And Then There Were Four

So, first things first, how did the Type II tourney go? I’ll tell you. Saturday morning rolled around and I sauntered over to the community center. A lot of people were milling around, trying to get the cards for their decks. I’d only really come with my own deck and my trades, so they didn’t…

So, first things first, how did the Type II tourney go? I’ll tell you.

Saturday morning rolled around and I sauntered over to the community center. A lot of people were milling around, trying to get the cards for their decks. I’d only really come with my own deck and my trades, so they didn’t have much luck with me – but I was surprised how many people asked,”Do you have four spare Ports on you?” Maybe I should be renting them out.

Registration soon closed and there were 41 competitors. That meant seven rounds of swiss. The pairings went up and I was dismayed to find my very first opponent was Roy”Stallboy” Williams, one of the best players in Wales.

Round 1: Roy Williams, playing Tinker Blue.

Roy was playing a version of the Tinker Blue deck that I’ve seen around a lot. Game one was very simple. Roy laid an Island and said go. I laid an Island and said go. Roy laid a Crystal Vein and sacrificed it to play a Grim Monolith. He tapped the Monolith for three mana and played a Voltaic Key. He used the key to untap the monolith and tapped it again, leaving him with four mana. Roy then used the mana to cast a Processor, paying seven life. In the words of Hudson in the film Aliens:”Game over man. Game over!”

Game two was a little slower. Roy saw some land, but I saw more and eventually played Morphling. Roy paid nine life on a new Processor and tinkered out a Masticore, but didn’t have the mana to kill my Morphling.

Game three was a slower game still. I gained control and cast Morphling, who came in for the win.

Matches: 1-0, Games: 2-1.

Round 2: Chris Clapton, playing Port Blue

This is supposed to be a slow match-up, but was really one of the fastest games of the day. Chris didn’t see enough land in either of the two games we played. In the first game Hammer of Bogardan won me the match, while my counters stopped anything that might be a threat. In the second game, Chris only had two blue mana sources, and I blew up his Faerie Conclave with my Dust Bowl. That meant he couldn’t play Treachery on my Morphling when I’d cast it when he was tapped out. That little bit of luck won me the game.

The best thing about Chris’ deck was that, apart from one card, all the cards were foil. Why can’t we get foil Morphlings yet, anyhow?

Matches: 2-0, Games: 4-1.

Once again we wandered off to the New Inn for a sandwich and chips. Everyone seemed to be doing well, and after a quiet chat and meeting up with Tarik we headed back for round three.

Round 3: David Lavington, playing Speed Green

This was my most disappointing game of the day. I completely controlled the first game and won it easily. Not a single creature stayed on the table for more than a turn or two, and casting Hammer six times in a row finished him off (I’d already damaged him a little).

Games two and three David won. Even after bringing in my Submerges and a few Seal of Removals, I couldn’t cope with the number and quality of his creatures. I also had to keep tapping out to do so, making the four Wild Mights in his deck very effective. Game three was lost due to a BlastodermSubmerge just doesn’t cut it against Blastoderm.

I’d previously thought that Speed Green would be one of the better match ups for me because of the amount of burn I was packing, along with the three Powder Kegs. I still think it is and that I was just a little unlucky, but I’m definitely changing the sideboard.

Matches: 2-1, Games: 4-3.

Round 4: Andy Smith, playing Replenish

I hate playing against my playtest group. I really hate it. Andy was playing Replenish and I knew that I had to be really lucky to win. Really lucky indeed.

In the first game, Andy’s deck performed exactly as it should. He got lots of enchantments into the graveyard and kept casting Replenish until I couldn’t counter one: I died.

Games two and three I won because I took a gamble and put Morphling out early (turns five and six respectively). Four turns of beatdown and I was the victor.

Andy said that he hated playing me because I got so depressed when I lost to him.”It’s not the losing,” I said,”it’s the inevitability.” I knew that I could win, but it really kicks you when you have to play someone you play all the time, and you know they have the best end of the match up. I should try to be more positive.

Matches: 3-1, Games: 6-4.

Round 5: Tim Pinder, playing RDW2K

I’d not thought too hard about RDW2K when I was playtesting, and that’s probably why I had no Chill or Douse in my sideboard. That sort of oversight deserves a loss and that was what I got. In the first game I was lucky and saw a lot of burn – more burn than Tim. I also managed to get a Morphling out on turn six, and that helped a little too.

Games two and three were both the same. Tim saw Hammer of Bogardan, and eventually started recurring it. I got him down to ten in both games, but ten is still ten away from winning, so hey ho. I dislike Scald, by the way. A lot.

Matches: 3-2, Games: 7-5.

Round 6: Chris Phillips, playing Suicide Black

When I saw the Swamp on game one I thought I was going to lose, but no creature followed it for a couple of turns, allowing me to build up enough mana to counter or burn anything that hit the table. I eventually won by casting Hammer seven times.

In the second game I had an opening hand with two Seal of Fires, a Seal of Removal, a Miscalculate, an Island, a Mountain and a Dust Bowl. I really couldn’t ask for much more. Chris did get me down to eight, but Morphling did twenty points of damage and won the game for me.

Matches: 4-2, Games: 9-5.

Round 7: Matt Bailie, playing a Sabre/Zvi Bargain cross.

Matt’s Bargain deck has been evolving over the last few months, and it now includes aspects of both of the major Bargain archetypes. The Renounce and Tooth of Ramos from Sabre Bargain works remarkably well with the Exhume and Radiant’s Dragoons from Zvi’s. Exhume probably won Matt the match.

In game one Matt went off while I had no real way of stopping him. He made a meal of it, but he killed me in the end. Game two I managed to cause enough of a nuisance of myself to disrupt him going off, and killed him the next turn with a little bit of burn. Game three I nearly got enough disruption to kill him, but not quite and he won.

Matches: 4-3, Games: 10-7.

So. Four wins and three losses again. I take heart from the fact that I didn’t lose any game 2-0, and the games I lost were quite close losses. I really think that the deck can work, and work well. With a little more sideboard tuning, I’m hoping that it’ll be very good indeed. The only problem is that the next Bath Type II tourney is in October. It’s the last Bath tourney where Urza’s Block cards will be legal, so I might play a few old favourites of mine instead.

The main other point of note is that the fourth, long absent, member of Team PhatBeats has returned to Bath from his six months in Australia. Alan’s been travelling around and he’s bought a little Magic out there. He missed the Prophecy prerelease by a day, and is raring to get back into Magic. All he’s talked about since he returned is MBC.

“We going to the qualifier this weekend?”

“I don’t know, where is it? How we going to get there?”

“Doesn’t matter right now. Are we going or not – and if so what are we going to play?”

“I’m not sure Tarik will want to go”

“Course he will, I’ll ask him. Paul will want to come too, won’t he?”

Last month we put a lot of testing into MBC, but for the last few weeks we’ve been testing Type II for the Bath monthly tourney. We’re a little out of practice, and Worlds has changed the metagame a little. I expect a whole raft of people to be playing Worlds decks and, although I like my Counter-Rebel deck, I’m not sure it’s good enough. After all, as The Ferrett says, there’s no point going up against guns with a katana now, is there?

So we’ve spent the last few days trawling the net for the decks that are out there. I’ve also got a few decks of my own to test and we have a couple of decks from Team Spike to play with too. One thing that’s struck me is how many decks there are. For an environment that was so polarized a couple of months ago, it seems a lot of people have put a lot of thought into it.

My new job, for those that are interested, is keeping me far too busy – too busy even to answer the emails I’ve been getting. Sorry guys ‘n gals, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, honest. We also haven’t got an office or an internet connection yet – I’m working on it though.

Cheers, Jim.
Team PhatBeats
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