Top 8 at EW EU 2018 with URw Gremlin Xerox

I only started playing Vintage in the recent years, mostly on Xerox and since I'm an abysmal deckbuilder, usually someone's else list. Sylvan Mentor in 2016 (where I had my best chances), Silent Mentor in 2017 (where I got punished by facing only blue mirrors) and URw Snapcaster in 2018 (yes, I know it's Chubby Vegan Mentor)

Best choice for me, especially because I had been playing it in our monthly Vintage League since its very first iteration. I also got a ton of content about it, by watching streams and asking the relevant questions. For example I had recently a threefold Twitch conversation with @ChubbyRain @diophan @The-Atog-Lord during the Misplay Edition of TVSL that really helped me. My only doubt was the lack of Pyromancers, StPs and Balance. I'm a scaredy-cat and I always fear my answers might not be enough for the threat and cutting on the wincons really puts your play skill to the test.

I reached Paris after a 12h bus ride due to the transportation strike, with Rich going undefeated managed to catch the whole VSL stream with The Academy playing and arrived, having slept like 1h, at the first day of trials.

Very first opponent was Ruben Gonzales on PO with new Karn, @13NoVa praised him in his report and that's probably a rare occurrence so I knew I was in for a fight. And then proceeded to utterly misplay in both games into his hand which I knew thanks to Probe.

After this quick match I met the Danish crew ( @Thiim, Henrik and Simon), Tom De Decker, @qq and the man behing @PeAcH . I spent a lot of time with Guillem enjoying getting to know him and the Spanish guys more. At our very first chat he told me I had just played probably one of the best LCV players, together with Miguel Alcoriza.

These are the other sleep deprived matches I played at trials, in no particular order. Lost VS Miguel on PO with New Karn, misunterstanding its abilities. Lost VS JA Mateo on Grixis Control, crushed by Tasigur in the sideboard. Won VS another Spanish guy on 4C Meandeck Control, Bolt and Confluence really open the way to punish Sylvan Library usage. Lost VS a guy on PO that I let takeback after I had already drew 2 cards from my Ancestral, to which he responded with Notion Thief. Lost to Italian friend on Grixis, never actually partecipating in any of the two games. Won VS two Thalia/Spirit ot the Labyrinth, thanks to Confluence, Pyroclasm and Tear. Won VS Irish old man on Shops, g2 he had Leyline of Sanctity that randomly slowed me down stopping the burn plan. Won VS a stock PO deck, blowing up his entire board with a 4x Spree in g2.

The eve before the main event I was second guessing myself, wondering if I didn't need Rods, StPs or even Karakas to answer that Tasigur tech, Kambal and all the Traxos players were buying, I was probably ascribing my utter losses to the deck rather than my misplays. As I struggled I luckily found @Montolio online that swiftly dissipated my doubts and I decided to go with the 75 I had been playing for longer.

I had two byes from a trial at home, the Italian expedition was comprised of: Francesco Giani on UWR Landstill, Bernardo Brogi on Grixis Control, Luca Bastianelli on Grixis Control, Daniele (ravidel85) Cupparoni on Dredge, Andrea Mengucci on Tweaked Shops, Enrico Vair on UBRG Xerox and Antonio Musarra on his take on Shops. I sadly didn't take any notes, so this is the most I can remember.

Round 3: Daniele Cupparoni - Pitch Dredge
Matches: 3-0
Games: 6-0

Game 1: Sad news, being paired against another Italian this soon, as we sit down I jinx it asking him if we shouldn't just go drectly to g2. He mulls to 3 keeping City of Brass and Therapying himself for GGT. I keep 5 with land, Mox, Timewalk, he doesn't dredge anything relevant and concedes once I land Mentor, Strip Mine and Snap back TW.

In: 3 Containment Priest 3 Rest in Peace 1 Pyroclasm
Out: 1 Island, 1 Wear/Tear, 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Mindbreak Trap, 1 Snapcaster Mage, 1 Merchant Scroll, 1 Lightning Bolt

I keep Pyroblast in, should bring in at least one Spree for one Bolt to answer Hollow One.

Game 2: He mulls low Bazaaring for a Hollow One and a Bridge in the gy, but no dredgers. I mull to 6 keeping with Land, Mox and Containment Priest. When the HO is about to be lethal, I Lotus for Dig that reveals Bolt that should have been a Spree and more action which I get. He's stuck with only HO and I eventually land Dack Fayden to steal it and then loot into Rest in Peace for the concession.

Round 4: Ruben Gonzalez - UWB PO
Matches: 4-0
Games: 9-1

Game 1: I keep Lotus, JTMS, cantrip and 4 lands. He Fows Jace and then Lotus into Treasure Cruise turn1. My Dack gets countered later and I die shortly after.

In: 1 Pyroblast, 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Mindbreak Trap, 2 Shattering Spree
Out: 1 Island, 1 Mox Jet, 1 Wear/Tear, 2 Lightning Bolt

Game 2: I stop his initial barrage and have two Snapcasters beating down, with 8 mana in play and fow+land in hand I draw Fiery Confluence for the kill. Snaps will be lethal next turn anyway and I make the wrong call of not playing land to hardcast Fow. He Digs into Ancestral that draws him the counter. Then in his Cruises which I Fow and then Tendrils me for 1 shorter than lethal. We play some draw-go while I beat him down, my Strip Mine on his Underground Sea prevents him from DTing for Will before his death.

Game 3: He casts Mentor which I decline to Fow pitching TC, since I've got mine and will try to just go over it. He then casts DT with plenty of mana left which I have to counter. I cast Mentor and we stare ad each other drawing blanks/moxes for a couple of nerve-wracking turns, I try to attack each time since I have some burn spells left. I draw Bolt for his Mentor, but gets Misstepped. When I draw Gush we think it's over, but it draws me two lands, nonetheless the damage is enough to kill him the following turn.

Round 5: Adria Romte Vilardell - Xerox mirror
Matches: 4-1
Games: 10-3

Game 1: We're at table 1, after some cantripping I find Ancestral and when I snap it back he concedes.

In: 1 Pyroblast, 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Mindbreak Trap, 1 Pyroclasm
Out: 1 Island, 1 Wear/Tear, 1 Mox Jet, 1 Force of Will
I will discover it's a mirror and he's not on Pyromancers only in g3 seeing Confluence looted away.

Game 2: I mull to 5 not finding any blue source and get ran over.

Game 3: Really huge mistake, declining to play a mox that would have let me Snap Misstep his Snapped Ancestral leads to my first loss.

Round 6: Enrico Vair - UBRG Xerox
Matches: 4-2
Games: 10-5

Game 1: Sad news, one of us will definitely not make it. I Misstep his DRS and Strip his land and then draw 10+ mana sources, I hardcast Fow on his Ponder to stuck him with one land waiting for me to draw any action that never arrives.

In: 1 Pyroblast, 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Mindbreak Trap, 1 Pyroclasm
Out: 1 Island, 1 Wear/Tear, 1 Mox Jet, 1 Force of Will

Game 2: I land Mentor that gets Decayed after making only one token, I bolt his DRS and get greedy hardcasting Fow on his Misstep that leaves both empty handed and me with a token in play. He then rips TC, into Dig, I draw a couple of more mana sources and die to Leovold beatdown.

Round 7: ? - Kelly Oath
Matches: 5-2
Games: 12-5

Game 1: I'm most likely out, but keep playing to boost Enrico's rating, he opens with Orchard, Mox, Oath, I bolt the token to buy some time until Inferno Titan arrives. I smile thinking "this is a Brian deck, I hope you know how to play it well, opponent" I then survive long enough to land Jace and bounce it. Since he's declining to Oath again I have enought time to sculpt my hand to counter the hardcast and then Mentor for the kill.

In: 3 Containment Priest, 1 Wear/tear, 1 Pyroblast, 1 Flusterstorm
Out: 1 Snapcaster, 3 Bolt, 1 Fiery Confluence, 1 Island

Game 2: I Probe him seeing Thrun and make the mistake of not scrolling for MBT, condemning me to Fow a mox and to a long struggle to find Mentor as my 3rd last card in the deck, while my non-Kelly-aware friends laugh at me.

Round 8: Miguel Alcoriza - UW Karn PO
Matches: 6-2
Games: 14-5

Game 1: Enrico has lost too, according to his calculation no x-2 is live for top8, but it's all coming down full circle and I want my revenge with Miguel too! He doesn't have an explosive start and I get to build some countermagic up while beating down.

In: 1 Pyroblast, 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Mindbreak Trap, 2 Shattering Spree
Out: 1 Island, 1 Mox Jet, 1 Wear/Tear, 2 Lightning Bolt

Game 2: I manage to Spree his board, counter his first Karn before he lands the second. Karn doens't find him much and once I land Mentor I kill him dealing like 18 damage with the help of Fiery Confluence.

Francesco is in and, as we are brainstorming, head judge Luca Romano comes to me to check if I'm on 18 points and then goes on to announce top 8. @PeAcH video on twitter is cut short otherwise you could hear that after my name is called there is no cheering, only me clearly shouting "WTF, are you serious?!"

Basically @Thiim won vs the one that'd have knocked me out reaching 19 points, earning 9th place for himself.

After Francesco scolds me since I always lose focus in the top 8, thinking my tournament is already over I sit down VS my opponent.

Top 8: José Antonio Alassio López - Grixis Control

Game 1: He opens with LoA OTP, I manage to resolve Jace, but probably too late. Anyway I make the mistake of starting an eot Snap Ancestral fight, thinking I can just recover in my turn with Jace, Scrolling away my dead cards to find Gush which draws me two lands to lose the game. I had no need of picking that fight being on Jace and even if so I should have probably Scrolled for Dig.

Game 2: He has LoA again, but this time OTD, I have to Snap back a Probe to apply some pressure, but after a couple of tunrs opponent has enough cards to win 3 times.

I was happy with the deck, losses coming mostly from my misplaysm, we'll see about this Traxos.

I will close thanking everyone: my Italian comrades, my Spanish enemies, my overseas allies and everyone else I enjoyed time with.

last edited by Log

Great report and congratulations on your finish. You played plenty of good Spanish players over the whole weekend and they did not put things easy 🙂

It was a pleasure meeting you, I had a great time chatting during the trials and in the main event.

Hope to see you in another big one in Europe!

Nice write-up and it was great meeting you at EW! Curious why you side out a Snapcaster Mage against Oath vs. something else like Misstep, which has less hits against Kelly's build of Oath.

Also, I would PM you, but it seems like the site is glitched — all the playmats have been delivered (everyone says thank you). And, Forino says you should add him on FB since he's visiting Italy in a couple days.

Great write up Logt1 and congratulations on the good run!

Awesome report! Thank you for the "gift". Doo doo doo doo...

Thanks everyone, I'm a scaredy-cat being afraid of getting greedy with Snapcaster and then end up making a resolved Oath live.
I'd even bring in second Minbreak Trap for Thrun or Carnage Tyrant. =D

PMs are somewhat broken, but when enlarged it seems to sort of work.
I don't have FB, I'll try to get in touch with Mr. Forino via Nick, although my guess would be he's visiting parents in the South of Italy.

last edited by Log
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