This past Saturday we had the first big Toronto 93/94 tournament, the Winter Blast!
To help thank Jason for putting the tournament together, I decided to write an old school style tournament report for this website about my experience at the tournament and how my matches went.
My brother Aaron came out from the far west (Hamilton) to join me in the tournament. I will briefly explain what happened to him as well where possible. Aaron got to my place around 11AM, and we immediately headed out to the tournament site at the Polish Combatant’s Hall. The venue was truly perfect for the event. There was plenty of table space as well as room to move around, and space for a bar and a card vendor.
Aaron hadn’t actually seen his deck in person before that morning, so we grabbed the first beer of the day and settled in for a practice match before Round 1.
For this event I decided to run my old standby, White Weenie, which I was clearly overconfident about. Aaron was running my Channel Fireball / Ball Lightning / Berserk deck, which is about as good as rolling a dice. I have seen that deck do absolutely nothing over several games, and I have seen it Channel-Fireball out and win on turn 2 before. It’s very unpredictable, but fun to play.
Here’s the White Weenie deck as it was the night before the tournament (sorry it’s squished, there were a lot of decks on that table):
Here’s the Channel Fireball deck as it was the night before the tournament:
We also managed to borrow two more Taigas on the morning of the tournament from Jason, so that helped the consistency of Aaron’s deck a little bit. Thanks again Jason.
Round 1 – Joel v. Derek (UWR Zoo?)
Derek and myself started out strong by both mulliganing twice and going down to 6 cards. editor’s note, we allowed 1 free mulligan, then began the familiar -1 card and scry method.
I won the play and managed to play a few creatures and a Crusade, but around Turn 3 or 4 they all died to Lotus-Earthquake. Derek played some post-quake Savannah Lions which ended up being boosted by my Crusade. He attacked with the Lions for a couple of turns alongside a Serendib for the win.
Derek found a Library of Alexandria in his opening hand on the draw and started drawing two cards each turn, which was not ideal for me. Through these extra cards he was able to deal with all my threats with either Lightning Bolts or Swords. Eventually he played a few spells at once and cast Timetwister to reload, topping up my hand again. Thanks to the Timetwister I was able to stick a few creatures at once, putting up a bit of an offensive. However, Derek followed up with another Earthquake, clearing my board again. From there he was easily able to burn me out.
Aaron played Jonesy on Land Equilibrium and got totally destroyed. Jonesy’s deck is both a monster and not a good matchup for Aaron, who is trying to work up to RRR to cast Ball Lightning. I was glad they got a game in since Jonesy is a regular at the Monday Bar with No Name meetups.
Not a great start, but we grabbed another beer and settled in for Round 2.
Round 2 – Joel v. John (Mono Black)
It was comforting to see a familiar face at the table after getting beat up by a stranger in Round 1. I had played John plenty of times before at the bar with relative success, but we normally never bothered side-boarding…
I was able to stick some Protection from Black creatures, which are super hard to block if you are playing mono black. John couldn’t keep up with those.
John was able to stick Gloom, and I couldn’t cast any spells. Uh-oh.
John was able to stick Gloom, and I couldn’t cast any spells.
Aaron played Dave on Troll Disco and was successful. Good for him! Dave is also a regular at the Monday meetups.
Joel 0-2, 1-2
Aaron 0-2, 2-1
We grabbed a celebration beer for Aaron and a consolation beer for me, and settled in for Round 3. I wasn’t winning rounds but was having a pretty good time losing, and was happy to officially join the “Beer Bracket”.
Round 3 – Joel v. Dave (Troll Disco)
I’m not entirely sure, but I vaguely remember a Disk blowing up and killing a lot of Lions and Crusades.
Dave was able to stick Gloom. A few turns went by and I was just about to 5 mana Disenchant it. Instead, Dave was able to resolve another Gloom right before he passed the turn, and I did not have time to get to 8 mana.
I knew I always did a terrible job of side-boarding at the bar, but somehow I didn’t see this much Gloom action coming.
Aaron played against Patrick, who I don’t know. He was victorious again! Great job buddy.
Joel 0-2, 1-2, 0-2
Aaron 0-2, 2-1, 2-1
After Round 3 it was time for the Chaos Orb challenge, which thankfully was the flipping point of the day for me. The flags really helped with the correct height both during the contest and during matches all day. They were a fantastic idea, and every old school meetup should have a couple. Thanks J!
On my first attempt at flipping I ended up with 17 hits, which I was happy with. That was the record for a short while. Jeff was able to beat my record at 18 hits, so I decided to retry. On my second attempt I hit 17 again, which I thought was kind of funny, but I was pretty sure I could do better. I tried again and was able to get up to 18, which prompted a flip-off!
Here’s a video of my last 3 flips and missing #19:
The flip-off was short lived. I hit my first flip, and Jeff unfortunately did not. I emerged victorious, taking home a nice Tropical Island from Face to Face and a giant Chaos Orb from Jae. Thanks guys!
The Tropical Island was a super convenient prize as I had just traded two away to Jonesy for the Land Equilibrium deck he was using at this event, and I was looking to replace them.
We grabbed another beer and settled in for Round 4, where my luck continued to improve.
Round 4 – Joel v. Louis (Green Weenie)
Louis played a bunch of early creatures, mostly Elves, Pixies, and Sprites, getting an early lead on the life point totals. I was able to slowly pick off his creatures in combat since Louis was trying to keep the pressure on, but unfortunately for his team, most of my team has First Strike.
My First Striking creatures got blown out a couple of times by Louis’ Giant Growths, and I eventually got run over by Pixies!
I was able to play a couple of creatures on Turn 1 and Turn 2, and stick a Jihad for Green on Turn 3. The buffs were too strong for the little green guys to deal with and Louis got run over by Thunder Spirits.
Aaron played Matt, another regular from the Monday meetups! I thought it was really cool how he was getting the full Bar with No Name experience. Well, almost.
Joel 0-2, 1-2, 0-2, 2-1
Aaron 0-2, 2-1, 2-1, 1-2
It was time for the Art Trivia contest. I gave it a shot for fun but did not advance to Round 2. The challenge was pretty tough, and got even tougher for the two finalists who had to name the artists! Morgan from the Monday meetups was one of the finalists, but I forget if he won. editor’s note, he did!
Round 5 – Joel v. James (Goblins)
James did not seem to be having very good luck. He started out playing a couple of Goblins, and a King, but I was able to Swords the King during combat and effectively take out the rest of his team with my blockers and a Javelin. The freshly unburdened Javelineers then got pumped up by a couple of Crusades. They were backed up by a Knight and were able to attack for the win.
I had a great draw with Mox Pearl, three Thunder Spirits, two Plains, and a Crusade. That went well.
We played a third game for fun because James was happy I wasn’t playing a crazy combo deck, which I suppose he had just run into a bunch of.
Aaron played J, another guy from the bar, and was victorious. Funny the way that kept working out.
Joel 0-2, 1-2, 0-2, 2-1, 2-0
Aaron 0-2, 2-1, 2-1, 1-2, 2-0
We grabbed another beer and settled in for the final round!
Round 6 – Joel v. Jon (Dreams Combo)
Jon played a couple of early Black Vises on the play, doing lots of damage quickly. I was able to stabilize by dumping my hand in a couple of turns and running him over with weenies.
I believe this last game was the closest and best one I had all day. Jon had the early Black Vises again, along with an Underworld Dreams this time. The Vises took me to 1, and I was about to die to an Underworld Dreams in my draw phase, but I had the Disenchant. After the Dreams was cleared I was able to keep my hand size under 5 while I played out some creatures, and eventually attacked for the win.
I accidentally picked up Jon’s deck box at the end of the match since it was a purple Ultimate Guard box, just like mine. We figured it out though. Sorry about that Jon!
Aaron played Micah, another guy from the bar, and lost this time. Another land destruction deck, which is probably his worst matchup. Overall there was more land destruction than I expected, but my deck doesn’t really care about that too much.
Joel 0-2, 1-2, 0-2, 2-1, 2-0, 2-0
Aaron 0-2, 2-1, 2-1, 1-2, 2-0, 0-2
We both ended up 3 and 3. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
After my match finished, Brendan was finishing off his match against Joe for the trophy, which I decided to go watch. He ended up being out of beer though so I went to the bar and bought him one to support the team. Brendan ended up winning the battle but not the war. Since Brendan won over Joe in 2 games instead of 1, Joe had the better tiebreakers and ended up being the first Winter Blast champion!
Overall, it was a fantastic day. I’m already looking forward to the next one in Montreal. I don’t think the event could have gone much more smoothly, especially for the first large event. Everyone had a bunch of fun, and we raised a bunch of money for a good cause. Thanks again for all your hard work Jason!