January 15th 2016 FNM

Heya nerds!

So first things first, the deck list. Your typical Abzan Aggro list, with some minor changes to the instants edited to my preference.

 

Round 1 Win in 3 vs B/G Aristocrats

I’m going to start off by saying when pairings were I posted I noted my opponent. This individual was a fine engineer of my most hated deck to ever play against. That out of the way, let us begin.

Game 1 – My opening hand consisted of Anafenza, the Foremost, and six other cards. Windmill slammed her on turn three and the joy drained from my opponent’s eyes. Completely stalled his sacrifice strategy. He dug for many turns to try and find a kill spell but he never found it.

Game 2 – I kept a hand with two annies. I never drew a single white land for seven turns…I just died a little inside. It was just so sad. He didn’t even combo me, he just beat my face with a bunch of tiny creatures.

Game 3 – I once again kept a hand with Anafenza. The ultimate and everlasting bane to the Aristocrat archetype. Whenever he sacked to Nantuko Husk I exiled it..it was glorious…I took him to one and played a Siege Rhino. He tried to CoCo, I don’t know what into, but hit nothing. I wonnered. I FINALLY BEAT ARISTOCRATS….YUS!!!

Round 2 Loss in 3 vs Jeskai Black

Game 1 – Just burned my face off sooo quick. I couldn’t take the fiaaaa! The Seeker of the Way into Soulfire Grand Master into Mantis Rider…bruh

Game 2 – I had all the sweet responses, Dromoka’s Command, Surge of Righteousness…and I just got there with the help of my rhino friends.

Game 3 – Turn two Seeker, turn three Mantis, turn four Mantis, turn five Mantis….REALLY BRUH! LEMME GUESS…YOU STARTED WITH THOSE IN YOUR HAND! UGH! HERE’S BUCKY MCGEE TAKING A THREE LAND HAND WITH THREE MANTIS RIDERS! GOOD GRACIOUS!

Round 3 Loss in 3 vs 4-Colour Enchantments

Game 1 – Got picked apart by removal. All the Silkwraps to hit my early drops and Stasis Snare for my main rhinos and Anafenzas. Hit the sideboard for a total of eight cards.

Game 2 – Removed every single enchantment that hit board. Managed to get there with Rhinos, also, Raid is an ETB effect, so blinking Wingmate Roc feels good.

Game 3 – Resolving two back to back Thopter Spy Network and exile-enchanting all my stuff feels really bad. He exiled some of my rhinos and if I top decked a single enchantment removal I would have had my Siege Rhinos re-enter and trigger the ETB effect.

Round 4 Win in 3 vs Mono-White Enchantments (Angelic Prison)

Game 1 – Oh my goodness….this was pillow fort to the max…every single creature was either met with either a Statis Snare, Suspension Field, or a Pacifism. It was sheer torture…took my opponent to 1 but he managed to stall it out.

Game 2 – I sideboarded in a total of 8 cards…all enchantment removal…it was a tough game but I managed to squeak it out. Sideboard tech was; Erase, Naturalize, Ultimate Price, and Transgress the Mind.

Game 3 – Was a blow out, opponent mulliganed to five, already off to a great start. I stuck a rhino and then it got exiled via enchantment…killed the enchant  and triggered ETB. He exiled it again, and once again I triggered ETB. I did that a total of four more times before I swung and killed him. Straight savage.

Round 5 Win in 2 vs B/U Stuff

Game 1 – Was pretty darn long, very back and forth. Trading kill spells and damage for atleast 30 minutes. I finally got there with the help of rhinos.

Game 2 – Was pretty quick. I got ahead super fast and just out ran the removal of my opponent. I played a thing, he killed the thing, I played another thing.

 

All in all a solid night, overall 7th place of 20 players. Kind of unfortunate but I wasn’t expecting those enchantment decks to be powerful as they were. Got to give credit where credit is due! Until next time, stay salty my friends.

 

 

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Oath of the Gatewatch Card Analysis

Heya nerds! Welcome to a special edition of “The Salt and I”. For your weekly viewing pleasure, as I was unable to attend my normally scheduled FNM at Jack’s on Queen, I will be looking at some of the interesting cards WotC has come up with in the new set Oath of the Gatewatch. Without further ado, let’s get started!

SPOILER ALERT

I’m warning you now, the following cards have officially been spoiled by Wizard’s of the Coast. If you wish to keep your Oath virgin eyes as such, now is the time to click away!

gatewatch

Alright, now that that’s out of the way let’s get into the good stuff.

The Oaths

I’m going to start off with the ‘pillars’ of the set, the Oaths. Being the four planeswalkers that rallied together, Gideon, Jace, Chandra, and Nissa have their own respective oaths that they undertook. I particularly like Nissa’s oath and I find that it gives the most value, especially considering it’s one one CMC. The ability to dig through three of your top cards and grab one, with the added ability to tap mana of any colour to cast walkers is insane. While Gideon’s oath offers planeswalker ultimates sooner, Jace’s oath grants a constant scry on your upkeep. I feel that Chandra’s oath is probably the weakest as it requires you to play a planeswalker in order to trigger the bolt effect. So I shall rate them; Nissa, Gideon, Jace, and lastly Chandra.

The Walkers

This set of 184 cards brings us two new planeswalkers. Well, we’ve met them already but they are different. The first of these is Nissa, Voice of Zendikar. I’m going to start off by saying how amazing I believe she is. Once she hits, not only can she protect herself with her +1 by puting a 0/2 plant onto the battlefield, but if you have enough protection you can -2 her and pump all of your creatures. Once she hits seven loyalty, you can gain X life and draw X cards where X is the number of lands you control. She gets an A+ from me and all green players should consider her for their decks, here’s looking at you Hardened Scales!

The second of the two walkers is Chandra, Flamecaller. For six mana, she is pretty darn good. Her four loyalty at entrance is ok, but it’s her abilities that make her insane. For +1 she puts two 3/1 elementals with haste onto the battlefiend and exile them at the end of your turn. Her 0 makes you discard your hand and draw that many cards, if you have a mitt full of dead cards, this is a great play. Finally her -X deals X damage to all creatures on board, so she can deal four damage on entry, so she pseudo protects herself, expect to see lots of her kicking around.

The Monsters

Now the big baddy of the set, Kozilek, the Great Distortion. This guy is a monstrous 12/12 for 8(C)(C). Once you cast this massive eldrazi, you get to draw cards up to seven which is decent. Not only does it have menace, but all of a sudden your mitt full of cards becomes an array of counter spells. He pseudo protects himself with the cards that you draw off of his ETB effect. So I’d consider him pretty solid.

In terms of other eldrazi running around there are a plethora of devoid spells. We see our first white eldrazi in the form of Eldrazi Displacer. I’m calling it now, this deck is going to be played in Abzan, blinking a Siege Rhino is a great way to swing six life for three mana. Matter Reshaper replaces itself, great value. There’s one such card that will not make my brother’s mill deck happy, Inverter of Truth. This four drop for a 6/6 flier makes their graveyard become their library, but before that it exiles your library so playing this early is not a good idea. There are many other eldrazi that appear quite enticing, we shall see what makes the standard cut!

The Lands

Oh man, lots of controversy regarding the new Wastes. These are new basic lands that produce colourless mana which is required to cast some of the new eldrazi. As they are a basic land they can be fetched with cards such as Evolving Wilds. WotC also gave us new allied tap lands. We also got the final three enemy colour man lands that we have been waiting for. Wandering Fumarole is your red/ blue man land that turns into either a 1/4 for blocking or a 4/1 for attacking, great for control decks. Needle Spires is interesting as the red/white land gains double strike when it becomes a creature. However, my favourite of the three man lands has to be Hissing Quagmire, this black/green man land gains death touch, which is amazing for various combat tricks. It may not be the best of the man lands, but I love the flavour.

Final Words

Colour wheel wise, white still seems to be the go to Ally train. Blue has a nice split of eldrazi and typical blue control spells. Black is primarily eldrazi with a spattering of vampires. Red gets some eldrazi with an influx of various creature burn spells. Last but not least green has it’s own strong eldrazi, mixed with landfall, and the new mechanic support.

In conclusion, I am super excited to see the sealed capabilities of this set. The massive amounts of eldrazi combined with all the new allies, adding all the new surge and support mechanics will add depth and replay-ability to the current meta.

Anyways, I hope you’re all hyped for prerelease! Stay salty my friends…

 

 

Special GPT Detroit Edition

Greetings fellow nerds! Welcome to a special edition of my FNM blog. Today I attended a Grand Prix Trial event at OMG! Games located in Barrie. It was a five round swiss event with a cut to top four! I gathered my Abzan Aggro deck and met up with some of the fine gentlemen from my LGS Jack’s on Queen.

Swiss Rounds

Round 1: Win in 2 vs U/R Eldrazi

     So first off I played against one of my own, Mr. Keith. I didn’t see much of his deck as it appeared to be very high curved and I raced him out early. But what I did see from this spry young gentleman was a plethora of giant eldrazi that were super eager to exile my library and beat my face. Luckily for me I got to end it early before he cast Void Winnower. With that thing on board there goes all my even drop spells…which is about a solid 50% of the deck.

Round 2: Win in 3 vs Jeskai Midrange

     This match up was super intense. We went to game three and all three of the games were well fought. I don’t remember much about the first two games but the third was interesting. I was on the play and I took a hand of three land, two Siege Rhino, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and a Surge of Righteousness. I played lands and passed up until opponent played a Mantis Rider on turn three and declared it as an attacker, I was ready with the Surge and destroyed it. I proceeded to windmill slam Rhino after Rhino then I drew into another Rhino which I played before casting Gideon and ending the game with a crash of rhinos.

Round 3: Loss in 3 vs Dark Jeskai

     Round three had me paired with Mr. Nathon, another fellow from Jack’s. We had played each other at the previous nights FNM and he cleaned my clock in two games, but today I managed to take him to three. Game one was taken pretty convincingly by my opponent, with an array of burn spells and tiny prowess creatures. Game two however turned volatile for him as my sideboard tech was in my opening hand. On my turn three I cast Tainted Remedy. He was shocked and slightly appalled at the fact that his own burn spells in combination with Soulfire Grand Master turned all of his burn spells back onto himself. Also, with his Seeker of the Way on board he had to be careful as to when he triggered prowess as it would give the creature lifelink resulting in a bolt to himself. I managed to lock that game down. The third game just got out of hand, I couldn’t handle the Jeskai. Thunderbreak Regent for MVP!

Round 4: Win in 2 vs Esper Control

     This round was interesting, to be more precise, my opponent was quite interesting. I sat down at my seat and across the table staring me in the face was this 11 year old kid. He asked me my name to confirm that we had the proper match up and we began our games. Game one was a mad struggle, stretching and striving to get passed the barrage of counter and kill spells the kid was unleashing, but I managed to get there. In between games we got to talking. I asked him what year he started playing Magic, expecting “Oh I started last year…” or “This is my first big event…” he looked me dead in the face and said, “New Phyrexia”. Now for those of you whom are unaware of what that is, it is a set of cards that came out five years ago. This little dude has been playing Magic since the age of six. He told me about the time he went to Grand Prix Quebec City and nearly made day two, which is a pretty big deal, but in the end lost to a world class professional. I was floored, he knew what he was doing and he was good to boot. After our little discussion we began our second game. Things took a turn for the worse for him when he resolved a Painful Truths and a Dig Through Time and hit nothing but land. If you are someone like me that has trouble with math, that is 10 land in a row. It was just straight bad luck on his part.

Round 5: Win in 3 vs Dark Jeskai

I was getting flashbacks. Flashbacks to my previous matchup with a Dark Jeskai deck and it wasn’t looking good for me. Game one and game two were opened by my opponent playing a Dragonmaster Outcast on turn one, which carried him the first game but didn’t aid to his benefit in game three. Game one I managed to squeak out a win, as well as game three. I can’t remember much of this game but I won nonetheless.

Cut to Top 4

Semi-Finals: Loss in 2 vs Abzan Aggro

Both games were super back and forth. I played something, opponent killed it, he played something, I killed it. He played a rhino, I played a rhino. But there was one deal breaker, my opponent had main board Silkwrap. After sideboarding I put up with a decent fight but couldn’t manage to get there.

After the event I hung out with some of the crew from Jack’s, ate some food, shot some pool, it was a fantastic way to end the day. Cheers to Ed, Nathon, and Andrew.

Until next time! Stay salty my friends.

 

 

 

 

January 1st 2016!! FNM

Heya nerds!

Hope everyone had an enjoyable and memorable 2015. I’m going to start off with the events of FNM then go off on a tangent.

Round 1 loss in 2 vs G/B Aristocrats

Alright, we all know my stance on this archetype. The darned thing basically plays itself. If you have creatures in hand play them, if you have Collected Company play it. Once established with Nantuko Husk and Zullaport Cutthroat proceed to just sack everything and drain your opponent while you laugh like maniacally as your opponent has literally 0 counter play.

As today, game one managed to kind of hold on with a Shambling Vent but the game got away from me. So game two I do all of the sideboard things, Hallowed Moonlight for CoCo and Tainted Remedy because LOL. I’m on the cusp of victory. Opponent plays a Cutthroat which will be a huge pain so I decide no. So after it enters I target it with a Murderous Cut. CoCo is played in response to the Cut and he gets two more cutthroats off of the CoCo. So each sacrificed creature to his Husk is three damage to my face which inevitably ends the game quite abruptly. Salt +1.

Round 2 loss in 2 vs Dark Jeskai

This deck appeared to be a splinter version of LSV’s own Dark Jeskai deck with some interesting tweaks. Piloted none other than Nathon Cook I was burnt to nothing but ash by turn five both games. My Abzan tiny starting creatures were no match for Draconic Roar, revealing Thuderbreak Regeant to also slap me in the face for three. This proceeded to happen twiece, game one and game two. Plus the Mantis Riders really don’t help the fact that I can only touch them on turn five after I hit a Wingmate Roc…if I hit a Wingmate Roc.

Round 3 win in 3 vs G/W Assault Formation

In other words this deck was fight butt beats. With a variety of high toughness creatures such as Yoked Ox, and cheap toughness buff spells like Shape the Sands that is a one green instant that gives target creature +0/+5 and reach. When combined with Assault Formation can prove to be some pretty heavy damage. Game one was in my favor and game two my opponent had a great comeback. Game three got pretty intense. Staring down three Meandering Towershells and a variety of blockers of various sizes I managed to destroy or exile any copy of Assault Formation that hit play, I even kept a Den Protector facedown just in case another enchantment was drawn. I played Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and -4ed him to get an emblem which pumped all my creatures +1/+1. I did that twice. My opponent later tried to Stasis Snare my Hangarback Walker which at this point had six counters on it, but I responded by Murderous Cutting it and flooding my side of the board with six 3/3 flying Thopters. I quickly ended the game on my following turn, but not before my opponent dedicated the three Towershells to the red zone.

Round 4 win in 2 vs Jeskai Tutelage

Of course the last round would have my brother and I paired up. We always playtest against each other at home so we were both quite aware of how this was going to end up. Both games I rushed him down before he would really combo me out with Sphinx’s Tutelage. But once he managed to stick one on board I played a Dromoka’s Command and made him sacrifice it.

 

2015 in Review

This year has been quite an interesting one. I left my Criminology course at the University of Guelph to pursue a Social Service Work course at my local Georgian College and I undoubtedly made the correct choice. On NYE I was able to reconnect with some of my old friends from Guelph and that was worth the drive. As sad as it was leaving my friends behind I made some great new ones in my program.When I moved back home I was able to afford a car, so I purchased an ’09 Pontiac G3 Wave. She’s my baby and she is super gas efficient.

In terms of my Magic career I attended my first Grand Prix in the beautiful city of Montreal with my friends Lucas, Colton and Jason. I have grown to appreciate these three gentlemen and am glad to call them my friends. Everyone at Jack’s on Queens is amazing, Tim and Kim are wonderful people and anyone in the Wasaga/Elmvale area should definitely check em out!

Unfortunately this year ended quite solemnly. My amazing grandfather passed away on December 10th. My family will miss him dearly however, we know he is smiling down on us from above.

So yea, thanks 2015, onward and upward!

 

Thank you guys for reading, I appreciate it. If you enjoyed, feel free to share this on Facebook or other forms of social media, cheers!