Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Soldiers of Attrition

In a strange flash of inspiration, I decided to run Reclaim instead of other tools. What could be better than using a card again? Plus, it could partner with Gravedigger for a small recursion theme. With that, I played two quick games last night with War Ensemble and while the points I learned are minor, I think they're good ones.

Match One: vs stonethorn's mono-U Illusions. I had a strong start with two Sarcomancys but couldn't get another source of green to play Troll Ascetic or Bramble Elemental. In the meantime, the Illusions deck rolls out Lord of the Unreal, drops a Spellskite, which throws the whole 'cast enchantments on my dudes' plan out and proceeds to pummel me with a Phantasmal Dragon. I don't get a Bone Shredder or a Pernicious Deed and that's that.

I was stuck because I didn't have double green-there were plenty of Swamps in play-and yet my more expensive cards want more green. At the moment it's a 50/50 split for green to black mana and clearly, that has to change.

Match Two: I was up against a janky Counterbalance deck. I ought to know it was janky: I built it. My color issues don't come up and my deck rolls like it's supposed to. The best card in the two games I played: Nantuko Vigilante, because it's ability couldn't be stopped by Counterbalance.

So here's where I start to rethink things: if this is an aggro-control deck, do I want to involve myself in recursion or control? A card like Reclaim is really good if I've already drawn and used Pernicious Deed, the Vigilante or Bone Shredder but if I can't reliably have any of those things in my graveyard to recur, then it's pretty bad.

On the flipside, a card like Bramblecrush is going to be good or useful whenever I draw it, once the mana is available. Something will need destroying that's either causing or will cause a problem. So I think this deck is going to be shifted by -1 Swamp, -2 Reclaim and +1 Forest, 2 Bramblecrush.

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