Worlds Tour: UW Tron vs Opp-Orb

Last night was the official beginning of the Worlds Tour mega-tournament. The first match ended up being Andrea Santin’s Opp-Orb deck from 2001 and Ryo Orgura’s UW Tron deck from 2006. So here we go with the decklists:


played by Ben

20 Island

2 Rishadan Port (heck yeah!)

3 Glacial Wall

4 Lord of Alantis

4 Merfolk Looter

4 Rootwater Thief

3 Waterfront Bouncer

3 Counterspell

3 Foil

3 Gush

4 Opposition

4 Static Orb

3 Thwart

This deck ended up being extremely hard to play, but I think Ben figured it by the end. The general strategy here is to overrun the opponent with your merpeople. Sometimes this involves locking your opponent down with Opposition and Static Orb for a long game, or just plain overrunning them by playing creature after creature while defending them with your free counters. Overall, the deck seems like a draw-go deck that allows you to play creatures on your turn to stay ahead on tempo.

UW Tron

played by Ronnie

1 Academy Ruins

4 Ardarkar Wastes

4 Hallowed Fountain

1 Island

1 Urza’s Factory

4 Urza’s Mine

4 Urza’s Power Plant

4 Urza’s Tower

2 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

2 Triskelavus

4 Azorius Signet

1 Careful Consideration

1 Commandeer

4 Compulsive Research

3 Dimir Signet

2 Faith’s Fetters

2 Mana Leak

1 Mystical Teachings

4 Remand

2 Spell Burst

2 Spell Snare

2 Think Twice

2 Tidings

3 Wrath of God

This deck was a little more straight forward: Mana, mana, mana. The deck almost plays draw-go in the early parts of the game, until it can get the Tron online. Once the Tron gets assembled it just overpowers the opponent with expensive spells. In a pinch it can get a Triskelavus cycle going, by removing all counters from it and using one of the tokens to kill the Triskelavus. Then, it pus the Triskelavus back on top of it’s deck using Academy Ruins. Overall, an awesome quasi-combo deck.

The Match

Game 1

This game killed my soul. It felt like I had swallowed sand paper. Both Ben and I played lands for the first four turns with no spells. The first spell that was cast was a Merfolk Looter which promptly met a Spell Burst without the buyback. After another turn of me assembling lands, Ben played a Lord of Atlantis which stuck. The Lord was followed by a Rootwater Thief, with no response by me. I tried to cast Teferi at end of turn but ran into a Counterspell. On my turn I followed with a Wrath of God which reset the board. On his next turn he played and stuck a Static Orb, cutting the Tron decks strength significantly. A Rootwater Thief hit the board next turn, which immediately met a Remand, but the Remand was rendered inert by a Counterspell. Rootwater Thief was humbled by Faith’s Fetters on the next turn. After a few turns of untapping on both sides, Ben cast an Opposition which met a Remand, but the counter was then Thwart’d. With the lock on board Ben looked to be in good shape, and after landing a second Rootwater Thief, a Merfolk Looter and a Waterfront Bounce it seemed he was in shape to win the game. After a few turns of beating me down, the final piece of Tron hit my hand after having untapped tow Hallowed Fountains, so I threw it down with a Wrath of God that successfully cleared the board. After many more turns of casting creatures followed by counter battles, I was finally able to cast Compulsive Research to finish off the Opp-Orb deck’s library.

UW Torn 1-Opp Orb 0

Game 2

This game was much exciting. Ben went first and on turn two cast a Thief that was met by a Spell Snare. On turn three he cast a Looter which landed, following it up with a Gush to refill his hand. I cast Faith’s Fetters to convert the Looter but it was Foil’d. The next turn saw a Lord hit the board, and I was hit in the face for two. The Tron went online the next turn, and the Lord hit the graveyard due to Triskelavus tokens. The Lord was immediately replace. And my life lowered to fifteen. After a turn of inaction, Ben continued his beatdown taking me to twelve. On the next turn I found an Academy Ruins and fielded it to a victory through a Triskelavus loop.

UW Tron 2-Opp Orb 0

Game 3

Ben went first again and in a near mirror of game 2 cast a Rootwater Thief that met Spell Snare. Turn three saw Ben casting a Lord which was Snare’d also. A few turns and a Gush and Compulsive Research later a Merfolk Looter hit the board. Which was followed by the completion of the Tron on my side. This was immediately followed by a little Research, which led to a Triskelavus which met a Thwart. Meanwhile, Ben was putting the beatdown on threw a Looter. A second Triskelavus was Foil’d, but the Foil was Remanded. The Trisk hit the board threatening to lock down the game. The Trisk took the Looter out, it was backed up with a Ruins, and once again took the game by locking down Ben’s creatures.
UW Tron 3-Opp Orb 0

This first match was rather painful for both Ben and I, but we made the best of it and had fun with the match. Both of this decks seemed very skill intensive, and with our short preparation process (1 day) we definitely didn’t know what we were doing half the time. In the end, it just seemed that Tron’s cards were just slightly more powerful than Opp-Orb’s.

Next Time on Worlds Tour: Opp-Orb vs Dragonstorm

Worlds Tour: Introduction to Ronnie

With the first actual articles for our Worlds Tour series eminent, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself.  My name is Ronnie McNutt, and I’ve been playing Magic since pretty much the beginning of the game.  I can remember Beta cards from when I was young, but I didn’t really start playing until Urza’s Saga block.  When I did start playing, I was pretty much the epitome of casual.

Once I entered High School around the time of Onslaught, my interest in the game waned, and I forgot all about it.  But during Alara, I picked up MTGO in order to give the game another chance, and I never looked back.  Since then I have become fascinated with deckbuilding.  I usually play my best when I’m running a concoction of my own.

Worlds Tour: Introduction to Ben

Since the Competition between all worlds top four decklists from 1993 to present is set to begin very soon, why not have a proper introduction for the other person that will pilot these legendary decks . My name is Ben “TikimanBob” Neff, and I began playing Magic in High School. Now, as Hinderless said in the introduction article to this fun event, I am not by any means a pro player or even an exceptional player. I like to think of myself as the most fantastic average player you’ll meet (though I’ve been assured I can be promoted to above-average).

My play experience started with Onslaught and Mirrodin, then I quit playing when the first block of Kamigawa was released and only just returned when Zendikar was released. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw how much the game had changed since I had stopped playing (Planeswalkers were the biggest surprise). Since then, I’ve gotten back in to the game and look forward to giving a good show to any and all that watch this tournament.


Worlds Tour: A Journey of Two Men and Their Cards

One simple question. That’s all it took to begin the journey that I hope I can share with you for the next year or so. Already I have spent hours preparing the process that I’m about to explain to you. “What would happen if every deck that had ever top 4’d Worlds were put into one mega-tournament?” I know, it sounds crazy. But for the fun of it, I wanted to do it. Trust me, this process will not be perfect, and already I’ve hit a few snags on the way, but why should that stop me.

Once I started throwing the idea around to different friends, I realized that there were a group of people who really wanted to see this happen. Making this project public means a huge time commitment on my part, and I wasn’t sure at first that I could make such a commitment. After further discussion with the aforementioned friends about my concerns, I realized that I have the support to make this happen. The further I delved into the idea, the more I realized that the time investment will be more then I ever expected. About ten hours into gathering the decklists, I hit a brick wall and found that some decklists are practically lost in time. This disheartened me to the point of almost abandoning, but a fellow player and friend encouraged me to continue. Now I sit here, with a fully formed plan of how to pull this off, and I’m excited. Excited to share this experience with anyone and everyone. So, I guess its time for me to shut up and get into the meat of what’s going to be happening…

First, I must go over some disclaimers.

Disclaimer 1: I could not find every top 4 decklist for the past 17 years. In some cases I substituted decks that still placed well, and in others I could only find one or two decks. In the end, I decided that I couldn’t let this one little quirk stop me from doing this.

Disclaimer 2: Ben (my play partner in all this) and I are not pro players. We will not play some of these decks the best way. We are close enough in play level to each other, though to at least give a modestly accurate idea of how these decks would play against each other.

Disclaimer 3: Sideboards will not be used. Now I know that in competitive Magic that having a full 75 is very important, but this is for fun, and not competitive.

Once, we decided that this was something we really wanted to do, Ben and I began to discuss ground rules. In the end, I pretty much ended up making them myself, but he’s a good sport about it. The tournament bracket is being assigned randomly. (I put pieces of paper in a cup and drew them out.) The player of each deck (Ben or I) will be assigned before a match begins by a random means. The matches will be best 3 out of 5. The tournament will be double elimination. After each round, the surviving decks will be drawn randomly into new matches. Once we get down to two surviving decks, the matches will be best 4 out of 7 games. Also, if either deck has lost before hand, those loses will be ignored, and it will become a best 3 out of 5 matches series. We will try to do at least 5 matches a week, with at least one of those being record (on Cockatrice) and posted here with commentary. We will try to pick the most interesting matches for these Highlight Matches.

Next week we will begin posting the matches. Each match in the first round will include a brief introduction to each deck, who played it and how it performed at Worlds. Starting in the second round, each article will be solely about the match!

I hope to make this an enjoyable process for everyone that stumbles across my humble blog. In the end, this is all about having fun. So I hope you enjoy!

Lore Bits: An Elder Dragon and his schemes

This will be the first installment of a series of articles I’d like to write that focuses around characters, events, places, items, and other such malarkey that exists within Magic: the gathering’s multiverse. I am a sucker for an intriguing story premise, and Magic’s is one of the more interesting ongoing stories I’m currently following (Innistrad block notwithstanding). For this pilot article, I’ll discuss and break down an up and coming feature character for M13, the elder dragon Nicol Bolas, and everything he’s done that is currently relevant to this “arc” in the Magic story.

     Since the mending occurred, Nicol Bolas has only really had one thing on his to-do list, written in all-caps and underlined heavily, get the old spark back. Bolas wants the power of a god, he is not content with being on the same power level as the “neowalkers”. In his most recent bid to attempt to regain the old spark he masterminded the Conflux, the rebinding of the shards of Alara into one whole plane. This plan, however, was foiled by Ajani who was out searching for his brother’s killer. In the end, Alara was remade into a single plane, but Bolas was still without an old spark. Since then, Bolas has worked in secret, spreading his influence to multiple plains within the multiverse and awaiting another opportune chance to regain the old spark.

     After the Conflux, there are two major instances of Bolas’s influence throughout the multiverse. The first of which is his indirect involvement with the release of the Eldrazi on Zendikar. By having Sarkhan stand guard over the Eye of Ugin, and having Chandra and Jace arrive at roughly the same time, the unusual security measures of the Eye were broken, releasing the Eldrazi upon Zendikar. At some point afterwards, Bolas sends another planeswalker under his rule, Tezzeret, to the plane of Mirrodin to act as his eyes and ears in monitoring the growth of New Phyrexia. The Innistrad block is devoid of any direct interaction with Bolas, however, he has expressed interest in the chain veil that Liliana currently owns, and it is not completely out of the question that Bolas might know Griselbrand or any of the other demons that Liliana made her pact with, but that is speculation at best, and may amount to nothing.

     So, where does Nicol Bolas go from here? The Eldrazi are from the Blind Eternities, Bolas may use them somehow to regain the spark, but this seems to be the most dangerous route to that goal. The Eldrazi only care about one thing, devouring mana, and they can essentially do that for free. Bolas has nothing to offer the 3 Eldrazi Titans that they can’t already get, and I have no doubt that they would find an Elder Dragon’s own mana stores rather appetizing. Bolas also knows that New Phyrexia exists, and that instead of being only black-aligned, New Phyrexia is based in all five colors of mana. What will be most important, however, is if he is aware of the fact that Karn was freed from his imprisonment. Karn will easily hinder any and all of Bolas’s plans if Bolas isn’t careful, especially if the other planeswalkers that aren’t under Bolas’s service join him. One thing is for certain though, Bolas is planning something big, and as Liliana says in Test of Metal, it can and will result in the deaths of several planeswalkers.

     With all of this in mind, when can we expect the big showdown with the last Elder Dragon? well, I honestly don’t think it will happen in M13. What I do think will happen though, is that we finally see what Bolas’s plan is, either we see it carried out in full, or a major part of it is set in motion. Also, when the final confrontation does happen, Both Hinderless and I agree that it should happen at Dominaria. So if a return to Dominaria is announced in the near future, then that’s when we know the fight is about to go down. In the end though, only Wizards of the Coast knows when and where the confrontation will take place.

For the next Lore Bits, I’ll be discussing Jace and his return to Ravnica. If there’s a particular topic you would like to see covered, leave a comment below!



TikimanBob sent me an article today that, quite frankly, had me laughing.  You can read the article here.  I know the article is 7 years old, but it’s still funny to know that people have associated MTG with the occult.  He goes so far out of his way to try to link MTG to the occult that he outright lies.  Claiming that D&D came from the occult, and since MTG has some bases in D&D that it’s from the occult.

The description of the color pie is probably the most laughable part.  “I cast Dark Ritual, man.  I must be a necromancer.”

The sad truth to all this is that he does more harm to his belief system then help through propaganda like this.  Many Christians play MTG, and it in no way sways them to join the occult.  This is probably the same brand of religious zealot that thinks “atheist” means “devil worshiper.”

Blue vs. Black

Pro Tour: Avacyn Restored is just a few days away, and Starcity Games has set up two teams to go.  You can see the teams here.  Both teams are pretty stacked, but Team SCG Black seems to have more big names.  It’s very interesting that SCG is sending two different teams, but it does breed a spirit of competition.

The biggest shock to me is that Brian Kibler is absent from both teams.  Has the Dragonmaster permanently shifted his allegiance to ChannelFireball?  After winning Pro Tour: Dark Ascension with ChannelFireball, is there any doubt that he would?  I guess we will have to wait and see when the Pros sleeve up their decks and start spell slinging at Barcelona.