Rather than entering the local Innistrad Game Day and writing a tournament report, I decided to do something a little different. Tournament reports aren’t really my style, since I can’t focus on the game and take notes on what happened at the same time and I never remember in enough detail after the fact. So here is my coverage on the Antics, Plymouth Innistrad Game Day.
We had 20 players for the event, so they all settled down for 4 rounds with a cut to top 4. As is standard with all the game days, every participant would get a full art Diregraf Ghoul, and the top 8 would get full art foil Elite Inquisitor. Additional prizes were provided in the form of Innistrad boosters and previous Gateway foils.
With players registered and pairings announced, we settled down for round one.
Matthew â€œMoominâ€ Cheetham – He was playing a UW/b concoction I’ve dubbed Flashblade. It’s similar to the old Caw-blade decks, but with Flash creatures instead of Squadron Hawks and plenty of card draw with the new Flashback spells like Forbidden Alchemy and the reprinted Think Twice.
John Partridge – He was playing a Mono-Black control list that he was experimenting with a light Blue splash for Forbidden Alchemy. The deck features some must answer threats like Lashwrithe and Phyrexian Obliterator with such answers as Doom Blade and Go for the Throat.
Moomin wins the dice roll and chooses to go first. They both keep their opening seven without much deliberation. Then since they are both playing control decks, they settle into a pattern of Draw/Land/Go for the first few turns.
On his third turn, John tries for a Sword of Body and Mind, but Moomin has the Mana Leak to send it straight to the graveyard. Moomin makes a land and passes his own turn. John tries for more equipment, this time tapping out for a Lashwrithe. However, Moomin has a Snapcaster Mage, giving his earlier Mana Leak flashback. The Lashwrithe quickly joins the Sword in the graveyard.
Moomin takes full advantage of John being tapped out. Putting his fifth land onto the battlefield, he casts, then equips a Sword of Feast and Famine to the Snapcaster Mage and swings in for 4. John is unable to stop it and discards a Swamp to the swords effect.
John isn’t without answers though. On his turn, he lays his own fifth land and attempts for a Black Sun’s Zenith at 3. It’s met be a Think Twice, but then is allowed to resolve, killing the Snapcaster.
With nothing on the board to affect, John passes his turn. The turn is eventful though, as Moomin flashes back Think Twice, then casts Forbidden Alchemy, putting Dismember, Mana Leak and Timely Reinforcements into his bin.
On his own turn, Moomin once again goes for the animate Inky, equip Sword plan. This time though, John has an answer; Dismember. Moomin, however, has a fresh Snapcaster to give his recently binned Mana Leak flashback, but John has the 3 mana to pay.
Now, with Moomin ending his turn tapped out, John take the opportunity to cast a Wurmcoil Engine. He passes the turn, ready to put pressure on Moomin.
Unfortunately, Moomin has an answer. An Oblivion Ring comes down to take out the Wurmcoil, and then the Snapcaster and a Sword-wielding Inky come in for more damage.
John tries for another Black Sun’s Zenith but it’s met with a Dissipate.
On his own turn, Moomin comes in with the team again, including a second but unequipped Inky. John has his own Inky to block the equipped one, but the resulting damage puts him to 7 poison counters.
His own turn sees him make a Lashwrithe, leaving his hand empty. He is unable to stop Moomin equipping his final Inky and coming in for the final 3 lethal Poison counters to take game one.
Both players reach for their Sideboards and make some changes for game two. John elects to go first for this game and takes out 2 Lashwrithe, 1 Sorin’s Vengeance, 1 Grave Titan and 1 Army of the Damned. He replaces them with 2 Mimic Vat, 2 Torpor Orb and 1 Doom Blade, the Doom Blade being an extended art alter, done by himself.
Both players keep their opening hands again and the game settles back in Draw-Go.
John again has the first play of the game, with a third turn Mimic Vat, which resolves. This is followed by a fourth turn Praetor’s Grasp; it’s such a seldom played card that Moomin has to stop to read it. Realizing what it does, he pulls the trigger on a Mana Leak to send it away.
Trying to keep up the pressure, John misses his land drop, but goes for a fifth turn Distress. Like in the first game, Moomin flashes in a Snapcaster Mage to re-use the Mana Leak on this threat to his hand.
Moomin’s turn sees that Snapcaster get in for 2 damage, and then his turn ends with John’s Forbidden Alchemy.
John has a Torpor Orb for his sixth turn, which resolves. Moomin then finishes John’s turn with a Forbidden Alchemy.
Snapcaster comes in for another 2 in Moomin’s turn, but John has a plan. He animates an Inkmoth Nexus and trades with the mage in combat. He then places the Snapcaster under the Mimic Vat, to give him an endless supply of Snapcasters. Shame the Torpor Orb stops him giving his spells Flashback. Post combat, Moomin casts a Sword of Feast and Famine.
John passes his turn with six mana open and the Snapcaster still under the Mimic Vat.
On his own turn, Moomin animates his own Inky and equips it with the Sword. John would love to kill it in response to the equip, but the only kill spell in his hand is Go For the Throat, unable to target the Inky even before the equip.
John tries to gain back position by making a Phyrexian Obliterator on his turn. Moomin pauses to read it then lets it resolve. End of turn, he goes into the tank and decides he is better off Dismembering it. John places it into the Graveyard, forgetting his Mimic Vat. If he had remembered it was there, placing the Obliterator could have swung the game in his favour…
Moomin’s turn sees the equipped Inky coming in again, with John having another Swamp to discard to it. End of turn, John uses the Mimic Vat to make a Snapcaster token, then makes a second on his own turn to come in for 4 damage. Moomin has Midnight’s Haunting which he uses to make 2 Spirit tokens to block and trade though.
Moomin makes a second Sword, but luckily for John he doesn’t have the mana to equip both to the Inky, who only comes in carrying one Sword. John has an Inky of his own to animate and block with though.
John’s Snapcaster token comes in for 2 damage as he finally is able to take the initiative in the game.
Both players pass their turns, looking for the opportunity to take over the game, Moomin taking the first shot by casting Forbidden Alchemy at the end of John’s turn. It puts Dissipate, Buried Ruin and a Plains into the graveyard.
On his own turn, Moomin casts an Oblivion Ring and takes John’s Mimic Vat, consigning the Snapcaster Mage to permanent exile. John flashes back a Forbidden Alchemy at the end of turn, but doesn’t have the 3 mana left to stop Moomin Mana Leaking it.
John’s turn is uneventful until Moomin casts another Forbidden Alchemy, binning 3 land.
A couple more turns of no plays from both players, with Moomin especially loving the two cards in hand; a pair of Timely Reinforcements. John has a lower life total and no creatures in play, leaving the cards reading – 2W, Sorcery, Do Nothing.
John’s turn finally sees some action, a Despise aimed at Moomin’s 3 card hand. Moomin flashes in a Snapcaster Mage, unable to give anything Flashback due to the Torpor Orb, but leaving just the Timely behind making the Despise useless. However, this makes John’s hand useful, as that Go For the Throat from earlier is able to kill the Mage!
A couple more empty turns see Moomin flashing back Forbidden Alchemy on John’s turn pitching Midnight Haunting, Timely Reinforcements and a land.
John tries for a Bloodgift Demon on his turn, but Moomin Dissipates it, then Moomin flashes back his final Alchemy, pitching 3 more land.
Moomin’s turn sees him animate a fresh Inky, but John has his sideboarded Doom Blade to attempt to kill it. Moomin’s response is to Think Twice, Think Twice again then let it happen. Moomin animates a second, equips it and sends it in, but John also has one to block with.
John has another uneventful turn, during which Moomin makes a Snapcaster Mage. However, when Moomin goes to equip it in his turn, John has another Go For the Throat. Moomin Thinks Twice again then passes the turn.
John passes the turn once more and Moomin has another Snapcaster. This one lives through his upkeep, gets both Swords and swings at John. Moomin flashes back a Think Twice before the untap trigger and John discards the only card in his hand, a Swamp.
John still has nothing to do, while at the end of the turn Moomin thinks twice three more times then goes to his turn.
This leaves him with one card left in deck, allowing John to think that all he has to do is live long enough for Moomin to run out of Library. Moomin comes in with his Snapcaster again and passes the turn.
John passes again, trying to find a way of surviving 2 more turns, but at the end of his Moomin casts White Sun’s Zenith to make some cats and shuffle the card back into his library. John realizes that even if he could stop the army of cats, Moomin can do that every turn and never deck out, and so he concedes the game.
2-0 to Moomin
Dan Eggle – He was playing a UW control home brew. It’s basically a mix of classic style control cards, with Gideon Jura to back it up.
Sam Hough – He was playing UB Control. Not quite a stock list, it contains many of the cards you would expect to see.
That’s right folks. For our feature matches we have back to back Control mirrors. You can’t imagine how fun this was to write up….
Both third turns end with the opponent casting a Think Twice. Sam even flashes his back at the end of Eggle’s fourth turn.
This carries on for a couple more turns, with Eggle flashing back a Think Twice and Sam discarding 2 Disperses and a Black Sun’s Zenith due to having too many cards during his search for land.
Eventually, Sam is the first to pull the trigger on an action spell; Spellskite. No response from Eggle meant that it hit the Battlefield. Eggle’s own turn saw a Ponder, with him not shuffling after seeing the three cards.
There are a couple more non-turns, and then a decisive battle happens. Sam casts a Solemn Simulacrum, and Eggle attempts to Dissipate it. Sam has a Dissipate of his own, but Eggle has a Mana Leak for that. The exchange sends the Sad Robot to the graveyard and leaves Sam tapped out.
Sam’s Spellskite attacks Gideon, alongside an animated Inkmoth Nexus. They take a counter off Gideon, and then end of turn Eggle uses a Ghost Quarter on the Inky.
Eggle’s turn simply sees Gideon Assassinate the Spellskite and pass.
Sam passes, and then in Eggle’s turn Gideon charges at Sam for 6 damage. Sam tries to Doom Blade him, but Eggle has a [cardNegate[/card] and Sam takes the damage.
Sam casts a Grave Titan in his turn, which resolves. However, Eggle has a Day of Judgment in his turn, before running in for 6 more damage with Gideon.
Sam tries for a Wurmcoil Engine, but it meets Eggle’s Dissipate. Gideon comes in to drop Sam to 2. Sam ends Eggle’s turn by using Nephalia Drownyard on Eggle, but when he draws a land on his turn, he scoops.
Both players look to their sideboards to try and cement an advantage for game two. Sam, electing to go first takes out 2 Spellskites, 2 Disperse and 1 Blue Sun’s Zenith to put in 1 Phyrexian Metamorph, 1 Tribute to Hunger, 1 Surgical Extraction, 1 Memoricide and 1 Life’s Finale.
Eggle switches out 1 Jace, Memory Adept, 2 Negates and 1 Oblivion Ring for 2 Dismember and 2 Timely Reinforcements.
Both players keep their 7 card hands, but Eggle has the first play with a turn 1 Ponder, looking for land.
They settle into the Draw-Go pattern, though Eggle had a Think Twice at the end of Sam’s third turn. This doesn’t find him the land he needs, so he misses his next land drop while Sam casts his own Think Twice at the end of the turn.
Eggle finally sees his third land, while Sam flashes back the Think Twice.
Sam then makes the first aggressive move of the game by animating an Inkmoth Nexus and attack with it. Eggle takes the Poison counter and then does nothing in his own turn. Sam ends Eggle’s turn with another Think Twice, then in his own turn casts a Solemn Simulacrum. Unfortunately, like in game one, this causes a counter war. Eggle Mana Leaks it, Sam has a Mana Leak for that, but Eggle has a Negate for Sam’s Leak, letting him win the war again, leaving Sam tapped out.
Sam’s turn sees him cast a Grave Titan, which resolves.
Eggle simply casts a Phantasmal Image in his turn, copying the Titan and uses Jace to mill Sam for ten more.
Sam attacks Jace with his Titan and both Zombies. Eggle is happy to set up the trades in combat, leaving Sam with two fresh Zombies. Sam follows up with a post combat flashed back Forbidden Alchemy. Eggle responds to this by flashing back a Think Twice.
Eggle starts to put the boot in by cast Gideon Jura. He then plus two’s Gideon to protect Jace in combat and mills Sam for ten more.
Sam sends both his Zombies and an animated Inky at Gideon to drop him to 3 counters, then casts a Wurmcoil Engine.
Eggle spends his turn sealing the deal. He casts and resolves Sun Titan. This brings back his Phantasmal Image, copying Wurmcoil Engine. Gideon gains two more Loyalty, then Jace removes the final 8 cards from Sam’s deck, giving Eggle the win.
2-0 to Eggle
Scott Mitchell – He was playing Wolf-Run Red
Josh Pink – He was playing UB control.
I don’t have anything to say on their decks, as they chose this round to ID to try and secure spots in the top four. Instead they played a game of Commander, lending me a deck. I was lent Jhoira of the Ghitu, while they both played Karador, Ghost Chieftain. I never drew anything powerful, despite managing to string together four consecutive turns at one point. I mostly hampered their efforts and slowed them down until Scott was able to take over the game and win.
Round Four Feature Match – Lawrence Partridge vs Greg Andrews
Lawrence Partridge – Lawrence is the younger brother of John, from our round one feature match. He was playing his own Red/Black aggro deck. He has only recently started playing, so his deck is mostly Innistrad cards.
Greg Andrews – He was playing Tempered Steel. He played a generic list for the deck, having had some recent success with it.
Finally, an Aggro match-up to report on.
Lawrence makes a Stromkirk Noble and passes the turn.
Greg animates his Inky and swings with the team for 4 damage and 2 Poison counters. Lawrence trades the Noble for the Memnite and takes the rest.
Lawrence makes a Typhoid Rats and attacks Greg back for 2 with the Ghoul.
Greg makes an Etched Champion with active Metalcraft and swings with the Skirge and the Pest for 2.
Lawrence makes the decisive play of the game; Olivia Voldaren!
Greg pays 2 life to make a Spined Thopter and attacks with just the Champion, dropping Lawrence to 10 life.
Lawrence makes another Typhoid Rat, then uses Olivia to kill Greg’s Vault Skirge and Signal Pest, before attacking with a Rat and the Ghoul.
Greg makes another Spined Thopter to keep Metalcraft then drops Lawrence to 8 with the Champion.
Lawrence kills a Thopter with Olivia then attacks for 10 with his team. Greg is forced to chump Olivia with his Inky.
Greg makes a second Champion to continue to keep Metalcraft and attacks for 4, dropping Lawrence to 4 life.
However, Lawrence kills the Spined Thopter with Olivia, then the untapped Champion and swings with his team for the win.
Greg doesn’t sideboard due to not having one, while Lawrence takes out 3 Go For the Throats and puts in 3 Victim of Night. Greg elects to go first again, and keeps his seven, while Lawrence mulligans to six cards.
Greg opens up with Plains, Mox Opal, [/card]Glint Hawk[/card] returning the Mox to hand, Mox Opal.
Lawrence makes a tapped Diregraf Ghoul.
Greg’s second turn is Memnite, Inkmoth Nexus, Glint Hawk returning Mox Opal, Mox Opal, Porcelain Legionnaire and attacking with the original Glint Hawk for 2.
Lawrence makes the Legionnaire a Victim of Night, then passes the turn.
Greg makes a Shrine of Loyal Legions, then animates Inky and attacks for 4 and 1 Poison counter.
Lawrence makes one of the Glint Hawks a Victim of Night and attacks with his Ghoul.
Greg casts a second Shrine and attacks Lawrence for 3.
Lawrence casts a Curse of Stalked Prey and attacks with his Ghoul. Inky leaps to Greg’s defense.
Greg casts a Signal Pest and attacks for 3.
Lawrence casts 2 Bloodcrazed Neonates and passes the turn.
Greg attacks with the Pest and a Hawk to put Lawrence to 5.
Lawrence summons another Diregraf Ghoul and attacks with both his Neonates. Greg Dispatches one and trades his Memnite for the other.
In Greg’s turn, he casts Tempered Steel to allow the Signal Pest and Glint Hawk to come in for lethal.
Lawrence makes a Typhoid Rat while Greg makes an Inky and a Mox Opal, but doesn’t have the explosive start of the previous two games.
Lawrence casts a Bloodcrazed Neonate and Greg follows up with a Glint Hawk Idol. Lawrence’s third turn is another Rat and an attack.
Greg animates both his Inkys in his turn to Dispatch the Neonate and then attacks for 2 Poison counters.
Lawrence’s attack puts Greg to 4 and then he makes another Crossway Vampire.
Greg draws another land, punctuating his severe mana flood and passes the turn.
Lawrence attacks for 8 so Greg animates both Inkys and his Glint Hawk Idol. Greg takes 2 after blocking and Lawrence follows up with a Diregraf Ghoul.
Greg casts a Porcelain Legionnaire and passes the turn.
Lawrence comes in with the team for the win
2-1 to Lawrence
The top four decided to bring the day to an early close by going for a prize split.
All in all though, everyone had fun and everyone walked away with at least a Diregraf Ghoul and a booster of Innistrad.
Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing,