Saturday Type 1 Tournament
Fat Cat Books in Johnson City, NY, 1:30-7:30 PM
Players with any Power Cards: 5
Those playing Power Cards: 3
I’ve felt that for far too long, this site has gone without a good Vintage tournament report… So I’m hoping I can remedy that! Now, I do know that Vintage is a format most people avoid like the plague due to one reason or another (lack of expensive cards, or the fear of them) but they really aren’t the all-end-all of Type 1. Good, tight deckbuilding and solid play rule the day, just like every other format.
4x Mana Drain
4x Force of Will
1x Mana Leak
4x Fact or Fiction
1x Merchant Scroll
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Time Walk
3x Powder Keg
1x Nevinyrral’s Disk
3x Mishra’s Factory
1x Strip Mine
1x Library of Alexandria
1x Black Lotus
1x Mox Sapphire
This deck doesn’t need much of the power to run (Ancestral, Library, and Drains are the necessities; Time Walk is just nice to have). However I’d recently traded for my Lotus and Sapphire and they are insane, so I ran them. The one Mana Leak is meant to bluff having four of them – plus, having nine two mana counters is very nice in the early game, where you have a lot of trouble staying alive. Mishra’s Factory is a great anti-creature card, as well as a uncounterable (but Wastelandable) win condition. They block all manner of weenies and can chump block later on if needed. The sideboard is mostly normal except for the one Mana Short, which I side in normally in the mirror or close to mirror matches where I can Scroll for it, then cast it during my opponent’s upkeep, allowing myself a turn to go hog wild. Combined with Time Walk, it normally means the end of my opponent.
Game One: He draws a great deal of artifact mana while I sit back and improve my hand with Impulses. He eventually attempts to get rid of the junk in his hand with a Time Spiral; I would normally counter, but my hand is very poor and I have an abundance of mana, so I allow it to resolve, drawing a Morphling, some card drawing, and counters. He attempts a Stroke of Genius, but I counter, play Morphling, and kill him in four turns.
Game Two: He draws an amazing one land. It takes me some time, but I get out a Morphling, and all he has is mana producing artifacts and some land. I wrap it up four turns later.
Round 2: James, a.k.a. The Kaiser, playing Keeper (5 Color control)
When people think of Type 1, this is the deck they think about: Power Nine, lots of broken cards, and Morphling for the kill. This deck will be especially potent, piloted by a very skilled and experienced player.
Game One: We take turns playing some land and Moxes, doing very little. I eventually attempt to Fact or Fiction, which I win the counter war over. I reveal some solid cards and eventually Fact or Fiction again, giving me a huge advantage. I get out a Morphling with little resistance, but play out extra lands cautiously, as he plays Obliterate – which would, well, obliterate me. He doesn’t play it in the four turns I need to kill him, so I win.
Game 2: *Sideboarding note: I bring in some Back To Basics and a Misdirection which are all amazing against him (Back to Basics works due to his lack of basic lands, and Misdirection’s for his Ancestral and Mind Twist)
We both get slow starts again, with him leading off with a Holistic Wisdom. I Mana Drain it, play a Fact or Fiction off the drain mana, then do it again to strengthen my hand for the eventual war over Morphling. However, he is left counterless from the wars over Fact or Fictions, and Morphling enters play. I hold my Lotus and some lands in anticipation of a possible Obliterate, which never comes, and four turns later it’s over.
Round 3: Rob, my teammate, playing my Sligh deck (no power)
I concede to Rob because I have more favorable matchups than he does in the losers bracket. However I have a tendency to beat most Sligh players due to their love of casting Ball Lightning. It is very important to not cast the Ball against mono blue at the first chance. Most of the time it is Mana Drained, and then Sligh has to deal with a two-mana Morphling. By doing other things first, you force the blue player to weaken their hand.
Round 4: Josh O, playing U/R with Urza’s Rages, Obliterate sideboard. His power consists of an Ancestral, Library, and some Mana Drains.
Josh came very far using very little power due to a good deck build, which is extremely important in Type 1 where people are playing with the most broken cards they can get their hands on. Using even a few sub-par cards can give your opponent a huge advantage. As long as the cards fit with the deck, even if they aren’t power, your deck can work just fine.
Game 1: I’m very tired from doing nothing most of the day waiting for the loser’s bracket to finish up, so I make some questionable plays and play oddly (not trying hard enough on my getting my card drawing to resolve), so he is able to take the game back from me when he Disks away my Morphling at five life.
Game 2: *Sideboarding: I brought in some Gainsays and Misdirections. I also brought in my two Masticores so that if he did Obliterate, I could Mana Drain it, then cast the Masticore off the Drain mana, leaving him with nothing and me with a clock.
I am able to force through my Fact or Fictions and an end-of-turn Ancestral, leaving me plenty of cards to fight the counter war that never happened over my Morphling. He attempts a Disk at around ten life, but I Drain it and attack two more times for the win.
Game 3: I keep my deck the same
I must have Mana Drained something early, because I was able to get out a Masticore with Force/Misdirection back up with three other cards in hand. I pay my concrete donkey his fee, and he goes to work on Josh for a few turns. Josh attempts an Ancestral at around eight life, but I Misdirection it and solidify my already good position. After two more turns hoping he doesn’t Obliterate with the eight lands he’s accumulated, I win.
This was the second time in the past two weeks that the person I came with and I both won the 1st and 2nd place prizes; I played this same deck both weeks. The other players in the tourney played mostly the same decks, with a few people changing. I just wanted to get in one more good tournament’s worth of Fact or Fiction – which, while I love playing mono blue, I know must go to preserve this wonderful format. With Fact or Fiction gone, many more people should have an easier time getting into Vintage again due to a possible resurgence of aggressive decks, and a decline of the control decks (with the exception of those that have been around for a while, like Keeper).
I hope that this report gave you some insight as to how a Type 1 deck and tournament work and that you might try out the format!