Blitzing into Batch 2
No risk it, no biscuit
Sometimes you gotta bring the house.
After going 3-1 in Batch 1 of the Winter Derby Old School MTG tournament (batch report here), I played four more rounds, this time in ranked pairings. You can read my Batch 1 report here.
Round 1 - UW Skies (Loss, 0-2)
What a cool deck to lose to. Air Elementals, Moats, Mana Vaults spiced up the other usual suspects in blue/white. The Air Elementals destroyed me. I don't hate the matchup but it didn't go well in these two games. I saw Black Lotus once or twice and got Mind Twisted. I've been on either end of that, can't fault someone for playing good Magic cards and playing them well. It was very cool to meet and play with someone from Sweden. Another perk of webcam play.
Round 2 - Lion-Dib-Erhnam (Win 2-1)
This could have been Erhnam Geddon but I didn't see geddon so I'm leaning more toward DaSilva.dec. My opponent was super cool and we had a lot of fun banter during this match.
Game 1: I finally found a ritual hand going T1 Ritual > Hymn > Sol Ring. Pump Knights were good against the Lions but stalled against a pair of Factories. Blood Moon opened up the running lanes and the Knights got it done.
Game 2: I hit another risk/reward hand of T1 Ritual > Hypnotic Specter, but it didn't matter much when he went T1 Ancestral and then got a Library of Alexandria online. The board presence of Dibs and Ernies was too much to handle.
Game 3: Wildest game of the derby for me. We both mulled to six and I kept the following:
I led with Sol Ring, didn't draw another land next turn, so I slammed the Troll and hoped it survived. I held off on Blood Moon so I could use my one Badlands to protect the troll. My opponent was eventually able to answer the Troll by using Chaos Orb (I regenerated) and then a Psionic Blast, but it cost him too much life. Opponent was stuck on multiple City of Brass, so between the Troll and the pinging he ended up in bolt range for the win. It was a bizarre game where casting the Moon, even when I finally had the opportunity, would have saved my opponent life so I chose not to. The first rule of MOON GANG is sometimes we don't Moon. Or something.
Round 3 - Opponent Concedes (win 2-0)
If you have more than one loss you're most likely out of Top 16 contention at this point, so I'm not surprised some people are dropping. Perfectly reasonable, especially when coordinating matches across time zones.
With one match left I'm 5-2. I set out to get "top unpowered" even though I'm not sure it is formally recognized in the derby. But I don't need it to be. Personal goals are a big deal to me. By now, if you're connected to me on the internet, you've seen me talking about it. I made some new friends as people told me about their own unpowered lists. There is apparently one unpowered player at 7-1, and I just met someone who went 6-2. This. Fucking. Rules. UNPOWERED TEAM, ASSEMBLE!
That said, I came to win games. So whether I go 5-3 or 6-2, this is all meaningful magic to me. And it's possible my last opponent needs a dub to get to top 16. Damn right I'm playing it out!
I love cheering for other players, but I can't lie: I also love being cheered for. I'm a puppy that revels in the head pats after pooping outside like I'm supposed to. It's not about ego, it's about community. My favorite part of this ride has been sharing the experience.
Round 4 - Twiddle Vault (loss, 0-2)
This is the nightmare matchup for multiple reasons, but the big one is that Howling Mine becomes asymmetrical when you can't draw into Moxen. With the possibility of a Stasis lock on the table, cheating on mana can flip a game. Game one my opponent piloted perfecty, and game two he fought through a Blood Moon to get it done. At one point I shattered a Lotus to continue the resource denial plan, and really wondered if that was the right play. After the match my opponent told me it was correct, so I'm glad I levelled up a bit even in a loss. Shout out to Edwin, it was very cool to sip coffee and talk about cube. Go get 'em in the next round man!
With a final record of 5-3, I am very happy. I made some new friends by sharing out this site. I had a ton of fun, loved my list, and loved the ride. Special thanks to DFB for running a great event, and let's GET HYPE for the players who make top 16!
Thanks for reading,