PasCon 2015

Last weekend it was Lauri’s and Sarianna’s (Lauri’s wife) fifth anniversary. For the Guild, that’s just another excuse to play games. (Hopefully Sarianna was aware of this plan.) Since this was pretty close to our usual annual event, PasCon, this sort of became it. (And hopefully, the guests outside of the Guild weren’t too bothered about what they had to witness.)

Since quite a few of the writers on this were there as well (well, everyone except Ville), we decided to join forces and make a common report. So, this might be a bit long. Hang on, there’s bound to be some good parts in there somewhere.

— Aki

Aki’s PasCon

I arrived late Friday night, right after finishing up judging the Modern FNM at the LGS. I played the event myself (as I always do) and went 1-3 with monoblue budget Faeries. (Its a fun deck, but not for the Spikes out there.) Games were over for the night, so I just went to the sauna, took a dip in the cold lake water, ate and socialized. I go to bed around 3AM.

… and I got up around half past eight. To play Magic, of course. We played a couple of games of EDH with Lauri, Mikko (not the Mikko writing on this blog) and later Risto in the morning. I brought out my [card]Balthor the Defiled[/card] deck, which I hadn’t played before. The basic idea is that I try to do a lot of things with creatures, so that I can get plenty of triggers by activating Balthor. I also try to sacrifice my creatures, because I know I’ll get them back anyhow.

[deck]
[commander]
Balthor the Defiled
[/commander]
[creatures]
Agent of Erebos
Baleful Force
Big Game Hunter
Blood Artist
Burnished Hart
Cabal Surgeon
Cairn Wanderer
Doomwake Giant
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
Erebos, God of the Dead
Grave Titan
Gravecrawler
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Helldozer
Hell’s Caretaker
Indulgent Tormentor
Mindslicer
Necroplasm
Nether Traitor
Nezumi Graverobber
Nighthowler
Pestilence Demon
Phyrexian Obliterator
Pilgrim’s Eye
Puppeteer Clique
Returned Centaur
Rune-Scarred Demon
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Solemn Simulacrum
Withered Wretch
[/creatures]
[spells]
Ashen Powder
Buried Alive
Cabal Conditioning
Chainer’s Edict
Damnation
Demonic Collusion
Demonic Tutor
Hex
Increasing Ambition
Rise of the Dark Realms
Sever the Bloodline
Yawgmoth’s Will
Liliana of the Dark Realms
Liliana of the Veil
Liliana Vess
Armillary Sphere
Crucible of Worlds
Expedition Map
Explorer’s Scope
Journeyer’s Kite
Nihil Spellbomb
Wayfarer’s Bauble
Bile Blight
Cremate
Crypt Incursion
Entomb
Hero’s Downfall
Attrition
Pestilence
[/spells]
[lands]
Bojuka Bog
Cabal Coffers
Crypt of Agadeem
35 Swamp
Thawing Glaciers
Volrath’s Stronghold
[/lands]
[/deck]

First game didn’t go very well and I lost having done pretty much nothing in the whole game. I did make the game a bit harder for my opponents with [card]Necroplasm[/card] that just wouldn’t go away.

The second game was more about our tiredness then anything else. When there were just two of us at the table, I had a [card]Bile Blight[/card] in hand, when my opponent had 10 goblin tokens and a [card]Skullclamp[/card] in play. I just didn’t think to use my Blight. On the other hand, my opponent failed to attack with the goblins when my lifetotal was only 7. I won that one in the end, but barely.

The third game was again quite different. Although I got [card]Magister Sphinx[/card]ed (twice, actually) I managed to get enough defenses into the air to grind out the game. I managed to keep my self alive with [card]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/card] and eventually forced my opponent to sacrifice all relevant creatures with [card]Butcher of Malakir[/card] by killing my own [card]Withered Wretch[/card], [card]Gravecrawler[/card] and [card]Nether Traitor[/card] with [card]Pestilence[/card]. It seemed pretty close, but actually I held all the tools I needed to win for a very long time. Just needed the right opportunity to use them.

From there I jumped into a game of Carcassonne. There was plenty of expansions available, but we decided to go with the basic game (well, we did have the River expansion, but in the Finnish version its pretty much default as it comes with the basic game), but with all the pieces from the expansions in use). My usual strategy of relying on farming subsidies backfired when the first farm I took over didn’t produce that many cities, and while my other farmer did much better, it wasn’t nearly enough to win.

Although there was some talk of which cities look most like male genitalia, surprisingly enough, it wasn’t the guild members at the table who were most interested in this topic.

Viljami arrived around the time we were through with the game and wanted to test out his Standard deck. He lives in a city with not that much activity Standard-wise, so he was eager to get some games in. I played the Abzan Aggro I’ve been playing lately in major tournaments, and a monogreen concoction. Neither was really in my favored state, because I had loaned out my [card]Thoughtseize[/card]s and the decks shared a set of [card]Den Protector[/card]s I didn’t want to move between decks, so I put in a couple of [card]Evolutionary Leap[/card]s and [card]Nissa, Vastwood Seer[/card]s.

For this matchup, the Abzan Aggro was better off with the [card]Warden of the First Tree[/card]s against a fast deck, while the monogreen could’ve really used the low drop. (Meaning, the Abzan Aggro crushed, while the Monogreen matchup was pretty close.)

Meanwhile, some of the guys were thinking about putting together an EDH game, but I intervened with a box of boosters from the Theros block and proposed we do a draft. We got six people together for it. I began my draft with a couple of [card]Bloodcrazed Hoplite[/card]s and [card]Bladetusk Boar[/card]s, which were both great. I could see early on that white was very open, but I was also getting what I wanted in these two colors (even though there was a red player on immediate right and a black player on his right), so I made a black-red deck. It did seem for a very long time like I wasn’t getting creatures, but eventually that changed and I could even cut a couple from my deck. I had a nice, low curve, a decent amount of removal and a few great tricks. I ended up winning the draft 4-1 (we played round-robin), winning over Lauri on tie-breakers (first of which was the result of our match).

I didn’t jot down the exact list, but it looked something like this:

[deck]
[creatures]
2 Bloodcrazed Hoplite
2 Bladetusk Boar
1 Herald of Torment
1 Nighthowler
1 Fleshmad Steed
1 Felhide Petrifier
1 Minotaur Skullcleaver
2 Deathbellow Raiders
1 Insatiable Harpy
1 Spearpoint Oread
2 Pharagax Giant
[/creatures]
[spells]
2 Bolt of Keranos
1 Lash of the Whip
1 Sip of Hemlock
1 Fall of the Hammer
1 Blinding Flare
1 Necrobite
1 Grisly Transformation
[/spells]
[lands]
9 Swamp
8 Mountain
[/lands]
[/deck]

We paused our gaming to go to the sauna again. After that we played some Saboteur. Its a pretty simple game where you just build a tunnel to get the gold. However, there are problems. First, you don’t know where the gold is exactly. Second, you don’t always get the tools you need. Third, there are saboteurs. Someone in the group is trying to stop the others from achieving their goal.

The saboteurs were pretty unlucky, because out of the three rounds, only one game had more than one saboteur. If the saboteur is alone, he or she is going to be at a very big disadvantage, because he can’t really chance getting caught as he could easily be taken out of the game.

After that, things were beginning to wind down, but we did get one more EDH game in with Viljami and Risto. This time I played my [card]Meloku the Clouded Mirror[/card] deck, which is supposed to produce a bunch of tokens and then make them count for something with cards like [card]Day of the Dragons[/card], [card]Djinn of Infinite Deceits[/card] and [card]Mass Polymorph[/card] (all of which made an appearance in this game). The deck also has a limited number of big creatures I can cheat out by [card]Polymorph[/card]ing and of course plenty of card draw and control elements.

[deck]
[commander]
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
[/commander]
[creatures]
Blightsteel Colossus
Consecrated Sphinx
Djinn of Infinite Deceits
Inkwell Leviathan
It That Betrays
Ixidron
Jalira, Master Polymorphist
Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
Lighthouse Chronologist
Patron of the Moon
Platinum Emperion
Stormtide Leviathan
Walking Atlas
[/creatures]
[spells]
AEther Tradewinds
AEtherize
AEtherspouts
Brainstorm
Capsize
Counterspell
Cyclonic Rift
Dig Through Time
Disdainful Stroke
Dissipate
Dissolve
Dream Fracture
Exclude
Hinder
Polymorphous Rush
Quicken
Spell Crumple
Devastation Tide
Enter the Infinite
Flow of Ideas
Inundate
Mass Polymorph
Preordain
Recurring Insight
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Karn Liberated
Armillary Sphere
Batterskull
Crystal Ball
Explorer’s Scope
Eye of Doom
Journeyer’s Kite
Scroll Rack
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring
Wayfarer’s Bauble
Cast Through Time
Day of the Dragons
Dream Halls
Future Sight
Omniscience
[/spells]
[lands]
Academy Ruins
Faerie Conclave
Halimar Depths
36 Island
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
Reliquary Tower
Temple of the False God
Terrain Generator
Tolaria West
[/lands]
[/deck]

(I did notice I should have taken out the [card]Ixidron[/card] as it tends to do more harm than good in this deck.)

For some reason everything just fell into place. I did take plenty of early damage, but I also did have a clear goal in mind. I was able to get out [card]Omniscience[/card] early through [card]Walking Atlas[/card] and [card]Recurring Insight[/card] (which let me draw the lands I needed), and following that up with all the bomb creatures I had drawn, and then making them into dragons with the aforementioned Day. (I was happy to hide my [card]Blightsteel Colossus[/card] under the enchantment, because I needed fliers against Viljami’s demons.) Having access to [card]Capsize[/card] was pretty awesome, because I was able to play all sorts of tricks by returning the Day to my hand while being able to replay it.

In the end I won through some tutoring and hijacking of my resources pretty easily.

After that we got into a discussion about Games Workshop with Viljami and Harri, and later on after Harri went to bed, little bit about Viljami’s comic projects before finally going to bed around 4AM.

Lauri’s PasCon

As the host of this whole shenanigan naturally was a bit different from Aki’s. I did have big plans of roleplaying games, tournaments and our annual panel discussion. I really did. But when most of your group consists of people who enjoy drinking and you like to join them I kind of went sideways.

Aki said he arrived after the games had already ended at Friday but that’s not true. At least to my knowledge we didn’t play anything at all then. Friday was our anniversary date and thus it was just for partying. But since the location I had rented for the event extended for the whole weekend and PasCon just had to happen then I had informed all participants (even my wife) that Saturday would be for games.

Anyone with any knowledge about these kind of weekends knows from the beginning that it is doomed to fail but so what?

My gaming day started (as Aki said) with EDH. I got to play my [card]Alesha, Who Smiles At Death[/card] and managed to win the first round. Then it was time for my Elder Leviathan Highlander deck that got beaten. And lastly I played my very favourite deck (at the moment) Collateral Damage and that ended even more quickly. It usually does though so it wasn’t that bad.

After EDH I played a game of Caribbean that is simply put one of the best beer & pretzels game I know. It isn’t that famous but if you are into bidding games (or games that you can play while having rum) I definitely can recommend it.

Lastly I took part in the draft Aki started. I drew [card]Temple of Epiphany[/card] from the first booster and since I have always wanted that card I decided to go with UR. I got really lucky and chose the heroic scheme from early on and managed to draft good cards for it. [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] did not hurt (at least against Viljami’s mono-white deck) either but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I ended up winning most of the matches and according to Aki’s booking would have won in a differently named tournament since I had more wins than Aki or something but ended up loosing to him since he won the match against me. I might blame it on different things but I still pretty excited that I managed to even score that high with all the drinking I had been doing.

After the draft ended I just socialised and drank and sang till I just had to go to sleep. Aki was still playing (EDH if I recall correctly) but I was just too exhausted to participate.

While I think we missed the opportunity for an actually good gaming con here we all still had a pretty good time. Next year I’m considering of organising the event at a more sober environment. It will after all be the fifth time this convention takes place!

(I’ll publish this post now but Viljami might still have something to add here. I know I’ll try to remember to add photos.)

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