June 25th 2016 FNM

Saltlings! How’s everyone doing? Two part blog coming at you today, first will be a run down of the events at Jack’s on Queen, and the second will be a review of the new Eldritch Moon cards on Mythic Spoiler. Let’s begin!!!

So Jack’s fired two sanctioned events last night, standard and commander. Being as thought my only EDH deck right now is Kaseto, and it’s not even close competitive, I decided to take part in the former. The deck I used was a White/Blue Spirits list of my own design.

Round 1; Win in 3 vs Mono-Red Vampires

Two Innistrad based tribal decks going head to head. All three games were very close and usually started out with one or two Falkenrath Gorgers and a wide array of other face beating vampires. Game one I dropped to five life and was able to pull it back. Game two was a royal misplay on my part. My opponent cast a burn spell targeting my Rattlechains, so I cast Ojutai’s Command to return a Rattlechains from my yard and give my current Rattlechains hexproof, but alas I only had a Topplegeist in my yard so I returned that and drew a card. That misplay cost me the game because I could not flash anything in. Game three I managed to stick a bunch of spirits and just went to town.

Round 2; Win in 3 vs G/B Season’s Past

Ever since Jon Finkel played Season’s Past in conjunction with Dark Petition to cycle his graveyard into his hand over and over again, a few fringe decks have taken advantage of it. In game one I had no creatures and my opponent had nothing but kill spells. I eventually got a single Rattlechains to stick and 10 turns later we moved on to game two. Game two was the complete opposite of game one, I had nothing but spirits. Anafenza, into Rattlechains, into Spectral Shepherd while my opponent managed to stick a Kalitas. Whenever he swung I would block with Rattlechains and then bounce it with Shepherd, then flash it back in. Managed to chip my opponent down little by little and scored the win.

Round 3; Loss in 3 vs G/W Humans

So the downside to my deck is that my spirits aren’t big enough to block human creatures of the same CMC, and that my board wipes are in my sideboard. In addition these aggro decks have too many creatures for me to counter. Game one I took the offensive, enchanting a Topplegeist with Invocation of Saint Traft, and quickly put my opponent on a three turn clock. My opponent had some creatures and had be on a four turn clock after I cast Ojutai’s Command to gain four life. Took my opponent to nine and had him on a two turn clock. But lady luck was not on my side, as my opponent top decked a mighty fine Declaration in Stone to exile my lowly little Topplegeist. Game two I was able to once again land an early Topplegeist and chip away at my opponent, removing his creatures with Stasis Snare and Dec Stone. Game three royally sucked. I got stuck on four land, for 10 turns, and I had both copies of Descend upon the Sinful in my hand. I just couldn’t deal with the creatures because I was drawing into more non-lands.

Once the event had ended I placed second and won two packs! All in all, I felt my deck performed well, little disappointed in the very last game, not a way I enjoy going out.

 

ELDRITCH MOON

IT’S HYPE TIME BOIS AND GRILLS! The big baddy has been revealed! The reason for Avacyn’s madness, and the corruption of Innistrad.

You know, for an eldrazi titan, quite underwhelming. The comparable cards to this would be Mindslaver from Scars of Mirrodin, merely because you control target opponent. But the lame thing about Emrakul is that they get another turn. With Mindslaver, the best part was tapping them out so they could not do anything at all, but with this, they get a turn to fix what shenanigans you have done. The protection from instants is valid, but doesn’t stop it getting countered. It also doesn’t protect is from sorcery based removal, enchantment based removal, or anything other than instants. Given her ability to get her out earlier with delirium is really good, she is less than expected. Compared to the other Newdrazi titans I think that Newrakul is the worst of the three.

This is not the legendary werewolf people thought they were going to get. The problem with most werewolves is that you want them to flip to their werewolf side and stay there, as their human side is significantly worse. While there are other werewolves that enjoy flipping back and forth, Huntmaster of the Fells. This guy is like the latter, he enjoys flipping back and forth but lacks the kind of impact that Huntmaster creates when he flips which is quite unfortunate for those who were looking forward to building a werewolf EDH deck.

This card I think will see some play is standard, but I think will see huge play in modern. Being able to grab whatever eldrazi you want from your sideboard in a Mono-Blue Tron list is really strong and I have high hopes for this card. Using this in standard will be to primarily grab your cards from exile, but maybe grabbing some big eldrazi from your side board.

So I’m going out on a limb, HAH pun, and saying this is the reverse side of a land card. Kind of like how Westvale Abbey turns into Ormendhal. The land is obviously going to be Hanweir, it might be legendary and I have no clue how this thing is going to flip.

Supplanter of Identity
2UU
Creature – Shapeshifter
Whenever Supplanter of Identity attacks you may exile another target non-token creature. If you do, Supplanter of Identity becomes a copy of that creature until the end of the turn. Return the exiled card to the battlefield under its owner’s control at the begining of the next end step

I think this card is quite strange, I can’t decide whether this is good or bad. I think in sealed it will be decent, you are able to attack, turn it into an opponent’s bomb and bounce it so you can get in big damage.

Thalia, Cathar Heretic
2W
First strike

Creatures and nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

Man, as if white needed another bonkers creature. This thing is insane. Not only does it neutralize blockers when they first enter the battlefield, but non basic lands come in tapped? Way to hose the decks that beat the wheeny cheese. Bumping Radiant Flames and Languish back a turn because the dual lands enter tapped may spell doom for the likes of these three colour control decks. I can also see this being huge in modern in G/W Hate Bears lists.

Until next time, stay salty my friend. ELDRITCH MOON PRERELEASE; JULY 16-17!!!

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June 10th 2016 FNM

What’s up saltlings? It’s time for Friday Night Magic at the best LGS around, Jack’s On Queen! The store hosted two events this fine evening, one being standard and one being an Eternal Masters draft. Being the poor college student I am, I decided to partake in the standard event. I piloted a U/W Spirits deck that was under-utilized, as I was missing some  copies of Declaration in Stone and all copies of Clash of Wills, and Dragonlord Ojutai. So here goes the jank!

Round 1; Win in 3 vs R/G Goggles

This wasn’t your typical R/G Pyromancer’s Goggles deck. This deck runs Devils’ Playground in conjunction with Second Harvest to spam the dickens out of devil tokens and just make efficient trades. The deck also puts goggles to good use in doubling up Structural Distortion. Game one was quite unfortunate for myself. Having to mulligan down to a five card hand is not the way a control deck wants to begin the night. To add insult to injury, I took a two land hand, and never saw another land for seven turns. Game two went drastically in my favour. It was spirit beat-down town as my opponent never really cast anything. Game three was a lot closer. On my opponent’s turn five he attempted to play a goggles, but I had Negate in hand so goggles never hit board. Luckily I drew into another Negate because on my opponent’s turn six he tried to cast Devils’ Playground, which I swiftly shot down. Turns out that was the proper play as my opponent conceded and revealed he had a Second Harvest in hand. If he had stuck the goggles, doubled the four devils to eight, then played the Harvest, that would have been 16 devils, no thanks!

Round 2; Loss in 2 vs Mardu Control

This is where the whole, “I need Clash of Wills” comes into play. My mainboard has multiple creature related counterspells, Horribly Awry, and Ojutai’s Command are used to stop creatures from entering, then Stasis Snare to deal with the ones that slip trough. Unfortunately for me, my opponent had very little creatures and was heavy on the Nahiri, the Harbinger, and Sorin, Grim Nemesis. The only cards in the deck that dealt with these two were Negates, which were mainly in the sideboard. A huge oversight, not grabbing the Clash of Wills from the store before the event started, and it showed.

Round 3; Loss in 3 vs G/W Humans

My opponent was playing white before it was cool, so I can’t even hate on him for continuing his play of his favourite colour. Game one there were too many wheenies, my opponent plays Citadel Castellan which is basically a Sylvan Advocate, but Castellan plays into the synergy of the deck. I just got overrun. After boarding in my extra copies of Stasis Snare and Descend upon the Sinful for the mass of creatures. I was able to control my opponent more on Game two. But he managed to flip Ormendhal and just start swinging face. He also had two copies of Always Watching on board so Ormendhal was a 11/7 flying, haste, indestructible, lifelink, vigilance creature. Luckily I was able to block with some Topplegiests. I was very proud of my play that followed. My opponent had made his way up to 30 some life and I was just chump blocking to prevent my loss of life. I was able to bring back Topplegiest with Ojutai’s Command and tap Ormendhal, and luckily I had delirium so I was able to tap him before combat on each of my opponent’s upkeeps. Squeezed that one out. Game three was terrible. Managorger Hydra for days. I was able to remove the first one, but the second one stuck and ended up beating me down for the loss.

So that’s it, just a short blog this week. Hopefully next FNM I’ll either A) play modern or B) have the proper cards for my standard deck.

Until next time, stay salty my friends.

 

 

The Solution for Standard

What’s good sodium lovers? Man who knew my last blog was going to generate so much discussion!? If I’m being brutally honest I was feeling some salt being thrown my way and I loved it.

Now, it would be unfair of me to make a post calling out the issues with something and not provide some sort of solution for said issue. I waited for a week to make the second part of the post because I wanted to see what discussions were to have been had, and I wanted to incorporate some of your ideas into this blog. I’m going to go through the different colours and see what each has in their arsenal to deal with these very early game rush and mid-game combo aggro decks.

White

Beating fire with fire, yep that’s one way to do it. In order to deal with the early game threats that these bant/mono white decks are bringing to the table, one may turn to the dark side. Cards like Declaration in Stone are great in order to deal with multiple threats of the same name, especially tokens. Dec stone is perfect for removing a mass of tokens from the battlefield as they do not provide your opponent with clue tokens, thus snuffing their card advantage they would get otherwise. Other sweeper cards like Planar Outburst and Descend upon the Sinful are excellent when playing these decks as not only do they clear the board, but if you have the proper prerequisites then they also leave you with a threat of your own on board. I am also a fan of having Hallowed Moonlight in the sideboard to deal with Collected Company.

 Green

Now, green has no effective board wipes. The only way to counter act these early aggressive decks is to play mana effective creatures like Sylvan Advocate and Tireless Tracker which can either block early, or get bigger and block later. Other cards that have an effect on the board state early like Nissa, Voice of Zendikar is also a good way to stave off the early game assault. Clip Wings is a great green sideboard card when facing down things like Archangel Avacyn and Ormendhal.

Red

Red, being in a very weak spot right now, has a decent number of ways to deal with the wheenie threat, though some may be ineffective once creatures get bigger. Cards like Radiant Flames are good, however being forced to put different coloured mana into it may not meet some decks requirements. The other only real red card to deal with multiple creatures is Chandra, Flamercaller. Her -x can be great to remove all those two-three toughness creatures, however if they get any bigger than Chandra may be ineffective at removing threats.

Black

As a wise man once sad “Play Languish and stop crying.” That is a totally viable option, if you’re willing to play black, and have the funds for a playset of said card. Another slightly less effective option is to use Flaying Tendrils before the creatures you’re trying to kill get too big. With the rotation of Fate Reforged black lost access to Crux of Fate, which was their main board wipe. It is unfortunate that black no longer has a “destroy all creatures” spell, but white does!

Blue

Blue is in an interesting spot. Blue has access to early game counter spells to keep rush decks sort of on the back foot. They also have access to things like Negate, and Dispel to stop Collected Company. Blue also has access to mass bounce spell like Engulf the Shore, and Crush of Tentacles. Crush is especially good because again, it leaves you with a potential threat on board. Another potential bounce is good ol’ Thing in the Ice which, if you can get it to flip before you die, can swing the game in your favour.

 

Did I miss any? Got any more suggestions for dealing with those pesky top tier aggro decks? Let me know! I’d love to have more feedback on what you feel the current standard meta game is like, and how you feel we could change it, whether it be for better or for worse! Hopefully next week will be an FNM featured blog!

Until next week, stay salty my friends.