by Cédric Z.
Some months before the tournament I wanted to play either reanimator, rdw, or cradlehoof. I updated my reanimator list and played like 5 games with it. The deck felt very strong, but it bored me to play it. Quickly after I also dismissed rdw. So cradlehoof it was. This deck I know inside out, because Hendrik plays it every week and smashes my brews and bad decks with it. Also, I contributed some to this deck and helped tuning it. Three weeks before Halle, I was building decks at Matti’s place. He is a highlander veteran, who only plays at kitchen tables, but plays highly tuned decks. Upon looking for cards for one of his decks in his binders, we talked about stax. One of the decks we both love and try to make work since years. I realised, that Quirion Rangerand Scryb Ranger can combo with Stasis with a Tropical Island. We found Stoic Angel and discovered that Soulherder can also “combo” with stasis if I have a bird, or a noble hierarch. So, I was hooked and played “creature stax” as much as I could from then on. Which made me play the deck in the end was, that it was okish against Hendriks cradlehoof and should be unexpected at the tournament and just plays the good cards in bant. The most important card in this deck after tropical island is Spellseeker. It gets Ephemerate which gets me two triggers from spellseeker. With the first I can get a tutor for creatures and with the second in my upkeep Enlightened Tutor which gives me stasis and the likes. Spellseeker also can find the good cards in the deck (removal, Palace Jailer, Parallax Wave, …). So he holds the whole deck together. After some testing, I arrived at this list (stoic angel and soulherder sadly didn’t make the final cut):
CC2019 9th Bant Creature Stax
I got very lucky and unlucky in the tournament. Lucky part: I won every roll and am on the play each round 😉
Round 1 vs Philipp on Abzan Pattern Rector (2:0)
He keeps 6 and I am able to win with Gilded Goose and oko. He plays Gerrard’s Verdict, one of the cards, which got much better with the new mulligan.
In Game two we both keep six cards. I have enough pressure which forces him to go for the combo. But my Scavenging Ooze can disrupt it.
Round 2 vs Sebastian on Scapeshift (2:1)
Game 1 Jailer wins it. We both kept 6 cards.
In game 3 he has an oko and I have winter orb and some dorks out. He makes a food and leaves my orb. My dorks get pumped a by gavony township and I can kill oko. Later, after more township, I can attack through his tasigur and win.
Round 3 vs Réné mit Scapshift 2:1
I have a Weathered Wayfarer which finds me a wasteland and I can handle his leovold directly with jailer, who wins another game for me.
He keeps five cards and can scapeshift me through Static Orb.
In game 3 we both keep six cards. Gilded Goose keeps me above 18 life and I can kill him with creatures.
Round 4 vs Max with Grixis Tempo (1:2)
In game 1 we both keep six cards. I can assemble static orb and opposition and lock him out.
Game 2 he outtempoed me. I start with wayfarer and wasteland one of his lands, which leads to some mana problems for him, but he sadly got Bitterblossom into play on turn two. My answers on three (o-ring and Deputy of Detention get answered by him and I scoop, when he hasThe Royal Scions.
Game three goes rather long. I have opposition and courser going for me and he has some pressure in Delver of Secrets , Dreadhorde Arcanist and Bomat Courier. Later he also has Liliana, the last Hope, which kills my dorks. I have to keep the arcanist and the flipped delver from attacking me so his courier assembles many cards (6?). At some point his liliana is at seven and can ultimate next turn. But I can attack him for 2 with my treetop village and then deal the last three damage through his two zombies he will get. So I go for this line. I realized too late, that his arcanist is also a zombie and he gets three tokens. He ultimates and I have to remind him, that he gets three tokens. Would I not have seen that he gets three, it would have been fine for me, but with the knowledge I have to tell…
We both made some other mistakes. He keeps my courser around, when he can bolt+lili it and I do not bounce my thalia with karakas.
Round 5 vs Tino with Jund aggro haste (2:1)
He keeps 5 and I keep 6. Jailer wins it again with the help of Courser of Kruphix.
I keep a bad six card hand ( it has no dork) and he is much faster than me.
In game three I can buy enough time with parallax wave and take over the game with opposition. I missed putting Eternal Witness under the wave.
Round 6 vs Isaak on RG Elves (2:0)
He keeps a onelander and I punish it with turn two Trinisphere. When he finally can cast spells again, it is too late.
In game one I am very flooded but draw Swor of Fire and Ice and can keep his board claer with it. My Winter orb also helps.
Issak also wrote a report. Go check it out!
Round 7 vs Werner on rdw (1:2)
I am very happy, because I am at 5:1 and normally can draw into the top 8. Sadly, Werner didn’t want to. He was unsure, if he would make it in, because his breakers were not very good. I think he was 90% to make it in, but perhaps someone can elaborate better?
He wins game two with price of progress and sulfuric vortex. I had to keep five cards.
Under the impression of my five card hand before I keep a bad seven card hand with parallax wave and a mana dork and five lands. The plan was to get Dryad Arbor with one of my green fetches and surprise block one of his many 2/1 dudes I saw in the other games. Sadly, I draw dryad arbor in my first draw and five other lands over the course of the game. Parallax wave can stabilize me, but I just don’t have enough gas to compete.
The card, that I was always happy to draw was Gitaxian Probe. It is so nice to know what the opponent could do. Before the tournament I had the feeling of playing one land to many. And I flooded quite a bit. I now cut a land for Tithe.