måndag 4 juni 2018

Ramblings and 24 decks to beat

So I stopped writing "This month in oldschool" posts a few months ago. During the period I wrote them (between August and December last year), the number of happenings went from 'plentiful' to 'vast' surprisingly quickly. In particular regarding upcoming tournaments it became too much to follow for me to maintain a sound work/life/nerd balance.

Maybe I should just have scaled it down a little and focused on new content. Like last month, some of the noteworthy updates were the Magic 4 David campaign (still up, go donate a few bucks); Bryan and DFB discussing budget decks on All Tings Considered; Music City Mtg's take on monogreen aggro; Stephen Menendian's article on Eternal Central about B&R strategies; Gordon posting all the n00bcon decks at Wak-Wak; Matt Shields finishing up his first all-Alpha 40 on 52-week Beta; some guy at Wak-Wak discussing lessons from losses; a n00bcon tournament report at the Brothers of Fire blog; another n00bcon report at End of Turn, Draw a Card; and Channel Fireball announcing their own Championship Event at GP Vegas in a couple of weeks. Stuff is certainly going on in the blogosphere.

As for deck techs, I've had a somewhat laid-back approach poking for lists in the last months. Some people have suggested that this may be a good thing, arguing that deck lists can ruin some of the surprises at tournaments. But I think we can still post a handful here in good conscious. As weird experiences go, I'd rather hold the tech lid more tightly for stuff like The Wizards' Tournament.
Ah yes, The Wizards' Tournament. Where Wall of Ice kept Fungusaur at bay.
Apart from the more regular homesteads for 93/94 in Sweden and Norway we've had tournaments in places like Ängelholm, Varberg and Karlstad since I last updated the Decks to Beat. And there has of course been showdowns in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Arvika as well. Gothenburg has also started dabbling in the AA-format - Alpha through Alliances - with a very small restricted list (e.g. Mana Drain, Strip Mine and Necropotence are all legal as 4-ofs). And Premodern for that matter, though that might be slightly too new school to cover here at the moment. Might come back to that later if there is an interest.

Anyways, Decks to Beat! Here are 24 piles from various elimination rounds in the last months:
Audun's Evangelists.
Arvika n00bcon X qualifier Top4
The Arvika locals will punch your face and blow up your permanents. With a top4 that is 50% Troll Disco and then taken down by Artifact Aggro, you best not leave your Shatters in the binder. The second place deck is a true testament to the spirit of the format as well, a monoblue midrange deck that plays Azure Drake over Serendib Efreet.

Mindstage 93/94 Top8
The players in the Gothenburg local scene pretty much just play, as they've done for over a decade. The cradle city is sometimes suspected to be on the ropes by outsiders who never hear from them on social media, but I think that they simply don't feel like making a fuzz about their gatherings anymore. Players simply gonna play. This time JummJumm's MonoRed Atog Burn hoisted the rag when the dust settled, beating out Fantasy Zoo, UR Burn, The Deck, Power Monolith, Disaster and ErhnamGeddon in the Top8.

n00bcon X Top8
The tenth World Championship saw renowned players from around 40 communities battle out for glory and a Giant Shark in the largest 93/94 tournament to date. Savannah Lions turned out to be the real deal alongside the Efreets of Sri Lanka, though a couple of control decks and some aggressive artifacts also graced the top8. And check out Kalle Nord's 5-color midrange pile, that is perhaps the craziest deck I've seen yet.

Oslo Ascension #2 Top4
The local Oslo gathering on Ascension Day is now a solid tradition. The Top4 this year was surprisingly janky; powerless MonoBlack, Preacher Combo with Rukh Egg, and Adventure Island all graced the elimination rounds before being bested by Troll Disco.

For whatever reason, I can't seem to find the deck lists for Arvika Festival 4. It was one of the more noteworthy gatherings in the last months; a super sweet 50-something player tournament in the heart of the Swedish outlands. For those of you keeping score, the Top8 there reportedly consisted of The Deck, UR Burn, Artifact Aggro, UWB DeadGuy, MirrorBall, White Zoo, UWB Juzam Smash and The Deck (in that order). If anyone have the lists, feel free to send me an email and I'll add them to the Decks to Beat.

Next up on the schedule is a trip to the Netherlands to gather with the Knights of Thorn, and shortly after that joining up at WSK for the annual state championship (and some sweet, sweet Tribelander). Hope to see a bunch of you there!

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