Belgium Grand Championship
I signed up for two grand championships at the same time, Netherlands and Belgium. I mostly went to Brussels because the flight was cheap, and I could make a weekend of it.
Utrecht did not go well, so I had most of my eggs in the Belgium basket, with one additional chance to get travel budget to worlds in the UK grand championship.
With the release of Worlds Collide very close to the event, I didn’t have time to properly test my decks against the new emerging meta.
Flare the Conspicuously Philanthropic was out, as I did not feel at all confident it could handle big Saurian boards. The deck really shines when I can clear my opponent’s board and then ready my creatures with Relentless Assault. Also the rise of purge decks had me worried, as my deck relies on recursion.
My SO was gracious enough to lend me her deck Natural Philosopher Bazi Biz-Toth, which is an extremely consistent and fluid deck. My other deck was going to be one of the three Charflare, Cliff Luddite, Cpt. “The Poet” Millett or Crabtree the Chaotically Leaden. My teammates thought, and I agree, that The Poet and Crabtree have excellent tools to deal with Worlds Collide, but Charflare is no slouch either.
The Poet has very good ways to deal with board, and especially bypass some of the Saurian aember protection cards such as Imperial Scutum with Nature’s Call or Lost in the Woods.
Crabtree has some of its own non-destruction creature control in Fear and Lost in the Woods, and also has some great targeted removal in Neutron shark and 2 Hand of Dis.
Charflare is a combo deck, so it can win even if my opponent has a huge board. I was a bit worried about my aember control being board reliant, but Destroy Them All! could prove very useful.
The plan was to test them on thecrucible.online, and if they didn’t pan out, fall back on Charflare. Unfortunately I was a little too burned out on keyforge to properly test decks against the meta, as well as getting reps in with Bazi. So I decided Charflare was it. I even decided to get on the plane with just Bazi and Charflare, as I wanted to free my brain from second guessing the deck choice until the last minute. A good plan.
For deck order I had two considerations. Fatigue was going to play a huge part in two deck true survival in one day, so I wanted to play something that was fast and didn’t burn me out first. Bazi is the obvious choice here. The second consideration was Worlds Collide. I thought I would face more Worlds Collide in earlier rounds, so I wanted to keep the deck I was less confident could handle it to last.
I cannot begin to convey how stressed I was before and during this event. I am a person that is always hungry and always wants to eat, yet I was unable to finish a cup of orange juice due to nausea. I only managed to force a persimmon down my throat after two rounds. And only after the event has ended did I get my appetite back. I was nauseous the entire day.
Some good friends at the event provided hugs, which helped a ton.
No Too much to Protect makes me happy, but the incremental aember control is huge. I start off with a small burst, but my opponent triple Urchins me right off the bat, giving them a key. I was already feeling like I lost it, when a Library Access into Time Traveller turn made feel like I could claw my way back as I went to 11 aember.
Unfortunately, my opponent went Sound the Horns into Lomir Flamefist into Bumpsy into Wardrummer bringing me down to 5.
My opponent was taking several 4 minute turns, which I was very gracious about, but when they forgot to take their archive I did not let them take it mid-turn. The clock was running out, and the slow play put me on my back foot. I did not feel I had any more generosity in me.
I eventually won by setting up a very wide board I could use repeatedly to get up to the win.
I had to scan the deck as it was not in english, the power level 6 was a bit intimidating. I waited for Interdimensional Graft to be out of the way for me to burst with a big Logos turn.
My opponent played Hysteria into Arise! into six Dis creatures in hopes of coming back, but my archived Glorious Few was the last nail in the coffin as I drive in the win.
They were also very aware I had Glorious Few, so I am not sure why they chose to play it that way. I was thinking maybe they should have kept the double Shooler in hand, but me knowing they are there might have greatly reduced their effectiveness. Maybe discarding some of them was the right play? I have no idea.
Had to play a friend this round, which was unfortunate, but I was happy at least one of us would go on to game 4 undefeated.
If I recall correctly an early Teliga had to be dealt with before I could properly start playing, which was followed by double Mother for which I had no answer. To my relief they played Gateway to Dis killing their own two Mothers and just 3 creatures on my side. It was followed up with at least one Succubus, maybe two, but those were easier to deal with.
My deck was super fast this game, and I outpaced the card advantage of the two Mothers and won.
Piloted by a very young individual, I was determined not to underestimate them, as they obviously know what they are doing if they are 3-0.
I feel like they did not play optimally, but they did use their Brobnar board very effectively, getting Alakas off and fighting to clear my board.
However, I was able to generate a huge board with a Titan Mechanics on my flank. They couldn’t control my aember with their two Ronnies and Too Much to Protect when my keys cost 5.
I go off on a huge Library Access turn that generates 12 aember, and they have no aember swing cards so nothing to stop me. I honestly barely remember the game, it ended rather fast.
The last two undefeated players.
I don’t have enough notes to find the deck, but they had no artifact control so I put my Library Access under Masterplan and waited for the right time to go off. I forged all three keys for 4 each. I opted to discard several creatures to keep my Titan Mechanics on the flank.
Fatigue started showing in this game, as I counted Ronnies and completely forgot about the Exhumes. I also forgot to use my Whispering Reliquary when I had my Veylan Analyst out, which would have gotten me to 8 instead of 7 and would likely ended the game a turn early.
Their deck is very strong, and they had Val Jericho out in the center the entire game almost only playing Star Alliance. But it was no match for Bazi.
I did not really grasp the combo this deck has when looking over the list, being fairly new to Worlds Collide. Senator Shrix plus Tribute and then an Imperial Forge to use all the aember can be a huge swing.
They did play Wild Wormhole and hit a Tribute, which put them on tilt as they lost a combo piece. Then when Shrix came out, they forged a key for 10 with Imperial Forge, using 8 of their own aember and 2 of mine. they lamented playing the Wild Wormhole, but since they never reached the bottom of their deck, it is statistically the same as the Wild Wormhole being the bottom card of their deck. I personally think playing the Wild Wormhole was the correct play and just bad luck.
Game was on stream, but is a bit hard to follow.
My finals opponent was the same I played in round 5. Since they were on their second deck and I was on my first I felt extremely confident I would win the tournament. Needing to win only one of two games and them having to win both.
Fatigue was at its peak for both me and my opponent. When they played Martian Generosity with 3 aember in their pool, I was certain they only had 13 cards in hand, forgetting I returned an artifact to their hand and bad penny. I don’t know if it was a misplay on my part to return them, but it definitely wasn’t on my mind.
I also played Seeker Needle when I should have discarded it. I remember briefly thinking about their Sneklifter, but ended up playing it.
They also misplayed at least once. When they play the Martian Generosity they were holding 2 Key Abductions in hand. They play Martian Generosity, then one Key Abduction for a key, then a second Key Abduction for the aember. If they played one Key Abduction before the Martian Generosity, they would have had 2 more cards in hand, which might have made a difference. They did use that aember to make me lose 3 with Shatter Storm, but I still feel another 2 cards would have been better.
The other misplay followed me not allowing them to take back an Exhume, which may have tilted them, I don’t know. With Brend in their discard to Exhume, they chose Ronnie, and since they followed it up with an Unlocked Gateway, that is a net loss of 1 aember.
Bazi did what it does. Set up a Sanctum board while going crazy with Logos. I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to play Charflare at all, but only a little, going 9-0 certainly felt great.
Contact and afterward
I’m naturally very happy with my performance, and my opponents put up quite a challenge. I’d like to thank my teammates over at Sanctumonius, without whom I do not believe I would have gotten this result. I would also like to thank my SO, known online as Techslut for practicing with me, supporting me, and lending me her deck. And my other SO, Maya for reducing my stress coming up to the event with some nice touring of Rouge.
I plan on taking a bit of a break from premium events. Relax and enjoy some more casual games. So far I am not a fan of Worlds Collide, but I intend to find the decks in this set I enjoy playing.
I have several topics lined up for the blog, so keep tuned.