Summer Derby 2020

This is the first time I'm writing a regular tourney report on my own blog, I decided I would take notes and do a write-up even if I went 0-8 and this is the first derby I'm playing in as I only started with webcam Old School during the corona pandemic this spring.

The Derby
The Derby is a tournament series that has been going on for quite some time and it takes place twice a year (Summer Derby and Winter Derby). It is arranged and hosted by tournament organizer extraordinaire Dave Firth Bard of the New England Old School group. This time the tournament reached its cap of 256 participants from 20 different countries with 66 different team/group affiliations. The format for this tournament was the Atlantic ruleset (allowing four Mishra's Workshop and Fallen Empires). The tournament is run in two different batches where you have two weeks to schedule and play four matches. The first batch is four totally randomized opponents and in the second batch you are paired against four opponents with the same match wins as you accumulated in the first batch. After two batches there is a cut to top 16 single elimination playoffs.

My deck - Atlantic Dark Flux
I knew I wanted to play with my Juzam Djinns I got in a big trade with Elof earlier this summer. I wanted revenge from when I played them to a poor 2-4 record in the Raging Bull Series. I was not really convinced about the Spice Rack deck that plays The Rack main deck and wanted to go wider on the threat angle with Underworld Dreams and Energy Flux main deck. I used Beyoncé's 6-0 Dark Flux deck from BSK 2019 as a inspiration. There were some obvious upgrades in Hymn to Tourach and Order of the Ebon Hand while Drain Life and Oubliette just seemed bad. My sideboard ended up a bit all over the place with three The Rack, fourth Order of the Ebon Hand and fourth Underworld Dreams and the Second Sengir Vampire.

Batch 1

Eric Do Couto (Martyrs-Valley-Preacher-Clock)
Game 1 was not much to speak about, I played two Hymn to Tourach into Juzam Djinn and double Order of the Ebon Hand and he played Serra Angel and Copper Tablet. What confused me was that he discarded a Mishra's Workshop from one of the Hymns.

In game 2 I started with Underground Sea, Dark Ritual, Mox Sapphire and Mind Twist to which he responded with Ancestral Recall. I draw a land and resolve a Gloom backed up by Order of the Ebon Hand, Juzam Djinn and Underworld Dreams. A Balance from his side was not enough to clean it up. I never got to see his spice with Martyrs of Korlis, Diamond Valley, Preacher and Armageddon Clock in action.

Results: 1-0 (2-0)

Frederique Lafoux (4c Spice Rack)
Game 1 starts with him Mind Twisting me for two cards and gets one of my two lands in my starting hand. I was able to draw a Swamp and play Hymn to Tourach. Next turn I needed to play Demonic Tutor for Underground Sea because I only had two Swamps and a Maze of Ith. He has a Chaos Orb in play but didn't use it against my mana or my Maze of Ith and instead against a Hypnotic Specter I played the turn after. I was able to destroy his (few) artifacts with a Energy Flux and then lands a Sengir Vampire and a Juzam Djinn for the win.

Game 2 I keep a Library of Alexandria on the draw, he plays a Land and a Mox and I can draw with Library. He plays a Hymn but since I'm on eight cards I can keep drawing with Library in my turn. He plays a Hypnotic Specter which makes me discard a card so I take a chance and Dark Ritual out a Sengir Vampire against his lonely card (which is a Swords to Plowshares). I am able to stabilize after that with a Maze of Ith, play Juzam Djinn, Sink Hole on his Mishra's Factory and play my own Mishra's Factory.

Results: 2-0 (4-0)

Mitch Carson (UB Dib-Hymn)
In game 1 both take a mulligan and start with a Underground Sea. I can play a turn two Hymn to Tourach which he Force Spikes(!). I get to play a Underworld Dreams followed by a Timetwister which gets him down to 12 (my only card left in the hand was a totally dead Energy Flux). The game ends with me playing a Juzam Djinn which is chump blocked by a couple of Flying Men while my Underworld Dreams and his Serendib Efreet slowly kills him.

In game 2 he started with playing a land and I played land and a Sol Ring. Turn two he Hymns me. I was lucky to draw another black source on my turn to be able to deploy my Juzam Djinn. In a kind of repeat of game 1 he chump blocks with seeveral Flying Men just to stay alive while his Serendib Efreet is ticking him down. He never reached four mana and I got to Sinkhole his third land later to be safe from Control Magic which was probably the only way I was losing this game.

Results: 3-0 (6-0)

Audun Døssland (URb "spicy" Counterburn)
In game 1 I take a mulligan and put a Underworld Dreams on the bottom. He starts with a Chain Lightning turn 1 and I wonder what I'm playing against. I'm starting with dropping a Royal Assassin followed by a Hypnotic Specter (the Specter is stopped by a single Granite Gargoyle the whole game). During the course of the game Audun plays Timetwister, Ancestral Recall and Braingeyser x 2 in the game where I started by putting the Underworld Dreams on the bottom of the library. I'm on the back foot by the Granite Gargoyle and for lands I only draw my two City of Brass and a single Swamp, so my Order of the Ebon Hand is basically not that good. My Royal Assassin never gets to do anything and later on both my Order and Assassin gets to taste what a Earthquake feels like. My Hypnotic Specters gets killed by Falling Stars. I never was ahead in this game.

In game 2 I board out my Order of the Ebon Hand and Energy Flux to take in two Racks, two Maze of Ith and a Sengir Vampire. My Hypnotic Specters eats Bolts and can never attack. My Hymn to Tourach discards a Psychic Purge from him. Later, I get to play a Timetwister (responded by a bolt from his side) and finds two Underworld Dreams. I must handle his Sol'Kanar, the Swamp King by Demonic Tutoring up a Chaos Orb. I get to resolve one Underworld Dreams and he counters the second one. In the end Serendib Efreet eats me up when I don't find any Maze of Ith.

Results: 3-1 (6-2)

Batch 2

Andrew Lyons (RGBu Land Destruction)
In game 1 I get to start with Underground Sea and follow it up with an Ancestral Recall in his upkeep. He plays a turn 1 Library of Alexandria. In my turn 2 I get the sweet (lucky) line of playing Dark Ritual, Library of Alexandria, draw card, Dark Ritual and Sengir Vampire. He plays City of Brass and a Time Walk. Later on, in the game he has an untapped Nevinyrral's Disk in play and five mana at 9 life and he sequenced his plays wrong. Instead of activating the Disk to remove my Sengir he plays a Nether Void and passes. In my turn I attack with Sengir Vampire and he takes the damage going to 5 life, in my end step he activates the Disk removing my Sengir and his Nether Void going to 4 from the City of Brass. He has a Mishra's Factory and deploys a Sedge Troll. I play a Hypnotic Specter and an Order of the Ebon Hand followed by a Underworld Dreams the next turn. There is no way his Sedge Troll and Factory can race this with him being at 4 and me being at 18.

In game 2 he starts with City of Brass and I play a Swamp and The Rack. He plays just Mishra's Factory and says go. I Sinkhole his City of Brass (his deck plays Sinkhole and four colors). I can play an Order of the Ebon Hand and a Hypnotic Specter while he plays a Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and a Nevinyrall's Disk. He gets to disk away my Order, Specter and The Rack (which got in for 3 once!) and leaving him with a Sedge Troll and 2 Mishra's Factory and me with 2 Mishra's Factory. He is at 8 life and I can play a Sengir Vampire with a sandbagged Mox Sapphire I had in my hand since turn 1 and he has no answer for it and being at only 8 life.

Results: 4-1 (8-2)

Jon Tschida (Lauter.dec)
In game 1 I keep a sketchy hand with Energy Flux, 2 x Mishra's Factory, a Strip Mine, 2 x Underground Sea and a Swamp. I think that I at least can Strip Mine a land and dry to draw something good. He starts with turn 1 Library of Alexandria, so I get an easy turn 1 play. I resolve an Underworld Dreams (he disenchanted my Sol Ring) but he plays a Serra Angel which I try to race with my Juzam Djinn, and he counters my Juzam Djinn number 2. He can Recall for a Time Walk so despite my attack with Juzam Djinn, 2 x Mishra's Factory and Order of the Ebon Hand (with a hidden Dark Ritual for extra pump) I die to my own Juzam Djinn in the upkeep.

For game 2 I sideboard out my Hypnotic Specters and Juzam Djinns to take in Energy Flux (I thought he was on something The Deckish), Underworld Dreams, Order of the Ebon Hand, 3 x Gloom and Aeolipile. I don't remember much of the game, but I know I had Gloom, Underworld Dreams and Order of the Ebon Hand in play. He has two Serendib Efreets that ticks him down with Underworld Dreams faster than he can kill me. He also shows a Preacher during this game.

Before game 3 I take out a Dark Ritual and an Energy Flux for 2 x Maze of Ith. He plays land go, I play hand land go, he plays land go and I try to Sink Hole his City of Brass which gets Counterspell'd. I play a Black Lotus into a Underworld Dreams. I am able to later resolve Underworld Dreams number two after he plays a Serendib Efreet which he follows up with another Serendib Efreet so the race is on. I play an Order of the Ebon Hand and he has a Mishra's Factory. I'm able to draw a Aeolipile that gets him down to 0 life and he plows a Serendib Efreet and a Mishra's Factory to land on 4 life, he goes down to one in his draw step (Serendib nr 2 and 2 x Dreams) and I'm standing safe at 1 after his attack with Serendib Efreet. He only has 4 mana with one being City of Brass so his Demonic Tutor can't find anything that saves him.

Results: 5-1 (10-3)

Ben Steiger (Monored Atog)
In game 1 I keep Swamp, Mishra's Factory, 2 x Hymn to Tourach, 2 x Hypnotic Specter and Order of the Ebon Hand. I think that there is a high enough chance drawing into a second black source on the draw. He plays mountain go, I play swamp go, he plays mountain and Ankh of Mishra. I don't find a black source, so he kills me quite quickly with Lightning Bolt, Blood Moon, 2 x Ankh of Mishra and a Copper Tablet. The only spell I play is a Mind Twist for 1.

For game 2 I board in 2 x Energy Flux and 3 x The Rack. I have no idea how many creatures he plays but I guess Atog and maybe something else. I started with Swamp, Black Lotus and Energy Flux. I play a turn 2 Underworld Dreams with a Dark Ritual. Vi trade some damage with Mishra's Factory on both sides, Copper Tablet and Underworld Dreams. The race is close until he plays a Shivan Dragon that can kill me in one blow for 9 damage.

Results: 5-2 (10-5)

Rubens Campana (BRW Midrange)
I mulligan to six and he started with Badlands, Black Lotus and Hypnotic Specter. I have no answer for that but top deck a Maze of Ith which I deploy. He plays Badlands and Demonic Tutor. I play a Swamp and a Sol Ring. He Strip Mines my Maze of Ith (was pretty sure he was going toTutor for that) and discards my only other land City of Brass. That Hypnotic manhandles me, and I get stuck with only 3 black lands and a Sol Ring in play when I top deck a Hypnotic to try to stop the bleeding, but he plays another Hypnotic Specter. I have an Underworld Dreams in play that with an Order of the Ebon Hand get him down to 10. I draw Timetwister, plays it and he go to 3 (I'm at 2 so the Hypnotic is lethal, and so would a Lightning Bolt be). I found a lethal Ancestral Recall but no blue mana source, I play Dark Ritual, second Underworld Dreams and a Maze of Ith. He has no Lightning Bolt but manages to kill the Maze of Ith with a Chaos Orb (he seemed nervous for that flip).

For the 7th time I board out the Energy Fluxes, Order of the Ebon Hands and a couple of Hypnotics. I get in 4th Underworld Dreams, 2 x Maze of Ith, 3 x The Rack and an Aeolipile. I get the start with turn 1 Swamp, Mox Jet and Hymn to Tourach, he discards a land and a Sedge Troll. He returns the favor with a Mox Jet of his own (I discarded Sol Ring and Underworld Dreams). Turn 2 I deploy, Land, Aeolipile and The Rack. We reach a stand-off and he play a Demonic Tutor leaving him with 3 cards. I top deck a Hymn and discard two of his cards (obviously not the one he DT for). Later, he plays a Juzam Djinn he DT for. Four turns later I'm dead having drawn 3 mana sources and another dead card.

Results: 5-3 (10-7)

Conclusions about the deck
The deck is quite fun to play but I would have liked to make some changes. I should have split my Order of the Ebon Hand 2/2 and played the second Sengir Vampire in the main deck (owns those Serendib Efreets and Lightning Bolts). I never played against white weenie so I guess I didn't really want the Order of the Ebon Hand and Aeolipile and really would have wanted some Terrors for the Trolls and Serendib Efreets. I really should stop this auto include of Royal Assassin in all my black decks, it basically sits on the board doing nothing or sitting in my hand not being played. My Energy Flux was bad, and I ended up side boarding them out a lot, but maybe it is good I didn't play tier 1 decks like Atog, The Deck and Shops. I would play this deck again with some minor tweaks, but I like the original idea of Energy Flux and Underworld Dreams in the main deck.

Thoughts about the tournament
Really great organization, everything ran extremely smooth with the Google doc containing all the information so big thanks to Dave Firth Bard. My opponents were great, I had time differences from -1 to -9 hours, and they scheduled so I didn't have to play at 4-6AM my time (I'm not a fun opponent early in the morning). I will continue to play these derby's and hope for something even more spicy like EC/PAC next time for the Winter Derby.


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