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Toby’s 2nd Place Finish

Good morning all, my name is Toby Gaffney and I am coming to you fresh off of a second GP top 8 and a 2nd place finish in the Games N Geeks Online GP,  where I participated as one of five Odin, God of War (GOG-082) // Order of Faith (GOG-082J) players attending, the 3rd highest represented deck in the field and the only Odin deck to place in top 8. The competition was tough and I had a very challenging road to get there, so allow me to walk you through my matchups and talk about some of the critical cards that ended up making the difference in my deck. 

A quick and necessary shout out to Jeremy Franklin and Dalton Slocum, whose advice served as a foundation for the original list, and Ryan Lilly who was instrumental in tuning the deck with countless hours play testing before the event. 

I ended up on Odin, God of War (GOG-082) // Order of Faith (GOG-082J) and this version of the deck because I believe the cards in his arsenal are critical to both the Kaguya, God of Cats and the Moon (GOG-078) // Order of the Moon (GOG-078J) and the Violet, Atomic Automaton (ADW-030) // Violet, Atomic Automaton [J-Ruler] (ADW-030J) matchup. Being able to use Dark Sun (GOG-062) and The Holy Sword of Misteltein (GOG-015) both proactively and defensively gets extra value, for example against Atomic Turbulence (ADW-020) followed up with Atomic Bahamut (ADW-016), thanks to The Holy Sword of Misteltein. Or Dark Sun vs Kaguya, God of Cats and the Moon to turn off them moons and making them useless. The core strategy of Kaguya gets turned on its head. Additionally, the Violet matchup is all about matching up your ways to not die to Atomic Turbulence, followed up by Atomic Bahamut with their pressure to go off with it. Because your Holy Sword of Misteltein will make sure you take no more than 1000 damage and also survives against Aegis (ADW-076) due to having Eternal, it is an important card to be able to deal with Bahamuts immediately, and adds to your count of potential ways to deal with them early. 

A quick note on the Artillerist of Faith (GOG-001) combined with Banquet Demon (TST-048); I ended up on four each main board.  The Artillerist is just so pivotal to any matchup as it deals a whopping 2400 damage (thanks to Banquet Demon) and if you have Arena Expansion: Asgard (GOG-068) you get that 2400 life gain, thus putting the opponent on a clock of sorts, and it can occasionally come up against a lot of the matchups I faced. The other nice thing about the card is that in the late game its just a house, so there really is no downside. It is in my honest opinion an underrated card to analyze, as sometimes it was the only reason I stayed alive against a majority of my opponents comboing off on turn 2, and other times in the late game. In the end, I would stick with my count of four each. 

2nd PlaceToby Martin GaffneyOdin Order

Odin, God of War (GOG-082) //
Order of Faith (GOG-082J)

Magic Stone Deck: (10)
2x Attoractia’s Memoria (SDAO1-033)
1x Magic Stone of Gusting Skies (TAT-096)
1x Magic Stone of Heaven’s Rift (CMF-100)
1x Magic Stone of Knowledge (ADW-098)
4x Magic Stone of Moon Shade (MPR-100)
1x Shadowy Light Magic Stone (VIN003-094)

Resonators: (23 of 41)
4x Artillerist of Faith (GOG-001)
3x Dark Alice, Rabbit Princess (DBV-009)
2x Exorcist Mage at the Academy (EDL-003)
3x Misteltein, Dark Sword Saint (GOG-008)
3x Laurite, Seven Luminaries Astrologian (TSW-094)
4x Banquet Demon (TST-048)
2x Ultra Magic Stone Golem (MSW-082)
2x Geryon (TST-084)

Chants: (12 of 41)
2x Keep the Faith! (GOG-006)
4x Odin Enters the Game of Gods (GOG-009)
3x Tea Party Before the Decisive Duel (GRL-014)
3x Faerur’s Spell (ACN-096)

Additions: (6 of 41)
3x The Holy Sword of Misteltein (GOG-015)
2x Dark Sun (GOG-062)
1x Arena Expansion: Asgard (GOG-068)

Side Deck: (15)
2x Lumia, Princess of Rebirth // Wings of Light and Darkness (ROL-005)
3x Falling Into the Cracks of Time (GRL-029)
1x Shackles of Ice (VIN003-040)
3x Dinner Time (GRL-041)
3x Scheherazade, Weaver of Fairy Tales (MSW-059)
1x Witch with a Pointy Hat (ADW-060)
1x Curse of Caduceus (PofA-051)
1x The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072)

Alright, ramblings aside, let’s get into my matches.

Round One: Rick Aramburu
Ayu, Lunar Swordswoman (ADK-060) // Ayu, Shaman Swordswoman (ADK-060J)

Poetically, my round one opponent would be a returning Ayu Player. Turns out he didn’t have any new cards, so my opponent was on an older and outdated list. I consider my deck to be more heavily tuned for Kaguya, God of Cats and the Moon (GOG-078) // Order of the Moon (GOG-078J) and Violet, Atomic Automaton (ADW-030) // Violet, Atomic Automaton [J-Ruler] (ADW-030J), but thanks to The Holy Sword of Misteltein (GOG-015) both games didn’t come down to me just getting swept by a God’s Art dropping 5 Souls from hand and I 2-0 him on the back of the Sword followed by two Artillerist of Faith (GOG-001) flings to face with a Banquet Demon (TST-048).

Round Two: Mitch Alonso
Kaguya, God of Cats and the Moon (GOG-078) // Order of the Moon (GOG-078J)

Just what I wanted to see, my first Kaguya opponent. 

This match up went curiously as I had hoped. I won the first game with Dark Sun (GOG-062) and playing through a field of cancels. After resolving a Dark Sun my opponent conceded, after playing through an early Hanzo, Ninja of the Moon (GOG-050) he couldn’t find an answer to Dark Sun. I did not sideboard the second game as I knew my build was tuned enough to face what ever they could throw at me, as in round one. Then the unthinkable happened, my opponents’ screen went blank and he was disconnected more than 10 minutes. I hate to get a win this way after the deck was performing up to par like I wanted it to do against Kaguya, I called the judge because I waited way longer then 10 minutes as I wanted to give this new player a chance to finish game two.  I still owe you a rematch Mitch!

After 2 rounds I was 2-0 and riding high on a list and deck that many people would have said couldn’t do anything in a wild meta.

Round Three: Brandon Velasquez
Odin, God of War (GOG-082) // Order of Faith (GOG-082J)

Don’t let my matchups fool you, I had a lot of luck up to this point as my previous opponent disconnected so I got a cheese win.

The game starts with Brandon going off with an Artillerist of Faith (GOG-001) followed by me taking a massive hit to face for 2400 damage. Yes, another fellow Odin player who’s finally using Banquet Demon (TST-048), all completely uninterrupted by me. Not a great start for me as I’m at 1600 life to start and let me say my mulligans and hand were looking rough. From turn one I was pretty certain the game was over. Luckily, after a pass, I ripped an Artillerist and my opponent was tapped out. I use my coin and order my Artillerist and instead of fetching an Arena Expansion: Asgard (GOG-068) I send to the grave another Artillerist, I fling Banquet Demon at his face 2400 damage which connects and just like that I’m back up to starting life off the draw from the ordered Artillerist I drew. I initally sent the second Artillerist because I also happened to open The Holy Sword of Misteltein (GOG-015) which is not a complete kill, but it leaves my opponent with 200 life. I ripped Ultra Magic Stone Golem (MSW-082) off the Artillerist draw, I call a Stone and play Keep the Faith! (GOG-006) to bring back the Artillerist and fling an Ultra Magic Stone Golem dealing my opponent 1800 damage to take game one, Game two was a bit longer with a bit of a back and forth, before a key Odin Enters the Game of Gods (GOG-009) seals me the victory and I take game two riding high.

I’m 3-0 with a ruler many would consider mediocre and confident I enter round 4.

Round Four: Joseph Cuevas
Milest (MSW-026) // Milest [J-ruler] (MSW-026J)
Grusbalesta (MSW-073) // Grusbalesta [J-ruler] (MSW-073J)

Round four comes up against future 2nd seed topper Joseph Cuevas, piloting a combo heavy Witch deck. Now, in my personal opinion, I prefer my deck in this mirror. I think the The Holy Sword of Misteltein (GOG-015) goes a long way in helping with this matchup and should be in my favor, and Odin enters can kill anything thats giving me trouble, but this combo deck was too much to handle. By turn two he already had 5+ Stones against my 2 and just played every cancel known to man to stop every play just so he could Pricia, Seeker of Friends // Pricia’s Big Show (ROL-018) train me and The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072) train me to lethal. Game one was just poor performance and me not adjusting. Joseph took games one and two quite fast as the deck was just pure speed.

This is where I encountered one of my most heartbreaking losses. This Milest combo into Witches with Pricia train is extremely hard to stop, due to the fact the player gets to start with a free red Will off Milest. This is just too much. With all the new cards just generating you Stones that you then in turn can fling away with Grusbalesta nets you so much Will advantage which is crazy. He had every cancel readily available to stop what ever played, since I had to do with only 2 Will to his 5. This needs to be addressed going forward for sure.

I enter round 5 determined, if not slightly dejected, 3-1-0. Time for the heartbreaker round. 

Round Five: David Ge
Kaguya, God of Cats and the Moon (GOG-078) // Order of the Moon (GOG-078J)

As the world saw fit to permit me a break even at my weakest, I am paired with yet another Kaguya in round five. I had built the deck with dreams of crushing this matchup, which was the second most represented matchup at the event, odly enough I got 0 Violet, Atomic Automaton (ADW-030) // Violet, Atomic Automaton [J-Ruler] (ADW-030J). I wasn’t aware of who David Ge was at first, but he was a very skilled player. only one of us could take this win, and I was ready to make sure it was me. Game one opens with David on the coin, I call Stone and pass turn with a Dark Sun (GOG-062) ready and a hope he plays a turn one Hanzo, Ninja of the Moon (GOG-050) so I can punish him. Knocking a quick Hanzo out, I play my Sun while David is tapped out. Despite multiple turns David is unable to answer a Dark Sun and game one is mine, able to deliver an answer to each of his threats and end up finding a win with the Artillerist of Faith (GOG-001) with the Banquet Demon (TST-048), which is more than I can typically ask for from my deck. I’m now 2-0 versus Kaguya. 

Game two sees my trusty Dark Sun in my opening hand, but more on that later. David played very well, but I once again was able to stop the key threats his deck had. He played Hanzo in which this time he left open his Will coin for any answer I might have which was brutally annoying for my deck in the early game, forcing out an early Odin Enters the Game of Gods (GOG-009) that I didn’t want to have to waste on a card not named Dark sun. Ultimately, the same situation occurred in this game as all of my Kaguya wins; I jammed an un answered Dark Sun and held up Will to answer Fiethsing, 100 Years of Wizardry (GOG-047) until he ran out of ways to produce more Will. Then after that point, he couldn’t do much He was a good opponent and a nice day, putting me into the 4-1-0 standing tier. 

In the end David was truly a good player and was a blast facing him.

Round Six: Dustin Jones
Yggdrasil, Malefic Verdant Tree (ENW-068)

What can I say, there’s really nothing much I can truly say about this matchup as poor Dustin had forgotten to take his sideboard out game one and ended up taking a game one loss. Game two was a long game and I have to say if you don’t have a way to burn your opponent or deal damage after they use Alisaris, the Invader of God’s City (AO1-045), evil Tree is not losing that game. Luckly I had Tea Party Before the Decisive Duel (GRL-014) to give my Artillerist of Faith (GOG-001) quickcast, in order to deck Dustin out in game two.

In the end, only three 5-1-0 players made it into top while 6 4-1-1s did not, but I had absolute confidence that I was going to be one of them thanks to my absolutely stacked tiebreakers and brutal Swiss opponents. Indeed, I got in at 5th. 

Top 8: Jordan Williams
Kaguya, God of Cats and the Moon (GOG-078) // Order of the Moon (GOG-078J)

I was lucky enough to be matched with a newly and very much talented Jordan Williams in top8, Luckly my opponent was on Kaguya and as I’ve stated prior I built this deck with the hopes of facing kaguya a lot. He played the first game quite close and had me having to out play all the cancels he flung at me before I could resolve a Dark Sun (GOG-062), but after Sun resolved I was able to take game one. In game two it was a bit of a climb for me as he was once again playing the games very tight and close and any mistep on my part would have sealed a game two loss for sure. Luckly in game two he had only 2 Magic Stone of Moon Shade (MPR-100) and only 200 life left when I passed turn. He called stone and it was a Pricia’s Memoria (LEL-099) in which he couldn’t pay for any life as he was at 200 and game two was mine.

Top 4: Derrick Mugwaneza
Milest (MSW-026) // Milest [J-ruler] (MSW-026J)
Moojdart (MSW-042) // Moojdart [J-ruler] (MSW-042J)

One of my favorite players in the game and a terrifying opponent to boot. Derrick is playing Milest/Mooj Craziness, featuring the scary main board Isis, Heat of the Sand (GOG-023). Game one features Derrick off to the races with a scary ramp and drawing through his legit entire deck , I had a white black source and no answer in hand,  all I had was an Odin Enters the Game of Gods (GOG-009) with no way to have it resolve as the only entity I controlled was an untapped stone. Derrick just houses me game one and as you can see in the video I’m highly irate as Jeremy needs to mute me. I sit back compose myself and say to myself: “You can do this! You’ve seen the deck, you know what you must stop now”.

Game two was considerably less intense as I started with the coin, luckily a green coin to be exact. I mull hard for a Geryon (TST-084) and a Faerur’s Spell (ACN-096). Luckily I shipped away 2 cards and grabbed a Geryon while opening a Faerur’s Spell. Derrick surprisingly is unable to go off and kill me and he passes turn. I draw and rip off the top a Misteltein, Dark Sword Saint (GOG-008), think for a bit and decide to order the Misteltein, remembering Isis is an activate to banish and draw cards. I can slow Derrick down a bit with this. As I order and play her, I tell Derrick Odin’s enter goes on the chase, he says yes and I say go into deck to grab Arena Expansion: Asgard (GOG-068). As I say that, Derrick suprisingly misfires and uses a Gradius (ADW-022). I stop and am like well she’s dead, but then I look at my hand and see the Ultra Magic Stone Golem (MSW-082). I use Misteltein’s ability to discard a card from hand and give her +1/+1 counters. If not for Derrick’s misplay, I surely would have lost game two. I won off the back of Misteltein and keeping Will up to stop Derrick’s threats. Game two is mine.

In game three, Derrick elects to go with the coin im dreading life as I know with the coin Derrick can just house me in one fowl swoop, I mull hard for Geryon (TST-084), and a Misteltein, Dark Sword Saint (GOG-008), I call stone hit a green source and I’m feeling a little more confident as I have a Geryon in hand to stop pretty much any pop off I need to stop. Derrick goes through his plays and I let 3 Red Wine and Bread (DSD-008)‘s resolve. He plays a few more ramp spells and at first I was worried because Derrick did have a red/green source up and I was like he could stop my answer. Once Derrick tapped the green source down and I saw he only had a red/blue will coin, I answered the Flames of Nyarlathotep (ENW-023) he played. I felt this was a key card to stop as he only had one Will left and it was only red/blue. I played Geryon and stopped the play. After a couple of moments thinking, Derrick passed turn. I drew and ordered Misteltein and called Stone attempting to activate with protection up in case he did have a Gradius and the game was on. I had established answers and eventually game three was mine. I was moving on to the finals, the furthest ive made it in a GP.

The finals is against STEVEN HULSHIZER, I’m a nervous wreck at this point shaking and my head is spinning. I elect to talk to Steven and we decide to split the 1st and 2nd places and the rest is history. I conceded to take the second place finish and gave Steven the first place finish and now top8’d two events and plan on to top many more.

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