Quote from Team Paragons mailing list:
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 1:38 PM
Subject: [T1Paragons] Re: Who here on this thread actually and honestly thinks Mishra’s Workshop should be restricted?
What do you think about Crucible?
Subject: [T1Paragons] Re: Who here on this thread actually and honestly thinks Mishra’s Workshop should be restricted?
Sample Turn 2:
4CC Player: I’ll drop Land, Mox, Crucible GO hahaha!
Me: Mox, Crypt, Wheel, Mox, Mox, Ritual, LED, Death Wish, Will, Ritual Ritual Ritual Mind’s Desire, Timetwister, Windfall, Mox Mox Mox, Ritual, Lotus, Ancestral, Tendrils. GG.
That pretty much sums up my view of the metagame, but more on that later.
The quest for Power begins a few weeks ago with the announcement of another awesome Waterbury, Connecticut power tourney. Most of the longer time Waterbury players don’t even look at the list of prizes. It’s awesome just to see when one is going to happen.
Then we look at the prizes.
The weeks leading up to the announcement I had been playing a lot of Drain Slaver/Crucible Slaver. With help from Toad a.k.a. Mattieu Durand of Franceland and the rest of Meandeck, I was tuning a list and practicing with it for the weeks leading up to Waterbury.
I won like, one match. So I gave up on it.
The week before the week before Waterbury I trashed Slaver altogether and gave a deck I had considered playing at GenCon a try: DeathLong. After goldfishing with it and playing it against a few decks, mostly ones packing Force of Wills, Trinispheres and/or Null Rods, I was set to go. Then for four days straight, I couldn’t win a game. The deck would just fizzle out on me all the time. Granted I was usually playing online, but I was doing even worse in the non-Intarweb world. I was ready to just scrap the deck and try to give 4CC a try because the deck is like old Keeper in that it really doesn’t just lose to anything and has a fairly good shot at winning every matchup. But, I decided to stick with it.
The past few months everyone and their pet baby deity of choice were having a fit over Crucible of Worlds, the latest bomb card from the newest Magic expansion: Fifth Dawn*. I was a part of the Crucible is teh rox! bandwagon for a while, eventually tossing it into 4CC and playing some games with the deck. One of the first things that stood out to me immediately is that Crucible is slow. Slower than Bryce when he’s playing Parfait. For those of you not in the know, that’s really slow.
Upon closer examination of the metagame I saw that there were a lot of decks packing Crucibles. It had gotten to the point where event Tog was running in an attempt to stop Fish from wrecking it’s fragile, out of date mana base. Actually, a lot of decks were running it in an attempt to stop Fish from wrecking their fragile, out of date mana bases. I realized this while watching people playing at GenCon, leading me to play 3-Color Tog, a choice I stand behind. Despite going 5-3.
Jet Li, am I ever awful.
After using Tog’s basic lands to counterract everyone-and-their-mom’s Crucibles I decided that even Tog was a bit too slow for the metagame. So then I realized that my second choice for the Type 1 Championships, DeathLong, would be amazing against the current environment. I was fairly confident that things wouldn’t change all too much between GenCon and Waterbury, as GenCon usually sets the metagame so there wouldn’t be too many surprises.
Well, I was right (foreshadowing!)
By Stephen Menendian circa GenCon 2004
4 Gemstone Mine
4 City of Brass
1 Underground Sea
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Black Lotus
1 Chrome Mox
1 Lion’s Eye Diamond
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
1 Crop Rotation
4 Dark Ritual
2 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Death Wish
1 Burning Wish
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Memory Jar
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Mind’s Desire
1 Yawgmoth’s Bargain
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
4 Xantid Swarm
1 Diminishing Returns
1 Time Spiral
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Primitive Justice
1 Hull Breach
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Tendrils of Agony
This is the list I brought with me to Waterbury. I changed a few things once I arrived, but more on that later.
Most of the pre-trip planning was me trying to figure out how I could afford a $20 entry fee plus food(<3 being poor, but <3 work study jobs) and Eli trying to fill up his car. A few friends from school considered making the trip, and a select few, namely Liz,"flip-flopped", to borrow a very creative phrase from the Republican party, for about two weeks, eventually deciding she was going to go. Eli eventually filled his car to the brim and everything was set.
Myself, Carl Winter – 2003 Vintage Champion and the winner of the prize at whatever he attempts.
Eli – The planner of the trip:”We’re going to go up Saturday morning then leave after the tourney”
Josh/John – A nice guy from the area whom I’ve seen at a few tourneys. I’m pretty confused as to what his name actually is though. Maybe it wasn’t either. Maybe his name was Xavier. I like that name.
Josh O -“Yes, I do have dual lands and no, you can’t afford them”. He pretended to be me for this event.
Liz -“Remind me to not put Orim’s Chant under an Isochron Scepter when at school, k?” Friend from school who wanted to make the trip to hang out at the tourney and provide moral support.
Friday evening Liz, our friends Robert Leroy and Ross, along with myself were hanging out after school, eventually making the trip to the host store of very unsuccessful FNM events. Upon arrival we played some Type 4 with Josh and Eli. The games were nothing spectacular, though at one point Josh Spelljacked Eli’s Mindslaver, then when Josh cast it and tried to use it, Robert Leroy used Willbender to have him control his own turn. Savage.
There were some Yu-Gi-Oh kids in the back room being rowdy, so everyone dared me to go back there and say”I am Yu-Gi-Oh, King of Games, bow before me!”. I wavered a bit, but then I was offered 4$. Sold! So I did and got some nasty looks from the older and sketchier players, but whatever. I got dinner. Mise.
So we leave, I get some dinner at Wendy’s, we smash up a Mario Kart dude, then pick up Liz’s stuff so she’s ready to leave in the morning. We bounce back to my house and we end up having to crash there because Eli’s coming that way to get us in the morning. We end up getting home at like, 11. I’m waking up at 5 AM to make sure we’re ready to go. I love getting only six hours of sleep.
Morning rolls around, I eat some breakfast, grab some water bottles, drugs, and then pack up my man-purse. Liz makes sure she has everything and just as we’re done packing Eli shows up. We pop out of the house and jump in the car and we’re off.
And we drive.
Most of the car trip involves people talking about Magic while I read a book for one of my classes. I try, unsuccessfully, to take a nap on the way there, but the sun is just too bright. Instead I listen to some musak and try to plan out my matchups in my head.
Two hours later we arrive in lovely Waterbury, Connecticut and I’ve got most of my game plan figured out. The last part is to do some scouting before the tourney to make sure my sideboard is suitible. In the end I change the Crop Rotation into a second Hurkyl’s Recall and then snipped out the Hull Breach for a Darksteel Colossus.
The pre-tourney time is spent chatting it up with people and agonizing over Darksteel Colossus. I ask Matrix how he liked it in TPS and he didn’t really give me a solid answer.
Good enough for me.
TMD Open, 9/11/2004,187 players
Round 1: Ray Clavette playing Dragon
Game 1: I get a really broken draw involving a Wheel of Fortune, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and some other mana accelerants to power out a Mind’s Desire and it’s ten-storm copy friends. I think this was all on turn 1, but I don’t remember.
Game 2: Ray brought in Chalices and brings out an early one for zero to slow me down. I drop a couple of lands, Duress him to make sure the coast is clear, then Hurkyl’s Recall him on his end step. I untap, drop some artifact mana and Dark Ritual out Yawgmoth’s Bargain.
All day long, Steve Menendian was making phone calls to anyone and everyone with a cell phone trying to get updates on the tourney. I think he blew a gasket when he heard I was playing DeathLong.
Round 2: Sam Best playing Grow-A-Tog
Game 1: He gets out an early Dryad and I’m not able to kill him before he starts attacking. He gets in one hit and I decide to Tendrils him for twelve to buy myself some time. He builds up the Dryad a bit by casting some card drawing spells and just making my life difficult in general. The crucial turn is when he Fact or Fictions on my end step netting two Mana Drains over some land and a Force of Will. On his turn he Tinkers out Darksteel Colossus, leaving him tapped out for all but one. I untap, Windfall and get a Death Wish to grab a Tendrils of Agony to finish him off.
Game 2: I lead with a Xantid Swarm, which he answers with a Fire / Ice, burning a Mystical Tutor in the process. I attempt another Xantid Swarm next turn which he Force of Wills, but that leaves him open to a Topdecked Memory Jar into Death Wish times two, Duress, Demonic Consultation, Burning Wish, Lotus Petal and Gemstone Mine. This lets me Burning Wish into Yawgmoth’s Will to cast Mind’s Desire that I had discarded to Lion’s Eye Diamond prior to popping the Memory Jar that gets me the gas I needed to win.
Another Menendian update is had and he once again goes wild upon hearing DeathLong is 2-0. I think it was around here that Jeff Anand’s girlfriend, Dyannah, decides to start being really scary. I’d talk about it here, but it was somewhat disturbing, so you’ll have to read about it on www.TheManaDrain.com.
Round 3: Scott playing 4CC
Game 1: I start to go off early in the game, casting Death Wish and taking some pain from Cities, but I fizzle out and fall to his morphed Exalted Angel.
Game 2: I end up having to mulligan down to five, which makes Baby Jesus very, very sad. I decide to get dangerous, casting a turn 1 Xantid Swarm into a turn 2 Timetwister for the kill.
Game 3: I Duress him early on and don’t bother to write down his hand as I cast some draw spells and kill him quickly.
Game 1 took about forty minutes, but mostly because of my excessive shuffling and my very long turns trying to figure out how to kill him. I won games 2 and 3 in a matter of ten minutes. I combo so good.
Round 4: Dan Cunningham playing 4CC
Game 1: I go off very early on, but I end up fizzling on a Memory Jar, drawing two Duresses, two Dark Rituals and three lands. I lost that one.
Game 2: I mulligan, but end up going off early, kill him on turn 1 after Death Wishing.
Game 3: This combo crap is stupid and boring, so I decide it’s time to board in Darksteel Colossus. My notes have him taking one from a fetch, then two hits from the Darksteel Colossus. It’s a freaking 11/11 trampler for crying out loud! Such a sound beating.
Again with the Menendian updates, again with the craziness and whatnot. Stephen gives me the pep talk and tells me to kick some ass. I decide to indulge him and kick some ass.
Liz, Kerz, and myself bounce down to Subway where, once again, they have run out of bread. The poor guy asked us to try to warn him before the next tournament so he can have extra bread ready. He then shows us some subs that he had prepared for people who never showed up to eat them and asked if we’d be interested in one. I get the foot-long ham that he charges me two bucks for and then he gives me a cup to get a drink.
That guy is awesome.
Round 5: Josh, John, whatever playing Food Chain Goblins
Game 1: I have a pretty crazy hand that lets me cast a turn 1 Elvish Spirit Guide to block his turn 1 Goblin Lackey. Then next turn I Dark Ritual three times, play Mana Vault, Death Wish, breaking Lion’s Eye Diamond, then casting Darksteel Colossus. I attack him twice and blow him up.
Game 2: He leads with the ubiquitous turn 1 Goblin Lackey, followed up by lots of Joblin buddies. My hand is really slow and he overruns me on turn 3 or 4. Ouch.
Game 3: He starts off with a turn 1 Goblin Lackey… again. I land, go. He attacks and poops out… Skirk Prospector. He gets another attack in before I make him hurt so badly that he falls over and loses whilst I gain lots of life. Yay!
The round prior to this I was sitting next to his table and look over at one point wondering how he’s doing. I hear him say”I’ll attack you for twenty”. I assume he’s doing okay. He is really happy to have just been in the 4-0 bracket and I wish him luck for the next round. He unfortunately loses out a few rounds later, but remained in high spirits for the remainder of the trip. Liz attributes his success to the Wasteland she loaned him before the tournament.
Round 6: Gary, A.K.A. Doomhed playing U/G Madness
I win the random prize this round! It’s a savage foil Albino Troll. Ting! I ship it on down to Bryce to be a random prize at the Endicott, NY Lotus tourney. Hurrah!
Game 1: I start to go off very early on, popping off Memory Jar, but draw nothing of use but a Mind’s Desire. I’m one short of casting it between the two lands I have untapped, plus the Mox Pearl and Mana Crypt I draw, so I die.
Game 2: I Duress him and see that the coast is clear for me to go off. Which I do. It takes me Hurkyl’s Recalling away his Null Rod before I can use my artifact manas to draw lots of cards and make him lose lots of life.
Game 3: I Tinker out Darksteel Colossus on turn 1. Then with my extra artifact mana I go off and kill him with Tendrils. Having a backup plan is always good.
Gary was apparently playing maindeck Annuls, which could have caused me huge headaches, but thankfully they didn’t. He also told me that he was someone who wasn’t very popular on TMD, but I’ve already met Yan Margolin, so I didn’t really know what he was talking about. I don’t think anyone has ever hated anyone more than poor Yan.
Once more Stephen goes crazy upon hearing I’m 6-0. He advises me to go scout, which I do. By scout I mean I get wrapped up in duct tape by Dyannah, handcuffed, then violated on the TO’s desk. Sigh.
Round 7: ID with the Fish player who made Top 16.
I putz around for a little bit before bouncing off with Kerzner, Liz, and Rather Large Charles to get some food at the local mall. The mall was really, really sketchy, but there were some really hot goth girls. Mise. Then I got free food samples from a few Asian food places. Double mise.
We get back in plenty of time before round 8 starts. I’m looking forward to another hour of R&R, but my dasterdly opponent has other plans…
Round 8: Ben Kowal playing Smmemycakes Mono-Bloo
I think he wanted to play as revenge for my taking of his concubines. Though if it was me, I’d be more mad about the banana milkshake. Mmmm, banana.
Game 1: I Duress turn 1 to see a bunch very unhealthy cards for my deck including a combination of Back to Basics, Chalices and Wastelands. Rough. He poops out Back to Basics and, along with his Chalice of the Void for one, I’m slowed down long enough for him to take over the game with Ophidians and eventually a Morphling.
Game 2: I start off with a Xantid Swarm, but it’s handled by a Force of Will, as is my first attempt at a draw spell. Ben gets out a Chalice set at one that I Vampiric Tutor in response to. Seeing as how I’m a lock for top 16, I’m not really paying attention and I go for what I’d normally grab against a control deck, Ancestral Recall. Oops.
I spend the rest of the game sitting on a hand full of one-mana spells. I draw a Hurkyl’s Recall a bit too late to be of help and he finishes me in a way similar to game 1.
Ben is very proud of himself right now and told me he was playing for placement. Uh huh. I’m kind of annoyed at the player hatin’ directed towards Meandeck, but I suppose jealousy is a bitch.
Steve calls – again – and once again tells me to plan stuff out, which I do, and stuff. I also buy a soda to try and wake myself up.
Sleepyness – 0
Carl – 1(finally)
I hate losing out to sleep. As much as I love it, I generally can’t overcome it, but today I win the prize. Yay!
Top 16 – Zack Hall playing Belcher
Game 1: I’m on the play and drop a Mox Jet, Duress, Underground Sea, Ritual, Necropotence. He drops a bunch of artifact mana and says go. I untap, Demonic Consultation for Death Wish and after some Rituals I Tendrils him out.
Turn total: 3
Game 2: He starts out with some mana and after a Duress, I slow him down a bit, but I don’t have any action so I can’t take advantage of the stall. He drops a Goblin Charbelcher using his Tropical Island and Sol Ring with a Bayou untapped and passes the turn. I have the option on my turn of Death Wishing for a draw 7 or for Oxidize to nuke the Belcher. I go for Time Spiral to try and kill him. In the middle of Wishing for the Spiral I remember Belcher plays Dark Ritual! What’s his untapped land? A Bayou. Go me.
So I do the combo thing and eventually am forced to use another draw 7 to try and find a Tendrils. In response to me using the Memory Jar I cast, he Dark Rituals to Belch me out. Frown.
Game 3: I play turn 1 Chrome Mox imprinting Death Wish, cast Duress, see nothing, play a land, Dark Ritual, Necropotence. Yeah… Next turn I drop Mox Jet, Mox Pearl, Lotus Petal, Sol Ring, Lion’s Eye Diamond then drop the boom: Mind’s Desire. Desire nets me everything I need to win and I finish the match after nine turns. Total.
On my left another top 16 match is finishing up; Fish vs. 3 Color Tog. Tog comes out on top (What now Shortbus?) and I now have a quarterfinals opponent.
Quarterfinals: Andy a.k.a. TheBrassMan a.k.a. JP Meyer2 playing 3-Color Tog
Game 1: I get off to a slow start, getting nothing past Andy. He’s able to easily out draw me and pull off a Yawgmoth’s Will getting lots of things and kills me with a Berserked Psychatog next turn.
Game 2: I Duress him off a Mox then Dark Ritual out Necropotence. Sound familiar? He doesn’t do anything of consequence next turn and I easily finish him off.
Game 3: I start off with a really terrible draw, but Andy mulligans to four. Apparently he was looking for a draw with Force of Will. *shrug* I’ve got a bit of mana available to me, so I decide to keep. Besides, he’s starting at four. He busts out a pimpin Beta Underground Sea to fuel up a pimpin foil Duress. He nabs my only business spell, seeing my hand of manas and an Elvish Spirit Guide. I take my turn and think. Think. And think some more. Everyone around me is looking at me like I’m crazy because they know I’m thinking of summoning the mighty 2/2 that could. So I say screw it and slam down the Spirit Guide.
The beatdown begins with both of us drawing junk until he hits a Skeletal Scrying for two. I respond to that with Duress seeing two Oxidizes, something threatening (probably a counter), and a Psychatog. I have like, one land, a Chrome Mox imprinting Death Wish, a Sol Ring, and a Mox Jet. I grab the threat and hope that he doesn’t draw another Blue source to complement his Underground Sea, Strip Mine, and Library of Alexandria. I get in one last hit with the Spirit Guide before he draws a fetchland to get a Tropical Island. When he gets around to Oxidizing my manas I have a Tendrils in my hand and he takes out my Mox Jet and Sol Ring, leaving me an almost spent Gemstone Mine and a Mox Jet. I topdeck Ancestral Recall and draw into Mana Crypt and Lotus Petal, allowing me to drop the artifacts and Tendrils him for his life total exactly.
I went with Andy and a bunch of other people to GenCon and we had a great time. Andy played 3 Color Tog in the Vintage Grand Prix. We had kind of a random match, but we had fun just the same. Andy was pretty mad that he couldn’t get a playmat. I feel for the boy. Luckily I already have one.
Semifinals: Aaron playing TPS
Game 1: We start off with the land-go thing, but he gets some action first, firing off a Yawgmoth’s Will and some other junk, but he’s one mana short of killing me with a tutored-for Tendrils. He Force of Wills some arbitrary draw spell but, combined with Duresses, I’m able to force through Death Wish to get a Time Spiral to let me Death Wish again into the Tendrils of Despair to finish him off.
Game 2: I have a really slow draw once again, meaning I’m unable to capitalize on his mulligan to six. We both drop lands for a while, but I decide to drop an Elvish Spirit Guide backed up by a Xantid Swarm. He trumps me with Yawgmoth’s Bargain. Everyone expects me to scoop, but I like people to be able to play with their toys, so I let him play it out. Jump ahead seventeen life and he’s sitting on two life with a very big frown on his face. He drops out some artifact mana and plays Mind’s Desire for ten. Again, everyone expects me to scoop, and again I let him play with his toys. He Desires up some lands and Force of Wills along with a Demonic Consultation and Vampiric Tutor. Screwed. He tries some more to find a draw spell and ends up getting as much mana as he possibly can also breaking his Lion’s Eye Diamond before drawing his last card with Yawgmoth’s Bargain. I mention that it would be kind of funny if he drew Windfall. He slow rolls it and comes up with… a land.
This is why LongDeath > TPS.
Finals: Rich Shay playing Control Slaver. Duh.
Game 1: I go nuts on him comboing him out despite a Force of Will and kill him on turn 2.
Game 2: I try to combo and Death Wish for something to try and break through before he gets to untap with his Mindslaver. I come up dry and I scoop to the Mindslaver activation.
Game 3: We both have slow hands and he Lava Darts a pair of Xantid Swarms and I play a few more draw spells to draw out more counters before I Burning Wish for Balance to balance things out. This helps me make a comeback to the point where I’ve resolved a Yawgmoth’s Will and have the mana and storm count necessary to Tendrils him out, but I can’t find one. I eventually settle on Vampiric Tutoring and then drawing it with Brainstorm. So I cast the Vampiric Tutor and he responds by flashing back Lava Dart.
You see how well you remember things at 4:00 AM after playing DeathLong for 15 hours.
So Rich is the Waterbury champion thanks to Lava Dart. Heh.
In all seriousness, congrats Rich and I wish we could have given each other a better fight. Next time you scourlish rogue!
I make the finals with a combo deck. In America. In New England. Tight.
Ray asks for a show of hands for going out to dinner, but everyone in our car are very much in favor of going directly home. And go home we do. Once I pass through the doors of the Marriott I finally remove my good-luck beret.
We hop in the car and start off towards Binghamton. I fall asleep and wake up to us driving down some road that definitely isn’t the highway. After past trips, I’m used to this and fall back asleep. Upon waking up again I see that we’re in a rest stop and everyone is sleeping. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.
Around 8:30, everyone wakes up and we head towards home. We get back at some point that I can’t remember, and after reading the awesome coverage on TMD, I crash hardcore.
DeathLong is wicked hot. I did a lot of goldfish games to get used to certain sticky situations, usually involving Death Wishing on a turn where you’re not going to combo them out. What was kind of dumb was my goldfishing online. I was doing much better there than I was in real life world. The intarweb is so much more awesomers than realifeland.
As I said earlier, I had tried out some decks with Crucible, but oh boy is it awful. Eli had a lot of problems with beating people in time to like, not draw. Steve O'Connell a.k.a. ZherHovercraft played nearly every match to time, usually due to Crucible wars. The card is very powerful, don’t get me wrong. It’s just sooo freaking slow! It’s fine in decks like Fish or Workshop Aggro decks. But in control decks, Workshop or otherwise, it’s just far too slow to win within the fifty minute time limit during tournaments. 4CC has Exalted Angel at it’s disposal, but against another control deck packing Crucibles, they need to play the Crucible Can-I-kill-yours-before-you-kill-mine game. That game is really, really slow.
The proposed solution that I heard most of the day is to add in Tinker and Darksteel Colossus. Sorry, it’s just that he’s an 11/11 trampler! He’s indestructible! The only things he can’t do involve activities you’d need a significant other to help you with. It seems to be the”in” thing to do lately, people splashing Darksteel Colossus and it’s best friend Tinker into everything from 4CC to various combo decks. Colossus has given 4CC an even more solid place in the metagame, due to its access to Swords to Plowshares and Balance. Colossus has even made Fish add in cards like Sigil of Sleep to deal with it.
Vintage is awesome right now. The best indicator of this is that an 11/11 trampler is one of the best cards in the format right now.
DeathLong is even more awesome because it packs ways to handle the Colossus, along with Crucible.
And it even does it within the time limit**.
Carl Winter, burninator of The Perfect Storm so good.
Member of Team Paragons
Member of Team Meandeck
Death Wish’s advocate (I’m so clever)
* Friends of mine who are just getting into Magic have just started to read my stuff, so I’m trying to throw them a bone. Sorry for talking like I’m teaching to a group of first graders.
** Just in case you didn’t get it, this line is in reference to my title, which pokes fun at the speed of decks in the current metagame. And I wanted an excuse to put in another footnote.