This is a guest post by sometimes-fellow-The Deck-player and Stockholm regular Seb Celia: a tournament report of sorts from the second Boat tournament in Stockholm. Enjoy! /Svante
Yo, Ho, Ho, and a Bottle of Rum
Playing old school magic, on a steamboat, in Stockholm’s archipelago, drinking beer. That’s some good life right there. This is the second tournament that Cermak has put together in this fashion. 16 of us had decided to go on that boat, we played magic as intended by the Swedish rules and fun times were had. After four rounds we went in to a top4, being on a boat in the middle of nowhere though, the bottom 4 fought for a very special price too. And since eight people were left, they decided to play a tournament too, so; top4 and a bot4 and a middle 8 cause it´s important to know who’s the best worst, mediocre and best-best on the boat. But let´s dive into the magic instead of dwell on specifics around the tournament.
You know, even though there’s a pod on Wak-Wak named Flippin Orbs, I have to stress that I fucking hate doing it. When playing my first match I clearly lost game two due to it in a match against a deck similar to this year’s Noobcon winner. I missed my flip on his Maze of Ith and having a Serendib Efreet just sitting there, it was bad. A bit later he resolved his own flip admirably on the Spirit Link I had attached to his Juzam. He laughed “Hah, I did think you held the orb a bit high when you flipped!”. Haha indeed … And talking about downers, I don´t have as much love for Spirit Link after this tournament either, but I´ll come back to that later. It was a close match and I managed to take home the deciding third game with a topdecked bolt so I were able to put the stupid flip somehow behind me. Still though, do note that here I am whining about it.
The deck I played got constructed with help from the master Martin Berlin, I wanted to play something that used Black Vise and even though I only played two in main, I had 4 of them in my 75 and probably won thanks to the pressure that they put out against The Deck played by Felipe Garcia in the last swiss round. My deck felt solid, being transformative against the more aggressive decks and being able to race against the heavier control decks. It’s kind of like UW skies but using Timetwister and Wheel of Fortune better due to all the one drops. Armageddon is a good card when it’s good, a bit like Blood Moon in that way and Berlin pointed what Hurkyl’s Recall did for the deck with Black Vises when my first draft of it consisted of Energy flux in their place. The tournament had little of everything and going into top4 I had managed to win all my matches.
Back to the salt mines
Mr Chambers did a rather quick sprint on me in game one. It became clear who the aggressor in the matchup was when my Serendib Efreets had a hard time catching up with his Copper Tablets and Black Vise. Since the Ironclaw Orcs were on another skirmish, probably aiding a less artifact heavy red mage, Mr Chambers decided to put some Orcish Mechanics to the task and they were eager to throw Winter Orbs and whatnots in my face and on my Mishras making the drawback of those cards more partisan. After sideboard I felt more up to the task though. He had an Atog hungry for artifacts in play around round 4-5 in the game. I decided to take some damage from his Ankh since I had some Moat, Serra Angel and a Spirit Link ready to be deployed in my hand. After playing the Link on his little pesky little Atog I felt confident enough to get a whack on the head with his Ankh so I could start beating down with my Angel in two turns. None of us were doing much as it was either way at that point. The angel will crusade for me against the mage using heathen Egyptian gods in his aid!
I’ll tell you, sometimes, though, the laws of magic play little dirty tricks on you. And what unfathomable little part in my plan went wrong? How could it backfire? Did he have great many outs? Well, we were both at around 12-14 life. And even though old school magic like to keep things in the past, we sometimes have to adapt because the governing body of wizards, sitting in some far away tower keeps doing stuff that affects the whole game. We don’t have a stack for damage anymore and you get to scry when they mulligan. When making new spells, artifacts gadgets and summonings, sometimes they take what was and “make it better”. It’s like a cover version of one of your favorite song were the artist decides to change a few words around. One day you might as well have forgotten what the original lyrics were due to it not being played as much on the radio (or on casette? I don’t know how them young hip people listen to music in this day and age). Anyhow, you forget and I will leave it to you, the reader, to unfold what happened after I played my Spirit link on the Atog and I will remind you that I could’ve played a Moat instead. Oh, ah well, I´ll just leave this here:
I quickly scooped up my cards after the realization of what was to happen came upon me. Mr Chambers tried to stop me “I might’ve not gone for it, you might have had a Swords?” he said. I just muttered and walked away eager getting my funeral feast on instead. I took my loss admirably by floundering about, telling everyone the great tale of how I could’ve easily won that game “if I only knew”. He later went on and won the whole thing, facing Cermak in the finals. That little grinning smug Atog will haunt me in my dreams (the card, not Mr Chambers).
To have, or not to have … or borrow, that’s the question
Before we leave, I’d like to make a shoutout to Christofer Lindholm. I played against him in the last Ivory Cup. I played some weird Parfait and since it was close after the ban announcement, it felt like a real good call. I mean, drawing a bunch of cards each turn with Howling Mine while facing Underworld Dreams and multiple Black Vises must be most excellent. Well, it wasn’t. However, I did meet Christofer in the last round of swiss then and it wasn’t his first tournament with his deck. Without power, Orb or Library, he has managed to perfect his version of a green-red Berserk deck. Both then and this time around we went to game three and I think it’s a solid build. Of course moxes, lotus and Library would make the deck better but that’s not the point. I even asked him if he wanted to borrow Blood Moons when he said he didn’t have any while talking about them probably being good in his deck. He didn’t want to borrow them though, it wasn’t what the format was about according to him (I am paraphrasing here, he didn’t put down people borrowing cards, he just didn’t want to himself). I myself love the collecting part of the game and I do know many among the other players feel like me about it, so I salute his decision. The main problem with his deck however, I think, is the mana, not playing Blood moons I’d put in another city or two as well. Also, another Black Vise in the SB would be good I think, but hey, that’s just me and my two cents.
And here’s the Top 4 decks from the tournament:
As well as myself in 3-4th place, my deck being featured above.