There'll be a common theme running thru this report - pilot error. From mulligan mistakes to play mistakes I had a miserable day I can only blame on myself starting right in round 1 .
I was playing U/w/b bomberman, my own build (decklist coming when I get home). It featured a main deck serenity, 3 paradoxical outcomes, 1 gifts ungiven and a tendrils back up to the pyrite spellbomb kill. The deck drew well and showed great potential. The pilot is mentally bruised from kicking himself for the past 24 hours.
Round 1 vs Paul Mastriano who was on a u/w/b mentor build of some kind.
Game 1 win the die roll and come out swinging. I drop black lotus, caverns of time, monastery mentor, mox jet for a token. Turn 2 I draw sensei's divining top and from there I'm just drawing with top each turn, then drawing/recasting top for tokens and beat him down. Paul had so little going on I wasn't even sure what he was on outside of u/b in his deck
Game 2 I have an opening 7 with some blue draw including ancestral and a single mox sapphire for my mana source. I consider the thrill of a turn 1 ancestral into the perfect 3 cards for a moment then send it back. My 6 had an island and some blue draw with a probe and a fow. Against my better judgement I give it a go. I probe and see Paul, who also went to 6 is in a similar situation. His turn he went land, sol ring go. I see land, ponder, preordain, jtms and no counter magic in his hand. I pass the turn, he casts jace, I counter...he counters back with his own force. Jace resolves. Despite keeping a 1 mana hand, I proceed to not miss a single land drop while Paul sculpts his hand, gets a few snapcasters in play and beats me down. It was actually a long game and there are a few turns we both have some good action going on. But he just has the card advantage on me and leverages it really well.
Game 3 I mulligan to 6 again and keep a 1 land hand with ancestral. He proceeds on turn 1 of game 3 to show his first mental misstep. I have not much else in hand. His turn 1 is similar to my g1 t1 - black lotus, mentor, mox. I do my best but its a pretty quick game. A better mulligan decision in games 2 or 3 could have won the round. But Paul had some pretty strong games 2 and 3 so it was not so cut & dry.
Round 2 - against Obert Chen on Dredge
Game 1 I love my opening hand - a little mana boost for a turn 2 trinket mage with a salvagers, some counter magic and a paradoxical. Just a handful of turns and I can win. That is until my opponent leads with turn 1 bazaar, turn 2 bazaar and makes me cry. His hand was insane and it did what dredge does in game 1. Game 2 I lead pithing needle on bazaar with a grafdiggers a turn later. Then procede to get salvagers and lotus into play. Cast gifts ungiven and get the spellbomb with 3 other random cards.
Game 3 I see an opening hand with spell bomb, lotus, a mox a land, Engineered explosives and mana crypt. I consider for a few moments and realize EE0 can wipe his tokens and set him back. I'm just 1 card off from the combo. I can slow him and win. In the back of my mind is a voice saying, "throw it back for some hard hate, EE alone isn't enough." At the table my mouth is saying, "keep" A little voice inside my head (says don't look back you can never look back) says, "dumbass".
Obert then does turn 1 and 2 bazaar. After his 3rd bazaar activation he has 3 creatures in play, elesh norn, dred return, 3 cabal therapies and 2 bridges in his yard. On my turn 1 I had played land, mox EE0, go, holding back the crypt, and the lotus to protect from getting blown up. He proceeds to therapy for the lotus, sac a token, therapy the crypt, sac a token. At this point I stop him to let the bridge triggers resolve then pop EE to wipe his tokens and leave him 1 creature shy of return. His last therapy discards the spellbomb. I'm now looking at a board of 1 land, 1 in hand and him 1 creature in play away from blowing me out. I had sided in 2 grafdiggers, 1 nihil spellbomb, 2 pithing needle and a containment priest - any of them shuts him down. A simple mulligan to 6 or even 5, while no guarantee was an objectively better proposition than trying to race dredge. I put this loss squarely on my shoulders.
Game 3 Josh Richards against bug
Before round 3, Dean Harris (car pool on the way down and play test partner this past week), Josh (Dean's playtest partner last week) and myself were comparing notes and realized we were all 1-2. I predicted that 2 of us would be playing each other in round 4. And drew Josh.
Game 1 was a pretty quick blow out by me. I forget if it was a mentor or from bombing him out. Game 2 was a good game. He got an early Null rod which was honestly the deciding factor. Without null rod in play I won that game. With it in play I was always just a step behind in mana and couldn't quite combo off. But all the pieces were there. He kept chipping away at me challenging me with shamans, leovold and a trygon predator.
Game 3 we do a bit of back and forth but ultimately he gets a trygon predator and 2 energy fluxes in play. I have a pretty solid board state with a tolarian, sol ring, 4-5 other lands and some mox with an auriok salvagers in play. I eventually can't keep up with the fluxes and the predator chips away at anything I pay to keep in play. As he kills with predator I just use salvagers to put it back in my hand. Finally on upkeep I say, 'screw it, I'll let the last mox and sol ring go. Move to draw step and draw. . .paradoxical outcome. The singular card that flips cards like energy flux the bird. I laugh and flip it around for him to see. He ends his turn by beating me down to 7. If he untaps he wins. I draw my next card - its another paradoxical outcome. My board state is a salvagers and land. My hand has a few mox - and a yawmoths will and tendrils of agony with 2 FoW that he doesn't know about. I cast yawg will, win the the counter war, cast EE at 0 from my yard with any artifacts left, a recall from the yard, play the moxen and tendrils for 24 (he was at 21 thanks to a StP).
Round 5 vs Mark Hollaar on Oath
Game I blink and its over. He has turn 1 orchard, crypt oath. Game 2 is completely mine as I fragmentize his oath, counter a second oath and counter an attempt to hardcast grislebrand. I bomberman out on him. Game 3 is completely mine. I get a turn 2 containment priest. A turn 3 trinket mage digs up grafdiggers cage. Drop Jace on turn 4. A grafdiggers on turn 5. Have him beaten down to 8. He has 1 card in hand. His board a bunch of mana, mostly of the 0 CC kind and a few lands. Voltaic key and some big mana artifacts. I have an engineered explosives in hand and my turn literally goes like, "Greg, drop the EE at 0, wipe his mana to cripple him and finish coasting to the win" says the little voice inside my head. Big voice that actually comes out of my mouth after I attack, "pass the turn." He hard casts griselbrand which I can't counter. He draws from 8 down 1 and reloads his hand. I StP in response (which in retrospect was irrelevant). Then proceeds to chain 3 paradoxical outcomes. After t he 2nd PO I tell him, "I don't think you've shuffled since I fatesealed your tendrils to the bottom." He hits the 3rd outcome, drops a demonic tutor and I proceed to lose to an oath of druids deck while I have a containment priest, grafdiggers cage and jace the mindsculptor in play. In retrospect when it became obvious the game was on lockdown I should have stopped fatesealing and started brainstorming with Jace. And obviously I need to listen to that little voice inside my head cause at this point I can't look back. I can never look back. Blowing up all his 0 artfact mana strips him of lotus and jet. He doesn't have the 4 black sources to hardcast grislebrand. I win this game. This is the second of 3 loses that is pretty much a win with better decision making on my part.
I drop and enter a side event. This is a lot of fun. First match is against a landstill deck, a shops deck and I think a jeskai mentor build. The side event is a lot of fun. I do things like steal wins out of nowhere with gifts into the bomberman package. Play my main deck serenity against shops only to PO on my up keep to bounce serenity and all my artifacts, draw a boatload of cards and just have fun.
In all I like the power and ability of this deck in a good diverse meta. I had gone back and forth between U/w/r and U/w/b. Playtesting Dean mentioned that u/w/b seemed stronger and sure enough 2 of my wins came on the back of a tendrils kill that could not have happened with the red version. Its a LOT of fun to play. Shows great power, great resiliency and great promise going forward. I'll have the decklist later.
Coming up sooner than expected. Second week in October. Its the last tournament before Eternal Weekend. Come get your final tune up, win some great prizes and qualify for your top 8 spot in the Deal Me In Games yearly series. All in one place. How can we manage to do all that?!?!? Its KARAZYYY!!
With Hurricane Harvey forecast to hit the Texas Gulf Coast this weekend, there's a chance that there will be flooding or other circumstances will result in this being canceled. I will attempt to update here but check @TexasLhurgoyfs for the latest updates.