FNM Report 5/11/2012: JesseHogie
It has been quite a while since I wrote one of these so I apologize if I ramble on. I decided to take a home brew list to FNM and try my luck against a fairly unknown meta since I haven’t played in a month. The results were a bit frustrating but I learned a lot. This was my first time taking actual notes so things my sound a bit jumbled…
Let’s take a look at the list:
The main idea is to pump your Champion of the Parish early or Champion of Lambholt mid game so you can swing in without being blocked. I included Mayor of Avabruck for extra power, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to slow things down and your normal Sword of War and Peace / Angelic Destiny package for finishing.
Round 1: BR Aggro
I played against IPlayIslands (of course) and his homebrew BR aggro list that I helped streamline. We went to three games and each game was pretty much decided by who went first. Game 1 I managed to stabilize with a Hero of Bladehold + Angelic Destiny + Sword of War and Peace. Game 2 we traded damage all the way till the end until he pulled a Bonfire of the Damned off the top, wiped my board with 6 and smashed my face in the rest of the time. Keep in mind he was 1 life…so I was pretty damn frustrated. Game 3 we each played out our creatures and every time we had an answer, be it Oblivion Ring, Celestial Purge, Human Frailty, Tragic Slip, etc. I managed to cast a Timely Reinforcements and equip a Sword of War and Peace to take the lead in the damage race and win. This is generally how every aggro vs aggro match goes, whoever goes first wins.
Round 2: R/G Aggro
Game 1 I kept a very bad opening hand (5 lands, 2 spells) and paid the price by drawing 5 more lands in a row. Needless to say it was over fast. Game 2 was pretty much the same, I kept 4 lands and 3 spells and drew 5 straight lands again. I managed to get him down to 9 life with fliers from Lingering Souls but I was quickly overwhelmed by a Wolfir Silverheart soulbound to a Batterskull token. What did I learn from this? I need to shuffle more and more efficiently.
Round 3: R/W Control
Game 1 was a complete blowout. I managed to stick a Champion of Lambholt equipped with a Sword of War and Peace. I played Lingering Souls and flashed it back to really pump up the Champion. I won without taking a single point of damage. Game 2 was going my way as well until he played a Zealous Conscripts and stole my Hero of Bladehold, killing me with one blow. Game 3 was probably my most frustrating match of the night. I opened with a Champion of the Parish followed by Thalia and a Gather the Townsfolk and Champion of Lambholt. He played Day of Judgment twice to clear the board and stuck an Inferno Titan. Two turns later I was dead and he was 1 life. I learned that my deck lacked late game power that is needed to defeat the current aggro decks.
Round 4: G/W Humans
Both games were a complete blowout in my favor. His deck only ran 20 land and both games he hand to mulligan to 4 and keep one land hands. I only took 3 damage both games combined and my deck curved out perfectly winning on turn 5 both matches.
Going forward I would go toward dropping the human theme all together. There are better creatures to slam together in the color pie than humans. I think the sideboard is pretty solid and would probably change it very little. One of the guys I play with at the shop ran a similar list and we both agreed dropping humans was the way to go. Hopefully I will have a different list together soon.
FNM Report 5/11/2012: IPlayIslands
This past Friday I jumped back into Friday Night Magic at my local game shop. This is the first I’ve played since a few weeks into Dark Ascension’s release. It was shortly after the release that I decided that I needed a break. I was leaving every Friday on full tilt and I just wasn’t having fun playing Magic. The metagame is full on aggro at our shop, and it just doesn’t fit my play style. I took the time off reflect on whether or not I would be able to adapt to the metagame and whether or not I wanted to continue playing. I spent countless hours planning and scheming different deck ideas—trying to make control work, but to no avail. There just aren’t enough answers right now for what a control deck is facing. I have a control deck built, but its just not quite there. I’m hoping testing this week will put it where I want it to be for Friday night. With all of that being said, I opted for a Black Red Aggro build featuring some zombies and some of the new spells from Avacyn Restored.
My list was as follows:
There were a couple of things that this deck did will and a couple that it didn’t do so well. I’ll cover that at the end of my report.
Round 1 Jesse Hogue:
None other than jessehogie himself. He beat me 2-1. He’ll be covering this match in his report. Long story short, hitting a miser’s copy of Angelic Destiny against me is pretty good when I’m tapped out.
Round 2 Phil:
I was paired up and not feeling super confident about coming back to playing again. And to make things worse, I had no idea what Phil had with him for the night. It turns out Phil was playing some kind of aggro ramp. That’s right, aggro, ramp. I won the die roll and kept a pretty loose hand as I had no clue what he was playing. Turn 1 he did nothing and I confidently played out a Stromkirk Noble. I then hit a Gravecrawler and started swinging in. Phil ramped up on his next two turns, hitting a Thunderous Wrath in between sending me down to 15. I wasn’t able to get in enough damage and he resolved a Primeval Titan. He then ensued to Kessig Wolf Run his prime time and we were off to game 2. My sideboarding plan was pretty simple. Side in bigger dudes and more answers. +1 Phyrexian Obliterator, +Appetite for Brains, +2 Zealous Conscripts. This paid off huge dividends as I was able to hit my Appetite for Brains on turn 1 in both game two and three. I saw 4 lands and 2 Wolfir Silverheart. I believe I stripped out one of the silverhearts and started bashing with my Gravecrawlers and my Geralf’s Messenger . Resolving an Obliterator issued the scoop. On game three he kept a loose hand (which isn’t really like him) and I had the turn one Appetite for Brains. I saw 6 lands and a Zealous Conscripts. Stripping out the conscripts allowed me to put him immediately into top deck mode. I curved into messengers and obliterators. He hit another conscripts stealing my obliterator and swinging for 8. I was able to copy his move to put him down to 2 with my own conscripts. He went into the tank on his draw turn and conceded. Just for fun I flipped and it was a Bonfire of the Damned off the top anyway.
Feeling pretty good about making things even I entered round 3 against another person who I haven’t seen at the shop in a long time.
Round 3 Joe:
Joe was playing mono-white humans. This is his deck of choice and it always comes with different tweaks from week to week. I won the die roll and snap kept a hand with my turn one Stromkirk Noble. This card is a beast for the current meta and I wouldn’t change him at all. We battled back and forth with Tragic Slips, Fiend Hunters, Silverblade Paladins, Phyrexian Obliterators and the like. We were both at critical life totals when I did a quick count. I had him dead for exacties if he didn’t block. This is where going first paid off it seems. I quickly turned ALL of my guys sideways forcing him to do some combat math. All he had to do was block one of my guys and return swing for the win. He chose to block most of my guys. This wasn’t his fatal error, but he lost a few cards to Obliterator triggers. After that I cleaned up and we were going to game 2. For game two Joe had to mulligan down to 5 cards. His deck did not run enough land. I came to find out at the end of the match that he was only running 20 lands. Even for a deck with as low a curve as mono-white humans, you have to run at least 22 lands. He kept a one lander and I was able to just play out a Stromkirk Noble and two Gravecrawlers. He didn’t hit any other land and scooped.
Feeling even more confident I left round 3 with a 2-1 record in contention for a top 4 finish on my first night back. Unfortunately the pairings were all weird. Not only did I get paired up round two, but in the final round I was paired down.
Round 4 Casey:
Casey seems to be my kryptonite lately. I might sneak in a match win one in every three or four against him. Friday was not one of those nights. He was playing a similar deck to what Jesse was playing. Both he and Jesse were underwhelmed by their deck’s performance on the night. None the less Green/White Humans seemed to wreck me all night. In game one we both mulliganed down to six cards. I lead with a Gravecrawler, but he had the answers in the form of Champion of the Parish and two Mayor of Avabruck. He followed with a Silverblade Paladin. I just did not hit any answers, my notes show me going from 15 to 0 life in one swing….awesome. The next game wasn’t as much of a blow out, but I still got dream crushed. In the early game I blew up his mana dorks. He curved into a Silverblade Paladin and I countered with a Geralf’s Messenger. Everything was looking good until he hit me with a Celestial Purge. I had a Sword of War and Peace out and nobody to equip it to. Each creature I played for 3 turns straight was purged….well shit. I couldn’t be too upset, I mean how often does your opponent just hit the dead nuts out of his sideboard?
All in all on the night I was not super impressed with my build either. I only got to cast Bonfire for its miracle cost once, Vexing Devil was just god awful. Geth’s Verdict sucked as well as I saw zero hexproof creatures. After some further testing this weekend I also came to the conclusion that Gravecrawler is also pretty terrible in this deck. With all the information I was able to compile, I have come up with a new build. Here it is, and I’ll explain my changes:
I have fully changed this deck into a midrange deck. It cannot keep up with the aggro of decks right now, there are too many first strike creatures and protection creatures. The problem I faced while facing these creatures was the lack of instant speed removal for them. I had Pillar of Flame to deal with Mirran Crusaders, but if they were pumped by Honor of the Pure, I had no way to kill them what so ever. Because of this, I have shifted Pillar of Flame to the board and maindecked Shock. This would have saved my ass so much on the night it’s not even close. Human Frailty was amazing out of the board and I have to keep it for our current metagame. I have gone for more instant speed spot removal overall also in the form of Go for the Throat. This deck cannot deal with Hero of Bladehold pre-board. I was dead to it quite a bit in testing and once or twice on the night. Appetite for Brains needs go to maindeck to deal with fatties, planeswalkers and other cards I just can’t deal with. It was amazing out of the board. I feel like this is going to be the premiere discard spell come rotation in October. The card is almost never dead in your hand. I wanted to maximize Bonfire of the Damned. The card is an absolute blowout when played for its miracle cost and I could have easily turned games around had I topdecked it. Demonic Taskmaster is in my deck as a midrange creature. I found there weren’t too many games where I had a ton of dudes out. I also can use him as a sac outlet for my messengers for an extra two damage. Obliterator is an absolute house and I’m considering making room for 3 of him as well, but in a metagame where clones are available in every deck, its hard to play him from behind only to have him cloned by your opponent. I will be testing this deck out more this week. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments or @iplayislands on twitter.
2-2 on my first night back in a while…I’ll take it!
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