Too Late Is Also a Time: BSK 2019

Okay, my BSK report is way overdue. The tournament was first weekend of November but I felt like I had to get the London content out there first. Also, doesn’t look like we get an Organizer’s Report this year, like we got the past two years I’ve organized the BSK tournament. We played straight Swiss this time, so no natural break to assemble t8 deck photos as everybody wanted to leave and go sleep, and I haven’t been able to track everything down. Anyway, Hannes Löfgren won by going 6-0 with B/u midrange:

hannes bsk.png

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I went with this:

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Yes, 61 cards, which I somehow didn’t notice until taking the deck photo; I was supposed to cut the third Island when adding the Strip Mine. At least (SPOILER!) I have something to blame now.

I did take notes during the matches, but now it’s been a couple of weeks (actually, a month) and as you know, my memory isn’t the best. Still, I’d like to try and recount some of this. Just a reminder that I might have got some facts wrong. And that the quality of content deteriorates the further into the tournament we go.

Round 1, I face Martin Jordö on Mirrorball. He was trying to borrow Time Vaults for this deck, even wanting to jam all four copies for a very all-in combo version, but I was playing mine and he couldn’t get hold of enough of them. I have Library in my starting hand, whereas Martin only plays out a couple of Mana Vaults, then passing. I draw for a couple of turns, but have no counterspell, so when Martin plays a Braingeyser for 7 with 2 mana up, I can do nothing but playing Mana Short in response, hoping to topdeck something juicy and preventing him from drawing into Time Walk or something like Demonic into Time Walk as easily. I’m behind on resources again, but it seems like Martin is drawing mostly air. He resolves a Sylvan, but so do I, I htink, then I draw a Time Vault. When he plays a Mirror, I think, I can just ignore that and go off, backed by a Counterspell. His combo is irrelevant in the combo mirror so he’s at a huge disadvantage here, and this game showed why that’s the case.

Game 2, I started out with Ancestral, but keeping from casting it, fearing REB, also having Mana Vault and later a Lotus. Then comes a point where Martin cast Power Sink on the Ancestral tapping both his Mana Vaults, since I had Lotus up to pay, but I had my own REB at that point. Counterspell is usually a better card, even in combo, I’ve found. Especially when you sometimes want to play a mirror and leave up counterspell mana on the opponent’s turn. That exhausted his resources a bit and I got a sylvan, and then regrowthed the Ancestral, and buried him in card advantage.
Match 2 is a bit sad. I face GaJol, who I beat for a win-and-in at N00bCon this year when he was playing his sweet 4-color Underworld Dreams control deck. Now, he was playing a very thematic deck, which he was kind enough to send me a photo of:

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Namely, mono-black All Hallow’s Eve Reanimator, featuring Priest of Yawgmoth to cast big Drain Lifes. I saw Underworld Dreams, which is one of the best cards against Twiddlevault, but with no Dark Rituals, it’s just too slow. Game 1, I Mana Drain something and then take his hand with a Mind Twist, giving me approximately infinite time. Game 2, I play a turn 1 Howling Mine, which is fantastic when you face the one deck out of 20 that runs no artifact destruction. Then I follow that up with a 2nd turn Time Walk, into Time Vault + Twiddle, into Twiddle, into Regrowth + Twiddle. I give him one more turn, then I Recall and seal it.

Rounds 3 I play against Tibia, on some kind of Atog (and turns out to be actual Eyetog, basically, once I saw the deck photo), probably my worst matchup in Swedish (the other ones are Bu with maindeck flux and dreams, especially in Hymn formats, and UR with fluxes and moons). Game 1 is interesting, and I very much wish I could watch a replay of that. He leads on a Vise and an Atog, but not much else in the way of a clock, and my deck is good to go under a Vise, even when going off. However, since Tibia never plays anything, he has lots of untapped mana, which makes me very wary of trying to go off by casting a draw-7, fearing a flurry of Shatters and Bolts. I have Ancestral, and then Recall it a couple of times, but still never get anywhere. The misplay is with a Demonic Tutor somewhare, which must have been able to do something better, going for having to topdeck a Twiddle or Recall in two cards off of a Time Vault and a Twiddle with one Howling Mine in play. I should probably have taken my chances on a draw-7. When you cast Ancestral Recall three times and lose, you are not doing it right.

Then, in game 2, I think I have Ancestral again, but he shatters a mox, then plays a Blood Moon, and I never find an answer (or enough Islands) in time and just die. Moon isn’t game over for my list, with 3 islands main and 2 more in the board, along with the 3 BEBs, but it can certainly be a huge pain in most situations.

Then we had a dinner break, an hour and a half of burgers and nice beers.

After that, I face Olle, on my Atog Zoo/Faetog deck (my actual cards). Not a great matchup, but not unwinnable, especially since his deck only contained 2 maindeck Ankhs. He starts out with a Vise and an Ankh, though. I eventually find the Hurkyl’s, but with not enogh gas left to go off before he kills me. Then in game 2, I play a Mana Vault on turn 1, then play a Howling Mine, a Time Vault and a Twiddle on turn 2, and go off from there. Martin Lindström who’s passing by (choosing to play Team Legacy over this tournament for some obscure reason) comments that the deck seems totally busted. Yes, when it gets the right draws, it is. Game 3, I keep a hand with something like Time Vault, Twiddle, BEB, two lands, and something else (I really need to learn to write notes that I can read myself). Olle plays a couple of Ankhs and I never see the answers. Later, he reveals to me that he might have had 3 ankhs in the main game 1, and not the 2 he should have, since I just handed him the deck and it’s hard to remember the exact contents of the sideboard. Anyway, that’s on me, I guess. I should have made him photograph it or something. :) A bit sad since I would have liked to beat Atog, and beat Olle, and keep my chances of a good finish.

But all is still good, I’m happy after the dinner and beers, and now I’m playing another friend I spent said dinner with: Emil. He is on his usual The Deck, and I must say I love this matchup. There is usually a lot of back and forth, trying to do broken stuff or picking the right spot to go off. However, too much time has passed for me to make much sense of my notes. I lose game 1 to an Ancestral I think, win game 2 after orbing a book and maybe winning off a Timetwister, then time is starting to run out, I do broken stuff and find the Fireball for the win either right before time is called or in one of the extra turns. I would not have had time to win on Braingeyser here, not even close.

Then in round 6, I don’t even remember who or what I played. You see, this is why I should get better at writing quick reports every time, not just once in a while. Providing shitty content. I win easily after a lot of power, anyway.

4-2 isn’t bad, but it isn’t good either; however, the only losses coming from Atog and 5th place is a resonable result. I still believe the list is close to perfect (once I either cut the Strip Mine again or just that third Island). And I do love playing it. I prefer not to have it built, since if it’s sitting at my desk, odds are I’m spending half an hour goldfishing it instead of doing work.

Also if anyone has any questions about this deck, hit me up.

See you next time. Possibly a few notes on Land Tax coming up.

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