The woes of tiny metagames, part 2

deathrite banner 2This isn’t really a continuation of my previous post, The woes of tiny metagames from last year, but it does have some connections, prompting me to use the name. First of all, both that post and this post are about tournaments small enough to be decided by four rounds. Second of all, I played Team America in both tournaments. Thirdly, they focus on strange things that happen when metagames turn too small.

hymntotourach3.hqAfter the banning of Dig Through Time, I was excited to return to form and play some more Legacy. Since no decks could easily just draw the best two out of the top seven for UU, I figured Hymn to Tourach was again playable, but I was too out of touch with the metagame in general to judge how good it was. It wasn’t by the way, but that wasn’t because I failed to properly read the Decks to Beat section on The Source. It was because I played in a small, four-round tournament in a local metagame.

My list for the day: Good Old America, on

Here are my matches, in order:

Round 1: LED-Dredge (W 2-1)

Round 2: Reanimator (W 2-1)

Round 3: Manaless Dredge (W 2-1)

Round 4: Grixis Delver (W 2-1)

Semifinals: Reanimator (not the same guy as Round 2) (L 0-2)

In short, 40% of the decks in the room were graveyard-based combo decks, meaning my sideboarded Surgical Extractions and Tormod’s Crypt were awesome all day. I won’t do a complete report, since my notes are bad and it’s hard to remember details from such similar matches. However, here are some fun facts and weird things that happened during the day:

  • I didn’t win a single game one over the entire day. Obviously my main deck needs work but the side board was awesome.
  • I lost all die rolls except against my round three opponent. How ironic.
  • My Delver of Secrets failed to flip for six (6!) turns in a row against my round 2 opponent.
  • I beat an active Iona, Shield of Emeria in round 2.
  • The same guy animated a Griselbrand on the first turn of the first game of that round. Even though I had Force of Will in hand.
  • I got to live the dream by going turn one Deathrite Shaman into turn two Hymn to Tourach + Wasteland against Grixis Delver. Yeah, got there that game.
  • Against Manaless Dredge, there was a point where I had Surgical Extraction in hand, and could aim it at either Golgari Thug, Phantasmagorian or Bridge from Below. I was pondering the dredger, to stop him from dredging and forcing another end-of-turn discard, but there’s always the chance that he has a Street Wraith sandbagged, and I elected to take the Bridges. “Three bridges in hand?” I almost said in jest, and in retrospect, I should have made the call. He did, in fact, have all the three other Bridge from Below in hand, making my Surgical Extraction a three-for-one. Once in a lifetime.

All in all, I had a good day, even if the semi finals wasn’t anything to talk about. He beat me game one through second turn reanimation with counter back up, and I mulled to five in the second game and didn’t stand a chance. Variance was high all day, one could say.