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.