This Tournament Report was originally written in Spanish. It was translated to English by camat0 and edited by aReNGee. Due to the long duration and difficulty of translating, it has been split into two parts as per camat0’s request. Read the first part of the tournament report here.
World Championships – Day Three
Hello, today I return to tell you my story of the ETS World Championships. We return for the second week with the third day of action. Since I had already qualified for Top 8, for me Day 3 was a day of rest. The only relevant thing on Day 3 was to seeing Mouche qualify for the Top 8, helping Team ET to achieve a 100% conversion rate to the Top 8 (5 players!).
World Championships – Day Four
Day 4 began with SirRhino on Xenan Control as my opponent. The matches were more even than I expected, and I ended up winning 3-2. In the second round I faced Toth201 on Praxis, which I feel is a favorable matchup. However, in the round robin I lost this matchup 0-2 because I made some errors and kept some weak hands. I didn’t make any mistakes this time and cleanly took the match 3-0.
In the third round (Winner’s Finals), I once again had a favorable matchup, this time against Unearthly on Argenport. I was able to again comfortably 3-0, the only interesting thing about this match wass that I changed my sideboard plan a bit compared to the one I used in the Round Robin, though I don’t remember the exact details of the changes.
With that win, I was in the World Championship Finals! I got to sit back and watch Unearthly battle against Sir Rhino for the other Finals spot. Unearthly ended up winning 3-1, which gave me a very good chance of winning Worlds due to the good matchup. However, while facing Unearthly for the second time I made several mistakes. First, I made a bad block: He attacked with a 6/6 Instigator and I blocked with Tavrod, only to lose Tavrod to a Finest Hour. Later in the match, while I was preparing a third version of my sideboard plan vs Unearthly, I made the worst mistake of the tournament. I confused Sabotage with Suffocate, putting 4 Suffocate in my deck when I should have had 3 Sabotage and one Suffocate. This mistake ended up costing both the game and the first match when I draw the second Suffocate, when I notice the error I reported to the Tournament Organizers, and received a game loss for Illegal Sideboard that ended the first match.
Fortunately for me my tournament was not over, the bracket had been reset and there was one more deciding match. Unfortunately, I made other minor errors in the final match. In one of the games I kept a hand that was too slow and ended up losing, and twice I played Seek Power before it was necessary which could have caused problems with influence, and I also forgot to play a seat in one of the games. Luckily these errors were not punished, and I was able to close out the match 3-1 over Unearthy and win the ETS World Championships!
The truth is, I am very grateful for my luck because I played against my 3 best match ups in the Top 8, the matchup against Combrei Party (Editor Note: TJP Midrange) is pretty even and I think maybe slightly favorable for Party, and I think the matchup against Sunyveil’s Queen deck was bad for me.
“Removal Pile” Guide
In this section I will try to explain some of the matchups I played at Worlds. I hope you find this useful, just remember that this is a general guide and you must adapt your sideboard plan according to the exact list of your opponent.
This is a matchup in which we want reactive hands. If we manage to kill their first units on turn 2 and turn 3, it is very difficult to lose. Sooner or later we will end up winning if the game goes long because we take many sources of card advantage. He plays weapons and cards like Oathbook and we have Runehammer, a card that is basically a 2 for 1 vs Argenport, the important thing is not to despair. Generally we are going to play Sabotage the turn that we play Tavrod, but we must be attentive and play it if we have reason to believe that they have a Protect in hand.
At Worlds, I tried three different plans vs Argenport, in the end I think the last one I tried was the right one.
Sideboard Plan: +3 protect +1 suffocate +3 annihilate -1 sabotage -2 rise -2 icaria -2 privilege
Oni Ronin Decks
At this moment there are two major Oni Ronin archetypes, we have hyper aggressive versions like Rally and most Skycrag lists, and then we also have slower versions like Burn Queen or Skycrag with Chakram.
In these games, the important thing is to never keep hands without Torch or Annihilate because it is practically impossible to win without those cards. The plan is quite simple, play 2 to 3 removal spells in the first four turns and then play Tavrod. If you manage to do this you probably win. If you don’t, things are tough. Here you want to play Sabotage by turn 2, especially if your opponent plays Assembly Line or Rally.
Against both kinds of Oni Ronin decks: -2 privilege -2 rise -2 icaria +3 annihilate +1 suffocate
Vs hyper aggro: you want +4 bailiff and you want to cut some runehammers or vanquish depending on the exact list.
Vs slower aggro: you don’t want bailiff and you can play +2 protects.
Sandstorm Titan Decks
Xenan Control has few ways to kill Tavrod or Icaria and has no way to effectively pressure us, so the only thing that matters in this matchup is being sure to keep proactive hands.
When you play sabotage in this matchup depends on how your opponent plays. Against opponents who play badly, you will want to play Sabotage on turn 1 or 2, because they rush and and play their own Sabotage or Vara’s Choice early, so by also playing your Sabotage early you maximize your chances of discard these key cards. Against opponents who play well, you will play Sabotage on turn 3 or 4, before playing Tavrod, because for them the correct thing is to play their spells just before your turn 5 in order to maximize their chances of discarding Tavrod or Icaria.
Sideboard Plan: +3 annihilate +1 suffo +3 protect +1 rise +1 icaria -4 enforcer -4 torch -1 runehammer.
This matchup is very good for us once you know how to play it. Basically the only thing that matters is having as many copies of Tavrod and Statuary Maiden in your starting hand. In general they will be able to deal with one or two copies, but if they can not kill a Tavrod or a Maiden they usually just lose.
In this matchup it is very important not to block unless it is necessary to do so, because this is usually the way they end up killing Maiden or Tavrod – with a Torch, Carnosaur, or the 2 damage from Heart of the Vault. You have to play carefully with your Maidens and Tavrods, on the other hand Icaria is really mediocre in this matchup because it cannot block any of their units without dying, can’t attack through Titan, and dies to Carnosaur. It is very important to keep a Maiden Cudgel if we have Icaria in hand in the presideboard games if we want to get value out of her.
Here it is correct to play sabotage turn 3 to maximize your chances to discard Obelisk.
Sideboard Plan: +3 annihilate +3 protect +2 furnace mage -4 torch -2 rise – 2 icaria
The plan here is basically the same as against Xenan Control, with the difference of -1 suffo +1 hammer, both kill Siraf but Hammer also kills owls and can be draw with Tavrod. Here you will usually play Sabotage before you play Tavrod or on turn 7 to try to discard Parliament, but timings may vary according to whether we want to try to discard Stand Together.
Sideboard Plan: +3 annihilate +3 protect +1 rise +1 icaria -4 enforcer -4 torch
This is an even matchup that depends on the exact cards that we both draw, the key once again is to keep provocative hands.
Once again, we play sabotage on turn 3 to hit Obelisk and Stand Together. If we do not play Sabotage on Turn 3, we play it on turn 5 to discard Scouting Party.
Sideboard Plan: -2 rise -2 icaria -2 privilege +2 furnace mage +4 bailiff -2 vanquish +2 annihilate
The most important decision with this deck is when to keep proactive hands and when reactive hands. It is also very important to know when you play Sabotage in each game, if you understand the timings you are going to win way more matches.