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Thread: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

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    Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Good evening folks and a warm welcome to the summer edition of Heart of the Storm! Tune into the vibe of the show and I hope you donít suffer too much from the heat (with almost 38įC in the shade here!) and still toil yourself for the one or other round of Magic in your local game store. I freshly returned to the Big B from a 7 weeks business trip stripped from all my confidence in playing TES to itís full potential, not being able to play a single damn game in that timeframe nor being able to follow the trends. After sending a digital herald of my not so glorious return (from the airport, covered in sweat) I took a nap home and after waking up I noticed that coffee was out home Ö geez. I skipped Breakfast and rather go checking the newspapers while zippiní drinks and enjoying the sun in Berlinís dozens of beachbars while having 2 weeks off from work.



    I love that location called the ďBadeschiffĒ with a pool in the middle of the river Spree and take a dive while gettín some tan laying in the hammock and thinking about the metagame. I was still active in various forums during travel, but Iíve never had the chance to play against the current iterations of the Stoneblade archtype including Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant or the new, hyped Elves (with the later still not having arrived at itís power-peak due to A LOT of suboptimal choices in the mainboard and side). With Elves and Doomsday being my other 2 beloved decks in general, Iím very active in the discussion about the former and being a loud-mouthed advocate for running a build based on 4 Birchlore Rangers, so if I face any Elves the upcoming tournament itís not unlikely that any of my fellas might will try those. The only thing that really bothers me are the various SB choices for Elves here going from Mindbreak Trap over the obvious Gaddock Teeg to a nasty Thalia or even Thorns of Amethyst. I even thought about a recent discussion about cutting a Chrome Mox in favor of a 4th Fetchland in TES to have a better game against manadenial strategies but decided to skip testing it at the upcoming event, because with the rise of Elves and Deathblade I still expect the meta to be a victim for the speed of the 3-Mox-list.

    The day of the tournament, I tried to match Berlinís unique vibe and donít give a fuck about my lack of play and instead hammer more of the vibe into my ears, best done by an iconic local band, Iíll watching in a open-air-concert later this year.

    As Iím finally there, I notice a crowd of about 34 peeps with a lot of faces Iím not familiar with and look out for my doods, which welcome me with hugs. We all skipped the biz outfits this time and go for classy casual dresses which takes a toll on the temperature. Damn! handsome-well-dressed-fantasy-nerds rock!



    Alex took preparations like a bawz having 3 battery-driven pocket-fans in his leather satchel! These are mighty tools weíll keep on throwing around the room for the next hours for a cool breeze and keeping brains working. Weíll see if I have to pay the price for the lack of practice with the following beauty:

    Mainboard:

    4 Gemstone Mine
    2 City of Brass
    2 Underground Sea
    1 Volcanic Island
    3 Polluted Delta

    3 Chrome Mox
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Lionís Eye Diamond
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Gitaxian Probe
    4 Silence
    3 Duress
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Ad Nauseam

    Sideboard:

    3 Abrupt Decay
    2 Chain of Vapor
    2 Xantid Swarm
    2 Cabal Therapy
    1 Grapeshot
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Past in Flames
    1 Diminishing Returns




    I had no fucking clue what I was going to face, so I just took the standard swiss army knife to the battlefield and see how it slices. Timís notebook spits out the pairings and I read a name I thought to remember from the past, but canít fit the name to a certain deck. :/

    Round 1 Ė UWB Esper Deathblade

    Game 1


    I lose the dice roll and still think about why I donít remember his deck while shuffling. Iím certain at this point that heís one of the low performing Stoneblade players we used to have around. He takes a mulligan to 6 and I draw those 7

    Lionís Eye Diamond
    Burning Wish
    Gemstone Mine
    Duress
    Burning Wish
    Brainstorm
    Gemstone Mine

    Would you keep that hand?


    Thatís a slow hand but offers enough biz and protection for it to throw back. I decide to work myself into that match. My fellow opponent starts off an Underground Sea and immediately ships back the turn. My topdeck-draw gifts me a Lotus Petal and I open with a Gemstone Mine. I choose to fire off my Duress, which meets a Brainstorm across the playmat. As he had finished resolving his cantrip, Iím able to look at 2 Force of Wills, Wasteland, Flooded Strand and Misty Rainforest. At this point Iím curious which card he choose to hide on top of his library. I beg him for a moment to think about the signs. Heís willing to show me 2 Force of Willís and a Wasteland with an U.Sea in play, putting him on Esperblade. With him knowing what Iím piloting across the table I get the idea that he might float a discard spell for the unholy triangle of Discard/Wasteland/Force of Will tearing me apart soon. I choose to take preparations according to that scenario and decide to drop both mana artifacts to having a possible blue mana for Brainstorm and the Diamond out of his reach with a redundant 2 Wishes. I pass the turn and brace for impact which follows in form of Thoughtseize. I think about how much I value my Wishes here to burn a Petal (in face of Wasteland) to hide them with Brainstorm. I let the sorcery resolve and he takes my cantrip which is a smart choice, following up wastelanding my Gemstone Mine. I draw Gitaxian Probe for my turn and fire it off. No news on his hand, but Iím able to get a Polluted Delta, which I play and pass back. He does similar with a Flooded Strand, but decides to use it immediately for diggin up a Tundra. I draw a Brainstorm for my turn and drop my Gemstone Mine and Fetch an Underground Sea with the P.Delta already in play. I cast Wish, which he choose to let resolve, allowing me to grab a Cabal Therapy from my sideboard. He fetches his second U.Sea with the Misty Rainforest and casts Snapcaster Mage to flashback Thoughtseize, taking my remaining Burning Wish. I draw a Dark Ritual and cast Therapy off my U.Sea stripping both FoWís. I raise mana and Brainstorm to dig for biz for taking advantage of his current lack of defense and find Volcanic Island, Infernal Tutor and another Lionís Eye Diamond. I can now present 10 Goblins if I chain Ritual into Infernal into Empty the Warrens or wait a turn and fire off an Ad Nauseam off my expected remaining 15 Life after the Snapcaster beatz. With him being at only 14 life, I decide that the primer should be enough without the risk of letting him untap with an unknown card in hand. He untaps and drops another Flooded Strand and whiffs, passing back facing the 10 goblins. I draw a Silence and attack, putting him to 5 after his Snapcaster sacrifices himself in despair blocking a Goblin. I pass to him and cast the Silence off the last counter of my Gemstone Mine in his upkeep, which is enough for him to pick up his cards.

    1-0

    Damnit! I still have no real clue what he is piloting, but still think itís Esperblade, so I donít wanna have Empty the Warrens in that matchup.

    Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, -1 Empty the Warrens, +1 Tendrils of Agony, +1 Cabal Therapy

    Game 2


    He snap keeps his seven. Iím feeling strange fanning those 7

    Chrome Mox
    Ponder
    Brainstorm
    Lionís Eye Diamond
    Burning Wish
    Silence
    Gemstone Mine

    Would you keep that hand?


    Thatís another slow hand but has Lionís Eye Diamond + Burning Wish, which is enough for me to keep. He opens with Misty Rainforest into U.Sea and Thoughtseize taking my Diamond without thinking for long Ö oh no! I draw Rite of Flame and drop the Gemstone to ponder, seeing Brainstorm, B.Wish and Dark Ritual. Thatís too sketchy for me and I decide to shuffle, drawing a Polluted Delta Ö much better. On the opposing side of the battlefield, a Tundra joins the manabase and both lands are used to summon a Dark Confidant. I draw a Gitaxian Probe for my turn and drop a Delta. I cast Gitaxian Probe (storm1) for value (drawing another Rite of Flame), seeing 2 Brainstorms, Jace and Academy Ruins. For the moment, going for Goblins looks promising compared to durdling around with Brainstorm and getting dismembered by a single discard spell or a counterspell while being outdrawn by Confidant. I decide to gamble on him not getting Batterskull online and fetch for Underground Sea, RoF (storm2) off Gemstone Mine, RoF (storm3), Chrome Mox imprinting Silence (storm4), Wish for EtW (storm5) and tap the U.Sea to summon 12 Goblins. He reveals Snapcaster to Confidant and brainstorms off the U.Sea, following up with a Misty Rainforest for a second Tundra and Meddling Mage (Burning Wish). I draw a Petal and smash with the whole team putting him to 3 after the Meddling Mage kills one of the Goblins. He immediately makes a remark about Confidant may biting his ass now, but Iím already confident (see what I did here?) that Batterskull is already too late to show up. He says something about having Engineered Explosives in the board which leaves a bad taste in my mouth passing the turn. He reveals an Underground Sea to Dark Confidant and brainstorms, dropping U.Sea and summoning a Deathrite Shaman. The moment Dark Confidant hit the table I was sure this isnít a common Esperblade list, but it appears to be one of the new Deathblade lists. I brainstorm into Gemstone, Ritual and Petal. I drop the Gemstone and throw back the rest. I attack with the Goblins and he takes the deadly swing like a man.

    2-0

    Iím a bit confused about this matchup. Isnít this the new, hot sauce of the Legacy metagame? Since the match was over so fast, I invite him for a snack and cold drink in the closeby bakery to chat a bit about the Esper Deathblades and he showed me his deck and Iím amazed, that he had only 4 Force of Willís as counters, telling me that some US lists just have 4 FoWís in the sideboard and run not a single counter main! Crazy! He boarded in 3 Meddling Mages and 2 Flusterstorms for game 2 which is ok in combination with 4 Force of Will and 6 discard spells. After that metagame update I feel much better for the rest of the day.

    Round 2 Ė BURG Cascade

    Game 1


    Itís always a save-haven to see familiar players sitting across which are used to play certain decks. While this applies to both sides of the table, it isnít necessarily good news for him, because he has a 0-X record against me with his Punishing Jund list. To be honest, I think the deckchoice itself is a good one with all the DRS, Elves and Delver in the meta. His face still tells a story after I won the dice-roll :)

    Brainstorm
    Chrom Mox
    LED
    Silence
    Gemstone Mine
    Brainstorm
    Duress

    Would you keep that hand?


    Being on the play makes this hand borderline playable. Iíll trade my Duress and Silence here to ďcycleĒ into the next 2 cards and hope that the Brainstorm will fix the rest. Opening with a Gemstone Mine, I try to evaluate Duress vs. Silence here but if I drop a LED immediately, I donít have to fear a topdecked Thoughtseize, so I guess time-walking his second turn would wield more value. I put Duress on the stack (debatable if casting it turn 3 wouldnít have been better) and see Shardless Agent, a Bloodbraid Elf, Deathrite Shaman, Hymn to Tourach and Lands. As he discards the Hymn, he makes a remark about how many games he may had lost in the past, just because of mulling into Thoughtseize/Hymn. So we know that he did not bring his usual Punishing Jund to the table but a wacky 4-color Cascade brew. I pass the turn after dropping my Diamond and he fetches a Bayou with a Blooded Strand and casts an indeed a damn topdecked Thoughtseize with a smile. I reveal my hand and he takes the Mox to slow me down. I draw a Dark Ritual for turn and think about wasting a counter on the Gemstone, to set back his Agent for a turn (or prevent another topdeck discard spell) or use my mana to fix my hand. Iím kinda nervous at this point about going to punt the game, if I make another mistake. I brainstorm. I draw Petal, U.Sea and Infernal Ö ridiculous! I put back Silence and Brainstorm. Next, I play out the U.Sea, Petal, cast Ritual off the Underground Sea and put Infernal on the stack, popping the Lionís Eye Diamond for RRRB floating and think about the odds of a successful Infernal -> Infernal -> Empty the Warrens chain (for 12 goblins) versus going for Ad Nauseam and I decide to go for the big one. I draw out the 5cc-Engine from my library and cast it without a single mana floating.

    Polluted Delta (20)
    Chrome Mox (20)
    Rite of Flame (19)
    Infernal Tutor (17)
    Empty the Warrens (13)
    Dark Ritual (12)
    Polluted Delta (12)
    Brainstorm (11)
    Burning Wish (9)
    Lotus Petal (9)
    Ponder (8)
    Gemstone Mine (8)
    Dark Ritual (7)
    LED (7)
    Gitaxian Probe (6)
    Burning Wish (4)
    Rite of Flame (3)
    Duress (2)


    My storm-counter-dice reminds me about having 5 storm already, so I drop Chrome Mox (imprint Duress), Lotus Petal, cast Dark Ritual off the Mox, Infernal for another Rite of Flame, pop the Petal for red mana and chain the 3 Rite of Flames and Dark Ritual #2 for a total of 7 red and 3 black mana, cast Burning Wish for Past in Flames and cast it with cracking my LED for UUU. I run hot and go crazy Ö



    Triple Rite of Flame and triple Ritual setup double flashbacked Infernals for 2 more Lionís Eye Diamonds. I flashback Ponder from my graveyard to see Volcanic Island, Silence and Infernal. I take the Tutor and cast it to fetch a Dark Ritual, I hardcast a G.Probe via flashback and draw a Petal which joins the field. I break another LED for UUU and continue casting cantrips into Wish into a tad disappointing Grapeshot for only 36 damage. ;)

    3-0

    Sideboarding: - 1 Infernal, + 1 Cabal Therapy

    Game 2


    Heís obviously satisfied with his 7 and I canít really complain either, even if I tend to get REAL slow hands today:

    Infernal Tutor
    Gemstone Mine
    Silence
    Rite of Flame
    Lotus Petal
    Ponder
    Chrome Mox

    Would you keep that hand?


    With this hand Iím pondering to imprint the Silence immediately, as he starts the game by dropping a Misty Rainforest onto the playmat and ships back. Thankfully, I dodged the turn one Thoughtseize this time which might have been backbreaking. Iím now trying to figure out what I have to expect if he doesnít start with either Thoughtseize or Deathrite Shaman. What would you guess? My bets are on Hymn to Tourach, being the next possible backbreaker in that matchup. Maybe I have to reconsider imprinting the Silence but use it to ďtimewalkĒ instead. I draw a Polluted Delta for my turn and drop the Gemstone Mine and pass the turn back to do exactly the beforementioned: casting Silence in my opponents upkeep. He smiles and drops a Volcanic Island before he gives me the ďgoĒ to take my next turn. I topdeck Ad Nauseam in surprise and count my mana. I drop the Polluted Delta and use it to dig for an U.Sea, drop a Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox (imprint Infernal Tutor), cast Rite of Flame off my Gemstone Mine and cast Ad Nauseam with still 19 life on the sheet.

    Duress (18)
    U.Sea (18)
    Probe (17)
    Polluted Delta (17)
    Burning Wish (15)
    Rite of Flame (14)
    Dark Ritual (13)
    LED (13)
    Brainstorm (12)
    Brainstorm (11)
    Gemstone Mine (11)
    Dark Ritual (10)
    Ponder (9)
    Probe (8)
    Gemstone Mine (8)
    Burning Wish (6)
    Gemstone Mine (6)
    Lotus Petal (6)
    Probe (5)
    Chrome Mox (5)
    Ponder (4)


    At least I have 2 initial mana sources. I proceed my turn with Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox (imprint Burning Wish), cast RoF for (RRR with another RoF already in my grave), follow up with 2 Dark Rituals and put Duress on the stack to which he responds to with a Brainstorm and popping his Fetchland. A Gitaxian Probe reveals DRS, 2 Shardless Agents, Hymn to Tourach, Bayou and Liliana of the Veil. Again, I smelled the Hymn from across the table and cast my Lionís Eye Diamond. Iím in no mood to showboat again and just wish for Tendrils of Agony.

    4-0

    After the match he let me peek into his deck and I really like the idea of putting Bloodbraid Elf and Shardless Agent together with Ancestral Visions and Discard to create insane cardadvantage. Iím still kinda glad I did not see the engine in action and we chat about the irony that neither the solid hands he kept today, nor the aggressive mulligans of the previous (covered) tournament helped him winning this matchup. He still tells me how much better ANT is and why blahblah and I think that I should hand him out a certain instruction leaflet



    Round 3 Ė Elves

    Oh myyyyy Ö itís undeniable annoying to face a friend for a potential Top 8 elimination, but I enjoy him picking up Elves, so I can test the matchup firsthand after talking about it for weeks on The Source.

    Game 1

    We shuffle up and Iím able to top his dice-roll, opting to play first. Iím sure I need to be quick in this matchup as Elves developed into a blazing fast aggro/combo-deck over the last 2 months. I fan those 7.

    Volcanic Island
    Duress
    Underground Sea
    Burning Wish
    Dark Ritual
    Burning Wish
    Lotus Petal

    Would you keep that hand?


    Geeez Ö again, I lack the mana to explode right into his face. I hope the double Wish + Duress is enough to strip him from Natural Order or Glimpse while keeping the option to grapeshot his whole board. I open my turn with U.Sea and check his hand with Duress and see Deathrite Shaman, Natural Order, Elvish Visionary, Quirion Ranger, Heritage Druid, a Forest and Birchlore Ranger Ö the total package! I take the 4-mana-bomb. In his turn he uses his Forest to cast a topdecked Green Sunís Zenith to put a Dryad Arbor into play. I draw a second Ritual and have the options to wish for a delayed Diminishing Returns, 10 Goblins or a Grapeshot to hold him back from casting more Elves. The last option is counterintuitive and with the cards he has in hand, EtW can be too slow. I even had Ill-Gotten Gains in mind to create a lethal loop but aside of topdecking Infernal Tutor (to tutor another Dark Ritual for stormcount) I canít come up with more than 9 stormcount against his 20 life (while giving him Natural Order back in hand). I decide to get Diminishing Returns and grab it with a Burning Wish after I dropped my second land before shipping back. He uses a topdecked Windswept Heath to dig for a Bayou and drops Heritage, Quirion and Birchlore, tap all 3 Elves and drops the Visionary plus the Deathrite Shaman. Now things get spicy, because I donít see an economic way to clear the field with Grapeshot anymore. I draw Probe for my turn and decide to blindfire it hoping to find more mana I can float into the D.Returns. The Probe (storm1) reveals a Green Sunís Zenith and I can count 10 mana on his side of the field, available next turn. Casting the G.Probe was golden: A Lionís Eye Diamond made itís way into my hand. I drop it (storm2) and the Petal (storm3), cast the 2 Ritual off the U.Sea (storm4 + storm5) and cast Diminishing Returns (storm6) via Volcanic Island and the Petal. I think about popping the Diamond for either blue or red mana but with BBB already floating and without having played a land that turn, I gamble for another initial mana source for those colors. Diminishing Returns does its job and I hit those after removing 10:

    Silence
    City of Brass
    Rite of Flame
    Ponder
    Burning Wish
    Gemstone Mine
    Rite of Flame


    Pretty nasty. I play Gemstone Mine and tap it for red, RoF (storm7), RoF (storm8), Burning Wish (storm9) for Tendrils (storm10).

    5-0

    For any postboard game against current iterations of Elves you have to take a lot of different potential hate into account. There are enough players that still think that Mindbreak Trap saves them, but thatís an illusion because of Duress, Cabal Therapy and Silence aside the options to outplay MBT. Keener players (like my opponent) use more proactive solutions like Cabal Therapy or permament hate like Thalia, Thorn of Amethyst, Gaddock Teeg or Ruric Thar. Since most options those are creatures, bringing in C.Therapy, A.Decays or Chain of Vapors for Duress makes sense. I decide to board out EtW too, because itís not unlikely that itís worthless in the face of Craterhoof ending the match quick and the fast pace of the game is a reason, why the Decays with their ugly cost ultimately stayed in the board. I choose to keep my beloved Silences to gain time against all the sorcery-speed hate he might present.

    Sideboarding: -3 Duress, -1 EtW, +2 Chain of Vapor, +2 Cabal Therapy

    Game 2


    To leave him unclear how and how much I boarded, I use a simple trick I recommend using in general: I shuffle both my mainboard and sideboard together and then remove 15 cards from the 75-card-pile as your new sideboard. Starting the second game as usual on the draw, with an opponent being a close friend and both knowing both decks very well, I expect this game to be a nightmare. I fan the following 7

    Gitaxian Probe
    Rite of Flame
    Lionís Eye Diamond
    Chrome Mox
    Brainstorm
    Lotus Petal
    Dark Ritual

    Would you keep that hand?


    No land but at least a shitload of mana. The problem is that if he opens with a Cabal Therapy heís well educated (by me, duh!) what to name: Lionís Eye Diamond. I keep the hand because I will see the next 5 cards during the next turn. He drops a Bayou onto the battlefield and flings a Cabal Therapy. I sigh. He names indeed ďLionís Eye DiamondĒ and I discard the artifact in despair while he takes notes about my hand and I see him flashbacking the Therapy next turn to timewalk me back into the stoneage by stripping the Ritual. Letís see if I can turn the tide: I topdeck a second G.Probe during my drawphase and put the Sorcery on the stack going to 18 (storm1), seeing GSZ, Dryad Arbor, Wirewood Symbiote, Quirion Ranger and Thorn of Amethyst! At least, I draw a Gemstone Mine off the Probe and that raises my hopes. I probe again (storm2) to draw Brainstorm #2 just to imprint it into the Chrome Mox (storm3) and cast its twin (storm4), drawing Burning Wish, Ponder and LED. Ponder and RoF return back on top of my Library, before I continue to drop Gemstone and cast Petal (storm5) + LED (storm6). I notice that I already gathered 6 storm and can wish for 18 Goblins or spin the Diminishing Returns roulette with a mana floating. I recap his hand with my taken notes and donít think heíll be able to cast a topdecked Natural Order within the next 2 turns for value, so I cast the Dark Ritual off the Gemstone Mine (storm7), pop the Petal for red mana and offer a Burning Wish (storm8) with my Lionís Eye Diamond as tribute to summon 18 angry goblins via EtW (storm9).
    I lean back, being sure, that this was the maximum value I could have squeezed out after being successfully hit by Therapy and with it being ready to flashback next turn and Thorn of Amethyst sitting in his hand Ö both now being complete blanks now. He facepalm himself in disbelieve, taking his turn. He draws, drops D.Arbor and Deathrite Shaman before passing back. I draw my well known Ponder I once hid ontop of my library and cast it off the Mox, seeing the also known Rite of Flame + Brainstorm & Chain of Vapor, keeping the bounce-spell in case of. I swing with the army, beating him to a bloody pulp with 3 remaining life after DRS blocked a single goblin to death. He draws and plays Quirion Ranger off his Arbor and I bounce his Deathrite Shaman to prevent some untap-shenanigans into Natural Order (here are no lands in any graveyard however). Taking a few moments to calculate his odds, he picks up all the other cards in addition to the bounced Elf.

    6-0

    One thing I love about running blazing fast combo decks is, that you have a lot of time to recover between round and can take a peek at other players at the top tables: RUG, OmniTell, NicFit, Shardless BUG, more Elves and Deathblades Ö it could become an arduous night :/

    Round 4 Ė GBW NicFit

    Game 1


    He opts to play first as a reward of the won dice. Iím honestly surprised to meet him in round 4, because I feel that his deck isnít fast enough to combat the meta and after a bit of chatter he reveals that he beat RUG Delver and 2 tribal decks previously, which is exactly the deckís prey. Letís see how this goes. We shuffle and I draw those 7:

    Infernal Tutor
    Lionís Eye Diamond
    Rite of Flame
    Infernal Tutor
    Ponder
    Silence
    Duress

    Would you keep that hand?


    Itís unkeepable due to the lack of any initial mana source and even if I would be able to topdeck one, half of the cards are basically dead at this point like Silence and Duress. He keeps his 7 and I go down to these 6

    Gemstone Mine
    Dark Ritual
    Ponder
    Burning Wish
    Gitaxian Probe
    Chrome Mox

    Would you keep that hand?


    Disgusting to see a Chrome Mox after a mulligan but Burning Wish + acceleration + initial mana is a keeper. He opens his game with Bayou into Cabal Therapy! Geeez Ö he gained 300 EXP and reached a new level of annoyance. I try to keep myself stonefaced as he thinks about what to name. He calls for a Diamond. Good call, but thankfully the enemy no. 1 is not in my hand this time. Another Ponder makes it into my hand during my turn and Iím curious thatís up ahead after the Therapy. Putting G.Probe (storm1) on the stack (drawing Lotus Petal) and going down to 18 once more today, I see Liliana of the Veil, Sylvan Library, Phyrexian Tower, Scavenging Ooze and a Savannah. He kept that one just for the Therapy? I cast Chrome Mox (storm2) and imprint a Ponder to cast the left Ponder (storm3) off the poor manís Mox Sapphire hitting RoF, RoF and LED. I take the Diamond and scratch my head, clueless of how to handle the upcoming Ooze he can either use to eat my graveyard if I opt 4 my usual anti-discard-strategy named Past in Flames, or to discard my Burning Wish via flashback, with me drawing Rite of Flames for the next 2 turns (I cannot shuffle LED away at this point), so I have to put together some flashy special effects to turn this hand into a blockbuster with a big bang grand finale! Gemstone Mine, Lotus Petal (storm4), Dark Ritual off the mine (storm5), pop Petal for red mana, LED (storm6), Burning Wish (storm7) then hold back for a second to think about my target with BB still in my pool. I can now gamble against his Pernicious Deeds, but dislike that he would have 2 full turns to find one and can drop Sylvan Library next turn to see the next 4 cards total, so I opt to spin the roulette again and pop my LED for UUU in response. My opponent nods to me and I grab my sideboard for Diminishing Returns to basically negate the mulligan. I keep a black mana flooded and shuffle our hands, graveyard and libraries together. Among the 10 cards I remove is a Rite of Flame, a Lionís Eye Diamond, a Dark Ritual and a Burning Wish. Pretty bad news...

    Silence
    Duress
    Rite of Flame
    Gemstone Mine
    Lotus Petal
    Lionís Eye Diamond
    Infernal Tutor


    3 completely dead cards here. I drop Lotus Petal (storm9), the Diamond (storm10), crack up the Petal to cast Rite of Flame (storm11) for a total of RRB in my pool, Infernal Tutor (storm12), break the Diamond for RRR and dig up an Empty the Warrens (storm13). The goblin army is a crappy option I dismissed already as I casted Wish, but due to my limited option and the now increased stormcount, itís a valid play, with my opponent still on a single land and unable to cast the Pernicious Deed or enough blockers to interact with 26 angry red men. He draws and concedes his defeat.

    7-0

    I know that he plays a BGw versin of NicFit today and I expect him boarding out his Abrupt Decays in favor for some white combo hate like Gaddock Teeg and/or Thalia. Iím thinking about both, because with GSZ he has the option to tutor for the legendary Kithkin.

    Sideboarding: -3 Duress, +2 Chain of Vapor, +1 Cabal Therapy

    Game 2


    I hope, I can overcome the discard and the permament hate without the A.Decays. I pile-shuffle and pick up these ones:

    Gemstone Mine
    Chrome Mox
    Chain of Vapor
    Gitaxian Probe
    Lotus Petal
    Dark Ritual
    Ad Nauseam

    Would you keep that hand?


    Wow! Just wow! Seconds later I remember that he starts the game Ö geez. He uses Windswept Heath to fetch a Bayou and casts an Inquisition of Kozilek! Did anybody count how many T1 discard-spells I already had to swallow today? He takes a close look at my revealed hand on the table and takes the Dark Ritual as the obvious choice. I knock my knuckles on the top card of my library, draw Ö Volcanic Island! No exactly what I was looking for. I invest 2 lifepoints to cast Gitaxian Probe and repeat my gesture. Iím allowed to take a look at his hand too, taking notes about Sylvan Library, Bayou, Thragtusk, Verdant Catacombs and Liliana of the Veil. Seems like heís lacking a devastating follow-up-play atm. Sadly, even the draw-effect of Probe didnít give me the turn 1 kill here, Ďcause only Burning Wish made it to my hand. I think, that dropping Volcanic Island and pass the turn right after is the correct play here. He only drops another Bayou and summons his Sylvan Library which is a signal for me to take action (I even thought about chaining his Sylan for a second). I draw a Dark Ritual for my turn Ö Halleluja! Gemstone Mine, Chrome Mox imprinting Chain of Vapor (storm1), Lotus Petal (storm2), tap Gemstone Mine for B, Dark Ritual (storm3), tap Volcanic and Mox to cast Ad Nauseam off 18 life (storm4)

    Burning Wish (16)
    Chain of Vapor (15)
    Brainstorm (14)
    Gitaxian Probe (13)
    Gitaxian Probe (12)
    Polluted Delta (12)
    Brainstorm (11)
    Rite of Flame (10)
    Rite of Flame (9)
    Gemstone Mine (9)
    Polluted Delta (9)
    Lotus Petal (9)
    Ponder (8)
    Cabal Therapy (7)
    Burning Wish (5)
    Rite of Flame (4)


    This flip sux, because I have to hop through a few loops to generate enough black mana for Tendrils of Agony. I cast Lotus Petal (storm5), Rite of Flame (storm6), Rite of Flame (storm7), Rite of Flame (storm8), Burning Wish (storm9), Past in Flames (storm10) with 1 red mana floating, flashing back Rite of Flame (storm11), Rite of Flame (storm12), Rite of Flame (storm13), break my Lotus Petal for B and keep flashing Dark Ritual (storm14), Dark Ritual (storm15) for a pool of 7 red / 5 black. I cast a Gitaxian Probe for fun (storm16), Burning Wish (storm17), Tendrils of Agony (storm18). Ok, I overdid it Ö not for the first time that night ;)



    8-0

    At this point, I have to ask around how we proceed with the tourney, because the last rounds can either be swiss, Top 4 or Top 8 elimination. Looks like itís a Top 4 today and we wish the guys, who want to leave, a good evening as some head home and others go for a snack/drink. That leaves about a dozen of guys staying around for the elimination. I hope, I donít get too distracted with a crowd watching..

    Semifinals Ė UWB Esper Deathblade

    Game 1


    Iím paired against another Deathblade player as I seems, Ďcause we played side to side the round before. Heís obviously unsure, if he should keep his hand and his eyes keep strafing from his grip to me and back. I notice this from the corner of my eyes and I setup a face as I pickup those 7:

    Rite of Flame
    Dark Ritual
    Infernal Tutor
    Ad Nauseam
    Lotus Petal
    Rite of Flame
    Gitaxian Probe

    Would you keep that hand?


    Iím acting, as if I struggle to keep that hand as he decides to mull to 6 and keeps. I just need another initial manasource to explode. Being on the draw is a bit tricky so I just watch him either opening with Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek or Deathrite Shaman. Luckily, itís only the Elf Shaman which is summoned off an Underground Sea on his side of the field. I draw Ponder for my turn and cast Gitaxian Probe (storm1), seeing Swords to Plowshares, Dark Confidant and Stoneforge Mystic as spells. Seems like he expected having a bit more time. I drop Lotus Petal (storm2), Lotus Petal (storm3), pop Petals for RB, Rite of Flame (storm4), Rite of Flame (storm5), Dark Ritual (storm6), Ad Nauseam (storm7) off 18 life with RB floating

    Dark Ritual (17)
    Gemstone Mine (17)
    Lotus Petal (17)
    Infernal Tutor (15)
    Duress (14)
    Burning Wish (12)
    Burning Wish (10)
    Volcanic Island (10)
    Gitaxian Probe (9)
    Lionís Eye Diamond (9)
    Silence (8)
    Dark Ritual (7)
    Lotus Petal (7)
    Polluted Delta (7)
    Brainstorm (6)
    Gitaxian Probe (5)
    Gemstone Mine (5)
    Ponder (4)


    Lotus Petal (storm8), Lotus Petal (storm9), Dark Ritual (storm10), Dark Ritual (storm11), Infernal Tutor for LED (storm12), Gitaxian Probe (storm13) drawing LED, Infernal Tutor for LED (storm14), Lionís Eye Diamond (storm15), Lionís Eye Diamond (storm16), Lionís Eye Diamond (storm17), Lionís Eye Diamond (storm18), Burning Wish (storm19), Grapeshot off the Gemstone Mine and a Lotus Petal (storm20) while having the whole set of Ajani Lost Eye Diamonds in play. Show-Off! ;)

    9-0

    Sideboarding: -3 Duress, -1 Empty the Warrens, +2 Cabal Therapy, +2 Chain of Vapor

    Game 2


    Itís doubtful, that Empty the Warrens can race Batterskull after my hand is crippled by discard. He may even board in Meddling Mages, so I want to be prepared for permament-hate with Chain and Therapy.

    Lionís Eye Diamond
    Infernal Tutor
    Underground Sea
    Ponder
    Gemstone Mine
    Ad Nauseam
    Burning Wish

    Would you keep that hand?


    He starts our second game with an Underground Sea into Deathrite Shaman and I began to wonder Ö doesnít this archtype run 6-7 Discard spells dismembering the opponent turn 1? I draw another Ponder and drop my own Underground Sea, digging for mana with the cantrip. Ponder reveals Chrome Mox, Gemstone Mine and Chain of Vapor. I feel, that those 3 donít give me enough ďBANG!Ē for my buck, so I shuffle Ö draw Ö Silence. He doesnít drop a second land and neither is a Fetchland in any graveyard, so heís cut-off from the second mana. He makes a face and ships back. I smile of getting basically a free timewalk from him and a Gitaxian Probe off my topdeck. I probe him to see Force of Will, Brainstorm, Dark Confidant, Batterskull and Jace. I draw a Dark Ritual and drop my Gemstone Mine. I use both lands to cast Infernal Ö resolves. I get a second Dark Ritual feel pretty confident at this point. At the end of my turn he eats my Infernal Tutor in my graveyard with his Elf Shaman and make me lose 2 life. He drops a drawn Wasteland and takes out my dual-land before consume it with his Deathrite Shaman to drop Dark Confidant. There goes my protected Ad Nauseam. I topdeck a Chrome Mox and cast my second Ponder in that game. I see two Petals and a Burning Wish. I take a Petal and float the other. I immediately drop it and ship the turn. He flips a Misty Rainforest for his Dark Confidant, draws and takes out my Gemstone Mine with a second Wasteland! BOOOO! The Confidant slaps me for 2 and Iím down to 14 lifepoints. He brainstorms and I expect a discard-spell to blow me out, but nothing happens except him dropping another Deathrite Shaman. I draw the Petal I floated (storm1) and harvest a white mana from it to cast Silence (storm2). For the first time of the match he leans forward and goes for a lilí chat, because he knows, that I know, that heís a goldfish at this point of the game. He refuses to boost my stormcount with his Force of Will and just put his hand face-down on the table and want me to show him what Iím able to do with my unmolested turn. I cast Lionís Eye Diamond (storm3), feast on the black mana of the Petal and cast Dark Ritual (storm4), Dark Ritual (storm5), imprint Burning Wish into Chrome Mox (storm6), cast Ad Nauseam (storm7) and break the Diamond in response for BBBR floating

    Burning Wish (12)
    Infernal Tutor (10)
    Chrome Mox (10)
    Polluted Delta (10)
    Lotus Petal (10)
    Silence (9)
    Brainstorm (8)
    City of Brass (8)
    Gemstone Mine (8)
    Gitaxian Probe (7)
    Infernal Tutor (5)
    Polluted Delta (5)
    Brainstorm (4)


    I count my potential mana and stormcount. Itís enough. Lotus Petal (storm8), imprint Brainstorm into Chrome Mox (storm9), play a Gemstone Mine, cast Gitaxian Probe (storm10), Brainstorm (drawing Infernal Tutor, Silence, Rite of Flame) putting 2 Polluted Deltas back ontop (storm11), Rite of Flame off the Chrome Mox (storm12), Burning Wish (storm13), Tendrils of Agony (storm14)

    10-0

    He boarded 3 Meddling Mages and a Flusterstorm in addition to indeed 4 Thoughtseize/2 Inquisition of Kozilek. I feel bad for him being that unlucky with his draws. Regardless of that, I put my attention towards the table behind me and notice that I was previously mistaken about the RUG Delver. In fact it appears to be a UBR colored tempo variant (Grixis Delver?) and was shocked to see the deck setting up a nasty blowout with Young Pyromancer, followed by Gitaxian Probe + Cabal Therapy + Flashback Cabal Therapy (by sacrificing one of the created tokens).

    Finals Ė URB Grixis Delver

    Suddenly a problem occurs, as the Grixis pilot indeed beat his Shardless BUG opponent: This deck flew completely under my radar and Iím thrilled of the potential of Young Pyromancer, free spells and discard within a tempo-suit.

    Game 1

    Merciless he wins the dice-roll and keeps his grip of 7 while I stare on:

    Duress
    Lotus Petal
    Gitaxian Probe
    Burning Wish
    Lotus Petal
    Ponder
    Infernal Tutor

    Would you keep that hand?


    I decide to keep that hand because the game itself will be too tight to mull into a more aggressive hand. He starts the match with Gitaxian Probe and my pants basically hit the floor. He takes clear notes and drops an Island. I draw the third Petal and opt to mimic his play. I put Gitaxian Probe on the stack for the cost of 2 lifepoints and see FoW, FoW, Misty Rainforest, Young Pyromancer, Stifle and Dark Confidant. I take down notes as well and make a remark about the stupid gamestate. I cast a Petal first because I fear the Stifle hitting Chrome Mox at this point of the game. I pop it up to Ponder, which he lets resolve. I see Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual and Empty the Warrens. I feel that I canít pass on the storm-spell here and take the Ritual. I think about how I make him using the Stifle to my service so my Duress is enough to take out his defense. He will drop Dark Confidant next turn and I canít strip him from both Forces + Stifle. I go through a few scenarios, but canít come up with one that doesnít rely on him making a stupid misplay. I ship back. He does as predicted (using the Misty Rainforest to fetch an U.Sea) and passes back. I draw the Empty the Warrens and finally have the idea, how to swing the pendulum in my favor, talking about his double Force of Will + Stifle and how I need 2 Duressí to beat that. I cast Chrome Mox and imprint Infernal Tutor, Lotus Petal which get immediately harvested for R and me casting Burning Wish. At this moment he reminds himself of me still having Duress in hand and we have a chatter about me either getting Empty the Warrens or Cabal Therapy to strip him from his defense. Heís soon pretty convinced that letting Wish resolve is a mistake. I, however never expected it to resolve from the start, but used it to bait a counter which follows in form of the named 5-mana-counterspell which he pays for by removing Stifle rather than the other Force, which is imo the right decision from his perspective. Heís down at 16 life at this point of the game and awaits his flip to Dark Confidant Ö Dark Confidant #2! He drops a Wasteland and uses it to summon the black advisor while his twin moves into the red-zone. I draw the Rite of Flame I left there 2 turns ago. I have Petal, Ritual, Rite, Duress and Empty the Warrens in hand and have to start with Ritual into Duress off the patchwork Mox Jet. I put the Dark Ritual confidently on the stack as he whiffs while dropping Force of Will + Stifle on the table rejecting me my precious mana! Noooooo! Iím outta mana to proceed and have to ship, downing half my longdrink with one gulp. I see him revealing U.Sea and Gitaxian Probe to the Confidants and them taking me down to 12, before he hardcasts the Probe. He facepalms himself as he finally sees what I was plotting and laughs making me take my turn to draw a Gitaxian Probe. He has 3 cards in his hand and thanks to the Probe I know that those are Island, Young Pyromancer and Daze. I draw a Polluted Delta to replace the Probe but canít create enough mana to dodge Daze with him knowing my hand. I drop the Delta and pass back. He reveals Ponder and Delver of Secrets to his Confidants, going to 9 life, dropping Island onto the battlefield, Ponder, shuffle, draw, casts Delver and swings for 4 more damage. I draw City of Brass, drop it to cast Rite of Flame (storm1), he counts my mana and let it resolve, I cast Lotus Petal (storm2), Duress off Mox (storm3) to take the Daze, fetch a Volcanic going to 4 life, Empty the Warrens (storm4). He flips Daze and Delver to his Bob Maher lookalikes and Scalding Tarn to Delver Ö thank god! He drops the delver and attacks with 2 Dark Confidants. I block a Confidant with an expandable goblin, going to 2 life/7 goblins compared to his 6 life/2 blockers. He targets my Volcanic with his Wasteland afterwards. Now we basically are flipping a coin for the win in game 1. I untap and draw Ponder. I swing with 7 goblins as he has to jumpblock with both his delvers, going to 1. I ship the turn pointing at his Dark Confidant as he flips over the top card Ö Lightning Bolt!



    11-0

    ďGreatness at any costĒ Ö this time the price was too high. This win was completely unexpected, as he was able to draw half a dozen cards more than I did thanks to Bob Maher Jr.ís Simulacrum.

    Sideboarding: -1 Infernal Tutor, +1 Cabal Therapy

    Game 2


    Game one was honestly a joke for him to lose and heís angry. His mood doesnít get any better as he has to take a mulligan to 6 because of being flooded as he told me later. My hand looks like:

    Dark Ritual
    Gemstone Mine
    Polluted Delta
    Infernal Tutor
    Gemstone Mine
    Rite of Flame
    Gitaxian Probe

    Would you keep that hand?


    BAAM! Unless he opens with a discard spell, which is rather unlikely in his archtype of deck, my grip is a house. I act overconfident to intimidate my opponent and try to make him act passive this game. He starts with Misty Rainforest, go. My topdeck improves my hand with a Burning Wish and I decide to just drop Polluted Delta before passing and watch him fetching for an Underground Sea, dropping Wasteland and drawing mana from both his sources to summon a Dark Confidant to make up for his mulligan and overwhelm me with the cardadvantage. I draw a Lionís Eye Diamond for the crowd in my back going nuts. I drop my Gemstone Mine and cast Probe (storm1). He tells me that he might have countered the Gitaxian Probe with Daze, if I didnít drop the Gemstone before, just to slow me down. In retrospective, I think that seeing his hand was indeed more valuable than the additional stormcount. In addition to the mentioned Daze I see 2 more Dark Confidants and a Wasteland. I fetch for an Underground Sea and cast Rite of Flame off the Rainbow Land (storm2) which he tries to Daze (storm3) and I respond to it with a Dark Ritual to pay for it and a total of BBRR in my pool (storm4). Cast an Infernal Tutor for Lionís Eye Diamond (storm5), LED (storm6), LED (storm7), Burning Wish (storm8) and break both Diamonds for RRRBBB left. At this point I make a lilí public roundtable to either chain my sideboard Infernal Tutor into my mainboard Empty the Warrens for 20 goblins or using ToA to drain 18 life and let him die in his upkeep. Sure the second option is pure humiliation, I think he has still options to get rid of his Dark Confidant if he reveal a land to it and draws a cantrip into Lightning Bolt, Engineered Explosives (which he boarded in two) or Cabal Therapy (he runs 3). I apology for the first game and return to being a nice guy as his anger begins to turn into laugher, due to the hilarious situation, of being able to lose 2 games in a row to his own Confidant flips and ask him, which he prefers. Itís my tribute to good karma after winning the game 1 so cheap. He wantís the Tendrils! I drain all but 1 point of his life, increasing mine to a whooping 35. The dirty dozen of peeps (including us) all keep yelling and laughing. Imagine my face as he flips his top card Ö Ponder!



    12-0

    As we finished one of the guys get picked up by his girlfriend Ö at this point, a fierce advice: Do not brag about your ďnerdy girlfriendĒ during the evening and instead of presenting a cute, petite, shy, glas-wearing girl like most of us had in mind, making out with a short-haired barrel. Thank god, I have no soft spot for either type of girl and instead take those beauty cases home as price:






    Propper:
    - Having 4 FOIL Jaces again (on demand Ö keep the boxes unharmed for now)
    - Able to trade for PIMP stuff
    - Fellow Sourcers kicking my ass to get this report done ;)
    - Got tan
    - Lucksacking
    - Empty the Warrens

    Blopper:
    - Turn 1 Thoughtseizes
    - High registration fee
    - No clue about the metagame
    - No time to playtest against new decks
    - Still having to borrow some cards
    - Taking forever to write this report
    - Location (I miss the old Gentís Club tournaments in snobby lounges)

    Factsheet:
    - 12 games, 12 wins
    - 6 wins off Empty the Warrens (2 supported by Dark Confidant)
    - 2 times casted Diminishing Returns
    - 5 times casted Ad Nauseam
    - 4 games finished via Tendrils
    - 2 games finished via Grapeshot




    My dear readers I thank you for your patience and donít miss about my fellow friend and journalistís upcoming e-book So do you wear a cape? - The history and mystery of Magic: The Gathering" (available in Septemer 2013)






    Special thanks to my Bro in Austria, Titus Chalk and my girlfriend being able to spare me for tonight ;P
    Last edited by Lemnear; 10-23-2013 at 03:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  2. #2

    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Looking forward to reading in more detail when I have time, congrats!

  3. #3
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by davelin View Post
    Looking forward to reading in more detail when I have time, congrats!
    Thx, pal. Take your time and lemme know what you think
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  4. #4

    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemnear View Post
    Thx, pal. Take your time and lemme know what you think
    A couple of quick questions, probably some more later -

    1) Looks like you're eschewing the maindeck Therapy for a third Duress. Any particular reason for this change, not enough times you feel you can cast Therapy for value in most matchups?

    2) Looks like you didn't side in the Decays against the decks that would bring in obvious hate against you (NicFit and Elves). Any particular reason, just felt Decay was too awkward? Any certain matchups you'd bring them in no question (counterbalance and Chalice decks prob I would guess)? Worth changing a third Decay for something else like a Wish-able Hull Breach to deal with problematic enchantments/artifacts?

  5. #5
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by davelin View Post
    A couple of quick questions, probably some more later -

    1) Looks like you're eschewing the maindeck Therapy for a third Duress. Any particular reason for this change, not enough times you feel you can cast Therapy for value in most matchups?

    2) Looks like you didn't side in the Decays against the decks that would bring in obvious hate against you (NicFit and Elves). Any particular reason, just felt Decay was too awkward? Any certain matchups you'd bring them in no question (counterbalance and Chalice decks prob I would guess)? Worth changing a third Decay for something else like a Wish-able Hull Breach to deal with problematic enchantments/artifacts?
    1) As you read in my report any may noticed yourself, knowing what you are up against is crucial. Cabal Therapy is a card that rewards the player for knowing what to name on resolution and without Gitaxian Probe I often found myself unable to fully profit from the card against unknown opponents so far. Knowing your opponent pretty much equals letting them play for a few turns, which is something I do not want. In game 2 you have a lot more insight about your opponent and in most cases your opponent will play much tighter and brings in additional hate. In those grindier games 2 & 3 Therapy's make up the lack of traditional cardadvantage-engines and with your opponent likely being less aggressive, you have the time to seize the hand of the player sitting across. That's results in me often boarding Therapies for redundant biz (Infernal) or speed (Chrome Mox).

    2) I noticed that the 2 mana solution and especially the Green mana often takes it's toll on speed or bites me otherwise (eat Petals, Gemstone Counter, Damage via City). The issue gets easily outta hand if the hate you try to remove is taxing your Decay like Common storm-hate like Thalia/Cannonist/Thorn do. Accumulating 1BG is a pain while often pressured by Wasteland in addition (Death&Taxes 4 example). Regarding that fact, I noticed that preventing all those hate and the omnipresent Thoughtseize/Hymn in the current format for only a single white mana with Silence is a whole different Tier of tempo to cycle unmolested through your deck to kill them before they have a chance to Land their hate.

    Against Counterbalance or Chalice you need those A.Decays, either because Silence-walking isn't an option against decks with massive counterspells and Chalice is often too fast for you to catch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  6. #6

    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Lemnear, congrats on the clean sweep! 12-0 is very impressive! How do you keep such detailed notes during the drain of a tournament? Also, do you know what your elf friend's sb looked like and how he boarded?

  7. #7
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Sorry, I didn't read past the picture. Have to comment on two things:

    1. Dat ass.
    2. Pool inside a river for swimming. That's way to meta.

    Anyways, carry on.
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by nudon View Post
    Lemnear, congrats on the clean sweep! 12-0 is very impressive! How do you keep such detailed notes during the drain of a tournament? Also, do you know what your elf friend's sb looked like and how he boarded?
    I expected him having a SB close to the standard. I'll may phone him today and ask. I'm often asked in this Forum about how to take that notes. I use stenography combined with the usual shortcuts for cards. Not many people can read stenography so I have not to fear I give out information. I cipher my starting grip notes like LR for "lange Ranken" aka ToA aka Tendrils of Agony. Most important is that we have no time limit and i can take notes during the turns of my opponents and mid-round due to the pretty non-interactive nature of the deck (during opponents turn).

    @Koby
    Yeah, love the summer ;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  9. #9

    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Very nice report (as usual). Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Once again, you made my morning at work more enjoyable by reading the report.

    Thank god we harrassed you for this report. It was about time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemnear View Post
    I facepalm so hard in Public that hipsters gonna make this a new trend

  11. #11

    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Some more in-depth questions this morning (I'm sure more later) -

    Round 1, Game 1 -

    1) You casted an early Duress seeing 2 FoWs and lands. Later you said you Therapied his two FoWs. What did you take with the early Duress since it sounds like they were still there later.

    2) When he flashbacked his Thoughtseize and you had a lone Wish and a Brainstorm, did you consider firing the Storm off to hide biz?

    3) After SB you subbed out Wincons (EtW and Tendrils) from mainboard and SB. What's the thought behind this since now Wish can't retrieve Tendrils?

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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by davelin View Post
    Some more in-depth questions this morning (I'm sure more later) -

    Round 1, Game 1 -

    1) You casted an early Duress seeing 2 FoWs and lands. Later you said you Therapied his two FoWs. What did you take with the early Duress since it sounds like they were still there later.

    2) When he flashbacked his Thoughtseize and you had a lone Wish and a Brainstorm, did you consider firing the Storm off to hide biz?

    3) After SB you subbed out Wincons (EtW and Tendrils) from mainboard and SB. What's the thought behind this since now Wish can't retrieve Tendrils?
    1) I took the FoW, but he just drew #3 :)

    2) recalling my notes and the report I had only 2 tapped lands + Artifact-mana in play and I was (once more after the initial Thoughtseize) unwilling to Burn Petal + Brainstorm to "just" protect the Wish. I thought that it's not worth to 2-for-1 myself here

    3) I can still Wish -> Infernal (now SB) -> Tendrils. The reason for siding out Infernal + EtW in favor of ToA was that EtW isn't an option against Batterskull and by doing so, I have the option to cast a faster ToA via natural chains (Infernal) and gaining more access to ToA in the process while getting more protection as well (+1 Therapy). In this matchup I expected loosing a shitload of life and wanted to chain infernals into Wishes and Wishes into Infernals to drain life ... even if I only use it go gain a few turns.

    My strategy obviously changed against the second Deathblade after I've learned that those decks have less countermagic than expected, but bring in Meddling Mages. Therefore I brought in Chains and Therapies, but missed to switch a Chrome Mox for ToA 'cause I was tired/stupid and forget to do so. I also skipped on the Tutor chain's this time, because of Meddling Mage (naming Burning Wish is a common choice).



    P.S.: To all peeps writing me PM's, please empty your message folder or I can't answer if your Folder for received Messages is full. Thx :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  13. #13
    DocteurGabe
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemnear View Post
    To all peeps writing me PM's, please empty your message folder or I can't answer if your Folder for received Messages is full. Thx :)
    Sir, you are one popular mofo.

    Would you please sign my playmat?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemnear View Post
    I facepalm so hard in Public that hipsters gonna make this a new trend

  14. #14
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayradis View Post
    Sir, you are one popular mofo.

    Would you please sign my playmat?
    I doubt, I deserve all that attention.

    Shipping playmats is maybe a bit expensive. May I send you some signed german foils instead? :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  15. #15
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    @Kay
    I got message via What'sApp about the Elves SB:

    4x C. Therapy
    2x Thorn of Amerhyst
    1x G.Teeg
    2x A.Decay
    2x S.Ooze
    1x H.Sliver
    1x Progenitus
    2x Choke

    He boarded Therapies, Thorns and Teeg. He thought he boarded out NO's and the Hoofs + X.




    P.S. Dear readers, it would be a pleasure if you see this article series worth sharing on other websites. If that's the case, I'd appreciate, if you cross-link the reports, because I'm not active in most of the honorable non-english-speaking forums (including german! Duh!). Thx in advance
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  16. #16
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    From Round 2: Game 1:
    Brainstorm
    Chrom Mox
    LED
    Silence
    Gemstone Mine
    Brainstorm
    Duress
    on the play (for reference)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemnear View Post
    Opening with a Gemstone Mine, I try to evaluate Duress vs. Silence here but if I drop a LED immediately, I donít have to fear a topdecked Thoughtseize, so I guess time-walking his second turn would wield more value.
    Couple questions on this one:
    1. You obviously knew the opponent and put them on a specific list. Against a blind opponent game one, the Duress turn one seems the correct choice since it gives information about what we are up against, and lets us know if we need to "Silence-walk" them in future turns. Is that assumption correct, learn more about the match, then save Silence for FoW (if we see counters), or "Silence-walk" during their turn (combo or something scary)? I see the need to use Silence aggressively in games 1 against decks not running counters to help make it a non-dead card.

    2. I normally hold my LEDs to save them for the Storm turn, and I after watching some Storm players drop LED on earlier turns I am learning the importance of that card in any match to increase the speed/explosive nature of the deck. I think the more I play with the deck, the more I see the need of the free 3 mana after a tutor to be able to get a critical mass of goblins, or be able to cast AN, instead of holding it for 1 extra storm which might not matter/come to light if the LED gets in our bin early.
    How often do you drop the LED on turn 1 to save it from a discard spell like T.Seize, VS. Saving it for the combo turn for Storm count VS. Saving it in hand and trying to "save" it with a Brainstorm in reaction to a discard spell (saving it for Storm count later).

  17. #17
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by oSeabass View Post
    Couple questions on this one:
    1. You obviously knew the opponent and put them on a specific list. Against a blind opponent game one, the Duress turn one seems the correct choice since it gives information about what we are up against, and lets us know if we need to "Silence-walk" them in future turns. Is that assumption correct, learn more about the match, then save Silence for FoW (if we see counters), or "Silence-walk" during their turn (combo or something scary)? I see the need to use Silence aggressively in games 1 against decks not running counters to help make it a non-dead card.

    2. I normally hold my LEDs to save them for the Storm turn, and I after watching some Storm players drop LED on earlier turns I am learning the importance of that card in any match to increase the speed/explosive nature of the deck. I think the more I play with the deck, the more I see the need of the free 3 mana after a tutor to be able to get a critical mass of goblins, or be able to cast AN, instead of holding it for 1 extra storm which might not matter/come to light if the LED gets in our bin early.
    How often do you drop the LED on turn 1 to save it from a discard spell like T.Seize, VS. Saving it for the combo turn for Storm count VS. Saving it in hand and trying to "save" it with a Brainstorm in reaction to a discard spell (saving it for Storm count later).
    1) That is correct. Since I expected him still playing his Punishing Jund I just had Thoughtseize and Hymn in the back of my head and varied the sequence here. My play was more about controlling his first 2-3 turns with Duress and Silence to Profit from the slow nature of his expected deck. Thankfully the actual deck wasn't as different from the expected gameplan.

    2)You have to develop a fine sense for your opponents, because it's impossible to answer that with a single statement. Playing out the Diamonds saves them from discard but opens them to Abrupt Decays/Deeds/etc. It's part matter of the speed of your hand, part matter of the engine you are aiming for (AN, EtW, DR), part matter of the number of discard your opponent runs and part matter if you are still in game 1 or already in the Sideboard-games (in which Decays and such often leave the deck against TES), you all have to consider in your decision-tree. I'd try to avoid saving LED's with brainstorms in the face of discard, but rather drop them before and use the Brainstorm in your turn to make up the lost stormcount by dropping LED with a much more valuable play. (In that case you would invest an additional mana in your kill-turn but see more cards)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  18. #18

    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Loved the read just like all the others! So thorough and it's fantastic to see the reasoning behind the various decisions. Thanks much!

    To leave him unclear how and how much I boarded, I use a simple trick I recommend using in general: I shuffle both my mainboard and sideboard together and then remove 15 cards from the 75-card-pile as your new sideboard.
    BRILLIANT! Thank you! (:
    ďThere are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle".
    - Albert Einstein

  19. #19
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    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by JPoJohnson View Post
    Loved the read just like all the others! So thorough and it's fantastic to see the reasoning behind the various decisions. Thanks much!

    -snip my signature boarding-

    BRILLIANT! Thank you! (:
    You're welcome. :)

    Hope the boarding-tech makes it way through the Legacy community. I demand a trademark ... lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon View Post
    Lemnear sounds harsh at times, but he means well. Or to destroy, but that's when he starts rapping.

    Architect by day, rapstar by night. He's pretty much the German Hannah Montana. Sometimes he even comes in like a wrecking ball.

  20. #20

    Re: Heart of the Storm #5 - Hero's Come Back!

    A few more questions for you! Thanks!

    Round 2 Game 1 Ė
    You mentioned thinking about Silencing-walking before Brainstorming towards the end. Any particular reason you decided not to go that route?

    Round 4 Game 1 Ė
    I think typically the recommended route is to float a Blue mana post-DimRet to be able to cast any cantrips drawn. Any reason why you went Black instead?

    Finals Game 1 Ė
    Mid-game you casted Chrome Mox in order to cast a Wish. Were you not afraid of Stifle here? Would that be a terrible play for your opponent here given that you were not dropping any lands?

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