Tournament was on Saturday, November 10. Format was Standard. I didn’t have any good deck ideas this time around (some would argue I never do!), so I played a netdeck. I played the Mannequin deck that originally appeared in US States, as reported by BDM here. I had to change the board around a bit, I went with:
- 4 Nameless Inversion (to help kill black/artifact critters)
- 3 Vesuvan Shapeshifter (get random tricks off pickles, and kill legends)
- 3 extirpate
- 3 bottle gnomes
- 2 damnation
I had very minimal testing, but I was fairly sure aggro decks were a cakewalk, and control decks are winnable headaches. The tournament report follows.
I register for the tourney, and on the spot I name the deck “Manny”
Lorywn Inaugurals Tournament Report
Round 1 : vs Black/Green Tarmorack
This matchup is heavily in Manny’s favor due to the card advantage. He has a not so good draw and I win game one easily.
I board +4 Nameless Inversion, -2 Grim Harvest and -2 random guys.
Game two, he attacks third turn with a Treetop Village, I hit it with a nameless inversion and he’s down a land. On my turn I play the Shadowmage Infiltrator and it’s all uphill from there.
2-0 win. Good start!
Round 2: vs Monoblack
The deck is not monoblack aggro, more of disruption + midsize creatures (Shriekmaw, Crovax the black, Korlash). The matchup seems bad for Manny since I have 8 dead cards (Shadowmage Infiltrator and Shriekmaw) I lose game one to Crovax the black, I didn’t even notice that my Epochrasite was dead on arrival. (I pretended that I did that on purpose to suspend it)
I board -4 Shadowmage Infiltrator -4 Shriekmaw -1 Grim Harvest +4 Nameless Inversion +2 Damnation +3 Vesuvan Shapeshifter (to kill Korlash and Crovax)
Game two goes my way, as he has no creature drops at all for the first six turns or so. He has a warhammer, so any creature that comes out I immediately hit with removal. My offense consists almost entirely of two epochrasites and a faerie conclave. An interesting board position came during this game:
My side: Faerie Conclave, Epochrasite, other lands. No removal in hand, and I’m at 17 life.
His side: Warhammer, no creatures. Urza’s Factory, Mouth of Ronom + 6-7 other lands. He’s at five life.
I swing with Faerie Conclave and Epochrasite, then immediately realize the mistake. I had assumed he would just Ronom the Faerie, but if instead he makes a Factory worker and blocks the Epochrasite I’m screwed since I have no removal and he can equip the warhammer next turn to climb back in life. Luckily, he assumes that I do have removal and does not risk taking the two damage from the faerie. I win game 2.
Game 3, we had less than ten minutes left, so I play quickly. However, since I had boarded in removal, my side was now control. He had sided back in most of his creatures so he got the aggro draw. We trade hits for a while, but eventually he gets out a 9/6 Korlash with lifelink (warhammer) and there’s no way I can catch up.
Round 3 – B/R Goblins
Sorry to my opponent but this matchup was really easy. Manny’s removal and card advantage is more than enough to keep the Goblins in check, and Phyrexian Ironfoot + Epochrasite is really bad for their deck. 2-0 win.
Round 4 – UGw Shifters
UG shifters. With the Shapeshifter, Thelonite Hermit and all, + white for blink. I win game 1, he seems to have a bad draw.
I bring in Shapeshifters of my own to take advantage of his hermits. I lose game two to a Mystic Snake that was blinked 4 times (including flashback).
Game three I take a midgame advantage, he has 2 morphs down but is obviously waiting for a second forest to turn the hermit face up. He plays a Birds of Paradise. And I pass my turn without doing anything to it. (Mistake no. 1)
Of course I attempt to bounce it during his turn (Mistake no. 2). He of course flips the hermit, creates saprolings etc.
I stall off the saps coz I have a lot of ironfoot blockers. I swing with a Shriekmaw. (Mistake no. 3) He of course turns the other morph face up, revealing shapeshifter, copying one of the ironfoot guys. :(
I lost obviously, with those kinds of mistakes it’s a wonder I held out so long.
So 2-2 now. But it’s an 8-round tourney, so maybe I can still make top 8. I fight on.
Round 5 – B/G Tarmorack
Wooh! Lucky, a good matchup. I take it again in two games with massive card advantage.
Round 6 – R/G aggro
Game one was not too difficult, given the massive card advantage.
Game two, he managed to bring down my life early with three Ascetics before I could play the Damnation. I lost to Barbs (he also had a Wisent but that’s a blank against me)
Game three he gets the Barbs down while we’re still at a high enough life. I play Venser to send it back, going down to 4, and on my turn I drop 3 creatures to discourage him from playing it again. It works, he instead drops creatures of his own. I play Profane Command for the win.
Round 7 – U/W control
He seems to be permission light.
Game one, I bring him down to 14 and he plays Akroma off charge lands.
I take the first hit (down to 14 life).
My turn I play Infiltrator and Epochrasite comes out of suspend.
I take the next hit (down to 8 life)
I swing with Infiltrator, then play two ironfoots.
I take the next hit (down to 2 life)
My turn, Profane Command for 5, opponent loses 5 and all my guys get fear. Nice game.
I board in Shapeshifters to deal with Crovax the White and Akroma.
Game two he got out an early Crovax.
I play Shapeshifter to kill Crovax. He plays Akroma.
I play Mannequin on Shapeshifter. (Opponent: “Ano ba yan!")
I get out fear guys. He gets out Triskelavus, we start racing.
I play Mannequin again, targetting shapeshifter, copying Triskelavus (a Shapeshifter with 3 +1/+1 counters is pretty good)
He plays Disenchant on the Shapeshifter! (Opponent: “Ang squatter naman”)
I eventually manage to bounce his triskelavus.
We race some more, I win with 3 life remaining.
Yeah, one more win and possibily top 8! But I look at the standings and I’m last among the 5-2s :( Boo! 21th place, too far away. If I win the last round I make top 16 and win three packs. Lose, and I probably still get one pack. Then, it’s practically “no bearning” for me now, I get at least one pack either way. (Yes, this story does not end in a top eight finish, I apologize.)
So I slack off in round 8. In a matchup where I need to slack off the least – pickles.
Round 8 – UB pickles
He’s playing pickles with black instead of the usual white for momentary blink. He has an aggro mode with Ironfoots and Shadowmages, Cryptic Command for permission, Ancestral Visions for card draw. This is the first round I’m playing the pickles combo, so I’m sorta still stupid (or slacking off, as I said.) What I understand about the pickles matchup is that you have to be careful not to tap out if your opponent has 10-11 mana already – since he can lock you down at any time (even less for the white version which has blink).
Game one I lost to pickles lock.
I side in +4 Nameless Inversion (Mistake… should have also brought in +3 Extirpate)
Game two I lost to pickles lock. Okay, a bit longer story. I lost to pickles lock after making the misplay of bouncing the Brine Elemental so he could delay me one more turn. He had Liliana Vess out – he was going to get the other half of the combo no matter what. If I had an Extirpate then the bounce was the correct play, as there was already a Brine Elemental in the yard.
So, I finish 5-3 with the Mannequin deck, a crappy 32nd place, winning a single booster! In fairness, I got an Auntie’s Hovel from that booster, so it’s all good.
During the tournament some people were asking me whether it was difficult to play. I don’t think so. Two of the losses I attribute to bad plays on my part, and the monoblack matchup was just bad. After boarding it was probably 50-50 or 60-40 at best. The weakness I can see is the lack of instant speed removal (unless you have a Shriekmaw in the graveyard), so Treetop Villages cause problems. I always board in the Nameless Inversions for decks with Treetops.
Manabarbs is also very bad for the deck, as you have no permission to stop it, only bounce. At the minimum you will take 4 damage (or 2 damage and wait 3 turns) to bounce the Barbs, then have one turn to try to get back in the game before they cast it again.
Also, the Mannequin tricks are awesome and will lead to some devastating draws and plays. But every so often you draw something like 3 Mannequins and a Grim Harvest, with your only creatures being Epochrasite, Phyrexian Ironfoot or Shadowmage, all of which are not that good with the reanimation. Next time I will probably cut 2 Grim Harvest entirely.
Next: PTQ KL #2.