is my favorite podcast by a long shot. I did want to comment though because, God, Listening to Mike and Sean discuss testing for their quarterfinals against ibrahim (on oath) brought back some painful memories.
For those who want more context, Ibrahim, myself, and a few others play together in the Bay Area and roomed together for the weekend. For those who know ibrahim, you know that oath is life to him. We're not talking about brian Kelly oath. Ibrahim plays broken oath. He's a madman. He loves doing vintage things. Well, ibrahim made top 8 as you all know and I dropped out of legacy to help him test.
On Saturday, we decided to chill, eat breakfast, and try to find people to help us test. This turned out to be really hard. It turns out that people out there really like Rich, Andy, and the like. No one really felt comfortable helping some weirdos from Cali try to beat people they know pretty well. Soly and Keith seals wouldn't help us test, but they flagged down Andy (brassman) and Jake (I don't know his last name), who graciously agreed to help us test. Thank you both for playing a bunch of game ones with shops :-) We grabbed a couple of Bay Area oath players and started to do some testing (I had brought an extra shops deck to champs for shits and giggles).
Testing was weird. I know that Mike thought that he was really advantaged in game 1. We actually thought that game 1 was a real toss up. Ibrahim's deck does vintage things and has a lot of moxen (and other fast mana). We were able to get a lot of busted starts that really made us feel kind of hopeful. Across about 50 game 1s, I think we won 23 of them. I did have some hilarious moments that seemed to have been reflected in Mike's testing. I remember during one game, opening on fetch, consultation, grissleape, lotus. I looked at ibrahim (who played very few matches and really just tried to study the lines and talk through things. We were really focused on not burning ibrahim out.) and asked "I should consult for show and tell here, right?", thinking that there were 2 copies in the maindeck. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said "obviously" or something similar. So, I do it, get down to about 20 cards left, and then basically win. We scoop the game and I look through the rest of the deck. I then realize that there's only 1 show and tell maindeck. This is when I learned that it was going to be hard to mimic Ibrahim's aggression and insanity :-)
What was actually demoralizing was playing our game 2s. Andy (brass man) hypothesized that mike would board out precursor golems and hangerbacks to bring in cages and an orb. This is what we did. It didn't matter that we were on the play. We just lost a ton. We'd turn one oath and then get beat to crap by a car or a mishra's factory while we looked for an orchard. We'd get fireballed. There were games we lost when we cast energy flux. The cages provided just enough of a road bump that shops was able to either go wide enough to not care about a grissleape or they bought the deck so much time to beat us to death with factories and cars that we'd put counters on with ravagers. The matchup was so tough. We really pushed the sideboard and I felt like we really maxed out percentages and it didn't help. That deck is just so agro and we didn't find that our solutions matched up well. We did learn that mindbreak trap is a hell of a card vs the new shops deck, but it was very, very hard.
Congrats to Mike and their team for their top 4. You all brought a great deck. The cars may have been last year's tech, but they beat the shit out of us in testing. My only question was why only 3 factories. It seems like a great card against oath.
Well played. Great episode. Thank you for putting out great content. Maddux out.