Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I had originally thought about titling all of my updates to Frost Hammer with the above title but...in the end, common sense won out and I decided not to be so confusing.

I tested the deck with Theft of Dreams and with Dungeon Geist against a few of Noah's decks. It was pretty clear the Dungeon Geist was the better choice, even when I was losing (which against the R/w burn deck, I was).  But those wins came at greater strain to Noah's deck when I had the Geist in.

There was, however, a very interesting moment of revelation. We were talking while he was playing a Standard RUW control deck with Outpost Siege. He'd been getting free cards and ended up using a Valorous Stance revealed via Outpost Siege on my Frost Titan-tapping out to do so- when it hit me; the blue siege.

Monastery Siege. I am surprised it took me this long to come up with that. I've even said that blue got the best Siege! I was initially thinking Monastery Siege would just be for card drawing purposes-something I needed to enhance so I could keep the pressure on when my Frost Titan dies-but then I looked it up.

Three mana. AND it can give me and all my permanents the Frost Titan's tax-on-spells ability.

Well holy crap. That fits in mechanically with what I'm doing and as a bonus thematically, too, because of the ice breathing dragon in the picture!

So now I'm excited.

-4 Twitch
+4 Monastery Siege

Monastery Siege forces me to play the deck a little differently and I spent a series of games with Fuz, testing out the Khans mode instead of just naming Dragons every time. Against a straightforward aggro deck, I did pretty well, the Early Frost buying me turns against a deck that was lean on mana, the Dragons mode of Siege making removal nearly impossible for him.

But against his zombies deck, I failed to find removal and found myself mana pinched. I hope that was the problem because his zombies deck is aggressive like the RW one but I was swept in that match.

Ditto against a BW aggro deck, although in that matchup I made a critical mistake in game two. With a Siege out set to Khans so I could draw extra cards, I played the last card in my hand.

I learned through flawed play that I shouldn't do that. I thought that without any cards in hand, Monastery Siege reads: At the beginning of your draw step, mill one, because you can't keep this card that you drew.

Except that it doesn't. The Khans ability triggers after you've drawn your normal draw, so I would have always had an option as to what to discard. Because I didn't understand that, I lost access to cards that might have saved me.

Another problem was against Fuz's quirky Darkest Hour/Elephant Grass deck. Because I don't have any actual removal in Frost Hammer, there was nothing I could do once his combo was set up. You can see in the picture how I was stymied by the soft lock. I had more than enough creatures do kill Fuz but no way to get past the Elephant Grass/Darkest Hour lock. You can see in the picture: I'm ready to sweep in and kill him...if only Elephant Grass is gone.

I feel as though I have to accept this, because Frost Hammer is a theme deck and since I managed to equip a Hammer to a Frost thing on multiple occasions, that is a success. I don't know of a thematic way to handle troublesome non-creature permanents that don't tap (Frost Titan can tap any permanent) which puts enchantments, especially, as being very difficult to handle. I'll have to keep my eyes open but I'm not extremely hopeful for now.

Still, the Icefall Regent and the Monastery Siege have been really good so far so I'm really happy with the way these changes have helped the deck. It's a solid place to rest.

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