Classic Constructed Tournament Report

By Jason McDonald

1st Place

My long-time devotion to the Weissman school of Type 1 had started to draw
criticism from a few of the local regulars and some not-too-subtle remarks on
a mailing list had prompted a change back to my favourite fun type 1 deck,
Cursed Atog.

This deck is lots of fun to play, It didn't do very well the last time I
played it, but with a couple of new Urza's Saga cards and a new sideboard,
I was hoping it might do a little better. At least it would surprise the
critics of my usual deck.

"The Cursed Atog"

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
4 Mana Crypt
4 Volcanic Island
2 Tundra
1 Taiga
1 Plateau
2 City of Brass
2 Gemstone Mine
1 Tolarian Academy (nice synergy with the cursed scrolls, and seemed to confuse 
one or two opponents as to the nature of the deck)

4 Juggernaut (One of my favourite creatures, if only he wasn't so boltable)
3 Serendib Efreet
4 Atog (such a handsome fellow)
4 Mishra's Factory (a good mana sink for the crypts)

Direct Damage:
4 Cursed Scroll
3 Psionic Blast
4 Lightning Bolt

Extra card drawing:
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Timetwister
1 Time Walk (nice with a Juggernaut on the table)
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Braingeyser
1 Jayemdae Tome
1 Windfall

Other Abuse:
1 Fork
1 Black Vise
1 Regrowth
1 Berserk (bloody big Atogs)
1 Balance (my only concession to defence)

2 Jester's Cap
3 Disenchant
3 Gorilla Shaman
2 Dwarven Miner
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Mana Drain (old habits....)
1 Steal Artifact (Secret tech, won me the tournament, but more on this later)

This is a highly aggressive deck. The aim is to go all out on the attack, 
playing Juggernauts and Serendibs as quickly as possible, frequently on the 
first turn.
This forces the opponent to immediately assume a defensive posture, which is 
usually fatal so early in the game. For the longer game, there are Cursed 
Scrolls to keep the opponent's creatures under control and eventually kill the 
opponent. And then, of course, there's the good old Atog.
Gotta love those 30/16 trampling Atogs !!

Such an aggressive approach obviously means that you deplete your hand very
quickly, so some efficient card drawing is also an essential component of
the deck. The Urza's Saga card, Windfall, is a great addition to this deck,
almost as good as Wheel of Fortune.

A lot of the speed of the deck comes from the Mana Crypts. After the initial
burst of speed, the Crypts are an excellent means of getting the Scrolls and
Jayemdae working quickly, and one can always use them up on Mishra's Factories
or feed them to an Atog if there's nothing else to do with them.

Round 1: Brett George

Brett is new to the local tournament scene, but said he's been playing for a
couple of years. He is playing an Ensnaring Bridge/Bottomless Pit/Megrim

Game 1: I get a pretty good draw, including an emerald, Mana Crypt and Jug.
But as usual I lost the roll of the dice and my opponent went first and
Duressed me, taking the Crypt and ruining what could have been a good start.
By the time I'd got the Jug in play I was facing a Bridge and Pit, no cards
in my opponent's hand and a Pit Imp slowly killing me. Luckily I drew the
Twister, enabling me to fill his hand and beat him up with the Jug and a
nice big Atog.

Game 2: Much easier game this time. I get a Serendib and Scroll out on the
first turn and it's all over in 5 turns.

1-0 (2-0)

Round 2: Dion Fung
Dion is one of the regulars at local events; a good player and a nice guy.
Dion tells me he was playing "4 colour counter-burn". All 3 games went so
quickly, I didn't get much of a look at his deck.

Game 1: Nice quick start. Dion is a little mana screwed and the Juggernaut
does it's thing.

Game 2: My opening hand has a Lotus, Taiga and a Juggernaut. I go for it on
my first turn but to my dismay, Dion bolts the Jug and then Wastes my only
land. I draw two more lands, which are both wasted and I concede soon after.

Game 3: Another quick start for me - 2 scrolls and plenty of mana. Dion's
demise is mercifully swift.

2-0 (4-1)

Round 3: Franky Wydianto

I'd only played Franky once before, and he'd absolutely destroyed my
Weissman deck with his powered-up fat creature deck. He was playing the
same deck again, and I was keen on a little revenge.

Game 1: A strange hand - a factory, lotus, vise, ancestral and 3 scrolls.
I go first and play everything but the ancestral, hoping to draw some more
mana to power a scroll. Franky's deck takes a little while to get going
and the vice starts to eat into his life total. Eventually I get a red land
and put out an Atog, which finishes Franky off by eating all the scrolls.

Game 2: As usual I side out the Serendibs and a Psi Blast for the Red blasts
and Miners. Once again I get a first turn Jug and beat Franky for three turns,
finishing with a Berserk.

3-0 (6-1)

Round 4: Yaro Starak

Yaro is another regular, consistently successful and also second in this year's
Nationals. This week he's playing a Prison deck with a fair amount of
countermagic. I haven't had much success against Yaro recently, so I wasn't
really looking forward to this matchup.

Game 1: A rather slow start this time - 6 land and a Juggernaut. I manage to
get the Jug through a couple of times before he gets an Icy Manipulator out,
but the Jug has done enough to allow me to finish Yaro off when I draw a
couple of burn spells.

Game 2: I side in the Red blasts as usual but I also decide to go for the
Steal Artifact in hopes of getting rid of an Icy. I get no creatures in my
opening draw, but there's a Jayemdae, so I keep the hand and hope to get some
card advantage out of the tome. The turn after the tome comes out, Yaro gets
a Winter Orb down, bringing me to a grinding halt. I manage to burn him a
little then he gets some diamonds down and casts Titania's Song. Happy to
be released from the effects of the Winter Orb, I attack with the Tome, Yaro
blocks with three 2/2's and I berserk the Tome, clearing the table of
artifacts. I cast a Jug and an Atog, and Yaro casts a 4/4 Icy that looks
like a good blocker for the Jug. But next turn, the play of the day. I
top-deck the Steal Artifact, take the Icy and feed it to the Atog, which joins
the Jug in finishing Yaro off.

4-0 (8-1)

Round 5: David Werner
David likes to play theme decks and loves Coat of Arms. In the past I've had
to face swarms of Elves and Merfolk. This time it's Coat of Wizards.

Game 1: I get an average start - 2 scrolls but no artifact mana. David starts
with a Magus of the Unseen (a little critter that steals artifacts). I'm
a little panicked by this, but manage to get rid of it by berserking it when
he attacks. Now I can put out the scrolls and get to work. I then get an Atog
and a few more artifacts, regrow the berserk and the Atog wanders over for
about 30 points.

Game 2: I get mainly burn in my opening hand, most of which goes to keeping
David's creatures in check. When I get to four land, David casts Price of
Progress, putting me on 10 life. David then casts Demonic Tutor and I fear
he's going for another Price of Progress. I refrain from playing a fifth land,
fearing the worst, but next turn Dave casts Living Death. He gets 5 critters
back, including a Tradewind and a Magus, and all I get is an Atog. I am forced
to Balance right away, and David keeps the Tradewind. The Atog eats some
Mana Crypts to take care of the Tradewind and then finishes David next turn.
It turns out that he only had one Price of Progress. Lucky me.

5-0 (10-1)

Round 6: Marcus Hodges

It looks like I will win the event regardless of the final round result, so
Marcus agrees to take an I.D. ensuring he gets second place. Marcus was playing
straight black.
We play a couple of friendly games afterwards for fun. In the first game
I get a Gemstone, some Mana Crypts and a Jug. Normally, I'd have taken mulligan,
but can't be bothered. I get him down to 1 life, but the Gemstone runs out and
Marcus Discs away all my Artifact mana. I get no more land and don't recover.
In the second game I get the Academy powering two scrolls and the game ends
very quickly.

So, my silly deck wins the tournament, losing only 1 duel. My first win in
Type 1 after several second and third places. Maybe it's time to retire the
Weissman deck for a while. The Atog deck is much more fun, and it's nice to
finish all my matches within the time limit for a change :-)

It was also a bit of a surprise that there weren't any Stroke/Academy decks
around. That will definitely be a strong Type 1 deck with the moxes, mana
crypts and so on.

Thanks, as always, to Tournaments Australia for putting on the tournaments
every week. And thanks also to Yaro Starak and Michael Martin for goading
me into changing decks.

And for my next trick, a type 1 goblin deck....

Jason -