Sunday, November 19, 2017

GP Portland 2017: Vintage Side Event

I just got back from Vintage at GP Portland 2017. I walked away at 1-3, but my 1 "win" was a bye. That's right: I didn't win any matches in 4 rounds of swiss. In fact, I did even win any games in all four rounds. But, it was so worth it.

Ancestral Recall, Magic, Unlimited Edition

I cast Ancestral Recall on myself in competitive play for the first time in forever!

The grand plan to go into the day with underpowered Fenton Oath was, upon reflection, maybe not the greatest idea. I thought slamming down Griselbrands with Oath or Show was going to get there. It's just such a powerful thing to do. But, my match ups didn't give me many windows for that.

Round 1 vs. Adam
He's on Paradoxical Storm Tendrils and wins both games with it. Game 1 was pretty quick. Game 2 was interesting. I kept him off the storm kill with lots of strategic countering, but never drew a way to get the demon into play. We were 10+ turns in before he finally put it together.

Round 2 vs. Eric
There was another guy there named Eric, who was also playing Oath. He had the bomberman combo in there, along with some other spice. I saw the Scarab God at one point, too. We had the typical Oath-on-Oath battle of keeping creatures at parity. Game 1 and 2 played out similarly. He had the edge and stopped me from Showing out the demon. We both had to mull to 5 on the second game. I finally get an Oath into play with 4 cards left in my library after he hits me with the Jace ultimate.

Round 3 vs. Bye
A bye in this kind of event is no fun. I was there to play, but we had an uneven number of players. I think the count was 13 or possibly 15. I sat this round out and watched a few other games. I saw a sweet Skullclamp Elves deck, Tangle Wire Shops, Grixis, and a couple of other Oath decks. As it turns out, the guy I got paired up with in Round 4 provided at least 3 of the decks I saw at the tables. Deep collection, I guess.

Round 4 vs. Tim
Tim seemed like a really cool guy that I had played some Legacy against on a visit to a local game store. He had loaned out his Shops and Oath deck to some other players so that they could enter Vintage. His deck was a Grixis Thieves/Big Blue monstrosity. 2 Dacks, 2 JTMS, 1 Tezz, 2 Snaps, Vault/Key, Tinker/Blightsteel. That kind of stuff. Plus, it just looked cool. He had spent quite a lot of time (and probably money) on putting these cards together. Game 1, he plays a land, some moxes, and a crypt, then passes. I drop a Library and pass back. On his upkeep, I activate Library to draw. He responds with Notion Thief. It got worse from there. He ended up Twisting us and drew 14 cards because of Notion Thief. Game 2 was just value town on his side, resulting in Tezz for Vault/Key and Snapcaster beats.

Vintage is still my favorite format, and I'm glad for the times I can play in person. The things that happen are so silly that you can't help but laugh. I think I heard more laughter from this group of Vintage players than any other time I've played competitively.

When I get the chance to play again, possibly at GP Seattle next year, I will likely sleeve up a UBr list. I have better cards for it and it couldn't hurt to play a Mana Drain or two.