Home Contests Congratulations to our Magic 2014 Tournament winners!

Last month, we began a single elimination tournament with over 128 entrants. Competitors came from around the globe wielding all ten of Magic 2014’s deadly decks.

But as rounds progressed, players fell like Argovian flies. Soon, even I, the mighty WiNGSPANTT (helming Sliver Hive), was defeated. As the dust settled, angels could be seen soaring over the blood-stained battlefield because the first, second, and third place winners all played Avacyn’s Glory.

From the first round, this turbocharged deck pummeled lower-tier options like Firewave, Masks of the Dimir, and Chant of Mul Daya. That momentum continued for many (but not all) AG pilots all the way to the semifinals.

First, Mikel_liu defeated well-known Magic commentator IzDaisho and his Mind Maze deck into fourth place, leaving him prize-less (but still better off than 124 other entrants). Then, in the grand finals, Soulrver slayed Good_Will (who had originally eliminated me). I won’t pretend to have all the in-game details, but I assume a lot of humans and angels were on the battlefield.

Regardless of what you think about Avacyn’s Glory as a deck, you have to admit all of our top players did exceedingly well, trumping veteran strategists and dozens of bloodthirsty opponents. We’ll soon be shipping out their E3-inspired prizes, but until then – give up a round of applause!

 

20 replies to this post
  1. Angels angels angels angels…
    I’d just like to point out that, past the first round where the good, bad, and ugly got separated, the holy trinity of Angels-Zombies-Illusions hasn’t suffered a single loss except against another member of itself. Well, except for the rare SH victory, but what would you expect out of Wing Fucking Span? Besides, Slivers had a lot more compared power thanks to other decks getting totally necessary promos.

    Ah, anyway. Great playing for anybody that won, I suppose. Now try doing it with a real deck. Actually, Wing, can we host a tourney where the trinity and maybe Slivers are banned?

    • I’d almost count on it, assuming that Wing can loot some more swag from another convention.

      Or we could bank on some people not yet having played XCOM and give away a few copies of that; I have two spare ones to contribute myself. The good one, of course, the XCOM game that 2K has been giving away like they wanted to punish Firaxis for making good games. Cough not so subtle hint as to why there are no strategy articles for The Bureau yet.

  2. Good work and well played to all, esp my opponents, who each piloted their decks with shrewdness and cunning.

    I went into this tournament with one goal : Prove AG was not the best deck in every single matchup of the game, regardless of build.

    I came out…believing the exact opposite. AG is the best deck, regardless of matchup, regardless of build. I’d hate on it for being full of overpowered cards, being an auto-pilot newb deck and just poorly designed, but none of these is true.
    It’s the best deck because it’s the best designed and put together deck. It has a high skill cap (for a beatdown) as well as having a number of incredibly subtle abstract synergies that allow it to perform above expectation. In this respect it reminds me of Ancient Wilds from 2013. I tried running it in FNM and it performed amazingly well against tier 1 tournament archetypes! The zombies/illusions decks are powerful too, but in my opinion they exist on a tier with Chant, Guardians and Slivers. Among those 5 decks, anyone can beat anyone else (though there are tough matchups for each). AG sits in a class of its own, however.

    I really wish Wizards would include a pack of new unlocks for the other decks that would help bring them all up to this level. Here’s to looking forward to the expansion.

    • Agreed on all points. In Duels 2013, we saw certain decks like Goblins rule early on because they were faster than every other deck (most of which were control or battlecruiser decks). When the expansions came out loaded with midrange decks, Goblins got a LOT less powerful.

      I don’t see that happening to AG. AG is just well built with a lot of power across the curve. It can even be built as a battlecruiser deck, too.

      The only kinds of decks I can see pushing AG into Tier 2 would be:
      -Enchantment/artifact heavy control decks, since AG has no tools for removing something like Ghostly Prison (could be in Samurai, who knows?)
      -Extremely fast token weenie decks with pump effects, something like Goblins
      -Hexproof-based stuff (though this is generally lame in Duels)
      -A REAL burn deck with Pyroclasms, Earthquake, etc. This is clearly not gonna happen

      • Well put Wing. I was really pleased how the first two expansions’ decks balanced out the ‘goblins problem’ in 2013, the game was incredibly well balanced as a result (for this sort of thing) right up until the stupid conflux deck at the end of the cycle.

        But as you said, AG isn’t a one-note aggro deck. It is laden with juicy value with built-in card advantage, and the deck is tuned to minimise the tempo impact from playing those, or to negate their disadvantages.

        EG Fiend Hunter gives you both card advantage AND a huge tempo swing, at the downside of their creature coming back at an inconvenient time. But since the deck is aggressive, they can’t afford to save their removal for your hunter – they need to kill the 7/7 Champion bearing down on their life total. Moreover, since it is also packed with redundancy, with 10+ variegated removal spells and tricks, you can afford to blow Fiend Hunter on a trivial threat – a 2/2 you won’t care about if it comes back on turn 8 – and save your real removal for the Grave Titan or Eldrazi.

        I agree heavy control elements are what’s needed (or as you said, a burn deck that isn’t a tier 3 trash hybrid), but I’m not sure that something equally quick and brutal is a good solution – this would simply push the other decks down without total redesigns. (AG *can* actually deal with enchantments – 3 x oblivion ring, remember, although not comfortably. Grave Pact gives it a hard time). The solution is what helped keep Goblins and Soldiers under control in 2013 – HEAPS AND HEAPS of sweepers.

        Remember the Golgari deck? Like 8 sweepers in 1 deck. That discouraged people from rolling the same deck every game!

      • Meanwhile in DotP14…
        “Now Solaire, we can only afford to buy you a cheap Chinese version of the cool Wrath of God you wanted, so make sure you share it with your siblings so that they can stop nagging as well.”
        Barring Firewave, we have, as memory serves, three actual sweepers, spread across two decks, two being the same card and both being so expensive that they usually come out after AG has already won thanks to turn 3 double 5/5 swings.

        I’ll say it again: Angels wouldn’t be nearly as OP if they put in decent hosers to it. Just like FoW protects Legacy from terrible combos, maybe Wizards is just too afraid to give out hosers against humans and angels. I mean, there’s that one card in Zombies, but it’s morbidly expensive too, while hosers for other strategies and just general removal get tossed about like candy.

  3. Well played by all, thanks to everyone for the great matches!

    When I chose Avacyn’s Glory for this tournament I had just started playing it and it seemed like a good enough deck. I had no idea it would dominate the field like it did, taking down WiNG and Daisho and many other great players. In retrospect, I do think it has a slight edge over the other decks, but I can say that in many of my matches (particularly against DW) I was sweating in game 5 rather than easily trouncing my opponent in the early games. It felt like a battle each time I played, and one which could go either way. Along the way, I definitely fell in love with my good friends Baneslayer Angel and Angelic Overseer. I look forward to giving it a go with a different deck in the next tournament, and maybe I’ll be cursing AG myself at that point! :)

  4. Haha, nothing taken from your glory, Soul. To play AG at the level required to unlock it’s power requires some GOOD play. Congratulations!

    I remember my early round AG opponent leaving 4 mana open in an odd combat, and me thinking, woah, these guys actually ARE running Restoration Angel, and using it properly…
    The AG guy who knocked me out in R4 did so with clever sideboarding, too. My DW build was ready to crush the aggro rush, and I was up 2-0. He sideboards in all the angels and 6 costs, and I lost the next 3 *convincingly*.

    Since you beat HIM, I assume you played out of your skin Soul :)

  5. Thanks Alec. Out of curiosity, what was your tournament name?

    Speaking of Restoration Angel, there was a cool moment in the final game where my opponent was attacking with a 4/4 Elite Inquisitor, I played Resto Angel who came out as a 4/5 to kill it, and then he immediately played Resto Angel to save his Inquisitor! Fortunately for me he couldn’t deal with my Baneslayer and I ended up with the win. But more than one opponent was surprised by a well-timed Restoration Angel. Love that card!

  6. I was Daemonlaud.

    Best moment ever is Resto Angie flickering my FH against incoming 15/15 trample midcombat, then blocking his smaller creatures for a total loss :D

  7. Ah, ok. So that was actually me that you were talking about in the 4th round. :)

    Flickering the FH’s is always fun, just a great combo.

  8. so hope to see more tournaments. just joined the group, and saw izdaisho videos.

    And all of this makes me wanna play hard magic 2014 or others, so if you want a pal to do so add me on steam. my name is that on top off the reply.

    Ty, and cheers

  9. […] As if this wasn’t enough, Avacyn’s Glory is packed with spot removal: Fiend Hunter and Oblivion Ring are just two examples. This means that even when an opponent gets a moderately sized threat into play, it can be swept out of the way in time for lethal damage. While AG is theoretically weak to board sweeps and mass burn, these types of cards are notoriously absent in the Magic 2014 metagame (at least pre-DLC). For these reasons it should be no surprise that Avacyn’s Glory comprised 100% of the top 3 decks in the T3 August Tournament. […]

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