One thing I am known for in my playgroup is the ability to create interesting formats for strange tournaments, and it’s been a long time since I’ve done so. The last interesting format we did was The Gold Standard Challenge, quite some time ago, and so I felt it was high time that we did another cool tourney again.
This time, our format was called The Ultimate Graveyard Block. And what a format it was! Today, we’ll be going over the actual event! Let’s take a look!
First, to recap, these were the sets legal in this challenge:
-Odyssey block: Odyssey, Torment, Judgment
-from Time Spiral block: Time Spiral, Time Spiral timeshifted cards
-from Innistrad block: Innistrad, Dark Ascension
-Shadows block: Shadows Over Innistrad, Eldritch Moon
-Amonkhet block: Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation
These are the graveyard-based sets from throughout Magic’s history that were, quite simply, the best sets for producing high quality and fun graveyard-related cards. From flashback to threshold, delirium to embalm, and retrace to eternalize, these sets had great recursion mechanics and let you play with your graveyard as an entirely new sort of resource.
And how the deckbuilding worked:
We had to choose:
-One base set (so either Odyssey, Time Spiral, Innistrad, Shadows Over Innistrad, or Amonkhet)
-One small set, which cannot be from the same block as your large set
-A second small set, not from the same blocks as your other two sets
I went over the decks that everyone went with on Monday, and now it’s time to recap the event itself! Who ended up winning? Let’s find out!
With so few players, we decided to play only a handful of rounds (and draft my Cube after). This is how things went.
Round one: vs. Anthony, Burning Wake
Anthony’s deck was one of the ones I was most looking forward to seeing in action, as he always comes up with something strong and unexpected. Unfortunately for him, his deck didn’t want to play this round, and he was mana-flooded. I punished him quickly and severely with turn two Lambholt Pacifist in both games, and crushed him handily.
Round two: vs. Darby, Mono-Black Zombies
Game one, I am able to trade with Darby’s creatures long enough to set up Phantom Centaur beatdown. In game two, Darby has a much better draw, and runs me over with multiple Zombie Lord effects that I can’t stop. Finally, in game three I’m able to stall long enough to set up Genesis recursion of multiple Phantom Centaurs, and Darby loses eventually to the mighty power of pro-black.
Round three: vs. Brad, U/B Zombies
Ironically, I have mana issues in this matchup, as I’m unable to find a second green source to cast my devastating Phantom Centaurs. Game one I die with two stuck in hand, and game two I have one.
Compelling Deterrance was huge here out of his sideboard, destroying me in combat after I’d cast an Avacyn to try to wreck his attack — I ended up getting wrecked instead. (It also gets around Phantom Centaur‘s pro-black, great card.)
Round four: vs. Joel, Mono-black control
Considering a W/G creature deck is Joel’s dream matchup here, it’s no surprise that he crushes me handily. He Wraths me multiple times, has spot removal each time I try to catch up, and the underrated gem Oracle’s Vault puts him so far ahead on card advantage that I get overwhelmed easily. Each game, Emrakul, the Promised End shows up right on time to finish things in his favor.
Final record: 2-2-0
I end up with an inauspicious record of 2-2, but we all had a ton of fun playing this event and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a strange but fun format.
After this point, Anthony ended up having the best record, so we declared him the winner. Again to recap, this was his deck:
Burning Wake - Shadows Over Innistrad/Judgment/Hour of Devastation:
3 Anurid Brushhopper
3 Ray of Revelation
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 Burn from Within
1 Crush of Wurms
1 Hour of Revelation
1 Oketra’s Last Mercy
1 Pore Over the Pages
1 Traverse the Ulvenwald
1 Root Out
1 Kefnet’s Last Word
Of everyone, he had easily the wackiest manabase, so it was hilarious to watch the deck in action.
Congrats to Anthony, our champion of The Ultimate Graveyard Block!