Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nothing satisfies but I'm getting close

My first run with One By One had me playing the deck without making changes. Against a token deck Noah was piloting, I did pretty well, and Martyr of Ashes actually had a relevant ability. But against a blue deck he has running Chasm Skulker, I couldn't get enough traction to win.

I began to notice a trend; in games where I experienced mana flood, I lost. Which is a really, really strange thing to experience because this deck only has 17 lands! That any kind of mana flood should happen seems impossible but it was happening.

Cutting more lands really isn't an option. I already have opening hands that I have to mulligan because there will be only one land: Boros Garrison. One thing about really good decks is that they often provide really good opening hands and One By One can do that but I'm unwilling to risk going down further on mana just to avoid the occasional flood.

Noah had a very good suggestion though; Banisher Priest. I was originally thinking Fiend Hunter, but the aggressive nature of 1x1 means that I want the extra point of power.

So I tweaked the deck:
- Martyr of Ashes
- Weathered Wayfarer

+2 Banisher Priest
+2 Boros Reckoner (this was a Good Idea)
+1 Vexing Devil
+1  Frontline Medic.

I wanted to keep the CMC of my additions low but Boros Reckoner was too solid of a card to pass up. Vexing Devil offers me either a hasted creature (which is great) or four damage.

Things...didn't quite happen the way I hoped.

Lauriel and I went a match against her Modern B/W tokens deck. I once again found myself flooded for mana and without enough removal. Frontline Medic, as good a creature as it is, was a 'win more' effort.

My games against stonethorn were a little better; Ashling's Prerogative is handy against Stoneforge Mystic, and against his Tron build, I was able to create enough early pressure to win in the midgame.

But there was still something wrong. Paging through my deck it finally stuck out at me: Retribution of the Meek.

I really like this card and in today's Magic scene, it feels like it would be incredibly powerful. Yet, it's a card for when everything else has gone wrong. I already have a solution for when things have gone wrong: Proclamation of Rebirth.

So I needed something else, because I was finding that Retribution of the Meek was sitting dead in my hand. The only card I can really allow that clause on is second copies of Ashling's Prerogative.

So I finally cut them and added in three Boros Charm. These proved to be pretty useful in my games against Matt's RBG Legacy homebrew.The games were close but I was able to pull them out thanks to the existence of Boros Charm and Sonic Burst. Direct damage is a pretty nasty deal.

For now, I feel like this deck is in a pretty good place. I'll leave a decklist for the history books but I've also been tickled by a thought, recently: What if this was Red/Black?

Black has efficient removal and a great deal of aggressive creatures at both the one and three spot that would suck without haste but with it? They could be scary. White/Red seem to want to share haste in their creatures-Skyknight Legionnaire is a decent example- Red/Black not so much.

Of course, I may end up with a worse deck, having bad black creatures when I don't have a Prerogative out.

And there are some cards in Magic Origins that might be worth considering, like Goblin Glory Chaser or Bonded Construct. Heck, there might even be a place for some of the Soulbond cards from Avacyn Restored. Something should probably replace Orchish Conscripts...

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