The EC players have a few local rules that sets them apart from the current meta in Sweden and most of Europe. Cards like Strip Mine, Black Vise and Fork are free to run as 4-ofs, Fallen Empires is a legal set with the Hymn being unrestricted, Mana Burn is enforced, Power cards are more abundant with the CE/IE proxies legal, and Winter Orb has errata stating that it gets "shut down" when tapped. So which decks would end up on top?
One could argue for monoblack. It's a tier1 deck that consistently shows up at the top tables at our larger tournaments, even though it's usually only played by a small part of the field. When adding 4 Hymns, 4 Strip Mines and additional pump knights, it could be a real juggernaut.
One could argue for monored, or sligh. At the 12/13 Pimpvitational tournament, where we had Fallen Empires legal (but with Hymn restricted), my plan was to play Goblins. There's just so little life gain in the format, and 4 Bolts, 4 Chain Lightnings and additional red burn goes a long way. Adding 4 Goblin Grenades and a bunch of solid Goblins could push it into tier1 territory.
Maybe prison? With the Winter Orb errata and 4-off Vises, prison looks even stronger. Nether Void won the Mindstage tournament in Sweden earlier this year, and here it has more toys. Or the Fork Recursion deck? A Power Artifact deck?
|A Black Lotus deck?|
|The "fair" Mind Twist. Random fact: Randy Beuhler has worked on a free-to-play online game called Mind Twist with Skaff Elias and Richard Garfield. I guess it would give even worse associations if they had called it "First turn LoA" though.|
It was no surprise that Randy would be a force to reckon with in the EC tournament. Nor was it a surprise that he would play control. The deck of choice was, well, The Deck. Was e.g. monoblue Draw Go a possiblity for kicks? Randy worked on a few different ideas before settling on the boogeyman of the mid 90s. "I always suspected I would play a version of The Deck, though I did also sketch out a Stasis deck, a Workshop deck, and a combo deck", Randy explains. "There aren't anywhere near enough counterspells in the format to play mono-blue, plus Nevy's Disks would mean you can't play with Moxen and that's a lot to give up."
|Randy Beuhler's The Deck (EC restrictions).|
|The spoils of victory.|
|Randy Beuhler masterfully flipping the Orb vs. Stephen Menedian in the semis.|
"I like Abyss more than Moat because I think Mishra's Factories are awesome. They give you 4 lands (for fueling Tomes and Scepters) that also do other things when you have plenty of mana. Also, when you Scepter lock someone they can still point a top-decked Plow at your Serra Angel whereas you get to make them discard it before they can kill you Factory. Plus, i expected to face a lot of Serendib Efreets (and was right). Abyss is obviously way better against them."
"I definitely plan to play again! Hopefully there will be something local to me before next year, but if not I'll at least turn up at Eternal Weekend and attempt to defend my title."
If you want some more in-depth tech, here's a sweet video where Randy talks about his deck with Bob Maher:
|But before that, Europe. Maybe not this one, but at least for Nebraska War in December.|