Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hidden Fees

Even though I've been playing a long time, I still forget how certain abilities play out in a game. Testing the Name of the Game has been a reminder of what some cards actually cost, as opposed to the converted mana cost.

The offenders: Raven Familiar and Hystrodon.

In two matchups against stonethorn, I found myself unable to really do anything with Hystrodon: the card was coming out on turn three, being Vapor Snagged or worse, or chump-block material. Why? Because I'd try to play it as a morph, not being able to easily get to five mana, and the cost to play then morph the Hystrodon ate so much tempo that it didn't matter: That was two full turns of me not doing something.

Raven Familiar follows a similar arc but at least I'd get a card draw out of it and a flying blocker for a turn. That immediate payoff means that I am running a Ponder that blocks, instead of hoping for a 3/4 that may draw me a card after six mana and may pay off on turn 4 or later.

I've been keeping Hystrodon in the deck because I thought that would be my path around the Symbiotic Deployment, should I get stuck with it. But Patagia Viper costs only one more and gives me a flyer with two creatures I can tap for cards, if I need to. On top of that, those two tokens get huge from the Murkfiend Liege; that's a much better deal.

Finally, this deck is a bit mana shy. It doesn't really do much until turn 3 and that is just too late. So: Hystrodons are out.

The new deck will be:

4 Symbiotic Deployment
2 Verdant Embrace

3 Trygon Predator
4 Murkfiend Liege
3 Raven Familiar
3 Patagia Viper
3 Wirewood Elf

3 Temporal Spring
3 Ponder
3 Fallow Earth
3 Plow Under
3 Donate

11 Forest
11 Island
1 Simic Growth Chamber

Why Wirewood Elf? Because who is going to play that card otherwise?

OK, it's also because I own them and My Money > Less of My Money.

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