Thursday, June 20, 2013

League Begins

For the next few weeks, I'm going to have posts on league matches, which I've started with some friends.

The setup is pretty simple; take one pack from each set legal in standard. Use M13 and Innistrad block to build a 60 card deck. Then add one pack per league event until M14 is out. 4 events, 4 packs, the deck evolves as we play. The winner will get beers the losers will get to keep the Magic cards.

Here's what I opened:

Eaten by Spiders
Wandering Wolf
Geist Trappers
Strangleroot Geist
Somberwald Dryad
Hollowhenge Beast
Grizzled Outcasts
Spidery Grasp
Ambush Viper
Bountiful Harvest
Harvester of Souls
Essence Harvest
Harrowing Journey
Sightless Ghoul
Morkrut Banshee
Unburial Rites
Walking Corpse
Victim of Night
Liliana's Shade

Leap of Faith
Farbog Explorer
Cathedral Sanctifier
Ray of Revelation
Smite the Monstrous
Voiceless Spirit
Oblivion Ring
Guardian Lions

Afflicted Deserter
Pyreheart Wolf
Russet Wolves
Somberwald Vigilante
Uncanny Speed
Searing Spear

Favorable Winds
Beguiler of Wills
Nephalia Seakite
Artful Dodge
Runic Repetition
Rooftop Storm
Jace's Phantasm
Faerie Invaders
Merfolk of the Pearl Trident
Vedalken Entrancer
Bladed Bracers
Angelic Armaments
Heavy Mattock
Ghoulcaller's Bell
Ring of Xathrid

Shimmering Grotto
Evolving Wilds
Rootbound Crag

Really, everything was fine until I opened my pack of M13, which had 6! fucking blue cards, all of which suddenly made me consider the color. Prior to that moment, GWBr was looking pretty positive.

The unplayables are clearly: Ghoulcaller's Bell, Moonmist, Favorable Winds, Rooftop Storm and Runic Repetition. Sideboard cards include Ray of Revelation, Grounded and Leap of Faith. Bad but possible cards are Artful Dodge, Merfolk of the Pearl Trident, and Liliana's Shade.

So here's how it breaks down: Green gives the the most creatures and has some decent cards. White has both solid creatures and good removal, while keeping the color requirements low. Red has some removal and an "I win" card in Pyreheart Wolf.

Which leaves Blue and Black and that's where I'm torn. I can't use both, because the best cards in each color cost UU or BB, which would be a huge strain on this deck. Traditionally, I avoid Blue because the creatures are weak, the removal is nonexistent and the things Blue tends to do well: draw cards and counter spells, don't happen consistently in sealed games.

But Beguiler of Wills, man. Faerie Invaders is a pretty solid body for the cost. Encrust could handle a lot of problems and Index could help dig in critical situations. The problem is; it doesn't synergize with anything else and Merfolk of the Pearl Trident, Vedalken Entrancer and Jace's Phantasm are all horrible, yet I would have to play them to get to 60 cards.

Black presents as different problem. It probably has my best creature in Harvester of Souls and some support from Ring of Xathrid with synergy with white in Unburial Rites. Unfortunately, there is little removal or card draw; things I would hope to find in that color, and to hit 60 I would be compelled to play Liliana's Shade, which is awful under these circumstances. Morkut Banshee is situational and Sightless Ghoul can't block and doesn't blend well with the Ring initially.

My inclination is to go black and try to run 27 lands, using the sheer volume of land to overcome the potential color screw that may be showing up. Hopefully I'll get some test runs in before we start on Sunday.

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