Shadow worlds day 1
Over the weekend of May 2nd, team KiP (Discord) ran Shadow Worlds day one, an online unofficial replacement for official worlds championship that has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. First, I would like to thank KiP for providing me with an outlet for my own, and the community’s competitive desires over this global crisis.
The previous tournaments ran by KiP have been chock full of some of the best players in the world, and this event was no different.
I initially did not intend to participate, as I thought I would have more fun casting the event with my cohost techslut. That was until I was invited to join a very competitive team with jfillipeg and Ugluk4242. Being placed in the Archon Solo seat also meant I was already prepared.
We didn’t know if there are any other Sanctumonius teams registered, so we decided to call ourselves Sanctumonius International Coalition for Keyforge, or S.I.C.K. For having a player from Canada, Portugal and Israel.
I ran Charflare, Cliff Luddite. A well proven deck I recently used to go 3-0 in the Sanctumonius Invitational, Glorious Few. You can find the replays on the Sanctumonius communiteam website.
Opponent’s Team: Grump Buddies_UA.
My opponent’s deck: Rawlinson, the Leader of Chesterpines.
Due to server issues our first game was cut short when my opponent was well in the lead. They asked me to mark it as a win for them, and I did not know how to respond. We ended up just replaying the series. If it would have gone 1-1 I might have felt bad, but as it stood I got demolished.
I think this is as close to an unwinnable matchup as I have played. The double Tribute meant I could not hold enough aember to play Martian Genrosity, and the double Axiom of Grisk, Tertiate and triple Zap (!!) meant I could not keep a board. My opponent was also very smart (or lucky, hard to say sometimes) to keep some damage on their creatures to prevent me from clearing the board with my Coward’s End.
Match result: 0-2.
Team Result: 2-1 yey teammates!
Opponent’s Team: Dragon Scars.
Opponent’s deck: The Warded Wrestler of Inchstoke.
This deck has no answers to mine. It doesn’t have artifact control to take my Nepenthe Seed or my Grump Buggy. It has some disruption, but not enough for me to care about. I can even realistically win this match with them having an Ember Imp on the board.
I honestly don’t remember much about the match, it was over very fast, but I do seem to recall my opponent locking themselves into Dis with a Pitlord for several turns while I discarded creatures until I found my combo pieces to win.
Match result: 2-0
Team Result: 3-0 great for tie breakers!
Opponent’s Team: Furry Mussels (Cute name!)
Opponent’s deck: Ingrid l’Ottusa, Disegnatrice della Foresta
Martian Generosity Key Abduction mirror match! Before my game, jfillipeg noted I can copy my opponent’s Martian Generosity with Mimicry then seed Mimicry and copy their Key Abduction. This was a useful note. I don’t know if I would have leaned into it as hard as I did otherwise.
This matchup is extremely good for me. They don’t have artifact control, and I get to play Martian Generosity in Untamed. Furthermore the overall quality of my cards is much higher, and I can double Key Abduction which they can’t do.
One of the keys to winning this match was not giving them a good target for Hypnobeam. This meant not playing out all my Mars creatures, but in order to still maintain some board and bait out the Hypnobeam so I can safely play Mars creatures, I let them take control of my come into play stunned creatures, Zorg and Dominator. One time I even neglected to remove the stun from Zorg and they did indeed Hypnobeam it the following turn.
Match result: 2-0
Team Result: 3-0
Shadow worlds day 1 was split into two days of 3 rounds due to the best of 3 variants taking a long time. At the end of the first day, we were 3-0 with amazing tie breakers, firmly at the top of the standings.
This definitely felt very good, and we were looking to keep up the momentum in the second half of day 1.
Opponent’s Team: Forgia Goti
Opponent’s deck: Vida Z. l’Arguta
I had a look at my opponent’s deck and saw my nemesis, Punctuated Equilibrium. This means that if I play Martian Generosity before I have seen it, my opponent can chuck my hand of 10+ cards and I’ll be back down to 6, with possible key cards thrown out. If they play it while I am crafting my hand and board state and holding Martian Generosity, I will be without my combo piece.
Furthermore, their Gravid Cycle means they can take back the Punctuated Equilibrium and threaten to cast it the following turn, causing me to either play Martian Generosity and lose my hand after the play, or give up on playing it as it will be discarded the following turn.
I did however have a plan. I have Glimmer and Seed, and they allow me to take back my MG after my opponent has played PE.
That, however turned out to be unnecessary. I do not think my opponent realized how key the Punctuated Equilibrium is in this matchup, playing it early to cycle their non-Untamed cards and helping me dig for my combo. When they played Gravid Cycle they took back Unnatural Selection, which does not hurt me nearly as much. The match ended up being fairly easy, with them lacking ways to take away my aember.
Match result: 2-0
Team Result: 1-2
Taking a round loss was painful, but not the end of the world. We still got a tie breaker point, which meant we likely only needed one round win to get into top 16 for day 2.
Opponent’s Team: Reapout Earth (Oh oh)
Opponent’s deck: “Gasoline” Maximiliano, Dungeon Keeper (Oh no)
If you have been following competitive keyforge, this deck needs no introduction. Piloted by George Keagle, who is the first two time Vault Tour champion, piloting this very deck. Before the Library Access errata, this was a LANS combo deck. After, this is one of the meanest lockout decks out there. Some would argue that George not leaning into the LANS combo actually made the deck stronger. But whatever philosophy you have, this is a fearsome opponent to meet in a tournament.
The match was casted by KiP Justice Blinded, and you can watch it on youtube. I am not going to analyze the game at this point, as I have every intention of meeting Reapout Earth and George Keagle in the finals. Also, this match is so interesting, it might warrant a full article.
Match result: 0-2
Team Result: 1-2
Our second round loss meant that we needed to win the last round in order to be in top 16. If we went 3-0 I was sure we would be in while a 2-1 was uncertain, and looking at the final standing, it looks like a 2-1 would not have guaranteed top 16. So everything resting on the final round.
Also, kudos to Ugluk4242 for taking a match off firesa, the Australian Grand Champion and securing an additional tie breaker point. No small feat!
Opponent’s Team: Manchester Mavericks 2
Opponent’s deck: Ravyn “Mr. Heart-to-Heart” Auer
The first deck I would face with Artifact control, however, it is not very reliable Artifact control, and I felt I could keep it from ruining my plans. Rustgnawer needs to be killed, or no lower power creatures left on the board, while Giant Gnawbill is quite under my control.
The only thing in this deck that can take away my aember are the two C.Æ.N.D.L.E. Units, and that is only temporarily. Edais even help me get my aember higher so I can Martian Generosity for more cards.
I even ended up reaping with the units in play, because I can combo off many cards in hand, and they can’t.
The board control was something to look out for, especially the Red Alert, which I had to play around a few times. Thank you techslut for running a double Red Alert deck against me until I learned my lesson.
Match result: 2-0
Team Result: 3-0
We all pulled through in the last round and we go in, finishing at a very respectable 12th place.
Contact and afterword
Overall this was a good run. My personal 4-2 result is not amazing, but it is very respectable considering the field of amazing players. I’m looking forward to the top 16 next week!
I’m still running a double elimination bracket low sas tournament on Thursdays, and might run other events. So join the discord and find the #timeshapers channel to join in on the fun.
As always, you can follow me on twitter for updates. And join us at the Sanctumonius discord server if you’d like to chat with me, or join an awesome community of KeyForge players.
We’ve also started the Timeshapers Podcast, so find it on your favourite platform, and if it isn’t there, please leave a comment so we can get it on there.