I didn't know exactly where to post this, but general seems as good a place as any.
So I spent a lot of time on modo playing thopter foundry/sword of the meek combo a la william cavaglieri's list from worlds, and really liked how powerful it was. Maybe not as versatile as the tezz lists running gifts, or even the chord list we brewed up last year, but as far as brute force goes it's a force to be reckoned with. I kept trying to come up with ways to beat the 'mirror', as once both sides assemble the combo you're pretty much down to decking. I finally happened to observe a mirror where one side cast a time sieve and locked the game, and that's when I knew splashing black was the way to go (as well as giving you an incredible tool in extirpate out of the board).
Here's what I ended up running:Spoiler:
4 ancient den
4 seat of the synod
1 vault of whispers
3 scalding tarn
2 hallowed fountain
1 watery grave
4 chrome mox
4 mana leak
4 spell snare
4 path to exile
4 thirst for knowledge
4 thopter foundry
3 sword of the meek
3 muddle the mixture
3 tezzeret the seeker
2 wrath of god
2 engineered explosives
1 time sieve
4 Meddling Mage
3 Vendillion Clique
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Chalice of the Void
1 Academy Ruins
1 Relic of Progenitus
I originally intended to run 3 talisman of progress over 1 tarn, 1 seat, and 1 mox, but the vendor didn't bring them and I couldn't find mine
Anyway, without further ado, report time!
r1 - Tom playing Fae/NLU
So I typically (against all logic and reason) like to start out my day with a semi greedy keep just to tempt fate. 6 lands and a spell snare to start off? let's do this... and get steamrolled by vcliques and mistbind cliques. Awkward. In goes vcliques and mages, out come muddles, wraths, and ee's. Games two and three were similar, in that grizzly bear beats got there.
r2 - Elliott playing Affinity (1-0, 2-1)
Now I've been raving about how well positioned I feel affinity is right now, and how well it matches up with the field, for quite a while now. I go t1 fetch and he goes land drum ornithopter frogmite frogmite... nice deck. I somehow stabilize (with a couple of clutch spell snares on a plating and ravager), set up the combo, and win. EEs, tezz, and 2 muddles for chump blocking dudes. Game two, he puts me to 4 on turn 3, and when I don't rip the wrath, I have to concede. Game three, I keep a hand with natural combo... must be nice.
r3 - Thayer playing Scapeshift (2-0, 4-2)
The new deck of the minute, it's fairly resilient. My roommate said the other day how he'd rather play tooth and nail, cause once you resolve it you win. My rebuttal was that scapeshift is exactly the same way, except cheaper, and you get to run protection the turn you win. Anyway, game 1 is an uphill battle, something like 65-35 against, and I lose because mana leak is moot when he floats 4 mana as well as casting scapeshift. EE, wrath, path and 1 tezz out, extirpate, mage, and vclique in. It's really amusing how well the man plan does in both games 2 and 3, grizzly bears and vcliques > spell pierce.
r4 - KJ playing Burn (3-0, 6-3)
So I lose the all important dice roll here, and the defining moment of this game is when I decide to pass turn 2 with a spell snare in hand instead of getting a foundry on board. Now, I would say this is the play almost all of the time, as if he has a hellspark or mauraders here I set myself super far ahead in tempo and should be able to stabilize... but spell snare doesn't do much against a blood moon and I never find another white mana source. Game 2 i get overrun by goblin guides and 3 damage for 1 mana spells... and a smash to smithereens.
r5 - Charlie playing Fae/NLU (3-1, 6-5)
So this is a pretty awkward round, we've got a pretty good rapport going talking about things both magic and nonmagic related, when I'm pile shuffling his deck counting to 60 like I always do... and I get to 59 and run out of cards. Now this happens sometimes, and I always recount in case I screwed up somewhere along the line, but he checks his sideboard and one of his main deck had stuck. Kids, let this be a lesson to you - ALWAYS ALWAYS count your main and your side before presenting, and ALWAYS ALWAYS count your opponents maindeck when they present. He proceeds to go on tilt and lose game 2.
r6 - Cody playing Scapeshift (4-1, 8-5)
Seriously, something like 60% of the field was scapeshift, every round I was either playing it, or seeing it on both sides of me. So really, games 1 and 2 are the same as round 3, but the defining moment in game 3 happens when I've stalled him out for a few turns with clutch spell snares and the combo assembled... when he casts scapeshift and I have nothing to stop him... He sacs some lands... searches his library... and doesn't have enough mountains left to kill me. Awkward.
r7 - Dylan playing Bant (5-1, 10-6)
So I really like the bant deck, I think it's strong against the field and with a good pilot could run circles around almost anything. Maindeck mages and vcliques give people fits, goyf is a ridiculous beater, plus you have countermagic? rough. So anyway, game 1 is decided by a clutch qasali pridemage on thopter foundry, and I'm kind of at a loss when he has runner runner mana leaks for my gamewinning tezz's. Here's where my confidence in sideboarding kind of falters, as I haven't tested much against the bant deck with tezz... I side out muddles, a mox and a tezz for vcliques and extirpates. Somehow I manage to get there. So I'm kind of nervous, and he's kind of nervous, because we're both in win and in positions right now, but it's coming down to game 3 in what seems to be a coinflip. I offer the draw to put us both in win and in positions again, but against different, and hopefully better, matchups. He considers for a minute, then accepts. Turns out, after putting in a bit of time playing against bant when I got home, it's not overwhelmingly in my favor, but enough that I wouldn't have been in too bad a way with playing it out here. Oh well, at least we both have a chance to t8 now!
r8 - Sam playing Scapeshift (5-1-1, 11-7-1)
NICE. Really, I'd play this matchup all day if I could, cause even if they all go to 3 games (which this one did in an imitation of the previous 2 matchups with the same deck) I'm confident enough in my sideboard plan to where I feel this is considerably in my favor. So I win game 1, game 2 turn 1 meddling mage naming scapeshift is no match for turn 2 magma jet, and game 3 I get there with infinite turns via time sieve. Nice.
So it turns out I make 8th by some ridiculously small percentage on tiebreaks... woot.
top 8 quarterfinals - Vince playing AIR (6-1-1, 13-8-1)
So this guy has just been running ridiculously hot all day, and continues with a ridiculous steamroll of my face. As if a mull to 5 isn't bad enough, he goes turn 1 rite, rite, seething song, deus. My notes have a little sadface next to that deus ;p Needless to say, I don't have the path in my opener or my next 2 draws... on to game 2 where he goes turn 1 blood moon, chalice for 0, turn 2 storm for 4 goblins, turn 3 simian spirit guide (yes, grey ogres get there too) and I die to time spiral block cards. Being shut off of white was kind of sad when I'm looking at the thopter foundrys in my hand.. and the mox and path getting shut off by chalice.
So, rather anticlimactic, but vince was super nice and ended up winning the whole thing. I'm completely satisfied with how the deck performed, although I would still absolutely play the talismans over the lands and 4th mox. If you have the time to put in with practice, absolutely play this deck at your ptqs.