Elfvalley Cup #6
Here we go again! Was planning on a month off again, but many players wanted to do another AB4k monthly, so I decided to start one in September as well. We did regular rules again, doesn't seem like restrictions are needed is this format because most of the players are very happy to chose spice over spike. There also pretty shallow cardpools among most players, and there's not that big a difference between tier 1&2 decks and tier 5 decks.
When choosing a deck this month I went a little back and forth. I was actually planning on building a spikier deck, but didn't have the money to get some new cards so I landed on a rather spicy build:
The first card I ever opened was Lord of the Pit, a supercool card that sadly is terrible in regular OS atleast, but I wanted to try it out in AB4k. Sacrificing a creature every turn is a pretty harsh cost, and there's no Spirit Link in the coreset. In comes Circle of Protection: Black. The circle can prevent the Lords upkeep cost for a measly 1 mana, so that seems like the best choice when playing the Lord. Other cards that goes nicely with the circle is Pestilence, also game 1 vs monoblack seems like an autowin when playing 3 circles maindeck. So when playing Pestilence I also wanted Drain Life and creatures with regeneration in the deck. Wall of Bone is a nice one that stops early groundcreatures, and Will-o-the-Wisp stops anything that flies. Sacrifice was put in for some extra spice and to power out early Lords, and also to fuel a huge Drain Life if needed. The package with Swords, Disenchant and Jayemdae Tome rounds out the deck, and provides some powerful answers and cardadvantage.
Allright, lets finish the deck talk and go on to the matches.
Match 1 vs Steven (Monoblack)
Steven is pretty new to the format, and I'm excited to see what he can bring to the table. His first plays are swamps, and with a CoP: Black in hand I feel pretty sorry for him. He assembles quite a team though, and my circle can only stop a few of them every turn, because I want to draw into more land with a Jayemdae Tome, to play the Lord. I eventually draw a Balance which is supersweet. It makes him sacrifice 4 creatures and a couple of lands, while I can discard the Lord and play Animate Dead on it. Needless to say, the game ends in a few turns.
Match 2 vs Tor (Enchantress)
This was Tor's first AB4k event, and what a sweet deck he brought to the table. This is probably a slow enough format that Verduran Enchantress can shine, and Tor's deck proves that.
Game 1 was pretty nasty as I controlled the board well, and had two active Tomes before Lord of the Pit rode to victory.
Game 2 was a different story though, as I didn't draw much removal, and his Enchantresses drew him oh so many cards. Eventually he drew enough threats to finish me off, but this was as awesome as a loss can be.
Game 3 was a really long and close one. Turns went back and forth with him applying pressure with Basilisks and me defending myself with Walls of Bone. A Lure made him get some damage through, and I got so low on life that I was afraid a Hurricane would finish me off. I finally drew into a Pestilence, and with a CoP: Black out, I could start to even out the lifetotals. Luckily I drew into a Drain Life after a while which finished him off. Great games!
Match 3 vs Evert (Troll-Disco)
Evert is a skilled and experienced player from the Netherlands. He also has a deep cardpool, so I expected something good when I played vs him. Thankfully he also likes to spice it up, so instead of the super-spiky URb with counterspells and full P9, he played with Royal Assassins and Nightmares instead. This match was pretty "important", since both of us were 2-0(4-1), and the winner would advance to top4.
After we both took a mulligan, Game 1 was pretty one-sided as the cards he drew were mostly lands and moxen, and I won the game thanks to a Sengir Vampire doing 16 damage, and the Lord came in for the final blow.
Game 2 was alot closer. I managed to keep his Sedge Troll at bay with a Wall of Bone, and when he finally got to kill the wall, I had a Sword to Plowshares ready for it. We traded some spells and creatures for a while, and a CoP: Black stopped his Nightmare and Sengir Vampire when he started to have some pressure. I drew all three Drain Life's, and decided to just play the waiting game until I drew more Swamps. First a Drain Life for 5, then one for 6 which left him at 7 life. I was kinda afraid of Fork that would ruin my plans, but when he tapped out (for a Nevinyrral's Disk and a Troll I believe), the third Drain Life finished him off. Kinda lucked out this match, but anyways, thanks for the games and the long pre- and postmatch talk!
Wow, never thought I'd win all group matches with this deck, but with some luck, the deck proved that it was pretty good in a non-spike environment.
Semifinals vs Bjørnar (RB midrange)
Time for the semifinal! Having gotten this far has exceeded my expectations, so the rest is just a bonus. This would be a rematch from our semi in Elfvalley Cup #3 I think, where I managed to eek out a win. Bjørnar played something different than his UB brew this time, and showed up with this strong BR deck:
Game 1 starts with me taking a mulligan, but keeping a decent enough hand after that. I play an early CoP:Black which held his team at bay for a while, but he dealt with every creature I drew, and eventually finished me off with a Forked Disintegrate.
For game 2 I brought in some CoP:Reds and the 4th Disenchant as I expected some number of Glooms. This was as awesome game which saw my controlling the board with Cop:Black&Red while he destroyed just about every creature I played. His Glooms where taken care of with Disenchants and I got some card-drawing going with a Jayemdae Tome. My win-cons started to get pretty low though, and I started to get close to decking myself. I made a mistake of boarding out all my Pestilences, and I just had a Sengir and Drain Life that could win me the game left in my deck. Thankfully he made a small mistake of Forking my Disenchant twice to take care of my CoPs, and I got to Drain his life out with just 5 cards left in my library. What a Game!
For game 3 I brought in a Pestilence again, and after a mulligan on my part, this game played out very similar to the previous one. CoPs kept his army at bay, and I started to Pest his lifetotal down one life at at time. He decided to burn his Sengir to destroy the Pestilence and then I needed to find some other wincon. I drew Lord of the Pit, but he had 2 Paralyzes for it, and at some point I had to take 7 damage, and use Simulacrum to destroy the Lord, since a Gloom+Flashfires on his side had locked up the game. I drew some more Plains and could finally Disenchant the Gloom, but he had another one ready. He also played a second Flashfires, so I was left with just one white manasource in my deck, and could't Disenchant it. I desperately tried to Drain him for alot to buy me some time, but he had a Fork and followed up with a hude Disintegrate for the win.
This was a fantastic long and grindy match, just as I like it, and a nice way to end my winning chances.
Thus ends yet another Elfvalley Cup, the deck I played was super sweet and worked really well, better than I expected. If I would play it again, I might add a few more wincons to the board, since it felt like that was the biggest problem in the semifinal. Congrats to Thomas for emerging vicorious against Bjørnar in the final, and winning his second Elfvalley Cup. Thomas went undefeated with this crazy TwiddleVault deck:
Until next month, cheers!