The first Highlander tournament in Dortmund in years. I really hoped that we could get more than 20 players. We ended up with 15 players, which is not bad but not great either. At the tournament, an unlimited amount of proxies was allowed. This is obviously a great idea to attract new players but I was worried that the only restriction was that the proxies have to look good. I’ll give my verdict at the end of this report.
I wasn’t really happy with a lot of creatures that I played in Halle because they were too easy to get rid of being legendary (thanks Karakas) or just not impactful enough. The thing is, you need creatures for every matchup but you cannot always choose the creature you get. A card I really wanted to try was Carnage Tyrant. I cast it once and it was ok. Being able to cast it is great, it is uncountarbale and thus quite good in the control matchup. Still, it is a worse Inkwell Leviathan when you simply reanimate it. I also added Grave Titan to the list, as it adds multiple bodies to the board, which is great in many matchups that either want to get you with a critical mass of creatures or don’t play mass removal.
Obviously, the first match had to be against a team member (at least there was no team competition). I personally don’t like the Izzet matchup, especially if the Izzet list is on the faster side. They have all the tempo spells, e.g., Chain of Vapor, one mana counter, and also three drops that can easily end the game (Back to Basics, Blood Moon).
In the fist game, we both started very slow, while I wasn’t able to find a creature in at least 25 cards, he didn’t apply any preasure either. Finally, I drew Carnage Tyrant, which I am currently testing because Hexproof is so good, but he already had a True-Name Nemesis. Since I was quite low on life, he won the race.
I think that I threw the second game away. My hand was quite fast with a Bazaar of Baghdad, Dance of the Dead and multiple discard spells. With the discard I was able to hinder his development and he was behind on board. Then—here is the misplay—I used Bazaar end of turn with Dance of the Dead, and Ashen Rider in hand. I drew Oath of Druid and another card, which I have to discard. First of all, I was way to focused on reanimating Ashen Rider, maybe keeping Oath would have been better. Also, I should have used Bazaar after my draw step. Then I could have kept both Oath and Dance of the Dead. Since I already head a creature to reanimate in hand this would have been the better play (I guess). He handled the Ashen Rider with Chain of Vapor and stabilizes a few turns later, while I don’t have any resources left.
You can read about Marcels view of the match in his report.
BUG is a quite hard matchup. They have counters, discard, and graveyard hate. Sometimes, there is even a random Reanimate in the deck, which makes it very dangerous to leav creatures in your graveyard.
The first game went on for a very long time. He had removal for every creature that I reanimated, so the game dragged on for quite some time. At some point I copied his Volrath’s Stronghold with my Thespian’s Stage. This allowed me to replay my Consecrated Sphinx every turn, which wins me the game quite easily.
The second game I got overrun by some green creatures.
I started the third game with a lot of discard. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stick a creature early on because he was able to handle my reanimated creature, which cost me too much live to get back. This life loss in combination with three creatures on his side finish me off.
This round, I played three fast games. In the first game, I got destroyed by a turn two Trench Gorger, which I could not handle in time (the one turn I had).
In the next game, I got a Iona naming black early on, which easily wins the game.
The last game was won with an turn two Oath of Druids that was cast using a Forbidden Orchard. Magic at its best, but the mirror is somewhat special.
I didn’t take much notes for these games. They were short and painful. I only remember that I had the chance to reanimate something turn two in the first game, which would have exposed a creature in my graveyard for one tune. I didn’t do it and that lost me the game. Sometimes you have to be greedy I guess.
Yep, I was able to win this one.
Well, that didn’t went that well. Playing against the other two members of the team and getting a bye late in the last round is never great. Still, it was great to have an Highlander tournament in Dortmund again and hopefully this was just the first of many tournaments to follow. Maybe, we can even get close to the days were we had a monthly 20+ players tournament in Iserlohn (which is close by).
If I recall the event correctly, I played against at least one fully proxed deck and had many (I guess) fully proxed decks next to me. The quality of the proxies was really nice: colored prints in front of magic cards. Only some cards were cut badly such that one could spot that they were proxies. In general, I don’t mind playing against such decks, if you cannot easily tell what cards are proxies. Still, the meta was somewhat different: a lot more blue-ish decks, a lot more control. But overall I think that proxies are a great tool for smaller tournaments to attract new players.
The 14th MGM is the next big tournament and I’m looking forward to it. See you there.