December 14, 2016

GP Chiba Side Event - Top 4 in the Asia Vintage Championship Winter 2016!


      Even before I went to Grand Prix Chiba, I told myself I would be fine with not making Day 2 of the Main Event because there was a Vintage tournament that was likely to be fairly large. Vintage is extremely rare in Manila, and completely non-existent in Cebu, so I knew I didn't want to miss this chance to play with some Power cards!

      I didn't bother with a difficult deck for this tournament. I decided to play Oath because it was a pretty simple deck to play. This was the list I played:

16 Lands

4 Forbidden Orchard
1 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Strip Mine
2 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea

2 Creatures

1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Griselbrand

42 Spells

4 Abrupt Decay
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Dig Through Time
2 Flusterstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Ponder
3 Preordain
1 Show and Tell
1 Time Walk
2 Toxic Deluge
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Dragon Breath
4 Oath of Druids
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor


1 Savannah
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Terastodon
2 Mindbreak Trap
3 Nature's Claim
1 Toxic Deluge
4 Rest in Peace
2 Pithing Needle

      The idea is to play Oath of Druids, trigger it with either Orchard tokens or the opponent naturally playing creatures,  and to cheat out the only two creatures in the maindeck: Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, and Griselbrand. It can even give them haste by milling the Dragon Breath off the Oath trigger. It can win off of good keeps and raw power, which I needed because I do not get to play a lot of Vintage and have no skill or format knowledge to leverage. I didn't have ANY practice at all with the deck, because I'm the only Vintage player I know of in Cebu. I just copied Yves Dahinden's Oath list from Eternal Weekend Europe's Top 8, but I replaced one Show and Tell with a Library of Alexandria because I only had one Show and Tell, heh. I anticipated many boring games of just tapping two mana, cheating a monster into play and winning off the opening hand that I draw, like the Show and Tell decks in Legacy. Contrary to my expectations, I ended up having many difficult, thrilling, and awkward games, all while having a relaxed atmosphere compared to  Day 1. It was a lot easier to have fun in this 72-man event!

      On to my matches!

R1 Oath mirror (1-0)

G1 I win the die roll and open a hand with Library, Vampiric Tutor, two Oaths, and an Orchard. I play a Library. He preordains off a rainbow land. I suspect Oath so I keep my oaths in hand. I draw from Library twice over two turns, and let him cast an Oath with his Orchard. Then I play my Orchard and tap it to tutor for another Orchard. I win by triggering his Oath. This game was the first Oath mirror I had ever played, but my friend told me this is how it plays out. It worked! 

G2 I mull to 6 and he Show and Tells on turn 3.  I lose the counter war and the game.

G3 I had a double Oath hand with Orchard.  I cast Oath, he Forces.  I cast an Oath and it resolves. He gets to cast Show and Tell into Omniscience, but passes the turn. I Oath into Dragon breath and Emrakul, killing all 6 of his permanents immediately.

R2 BUG Fish (1-1)
G1 He plays T1 Bob. I lose soon after without revealing that I'm on Oath.
G2 He boards very lightly and plays a T1 Bob again. I T2 Oath and win.
G3 I have nothing, and die to his T1 Bob into beats.

R3 Mono Red Moon (2-1)

These cards. In Vintage. 

G1 I keep Demonic Tutor, Orchard, Black Lotus, Orchard, and two fetches.  He goes T1 Chrome Mox tossing Blood Moon,  Tomb,  Magus of the moon. WAT.  I draw,  play fetch and Lotus,  pass.  He plays another Magus.  The only way I can do anything is to topdeck either Oath, or Mox Emerald. Like a pro, I obviously topdeck Mox Emerald, crack Black Lotus to tutor Oath, cast it, and win. Skill game.

G2 He has T1 Mox, Mox, Sol Ring, Rabblemaster.  I attempt to read the card, but it's Japanese. I soon get an Oath. He plays an Ensnaring Bridge.  I flip a lot of cards to find a Dragon Breath and Emrakul, but I can't attack. I find a Nature's Claim, so I hold off until his EOT to kill his bridge. He casts another bridge. I kill the first one, but I need to find another card to deal with it. I don't even know if there's another in the Library! I play on, casting Treasure Cruise,  Ancestral Recall,  Ponder,  Preordain, in no particular order, then with 3 cards in my library,  I Brainstorm into the last Abrupt Decay! I return 2 lands. He casts Blood Moon which would have ruined everything by not letting me cast Decay and the Deluge I need to clear his board. He would have killed me on the crack back because Griselbrand was in my hand. I Force the Moon, Decay the Bridge,  cast the Toxic Deluge, and annihilate for the flawless victory with 1 card in the library! Absolute insanity! My opponent's soul was so crushed that he did not leave his seat for a long time. I had some coffee, walked around the event, talked to my friends, and went back to the table and he was still there looking destroyed.

R4 Shops (3-1)

G1 T1 Sphere.
T1 Orchard Mox Mox Mox. We laugh, but I think he died a little inside.
T2 Chalice 2. Decay Sphere EOT.
T2 Land, go.
T3 Sphere on stack AR,  Decay chalice.
T4 He casts Revoker on something.
T4 Oath!
T5 Thorn
T5 Oath into Emrakul
T6 Metamorph on Emrakul
T6 Oath into Dragon Breath Griselbrand. I try to find Time Walk but my opponent reminds me he's at 8 so I win with a Breath pump.

This guy can hit Emrakul - it doesn't target!

G2 He casts a T1 Revoker on Lotus
T1 Oath
T2 I think he casts a TKS?
T2 Oath into Emrakul
T3 Metamorph again!
T3 Oath into Elesh.  Attack into his smaller Emrakul for the win. I'm not even sure if I want Elesh Norn in the matchup but I boarded it in anyway.

R5 Mentor (4-1)

G1 I only remember decaying a flipped Jace and Oathing him out. I didn't show him I was on Oath until I had to.

G2 I Oath out a Grisel, he Plows it.  I Misstep. He Snapcasters the Plow,  I draw 7, cast Dig Through Time to find a Misstep+FOW to win the game.

This is one of the reasons why Vintage will never be a goldfish format.

R6 Paradoxical Storm (5-1)

G1 I Flusterstorm a Paradoxical Outcome for 3 without realizing he has an untapped Monolith. Dead on turn 3 (an extra turn after a Time Walk.)

G2 I Misstep his Sol Ring,  he FOWs. He tries to cast Wheel of Fortune,  I Mindbreak Trap it.  I win from there with like 3 more counters and a Tutor into Oath. He could have completely destroyed me if he had let his Sol Ring get countered and FOWed the Mindbreak Trap instead!

G3 He mulls to 5, I counter his twister and cast Oath. He can't beat Griselbrand drawing tons of counters.

R6 ID to make Top 8 at 5-1-1! This is my first time ever to do this. 

T8 UR Delver

G1 I play duals to hide my Oathing intentions.  He plays Young Pyromancer, I Oath into a Griselbrand. He casts Snapcaster Mage targeting Gush with no mana available. I wonder what he wanted to do with it, but I let it resolve, and then he tries to cast Gush by returning Islands. I call the judge because I know it doesn't work. It's not allowed and he loses to my Griselbrand. I have to imagine he's done that play during the Swiss rounds.

G2 I snap keep my hand of Double Oath and mana. He plays a Delver,  Pierces an Oath, and casts Ancestral. I didn't bother fighting it, because my plan was to cast the other Oath with FOW up. I cast the Oath, I believe he Pierces it again, and I FOW to resolve it. He casts another Delver because he doesn't really have anything. I Oath into Griselbrand, then I Oath  into Dragon Breath + Emrakul. I attempt to attach it, but he calls the judge to clarify. It works and I win. My friends cheered me on during this match, and the judge told them to be careful. Hahah!

 Still smashing people for 1G

T4 Mentor

G1 I keep a hand with Library of Alexandria and Strip Mine. I play Library, draw a card off it before he Wastes it. I Strip his next land and he hits no lands off 4 Preordains. I cast Jace, then I Oath.  He plows Griselbrand, draw 7, discard Emrakul and Dragon Breath. I reveal both during my next Oath Trigger. I swing, he's at 1. I cast time walk when I could have just pumped Emrakul. Man I suck at Dragon Breath.

G2 I can't break through a Cage + Priest and die to Mentor with Gush.

The standard "Don't Oath me, Bro!" package

G3 He has no action until T3 where he casts a Mentor. I decay it. He casts Priest, which I allow. I have Deluge and Show and Tell in hand, but I thought he had another Mentor in hand so I tried to hold off on the Deluge. Then he cast Cage,  and then Ancestral,  Time Walk, Cruise, and Dig to put the game completely out of reach. The way out of that situation was to Deluge away the Priest, and then Oath to draw either creature in my deck on the draw step, then Show and Tell it. Obviously, I would need both spells to resolve, but my opponent had seven cards to my three. That wasn't going to happen. I lost!

      Oath is apparently still a good deck, and pretty easy to play. One thing that surprised me, though, is the value that Oath gains from bluffing the deck. I won a few games simply because my opponent didn't know I was on Oath, so they casted their creatures early or spent counters on my Ancestrals so that Oath could resolve.

      And so my massive lucksack of a run ended in the Top 4 of the Winter 2016 Asia Vintage Championship. I still can't believe it! It's now been almost three weeks since the event, and I'm still ecstatic about it! The prizes were interesting for the top 2 slots: a choice between a Crucible of Worlds Masterpiece painting plus a Japanese box of Kaladesh, or a Kaladesh foil set plus a Japanese box of Kaladesh. 3rd/4th got 18 packs. I opened all my packs and pulled nothing of worth, but whatever. I joined the tournament for the sake of getting to play Vintage, and I managed a great run that I won't forget. This is actually my first big finish in any moderately sized tournament - I've only really played 8-mans for many years now.

      If you're interested in the deck lists, the top 8 can be found HERE. Final rankings were not posted in order for whatever reason.

      I had tremendous fun at the Grand Prix, meeting all the fellow Filipinos from Manila, Japan, and Singapore who also joined the Main Event. There were about 13 of us, some of whom were old friends I hadn't seen in a long time. A Japanese friend of mine also went to Day 2 to cheer me on. I hadn't seen him in maybe two years, so that was great! I also met some guys who were in the Grand Prix Hong Kong 2015 Vintage side event with me, which was really cool! One of them was watching us play in the Hong Kong side event, and he made the finals of this tournament! It would have been interesting if I had been in the finals against him. All in all I had a fantastic experience. 11/10 would play a Vintage side event in Japan again!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...