Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yo, We Down For Survival

This deck is making me angry: It should work but the cards that let the deck work don't show.

For example, versus Fuz's mono-white not-exactly-weenie deck:

Game 1 was brutal: my anti-Wrath tech in hand, wrath turn 4, I was left with nothing and scrubbed three times on a Scroll effect vs Student of Warfare with only two cards in hand. He cast Hero of Bladehold, swung at me for 11 and that was that.


In game 2, things were looking grim vs 2 Students, but with a Tangle Wire and a Firstborn, I brought the house. My mini overrun had me attacking for 8 then 11 and I got a concession.

Neither of these games were even close so I was hoping for more data in the final game. It wasn't meant to be.

 I had a turn four Tangle Wire but with no way to follow it up. There was a Disenchant at the beginning of his turn, which I hoped would be good for me but instead I found myself with no further mana development and two Woodfall Primus in hand.

Turn 4 saw the Wrath, after he swung at me for 23, connecting with 11 of that. This was a huge mistake on my part, because I had enough blockers to kill almost all his creatures and still mount an offense but I chose not to block.

The only reason to bring the house is because he either had Wrath of God or was bluffing Wrath of God. If he has it, then why give up the life? If he doesn't have it, I've just decimated his side of the board and I still have a way to keep the pressure on, so again: why give up the life?

Instead, I saw two Calvary Masters and that led to my quick demise.

Maybe nobody ever blocks but double flanking ensures nobody will even try.

Last night against what appeared to be a mostly-black, hint blue zombie deck stonethorn made and game one I got to see every mana elf I played executed in fine style. With a Tangle Wire out, I used two Wastelands to cut off his blue and didn't see another land the rest of the game. Worse, I had five cards in hand while trying to activate Cursed Scroll to get a Blood Artist off the table. That...didn't work out.

The Tangle Wire went away, I couldn't keep a creature on the board nor get to 4 mana and down I went.

Games two and three went a bit differently though: game two had me working the Tangle Wire lockout and attacking with tiny creatures + Fangren Firstborn. Game three had a critical error when I Natural Ordered up a Woodfall Primus against his Diregraf Captain, destroying a Darkslick Shores.

His response? Give Captain super deathtouch and force me to block, which gave me a 5/5 creature and him one less land.

My next turn had a Tangle Wire; stonethorn's grip included Phyrexian Obliterators. Plural. That...would have been bad for me.

Instead, the Wire kept his lands tapped down and I kept after him with a 5/5 until I won. Why am I so unhappy, then?

Because between the first game and my goldfishing with this deck, I never feel like I'm getting the card I need. I felt I lacked enough creatures for Gaea's Cradle so I added two Khalni Garden. I didn't like how Silklash Spider was so situational so one got cut for an Avenger of Zendikar. The interaction between Wickerbough Elder and Fangren Firstborn wasn't good so I cut one for an Acidic Slime. Finally, I added an Overrun, removing a Fangren Firstborn because sometimes: trample and 3/3 is more difficult to handle than a creature that can be killed.

Yet I still draw my 7 and feel like, oh crap I am not going to pull this off. I don't get enough lands or I don't get enough creatures or I can't get an I win spell!

There's a tickle in the back of my head that says Cursed Scroll is to blame. Something at the two or three mana spot that other decks will hate. I just don't know what it is yet.


  1. Strangleroot Geist?

    Make 'em sweat the early game more.

    Otherwise: creatures with defender. Go Wall of Roots for mana; there are several choices for card draw.

    Final thought: you've got Witness, but perhaps a Reclaim or two?

    1. Putting in Great Sable Stag is my attempt to provide some early game pressure. I've also taken out Avenger for Hornet Queen because my tests showed Avenger only sometimes getting 4 creatures-rarely more-and 5 deathtouch fliers means that it's a huge problem for most decks I can think of. Add in any Overrun effect, and that should put the game within reach in a way that I didn't have before.