RB HollowVine Tournament Report (SCG Dallas 9th place)
Howdy folks, my name is Jeremy Frye and I’m here to talk about RB Hollow Vine (or as I like to call it, Vengeful One) which I played to a 9th place finish this past weekend at SCG Dallas. You can take a look at the decklist here. Just for a little bit of background I won GP Santa Clara with my team on Legacy Grixis Delver and top 8ed the last SCG Dallas with my team on Modern KCI Combo. I had been brewing with this deck for a couple of weeks so when I saw another SCG was coming to Texas I was excited to try it out. Essentially, I took the typical RB Hollow One shell and cut the Bloodghasts for Vengevines, the Lightning Bolts for Insolent Neonate (essential if you are playing a Vengevine deck) and the Collective brutalities for Wild Cantor (a way to trigger Vengevine more easily). This turns the deck into a hyper aggressive deck with no interaction which it attempts to not need by how quickly it kills. Anyway, without further ado, here is how my tournament went.
Round 1: 1-2 Loss BW Eldrazi & Taxes
Game 1: I have a slow start and we get into a race situation. I have the win if I draw a land or Hollow One to trigger my Vengevine but miss.
Game 2: We have an explosive start and our opponent concedes shortly after.
Game 3: We both have slow starts, but I make a crucial mistake and miscount my Tasigur delve. This delays me returning a Phoenix from the graveyard which misses out on 4 damage. My opponent kills me at 3 life.
Round 2: 2-0 Bant Control
Game 1: I have an explosive start and he chains 3 Cryptics in a row to stay alive at 1 life for a few turns, but doesn’t find anything relevant and dies afterwards.
Game 2: I have super fast start and he doesn’t find anything relevant as he dies on turn 4.
Round 3: 2-0 RG Ponza
Game 1: My opponent mulls and puts 2 lands in play, casting no spells before I kill him.
Game 2: My opponent has no early plays as I get a Hollow One, Vengevine, and Phoenix into play on turn 2. He casts Anger of the Gods on turn 3 but my Hollow One lives. It gets there with the help of a Flameblade Adept.
Round 4: 2-1 Jund
Game 1: I have an explosive start with a Gurmag Angler my opponent can’t answer. It gets across the finish line paired with some Phoenixes.
Game 2: I feel like I overboard for this game and have a mopey draw with some removal but no clock. He runs me over with Tarmogoyf + Ooze eventually.
Game 3: My draw is a bit subpar, and is slowed down by an Anger from my opponent. A top decked Gurmag Angler into Phoenix is able to steal it as my opponent draws irrelevant cards.
Round 5: 2-0 Bogles
Game 1: I have a good start with a lot of power vs. his 4 power bogle. There is a turn where he can top deck a lifelink enchantment to beat me, but he doesn’t and my Hollow Ones and Vengevines cross the finish line.
Game 2: My opponent mulligans and has a subpar hand, which is no match to my very strong draw. He gets run over pretty fast.
Round 6: 2-0 Free Win Red
Game 1: He has a turn 0 Gemstone Caverns which allows him to cast a Chalice on 1. Luckily since I was on the play, I managed to discard a Vengevine turn 1. I cast creatures into his Chalice to trigger my Vengevine and start the beat down. A Blood Moon shuts off my delve threats, but in a crucial turn I am able to cast a Hollow One and a Flameblade Adept to trigger the same Vengevine again. During all these triggers, my opponent forgets about his Chalice on 1 so my Flameblade resolves. They cross the finish line eventually.
Game 2: My opponent has a slow draw, which I am able to capitalize on with a ton of fast power. He dies after casting a turn 4 Pia and Kiran Nalaar.
Round 7: 2-0 Jeskai Control
Game 1: Turn 3 Gideon of the Trials into turn 4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor has me worried, but I dump so many creatures into play he can’t deal with them. He Cryptic taps my team for a couple turns, but succumbs to the hoard afterwards.
Game 2: I have an insane draw that can reanimate 3 Vengevines on turn 2, but my opponent has a turn 2 Runed Halo naming Vengevine. And assortment of Hollow Ones, Gurmag Anglers, and Flamewake Phoenixes are able to get the job done after my Liliana, the Last Hope kills his Clique and Snapcaster.
Round 8: 2-0 RB Hollow One
Game 1: We cast burning inquiry back and forth and have a close race of his Hollow One, 2 Bloodghast, 2 Phoenix vs. my 2 Hollow One, 2 Phoenix. I manage to squeak out a win in the race at just a few life.
Game 2: He has a turn 2 Hollow One, but my turn 2 consists of Ancient Grudging his Hollow One while playing one of my own and attacking with Flameblade Adept. He isn’t able to come back from such a tempo swing.
Round 9: 2-1 Tribal Zoo
This match was featured on camera.
Game 1: My opponent mulls to 5 and my mediocre draw is able to beat his even worse draw.
Game 2: I cast a couple of Burning Inquiry and Goblin Lore, but I hit the bad side of the RNG and discard all my relevant cards. I die shortly after.
Game 3: On the play I have a turn 1 Flameblade Adept into turn 2 double Vengevine + Hollow One. No one can do much against this draw and my opponent was no exception as he dies turn 3.
My friends and I enjoy some time in downtime Fort Worth. Including eating some delicious BBQ and getting a little too drunk. I fall exhausted into bed with dreams of what is going to happen on day 2.
Round 10: 2-1 Bogles
Game 1: After a mull my opponent has a bit of a weak draw and has to suit up his Dryad Arbor. My draw ends up being very aggressive and I am able to kill him before he gets much going.
Game 2: I have another pretty explosive draw but my opponent has exactly what he needs with a Bogle, some 1 mana enchantments into a Daybreak Coronet. I try to live long enough to find Engineered Explosives as my only out, but die before finding it.
Game 3: My draw is pretty clunky, but my opponent’s is even more so. He plays out 3 different Bogles and 2 Kor Spirit Dancers, but his only enchantment is discarded by my Burning Inquiry. He eventually has to chump block with his Bogles and then I clean up his Kor with an Engineered Explosives on 2. Not much he can do to come back after that.
Round 11: 2-1 Burn
Game 1: My draw is good but my opponent’s is better and he is on the play. I get to a point where I have lethal the next turn, but it is too slow to race his draw that included triple Lightning Helix.
Game 2: I have an ok draw on the play to my opponent’s ok draw. My opponent makes a crucial mistake when he lets me go to combat with my Vengevine in play, triggering my Flamewake Phoenix. He then still has to path my Vine while allowing me to have the Phoenix in play. It helps me win the close race.
Game 3: My opponent’s hand is really bad and he is flooded. I have a fast start and he is forced to bolt and path my creatures. It gets to a point where I have a massive board to his nothing, and have 17 life to his 3 when he drops and Ensnaring Bridge with 1 card in hand. I only have a Flameblade Adept in play that can attack, but on my next turn I attack him to 2 and drop the 2nd Flameblade Adept that I had in my hand. He draws for turn and reveals that both his cards are lands so he cannot empty his hand all the way and I steal that game that almost turned so wrong.
Round 12: 2-0 Eldrazi Tron
Game 1: I have a super explosive start to the point that the first creatures my opponent plays are already in chump block mode. There wasn’t much of a way for him to come back after that.
Game 2: I play a turn 1 Flameblade Adept but then make a crucial mistake with my opponent’s 2 mana up. I have a Burning Inquiry and a Street Wraith in hand and lead off by cycling the Street Wraith. My opponent then exiles it with Warping Wail in response. If I had been thinking about the card I should have lead off with Burning Inquiry and then cycled Street Wraith in response to the Warping Wail, thereby making it have an invalid target. I’m still able to assemble a clock despite this debacle and it becomes apparent my opponent’s hand is weak. He attempts to equip a Basilisk Collar to a Walking Ballista, but my Dismember in response is lights out.
Round 13: 1-2 RG Ponza
I lose this round to the eventual winner of the tournament.
Game 1: I keep an explosive hand with 2 lands on the play. Turn 1 burning Inquiry discards my 2nd land but lets me play a turn 1 Hollow One. He plays land Utopia Sprawl and on my turn 2 I Faithless Looting to discard 2 Flamewake Phoenix but miss my 2nd land drop. On his turn 2 he Molten Rains my only land. I proceed to draw for turn, attack with Hollow One, and miss my land drop for the next 5 turns as he slowly takes over the game. If I ever hit another land I would have had lethal with the Flamewake Phoenixes in my graveyard as my opponent wins the game at 2 life.
Game 2: My opponent mulls on the draw and my hand is super explosive. He concedes only a couple of turns into the game.
Game 3: We have a long, drawn out game where my draw doesn’t come together well. He has an eventual Scavenging Ooze that gets rid of a lot of my recursive creatures and over time his better late game spells overwhelm my all in cards.
Round 14: 1-2 Storm
Game 1: We both get deck checked and then my opponent gets a game loss for a deck list misregistration. I guess we had both managed to get this far into the tournament without a deck check.
Game 2: We shuffle up with my opponent on the play but are not allowed to sideboard. Storm is a terrible matchup for the configuration of my deck and he manages to dispatch me on turn 4 before my next turn lethal.
Game 3: I don’t get a ton of early pressure on the board from an awkward draw and he Remands me turn 2 into an Unsubstantiate on turn 3. This slows me down immensely and he is able to easily assemble a turn 4 win through my 0 disruption.
Round 15: 4 Color Pyromancer
Game 1: I have a pretty great nut draw with the help of 3 Vengevines and he scoops up his cards pretty quickly.
Game 2: My super early start almost gets the job done, but a Blood Braid Elf into Traverse grabs Hazoret the Fervent which is able to stone wall my Gurmag Anglers. We enter a long stalemate where no one can attack as he slowly builds up his board. I’m searching for Flamewake Phoenixes to attack over in the air, but in my single minded game plan I forget that Street Wraith is a swampwalk creature and cycle it to continue looking. If I had played out the Street Wraith is would have been able to get there. As you can probably tell by now, I find 1 Phoenix which is able to attack him down to 1 life, but he lethals me on the next turn.
Game 3: Neither of our draws is very explosive but it comes down to a crucial turn. My opponent has a Nihil Spellbomb and I activate an Insolent Neonate to discard a Phoenix and put cards in my graveyard for delve. He thinks for a while about cracking spellbomb in response to the Neonate draw, but eventually decides not too so that he can play around future recursive threats or draw a card off of it. I then delve the entire graveyard except for Phoenix for Tasigur, and when I go to combat he is forced to use it to exile just my Phoenix. This put him too far behind to come back and I am able to put the game away.
From round 13 on I thought I had 3 consecutive win-and-ins to top 8, and after losing the first 2 it felt great to clinch the last one. The announcer states that there are 8 people at 12-3 and only 5th-8th place left. I waited in anticipation as the read off the list of names for top 8...and hung my head in disappointment as mine wasn’t on there. 9th place was where I ended up off tie breakers since losing the first round of a tournament can be pretty devastating to them. Still I had a great finish and a great time with my teammates and friends. I’m glad I got the chance to play the deck I had been brewing in modern as well as put up a good result with it.
Until next time folks!