- BREAKING THROUGH: BAZAAR OF MOXEN 2012 - by Ben Shirley (Views: 620)14th June 2012
Hello everyone and welcome back to Breaking Through. May 18th-20th was awesome for me as I attended my first Bazaar of Moxen (BOM) event, Bazaar of Moxen 6. BOM is the biggest, annual Eternal Event in Europe (and not a place where traders go to sell Moxes Mr Boughton). The event takes place in Annecy, France. Saturday is the Legacy main event with prizes paying out down to 64th Place and the winner gets to take home a complete set of Black-Bordered Power 9. Sunday is the Vintage Main Event with prizes paying out down to 32nd place and first place getting an unlimited set of Power 9.
WRITER PROFILE: Ben Shirley Lifetime Pro Tour Points: 0Magic Acheivements: 2010 UK Legacy Nationals top 8, Kent County Champion 2010, 2012 UK Legacy Open ChampionFavourite Format: LegacyFavourite Colour: BlueFavourite Card: Knight of the Reliquary
My adventure started on Wednesday May 16th by flying out to Geneva with Richard "Dickie” Plummer, Dave Robertshaw and Tom Hooker. Dave showed me his superior skills of queue cutting, so we were able to board the plane before all the disgruntled people behind us. The 60 minute flight went by quickly as we were able to draft Richard's Peasant Cube (commons and uncommons), when Tom wasn't dropping the cards on the floor that is. I managed to beat Tom's G/x ramp deck with my B/W removal.dec. Turns out Shriekmaw is a house.
Upon landing in Geneva Airport we decided to spend 9 Euros on train tickets to get to the town centre (the actual tickets we needed cost 3 Euros). So a plane ride and a train ride later, we were ready to take the coach over the border to Annecy. We arrived in the coach station around 8pm and the hotel was only 10 minute walk from the station. However, the route we had to take meant we had to walk through a pedestrian underpass, which we dubbed "Stab Alley”, as it was a great place to be if you wanted to get murdered. Admitted we also dubbed it a few other names but I can't write about them. We stayed at a Best Western approximately 15 minute walk from the venue. Dave and Tom were lucky enough to stay at the Hotel Baladin next door to the Venue (which I was sure booked out in January, when BOM 6 was announced). Although Dave did say he had to have argument with Lastminute.com over the phone in order to secure his booking.
Here was the view from our window:
Thursday was pretty uneventful. There was a Standard PTQ for Seattle, which I decided not to play as Standard isn't really my thing. Although Richard did and scrubbed out quite early, which was good as we were able to sight see in Annecy. We also found an awesome bar in the town centre called the Milton Pub, which sold a large number of Belgium beers.
I finally got round to playing some Legacy on Friday, with the "Big Legacy” event. 420 people signed up for a chance to win 10 Dual lands and 2 byes for the main event. Before I left for France I was having great difficulty deciding what to play. I had a feeling there would be a lot of combo, so it made sense to run a BUG list. As fortune would have it, the night before I flew, Drew Levin posted a BUG list from Italy that was good against RUG Delver Menace too. Sign me up!
BUG CONTROL MAIN DECK SIDEBOARD
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor2 Liliana of the Veil4 Brainstorm4 Force of Will2 Ponder1 Life from the Loam2 Pernicious Deed1 Counterspell1 Mana Leak1 Spell Pierce2 Spell Snare2 Ghastly Demise2 Thoughtseize2 Inquisition of Kozilek3 Innocent Blood32 spells
60 main deck cards
MAIN DECK ANALYSIS SIDEBOARD ANALYSIS
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 5 (8.33%)Artifacts: 0 (0.00%)Instants: 11 (18.33%)Sorceries: 10 (16.67%)Enchantments: 6 (10.00%)Planeswalkers: 5 (8.33%)Lands: 23 (38.33%)
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 1 (2.70%)Blue: 22 (59.46%)Black: 11 (29.73%)Green: 1 (2.70%)Multicoloured: 2 (5.41%)
Mana Curve Analysis:Avg. Casting Cost: 2.16Lowest Casting Cost: 1Highest Casting Cost: 5
0 Mana Spells: 01 Mana Spells: 182 Mana Spells: 63 Mana Spells: 64 Mana Spells: 35 Mana Spells: 4
Spell Colour Breakdown:Blue: 2 (13.33%)Black: 11 (73.33%)Green: 2 (13.33%)
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 1 (6.67%)Artifacts: 0 (0.00%)Instants: 8 (53.33%)Sorceries: 6 (40.00%)Enchantments: 0 (0.00%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 0 (0.00%)
I'm going to try and not talk too much about the deck, as it felt very mediocre and not a winner. The RUG Delver match up was definitely not as favourable as Mr Levin would have us believe. The idea behind the deck was a lower curve than traditional control lists by maximising on 1 mana discard and removal, facilitated by a mana base that plays 2 basic lands. It also takes advantage of Innocent Blood by cutting down on creatures and trying to win with Planeswalkers. Which really helped to deal with Nimble Mongoose.
I did tweak a few of the numbers a little. I cut a Jace and lilliana and replaced them with a couple of Ponders to avoid drawing opening sevens with multiple Planeswalkers and smooth out draws. I also cut a Bayou and replaced it with a Creeping Tar Pit (which is an awesome card), to help protect against Choke as always. Tar Pit also acted as another threat to replace Jace and doesn't die to Innocent Blood.
I overhauled most of the sideboard as I am a firm believer that people should not always directly copy a sideboard as it is designed for the specific tournament it was played in. There are some exceptions to this, like when a deck has been designed to be played as 75 cards or transformational sideboard etc. In fact, the original sideboard had 4 Tarmogoyfs for the RUG Delver match up. I decided to cut these as I didn't want to play them alongside 3 Innocent Blood's. Instead I decided to play a single Scavenging Ooze as it plays a similar role to Goyf and also gains life. It didn't hurt that it was also a 6th piece of graveyard hate. The dredge matchup is still terrible and 6 pieces of graveyard hate, is where I wanted to be. I also decided to play additional 2 Thoughtseizes instead of Flusterstorm to be more proactive in the combo matchups.
The mediocre deck resulted in a mediocre performance (read poor). Going 4 wins 4 Loses and 2 Draws in the Big Legacy event. Richard had an excellent performance of 7-2 with RUG Delver. Although he came 17th, with top 16 getting prizes. Poor Richard, his experience can be summed up in the next few pictures.
One thing that the Tournament Organiser did which was quite good was to allow people to hand in their decklists, when they registered the night before the Legacy main event. So those with byes, i.e. Me (1 Bye) and Richard (2 Byes) could have a lie in.
So on the Saturday me and Richard turned up to sling some cardboard along with 720 other people.
The picture above doesn't really do justice though, you can't really see the large seating area on the stage at the rear of the room, or the two adjoining rooms or the outside marquee for the truly unfortunate.
I'd like to say I won the Legacy main event, but my deck still wasn't good enough. I sat down for Round 2 to learn I was going to get beaten up by Esperblade. This incarnation of the BUG deck is soft to Lingering Souls, as it lacks
Night of Soul's Betrayaland Dread of Night. Game 1 I drew a lot of land and was unable to stop my opponent landing a Jace. Game 2 I just got beaten down with Souls' tokens.
Round 3 I was paired against Affinity and promptly dropped a game when I managed to stabilise with a Pernicious Deed on 6 life, but it couldn't destroy his 3 Darksteel Citadels and ultimate Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. Game 2 he dropped a turn 1 Pithing Needle named Pernicious Deed, but I had all the removal and although I had a Deed rotting away in my hand with no way to deal with a resolved Needle I got there with Tar Pit and Clique beats. Game 3 my opponent got turn 1 Needle on Deed again, but again I had all the removal and killed him with a huge Scavenging Ooze.
Round 4 I beat up on a BUG Countertop Deck. At one point my opponent set up the Counterbalance/Top lock, but I was able to drop a Pernicious Deed and destroy his board and follow up with a Jace. Taking it down in two games.
Going into round 4 at 3-1, I was starting to feel a bit better about the deck. I then sat down to play against Jean-Mary Accart, a Frenchman I had met back in GP Amsterdam. Jean-Mary (JM) and his friend were pioneering a B/U Planeswalker Stax deck I wrote about in a previous article. So surely he was playing the same deck. As it turns out him and his friend were jerks and brewed up an even better deck. I kept a hand on the play that was reasonably slow but would win an long attrition game and a Force of Will if he tried to land a Turn 1 Trinisphere. JM on his turn made Underground Sea into Sensei's Divining Top, not wanting to fall too far behind, as my hand was slow, I Force of Will'd the Top. JM stared at the FOW and shrugged putting the Top in the bin. Turns out this was my biggest punt of the weekend, as Turn 2 I ripped a Thoughtseize and found out this is what JM was playing:
DOOMSDAY MAIN DECK SIDEBOARD
4 Silence3 Orim's Chant1 Chain of Vapor4 Sensei's Divining Top4 Brainstorm4 Ponder4 Gitaxian Probe1 Ideas Unbound3 Burning Wish3 Doomsday2 Lotus Petal4 Lion's Eye Diamond4 Dark Ritual1 Rain of Filth42 spells
60 main deck cards
1 Doomsday2 Tendrils of Agony1 Infernal Contract1 Massacre1 Time Spiral1 Virtue's Ruin1 Empty the Warrens1 Duress1 Shelldock Isle1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn2 Serenity1 Slaughter Pact1 Chain of Vapor15 sideboard cards
MAIN DECK ANALYSIS SIDEBOARD ANALYSIS
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 0 (0.00%)Artifacts: 10 (16.67%)Instants: 13 (21.67%)Sorceries: 15 (25.00%)Enchantments: 4 (6.67%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 18 (30.00%)
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 7 (16.67%)Blue: 14 (33.33%)Black: 8 (19.05%)Red: 3 (7.14%)Colorless: 10 (23.81%)
Mana Curve Analysis:Avg. Casting Cost: 1.00Lowest Casting Cost: 1Highest Casting Cost: 3
0 Mana Spells: 101 Mana Spells: 252 Mana Spells: 43 Mana Spells: 3
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 2 (13.33%)Blue: 2 (13.33%)Black: 8 (53.33%)Red: 1 (6.67%)Colorless: 1 (6.67%)Land: 1 (6.67%)
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 1 (6.67%)Artifacts: 0 (0.00%)Instants: 2 (13.33%)Sorceries: 9 (60.00%)Enchantments: 2 (13.33%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 1 (6.67%)
I managed to get a hold of the decklist as JM's buddy made top 8 with the deck they brewed together. I promptly lost a few turns later. Game 2 I kept a hand with 3, yes 3! Force of Wills, a Brainstorm, Jace and 2 lands. How could I possibly lose? For those of you who have seen a little known film called Princess Bride, I think there's a very relevant quote. Me losing to storm with 3 Force of Wills is "INCONCEIVABLE!”.
So we played ‘Draw, Go' for a few turns and then I played a Jace with 3 Forces and 3 blue cards, how can I lose it's inconceivable. Well JM untapped and went:
JM - Orim's Chant
Me - Force it
JM - Silence
Me – Force it
JM – Silence
Me – Force it??
JM – Dark Ritual
Me – Erm O...K...?
JM – Dark Ritual, Blah, Blah, Blah, zzzzzz.... Tendrils you!
If you look at JM's decklist he plays 7 "Chant” effects and while I was holding onto my Forces and unable to draw any hand disruption, JM was just Pondering and Brainstorming his way to the perfect hand. Just as an aside, the one of Karakas in a storm deck is inspired.
After this round I caught up with my sidekick Richard who was having a slightly worst day after his 7-2 performance, going 2-3 (including his 2 Byes).
Round 6 I was paired against Goblins I quickly took game 1 with a mixture of counters, removal and Clique beats. I even had a Deed in hand which I kept hold of for multiple turns for the blow out, but I didn't even need it. Game 2 he made a turn 1 Lackey off of a Cavern of Souls and I didn't have the removal for it, so I promptly got swarmed by little green men. Game 3 wasn't much better as I was able to draw some removal to slow the pace of the game but Cavern of Souls blanked the counterspells I drew. It's rather frustrating to see your opponent play multiple
Goblins Piledrivers with a couple of Cavern's through a hand of cards with 2 Spell Snares.
A few rounds later me and Richard had started winning again, I have a vague recollection of my Round 8 opponent who I managed to defeat in well under 20 minutes...
That's right, my round 8 opponent was an awesome Rodenbach Grand Cru. You see, after round 6 me and Richard dropped from the main event and decided to play the pub game. After a few hours of the pub game we decided to go on an adventure to Lake Annecy at 11pm and then play another pub game. I purposely left out a few details of the pub games, due to possible defamation of mine and Richard's characters.
On the Sunday I finally got a proper lie in (after getting up at 8am every day previously). I finally made it down to the venue at about 1pm to find that there was some vintage being played. Well 300+ players arrived to battle it out for a set of white bordered Power 9 for first place. To be honest I think vintage is a fine format, but I think I am unlikely to ever play it, as there are far too few tournaments in the UK to justify the investment in it.
However a special mention should go to Nathan Gotlib, who narrowly missed out on Top 8, losing his ‘Win and In' match in the final round. Nathan did get a Turn 1 Time Vault/Voltaic Key on camera, which very few people can say they have done. Nathan's match can be seen here.
Another special mention should also go to Matt Harper who managed to pull himself together to get a very respectable 6-3 record in the vintage after a disastrous run in the Legacy main event.
By special request, I have to mention the story of a German player who requested a lady attended his hotel room. Only to wake up the next day to find that the lady had left before he had woken up and his bag containing his Magic card collection and passport missing. (Some details have been omitted to preserve the good taste of this article). Many people will write articles to tell you to be wary of your possessions at a magic event. But I guess the moral of the story here is that you should be wary of your possessions at all times, as people who do not have a vested interest in Magic will still rob you. The second lesson is that you can probably buy some cheap Power 9 cards from a French lady on the streets of Annecy.
Apart from a brief bit of sightseeing in Geneva, the rest of the weekend was uneventful. Well apart from Mike Wood's stories of epic juggling of bowling balls and the finale of his stand up show (which I can't reveal, you'll have to go watch him, it sounds awesome). 9 of us flew back to Gatwick on the Monday, to be welcomed by a 60 minute wait at Passport Control.
The Boys (by Lake Geneva):
Avacyn Restored in Legacy
Well if I shouldn't have played BUG Control, what should I have played? Well apart from JM's Doomsday deck (which I didn't have access to), maybe I should have picked a deck that improved with the addition of Avacyn Restored cards.
Cavern of Souls went straight into Goblins obviously. Although there were a few Goblin players at BOM, no Goblin decks have placed particularly well at either BOM or the recent Star City Games Open events. Goblins still isn't in the top tiers of the format yet and the following deck is going to keep it that way.
SNEAK AND SHOW BY JONATHAN HICKERSON MAIN DECK SIDEBOARD
60 main deck cards
MAIN DECK ANALYSIS SIDEBOARD ANALYSIS
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 8 (13.33%)Artifacts: 4 (6.67%)Instants: 12 (20.00%)Sorceries: 9 (15.00%)Enchantments: 8 (13.33%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 19 (31.67%)
Spell Colour Breakdown:Blue: 25 (60.98%)Black: 4 (9.76%)Red: 4 (9.76%)Colorless: 8 (19.51%)
Mana Curve Analysis:Avg. Casting Cost: 4.22Lowest Casting Cost: 1Highest Casting Cost: 15
0 Mana Spells: 41 Mana Spells: 122 Mana Spells: 03 Mana Spells: 64 Mana Spells: 45 Mana Spells: 76 Mana Spells: 07 Mana Spells: 08 Mana Spells: 49 Mana Spells: 010 Mana Spells: 011 Mana Spells: 012 Mana Spells: 013 Mana Spells: 014 Mana Spells: 015 Mana Spells: 4
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 4 (26.67%)Blue: 2 (13.33%)Black: 4 (26.67%)Red: 5 (33.33%)
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 0 (0.00%)Artifacts: 0 (0.00%)Instants: 7 (46.67%)Sorceries: 0 (0.00%)Enchantments: 8 (53.33%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 0 (0.00%)
Jonathan won a recent SCG open with Sneak and Show the deck that is threatening to become the new oppressive combo deck. All thanks to
Russell Brand, I mean Griselbrand. After ‘Sneaking' or ‘Showing' a Griselbrand into play, drawing 7 cards ensures that the combo player draws more gas or counter magic to protect their threat. Another line is that the Sneak and Show player can Sneak in a Griselbrand, draw a Lotus Petal and Emrakul in the 7 cards drawn pre combat and then crack the Petal to sneak Emrakul in as well, then swing with both. One other point that people forget is Emrakul's shuffle effect, whether it's Intuition for 3 x Emrakul or discarding Emrakul due to maximum hand size after drawing 7, the shuffle effect of Emrakul ensures the player does not run out of threats or fails to find them.
Jonathan has further stream lined the deck by adding 3 Misdirection, which essentially act as Force of Will 5-7. Resolving a 4 CMC enchantment early against a control player will mean the Sneak and Show player will have zero or possibly one mana to try and protect it. But rather than play 3
Dazes, Jonathan's choice to play Misdirection has allowed him 3 extra hard, free counters.
So what are the control decks looking like, with the addition of Avacyn Restored?
U/W CONTROL (AKA U/W MIRACLES) BY PHILLIP LORREN MAIN DECK SIDEBOARD
3 Sensei's Divining Top4 Brainstorm2 Counterspell4 Force of Will2 Spell Pierce2 Spell Snare4 Swords to Plowshares2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor1 Entreat the Angels4 Ponder3 Terminus34 spells
60 main deck cards
MAIN DECK ANALYSIS SIDEBOARD ANALYSIS
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 5 (8.33%)Artifacts: 3 (5.00%)Instants: 14 (23.33%)Sorceries: 8 (13.33%)Enchantments: 4 (6.67%)Planeswalkers: 5 (8.33%)Lands: 21 (35.00%)
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 12 (30.77%)Blue: 24 (61.54%)Colorless: 3 (7.69%)
Mana Curve Analysis: Avg. Casting Cost: 2.51Lowest Casting Cost: 1Highest Casting Cost: 6
0 Mana Spells: 01 Mana Spells: 192 Mana Spells: 53 Mana Spells: 24 Mana Spells: 55 Mana Spells: 56 Mana Spells: 3
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 4 (26.67%)Blue: 6 (40.00%)Black: 3 (20.00%)
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 1 (6.67%)Artifacts: 0 (0.00%)Instants: 10 (66.67%)Sorceries: 1 (6.67%)Enchantments: 3 (20.00%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 0 (0.00%)
Phillip top 4'd the same SCG open with a ‘stock' version of the new U/W miracles deck. Before Avacyn Restored, there was rumours that Terminus might see play in Legacy, but this was quickly overshadowed by the hype surrounding Temporal Mastery. A few weeks later and the U/W control deck is sporting 4 Terminus in the 75, with 3 in the main deck and no Temporal Mastery to be seen.
Probably more surprisingly is the addition of the miser's Entreat the Angels. The deck contains the full 4 Brainstorm and 3 Sensei's Divining Top to allow maximum use of the miracle mechanic. Which is definitely where you want to be, because although hard casting Force of Will does happen, hard casting Terminus seems less likely. But the real beauty of Terminus is the fact that it acts as a one mana Wrath of God for the Maverick match, which U/W was traditionally terrible against. So Terminus improves that match up greatly. Phillip is also playing the standard Glacial Fortress as his anti-Choke land of choice.
Playing ‘Top' in the main allows the control player to run Counterbalance out of the board to set up the lock versus RUG Delver. The addition of 2 Blue Elemental Blast is incredibly relevant, as it is able to destroy problem enchantments like
Sulfuric Vortex and Sneak Attack, or even just countering a Red Elemental Blast seems good.
I wouldn't be surprised if later deck lists cut the Spell Snares altogether, as the format is particularly strong against ‘Snare'. With the only real relevant target being a Counterbalance in the mirror match. Sneak and Show is completely immune to Spell Snare. Therefore having Spell Snare in a control deck with Sneak and Show being the most popular combo deck seems like a lack of adapting to the metagame. Gone are the days where 4 Spell Snare were the straight replacement for 4 Mental Misstep. Now more than ever, the control deck is stretched to its limit to ensure it has an answer for everything.
Thanks for reading, as always you can follow me on twitter using @flouncerat or alternatively you can comment below. I will be writing my column a monthly basis from now on, so you should expect the new Breaking Through on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.
Ben 'Flounce' Shirley
- No Comments