August 5th 2016 FNM

How’s it going saltlings! Hope everyone is doing well and I hope life is treating y’all fine. So this FNM Jack’s on Queen hosted two events; standard and modern. I made some slight tweaks to the modern deck so I decided to participate in that. My modern deck is Orhzov Eldrazi. I really like the idea of Distended Mindbender so I decided to toss one in the main board. I really love the art, but I genuinely creeps me out.

Round 1; Loss in 3 vs Mono-Red Burn

All of these games were so close. When I say that I mean that the two games I lost, my opponent had an empty hand and top decked a bolt. I managed to sneak out game one by keeping a Duress and two copies of Inquisition of Kozilek. I just managed to peel the burn from my opponent’s hand game one and managed to beat down. Game two and three I was taken to three health and my opponent had an empty hand. Both games my opponent top decked the Lightning Bolt for the win. As you’d expect I was pretty salty that my opponent managed to peel the exact card he needed to finish me off. RIP.

Round 2; Win in 3 vs Izzet Storm? (It is)

These games were both very close as well. Game one my opponent just stormed off, making a giant load of goblins via Empty the Warrens. Once I saw my opponent make a crazy amount of mana, and was able to cycle almost his entire library I just scooped and proceeded to my sideboard. I hit my sideboard hard, bringing in three copies of Surgical Extraction and Leyline of Sanctity. The Extractions to deal with Empty the Warrens if it hit the yard, and Leyline for Grapeshot, the other storm win condition. Game two I didn’t open with Leyline I took my opponent to three before he stormed off with Empty the Warrens, making 16 1/1 goblin tokens. Considering I was at 16 life I did not attack. I played my land for turn, which I kept by itself instead of stacking it with my basic lands, and passed the turn back. My opponent cast Grapeshot with a storm count of two, taking me to 13 life. Now this is when I did something kinda sneaky. I used a Jedi mind trick and muttered, “The alpha strike kills me” under my breath. Loud enough for my opponent to hear me, but quiet enough as to not make it obvious. My opponent proceeded to combat and tapped all of his goblins in an all out assault. I had three blockers, 13 life, and was staring down 16 attackers, so I was dead to rights. Unfortunately for my opponent, the land I played on my turn was Vault of the Archangel. I declared blockers on three tokens, and activated Vault before combat damage, taking 13 damage, but gaining seven, thus leaving me with a substantial life total and the ability to swing into an empty board. My opponent was pretty salty, not at me, but at himself for falling for the old bait and switch. Game three I took a two land hand, but with that downside, I did possess a Leyline, which I was able to play before the game even began. The other upside to my hand was the added bonus of having two Surgical Extractions. Which I used to pick apart my opponents yard, removing his ability to storm as I took his draw spells out of his hand and out of his deck. The Leyline also prevented my opponent from casting Gitaxian Probe targeting me, also prevented my opponent from killing me with Grapeshot. MVP Vault of the Archangel.

Round 3; Win in 2 vs Jeskai Blitz

Any games that involve my opponent trying to use Snapcaster Mage to flash back spells is usually a bonus for me. Cards like Surgical Extraction and Relic of Progenitus are used to make sure that my opponent can’t flash back any burn spells or counter spells. Cards like Thought-Knot Seer, and Blight Herder are out of burn range, and the tokens I get from Blight Herder are great chump blockers for cards like Monastery Swiftspear, and Young Pyromancer tokens. I just managed to sneak my creatures through the early aggression and the removal to squeeze out the win.

Round 4; Loss in 2 vs Cruel Control

Ugh, these games were rough. The definition of deck under performance. Barely any hand destruction drawn in either games, and whenever I did have one, my opponent had no decent targets, but on his draw step he drew an answer to whatever I had. Game one I just got out tempo’d. Game two was just unfortunate, I ended up drawing 20 of my 24 lands in the deck. I flooded out, and my opponent just pushed for lethal and I didn’t put up much resistance. The one upside, I never let my opponent cast Cruel Ultimatum.

Conclusion

Well, for the first time in a long time I have not placed within prized during an FNM, and for the last three modern FNMs I have placed first, so losing two games kinda sucks. I do think it is nearly perfect. Someone last night weighed the battle between Extirpate vs Surgical Extraction. The upside of Extirpate is that it has split second, therefore it doesn’t use the stack and can not be countered, it can not be responded to, literally nothing can happen once someone casts Extirpate. The upside of Surgical Extraction is the fact that one can cast it by paying life which I am a total fan of. Having the ability to access this kind of effect for two life when tapped out can be used as a very strong trap. For example, I was playing online against a tron deck. My opponent played an Urza’s Tower on turn one. When he passed to me I played my land for turn, a Ghost Quarter, in which I blew up his tower, then paid two life to Surgical Extract the Tower. Doing this forced my opponent to have to play his cards on their actual turns. He conceded and left the game. I have to weigh my options and see. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the battle between the two! Until next time, stay salty my friends.

Extirpate VSSurgical Extraction

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July 26th 2016 FNM

Long weekend saltlings! Hope everyone is enjoying their monday off! This past friday at Jack’s on Queen, I participated in their standard event. I piloted my Blue/White Spirits to a second place finish! Now, enough of the intro, let’s get to the games!

Round 1; Win in 2 vs Ojutai Good Stuff

Game one was insane, and by that I mean it took 40 minutes. It was ‘land, pass, land, pass, attempt to resolve a spell, counter, land, pass.’ It was insane. Loved my opponent’s deck, it started out spirits, then turned into angels, then turned into emerge creatures. The second game ended a lot quicker in my favor. The definitive MVP of these games was Bygone Bishop. The investigate ability helped me to draw extra cards to out tempo my opponent.

Game 2; Win in 3 vs Orzhov Walkers

Game one was going fast. I was dropping threats and swinging for the hills. I had removal in hand and was pushing down lethal. My opponent casted a Gisela, the Broken Blade, and returned the turn to me. I had a Declaration in Stone in hand and I was going to stone Gisela, but my stupid head was rushing and I attacked before casting the sorcery. So my opponent blocked with the lifelink and took no damage. He then proceeded to drop a Sorin, Gideon, and Liliana. I scooped. I was tilted, super tilted. Game two was better, I didn’t swing into a Gisela and I had all the answers, at one point I cast Epiphany at the Drownyard and revealed four lands. So I managed to dig through a majority of my deck and score the win. The last game was an unfortunate train wreck of land for my opponent. He never managed to accumulate two black sources, and with cards like Liliana, the Last Hope, Murder, and Languish in hand, you kind of need double black. MVP of this game goes to Epiphany at the Drownyard. Without the digging from this card I would have hit a huge land clump and probably lost game two.

Game 3; Win in 2 vs Silumgar Zombies

I have never seen so many zombie tokens on a board than I have in my first game. Oh my word, I got swamped. My opponent was just spewing tokens with Cryptbreaker, and then drawing cards by tapping zombies, it was a literal nightmare. Luckily I was able to fend off the hordes of monsters with the help of Delcaration in Stone. Game two I side boarded in the ultimate zombie sweeper, Descend upon the Sinful. This card deals with the entire board of zombies, as it exiles them so you can’t reanimate them at all. The best part is the Delirium portion of the card, in which I get a 4/4 flying angel. That angel won me game two. I was able to fend off the onslaught of zombies with my spirits as the lone angel took down my opponent. MVP the angel token and the exile effect from Descend upon the Sinful.

Game 4; Loss in 2 vs Elf Collected Company

This was basically me in the final round. Game one I decided to be a little risky and keep a one land hand, now here me out because it was amazing. It was one white source, Topplegiest, Rattlechains, Anticipate, Unsubstantiate, all I needed was a blue source, or another land for that  matter, and I would have been amazing. But alas, it never happened for three turns, and I just scooped. Game two was better, a lot better, except my opponent was able to cast Collected Company on turn three and hit two copies of Sylvan Advocate and it was over pretty quick. MVP for these games were my own stupidity. RIP CoCo. Three more months people!

 In Conclusion

I managed to skate by at 3-1 for this standard event. I think spirits has amazing potential and hopefully will over throw the human overlords. This deck has some serious chops and hopefully it will help me take down Gameday in two weeks. Until next time! Stay salty my friends.