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Thread: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

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    3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    3rd place at TOGIT with 5c Storm by Ken Koepplinger

    Final result:

    SWISS: 5-1 rounds, 10-3 games
    TOP 8: 1-1 rounds, 3-2 games
    TOTAL: 6-2 rounds, 13-5 games

    ---

    3rd Place
    Ken Koepplinger
    Goblins

    4x Brianstorm
    4x Ponder
    4x Duress
    4x Dark Ritual
    1x Silence
    3x Orim’s Chant
    4x Rite of Flame
    4x Lions Eye Diamond
    4x Lotus Petal
    4x Chrome Mox
    4x Infernal Tutor
    4x Burning Wish
    1x Empty the Warrens
    1x Ad Nauseam
    1x Tendrils of Agony

    Sideboard:
    1x Tendrils of Agony
    1x Empty the Warrens
    1x Ill Gotten Gains
    1x Thoughtseize
    1x Diminishing Returns
    1x Pyroclasm
    1x Shattering Spree
    1x Wipe Away
    1x Krosan Grip
    2x Pyroblast
    4x Chain of Vapor

    My deck is pretty much the stock 5c TES list without Swarms in the board. I play pyroclasm over deathmark and don't include grapeshot at all. I play 4 chain of vapor over alternative bounce for what I call the "random card" factor you see in a lot of smaller legacy tournaments. Online I play a meltdown in the board for the incredibly annoying amount of chalice-in-the-main-deck lists I see.

    ---

    NOTE: This tournament report is done by using my memory and very minimal notes. I may have made a few mistakes in the play by play recounts, but I tried to give as accurate of a description of how the games went as possible.

    Round 1 - Jim Higginbottom (playing ANT)

    I've seen Jim around at vestal tournaments and have had the pleasure of playing him before. He played Storm, while I played Merfolk. It was my first legacy tournament, and because of his experience and my lack of understanding the proper methods of stopping storm, he curbstomped me. That match very well may have influenced my current love affair with Tendrils of Agony based storm combo decks!

    Game 1 - Jim wins the die roll. I put him on Storm due to my previous encounter with him, while he had no idea what I was running. I mentioned that these games shouldn't take long after he duressed me and realized he was in a mirror match.. but surprisingly he disagreed and said he's even gone to time in a storm mirror! Glad I wasn't in that mirror. After some draw go, I find myself sitting on a couple chant effects and duressed him revealing that I could safely tendrils from 15 life, and proceeded to do so. I barely hit the mana and tendrils'd for 10 or so storm.

    Game 2 - Jim chooses to play first again, and keeps his seven iirc. He drops an underground sea (black bordered, btw. looked very sexy) and duresses me, revealing the following hand: Lion's Eye Diamond, Lion's Eye Diamond, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Polluted Delta, Orim's Chant. He chooses to remove the Orim's Chant based on the logic (that I later confirmed after the match) was choosing any of the mana pieces would be useless because one topdecked tutor still kills him. The lotus petal would have been a valid choice in my opinion though, because it essentially guarentees I can't draw anything to kill him the next turn. Unfortunately for Jim, I draw my card and proceed to play my hand into an infernal tutor. He was pretty shocked, as was I, but it happens. I Ad Nauseamed into a boatload of rituals and tutors and LED's, but couldnt find more than a single lotus petal to start any storm chains that would win me the game. Going down from 3 to 2 on a brainstorm left me with no choice, I had to brainstorm and hope to hit 2 of any combination of chrome mox or lotus petal. I played the petal, brainstormed, and saw Chrome Mox, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual. I played the rest of my cards and lethally tendriled.

    Round 2 - Josh Michael (playing 4c Landstill)

    Josh seemed like a real down to earth guy who may or may not have a lot of magic experience. It turned out he did indeed have a lot of magic experience. I had a very enjoyable time playing against him and would like to do so again if given the opportunity!

    Game 1 - We made smalltalk and shuffled up, with him winning the roll. I kept my hand containing a Duress and enough to go off if I drew a land. Me having no idea what he was playing hurt me here I believe, I would've probably tried to mulligan at this point for a more protection heavy hand and then draw into a kill. After my duress got spell pierced on turn 2 and because of his lands, I realized he was absoutely playing a landstill variant. Great. Standstill dropped, a gigantic wall of counterspells became established, and a factory beat me into submission. Get'em, jace!

    Game 2 - With me on the play, I keep a hand with slightly more protection including Pyroblast and Orim's chant, but again he radio shacks me and beats me with a factory. Not very exciting, but he played it very well and didn't give me even a single chance at going off. Kudos to you, sir.

    Round 3 - NOT Daniel (playing ANT)

    Game 1 - He wins the die roll. I didn't know what he was playing, but it became apparent after a duress. He shot one back and saw orim's chant, a tutor, and very little mana. He took the chant and I duressed him against preventing him from going off. In the combo mirror matchup, I feel as though following the basic strategy of prioritizing the control of your opponents ability to go off over your own is, in my experience, the most consistent way to win with Chant based storm decks. I managed to draw into a ritual and an LED a few turns later and went off, while he was sitting on enough mana to hardcast an Eldrazi without a tutor in sight.

    Game 2 - I play first and keep a hand with double chant effect. He duresses me and opts to remove a tutor instead of a chant, which later haunts him when I draw a third chant effect. When it appears as though he's able to go off, he shoots off a duress, sees the 3 chants, and realizes he can't possibly go off. He passes the turn, in which I brainstorm into a tendrils kill.

    Round 4 - Vince Gau (playing Dreadstill)

    I had seen Vince at previous Vestal tournaments, and knew he was a dreadstill player. It was confirmed when I watched him respond to a dreadnought with a swords to plowshares in an earlier match. We get deckchecked by Caff here, and are given a time extension to compensate for the lost time. We end up finishing rather quickly, as is detailed below:

    Game 1 - I win the die roll, and Vince mulligans into an acceptable 6. I start out with a Duress, seeing a few pieces of countermagic, and nab a Force of Will. Realizing I can now safely go off even through a force (I had a wish and a tutor), I proceed to get my wish forced and still tendriled him for lethal. The thing I like about Vince is he consistently remains focused on all parts of the gamestate. I consider myself pretty good at reading people and he was incredibly difficult to figure out. He vocally noted every spell after Ad Nauseam, which to me is very beneficial. I end up forcing myself to orim's chant before tendriling, and it turns out to be a good, if not risky, decision because he had a stifle in hand that he had just drawn. (I needed another petal to chant, and was at 4 life with ETW still in the deck)

    Game 2 - Vince plays and keeps his hand. He gets stuck on one Underground Sea. I draw the nuts against blue and create a ton of goblins without a tutor, and kill him.

    Round 5 - Andrew Cavanaugh (playing Mono Blue Merfolk)

    Andrew is a polite, all business kind of guy. He's focused, confident, and very skilled. He gave the impression he was quite a bit more experience than I was. I looked forward to our match.

    Game 1 - I win the die roll knowing he's playing Merfolk. He plays cursecatchers and has a lot of countermagic. I concede after a hopeful, yet disappointing brainstorm. Not much to be said.. it's not a terrible matchup but certainly not one I would consider good by any means. The newly adapted spell pierce in fish lists main decks is what makes it very difficult on occasion. Cursecatch, Daze, Spell Pierce, Force, Stifle, Wasteland, a fast clock, and no Xantid swarm in my board leaves me with what I'd estimate to be a 35-40% to 60-65% win ratio against competent "storm in the meta" tuned merfolk decks. This varies from other storm players who put themselves at a coinflip or better, but it's been my experience.

    Game 2 - With me on the play, and him down to 5 cards, I create an assload of goblins after proper protection and he can't possibly hope to stop them. I consider EtW a very good play against merfolk on turns 1 and 2, and will often opt to do it if possible over an unreliable attempt at getting an Ad Nauseam off.

    Game 3 - Andrew plays and gets stuck on a single land. He plays a cursecatcher and I duress his aether vial. I empty my warrens and win via goblins again. Not exciting and certainly upsetting to my opponent, but not all games can be glorious if luck is a factor.

    Round 6 - Dan (playing Dark Horizons)

    Game 1 - I have no idea what he's playing, which is bad because we're the only 4-1's that have to play considering the other, higher positioned 4-1's all drew. I win the roll (HOT STREAK!) and duress him revealing Wasteland, Swamp, Swords to Plowshare, Verdant Catacombs, Vindicate, and something that I apparently forgot. I take the mystery card (which I previously thought was KOTR but was reminded duress does not hit creatures haha), and because I had a land heavy hand, was able to go off via Ad Nauseam through the wasteland/vindicate.

    Game 2 - Jon mulligans to six on the play, and keeps a hand with a lot of LD. I brainstorm in response to the wasteland I was dreading on turn 2 and thankfully find lands #2-3. I manage to draw into a bunch of artifact mana and rituals with tendrils in my hand, and decide to dump my hand before he plays any discard spells. I tendrils him for 14 with 3 lands an unimprinted chrome mox and Lion's Eye Diamond on the table. I play draw go for a long while, silencing him occasionally and get beat down with a dark confidant and a goyf for a few turns before I find a few spells to tendrils him. I ended the game at 15 life.

    Top 8 Quarterfinals - Rob (playing Blue/Red Merfolk)

    Game 1 - I win the roll (MEGA HOT STREAK) and after he mulligans I slip through his blue permission and tendrils before he was able to damage me.

    Game 2 - Rob plays first and is forced to mulligan into 5 cards, which I assume contained a lot of permission due to his lack of a land drop. He doesnt draw a land for a while and after I duress him and see two live counterspells, am able to create 16 goblins due to a pyroblast in my hand and his countermagic beefing my storm. He lightning bolts one of them and drops to 4 before conceeding.

    Top 4 Semifinals - Joey (playing Necrotic Ooze combo package w/NO sb plan)

    Game 1 - I win the roll and duress him revealing Survival, Rootwalla, Birds of Paradise, Force of Will, Bayou, Island, and a Misty Rainforest. I remove his Survival of the fittest, which while at the time was right, turned out to be the wrong move. I draw into a kill on turn two. Tendrils finishes him and we shuffle up for game 2.

    Game 2 - Joey plays and I mulligan. I got to a point where I hoped I could go off, but realizing his combo was live next turn I was forced to bank that he didnt have a force. He FoW'd something of mine and I was one mana short of being able to Ad Naus and ended up having to burning wish for thoughtseize praying he didnt have a second creature in his hand to hopefully buy me a few turns, but he showed me two creatures and then combo killed me. (Alternate play route was to mini-tendrils, which might not have been a bad idea.)

    Game 3 - I play first and look at my 7 cards. Lotus petal, Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Burning Wish, Lion's Eye Diamond, Lion's Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox. This hand would normally be roughly 55-60ish % able to produce 16 goblins before my opponent played his first land if he was playing Force (which he was), however my opponent revealed surprisingly few blue cards when he oozed me which was definitely beneficial to me... the troubling thing was that he had at least one copy of mindbreak trap in game 2. He had very few cards left in his deck when he killed me and I had only saw one copy, so I figured that he had 2. I did the math, and decided that drawing 6 on the play against a deck capable of killing turn 3-4 WITH protection is probably less of a shot at winning than going for goblins right now, abusing his lack of a sweeper. I played my hand and he Mindbreak Trapped my Burning Wish.

    The most important thing with I've learned playing storm is that sometimes... you've just gotta go for it.

    ---

    Thanks for the tournament TOGIT, thanks to Caff and Allen for bringing me, and thanks to my opponents for the games.
    Last edited by naarou; 12-13-2010 at 02:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    Nice work man, I'm glad to see you winning with Storm. Sounds like the meta had a lot of it?

    Congratulations again, I hope we get to hit some tournaments together again some time soon.
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    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    Good job with the deck! Storm is always a challenge to play.

    Anyway:
    I win the roll (HOT STREAK!) and duress him revealing Wasteland, Swamp, Swords to Plowshare, Verdant Catacombs, Vindicate, and KOTR. I take Knight, and because I had a land heavy hand, was able to go off via Ad Nauseam through the wasteland/vindicate.
    Was this an error? I think it should have been thoughtseize. Also why pyroclasm? The most common hate bear is teeq and doubles don't happen. If you're opponent's hate bear is cannonist, you have spree to take both out. Deathmark IMO is a better choice because you can cast it for 1 mana off a dark ritual on your combo turn which can save you a turn (or more life for a safer ad nauseum). Cheers!

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    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    Yeah definitely an error. I edited it, thanks.

    I realize deathmark is a more streamlined approach, however I've played several survival variants online with different hatebears that are able to be tutored and deployed as early as turn 3 (turn 1 bop, t2 survival tutor for teeg, t3 teeg canonist from hand, for example). This strategy is better than the typical vengevine approach because staring down a Teeg and a Canonist is as close to GG as it gets. I find this more relevant than the single mana you're saving, because it's already mana hungry to burning wish for a hatebear answer. Pyroclasm also has other incredible uses that go unnoticed in most storm players eyes because it's not directly helping you kill your opponent by wiping out a bunch of creatures.

    I think it's a pretty good example of broadening your options by replacing narrower, slightly more efficient answers to common problems with cards featuring less efficiency but a LOT more utility.

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    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    Agreed pyroclasm gives you much more utility. I've had pyroclasm in my board for like 1 and 1/2 years before realizing that speed wise, it did not get there. Just giving you a headsup that though pyroclasm is much more useful in alot of fringe situations like vs tokens, or gaddock + cannonist, % wise, you are more likely to see situations when being easier to cast wins you more games.

    It's something like firespout vs wrath of god/damnation. I prefer the easier to cast but more limited answer most of the time since legacy is choke-full of wastelands, dazes etc. But that's my opinion. Great finish either way!

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    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    The pyroclasm change was made at the same time the bounce change was. The 4x Chain of Vapor often come in over Chants against decks with hatebears, and not factoring in the effect of that on the list's overall ability to combat hatebears would be a mistake.

    Regardless, I do agree with the philosophy of deathmark being better because its specialized and 50% of the cost, however with the 4x chains the pyroclasm is usually just a backup for when shit hits the fan.

  7. #7

    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    Quote Originally Posted by naarou View Post
    Game 2 - Jim chooses to play first again, and keeps his seven iirc. He drops an underground sea (black bordered, btw. looked very sexy) and duresses me, revealing the following hand: Lion's Eye Diamond, Lion's Eye Diamond, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Polluted Delta, Orim's Chant. He chooses to remove the Orim's Chant based on the logic (that I later confirmed after the match) was choosing any of the mana pieces would be useless because one topdecked tutor still kills him. The lotus petal would have been a valid choice in my opinion though, because it essentially guarentees I can't draw anything to kill him the next turn. Unfortunately for Jim, I draw my card and proceed to play my hand into an infernal tutor. He was pretty shocked, as was I, but it happens. I Ad Nauseamed into a boatload of rituals and tutors and LED's, but couldnt find more than a single lotus petal to start any storm chains that would win me the game. Going down from 3 to 2 on a brainstorm left me with no choice, I had to brainstorm and hope to hit 2 of any combination of chrome mox or lotus petal. I played the petal, brainstormed, and saw Chrome Mox, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual. I played the rest of my cards and lethally tendriled.
    I would always go for IGG in this situation, he's tapped out and has nothing relevant he can do, Ad Nauseam almost bit you in the ass here.

    Delta for sea or swamp or whatever
    Petal (1)
    LED (2)
    LED (3)
    Tap land for both Rituals (5) (BBBBB)
    IT for BW (6) (BBB)
    Break petal for R, BW for IGG (7) (BB), Crack both LEDs in response (7 ) (BBBBBBBB)
    IGG (8) (BBBB)
    LED (9)
    LED (10)
    IT for Tendrils (11) crack LEDs (BBBBBBBB)
    Tendrils (12) (BBBB)

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    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    Yeah, IGG would have been the smarter move for sure. Even though ANing from 18+ is statistically on my side, there's always that chance it'll fizzle.

  9. #9

    Re: 3rd with 5c Storm @ a 1.5 Black Lotus event (TOGIT, Somerville NJ)

    Congrats. I've added this to the opening post of the T.E.S thread, hope you don't mind.

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