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Thread: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

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    [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    This is my first report ever, and I am not a native English speaker, so don't be too harsh on me.
    I only have the life totals for the last 5 rounds, so any similarity between reality and what I write could be mere coincidence. If anyone spots any error on the report and want me to change it contact me and I'll do my best. Sorry for not remembering the names of my opponents, I did not write them down.

    To put everyone in situation I used to play ANT before the banning. Since then I have been trying some things without much success, so I decided to get back to combo with TES. I decided for the UBR version because my meta has a lot of land destruction, wastelands run rampant. I wanted to be able to include a basic island and a basic swamp so I settled for the UBR list.

    This is the list I played:


    // Lands
    3 [R] Underground Sea
    4 [ON] Polluted Delta
    2 [R] Volcanic Island
    3 [ZEN] Scalding Tarn
    1 [R] Badlands
    1 [U] Swamp
    1 [ROE] Island

    // Spells
    2 [MR] Chrome Mox
    4 [JU] Burning Wish
    1 [SC] Tendrils of Agony
    1 [ALA] Ad Nauseam
    4 [TE] Lotus Petal
    4 [LRW] Ponder
    4 [CST] Brainstorm
    4 [DIS] Infernal Tutor
    4 [MI] Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 [CS] Rite of Flame
    4 [IA] Dark Ritual
    1 [TSP] Empty the Warrens
    3 [LRW] Thoughtseize
    1 [US] Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 [M11] Duress

    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 [SC] Tendrils of Agony
    SB: 1 [TSP] Empty the Warrens
    SB: 1 [LRW] Thoughtseize
    SB: 1 [US] Ill-Gotten Gains
    SB: 1 [GP] Shattering Spree
    SB: 1 [10E] Deathmark
    SB: 4 [RAV] Dark Confidant
    SB: 1 [AL] Diminishing Returns
    SB: 1 [TSP] Grapeshot
    SB: 1 [CFX] Telemin Performance
    SB: 2 [4E] Red Elemental Blast


    As you can see the list is a pretty straightforward 3 colour TES list. I like to have 4 of everything unless tutorable targets, exceptions being thougtseize because one is in the side and Chrome, which I think is the worst card of the deck.
    Some people may consider that having Tendrils, Empty and Ill-gotten main together with the 8 tutors make Ad nauseam too dangerous. It's true, but it also gives you tremendous flexibility. You know you can get whatever you want with whatever tutor you have without requiring extramana to go from infernal to burning wish to illgotten in the side, I think this makes the deck slightly faster.
    Regarding the side, most of it is for Burning Wish, so I only used Confidants against slow blue decks and REBs against all blue decks, that's it.
    During the top8 I was pointed out that running REB is a bad decision since I cannot target it to a land to gain hellbent. My reasoning was that I didn't want a misdirection or divert to be able to redirect it, but considering that 95% of the time it will be cast in counter mode and that when used in counter mode they can divert/misdirect it to the divert/misdirect itself it makes more sense to use the REB.

    You will see through the report that I don't feel much comfortable with the red part of the deck. I do more or less ok with the UB part (thanks to ANT experience), but I make mistakes all the time with the red cards... be warned!
    ---

    We arrive at the event and I am still not set on whether to play merfolks or TES. I am better with merfolks, but the meta is totally prepared for aggro and completely unprepared for combo so I decide to go for TES. Seeing my pairings through the day I think I took the right decision.

    R1 Sneak Attack
    G1
    He starts. I keep a slow hand with some disruption. I duress and see fow, show and tell, lotus petal and emrakul, this means a turn 2 emrakul into play. Since I cannot combo next turn I take the show and tell and hope to draw more discard to take care of the fow. I got destroyed anyway...
    G2
    Similar to g1, I duress early and see a fast combo for him + disruption. At one point I have to go for it knowing that he still has a pierce in hand, but I have enough mana. Unfortunately the pierce served as fow fodder and my burning wish with LED activation got countered with an emrakul already in play.
    Learning points: I think I should be favoured since I am faster and also pack hand destruction. The truth is that I felt like playing against merfolks, You know that they will have some counters but you cannot lose one single turn or they will rush you. Probably I should have mulliganed the hands of both games...

    Had I played merfolks I am convinced I would have won the match, I cursed myself for taking the wrong deck.
    0-1

    Great start! Players in tables 40 to 52 are sent to a near bar since we are too many people to play in the main room. Since my tiebreakers are not going to be that great I need to win it all from now on...
    Btw, all the team lost this round 0-2...

    R2 Enchantress
    G1
    I start. He goes t1 wild growth. I can empty the warrens turn 2 for 12 goblins, if he has the elephant grass I might lose, if not he might go sterling groove to fetch elephant grass giving me a 1 turn window to strike so I would have to minitendrils for 4 or less storm. I take the risk and he has the elephant grass. sigh. I attack with 1 goblin a turn for a few turns, but he does not draw anything relevant and I tendrils him out some turns later.
    Goblin fail #1
    Learning: I should have waited a couple of turns and combo through tendrils, they can lock the ground as soon as turn 1, but they take more time to set a solitary confinement.
    G2
    I see a hand of 3xthoughtseize, after thinking for a while I decide to keep. I strip his hand of anything relevant but lose a lot of life in the process, I combo through ill-gotten a few turns later.
    Learning: Although this match up should be highly favourable, I was missing some enchantment destruction (Reverent silence in 5c) or bounce (eye of nowhere) to be fetched with burning wish.
    1-1

    R3 Goblins
    I don't remember the order of the matches, the 2 I won was basic ANT vs Goblins stuff. The one I lost was another mistake for my part going through Empty the Warrens against an aggro deck. He drops his hand into the table and stops my little guys with no effort, killing me in short order.
    Goblin fail #2
    2-1

    R4 Bant
    Blue deck! But it was metagamed for aggro. As I said at the beginning, the meta was aggro and decks prepared against it.
    This was a very nice match, I am sorry I do not have the notes or life totals because an accurate report would have been cool.
    G1
    He starts island go. I duress, he brainstorms in response to hide his good cards, he has nothing relevant against me. After a couple turns I duress again taking his fow and combo with ad nauseam.
    G2
    I don't remember anything about this game, it might be possible that some of the things said in the previous or next game actually happened here.
    G3
    We setup for a couple turns. At one point he taps out and I duress him so he cannot hide anything with a brainstorm, he has nothing relevant and I get ready to combo next turn knowing that he can draw a brainstorm, daze or fow. When I am going for it with empty the warrens he dazes the Burning Wish so I do not have mana for anything beyond a 7 storm grapeshot. Some turns later there is a massive tarmo on the field and I have very few cards in hand. I take a look at my SB and decide that my only hope is a diminishing returns, it will give me 7 fresh cards and convert his tarmo to a meek 0/1. The diminishing returns resolves giving me plenty of gas and giving nothing to him, in addition his clock gets slowed to a crawl. He casts a Rhox that I REB and after duressing him and seeing that he has nothing I go for it through ill-gotten
    I have the 3 games quite mixed in my mind, so what happened in each of the games could have been shuffled...
    Learning: I had never used Diminishing returns in any testing in the past, but in this game it happened to be crucial.
    3-1

    I have life totals for the remaining matches, so the report should be more accurate here.

    R5 Zoo
    G1 I thoughtseize him turn 1 and combo turn 2
    G2 My life reaches 5 and I combo through Ill gotten. I think he managed to put gaddock into play who got deathmarked.
    Learning: A hand with thoughtseize to strip his hate bear, BW for deathmark to kill the bear or a turn 1 kill are all that is needed to win this matchup. Now even their REBs/Pyros are less effective since we do not run mystical.
    4-1

    R6 Maverick

    G1
    I think he plays zoo, so I keep a hand with a single Underground and duress him turn 1, when I see the waste in his hand I think I'm dead. He wastes my land and starts developing the board. I draw another underground that lets me ponder, but it gets wasted again. A couple of turns later I combo while at 5 life, I miscalculate and storm 10 against his 19 life, an untapped land and a qasali, obviously he has the swords and stays at 1 life, me standing at 25. I have two lands into play, so my outs are burning wish for grape, or infernal into burning into grape, or brainstorm or ponder to dig for it, taking a few turns. He hass no clock tough. He plays Stoneforge mystic and fetches a Sword of Light and Shadow, if it hits play I am dead. I topdeck a dures like a champ and make him discard it, next turn land and the turn after the burning for grapeshot, nice topdecking.
    G2
    I thoughtseized a Gaddock Tegg, but another one hit the table and I could not manage it in time.
    G3
    My life stays at 20, so I think I comboed pretty fast.
    Learning: Although both 3c TES and 5c TES should be favored in this matchup, the basic lands give you and edge with 3c.
    5-1

    I look at the standings, and as I imagined I cannot ID into the top, probably due to losing first round.

    R7 Aggroloam

    G1 He starts Taiga go. I think he plays zoo with no turn 1 drop... I should learn to read the game! I combo turn 1 through ill gotten, before resolving he scoops them up. At that point I didn't realize, but he scooped not to show me what he was playing. So we start g2 with me still thinking he is on zoo...
    G2 He keeps very confidently and opens with land + mox, but there is no chalice to follow. I am a little shocked, but my hand is all power. I ponder (not the card) whether I should go for turn 1 kill or check his hand in case he had a mindbreak... Since I am not in a hurry and he kept so confidently I decide to duress and see a terravore, maelstorm and devastating dreams, I take the devastating and win next turn without much trouble. He said he didn't have anything for combo and was bluffing when he kept. I fell for it, but won anyway.
    Learning: I love this deck! :-P This round I could have killed both games in T1, this is the power of the deck.
    6-1

    I made it to the top8! I start to feel tired of counting mana and storm all day long. I am also quite nervous on the matches ahead...
    I'm sure we will have the lists of the top8 soon. When I see them I will link them here.

    Top8 Dredge
    G1
    I have no clue what he is playing. I go down to 7 but kill him.
    G2
    A cabal therapy on Dark Ritual and a fast army of hasted zombies make quick work of my life. He took 2 hits of his own tarnished citadel getting him on range of a small tendrils, but I couldn't recover from the cabals.
    G3
    I start. Turn 1 ad nauseam kill. I love this deck!

    The top 4 decks were SurviMadness (I didn't happen to see a single fow), Merfolk, and WGR brew. Obviously I got paired with merfolks...

    Top4 Merfolks Lluis Restoy -This guy made top8 at GP Madrid
    The match is being recorded, so if I was not nervous enough it puts even more pressure... Everyone will see my mistakes now!
    G1
    My opponent puts me on Canadian and keeps a hand with 5 lands... I duress his standstill and win in short order. I want to appologise to him for playing too hurried. I usually spend a lot of time thinking, but once I see I have the kill I tend to play too fast making it difficult for my opponents to follow. Also my nerves were not helping... I tried to improve it in the next games playing more paused.
    G2
    I open a 7 card hand with no land but incredible otherwise. Considering that he plays wastelands I prefer not to risk it and mulligan. The next 6 also contain no land, so I go to 5. He also mulligans and starts with muta, go. I duress now that he cannot daze and see: disrupt,stifle,fow,fow... Luckily he still does not have an island, so I take the fow and hope to draw another discard before he finds the island. He starts bashing with a muta. I duress again, take the fow and get ready to empty the warrens next turn for 8 goblins, I think it will be enough. He doesn't draw the island and I empty for 8. I think I have it since most of his 2 toughness creatures cost UU. He draws the island and goes pyrexian-stifle... wtf! I was not expecting it at all. I have no outs now, I bash into it and not drawing anything relevant next turn I scoop.
    Goblin Fail #3
    G3
    I start with a great hand. At least he does not play brainstorm to help him dig. I take out a stifle from his hand and when I am at 12 life I go for it. After counting many times I realize I have exactly enough mana to go through ill-gotten getting back a toughtseize with lethal tendrils. I was so close of siding out the illgotten against merfolks, but in the end I decided to keep it in and it paid off.

    After the round I was pointed out that I made a terrible mistake g2 that costed me the game. Before empty the warrens I had Dark Ritual, Infernal, Empty, Rite of flame and petal. I could have cast the infernal to get another rite so I would have upped the storm to 6, generating 12 goblins. Next turn I would have bashed him to 9 keeping 11 gobs for his board of pyrexian 2 muta + island, so the game was mine.

    Final SurviMadness
    Although I was told that the matchup was a bye in my favour I preferred to guarantee the presence in the December final and split the prizes. It was 9pm and I have been playing for more than 10 hours without a break.

    Comments on the deck:
    The deck seemed fit to fight anything. It is true that my pairings were favorable but I don't think I would change anything main.
    The side is another story. I sided in the confidants one single time, against bant, but I think I should find something that has a bigger impact on blue matchups. Maybe splashing G for xantid and carpet, although I would not touch the main manabase... so who knows...
    The Burning Wish toolbox works wonders. I didn't understand when could you need Pulverize when you have shattering spree. The inclusion of telemin performance was a nod to Show and tell decks and landstill now that they do not usually run Canonist.
    Although I doubted about it, I used grapeshot, shattering spree and diminishing returns, so they are staying in my side.


    Props
    Such a fast deck gives you plenty of time to eat and scout in between rounds
    Basics for being awesome
    The deck performed great, getting a turn 1 kill is always nice.
    The Burning Wish toolbox
    "Winning" a 100+ people tournament and getting classified for the final

    Slops
    My lack of practice with the red part of the deck
    My inability to kill with empty the warrens one single time through the tournament
    Last edited by Albert; 09-21-2010 at 01:29 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Bien hecho. Hablando un idioma extranjero es algo, pero a escribir en dicho idioma con claridad es algo diferente.

  3. #3
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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Good Job, this deck is hitting spanish legacy leagues , I won september LVL (61 players) with teps too :)

  4. #4

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    First of all, congrats!

    I have found Empty the warrens to be underwhelming too, so I have removed it from mainboard and just run 1 in the side. And then added an Ad Nauseaum, and I haven't looked back. If your meta is filled with aggro, that seems to be the right thing to do. However, IMO playing 2 Ad Nauseams with IGG on the main doesn't seem a good idea...

  5. #5
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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Thanks for your report! I really enjoyed reading this!

  6. #6

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    If you want to replace Bob with Xantids, just go:

    -4 Bobs
    +1 Tropical Island
    +3 Xantid

    Doesn't hurt your manabase game 1, although I'd try to fit another fetchland into the maindeck.

  7. #7

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Nice job. My maindeck is very similar to yours with -1 land and +1 Chrome Mox and cutting some of the duals for fetches to make it more likely that I can get the right colors I need. I feel like having only two moxes is cutting it close for Ad Nauseam. I think this deck tends to want to cast Ad Nauseam with an empty pool more often than ANT (before the ban) did and having the Chrome Moxes facilitates that. Telemin Performance in the board is a cute idea I need to try.

    Unlike most, I actually really like the option of EtW. I've gotten pretty familiar with the high risk nature involved in the "make a bunch of goblins" plan, but I like having the option to do something when I'm short a mana from Ad Nauseam or get a tutor dazed. Having a backup plan of attack readily available is also pretty important against the new Leyline of Sanctity, especially since I don't see Eye of Nowhere in your sideboard to deal with it.

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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Quote Originally Posted by maxflow2 View Post
    Telemin Performance in the board is a cute idea I need to try.
    Isn't Bribery strictly better? You'd hate to flip a Hierarch in NO Bant.

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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oiolosse View Post
    Isn't Bribery strictly better? You'd hate to flip a Hierarch in NO Bant.
    It's for milling your opponent with no creatures in his deck (mirror). Not for getting Progenitus or something.

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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Thanks to everybody.

    Telemin Performance serves a double purpose, against show and tell decks (not bant) and against landstill decks. Against the former you get their emrakul or big guy into play. Against the latter you usually mill them right on the spot since they do not side Ethersworn Canonist anymore.

    Btw, the videos from the top4 vs merfolks are up. Here you have them: Videos

    Please comment if you see any mistakes I did or plays I could have improved.
    Last edited by Albert; 09-28-2010 at 07:27 AM. Reason: Vids

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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Do not play Brainstorm end of turn. That's just bad. You get plenty of Brainstorms that win on the spot if you cast them on your own turn.
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  12. #12
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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Actually I only played brainstorms eot when I was going to win next turn. This way I saved all my mana for the go off and I could sculpt my hand one last time. The only exception beeing when he casted the standstill and I tryed to sculpt getting ready for the go off.

    I agree that brainstorms are usually better on your main phase. Or if you cast it in the enemy turn, have a fetchland on the table to shuffle away the worst 2 cards.

  13. #13

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Thanks for the report, it was fun to read. Congrats on the win!

    As you asked for advice, here is what I think having just watched the videos:

    First game: I strongly disagree with the timing of the second Duress. If you don't plan on winning right now, why Duress? It isn't like you'll have problems with the colored mana the turn you go off considering you have 2 Petals available, which means there is no need to give him a turn to luckily rip the FoW of the Top. Also, depending on what you had in hand, it might have been the right play to Brainstorm mainphase as the first thing you do before even casting the second Duress, you might have been able to win that turn already.

    Third game: I doubt playing the second Brainstorm in response to the Standstill is correct:
    a) it forces you to Fetch for a Sea instead of a Swamp against a deck with Wastelands. (you could ignore this if you already have a second stable black source, which clearly wasn't the case)
    b) you don't get to shuffle whatever you put back (only relevant if you actually had had a way to shuffle, but not having one makes it so that the Brainstorm will likely do nothing anyway)
    c) It means you have less of a chance to break the Standstill eot, which is sometimes important because it makes it harder for them to keep random things like triple-FoW active while still doing something themselves. (This can be ignored if you already have a third Brainstorm in hand)
    Still, this one is debateable as it depends a lot on what you have in hand.

    This part of your description
    After counting many times I realize I have exactly enough mana to go through ill-gotten getting back a toughtseize with lethal tendrils.
    is kind of hilarious after watching the video, though: You realize that he was tapped out and therefore couldn't cast that Stifle he got back the turn you won, right? ;)
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  14. #14

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Congrats on the top 2 split!

    I was wondering if you could share on what you sided in and out in each of your rounds? I am particularly interested on what you sided in and out against merfolks, zoo, and possibly vengevine survival(Assuming you were going to play it out). Although, if you don't remember or don't have it documented somewhere it's alright.

  15. #15

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Congratulations on your finish Albert!

    The LCL is getting more and more players everyday (now around 100 per month) and it is not an easy task to win in such a big (and diverse - although Aggro is hitting hard) field.

  16. #16
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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Thanks a lot for the feedback monGoblinChef!

    G1 I didn't want to brainstorm before the duress because I did not want to lose my petal and me fetchlanding for blue could have been stifled. I imagine that the rational for casting duress the turn before the combo was twofold. First of all I wanted to protect my fetchland for a possible stifle and second I allays try to keep as much mana up for the combo turn as possible. You are completely right that in this case it was not needed and duressing the turn I was going off whould have been a better play.

    G3 Again I think what you suggest is the right play. I should have fetched swamp and keep the brainstorm, although I had one third brainstorm to break the standstill end of turn.
    I think at that point I wanted to brainstorm to hit some land drops to develop my board a couple of turns under the standstill, which I failed since I didn't hit any one land.
    On my defence I can say that my hand was quite good already, so i didn't really needed to get rid of anything, just piling up cards for the combo.

    Anyway, points taken, thanks for the feedback.

    Regarding the thoughtseize you are right, I thought I had to make him discard the stifle. I didn't realize he was tapped...


    Regarding SB:
    As I said at the beginning, nothing changes against non blue decks. Only in decks with hate-bears I take 1 duress out for 1 thoughtseize, to try to hit their bear turn 1.
    Against slow blue (non-merfolks) I side in confidants and REBs (should be pyros) and out chromes, illgotten, 2 ponders, 1 thought.
    Against merfolks in 2 REBs, out 1 ponder 1 chrome.
    More or less that's it.
    You have to keep in mind that half the SB is BW targets, and the other half I didn't use it much. I don't think I am playing the confidants any more, I want something with a greater impact against blue decks (landstill - orim's, countertop- doomsday, merfolks-xantid's)
    I hope it helps.

  17. #17

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Yeah, it does thanks alot.

    On another note, me and Jander78 have been testing 3c TES for a few weeks now and we don't really play Dark Confidants in the sideboard. They just seem bad in a zoo infested metagame.

  18. #18
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    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    If you play in a zoo infested meta TES is the deck to play. But obiously Confidants are not for this matchup. I am still looking for something for the blue matchups, the only ones that you could have problems with.

  19. #19

    Re: [Report] Top 2 Split with 3c TES at September LCL (105 players)

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert View Post
    If you play in a zoo infested meta TES is the deck to play. But obiously Confidants are not for this matchup. I am still looking for something for the blue matchups, the only ones that you could have problems with.
    I think TES is pretty much the deck to play in any meta as long as your confident and comfortable with it. As for the blue matchup, I've just been boarding in more discard and pyroblasts.

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