Tuesday, 22 March 2016

GP Melbourne Vintage: Round 4

Heading into round four I was 2-1 and looking to win my way out from there. There was no cut so final standings would be based solely on the Swiss +1 standings. 14 players meant that I only had to win two more rounds to easily be in the top end of standings. This round I was paired against the one and only Socrates Stavropoulos. Socrates is the best cook on the barbeque that I know having stayed at his house some 4 years ago for my first interstate Vintage event where he put on a Greek barbeque that I would go back in time for. He also defeated me in the top 4 of that event so like my opponent in my previous round I was out for revenge.

Socrates was on a new deck and obviously looking to cash in on the new Dark Petition craze. His list was different from most and looks more akin to the old Suicide Tendrils lists than the current Petition storm lists. The list he played was: 

My list:

Our game one was not close at all. I hit his only land with a Strip Mine and he never recovered. He cast a Sol Ring only for it to be Pyroblasted thanks once again to my Painter’s Servant and I won the game via Tinker on turn 5 or so.
Against Socrates I boarded in the following manner.


Game two was an interesting game where Socrates commited his mana to the board early and I Mental Misstepped his opening relevant plays. I eventually drew a Thoughtseize when he was low on cards and took an Ad Nauseum leaving him with only a second Ad Nauseum and a Cabal Ritual. Two turns later with only a Mental Misstep in hand he resolved an Ad Nauseum and immediately hit two more Ad Nauseum’ putting his life total in a precarious position. He stopped drawing cards at 4 life having only drawn a few cards he cast a Quicken which I countered. I had figured he needed something else to win as I had seen that he could have Duressed me, cast Vampiric Tutor for the Tendrils and drawn it with the mana he had open. It turned out that it was simply bait for my Misstep and he simply had not seen the line before hand. After having got rid of my last card in hand he tutored for the win and we were off to game 3.

Having seen no draw sevens I assumed that his deck leant very heavily on Dark petition and I sided in 3 Leylines for two Painters and a Grindstone.

I had to mulligan a hand of 5 mana sources and irrelevant plays into 4 lands, an Ancestral Recall, a Misdirection. I ummed and ahhed about this hand for a while and figured that it did not have enough interaction and the Ancestral was not good enough a reason to keep it. My 5 was acceptable with Missteps and a Force but I was hit by three Duress effects in the first two turns of the game. It seems Socrates had kept the hand based on that fact and could not take advantage of the free turns it afforded him. I managed to claw my way back into the game with my Painter attacking him down as I was drawing relevant spells off the top to keep him in check as much I could. On my penultimate turn I Duressed Socrates and saw that he had two Cabal Rituals (whilst tight on mana) with a stocked Graveyard and took one. Socrates had bounced my Painter in a previous turn and I had a choice on my last turn. My opponent had a single card in hand (Cabal Ritual). My hand was Yawgmoth’s Will (with a bunch of Countermagic and my Thoughseize), Force of Will, and Painter’s Servant. I am genuinely interested in what your play would be.  Let me know in the comments below.

I chose to cast the Yawgmoth’s Will for the Thoughtseize taking his remaining Cabal Ritual, rather than cast the Painter and expect to exile Yawgmoth’s Will to my Force of Will but was punished by his subsequently drawn Timetwister which ended up in a lethal storm count.

Socrates played really well and took the victory. I had a great time playing against him and I hope to get my now long awaited revenge next time we face. 

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