*Awards Descriptions

The Deconstructed

Team 10: 3-2 in Weeks 1-6. Continued to go 3-4 the rest of the way after some mid-season changes. They lost Game 1 of the first round against Crusade, then took the final two games before getting smoked in the semi-final by Fire Drilled 2-0. An up and down season for Team 10. They got lucky early, then saw a dramatic shift in strategy, and turned over most of their roster as they searched for a core identity. By seasons' end, Team 10 had undergone such radical change from their initial hodgepodge roster that a full rebrand was in play (See: Swamp Things in Meet the Teams).

Extinction: A .500 record in Season 1 followed by a game over .500 in Season 2. Extinction is like the Atlanta Hawks (between 2009-2013) of the League - they're good, in contention for a playoff spot but not a championship. The Hawks retooled and blasted the doors off of their 2014-15 campaign. Extinction is in need of such help. That said, I'm not sure what they are yet. For now, though, a few of core pieces (Wrath of God, Llurgoyf) will be repurposed for Swamp Things while the remainder of the roster watches eagerly from the sidelines. Goodnight for now, Extinction.

Dead Heads: Have to admit, I loved this Team. It was the emergence of Illusionary Mask-Dreadnought combo, with some graveyard resurrection, and then the Goblins running amok. Beautiful. Did it make a lick off sense, no. Let's just say it was hastily assembled, and, now, each of those three parts is central to a separate deck; El Kamino, Swamp Things and an unnamed third. The Heads completed a short stint at 7-11 over two seasons. Thanks for coming out, Heads.

Mystery Flavor: Mystery Flavor, another melting pot of old cards thrown together with no actual goal. This was a fun ride for a season but there's no future for this team. The record is misleading, there's no central theme, yet there are some valuable spare parts that will be used in other decks. The fun part about logging each roster for every team is to look back and recreate those teams that brought a lot of fun and uncertainty to an otherwise rigorously structured League. Mystery Flavor was not one of those teams. Somehow Dance of Many made it out every single game, and I hate Dance of Many.

B&B: The strangest of the to-be-disassembled bunch. The best way to sum them up is this - by the six of seventh turn in every game, it always looked like B&B had no chance of winning. I waited for the game changing card to arrive each turn, and it just never came. A closer look revealed a few flaws, like holding everyone's mana hostage with Stasis while also trying trying to mill the opponents' library, which requires mana! Come on, Commish, nothing about that makes sense. They're 10-12 over two seasons, and seem stuck. Alas, time to tear things down.


The Question Marks

No Lands For You: ....EVERYONE had lands in Season 2!!!! Well, not everyone, but the four teams who were responsible for all 7 of NLFYs losses certainly did. Two common themes in those defeats; (a) 3 of the 4 teams play with black as one of their colors and (b) they had no ability to remove a card (creature, enchantment, artifact) from the battlefield. With (a), opponents were not crippled by the loss of mana, and, in fact, can sometimes benefited from the additional swamps thrown their way. With (b), NLFY enters each game with a very thin margin for error by not stacking more removal cards (only 4) in their deck. They're 12-10 in two season, but are only one of two teams with a crown. Roster turnover most likely isn't the answer, but maybe a few sideboard cards are when facing other teams with black in their color schemes. Man, what a bizarre turnaround for the defending champ.

Crusade: Are they going small? Big? Both? Neither? Core to Crusade's strategy is land destruction, and yet there are creatures on the current roster who need seven-mana, and even nine-mana, to be summoned. How does that work...at all? Maybe it doesn't. A 12-10 record isn't bad, but it isn't great either. Nothing worse than being stuck in the middle. Three of Crusades 6 regular season wins were due to land destruction. Most of their losses, though, were due to too few creatures on the battlefield. It seems like they're caught in the middle, this team, but I don't think Crusade is far from cementing an identity. Looks like a few changes are in store for Crusade.

Sliver Lining: I'm not sure what to make of this team yet. They've been destroyed in two seasons, going 6-16. When they have the right mana-creature combination they can be devastating, but, without it, they sputter. A few tweaks could go a long way here, but I have a feeling it'll take some time to find the right combination. Tell you this, I'm hell-bent on keeping this a creature-heavy outfit so we'll start there.

Darwin's Doom: Season 2 saw a slower Darwin Team. They needed 4 more turns, on average, to win in the second season vs the first, but sealed a better record and higher playoff seed as a result. Truth be told, Darwin was in the middle of the fray nearing the end of the season with the other six teams not named Fire Drilled, and could have dropped out of the playoffs entirely had other matches gone differently. Come playoff time, Darwin drew B&B after their first-round bye. They split the regular season series. In the playoffs, Darwin made short work of B&B in two games winning by an average of 20 points. All in all, Darwin's losses highlighted the lack of heft in their creature base, so additional force may be needed. 


THE up and up

Thrull Frottle: What a turnaround, going 5-1 in the second half of the regular season. They beat everyone in the Qualifier at least once and really started to firm up their identity as a creature sacrificing machine. In fact, the Thrulls were one loss away from ascending into the Premier Division. A closer look at the Frottle wins sees three of them coming as a result of low mana or creature output from their opponents. Does this mean Thrulls overachieved? Maybe, they have very little to do with lack of mana, that's for sure. In the past, though, the Thrulls likely wouldn't have capitalized on the short-comings of their opponent - something to be said for that. Still, the Thrulls should be a tougher out entering the third season. Well done by the Thrulls. 


  Fireball, MVP of the Finals

Fireball, MVP of the Finals

THE champ

Fire Drilled: Two first place finishes in a row for the now-defending champ. They started out slow, then reeled off 7 of their next 8 games before sweeping the playoffs. They were not challenged in the playoffs, roasting opponents in an blitzing 6-turns per game. They even won in 5-turns twice to sweep Team 10. The Drillers also won in 5 turns once in the regular season, despite averaging 9-turns in all other wins. Darwin pushed them to the brink in the playoff finale with FD outlasting Darwin 4 to -5 after 13 turns. Fire Drilled is now 16-6 over two seasons, and looks far and away the most formidable team in The League.