söndag 28 april 2013

Distress

I'm continuing with posts of n00bcon decklist for now, still lot of sweet tech to be shown.

The Distress archetype was (as far as I know, and at the very least in our community) invented by Daniel "GaJol" Nilsson; the highest ranking non-shark in the last year's pwp standings. I've previously written about Nilsson and his great contributions to both the meta and the spirit of the format, so for now we'll just dive in to the tech.

Distress was originally based on the assumption that no player can destroy more than 4 enchantments (as they only play at most 4 Disenchant). Hence, if a player can maintain control enough to not lose the game himself, it will be very hard for the opponent to handle multiple clocks in the likes of Underworld Dreams and Warp Artifact. The name is based on the "bleeding" feeling of the opponent, and primarily as an opposite of the word tranquillity (as the card Tranquillity destroys all enchantments).

Distress has a fairly good matchup against the Deck; another version of the deck ended up in the top4 of last BSK, and this n00bcon GaJol just missed the top8 on tiebreaks. Apart from Glenn Johanssons RG aggro deck (that also missed top8 on tiebreaks), this was the highest placed non-blue deck in the tournament. With Mana Drain restricted, the blue decks may lose some of their utter dominance, and decks like Distress may shine even brighter in the near future.

No power, no library, still second highest placed non-blue deck. Gajol knows.

fredag 26 april 2013

Machine Head Ponza

I don't really remember when or how, but many years ago I read about a deck that was noted to have "playsets of both Juzam and Birds" ("birds" not "bop", as in the mid 90's people hadn't invented abbreviations yet; wog was still referred to as wrath and no one called wheel of fortune "wof" or something like that). As I recall, the deck was called Machine Head, a name that now implies a red-black deck, but back then created images of Terminator Juzam in my head.

This n00bcon, a real old school hero showed me how it's done with his interpretation of old school land destruction. Roland Johansson have played this game since Legends, and he's been a mainstay in the Gothenburg eternal community. Roland defeated yours truly in the finals of the Gothcon Vintage tournament in 2007 (that game was decided by a coinflip btw, as both of us wanted to sleep), and also put me out of contetion for top8 at n00bcon 2012 when I missed a Chaos Orb flip on his Sengir Vampire. Apart from having an undefeated streak against me when it comes to flipping stuff, he also have a great appreciation for both the game and it's history. It always sweet to see him play, and he rarly plays less than 4 Juzams when possible.


Note the singleton Desert Twister in his decklist, and the Titania's Songs in the sideboard. Good stuff.

söndag 21 april 2013

Brewmaster's Delight

Frequent readers of this blog may be familiar with the antics of Viktor "Oldschool" Peterson. He won n00bcon 2010 with a deck that used Millstone and All Hallow's Eve to reanimate Colossus of Sardia, went on to build the Land of the Lich deck, and most recently top8'd BSK with a deck that abused Field of Dreams.

This n00bcon he was one duel from getting to the top8, again with some impreesive secret tech. The only thing he had said about the deck before going in to the tournament was that it could create a lock harder than Stasis, and that it used multiple copies of Fastbond.

What is this?

The deck uses Living Plane and Drop of Honey to kill all the opponents lands, and also make him unable to play any new lands (as they have summoning sickness, and will be destroyed before they can be tapped for mana). In addition, the deck supports Energy Flux to destroy all potential artifact mana. After it has achieved control, the deck can win using it's own lands to attack the opponent.

In case opponent tries to attack with his lands, just add Sandstorm.



But what happends if someone tries to play Blood Moon you ask? Then, of course, that Blood Moon will be Mana Drained, and Viktor will use the extra mana to hard cast a Craw Giant.

Craw Giant; the new Craw Wurm.
We didn't get a chance to get a picture of his deck in all it's glory, but at least we've got the decklist. Enjoy :)

ENCHANTMENTS (17)
3 Living Plane
4 Drop of Honey
3 Sylvan Library
2 Dark Heart of the Wood
3 Fastbond
2 Energy Flux

SORCERIES (10)
2 Fireball
1 Timetwister
1 Time Walk
1 Braingeyser
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Regrowth
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Recall
1 Tranquility

INSTANTS (4)
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Sandstorm
1 Avoid Fate
1 Mana Drain

ARTIFACTS (1)
1 Black Lotus
LANDS (28)
3 Taiga
4 Tropical Island
4 City of Brass
4 Bayou
2 Forest
4 Mishra’s Factory
3 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Strip Mine
1 Library Of Alexandria
1 Island of Wak-Wak
1 Maze of Ith

SIDEBOARD
1 Ivory Tower
1 Hurricane
3 Force of Nature
2 Whirling Dervish
1 Giant Shark
3 Mana Drain
1 Tranquility
1 Energy Flux
2 Craw Giant

torsdag 18 april 2013

Banned and Restricted update 2013

After n00bcon each year, a group of players and organizers take a hard look on the B&R list and see if we need to change it. Updates are based on what we hear from players, the last year's results and previous year's discussions. Many cards were discussed, here are five of them.

Mind Twist: Mind Twist is insanely good, feels unfair, and have a history of being banned in Vintage. This year again we talked about it's impact on the format. Even though it can be a backbreaking card to face, we think that we should never ban non-ante cards from tournaments. Mind Twist is still restricted, and it seems highly unlikely that it will ever be banned.

Power Artifact: Aside from some casual builds, Power Artifact haven't made much noise as a one-off. In the end it was however clear that it is far to easy to go infinite with the card if it's allowed as 4-off. It would be much less of an offender if it wasn't a blue card (as blue is both the best color and have access to 4 transmute artifact). Power Artifact stays restricted.

Fork: Fork is a sweet card that currently only sees fringe play. It seems like the Fork Recursion deck (see older post in the blog for a list) would still be too oppressive though, and it was decided to keep Fork restricted.

City in a Bottle: City in a Bottle can be very annoying as it both kills the best manafixing land in the format, and a majority of the best creatures. It was discussed wether or not City in a Bottle itself makes people unwilling to build some casual decks. However, as it kills a huge amount of the playable cards in the format, it is also very hard to play with, and it is a very important card in white weenie. As City is not heavily played and fairly easy to answer, City in a Bottle is still legal as 4-off.



Mana Drain: The big one. There were two playsets of Mana Drain in the BSK final, and two playsets of Mana Drain in the n00bcon final. Seven of eight decks in the n00bcon top8 played multiple Mana Drain (as did the 9th place player). Mana Drain was the only card in the format that is banned in Legacy and not restricted in 93/94. It is very oppressive and it was an obvious mainstay in the unfair decks. With all this taken into account; Mana Drain is restricted in 93/94.

Mana Drain will be added to restricted list May 1st 2013.

söndag 14 april 2013

N00bcon standings and news around the world


Two weeks since n00bcon, and since then we've gotten at least two shout-outs from impressive international sources. The official Magic web page talked about the format, showed a picture of n00bcon 2012 top4 competitor Mikael “nesid” Magnusson deck, and mentioned the bragging rights of winning our World Champioship (http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/eventcoverage/gpstr13/day1#2). Also, Vintage superhero Stephen Menedian gave my n00bcon top8 deck thumbs up, and he both knows about the format and seems to enjoy the concept :)

Juzam AND Doppelganger. Clearly unbeatable.


On that note, it's high time to post the final standings from n00bcon:

1 Olof "Elof" Gottfridsson
2 Joakim Almelund
3 Rickard "Pefken" Samuelsson
4 Robin "Hagelpump" Lundberg
5 Magnus "Mg" de Laval
6 Andreas "Fork" Andersson
7 Erling "Icelander" Hansson
8 Mikael "Åland" Johansson
9 Kalle "Egget" Nord
10 Joakim "Jokemon" Jansson
11 Glenn "Glennish" Johansson
12 Daniel "GaJol" Nilsson
13 Viktor "Oldschool" Peterson
14 Roland Johansson
15 Mikael "Johvalking" Ahlberg
16 Hjalmar "Honka" Backlund
17 Fredrik "Sveby" Svedby
18 Nicklas "Scout88" Andersson
19 Emanuel "Rahwin" Ristorp
20 Rasmus Björklund
21 Andreas "JummJumm" Leo
22 Daniel "Kungen" Ahlberg
23 Arvid Alfredsson Grahn
24 Jonas Ullestam
25 Viktor "Hoben" Lindgren
26 Kim Lundblad

This was the second largest tournament in the format, overshadowed only by n00bcon 4. However I would say that this was my favourite tournament in the format so far; it was better prepared and also we had pins :)

We did not hold the pimpvitational during the weekend, as we felt we didn't really have the time to properly set up our decks. The date of the pimpvitational is not completely set yet, but we're looking at going out to a cabin in the woods sometime in the middle of the Swedish summer. It will be insanely sweet. It seems like everyone invited wants to come, so we'll try to match it up with when most of the players have vacation. For this new season, this is the current standings (after World Champs and a side event during the n00bcon weekend):

Rank Name PWP
1 Olof "Elof" Gottfridsson 33
2 Joakim Almelund 22
3 Rickard "Pefken" Samuelsson 17
4 Robin "Hagelpump" Lundberg 17
5 Mikael "Åland" Johansson 13
6 Kalle "Egget" Nord 13
7 Glenn "Glennish" Johansson 11
8 Robert Schram 11
9 Magnus "Mg" de Laval 9
10 Andreas "Fork" Andersson 9
11 Erling "Icelander" Hansson 9
12 Daniel "GaJol" Nilsson 9
13 Mikael "Johvalking" Ahlberg 9
14 Hjalmar "Honka" Backlund 7
15 Joakim "Jokemon" Jansson 5
16 Viktor "Oldschool" Peterson 5
17 Arvid Alfredsson Grahn 5
18 Roland Johansson 3
19 Andreas "JummJumm" Leo 3
20 Fredrik "Sveby" Svedby 1
21 Nicklas "Scout88" Andersson 1
22 Emanuel "Rahwin" Ristorp 1
23 Rasmus Björklund 1
24 Daniel "Kungen" Ahlberg 1
25 Jonas Ullestam 1
26 Viktor "Hoben" Lindgren 1
27 Kim Lundblad 1

Finally, we've been discussing the ban & restricted list extensively the last two weeks. I'll post our results from the discussion in the next few days.

/mg

söndag 7 april 2013

Old Men and Shivan

Daniel "Kungen" Ahlberg managed to take photos of at least 22 of the decks played at n00bcon, so rather than posting decklists, I have the opportunity to post photos for many of the lists played. We'll start with Robin "Hagelpump's" red/blue creation.

Robin has been a mainstay at n00bcon since the start. This tournament he allied himself with Jocke Almelund to form Team PropellerCap; with Jocke finishing at a second place after beating Robin in the semifinals (I also remember a third man with a cap that said "The boss" or something similar, I guess that could have been the team captain). Before that, Robin defeated yours truly in the final game of our top8 match by playing an alpha Shivan Dragon, which is a fairly satisfying way to lose a match.


Robin has recently upgraded his sleeves to the kind that won't destroy the cards while shuffling. Good times.

onsdag 3 april 2013

Mark Justice 2013

Rumor says that when someone asked what it was like to play Legacy in Sweden, the answer was "Legacy is a format where you play for 50 minutes, then Elof the Mighty wins". Elof's run in 93/94 magic looks like an equally overwhelming dominance right now. During both n00bcon and Warcon, he didn't lose a single match. To top of his last years achievements he also won BSK, making him the single player to win all the Sharks last year. Considering the fact that no one else has more than a single Shark (though in all fairness; Pefken has won n00bcon twice), this is highly unprecedented. Winning is usually not the top focus for many players in these tournaments, but when someone runs this good, it's hard to not be impressed.

Elof and old school and beer go way back. I first met him at a bar close to a convention called StabCon, the summer of 2004. He moderated a forum table at Svenskamagic.com that focused on the combination of magic and beer which he invited me to, and a year later we were in the same eternal magic team, Team 0-2 Drop, which back then consisted of me, Kalle Nord, Niklas Grip, Elof and a man referred to as Freespace. We were in our early twenties and the team forum became our diary as much as our base for strategic discussions. During this weekend we got a chance to catch up with 6 of the 8 members of the old team. "93/94 is a reason to hang out with sweet people for 60 minutes, then Elof the Mighty wins".


Elof's winning deck is his latest interpretation of control, something Deckish but with even more focus than usual on counters and drawing, with additional Spell Blasts and no less than three maindeck books and two Copy Artifacts.

Enchantments (2)
2 Copy Artifact


Instants (18)
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Disenchant
1 Divine Offering
4 Mana Drain
3 Counterspell
2 Spell Blast


Sorceries(7)
2 Fireball
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mind Twist
1 Time Walk
1 Recall
1 Regrowth
1 Braingeyser
Artifacts (13)
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
5 Moxen
3 Fellwar Stone
3 Jayemdae Tome


Lands (19)
4 Tundra
4 Volcanic Island
2 Underground Sea
3 City of Brass
4 Mishra's Factory
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine


SB (15)
3 Red Elemental Blast
4 Blue Elemental Blast
2 Dust to Dust
1 Maze of Ith
1 The Abyss
2 Disruptive Scepter
2 Giant Shark

Surprisingly lucky guy, and it's always a pleasure to hang out with him :)

/Mg

måndag 1 april 2013

n00bcon 5!

An great weekend with good friends has passed. We saw lots of new tech, a stacked top8, and sweet magic. Thanks to everyone involved in making the tournament, and thanks to everyone who came to play!

There are lots of anecdotes to tell and tech to discuss, but for now, I'll let some of my pics say more than my words:

Elof, our own Mark Justice, shows off his Sharks. Elof has won the last two Shark tournaments (!), and come looking to do a hat trick.

Arvid Grahn, one of the pioneers in the format from back in 2007, returns to the stage. Arvid won the first ever 93/94 tournament, held at Gothcon in 2008.

Sveby, another of the formats first players from 2007 comes to show off his awesome creations.

Stalin, aka Cjva, aka this blog's founder, was our reliable judge and competent tournament organizer.
Merfolk faces a menagerie of red/green beats

Sveby writes trash talk on his Mana Drains :)
This may be one of the sweetest boardstate I've ever had in over 18 years of Magic ;) Chaos Orb and Guardian Beasts are clearly the nuts.
Double Colossus facing double Relic Barrier. Fat Mothi and the Pit Lord are still looking good.

Turn one A/B lotus, double A/B Mox, A/B Tundra, A/B Sol Ring and A/B Ancestral into Mind Twist for five. "Why the hell would you play an unlimited Mind Twist? That's unfair!"

Viktor "Oldschool" has a new crazy combo deck for this tournament as well. This time he breaks backs with the combination of Living Plane and Drop of Honey.

Glennish made the play "Giant Growth, Berserk, Berserk" a source of multiple turn three and four kills.

Triple Howling Mine, Ivory Tower, and Black Vise. Surprisingly unbeatable.

A small portion of the tournament's Juzams vs the Orb.

Two winners teching away and drinking beer.

Side event Huvudturneringen ("The Main tournament")

Viktor, Gaea's Liege and three Boosters. Something's brewing.

The glorious trophy and shark.

Final's between top 8 mainstay Jocke Almelund and the juggernaut Elof.

Two books, two steal artifact :)

Schram won the side event, and took home a signed booster and a Headless Horseman.

The heroic top8 for n00bcon 2013; Elof, Fork, Jocke, Åland, Robin, Mg, Icelander and Pefken.



Thanks again to everyone who participated, and showed why Magic is a great game and beer is a great drink! I'll be posting pwp updates and some sweet decklists during the coming week.

/Mg