Thursday, February 11, 2016

Karona, You Still Need Some Work

So, Oath of the Gatewatch's Allies are available. What, beyond General Tazri is going to help me? What hasn't been working so far?

We'll start with what the problems have been: creature removal.

In a game against Lauriel, she had a turn three Aven Mindcensor and that pretty much crippled me for the rest of the game. Mana fixing requires library search and five color decks need that. I managed to make a reasonable go in that game but I couldn't quite get there.

The next two games though, no Aven so Karona did what she does.

Against stonethorn, I had a similar issue, although it manifested in a very different way:

What we have here is a point in the game where I have no land because of World Queller. I also have a hand full-and a deck stacked-with Allies, thanks to Munda, Ambush Leader. My very first hit on Munda? Two Allies a land and a Rout.

Now, it's also possible I misplayed this deck, not casting Karona when I had the opportunity and then just trying to swing with everything. I held back because I needed to get out TukTuk Scrapper in order to nullify the Godsend in play and the abilities of Stonehewer Giant.

Essentially, this means that Munda is effective when I'm in a position where I'm winning already and can stack my next few draws with 'win more'.

Two matchups where creatures were a problem means that I need to address that gap. Even if I performed well overall, and make no mistake, I'm having a blast with this one, creatures are too ubiquitous to ignore.

The other concern I have involves Zur the Enchanter. If there's one thing Allies can't seem to deal with at all, it's enchantments. That's both a bit surprising and makes sense. If Allies could manhandle every permanent type with ease, they'd become too powerful. Zur decks are often brutal though and have been known to dominate tables.

I have attempted to handle these problems, of course. I may not be a professional but I'm not blind: Rout, Purify and Wave of Vitriol are in there for a reason. Same with Hagra Sharpshooter (which is expensive but can take care of pesky small things) and Murasa Pyromancer.

But with Oath of the Gatewatch, I'll have an opportunity to fill some holes, right? ....Right?

No. Zero Allies with the word "enchantment" in the text and the new Cohort ability for Allies is flat out terrible in any Constructed format, with the exception of Munda Vanguard. The Vanguard is good, especially when combined with vigilance effects, but it doesn't provide me with an effect I really need. 

On the upside, the need to cut Munda means that there's a slot in the deck where I can add a card like Mortify.

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