We had a cash 1.5 tournament last night. We had 7 people enter, with an additional 2 people missing out since they showed up late.
First place received $11, second $7, third $3 (the entry fee).
I played a highly untuned version of my Stacker 1.5 deck and took 3rd (which is all I wanted, though I really should have taken second).
The Top 4 were:
1) Taiga.dec (decklist and report to come)
2) WW (I lent my deck to someone and he got ludicrously good draws)
3) Stacker 1.5
4) Smokestack Green
Fifth place was taken by the UG flyers deck (Faeries.dec). The Oath player decided to instead play a Type 2 deck, and a Type 2 player (playing, naturally, a Type 2 deck) took the bottom spots. I believe one of the Type 2 decks abused Holistic Wisdom and was possibly a Rice Snack variant. The other deck, if I recall correctly, was a UBR build.
Reports and decklists to come later today.
Here's the 2nd place WW deck:
1 Kjeldoran Outpost
4 Land Tax
3 Scroll Rack
1 Zuran Orb
4 Soltari Monk
4 Soltari Priest
4 Savannah Lions
3 Mother of Runes
4 Warrior En-Kor
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Empyrial Armor
I don't recall what he had in his SB (since I didn't bring one), but I think it contained 2 Disenchants, some COP: Green and Blue (someone had some Alpha commons lying around), and at least a ROP:Red (if not a COP, as well).
The big problem with the deck is that it wants more removal. I've toyed with several ideas but haven't actually tried out any. The current thought is Parallax Wave.
The deck would also like some more creature enhancement (currently thinking Army of Allah), but I don't know what to cut. I've been dubious about Jihad, since it sits on the table, but often, it just wins. I have noticed that by the time the deck reaches Threshold, the game has already been decided one way or another, so no Divine Sacrament.
My last 2 Cursed Scrolls arrived the day before.
I bring a SB for a red deck, since I'll either play Sligh or Stacker 1.5. Eventually, the allure of a 2nd turn Masticore draws me in.
I don't remember my SB offhand, since it was spur of the moment.
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Goblin Welder
2 Icy Manipulator
2 Phyrexian War Beast
1 Jalum Tome
1 Karn, Silver Golem
4 Cursed Scroll
4 Mind Stone
4 Mishra's Workshop
4 Mishra's Factory
The biggest problems are War Beast and Jalum Tome. Discussion at the end.
Me vs. Bye
Yes, I randomly get chosen for the bye, and take the opportunity to borrow 2 Icies and a Jalum Tome from a late-arriving friend. He brings his Elf deck that he had been working on (and would have played in tournament had he been there in time), so we play. First game, I fall victim to not enough shuffling (despite having shuffled a lot). At this point, I should have felt the vibes. Then I start winning. Masticore is some good against a bunch of 1/1s.
In his defense, the deck does seem to have promise. Watch this space for an update.
Matches: 1-0 (kinda)
Games: 2-0 (kinda)
Me vs. John w/ Taiga.dec
Unfortunately, my best friend and I play. We have no idea how this match-up goes, though it's expected to be in his favor. Stacker plays like a Sligh deck on 'roid rage (hi, Darren), and Taiga.dec generally edges Sligh. And I do mean *edges*, since it generally comes down to a single card (such as me drawing one too many lands, or topdecking a Fireblast).
Game 1 is crucial, since he'll be SBing 6-8 cards against me (Hull Breaches and Artifact Mutations). I take the opportunity to draw 3 Cursed Scrolls and find myself unable to use even 1 of them.
- Jalum Tome, 2 Phyrexian War Beast (all of which shouldn't be in there in the first place)
+ Fire/Ice, some other stuff
Game 2, I keep a burn-heavy hand with only a single Mountain in hand. He plays and draws Mountain. We play draw-go for a while, since he's waiting to draw green mana, and I don't want him to simply burn whatever I put out. He Land Grants for Taiga, and I topdeck a Wasteland. He gets out another Taiga, also met with a timely Wasteland. I tap a Factory and Mountain for Mind Stone and start ramping my way up to the win.
Game 3, he edges me out by Artifact Mutating a Mind Stone (I think) while I'm tapped out. The mana denial hurt, as did the 2 1/1's.
We seem to think that the match-up slightly favors me, though.
Me vs. Kim w/ Faeries.dec (U/G flyers)
Kim is running this tournament, since I arrived a little late, and John was slacking. I immediately start telling her I need to win in 2 games, since I want to make Top 4 and don't want to pair against John (who will probably seed first).
Game 1, I take early faerie beats before Masticore starts eating faeries.
- Jalum Tome, 2 Phyrexian War Beast, some other stuff
+ 4 Red Elemental Blast, 1 Fire/Ice
Game 2 starts off bad and only gets worse. On her EOT, I Bolt some Faeries. She BEBs. On my turn, I Fire two of them. She BEBs. Eventually, I get out Masticore who shoots a Faerie. She Binds him. I attack with Masticore. She Tangles. Did I mention I drew 3 Cursed Scrolls and I was unable to use them effectively?
It's a tough match-up when your opponent draws half of her *HUGE* SB.
Game 3, however, is a different story. I get to REB Cloud of Faeries while it's on the stack, preventing her from untapping her lands. I get out Masticore. He attacks. She Tangles. I drop Jugs and Su-Chi. Masticore sits out the attack next turn, but it doesn't matter.
John wins his match, so I look at the tiebreakers. Mine look good, having lost only to the top seed, but I realize my bye won't help much. JP, playing a green Smokestack based deck, defeated only the bottom two ranked players, so I squeak into third. Yay!
Me vs. Adam w/ my WW deck
Adam wanted to play in the tournament, but didn't have a deck. I lent him my WW deck, and he's been doing very well with it (obviously).
Game 1, he simply wrecks me. I slow the hurt with an Icy on an Armored Soltari. I slowly get out a Juggernaut and...
He concedes after I lock down his side of the board and I start swinging for 5 a turn, despite his ZOrb.
- Jalum Tome, 2 Phyrexian War Beast
+ Fire/Ice, 2 Flashfires (couldn't find my Anarchies before I left home)
Time runs out at the bookstore, so we reconvene at a Subway (mmm... food). On the way over, John and I discuss how I should probably win this match and how we might split the prizes (instead of $11 and $7, he hints that $10 and $8 would be better).
Game 2, he goes Lion, Soltari, Armor. I draw 2 Workshops and nothing.
Game 3, I get out Welders that start swinging (!). I draw *3* Cursed Scrolls (for the third time that night!). He Disenchants a Jugs, but my deck has already defeated me.
Me vs. JP with Smokestack Green
Game 1, he starts off strong. My draws are a bit weak, and his Creeping Molds do me in.
- Jalum Tome
Game 2, I get the God draw. Turn 2 Jugs, Turn 3 Jugs, Turn 4 Jugs (WTF?). I never get to drop the Su Chi I had in my original 7 cards.
Game 3, I get a strong draw (despite drawing 3 Workshops). At one point it looks bad with 2 Hermits out, but a Fire kills them both. The accompanying squirells trade with some of my artifacts, but it doesn't matter.
It's hard to give an accurate description since I, in all honesty, had ridiculous draws all night.
I seldom got an active Welder, and for good reason. They draw removal as fast as the big threats. I *think* they're good, but I have no way of knowing. ;)
The Icies are strong. They aren't amazing, but I never minded drawing one.
The Phyrexian War Beasts suck and were put in at the last minute just to have a 60 card legal deck. I'm not quite sure what they should have been (Chimeric Idol?), but they certainly need to come out.
Similar story on the Jalum Tome. Darren had suggested Bargaining Table, but I couldn't find one in time. Nor could I find a Jayemdae Tome. Jalum Tome is flat out bad since it doesn't provide card advantage and therefore, has negative synergy with Masticore. Also, I seldom had the mana out to activate it.
I only own 1 Karn. Now I have 2. I will play 2.
Cursed Scroll seems good, but I only ever really seemed to draw them in 3's. I often didn't have the mana to activate it, so perhaps losing 1 is a good idea.
(Or playing another land.)
Mind Stone is a great card. People were complaining about them all night. I *NEVER* minded drawing one.
It sucks to draw more than 1 WOrkshop.
Factories and Wastes are good.
Anyway, the issues are:
I could probably stand to play 1 more land, though I also found that I can get land-flooded at 22 land. This deck needs some fairly aggressive mulligans, since Tier 1 Type 1.5 decks can kill you by Turn 4 unless you do something to stop them.
The War Beasts *NEED* to come out, though they should probably be replaced by another creature. Suggestions?
Jalum Tome sucks. I doubt I'd ever effectively use Jayemdae Tome or Bargaining Table. Maybe Scrying Glass?
Since my draws were *SO* insane, I'm starting to wonder whether I should take out a Cursed Scroll. Maybe if I add a land, they'll be more useful.
I was a little color-screwed. If I add a land, it needs to be a Mountain.
I'd also like to gain some card advantage off of weenies. Maybe Earthquake?
A bit more disruption would be nice. Maybe maindeck a Blood Moon?
John's (edited) report
juilfs at ufl dot edu
I'm very happy to have won. I suspect that my deck will see some serious sideboard hate next time, but at least it isn't the kind of deck that loses to silly cards (acid rain, perish, and Hibernation don't end the game, like they would versus my monogreen deck: Taiga.dec is just a little harder to screw). COP green would hurt, but there isn't that much white... and if someone plays that, I can just pull in the emerald lovin.
Anyway, here's what I played:
Treetop village x2
Land Grant x4
Lightning Bolt x4
Chain Lightning x4
Giant Growth x4
Quirion Ranger x4
Kird Ape x4
River Boa x4
Wild Mongrel x4
Albino Troll x2
My sort of embarassing side:
Hull Breach x3
Artifact Mutation x3
Emerald Charm x4
The red blasts never happened, because I didn't get paired with any of the two bad type II competitors or fairies. The emerald charms never happened, because no
one played Oath, Trix, or even Replenish (where they can have their uses,
assuming pandemonium and burst aren't doing something lame). I pulled out the
1- Not Forests (Quirion Ranger)
2- Not Mountains (Fireblast)
3- Nonbasic (opposing Wastelands)
If I was going to run Fireblast and less than your 15 mountains, I figured I should at least run 13.
Very brief story of what happened:
Me vs. Adam playing WW:
When he draws swords for each of my two creatures (which I started with), I just lose. I think he nails a rancor on the stack once, but it doesn't matter. The other two games I win, one game bolting him away. I side out a single chain lightning for simoon. The first game was serious ass, with me drawing into the second treetop on turn 1 (before I could go get Taiga).
Me vs. You playing Stacker 1.5:
You remember more of this than I do. Basically we both get a lot of ass, but yours is the kind of ass that someone left out for a week and spoiled, whereas mine is the kind of ass that can win in twenty or so turns (at which point you
will have out twenty or so lands). I side out the mongrels against your sick creatures (their ability isn't good, and terror and 2-5 1/1s is a better deal for the mana. I also side out the Fireblasts.
(See my report - brian)
Me vs. JP (twice) playing Smokestack Green:
These games are often close, but my deck basically just sneaks two of these victories by unopposed: the other two come with hard fought battles, but ultimately I get through with trampling mongrels and whatnot. I side artifact
mutations against him, taking out the Fireblasts and I think a troll (he's playing too many mana games, so fuck that echo). Even though the deck has a shitload of artifacts, answering them doesn't mean squat if I can't interact.
Bleh. The next game looked like it could go either way, but I drew good stuff and he didn't. No one heard the snake's hatred outliving the hateful. Hisssss.
Me vs. Adam:
Anyway, game one goes with my drawing very few creatures.... If fact, I think I drew two, and one was the wild mongrel I fucked up with. He played a weenie every single round, and the game was way over when I made my misplay (it would have left him with three creatures to my one, but he would have more life, and a shadow creature: burn could have taken it for me, if I had drawn flawlessly, though, so I shouldn't have taken 8 (!)....
The third game was far too long and ludicrous, starting with a treetop village and a wild mongrel, and ending with a wild mongrel. He pulled way more things than I did: the shadow guy, some redirectors, the works. Swords wasn't on the list, so my 4+X/2+X trampling doggie took it for me, with an Incinerate finishing him after I made him sack his lands to Zorb (so he couldn't red rune me) with four 2/2s, which is really how he would beat me (medium / large sized superior creatures).
(He then discusses a misplay involving Jihad naming green and having out only a Wild Mongrel. - brian)
Great man, post more stuff like this!
Maybe you remember this:
Stacker 3: Grillparty
4 Goblin Welder
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Cursed Scroll
4 Mind Stone
4 Tangle wire
2 Icy Manipulator
4 Mishras Workshop
4 Red Elemental Blast
3 Tormods Crypt
Your metagame seems very creature and permanent-heavy, so Tangle Wire is a backbreaking card, as you can see I use them and so far they're very good. Hope you can win next time!
Hmm why not use a jesters cap. lets you strip their library of bad disenchants etc. Plus need a way to get rid of enchantments. disk maybe.
awesome report! I just have three questions:
1. why rangers over skyshroud sentinel (or jackal pups)?
2. was there not enough non-basics to consider dwarven miner?
3. would you splash blue for standstill/serendib efreet?
does anyone have a decklist for smokestack green?
what is smokestack green!
4....what about null rods?
I don't have the time at the moment to give the responses that are required, but:
1) Quirion Ranger has been dubbed "Mox Ranger." Mox Ranger provides some mana consistency, by returning a land to your hand each turn that you didn't play a land. It's not really acceleration, but it feels like it. Also, since she often returns dual lands, she provides for some color consistency.
Skyshround Sentinel (if that's what you meant) is a bad card in an aggressive deck like this. This deck obeys the "power greater or equal to casting cost rule." You'd only ever get to play one Sentinel anyway, since 1.5 games are often over (or decided) by Turn 3 or 4.
2) No, there aren't many nonbasics in the local metagame. Wastelands are worth playing, since they're still colorless sources. Most nonbasic land hate is in the SB.
3) Taiga.dec did splash blue for a while for Standstill. Overall, it's better without blue, but it was stonger against Sligh when it had blue.
4) Shh... Null Rods are bad for my Workshop deck.
In a nutshell, Smokestack Green is just a name for this one guy's deck. It uses disruption in the form of Tangle Wire, Smokestack, and Creeping Mold (maybe others?) until it gains control of the board, when it then uses Deranged Hermits (I think?) and Squirrels to attack for the win.
G, Summon Elves 1/1, Exodus Uncommon
Skyshroud Elite gets +1/+2 as long as any opponent controls any nonbasic lands.
“Civilization is a conspiracy to disguise the mutilation of nature.”
—Skyshroud elite creed
Illus. Paolo Parente
where do all of you play? what gaming store gives so much support to this underrated format?
You wrote Skyshroud Sentinel.
He doesn't play Elite for the same reason as no Dwarven Miner: we don't have many nonbasics. Though it would certainly hurt against me, as half my lands are nonbasic.
He could run also run Null Rod, but there aren't that many artifacts in decks (aside from my Workshop deck). Hull Breach is more generally useful (and is only slightly more 'expensive'), and Artifact Mutation is far more useful. Besides, my deck wins through attacking with artifacts, and not being able to use my noncreature artifacts isn't *that* big a deal if I can still attack.
Seriously, Taiga.dec is really good. If it isn't, I'd love to see what beats it. My friend and I are both amazed at how well it matches up. We keep on trying to improve the seemingly janky SB, but he beats *SO* many things out there so consistently, that there's little reason to improve already good matchups. He seems to fear a good version of the Workshop deck (and I support him on that), blue decks, Moat/Abyss/Energy Field, etc. and combo decks (since they generally win with enchantments).
We play in Gainesville, FL. I know there are at least two stores out in Dallas, TX that also host 1.5 tournaments.
I help run the ones locally, so if no one else is hosting, you can always do it yourself. Most Magic players really like hearing that you can play Hymn, Ritual, Kird Ape, and Bolt and don't have to spend money on Moxes, Lotus, and Time Walk.