Top 4 at the Cosmic Crown Showdown!
I got 3rd in the CCS this last weekend and just wanted to post a report on how the games went for me. A few weeks out I was fairly convinced I was going to pilot R/S Sockets, as I had seen a fair amount of success with the deck and ran it through ladder to Cosmic. Of course, the ban came and people were unsure if the deck was still playable in its current iteration. Fellow contributor GhostfaceVanilla had ran a Mono-Blood he found on HexPVPTools list to Cosmic with an astounding 80% win-rate. After a couple of hours of play-testing, I knew where I wanted to be for the CCS. Here’s the list we ended up on: Mono-Blood Midrange Going forward I’m pretty sure it’s the best deck in the format and if you don’t have a solid plan to win the match-up, you just should start jamming Bride of the Damned. It is very reminiscent of the Jund archetype in Magic. Most of the cards are either disruptive or built-in two-for-ones. Add in potent early game troops, modal top end cards, and card advantage through your hero power and you get an archetype that isn’t weak to much, but is significantly advantaged against most of the field. Even it’s worst match-ups can be won with Withering Gaze into Primordial Cockatwice. Here’s how the tournament went:
Round 1: I won 2-1 over Heaton playing a cool D/S Turbo Ascension, the champion was Runecarver for Runic on cheap actions. The deck was built around casting Psychic Ascension as fast as possible. Game one was close but he ended up casting a Psychic Ascension and won shortly after. In Reserves I was trying to think of a way to slow him down and decided to bring in Blight Knight against the Light the Votives plan. I figured I could shut down Consult the Talons and Cosmic Calling, which would give me the time I needed to beat him down before he got to an Ascension. The plan ended up working out over the next two games. I had a little luck on my side in these games as Heaton bricked a lot, drawing into several unnecessary resources.
Round 2: My only loss in the swiss, I went 1-2 against eventual top eighter ThufirHawat playing his now meta D/S Ascension. I misidentified the match-up initially and put him on Candles, but I quickly realized my mistake as he generated extreme value with Light the Votives and eventually Psychic Ascension. Game 1 felt close, but looking back I think Thufir just outplayed me. In retrospect this match-up was sort of a foreshadow for the current metagame. While Mono-Blood was picking up steam on ladder, it still wasn’t an oppressively dominant archetype and Light the Votives was not being widely used in conjunction with Psychic Ascension strategies. Game 2 I played a Blight Knight on the second turn and curved out with minor disruption. Game 3 was very close, I was maybe a turn or two away from winning, but ThufirHawat got to cast a Light the Votices for 4 or 5 to start blocking. A few turns later he found a Psychic Ascension to close out.
Round 3: I played against Sixtyapes who was on a R/S Portals list that sounds like a good idea, but just does not hold up to most of the top decks. The RNG can be a little too swingy and the cards themselves are a little clunky. I won in two quick games.
Round 4: I played against Smovens who was on D/S Ascension, the same list or close to ThufirHawat’s. I was really worried that the games would go the same way and I would be down another round, but with luck on my side, I ended up winning 2-0. Game 1 he never found a Psychic Ascension and with some timely Withering Gazes I stole a Consult the Talon. Game 2 Smoven mulliganed to 5-6 and couldn’t really stabilize the board.
Round 5: Playing Against Limekiller who was on D/W Momentum deck. Lets just say he didn’t gain any momentum as I killed everything that came in to play and closed out on his empty board. Game 2 got really weird when my opponent cast Brosi-Buk, Mischief Master one of the cards I got was a Giant Centipede. Next I played a Bride of the Damned, taking a few of his troops, and made an attack with the Centipede and some Dreadlings. He passed with no blocks and after some math, I realized that my Centipede could do 24 damage and he was at 22. 2-0
Round 6: My opponent, Allofya, was on a Mono-Blood Midrange list. I didn’t really have much experience in the mirror match. I got worried but I ended up winning 2-1. Not really much to say about the games our decks where almost card for card, so game one was really about who uses their resources better. Games 2-3 my opponent made some weird reserve choices that I think hurt him.
Round 7: I played Berkeley who had his own build of Mono-Blood, with Renner as his Champion. His deck was built around Locket of Reflection. Game one he was on the play and kept a one shard hand that only had all 3 drops in it. I Withering Gazed him turn 1 and I took his Zeddek’s Judgment denying him some card draw and hoping to keep him off resources. He missed turn two so I played a Vampire Prince and started the beat down. He ended up drawing some shards, but I was too far ahead in the end. Game 2 was much like the first. He did keep a much better hand, but I ended up pulling ahead and staying ahead until I came out on top with a 2-0 win, locking myself for Top 8.
Top 8: Not nearly as exciting as the swiss, I drafted a pretty bad Illuminate deck with a first and second pick Lumiknight. I didn’t have much experience in this draft format, but somehow I ended up beating SargonVito in the top eight and got smashed in top four by Khendral and his insane Plagueroot deck. Overall I was really happy with my finish and really happy that I got on the Mono Blood train for the CCS.