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My new deck - Phil's Rambling Rants
August 11th, 2012
02:43 pm

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My new deck
I never got around to writing about magic last weekend.  First, a little background, in case anyone who isn't a magic player is actually reading this.  Wizards brings out a new set four times a year.  A month after the release of each set, they have an event called Game Day, where the stores that actually do magic events hold a tournament.  As part of the hype for each game day, Wizards releases a pair of pre-constructed decks intended to demonstrate a type of deck that should be competitive in Standard.  These decks are priced at $25 and generally contain 6 rares and several decent uncommons, which is usually a decent deal compared to just buying the singles if you actually want all the cards.  For Magic 2013, one of the two decks is a green and white deck featuring powerful creatures with cool enter-the-battlefield abilities.  It comes with a Thragtusk, one of my favorite cards in M13, and also one of the community's, it's rather expensive.  It comes with Green Sun's Zenith.  These two alone cost nearly $25, and there were several other rares I actually wanted, plus a playset of Oblivion Rings and a couple of Dismembers.  This makes it such a good deal that I actually bought two.  I already had two Thragtusks, now I have 4.  I already had two Green Sun's Zeniths, now I have 4.  The deck actually came out a week ago Friday, so I only had the cards in my possession a couple of hours before FNM started.  I'd been thinking about making a powerful green creature deck for some time.  I actually threw together a deck combining the best from the two event decks and some other stuff I had.

That night at FNM, for my first match I was up against Damon Hebert with his Birthing Pod deck.  He rolled over me with Venser and Elesh Norn.  The Sun Titans and Phantasmal Images didn't hurt either.  I thought I was in for a long night.  Match 2, I faced Bill Board (he works at the store, he joined to give us an even number of players).  He was playing a goblin deck -- one of the things I want to try before October.  There are some good goblins in M12 and Scars block, and some good goblins in M13.  Game 1 he was mana screwed, game 2 he slowed me down with Blasphemous Act but never really got going.  Match 3, Brian Gallagher was playing black-white exalted.  Game 1 he put some hurt on me and gained a little extra time with Bloodhunter Bat, but I had too many creatures and rolled over him.  Game 2 he was mana screwed and barely nicked me.  Match 4, someone I didn't know named Donnie, didn't get his last name, was playing a zombie deck.  Game 1, he was mana screwed.  Game 2, he got a really good draw and killed me before I got anything going.  Game 3 was a bit longer, I gained a bunch of life with Thragtusk and beat him down.  Match 5, Jacob Wiseman was playing a Frites deck.  Game 1 my game plan worked fairly well, gaining life with Thragtusk to keep me out of danger and beating him down.  Game 2, he got out a Gisela and hit me really hard.  Game 3, I can't make sense of what I have on my scoresheet, but I ended up winning.  I was 4-1 overall, only losing to the ultimate winner, but I got robbed on tiebreaks and only came in 3rd.  No afterdraft because I had to be there at 11 for Game Day.

The next day was the official Game Day event.  I did some work on the deck, adding a couple of Restoration Angels and some better sideboard cards.  I failed to write down much.  I won the first game, I think I held him off with chump blockers long enough to get going.  Game 2, I think I got bonfired to death.  Game 3 I got smacked.  Match 2, someone named Joshua had a vampire deck, I managed to have removal for Olivia and otherwise overwhelmed him.  Game 3, Ryan B had a delver deck.  Game 1 I was mana screwed, game 2 I got rolled over by Delvers before I could get anything going.  Match 4, Zack Morlock had a green and white angels deck, it never really got much going and I rolled over him in 2.  Match 5, I think Sarah Hubble was playing exalted, I failed to write it down and it was a week ago.  Game 1 was very tight, I was down to 1 life but I had Rhox Faithmender out, I played Thragtusk to gain 10, and put a token from Bond Beetle and a Rancor on the Faithmender and swung to gain another 8.  Played another Thragtusk, and got another swing with the Faithmender, 1 damage prevented, to gain 16.  Only had 14 at the end of the game, she was hitting hard -- but I hit her hard too and she wasn't gaining life.  Game 2, she got a whack in with Sublime Archangel behind it before I could kill it, and I didn't get the life gain going.  Game 3, I got going faster and held her down while only getting hit once.  I ended up 3-2, but a whole lot of other people did too and my tiebreaks were awful.  My door prize was 4 promo Xathrid Gorgons, but one of my two packs had a Sublime Archangel and a foil Rootbound Crag.

Last night for FNM, I ran the same deck.  Match 1, someone named Josh was playing a mono white deck with a lot of life gain, the first game was a long creature duel but eventually I managed to hold him off and beat him down.  The second game was not going too well but it went to time and I held him off in turns, even though he had 52 life at the end to my 8.  Match 2, someone named Jesse had a R/W deck, game 1, I got out Ajani for a quick victory (play Thragtusk, put a counter on it, next turn give it flying and double strike and hit for 12).  Match 3, Sarah was playing a mono green creature deck featuring Yeva and Dungrove Elder.  It was a decent matchup, I won the first game fairly easily, lost the second one, the third was tight but I pulled it out with lifegain.  Match 4, Ryan was playing a similar deck to mine, the first game I beat him down, then he took a long time to sideboard, the second game was a long, close duel, quite an epic game.  I had a slight advantage but it was pretty much a standoff, then he got Rancor on a Restoration Angel so I was taking 5 a turn.  He got a second angel, I got one of my own, I O-ringed the rancor so I could block, then I got Stingerfling Spider and took out one of his angels, but he killed mine, and we both forgot the spider has reach for a turn, which let him get another hit in.  I started hitting him, but he pulled a Wolfir Silverheart to bond with his Restoration Angel, and because of the turn I'd forgotten to block I only had 1 turn.  (My next card was a Thragtusk, and I had my Faithmender out; I think one more turn was all I needed.)  But time was called before we finished our mulligans for game 3, so we were 1-1, which was actually fine with me.  He won the tiebreaks, but I got 2nd so I won the FNM card, for like the second time EVER.  I also got super lucky, in that one person left before claiming their door prize, so they wrapped, and Ryan had already left, so I got the last door prize -- another promo Restoration Angel.

There's so much I want to do in this Standard environment.  There's a lot of other creatures I'd like to try in this green deck.  I'd love to splash blue for Venser.  I think there ought to be an effective infect deck.  I'd like to try the Goblins, even though Bill didn't have much success with them.  But at the same time, I will really be glad to see Elesh Norn leave.

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