Friday, February 1, 2013

Gut Instinct

Faithless Looting is my choice for card draw for two reasons: they won't print anything like it again (WotC has said that Red card draw will be more random-i.e., you discard before drawing- post Dark Ascension) and I can discard it to Firestorm, then use the Flashback to continue to dig. Other cards didn't give me that sort of flexibility. My next set of tests was late last night, against Jason (Karsa in the screenshots.) Yay, Friday post!

First deck...U/G wall mill. Again!
I lost game one, despite Firestorming most of his walls away, because when facing a board of 4 Doorkeepers, a Ludevic's Test Subject, and an Overgrown Battlement, I killed everything BUT the mana source and a Carven Caryaid. I thought I had a shot if I could draw a fling because he'd absorb most of the damage with the walls. Well, he proceeded to Genesis Wave for 5, drop a bunch of Axebane Guardians and lands, then mill me for 56. The lesson is: Kill the mana producers. Always. Lacking that, swing for 26 and see if you can get the damage to finish the game.

Game 2: I made a mistake, discarding Dark Ritual instead of Corpse Dance to an all-in Last Rites, but I won anyway on turn 4 by drawing the fourth land I needed to swing for 26. 

Game 3: walls didn't matter when I can Fling for 26. Seriously. I love beating through walls. I am going to just bring this deck out every time someone has bunches of walls. 

My second matchup was against a mono-green build, using Dungrove Elder, Nightshade Peddler, Ulvenwald Tracker and Predator Ooze. Game 1: the trees kill me, despite 2x Nights Whisper, a Faithless Looting I cast and flashed back, yet there was no Disturbed Burial. I checked: another 10 cards down, the first Disturbed Burial appears.

Game 2: I went all in with a Last Rites for 3 which killed my hand but savaged his too, snagging a Green Sun's Zenith amongst other things and leaving him with Forests while I used my Swamp to feed a Lake of the Dead, and we then play mana for 6 turns. But eventually, I get juice and he's got nothing to stop the 26/26.

Game 3: He gets lands and Elder, snagging a second Elder with a GSZ. This was a trick of timing: I had cast Last Rites the turn before and he topdecked the GSZ. When someone is attacking for 12 a turn, you're gonna have a bad time.

Last matchup was vs. W lifegain using Martyr of Sands. I lost game 1 to Spirit tokens flying to victory with a Buried Alive stuck 13 cards down at game's end. In game 2 I stall, hitting my Buried Alive but nothing else, not even card draw, while he Spectral Processions and Ranger of Eos ups creatures. I Steam Blast everything away, perhaps a turn too soon. The Martyr of Sands comes down next, he reveals 7 cards gaining 21 and after that came two Serra Ascendants.

Sigh. Still a rough aggro matchup. On the upside, I feel like Faithless Looting really helped me dig into the deck. On the downside, I don't know that it's giving me more juice against aggro decks. Jason suggested Tainted Pact as a search and I have to admit, that card had been tickling my brain for a bit. I'm wary of it though: I don't want cards to be removed from the game, I want them in my hand or graveyard. Still, this is a combo deck and setting that up should be paramount.

It may also be that I just don't have enough creature removal. Brain Pry has started to prove its worth, helping me knock out cards that I don't want to deal with or just replace itself when it whiffs, so I'm feeling less inclined to remove it. Steam Blast has seemed unnecessary in many matchups but I need to keep in some form of board sweep so I don't get overwhelmed. More testing!

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