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FNM - Phil's Rambling Rants
August 24th, 2013
04:51 pm


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After my work day at EFRC, I showered and changed clothes and headed to the Gopher for FNM. The formats were Modern and DGR draft; I'm still trying to work with my Twin deck so I was playing Modern. I did a big trade just before the event started, and pulled some cards sitting in one of my half-made Legacy decks, along with a couple of other changes, so there are a number of changes since last time, but it didn't do all that well. Main deck:
3 Deceiver Exarch
3 Dispel
4 Faithless Looting
4 Gitaxian Probe
0 Izzet Charm -2
4 Izzet Signet
3 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
3 Mizzium Skin
1 Pact of Negation
4 Pestermite
2 See Beyond +2
1 Spellskite
1 Sphere of the Suns
4 Splinter Twin

4 Island -3
3 Misty Rainforest +3
5 Mountain -3
3 Scalding Tarn +3
4 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls

3 Blood Moon +1
0 Electrolyze -2
3 Flame Slash +3
0 Lightning Bolt -2
2 Shatterstorm
2 Smelt
2 Sowing Salt
1 Spell Snare +1
2 Tormod's Crypt -1

The main change is the fetchlands. I had the mistys but hadn't put them in; I just got the tarns now. I also decided to try See Beyond in place of Izzet Charm -- draw two and shuffle one back is a lot better than draw two and discard two. The sideboard is a little more random. The main goal I had was to be sure I had some more answers for opposing Spellsikites, because it was amazing how completely that shut me down. In my previous times playing the deck, I'd seen very little graveyard action, so I thought cutting one Tormod's Crypt was safe, and I figured that the lightning bolts and electrolyzes were seldom making much difference. And I had space for one more Blood Moon, which is just great against Tron and pretty good against multi-colored value decks running very few basics. I also wanted to add the 4th Deceiver Exarch, but I'm running 3 because I only own 3 and I didn't have time to get one before the event started. As we'll see, my deck said "I TOLD you so" by giving me hands with multiple red combo pieces and no blue ones several times.

Match 1, I drew Ramsey McGraw who was playing R/W/U control. Game 1 he got in a couple of beats with Geist of St. Traft and a pile of lightning bolts. Game 2, he dropped an Isochron Sceptre with Remaind, which looked kind of ugly, but I Dispeled the Remand off the Scepter to get the blue half of the combo into play, untapped, and played the red half. Game 3, he was stuck on 2 land long enough for me to combo off. 1-0. Match 2, Max Verkamp was playing a Junk Rites deck. I couldn't pull the blue half of the combo either game. 1-1. Match 3, Peixkng Wang was also playing Twin -- he was running a more orthodox build. Game 1, I mulled to 5 and never went anywhere as he comboed, but games 2 and 3 I was able to slip through. 2-1. Match 4, I faced Miles Reed, playing a deck he described as Esper Deathblade -- despite the fact that's a Legacy deck in which Stoneforge Mystic is a star, and his build had a little green so it wasn't Esper. Regardless, it was a ton of control, and I drew bad hands. Game 1 I mulled to 5 and couldn't get anywhere. Game 2 I mulled to 6 and couldn't pull the blue piece of my combo when I had a chance. 2-2. Match 5, Jake Herman was playing a white weenie deck featuring Aether Vial and can't-search-library effects. Game 1 I mulled to 5, kept a 2 land hand, and he aether vialed in a Leonin Arbiter and Ghost Quartered one of my lands. Game 2 I got to keep 6 cards, and he had 3 creatures quickly and beat me down before I could manage anything. I think I had one chance to topdeck into finishing my combo but didn't make it. 2-3. And I managed to pull a foil plains from the door prize lottery despite there being a bunch of much cooler things on the table.

Despite having been up since 6 and just having my ass kicked, I wanted to play more magic, so I stayed for afterdraft. No Modern Masters this week. I started off drafting my dragon's maze Golgari pack, from which I took an Abrupt Decay. Pick 2, I was handed the one MMA pack at the table, and I was pleased to take the Path to Exile that was still in it. In I think the very next pack I got an Ultimate Price. By the end of pack 1, I had like 6 removal spells ranging from decent to excellent and a bit of fixing for a junk colors deck. The next two packs weren't as amazing, but I was getting a lot of decent picks for the deck. I ended up with a pile that looked really good, which I assumed meant I was doomed because whenever I draft a deck I think is good, I draw horribly and lose. Match 1, I one game 1 in a half hour long grind, and then game 2 I mana flooded horribly. We went to time, and he dropped a Tricks of the Trade on a bear; I was at 9 life. I failed to draw any of my removal and lost on his final turn. Match 2, I got paired with James Manrique which I assumed was an auto loss -- James is a very good drafter. But he had a weaker deck than usual this time, mainly depending on putting a strong aura on a small creature. Both games, he made a Rakdos Drake really big with an aura, and then I hit it with Ultimate Price, and he never really had anything else. Match 3, I was playing a fairly interesting game, it seemed like I was winning, and my opponent said that he was too tired to keep playing so he conceded, and I ended up 1st on tiebreaks, so I got AVR, M13, M14 as my packs. Possibly my best afterdraft performance ever. I was pretty tired by the time I got to bed at 3:30 but it was fun.

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