Well, this will be shorter than the usual, but still verbose as hell.
I made it to worlds 2001 in Toronto with my friend Eric. As usual I played Keeper (4c) and he's with Keeper (5c). We wind up playtresting against mono-U a lot the night before. Eric leaves to go grab some food and is gone a REALLY long time. Eventualy he comes back with no food (damn you) but he's got Mikey P. in tow and shouts "I brought the doctor!" (Mike is a Chemsistry PhD). The three of us scheme until 2 AM about how to wreck BBS. The two of them wind up HEAVILY siding against it (Mikey P. had 9, count 'em NINE cards). After a bunch of wierd things being tested I evnetually settle on saying "screw it" (I actually said something much more vulgar involving a guy running around wearing nothing but cowboy chaps, but I don't want Rakso to revoke my password) and decide to just play my deck the best I can. I mean really there will be other decks to face...or will there?
Out of about 30 people 15 were mono-U. What really pissed me off was that the vast majority were not playing many mirror matches. Furthermore Mike plays not one mono-U deck with his 9 cards in the board and I play 3 in five rounds. DOH!
By the way, sorry I don't remember anyone's names.
Round One: Mono-U
Nice guy, seemed to be a good build with all the power from what I saw of it. I didn't see that much of it because my deck performed wonderfully.
Game one I get out an active library, force/mis-D ancestral through. I then Walk, regrowth walk (much better than ancestral early on if you've got library cranking out cards), walk, bait him with something and the Yawgwill and do it all over again. I do some nifty stuff, drop Sylvan and FoF and say go. I've got a great hand, but no FoW. He drops B2B. DOH! So I lost right?
What part of "Sylvan hit the table" do you not understand? Of course I won. I draw 3 cards, draw three cards, tutor, see three new cards, drop lots of land and moxn, force my mindtwist through (killing his morph and a bunch of cool stuff) and drop morph (pumping him with moxen while he beats down despite my vast section of tapped land). He can't topdeck an answer in time.
Second game was the best hand I've gotten for Keeper in some years. I start with Jet/Tundra/Duress/Ancestral. I start rolling. FoFs fly out EoT, Aura Fractures resolve on my own. I soon cast a huge Yawgwill and he scoops.
He says something like, "I thought this deck was supposed to be good against that." And then to his friend, "You know what I really don't like playing this deck, it's boring." WHEW! Anything I can do to make mono-U players see the light! I wish him luck in the next round despite his deck choice. Really nice guy.
Round 2, mono-U
Again? Well this is significantly worse. I get a wimpy hand and mulligan to something worse and then mulligan again to an interesting wreck-you-with-a-Balance hand. Balance doesn't resolve despite my having Mis-D backup and I'm toast. He thought the game was over when much later he stroked for 7--I knew I was dead on turn one. I put up a valiant (aka futile) effort (I think).
Next game I win with a pair of early Duresses and a resolved Aura Fracture (he had two dead B2B in his hand). I bait him with Sylvan and he, looking at the card, says "okay" (and I damn well know he has counters! I play with Duress! you can't fool me!). I draw extra cards for the next few turns. His friend is like "Wow, that card is like an ancestral" to which he responds, "No, it's more like me double Fireblasting him." *sigh* Now is not the time to debate the merits of Sylvan, I decide, in hopes that he will let it resolve next game. Specators no longer think my deck sucks when they see what Yawgwill can do.
Game three was a killer for me. I get an assy hand and mulligan down to six--with a first turn library (why does that ALWAYS happen when I mulligan to six? Control gods, why have you forsaken me?). I mulliganed my first hand since I had no blue source--now I have nothing but land and draw LOTS AND LOTS more blue land. The kid basically plays everything very slowly since he expects me to have good cards in hand (how wrong he was). Past my turn one Duress I literally do not see a Duress or counter the entire game past that util turn twenty when I am forced to mystical for the damn thing to back up a last ditch mindtwist. Bad deck, bad deck!
Round 3, G/B Landkill (Void?)
His deck, despite having all the expensive toys is untuned (sorry) and I roll over him. I wasteland him a bit and wind up draining his ritualed Scuta and mystical for Mindtwist.
Second game I keep a one land hand and hope to draw more. No such luck. He realy doens't blow up my land--I just can't find it. Eventually I do an emergency mini-yawgwill for a land and ancestral. I soon hit a huge land pocket--a little TOO huge. No matter Morph is on the table to hold off scuta and I eek oout a sloppy win (meaning I win without being in control). What he doesn't realize is that he could have won since he had a Mirri out which could have forest-walked me (I had 2 Trops out). In all honesty I didn't realize it either--it's been SO long since I've had to deal with a non-morphling, non-sligh critter. I had plain forgottenthat she had that ability.
Round 4 Against mono-U
Game one is rough. I can't find a counterspell to save my life and he drops an early morphling off a drained EOT FoF. I notice he has only two untapped islands. I plow it, he makes it untargetable. I then untap, strip his other island, yawgwill, and then plow it out of the graveyard. WHEW! He soon drops Morphling number two--ARGH! I Edict EOT and drop Balance on my turn wrecking his hand and my land and killing superman. I manage to get my own superman to resolve and win.
Game two I mulligan a lot (no blue land). I'm a little uniterested now since my hand is ass and basically just say "sure" to everything he does.
This was a heartbreaker and shows everyone what a bonehead I am. I have nice little hand and we fight. He wastes my first turn Library. I then Duress his force and ancestral early. He draws LOTS of counters. Eventually I Balance away a Morph and get my own out, mindtwisting him in the process (FoF is the best EOT bait ever--it's like a cantrip Mana Short), BUT he tops a Disk when he's at ten. Morph goes for the kill and get's disked. NOW I make THE WORST play of the century.
I tap my moxen in response to get the mana. He seems baffled by this (he doesn't grasp the golden rule of magic--he kept thinking he could waste my lands in response to me tapping them so I wouldn't get mana) and I explain why I can do it to him until he looks less suspiciously at me. Now that I go back to my game I sort of forget exactly where I am. I suddenly remember I was going to cast FoF with floating mana--unfortunetly I forgot for a second that I was in the middle of a combat phase (the Morph and all that had been removed from the table) and start to lay a Mox Sapphire. He says, "You burn!" And I'm like "No, I can play an instant." The judge of course says that by showing my intent to play Sapphire I left the combat step and burned (despite the fact the mox didn't hit the table and never left my hand). Oh well, I really can't complain too much--I should have had better focus.
What mildly irks me is that with one more win (namely me not making this dumb play) I would have made top 8. I am sure I would have won since my hand was full and solid (the fof was just a little bait)--and spells were resolving all over the place (and that kind of game will always favor Keeper, because Keeper has all the best spells). I really can't ask for better conditions than this game gave me (solid, not broken draws, nothing too crazy on his side and enough time to utilize my tricks)...and I blew it.
Round 5, OSE
I'm a more than a little tired and starving by now and a bit thrown off by the utter frustration of playing hard, drawing well, and losing to my own stupidity. I face some guy (Neyvn or Marco's friend), very nice, with OSE. Basically the only difference I noticed (until he pointed a few things out afterwards) was that Ivory Tower replaced Zorb in the main. That just didn't seem to make sense with 'Cores, but hey apparently he got a sligh deck that day to concede simply by abusive tower lifegain, so what do I know?
In any case, like I said, my focus was still a bit shaken, so I made another HUGE bonehead play. I am in control of the game (draw lots with my Sylvan) with a Morph flying over his 'Core. Unfortunetly I neglect to pay the blue to keep him from getting sucked into the Abyss. DOH!
Now the problem is that game one (due to his damn Ivory tower making my morph a REALLY slow clock) dragged on forever (40 minutes). I play super fast and pretend I'm playing Academy. I go combo nuts with an early, yet suprisingly, large Yawgwill.
The judges are watching us as time is about to expire. I have 5 minutes. I go as fast as possible and play really hard. I am in control very fast and now have the option of dropping Morph or mindtwisting him (2 cards) and doing it next turn. Obviously twist is the better play, but time is really about to run out so I risk the Edict--which is of course in his hand. I'm a bit pissed because if it weren't for stupid time limits I wouldn't have done that. I manage to fof EOT and uncover a second morph which I cast from drain mana. Now this French-speaking-only judge that had been harassing me constantly the whole tourney interrupts my match. Once again (I got into an arguement with him about this exact same thing 3 times already at various points this tourney) he saw me play Morph for 2 mana--not realizing I have mana drain mana in my pool. ONCE AGAIN I explain to him what's going on and ONCE AGAIN he doesn't understand and continues to hold off my match. This really pisses me off since A) he's been bothering me just about every match because his understanding ot the rules of magic fits on the head of a pin B) time is SO about to be called. DAMN...even my opponent is tryingto tell him that everything is cool. Eventually I just wave him off as rudely as possible, slide a Drain over to him and I'm like "Read the freakin' card damnit!" and proceed to beatdown. I manage to win on the last extra turn after time is called. WHEW! BtW I've never ever been rude to an official before--but he really deserved it and it felt good to be bitchy towards him (too bad I didn't have enough time to yell at him properly). All day long I was plagued with his utter ineptitude.
My opponent was a really nice guy and I hope he didn't think I was rude by urging him to play fast. He totally could have been a prick about it if he wanted and EASILY stalled out for the draw--or even a win. Major props to him for being so honorable.
A big slop (you guessed it) to that judge. A) I'm really honest stop hovering over me. B) Do try and learn what mana drain does before you judge a type I tourney instead of bothering me 4 times about not tapping enough mana to play my spell.
Minor slops to that kid who asked me to put my sided-out cards (which were nowhere in reach and neatly stacked to the side under my box) in my box and put it away so I couldn't cheat. I don't think it's that difficult a request, but really, As I told him, I sided these cards out against you because they suck in this matchup. If I'm dumb enough to sneak my Abyss into my hand you should be happy.
Slops to the people in the top 4 for splitting so they could go play (ugh!) draft (okay so the Pox guy wanted to leave and see strippers, but still). My dream was to have Mike Pustilnik, Eric, myself, and Bob Maer in the top 4. Bob Maer would ask to split so we could go draft to which Mikey P. would say, "Mmmmm....I'd think I'd rather play type I." and Bob, looking to the tow of us for help, Eric and I would unanimously chime, "Hell no Bob! We came 800 miles for your ass!" Oh well, it was not to be.
On a side not I met Nevyn (who was easy to spot since he was probably the biggest guy in the whle convention center and definitely the only one playing Turboland). I also met the BDer formely known as Juggernaut (now only known as an unpronouncable symbol that sort of looks like the letters Marco Toso). Both were very nice and I regret not being able to give Marco a ride since Eric had sold me on getting cheap plane tickets via hotwire.
Of course I decide I can't leave Toronto without a grand tour (haven't been here this way in 4 years) so I walk around, sometimes alone and sometimes with random strange people I'm a magnet for till 5AM. I also run into a waify chick I met earlier and some one that bears an AMAZING resemblance to an ex-girlfriend (after we broke up I banished her to Toronto). I really thought it was her, but apparently not since she happily gives me directions to Front Street. The wierd thing was her and the guy she was with both said things like "Good luck" and "Be careful". Was I in some strange bad area of the city or something?
Damnit the city doens't even have so much as a piece of trash on the subway tracks, how can it have muggers and serial killers?
It really shocks me that a city could just shut down at night--I'm used to everything open 24 hours a day and people being out at all hours. Toronto, even by Queen Street (which is kind of sort of like NYC's Greenwich Village), is just dead during the night. That's not to say I didn't enjoy my time there. I've been planning to visit the city again for a long time--I really do like Toronto and the people a lot and I have a lot of happy memories attached to it from years ago...
Eric kicks me awake and forces me to get to the airport early. The customs guy harasses me (he let evertyone else through with a driver's license, but he demands a passort from me) and the metal detector guy let's knife-toting Eric through with no problem, but does everything but anally probe me. Do I really look THAT suspicious?
OF COURSE our flight is cancelled. Air Canada cancelled our flight and puts us on standby. We spend the next 10 hours of our lives in the airport terminal. We were supposed to get home to NYC around 3 something and we get in about 11:40 PM. GRRRR.....anger rising....skin turning green....GRRRR!
I will say one thing--if you work in the airline industry don't ever tell a room full of New Yorkers that their flight is cancelled and they've been put on standby, but they probably aren't going to get on a plane anytime tonight. WOW! It was like an episode of Jerry Springer except without all the curses being bleeped out. Really, people from NYC really just plain ignore security unless they pack guns--one guy in a green outfit saying, "Stop! Put that flight attendant down!" really doens't do much. You really just have to bering out the tasers. People were behind the desk, using the airline's commerical phones, messing with their computers, the whole nine yards. Just insane. It was kind of entertaining to watch for awhile, but at the same time I wish they would realize how much energy they were wasting and shut up already so we could figure out exactly what to do and stop proving to the rest of the world that Americans are all jerks (they hate us for a reason you know). So I guess add Air Canada and the majority of the people from NYC on my flight to the slops list. The beautiful attendant with the flame-colored hair gets HUGE props however for being the only employee that knew what she was doing and helped us get us a guaranteed seat on the 9 PM flight (which left around 10:30) while everyone else was going apes---t in the terminal.
Yes, I had fun.
So who one? Mono blue, I hope, since it sounds like the best deck there by far (no offense).
Won, that is.
Four way split?
I should read the whole thing instead of scanning paragraphs for a mention of who won.
Dude, it's easy to get a knife onto planes. I do it all the time. I'm serious.
Dude, it's easy to get a knife onto planes. I do it all the time. I'm serious.
Maybe they would have let you on the flight if you'd showed them an Aura Fracture or two. Glad to see at least one BBS player was holding two B2B's in hand with the Fracture on the table. That's beautiful, man.
Whats annoying is when you FORGET you have a knife and don't realise it until after you go through the metal detectors. They really need to set those things higher.
Good report Matt. Can U post a deck list please?
Matt: Don't worry about not being able to give me a ride, it's cool. It was great to meet the man behind the words. I like my Keeper configuration better though
Thanks for the compliments Matt, I try to play as honorably as I can. That also means no IDs and no splitting. I also hate byes, especially during that tournament....I didn't drive 600 miles to NOT play Magic.
Last time i got stopped at metal detectors was at sydney olympics. The security guards spent ages using hand held scanners trying to find what was setting the alarm off.. it turned out it was my steel-capped boots
I never split peoples decks, because i dont really care if they cheat, its just a game really.
(then again, the most competitive i've ever been too is fnm/pre-releases).
btw, excellent report Matt
I never used to do more than cut my opponents decks, but I later found out that several of my opponents (whether or not they won) were confirmed cheaters. I tend to just overhand shuffle my opponent's decks once or twice (I don't riffle since I know _I_ don't enjoy seeing my p10 bent in wierd angles). I know there are certain ways to pile shuffle an opponent's deck to undo deck stacking and such, but I really don't care all that much.
P.S. My decklist is, as always...
4 Mana Drain
4 Force of Will
1 Dismantling Blow
28 Mana (no suprises)
I'm working hard on a major overhaul to better combat BBS. This will invariably call for the addition of red, but not Obliterrate (sorry Marco).
Gr8 report Matt, looks like there is way too much mono blue. Where are the suicide black and void decks to kill those monoblue players dead?
There is like no monoblue where I am there is too much black agressive becaues to many people don't have the power cards. So there is alot of sligh, stompy, suicide black. I'm not suprised that everyone had the good cards and were playing the best decks. I have to pat pat you on the back tho. Feel sorry for you for those games you should have won.
Just curious what your manabase looks like.
Matt: Hey, I've seen the light. Obliterate isn't that great in a competitive Keeper deck (maybe in a casual Keeper deck), but I do think you should play with Gorilla Shamans, Red Elemental Blasts and Dwarven Miners. They're sweeet!
What do you think about the sideboard ideas in my Tournament Report?
Gorilla Shaman is just a little pest most of the time. Miners and REB certainly do rock though.
I think you're a madman (Thwart?), but hey anything, at this point, is worth a try. My beef is that no matter how many counters we run we'll never be able to oout-counter them consistently, so we need a different solution. Cheap threats like Scrying Glass, Rootwater Thief seem good.
I think the time may have arrived to stock 1-2 REBs maindeck.
Gorilla Shaman can do its fair share of damage in a lot of games!
My Thwart idea is not meant to out-counter mono-blue (although I can go up to 15 counters, 7 of them free and 4 of them costing only R) after sideboarding. The idea is to draw some counters out of their hand while returning three lands to your hand, to be replayed -- untapped. Then, hopefully, having an easier time dropping something like Aura Fracture.
Your right though, I am trying anything and everything. I like Carpet of Flowers (and Compost vs. black), but I don't have enough green in my Keeper to support them.
I don't know when I'll be playing in another high-level Type 1 tournament, maybe by the time I do, mono-blue will have fallen out of favor? (Wishful thinking...)
Do any of the sligh decks at NG pack REBs main?
Personally I hate blue so I run 8 REBs side, but in an enviroment such as NG I can see running 3, maybe 4 main in sligh. I'm not sure I could justify running more than 2 main in keeper though.
Obliterate is fun against a lot of decks, but I don't think it would work so well when you yourself are playing keeper. Unless you can time it so you drop a lotus and a will right after.
Carpet of Flowers rocks. It's a killer one drop against mono U -- they can't get rid of it and you have double their mana the whole game.
Carpet of Flowers definitely rocks. If anything, it forces a disk from the sideboard back into play on the third game.