In summer, most of the activites of most people focus on holiday time, family and sunshine. Not the most active time to organize tournaments and/or travel to foreign countries. At least this is true for me and my community. Nevertheless, we have an amazing first half of the Magic year behind us. Various top events went through and we saw that the format is far away from being linear and boring. We saw even a “new” (resp. Evolving) Archetype with xyxytog (xyxyx may stand for your name or, in the inventors honour Svantog, Mantog or Magrantog 😉 ) They managed, as we know, to bring two out of three into top 8, and 3/3 into Top 16 of N00bcon. Amazing.
For me, the first half of the year was very exciting as i did go to events within 4 of the 6 months. I met amazing people, had an amazing time (at every tournament) and i am sure that this will continue. One of my good Magic friends even will be a father the next time we meet 🙂 First tournament we met we talked about fathership, second also, third tournament we met he told me that they are pregnant and next time we meet we can talk about being a father 🙂
Within those amazing personal meetings, there is also the joy of playing online against fellow players which live across the Atlantic and who love to play Atlantic style:
The Atlantic Ruleset was invented by the famous NEOS guys from „Teapartyland“ 😉 Within this Ruleset, most of Swedish was adapted but they allow Fallen Empires and i.e. 4 Workshops. During the first weeks of the new set, there were a lot of doomsayers which prognosted a ultra Shop dominance and various other stories. Jared Doucette took up the torch of trial and started a monthly Atlantic NEOS Leauge in which brewers, spikers, spicers and all other players are warmly welcome to – you know – play magic in a friendly enviroment.
I joined the League in February and played each one until June. I was amazed, how many different Decks there will be. I faced about 3 times a Workshop aggro (out of 25 Matches) and also other „doomsaying“ archetypes did not take over the league. I did choose to play a different Deck at every league. I went with the following Decks:
No photo (no Top 8 😉
=> WBU Flyers (Sengir, Serra, Serendib, Hipnotics)
It was a great pleasure to play all of those leagues. I managed to go into Top8 of 4 out of 5 of those – but then everytime lost the first battle in Top 8. Haha – not such good player skills as thought ;-). But the format of playing online against nice and cool people is very fascinating for me. i will join the next League for sure. All of those monthly leagues leaded to a preparation and meta-view for the famous Summer Derby, hosted by NEOS‘ Dave Firth Bard. I wanted to join this marvelous tournament and i built the following Deck to do so:
Normally i play 2-3 Twiddle and one City in a Bottle Main in the Disco.dec. For the Derby i did choose to play 3 Shatter and one Hurkyls Main. Retrospectively i would cut the Hurkyls as it did never any really good and would add that one Twiddle. The Matchup against the Deck or Robots.dec is significantly better with those 3 Shatter Main. But still i am not in a favorite position against either of those two Decks. The best thing about Troll Disco is, you can dodge any Permanent-Based Deck very easily. Especially in this format, where FE is legal and people tend to brew with Orders, Merfolks, Goblins, Thallids etc. – the Disk does its work perfectly there. The Tome in the Sideboard was not the best of ideas, it was more a (failed) experiment. The Terrors did really well, also the Fluxen and CiaB‘s. The third Maze is one of the most important SB-Cards and against creature-heavy builds an absolute blast. Speaking of Blasts – red and blue are standard SB-inclusions in UR builds of course. Overall i liked the build but one Shivan should also be squeezed in haha.
So the Derby started and i got the batches:
Match 1: Tobias Mieth piloting “the Deck” 2-0
I knew Tobias as Top4-Player of the Winter Derby and was afraid of his „the Deck“. Unfortunately for him, in Game 1 he flooded incredibly (with 2 Books online he drew about 90% Lands out of it…). So i grabbed the first Game with my Trolls. Second Game i managed to Land a Disk and brought it to untap step. Blowing away all the non-Lands of Tobias brought him so much in an unfavorable spot that he did not recover from that. His draw in Game 2 was also not the best one to be honest. So i took this match also with luck which was not a fortunate one for the Disco.
Match 2: famous John Grudzina piloting “Robots!” 2-0
In knew John as fearsome opponent within the NEOS league. He is one of the Top8 ranked players of Feb to June league. I thought he was playing Robots and i was right – despiting the fact that he easily also could play the Deck or something else. I kept a starting hand with Shatter, Disk and Troll which would give me enough time to keep the Robots at bay and blow everything up if it has to be like that. Its still tight and a lot of games (Disco VS Robots) are decided of who will draw more extra cards. I won Game one with this exact strategy of my starting hand (keeping them at bay and constantly do 3 Troll Damage). Second Game was also tight and was decided by an ancestral on my side and my direct damage (Fireball). So i took away this match 2-0.
Match 3: Lukas Baum piloting GRb Swarm 2-1
Wow, what a match. Actually, Lukas is the only one which grabbed a game in the whole Swiss rounds of Summer Derby 😉 I knew Lukas from european events and its always a pleasure to face him as opponent. His GRb Swarm Deck is very inspiring as it containts Scryb Sprites, Scavenger Folks, Bolts, Pixies etc. One should think that with Disks this is an easy catch – but not as easy as thought… First game we battled and he won through 2 (yes two) blowed up Disks – incredible but incredibly fun it was! But to be fair i did not draw one single bolt nor fireball 😉 Second game i can combine Maze and Disk – a horrible combination for a swarm Deck. Also my Trolls did their job of keeping the Groundworkers at bay and finally i blew the Disk for the win. Third Game was tough – he had to mulligan to 6 and kept a one Lander – not so bad in a Deck with a lot of single drops. He fought hard and finally he tried to Fireball me to death. But a Counter Backup with Blue Blast gave me the win. His Fireball was protected with a Red Blast… O my god what a match 🙂
Match 4: Matts „Slanfan“ Berggren 2-0
Matts is a well known player within the Swedish area of Oldschool. Its always an honour to meet him in person and we met up for the Archipelago-tour in Stockholm. So we decided to do our game in RL and ordered two big pale ales and started slinging our spells. Unfortunately for him, he played TimeVault Combo – a very unfortunate matchup against this exact Troll build. I have maindeck answers with Shatter, blow away his combo pieces with the Disk and counter relevant pieces away. Also after game two it was not much better and we agreed, that the matchup is pretty bad. Even if there is an early Howling mine – its only better for the Disco because then you draw the Disk earlier. So after the match we changed the Decks to Singleton, drank even more beer and played the hell out of our singleton decks. Fun times – thank you Slanfan 🙂
Match 5: Jared Doucette 2-0
I can meet famous Jared in the Swiss – how gorgeous. We met a few times online at the derbies and talked a lot about strategies etc. We don’t know the exact playstyle of each other but always fight great battles. After i asked him to play Gentlemenish and he declined, i was sure i will face some black discard build 😉 so it was. Fortunately, every Hymn he casted ripped my cards of but he never got two essential together (but always one of them hurted a lot…). As his Deck is mainly permanent damage based, i blown Disk rips his board of and in both matches, he did not recover. Also because i have 2 (3) Mazes he has to put down to much pressure just to damage me slowly. With an active troll on my side (and no terror on his) both games ended in my favour. But as always we had great games, fun talks and a nice atmosphere.
Match 6: Akos Czibere 2-0
Akos and myself met online some months ago. He is an exiled german traveller which occupies the US countrie since many years (haha – this one is for you Akos – haha). We had some great Deck talks the last few weeks and we test a lot against each other. We also met in one derby league so +/- we knew on what each other is going to play. As his Deck also is permanent based, i had to land an early disk, blow it and bring a Troll online. With this knowledge i tried my best and i got the chance in both games to have a Disk in my starting 7 (resp. 6 after mulliganing). Also the City in a Bottle will rip his gameplan away as he is (as i know) the biggest Arabian Nights Dijnn fan ever 🙂 I took both games in my favour but not without doing a third fun one, which he ironically won 🙂
Match 7: Remi Ouelette 2-0
Remi is a canadian player with his mono Black build. Beautiful Decktech but again (as usual in this report) with a Deck which heavily relies on damage done by permanents its hard to find a proper solution against an early disk/Maze. Especially with monoB – so no Shatter nor Disenchant. Mono Black needs to find fast and early Hymns/Mind Twists to disrupt my hand. Nevertheless we had a great fight and in one Game, a Hypnotic took away two Cards from my hand until i found that bolt… I managed to win both games thanks to the Disk and my lovely Trolls. But again – a great match lies behind us.
Match 8: Cedric Jarkovsky 2-0
The second time i face a Robots.dec in this derby. Cedric is a French player and we met the first time at the Urborg Feast in Gothenburg. As said in this report, those matchups most of the time heavily rely on which player can draw more cards (resp. which one can resolve Antschesteral, Geysir or others). The luck was definately with me as i did counter his Geysir and did resolve my Antschesteral (Megu – do you hear that? “Antschesteral” haha) in both games. Therefore i had more and more potent solutions at hand (Disks and Shatters) and i also had more Mishra’s Factories to fight through his defense. Therefore i took both games in my favor and went 8-0 (16-1) to top 16. Finally i reached the record of 4th after swiss:
Top16: Koos Cramer 0-2
I know Koos from various events – we also drank beer together so it will be a nice and cool Top16 game. I know that he plays an ultra aggressive Robot build – including Clay Statue. Yes – regeneration. Veeery uncool Koos – my disk gets dodged 😉 So we setup for our games and i had to take a mulligan (by the way this happened in both games… sigh…) The second hand was a keeper including two land, a strip mine and a shatter. He started with Worshop Mox Icy and i stripped away his Workshop. His turn – second workshop hits the table. Urrrgh… So i fought my way through his hordes but unfortunately never drew the third land and my fight was against shadows… also i missed that darn Orb flip… Lets move to second game. Again: Mulligan but a more or less solid hand with 3 lands, a shatter and a disk plus Energy flux. He started with mox, Workshop, Icy. i drew Lotus and started with Lotus, Land, sac, Flux (i rob him of two permanents but will still lose this game… darn it). Some very interesting interactions later i manage to blow two Disks in this game but never draw a draw spell nor any of my 4 Bolts… I will lose later against 3 Mishra’s factories and die with a fireball and a sol ring in my hand. Bad luck – i think i casted 1 bolt over both games. But thats Magic Folks 🙂 nevertheless it was a great match and i received the weekend after our game a nice photo of Dusseldorf with Koos and my other homie from Holland (Erwin) which prosted me to a good weekend 🙂 Cool gesture guys!
So those are my adventures within the Atlantic ruleset – i hope you enjoyed this retrospective and i wish you as always:
May the Moxen be with you
– Fishliveroil including Lanterna (27.-29.9.)
– Arvika Festival at my birthday (19.10.)
– Team Worlds in London where URBORG will grab the horns! (9.11.)
See you guys and stay Oldschool
Christian aka Lord M of Legion Urborg