This one's gonna be a long one... Just got back from SCG Baltimore. Lost my first game, then won three in a row, then crashed and burned for three losses before dropping. I saw practically nothing but aggro decks all day long. Which was really unfortunate, because my deck is much better against control, and I'm not sure I have a good strategy/ build vs. aggro. My friend who went with me took RBW tokenish, and saw nothing but lingering souls
variants all day, after I recommended magmaquake
as a one sided sweeper in his deck vs. aggro. Oops. Here's what I took:
3x rakdos cackler
4x vexing devil
4x ash zealot
3x knight of infamy
2x archwing dragon
2x olivia voldaren
2x rakdos keyrune
4x pillar of flame
4x searing spear
3x annihilating fire
1x rakdos's return
2x sever the bloodline
3x furor of the bitten
2x havoc festival
3x rakdos charm
The changes I made since my last iteration were:
-1 rakdos cackler
, -1 knight of infamy
, -1 thunderous wrath
, +2 guttersnipe
, +1 annihilating fire
SB: -2 killing wave
, +2 sever the bloodline
, -3 flames of the firebrand
, +3 furor of the bitten
Yeah killing wave was pretty junky. Sever did what I wanted it to do and improved my zombie matchup at the same time. Much better.
Furor I thought would be good in the mirror or psuedo mirror, but I got mixed results.
Round 1 - 0-2 vs. RDW
First match and I get a psuedo mirror. He's running RDW rather than RB though. Game one he plays a pyreheart wolf
which gives me a small amount of trouble. I double block it with a ash zealot
to get rid of it after pinging it once with olivia (before she died). At one point he had one card in hand, and since I top decked a rakdos's return
with three total mana, I hit him for one, stripping zealous conscripts
and bying me a few turns. He got me though.
I get a bad draw and mull to 6, getting another bad draw with a dreadbore
, and olivia voldaren
, and 4 land. I then played Olivia too early, leaving her open to searing spear. I then drew nothing but land for a few turns while I got beat down. Not a good start for the day.
Round 2 - 2-1 vs. RB zombies
Game 1 was very close. I led with stonewright
into ash zealot
, swingin 3. My first and second ash zealot both met pillar of flame
, and I played my Olivia to early into spear again. He played a messenger, and I had to use one of two burn spells in my hand to kill hellrider
to prevent lethal. At the end I needed one more mana to close out the game with both archwing dragon
and annihilating fire
to the face, but just couldn't pull it off.
Game 2 we both kept very odd hands. I was on the play, but nothing hit the field until my turn 3, when I led with guttersnipe
. Somehow it survived his turn, but he burned it when I tried to put a furor of the bitten
. I responded with a snipe trigger Anni fire to the face for 5.
I also misplayed olivia AGAIN, playing a cackler pre-combat and then swinging with olivia. He speared my cackler then morbid volleyed at olivia to kill her. If I hadn't played the creature Olivia would have lived. Note to self - don't play creatures before combat unless they have beneficial triggers.
I ended up winning with a miracle archwing dragon
after he finally killed my first one.
Game 3 was very close again. He got me down to 10, and I took him to 9. At the end, the board looked like this:
Him: geralf's messenger
, knight of infamy
, 4 mana.
Me: rakdos keyrune
, 6 mana, one of which is cathedral of war
My hand is archwing dragon
and furor of the bitten
. I didn't have the mana to end the game. The most I could do was activate keyrune with dragon, but that wouldn't kill him, and if he just took it and played something hasty, he could win. So I passed.
Sure enough, he played falkenrath aristocrat
and swung all. I activated keyrune and blocked messenger, taking 8 and putting me to 2.
On my turn, I top decked a mountain and was able to keyrune, dragon, furor on dragon, swing 9 to win. GG.
Round 3 - 2-0 vs. Jund zombies
This was another one where I was able tog et just the right numbers. He searing spear
ed my turn 1 cackler, after which I dropped keyrune, and he played a dreg mangler
. I start laying out archwing dragon
, and he gets me low with a lotleth troll
, discarding creatures to pump. I got him to 9, and was able to dragon with an exalted trigger from knight of infamy
, then play 2 pillars to win.
He showed me some non-standard cards, including jarad, golgari lich
, and splinterfright
. In came the rakdos charm
I start with turn 1 cackle, turn 2 cathedral of war
and vexing devil
, hitting him for 7 total. He's busy playing faithless looting
, eventually turning it into a fairly large splinterfright
. Fortunately I have charm, and wipe his graveyard to kill the fright. He plays another lotleth troll
, discarding 2x Jarad and another copy of troll. I manage to kill his troll, and he starts dropping gravecrawler
s. I'm holding annifire, pillar, and reverb, and he's at 9 -.- I wanted to wait for a hasty something to just burn him out, but I was being threatened by 3x gravecrawler
, so I had to reverb an annifire, then pillar the last one on my turn. We go into topdeck mode, where he pulls out his FOURTH gravecrawler
, but it's too late. I get out an ash zealot
and a rakdos keyrune
, which both start working. He stays alive for a few turns due to gnaw to the bone
, but he doesn't draw anything to hurt me significantly.
Round 4 - 2-1 vs. UW flash
I lose game 1 because I could have burned a restoration angel
with a pair of pillars on my turn, but kept them to try to burn him out next turn and died to a pair of equiped pikes which I should have seen coming because they were already on the board >.<
I start with an ash zealot
on turn 2, and get to attack while he plays draw spells. I'm able to keep him off of restoration angel
by playing things he has to counter. At one point, he had 3 in hand. I rakdos's return
for 2, drawing a negate
. Then I reverberate
the Return, stripping his hand. Such sweet, sweet tech. He scoops to havoc festival
the next turn.
I get a fast start with vexing devil
into t2 ash zealot
. He plays a snapcaster and equips runechanter's pike
to try to hold off the zealot but I rakdos charm
the pike and get a favorable block. He;s able to wipe the board a turn or two later. He then drops a resto angel and starts making tokens with moorland haunt
. I'm sitting with burn and another rakdos charm
in hand wondering when I should wipe his graveyard to prevent more tokens. Then it hits me - I burn him out with his own creatures and drop a spear, taking him from 7 to 0 in one turn.
Round 5 - 0-2 vs. 4c midrange
This deck was odd. It wasn't a 4c reanimator. It played loxodon smiter
, huntmaster of the fells
, and armada wurm
, along with garruk, primal hunter
. Apparently the black splash is for pc[golgari charm[/c] and sever the bloodline
I lost this match mostly due to poor hand keeps on my part.
G1 I had 2x stonewright
, ash zealot
, pillar of flame
, 2x searing spear
, and 1 mountain. I decide to keep, then proceed to draw no lands while he's curving from smiter into armada wurm.
G2 I keep another poor hand, with cathedral and a dragonskull summit. I almost manage to win with havoc festival
, but his black splash gave him golgari charm
to save him.
Round 6 - 0-2 vs. GW aggro
I don't have great notes on this game. What I have reads " Mayor
must die; thalia
sucks; too many wolves; township counters suck." My deck has very little game vs/ decks like these. Bigger green decks that want to derp around with thragtusk
are easy pickings to havoc festival, but decks that actually apply pressure are a different story - the creatures in GW are, unfortunately, just superior to what I'm running.
I think I should have been more aggressive with trading creatures early. My natural inclination is to hold back until I can break a stalemate profitable, but in this case it just let Mayor get out of hand and let him put township counters on more creatures.
Game 2 I remember trying to searing spear
a centaur healer
to keep swinging with ash zealot
, but he cast faith's shield
and stopped me cold.
Round 7 - 2-1 vs. UW humans
This was a frustratign match. I got tempo'd in games 2 and 3.
I manage to burn his early drops even though he's on the play. Eventually he runs out of creatures, and I get to take over with Olivia. He uses a lyev skyknight
to lock down olivia, but I'm able to burn the skyknight and swing game with a knight of infamy
over the next 2 turns.
He drops a turn 1 war falcon
. Over the next few turns, he drops a creature and swings with falcon, while I'm left burning the other creature because it's a bigger problem. champion of the parish
? Has to go before it gets too big. Thalia? Must die. silverblade paladin
? Must die. The stupid bird does 10 damage to me, I finally kill it, and he drops another one. I get to do some damage with furor of the bitten
on a knight of infamy
, which was great, but it wasn't enough.
The same thing happens. I don't have a one drop and start with a zealot on t2. He has the falcon t1, and we play the drop/ burn game for a few turns while my life drips from falcon. I get him to 3, and he plays an ajani, caller of the pride
, pumping a skyknight for game before I can get another attack.
It's REALLY annoying that I played almost nothing but aggro all day. This deck doesn't have a great matchup vs. other aggro decks because our creatures just aren't as good. I can stick it to control decks all day long, especially with my sideboard cards, which often catch people off guard. But the aggro matchup just kills me.
I'm thinking of taking this deck more controlling, using havoc festival
as a maindeck strategy. Throughout the day I found myself subbing out rackdos cackler
frequently, because they just get outclasses with their weak bodies. More midrange is definitely the place to be with this deck.
Still, I felt pretty good about my initial winning streak, particularly since this was my first real deal tournament. Good times.