Elfvalley Cup #5
After a month off, there was time for another Elfvalley Cup. This time we tried out the Norwegian Rules. This ruleset is intended to even the playing field a bit for those of us with a bit shallow cardpool. The first version of the rules are as follow:
AB Norwegian Rules
Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, Timetwister, Black Lotus, Wheel of Fortune, Mind Twist
(Max 1 total)
Tier 2(fast mana):
The Moxen, Mana Vault, Sol Ring
(Max 2 total)
Braingeyser, Control Magic, Balance, Demonic Tutor, Regrowth, Armageddon, Jayemdae Tome, Nevinyrral's Disk, Disrupting Scepter, Wrath of God
(Max 4 total)
Tier 4(strong unc/commons):
Swords to Plowshares, Counterspell, Dark Ritual, Icy Manipulator
(Max 3 of each copy)
Tier 5: The rest
(Max 4 of each copy)
Duals: (max 4 total)
These rules are a first draft, and will very likely be changed before it becomes something firm.
Since it still was summer and holidays for many people, the event drew only 8 participants, but I think we will still have some data for adjusting the rules anyways.
The groups were as follows:
Audun, Bartel, Slanfan and me.
Björn, Chris, Ole and Øyvind.
Six of us were regulars and we welcomed Björn and Chris to their first Elfvalley Cup!
I chose to go for a spicy deck this time. Twiddle was the card I built around, with lots of cards that can benefit from it.
I played this deck last casual evening, and it was great fun! It probably is very bad against decks with a low creature count, but against creature heavy builds, it really should shine. I actually made one mistake in deckbuilding, the Disrupting Scepter in the sideboard exceeded the tier 3 limit, and I ended up just playing with a 14-card sideboard. I wanted to check off some fun plays on a bucket list with the deck, mainly:
- Utilize the Nettling Imp/Royal Assassin combo
- Kill two creatures with the same Royal Assassin using Twiddle
- Kill a 2-defence creature with Timmy using Twiddle
- Do 10 or more damage in a game with Psychic Venom
- Destroy multiple lands in one turn with Demonic Hordes and Twiddle
Here's how my matches turned out:
Match 1 vs Audun
Audun was my first opponent, and he was on a sweet UR Mana Flare build. He was entirely creatureless, which was on paper really bad for me. I have 4 completely dead cards in Control Magic and 3 Paralyze, and the Assassins and Imps are just vanilla 1/1's against him. In game 1 however, I managed to win thanks to a massive flood on his end. A single Assassin did alot of damage and some fringe, self-damage from multiple Psionic Blasts ended the game before he could draw more burn.
Game 2 was also a strange one, where I missed an Orb flip on his Control Magic. The Imp he stole did many points of damage and he finished me off with burnspells after some counter-wars.
Game 3 was the decider, and I had a really good draw here. Turn 1 Sol Ring enabled a turn 2 Jayemdae Tome which drew me a ton of cards. I also had an early Psychic Venom on one of his lands, and Icy to tap it every turn. A Prodigal Sorcerer and another Icy put him on the clock, and all the book-reading filled my hand with countermagic that protected my board.
Match 2 vs Bartel
Bartel was on monoblack, one of my favorite decks, and I fear this decks quick starts. If he was able to summon an early Hypnotic for instance, I would be in deep trouble. I win the dieroll and goes first, while he takes a mulligan. Psychic Venom on his swamp is my first play and he plays a Black Knight the turn after. I follow up with a Timmy, and he with a Dark Ritual and Hypnotic while missing a landdrop. I thankfully have a Twiddle and manage to kill his Specter(checking of a point in my bucket list) and play a Mind Twist for 2, taking away a Royal Assassin and a Sengir Vampire. He stalls a bit on land while I develop the board with Royal, the Imp and Icy, and manage to check off two more points on the bucket list. Killing a creature with Imp/Royal and doing 10 or more damage with Psychic Venom. Great win for me thanks to his little mana-starvation.
For game 2 I bring in 4 Bog Wraiths for some beef and the 4th Paralyze to slow him down. He takes yet a mulligan, while I have just about the same draw as in game 1. He also misses landdrops here, and there's not much more to say than that I finish the game quickly with Psychic Venoms, Icy and the Wraith.
Match 3 vs Slanfan
Mattias was on a really strange and cool brew, as always, playing Black Vises, Ankh of Mishra, Copper Tablets and Healing Salves. He starts off with a Vise against me, and I have no plays the first two turns, so my lifetotal drops a bit before I can play a Royal Assassin. Little did I know that the Assassin was pretty useless against his creatureless deck. Tablet and Ankh found their way to the battlefield as well , and we were off to a race. I managed to draw a Prodigal Sorcerer, and Mind Twisted away two(!) Healing Salves from his hand, which proved to be the winning play. The first and probably the last time I'll ever say that, haha.
In game two I felt I was a bit more in control with lots of countermagic in my hand and a couple of Psychic Venoms in play. I also drew into Icy and Prodigal Sorcerer which he never drew answers for, and tapping his lands with the Manipulator and Twiddles sealed the deal. After the match he showed me what he wanted to draw against me, 2 Word of Commands. Those would've been absolutely brutal in game 1 atleast.
So I actually managed to go 3-0(6-1) with this deck, and that was even against two creatureless decks which I thought would be my worst matchup. Safe to say I had some luck, especially vs Bartel and one game vs Audun, but the deck did what I wanted to and was a joy to play. On to the finals!
Finals vs Ole
Ole played his signature Purple Soup(UR-aggro) deck as always, slowly but surely adding some cards to his collection just like it should be. He gets to start and put out a couple of Goblin Balloon Brigades on his first turns. After a mulligan I get a decent enough start with Psychic Venom, but he plays enough lands to avoid taking much damage from it. I steal an Uthden Troll from him with Control Magic but it's quickly dispatched of with a Lightning Bolt. A Prodigal Sorcerer joins his team of goblins, and it's really good against my 1-toughness dudes. I destroy it with a Chaos Orb, but he has a Fireball in hand that end Game 1 in a brutal fashion.
For Game 2 I bring in 4 Blue Elemental Blasts and a couple of Spell Blasts, and get to start....with a mulligan again. The hand is pretty decent though, with 2 Timmys, counters, and lands. He plays two Mountains his first turns, and I'm thinking he might not have islands for his Timmys so I jam my first. He counters it with Red Elemental Blast, that's ok because I can play one next turn. In the worst case scenario he has both Island and Timmy in hand, and yes, he does. Now I'm in real trouble since I need to deal with it before I can play my little dudes, Paralyze doesn't quite do it since he plays land after land, and I can't find an answer fast enough. The game ends in a few turns with Goblins and Timmy pings, and I die with 2 Royals and a Tmmy in hand. GGs and congrats to Ole for back-to-back wins! Here is his deck:
All in all I'm happy with the tounament. My deck was really fun when it worked, I got to play lots of lesser played cards and managed to pull off some sweet plays. Next month I'll try something completely different, whether it's spice or spike, I don't know yet. Cheers!