Week 9 Recaps

Hello and Welcome! Click the links above to read about VSL, the schedule, and the standings. Click here if you want decklists. If you want to watch the video archives you can click here. Meanwhile, if you just want to hear about this week’s matches then read on.

*SPOILER WARNING*

Some people have asked for a way to follow the Vintage Super League without watching all the matches every week. These match recaps are for them.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Week 9 was the final week of the regular season yet somehow not a single player had been eliminated from playoff contention yet, and there were realistic scenarios in play that could result in 6, 7, or even 8-way ties (triggering a whole bunch of tiebreaker matches).

Efro v LSV

Luis drew terribly, following up his mulligans with draw phases that provided no business whatsoever. In game 1 Eric Tinkered for the other half of Time Vault / Voltaic Key and in game 2 he Tinkered for Inkwell Leviathan, but it could have been almost anything versus the meager resistance LSV was able to put up.

The win clinched a post-season berth for Eric, and killed the dream of an 8-way tie, but a 7-way tie was still alive and that’s what the crowd switched to rooting for.

Randy v Chris

Randy kept a somewhat risky draw with one Island and a Ponder, and whiffed on land when he cast Ponder, but Chris’s draw was just land and permission so Randy had time to finally draw his second land on turn 4. It was a Cavern of Souls, and that negated all the Force of Wills that Chris had been accumulating. To the surprise of both players and the commentators, Randy wound up winning thanks to a steady stream of uncounterable lords.

The shoe was on the other foot in game 2 as Randy seemed to be winning the whole way, but he only had one lord as his clock and that gave Chris enough time to top-deck the single best card in the matchup: the one copy of Moat that had started the match in his sideboard. Randy conceded immediately upon seeing it on the stack.

In game 3 Randy drew another Cavern of Souls (which stranded several counters in Chris’s hand as Randy played out creatures) and used Strip Mine to deprive Chris of the white mana he needed for his removal (which couldn’t have dealt with True-Name Nemesis anyway). The game looked close early, but quickly became a blowout.

Randy’s win left both he and Chris with 4-5 records, and kept alive the dream of a 7-way tie for 4th through last at that record.

Tom v Steve

Game 1 was really interesting: Steve had a Misdirection which forced Tom to Misstep his own Ancestral Recall, and then Steve was able to use his Ancestral to bait out a Pyroblast and force through a Time Spiral. The Spiral allowed Steve to hard-cast an Inkwell Leviathan, but Tom actually managed to out race it with a Delver and a Young Pyromancer!

In game 2 Steve was able to cast both Preordian and Ancestral Recall on his first turn, setting up a Turn 2 Tinker with Force of Will back-up. Tom couldn’t race that one.

Tom was faced with a tricky judgment call on his first turn on game 3. He had 2 Moxes and a Null Rod (along with Lightning Bolt, Gush, Ponder, and one fetch land). He Pondered into his choice of Thoughtseize or Young Pyromancer. Tom could jam the Null Rod and turn off many of Steve’s most broken draws (plus his own Moxes), or he could run out a Thoughtseize and hope it does the same thing, but he decided to lead with Young Pyromancer. Well it turned out that Steve’s draw was pretty busted: Black Lotus and Lotus Petal let him resolve both Tinker (for Inkwell Leviathan) and Ancestral Recall on his first turn. Tom put up a game fight, and actually had a line that might have been able to race if things worked out perfectly, but Steve used Vampiric Tutor to go get a Time Walk and that was that.

The win tied Steve for 1st and triggered a tiebreaker match for the #1 seed. The loss by Tom dropped him into the massive tie at 4-5 and kept alive the 7-way tie scenario.

Bob v Rich

Dark Confidant was the hero of this match as Bob used his own invitational card for both card advantage and a body to attack with. He pulled steadily ahead in game 1 with this strategy (helped by a Fire that killed both an unflipped Delver and also a Young Pyromancer … before then getting Snapcastered back to kill another Pyromancer). It worked so well in game 1 that Bob pretty much just ran it back again to also win game 2 on the back of … well … Bob.

Both players found themselves at 4-5 after this match and it all came down to the final game of the season. With 44 matches done, all 10 players were still live for playoffs heading into match 45. If Josh could win we’d have a 7-way tie. If David could win he would be the 4th player in a clean cut to the Top 4.

Josh v David

Josh kept a 1-land draw with an Ancestral in game 1, but David had the Mental Misstep he needed to stop it. Josh never did find a second land while David used Mystical Tutor to get a Force of Will and then top-decked a crucial 2nd Misstep to defend the Time Vault and the Voltaic Key that he had drawn naturally.

David never drew gas in game 2, but Josh had a grip full of permission pretty much the whole game anyway. David attacked for about 10 turns with a Goblin Welder while Josh strung together 3 copies of Dig Through Time to pull farther and farther ahead, eventually winning with a Young Pyromancer.

Of COURSE it all came down to the final game of the final match of the season!

Dave’s draw had fast mana and a Mystical Tutor, which he used to get a Tinker for Inkwell Leviathan for turn 2. Dave also had a Force of Will and a Misdirection, which Josh had seen with a Gitaxian Probe so he knew not to cast his Ancestral Recall until he got David to Force a Young Pyromancer.

Josh’s only chance was to somehow outrace Inkwell with Young Pyromancer tokens and Time Walk. He set about digging for those pieces with two Gushes, a Brainstorm, and two copies of Dig Through Time. His position looked hopeless when he began this process, but he came shockingly close to pulling it off. His real problem was that he pretty much whiffed on his first Dig through Time. He did manage to find the Time Walk, and a Yawgmoth’s Will, and a Fastbond, but without a Young Pyromancer in play at the beginning of the process, he was never able to mount a meaningful offense and eventually ran out of steam.

So the dreams of massive tiebreaker brackets died and the Top 4 cut wound up being clean, with David and Eric tied for 3rd at 5-4 and Eric and Luis tied for 2nd at 6-3. meanwhile, with that loss (plus the wins by Bob and Randy), Josh wound up alone in last at 3-6.

Next week Luis and Steve will play a tiebreaker match to see who gets the #1 seed (and the bye into the finals) plus Eric and David will play best 2 out of 3 matches to see who advances to the semi’s.

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