First off, I made some last minute edits to my original build posted previously to bring it more in line with most shells while keeping with sub-vampire theme and evasion.
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3 Insolent Neonate
4 Bromat Courier
4 Heir to Falkenrath
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
3 Pia Nalaar
2 Olivia, Mobilized for War
2 Bloodhall Priest
4 Fiery Temper
4 Incendiary Flow
4 Unlicensed Disintegration
4 Smuggler's Copter
4 Foreboding Ruins
4 Galvanic Bombardment
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
3 Lost Legacy
3 Transgress the Mind
2 Lightning Axe
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Now when I say glorious failure, it isn't all bad. I started the day 5-1 with no byes. But unfathomably, somehow could not seal the deal and win ONE more match in the next three rounds(x-3s made day 2 due to attendance). It's a huge let down for me, bordering on infuriating. Especially going in with zero expectations and though not new to Magic by any means, my foray into standard has only recently begun again. And this is very reminiscent to my showing at a RPTQ for Honolulu, so there's some bad memories too! (4-1 start into a 4-3 finish, ugh)
Ok enough moaning. Round recaps (to the best of my memory), highlights, lowlights and what did we learn.
RD1 vs. Delirium, W 2-0
Hazy memory, it's been a long day. Win game one handily as he didn't seem to have much going for him. SB in 3 Legacy and rip all three game two decimating his library, exiling Emrakul, Ishkana's & Kalitas's 1-0
RD2 vs. UB Zombies, L 1-2
This matchup is simple. Did your opponent play Cryptbreaker t1? Y/N? If no, proceed to smash face with Heir and Olivia. If yes. Kill it. Oh you didn't kill it? Well then please understand Cryptbreaker is savage gas fueling the brush fire that is UB Zombies and you're gonna get pooped on. Couldn't handle the synergy, did not draw Kalitas. 1-1
RD3 vs. RW Vehicles, W 2-0
Incredibly close games won in part to a play mistake by my opponent (Disintegrated his Exemplar, he took the damage, put it in the GY, did not crew his Fleetwheel) My flyers break open any board stalls we have in the next game. 2-1
RD4 vs. Jeskai Control, W 2-0
Game one is very back and forth. I play stuff, some of it sticks, some of it doesn't. Standard operating procedure. I get him to 1 with me at 20. I'm hellbent and he stabilizes with Avacyn. Swing, 16. rip a flow, he counters, swing 12, swing 8, rip temper, he counters, swing 4. rip another temper, and it does him in. Game two he stumbles and I pounce on him. 3-1
RD5 vs. Grixis Control, W 2-0
Control decks in general don't seem to pose much of a threat to us. This match isn't much of a challenge, and it's topped off with getting him to 6 after an alpha strike which causes him to tap out to avoid dying, leaving a Neonate on the board. But I'm holding another one in hand along with two Tempers and bolt him twice. 4-1
RD6 vs. Jeskai Control, W 2-0
Similar to round four. He just can't stop the horde of creatures. But he does manage to ruin some of my fun when I attempt to Pia with Olivia on the board, setup for double discard triggers one of which was a Temper. Would of been 14 damage on t4. Copter, Olivia, Temper, 3/3 Hastey Pia, 2/2 Hastey Thopter. 5-1
And then Rome fell
RD7 vs. WR Vehicle, L 0-2
Honestly this match I drew like complete garbage and couldn't keep up. Pair that with a surprise visit by Nahiri to make Scrounger's life miserable and we have ourselves a loss. No big right? Two more shots. 5-2
RD8 vs. Delirium, L 1-2
Win game one with no problem, but holy hell this guy's sideboard tech was savage and decimated my early game. Natural State, Dead Weight, Flaying Tendrils. All realllllllllllllllly good against me. Game two I actually have to attempt to just burn him down after he deals with my Neonate, Copter and Heir (my hand was 3 Flow, Temper, Disintegrate at one point). Get him to 9 then Kalitas joins the party. Game three Looks very promising as I curve into Courier, Scrounger, Olivia. He Dead Weights the Oliva then Tendrils the following turn, completely destroying my follow up. Double discard trigger Pia into 5/5 double shocking haste Priest the next turn. I can not make a suitable comeback after the board wipe as he generates to much card advantage. I'm worried now. 5-3
RD9 vs. UW Flash, L 1-2
The lance through the heart. I can hear it on the wind after the match. The ghosts of a thousand former pro players whispering in raspy voices "Getttttttttttttt goooooooooood" /melodrama
Game 1 I nickel and dime his life away with a combination of burn, scroungers and thopter tokens (drew all 3 Pia's) Game two I have to mull to 5 and have an ok start. But anything more (Olivia & Priest) is shut down by Spell Quellers and any attempt to kill them is thwarted by either counters (including Wanderers), Rattlechains, Selfless Spirit, Avacyn. Pretty much the whole damn deck. Game three.... I mull to five again, roll my eyes, place the cards back on top of my library and say to my opponent. "My brain just broke" Draw my opening four, one land 2 Scroungers, Disintegration. If that doesn't sound like enough to you don't worry, your not wrong. I do draw the second land needed, but he curves out nicely and my day ends. 5-4.
The deck dominates control builds.
The deck holds it owns against other aggro builds. And this build in particular takes advantage of flying in extraordinary ways when facing it.
Did not play against any NRG or Aetherworks builds. But in play testing, playing against NRG seems like Vintage came to standard and is based solely on whoever draws the better opening 7. This analysis based off of the "infect" combo build of the deck not the midrange build. Aetherworks seems straightforward, pray game 1 then draw and cast your Transgresses and Legacy's game 2/3.
Going forward I can see UW being not only being a problem for us, but a popular choice for players in the future. It seemed to perform well today from my understanding. But we will have a better idea in the coming days when results come in.
I vastly underestimated Pia. On her own she was anywhere from solid to MVP tier. Pairing her with Olivia can be disgustingly powerful even off single discard trigger, presumably the thopter.
On the topic of Olivia, her absolute best friend is Scrounger. Do you know how many 4/3 haste Scroungers I dumped onto the battlefield today? Well, not that many, but when I did, it was sweet! Obviously haste doesn't always come into play as you will Scrounge at opponent EOT.
Priest was underwhelming. I may cut them for a third Olvia and a fourth Pia.
I cut Key at the last minute and honestly didn't regret it Though again, in this particular build, Neonate, Heir and Olivia are additional discard outlets, and Neo doubles up as a draw outlet.
Always get a second opinion from a second judge. One glaring instance today was a guy activating Shambling Vent then using Nissa's +1 on it. The first judge ruled the Vent became a 7/8, the second judge was like "wtf are you talking about 7/8?"
Watched a guy play 3 Metalworks Colossi in one turn. That was neat.
In the end, I can't help but be disappointed with the result. Coming within 3 points of day 2 and then just plummeting. Future looks bright though, and I'm definitely enjoying constructed after playing strictly limited for most of my career. Next up, Pittsburgh!