During one weekend there were about four different events I wanted to participate. Unfortunately two of them were on Friday so I couldn't participate in them (MKM Series Hamburg, Slovak Nationals). On Saturday though there was Czech Vintage Series event in our country, in Brno.
Before the event I had no idea what to play but then I saw Akash Naidu's tweet about a 4c Leovold deck and I asked for a decklist. He sent it to me later, I changed it a bit (not in a good way, probably) and tried playing a bit with it online. I liked what it was doing. I sleeved it up and took it to one of our Vintage sessions. I still liked it after that session so I was set for the event.
In the morning we got up and met in the subway train. During our trip by RegioJet train we played more games. I lost two games to Blightsteel Colossus, once I managed to bounce it with Jace. In general I had the upper hand against Grixis Thieves. I mentioned the train because of another reason though. Traveling around this country with train was very expensive for a long time. When a private companies' trains and buses started to operate here, suddenly, we could travel cheaply and enjoy a way higher standard of services.
When we arrived to the local game store we saw the owner putting together a Dredge list. I had the feeling I'd faint so I tried to get something to eat which was obviously too difficult at the LGS (=pub) and ventured outside to get something to eat so I would survive the day. After I came back I started checking cards for sale (and on sale) and chatted with the other players there. I loaned some cards, sold some random Vintage cards and then after a group of players from Ostrava arrived we started playing.
Round 1 - Landstill
I was paired against a good player on UW Landstill even though the latter I found out later. He started with Library of Alexandria which I wasn't really that glad to see since my deck lacked threats I could just throw at him. I also had Library of Alexandria though so we were kind of even. There wasn't much going on, my sources were kind of messed up because I couldn't play Leovold for a long time but in the meantime managed to draw Kambal. Unfortunately I couldn't play Kambal and Mana Drain in one turn so I continued drawing cards. My opponent managed to resolve Standstill also in the game and me resolving something didn't seem likely. At last I drew some Islands and decided to break Standstill, unfortunately on my turn. I played Kambal and we had a little counterwar. I won it but it was clear to me that Kambal may not live long enough since the Landstill deck certainly featured some Swords to Plowshares.
I explained what the card, that I resolved, does and my opponent wasn't very happy about that. The game went on for a long time, in the meantime my opponent played 2 Standstills and drew 3 cards of them (I needed to deal his manlands) each time and was looking for Swords to Plowshares. When the right time came and I finally assembled all three colors I wanted to pressure my opponent with Leovold who already lost quite some life to Kambal's ability and to his attacks as well. In the counter war over Leovold my opponent went down to 3 life. Even though my Elf didn't resolve it was clear that my opponent needed Swords to Plowshares and me not having counterspell for it (I had some Mental Missteps). He tried to dig for Swords but then realized that he would die to Kambal's ability and conceded.
In game two I kept a hand that featured two restricted cards - Monastery Mentor and Black Lotus. I also had a land and permission. I wasn't on the play so I wasn't sure if Mentor would make it. My opponent started with Library of Alexandria again though and I was very glad about it. I played Black Lotus, land, Monastery Mentor with Flusterstorm back. It resolved. My opponent tried to get rid of Mentor, I countered that and then I played some cantrips and won the game later.
Round 2 - Tezzerator
Game 1 was very close. At first I didn't really know what I was playing against since my opponent played just some lands and cantrips. When Mana Crypt showed up with Volcanic Island and Underground Sea in play I suspected Grixis Thieves and also Notion Thief. My original plan before the Crypt was to play Ancestral Recall on me but obviously that would have to wait since I needed to get that Notion Thief out of my opponent and somehow get rid of it. My opponent played during my end step so I played my Ancestral Recall, it resolved, drew bunch of cards and tried countering it since I drew another counterspell and also Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Notion Thief didn't resolve. My opponent followed with Dack Fayden which to my discontent resolved. My opponent started looting and later also played Time Vault that I couldn't counter nor destroy. It was time to look for any counterspells that could counter Voltaic Key. I landed Jace and started looking for an answer. During the time I couldn't find anything my opponent also played Sensei's Divining Top to help him look for the card faster. Later on he found a tutor and played it. He played Voltaic Key and there was a little counterwar over it. Fortunately for me I won but it wasn't over since I didn't have any counterspell left and there was still probably Yawgmoth's Will in my opponent's deck. Few turns later I drew Mana Drain and the turn later my opponent looked for another card and played Yawgmoth's Will. I played Mana Drain and he conceded. That was close.
In game two my opponent played turn 1 Time Vault and Voltaic Key. I only had Mental Misstep so I tried countering that. I managed that. Unfortunately for me my opponent played Tezzeret the Seeker on turn 2 and I conceded. I wasn't looking forward to game 3.
Game 3 was very similar to game 1 with the exception that I had Fragmentize and Flusterstorm in my deck and I have to say that I was very glad I had access to those cards because they decided the game in my favor.
Round 3 - PO Storm
I've seen my opponent play the last round when he was facing Oath. He was on TPS and killed his opponent in a rather strange way which in the end was actually the best way how to win the game. I knew what I was up against and was glad about it since the deck couldn't beat Kambal neither Leovold. I just somehow needed to survive till the time I could play either card. So no hands with Library of Alexandria or no counterspells!
I mulled accordingly and wondered how fast my opponent would be. They played a mox, land and Duress which wasn't that awesome but I had multiple counterspells that I could actually play. One thing was sure, I wouldn't be able to play Mindbreak Trap anymore. My opponent tried resolving Yawgmoth's Bargain that I countered and then tried to play a ritual twice. I countered both attempts and then landed Leovold. My opponent conceded.
In game two my plan was similar. Survive till I could cast Kambal or Leovold. I cast both and my opponent conceded.
Round 4 - Eldrazi
I knew that my opponent is on Eldrazi and didn't like it in a bit. I terrible lost game 1.
In game two started well for me. I got rid of early threats and discarded my opponent's Reality Smasher, being the last card in hand. Unfortunately for me my opponent drew Thalia, Guardian of Thraben followed by another few creatures and it seemed I'd die in two turns. I drew Monastery Mentor which was in theory possible to turn the game in my favor. I just needed to avoid Reality Smasher number 3 or Thalia, Heretic Cathar. My opponent landed drew and played Thalia, Heretic Cathar and I was very sad. A game that went in my favor just ended and it was my opponent winning it after a series of good top decks.
Round 5 - Shops
As I feared I was about to play against a Shops player since we were about to play the theoretical finals, there was no other I could play and I didn't look forward to that match since I was very likely going to lose.
In game one there isn't much I can do to stop Shops from just beating me with anything it plays. I put up some resistence but unfortunately Walking Ballista is something that simply said 'no'. My opponent missed lethal twice though so with some luck I could manage to win game two? Unfortunately it wasn't to be since I faced Trinisphere from round one and more rather annoying cards followed. I had artifact removal but I also needed my opponent to blank at least once and that is something that didn't happen and I died.
After the event I realized that I should revise my sideboard and prepare myself for Shops and Eldrazi. Those are decks that I didn't really expect at this event (I thought that it was more probably that I would show up with Shops). The two Flusterstorms I had in the sideboard seemed redundant though. The card I'd probably fancy more instead would be Swords to Plowshares or Fragmentize. I'm not sold on Grafdigger's Cages. I kept them in because of Oath being played way more in paper but if I would play more Fragmentizes I shouldn't really need the Cages. Dredge nowadays plays Gurmag Angler and Hollow One and that is something the Cage cannot stop either. One of the changes I made was replacing Sylvan Library that was originally in the list by Mana Drain. I knew that this wouldn't be a good change but it still seemed that I would put that in better use than Sylvan Library. The deck needs a card draw and I wasn't really sure what to add. I thought about Gush but that would mean draw 2 cards for 5 mana since with this deck you don't really want to return two Islands to your hand. There's also Night's Whisper that was performing very well in Esper Mentor I played at MKM Series, I'll probably try that next time. Thoughtseize is a card that I wasn't sure how powerful it would be and it proved to be a really strong card and I wouldn't play without it. So if you will be thinking about trying this out, don't cut Thoughtseize.
Here's the decklist for which I thank Akash Naidu. It was fun to play with it!