Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Through The Heart

I didn't have an Archwing Dragon in my collection. This was only a mild surprise to me, since I thought that card was dumb when it came out. Fortunately, I can pick up one cheaply but for now I'm plugging in Flamerush Rider to see what happens.

This picture is one of the dumbest wins ever, but I'll take it against a tough mono Green deck Jason was running.

I'm down to one when I managed to stabilize the board, Jason is at twenty and I managed to make a comeback to win entirely on the strength of two the Death Matches in play. Every creature I played became an instant kill for nearly everything Jason could play and without any instant speed removal of his own, he couldn't stop my creatures from appearing. And I needed those Death Matches!

His deck ramps up into huge nasty beasts and uses the awesome of Predator Ooze, Primeval Titan and most challenging, Dungrove Elders, coupled with a Rancor to win with giant dudes.. Mine: designed to take down lots and lots of small creatures. You can see how we're working very different paths.

We managed three matches and in the first one, he clocked me, easy. I don't even know that I got in the game, honestly. The second match, I was able to take, 2-0. A timely Void against two 6/6 Duskgrove Elders was the crucial play for me in the game that is pictured. He didn't find another and I just kept attacking for two with the Sandscout.

The card that became the biggest drag was easily Torrent of Souls. Four copies of that card and every time they show up, I was miserable. An easy add for this deck was an additional Grave Titan. The first time one showed up, Jason said; "Where has that card been? That thing blanks everything I have!"

So adding a second Titan was an easy choice. Jason's advice: Bane of the Living. "With enough mana, you can wipe the board," he said, "or just cast the morph and take out something small."

Jason's instincts are usually pretty good so I'm going to go with his advice. I'm wary because the Bane so easily wipes out my board too but sweepers help and I need a way to get things online before turn four. Bane of the Living offers me a chance to tweak the board state before Death Match comes online and that could be vital to me seeing a turn five.

Another bit of data that came out of our matchups is that I need access to a little more Black mana. Multiple games came where I had a Dimir House Guard on turn three, but not enough black mana to use its Transmute ability. I swapped two Mountains for Urborg Volcanoes because I like using my older cards.

I should probably change those to Bloodfell Caves and likely will. The Hollows, like so many of my decks, needs to work the margins everywhere it can to give it time to create any advantage it can get. Lifegain is part of that. I'm also just adding in a 25th land, going to 61 cards: A Rakdos Carnarium, because this deck likes mana. If I get flooded too much, I can easily remove it.

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