Tournament Report: 1st place with Mask / Dreadnought

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Tournament Report: 1st place with Mask / Dreadnought

By Helm of Obey My Author-i-tie (Mason) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 01:11 am:

Tonight I won a smallish (seven person) tournament at Loony Toonz in Fairhaven. The top prize was a Beta Serra Angel. There were several really good decks present, and all the players were good.

Round one against Eric. We went to game three, and each game was very tight. Eric was playing his cool Sneak Attack / Corpse Dance / Nicol Bolas / Serra Avatar deck.

I won game one with Dreadnought beats and Back to Basics.

Game two was a drawn-out affair, with a speedy Nicol Bolas blasting away my hand and a chunk of life. I ended up having a 'Nought in play, but I could only block one of the multiple Serra Avatars that snuck in with Sneak Attack, resulting in what is otherwise known as Death.

Game three was a struggle, but Back to Basics kept Eric away from mana enough for Dreadnoughts to get through twice. (I think I saw some Morphling action too, but I don't remember.)

2-1-0 games
1-0-0 matches

Round two was against Andy, of Team Academy fame. I expected to lose. His rating rocks, and I always play like a scrub against him, regardless of how I do against anyone else in a particular tournament. Anyway, he was playing some sort of Grow-ish deck. He's used this before to smack apart my favourite deck, Solitaire. Grond gave me back a small amount of dignity. :-P

Game one saw me drawing three Masks in a row, and getting one out, after a bunch of struggling and countering, which made the Dreadnought in my hand happy. I attacked twice. As with game two, I got a "fast mana" opening hand and some combo pieces.

Game two was even faster. Mask, Dreadnought, beat, beat. Utterly bizarre. I should have struggled and lost both games, from my established track record against Stokinger. I was Glad. He'll probably beat the tar out of me next time. I need to try to figure out what folks will start sideboarding against me soon.

4-1-0 games
2-0-0 matches

The third and final round was against Bowman, playing Sligh. One of us was going home with a tee shirt, and one with a Beta Serra Angel. Bowman matched my win-win record at this point.

Game one, Bowman bolted (and stuff) until I was down to one point of life. I had attacked once with Dreadnought. Bowman was tapped out, with two Wastelands and one Mountain on the table. And, uh, two Cursed Scoll. And me, at one life. I figured "why not?" and tossed out Timetwister. Luck smiled upon me... I got Time Walk and won. "Better lucky than good."

Game two was a fairly fast Dreadnought. It came out, swatted a Ball Lightning, and then attacked, twice. My sideboarding was all good stuff against Bowman. I think I may have Misdirected an Incinerate to Bowman's Jackal Pups this game as my "strategy play".

6-1-0 games
3-0-0 matches
Beta Serra Angels: 1

Grond, a Mask deck

14 Island
3 Wasteland
R Library of Alexandria
R Strip Mine
R Tolarian Academy

Mana-producing artifacts(7):
R Black Lotus
R Mox Emerald
R Mox Jet
R Mox Pearl
R Mox Sapphire
R Mox Ruby
R Sol Ring

4 Morphling
4 Illusionary Mask
4 Phyrexian Dreadnought

4 Back to Basics
4 Force of Will
4 Mana Drain

Deck Manipulation(9):
R Ancestral Recall
R Braingeyser
R Fact or Fiction
R Mystical Tutor
R Stroke of Genius
R Time Spiral
R Time Walk
R Timetwister
R Tinker

1 Capsize
1 Helm of Obedience
1 Jester's Cap
1 Null Brooch
1 Zuran Orb
2 Interdict
2 Misdirection
2 Rootwater Thief
4 Hydroblast

The sideboard is pretty random, but it provides reasonable stuff to side in for when Back to Basics doesn't work, which is the basic need, or in the control match-up, when there are more useful things than Morphlings three and four.

For what it's worth, this was my sixth tournament win in a row, and my fourth win with my Dreadnought deck. Of the four tournaments I've played it in, it's lost one match, and not more than four or five games, or thereabouts. It's won every tournament in which I've entered it. It consistently beats everything it's seen so far, although certainly not every game has been easy. Tonight's match against Eric, for instance, could have easily gone the other way.

FWIW, Interdict is both Amusing and Good against Powder Keg, particularly when I have Dreadnoughts on the table. I might go to four. Dunno. The card draw aspect is nice. If Teferi's Response is worth playing, then Interdict is certainly worth playing, at least in the Mask deck.

By Kirdape3, the Court Jester of Beatdown (Kirdape3) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 01:56 am:

The problem with this deck that I can see is that your gameplan is sorely limited against commonly accepted Tier One decks.

Forbiddian should be horrible for you; they outslug you on counters, outdraw you, and have anywhere from 2 to 4 Morphlings to combat yours, plus Kegs to destroy Dreadnoughts and Masks.

Keeper is rather easier since they are horribly vulnerable to Back to Basics, but they can also break your counterwall by threat overload (Gorilla Shaman is HORRIBLE for you) and win, even around Back to Basics game one.

OSE is more streamlined, can Keg away the Dreadnoughts before they get ugly, and has the same threat potential as Keeper. This deck also puts pressure on you to win as soon as possible.

Oath decks are tougher even than Forbiddian, since they run a similar number of counters and creatures that simply autowin against you (Weaver). They also have minimal vulnerability to B2B in their two color forms, and have a serious chance to destroy them away with Seals in their multicolor variants.

While this deck looks like a blast to play, I simply don't see it being anything higher than Tier Two because it cannot beat any of the Tier One decks consistently in the hands of competent players.

By Gzeiger (Gzeiger) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 03:52 am:

Well I can't comment much on the deck before I play it, but the idea of making it blue is interesting. I've been trying a black version which I had thought superior because of Dark Ritual, YawgWill and tutors, with Duress and Hymn approximating countermagic.

I can, however, say that without a doubt that is the coolest deck name I've seen since Paul Barclay's Full English Breakfast (lots of fat and much nicer than boring old cereal).

By TimW (Timw) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 04:49 am:

Kirdape : He did win a tourney, so you have to give him props. Also, I think you seriously overestimate the threat of gorilla shaman : It doesn't kill dreadnought (certainly doesn't block it), and you need 5 mana to kill illusionary mask. This is assuming that he doesn't use it the same turn to get out dreadnought. Also, if you get the mask out, none of your subsequent creatures can be countered.

By CF (Cf) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 04:51 am:

Shaman needs 5 mana to get the Mask, and then it usually too late. It's not a big threat.

Oath decks nowadays rarely have recurring Weavers, fortunately, so they're not the biggest problem.


By Dozer (Dozer) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 05:13 am:

Congrats to Mason for winning!
I don't know where to rate the Mask deck in the Tier system, but appearently Mason chose the perfect deck for his metagame. He did not encounter any of the "commonly accepted Tier One decks": A Sneak-Attack/ Nicol Bolas deck, a Grow variant, and Sligh. I wonder what the other three decks in the tourney were, but it looks like a healthy and creative metagame. Very cool.


By Helm of Obey Mah Ah-thor-ih-tie (Mason) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 12:57 pm:

Hey, all.


You're right about mono-blue being my toughest match-up. Against that style of deck, I simply pump my counter count and throw in weird sideboard cards like Helm, Cap, and Null Brooch, as well as Misdirection and maybe Rootwater Thief. Basically, I change my threat style. But, this does mean that I go into the first game with dead cards. So far, this has also held true for them, though.

Against other styles of deck, I tend to have no problems. Back to Basics jis simply too powerful, especially with the counter backup that I run. There are too many powerful, disposable threats in the deck. I can scrap over Masks and Back to Basics and still have more to drop, unless I get a particular sucky draw.

Anyway, the deck is still pretty young, but I think it may well be Tier I. It has won four tournaments in a row, facing a wide variety of decks. We'll have to see how it goes! I'll be playing it again in a tournament tomorrow, and play-testing it some more today with a friend. If it continues to just not lose, that probably says good thing about it.

I must admit that I'm pretty interested in seeing how the black version that was recently posted does.


Have you taken yours into battle yet? I'd be curious to see your results. My suspicion is that Back to Basics is as big a threat as the combo for me, but your discard element is pretty strong.

Everyone else:

Thanks. :-)

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