Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post Op (part 1)

My games with Ratchet have been similar to my games with Golden Blunders, interestingly.

Against a UB deck with milling and Jace's Phantasm, I just got wiped out. I was milled, but that wasn't the problem. The problem was Killing Wave. In both games, I chose to lose a significant amount of life (10 in game one, 6 in game 2) and yet still found myself taking 5 in the air, my opponent easily able to afford the Norn's Annex payment.

At this point I'm pretty concerned because I've only won a game when my opponent was color screwed. That is not a successful sign. We keep going, just to see how bad it is,

In game 4 I won because I was able to generate enough cat tokens and pressure; Killing Wave for 4 didn't do enough to keep me from attacking for 8 each turn.

Game 5 I was under early pressure from the Phantasm then casting an Annex put me down to 3 life. I managed to Scourglass but a Glimpse the Unthinkable put me down to 6 cards left in my library. I was able to use two Shrines to generate Myr tokens and increase the pressure. In the end, he was blocking with Glacial Wall while I was attacking with 6 Myr a turn and I pull out the matchup, 3 games to 2.

In another set of games, one versus a goblins deck which was fast but not super fast, and another green/black zombies, I kept finding myself with Soulscour in hand. Two of them, unable to cast either. I lost both matchups. Badly.

Similarly, with Golden Blunders, I would find Jin-Gitaxis in hand--two of them--and be unable to use either in my early builds.  (That still happens, just not as often.)

It rains and it pours, I suppose but it's not just weird to find circumstances repeating, (two of the same uncastable card) it's frustrating. 

Now, on the other side, I was playing Golden Blunders against a mono-white construction stonethorn had. He was using Mycosynth Wellspring to boost his mana. (I lost the games with Golden Blunders; repeated resets are bad, even for creatures with protection from White. Once again: two Jin in hand because my mana ramp had been neutered.)

But I had a similar problem: I needed mana for Ratchet and I wasn't getting enough to cast Soulscour if needed.

Then the light bulb went off. Out came the Razor Golems, which was a hard choice to make because I really liked the way they fit in the deck, and in went three Mycosynth Wellspring and one Spine of Ish Sah. My reasoning went like this: If my opponent doesn't have any artifacts, then my Divine Offerings aren't useless. For four mana I could get two lands and gain two life: this is a pretty good deal!

But in the later game, I could destroy someone's best permanent, gain seven life, then destroy their next best permanent!

Sure, this is probably Magic Christmas but I'm going to give it a shot anyway.

With New World Disorder, I had a Eureka moment. The kind that makes me feel like I'm on my mojo. That moment was Hornet Queen. I'm not upset that I overlooked that card, trying to horn Avenger of Zendikar in there because it's just such a rare card (ha-ha!) to see in Green. It fits perfectly though: it ramps up the Gaea's Cradle, it creates difficult to block attackers and creates a huge problem as blockers for opponents. Even better, with a Fangren Firstborn these creatures become expedient paths to victory.

People, if you play Legacy or Casual Magic, pay a lot of attention to the non-Standard sets. Commander and Planeshift 2012 have a great deal to offer.

I pulled off a Hornet Queen against a GB deck, after destroying a Golgari Rot Farm, and pulled ahead with a Wildspeaker/Tangle Wire combo in game one. Great Sable Stag was immune to the removal and I rode it to the win. Unfortunately I didn't get any further games.

But against stonethorn's aforementioned mono-W angels deck, I went 2-0. The Hornet Queen never came out, instead the team of Silklash Spider and Woodfall Primus, coupled with Wastelands, were there to suppress mana and when Judgement was rendered, the Primuses (Primi? Primusseses? Primus 2 the Primining?) stomped on a couple more Plains and swung for 5 until the angels were no more.

stonethorn seemed worried after that matchup: "I've never had it go so badly before!"

Don't worry about it, I said, I've been working on this deck for 15 years. 

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