More New Decks! Are We Having Fun Yet?
A slug's work is never done. This is my third edit of the "New Decks" section. When I see a cool deck to throw at you, I put it together and throw it on the griddle. I sprinkle in a dash of card information, pretty up the dead space, and put it on a plate for you. I wipe my brow, and let out a sigh of relief. Repeat. Repeat. I think I will stop with this edit, and call it a Time Warp when this article comes out next week. So here I am at edit number three...
... which leads me to say Woo hoo! New stuff is still coming out! GP Yokohama is a month and a half away, GP Columbus a month later. I wonder what kind of madness we'll see between now and then... Woo hoo!
What can I say? I do love them mashups! This is a WRUG version of the UBR Evil Twin from GP Turin. This version uses counters, instead of disruption, to get the job done, and also packs a Gifts Package main deck. I am grouping this type of deck with the Splinter Twin family.
This deck threw me for a double loop. I saw some cards that made me think it was storm, at first. As I looked closer, there wasn't a single card with Storm in the deck! The wincon appears to be getting the Pyromancer Ascension active with the draw and filter spells, then recycling "twinned" Lightning Bolts with Noxious Revival. But what do I call it? Do I lump it with Storm? Do I lump it with R(x)DW? It has many aspects of Storm decks, but the wincon appears to be RDW Burn. I still have no clue what the "official" archetype is, but I'm calling it Pyromancer Unstorm, and leaving it in it's own category.
Well, well, well! What do we have here? This evil, twisted, nasty deck treads on dangerous ground, often putting the pilot in bolt range during the swing for lethal. But when it connects, it connects hard! Using phyrexian mana in Apostle's Blessing to get your guys through, and pumping up Immolating Souleater, makes Death's Shadow HUGE! And if it's not quite lethal, just throw on a Tainted Strike and kill your opponent with poison counters.
EDIT: LOL! *shaking fist* Damn you, Gavin Verhey! :) Great minds and all that rot. With both Gavin and I bringing this deck to the masses, I foresee a few more appearances of this monstrosity, and it's cousin, UB(r) Suicide Delver, in the lists.
The following decks aren't really "new", just new variants on existing archetypes. But I thought them unusual enough to be worth mentioning. I don't think I have to go into much detail about how these decks work, because we all know how the basic archetypes in question play.
This is basically a UWR Delver with a G splash for the Ancient Grudge Flashback, and Pendelhaven to pump up Hawks and unflipped Delvers.
This is basically UR Gifts Tron with a G splash for Firespout, Noxious Revival, and the Ancient Grudge Flashback..
This basically G Tron with a U splash for Thirst for Knowledge, and the Academy Ruins/Mindslaver lock.
The Tiers, Revisited
It's a Whole New Ball Game!
It's been a while since I took a look at the Tiers, so I think it's time to visit them once again. I am looking at only the decks that have appeared so far in the second quarter of Scheduled Events. What you're seeing here is basically three weeks worth of results. Obviously, there are several archetypes that have not shown up yet: Vampires, Shamanism, Summoning Trap, etc. There are also some new archetypes and mashups making themselves known.
I plan on revisiting the tiers every month or so, towards the end of the month. I started this visit early, so I could get a feel of what's out there, and have a solid "baseline" to work with. As far as what I am basing my Tiers on... Tier 1 are decks that consistently show up, and place well. Tier 1.5 are decks that consistently show up, as well. However, they don't show up with the same frequency, or put up the same consistency in the 4-0 payouts. Tier 2 decks have shown up at least once, and placed 3-1, perhaps with an occasional 4-0 appearance.
The borders between the Tiers are very fuzzy, and some decks that should (in theory) qualify for a particular Tier are set higher or lower based on performance in the previous quarter. Please note that archetypes in each Tier are presented in alphabetical, not ranking, order!
Archetypes that are marked with * each have their own little sub-metas, as you saw in last week's Wall of Voodoo. :) Some of these sub-metas have developed in the past week...
... which makes me once again go Woo hoo! Despite some end-of-season doomcrier's predictions, the Modern meta continues to flourish, with new decks slipping in all the time. I've edited the introductory "new decks" section several times since starting this article, and still am holding back some for next week.
Can Go Either Way
Can Go Either Way
RUG Pyromancer Unstorm
5c Pox Rack
Infect / Infect Affinity
You'll notice that some of the decks have shifted up or down considerably since last time. Boros has dropped from T1/1.5 down to T2: apparently no one plays Boros anymore. Zoo has moved from T2 to T1.5/2: Zoo has been making a surprising comeback lately, R(x)DW has moved from T2 to T1.5: It's numbers have been that good this quarter!
Ham on Wry: The Erik Friborg Celebration Classic
Rather than dwell on the death of Erik Friborg, I've decided to spit in Death's face, and celebrate his life instead. Since his birthday is coming up soon, I'm organizing a tournament in Hammy's favorite format:
Date: Friday, May 4th, 2012 Happy Birthday, Hammy!
Start Times: 1800 GMT (Euro Event) and 9:30PM Eastern (US Event), "last minute" registration will open 90 minutes prior to start time. Registration will close 15 minutes before Event start. These Events are free to enter, and you may play both Events.
Format: Constructed Classic
Structure: 4 (or more**) rounds of Swiss pairing, followed by a T8 playoff (All pairings & standings will be generated by DCI-Reporter)
Announcements and game chat: /join HAM
Registration and results: /join HAMCOM (Please do not chat in this room) Registration will close 15 minutes before Event start.
Decklists will not be required. We request no deck changes between games (sideboarding during matches is obviously ok), but the "honor system" will be used.
You may pre-register by letting me, BlippyTheSlug (US Event), or _Kumagoro_ (Euro Event), know you want to play. Don't be shy. PM us in the MTGO client and say "I want to play!"
Players, pairings, and standings for both Events, along with the current Prize Pool, can be seen here. You can check to see if you have been pre-registered by looking here.
You will notice some discrepancies in the Projected Payout between the two Events. This is due to two things: clan based pledges, and individual bounties. Some of these pledges were made before the Euro Event had even been imagined. Everything else, I was told basically "give this away as you see fit", so I split it right down the middle as best I could. This is all happening so fast... I encourage active European clans and playgroups to get together, then talk to _Kumagoro_ online, and get support going for the Euro Event. It's only a little over a week away now, so hop to it!
Current Pledges and Donations:
Wizards of the Coast has pledged 62 IPA Draft Sets!
Marlon MTGO has pledged 150 tickets bot credit!
Alphabot has pledged 1 ticket bot credit to every player* (up to 100)!
CardBot has pledged 100 tickets bot credit!
MTGO Academy has pledged 50 PLC Boosters!
MTGO Traders has pledged $100 in five gift certificates!
TheCardNexus has pledged 100 tickets bot credit!
The MTGO Bazaar has pledged 100 tickets bot credit!
SharpBot has pledged 5 IID Draft Sets!
ValueBot has pledged 1 ticket bot credit to every player* (up to 100)!
Clan CerealKillaz has pledged 60, and donated 20 tickets! (60 to Winner-US Event, 20 "door prizes")
A CK T-shirt to the highest placed CK member! (US Event)
A second T-shirt if the event winner is a CK member! (US Event)
Clan Yawgmoth has pledged a playset of FOIL Snapcaster Mage! (US Event)
AJ_Impy has pledged a bounty of one playset FOIL Circle of Protection: Red to any player* losing all rounds to RDW!
Anonymous has donated 10 tickets!
Anonymous has donated 5 tickets and a Momir Vig Avatar! (Euro Event)
caliban17 has donated a bounty of three Garruk Wildspeaker (PRM, PRM FOIL, and CMD) to the highest placed player* who attained a life total of at least seventy five in one game! (US Event)
Emoticon has donated 68 Tickets and 2 RGD Draft Sets!
grapplingfarang has pledged 5 M12, 2 ISD, and 2 DKA Boosters on various bounties!
joekewwl has donated a playset of FOIL M12 Solemn Simulacrum! (US Event)
JustSin has pledged a bounty of one Plateau to the highest placed RDW deck with at least one match win! (Euro Event)
Winter.Wolf has pledged a bounty of one Plateau to the highest placed RDW deck with at least one match win! (US Event)
xkorpio has donated a bounty of 1ea FOIL Channel, Fastbond, and Regrowth to the highest placed player* w/out FoW! (Euro Event)
SBena_Bot has pledged 10 tickets bot credit to the Hosts!
Approximate Prize Pool Value: $2,766.46!
Current Projected Payout:
All proceeds from Hammybot to Erik Friborg's family
$60 donation to Hammybot in both Winner's names
1st - US Event: 144 various Tickets/bot credit / Playset FOIL Snapcaster Mage / 2 IID Draft Set / 9 IPA Draft Set
1st - Euro Event: 80 various bot credit / 3 IID Draft Set / 9 IPA Draft Set
2nd - US 56/Euro 53 various Tickets/bot credit / 6 IPA Draft Set
T4 - US 30/Euro 28 various Tickets/bot credit / 4 IPA Draft Set
T8 - US 15/Euro 14 various Tickets/bot credit / 2 IPA Draft Set
17th place player* in each events - 17 Tickets
18th place player* - US Event - playset FOIL M12 Solemn Simulacrum
First fifty players* in each event - 2 various bot credit
Last twenty five players* in each event - 1 PLC Booster
("Double dipping" is possible and allowed if less than 75 players*.)
Lowest placed player* who started 0-2 - 1 RGD Draft Set
Highest placed player* w/out FoW - Euro Event - 1 FOIL Channel, Fastbond, and Regrowth
Last Place Player* - Euro Event: 1 Momir Vig Avatar
1st active ZEN Ascension of each type - US Event - 1 M12 Booster
1st win via Door to Nothingness ability - US Event - 1 ISD + 1 DKA Boosters
1st win via Near-Death Experience ability - US Event - 1ISD + 1DKA Boosters
Highest placed player* who attained a life total of at least 75 in one game - US Event - 3 Garruk Wildspeaker (PRM, PRM FOIL, CMD)
Highest placed RDW player* in each event - 1 Plateau
Any player* who lost all rounds to RDW - 1 Playset FOIL Circle of Protection: Red
Highest placed CK player* in US Event - 1 CK T-shirt, +1 CK T-shirt if Winner is CK
Twenty five random players* who did not receive any other prizes*** - 1 Ticket
* A player is defined as entering the event and playing all rounds**. A bye is considered playing in a round. Failure to appear for a round is considered a drop, unless prior arrangements are made. Any drops prior to pairing announcement for final round** will be ineligible for any prizes. Any leftover credits or boosters from the Euro Event will go to the US Event. :) We're basically paying people to play!
** The base is four rounds. If we hit 64 players, we will go 5 rounds. If we hit 128 players, it will be 6 rounds. I think it possible we may go 5, and would give birth to a live insurance salesman on the spot if we get enough players to go 6. The Gods forbid we go to 7.
*** After both Events are over, all players* from both Events who did not otherwise receive a prize will be put into a pool, and up to twenty five picked at random. Any Tickets left will be donated to Hammybot.
Any left over bot credits/boosters from the Euro Event will be applied to the US Event. Anything left over after that will go to Hammybot.
More pledges, bounties, and donations are still coming in. Some of the people I've been in contact with need a little time to organize, and I am still pounding on doors and making a nuisance of myself. You can see the current Prize Pool and tentative distribution here. Key word is tentative. This gala bloodfest is still a week and a half away, and I'm sure there will be small changes here and there.
If you want to make a personal pledge, clan-based pledge, bounty of some sort, a la Winter.Wolf & JustSin, or a direct donation like Anonymous, let me know. There are still a couple more weeks before this glorious bloodbath. I can also broker "direct donations" to Erik's family via Hammybot, or you can help support Erik's family by buying Erik's cards from Hammybot. Speaking of which, Hammybot is currently being stocked, and should be up and running soonish. I expect a shout will be heard when it does.
The number of "pay you to play" seats in both events has gone from fifty to seventy five, and another twenty five "door prizes" added! I do believe we've already set a record for largest prize support in an online PRE, and pledges/donations continue to come in. We will probably set a record for online PRE attendance, as well. I don't know what these numbers currently are, but the first fifty seats in the US Event have already been filled. I strongly encourage you to pre-register by PMing me in the MTGO Client. You can usually find me during the day hanging out in the Just For Fun room. You can also let me know if you want to play in the Euro Event. I have no desire to be mobbed by seventy people wanting to register at 9:28PM. I'm sure _Kumagoro_ has no desire to be besieged at 1758 GMT, either. So I am closing registration fifteen minutes prior to start time. This will give Kuma and I each time to gather our thoughts, have a shot of Jägermeißter, and get ready to take you to an unknown frontier... Woo hoo!
With this much chum in the waters, I expect a large turnout, with a great many sharks. Erik was no carebear when it came to gameplay. In fact, I'd call him downright cut-throat. I expect a significant percentage of players showing up to not be carebears, either. To be clear: there will be sharks. Oh yes. There will be sharks.
Overdrive! #43 Round-up
Won against WB Tokens, RDW Sligh, RDW Burn, Goblinstorm.
Won against MBC, Snappy Teachings, WU Tallowisp, lost to W Tokens.
Won against Turbofog, Storm, lost to W Tokens.
Won against Goblin Storm (not Goblinstorm!), Soul Sisters, lost to Goblinstorm.
Goblin Storm = Goblin deck with Storm, Storm Elemental; Goblinstorm = Storm deck w/Empty the Warrens as wincon.
Eurodrive! #27 Round-up
With this win, apaulogy became the first four time Eurodrive! champion! Let's see if he can top that with a hat trick!
Won against UW Polymorph, Kithkin, UB Zombies, RDW Burn.
For me, the dividing line between RDW Burn and RDW Sligh is twelve Creatures. This deck falls on the Burn side of that scale.
Won against BYE, Affinity, UB Suicide Delver, lost to Jund.
Won against BYE, Snappy Teachings, lost to Jund.
Won against BYE, RDW Sligh, lost to RDW Burn.
Where Angels Fear To Tread #4
3-1: romellos, Doqpelganger, justcanceled, SBena, Mikolaj
Players, pairings, results, and standings can be found here.
All decks for WAFTT #4 can be found here.
A quick note on the Ham On Wry card: I tried to follow protocol as best I could, Including artist. The USAF_E-8_RET is the author of a post I found with this art via Google Image Search for "flying pig". Thus I used that moniker as the artist credit.
Another Thunderdome PRE in Standard format is here: Friday Night Magic Massacre! By my count, that makes four now! It's wonderful for me to get a chance to actually play in them instead of running them! I'm taking my "Mono" B Zombie deck to both. There are plans in the making for yet more Thunderdome PRE on weekends! Results: Lost FNMM in Round 1 to Titan Ramp Run. Won SNB Round 1 against WG Sundial Tokens, lost Round 2 to Puresteel.
Another week gone by, and Extended and Kaleidoscope are still dead. No one plays these formats. Yet we are still forced to view their rotting corpses whenever we enter the Scheduled Events room. I'm starting to think this is necrophilatic voyeurism on the part of the event scheduling folks. Perhaps now, with the introduction of Cube Draft, these corpses will be hauled away. We can only hope.