Dominating the Dojo – 1st Place in Bloomsburg with Twaunspresso Stax


A ways back, Hitman (aka Paul Kim) mentioned making the trip out to Bloomsburg (PA, USA) to battle for a Mox Emerald. After a pep talk from fellow hip hop aficionado and Sucka Free MC Yangtime (aka Jerry Yang) I was talked into attending. It went a little something like this…

Yangtime: This game is about feel…I remember at my best, there’d be nights when the whole world would slow down and get very quiet…I could hear the cards riffle…like nothing existed outside of this game…see, what these Youngbloods have to understand…that this game has always been…and will always be…about Workshops.
Twaun007: That’s what I been trying to tell’em Yang.
Yangtime: Twaun, you’re a real baller…you got to get out there and put your team back together again…go find’em!
Twaun007: I am a real baller…came up during real times…watching the big C…watching Chang…watching real Workshoppers…Workshop! I get Workshops! These young boys out here…got all the new foils an all this foillity foil fop…all these flashy cards…these guys don’t practice the fundamentals anymore…Youngbloods have no idea what’s coming…

Yangtime amped me up so I tell Hitman I’ll to go to Bloomsburg for the Mox tourney.

Vintage aficionados and fellow ballers Hitman, Charles, and Ryan show up at my house the day of and we set off for the five hour drive. Conversation about the Vintage metagame was rampant…

Twaun007: You know, it’s really great to see you Hitman.
Hitman: I couldn’t believe it when I saw you. I hardly recognized you.
Twaun007: You see, I kept my old Workshops. Remember when we played against those Meandeckers from the Midwest and you broke the meta? Now that’s Vintage!
Hitman: But it’s not like that anymore. All players want to do is the Vault-Key crossover, fliggity-flabber Flusterstorms…I just don’t know if I got it anymore Twaun.
Twaun007: Trust me…I got you. Vintage is just a state of mind.

We get to the venue on time and I have this monstrosity built and sleeved up.

Twaunspresso Stax, by Anthony Michaels aka Twaun007
1st place, The Players Guild, Pennsylvania 01/19/2013

[Business] (35)
Chalice of the Void
Pithing Needle
Sphere of Resistance
Thorn of Amethyst
Tangle Wire
Crucible of Worlds
Lodestone Golem
Karn, Silver Golem
Serum Powder

[Mana Sources] (25)
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Mana Crypt
Sol Ring
Tolarian Academy
Mishra’s Workshop
Ancient Tomb
City of Traitors
Mishra’s Factory
Strip Mine
[Sideboard] (15)
Grafdigger’s Cage
Helm of Obedience
Leyline of the Void
Pithing Needle
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Hitman: I’m going to need a few minutes to warm up now…
Twaun007: Don’t worry about it…

Round 1 vs. BYE
Postings go up and I see my opponent listed as ***BYE***. Excellent! A round one bye offered time to get my scout on only to find 6+ Workshop decks, 5+ Dredge decks and a crap tone of UW aggro control decks with some Doomsday and Oath tossed into the mix. One of the first steps towards victory is reconnaissance.


Round 2 vs. Ryan Glackin (aka KingSquee) on Dredge
Game 1:
Due to a thorough reconnaissance mission, I knew I had very little chance to win game one vs. Glackin. My notes illustrate my life total being eaten away from 3/1’s and 2/2 Zombies.

Game 2:
I dive into the tank and load up with Dredge hate from the board, sideboarding as follows:
-4 Smokestack
-4 Tangle Wire
-1 Mana Crypt
-1 City of Traitors
-2 Crucible of Worlds
-2 Chalice of the Void
+4 Leyline of the Void
+4 Helm of Obedience
+2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
+4 Grafdigger’s Cage

I kept a solid hand with Leyline of the Void, and a few Sphere’s while Ryan mulled to one. I establish some hate along with Sphere’s followed by a Lodestone Golem and Glackin’s life total quickly drops from 20 to 0 in increments of 5.

Game 3:
I Serum Powder away a hand that would make a blue mage retire and keep Leyline of the Void, Grafdigger’s Cage, Mishra’s Factory, Mishra’s Workshop, Thorn of Amethyst, Lodestone Golem, and another land. I dropped down a Leyline of the Void turn zero. Glackin plays a land then passes. On my turn I play a Grafdigger’s Cage followed by a Thorn of Amethyst. Glackin blows up my Leyline of the Void with a Nature’s Claim in response to the Thorn of Amethyst being cast and starts to build a board state where Bridge from Below can start pumping guys out from evoked creatures. I start beating in with my Factoryies until a Lodestone Golem can lock up the board and accelerate to the clock.


Round 3 vs. Paul Kim (aka Hitman) on Doomsday Oath
Game 1:
I win the die roll and my opening seven were ridiculous! I had the curve out of the century with turn one Lodestone Golem followed by turn two Tangle Wire or Sphere of Resistance. Turn one, I drop a Workshop, Mox, and a Lodestone Golem which met a Force of Will. Paul, on his turn, casts Thoughtseize and rids me of Tangle Wire. I’m left with a Sphere of Resistance, Duplicant, and a Mishra’s Factory in hand. On my turn two I peel a fresh Tangle Wire off the top, play the Wire followed by Sphere of Resistance, and then pass. Paul played a land and passed. On my following turns Mishra’s Factory beat for two, and eventually Karn, Silver Golem showed up to the party to shut it down.

Game 2:
I didn’t bring anything in from the side board since Grafdigger’s Cage is soft to Laboratory Maniac/Doomsday. Hitman lands an early Oath of Druids on turn one or two so it’s just a waiting game until he finds a Forbidden Orchard or until I can locate a Smokstack. Forbidden Orchard shows up first and Oath of Druids becomes active. Labman is Oathed up and I’m unable to disrupt such an elegant win condition.

Game 3:
This game is looked like it was going to be a grind due to a hand loaded with two Sphere of Resistance, Chalice of the Void, Mox Emerald, Mishra’s Factory and Mishra’s Workshop. I started by dropping Chalice of the Void set at one followed by Sphere of Resistance. Hitman has a hand full of spot removal and land. At one point an Ancient Grudge was discarded and used on one of my Chalice of the Void. I eventually grind through 3 Nature’s Claim’s on my Factories and Spheres, but Hitman can’t get find any timely action. My Mishra’s Factories slowly plink away and get there.


Round 4 vs. Charles Rolko on the 67 card mirror
My notes on this match are nonexistent since I test with Charles at least once a week. We mostly just talked as my life total was in a constant state of decline.

Game 1:
I keep a solid hand vs. Shops, but Charles keeps me from playing anything and his Factories slowly grind my life total into oblivion. I know what I need to do and I sideboard as so, trying the following strategy:
-2 Sphere of Resistance
-2 Thorn of Amethyst
-4 Tangle Wire
-1 Mana Crypt
-1 City of Traitors
+4 Helm of Obedience
+4 Leyline of the Void
+2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Game 2:
It does not pan out. I have a bunch of scribbles in my notes, a big L at the bottom of the page, followed by the word Kaarrrn! My notes also fail to express my maintenance of a strong board state during the game.


Round 5 ID
I accept the ID to guarantee a Top 8 playoff spot.


Top 8 Quarterfinals vs. Mike Noble (aka Psyburat) on Doomsday Gush
Game 1:
I’m pretty sure Mike ended up mulling to six game one. I kept a hand with Thorn of Amethyst, Tangle Wire, a Mox, and some Mishra’s Factories. I lead with the Thorn of Amethyst and pass. Over the course of the game Factory workers lessen Psyburat’s life total as he digs for answers. Without drawing any action Psyburat moves on to the next game.

Game 2:
I board the same way I did round 3 vs. Paul Kim; nothing in, nothing out.

I kept a solid hand and Psyburat came out guns a blazing with Mot Jet, Imperial Seal, Island, Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus into Doomsday. I looked over his exiled pile to see what type of hate was brought in from the board. I remember counting quad lazer Hurkyl’s Recalls and 3 Nature’s Claims as I’m getting turned one’d.

Game 3:
I keep a hand with 2 Sphere of Resistance, 2 Mishra’s Factory, Ancient Tomb, Mox Emerald, and Serum Powder. I lead with Ancient Tomb, Mox Emerald, Sphere, and then pass. Psyburat drops a land and passes. I follow up my turn one with the second Sphere and a Factory. Psyburat starts to develop man as I send in factory workers for the beats. Over the course of the game Psyburat Nature’s Claims two of my permanents, but is unable to stabilize and find bounce. Psyburat thinks for a bit while his life total is on the brink and states that I’ve got the match. He puts his hand out and offers his congratulations.


Top 4 Semifinals vs. Ryan Glackin (aka KingSquee) on Dredge
Game 1:
Knowing Glackin is on Dredge, I mull away a sweet do nothing hand full of Spheres, Chalice of the Void, and other lock componentry. I’m unable to mull into my miser’s Pithing Needle so I keep a hand that allows me to think about game two. I get beat down by Zombies and Ichorids.

Game 2:
I board a bit differently than before, and keep in a Smokestack while taking out my Duplicants. Something like this:
-2 Duplicant
-2 Smokestack
-4 Tangle Wire
-1 Mana Crypt
-1 City of Traitors
-2 Crucible of Worlds
-2 Chalice of the Void
+4 Leyline of the Void
+4 Helm of Obedience
+2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
+4 Grafdigger’s Cage

From what I remember, I mulled into an opening six of two Leyline of the Void, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Sphere of Resistance, Pithing Needle, and Ancient Tomb. I lead with two Leyline of the Void on turn zero and get ready for the grind. Glackin opens with a Bazaar of Baghdad and passes. I draw for the turn, and cast a Pithing Needle. Glackin responded by activating his Bazaar of Baghdad, I name Bazaar of Baghdad with Needle and then pass. Ryan drops Bazaar of Baghdad number two on his turn and passes. I draw another Leyline of the Void, drop Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, play a Sphere of Resistance, and then pass. Glackin plays a City of Brass, hard casts Bloodghast, and passes. I play a Workshop and land another Sphere of Resistance. Glackin swings in with Bloodghast and then passes. I rip another Workshop, play it, and pass. End of turn Glackin bounces a Leyline of the Void. He then played another Bloodghast and came in for two. I draw Smokestack and play it since I didn’t have any form of pressure on board. Glackin swings with his Bloodghasts and my life total gets close to plummeting below ten. I ramp Smokestack up to one and draw Mishra’s Factory so I can halt Glackin’s Bloodghasts from chipping away at my dome. I pass the turn to Glackin, he sacs a land, swings in for four, played a rainbow land, and then passes. I gaze at my board and decide to sac a Sphere of Resistance. I draw a Mox or something irrelevant and pass the turn. I believe Ryan sacrificed a land, played another land and passed. My board is looking pretty good and I go into the tank thinking on what to bin. I opt for a land and toss another Soot counter on the Smokestack, draw into another Mishra’s Factory, play it, and then pass. Glackin end of turn bounces my last Leyline of the Void. He starts his turn by sac’ing two Bloodghasts, draws, plays a land, gets the Bloodghasts back, then Cabal Therapies me for Leyline of the Void and hits three of them. On my turn I go even deeper into the tank and have to figure out what to feed my Smokestack. I sacrifice Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and my Pithing Needle on Bazaar of Baghdad. I know this is risky, but I figure I can race due to the cards I’ve seen and they cannot be used for mana to cast guys. In a sweet moment of irony, I rip Helm of Obedience off the top. I played it to offer another permanent up to the stack and pass. Glackin did some things on his turn and passes. I activate the Helm for two or three and pull a Narcomoeba. I sac the Narcomoeba and Smokestack since my permanent count is running low. We pass turns a few times and I remember my Mishra’s Factories eventually ending the game by striking through Bloodghasts.

This game was the grind of the day and I’m positive way more happened during the match than I can account for (or things may have happened a bit differently, my notes are hazy on this one).

Game 3:
I Serum Powder into a hand of Leyline of the Void, Grafdigger’s Cage, Lodestone Golem, Mishra’s Factory, Mox, Mishra’s Workshop, and a Thorn of Amethyst. I played the cards accordingly and Lodestone takes me to the finals. Cha Ching!


The Finals vs. Lance Ballester on Dredge
Game 1:
Once again, I do not find my miser’s Pithing Needle or Lodestone Golems to race his Bazaar of Baghdad’s, and we are quickly off to game two.

Game 2:
I sideboard as I did in the previous match above.

I mulled once and Serum Powdered to open with a grip containing Leyline of the Void, Grafdigger’s Cage, Sphere of Resistance, Mox, and two Mishra’s Factory. I turn zero in Leyline of the Void, followed by a turn one Sphere, then a Cage on turn two. Lance dug for mana and answers the entire game, and I chipped away at his life total in increments of three due to Factory reinforcement.

Game 3:
I fan open a hand of 2 Lodestone Golems, Mox Jet, Mishra’s Workshop, Sol Ring, Thorn of Amethyst, and something irrelevant. I mull to six then Serum Powder another blank hand away. My next six are 3 Leyline of the Void, Thorn of Amethyst, Serum Powder, and Lodestone Golem. The hand is super soft to Serenity, but I decided to keep it. I played the 3 Leylines turn zero. On Lance’s turn he played a rainbow land and passed. I drew a Workshop off the top and cast the Thorn of Amethyst and then passed. Lance drew, played another rainbow land, and then passed back. I peel Mana Crypt off the top and cast the Lodestone Golem in my hand. The turn goes to Lance who passed without any action. I pulled Strip Mine off the top, played it, swung with Lodestone Golem, and then passed. I believe Lance played a land or maybe a Narcomoeba and ended his turn. It comes back to my turn and I top deck like Bill Kazmiaer, lifting Helm of Obedience off the top! I cast it and activated her for one.

I scoot off with 1st place and a fresh Mox Emerald back to C-Town. Life is good.

– Uncle Drew & Team Serious
– Paul Kim for being amped on Vintage
– The Workshop think tanks from across the globe
– Post tourney meals
– Tim Kenney –
“But while Twaun might have won the tournament, the Goddamned Champion of the day is none other than Tim Kenney, who successfully completed the aforementioned Triple Atomic wing challenge at Quaker Steak and Lube! Destroyed it, actually. Barely broke a sweat! (Well OK, he was actually sweating rather profusely.) I’ve seen people try and fail that challenge rather spectacularly.”

– Rando Commando’s disrupting Top 8 matches about decklist postings from previous tourneys
– Yangtime’s hiatus from MTG…we miss the lil hip hop activist and media assassin

Yangtime: Twaun…This is just the beginning…