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FNM report - Phil's Rambling Rants
June 22nd, 2013
01:59 pm

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FNM report
Last night was the penultimate Standard before the new core set hits. The release of the new set will mean new cards are legal, and also some announced rule changes go live. The old sets don't rotate out until the next set hits at the beginning of October, but the new cards available will change the format, so this is the next to last chance to play with my current toys. I have several decks already made plus a few more ideas, but I only get to play one; I decided to to with my green/white deck, since I have almost all the cards I would want for it if I had the money to have every card.

First, the deck:
4 Advent of the Wurm
3 Call of the Conclave
3 Dryad Militant
3 Experiment One
2 Frontline Medic
4 Loxodon Smiter
1 Restoration Angel
1 Thragtusk
2 Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
2 Voice of Resurgene

4 Oblivion Ring
3 Rancor
4 Selesnya Charm

8 Forest
1 Grove of the Guardian
8 Plains
3 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden

Sideboard:
1 Armada Wurm
1 Druid's Deliverance
3 Glaring Spotlight
1 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Nevermore
2 Rest in Peace
1 Rootborn Defenses
2 Sundering Growth
1 Thragtusk
1 Tormod's Crypt

The plan is to have a lot of pretty cheap creatures for a pretty aggressive deck, but a little control and a few bigger things with lifegain in case I can't close the game right away. I've struggled a lot with the list because there are so many good cards available. My earlier token based deck had 4 colors, and I decided to cut it down to just 2 (despite losing some excellent cards) because I had more than a deck's worth in just the core green and white, and this way I could forget about mana fixing and just have a good chance of having the right colors. I don't miss Lingering Souls, but I do miss Vault of the Archangel. Most of the net decks that are similar to this do add black, and everything else being equal I like to try to build a different deck rather than using the same one that's all over the net.

Match 1, Hayden Passerelli was playing Jund, a really powerful, obnoxious deck full of super expensive cards. It's a tough match, because Jund has powerful cards that can answer anything, but Hayden had poor draws (mulliganing to 6 game 1 and 5 game 2) and I had solid draws both games; his control slowed the onslaught but didn't stop it. 1-0. Match 2, I met my old nemesis Ben Yanaga. (I say "old nemesis" because some months ago there were several weeks where we played each other every Friday.) He was playing Bant Hexproof. Pre-board, I have nothing that can answer Invisible Stalker and no answer to Geist of St. Traft except blocking, so my only hope is to get a lot of power out before he can kill me. I had a good starting hand, but I drew 5 lands in a row and he rolled over me. I boarded in 3 Glaring Spotlights and 2 Sundering Growths, and saw none of those cards. He had an Unflinching Courage on a Stalker turn 3 and gained enough life to be quite safe while his hexproof guys mashed me flat. 1-1. Match 3, Chris Manrique was playing a Maze's End fog deck. Game 1, I was just a little slow starting, but I got a ton of guys out and was swinging for lots of damage, but despite having no card draw, he managed to have 5 fog effects -- 3 of which were Riot Control, which actually gains him life. I got him down to 1 but couldn't close it before he finished the Maze's End win. Since he'd showed no creatures, I boarded out my Oblivion Rings for Nevermore and Grafdigger's Cage, which could slow down his support cards a bit; I had nothing that would interact with the combo at all. I couldn't find any creatures and never managed to put a point on him before he assembled 10 gates. 1-2. Match 4, Matt Shilts was playing UB zombies -- though I never actually saw anything blue. He had some pressure game 1 but I got myself out of danger with Thragtusk and rolled to victory. Game 2, after boarding in my anti-graveyard tech, I mulled to 6, he muled to 5, he still had a bad hand, and I rolled him over without losing a point. 2-2. Match 5, Caleb Bright had a custom Grixis brew. Game 1, he didn't manage to do much and I rolled over him. I hadn't seen enough of his deck to have much idea what I should board. Game 2, his control kept my board presence minimal and he beat me down with a Vampire Nighthawk and a Guttersnipe; I managed to O ring his planeswalkers before they ultimated but he dominated the game. Game 3, my deck performed as designed and I mashed him. 3-2.

Although there are plenty of interesting cards I'm not running, I think the main deck is pretty solid. I like a fast kill, but all attack and no answers isn't really my style, and I think I have a pretty reasonable mix of fast creatures, a few things for a late game, and removal. I could probably improve the board a bit. I did watch one other match, where Sarah Hubbel got a Pithing Needle against Chris's Maze's End, which was sweet. I wouldn't put a card in my board for Maze's End, but there are some other things that it can neutralize such as Planeswalkers or Olivia. I think I should have more than 1 Druid's Deliverance in my 75, maybe even one in the main 60.

I decided I would afterdraft, choosing the plus of getting to play more magic against the minus of having to stay up stupidly late. I told Luke I was going to need to buy a couple of packs, and he told me not to -- Dave was going to pull out some Modern Masters for afterdraft. Which he did. Everyone who afterdrafted bought 3 packs of MMA at nominal retail and contributed one prize pack of anything, so I threw in the DGM pack I won for finishing just barely in the top half in Standard.

I was looking for value, not really trying to win. Pack 1, there was nothing exciting, so I drafted a Latchkey Faerie because Faeries are one archetype that I think is really good. The person on my right was actively drafting a Faerie deck, as was one of the people a few seats to my left; I don't think I saw another Faerie all night. After a few picks, I decided I would be going for a multicolor strategy with a lot of ramp and fixing. I got a Paradise Mantle, a couple of Search for Tomorrows (one foil, which is $3 in trade), and a Kodama's Reach. I never saw anything worth serious money, but I ended up with 2 Worm Harvests, a Cenn's Enlistment, a Life from the Loam, and 2 Moldervine Cloaks. Unfortunately, I had too few real creatures, and wasn't playing all of them that I should have been; the deck worked a couple of times when I got some land in the yard and got the Worm Harvest to go off, but several times I was sitting there with Moldervine Cloak in hand and no creature to put it on. I had two interesting matches, losing both 2-1 but none of the games were blowouts. It was fun, but it was 3:00 by the time we finished round 2, so I dropped rather than playing the third round when I couldn't win a prize. Even though I didn't get any really good cards, I did get more nominal value than the cost of the packs. Hope I get to do it again. I don't know how much more product Dave will be able to get his hands on.

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