FNM Report; June 23rd, 2017

FNM Report; June 23rd, 2017

What happening ladies and gents! It’s time we get back into FNM and what better format to play then standard! “But Brad, isn’t Aetherworks Marvel banned?” Well yea, but I made some changes and ran it as is! This is what I decided to bring to the table tonight; Marvel-less Sultai. What I decided to do was drop the Marvels, duh, and brought in some copies of Verdurous Gearhulk, Winding Constrictor, and a new energy dump in Die Young.

Let’s get to the review!

Round 1; Win in 2 vs R/B Aggro

Started off with a really fast list tonight. My opponent was running a variety of small red creatures with haste, supported by black removal spells. Both games were very back and forth for the first few turns, trading Fatal Push for Fatal Push, and Unlicensed Disintegration for Die Young. But both games turn four came around and Verdurous Gearhulk brought my creatures out of Lightning Axe. The super big trampler did his job pretty decisively after that.

Round 2; Win in 2 vs W/G Tokens

My round two opponent was yet another young pup at Jack’s and his deck was madness. My opponent dropped an Anointed Procession on turn three with the help of Channeler Initiate, then proceeded to cast a variety of servo generating spells like Sram’s Expertise, and Servo Exhibition. He would then have a couple copies of artifact interaction cards like Toolcraft Exemplar, Oviya Pashiri, and Master Tinketeer. Game one my opponent managed to get in with Rhonas, a couple of times utilizing a buffed Exemplar to give permission for Rhonas to attack. That was until I brought back a copy of Rhonas for my opponent’s graveyard with Demon of Dark Schemes. Game two was a wee bit closer with my opponent gaining metric butt loads of life with Anointer Priest. But alas I still managed to take the game as my opponent kept animating a 5/5 land with Nissa, Vital Force, and I kept blocking with my Ishkanah, and reanimating her with Liliana, Death’s Majesty.

Round 3; Win in 3 vs W/B Lifelink

Game one I took and awfully dodgy hand and didn’t have a solid play until turn six in the form of Demon of Dark Schemes. All the while my opponent chipped away at my health with an awfully useful copy of Gifted Aetherborn. My opponent was up to 36 life by the time I established a board state. I was at four life at this point and I never dropped below the four. I was constantly generating energy and using it to reanimate my opponent’s Selfless Spirit. It all started when my opponent cast Fumigate and I brought back the Spirit the first time, effectively being a one sided board wipe. Later on in the game my opponent had a copy of Gisela, which I kept at bay with a Demon, and they cast Bruna. Once both were on the battlefield my opponent was threatening a meld and I was not having any of that nonsense. I reanimated my opponent’s Selfless Spirit one last time, sacrificed it, then cast Fatal Push targeting Gisela. Since revolt was active after the Spirit had left the battlefield, I was able to kill Gisela and take game one. Game two was quite lop sided. My opponent had their god hand and I took a one lander. Mistakes were made. Game three I flooded the board with early wheenies, and my opponent didn’t do much. On his turn five he attempted a Fumigate which was met promptly with a Censor, thus closing out the game on my turn.

Round 4; Win in 2 vs Mono-black Zombies

Image result for dread wanderer art

So what happens when a Pro Tour winning deck goes up against the nearly neutered Sultai Marvel? Marvel wins because zombies gets land starved. Game one my opponent had a drastic lack of creatures and drew into two copies of Liliana’s Mastery without the land to play them. Game two my opponent took a mulligan to six, but took a one land hand and didn’t hit a second land source until turn five. After we reported my opponent and I decided to do a ‘for funsies’ game. TLDR; he crushed me in the fun game. If his deck had cooperated with him they would have been super close games. My opponent told me after the game that he had taken first three weeks in a row, so luck was not on his side.

Conclusion

We took first this week ladies and germs! It seems WotC was granting me a boon in compensation for the ban of Aetherworks Marvel. We managed to get our mits on our second copy of the Aether Hub promo, and hopefully I can grab my third this coming Friday.

Image result for aether hub promo

The Hour of Devastation will soon be upon us, and with that means sweet new cards for us to play with. Since prerelease is in two weeks, I will be doing a rare set review once the full set gets released by WotC. So stay tuned.

Until next time, stay salty my friends.

Advertisements

Jank Central; Modern; Mono-U One Shot

Jank Central; Modern; Mono-U One Shot

Woah…two articles in a row? Yea that’s right I work and it interrupts my normal trips to FNM, but hey atleast I get to bring you guys a brand new segment! This is Jank Central; a new part of the show where I post lists that are NOT BUDGET, but will make you shake your head. This list is going to be for the modern format, and is indeed a combo deck. Let’s get started!

4x Pili-Pala and 4x Grand Achitect
Pili-PalaGrand Architect

The combo in the deck. Lately everyone has been clambering over the Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies, but I think this one is cheekier. This two card combo has the potential to generate an infinite amount of coloured mana. By using Grand Architect’s ability to make Pili-Pala blue. By doing this we can use Grand Architect’s second ability to tap Pili-Pala for two colourless mana. We then use that two colourless to untap Pili-Pala, netting a single mana of any colour. Now we can continue this as much as we want until we decide to stop.

4x Pull from Tomorrow and 1x Laboratory Maniac
Pull from TomorrowLaboratory Maniac

Now that we have all of this mana, what do we do with it? We dump it into drawing our entire library duh! Sure we won’t necessarily have to draw our entire library, but enough to hit our win conditions. The first of which being the Ad Nauseam all star Laboratory Maniac! Once we hit this guy, all we have to do is cast a second Pull from Tomorrow for the rest of the deck.

1x Banefire and 1x Walking Ballista
BanefireWalking Ballista

Oh no! So you kept a really good hand and drew into Laboratory Maniac. Your opponent hits you with a Thoughtseize and makes you discard it. What do we do now? Well, once we get hold of our combo we can blow up someone’s face. Banefire for 600? Totally doable. Generate 10,000 blue mana, make a 5,000/5,000 Walking Ballista and ping your opponent to death? Yep! These two win cons are a great way to just take it to your opponent’s life total.

4x Muddle the Mixture, 4x Tolaria West and 3x Fabricate
Muddle the MixtureTolaria WestFabricate

These are our versatile spells. These will help us find the things we need to win the game. We can transmute Muddle the Mixture for either Pull from Tomorrow or Pili-Pala. Transmuting Tolaria West gets us Pact of Negation or Walking Ballista. These cards helps us dig for what we need to seal the deal on our opponents.

4x Serum Visions and 4x Remand
Serum VisionsRemand

These two are your typical blue staples which help us dig for win cons and establish dominance. 

4x Mana Leak and 2x Exhaustion
Mana LeakExhaustion

Mana leak is sort of a no brainer. Exhaustion on the other hand is super good in certain situations. With Grand Architect we can’t combo off until we have four mana. So being able to ensure that our opponent stays tapped out until our turn four is super clutch.

8x Fetch Lands, 3x Academy Ruins and 1x Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Academy RuinsBoseiju, Who Shelters All

The fetch lands do not matter. These eight blue based fetch lands will ensure we have the mana we need to combo off. Academy Ruins is here to retrieve any artifacts that accidentally hit the graveyard. Boseiju is here to ensure no one has any plans to stop our combo.

SB –
3x Twisted Image – Not only the best Spellskite answer known to man, but a cantrip aswell.
2x Vapor Snag – A little stall can go a long way.
2x Echoing Truth – More stall can go an even further way!
3x Hurkyl’s Recall – Pesky artifacts getting the bump!
3x Negate – So we can stop anyone trying to stop us.
2x Surgical Extraction – A wee bit of exile never hurt anybody.

Death of a Marvel

With WotC’s recent ban announcement it has left me deck-less. I had finally gotten all of my cards together for Sultai Marvel and managed to play it at one FNM. Not even two weeks after I finish the deck, WotC announces the removal of the deck’s namesake. Back to the drawing board for me I guess.

I will leave you all with a little treat…enjoy.

 

 

 

Standard BB; B/G Aristocrat

Standard BB; B/G Aristocrat

Well hello there world! I have returned with my first Budget Brewhouse since January! As one can read in the title, this brew will be for standard. B/G Aristocrats used to run rampant in the DTK/BFZ standard meta game, but lately it has fallen from its’ former high horse. I intend to bring it back utilizing some of the new cards from Amonket. This deck was actually one I considered building prior to building my current Sultai Marvel list. I priced the main board of this to be just below $50 CND, and the sideboard to be about $14.

4x Blisterpod & 4x Carrier Thrall
BlisterpodCarrier Thrall

Both of these Battle for Zendikar creatures are essential for any Aristocrat based list. These here are what we like to call ‘cannon fodder’. These are the types of creatures that you will be sacrificing to activate your various abilities, or throwing in the way of a rampaging eldrazi titan. Not only these guys, but the wee scions they spit out can either be used for mana, or abilities like their parents.

4x Zulaport Cutthroat & 4x Catacomb Sifter
Zulaport CutthroatCatacomb Sifter

These here are what we call ‘pay-off creatures’. These are the cards we need in order for our cannon fodder to be useful. Everyone knows what Zulaport Cutthroat does, the card is bonkers and it drains whenever something you control bites it. This card is especially spicy in multiple copies or if your opponent decides to board wipe. The same applies for Catacomb Sifter. This slinky little eldrazi brings along a friend which can be used as cannon fodder. He has the cool ability that whenever another creature you control dies, you get to scry. Both of these BFZ uncommons were complete all stars in the original aristocrats list, so of course they would be making a comeback.

3x Bone Picker & 3x Bontu the Glorified
Bone PickerBontu the Glorified

Welcome to the new school of ‘pay-off creatures’. These new Amonkhet beaters can huge boons once a creature you control dies. Let’s start with Bone Picker, when this card got spoiled quite a few of the pros were calling it the ‘black Delver’ in reference to the one drop blue creature Delver of Secrets. What Delver does is flip to become a three power/two toughness flier, and Bone Picker is essentially that. In a list like ours, creatures are constantly dying and we can use that to our advantage by dropping this dude for a single black. Now for the god of ambition, Bontu is one brutal chick. A three mana four power/six toughness with menace and indestructible. She has a couple lines of text that disable her from attacking or blocking unless a creature we control died this turn. That would be a pain in the rump for most decks, but in ours it should not be a problem. Especially because she has an ability that allows us to sacrifice a creature, drain our opponent, and then enable her to attack or block.

4x Duskwatch Recruiter
Duskwatch RecruiterKrallenhorde Howler

The lone werewolf in the deck is our utility creature. This is our main source of creature draw. A two mana two power/two toughness creature which we can pay three look at three cards from the top of our library and put one into our hand. This our mana sink, and when he flips he reduces the cost of our other creatures. We don’t really want to see the werewolf side of this guy, so we will try our best to cast at least one spell each turn in order to constantly utilize the human side’s ability.

2x Vampiric Rites & 4x Altar’s Reap
Vampiric RitesAltar's Reap

These are our draw spells. Sure they require you to sacrifice a creature but isn’t that the whole point of the deck? Vampiric Rites nets you one card and one life for each creature sacrificed, while Altar’s Reap is a two mana instant speed; draw two cards. Both of these will help feed the mitt once it needs replenishing.

3x Bone Splinters & 3x Never // Return
Bone SplintersNever // Return

What’s a good black deck without a few kill spells eh? Arguably the best spot removal in standard right now is Fatal Push but with copies pushing fifteen dollars Canadian, they have no place in a budget list. Instead to settled on a sorcery speed, Zulaport Cutthroat activating Bone Splinters. Our other source of spot removal is Never. This new Amonkhet rare not only deals with creatures, but punishes those pesky planeswalkers as well. Return, the aftermath of Never, is useful for exiling something like Scrapheap Scrounger and even graveyard recurring zombies, while giving a zombie of our own to use as fodder.

2x Spawning Bed & 3x Westvale Abbey
Spawning BedWestvale AbbeyOrmendahl, Profane Prince

The almighty token generating lands. Spawning Bed and Westvale Abbey have the not so unique ability of generating fodder for us to sacrifice. However, Westvale Abbey gives us a whopping second win condition in the form of Ormendahl. He is one heck of a beater when push comes to shove and he can quickly finish a game once you’ve already brought your opponent low from Cutthroat triggers.

2x Blighted Fen & 4x Evolving Wilds
Blighted FenEvolving Wilds

Now I bet some of you are asking, “But Brad, what happens if my opponent is playing Marvel and they have an Ulamog on board?” Well I say you respond with the following three words…”sac it nerd!” Blighted Fen is our secret removal spell for single creature like decks. Things like Ulamog, and even an attacking Gideon can be removed by cracking the ability on Blighted Fen. I don’t really have to explain Evolving Wilds do I? Bruh..

6x Forest & 5x Swamp
Image result for full art forest amonkhetImage result for full art swamp amonkhet

I am not explaining the card selection here…

SB –
3x Manglehorn – Is there a better answer to Marvel?
2x Prowling Serpopard – What’s a counterspell to a cat snake?
2x Blossoming Defense – What is powercreep anyways? *cough* Ranger’s Guile
3x Natural StateAlways Watching? k thx byeee
2x Scarab Feast – More fodder, less zombies.
3x Dispossess – FOUND THE BETTER ANSWER TO MARVEL!!!

So there you have it, your very own budget B/G Aristocrat list. Feel free to give a go online and comment how it went!

Until next time spell slingers, stay salty.

FNM Report; June 2nd, 2017

FNM Report; June 2nd, 2017

Helllooooooo again fellow nerds! It’s that special time of the week again, FNM review time! This week I attended my beloved LGS Jack’s on Queen, and can I say that it feels good to be in my home slinging spells again. The past couple fridays I have either been out of province or working, so being able to attend FNM was pretty awesome. This week I decided to jump back into the roil that is standard and slam some turn four Ulamogs with the help of the legendary artifact, Aetherworks Marvel.

My Sultai Marvel

So this is the deck I decided to run for FNM; Sultai Marvel. If you are familiar with other sultai marvel lists then you are aware that that are some cards in the list that are not normal. Firstly, Kozilek, the Great Distortion in the main board is a huge curve ball. Not only is he a twelve power/toughness beater, he also has menace, and his cast trigger allows me to draw to seven cards, which is amazing. In addition to the boss cast trigger, he has another ability that allows me to discard a card with converted mana cost X and counter a spell with converted mana cost X. It throws people way off of their game. Now the rest of the main board is quite similar to what you’d see in a stock marvel list. But it’s what is in the sideboard that I hold my SUPER SECRET SIDEBOARD TECH. Well, I guess it’s not going to be secret anymore…but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that this card can come in super clutch. Descend Upon the Sinful is a six drop white sorcery from Shadows over Innistrad that exiles all creatures, and if I have delirium I get a four power/toughnes angel with flying! I can technically cast it with Aether Hub and Servant of the Conduit, it feels the best when played during my opponent’s combat step via marvel.

Now onto the games!

Round 1; Win in 2 vs U/W Approach

b536d01da4982a6ef1315e32c973cdaf

I’ve always thought Approach of the Second Sun was a brilliantly well crafted card. I originally wanted to run it in an Aetherworks Marvel shell, but after playing against my opponent here I can see it fits very well in a blue and white control shell. Game one my opponent dropped a Gideon of the Trials on curve and immediately pumped out an emblem, now the dude could not lose the game as long as he controlled a Gideon walker. I stuck a copy of Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot, and managed to keep myself at a healthy life total while his Gideon went to beat town on my face. I survived long enough to marvel into Ulamog and exile Gideon and one of his lands. Two combat steps later my opponent was dead. Game two I decided on the face beat plan as I didn’t see marvel once. I small army of Servant of the Conduit and Rogue Refiner led the charge into my opponent’s face. About turn seven my opponent cast his first Approach of the Second Sun, and that’s when things got hairy. A turn prior to casting Approach he cast Fumigate, destroy my Servant and Refiner. He placed Approach seventh from the top and passed turn to me. I drew into another Rogue Refiner and his draw net me a second Servant, it was back to beat town for me! My opponent drew for his turn and passed to me. I drew for turn and glory be, it was my sideboard card, Censor! At the end of my turn my opponent cast Pull from Tomorrow drawing himself five cards. Doing mental math is not my strong suit, but I knew for a fact that Approach was now the top card of his library. At this point my opponent was giddy, like, school girl giddy that they were finally going to pull off a win with Approach. My opponent untapped their lands, drew their card and slammed Approach of the Second Sun. I responded with Censor; “Counter unless you pay one?” It was at this point that my opponent revealed a land from their hand and asked me if he could play it before this whole thing started. This is where having a judge at the store would come in handy…oh wait…THAT’S ME! I explained to my opponent that at a casual event like FNM rewinds would sometimes be considered, at the discretion of a judge, if no extra knowledge had already been gained at the time of the rewind. For example, if my opponent had said; “Cast approa…wait…JUDGE!” at this point I would have permitted a back up because nothing was actually cast and no extra knowledge had been gained. But in our situation it would have had a huge impact on the current state of the game, and two spells had already been cast. My opponent fully understood what I was trying to explain and graciously extended a hand in concession, as I had lethal on board.

 Round 2; Win in 2 vs Aggro G/W Ramp

So my round two opponent was a wee bloke. No sleeves, no playmat, but a guy after my own heart. His deck was ramp super hard and spit out the biggest, beefiest green and white creatures since zendikar and I was loving it. Game one ended very abruptly when I stuck a marvel on turn four and spun into an Ulamog, and it was at this point my opponent got a look in his eye, a look I remember getting the first time I saw something really awesome, wonder. He lit up like a christmas tree, “Dude that card is wicked awesome!” he shouted as he instinctively reached across the table and peeled the eldrazi titan out of my hand. “I want four of these!” he laughed as he handed it back to me. Then I realized something, this kid just got mega cheesed. I dropped an eldrazi titan on turn four and ended the game, and the kid was happy? I think that is what a lot of people forget about this game. IT’S A GAME! He didn’t care whether he won or lost, he was having a blast playing magic, and I think that is the kind of mindset I need to get myself back into. While were shuffling our decks for game two he leaned across the table and asked, “When do you think the Pro Tour is coming to Toronto?”. I gave him a sort of stunned look and gave him the most honest answer I could, “I have no idea.” “Ok, well once it does, I’m going to be there, and I’m going to win.” I swear this kid was straight out of an anime. The sheer tenacity of this young player was astounding, and it sure showed up in our second game. Buddy managed to assemble a small fighting force of three Aerial Responders and proceeded to go ape on my face. After some back and forth attacks he was at twenty-nine life and I was sitting at ten, but the tables were about to turn. I drew into Yahenni’s Expertise wiping his board, and mine, while dropping a lone Rogue Refiner to hold down the fort. My opponent still had one long three power, four toughness flier that managed to swing over my Refiner and take me to seven. Once again the top deck gods were in my corner and Demon of Dark Schemes came flying off of the top rope. Now, with a five power/toughness flier out I was able to stabilize, utilizing his ability to grab some Aerial Responders from my opponent’s graveyard and bring them to fight for my cause. Well played little dude, well played.

Round 3; Loss in 3 vs B/W Zombies

I knew this day would come. I knew sooner or later I would be staring down a horde of undead with nothing but a machine and an eldrazi titan by my side. Game one was textbook. Turn one Attune, turn two Servant, turn three Refiner, turn four Marvel into Ulamog. I could not have written it better. Game two was entirely my game to lose. I decided to keep a one land hand because I had two copies of attune, a puzzleknot, a marvel, and some other cards. I was able to tutor for two more lands thanks to the Attunes, but I never drew land number four for marvel. My opponent got double Lord of the Accursed and even Yahenni’s Expertise would not have pulled me back. Game three was so close. Long story short I lost, once again at the mercy of my deck drawing two copies of Ulamog and the one Kozilek in the deck. I needed a fourth untapped land to Marvel into something, but alas I only had a tapped land. My draw on the turn I passed into death was a Demon of Dark Schemes, but my opponent had two lord abilities out so that wasn’t going to do much. After I passed my opponent drowned me in zombies. I decided to look at the top card of my library just to punish myself, and low and behold it was a forest. My opponent asked, “If the demon wasn’t on top, and you had that land, spin the marvel and see what would have been.” So I put the land next to my lands, put the marvel from my hand into play, and peeled the top six cards of my library into sight of both of us, guess what I found. LAND, LAND, LAND, LAND, LAND, and the sixth and final card, Descend Upon the Sinful. I face palmed so hard. Had I survived for one more turn, everything was going to be gone and I would have maybe had a chance at winning the game. But all in all, it’s always great games against this opponent. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

erudorazuro_boyfriend___ulamog_by_subetakid-d9nj5zz

Conclusion

We went 2-1. Both of our wins were in two and our loss was in three so it wasn’t too bad. I managed to place third which put me in prize contention but locked me out of Aether Hub promo territory, as it only goes to the top two. BUT ONCE AGAIN LADY LUCK WAS SMILING DOWN UPON ME! GUESS WHO THE COMPUTER RANDOMLY GENERATED FOR THE RANDOM PROMO WIN. This guy.

I will hopefully attend FNM in two weeks as I am locked to work this coming week. I am trying to pump out more content, and I am making a promise now to put out at least one article a week. Whether it be a budget deck tech, a planeswalker profile, a spoiler review or just a typical FNM report, there will be something for you to read.

Until next time, stay salty my friends.

Aetherworks What?

Aetherworks What?

Hello once again my fellow spell slingers. It is I, the Salt Shaker Supreme, and I have returned from my writing hiatus with something a little different. I have not been to FNM in quite some time and since Pro Tour Amonkhet is in our rear views I thought it was be fun to take a look at some of the decks that managed to slag their way into the Top 8. In the latter half of this article I would like to compare two versions of the increasingly popular pseudo-combo deck featuring the legendary artifact from Kaladesh; Aetherworks Marvel.

Pro Tour Amonket

Even though I’ve been off of standard for a while, I still thoroughly enjoy watching it. I especially enjoy spectating standard when the cards are in the hands of some of the best Magic players on the planet. On the weekend of May 13th, 2017, the worlds’ best MTG spell slingers traveled from around the globe to Nashville, Tennessee, to battle it out for the prestigious Pro Tour trophy!

The Pro Tour was a magnificent spectacle to behold. Watching all of the cool new innovative ways to utilize the fresh cards coming out of Amonkhet was quite the sight. After a brutal slugfest of draft and standard swiss, there arose eight players to duke it out in single elimination until only one remained. The Top 8 lists can be found here, but I’ll give y’all a quick run down of the standings.

The Top 8 consisted of four Aetherworks decks, three Zombie lists, and one Black-Green Energy deck. After the quarterfinals we were granted our 8th place lists; White-Black Zombies piloted by Chris Fennell, Mono-Black Zombies piloted by Christian Calcano, Temur Aetherworks by Marc Tobiasch, and another Temur Aetherworks by Eric Froehlich. After the semi finals it was another Temur Energy list piloted by Martin Muller, and Ken Yukuhiro’s Black-Green Energy list that were slotted into 4th place, thus leaving Gerry Thompson and Yuuya Watanabe on Mono-Black Zombies and Temur Aetherworks respectively. In the end it was zombie horde which clambered its’ way to victory earning Gerry Thompson the Pro Tour Amonkhet title.

Vroom Vroom?

I’ve seen a few people trolling around on Reddit and Facebook asking the REAL BURNING question of “Where was Mardu Vehicles?” and I believe I have the answer. You see, in a world where Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian are a turn 4 auto win, you need someone able to rise up and beat it, because there is a reason Splinter Twin got banned in Modern, no one likes a turn 4 kill.

In my honest opinion I believe Mardu Vehicles was a necessary evil to combat Copy Cat Combo. It was full of cheap burn, spot removal to deal with Felidar Guardian, and evasive cheap creatures to kill Saheeli when she hits the field. In a post-Felidar banned format, I believe we will see less and less of Mardu Vehicles, as the threat of monstrous eldrazi titans and hordes of recurring zombies slowly takes over the format.

e168ad32c2650e03313b6c0e1eb56718d8615c512d81fb15ae56c11d4e22bced

Temur or Sultai? Red or Black?

For those of you whom have been following my blog for a while, are aware that I have been out of the standard game for a wee bit. There hasn’t been anything that really makes me go “oooh shiney!” for quite some time. However, watching the Pro Tour I stumbled onto a list by one Reid Duke that didn’t have a particularly strong showing, of 6-4, but I thought the deck was sweet. The deck is an interesting take on the typical Aetherworks Marvel lists by removing the red and adding black. The temur list feels more like an actual energy list where as the sultai list feels more like a delirium-esque list.

There are quite a few pros in terms of running the temur build. The biggest and probably most apparent bonus is Harnessed Lightning. This versatile instant speed removal spell is not merely just an expensive bolt. One of the most innovative ways I’ve seen this played is to target ones’ own creature, generate the three energy, then spend none, dealing zero damage to the target. Another perk of running temur is Whirler Virtuoso. This three mana dude has a pretty cool ability to vomit 1/1 flying thopter tokens for three energy. Whirler Virtuoso enables one to go wide with tokens when the board is gummed up with creatures. The third and final big perk to playing red is Chandra, Flamecaller. Not only can she refill your hand with her zero ability, but she can just Ball Lightning. If that isn’t your speed she can deal three damage board wide while retaining one loyalty counter.

Harnessed LightningWhirler VirtuosoChandra, Flamecaller

Onto Mr. Duke’s list which he played at the Pro Tour. I’ve been playing this version online quite a bit and it feels very similar to the Green-Black Delirium list that I used to run back in the day. Now what are the pros of playing black? WELL LET ME TELL YOU I’M LOVING IT! To start things off, the most format shaping card in a while, Fatal Push. This one drop kill spell has completely shaken up the modern format and I feel it is still super strong in standard as well. Whirler Virtuoso grants the temur list a cheap way to drain energy, black gives us Demon of Dark Schemes. Not only does he act as a pseudo-sweeper, but him sweeping some wheenies can grant crazy amounts of energy. Not only that, but he has the insanely good ability to pick creatures out of not only my graveyard, but my opponent’s graveyard as well. Temur Aetherworks gets Chandra, and Sultai Aetherworks gets an equally awesome femme fatale in the shape of Liliana, Death’s Majesty. Her plus one ability feeds delirium, and she works well with DoDS in filling my yard, giving me an ample supply to pluck from. Her negative three ability is the real kicker though, being able to grab back an Ulamog, or a Demon is sweet business. Finally her negative seven wipes the board, sparing zombies. This is relevant as her second ability makes the creatures she reanimates into zombies so she doesn’t wipe her own board. There are also other huge boons to playing black. Black gives us access to the mirror killer Dispossess, the reanimation killer Kalitas, and the new walker removal spell Never//Return.

Fatal PushDemon of Dark SchemesLiliana, Death's Majesty

I guess it all comes down to a matter of one’s own play style. As I played delirium before and was a fan of it I believe that is why I am drawn to the sultai version as opposed to the temur version.

That looks like all about I wanted to talk about today…WOAH! SPOILER ALERT!

RETURN OF THE GOD-PHARAOH

HOLY CHRISTMAS LAND BATMAN! Looks like we have officially received our first spoilers for the upcoming set Hour of Devastation!

First off we have a gorgeous new board wipe in black. I just wanted to begin by saying this art is beautiful. Oh it looks amazing. Now onto the actual card. A three mana board wipe is yuge, and yes, I am talking Trump yuge. However, the downside to this card could be quite crippling. I have high hopes for this card and how we will eventually see the pros find a way to break it.

Samut was a red and green legendary creature from Amonkhet with a white activated ability. Seeing her returning as a strictly two colour planeswalker is interesting. At four converted mana cost and four loyalty she has a one plus ability and two minus abilities. My first instinct right off the bat is she isn’t going to be particularly strong. Her immediate presence on the battlefield is heavily dependent on you having a creature to utilize her double strike. Playing her on an an empty board is basically useless, unless you count shocking your opponent for four mana and two loyalty is productive. Her ultimate is kinda cute as you can just slam things from your library, but I feel that is the only thing this “tested” Tessa has at her disposal.

ALL HAIL THE GOD-PHARAOH! Oh baby! Bolas is back and he is maaaaaaaad! This seven cmc, seven loyalty, four ability gangster dragon looks mad enough to break the Donald. His first ability is possibly the most broken walker ability I have ever seen. It exiles cards from your opponents’ library until they hit a nonland, then casts it for free…are you kitten me. How is that not a negative ability? That is insane. His alternate up ability has your opponent exiling two cards from their hand…that is also insanely good. He has a negative four ability which is straight up deal seven damage to either a creature your opponent controls, or their face, whichever you prefer. Finally, the piece de resistance, exile each nonland permanent your opponents control. This is gonna be hectic as anything in multiplayer, and in one on one? Gummed up board? Sure, exile everything they have. Pesky Ulamog in your way? Ok byeeeee.

So far, two of the three cards spoiled have gotten me really excited! I can not wait to see what WOTC does with the next set. HYPE HYPE HYPE.

Until next time! Stay sodium’d my friends.

April 7th FNM

April 7th FNM

Hello once again everyone! It’s everyone’s favourite day of the week, it’s Friday! What does Friday mean for us? Well it means venturing to Elmvale to Jack’s on Queen and playing some Magic. We’ve had our fill of playing Ad Nauseam for the past couple of weeks, and I wanted to show off my foil Cavern of Souls so we blew the dust off of the old Orzhov Eldrazi list. The only real big change of note is that I upped the number of Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard up from one copy to three, let’s get to it!

Round 1; Loss in 2 vs Boros Angels

 Isn’t that the scariest thing you’ve ever seen in your entire life? Well it was for me when my opponent managed to cast a copy of Bruna, the Fading Light, thus reanimating his Gisela, the Broken Blade, and upon his end step melding the two angels together to create Brisela, Voice of Nightmares. Now the issue with Brisela is that once you’ve got her out, your opponent can’t cast spells with CMC three or less, and in modern, that is all of my removal. My opponent was using a relatively unknown card to get some of his angels out early and swinging. Generator Servant is a card I’ve only ever seen played in modern once, and it was the same guy playing it, but instead of angel tribal it was dragons. Regardless, game two I got mowed down by a choir of Archangel of Tithes.

Round 2; Win in 2 vs Bogles

Image result for inquisition of kozilek art Quick, when do bogles not have hexproof? When you pick them from your opponent’s hand of course. Game one my opponent drew into a lone Kor Spiritdancer which I dispatched quickly with a Fatal Push. I then drew into a copy of Blight Herder which I slammed and managed to process to generate some 1/1 scions. At this point my opponent had a Slippery Bogle enchanted with two copies of Ethereal Armour, and one copy of Favor of the Overbeing. I mega clutched Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger off of the top and exiled both Ethereal Armours, bringing the bogle from a 9/9 to a measly 3/3 with flying and vigilance. I managed to make it to my next turn and using the ability on Vault of the Archangel giving both Ulamog and my Blight Herder lifelink and deathtouch, which allowed me to stabilize and my opponent scooped. Game two I cast Devour Flesh making my opponent sacrifice his enchanted creature Gladecover Scout, and then casting Surgical Extraction to get rid of them all. I eventually managed to stick two copies of Reality Smasher and beat some mad face.

Round 3; Win in 3 vs Mardu Burn

Image result for leyline of sanctity art

It’s my boy playing the Mardu Burn again! Game one my opponent slapped me with a good old Bump in the Night flashback! Awe man I had literally just stuck my copy of Vault of the Archangel and was going to go off, but alas it wasn’t in the cards. I immediately knew what I needed to bring in from the sideboard, Leyline of Sanctity! Game two saw me mulligan to four, the hand I decided to keep was two Inquisition of Kozilek, a Ghost Quarter, and one copy of Leyline. Once I dropped Leyline my opponent didn’t play anything but lands for about five or six turns, which enabled me to pick his hand apart with the two Inquisitions. I actually drew into a second copy of GQ before any other land, so I had to use one to target the other and get a black source. Game three saw drop to eight life before casting Leyline. My only real worry at this point was an unknown number of Deflecting Palm, as all it would have taken was back to back Deflections as all I had was one Reality Smasher and copy of Thought-Knot Seer. I managed to swing one creature at a time until I had taken the game.

Conclusion

We went 2-1 in our eight player tournament, and managed to take second place. My sideboard cards really showed up when I needed them to tonight, and I treated the list by upgrading a Concealed Courtyard to foil.

As more and more cards for Amonkhet come out I am more and more interested to see where they take it. As it gets closer to release date, I will do a rare card review. Until next time, stay salty mine frands.

March 24th FNM

March 24th FNM

Buongiorno fellow nerds! Tis another typical week at the salt factory. I attended my LGS Jack’s on Queen as per usual. They ran both a Standard and Modern event, and as per my current feeling about standard I decided to play modern. This week I finally understood how to play Ad Nauseam.  This week I had the added benefit of having access to two copies of Pact of Negation which help me combo off when I have zero mana available. Let’s go!

Round 1; Win in 2 vs Mardu Burn

Image result for new goblin guide art

 

My first opponent of the evening is, I’d like to consider, a good friend of mine. Every game we play against each other is awesome. Game one I hit Phyrexian Unlife, and my opponent took me to zero life, and then brought me to three infect counters. For game two I sideboarded two copies of Blind Obedience and two copies of Vapor Snag. I managed to stick a Blind Obedience, but I was stuck on two lands. My opponent proceeds to blow my face off with burn spells and single copy of Goblin Guide. I had two lands, a Pentad Prism with two charge counters, and two Lotus Blooms in suspend with two suspend counters remaining. In my hand is Ad Naus, Pact of Negation, Simian Spirit Guide, and Phyrexian Unlife. I am at five life when I pass the turn to my opponent. “Pretty sure it’s over” he says confidently as he directs a Lightning Bolt at my face. With his lone Guide, and the bolt I was dead, however out of sheer persistence and the idea of not being able to pay for the Pact at my upkeep I decided to counter the Bolt. My opponent swung with his Goblin Guide and took me to three, and then passed back to me. Untap, upkeep, Pact trigger is placed on the stack. My opponent is about to scoop when it hits me. Put the suspend triggers on the stack, each Bloom ticks down to one. Discard the Spirit Guide and remove two counters from the Pentad Prism, tapping my only two lands for the remaining mana I needed to total five and pay for the Pact of Negation. Here in lies the issue; I am at three life, completely tapped out, and facing down a burn player with no cards in his hand. I pass the turn and he draws, he then proceeds to windmill slam a Monastery Swiftspear. BUT AHA! THANKS TO THE BLIND OBEDIENCE IT ENTERS THE BATTLEFIELD TAPPED! My opponent swings with his Goblin Guide taking me to one life, and then passes. I untap, upkeep, trigger Lotus Blooms and my opponent just utters “oh no”. I cast both of them and draw my card for turn. During my first main phase I sacrifice both blooms generating six black mana, I tap my lands for a blue and a white. I cast Phyrexian Unlife using the blue, white, and one of the black. I then use the remaining five black to cast Ad Nauseam and Lightning Storm my opponent to death.

Round 2; Win in 2 vs Death’s Shadow

Image result for death's shadow

My deck strongly favours the slower starting non-blue decks, and this is the kinda thing that I feed on. Game one and game two were both very similar in the sense that my opponent dropped a Tarmogoyf on turn two and proceeded to chip me away all the while I was establishing my combo. I didn’t really sideboard anything as this is a really decent match up for me. However during game one I did have to cast a few copies Angel’s Grace on my opponent’s turn to keep him from killing me, but I did manage to Lightning Storm my opponent to death.

Round 3; Win in 3 vs Bant Eldrazi

Image result for spellskite art

I’ve always wondered how this match up would go, and today I found out the hard way. I kept a decent hand, but apparently my opponent is playing a main board ace in the hole, Spellskite. I looked at it, thought about it, and scooped. My opponent was openly confused at my turn two scoop. The deck is stream lined for game one, the only win con in the list right away is Lightning Storm. I am also lacking the one of Slaughter Pact which the list requires. For sideboard I brought in Laboratory Maniac and Vapor Snag to push through Spellskite for the win. Game two I managed to Storm my opponent before the could stick Spellskite and game three I managed to win off of Laboratory Maniac. I am in desperate need of the Slaughter Pact, you know, to ensure that I don’t have to concede whenever my opponent casts a Spellskite.

Round 4; Loss in 2 vs Grixis Control

 Image result for snapcaster mage art

For every good run comes a straight up kick in the teeth. These games were quite reminiscent of the mono-blue fairies list that I ran into a couple of weeks ago. This deck was crippling. Remand, Mana Leak, and Cryptic Command, all being brought back by Snapcaster Mage ensured that I never cast Ad Nauseam once. Brutalllll.

Conclusion

We went 3-1 on Friday and managed to snag first! One of our prize packs contained a foil Fatal Push which is priced around 40 dollars Canadian. I managed to scrounge together enough trade credit to treat myself with a new foil Cavern of Souls. I am in love with this new art and the card went straight into the B/W Eldrazi list.

Image result for new cavern of souls

Until next time; keep slinging spells, tapping the cards and most importantly, stay salty my friends!