Report

Hello, my name is Edward A. Paltzik,  AKA Legend.

This is my champion's report for my undefeated 1st Place performance in
Sunday's Vintage (Type I) Grudge Match Grinder. This was the most important
tournament for the dedicated Type I players in quite some time, and it was
also important for a number of other people who hoped to qualify for the
Grudge Match.

Showing: 26 People, Cut to Top 8

Major Decks of the Tournament: Suicide Black, Mono-Red, Multi-Color Control (AKA 
Keeper), Nether Void, and... my deck, LEGEND BLUE.

Deck Summary:
This is the deck that I created and introduced to Type I. It is a Type I
style of accelerated blue that I introduced on the internet a few months ago.
It has been called everything from XL-U to BBS, but I prefer that it be
called by the name that I gave it when I introduced it toType I, which is
Legend Blue. There has been much argument as to what the best deck in Type I
is, and this tournament, to me, simply confirms the results of my last few
Sunday Type I appearances: my deck has simply broken the format. The deck
utilizes Morphlings and absurd amounts of countermagic to control the game in
an aggressive manner, with Back to Basics completely locking down anyone who
plays heavy non-basic lands. Meanwhile, Powder Keg sweeps away small
creatures, and the Moxes provide ludicrous speed.
Finally, Fact or Fiction keeps the counters and Morphlings flowing,
eventually overwhelming the opponent with an avalanche of broken cards. My
deck differs greatly from the usual draw-go style of mono-blue in that it
seeks to force Morphling into play as soon as possible. This is of course
accomplished by using all 5 Moxes, Black Lotus, Sol Ring, and the obligatory
Mana Drains. I can't give an exact decklist, as I am quite private about
giving exact decklists, but I can give you this basic info to make the report
read easier: Sorry, there are some secret cards I'd like to keep as secrets!!

The deck runs only one color, blue.
The deck uses 4 Morphlings, which distinguishes it from more passive control
decks.
The deck uses no non-basic lands, thats right none, in order to maximize Back
to Basics.
The restricted artifact mana is the key, making crazy things happen really
early.

I hope this helps you understand the way each match went a little easier. Now
onto the matches.

ROUND 1: EVAN ROUGE PLAYING MONO B NETHER VOID
Game 1:  Evan rituals a 1st-turn Hypnotic, but I Force of Will, leaving me
with only 6 cards after I draw. All I have are a Powder Keg and 5 Mana.
Fearing handkill, I drop and Island, Mox Pearl, and Black Lotus, plus the
Keg. Unfortunately, Evan has a Powder Keg of his own, and wipes away my
artifacts. I manage to use the keg on a Phyrexian Negator that comes out, but
he then begins locking 1 island down each turn with a Rishadan Port. Another
Negator comes out, and the Port continues to hold me down. By the time I get
a 6th Island out to cast the Morphling, I am at 5, so I am forced to chump
the Negator with 3/3 Morph. It is too late for me, he wins.
Game 2: I play, and cast Ancestral Recall at the end of his turn. This leads
to a Black Lotus and a Mox, which allows me to cast a 2nd-turn Morphling with
backup.
Then I deal with him in the way I know best (attacking 4 times with Morph).
Game 3: Again, I have the Ancestral early on, and I have a lot of
countermagic. Once again, with the Black Lotus, I play a 3rd turn Morph. Then
I play a 4th turn Morph. Then, on the 5th turn, I Misdirect a Diabolic Edict
at him. When this deck gets its best draw, nothing can beat me.
Evan is a nice, quiet guy. His deck was good, but it suffered against some of
my ridiculous draws.
Matches: 1-0   Games: 2-1

ROUND 2: WILL MURRAY PLAYING TURBOLAND feat. HEAVY COUNTERS AND SIDEBOARD
OATHS
Game 1: Will manages to outcounter me, and my main-deck Back to Basics are
useless against him, as he has only Tropical Islands. He is eventually able
to take many turns, and give me a taste of  what it is like to lose to a
Morphling. For the 2nd match in a row, I am in trouble, down a game. But
Legend Blue is a deck with character and tremendous will, and always rescues
me from such dire circumstances.
Game 2: The Back to Basics are out, as they are a liability in this match. In
are disks and more counters. I have the option of going first here. However,
I elect to draw. This is a strategy that I have been employing lately, and
while it has been neglected by many, going second can often be advantageous
when your deck has many pitch counters.
I ended up going 3-0 in games that I elected to draw during this tournament.
In this game, he is mana-screwed, with only a forest and an island. I counter
all his Impulses and Blessings to keep him from looking through his deck for
mana. This pays off, because I am able to control the game completely as a
result. I play a Morphling, and get him down to 5. However, he had gotten an
Oath of Druids out on the previous turn. I played a Disk, though, which
eliminated my Morphling, his Oath, and his Spike Weaver. Then, a turn later,
I play another Morphling with counter backup. One attack finishes him.
Game 3: I simply counter everything he tries to do. I bait him with Fact or
Fictions, and one even gets through. He tries to fight back, but then I
counter everything. He has sided out the Oaths to change things up again, but
it doesn't help. After I counter everything, I deal with him in the way I
know best.
Will is a very pleasant fellow, I wish him the best of luck in the rest of
the tournament. I always enjoy playing him in Type I. He ends up 3-2, showing
that Turboland is a nice Type I deck that can do some things.
Matches: 2-0    Games: 4-2

ROUND 3: DEVIN DELGADO PLAYING SUICIDE BLACK feat. NECROPOTENCE
Game 1: He manages to strip my hand with duresses and a hymn, then put out a
Necropotence. In the interim, he had beaten me down to 11 with a Skittering
Skirge.
With his Necro refilling his hand, it looks like I am about to go down a game
once again. At this point, I am at 11, his hand is full, and my hand is
near-empty. However, he forgets to attack with his Skirge, brings out a
Phyrexian Negator, and passes the turn. The one card in my hand was, of
course, Ancestral Recall. I use it at the end of his turn, and draw Force of
Will, Morphling, and Mox Jet. Then I draw for my turn and pick up a
Counterspell. Morphling hits the board, and I have enough mana to attack and
defend against Negator. Soon he is Necro-locked, and I counter his last-ditch
efforts at survival. This is why Morphling is the most important
non-restricted card in Type I today: sometimes it just doesn't matter how
many more cards your opponent has, if they can't deal with Morph, they lose.
Game 2: He swarms me with Carnophages.
Game 3: I go first and have my countermagic set up immediately. I counter
everything, but then he fights back, but then I counter everything. Some Fact
or Fictions in between provide me with an avalanche of cards. A Powder Keg
sweeps away two Carnophages after he mistakenly played a second one with the
keg already out. He got me down to 13 in this game.
Devin was a bit inexperienced, and it showed. He was pleasant and a good
sport, though.
Matches: 3-0 , Games: 6-3
That should read "Now I can draw into the top 8 in this 5 round tournament.

ROUND 4: JOHN MURPHY PLAYING SUICIDE BLACK feat. SHADOW CREATURES AND SCROLLS
Intentional Draw

ROUND 5: CHRISTOPHER BRELLOCHS PLAYING DRAW-GO MONO-BLUE
Intentional Draw

Now onto the top 8, where I was the 4th seed with a 3-0-2 record. I played
against 5th seed Vincent Pau, who held a 3-1-1 record.

TOP 8: VINCENT PAU PLAYING 5 COLOR CONTROL (KEEPER)
Game 1: This game should have been videotaped to reveal to all Type I players
why my deck is a grave threat to Keeper decks. I win the die roll and elect
to draw. We both have counters in our hands, but he breaks the stalemate by
playing a Library of Alexandria. He then proceeds to outdraw me by 5 card
using the Library!! What happens? I sit there biding my time, then, with 7
mana, I drop Back to Basics. He counters, I Drain, he Forces of Will. I Counter. 
He lets it resolve, and he is in trouble. He does have two moxes on the table,
though, along with a Lotus. Apparently, he let the B2B resolve because he did
have a plan, albeit not a very viable one. He waits a few more turns, then
tries to Dismantling Blow the Back to Basics at the end of my turn, but I
just have too many counters for him. Now, with all his lands locked down it
appears that I have him. But I have no Morphling, even after digging for  a
while with Fact or Fictions. Finally I draw one. His last efforts are put
down by some more countermagic. This game was quite instructive as to the
power of Back to Basics against Keeper decks: Once again, just as with
Morphling, it just doesn't matter how many cards they draw, Back to Basics
can make it simply irrelevant.
Game 2: This all comes down to an early situation in which he tries to force
through an Aura Fracture to stop my Back to Basics, but I just have too many
counters, and he mistakenly targets my Force of Will with a Red Elemental
Blast, allowing me to Misdirect the Blast at the Misdirection. If he had
waited and aimed it at the Back to Basics I had in play, he would have been
able to get rid of my Back to Basics, although he would have lost the Aura
Fracture. The rest of the game is a mere formality.
Vince was a little nervous, but I can't blame him for that!
Matches: 4-0-2, Games: 8-3

TOP 4: DAVE KAPLAN PLAYING SLIGH
Game 1: My maindeck Back to Basics are a liability against this deck, and he
simply overruns me with 2/1's and burn. A Scroll finishes me.  I don't have
enough counters to stem the tide, and my Morphlings were hiding somewhere in
my deck. Again I am down 0-1, but another rally was about to occur.
Game 2: We have both sided in 8 Elemental/Hydro Blasts. I elect to draw,
indeed a very unconventional decision against a sligh deck, but I know that
there will be a lot of 1 for 1 trades because of the blasts. Plus my deck is
aggro-control, I can make up for the loss of not going first, as I want the
extra draw phase. As it is, he never draws his second land until the very end
when two very angry Morphlings were attacking.  He had cast a Jackal Pup and
a Cadet, but I blasted both of them. I was at 17 when this game ended, with a
hand full of counters courtesy of Fact or Fictions.
Game 3: He goes first, with a 2/1. I Blast it, and I have plenty of counters
and a Mox for acceleration. We don't do all that much for a while until he
bolts me. I Mana Drain. Then on my turn, I use the mana from the Bolt plus
two Mox mana to cast Morphling with one island left open. With me at 17, he
has no choice but to sac both of his mountains to fireblast, then, after I
have made Morph untargetable in response, to Urza'a Rage it with two red
floating from the sacked mountains plus one colorless from a Wasteland. I
lose my Morphling, but Dave is left with nothing. With only 2 Wastelands for
mana, his board position his decimated. He has no cards in his hand either.
It is hopeless now, because I still have 3 counters in my hand. A Fact or
Fiction soon provides me with another Morphling. Then I deal with him in the
way I know best.
Dave is a very sore loser, and walks away without shaking my hand. Really the
only opponent that acted inappropriately all day. Bad sportsmanship and rules
lawyering on his part marred this match. Fortunately, I was able to emerge
from this pit of despair unscathed.
Matches: 5-0-2, Games: 10-4

FINALS: JOHN MURPHY PLAYING SUICIDE BLACK feat. SHADOW CREATURES AND SCROLLS
Game 1: This is the finals of the biggest type I tournament in memory, and
all the multicolor color control decks, widely thought to be the finest Type
I has to offer, are gone. While they made a nice showing (4 in the top 8),
this final proves what I have suspected all along: The strongest type I decks
right now are MONO-color decks.
I am glad that Suicide Black got to the finals, because it really gives
attention to a deserving and sometimes neglected beatdown deck. John, for his
part, had come this far by simply crushing people. His quarterfinal match had
lasted only 5 minutes, and he had come over to watch my match before me an
Vince had even started game 1.
I congratulate John on proving that Type I is about more than power blue and
non-basic lands. I also congratulate him for dominating the tournament up
until this point. Further, he was a very nice, dry-witted guy, and we had a
good back and forth going during the finals because we were equally dry.
However, the games themselves were rather anticlimatctic. In Game 1, I went
first and had an island plus a Mox Sapphire, giving me immediate access to
countermagic. I stalled on three lands, but I had so many counters that he
was only able to get me down to 13 (with a Sarcomancy plus 1 Force of Will
life lost) before I went berserk and cast 3 Morphlings, which held off his
Hypnotics and Sarcomancy. I also Misdirected a Hymn at him in this one.
Game 2: He goes first, but I have so many counters and accleration that it
just doesn't matter. I Misdirect a Sinkhole at him, I counter his creatures,
and I Misdirect a Hymn at him. I cast a Morphling off a Mana Drain, and it,
predictably, outraces his Cursed Scroll. Rarely are you able to enjoy a
tournament victory while the finals are still going on. The only analogy I
can think of is the 4th quarter of most Super Bowls, during which you will
typically see the players who are on the winning side of a 35 point lead
mugging for the cameras, waving, and smiling for endorsements. Meanwhile, the
action on the field takes a back seat to the pageantry of dominance by a
deserving champion. Basically, this is what happened in the second game. As
soon as the Morphling started attacking, the celebration began. As I inflict
the final points of damage, my best friend Yan Margolin pats me on the back
and congratulated me, as did Matt Boccio. This was the fulfillment of a
prediction I had made the previous day to Yan, when I had stated that I would
win this tournament because I'm the best at Type I, and my deck is dominant.
Sorry if that seems arrogant that I actually said that, but I just had a
feeling that this result was inevitable.That is the feeling I had going into
the tournament, but the expectation of winning a big tournament didn't
diminish the moment at all.

So I end up with a 6-0-2 Matches record, and I go 12-4 in games. Undefeated!

Congratulations once again to John Murphy, excellent performance.

I would just like to close with a few comments about Type I. I think that
this result signals that there is one true dominant deck in Type I right
now. A new era has dawned, and it is looking very blue. To be sure, Keeper,
Sligh, and Suicide Black are powerful, even quasi-dominant at times, but I
have never seen a deck like Legend Blue. In my 4 Type I tournaments at
Neutral Ground during July, I took first 3 times with this deck, all 3 times
going undefeated. I don't think that this is a coincidence. This deck, with
no broken decks like Trix or Academy present, and with no true grave threat
such as the Classic Necro Deck, may very well continue to run amok in the
Vintage format. This is a rampage that may not come to an end anytime soon.
However, I do hope that this tournament report and my comments, along with
this unusually large Type I tournament, all serve to heighten interest in
Type I. I do not doubt that another truly great deck will soon come along to
challenge this behemoth. Type I is the greatest and oldest format in Magic,
so I hope to see continuing interest in the best environment Magic has to
offer.  Goodbye, that is all for now.

Edward A. Paltzik
AKA: Legend

Ihsan15@aol.com
eap24@cornell.edu