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Worlds day 3 – Extended

January 6, 2011

I hope you enjoyed the holidays and now it’s time to conclude my reports from Worlds. The time has come to the individual portion of day 3, which means Extended. I started talking about Extended last time around. For a quick rundown, I was in love with Elves and despite having a bit of a rocky time in the team portion, I was still on in running Elves. I’m not a fan of audibles and try to avoid it if possible, but I didn’t mind changing a couple of cards in my list.

Judging from what people where playing in the team competition and what you could hear from the buzz around the site the metagame didn’t exactly look like we thought it would from our preliminary testing. While we knew there would be Faeries around, it seems more popular than anticipated and 5cc (or 4cc, Reflecting Pool control or whatever you want to call it) was a deck we didn’t really expected to be show up and/or would be as good as we thought it was.

So the question was how would tackle the shift in metagame? My answer came partially from Conrad Kolos, who were also playing Elves in the team competition as well as chatting with Sam Black via Kenny Öberg. Kolos ran Vengevines main, which sounded really sweet. It makes perfect sense, against deck were you are not the control deck (aka not specifically trying to win comboing) you win most games by just turning your men sideways. And Vengevine supports that plan very, very well.

I didn’t have a decklist for his deck but I and Kenny Öberg chatted with Sam Black and he basically gave us a rundown of what was in the deck. From the headups we got from him, it wasn’t that difficult to compose a list of our own. Kenny, Bertil Elfgren and finally Love Janse ended up sticking with the combo plan as the plan A for the deck but they incorporated the black splash for hand disruption and Shriekmaw, but I went the whole way and registered this bad boy:

Elves!

// Lands
4 Gilt-Leaf Palace
4 Razorverge Thicket
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Wooded Bastion
1 Swamp
4 Forest

// Creatures
4 Nettle Sentinel
2 Ranger of Eos
3 Devoted Druid
1 Shriekmaw
4 Elvish Archdruid
1 Gilt-Leaf Archdruid
4 Heritage Druid
4 Joraga Treespeaker
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Vengevine
4 Fauna Shaman

// Spells
2 Primal Command
3 Thoughtseize

// Sideboard
SB: 2 Burrenton Forge-Tender
SB: 2 Ranger of Eos
SB: 3 Path to Exile
SB: 1 Cloudthresher
SB: 2 Mark of Asylum
SB: 1 Gaddock Teeg
SB: 1 Ethersworn Canonist
SB: 1 Qasali Pridemage
SB: 1 Duress
SB: 1 Thoughtseize

First off, do not copy this list straight off and run it in any events. Even if you ignore adding the current metagame as a factor, the list is a product of some last minute brewing and has a lot of holes in it. For starters, the sideboard it very sketchy, for example I was talked into by the other swedes that Mark of Asylum was better than Burrenton Forge-Tender, at least better than Forge-Tender #3+.

That’s a lie. No offence meant to the other swedes, but I just think that’s just plain and utter wrong. Every time a drew either Mark of Asylum or Ranger of Eos, I wished that the Marks were Burrenton Forge-Tenders instead.

Moving on, there are some one-offs that should be there, like Etherswon Canonist. Shriekmaw is not needed for the main and probably should have been a Regal Force and a Joraga Warcaller should be in the in the main deck… But enough delving into that, if Elves proves to a deck I consider playing for the future I will get back to this subject and address it then. Now on to the tournament.

Round 13: Vidugiris, Gaudenis [USA] w/ GW Hideaway

Myself in action with Elves

The first game started out pretty well for me, as my opponent went down to 5 cards on the play and left of with a Windbrisk Height. Either White Weenie or the Hideaway deck is a pretty good match up for Elves, so I pumped my fist. My opponent had the nuts however and landed a turn 4 Iona, set to green. I didn’t draw my singular Shriekmaw and died.

Second game started off in a similar fashion, he went down to 5 again but this time his draw was slower. I got my Gilt-Leaf Archdruid down, drew some cards and got a concession when I landed my 7th druid.

The third game was the same as the second except my win was even more filthier since he just played a Primeval Titan the turn prior I took all of his lands.

2-1,  6-5-2

Round 14: Chan, Wai lok [CHE] w/ Jund

I lost game one in despite I felt I couldn’t lose the game. We both kept 7 on the play, I led off with an elf before shipping it back. He thoughtseized me and took away a Ranger of Eos (I believe). On my turn I ripped a Thoughtseize of my own and fired it back, seeing a land of lands and a Blightning that went away. My hand at that point wasn’t stellar but I had Fauna Shaman and a couple of men. My mind went something like this, “how do I lose from this spot?”.

3 Bloodbraid Elfs and a Chameleon Colossus later and I was packing it in.

Game 2 and 3 went more according to plan. I just card advantaged him out with Ranger of Eos and Vengevine, and Burrenton Forge-Tender just made his game plan miserable. For the record, I drew Mark of Asylum in both games and I wished both times that they were Burrenton Forge-Tenders instead. Also, I wanted more than 2 to search for with Ranger of Eos.

2-1, 7-5-2

Round 15: Roccoli™, Guido [ITA] w/ GW Hideaway

I won game one like I did in round 13 with the “ultimate”-ability on Gilt-Leaf Archdruid. Wasn’t particular close.

Game 2 ended up being a really outdrawn game. He locked me fairly quickly with a Linvala, Keeper of Silence which left me board of elves impotent. But he was more or less out of gas after that and I had both Ranger of Eos and a Path to Exile in hand. He ended up drawing a threat (Baneslayer Angel) before I could get access to white mana and get any real action going.

In the final game I went down to 6 cards on the play but had a quite aggressive hand. I played a couple of guys and then a Elvish Archdruid. On turn 4 I played a topdecked Thoughtseize and saw a powerful hand but it was very slow as well. I took a Baneslayer Angel (his only play before turn 6) and prayed. In the end it ended up all coming down to if he could hit a Baneslayer Angel on his Summoning Trap (which I knew of). I was out of gas at this point and could just alpha strike and pray. He “only” got an Emrakul out of the Summoning Trap, which wasn’t good enough as I had enough guys swinging.

2-1, 8-5-2

Round 4: Nassif, Gabriel [FRA] w/ RG Valakut

I got the word from Kenny that Nassif and his group of players would be playing RG Valakut, so I had a little intel going into the round. I thoughtseized him on turn 3-ish and saw a hand of 2 Rampant Growth and lands. I could set him on a turn 2 clock at that point, which left him with 2 drawsteps to peel himself out of it. He drew a Scapeshift (two in fact, as he showed me both after I conceded) and won before I could do it.

Game 2 was a basically a replica of game 1, except this time he didn’t peel out of the clock I could muster.

The final game was a slaughter, as he played a Primeval Titan on turn 4 on the play. I couldn’t do anything about the titan and I was slayed singlehandedly by the titan with the Valakuts that it fetched.

A sidenote, I have to say that Nassif is super nice as a person. Very chatty and he seemed like he just loved playing the game, very pleasant to see.

1-2, 8-6-2

Round 5: Krish, Rondy [SGP] w/ 5cc

The whole match is a blur to me. All three games that we played went long (not surprisingly) and in two of the games I just had more threats than he had answers, so I sneaked that one out. Vengevine were great, thought he had Runed Halo to hinder the beats, which meant I had to deal with them with Primal Commands and Qasali Pridemage.

2-1, 9-6-2

Round 6: Do Anh™, David [CZE] w/ Faeries

The day rounded out with a slugger match against the dreaded Fae against the runner up from GP Madrid earlier this year. In game one my inclusions of Vengevine payed off big time as he didn’t have Bitterblossom and couldn’t cope with the recurring threat.

In the following game I went down to 6 on the draw and kept a one lander that was very powerful. I think it were in the lines of 2 one-drops, 2 Fauna Shamans and a Vengevine (along with the land). He didn’t have a spectacular draw (once again no Bitterblossom) but I got stucked on that single land a little too long and he finally went down to a couple of faerie tokens (he eventually drew into Bitterblossom during the final turns of the game) and a Creeping Tar Pit.

For the decider I had a respectable keep and he kept his 7 as well. I lead off with an elf, he played a Creeping Tar Pit and I untapped and played a Thoughtseize. I saw the following:

Mutavault, Disfigure, Deathmark, Mana Leak, Ratchet Bomb, Peppersmoke and Thoughtseize.

Gulp.

I stared in disbelief at that hand for a while before I took away Ratchet Bomb. I had to dig in deep to win that one. After a barrage of removal spells (including a Consuming Vapors that he drew into) I finally managed to stick a Vengevine, but thanks to two Cryptic Commands he could race me with manlands and some other creature (can’t remember, sorry!). As I extended the hand, Martin Juza stepped in he started to mock his friend why he just didn’t cast the Wurmcoil Engine he had in his hand and from what it sounded like for a while as well. So I got a “still-had-all-these” from Juza, despite not playing him personally 🙂 .

1-2, 9-7-2

So I ended up going 4-2 with the (in retrospect) sketchy Elves-list, which wasn’t too shabby. I don’t think I wouldn’t have done much better even with a better tuned list, since I won the matches I thought I would (the first three) and the last three could have gone either way to be honest. I have already mentioned how I felt about the tournament as a whole and the trip, so I won’t repeat myself. I do want say thanks to Ludvig Londos, who took most of the photos that I have used in the posts from Worlds. Thanks man!

A question that a couple of people have asked me is how does it feel on the pro tour and how is the players you play. Well the answer to the first question is: awesome, and I’m dieing to get back. And to the second question, overall the players that you meat are very nice. Very small amount of “power gaming” so to say or that sort of nonsense. But they are good (for the most part) but not invincible either. I never thought, “Oh, Nassif. I can’t win this match” or stuff like that. You have to believe in your own capabilities and give every game your best shot. I know someone who did just that…

I haven’t played many games of Magic since I came back from Japan and it’s been nice to have a little break and recharge the batteries, you know. But the fire is returning and I’m getting psyched about sinking my teeth into Extended, and heck, Magic as a whole. Count on hearing more about Extended shortly!

Until next time, have a good one!

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