Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stop the world and listen in, something great is happening

After some pondering on Look Up, I decided against Favorable Winds and here's why: I had to make a choice between a more aggressively leaning deck or a more controlling one and the cards in there tilted toward control. Putting in Favorable Winds would have just diluted the controlling elements.

My adjustments were: +1 Vendilion Clique, +2 Guardian Seraph. Here's why: Vendilion Clique is more disruptive to most control strategies (and I own one more) and Guardian Seraph is a pain in the butt for aggro ones. It's a kind of reverse lifegain but with a better effect; all of your damage, gets -1 and that impacts any creatures, plus red and black. Plus: attacking for 3.

After these changes I was paired up against the same U/W deck I lost to last week. This time: it wasn't even questionable. I went 2-0 on the strength of well timed Humbles and my opponent's inability to deal with Thieving Magpie.

Thieving Magpie is possibly the secret weapon of Look Up. Ding for 1, draw a card. Doesn't seem like much but keeping a hand full of threats and never worrying about running out of answers was a big deal.

My second opponent, Merrick, identified that this would be a problem. Playing a mono-R dragon-themed build, she set fire to those Magpies whenever possible.

I drew Sea Sprites in all three games against her; the first game had her land flooded and unable to deal with the protection from red creature.

Game 2 was not to work the same, as you can see in the photo. That green glass bead represents my one creature; a U/W 1/1 flying bird. Everything else I'd cast either died to Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle triggers or were sacrificed to block Balefire Dragon.

I had creatures but not any form of disruption and my Magpies were Bolted. The game went long and her creatures were better than mine.

Game 3 came down to a critical turn four, I believe, when she cast Dragonspeaker Shaman. I had a Condescend in hand. Do I counter this spell or do I counter the next spell that comes along, one that will likely be a dragon that can block my creatures and are likely better than mine?

I decided to counter the Shaman on the grounds that with the turns she would need to continue to develop her mana, I could develop my threat count and maybe get enough pressure on to win the game. Plus, using Condescend's Scry ability I could get closer to the second Plains I needed to drop a Guardian Seraph, which could present problems later.

My decision turned out correct and lead me to win that game, going 2-1 vs the dragons. I think I got a little lucky but it worked out so I'm not going to complain.

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