MobstercoM 2020

Here’s yet another tournament report about perhaps the most covered Old School event of the year. Any why not? MobstercoM was the first event of it’s kind in a number of ways and opened up plenty of brewing space whether you were looking to spike hard or spice things up a little. I’ll get right into the world of Team Sped shenanigans since if you’re reading this you know exactly what MobstercoM was and why it was unique and why it was really a nice little Saturday.

A pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to Home Depot... Maybe ...

Almost all active members of Team Sped showed up for this one with the exceptions of Lyle “Lock” Cohen who couldn’t get his ‘lil hands on 180 Magic: The Gathering cards, or a webcam, or a laptop, or all of the above, and Uncle Ben Farkas who was also a hold out because he is Best bird Team Sped. He’s like these 8 year olds who would rather watch YouTube videos of someone playing Zelda than actually play Zelda. I’ll just never understand. Mano ended up throwing him a bone and brought him in for some guest commentary anyway, and Farkas tried really hard but Lemke and I still caught some serious Z’s in between swigs of something triple from Monkish Brewing because we couldn’t figure out what the fuck Farkas was talking about. Mano of course was in the bag since minute one so he wasn’t much help reeling us in either. So that leaves Jamie Parke, DeadSped, Mark LePine, Adam Lemke and me all in the ring with a total of 69 mages from yesteryear. Each of us held out on the registrations just long enough to make Mano sweat the enrollment, especially DeadSped who announced his entry the night before, which was insane gas. LePine and Parke had made it to Mano’s house the night before to sleeve up their 180, make any last minute calls for the meta, and have a mini Sped Weekend.

I told my family not to come back before dark to clear the house for Lemke and me to jam games side by side at my kitchen table. And that’s just what we did until round 7 when we got to actually play IRL right across from each other! More on that later.

The Team Sped brewing process for MobstercoM was a little disjointed to say the least. Mano was preoccupied with God knows what (this is apparently not a joke after listening to his 14 minute preamble on ATC episode 126). DeadSped literally sent his deck pic to the Sped Google Group email the night before, after full radio silence about anything to do with MobstercoM (including of course his registration). Dead always brings the gas, by the way. Take a look! Erhnamgeddon with zero Savannahs, among other spice.

Farkas was absolutely no help. I think he just kept joking about sideboards and Mountain Yeti. Jamie is generally super busy and his brewing process goes something like this.

Mano: Here’s your deck, Parke.

Jamie: Are they all black bordered?

Mano: Yeah.

Jamie: Mise.

I’m not sure if it was Parke or Mano who added the illegal miser’s Rainbow Vale to the Tax Tower deck, but someone really should get to the bottom of this scandal! Jokes aside, Jamie loved playing the mid-range tax tower with Serra and also hadn’t played Wrath since he was a pup, which is one of the awesome things about the Unified format.

Then there’s LePine who really brought the fire! I feel a little bad that we spilled the beans on ATC 125, but his game plan was to use the 4th edition starter deck he won in a raffle at Mobstercon 2019. It was donated by Chris “NEOS Juggernaut” Mason with the stipulation that should the recipient choose to play this deck at any Old School event (in the blind, cracking it open round 1) that Mase himself would refund LePine’s entry fee and make a matching donation to charity the event supports. Needless to say, awesome idea from Chris Mason and an impressive move from fringe MTG hall of famer Mark LePine to actually run a 4th edition starter deck in a tournament. Believe it or not, LePine claims the pile of 4th edition cards was the most fun to play. Actually, why don’t I just quote LePine:

“It’s tough deciding which of the 3 decks I enjoyed playing the most honestly.  I actually think it was the sealed deck somehow??  It’s not every day you cast Giant Tortoise into Hurloon Minotaur after opponent enchanted the world with The Abyss, then after the Tortoise gets sucked into It,  Immolate the Minotaur to get in for 4 knocking the opponent down to 16 and feel great about it…  argument to be made for holding onto both to ramp into Craw Wurm for a couple turns or a blood lust, but no regrets.  Dying to a Ball Lightning with Fog in hand was a tough beat, but the sweat from the race between my Goblin Balloon Brigade and his Goblins of the Flarg (after Bolting his GBB) was real.  Got him down to 14 there…  Also upsetting that every time I setup my own Abyss with Radjan (Rondo) Spirit and Carnivorous Plant, they would take out Radjan, but that’s how you gain respect.  Radjan’s spirit will forever be taken seriously.”

LePine has a storied history of winning limited events with abhorrent piles of shit he’d just drafted so we did opine that his chances of doing well were actually deece. So when I was paired up against him in round 6 with a record of 3-2 I was both not surprised and VERY nervous that I’d lose to a 4th edition starter deck. I actually should have lost! More on that later. LePine still has not fully spoiled the contents of that starter. He must be holding out for an ATC spot. Here’s what we know:

Peak a little closer and you’ll notice a Rainbow Vale in LePine’s Tax Tower deck as well! Now I know what happened. LePine LOVES to sift through piles of cards to tune his decks. I have no doubt around 11:37PM something like this went down:

LePine: (Rifling through boxes of cards on the floor) WHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTT!!!!!

Everyone Else: …

LePine: Uhhh, Rainbow Vale is INSANE GAS!!!!!

Parke: Seems pretty deece! Are there 2 there?

LePine: YEEAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Parke: Ship it.

Mano: (types frantically on his tablet, says something inaudible)

Yeah, that probably sums it up. Which leaves brewmaster Adam Lemke and me as the remaining two team members who actually had some dialogue around what to play. The first rule of our brewing, though, was play what you like. We were not looking to solve the format at all, just have a little fun. The fun started with some alters when I knew I was going to play Erhnams and Savannahs. Lemke also gave me a beautiful Strip Mine he personally altered which basically sums up 2020. So now you know Lemke can build a pergola and paint with acrylics. What can’t this guy do? And if you don’t know about the inspiration for the Erhnam’s please, for the love of God, watch the series Dave on Hulu. Quixote, relax!

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the grand unveiling of Adam Lemke’s decks! Without further ado here they are in all their glory, followed by a direct quote from the master himself:

“My process was based on looking at my recent NEOS monthly decks. My 3 decks that won their groups were ironically all different enough that I could basically plug them in with very little overlap in cards. The biggest change came in my Void deck, that was splashing blue. Without Time Walk and Ancestral, Psi Blast just wasn’t worth it, so I swapped blue for red. I realized once I had red that I’ve been really itching to play channel, and this shell could nicely support a channel/fireball line. Once I had that I started to add your father’s red staples. The deck was just too plain and didn’t have any excitement to it when I shuffled up. I added Mountain Yeti and a Shivan in the end and both were a ton of fun and really good. Yeti being an absolute slayer.”

There you have it folks. Don’t think your deck is enough fun to play? Just add Mountin Yeti and viola! Life is good again! I’ll add a couple of comments. First, nice job not playing any Rainbow Vale’s or FE cards. Second, check out that Lifeforce. There are seriously a lot of decks that cannot beat a resolved and Sleighted Lifeforce. If you ever want to really fuck with someone, that’s where you start.

As for me: play what you love.

I happen to love combo, so build 1 was going to be Twiddle Vault from the start. I had played a mono U version in a NEOS monthly a while back and it was fine, so I knew I could run something decent and conserve a lot of major resources in doing so. I decided to add the Wheel and the DT last minute because I felt like pairing the DT with the Ancestral would be a sin not to do, and Wheel is just too good in this deck. I didn’t need Volcs or Undergrounds anywhere else so I wasn’t stretching elsewhere by putting those in here. I added the Ruby and the Jet at the same time. They help power out the Howling Mines with counter magic backup and have synergies with the draw 7s. Obviously this isn’t the optimal Twiddle Vault built in Atlantic but it’s pretty fucking powerful and it’s super greedy on the resources. Build 2 started off as something with Sleight of Mind, but just as all roads lead to The Deck, I couldn’t get myself to spice hard enough to build it to fruition. White Knights, Sleights, Dervishes and Paladins morphed into Dibs, Psi Blasts and Lions. Big mistake. Sure, this deck was fine but it was my least favorite to play by far. Lesson learned. If anyone needs Savannahs at fire sale prices don’t hesitate to hit me up.

The day was saved when at 1AM the night before I called a full audible on build 3. Lemke had previously convinced me Disk was too good not to play. Maybe he was right, but the day before we were testing a little and I learned the Troll Disco deck I intended to play was insanely boring. Like maddeningly boring. Draw. Go. Draw. Go. So I went back to one of my true loves: Candle Flare. What a great move. This deck was fun as hell to play every time its number was called and it really played well. I had so much fun I brought a more tuned version to NEOS this month.

Before I get into what little I remember about my matches, I did get a lot of comments on my wife’s foliage. I built the shelf with my bare hands (Adam Lemke-Style) and she cultivates whatever the fuck is up there. Welcome to the jungle, everyone.

Round 1: Mikael Johansson 1-0

I’m really, really notoriously bad at remembering match details. I do, however, remember starting with T1 Lotus Erhnam go. Mikael already recapped this match nicely in his blog post. I’m pretty sure I got a big Fireball off G2.

Round 2: Andy Callaghan 1-1

He smoked me, not sure what to tell you. I do remember him Crumbling his own Trike in a race which was both very impressive and really disheartening.

Round 3: Jeff Dehnhardt 1-2

These were some REAL tight matches. I went off with Twiddle Vault game 1. Jeff said he enjoyed watching it. I’m not so sure he did. Game 2 he’s on Troll Disco. I get some Mazes going but I’m at 1 life. He’s at 17 and I have a Fireball and Fork for 16 with a land on top (Sylvan in play). I figure he has 1 turn to draw bolt… then he flips a sinkhole instead! Maze down, Troll gets in, I’m dead. Game 3 mirror match. He gets lotus Erhnam T1 for a taste of my own medicine. I can’t find the Plow and I’m dead. While I love everyone in our community (I’m serious, I’m not just saying that) I really love playing Jeff. Does anyone have more fun than this guy?

Round 4: Eric Do Couto 2-2

Sorry man, but the IPAs were really flowing and I literally don’t remember this at all. Sweet art collection though! Love your stuff 🙂

Round 5: Brian Limbacher 3-2

Not even sure why I’m writing anymore! It was great talking with you Brian. I hope you stopped working and cracked a beer after our match.

Round 6: Mark LePine 4-2

Here we go! Sped on Sped action! Greedy LePine wanted to make sure the world (or all 20 of you) knew about this match. Game 1 I’m on Erhnam and he’s on Tog. It’s a tight one but I kill myself with my own Dibs. At this point I’m very nervous because his next deck is the real deck and I might not even get to see the sealed deck. It’s Twiddle Vault vs. his Tax/Tower/Mill deck. I keep a draw that’s mediocre and pretty heavily dependent on an early Howling Mine. I lay it out turn one and get a couple of draws off it before it gets disenchanted. Unfortunately for me I drew almost all lands. What I did draw he’s able to counter and after 8 or so turns I have a tapped Time Vault on the table and almost no grip. LePine has (no joke) 4 Towers, Tax, Sylvan, Library of Leng and is Recalling and Regrowthing Braingeysers and Counterspells like there’s no tomorrow. He’s at like 60 life. But for some reason LePine decides to Braingeyser himself for the max and fully taps out. My next turn I draw Wheel. I wheel into a Twiddle or two and a DT for Timetwister. I eventually Boomeranged all his Towers and said GO with 2 Vise and a Stasis on the table and about 40 cards in his hand. Sorry brah. Game 3 I inferno’d all his dudes, and felt a little bad about it. They just all looked so weak.

Round 7: Adam Lemke – Actual Table Magic – 5-2

We were hoping for this all day. Actual table Magic for all the marbles (the chance to come in like 11th place!). Fun was had, spells were cast. I don’t remember much other than when Lemke asked me for my probability of going off to fruition once I cast Timetwister with about 10 lands and a Time Vault in play. 95% I replied (although I think it’s closer to 98%). Good games dude!

A great day all around! For a list of thank you’s please set aside 14 minutes and listen to Brother Ben’s ATC episode. Congrats to Brother Ben for mopping up with a pretty spicy 180 cards. Well done! Thanks Mano for putting a lot of thought into what would create the best brew space. No FE and no sideboards was really probably ideal. 1 man unified was really cool. It was Lemke who pointed out that even spiky, optimized decks weren’t a hard lock because people were learning how to play stuff they maybe hadn’t previously piloted. Ben pointed out (talking about his builds but speaking for how this format works in general) that people might also play sub-optimally since God only knows what’s in the deck across the table from you, which is kind of a cool dynamic that happens on Old School but happens a lot in a format like this. I hope to see you all across the table sooner than later but until then keep having fun the way we know how and stay safe out there. Peace and Love – Jeff

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