BSK 2022

After playing the Kalle-curve Erhnam deck in July, I chatted a bit with Kalle about the deck. I felt like this kind of midrange deck almost needs some number of Swords, and I arrived at a list that cut green for white, running Serras but still on the Copy plan. I presented a list that was 61/16, and Kalle agreed it looked good. This was still in July, and we didn’t talk any more about that. Next thing I saw was Kalle winning Drammen, just a few weeks ago, with what was this list cut down to 60/15, mostly by moving a maindeck Armageddon to the board and cutting Sage of Lat-Nam to make room for that Geddon and his Sharks. I just congratulated him for it and didn’t say anything else, since I was planning to give the deck a run at BSK. And so I did, keeping Kalle’s maindeck and just changing up the sideboard a little bit, arriving at this:

BSK is a true old school tournament that’s fallen a bit by the wayside lately. Last year there were 19 players, but this time around, we were a solid 29, even though a bunch of the Gothenburg ringers were either busy with the top 8 of Legacy Nationals (Martin Lindström) or just going home for the day, as the 93/94 event starts at 18.00. I like it a lot, and this time, I even had a title to defend.

Round 1, I’m paired against Åland, who’s taken over organizing the event from me (who took over from MG). It’s very gracious of him since it’s considered bad form to win your own event. Now, I didn’t take notes as I should, as I don’t care as much about writing anymore, so this will be fragmentary at best. Game 1, I think he hit me with some power, of the Library/Mind Twist/Ancestral variety. He’s also on Fantasy Zoo which I don’t think I love, as my curve is a bit high and I could just get burned out, my copy artifacts aren’t great and my explosiveness plan into draw-7s is mostly too dangerous. I lose g1 quickly. Game 2, I Mind Twist him at some point and run away with the game. Game 3, he mulligans, plays library go, I have library as well and draw, he passes t2 to get library online, I draw again, find my strip mine, and he doesn’t even have another mana source and scoops right there. Not the best start of the day but I guess I’ll take it.

Round 2, I continue facing nice shark-holding people (BSK is usually the most shark-dense event ever, and usually with a few more in the room but not playing, as Martin plays the Legacy T8 and Elof comments on the stream of the same) in Olle. He’s on his own mono green DFB list. (He also gracefully provided me with his memories of the match. Thanks Olle!) Game 1 he’s on the play. I start with city, ruby, tutor for ancestral, t2 ancestral, some removal, then a Braingeyser for 4 into stabilizing with a Serra at 8 life or so. Maybe I could still have lost to a Hurricane, but it’s unsure. Game 2, I have t1 ancestral into t2 bolt and swords on his elf and scavenger folk, then disenchant a factory t3, but still take some chip damage from various dudes. I play Timetwister at 10 life against something like scryb sprite, factory, maze, pendelhaven, forest. After the twister I play Su-Chi and copy it. He attacks in with Scryb Sprite and Pendelhaven and Giant Growths it, taking me to 5, so I would have been dead had he had Berserk or Hurricane. Then it’s a standoff with two Mazes and his three Factories and a few small dudes against my three Su-Chis and a few factories. I make some bad attacks trying to get damage in, throwing away one su-chi for no real reason, but eventually I first draw a Sage, getting another card, into Serra into Fireball for exactly 13 with Lotus; I was also waiting for Armageddon of which I had only boarded in one. Didn’t play great here, but got rewarded anyway.

Round 3 I play against Frasse. Don’t remember what he usually plays. I’m on the play and mulligans into this hand: emerald, copy, blue land, lotus, braingeyser, su-chi. So I can either play t1 su-chi, t2 copy, or t2 braingeyser for a bunch. Even then, I have to decide between copying the mox or the lotus. The way my deck is set up, copying lotus t1, then t2 braingeyser for 6-7 seems like the best; I still have some mana acceleration so should be well positioned when casting the t3 su-chi. But I don’t think things through enough and play t1 copy mox instead. Then he leads on Library, and on my next turn I draw another Copy. So now my choice is whether to play that Braingeyser for 4-5, or playing out two Su-Chis. I figured that if he wasn’t on white, two 4/4s should be enough pressure to force him to go off Library, whereas me drawing a bunch of cards could still easily lose to the continuing Library card advantage, so I go for the former. He then plays Island, which is a good sign, and goes off Library to Psionic Blast one of the Su-Chis. But then he Copies the other next turn, and I haven’t drawn any other mana sources still, stopping my advances. It turns out he’s on a slightly underpowered UB Robots list, and we get into a very grindy game where we trade Su-Chis and Copies for the longest time. I think I get a bit ahead by balancing away two of his threats. He also has Animate Dead, but they get dominated by my 4/4s. I get an Icy and he gets one too (don’t remember which one was a copy), and in the end, I get ahead in a very close race. At some point I wheel, still haven’t drawn the second blue source for that Braingeyser from the starting hand. When I go in for the kill, with him at 2 and me at 3, he has Psionic Blast for the draw, but I can swords my Su-Chi for the win. Then in game 2, it’s grindy but not a race, and I know I swords his Su-Chi in response to a Copy with nothing else but moxen on the table. Postboard I just have so much more removal even though he has more counterspells. He also does play a Royal Assassin which is good when I’ve cut all my bolts, just like my sb Sages, but I do have my Fireball still.

Round 4 I play against Hannes, just like how it usually is; we played twice last year, and the games are always close. He’s on Bu Disaster as usual. Here, I lead on Library; he plays t1 ritual dreams. Well, that’s fine, I can still draw for a couple of turns and then cast 4/4s and win the race. Turn 2, he casts another ritual dreams. Okay, now I stop drawing cards and do something active instead, but I don’t think I’ve found any creature yet. He plays a Hyppie which I swords, but I also take some City damage along the way, while drawing a useless Wheel. I Mind Twist his hand away, but two turns later, he topdecks Timetwister and that’s it. I have no idea how to sideboard; I want Swords and the extra Disenchant, and I might want Armageddon since he might well have Maze; but do I want REB against his Flux? I want to shave Fellwar and cut Icy for that reason, and maybe Copy, but he also has Sinkhole and it’s not great to cut mana sources then. And do I want to cut Serra if he brings in Gloom which makes them a huge liability? I’m not sure what I settle on here, but I double mulligan while he starts on Ancestral and just grinds me out. I have removal for his threats the longest time, but it doesn’t matter as I don’t get any real power to get back into the game.

But at 3-1, I still have a shot with a loss and am definitely in with a win. Last round, I face Pefken. He turns out to be on what I think is something he’s played before, or at least a variant of it: Blood Moon Parfait with white removal, counterspells, power (but no black), a few basics, a couple of Stone Rains and Shivans, along with a Relic Barrier/Howling Mine engine. In game 1, I get in a few hits with various things, have to swords a Shivan, attack him down to 14, I think dealing some damage with an Icy and his City, then finishing with bolts after a final draw-7. In game 2, I think he lands a Blood Moon I can’t handle, but I play a few Su-Chis that he just never draws the answers to. The uncertainty is that after I win and t8 is announced, there’s a rematch vs Pefken in the quarterfinals, so the games blur together a bit. Then, I know I lose the first game due to keeping a hand with four mana sources but missing some color, but never drawing another source while he has Library. Another game, I beat a Moon by having Fellwar giving blue and copying my Pearl that I just drew to get a Serra online. It was a hard choice, since he had an Icy at this point and the Copy obviously has a ton of value here in general. And then, the last game (maybe not chronologically) I think I win with a quick draw-7 and him getting a bad hand, eventually me finding Library. There were tense exchanges with Blasts and Counterspells, but I just don’t remember the details. I went back and forth on sideboarding a lot. Especially after winning game 1 with bolts, it was hard to cut all of them, but I think that’s the way to go, keeping a few Swords against his factories and Shivans. I also didn’t add the Sages all the time since I couldn’t find the room, but getting one online early in the last game definitely sealed it and they’re just great here; basically, that’s what they’re for, as this matchup is very close to the The Deck one, strategically, besides the Blood Moon part. I didn’t know if I wanted to cut Su-Chis because of Moon, so maybe I cut some Serras besides the Bolts and the Psiblast; besides that, there’s not much to go for, and I want to add Sage, all the blasts and the artifact removal, and preferably Geddons too. You can see it’s not obvious at all.

Then, in the semis, it’s time for a rematch against Hannes. I really like these small events where you get rematches in the elimination rounds. Both because of the grudge match quality, but also that I tend to learn a lot from just testing a matchup and seeing different sideboard plans in action. Here, though, I still have no real clue what to do. Except doing powerful things. And here, we both mulligan; Hannes leads on Library, but I have land, mox, lotus, Serra. It does take him down to 8 in a few turns, but then he can ritual drain life it, and I’m left with basically nothing. There was a turn before where I had Disenchant in hand but not much else, maybe a Bolt, and debating whether I should kill his Mox Jet. Tempo could be good here, but he already has 4 mana in play. Also, the disenchant has a lot of value should he be able to take care of the Serra. First instinct was to go for the Mox, but then I tried to think hard about it, realizing Chaos Orb is one of his few outs here, maindeck. It’s 1 AM at this point. So I’m clearly not thinking straight; once I pass the turn and he draws, I realize he also plays Sengirs and keeping him off of 5 mana could be great. And the Drain Life punishes me. But I manage to win that game anyway, eventually. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how. In game 2, I double mulligan, I think I swords a few of his threats but then get beaten down by a Juzam, conceding to the second one when I have very little mana after his Sinkholes taking out what I had. Game 3, I’m on the play, and when Hannes mulligans, I just tell him to stop as I’ll be playing t1 Timetwister anyway and we could just save time. I have jet, ruby, pearl, tutor for lotus, twister with pearl up. Then my hand turns out to be entirely reactive, with something like swords, swords, bolt, disenchant and mana, so it’s actually grindy for a while. I’m scared of Flux, of course, but I do have that Disenchant I can keep up mana for. But when he has a single land in play, I draw a Su-Chi, and decide to play it. However, Hannes has Sol Ring into Flux. This complicates things immensely. I could pay for the Su-Chi and one mox, leaving one land untapped, but then I’d have to draw a land (or mox) to cast the Disenchant; or I could let the Su-Chi die, along with one mox, pay for the others, and then have the mana around to cast the Disenchant; the Flux is an actual 3-for-1, but I have my mana still. I go for the latter, but draw the land anyway. Still, I’m ahead on cards at this point, and get out another Su-Chi eventually. We do get into a tight race, him casting a Juzam after my Swords are gone with him at 12 and me at 16 or thereabouts. I had been attacking him with a Su-Chi and a Factory, I think he had a Factory too at this point. I’m fine with this, I can just outwait him. So he attacks me down to 11, I crack back putting him at 6 or something. Then he attacks again, I can stay back with the Su-Chi next turn, chumping the Juzam once, my factory dominating his, and even though he casts a Dreams (which I do have the disenchant for), I still win with a Bolt. leaving him without outs. I really do love the burn package for games like these, where I can pivot and be aggressive and win races instead of just being the control deck with a ton of reactive blue-white answers.

Okay, on to the finals, where I face MG on an insane big green deck, which just bested Morgan’s UWb robots in the semis. Way impressive for him to make the finals casting Killer Bees and Cockatrice. I even lose game 2 after mulliganing and him attacking for 5 with a bees a couple of times. My mana base isn’t fantastic when it comes to colored mana, so 4 ice storms hurt sometimes. But when I get any kind of power start, a pile of green cards getting played one a turn just doesn’t cut it. I get to handle his Relic Barrier/Howling Mine engine so that there’s a naked Howling left, and two cards a turn benefits me a ton more; Serra is fantastic, and I end the final game with him having zero permanents after me swordsing a Cockatrice (not a thing you do every day) and Armageddoning away all his lands, leaving me with 3-4 artifact mana and a Serra. I definitely was the bad guy here, much more than maybe ever, but I take it; I had a title to defend.

So what about the deck? I think it’s good, and certainly better than that Erhnam version, but I didn’t play against many tier 1 decks. In particular I’d need to test more against 12-bolt decks, and despite me never actually testing this makes me somewhat inclined to do so. But it’s not my favorite deck by any means. Midrange just isn’t my thing, even though Copy is a fantastically fun card and the acceleration-into-power part is fun. Honestly, maybe the list would be better with a Tundra over a Copy (otherwise, a Volcanic should probably just be a Tundra; I saw I had too much red and too little white after taking the deck photo but didn’t want to change, and also to keep the same list as Kalle’s Drammen list; seemed like good karma) and then probably another Counterspell or maybe Psionic Blast over the Icy. Third Sage seems unnecessary, and one Control Magic could be good in the board (as Kalle always runs). And I did realize too late that the current list could support an Atog or two maindeck, which could actually be good. As well as possibly Relic Barrier out of the sideboard. There are possibilities here, and I will likely revisit this space at some point, but it’s not my tier 1 deck. Nice to sometimes run something different though, and midrange-jamming 4/4s makes me evaluate things differently. I learn. The draw-7 plan of the deck is a bit counter-intuitive, for example, and I think I played a bit conservatively here, trying to go for safe copy plays instead of just vomiting mana and powering. Eh, I don’t know.


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