We had our first Vintage Proxy tournament a couple Saturdays ago. I was excited to see what cards we thought were worthy enough of proxying! I saw proxies done for Power, to fill gaps in our existing decks, and a little of both!
We only had 3 people for the tournament...but those 3 had a lot of variance to how they ran.
Wayne: U/B Mill, featuring Jace, the Mind Sculptor (proxy), Force of Will (proxy), Keening Stone, Ancestral Recall (proxy), and Mind Funeral.
Tiffanie: Big Bad Black Deck of Doom, featuring Black Lotus (her lone proxy), Visara the Dreadful, Royal Assassin, and a number of Dauthi-themed Shadow creatures.
Preston: 43Land.dec, featuring Life from the Loam (x1 Proxy), Taiga (1x proxy), Raging Ravine, Glacial Chasm, Engineered Explosives, and Great Sable Stag.
While we meant for the tournament to be a normal 1-on-1 Swiss-like format, we only had 3 people to play. Instead, we did a 3-way free-for-all with decks designed to work best in 1-on-1 play. How would things turn out?
Find out...after the jump!
We decided to base our winner based on a points/tie-breaker system. Being the winner garnered 3 points, 2nd place was 2, and last was 1. We had a 3-way tie during the Commander tournament, so we came up with a tie-breaker based on comparing lifepoints the tied winners had at the end of their highest lifepoint win.
As we started out, Wayne gives the sign of a bad opening hand. To be honest, I think we all did, but we stuck with our first hands anyways. Most of Wayne's plays were land-go or land-mill-go. Tiff got the aggro advantage and split attacking between me and Wayne. I chipped in against Wayne with some Raging Ravines and Wayne was eliminated fairly quickly.
Most of the rest of the game went between me and Tiff. I'd get 3 or more lands going per turn thanks to Manabond + Life from the Loam (Life from the Loam back 3 lands, and more than likely I'd have 1-2 others in hand, so at the end of each turn I'm laying 3-5 lands down at a time). Tiff would keep bolstering her board with Shadow and kill creatures. At one point I forgot to pay Glacial Chasm's Cumulative Upkeep when it had 2 age counters on it; we ruled that passing straight into the Draw Phase is an intent to pay for the Cumulative Upkeep, so I lost 4 life and went down to 4.
Yeah...That Cumulative Upkeep gets expensive. Might wanna remember that...
As we kept going, I was getting low on life and finally drew an Academy Ruins to help recur artifacts so I wouldn't mill out. And that would have worked wonders. I'd sacrifice Glacial Chasm each upkeep, I'd use Life from the Loam to get the Chasm back (so I'd never have to pay the upkeep), and I could eventually just mill Tiff out. Good plan, right?
...Except I passed over a cumulative upkeep again while I was at 2 life.
I lost due to the complex board I had to maintain and just simply lost track of what all was going on. Thinking back, though, I think I lost anyway. But that it was from just forgetting what I had already forgotten earlier...YEESH! lol.
So after 1 game we're at...
TIFF: 1 Win, 3 Points, 12 Life for tie-breaker
PRESTON: 0 Wins, 2 Points
WAYNE: 0 Wins, 1 Point
Game 2 really started on Turn 4 with a Leyline of the Void, shutting down my Life from the Loam engine. Wayne focused on milling me first since my deck was graveyard based. As I finally got some “manlands” to activate, Wayne had Ensnaring Bridge out and kept his hand as low as possible. It didn't take long for me to lose out after that, but I did take out the Leyline in case I could recover or if Tiff had recursion for her creatures. Tiff took a bit longer and got some good hits in, but ultimately it wasn't enough and Mind Funeral + Keening Stone did her in. Wayne's Jace, the Mindsculptor almost hit Ultimate, but he was within range with Keening Stone to finish the job before Jace 2.0 could go Ultimate.
WARNING: Can end games quickly and cause opponent convulsions...and that's just individually!
TIFF: 1 Win, 5 Points, 12 life for tie-breaker
WAYNE: 1 Win, 4 Points, 5 Life for tie-breaker
PRESTON: 0 Wins, 3 Points.
So the scenarios were developed...
In order to three-way tie on points: Tiff had to be 3rd, Wayne be 2nd, and I'd have to win.
In order for me to win: Same scenario as above, but I needed to finish with more than 12 life.
In order for Tiff to win: Tiff plays the last game, Wayne not win, and if I win my life total be lower than 12.
In order for Wayne to win: Wayne must win with more than 12 life remaining.
So after we figured out what we needed to do, we were on to...
Game 3 starts similarly to Game 1. Tiff's strategy was obvious: Take Wayne out immediately and she wins the tournament 7 points versus my 6 (at her minimum). Mine should have been more clear: Take Tiff out and force a 3-way tie. But after all the Mill grief, I wanted Wayne gone so I teamed up as much as I could against Wayne. Tiff tried to start strong on the first turn, casting Black Lotus and Dark Ritual off her lone Swamp to go straight for Visara the Dreadful!
A GREAT First Turn!!...
BUT...in a proxy tournament blue doesn't have to have mana available to counter, and as exciting as seeing Black Lotus' potential for the first time was, one proxy kept our most epic opening play in our history from meaning anything...
...But Blue gets broken counters, remember?
Wayne didn't withstand too well after that, though, and lost to a combination of Shadow attackers and maybe a manland or two from me. With Wayne out, the tournament was declared, but Tiff and I didn't stop playing. I got my Life from the Loam + Manabond engine going and in one turn I got 6 lands onto the battlefield at the end of the turn! Some Raging Ravines and Treetop Villages later, Tiff was out of the game.
Tiff's eventual lost didn't matter for the tournament, though, as you can see below...
TIFF: 1 Win, 7 Points
PRESTON: 1 Win, 6 Points
WAYNE: 1 Win, 5 Points
And with all the dust cleared in our first proxy tournament, Tiffanie Higgins emerges the victor!!!!
Congrats to Tiff, whose only proxy was the Black Lotus! Her Big Bad Black Deck of Doom has been a thorn in our sides since we started playing as a group over...my goodness, has it been 6 or so years since we've been playing Magic together? Yeesh! But that's the point of Vintage, to play with the old cards that now would be too broken to reprint. :)
Sorry for the lack of pictures and video. I was planning on recording this, but without an extra hand to do the recording I couldn't do video, and I was so absorbed in the tournament I forgot to take pictures.
Our next tournament will be another Cube Draft with new, exciting additions like a certain new broken White Planeswalker, an old English mana-producing Counterspell, and some blingy foreign and foil replacements! I'll record those videos and get them up to YouTube and on the blog, so watch for that three weeks from today!
I hope you enjoyed the report, and we hope to see you soon!