@chubbyrain I went 0-2 versus Shops. No surprise. Shops were the bookends to the Challenge. Round 1 game 1 was um... Vintage. By turn 2 he had 3 Foundry Inspectors AND no Shops in play. Ridiculous. Game 2 was 7 permanents in play on his first turn. That's fine. Took a deep breathe and regrouped knowing that can happen in Vintage.
Playing against @hierarchnoble in the last round was tough, close, and lucky on both sides. I didn't know what Mike was playing and happened to have Mox pearl and tomb and Thalia 2.0 in my opener. I do not win game 1 without a hand like that against Shops.
If I remember correctly Mike had 7 permanents in play for game 2 before i got a turn. I kept a hand with 2 plains, temple, cavern, Thalia 2.0, spyglass and serenity. Definitely a keep. I just needed to figure out how to leverage it correctly against a ridiculous start. Facing double ravager and steel overseer turn 1 on the play was tough. I draw tomb and name overseer with spyglass knowing that I am trying to land serenity. Naming ravager doesn't stop modular when they hit the bin in 2 turns. I was trying to safe life points till then. My only fear was Factory to have a landing spot for modular. Mike got aggressive by sacing his excess moxen with ravager for the beats. I land serenity. He lands Factory. I chump block for a few turns without drawing wasteland or STP. Close game.
Last game, last match of the tourney I had Null Rod, basic plains, TKS, and tomb plus others to start. First turn Null Rod go. Shop then spyglass on Displacer was mikes turn. (I had decided Displacer was most difficult card to play mana-wise in the deck. I only had 1 in the 75) I draw spyglass and avoid getting wastelanded out of the game. Hangarback go from Mike. I drew balance. I thought long and hard about my next play. Hangarback on the battlefield with equal land count and equal card count didn't make for a good balancing act at that time. I TKS mikes only threat in ballista and pass. Wasteland from Mike, pass. I felt pretty good. I draw tomb and copy TKS with metamorph exiling a blank. Felt pretty good at that point still. Balance in hand if things got out of control. Mike liked my metamorph idea so much he copied it and with his own TKS and took my balance. Ok. Good card off the top. We trade TKS next turn. I have 2 Thalia 1.0 is hand. Not great. Inspector pass from Mike. TKS from me. Continue to beat down. Got rid of his hangarback for 2 thopters. I exiled another ballista and pass. Felt I was in the drivers seat. Then I saw all Mikes mana tap and that feeling went away. Hangarback for 5. Go. I drew Smasher. I was deflated by the hangarback tbh. Kind of a bad beat. I then had the outside world stuff kick in and was fatigued and ready to go on with my day. I took a risky line of alpha striking with everything with hope I drew another Smasher or serenity. I didn't. Game over with Mike at 2 life.
So, I felt that each game was close. Mike played extremely well. the entire time playing against Shops I feel like I am just waiting to get smashed by a 5 or 6 drop that I can't deal with. I had more TKS than I would expect on average so that was in my favor. Maybe I missed Displacer?? I don't know. It's usually the only thing to name with Revoker so I was next leveling maybe? Would I rather have a 3/3 with no text or a spirit of the labyrinth against the rest of the field? I went with David Bowie this time around. I mean if balance was Displacer I win that last game. In the end 0-2 versus Shops. Status quo. I did lose the die roll round 1. Completely changed that game. And winning the die roll against Mike landed me a turn 1 Thalia 2.0. I don't win that game on the draw.
I think my biggest take away from the tourney was getting damping sphered round 2. That card is hilarious. It just needs a home and will cause a ton of judge calls and card counting and storm counting and crazy non-sense. I actually flashed in a containment priest in a guys/gals upkeep to prevent him/her from playing multiple spells in his/her own turn. Good stuff