Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Swing for 2(6)?

In a game 3 of a matchup against Noah last night, piloting a U/R deck, I used Dark Ritual to cast Buried Alive on turn one. He played an Evolving Wilds searched for an Island and said go. I played a Swamp, cast Shallow Grave and attacked for 26. On turn two, against a tapped Island, just to be clear.

This is why I keep this deck active. The trick this time has been to make it as consistent as possible. I don't expect to do this every time on turn two...more like turn four.

What? Turn four is plenty of time. Sometimes. When I want to be mean.

Faithless Looting has been working out well though; enabling dig and discard has been a learning experience. It's very difficult to choose to get rid of resources, especially in a deck like this. I went all in on Last Rites three times and had it work out twice but every time, I had to take an extra few seconds to make sure that these were the cards I wanted to discard and I should get rid of that many. In the second game against Noah I slipped up, letting a Corpse Dance go when I'd meant to let the second Buried Alive go. That was all that was needed and I couldn't draw a win condition after that.

Similarly, with Faithless Looting, especially as a turn one play I have to decide: do I choose to let go of lands? Is there anything redundant that I won't need for a future Firestorm?

This is why Magic is difficult: One mistake and your game is over. It may not seem like the Faithless Looting caused the loss but in order to improve, I have to take responsibility for my choices or mistakes. For example:

Last night against Lauriel, I was taught again the importance of paying attention. She had a W/B deck with Deathbringer Liege and of course hideously nasty cheap creatures. When I cast a Night's Whisper with an Underworld Dreams on the board at 8 life, I appropriately went down to 4. I drew a Faith's Looting and knowing I had to win this turn, I cast it. It was a long shot but you take 'em if you got 'em.

Except I had my overbrain say: that's a terrible idea because you take 4! Which I did, conceding the game...instead of 2 because I was doing Night's Whisper math instead of Faith's Looting math. I swore and looked at the next card: the Shallow Grave I needed to swing for 26.

I won the other two games in that match though, Firestorming away thrulls, in one memorable instance casting Steam Blast then Firestorm for 2, discarding a Death's Shadow, so I could kill a Deathbringer Liege, until I could finally bring up the Sutured Ghoul. The extra card draw has improved my consistency and given me time to get the combo online. Even Brain Pry feels like it's doing more, letting me see things like Izzet Charm or Mortify in crucial games, giving me extra information even as I miss the discard, so I can fortify my combo with Fling at the ready.

The record for Children of the Grave has improved to a winning one. I'll take that.

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