Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Slim Margins or: My Games with Cruel Ultimatum

Jeleva vs Sedris
It doesn't matter how good the deck is if you don't read the cards.

The good news is: Jeleva is a fun Commander; one that creates interesting problems to solve, both for me and for my opponent. Of course this can also represent a huge challenge too: I found myself approaching new situations with the confidence of someone facing an old problem and it cost me in the matchup I had against Fuz playing his Sedris deck. One particularly epic game-pictured-was lost after I cast Decree of Pain, then Jeleva'd out a Cruel Ultimatum. Before I could cast it though, Jeleva was killed and Cauldron Dance hit me with a Nemesis of Reason AND Nicol Bolas. It was like being Ultimatumed: Take 10, discard your hand, mill 10.

All was not lost, though! With an empty board, Fuz gets Sedris in play and I draw Thraximundar! Except what I read was: Sedris has Unearth 2B. This is not what the card says.

So I didn't attack and lost.

In game 3, the Epic Moment came on the last play: Jeleva was facing Nicol Bolas and I had a slew of options to consider casting from Jeleva's ability, including Demonic Tutor and Crosis's Charm. I knew I had a Cruel Ultimatum in my deck, so I felt that a Demonic Tutor for that would be my best play. I would lose Jeleva but win the war.

I attack, Demonic Tutor the Ultimatum into my hand and put Jeleva in the Command zone, as she was blocked by Bolas. Then I look at my mana and slump. I don't have RRRBBBUUU. I can't cast Cruel Ultimatum. I have the right number of mana but I don't have the right colors. So I concede and explain the situation to Fuz.

"You have the right mana to cast that," he says.

Which was a very, very discouraging moment. I had the right play. I did the right thing. Then I sabotaged myself by giving in my the "Oh god you screwed up" voice in my head instead of taking a moment and double checking everything.


  1. We both didn't notice that Jeleva says "without paying its mana cost." So...yay, us?

    1. Oh no: I'd already played my free spell when I went for your Demonic Tutor.