View Full Version : Dreaming to top 8

02-22-2010, 07:59 AM
Hi all,

Yesterday I participated in a legacy tournament in Mol (Belgium). Since this was the last test for many before GP Madrid, a big turnout was expected and 65 players showed up to battle it out in 7 rounds of legacy with a cut to top 8 afterwards. The tournament did not offer byes for the GP, but it had some other attractive byes to be won: first place won one of each revised dual AND 2 byes for Bazaar of Moxen in Annecy. Second place was rather nice too, since this would net you one of each fetchland AND 1 bye for the Bazaar of Moxen. I chose to play my pet deck: Dream Halls! Here is the list I played:

3 Ancient Tomb
2 Flooded Strand
5 Island
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
3 Underground Sea

4 Lotus Petal

1 False Cure
3 Thoughtseize

4 Brainstorm
4 Dream Halls
4 Force of Will
1 Pact of Negation
4 Ponder
4 Show and Tell
1 Time Stretch

1 Beacon of Immortality

4 Conflux
3 Lim-Dl's Vault
4 Progenitus

3 Deathmark (annoying combo killers like Gaddok Teeg, Ethersworn Cannonist, Meddling Mage, Iona)
3 Duress (any matchup with counters or the ANT matchup)
4 Leyline of the Void (Ichorid and Loam matchups)
3 Dispel (same as the Duress, any Bant/Merfolk/ANT matchup)
2 Hydroblast (Goblins and Aggro Loam)

Just a short note on my list. I've been playing Dream Halls ever since it came off the banned list. I've played around with a number of versions (starting with an awful mono U deck that focussed on drawing many cards with Dream Halls in play to find its kills) all the way through this list. In recent tournaments I've been running 1 Cruel Ultimatum, 2 maindeck bounce spells (Echoing Truth and Wipe Away) and 1 Nucklavee as kill. It was a nice infinite kill (with at least 3 Progenitus in the deck), but I often found it too graveyard dependant. All Ichorid and Loam hate people had in the board targetted me as well. Most people are just running 3 or 4 Cruels and maybe 1 Bogardan Hellkite. This kill is good too, but when the opponent gains life, you are relying on beatdown (with Hellkite/Progenitus) to finish him off. Most of the times it works, since you are wrecking the opponents hand and board position, but I just don't like kills that roll over to Elspeth + Humility on the board (Landstill kind off does that and has the counters to slow you down to get to that point).
The big advantage of the False Cure/Beacon of Immortality kill is that it can kill immediately, no matter how much life the opponent has. It also is an instant speed kill. Granted, you need Dream Halls in play, but when you cast and resolve that Conflux, you win. This is very important in the ANT matchup, because it gives them only 1 window to Chant you. If they Chant in response to the Dream Halls and you cannot counter it, you are screwed. Anywhere else, you win. If they Chant you in response to the Conflux, you just wait until their upkeep and kill them right there. If the Conflux resolves, just cast Beacon of Immortality first, keeping priority. Then cast False Cure and pass priority.

Well, I think I have defended my list enough, on to the actual tournament (I'll give you updates I will do after the report). I'm writing this down mostly from memory as my notes are not that good.

round 1: Tom De Decker (Top Rock)
game 1
Tom wins the die roll and has the first action here with a turn 1 Sensei's Top, turn 2 Dark Confidant. Very Nice. On my second or third turn, I go for a Show and Tell into Progenitus, while Tom puts a Tarmogoyf into play. I see a Swords to Plowshares flipping with Confidant. One Progenitus hit later, he is at 9 (fetched once). The counter attack puts me down to 8. Tom has 6 power of attackers in play and casts a Kitchen Finks, which would get him out of Progenitus range and put lethal power on the board for next turn. Luckily for me, I have my False Cure in hand and kept 2 black mana up to cast it (in case he wanted to Swords a creature of his own). False Cure in response to Kitchen Finks, going down to 7 instead of up to 11 and big P is lethal next turn.

Sideboarding: +3 Deathmark, -1 Time Stretch, -1 Pact of Negation, -1 Lotus Petal
game 2
I have a decent opener with Show and Tell, mana and search cards. I just do not manage to find Progenitus anywhere. Meanwhile, Tom already has anti-enchantment critters in play. I Deathmark them, only to find his brother coming back in. I keep searching for cards, but cannot find a Progenitus anywhere. Tom beats me down with Baneslayer.

Sideboarding: /
game 3
I can start this game and have a great hand enabling a turn 2 Progenitus with Force backup (for Tom's turn 1 Thoughtseize). Tom puts an Aven Mindsensor into play, to make my Dream Halls kill fizzle. My first draw is another Force of Will, followed by a blue card to pitch to it. Game over.


round 2: Frank Linssen (Zoo)
game 1
Frank wins the die roll and elects to start. I have to mull down to 5 because I hit 2 no landers to start with. As everyone knows, Zoo punishes bad draws really well, and a couple of turns later, I'm one game down. On the upside, Frank still does not know what I'm playing, so he has a hard time sideboarding (I only played 1 Island, 1 Underground Sea and a Brainstorm).

Sideboarding: +3 Deathmark, -1 Time Stretch, -1 Pact of Negation, -1 Lim-Dl's Vault
game 2
I can start and get a bomb given to me (guess my deck was feeling bad for the double mulligan in game 1). I go turn 2 Progenitus with double Force backup and never look back.

Sideboarding: /
game 3
Frank comments on how this is only his second Legacy tournament (he's more of a sealed player) and he has no clue what deck I'm playing. He starts of the second game with a quick Kird Ape followed by a Pridemage. Since he's tapped out, I go for the Dream Halls kill on my second turn. Frank makes the clever play to put a land into play with Show and Tell. Damn. I have another Show and Tell in hand though and have priority after resolving the previous Show and Tell. I cast a Conflux of the Dream Halls and he blows it up in response. I go get Conflux, Progenitus, Progenitus, Deathmark, Dream Halls and combo out on my next turn.


round 3: Johan Steurs (Faeries)
game 1
Johan wins the die roll and elects to start. I know what Johan is playing and I'm not very confident as he packs lots of counters in there. He never really tested against Dream Halls though, so he is just guessing a bit what I'm playing. As is common in the counter matchup, we play draw-go a couple of turn. I can build up my mana and sculpt my hand with some Brainstorms and Ponders. Turn 3, I probe with a Thoughtseize (had Ancient Tomb on the board) and only see 1 counter. I go for Show and Tell into Progenitus while using my own Force to counter his. Progenitus goes all the way.

Sideboarding: +2 Dispel, +3 Duress, -1 Time Stretch (notice a pattern here), -1 Lim-Dl's Vault, -1 Progenitus, -2 Lotus Petal
game 2
I figured disruption was better than speed here, but I did not want to side out all my Petals, since that would only leave 18 mana sources in the deck. My opening hand was Lotus Petal, Show and Tell, Dream Halls, Conflux, Force of Will, Dispel, Brainstorm. Johan decided to mull his opening 7 away. I thought long and hard, but then took the risk to keep it. I know, a gambling decision. If my initial Brainstorm does not reveil a land or 2, or it gets countered (unlikely though), I'll be screwed. Johan keeps his 6. I go for the Brainstorm in my first main fase, drawing me Island, Progenitus, Progenitus… Damn. I play the Island, but have no shuffle effects to get rid of the extra Progs. Long story short, by the time I can go off, Johan already has a big clock (Tombstalker) and a hand full of counters. Needless to say I lose here.

Sideboarding: /
game 3
I could start this game and managed to get a turn 3 Show and Tell into progenitus with 1 mana open for Daze payment and Force backup. Johan has the Daze (payed for it) and the other counter (countered by Force). Show and Tell resolves and brings him a Tombstalker. Tombstalker is no match for Progenitus in a race and it all ends two turns later.


round 4: Abel Planting (ANT)
game 1
Hmm, playing against combo in the hands of one of the best combo pilots I know. This is going to be very hard. Abel wins the die roll and elects to start. I keep a decent hand and have the tools to combo out on turn 3. Too bad he has his combo go off on turn 3 too and I have no disruption for it. He beats me with a die roll.

Sideboarding: +2 Dispel, +3 Duress, -1 Time Stretch (yet again), -1 Pact of Negation, -2 Progenitus, -1 Lim-Dl's Vault
game 2
I did not show Abel anything in game 1 except for lands and a Ponder, so he does not know what I'm playing yet. I keep a hand with lots of disruption (a Duress and a Thoughtseize), Dream Halls, a fetchland, Ancient Tomb, Brainstorm and Ponder. I open with a Duress, followed next turn by Thoughtseize. My Brainstorm finds another Duress and I manage to rip his hand apart. I hardcast Dream Halls, cast Conflux and go for the combo kill.

Sideboarding: /
game 3
I have the early duress again which shows a hand of Brainstorm x 2, Mystical x 2, Orim's Chant and Dark Ritual. I decide to take the Ritual to deny him his speed, but it does not look good. He is able to get his hand in order before I can find my combo. He goes for Ad Nauseam, but needs to reveil enough mana to get the combo rolling. Since he is at 18 life, it looks like a safe bet. Mana does not show quickly and when he falls down to 2 life from reveiling his second Ad Nauseam, he stops. He takes some time to do some advanced mathematical calculations and figures he can just kill me. So close :-)


round 5: Steven Geurts (ANT)
game 1
Just my luck, another very good ANT player. Well, playtesting showed me I could win this matchup, so here goes. A funny thing happens to begin with: I win the die roll, yay, first time today! Unluckily, I get a bad hand against ANT and have to ship it away. Luckily, my next 6 are very good. So good, that I can go for a turn 2 win off of Show and Tell into Dream Halls. He has the Chant in response to the Show and Tell, but I have the Force for it. I combo out with Conflux. Turns out he had a great hand as well, with mana and a Tutor. I guess he could've gone on turn 2 as well.

Sideboarding: +2 Dispel, +3 Duress, -1 Time Stretch (yet again), -1 Pact of Negation, -2 Progenitus, -1 Lim-Dl's Vault
We both get off to a slow start, with the difference being that I can mess up his initial hand with a Duress and a Thoughtseize. It takes me a while, but I finally found my combo kill (after about 6-7 turns or so), while my opponent had been hitten lands all the time (apart from 1 Sensei's Top, which I countered). I got lucky for getting the win after such a slow start. My disruption and countering power really helped me in this match.

4 wins, just need 1 more to be able to draw into top 8.

round 6: Peter Geurts (Mono Red Goblins)
game 1
I hear from my teammates that Peter is playing Mono Red Goblins, so I'm feeling pretty confident about this matchup. I win the die roll and go for the turn 3 Show and Tell into Progenitus play, since I'm not finding Dream Halls, against Peter's board of Vial (1 counter) and Warren Instigator. Peter drops a Ringleader into play off Show and Tell and reveils the nuts: Chieftain, Warchief, Instigator, Matron. Damn. Well, Peter casts Chieftain and Instigator in his turn and declines to attack. I have to swing, being at 16 life. On the counter attack, Peter brings in Warchief, Matron, Piledriver and Lacky and attacks for a lot. I think this is about the only deck able to race an early Progenitus.

Sideboarding: +2 Hydroblast, -2 Thoughtseize
game 2
I have a good hand, with Show and Tell and Dream Halls, but struggle to find a Conflux with all my draw. In the end, I'm at 2, staring down 16 damage next turn and have 1 draw left. I slowly take the card from my deck and put it face down in front of me. I pause, take a deep breath and slowly look at the card only to see a Conflux smiling back at me. Hardcast Dream Halls, Conflux and combo out. Few, very close one here.

Sideboarding: /
game 3
I get a dreamy hand and can go for a turn 3 win with Show and Tell into Dream Halls into Conflux.

Yes, now I hope I do not get paired down and can draw into top 8.

round 7: Shaun Pauwels (Next Level Storm)
Yay, paired against my teammate Shaun, who's sitting confortably at 5-0-1. We draw and are both happy in top 8.


quarters: Yves Verlaine (BR Goblins)
game 1
We all know what each other is playing, so I'm actually kind of happy here. I win the die roll and proceed to win with the combo kill on turn 3.

Sideboarding: +2 Hydroblast, +2 Duress, -3 Thoughtseize, -1 Pact of Negation
game 2
Here is where it all started to fall apart. I have to mull down to 5 and cannot race the onslaught of Goblins.

Sideboarding: /
game 3
I keep a nice hand with Island, Ancient Tomb x 2, Show and Tell, Dream Halls, Brainstorm. I have draw, most of the combo and the mana to cast it. Looking good. I start, Brainstorm at end of turn, get a Ponder out of it with a fetchland. I shuffle it away with a fetch, Ponder, find nothing, shuffle and draw a Brainstorm. I played 2 additional Brainstorms (with shuffle effects) and 1 Ponder and still don't find a Conflux or a Lim-Dl's Vault. In the meantime, I am facing lethal damage and just die. This was awfull. I got unlucky, but that can happen, too bad it happened here. The initial hand was good, I searched a lot and did not find the card I needed. Tough luck.


So I finish in the quarters and get a revised Volcanic Island for my efforts. I shrug off the unlucky loss and start feeling happy about the deck's performance.
Meanwhile, Shaun manages to win the whole thing, facing off against the Goblin player that knocked me out of the event (he had a very nice turn 1 win on the draw in the second game).

There you have it. Dream Halls does really work, no doubt about it.
What have I learned? The maindeck Time Stretch is bad, very bad. It goes out completely. When I would cast Time Stretch, I would have Dream Halls in play already and would have won the game anyhow. I don't know what this will become, but most likely it will be a 4th Lim-Dl's Vault. The Pact of Negation was a tryout too, but I don't know about that one, since I did not face off against Bant or Merfolk all they (the matchups in which I thought it would shine), so it will stay in for now.

Gratz on getting to this point and reading the whole thing.

Props to everything, slops to nothing, just a fun day playing of playing games.

02-22-2010, 09:13 AM
round 7: Shaun Pauwels (Next Level Storm)
Yay, paired against my teammate Shaun, who's sitting confortably at 5-0-1. We draw and are both happy in top 8.

I love you to.
Congrats on your first top8 :). May many more come your way.
Sidenote: Some errors in the report. I guess that Beacon/TimeStretch combo is actually Beacon/False Cure.
Also the play against ANT is casting Beacon, keeping priority and casting False Cure no matter what, then pass priority.

02-22-2010, 11:03 AM
Congrats on the finish:smile:

I have a few comments, it seemed that adding the extra Sea and Petal indeed helped your mana base but you still had to mull because of no-landers on occasion and SnT was only played on turn 3 usually. I don't think you will switch a Sea with a basic Swamp soon since you did not face any Wasteland in the rounds.

Also, that playset of Ponder served you well in most games except in the quarters where the 4th LDV could be golden.:smile:

Your sb looks pretty solid enough. Any thoughts on running 2x Cunning Wish main and 1 Research/Development and bounce spell in the sb?

02-22-2010, 12:32 PM
I have a few comments, it seemed that adding the extra Sea and Petal indeed helped your mana base but you still had to mull because of no-landers on occasion and SnT was only played on turn 3 usually. I don't think you will switch a Sea with a basic Swamp soon since you did not face any Wasteland in the rounds.

Well, I've always been playing lists with 4 Petals in them (maybe I'm too fond of them, who knows). I did however add a third Sea to the list, after getting hung over on mana sometimes the last time I played it in a tournament. Right now, the manabase of 18 lands and 4 Petals looks solid to me. I usually find "Daze-mana" to keep up or play my Thoughtseize/Duress/Dispel with. Also, I usually only go for the S&T when I'm confortable with it, without rushing it out too much. S&T/Progenitus I'd do asap, but S&T/Dream Halls, I'm good with waiting until I can be sure I can pull of the combo without interuption. It all depends on the combo you want to use and the deck you are facing, I guess.

Also, that playset of Ponder served you well in most games except in the quarters where the 4th LDV could be golden.

As said in the closing words, I'm probably adding the 4th Vault again. This deck just cannot have too many fixers. Also, with the 4th Vault added, I'll never play a list with only 2 Undergrounds anymore, as black many becomes more and more prominent then.

Your sb looks pretty solid enough. Any thoughts on running 2x Cunning Wish main and 1 Research/Development and bounce spell in the sb?

Problem with running Cunning Wish main is just that: a slow card which takes up 2 slots of your deck. When you are building up to the perfect combo-kill, they are just fine, but half the games you win will be on a turn 2/3 Progenitus. I'd really do not know what to take out for them. A bounce spell might be getting in though, but then in the main deck (on the Pact of Negation spot). I've come to realize after writing this report that Pact indeed is too much a liability to include. You must be sure you can win this turn when casting Pact, and so many things can go wrong. Pact is useless when using S&T/Progenitus, and when going for the S&T/Dream Halls kill, you can only safely use Pact when it should have been won anyhow (after resolving DH). When you use Pact to force S&T through, the opponent might just drop Ethersworn Cannonist/Pridemage/a mana for an on board Pridemage/Gaddok Teeg/Meddling Mage/Iona of your S&T and there goes the win that turn. Better make sure you have 5 mana next upkeep or there goes the game intirely. No, Pact will get cut and right now, main deck bounce seems to be the option. The only question remains: which one (Wipe Away/Echoing Truth)?

02-22-2010, 02:45 PM
I was thinking of adding Cunning Wishes main in place of those instant win cons (False Cure+Beacon). The first Coflux pile will consist of one Wish and Conflux. You then wish for Research/Development to shuffle those Instants in. Fetch them to your hand using your second Conflux.

The consequence of course is a more diluted sideboard, BUT with this strategy you can always wish for answers like bounce, S. Pacts, Pact of Negation, Extirpate, or even Diabolict edict against mirror.

I honestly don't have enough time to playtest this version and I don't have a playtest group for me to claim such list is better, so it is your call :smile:.