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FNM - Phil's Rambling Rants
August 17th, 2014
08:48 pm

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FNM
I haven't written about my magic adventures for a long time. I've been playing draft almost exclusively, and I haven't bothered to write about limited, because it seems to have less interest. But, in spite of not having a lot of the best, most expensive cards for Standard, I have a deck that I enjoy that I feel has a chance to do OK. It's not likely to win the night but it should win some matches and be fun, so I played it. I went 3-1, 3rd place out of 12 players, not too bad.

main:
1 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
3 Archangel of Thune
4 Banishing Light
4 courser of Kruphix
1 Deicide
3 Detention Sphere
1 Fathom Mage
3 Horizon Chimera
1 Kiora's Follower
2 Nyx-Fleece Ram
4 Prophet of Kruphix
2 Rapid Hybridization
1 Selesnya Charm
1 Simic Charm
1 Sphinx's Revelation
4 Sylvan Caryatid

7 Forest
4 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Mana Confluence
3 Plains
4 Temple Garden
1 Temple of Enlightenment
2 Temple of Mystery
1 Yavimaya Coast

side:
1 Fade into Antiquity
2 Mistcutter Hydra
2 Pithing Needle
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Riot Control
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Selesnya Charm
2 Supreme Verdict
2 Unflinching Courage
1 Witchstalker

Match 1, I played against Ryan Searby, who was playing Naya Hexproof, and both games I died very quickly to a hexproof guy that I couldn't block because it had Madcap Skills. 0-1. Match 2, Chris Manrique was playing Maze's End Fog. My deck doesn't come out super fast, so this match comes down to how many turns he won't have a fog and how hard I can hit. I won both games, luck was with me. 1-1. Match 3, I faced Michael Greenberg, who had a deck based on the discovery that Ensoul Artifact is a powerful card. And it is, but I had enough control to get rid of his cheap, fast 5/5s, and he didn't have enough counterspells to stop my control. 2-1. Match 4, I faced Carl Evans, who was playing his black/white deck. I'd tweaked my deck to be a bit more prepared to deal with his, and I drew right enough cards to with both games. 3-1.

I also played almost the same deck last Saturday at Game Day. Match 1, I played against Lance McGuinness. I can't remember exactly what he was running, but it didn't work for him. Game 1, neither of us could draw anything real, the game was a very long stall until I assembled my full combo. This is the conceit the deck is based around: I draw my card for the turn, and gain a life with Horizon Chimera. Gaining a life triggers Archangel of Thune, and I put a counter on each of my creatures. Putting a counter on Fathom Mage triggers, and I draw another card and gain a life, putting us back at step 1. The Fathom Mage is a may ability so I'm not required to draw all the cards in my deck. Game 2 went a little quicker, but I was dominant. Match 2, I faced Lucas Buccafusca, who was playing a red/green deck with a lot of planeswalkers. I got lucky game 1, but got rolled over in games 2 and 3. Match 3, I faced Zach Morlock, who was playing a black/white deck dedicated to durdling until it can get Obzedat out. A couple of fairly long, complicated games, and with Zach having somewhat worse luck than I, I won both. Match 4, I faced Carl Evans. He was also playing black/white, but a more aggressive version than Zach -- his is most of the power from mono black (pack rat, lifebane zombie, desecration demon) and splashing white for Blood Baron of Viskopa. I'd played some casual games with him and realized that the only answer I had main deck to Blood Baron was (at the time) one copy of Rapid Hybridization; I bumped that to two and and extra in the board, and still feared the card. Game 1 he got me with an early pack rat swarm, and game 2 I mulled to 5 and couldn't come back. After that, I updated the decklist to have 3 Detention Spheres (because I really need one when the pack rats start piliing up). 2-2 overall, and I finished 9th out of 16, missing getting my foil game day card by tiebreaks.

I think it's a decent tier 2 deck. Archangel of Thune is a huge threat, but it dies to just about all removal, so it won't stick very often against real decks. The synergy between the combo pieces (and between the Archangel and the other lifegain) makes it fun, and unless I'm willing to spend another $500 to have all the best cards, I'm not going to beat the best decks.

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