So last week I introduced you guys to my variant of Caw-Blade (A concoction I dreamed up along with my colleagues Scourge and Jeff Weeks), which you can find HERE if you need a refresher. This week I’m going to talk in a little more detail about the actual matches I played.
Round 1 Against Kyle with Affinity:
Whether or not he remembered it, I’ve actually known Kyle for a long time. He used to work at the game shop where I learned to play Magic “for real.” Where I learned that my mono-green Thorn Elemental deck couldn’t stand up against U/G Madness and Cunning Wake for reasons other than “I was mana screwed.” Kyle was the guy who built my first competitive deck. Needless to say, I was shaking in my boots.
Game 1: Kyle gets the typical Affinity start of Bad Guy, Bad Guy, Vault Skirge or something like that. I’m able to hold off the board with Squadron Hawks into Moorland Haunt tokens, trading when applicable and chumping when not. Keeping up is NOT easy. I’m forced to Snapcaster Mage twice at end of turn, flashing back absolutely nothing, just to keep warm bodies on the field. I live long enough to play EOT Snapcaster, untap, play and equip Feast and Famine and swing. For one of the few times that tournament, I’d get to take advantage of the Feast mana, adding a Geist of Saint Traft to my board. Kitchen Finks would come down a turn later to keep me just out of Galvanic Blast range, and I’d ride fleeting white Angel tokens to victory.
Game 2: I’m feeling a little more relaxed as Kyle labors over his keep. As he shuffles he complains about not having seen a Cranial Plating or a Ravager at all the previous game, and I can tell that he’s weighing keeping a less explosive hand with Plating over the need for a faster start. Eventually he elects to keep, and I look at my hand. I see three lands, Mana Leak, Mana Tithe, Hurkyl’s Recall and Spellskite. Not too shabby. I elect to keep and Kyle plays Darksteel Citadel…then passes. I struggle to keep my poker face. This is it. I’ve got the win right here so long as I don’t punt or make any serious mistakes. His Plating-empowered draw takes a few turns to get out of the gate, and I get to make him pay life for Vault Skirge twice by Recalling his field. Invisible Stalker with War and Peace makes it elementary after that.
Round 2 Against Jon with Tron:
I know, right? Seriously. That was his name, and that was his deck. TheScourge has been warning me all week what a house this deck is, so even with the rush of a first round win under my belt, I’m leery as I shuffle up for this one.
Game 1: I can summarize the first game like this, without sacrificing any relevant data;
Turn 3: I Geist of Saint Traft.
Turn 4,5,6,7: Hit you with Geist. Opponent concedes.
Oh, and at some point I counter an Iona.
Game 2: Needless to say, the jitters are gone. Although they’ve been replaced by the gut-wrenching excitement that comes with the thought of being up 2-0 for the first time ever at an event of this magnitude. Then I mulligan to 4. On my way down to 4 I have to pass up a hand with Geist + Sword. I hatehatehate doing that. As a testiment to Invisiblade’s pure scrappiness, I draw the game out to like ten turns, but come on. Four cards.
Game 3: The openers are always the same. I counter a spell or two early game trying to disrupt his development, but the Tron deck has a certain admirable level of inevitability that only the Gifts engine can bring. His first real action is Gifts for Gifts, Wurmcoil Engine, Elesh Norn and Unburial Rites. I make a mistake. I’m holding multiple Phantasmal Images and Path to Exile, as well as Mana Tithe. I should play it safe, Path his Wurmcoil and hold up Image for the inevitable Elesh Norn’ing. But I decide to go for the throat, casting double Phantasmal Image before attempting to Path his Wurm and catching a Dispel. To be fair, it would be the first and last time I’d see any countermagic out of Jon’s deck. He gets to keep his Wurm and it becomes an 8/8, while mine become 4/4s, when the Norn hits the field. Turns out he has more big guys than I do, and I’m forced to pack it in.
Round 3 Against Anonymous with Affinity:
I’m actually excited to see this deck again. Who would have thought? There isn’t actually any particularly relevant information to be gleaned from this match. The guy had a bunch of basic land and no real potential for explosion, so I’m convinced his list was not so good.
Round 4 Against Anonymous with Fauna Fishing:
This is probably the coolest rogue deck I saw all day. It was kind of like a Pod deck without the Pod, instead relying on Fauna Shaman to hunt for Myr Superion and an assortment of awesome guys like Geist of Saint Traft and Skaab Ruinator.
Game 1: ‘Fishing starts out with Forest into Aether Vial, and after my land drop he Vials out Dryad Arbor. Wow. Did NOT see that coming. Awesome play. Over the next few turns he adds Birds of Paradise and Myr Superion. Fauna Shaman follows and starts tutoring up more Superions, and with no Path to Exile I’m quickly overwhelmed.
Game 2: My strategy here is to go up to maximum Phantasmal Images and Oblivion Rings and just pray for the best. I’m able to copy a Superion early and try to stabilize, but he follows up with another. At the end of my turn he Vial’s out a Geist. That’s the game.
So that’s that. With no shot at Top 8 contention and a prize pool not going any deeper than 8 places, I decided to cut my losses and go get subs with Scourge before trekking back home.
Overall, it wasn’t a total loss. It was nice to be reminded that I can be a halfway decent pilot when a halfway decent deck is put in my hands. Also, it was great to learn that there’s a deck out there that can pretty reliably beat Modern Affinity.
Thanks for bearing with me on this one. Next week I’ll talk about my exploits to build the lulziest Standard deck I possibly can. Peace, gamers!