I am still excited about the great and excellent trip to the Archipelago in Stockholm. In between the famous Online-Winter Derby (in which i participate with a 7-0 record so far 🙂 ) there was this marvelous trip to Sweden which was truly unforgettable.
It all started in 2018 as i met Mitja Held at a tournament and he told me to join a cruise from Sweden to Finland – together with the Oldschool Crew ;-). As i was a new father, i did not join this cruise but i swore to be part of it one year later. Therefore i could not wait until famous Elias Gröndal and the SiaB-Guys finally announced the date for the trip. The location was a secret – all we know was that the Ogres which took the trip in 2018 finally found the treasure island and try to dig out all the treasures which are buried deep in the sand.
Together with a weekend packed full with Magic, we also knew that there will be side quests and fun. So i packed my stuff, prepared my Troll Disco Deck and the El Hajia Highlander (mono Blue without Steal Artifact – dear god i am so dumb haha)…
For those who are interested in this great format: here are the rules
@Svante: i need kickback for this Clickbait haha
As usual i get the first flight in the morning to enjoy the fully fledged Magic experience. This time without partying until 3am in the morning before the flight (see my Viennageddon post if you must…). So i arrived at 10.00 in Stockholm at Harry B James – our meeting point for the gang. On my way i met Mitja, Francis and Slanfan. We tried to buy a beer but before 11.00 you cannot expect to get beer in Stockholm – so lemonade it was 🙂
Slanfan were paired for the Summer Derby Online match and we decided to do it in person. I won 2-0 and we agreed that Nev Disk is a very nasty card against Time Vault Combo… We knew that the ferry to the Archipelago will leave at 4 pm so we had to kill 5 hours of time without the slightest idea how to do that… just kidding – we played the hell out of each other, traded, drank beer, had fun and enjoyed the Swedish Summer in Stockholm.
At four we arrived at Strömkajen to board the ferry and to start the famous Hajja-Highlander tournament. Everybody received 10 Gold Dublons for the Ante – and everybody had to bet at least one Coin (two if your opponent owns at least 3 less than you).
So the first game i played against a swedish gentlemen (sorry forgot the name… maybe Knaz Forslund?) and his Power Monolith Singleton. Very interesting games and i took it down due to Mana Issues on his side. We did a rematch and he took me down so i was back at my 10 Dubloons. haha.
Second i faced my Archenemy -Jason Schwartz. Last time we met at the Lake Cruise, he completely ripped me off. He won 3 Ante Games and then destroyed me at the main tournament. So hopefully the favors will be on my side. As predicted, i lost the first match. But we doubled down the Ante (4 Dubloons) and tadaaaa – with enough pressure even i can beat evil Jason 😉
One Match can still be played until we reach the Island and the organizer, Elias, wants to take me down. He has a beautiful Green-White-Blue Rubinia-Agnus-Preacher Build and he takes me down with a Preacher, a Vesuvan-Dopplepreacher and a Diamond Valley. Well stolen creatures sir 😉
Next match i faced Daniele Brunazzo – i need to increase the Ante so we decided to add more Dubloons. Sadly for him he cannot beat my Invoke Prejudice haha. So i win the Dubloons and have to face Svante. The Winner of this Match will reach Top 4 so lets concentrate. Shortly spoken: i force spiked a first turn sol ring and he had to copy artifact my mox sapphire. But then he casted Icy and without a Steal Artifact (dear god i am so dumb…) i lost after a few rounds later… Therefore he went to top 4 and he won the price. An invite to our Urborg Mountain Madness incl. travel voucher of EUR 200.00. Well played Svante!
After the tournament we decided to meet up for some two headed Giant (Ogre as it was true for Bonnie and Erik) At one time they even grew a third head with a dark confidant at their side… I teamed up with Slanfan and we played two epic and fantastic games of two headed giant. I have to say that this sub-format (2-H-G Hajja) is one of the best Oldschool experiences i ever had. After quite a lot of beer Slan and myself did choose damnation as we attacked with a trike into two active mishras factories, did shoot to the Ogres (not one Mishra…) and brought the Ogres down to one life (with one inactive pirate ship). They destroyed us with their counter attack haha. If we just waited. We lost 15 Dubloons ouch…
We called it a day at 2am and i went to my cabin to get some sleep. Ah – swedish summer – 20 degrees in the night (not 35 as in Switzerland). I got up at 9am to eat some breakfast and walk to the tournament location. During the walk we had to solve a riddle as a team to warm-up for the main tournament. Very nice and cool idea – thank you Bonnie 😉
So i decided to play my beloved trolls in the Disco – without Mind Twist of course.
The first match i played against Morgan Karlsson and his Goblin-aggro built. As we played Atlantic Ruleset, Goblins are a really fast and deadly strategy. And i completely forgot how devastating a well played Goblin-Bomb could be. Therefore i lost the first game without a Counterspell to two well timed Goblin Grenades. -10 in the face haha. In the second game i was prepared and deployed a protected Disk which brought Morgan in deep trouble, paired with Maze of Ith. i won the second game with a fireball and we moved on to the third game. This one was really tough. We battled for about 25 Minutes and even had to go to extratime. I decided not to counter a Timetwister, hoping to draw enough Bolts and Fireballs to finish him of. In my fifth Extra Turn i managed to Bolt him to death… wow what an intense match. 1-0
Second match i faced Jason (again). We decided to play Gentlemen rules (no Mind Twist no Library of Alexandria)… In his turn two he double Hymned me and i lost 4 cards. Lifelong Gentlemen Ban for Jason – haha. As you may believe it or not, i managed to win this game with a very lucky draw into a Troll, Bolt (for his Royal Assasin) and a Disk… The second Match was also interesting but with a Black Deck it is very hard to fight an active Disk – especially if he puts a first turn Juzam on the table versus my first turn Maze of Ith… Therefore i took down this match and was 2-0
Third match was against a Swedish Gentlemen (i cannot remember the name, sorry) with his beautiful Mono Black build. Stone Throwing Devils, Unholy Strenght and the latter – i love it. Unfortunately, same story here: Mono Black Aggro against Disk’s is not a good and “fair” match so i took him down 2-0. But he fought hard and well – i was down on 4 live and was always afraid of a drain life 😉 3-0
The next opponent was Mitja Held and his reanimator brew. Reanimator is under Atlantic Rules a real thread (Giant F***ing Lobster Ahoi…) and can kill really fast. I need to deploy a fast Disk or a fast Maze. So i mulliganed to 5 in first match and savor the London Mulligan. Against a quick Disk or a quick Troll the Reanimator is only half as fearceful. I won the first game due to Disk. Second game was a really quick Story: first Turn 2 Lobsters on the Battlefield without a Maze or Disk on my Side… haha. Lets move on to third game. Mitja had to mulligan to 6, brought down the Bazzaar and tried to Reanimate in turn two a Nicol Bolas (?) which i did not counter (obviously he cannot pay the Upkeep) – i dont fall into this trap my friend 😉 I countered the Sylvan Library one turn later and left him with no cards in Hand. A Troll with open Countermana sealed the deal and i won 2-1. 4-0
Final Match before Top 8. I met Erik Kärrlander with his Arabian Aggro. First game he grills me very fast with Kird Ape, Pixies, Serendib, Time Walk… To fast. I board in my two CiaB and hope to draw them. Paired with my Disks, Trolls and Countermana i win Game 2 and 3 as he cannot deploy enough pressure to push through. And the longer the games go on, the better get my chances. 5-0
We move on for the Dinner (delicious fish) and some additional beer which fuels us up for Top 8. Before we start top 8 we decide to take a Swim. Bonnie, Mitja, Daniele and myself enjoy the sea and the warm weather. Completely forgetting about the Mosquitos i start the first Top 8 Match against Daniele and his BGU Juzam/Ehrnam Aggro.
Its really hard for a Juzam to walk through a Maze of Ith and an active Disk. Unfortunately, he cannot get rid of the Disk and my Sedge Troll in first game so he slowly dies on his Juzam. the final blow gave the Fireball. The second game is also a sad Chapter for an Arabian Nights player (sorry Daniele…):
Semi Finals against Mono Black (hell i always get my favorite Matchups…). Christoffer Bergmann was the Gentlemen in opposite of me. We open the next chapter of “active Disk is a true force against permanent-heavy decks”… Again a Disk paired with Maze is the pure horror for a quick Juzam… Poor Christoffer loses 9 lives to his own Juzam until i can seal the deal. Second game was quite the same story. Disk paired with Counterspells is not really beatable if he does not Hymn or Mind Twist me down (which unfortunately not happened). Therefore i moved on to the (Epic!) finals agains Matts Furby.
Spoiler Alert: All hail King Mats 🙂 one of the most Epic and fantastic finals i ever played. Two and a half hours of Slinging Spells, Flippin’ Orbs (one missed…), Countermagic, ANTSCHESTERALL, Disenchant, Disk, Machamuti, Balance, Trolls, Swords, Disks, Disenchants, Black Vises, Disks, Disenchants (haha, quite an ongoing theme in the finals), Bolts, Psi Blasts, Attacking Lions, Fireballs, Blue Blasts, Fireballs, Blue Blasts, Bolts, Disk, Dust to Dust and FINALLY: ATTACK with 4 Mishras for the win. WOW WOW WOW. at 3 in the morning we finished the Match and Crowned the King:
Congratulations King Mats! All hail the King 🙂
I went to bed, tired drunk but happy to have this great event!
Next Morning we had to Checkout at 11am and move to the harbour to catch the Ferry. We know we have a 3 hour trip – but everybody regretted the amount of beer they drunk as the boat was waving on the sea. haha. Magnesium Pills and Water paired with something to eat brought us again in Two Headed Giant Mode and we played again extremely interesting matches (we restricted Icy to one per Team).
So after a two and a half day trip to the Archipelago this marvellous weekend comes to an end. We arrived at Stockholm at 3pm and i needed to catch my flight home at 4.45.
Thank you Elias, Svante, Bonnie and the whole SiaB-Crew for this great experience. Congratulations again to Mats Furby for the Crown! Truly one of the best Magic-weekends i was ever part of. Everybody had a great time and it was organized fantastic! Thank you thank you thank you!
Hope to see you at Mountain Madness in 2020 and may the Moxen be with you.