Monday, May 24, 2010

Extended for fun

On Saturday I found by an accident some Pillars of the Paruns. Luki seemed like he would want to build a deck based on multicolor split cards. The day later we went to a park and played few games of Magic there. Wind was blowing (it seemed that a storm would come sooner or later). Still we decided to play. I wasn't sure if I want to play with my Zoo (not a cheap deck really^_~) and Luki proclaimed something like "the best deck for this weather [windy one] is to play a multicolor deck with lot of planeswalkers, vivids and gemstone mines". It took me a while to realize what he meant with it. But well you know counters weight quite a bit and can hold a card down.

When we came back the idea of planeswalkers and 5c deck was still there in his mind so we decided to build some casual decks for extended. His proclamation made me laugh several more times so I wanted to go for some Persist deck. Luki kept to his 5c control.

At first I wanted to play it in Jund colors with Sprouting Thrinax and Soul's Fire but I was too lazy trying to figure out what the mana base should be. So I took Quillspikes, Devoted Druids and Rites of Consumptions and decided to add few cards that would come in handy.

Yum Yum -1/-1 Counters
Creatures: 22
4x Quillspike
4x Devoted Druid
3x Putrid Leech
3x Murderous Redcap
2x Nantuko Husk
2x Bloodthrone Vampire
4x Kitchen Finks

Other spells: 16
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
4x Maelstrom Pulse (Putrefy)
4x Vines of Vastwood
4x Rite of Consumption

Lands: 22
I added some lands...without really thinking about it
It worked though.

7x Forest
7x Swamp
2x Twilight Mire
2x Overgrown Tomb
4x Verdant Catacombs

Kitchen Finks gain a lot of life and they are quite good attackers and good blockers. Redcap can kill some creatures even though it won't kill Wild Nacatl nor Kird Ape etc. That's why I choose to play 3 of them.

I needed something to sacrifice my creatures. I wanted to play Nantuko Husk 4x but I realized that there's a creature for 1B having the same ability. Not sure which creature is better so I have 2 of each for the time being. I wanted this deck to be more aggro so I added Putrid Leech as well. It does not have persist but can pump itself which saves it against Bolt, Helix, Firespout etc.

I wasn't really sure about the rest...Vines of Vastwood is there for protecting Devoted druid or well that was the original idea as I need devoted druid to be able to produce mana. Inquisition of Kozilek seemed good idea as well. This will get me rid of all the cards I don't want to see. I was left with one more slot in the end. I was thinking about adding Safehold Elite but then decided to add some kind of removal. The only universal removal is Maelstrom Pulse but how good is that at extended? Putrefy should be good enough.

I'll have some Matrixes/Needles in sideboard. Most probably Firespout as well. We will see how this can fare against other Extended decks than the 5cc and Zoo I played against.

Battle Night no.15

This Saturday there was Battle Night no.15 held in Prague. The event took place in Abaton.

There were two stages where dance and rap battles were taking place + one chill out zone where you could relax and chat with the others.

I have to say that I was amazed by Abaton space and the people who came for the event.

Just writing this down as it was a good experience. Rather tiring and nothing for me but experience nonetheless.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Grixis Control changing into UB?

Well, it's been along time that I wanted to play Grixis Control and I never really managed to play it at tournaments except one qualifier tournament (a long story short...I lent my deck to someone who was wanted to go there but did not show up. instead I went there but the guy did not give my deck I played with my partly proxied Grixis Deck (see Jaces were in UW at that time)).

I started with version that did not run Blightning and run double negatives, essence scatter and negate. Later I was adding more removal and ended up only with 4 countersqualls and 4 blightnings. The final deck after a long time of changing it (I even tried a burn version of Grixis but I did not like it, Snapper aggro did not work either^^. I also tried paying Nicol Bolas and Sorin..but none proved to be as good as Jace TMS^^) had:

Grixis Control
3x Cruel Ultimatum
3x Gatekeeper of Malakir
4x Sedraxis Spectres
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
2x Countersquall
3x Jace TMS
4x Blightning
4x Spreading Seas
3x Terminate
3x SGC
+26 lands
61 cards in total

This deck was fun but not really for competitive play even though I got quite a nice result with it at GPT BXL. At least I have to say that I had lots of fun with the deck. So I don't regret messing around with this deck for so long. After playing UWR Planeswalker, Grixis Control and UW control I have to say that the deck I chose next was really boring - Mono White aggro. I switched to Jund and failed to qualify for Nationals (I was so close - actually one silly mistake about forgetting that damages don't go on stack anymore -_- *facepalm*). Now I need to come up with something that I would like to play even just for fun.

Lately my friend showed me that similar Grixis deck that won a PTQ Amsterdam.
That player had different mana base than me (27 lands in total vs my 26) and ran Staggershocks instead of Countersqualls, he had different numbers of Jaces (4 in his case), 2 ultimatums and did not run SOJIs (I also tried no-SOJI versions but I felt better with it there anyway). The differences in mana base were as follows. (I write this more for myself to see it written at one place, might be irrelevant but my manabase wasn't the best...I'm not good at this. Figuring out my mana base for my UWR 'walker was a nightmare...hopefully someone intelligent came up with this deck later^^ so I copied the mana base and it started to work right).

3x mountains - 2x mountains
1x catacomb - 2x Catacomb
2x summit - 3x Summit
4x scalding tarn - 3x Scalding Tarn
3x islands - 2x Islands
5x swamps - 4x Swamps

With the new rotation Grixis decks won't be playable and thus I need to come up with something new. I just sat down and started thinking about the new upcoming format. I was thinking about Jund sacrifice/ramp deck with Eldrazi, UG ramp/control and UB control. In the end ... I tried drafting out the UB as this might actually end up as some kind of control without running some crazy Eldrazi (but that also means that I will have to find a way how to deal with Eldrazi match ups).

UB Control
3x Gatekeeper of Malakir
4x Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
2x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
4x Jace TMS
4x Everflowing Chalice
3x Consume the Meek
2x Consuming Vapors (might play 4x)
4x Spreading Seas
4x Cancel (wish there would be more counters I could use)
2x Into the Roil (experimenting with this/otherwise 2x Consuming Vapors)
2x See Beyond (experimenting, it's there as it shuffles the library and draws cards)
4x Drowned Catacomb (or well Refuge but I hope some good dual gets printed)
2x Evolving Wilds (so I can search or shuffle my library, not sure about the number)
4x Creeping Tar Pit (a must)
9x Island
7x Swamp
Vampire Hexmage (against all those Jaces and Gideons)
Suffer the Past (I want to try this)
Consuming Vapors (if they won't be all MD)
and then who knows what people will play^^
you know stuff like negate or flashfreeze..blah blah.

I haven't tried to play with this deck much yet, but I'm going to do that when I find the time to do so. I played few games against my Grixis Control (ok someone else's now you can say) and it wasn't that bad. Both decks work in more or less the same manner so I really need to test the UB against something else and change the deck accordingly. We will see where this will lead to.

I need to make it work against Eldrazi decks though...

Saturday, May 15, 2010


It's been a while that I wanted to build some all common faeries. I don't have to test them though and can't think of anyone having all common legacy deck. I would like to try something like this...

MU Faeries
4x Spellstutter Sprite
4x Pestermite
4x Latchkey Faerie/Ninja of the Deep Hours
4x Cloud of Faeries
4x Rune Snag
4x Counterspell
4x Brainstorm/Ponder
+ some bounce spell (snap and call to heel?, +2x echoing truth)
Well, Cloud of Faeries is a must for me, same goes to Spellstutter Sprite. I love Pestermite (even though 3 might be enough). This faerie helps a lot and can solve many situations. I'm not sure of Latchkey Faerie though as a four-of.

I would like to play Counterspell and Rune Snag (mana leak seems "weaker to me" and daze does not seem necessary MD but I might discover that it is needed - who knows what's being played at legacy all common...). Actually Force Spike could do the job?

Brainstorm is a question. There are no cards that allow me to shuffle my library so Ponder comes to mind.

Instead I also considered playing Ninja of the Deep Hours. Because with bounce spells and counters it could really be a tempo deck and that would allow me to more draw cards and even counter more. And 2/2 unblocked sounds good already (better than 1/1 faeries). If I would play this card I could probably play that Shinobi ninja that bounces opponent's creature...

Mulldrifter comes to mind as well when talking about bigger creatures and something that gives me cards. Not sure about it. I could play a combination of the two and drop latchkeys altogether. What's better? When in need of bigger creatures there's always the faerie that gets +1/+1 if I control another permanent. I don't like the idea of playing something like that it could be a possibility as well.

Bounce spells. There are many I could use. Those most relevant to me are Snap that untap lands, Call To Heel that can draw me a card when needed and bounced Spellstutter Sprite does not sound bad and Echoing Truth (that is the card against Empty the Warrens). But I don't know what I need though... I have to try it first.

Hm does including Spire Golem seem silly?
Um that was just me thinking aloud...I don't really have experience with this format so it's difficult to build a deck just like this without testing it and knowing what's being played. But I will probably just sleeve something and play with it when the time comes^^.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Eventually ending up playing Jund

After wondering for a long time what to play in the next qualifier tournament I decided to come back to the one option I was trying to avoid - Jund. A deck that was a mystery to me. The deck was never winning by some strategy or good plays but rather randomly. And with me cascading into rampant growths or terminates...Anyway

The deck list I was toying around was:

4x Bloodbraid Elf
3x Maelstrom Pulse
2x Sarkhan the Mad
3x Broodmate Dragon
2x Terminate
4x Putrid Leech
4x Sprouting Thrinax
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Liliana Vess
3x Siege-Gang Commander
4x Blightning
(26 lands, 4x ravines, 2x reaches)
3x Jund Charm
2x Dragon's Claw
1x Basilisk Collar
1x Terminate (should be replaced by Pulse)
4x Doom Blade
4x Goblin Ruinblaster
At the Launch Party there were 4x Doom Blades, 3x Inquisition of Kozilek, 4x Contaminated Grounds, 1x Terminate, 3x Mind Rot in my SB. It was quite fun to play with these cards. Inquisition and C. Grounds showed up to be really fun against Mythic Bant and Boss Naya. But well I have to admit that 2 damage to all creatures and as much removal as possible is a better way.

In the first round I played against levelers. It was an easy win in the first game and in the second I was too slow for the little guys. 2x Time of Heroes and Venerated Teacher killed me. In the third game I sided in all the removal, inquisitions and I was fine.

In the second round I played against Vampires. It seemed to me that one single cascade means a win for Jund.

Next I played against Mythic Bant. I kept a bad hand and was shown hierarch, lotus cobra and t3 Baneslayer. That was all I needed to see. After side it was me who won. Contaminated Grounds worked wonders^^.

Round 4 was a bad match up for me. I played against Boss Naya. Whenever I tested this deck against my Jund deck I just lost...and it looked that way in this match as well. Even though the game was much better for me but later Naya managed to win.

In round 5 I played a very interesting mirror. Our life total was going down by the same increment but the player who played something first simply won. (I lost)

Anyway I tried to play with 2 Sarkhans maindeck and I have to say that all the games with him were fun. He proved to be really good late game. When he has nothing to do he can just draw a card which comes handy as well. Having a 5/5 flying creature instead of Lavaclaw Reaches also showed up to be good (against Mythic Bant or Naya) and with Broodmate on the table it gets even more interesting (in mirror this it's a killer). Having a 5/5 flyer out of a saproling is not bad either. And against Eldrazi guys he does wonders. Oh your guy is indestructible? How about sac it! (I played against some Eldrazi Greens with Eldrazi was quite fun when I managed to survive early game)

After the tournament I knew that I want Jund Charm (deals with Vengevine and little guys - hierarchs, birds etc). Also I needed something against Jund except Ruinblasters (c.grounsd). I decided to try out Dragon's Claw and Collar. I tried that at NQ in Prague.
Nationals Qualifier

69 people came to participate and it all started with a long speech from our judge. He wasn't even funny but some quotes of his won't be forgotten probably. One of them is stating the format the tournament is played (after we were paired and the decklists were collected).

First I played against Ondrej Smid playing Jund as well. He was pretty unlucky and I beat him in both games.

In my second round I encountered Tomas Golan playing Boros. It seemed that he's playing mono red to some point. He did manage to deal some damage with Goblin Guide but was unable to draw something relevant (probably even a plains card) so I beat him in the first game. In the second one he sided mana barbs. He started with Goblin Guide and was attacking with it each turn giving me lands all the time except one card - Jund Charm. In the meantime I played Dragon's Claw hoping to gain some life knowing this would be crucial later in the game. My opponent played Mana Barbs for the first time. I pulsed that one. Second followed though. Hopefully my opponent played Ranger of Eos and Goblin Guide which dealt him more damage than I could do. I killed both creatures gaining and losing life in the process so in the end it wasn't that bad (still 12 life wasn't good). Few turns later he played almost all he had on his hand thinking I couldn't kill it if he plays second manabarbs after it. This would kill me if I still wouldn't have that Jund Charm (he forgot about the card). Still even though he lost to me he qualified at this NQ. Congrats!

The next round wasn't really interesting. I played against Eldrazi Green. I kept my opponent out of mana acceleration and that worked. After this I played against 2 junds and lost both of the matches. In the first game I got stuck with 3 lands and in the second I mulled to five because of not having lands as well. In this game my opponent showed me a god hand - ruinblasters, bloodbraid into blightning...and that was all he needed. In the second match against mirror I lost both games to my stupidity. It was rather not realizing the fact that damages don't go on stack. When I realized it during combat it was too late. The other mistake was that I miscalculated my life total. I should have won this match. *facepalm*

Last round I encountered Mono Green Beatdown and was really overrun. Congrats to the player as well (I suppose he qualified).

I ended up 19th. 16 players qualified.
The tournament was nice.

EDIT: I might have forgotten some matches. I played against UW control and I have to say that Wall of Blossoms (er of Omens?) is really annoying. I dealt myself about ten damages before I could deal some damage to the opponent myself. Then I was simply waiting for Day of Judgment...