Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The last 25%

I has just finished a game with Fuz and, while talking about what else could be done to Starve, I mentioned to him I was thinking about adding Gravecrawler. In conjunction with Haakon, it would allow me to recurr more creatures. But, I told him, I didn't want to make it so mean.

"You're already about 75% of the way, man."

Touche.  So what is my resistance to making this deck really, really good? That other people won't have any fun when I play against them.

However, I've been telling people I play against that Starve is good, and a little mean, so feel free to bring their best deck. I think I worry too much. One of the things I like about this game is, after playing a good deck (either with one or against one) I like to brainstorm to make a deck better. I want to help people have good decks that give them a shot.

So I pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, I only went 99% of the way, until after last night's matches.

Newest, greatest list:

3 Black Knight
2 Haakon, Stromgald Scourge
3 Gravecrawler
3 Stromgald Crusader (a zombie knight!)
3 Tombstalker
2 Dauthi Slayer
3 Bloodghast
3 Gatekeeper of Malakir

3 Lurking Jackals

4 Pox
3 Smallpox
2 Innocent Blood
3 Blackmail

3 Dakmor Salvage
20 Swamp

Prior to last night, the only difference was that I had 2 Smallpox and 1 Order of the Ebon Hand. The thinking goes thusly: Gravecrawler is as aggressive as Carnophage and with a Crusader or Haakon out, I can afford to swing with it, lose it, and bring it back. Blackmail allows me an edge of control when I need that, but also can be cast on myself when I need to get a Haakon into the graveyard and don't have a Pox effect! It all seemed to come together perfectly.

And then I played Noah. Cue dramatic music!

Just kidding: he's a great guy, a solid player and a very good opponent. I took the matchups I played against his R/B deck, because it couldn't get going and I would Pox before he could get out Rakdos, Lord of Riots. I was a little lucky in the first game, with a great deal of discard hitting my key cards but turn 3 came, I cast Pox and that was all I needed to do to give my deck the advantage.

Then came the W/B clerics deck, which I put up a good fight against (I believe the match ended 2-1 in his favor) and my losses came when I could not get a Pox effect soon enough, nor any removal. I knew I was in trouble when he was able to cast a Battletide Alchemist with three clerics on the board, then cast Conspiracy the next turn. When the opponent has that much mana out, my deck isn't working. My protection from white creatures didn't seem so awesome then, I tell you what.

The deal was sealed when Rotlung Reanimator came out but Noah didn't have enough to win (yet) and Pox causes life loss, not damage. This meant that I was able to get him down to one...but I drew Swamps instead of a win condition.

The rule of a Pox deck is....That's right. Pox early and Pox often and if there's ever a question of what one should do, Pox is the answer. Unless you can win, right there.

Order of the Ebon Hand came out because when I got home, I found another Smallpox in my binder. I need that more than I need a creature that doesn't quite fit in like it used to.

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