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FNM: Hardened Scales a Winner! - Phil's Rambling Rants
February 20th, 2016
01:35 pm

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FNM: Hardened Scales a Winner!
I made a couple of tweaks to my deck, then I played four hard matches and won all of them, winning FNM for something like the third time ever.

2 Abzan Falconer
1 Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
4 Avatar of the Resolute
1 Become Immense
2 Den Protector +1
4 Dromoka's Command
2 Feat of Resistance +2
4 Hangarback Walker
4 Hardened Scales
2 Heir of the Wilds
1 Inspiring Call -2
4 Managorger Hydra
4 Servant of the Scale
2 Surrak, the Hunt Caller
1 Winds of Qal Sima
0 Undergrowth Champion -1

2 Canopy Vista
9 Forest
5 Plains
4 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills

side:
2 Abzan Battle Priest
2 Collected Company
2 Hidden Dragonslayer
2 Inspiring Call
2 Silkwrap +2, for when I just have to have removal
2 Valorous Stance
2 Winds of Qal Sima
1 Windstorm

I pulled the second Den Protector out of my EDH deck, replacing the Undergrowth Champion that is cute but didn't really seem to perform, and swapped two Inspiring Calls to the sideboard for Feat of Resistance, because as much as I love Inspiring Call when it works, I realized it was usually a dud when I drew it, and Feat of Resistance being easier to cast and actually adding a counter was more like to actually help.

Round 1, Matt Milosevich was playing Atarka Landfall. Game 1 was a long battle of attrition as both of our fast aggro decks ran out of gas and we were topdecking. He had me down to 5 life but I got him. Game 2 he blew me away like a stray shopping bag in a hurricane. Game 3 was very tight, we were both low on life and low on cards, I was down to 1 life and I got there. Round 2, Steve Jasper was playing a Bant value deck that I hadn't seen before. I won the first game fairly solidly, and then in the second game I was winning, and he'd twice tried to announce spells without legal targets, and he just conceded. Round 3, Ryan Searby was playing Mardu Walkers. I won the first game when I got more threats than he got Crackling Dooms. Lost the second game when his control held me down while he got some tokens and emblems. Won the third game when he kept a 1 land hand. Round 4, Michael Montague was playing his own version of Hardened Scales. Still green and white, but he had an enchantment theme. Game 1 I got more creatures than he could stop. Game 2, he got a big Managorger Hydra, and then played a second one and suited it up with Gleam of Authority to swing for lethal when I thought I could survive tapping out for a turn -- I had a fog in hand but no mana to cast it. Then round 3, I finally got a starting hand with Hardened Scales in it, first time all night, and then couldn't cast it for a long time because I started with two plains so I could drop Anafenza, and it was several turns before I didn't have some desperate need for the mana. I made one big misplay. He had a Managorgetr with 1 counter and a Hardened Scales. I had a Den Protector with 2 counters, Aanfenza with 1 counter, and Driomoka's Command. Considering my play on his turn I realized that I should swing first, because if he blocked his guy just died, and I forgot that and cast the command in main phase 1, making him sac his Scales and having my 4/3 fight his now 4/4 hydra. But he was still far enough on the back foot that even with that misplay I got there

I won 6 boosters of OGW, the FNM Clash of Wills, a Thought-Knot Seer ($18 this week because of broken Modern), and a pack of Khans as my door prize. Cracked it all. Got a World Breaker, a Mirrorpool, a couple of manlands, and a foil Hooded Hydra and a Dig Through Time in the Khans pack.

I did play in a couple of FNMs I didn't report on, combined with missing a couple of weeks for Winter War and Capricon. I did poorly both Jan. 22 and Feb. 5, but I don't remember useful details, other than cementing the impression that I was usually not happy when I drew Inspiring Call.

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