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Magic stuff - Phil's Rambling Rants
November 3rd, 2012
06:04 pm

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Magic stuff
Three weeks back, when I won FNM, I got two Pack Rats in my prize packs, so I actually played a rat deck two weeks back. It did very poorly, and I don't think I'll be visiting it again. Maybe there is something good to do with Pack Rat, but the obvious standard deck -- 4 of each of the rats for the creatures, plus some discard effects, splashing green for Rancor -- just doesn't cut it. One week back, I was at OVFF, so I missed FNM and Game Day. I was back for FNM yesterday, with the four color deck I played few weeks ago, with a few tweaks.

Here's the deck:
1 Armada Wurm
3 Doomed Traveler
2 Geist of St. Traft
2 Thragtusk
1 Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
1 Wayfaring Temple
2 Call of the Conclave
3 Lingering Souls
4 Intangible Virtue
1 Parallel Lives
2 Rootborn Defenses
2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
2 Detention Sphere
3 Oblivion Ring
1 Selesnya Charm
1 Sundering Growth
1 Switcheroo
1 Tragic Slip
3 Chromatic Lantern
2 Farseek
2 Glacial Fortress
1 Grove of the Guardian
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
3 Isolated Chapel
1 Moorland Haunt
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
4 Temple Garden
1 Transguild Promenade
3 Vault of the Archangel

and the sideboard:
3 Rest in Peace
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Selesnya Charm
2 Druid's Deliverance
1 Sundering Growth
1 Supereme Verdict
2 Witchbane Orb
2 Elixir of Immortality
1 Sever the Bloodline

The strategy of the deck is to survive spending the first several turns getting things set up, and then overwhelm with an army of tokens boosted by Intangible Virtue and Vault of the Archangel. It's a bit slow starting, but seems to be able to hold on just long enough to get going fairly often. Once it solidly gets going, it's hard to stop.

Match 1, I played someone named Matt, didn't get his last name, who was playing a blue/white control deck. Both games, he couldn't find creatures, and I won handily. I'd have more trouble if he drew better, but I think the matchup favors me. Match 2, Ryan Brommel had a mono red aggro deck featuring Hellrider, Ash Zealot, Shred Freak, and burn. Game 1, I mulled to 6, kept a hand with no green, and took too long to recover. Game 2, I mulled to 5, but my 5 card hand was pretty good. I got some extra time with a Thragtusk, then Armada Wurm for the win. Game 3, I got mana screwed again and was dead before I could get things going. His deck can throw out a lot damage, but I think I will usually win if I get a decent draw. Match 3, Miles was playing RUG control. Game 1, I drew nothing but land and got rolled over. Game 2 was a fairly long fight but I got him. Game 3, I got the Geist of St. Traft+Rootborn Defenses combo and won. Match 4, Matthew Rinehart was playing Zombies, black and green with a splash of red. It's the deck I fear, but 2 games out of 3 I managed to get enough blockers to blunt the assault and then populate my way to victory. I really like Call of the Conclave against zombies. Finally, match 5, I came up against Ben with the green and white humans deck featuring Ethereal Armor. Game 1, I mulled to 6 and got rolled over, a Thragtusk slowed it down but couldn't stop it. Game 2, I got out Trostani and fired Grove of the Guardian. Game 3, Thragtusk came through to keep it from being close. I think it's a decent deck, but Ben was unhappy and said he didn't plan to play it any more. Overall, I came in 3rd, never playing Damon who won the whole thing -- so I'm not sure if he was playing his reanimator deck, but I assume he was. I fear it, but I have some sideboard cards just for it, and will have to see how it works out when I do face him. Won 3 packs, one of which had a Hallowed Fountain. My door prize was a spindown die. I shouldn't complain, I've done pretty well in the door prize lottery lately.

Sideboarding continues to be the hardest part of magic for me. It's easy for me to see which cards from my sideboard would be helpful to add, but almost never clear what I should remove. I need more practice sideboarding a particular deck, which I don't tend to get because I like deck building so much that I'm making new decks and thus playing decks I don't know well.

I stuck around for afterdraft, even though it didn't get started until late. The good news is that I was not tired beyond enjoying myself. I drafted rather poorly, though. I had almost no removal, just a bunch of creatures. I beat Kendall in the first round, then I took game 1 from Mark Fredricksen and almost won game 2 but I misplayed. He was down to 2 life, he had a Fangren Marauder and another big creature on the board, and I had a 2/2 unblockable guy. I had a Negate in hand, and I let him cast a Horizon Spellbomb, which he then used and gained 5 life, which let him live long enough to finish me off, and then he took game 3. In the third match, against a person I haven't seen in afterdraft before that I think was named Tony, I drew a whole lot of land and got rolled over. I had a Vexing Devil in my Avacyn pack, an Honor of the Pure in my M12 pack, and an Underworld Connections in my Ravnica pack which I didn't keep. I didn't get passed any value cards.

Between the two events, I played 8 matches, and I lost the roll to go first every single time. Feels pretty normal to me.

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