Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Setback as Time Walk

Or, why I removed Simian Spirit Guide from Razorclaw.

Last Friday my opening hand wasn't great but it had potential: Simian Spirit Guide, Forest, Golden Hind, Gruul Guildgate, other cards. I could get something going pretty easily, I thought.

So my turn one play was Forest, remove SSG for R, play Golden Hind.

Noah's response was: Island, Vapor Snag, go. 

That's it. The game was over. My turn 2 was Gruul Guildgate, turn 3, play Golden Hind, Hind will meet an untimely end and Noah proceeded to run over me with his deck. Some blue/white/black thing I think. It didn't matter by then because he spend his second and third turns actually doing stuff that I couldn't interact with, stuck at one mana for two turns. He essentially cast Time Stretch for U. 

I talked it over with Noah and although it wasn't explicitly said, what I think we were getting at is that my deck was fragile. A card like Simian Spirit Guide has some very particular uses, specifically in very aggressive or combo decks, where it can represent that extra oomph of speed.

Razorclaw is not that kind of deck. It's slower, grindier, moving to midgame and throttling mana bases and cheap artifacts and enchantments to eventually overwhelm. More importantly, it's not a great deck but it should be the kind of deck that can play through an early game, otherwise irrelevant setback like having a turn one mana generator bounced. I need to play up the edges as much as possible and not make the mistakes everyone else is making with mana starvation, unfocused play and unjustified card selection. That it couldn't means I have to make changes.

So it's time to remove the Spirit Guides and put lands back in. The compliment they add to Primitive Etchings just isn't enough to justify those possible early game setbacks.The soonest the benefit of that combo wouldn't happen until turn 5 and by then either Cream of the Crop is out (filtering the card I want on top anyway) or Cream isn't but it doesn't matter because there are still 29 creatures in the deck which puts the odds highly in my favor to get extra cards. Let's play the best odds.

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