Tournament Report - Richmond Comix, 2/2/02, "The Deck"

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Tournament Report - Richmond Comix, 2/2/02, "The Deck"

By Katzby (Katzby) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 03:07 am:

My name is Abe Corson and I am a computer science student at Virginia Tech. On Saturday, I attended a Richmond Comix Type 1 tournament in Richmond, VA. This is what happened.

Last week

While I was hanging around in #bdchat on irc, Azhrei and Sssmwc both remind me of the upcoming Richmond Comix tournament. Azh mentions that if we arrive early enough on Friday, we can playtest with he and the rest of team Iron Chef. Neat! I consult with my trusty sidekick Egon who is willing to attend, provided I can build him a deck. I give him a few .dec files and ask him to tell me which one he wants me to build for him. In the next couple of days, I ask both Azh and Sssmwc if I can borrow a few things. Together, they can supply everything I would need to build Egon something decent. I tell Azh that we can make it on Friday if he knows a good place for us to sleep. He suggests that his floor is always open, and that's good enough for me. Egon and I make plans to leave Friday afternoon.


After class on Friday, Egon and I head out. We arrive at Richmond University in a reasonable amount of time, and Azh meets us in the parking lot. He shows us his dorm room and I am so jealous. My room is at VT is much smaller. This wouldn't bother me too much except for the fact that my room is a double (and of course contains an evil roommate), whereas Azh gets his entire room to himself. He only has to share a bathroom with two other guys, whereas I've been forced to change my movement cycle such that it occurs MWF at 12:00 pm (just after the bathrooms are cleaned), as I don't dare to use a toilet any time else. Further shocking to me is the fact that when Azh leaves his room, he doesn't bother to lock his bedroom door. If you leave a door unlocked in the building in which I live, and you aren't in the room, someone is likely to come in and steal everything in it, including the university-owned desks, beds, and the sink. And if you are in the room at the time, your body will probably get stripped and sold for parts as well.

After dropping off our stuff, we head out to pick up Sliverking for the playtest session. Team Iron Chef has a very unique way of playtesting. First of all, it takes place in what one might think would be a very distracting location. Secondly, it involves a lot less actual manipulation of cards than one would think, and a lot more beer. Regardless, I have an extremely good time and am certainly willing to do it again, anytime. We finish at around 3:00 am or so, and head back to Azh's room.

Borrowing about 10 cards from Azh, I assemble most of Egon's deck. It's still missing a Yawmogth's Will and a couple of Nether Voids, but Sssmwc had graciously offered to lend us the necessary Voids, so I play it cool. I think that Azh was a little disgusted at how unprepared we were, but I shrug it off and try to blame Egon. Anyway, we plan to wake up at 9 am or so, and the plan is that Egon and I will sleep on the floor. And I do mean the floor. No blanket or pillow or anything. I think of the experience as a test of my fortitude and a challenge to see how much actual sleep I can get before 9 am. Egon thinks of it as an experience to test his ability to complain. I'm still not tired enough to sleep at around 4 or so, so I grab my phone and check my messages, make a few calls, play some snake, etc for a bit, then it's back to the floor.

My personal definition of falling asleep (especially when you don't want to) is the process of forgetting that you are awake. When you lay in bed, the most significant factor that keeps you awake is the thought of where you are and what you are trying to do. If you can just think about other things, eventually you will forget yourself and slip away. If you are uncomfortable, that discomfort reminds you of yourself and makes it harder to fall asleep. Thus, I tried to focus as little as possible on what the floor felt like, and more about my life in general. I managed to accomplish this after a little while, and get about 3 hours or so of scattered sleep. This is more than I get on a regular school night, so I feel fine by the next morning.


In the morning, those of us who aren't filthy people get showered, and off we go. We stop at Burger King and get some breakfast 'food.' Cini minis are good! Then we head into RC and wait for a bit. I procure the necessary Voids from Mr. Shane Stoots (Sssmwc), and eventually Jordan Chavez shows up from NOVA. I get the Yawgmoth's Will from him, and Egon has his deck. I tell Egon that due to the fact that about 10 cards in it belong to neither me nor him (and the rest of them belong to ME), he needs to be very careful when shuffling. I suggest that he only pile shuffle, and definately not riffle. He agrees, but I silently wonder what the actual chance of him following through with this is, and realize that it's not very high. Later that day, when I get my cards back and find that my Powder Kegs have virtually been CREASED IN HALF due to heavy shuffling, I have a little talk with Egon. Luckily, the cards that we borrowed all seemed to be in the same condition as when we got them, so I feel relieved about giving those back.

I talk to Jordan for a bit and ask him what's up and why he isn't at Tech this semester. I can't remember the specifics of it, just that it was intentional. I find out that Jordan is playing Stompy today, at which I am very surprised. He shows me his so-called Concordant Crossroads tech, (Enchant World status and thus vanquishes The Abyss) but I complain that I heard about this a good six years ago. So, I guess it's more like refurbished tech, rather than new tech. But anyway, we have time for one game before the tournament begins, and he does indeed beat me. He is at 5 life with one creature and one card in hand, staring down my Morphling. I am at 2 life, but I have a Misdirection in hand, so I assume I'm ok. He plays Concordant Crossroads, another a 2/1 creature. I can't block, both, so I lose. I'm siding 2 Moats today, but he shows me sideboarded Elvish Lyrists. I mention that those should be Druid Lyrists instead, due to potential Engineered Plagues. He agrees, but he just didn't have any Druids. I lend Jordan my spare Mox Emerald and some Null Rods, and the tournament is underway.

Anyway, in the interest of making my reports more about magic, and less about me (and less about making fun of Egon) I will now conclude the personal experience section. I'd prefer to write another few pages on the topic, but I don't know yet if the Bdominia community appreciates the "Wakefieldian-style reports" or not. Feedback would be appreciated.

As always, I'm playing Keeper. Here's the list:

4 Tundra
4 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
4 City of Brass
1 Undiscovered Paradise
3 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
4 Mana Drain
4 Force of Will
1 Counterspell
1 Misdirection
2 Morphling
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Braingeyser
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mind Twist
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Diabolic Edict
1 The Abyss
1 Balance
1 Dismantling Blow
1 Sylvan Library
1 Regrowth
1 Gorilla Shaman
1 Fire/Ice
1 Zuran Orb

2 Moat
1 Aura Fracture
4 Red Elemental Blast
1 Hurkyll's Recall
2 Cop: Red
2 Compost
1 Ivory Mask
1 Scrying Glass
1 Timetwister

A few notes on the evolution of this deck. First, I want to apologize in advance to those who have really inspired me to think about Keeper (D'Avanzo, et al), in that I'm sure anything I have recently come to understand about Keeper is likely to sound very trite to those who clearly know more about the deck than me. However, this report is a personal account of my experience, and thus I feel that an account of my thoughts behind the deck is justly warranted.

I resisted including Fire/Ice until the bitter end, as I still had faith in Swords to Plowshares. I felt that it was really only worth playing if you are also using a Merchant Scroll, and I never really had the room for that. I had previously used 3 Fact or Fictions, and as of last month, I was still testing replacements. After quite a bit of trial and error, I deemed that I should replace one FoF with a Braingeyser, and after much consideration, that I should replace the other one with a Merchant Scroll (it surprised me to find out that was the exact same change that many other Keeper players made). Thus, in my mind, Fire/Ice became slightly better than StP, so I finally made the switch.

I am beginning to feel differently about Timetwister. A few months ago, I felt that the argument that "it usually helps your opponent more than it helps you" was unconditional and absolute, and I would never have considered using it. But now I realize now that being extremely consistent and/or redundant and "playing it safe" really isn't what Keeper is all about. I submit that consistency of design isn't as important to Keeper as it is, for example, to BBS. If this were not true, how else could using over 30 single copies of cards be justified? While maintaining control is still top priority, Keeper is significantly more interested in the "silver bullet" and "playing as many broken cards as possible" strategy than other decks. Timetwister is and always has been a broken card, and thus seems like it would play into this idea. Controlling the game is of course the most important goal of the Keeper player. But I now feel that it is not appropriate to completely ignore Timetwister's more broken prospects, such as playing it on the first turn with a land and two Moxes. However, the fact remains that it still completely screws up Yawgmoth's Will (and to a lesser extent, Regrowth), and as such, I am still not ready to play with it main deck. I did, however, include it in the sideboard in the hopes that I would be able to side it in occasionally purely for the purpose of testing it.

I completely lifted the Hurkyll's recall idea from one of Azh's reports. I believe that Funker is a difficult matchup for me, and this, in theory, would be helpful. Particularly, I found the "eot, Recall funker, untap and Twist"-play very appealing. Please note that the Twist just mentioned may be interpreted as either Mind Twist *or* Timetwister.

The Composts were of course a response to the heavy mono black environment of Richmond Comix, which, as I have come to learn, is essentially the only thing that can be counted upon about the RC metagame. I do not believe in siding Cop: Black for this matchup for two distinct reasons. Most importantly, black has a propensity to actually remove your white enchantments. This is much different than the matchup against Sligh. Against Sligh, you have only to play the Cop: Red, and hold all of your further counterspells for the eventual Anarchy. Yes, Sligh will likely fight back with Red Blasts, but I would still put money on the Keeper player in the matchup every time. Dropping a Cop: Black v. a suicide deck affords Keeper no such luxory. If Keeper is Hymed and/or Duressed while holding counterspells, counterspells will be removed from the Keeper player's hand one way or another. If too many of Keeper's non-CoB lands are being Sinkholed, Keeper must also invest some more of its counterspells to deal with this. Thus, it is not impossible for a Suicide deck to force through a Dystopia in the wake of a Hymn or a Duress, and thus remove the Cop: Black. So, any white or green potential solution that a Keeper player may have to mono black are fleeting. As such, whatever that solution is, it had better actually *do something* during the turns immediately after which it is played, otherwise, it will do nothing at all.

Compost is such a solution. When I play Compost, I almost always draw a few cards off of it. If and when I lose it to a Dystopia, it does not ruin the game for me, because Compost has already done its job, and hopefully I have used it to draw into something helpful. Losing a Cop: Black to a Dystopia, however, is often the beginning of the end for the Keeper player. Additionally, Compost occasionally wins me the game all by itself. Example:

Me: "Let's see... CoB, Pearl, tap both, Compost? Done."
Suicide black: "Hm... ok, Swamp, Dark Ritual, Hypnot..."
Me: "Hang on." *draw from Compost: Force of Will*
Suicide black: "Hypnotic Specter?"
Me: "Pitch a Mana Drain to Force of Will that." *draw from Compost: Compost*

My second reason for a lack of faith in Cop: Black in contrast to substantial faith in Cop: Red is the colorless damage factor. First of all, Cop: Black is essentially useless in the Pox matchup, due to Steel Golems, Cursed Scrolls, The Racks, what have you, while Compost is far from useless. But a comparable number of colorless damage sources within a sligh deck is unheard of. Additionally, I maintain that Thran Lens is a good card, even though it does not seem to be in fashion. Thran Lens is very helpful in a suicide sideboard, as 100% of suicide's damage sources are permanents. The Lens never appears in Sligh sideboards, however, as about half of Sligh's damage sources are red and would thus be unaided by it.

Finally, the Ivory Mask was my solution to Sligh's Cursed Scrolls. The argument could be made that a few Powder Kegs are better than the Mask for this purpose, but I lent my Powder Kegs to Egon for the day, so this is moot.

Round 1

Please note that my brain has atrophied somewhat since Saturday, so I may not be 100% correct with my account of activities. Bear with me.

One thing to note is that because of the large turnout, the tournament organizer, Frank, decided upon 5 rounds of swiss, with a top 4, as opposed to 4 rounds of swiss with a top 8. How this was intended to save anybody time is beyond me.

Me. v. Egon (Nether Void)

Game 1:
Damn. Why make a 4 hour trip to Richmond each month when we can just play each other in a study lounge? I expect to lose this matchup and I mention this to Egon who shrugs. He starts with a swamp and is done. That's good for me. I play a land and a Mox, then play Sylvan. He Hymns me on his next turn, but fails to hit the Morphling in my hand. The 3rd card on top of my library is Black Lotus. I draw it, play it and another blue-producing land, then tap out for Morphling. Having built Egon's deck, I know that he has no solution to this, and it's really just a matter of time. I have control for the rest of the game. He plays a Necropotence at some point, and goes up to 7. I tutor for a Mind Twist, and on my turn, disgustingly twist him for 7. I attack with the Morphling enough times to lock him, and he concedes.

out- Braingeyser (aka the sacrificial lamb), Gorilla Shaman
in- 2 compost

I took out the Geyser essentially out of habit, but with the pretense in mind that it would be better to facilitate card advantage through Compost instead of through X spells. Even though Egon is using my spare Mox Jet, the Gorilla Shaman clearly isn't worth it here.

Game 2:
Egon again starts with a Swamp, but no other first turn play. Poor Egon. I play a Volcanic Island and a Mox Ruby. Egon plays Rishadan port, then Rituals out a Negator. My hand contains a Strip Mine and a Mystical Tutor, so I allow this. At the end of his turn, I tutor for the Fire/Ice. I untap, play Strip to take out his Swamp, then Fire his Negator for 2, forcing him to sacrifice the rest of his permanents. Egon seems to not be able to draw any more Swamps until well after it is too late, and he dies hard to a Morphling.

Round 2:

Me v. Steven Barkley (Pox)

Game 1:
This gentleman was certainly a pleasure to play against, as he was very was nice and polite throughout the entire match. Anyway, he wins the die roll and will be going first. My hand contains 5 Lands, a Mox, and a Sylvan, which seems passable to me. Steve Rituals out a first turn Steel Golem, and surprisingly, I can't draw a single thing to help. In fact, I don't draw anything else this game except for lands, a Regrowth, and a Force of Will. Perhaps I should have Parised, but it seemed like a good enough hand to me.

out- Braingeyser, The Abyss, Firce/Ice
in- 2 Moat, 1 Compost

My choices here were I think relatively obvious. I believed that Abyss was practically usless in this matchup (I didn't find out until later that Steve played with Lurking Jackals), so I felt that Moat would be better against his Factories and Steel Golems. Also, I felt Fire/Ice wouldn't be as helpful because of the perceived lack of Lurking Jackals. I only brought in a single Compost due to his heavy dependance upon artifacts.

Game 2:
I get Duressed and Hymed, and eventually topdeck the Compost. Steve Poxes, Wastes one of my remaining lands, and plays a Steel Golem. I'm not able to draw much of anything helpful, but I do get a Gorilla Shaman. Eventually, I block the Golem with the Shaman, even though my life total is relatively high. This was clearly a mistake, as after Steve's attack, he plays a Cursed Scroll. I die very dead.

Round 3:

Me v. Chuck Myers (Suicide)

Game 1:
This is the third mono black matchup in a row for me. At some point during the day, Azhrei mentioned to me that he was sideboarding Ensnaring Bridges to deal with suicide. I think that is an excellent idea, and I wish that I hadn't left my Bridges at home in Northern VA, but alas. Chuck is also a laid-back type of player, and I enjoy this matchup as well. He opens with a Swamp, but no dark ritual. He Duresses me and takes a FoW. I really cannot remember much more about this game, other than that I eventually won it with a Morphling. I apologize for this.

I remember at some point Ancestrelling and saying "the target is myself." The gentleman playing next to me turned aside to lecture me along the lines of "The problem with you keeper players is that it's always about about you, you, you! Other people like to draw cards too, you know!"

out- Braingeyser, Gorilla Shaman
in- 2 Compost

(see round 1 sideboard explanation)

Game 2:
This is one was also somewhat hazy, but I do remember losing. On turn 2, he rituals out a Masticore with a Swamp and a Factory. I don't worry too much as I have an Edict in hand. However, I come very close to passing my turn before Edicting him, and this would have allowed him to untap, which would have allowed him to activate the Factory in response to the Edict. I say "I'm done... er, with my main phase." Then I Edict during my end phase. Chuck plays a Keg to deal with a Morphling. When he has 4 counters on it, he draws a card before adding the counter. He asks if he can go back and add it. I allow him to, but he would win anyway, so it's unimportant.

Game 3:
I can't remember this game very well, either, just that Chuck's deck didn't come through as well as it could have. I do remember that he sideboarded in Disks and Edicts, and was able to Disk away my first Morphling. I manage to Will to get it back, and counter all of his attempts to Edict it. Chuck plays a couple of Cursed Scrolls, but obviously they cannot deal with Morphling. On the turn when Chuck is at 5, I attempt to use Morphling's 3rd, and ask for responses. Chuck announces that he will Scroll the Morphling, and almost choses his card. I tell him not to do this, as I have responses. I respond to his Scrolling with Morphling's 3rd again, to which he responds by using his other Scroll. I respond again with Morphling's 3rd one more time, and he has no further effects. I use Morphling's 2nd to get passed his creature, and pump it for the win. I feel glad to have finally beaten a Richmond Comix suicide player.

Round 4:

Me v. Robert Estrada (see below)

Game 1:
Robert is another nice opponent and a good player. However, the ruling disputes that we got into this game were quite numerous. I think that Robert mostly knew 5th edition and previous rules, but was somewhat unfamiliar with 6th edition and later. Specifically, he double-checked that the combat tricks that I was doing with the Morphling were legitimate. He is playing a very interesting deck. It seems to be a mostly green control deck with Erhnams, Blurred Mongeese, and Ice Storms, with some splashed blue for power, and a full set of jewelry. Anyway, he gets a very quick start, and I was very surprised by his Blurred Mongoose. I believe that I cast an Abyss to deal with his Erhnams, but it of course does not affect his untargetables. I'm not able to draw anything helpful in time, and Robert wins.

out- Braingeyser
in- Moat

Game 2:
I start with a single land and I'm done. Robert plays a Tropical Island, and taps it to cast Ancestral Recall. I ask him what his target is, and he laughs as though I were making a joke, and starts to draw 3 cards. I literally reach accross the table to prevent him from doing this, as my question was quite serious in that I am holding a Misdirection. He has to read Misdirection, and is quite surprised at what it does. Of the cards I draw, one is my own Ancestral. On my turn, I play a Sylvan Library, and on his turn, he answers with his own. I Twist away his 3-card hand at some point, and eventually play a Morphling. A turn or two before I would win with the Morphling, a significant rules dispute occurs. It is my draw phase, and I have a Sylvan in play. Most of the time, I announce that I am using the Sylvan, then just draw 3 cards, and put one back. However, this turn I blatantly forgot that I had the Sylvan, and I only draw 1 card. I don't announce the end of my draw phase before I remember the Sylvan. So I say "ok, I'm going to use Sylvan now?" but Robert complains because in his opinion it is too late for me to do this.

I asked everybody if Sylvan Library had the "beginning of X step" templating, or not. Somebody told me that it did not, but I should have realized that it must have, as there are no such things as phase effects in magic anymore. Here is my analysis of this particular situation. First of all, here is the oracle text for Sylvan Library:

Sylvan Library
At the beginning of your draw step, you may draw two cards. If you do, choose two cards in your hand drawn this turn. For each of those cards, pay 4 life or put the card on top of your library.

This is indeed a beginning-of-draw-step effect, and it is indeed optional. Thus, it appears to me that a good 99% of the people who use Sylvan Library do not use it correctly. When your draw step begins, you put all of your beginning of draw step effects on the stack, then all of your opponent's beginning of draw step effects on the stack, then all of the game's beginning of draw step effects on the stack. So, the way the use of this card is intended is to first announce Sylvan Library, putting it on the stack, and then announce your draw, putting it on the stack. Your draw resolves first, then the Sylvan effect resolves. This is why when the Sylvan effect actually does resolve you get to see a total of 3 cards instead of 2.

Thus, if you intend to use your Sylvan Library, the rules mandate that you announce this at the beginning of your draw step. If you first draw a card, then expect to use the Sylvan without having done so, then your opponent has a right to not let you do this. And if you do neither of these, but instead just grab 3 cards during your draw phase, which is what most people do, my interpretation of this is similar. You didn't announce Sylvan, and the first card of the three that you draw can only be assumed to be your regular draw. The other two cards are part of the effect that you didn't announce, so it would seem to me that your opponent could intervene.

Thus, Robert was completely justified in his concern. Regardless, I stood down on the point at the time because I was not completely sure of the specifics, and because I felt that it would be relatively inconsequential, as I was a turn away from ending the game with a Morphling.

Game 3:
My first three lands are Cities of Brass, and Robert plays both a Mongoose and a Masticore. It's not looking good, but I manage to draw into some artifact mana and stabilize a bit. I get out a Morphling to contend with his Masticore, and I'm flying through, damage him a lot. He traps me at some point, by attacking with both a Mongoose and a Masticore when I am at 6 life, and he is at 5. Obviously, I have to use Morphling's 1st, then block the mongoose. However, I have only those 3 Cities of Brass available for mana, and Robert has about 6 or 7 untapped lands. Obviously, he will win the response war, so when he Masticores to finish off the Morphling, I just let it go. Luckily, I have Morphling #2 in hand, but I topdeck the Edict anyway, and dispatch of his Masticore. The next turn, I attack for the win. I was told after the game by a spectator that Robert didn't pay the upkeep cost to Masticore about 4 times, none of which I noticed. This makes me wonder why said spectator didn't speak up earlier. In the future, if anybody ever sees anything wrong in any game that I am a part of, no matter who is to blame, I hereby grant permission for that person to speak up.

Round 5:

Me v. Eric Debrosky (sligh)

Apparently, there are 3 players at 3-1-0. Eric is the only 4-0-0. As I was the only person paired up, I am confident in my tiebreakers such that a draw will guarantee me a spot in the top 4. No matter what happens, Eric is in the top 4. I tell him I'd prefer to draw, but he indicates that he'd rather play. I don't push the subject too much, as I am confident with my deck's ability to beat sligh. I begin shuffling for the game, but Eric says that he doesn't want to be mean, so he will draw if I want to. We play a few fun games, anyway.

Top 4 pairings are announced, and I'm in.


Me v. Eric Debrosky (sligh)

Game 1: Truly, man cannot avoid his own fate. Anyway, Eric has seen a good deal of my deck from the fun games, but I'm still not terribly worried, as sligh is supposed to be a good matcup, even without my Powder Kegs. Eric tells me that he stopped playing around Tempest due to the lack of opponents, and he is very rusty with 6th edition rules. Even more rulings disputes than in the previous match come up. For example, he Fireblasts me and asks if that's ok. I say that I have no responses. He then wants to Fork the Fireblast. I explain why he cannot do this, and I feel like a total jackass in doing so. I don't think he was completely sold on my explanation, but I would have been willing to back it up with anybody else's testimonial. I get a very quick Morphling with the help of my Lotus. I topdeck a Zuran Orb, which annoys Eric, but I would have won anyway.

out- Braingeyser, Stroke of Genius
in- 2 Cop: Red

Seriously, I think this is justifiable. Red-Blastable draw-X spells generate card advantage that is nothing compared to the virtual card advantage granted by Cop: Red. I didn't see his scrolls first game, so I didn't bother with the Mask. I think that he sided in Price of Progress, Anarchy, and some Blasts, but I'm not positive. I agree with the idea that Mind Twist is important in the Sligh matchup (see below), so I leave it in.

Game 2: He starts with a mountain and a Goblin Lackey. I start with a land and Sapphire. He taps out for something on turn 2, but I can't remember what it is. On my turn, I play another blue-producing land, and a Mox, then play Merchant Scroll to get Mystical Tutor. I have both a Force and a Misdirection in my hand, so I immediately Mystical Tutor for Demonic Tutor in order to prevent him from having an opportunity to Red-Blast any part of the tutor chain. He attacks me down to 17. I untap, then Demonic Tutor for the Cop: Red, but I don't cast it. He incinerates me at eot, then attacks on his turn, and I think this was the last damage that he dealt to me. On my turn, I untap and play the Cop, and he winces. He tries to play a Scroll at some point, but I Mana Drain. On my turn, I Twist away his 3 card hand, and I belive that one of his cards was Anarchy. This demonstrates the importance of Mind Twist, as had he drawn a Red-Blast in the next couple of turns, he would have been able to force that Anarchy through. Eventually, I get a Morphling, and I end the game. Phew.

Finally, the finals.

Me v. Mark Perez (Gay Fish)

Game 1: This is apparently a friend of Jordan's, who I had just met that day. I am somewhat aware of what's in his deck, in that I had heard that he played main deck Null Rods. I wondered if they were my Null Rods that I had lent to Jordan (and that he in turn lent to Mark). Anyway, I was a little frustrated in that I wouldn't get to play against any other control decks all day. He wins the die roll and starts with Manta Riders, and a factory the next turn. I have some color problems, as I have both Sylvan and Regrowth in hand, but no green mana in sight. Consequently, I cannot do too much, and I'm not left with very many options. I think I try for a Morphling at some point, with FoW backup, but Mark has double FoW to deal with it. I lose in somewhat short order.

out- Braingeyser, Counterspell, Gorilla Shaman, Zuran Orb
in- 4 REB

My brain hurts trying to figure out what to remove in favor of the blasts. I was not aware that Mark was playing with Faerie Conclave in addition to his Factories. Thus, I feel that if I can just get The Abyss into play, I should be ok. I probably would have sided differently had I known about the Conclaves. Anyway, I start with a Sol Ring and a Mox. I untap and topdeck Ancestral Recall. I Ancestral myself, and he allows it. I figure he must not have a counter. I draw another Mox, and I Regrow the Ancestral, also which is allowed. I Ancestral myself again, but he Misdirects it to himself. I Force, but he Forces back. He untaps, and plays a Null Rod. Damn. I'm left with very few options for the rest of the game, and he finishes me off with a Conclave and some Merfolk. I congratulate him on the win, as this was his first RC tournament (although it was only my second).

I get 8 packs for second place, which makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. Azh drives us back to campus, where we get into Egon's car and head home.

Once again, I apologize for the bits of this report that were so far off topic. Thank you to the Richmond Comix crowd, and especially to Azh for providing Egon and I quarter.

Until next time.


By Phantom Tape Worm on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 04:22 am:

An excellent tourney report Abe! You even got the name of my deck right :)

By the way, those were my own null rods keeping you away from your jewelry if that makes you feel any better.

As far as the "Wakefield-esk" writing style, I don't know what the rest of the bdominians think, but I think it's cool.

Keep up the good work,


By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 05:08 am:

Nice report dude, my sympathies for losing to Fish :)

By CF (Cf) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 07:18 am:

Drawing 3 off Sylvan is OK in my book at REL1 and 2. When you draw the extra cards, you go right to resolution of the effect - a shortcut used _very oftenly_ at lower events. You have to _announce_ Oath to, but I usually just use it. If it was REL 3-5, things would be slightly different...

It's like when you draw and say go. You're actually supposed to enter combat phase, declare 0 attackers, skip to second mainphase and then enter end of turn and pass.

If the opponent wants to play something in your draw phase before sylvan, he should say so in good time.


By Sssmwc, Keeper of the Funker (Sssmwc) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 09:54 am:

I am also a fan of the Wakefieldian style of writing too, so Wakefield away in the future. Great report as usual.

By Dozer (Dozer) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 10:25 am:


I say that I have no responses. He then wants to Fork the Fireblast. I explain why he cannot do this,...

Why not?
The stack is resolved if *both* players pass in succession. If you pass, but he doesn't, he can add Instants to the existing stack.

-> He: Fireblast
-> You: Pass (i.e. "I have no response")
-> He: Fork, targetting Fireblast.

Perfectly legal, isn't it?
Just checking...

Anyway, the report was a very very nice reading! Keep it up that way!


By Katzby (Katzby) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 10:45 am:

>Why not?

T.5 - Step 2: Waiting for Resolution
T.5.1 - At the beginning of this step, any abilities which trigger (see Rule A.4) on a spell or ability being "played", "activated", "successfully played" or "successfully activated" are put on the stack along with abilities that triggered during the announcement itself, then the player who just played the previous spell or ability receives priority to play spells and abilities. Once both players pass while the stack has no spells or abilities on top of this one, continue to the next step. [CompRules 1999/04/23] See Rule T.2 for improved detail on the stack.

Therefore, when my opponent announces his Fireblast, he immediately receives priority again. By asking me if I want to counter it, he is doing what any judge would interpret as passing priority. By declining responses, I am also passing priority. Thus, priority has been passed by both players in succession, and the Fireblast must resolve now.


By Jacob Orlove on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 10:56 am:

The active player always passes 1st. If he asks for any response, that means he passed, and when you then pass, it resolves.

By Matt D'Avanzo, the Sylvan Librarian (Matt) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 11:38 am:

Nice deck! Although our SBs are totally different, I believe we are playing the exact same maindeck card for card. (Of course I'm always playing around with that hated Vampiric Tutor slot so it might not last, but whatever...)

Compost is a GREAT SB card. I owe a lot of my sucess during Necro's heyday to it. However I think with only City, Mox/Lotus, and UP for Green you can't guarantee it will get cast early when you need it. I guess as long as you aren't having problems and it's winning you games keep using it as it is. I just know _I_ could never reliably cast it with my tiny green splash.

If you go back there and expect to see that Fish deck again, stock a Pyroclasm in your SB to give him fits. Even with Lord of Atlantis out it wipes the board clean.


By Milton (Milton) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 01:08 pm:

"T.5 - Step 2: Waiting for Resolution
T.5.1 - At the beginning of this step, any abilities which trigger (see Rule A.4) on a spell or ability being "played", "activated", "successfully played" or "successfully activated" are put on the stack along with abilities that triggered during the announcement itself, then the player who just played the previous spell or ability receives priority to play spells and abilities. Once both players pass while the stack has no spells or abilities on top of this one, continue to the next step. [CompRules 1999/04/23] See Rule T.2 for improved detail on the stack."

OK, I know this is a little off topic, but say I play Balance. I say "is this OK?" My opponent sais "yes". Can I then sacrafice land to the Zuran Orb in response, or have I passed priority and lost the ability to play spells or abilities?

If I can sacrafice land, can my opponent, who passed priority on the Balance, then Counter the Balance after I sacrafice land?

By K-Run, the Pegasus Hero (K_Run) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 01:09 pm:

Milton :

Exactly. Be careful when playing Balance.

By Milton (Milton) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 01:16 pm:

"Exactly. Be careful when playing Balance."

Please elaborate using the above example of Balance and Zuran Orb.

By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 01:30 pm:

You can either have Balance on the stack, able to be countered still, and sac lands to a Zuran Orb -OR- you can have Balance successfully resolved, uncounterable, and not able to sac lands in response.

It's not like it used to be.

By K-Run, the Pegasus Hero (K_Run) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 01:46 pm:

Vs Blue you have two choices :

1 - Play safely (Balance only).

2 - Take a chance (Balance + Land sac)

You cannot wait to see if opponent counters to sac lands, because if you do and he doens't counter, Balance will resolve immediately.

By Shadow (Shadow) on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 12:04 am:

That is a very nice report Katz. Don't spare us the pleasure in the future. Come to the next one, too, so we can make Azh's dorm feel a whole hell of a lot smaller. =p

By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 12:37 am:

Lol, looking forward to meeting you Shadow!

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