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The Vintage World Championships Report – *Winner*

The week before GenCon, I had actually played in a Type 1 run by IAmFishMan from TheManaDrain.com. I had gone into it having not played for a month or so beforehand, hoping to have some fun with my Goblin Trenches Keeper. Long story short? I won the tournament and a new Beta Mox Emerald. I was feeling pretty invincible at that point and decided that if I won the World Championships, I would declare dominance over Type 1. Well, as it turns out, I won, but I’m still refusing to declare dominance lest I be viewed as a jackass.

I felt the need to write this report for a few reasons. First off, I owe it to StarCityGames, who did an amazing job covering the Type 1 World Championships considering the circumstances. Secondly, well, I won, so I figure everyone will want to hear about the tournament from my point of view.


I’ve been playing Type 1 for a few years now, really getting serious last year when I finished up my set of Alpha Moxen at Origins. The week before GenCon, I had actually played in a Type 1 run by IAmFishMan from TheManaDrain.com. I had gone into it having not played for a month or so beforehand, hoping to have some fun with my Goblin Trenches Keeper. Long story short? I won the tournament and a new Beta Mox Emerald. I was feeling pretty invincible at that point and decided that if I won the World Championships, I would declare dominance over Type 1.


(Once at GenCon, after playing in a few tourneys, I revised that to if I won the Championships and the Northeast Championships taking place the weekend after, I would declare dominance over the format. If I should win that tournament, I’ll likely revise it to be some other event taking place in the future so as to not come off as a complete jackass.)


I left for Indianapolis at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and after a thirteen-hour trip with a few stops at rest stops and at a White Castle or two (having a Long Islander in the car will do that to ya), we arrive in lovely Indy at eight in the morning. After a great multiple-hour wait, I’m able to get my badge and peruse the exhibition hall until the tourney starts. I sell some things to a few stores, but am unable to find a buyer for my Beta Emerald, which kinda sucked. I see a few cool booths that I intend on going back to later in the weekend.


After that I remember about the Art Room, so I decide to check that out as I used to be really into art. I walk around, checking out the stuff, then I notice some artists that have done cards I’d like to sign. I’d known they would be there, but I had no idea they’d be there on Thursday, so that worked out really well as there were no lines and they seemed more than willing to sign stuff. I had my Force of Wills, Brainstorms, Future Sights, and a few other things, so I was happy. The sculptor (yes, sculptor) for the Dungeons and Dragons book covers were there, and learning about the process of making them was really enlightening, as I had always assumed they were paintings or computer generated.


Eventually the time for the afternoon Type 1 rolled around, and I entered playing my Trenches Keeper in an attempt to keep Hulk secret for Saturday. I ended up finishing 4-2, losing both matches to Suicide Black, of all things. One of those games I lost after Yawgmoth’s Willing, then getting out Future Sight, hitting land after land for three turns while being beaten down by Hypnotic Spectres. Even Trenches wouldn’t have been an out there; flying is so good.


Despite being smashed by 2/2 fliers, I had a great time hanging out with and meeting many TMD’ers, who were all great guys. I even saw the infamous Random Miser, a.k.a. Roy Spires, playing his trademark ICT – the talk of the weekend for sure. I head back to my hotel rather late after hitting up Micky D’s for some burger lovin’.


My room was reserved by a local guy, and all day we had been unable to locate the hotel, despite many people telling us they’d heard of it. (At least we knew it existed.) After some searching, we find out that it’s not actually a hotel, but it’s a series of suites located above a swanky restaurant. The room runs us $250 a night, but it’s a block away, and by recruiting Hill Redwine and some friends of his, the room goes down to about $30 a night for us all after taxes, which is reasonable.


The room itself was insane. We had a Jacuzzi, big screen, fridge, stove, and even a washing machine! It was awesome, and well worth the money. I learned on Friday that it even had a”secret” entrance to the Circle Mall, which meant that we would never even need to go outside to get to the convention center! The ability to do that would have come in handy Saturday (the day after we’d checked out, of course) when it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 degrees outside and muggy as all hell.


Friday was spent playing Type 1 all day and meeting up with fellow Paragons Shane Stoots, Josh Reynolds, Marc Perez, and David Allen. I hung out with a few other people and just had a good time in general. In an attempt to throw off the metagame, I played Hulk on Friday, though without the Deep Analysis tech. It still worked fine, though I found myself needing to remove the fourth Accumulated Knowledge and Cunning Wish for it more often than I did when playing with Deep Analysis. The deck just seems to need the extra draw. No one caught onto it, though, and everyone thought that I was playing Keeper on Saturday, so I guess it worked.


I get a good night’s sleep Friday night, and get up bright and early to have breakfast with one of the guys I came up with, who was playing in the Jihad World Championships later in the morning. I head over to the site afterwards, hand in my ticket, and fill out my deck sheet with the following:


4 Mana Drain

4 Force of Will

4 Brainstorm

4 Accumulated Knowledge

3 Cunning Wish

3 Duress

2 Merchant Scroll

2 Deep Analysis

3 Psychatog

2 Intuition

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

1 Yawgmoth’s Will

1 Black Lotus

1 Sol Ring

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Library of Alexandria

2 Island

2 Polluted Delta

3 Flooded Strand

3 Volcanic Island

2 Tropical Island

4 Underground Sea


Sideboard:

1 Fire / Ice

1 Blue Elemental Blast

1 Mind Twist

3 Coffin Purge

1 Lim-Dul’s Vault

2 Pernicious Deed

1 Artifact Mutation

1 Naturalize

1 Berserk

3 Red Elemental Blast


The main deck is amazing, and I think the sideboard was perfect for the perceived metagame (lots of Stax/Tendrils/Control). Deed is amazing against all sorts of decks from Stax to Mask variants to Sligh. Deep Analysis is amazing, and gives the deck that little bit of extra draw to make a control mirror a slaughter. More discussion on the deck can be found all over the place at StarCityGames’ forums, TheManaDrain’s forums, and the like.


After all was said and done, we ended up with a hundred and eighty-three people, and eight rounds of Swiss leading to the top 8 cutoff.


Round 1: Kenneth Frederick playing 4-Color ‘Phid

Game 1: I keep a land-light hand with a little bit of draw and some countermagic. He leads off with two Volcanic Islands, making me think he’s playing U/R ‘Phid. We both stall on two lands, however, and sit there for a little while discarding. He hits a third land before I do – and then Library after that. I’m not very pleased with this, but I have been able to find a third mana source to start casting Intuitions and Cunning Wishes. Despite his Dust Bowl (which he doesn’t use for a while so as to keep up counter mana), I’m able to get him below six for Library, and soon overwhelm him. Early on, he had put a lot of pressure on me in the form of Ophidians, but I’m able to REB and counter them so they don’t smash me.


Game 2: I quickly outdraw him and kill him with a fast ‘Tog. A lot more probably went on, but it doesn’t really stick out.


I make a comment to Kenneth about how for a while I thought he was playing U/R ‘Phid, to which he laughed. I asked him if he was playing Cunning Wish; he replied that he wasn’t so in order to fit more things in the sideboard. He was able to somehow fit Mishra’s Factories into his deck, which were quite the annoyance. His Dust Bowl could have also been a huge problem had I not been putting pressure on him.


That’s the great thing about Hulk; despite powerful lands like Library of Alexandria, Dust Bowl and Bazaar of Baghdad, you are able to put so much pressure at times on the opposing deck that they are unable to effectively use these otherwise game-breaking lands to their fullest potential.


Round 2: Marc Perez, PhantomTapeWorm on TMD, playing Hulk Smash (Paragon list)

Game 1: He gets turn 1 Library – and while that’s normally not a problem, he has all the same card-drawing I do, and I lose.


Game 2: He gets turn 1 Library, and the same as last game, only he gets a little more broken on me.


And here is where the controversy begins. I’m kind of mulling over my loss and how much it’s going to suck to have to win out the rest of the day, and I really don’t pay attention when I’m signing the match results slip. I sign it, then hand it off to Marc. He signs it, though neither of us check it – me because I signed it, and him because he trusts me. He takes it up, and from what he told me, put it in the box, noticed it was wrong, then asked for the lady manning the computer to change it. She said she would not, and after he appealed to the TO and the head judge, he comes to me and tells me what happened.


The sick feeling I got there was something I hadn’t felt before – I knew it was all an accident, but it was an accident that I was mostly responsible for. I tell him we can try to go up and get it changed, even though I know that they most likely won’t. I just hope that by going up with him, we can possibly get it changed. I appeal to the TO and to the head judge – twice. Eventually the judge tells me I need to stop and to just accept it.


What I found amusing about the situation was that some people couldn’t figure out why I felt so bad, though many sympathized, and I was glad some people got it. I went up to Marc about ten minutes later and told him that if I should win product, I would give him 20% of whatever I won. He said it was unnecessary, but he appreciated the sentiment. Later on, he even seemed a bit reluctant to take the box I offered him. He’s a class act, and I give him major props for being so cool about the situation.


Round 3: Josh Reynolds, SliverKing on TMD, playing Hulk Smash (Paragon list)

Game 1: He’s able to outdraw me early on, and we both get out Psychatogs. He’s one short of killing me, while he’s got plenty of life left, and gets me down to one so that I’ll die to his two ‘Togs on his next attack. I do some savage ripping and somehow manage to kill him. Neither of us are able to explain why or how I did it, but I pulled it out.


Game 2: I’m able to do the outdrawing thing early on this game, and despite a Library from him, I’m able to keep him under it so that I can win.


Playing another teammate was so dumb, especially this early in the tournament. Neither of us are too bummed, though, because at the beginning of the round we knew at least one of us would advance.


Round 4: Chris Williams playing U/R Phid

Game 1: He attempts a few ‘Phids, which I REB and counter – but then another gets through, which lets him get out Future Sight, which is then followed by Morphling, and I just can’t get through.


Games 2 and 3 are about the same, as I am able to establish my draw engine backed up by the amazing one-mana disruption spells I have (Red Elemental Blast and Duress), and he just can’t keep up. Though he does get manascrewed in one of these games, which obviously doesn’t help him much.


Chris was a good opponent who knew what he was doing and played with an air of confidence one doesn’t see often in Type 1 players. We wished each other luck and went on.


Round 5: Josh Osche playing Keeper (Feature Match)

Game 1: Josh gets the early lead, despite his Force of Will on my Duress to protect his Mox Sapphire. (After reading the match coverage, I realized why I had misread his hand as having Ancestral – in most situations, the only plays that warrant protecting your hand that fiercely involve an opening-hand Ancestral.) He’s able to Fact or Fiction and then play a few Wastes on me. However, when he casts Cunning Wish, I Mana Drain, and the resulting mana allows me to cast Demonic Tutor and Intuition and still have Mana Drain backup. He Brainstorms in response, I Ancestral, he Force of Wills, and I get to get my AKs. I later resolve an Accumulate into another Accumulate, and then go for the opportunity at his end of turn, still with counter backup. Once he lets that through, I pretty much go crazy with artifact mana and Yawgmoth’s Will.


Game 2: He mulligans two times while my hand isn’t that great, which allows him some time to stabilize. He’s able to resolve a desperation Yawgmoth’s Will, which lets him catch up to me by Ancestralling, and he’s later able to Balance away my two Togs. I try to Intuition afterwards, which he naturally Mana Drains – though that leaves him open to my Yawgmoth’s Will, which I assure you, was far more impressive than his.


Josh is a fellow resident of lovely Binghamton, New York, and we often play at the same shops (though not myself as of late due to my newfound love of partying). He plays lots of different decks, and I fully expected him to play a Smokestack-based deck at this tournament – and even then, he surprised me by playing a Morphling-based build of Keeper. I suppose the techy Goblin Trenches haven’t found their way into all Keeper decks yet. But they will… Though that’s another article in and of itself.


Round 6: David Allen, Thorme on TMD, playing Tainted Mask

Game 1: I Duress Necropotence out of David’s hand early, which leaves him with very little action and he is soon taken down by the Tog.


Game 2: Dave somehow draws worse than game 1 and isn’t able to put up much of a fight.


Dave’s a great guy, and a fellow Paragon who I was very happy to meet. I felt awful that I had to knock him out – but it happens, and I was sure he’d be able to win another round and draw in…


Round 7: [email protected] DeGraff, playing Goblin Sligh

Myself and [email protected] discuss the possibility of a draw and after a lengthy debate (and a few well-placed punches), we decide to intentionally draw.


Actually, [email protected]’s a great guy, and we were both famished and decided to let the other poor schmucks duke it out whilst we hit up the Marriott for some Subway lovin’. We had a nice discussion on the way there and back about his deck, and how it differed from Ankh Sligh and how much more I feared it due to its incredible speed. Who needs disruption when you can kill on the third turn? We also had a nice chuckle that the”cheapest budget” deck in the Top 8 still had some Power in it. He later told me how he has been living in a farmhouse the past few weeks without any access to the internet, which further impressed me. Congrats on doing so well with your own creation, [email protected]!


Round 8: Richard Mattiuzzo, ShockWave on TMD, playing Worldgorger Dragon combo

Game 1: We sit down, and I tell him it’s his choice. I like his chances, but he seems a bit iffy. I stress the point that it doesn’t really matter to me, and that with a loss I’m still likely to make it, but I can’t afford to take the risk with a concession. After much deliberation, he decides to accept my offer, with the stipulation of a few fun games – to which I’m more than happy to oblige. Our games end up split, usually decided by how fast he can get out Bazaar of Baghdad and then abuse it with multiple Squee, Goblin Nabobs. I’m impressed by the consistency with which he’s able to go off, but mention that I really like my chances a lot more after boarding, to which he agrees.


During the time after our games, I make and return a ton of phone calls from curious friends and wellwishers. I even receive a few voice mails from people I don’t know, but who saw my phone number on my away message and called just to wish me luck. I felt awesome at this point and was looking forward to the Top 8.


Quarterfinals: David Allen, believe it or not, still playing Tainted Mask

Game 1: I Ancestral turn 1, which nets me a Mox Jet to cast the Duress in my hand. It removes one of two Illusionary Masks. He’s able to use Sol Ring to drop out a Mask next turn – and since he’s unable to make any face down Will-O’-The-Wisps, I untap, Cunning Wish for my Naturalize and 187 the Mask. Dave gets out the Hyppie that I saw from my Duress, and next turn randomly takes my Deep Analysis.


Oh, how I love Type 2.


I’m at a fairly high life total, so that after my Yawgmoth’s Will/Time Walk/Tog, I’m able to hide my Cunning Wish with Brainstorm from his Hyppie, and his multiple Mishra’s Factories are unable to kill me before I piss off my Tog and run over them.


Game 2: We play the disruption game for a while, though he’s a lot better at it and is able to kill a land and Hymn me after we match Duresses. I pull off Yawgmoth’s Will for an Ancestral and get a Tog out to his two Hypnotic Specters. The specters hit me for a few turns – but not before I hide a Pernicious Deed with Brainstorm, and then cast it. But before this, he gets out a Withered Wretch that eats up my ‘Toggy chow, leaving me with few options other than to continue my savage Woodland Druid beatdown while he smashes me with multiple Hyppies and Wretch.


On my last possible turn, I Merchant Scroll for Cunning Wish, which gives me Berserk, Deed for two (putting two Moxen and the Deed in the graveyard), pump up my Tog with the four cards in the grave, then Berserk hitting him for exactly enough to kill him.


It always sucks to play against teammates, and even more to beat them. You hear that a lot, but I never knew how true it was until today – I had to take out teammates four times! Every match I was cool with whoever won, though, because either I won and advanced, or a friend did. Either way, I won. This made things a lot easier for me all day, and I can’t stress how cool they all were about it. Congrats on doing so well with a deck you enjoy playing as opposed to a cruel, soulless deck like Hulk!


Semifinals: Richard Mattiuzzo, who decided to not switch to LandStill between rounds, playing, once again, Worldgorger Dragon combo

Game 1: Rich is unable to get his Bazaar working for more than one Squee. I deny him that, however, Purging the Squee before it ever returns to his hand, all the while beating down with my Squire. For many turns I’m a few points short of killing him, so I have to continue to let him get his draw on, and eventually he forces through an Intuition, which gets his Squees – and from then on, I’m unable to do a whole lot, though there was a point where I thought that he was considering hard-casting Worldgorger Dragon with his Black Lotus. He doesn’t, as cool as that would have been, and combos me out with his Ambassador Laquatus.


Game 2: After bringing in my Coffin Purges I feel a lot more confident, as I should be able to neuter his draw engine and kill cards with just a few of my own. Rich attempts an early Compulsion, which I take a few moments to consider the risk involved before allowing it to resolve. I decide I’m cool with it, as I am going to be able to Purge any Squees he hits, and the majority of his deck are Animate effects and lands. Without the Compulsion, his game would have been a lot harder, but I’d have been left with nothing to defend my Purges with.


He continues his drawing and stuff while I cast whatever draw spells I can fit in. I lay a Tog, which gets to attack for a little while – but I’m standing on a knife’s edge, as anything that he resolves will likely be game. He tries for an Intuition, which I Red Elemental Blast from a Cunning Wish, making me glad I didn’t side them in. After some time, I am able to Purge away all his Worldgorgers, leaving me to kill him at my leisure. I’m a nice guy, though, and finish him quickly with a Berserk.


Game 3: Rich Vampiric Tutors for a Bazaar while laying a Tormod’s Crypt, which could be very annoying to my AK Fung-Shway. While he Bazaars, I Ancestral into a ludicrous three Force of Wills – which makes the judge next to me snicker, prompting him to pass a note over to the Ferrett, who was also very amused. (And he didn’t even know about the Force that was already in my hand!) Rich tries to Dance of the Dead with his Worldgorger, but I Force of Will. He also attempts an Ancestral, which I pitch one of my Forces to Force again to make him think I’m out of them. He Dance of the Deads the next turn, which I allow, knowing he can only have one Force of Will in hand to my Force and Coffin Purge.


Here’s where things get sticky. I let him go infinite (he literally says,”Go Infinite,” which is very vague – but he and I knew what he meant), and then, when the Dance comes back, I Purge the Laquatus. The way I intended to do this was in response to the Dance’s trigger, which I wasn’t entirely sure when it targeted, but once it did, I planned on nuking the Ambassador and burning Rich for a boatload.


However, he never stated what and when he was targeting, and I never specified what I was blowing up the Ambassador in response to. The main problem I had here is that I was told earlier that I was unable to respond to the Dance’s ability, that it would return the creature as soon as it targeted it, which I believe is why I lost game 1. (Though admittedly, my memory is still very hazy about the whole ordeal as it was a very, very long day). This time, however, I’m told I can respond, and when the Dance triggers. However, I’m still really unclear as to if I can because I’ve received conflicting rulings.


This leads to a little bit of discussion, and since it’s so late, I’m like,”Whatever, I guess it’s a draw.” After we start shuffling up, the judge asks us to wait a few moments while he confers with the head judge. They talk for a bit, and after a little bit more deliberation and hearing what we have to say, decide that my intent was clear enough (which I believe it was, despite what some may say), and that had Rich lost the game. I was kind of surprised and taken aback, so I just kind of go with it, apologizing to Rich. We were both cool with however the judges would rule, which made the situation a lot easier to deal with.


Rich is a great guy, and a great sport and player. It’s unfortunate that the game had to come down to that, but I assured him that just a few hours ago, in my normal state of mind, we’d have gone through each step, and nothing would have gotten as messed up as it ended up.


I just want to set the record straight: Despite being as crazy as I am, I know how the stack works, and I knew when to respond. I just didn’t know when everything went on the stack due to what I had heard earlier. Again, unfortunate circumstances, but sometimes-weird card interactions and timing rules lead to such situations. Sorry again it had to be so complicated, Rich.


Finals: Steve”Shane” Stoots, the only Paragon I had yet to play against playing Coal (Vengeur Masque with Black)

Game 1: I get my Library going early on, despite a Duress from Shane. He starts smashing me with Quirion Ranger, but is unable to resolve any of the very few business spells he has drawn, and I eventually Wheel of Fortune myself on Shane’s end step which causes him to become overwhelmed with the desire to concede.


Game 2: He gets the triple-Birds of Paradise draw. As scary as I am of a flock of rabid Mana Birds, I manage to keep my game face on, and not forget to counter his Survival after I Wheel of Fortune again. Once he decided he wasn’t in the game any more, he decided to insult my manhood by saying that I couldn’t beat a Tog for eighty! I decide that I’m game and want to end the match spectacularly. However, I look around and see all the bored looks on everyone’s face, and ask if everyone wants to just go home. I see a few nods from the audience, so I flip over Yawgmoth’s Will – which earns quite the groan from the crowd and Shane alike. I use it to Time Walk and then Cunning Wish the following turn to make my Tog titanic and come across for the win.


Again with the teammates beating thing… But at this point, myself and Shane were ecstatic that we’d accomplished the impossible dream: An all-Paragon final! We celebrate as much as the crowd lets us, then myself, Shane, Josh and David grab all our product and pile it on a table and ask The Ferrett to take a picture to preserve the moment.


Good times, good friends, and one pissed-off Atog. All the makings of a great weekend and a good ending to the first (hopefully annual) Type 1 Championships!


Props:


  • Psychatog: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh boy.

  • Team Paragons: We don’t even need a slogan now.

  • Steve O'Connell: TheManaDrain is an amazing site, and you’re a great guy. Thanks for the support.

  • Darren DiBattista: Thanks for the support after people decided to give me a hard time about the match results thing and the Coffin Purge thing. Truly a great man and elitist a-hole. :).

  • JP Meyer: For coming up with the original incarnation of the deck and being a constant help in my deciding what to play.

  • All the ManaDrainers I met this weekend for being way cool and understanding.

  • The Ferrett and Ben Bleiweiss: Covering this event was a bitch, I know, and you guys did a great job despite all the setbacks. Hopefully we’ll do it again next year!

  • Andy Stokinger and Matt Smith: Coverage of those last two matches was great, and it was fun hanging out this weekend.

  • Stephen Menendian: For being a wiener and not liking Type 2 cards and putting so much work into breaking this format.

  • Kevin Cron and all the other Team MeanDeckers: You guys also put in a ton of work, and your success was well-deserved (as opposed to myself, who picked up the deck a week before the convention :P)

  • Ryan Green: Passing up free alcohol to see me win gets you huge props!

  • Roy Spires: Who doesn’t give props to RandomMiser?

Slops:


  • Roy Spires: Who doesn’t give slops to RandomMiser?

  • Psychatog: First Standard, then Extended, now Vintage? What next, Creature Feature?

  • Darren DiBattista: For being an elitist a-hole. 🙂

  • JP Meyer: For breaking Type 1. How dare you!

  • Ryan Green: Who passes up free alcohol to watch Type 1?

Thanks again to all who supported me and congratulated me – it’s meant a lot to me, and hopefully I can defend my title at GenCon 2004!


Carl Winter

Moderator on www.TheManaDrain.com

Member of Team Paragon

Member of Team Mean Deck

Savage miser, hardcore party animal, and Vintage World Champion