Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Instant Feedback

I was able to play the newest configuration of Manky right away against a G/B deck wrapped around using pro-black creatures and Darkest Hour, piloted by Fuz.

I lost both games and never really had a chance to get in it. I ran out of Echoing Truth and what I had to play to understand was that Arcane Denial, a card I am generally going to use on my opponent's turn, causing them to draw on mine, is not going to interact with Runeflare Trap's alternate cost. Meaning I won't get the effect for cheap, which is the whole point.

Rampant Growth seems to be a winner so far, though two games really didn't tell me much.

But the Runeflare Traps need to come out. Oddly, my selections will be two Churning Eddy and two Volcanic Spray, two cards that can hopefully keep the stall going. I considered Tangle and that may earn a nod if the other choices don't work out but for now, I'll give these a go. Churning Eddy was picked because it forces cards back to my opponent's hand, including a land. The rules on land drops are pretty tight so this has the potential to set them back further than if I was to focus on just creatures. Volcanic Spray is removal and damage. I don't care about doing damage to myself if I can do more of it to my opponent and the Flashback effect gives this spell the nod over an effect like Electrickery.

There's something interesting to talk about here because I'm picking such odd cards and because I'm really trying to keep this deck nearly creatureless. Let's start with the second point.

Creatureless decks are much more difficult to assemble than they used to be. Since power creep has been so focused on making better creatures that it's very, very difficult to ignore how awesome a creature can or will be in a deck. Overall, I think the focus on creatures has improved the game but there are downsides, namely a narrowing of possible decks to play with. I'm not thrilled with the idea but there are those who consider a 'pure' game of Magic to be one that is about spells and not creatures at all. The real issue is that, so far, the creatureless decks and the creature decks haven't found meaningful lines of play to interact on yet. Maybe someday that will come to pass.

However, if I can keep this deck a (near) creatureless one, all the spells that people have to play in order to handle or disrupt other creature decks suddenly become dead cards. Dead cards stay in the hand and feed the Sudden Impact/Storm Seeker/Blood Oath win conditions.

Now to the first point of picking odd cards...I find that if the decision is too easy then I am less interested in it. What I know is good is boring. What I have to find out is good (despite likely being bad) is way more interesting.

Added to this curiosity is my collection. I've been playing Magic since 1994 and I have a lot of cards that don't get a chance to prove themselves. I want to dig 'em out and see what happens! So that's the plan.

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