Tuesday, October 18, 2011


With a new deck there's just no idea what the results will be.

Draw has a Mountain and a Plains--have to keep, because red is hard to get. It's a weird deck to try and play and I'm certain I don't have the mana right.

I'm up against a B/G Birthing Pod deck and neither one of us do much, but I'm stuck on mana and when my Plains gets hit by Acidic Slime, I know I'm in trouble. Eventually, a Sylvan Ranger gets eaten by the Pod, into a Bone Shredder, which gets eaten and turned into Savara. Platnium Emperion makes an arrival and I know that time is short.

I draw an Island. Sigh. Despite putting the land a little higher than usual I'm mana hosed. I eventually get a Plains to send the Emperion on a Journey to Nowhere, which allows me to survive for one turn.


Game two: I have Island, Glacial Fortress, and a mess of stuff that I don't think is going to help me much. But here we go.

On turn 3 I don't get another land and Birthing Pod appears, next turn I'm facing a Myr Superion and my play is a Howling Mine.


The Mine gets destroyed to be replaced by Seizan, Perverter of Truth and at this point it's not even worth it.

Next game.
Humans with Dearly Departed. I managed to Journey to Nowhere the first two creatures...after that, I have two Chromeshell Crabs and nothing else. Knights start to pop out at obscene sizes and though I'm able to trade a Vedalken Plotter for a White Knight, things generally look bad. I'm stalling, but there's no way to win yet.

I land a Zedruu and start giving away my Journey to Nowheres so I can draw cards and gain life. At this point, the Human deck just poops out and gives him lands. I use Chromeshell to donate a Bronze Bombshell for a huge knight, swing for 12 and win.

Who knew?

Final game
This was as multiplayer epic against mono-B nasty sub-vampire theme and R/B allies. Whoa.

The game went for two and a half hours. So that's the first thing you need to know. Second thing is: I was not on my best play, due to a very long (but kick ass) weekend. Third is that out of the 23 lands in the deck, I drew 19 of them.

I lost all 4 of my Zedruus to the Allies deck, but not before the game had taken both my opponents to under 10 life and I'd managed to donate Delusions of Grandeur to them. Despite gaining 20 life over the course of the game, I'd taken some pretty ferocious hits from the Allies deck, and hovered around 12 life myself.

Everyone was drawing cards but because I couldn't keep Zedruu alive I was unable to take advantage of the permanents I'd donated. On the plus side, nobody liked having a Delusions on their board and I had two Oblations around, I just needed the time/mana to use them. With six mana up to cast Oblation on whichever player was going to kill me and a Dead/Gone to bounce the worst attacking creature of the surviving player I figured I was doing alright.

What I missed was the Hagra Diabolist and how it let the Allies player gain life. So he'd cast an Ally and gained 6 and then suddenly I realized: Oh crap, he's out of Grandeur range and I didn't kill him!

What I'm going to do here is pause and let everyone realize what Hagra Diabolist actually says, as opposed to what we all thought it said.
An aside: talking to the other players the next day, it's possible that I misread the Ally opponent's life total, that a dice rolled to make it different than it was, or any number of simple misunderstandings/errors happened. For the most part, I blame myself for not clarifying everything I needed to before taking actions.
OK, so that huge fucking mistake aside (which all three of us made), there's just the simple: I should've just killed the Allies player. Which is mistake #2.

Allies is one of those decks that is insidious no matter what the color pairing; it can quickly get out of hand and stage huge comebacks even when checked. This is the fourth time I've played against an Allies deck and every single time, the tribal synergies are such that one-sided Wrath of God level effects are practically needed in order to overcome their relentlessness.

It's almost zombies level bad and zombies are likely the most resilient tribe going, made worse (better) now because of Innistrad goodies.

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