Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Different Axises

Laserbeak is not a Jason deck, unfortunately.

Now, a Jason deck is one I identify as one that can win through his weird win conditions/setups-frequently milling. In this case, I tested Laserbeak against a Mesmeric Orb deck. You can see about how well that worked out. This was the end of game two:
That's 3 Mesmeric Orbs. Coupled with a Propaganda, I would attack for all of 4, and mill 18 the next turn, losing the game, so I just conceded.

The reason Laserbeak has no game in this matchup is because it is working the Creature Axis to Victory and that axis is completely obliterated by the elements that work the Non-Creature Axis to Victory. My deck is meant to control the creatures I run up against...and so is his. And in this match, his wins because he has more of those elements. Throughout Magic's history, this is been the dominant case.

How do you use creatures to defeat Tabernacle of Pendrell Vale? Propaganda? Maze of Ith?

You do it through a sideboard. And I don't bother with sideboards because I have 180 decks. But there is another way: You do it by Dudebro II'ing them and changing the deck you have.

Because my mistake was thinking Laserbeak is an aggressive deck and the fixes for my problems-hand destruction, artifact destruction, enchantment destruction, land destruction and graveyard removal- are attached to creatures that are not aggressive. 1/x's for 3 or cards that have double colors in their casting cost-BB/WW/RR-which are just about impossible to cast.

Laserbeak is not an aggressive deck. There are no 2/2's for one mana, no free pump spells, no abusive damage spells. It's a utility deck that uses small creatures with good abilities to create winning situations, pumped up by Fervent Charge. That means that creatures like Erg Raiders, as much as I like them, don't fit in.Yixid Jailer does.

See, Jason's deck relies on the recurring magic of Gaea's Blessing to renew his library when he mills himself due to Mesmeric Orb. Jailer ends that, and it's a 2/1 for 2 which isn't really aggressive, but it's aggressive enough. Without cards like Erg Raiders, Radiant's Dragoons suddenly become pointless, and Cloudchaser Eagle makes a lot more sense. Tunnel Ignus or Magus of the Moon become a lot more interesting and Viashino Heretic make sense.

These creatures won't always be relevant in every matchup but that's the price I pay for running a utility deck. But they will have impacts on many matchups and I think those impacts will be huge. The best I can do after that is try and keep those creatures cheap so that I can keep producing them when I need to and hope that the Fervent Charge shows up in time to make the magic happen. Looks like changes are afoot!

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