We had another 1v1 Dual Commander tournament on Tuesday. We only had five players, but with a number of new players hoping to play next week we think that we can continue to grow this community.
There was a huge shakeup in the format on Monday with the announcement of some big changes in the 1v1 ban list. Zur the Enchanter and Derevi, Empyrial Tactician are banned starting on Feb 7, 2014. This will have a big effect on what I play in the tournament, as you’ll see. Like last week, I decided to bring Derevi, Empyrial Tactician to the tournament with only a few changes from last week since I saw that the Rafiq of the Many voltron deck was absent this week. I took out a Fiend Hunter and brought in Bloom Tender since I wasn’t expecting quite as many creatures that I wanted to get rid of. I don’t know if this was the right decision, but I did like getting Bloom Tender when I did. As before, we played three rounds, best of one games.
Round 1: Jonathan with Arcum Dagsson
I did not have a very good starting hand, but after an aggressive mulligan down to four cards I was able to drop a turn 2 Derevi on the back of a turn 1 Green Sun’s Zenith to get Dryad Arbor. I wasn’t doing too much in this game, just grinding out some tempo on my opponent, but when Linvala, Keeper of Silence hit the board my opponent’s chances took a turn for the worse since his deck heavy relied on activating creature abilities. Eventually I dropped an Edric, Spymaster of Trest and won with tempo and card advantage.
Round 2: Jeremie with Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir 2-0
I had no early acceleration and I kept a decent, but not great hand, and one with no acceleration. I tried for the quick Derevi to draw out my opponent’s counter spells and between a counter spell and a Trickbind, Derevi took a while to hit the board. Once she hit things started to turn in my direction. I had counter spells at all the right times to stop my opponent from doing anything relevant as I slowly chewed through his life total. In the end, I dropped a Rising Waters and took the game away.
Round 3: Justin with Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Justin and I decided to draw the game and split the prize, but we decided to play out the match anyway just to see what would happen. I was a bit worried about this match up since I know he runs a number of board sweepers and after I defeated him last week, I figured he was going to add more. And he did.
Fortunately for me, I had a turn 2 Derevi and I just started grinding out the tempo. I did not have a lot card draw this game and while I continued to get a number of creatures on the board, including Linvala and Meddling Mage, I always felt like I was just scraping by. I was able to drop a Hokori, Dust Drinker, but a Volcanic Fallout from Justin cleared it off the board soon after and most of my other creatures. I then dropped a Tangle Wire, which set Justin back still further and gave me more time. I finally had Bident of Thassa to draw me cards and I was able to drop Rising Waters. With those two in play, it was just a matter of beating down Justin until he ran out of life.
Overall, I was pleased with how I did in this tournament and Derevi continues to show why she is going to be banned in 1v1 tournaments. I don’t know what I’ll be playing when she goes away, but for the moment she is doing an excellent job of attacking this very heavy control environment.
Submitted by Kevin Humar-Barrett