By Mick Edwards
Since so much happened at worlds I have decided to only write about the games on day 3 as it was one of the better days for me (and not just because I won more games on day 3).
The previous night I had built a Zoo list using blood moons and molten rain with Mark Glenister. But afterwards a friend of mine on the Norwegian team convinced me I would be playing zoo for the wrong reasons and I should go with the deck I had been testing instead of the one I had just made up. So here is the decklist I played:
4 River of Tears
1 Dark Depths
3 Sunken Ruins
3 Tolaria West
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Watery Grave
2 Underground River
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Chrome Mox
3 Dark Confidant
1 Vampire Hexmage
1 Time Seive (thanks Rob)
1 Shred Memory
1 Echoing Truth
3 Engineered Explosives
3 Chalice of the Void
4 Muddle the Mixture
3 Beseech the Queen
4 Thopter Foundry
4 Sword of the Meek
3 Ravenous Trap
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Pithing Needle
2 Threads of Disloyalty
1 Doom Blade
1 Yixlid Jailor
But before the extended started there were 2 rounds of team event. Ironically the 2 teams we played against were the 2 teams I had been testing with at the hotel and so we mostly knew each others decks before hand.
This game resulted in a draw due to the Zoo vs Martyr game going to time. And Fortunately the Norwegian captain had a turn where he played standstill followed immediately by Aether Vial instead of the other way around (he was playing legacy merfolk).
More interestingly the whole round got disrupted by everyone having to fill out forms to join the Italian sports federation in order to get paid for the event.
Round 4: Isreal
I can’t remember any of these games particularly well as I think we all won these pretty fast going 3-0 across the team.
So from the Team rounds
Round 1: Hypergenesis
Game 1:I managed to assemble the combo fairly fast here but the turn after this he cascaded into hypergenesis with enough in hand to win the game.
Game 2: I flukily got both Hexmage and Dark Depths in my opening hand and made a turn 2 20/20 on the play, that was enough to win that game.
Game 3: This game seemed like it was back and forth a lot but really I was never too worried. From early on I had chalice set to 0 but when he eventually destroyed it with krosan grip and combed off I was ready with the Damnation to undo his combo and a tutor to get a second Chalice. He managed to combo off a second time but I had a second Damnation by this time so I was I no hurry to combo off too fast and eventually won with thopters.
Round 2: WU Thopter Combo
My opponent here was a guy on the Australian Team and I had previously leant him a Chalice of the Void so I figured he was playing some sort of control deck. The ‘mirror’ turned out to be one of the most fun games of magic I’d played in a long time and the 1st game lasted nearly 50 minutes.
His deck was a slower more control version so although I was able to assemble my combo first, when he assembled his combo he was able to get more land in play to better use it. At one point he even cast gifts ungiven for 4 land when he was at 8 land already! In trying to get an edge I tried various things, from using explosives to blow up both our combos to casting chalice so neither of us could replay the combo should we draw it again (I drew the thopter foundry the next turn, at this point both our academy ruins were in the graveyard).
Eventually the chalice got removed and we both replayed the combo. I then tutored up time sieve and waited until it could not be countered to go infinite to take the game (thanks again Rob).
He assembled his combo very fast, but not before time was called and I used Echoing Truth and Hurkyl’s Recall to survive long enough to force a drawn game but a won round.
Game 1: He gets an early blood moon which locks me out of the game.
Game 2: He again gets an early blood moon, but this time it’s too late as I’ve already played my thopter foundry and I combo off through it (he gets me a warning as I accidently try to imprint time sieve on a chrome mox)
Game 3: I keep a hand with an island and a mox and some black spells thinking it will be good as I can play around blood moon. Then he goes turn 1 mox into chalice for 0, then turn 2 blood moon! I eventually draw my swamp to explosives for 3 and kill his blood moon but the next turn he drops a chalice for 2 to stop me from playing my combo (Afterwards I felt stupid for not saving my explosives to kill his chalices but with 2 chalices at 0 and a blood moon in play there is no way for me to actually do that). I go for another win condition: manually removing dark depths counters, and the turn I get a 20/20 he plays Venser for the win.
Round 4: Hypergenesis
Game 1: I play chalice for 0 and he can’t deal with it so casts nothing all game.
Game 2: He combos off on turn 2... But I’m almost glad as my hand contains foundry, sword and time sieve and enough land (inc. Acad ruins) to go infinite should I draw a land in my next 3 draws. However, he puts 2 Angel of Despair into play so I concede rather than show him my tech.
Game 3: He mulligans and keeps a 1 land hand which kills my chalice for 0 with Ingot Chewer, but I tutor up a second chalice before he finds his second land and I win soon after.
Round 4: Martyr
I don’t remember much about this round except he was playing a weird martyr build and he won 1 game because he had double castigate to remove my combo. In another game I managed to get my combo just in time as he had exactly lethal plus path and I was able to make 1 thopter... leaving me at 1 life when he cast path. I then untapped and made about 5 thopters and gain 5 life to win a few turns later.
Round 5: Zoo
Game 1: I have the worst draw in the world against zoo as I draw 3 thoughtseize in a row (one gets imprinted on a mox) and he draws pridemage to play in between my thoughtseizes. Despite this I manage to combo off when he is tapped out to make a few blockers, but he uses punishing fire combo to clear them out of the way so he can swing in for the win.
Game 2: I use chrome mox to make a turn 1 sword of the meek as a decoy as I have hexmage + dark depths in hand. He makes turn 2 kataki and I make a 20/20 the following turn. He plays path from the top of his library (how lucky) and then begins playing meddling mages. After he has played 2 meddling mage both naming thopter foundry I kill them both with engineered explosives... so he sets his next mage to explosives when I academy ruins it to my hand. I have echoing truth ready but not enough mana to cast that + explosives + activate and he wins the next turn as he had been beating in for a long time.
I felt both games against zoo were very unlucky draws for me and very lucky draws for him (he told me the path was off the top.) I really enjoyed playing the deck and was very glad I didn’t play zoo instead as most of my match-ups would have been a lot tougher for zoo.