2007-2008 Precon Championships: Tinsman Division (Part 2 of 2)
We’re back with this weekends exciting precon action as the Tinsman Division comes to its dramatic conclusion. Last weekend we saw Morningtide’s Shamanism triumph over Going Rogue in a surprising upset, seeing the sturdy Treefolk more than a match for the sneaky tricks of the Rogues. Goblin-on-Goblin violence was at a high as Battle Blitz squared off against Boggart Feast, and lived to tell the tale. Meanwhile, the Goblins deck from the first-ever Duel Decks release wait in the wings alongside Shadowmoor’s Overkill, fresh from their bye. Today it all comes together.
Time to head to the arena!
Game 19: Shamanism (MOR) vs Battle Blitz (EVE)
Given enough time, even the humble acorn becomes a mighty oak. So it is with the Treefolk deck, which has every opportunity to grow and develop. An early Gilt-Leaf Seer helps with clashes as the Treefolk use Recross the Paths to develop its manabase. A Moonglove Changeling offers some creature presence, while a Leaf-Crowned Elder promises the opportunity to eke out card advantage over the long haul.
Problem is, Blitz doesn’t cooperate. A Battlegate Mimic, Duergar Assailant, and Revelsong Horn flood the board early, while a Puncture Blast cripples the Elder so that it can’t even block. A Hearthfire Hobgoblin with Scourge of the Nobilis then looks to put the game into high gear, but fortunately the Treefolk manage to stabilise with an Oblivion Ring.
Then the game slips into détente, with the Treefolk thicket a bit too much for Blitz to handle, but with Blitz free from worry from the tepid Treefolk offense. It forces trades as it whittles away at the life total, its creatures protected by the Horn and a Hatchet Bully. Squeaking Pie Grubfellows manage to pry away a card from Blitz’s hand, but the offensive pressure sees them forced to trade out in battle. Eventually, the Treefolk run out of tricks as Blitz uses a double-Niveous Wisps to set up the win.
This time it isn’t even close. While the Treefolk put up a brave face of it, things just don’t go their way. The lead with an early Bosk Banneret enabling an Everbark Shaman, followed by a Moonglove Changeling. Blitz, meanwhile, has stormed the board, deploying a steady stream of threats. It leads with Duergar Assailant and Battlegate Mimic, which together trade out for the Everbark Shaman on the attack.
A Duergar Mine-Captain replaces it, followed by a Hearthfire Hobgoblin and Revelsong Horn. After tapping the Treefolk’s lone defender with Niveous Wisps, the Hearthfire Hobgoblin and Mine-Captain together combine for a single attack of 11 points of damage, untapping the Mine-Captain and retapping it for the Horn for multiple bonuses after a Puncture Blast kills off a fresh Squeaking Pie Grubfellows. The Treeefolk never recover, and fall in battle the turn following.
WINNER: Battle Blitz
Game 20: Goblins (DD: EvG) vs Overkill (SHM)
In this corner, Farhaven Elf and Tattermunge Duo! And in the opposing corner, we have Raging Goblin! Goblin Cohort (two of them)! Akki Coalflinger! Goblin Warchief! Goblin Ringleader! Skirk Drill Sergeant! Mudbutton Torchrunner!
Yes, it’s that kind of blowout. An early Warchief gives all Goblins haste, while a Ringleader hits three out of four cards as Goblins. Overkill tries to stabilise alongside an Elsewhere Flask, but is quickly overwhelmed. The Goblins swarm in, and a Tarfire takes the game.
Overkill get a bit more traction this time around, playing a Prismatic Omen to begin its land shenanigans. Unfortunately for it, though, Goblins gives no time to develop, flooding the board with a stream of attacking Goblins.
As its life total heads South, it desperately tries to stabilise behind a Tattermunge Duo, pair of Scuzzback Scrappers, a Juvenile Gloomwidow, and Mudbrawler Raiders. It isn’t enough, though, even with a Fossil Find t pull back a Scrapper. A Spitting Earth kills off the Raiders, while Raging Goblins, an Akki Coalflinger, Mogg War Marshal, Goblin Sledder, and more stream relentlessly across the red zone. Just when Overkill thinks it’s managed to steady the ship, a Skirk Fire Marshal touches down to blow the board- and Overkill– sky high.
TINSMAN DIVISION FINALS: Battle Blitz (EVE) vs Goblins (DD: EvG)
Blitz has a dream start against the Goblins, leading with a Patrol Signaler into a Hearthfire Hobgoblin. Next turn the Hobgoblin gets a Scourge of the Nobilis, and things become hideous. A 4/4 hybrid-Firebreathing, double striking beater with lifelink gets ugly fast, and very quickly Blitz’s life total is bumping around in the 40’s.
Goblins, meanwhile, is busy trying to stabilise the board- and it almost succeeds. It’s able to kill the Hobgoblin thanks to cycling a Gempalm Incinerator, picks off smaller threats like a second Hobgoblin and Ballynock Trapper with a Tarfire and Tar Pitcher, and while at 3 life avoids death by killing off a Belligerent Hatchling with another Tarfire. With Ib Halfheart on the board, it’s able to break almost even.
Almost. It’s Goblins keep dying to chump-blocks as Blitz attacks with a Ballynock Cohort and Safehold Sentry, and when a Hateflayer touches down, the Goblins are on a 1-turn clock. Finding no answer, they scoop.
This time, the Goblins have their revenge. Though Blitz once again find the Scourge of the Nobilis, there’s no Hearthfire Hobgoblin to stick it to. In fact, thanks to a Tar Pitcher, Mudbutton Torchrunner, and Mogg Fanatic, most of Blitz’s best cards are late in coming out. A Puncture Bolt kills the Fanatic, letting Blitz play a Duergar Mine-Captain, but it’s the only creature the deck plays that lasts more than about a turn.
Constantly thwarted, the deck can’t seem to get off the ground. It finally tries to stick the Scourge on a Kithkin Spellduster, but Goblins just sacs a Gobbo to the Tar Pitcher and finishes with a Tarfire. Belligerent Hatchling? There’s a Spitting Earth for that. Ib Halfheart touches down, and a Reckless One starts working over Blitz’s life total. It doesn’t take long.
A squeaker! Both sides know that they’re just one win from glory, and unload both barrels. Blitz opens with a Duergar Mine-Captain, then sticks a Scourge of the Nobilis on a Ballynock Cohort. While the Goblins build up with a Mogg War Marshal, which alongside its 1/1 Goblin token is used chumping the 4/4 Cohort. A Mudbutton Torchrunner comes down next, along with the Goblin Warchief. The life bump from the Scourge’s lifelinkgives Blitz quite a cushion, but slowly the Goblins begin to break even.
A Siege-Gang Commander finally lets them pick off the nettlesome Cohort, a turn after the Warchief is killed by a Puncture Bolt. Blitz stalls out, down to two Mine-Captains too fragile to attack, but it then takes to the skies behind a pair of Kithkin Spelldusters.
This works, but it’s just not fast enough to keep up with the relentless Goblins. An Emberwilde Augur, Skirk Drill Sergeant, Goblin Sledder, and pair of Boggart Shenanigans keep the pressure mounting. It’s down to a race, the Goblins on the ground and Blitz in the air, and Blitz looks to win once it finds a Hateflayer. The math just isn’t there, though, as the Goblins alpha strike. The Hateflayer blocks the Commander, which eats itself for more damage, and the massive strike cripples Blitz. Down to 2 life, the sacrifice of a Mogg Fanatic for a ping triggers the Shenanigans, and gives the Goblins the photo-finish win one turn from defeat in the sky!
Thanks for joining us today! The Rosewater Conference is all but decided, with a single match standing between defeat and the change to go for it all in the Grand Final. While Evincar’s Tyranny and Goblins will get a break to nurse their wounds and plan their strategies, we’ll be heading over to the Forsythe Conference next week. We’ll be back this Wednesday with an updated leaderboard and call for predictions. See you then!