Yawgmoth’s Whimsy #336 – UST and Time Management

The StarCityGames.com Open Series heads to Denver!
Thursday, August 5th – This article contains more reports on the Ultimate Standard Tournament, as I could fit them in around preparation for GenCon and wrapping up stuff at work. This week, Astral Slide tries to slip by Napster, Doran tries to extinguish My Fires, and Psychatog tries to out-broken Tinker.

This article contains more reports on the UST tournament, as I could fit them in around preparation for GenCon and wrapping up stuff at work. This week, Astral Slide tries to slip by Napster, Doran tries to extinguish My Fires, and Psychatog tries to out-broken Tinker.

It’s a short article this week: my desktop computer blew a power supply last week, and my laptop’s motherboard went this week. I’m also prepping for GenCon, and trying to get work sorted before I leave. The article will be shorter and more ragged than I’d otherwise like. Sorry about that.

What’s going on: I am running a tournament matching 32 of the best Standard legal decks of all time in a single elimination tournament. The idea is to find out if modern decks can run with the best historical decks. The event will play best of five matches, with two unsideboarded and up to three sideboarded matches. The decks chosen are a selection of the most famous historical decks, as played at the time.

The brackets and decklists can be found here.

Where possible, I’m playing these matches out online, on MTGO. It’s obviously not possible for some matches, of course, since many of these decks rely on cards that just don’t exist online. (Rishadan Port is a great example.) When necessary, I’ll end up playing these matches between my two accounts, but I’d prefer actual opponents. When I’m online and available, I’ll hang out in a room called UST. Just type “/join UST” in any window on MTGO.

Thanks for the Help:

Several people have helped play out matches. I really appreciate this. Keep it up!

If you have time, meet me online (going to be tough while I’m at GenCon) or just play out a matchup with your friends. Just use the decklists here, and please provide a complete record of the games — opening hands, cards played, relevant abilities used, life total changes, etc. It isn’t enough to say Stompy smashed Sabre Bargain — we want to see how, why and what happened.

I also keep the brackets on that page up to date — in other words, once a match is played, I’ll note it as “(played),” and post the results after the article with the results goes up.

On to coverage.

Psychatog versus Tinker

I have looked at this matchup a bit, and played around with it some, but have not played it seriously. Fortunately, some volunteers did. Here’s Chinsung Chang’s report. He did not name his opponents, but thanks to them, too.

A note: I noticed a couple questionable plays, but I don’t think they invalidate the results. Feel free to debate this in the forums.

Game 1: Psychatog on the play.

Psychatog mulligans. Keeps Island x2, Salt Marsh, Fact or Fiction, Counterspell, Repulse
Tinker mulls. Keeps Tinker, Island, Monolith, Processor, Masticore, Metalworker

TO: Salt Marsh
TI: Draws Processor. Island, Pass.

TO: Draws Nightscape. Island, Nightscape, pass
TI: Draws Port. Rishidan Port, Monolith, pass

TO: Draws Nightscape. Island, beat for 1 (20-19), pass.
TI: Draws Sanctuary. Metalworker, leaving U up. Tog plays Repulse EOT, draws FoF.

PRJ note: Leaving U up? He must have used Monolith for Metalworker. Wouldn’t you have Port and Island up? If so, could port the Salt Marsh next turn, which would seem to be the play.

TO: Draws Tog. Beat for 1 (20-18), pass.
TI: Draws Metalworker. Pass. Tog Plays FoF EOT, reveals Swamp, Swamp, Island, Cephalid Coliseum, Psychatog. Tinker divides Swamp, Swamp, Tog against Island, Cephalid Coliseum. Tog takes the Blue lands.

TO: Upkeep TI ports Salt Marsh. Draws Tog. Island, Beat for 1 (20-17), pass.
TI: Draws Thran Dynamo, pass, pitch Crumbling Sanctuary. Tog plays FoF EOT, reveals Tog, Island x2, Underground River, Repulse. TI divides Underground River + Repulse against. Tog takes River + Repulse

TO: Upkeep TI ports Marsh. Draws Chainer’s Edict. Beat for 1 (20-16). Underground River, Psychatog, pass (19-16).
TI: Draws Island. Island, Tinker, which is countered by Counterspell.

TO: Draws Salt Marsh. Tog plays Cephalid Coliseum and cracks it, targeting self, draws Counterspell, River, Lapse. Tog discards Edict, Tog, Familiar. Tog pitches its hand to Tog, removes all but one card in yard from game and attacks for 16. Tog wins.

Game 2: Tinker on the play.

Tinker keeps Saprazzan Skerry, Island x2, Key, Phyrexian Processor, Masticore, Thran Dynamo
Tog keeps Catacombs, Island, River, Edict, Counterspell, Upheaval, Deep Analysis

TI: Skerry, pass.
TO: Draws Repulse, Island, pass.

TI: Draws Port. Port, Voltaic Key, pass.
TO: Draws Island. Underground River. Pass.

TI: Draws Helix. Play Thran Dyanmo (resolves). Use Dynamo/Key, play Masticore (resolves).
TO: Draws Coliseum. Island, pass.

TI: Upkeep discard Helix, draw Key. Attack for 4 (20-16). Pass. Tog plays Repulse EOT draws Circular Logic.
TO: Draws Counterspell, plays Coliseum, pass. TI ports River EOT.

TI: Draws Monolith. Play Monolith (resolves). Play Masticore (resolves). Untap Monolith, pass.
TO: TI ports River during upkeep. Tog draws & plays River, pass.

TI: Pitch Key, draw Crystal Vein. Attack (20-12). Pass.
TO: Draw Coliseum. Play Catacomb. Play Chainer’s Edict off of River, Catacomb, pass. TI ports River EOT.

TI: Upkeep, port TO’s island. Draw Skerry. Skerry, use Key/Dynamo, Processor (Counterspell {20-11}), pass.
TO: Draw Island. Play Deep Analysis off of Island x2, River, Catacomb, drawing Island, Nightscape. Pass.

TI: Draws Masticore and Ports TO’s Island during draw step. Masticore, which is countered by Counterspell (20-9).
TO: Draws Repulse. Plays Island, Familiar off of Island + Catacomb. Plays DA via Flashback (20-6) draws Swamp, River. TI untaps Monolith EOT.

TI: Draws Crystal Vein. Crystal Vein, pass.
TO: Draws Underground River. Island, beat for 1 (19-6), pass.

TI: Draws Tangle Wire. Pass.
TO: Draws Salt Marsh. Salt Marsh, beat for 1 (18-6), pass.

TI: Draws Crystal Vein. Crystal Vein, pass.
TO: Draws Island. Beat for 1 (17-6), pass.

TI: Draws Monolith. Monolith, pass.
TO: Draws Counterspell. Beat for 1 (16-6), discard Swamp. Pass.

TI: Draws Phyrexian Colossus and plays it off of Dynamo, Monolith, Island. Tog Repulses Colossus EOT, draws Island. TO untaps its Monolith
TO: Draw Cunning Wish. Beat for 1 (15-6), pass.

TI: Draws Skerry. Crystal Vein. Play Colossus. Tog responds with Cunning Wish for FoF, reveals Lapse x2, Tog, Upheaval, River. TI splits Tog against. Tog takes Tog and lets Colossus resolve. Tog breaks Coliseum EOT drawing Salt Marsh, Edict, Nightscape. Tog pitches Salt Marsh, Nightscape, Coliseum.
TO: Draws Deep Analysis. TO beats for 1 (14-6). Casts Upheaval floating mana. TI scoops.

Tog boards -2 Repulse, +2 Duress, -2 Edict, +2 Ghastly Demise.
TI boards -1 Colossus, -1 Sanctuary, -1 Processor, -1 Metalworker, -1 Tinker, -1 Brainstorm, +4 Miscalculation, +4 Rising Waters.

Game 3: Tinker on the play.

Tog keeps: Island x2, Salt Marsh, DA, Lapse, Edict, Familiar
Tinker mulls and keeps: Skerry, Monolith, Tinker, Masticore, Dynamo, Rising Waters.

TI: Skerry, pass.
TO: Draws Counterspell. Salt Marsh, Pass.

TI: Draws Key. Plays Monolith off of Skerry, uses Monolith to play and activate Key, re-tapping Monolith to play Masticore.
TO: Draws Marsh, Island, Edict.

TI: Draws Crystal Vein. Plays Crystal Vein. Uses Vein + Key to untap Monolith, sacrifices Skerry, taps Monolith, plays Rising Waters.
TO: Untaps Salt Marsh. Draws Tog. Plays Island and passes.

TI: Untaps Vein, draws Island. Plays Island. Untaps Monolith with Key, plays Dynamo (resolves).
TO: Untaps Island, draws Salt Marsh, plays Salt Marsh. Pass.

TI: Untaps Island, draws Metalworker, plays Metalworker off of Dynamo (resolves).
TO: Untaps Marsh, draws Island, plays Marsh and Nightscape, pass.

TI: Untaps Vein, draws Miscalculation. Attack for 1 (20-19), pass.
TO: Untaps Marsh, draws Repulse. Plays Island, attacks for 1 (19-19), plays Psychatog, pass. TI untaps Monolith EOT.

TI: Draws Metalworker. Plays Metalworker and passes.
TO: Untaps Marsh, draws tog, beats with tog (no blocks) (18-19), and passes.

TI: Draws Island. Plays Island. Plays Tinker sacrificing Monolith and floating 1. TO responds with Counterspell, TI responds with Miscalculation, TO responds with Memory Lapse targeting Miscalculation. Attack for 2 (18-17).
TO: Untaps Marsh, draws Cunning Wish. Pitches DA to tog, attack for 3 (15-17), flashback DA (15-14), drawing Island, Upheaval.

TI: Untaps Island, Draws Miscalculation. Beats for 2 (15-12), pass.
TO: Untaps Marsh, Draws Counterspell. Plays Island, beat for 2 (13-12), pass.

TI: Untaps Island, Draws Skerry. Skerry, beat for 1 (13-11), pass. Tog Repulses untapped Worker EOT. TI responds with Miscalculation.
TO: Untaps Salt Marsh, beat with tog (12-11), pass.

TI: Untaps Skerry, draws Island, beats for 1 (12-10), pass.
TO: Untaps Marsh, draws Nightscape. Beat with team, TI blocks tog with Metalworker, TO pitches Familiar to tog (11-10).

TI: Untaps Island, draws Brainstorm. Play Brainstorm (resolves), draw Skerry, Island, Dynamo. TI scoops.

Tog takes it. Not too surprising — Tinker was not really built to compete with bounce spells, counters, and cheap threats. Imagine Tinkering for a Phyrexian Colossus and having it bounced. About the only non-bounceable threat is Processor, and that is painful and slow — and the tokens can be bounced.

Tog advances.

My Fires vs. Doran

This matchup was really draw dependent. We played maybe a dozen pre-sideboard games, and the deck playing first won the ten of those games. Pre-sideboard, this is a very even match. Doran has better acceleration and better removal, but My Fires has Rishadan Port and synergistic effects, like Fires of Yavimaya and Saproling Burst. (For the uninitiated, Burst makes multiple large tokens, and Fires gives them haste. Burst can create three 4/4 or four 3/3 attackers out of nowhere.)

Pre-sideboard, the matchup seems dead even.

We had a debate about sideboarding Fires. Mike wanted to bring in Tangles. I was not sure that Fires wants to take out threats for defensive cards — even good ones. My Fires is the beatdown in this matchup. The Earthquakes could also come in — but the only cards worth taking out are the Chimeric Idols — in other words, threats.

Doran, on the other hand, had too much it could bring in. Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender is great against Red decks, and Fires is partly Red — but maybe not enough to matter. (Only FTK and Two-Headed Dragon are Red creatures.) On the other hand, Aura of Silence is amazing against a deck with eight major enchantments and four artifacts. Pithing Needle shuts down Rishadan Port and Saproling Burst. Kitchen Finks also help win races against beatdown decks. The biggest problem is that I was not sure which cards to take out to bring in these cards.

It was still very close. Doran clearly has an edge in any long game, but in games that start:

Turn 1: Forest — Birds
Turn 2: Forest — Fires
Turn 3: Land — Blastoderm, beat for five
Turn 4: Land — Saproling Burst, beat for seventeen…

… That edge does not have much time to develop. In longer games, Doran has more two-for-one opportunities, and matchups like Blastoderm charging into Kitchen Finks are unfair.

This matchup came down to a coin flip. With presideboard games at 1-1, if Doran won the flip, it was almost certain to win two of the next three games, and the match. Doran won the flip.

Doran advances.

Napster versus Astral Slide

Again, thanks to Chang & friends for the results. This matchup was fairly predictable: Slide has a huge advantage. It can churn through its deck quickly, and its threats are easily top-decked and played. Napster’s hand destruction does little, Vicious Hunger kills almost nothing, and its main threats are vulnerable to Lightning Rift. Napster also has no way to remove enchantments. In short, it is hard to imagine a worse matchup. Maybe Enchantress, but at least Argothian Enchantress is vulnerable to Perish.

Game 1: Napster on the play

Napster mulls, keeps Duress x2, Skittering Skirge, Vampiric Tutor, Dust Bowl, Swamp
Slide keeps Spark Spray, Decree of Justice, Renewed Faith, Burning Wish, Forgotten Cave, Plains, Mountain

NP: Swamp, Duress, taking Burning Wish
AS: Draw Temple of the False God. Mountain, pass.

NP: Draw Swamp. Swamp, Skittering Skirge, pass, AS cycles Spark Spray EOT, draws Slice and Dice.
AS: Draws Renewed Faith. Plains, pass

NP: Draws Vicious Hunger. Attack (20-17). Play Dust Bowl, pass. AS cycles Renewed Faith (20-19), draws Slice and Dice EOT.
AS: Draws Exalted Angel. Forgotten Cave, pass.

NP: Draws Yawgmoth’s Will. Attack for 3 (20-16). Plays Duress. Slide responds by cycling Renewed Faith (20-18) into Plains. NP takes Decree. Pass
AS: Draws Lightning Rift. Plains, Lightning Rift. Napster plays Vampiric Tutor EOT, fetches Dark Ritual (18-16).

NP: Draws Dark Ritual. Plays Dark Ritual, Yawgmoth’s Will. NP plays Dark Ritual, Duress x2 (taking both Slice and Dice), Vampiric Tutor (for Eradicate) out of the graveyard. Napster attacks for 3 (16-13)
AS: Draws Lighting Rift. Plays Exalted Angel.

NP: Draws Eradicate. Pass
AS: Draws Burning Wish. Attacks (12-17). Plays Lightning Rift and Burning Wish (for Decree).

NP: Draws Dark Ritual. Plays Dark Ritual, Eradicate on Exalted Angel. Attacks (12-14)
AS: Draw Plains. Plains, pass.

NP: Draws Duress. Attacks, AS cycles Decree for 2, points one Rift at Skirge, one at face (10-14). AS draws Mountain, pass.
AS: Draws Lightning Rift. AS plays Mountain, Lightning Rift, attacks for 2 (8-14).

PRJ note: I’m confused. What’s attacking? Slide had one creature all game, the Angel, which was Eradicated. If it was a morphed Angel, why doesn’t NP play the Vicious Hunger?

NP: Draws Yawgmoth’s Will, pass.
AS: Draws Secluded Steppe. Attack for 2 (6-14), cycle Secluded Steppe for the win.

Game 2: Napster on the play

Napster keeps Port, Spawning Pool, Swamp, Stupor, Yawgmoth’s Will, Phyrexian Negator, Skittering Skirge
Slide keeps Plains, Mountain, Temple of the False God, Spark Spray, Burning Wish, Lightning Rift, Wrath of God.

NP: Spawning Pool.
AS: Draws Burning Wish. Plays Mountain.

NP: Draws Will. Plays Swamp, Skirge. EOT slide cycles Spark Spray into Spark Spray.
AS: Draws Temple. Plays Plains, Rift.

NP: Draws Swamp. Plays Port, Stupor. AS discards Temple (random), and Burning Wish. Attack (20-17).
AS: Draws Slide. Plays Temple.

NP: Draws Vampiric Tutor. Plays Swamp and attacks. Slide cycles Spark Spray into Lightning Rift, killing Skirge. Plays Negator, pass.
AS: Draws Slide. Plains, Slide, pass. NP vamps EOT for ritual (18-17).

NP: Draws Ritual. Plays Ritual, Will (tapping Port, floating B). Plays Ritual, Skirge, Stupor, and Vamp (for Persecute) out of yard. AS discards Rift (Random), and Burning Wish. NP attacks (18-12).
AS: Draws Forgotten Cave. Forgotten Cave, Wrath of God.

NP: Draws Persecute. Activates Spawning Pool and attacks (18-11).
AS: Draws Exalted Angel. Plays Exalted Angel

NP: Draws Vicious Hunger.
AS: NP ports Temple during upkeep. AS draws Renewed Faith and attacks (14-15).

NP: Draws Negator. Plays Negator. EOT AS cycles Renewed Faith (16-15), points Rift at Negator. NP sacs Port, Pool. AS draws Slice and Dice.
AS: Draws Lightning Rift. Attack (20-11), plays Rift, cycle Slice and Dice point Rift at Negator. NP scoops.

Napster boards -2 Negator, -4 Vicious Hunger, -1 Perish, +1 Eradicate, +1 Stromgald Cabal, +1 Unmask, +1 Stupor, +1 Powder Keg, +1 Processor, +1 Rapid Decay
Slide boards -1 Decree, -1 Slide, -1 Burning Wish, +1 Eternal Dragon, +1 Wrath, +1 Exalted Angel

Game 3: Napster on the play

Napster keeps Duress, Skirge, Decay, Stupor, 2x Swamp, Port
Slide keeps Wish, Slide, Wrath, Dragon, Plains, Steppe, Temple

NP: Swamp, Duress (take Wrath).
AS: Draws Lightning Rift, plays steppe.

NP: Draws Swamp. Plays Swamp, Skirge.
AS: Draws Mountain. Plays Mountain, Rift.

NP: Draws Swamp. Plays Swamp, Stupor. AS discards Burning Wish (random) and Astral Slide. Attack (20-17).
AS: Draws Eternal Dragon. Plays Plains, pass.

NP: Draws Swamp. Plays Port, attack. AS cycles Dragon, gets Plains, kills Skirge.
AS: Upkeep NP ports Mountain. Draws Mountain. Plays Mountain, pass.

NP: Draws Swamp, plays Swamp.
AS: Upkeep NP ports Mountain. Draws Rift. Plays Temple, Rift.

NP: Draws Duress, plays Swamp, Duress (whiff).
AS: Upkeep NP ports Mountain. AS floats mana, rebuys Dragon. NP responds with Rapid Decay. AS draws Mountain, plays Plains.

NP: Draws Thrashing Wumpus, plays Swamp, Wumpus.
AS: Upkeep, NP ports Mountain, AS floats, cycling Dragon, points both rifts at Wumpus. AS draws Spark Spray. Plays Plains, pass.

NP: Draws Vampiric Tutor. EOT AS cycles Spark Spray, drawing Forgotten Cave and pointing both rifts at NP (16-17).
AS: Upkeep regrow Dragon (tapping Temple, Plains, Plains, Mountain). Draws Wrath. Play Mountain. EOT NP plays Vampiric Tutor (14-17) for Yawgmoth’s Will.

NP: Draws Skittering Horror. Play Skittering Horror. EOT AS cycles Cave, kills Horror, draws Secluded Steppe.
AS: Upkeep NP ports Temple, AS responds by cycling Dragon, pointing both rifts at NP (10-17). AS draws Lightning Rift. Plays Lighting Rift.

NP: Draws Vamp. EOT AS cycles Steppe, points 2 rifts at NP (6-17). NP scoops.

Astral Slide advances.

I’m heading off to GenCon now.

*big grin*


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