After no Bazaar of Moxen in 2015, it was so great to see Annecy back on the European tournament map for this year! And while it’s almost a 7-hour from Munich, the tournament itself, the great organization by the BoM team as well as stunningly beautiful scenery of the entire Annecy region make it totally worth it! My friends and I met up in Munich on Friday early morning, hoping to arrive in Annecy in time for the afternoon Legacy trial.
(Note: I’m incredibly busy these days and still need to finish my MKM Frankfurt report and continue working on the first season of the Legacy Mediocre League. Please understand that therefore this report is probably gonna be a little shorter than usual. At least that’s what I kept telling myself when I started writing this.)
Our team for this ride consisted of:
Anton “Enton” Karlinski — Eldrazi
Florian “Craggy” Stange — Belcher
Christian “Reuschel” Reuschel — Eldrazis
Me — Elves
Friday- Duel Commander FNM
As alert readers can already tell by the headline of this section, we didn’t make it in time for Legacy. Not only because driving fast in Switzerland poses a huge (financial) risk, but also because our AirBnB apartment had us looking for it in the non-Google-Maps-able outskirts of the city for way too long. I wonder how people in the Middle Ages used to find their booked accommodation when grinding card games out of town.
Honsetly though, missing the Legacy Trial was just fine with me as it meant that we’d definitely get to play in the Duel Commander French FNM that I had been looking forward to a lot! It’s really great to see how much the format has caught on. Back at home in Munich my local group plays at least as much French Commander (as it’s also called) as Legacy these days, with everyone fine-tuning their decks in the competitive spirit that sets this format apart from its casual multiplayer EDH cousin. If you’ve ever considered getting into it, now’s the best time: with Yisan, the Wanderer Bard and Tasigur, the Golden Fang banned as Commanders and Gaea’s Cradle ruled out in general, people aren’t really sure where the metagame is heading and people are enjoying bringing all sorts of brews to the table. This is the one I played in Annecy:
The deck plays out like a regular green deck in Commander: first add all the early acceleration you can get your hands on, then include your favorite heavy-hitting fatties with awesome
Comes-Into-Play Enters-the-Battlefield abilities — and plug the ramining gaps with the secretly best mechanic of the format: Land Destruction. On top of that you get a quite resilient Commander that supports both your plan of Wastelanding out your opponent as well as creating resilient threats he or she usually doesn’t want to spend a removal spell on. Oh, and it’s a mono green deck that can kill as soon as turn 4. How could I not love it?! Here’s how my tournament went:
Round 1 — The Mimeoplasm — 2:1 WIN
Round 2 — Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy — 2:1 WIN (Feature Match; footage unfortunately lost)
Round 3 — Titania, Guardian of Argoth — 2:0 WIN
In the first round I went up against a matchup I had never played before: The Mimeoplasm Reanimator. With me being off to a slow start, my opponent quickly killed me with Buried Alive into the Necrotic Ooze/Triskelion/Phyrexian Devourer combo. G2 + G3 however, my deck did exactly what it was meant to do and heavily disrupted her mana thanks to Crucible of Worlds while Titania was busying planting 5/3s to the battlefield which quickly took my opponent down. From what I remember there still was a moment where she could have actually killed me had she topdecked two lands in a row but fortunately didn’t get there. Still, Mimeoplasm’s scary.
For round 2 my opponent and I are called into the feature match area. He introduces himself as “Moondust”, which should ring a bell with you in Duel Commander; at least if you’re playing green. Moondust is quite famous for his good results with Yisan in the past and has now switched to the
dark blue side with Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy commanding his army of…mostly lands and spells. He told me the matchup was heavily in my favor and I have no reason to doubt him: even though I wasn’t always sure what I was doing, it really felt like I was beating him on all ends. The only way I could possibly lose (outside of mana screw/flood) was for him to pull off his Polymorph-Emrakul combo that he probably had in his deck. For this scenario I tried to always keep open one of my Wastelandish cards in order to interrupt a Polymorph on his own Mutavault. In the second game I made a pretty big mistake of not using Rishadan Port to cut off my opponent from the Trickbind he had revealed earlier, in order to safely -3 my Karn Liberated on his Oblivion Stone. Instead I stupidly +4’ed my Karn only to lose my entire board to the O-Stone next turn. I can’t say that was a well-calculated decision; maybe I would have seen the correct line had I actively looked for it. But I was so far ahead that even post Obliovion Stone, it would take my opponent some serious miracle to come back into the game….which he actually in the form of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Fortunately for me though, Moondust had spent serious amounts of time thinking about his plays in both games, which now came back to bite him: even though he had established complete control of the board, he just didn’t have enough time left to finish the match, which I end up taking with 1-0-1.
In the third an final round I’m paired against a member of the Sneaky Pirates of Doom, a well-known group of German grinders that has been around for seemingly forever. My opponent’s weapon of choice quickly turns out to also be Titania, so we’re in for a mirror match of questionable sweetness. I had never played the mirror before but watched it a couple of times at Ovino Spring a couple of weeks ago. It always looked like two blowfish trying to “outgrow” each other until one of them finally bursts because it couldn’t stand the pressure anymore. How does that translate to the Titania mirror? It feels like both players are building up huge 5/3 plant armies in just a couple of turns, always ready to alpha strike in case your opponent starts falling behind in the Game of Insane Moves. In G1 it looked like exactly that was happening to me as I didn’t really get out any good acceleration while my opponent had already switched into token-stamping mode. But there was hope! Hope in the form of randomly winning the game in the way I know best: casting Craterhoof Behemoth and sending in a bunch of creatures which usually spend most of their time outside the red zone. But sometimes a mana elf, a tutor elf, an exploration elf and a random 3/3 Beast in a Yoshi costume are all it takes. Weird game, great ending. In the second game my opponent had a pretty good start…only for me to completly go crazy and more than double his plant-count after the first couple of turns. Sometimes, especially once Lotus Cobra becomes involved, Titania becomes this sheerly unstoppable force ready to attack for 50+ damage from turn4 on. And while I’m still playing a more “conservative” version of
So I finish the Duel Commander FNM at 3-0. Does that count as a win? Technically I probably didn’t get first place as there must have been at least 2-3 other people with the same record as the tournament was capped at three rounds. So I guess this doesn’t constitute my long-awaited 4th FNM win. Some day, the time will come! 🙂
Saturday – Legacy Main Event
Right before the Commander FNM I had recorded an Elves deck tech with Riley Knight of the BoM coverage team that you might enjoy watching. Check it out:
Later that weekend, there was also Yannick from France, who kindly asked me to record a deck tech video for his YouTube channel that you can find here:
4 Deathrite Shaman
I’m still super happy about the list and especially Umezawa’s Jitte performed incredibly well. It almost feels as if I wanted the second copy of it somewhere, but I guess I really shouldn’t dilute the deck even more at this point. It’s already really hard for me to settle on a list for the upcoming Legacy Mediocre League that starts on June 3rd. Anyways, here’s how my main event went:
Round 1 — DRAGON (yes!!) — 2:1 WIN
Round 2 — Fauna Shaman Maverick — 2:0 WIN (Feature Match: Part1; Part2)
Round 3 — 4c Delver — 2:0 WIN
Round 4 — UWr Delver — 1:2 LOSS
Round 5 — Death’s Shadow — 2:1 WIN
Round 6 — Canadian Threshold — 2:0 WIN
Round 7 — Miracles — 2:1 WIN
Round 8 — Miracles — 2:1 WIN
Round 9 — ANT — 0:2 LOSS (Feature Match but footage unfortunately lost)
8-2 for 19th out of 307 players.
If YOU had your money on yet another x-2 finish of mine, you’ve just won the golden pineapple (as we say in German). At this point I’ve both won and lost so many win-and-ins, it’s no longer this big heartbreaking thing to me because I know that there will be future opportunities to prove myself and do better than before. However, this was one of those events that I really, REALLY wanted to win my win-and-in. Not because of the tournament itself but because I would have loved to add to the fairy tale story that was our car. Both Enton and Flo had already secured spots in the Top8 while I was still trying to battle my way through ANT but eventually fell short. It would have been a great feeling to put 3 out of 4 people in our car into the Top8. Still, I’m incredibly happy for both of them, especially since they ended up splitting the finals.
I’m especially happy for Florian who’s never really had one of those breakout finishes in big tournaments. I remember how just two weeks before Annecy he had told me that he didn’t expect to have any kind of good showing at the event and would thus just play a new and untested version of Burn with Sin Prodder. I told him that if he really didn’t expect anything, he should rather play Belcher, which would probably be much higher EV compared to what he originally had in mind. On top of that, I also strongly felt that Belcher was very well-positioned in the current metagae right now and was super excited to have Flo agree on playing the deck. We decided to hit up the world’s most famous Belcher operator, the people’s champion, the man-the-legend-the-shaman, Ben from Detroit, who provided us with the three golden rules of playing Goblin Charbelcher:
- NO FEAR!
- If you don’t have a win condition, mulligan.
- If you have five cards, you keep.
He also linked us towards a larger article about how to sideboard and operate “the people’s cannon” correctly, but as I learned at the event, Flo had only ever look at the three golden rules and ignored the rest, which worked our pretty well for him 🙂 Note that in Flo’s BoM list, there’s only 3 Xantid Swarms and an additional copy of Pyroblast (or was it REB?). This is because even though we tried to find the 4th copy all morning, none of the traders at the site had Swarms at reasonable prices, usually asking for several times the MKM value. Just something to keep in mind in case you’re looking to join the Belcher Cult.
So what actually happened on my side? Here’s a couple of interesting situations that happened throughout the tournament:
Badlands+Scrubland+Lotus Petal = ?
In the first round I was paired against a guy who just played a Badlands, Scrubland and Lotus Petal before I combo-killed him on my third turn. How would you have sideboared? Looking back at it now, I should have definitely put him on at least some kind of combo. Instead I foolishly assumed that because this was the first round, he was probably just playing some slow midrange deck to which he had added his “personal preference” of Lotus Petal. Game2 I am immediately punished for my hubris as my opponent puts an Iona, Shield of Emeria to the table on the third turn. Usually this would spell “Game Over” for me here but since he was actually playing Legacy DRAGON (!!!) Combo, he had to use Dance of the Dead to put his angel onto the battlefield — tapped and only ever untapping if he paid 1B in his Upkeep. Fortunately for me my opponent was still sitting on just a single land and had used Dark Ritual to power out his combo. This meant that my previously summoned Elves would be able to slowly grind him down for something like 2 damage a turn, later joined by Dryad Arbor and a mysterious, colorless Morph on my side. Things where looking like I could actually emerge victorious when my opponent finally found a Lotus Petal to untap his Iona. At this point we entered an awkward stand-off in which he couldn’t really afford to attack, but I had to also hold back as I couldn’t afford crushing my little dudes into his 7/7 every turn. My only hope was drawing exactly Pendelhaven which would have allowed me to actually get there despite losing a creature on every attack. My opponent’s outs were finding another land and a way to Animate Dead his Griselbrand. One could say the odds were slightly in his favor and he quickly overcame me. Still, I ended up winning the third and final game afterwards when my opponent tried to randomly combo into an open Deathrite Shaman.
Death’s Shadow in Legacy
When my 5th round opponent fetched for an untapped Watery Grave, I immediately knew what was up. While you could technically get to 4-1 with just shocklands, especially if you face a lot of matchups where your life total is rather irrelevant, the other option appeared much more likely: he was on Death’s Shadow. The matchup usually isn’t very hard for Elves, as you not only get to heavily pressure the opponent’s unhealthy life total with your random dudes, you also have a very easy time blocking Death’s Shadow as it lacks any kind of evasion. The deck in general looks pretty fun and as my opponent explained has an almost “unbeatable” first turn kill vs Shardless BUG: cycle Street Wraith and immediately Reanimate it. I mean it technically still runs into quite a lot of issues because of the life loss, but I’d love to see that play in a real match 🙂 #ValueReanimate
An unexpected Warning & Gang of Thieves
During one of my matches, I attacked with a creature equipped with Umezawa’s Jitte. After combat damage had been dealt I verbally announced my Jitte trigger and….”HEY! STOP! THIEF!” You might have already heard about the guy who randomly grabbed a Vintage deck from someone’s table and tried to make a run for it. He actually managed to get outside and jumped into his bright yellow getaway car that had already been waiting for him. Fortunately the police ended up catching them (seriously, a YELLOW getaway car?!) and from what I know the deck was returned to its rightful owner. How is this related to my match? Well the initial confusion about someone running through the hall, being chased by a couple of players was enough distraction to make me pass the turn without physically putting counters on my Jitte. My opponent and I realized this during his next attack step and I called a judge to sort things out. I assumed it would just be ruled as a missed trigger. I was
wrong. Since I had actually acknowledged the trigger but failed to perform the associated action of putting counters on the Jitte, it was ruled as a Failure to Maintain Game State, which meant that both I AND my opponent would receive a warning and the Jitte counters would be added. I was fine with the warning for me but heavily protested against my opponent receiving a warning. The way he told the story he didn’t hear me announce the Jitte trigger (it was right at the moment the aformentioned chaos ensued) and thus of course didn’t remind me to add the counters. In the end the judge still ruled that we’d both receive a warning, which seems technically correct to me, but given the situation, I think one could have refrained from giving or downgraded my opponent’s warning.
Oh, and by the way: there was another attempt at grabbing and rushing away with someone’s deck but the guy apparently fell down the stairs outside the venue and had to leave behind the cards scattered all over the place. As serious as it is, it kinda makes me laugh.
Sunday – Modern Main Event
Sunday, bloody Sunday. That’s all I can say about Modern. Here’s what I played — the Rodrigo Togores Special:
Round 1 — Eldrazi & Taxes — 2:1 WIN
Round 2 — Ad Nauseam — 1:1:1 DRAW
Round 3 — Esper Thopter — 2:0 WIN
Round 4 — UWr Control — 2:1 WIN
Round 5 — <I can’t remember> — LOSS
Round 6 — <I can’t remember> — WIN
Round 7 — UWr Control — 1:2 LOSS
Round 8 — Infect — 0:2 LOSS
4-3-1 for mediocrity
There’s not a lot to tell about the Sunday tournament except for that things didn’t really come together for me. Every time you lose to UWr Control with Ad Nauseam you probably didn’t play very well. I also remember my opponent being stuck on 2 lands until turn 6, yet I still couldn’t close out the game as I just didn’t find an Ad Nauseam in the deciding game. It was also the first tournament I placed against this new Eldrazi & Taxes deck. Let me tell you, that shit’s SCARY! I probably only won because my opponent wasn’t too familiar with my deck and made a couple of wrong decisions like Vialing in a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, expecting me to pay an extra mana for all my spells currently on the stack. And then there was the mirror. It’s crazy. And almost always a draw. My opponent actually had a huge advantage because of Laboratory Maniac in his maindeck which I didn’t account for in my strategy. I still managed to take the second game with a well-timed Duress into the combo, if I recall correctly. With just three minutes on the clock however, we decided to not even shuffle up for game3 and just agreed to an intentional draw.
So Reuschel, Flo and I scrubbed out of the Modern Event while Enton made it all the way into the Vintage Semifinals where he unfortunately lost to another Mentor deck. Afterwards we headed into downtown Annecy where Flo and Enton treated everyone to a great dinner in a restaurant by the canal — thanks a lot guys, really appreicated you sharing your newfound wealth with us! 🙂
Overall, it was just a really great and amazing weekend. The Bazaar of Moxen crew made it more than just worthwhile to travel to Annecy. It’s fascinating to see how professionally everything is handled, there are no delays and just a great environment to play Legacy in. I’m already looking forward to the next BoM. I’m really hoping to make their Super Finals by the end of the year, but it’s hard. Unless you Top4 (I believe) one of their Legacy Main Events you constantly have to get x-2 finishes to earn enough points for a qualification. But if there’s one something I’m good at, it’s losing exactly twice 😛
Spoils of the Vault!
PPS: Make sure to check out the Legacy Mediocre League, coming to Twitch in June 3rd! It’s basically the Legacy equivalent of all the other Super Leagues we have enjoyed in the past, but with more mediocrity!