Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Origins Pre-Release: 1-2

It was a difficult evening of Magic, from a gameplay level. I lost most games and while I had some decent cards the deck did not come together the way I hoped.

Here's what I built, choosing Black as my starter:

Valor in Akros
3x Topan Freeblade
Kytheon's Tactics
Ampryn Tactician
Cleric of the Forward Order
Charging Griffin
Knight of the Pilgrim's Road
Consul's Lieutenant
Celestial Flare

Graveblade Marauder
2x Cruel Revival
Malakir Cullblade
Reave Soul
Fetid Imp
Unholy Hunger
2x Weight of the Underworld
Necromantic Summons

Throwing Knife

The premise was: get out early beaters, use the removal to clear the way in the midgame.

I got out a lot of early beaters...only to have them removed and then find nothing else to continue the pressure or remove other creatures. I spent a lot of games drawing land.

Match 1 vs mono-white. Orb of Warding and Hixus blew me out both games. Both! Sigh. In a pickup game after the match, Hixus almost had me again but I was able to use Cruel Revival to get my creatures back and win. Not that it mattered much but those games suggested I was mana flooded so I tweaked the land down a Plains.

Match 2 vs G/W. Game one I overran him. Game 2 though, he had a renowed 1/3 flyer and got me to 5 life. I had the removal for it and a Valor of Akros out so I figured I could keep the pressure up to win. I thought I had a turn but I should've killed the flyer, then played two creatures next turn and swung through. Not being aggressive enough killed me, as he attacked and then cast Titanic Growth. Game 3 I won by default, as he had to leave. So huzza, default victory? Sure, huzza.

Match 3 was against another BW deck and...it ran over me. What I was hoping to do with enchantment recursion, this deck was actually doing, killing multiple creatures of mine with Weight of the Underworld and Auramancer. Sigh. My biggest mistake(s): Casting Unholy Hunger on my opponent's turn, while he had a Nantuko Husk out. Both times, he was able to use the Husk's ability to deny me life--and usually thwack me for an extra 2 damage. It was not my finest game.

This is in addition to my opponent saying that I was mana flooded in game one. I don't exactly recall, so much as I remember being thrashed like wheat.

I took the extra time I had to review my cards and upon reflection, I should've gone U/B. This lead to asking some questions about my tendency to shy away form Blue in sealed or draft formats. I always see the color as lacking what it does best in constructed: consistency. That ability to reliably draw cards and always have the denial you want is what is prized in constructed.

But looking over what I had, there were some decent combat tricks and creatures with evasion. I needed to set my notions aside and actually evaluate what was there. Sigh.

Here's the Blue I should've run:
Aspiring Aeronaut
Faerie Miscreant
2x Harbinger of the Tides
Psychic Rebuttal
Deep-Sea Terror
Ringwarden Owl
Turn to Frog

This would've given me a bit of early game and some really good tempo tricks, along with more evasive creatures, to help my game along. I chose poorly and I paid for it.

I always get so anxious playing against strangers. I can feel a stitch in my side, as though I've been running. And it's all just stress, the tension that comes from knowing I didn't so something correctly. But on the up side, the foil Chandra I opened recoups a big chunk of my play costs. Doesn't suck!

Still, as a Magic playing experience...it was just there. I didn't feel like this set brought me a different or interesting experience than other games and sets I've played. It didn't suggest new or strange ideas or worlds to play it. It just seemed pretty high on the ordinary.

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