Friday, May 15, 2015

Red Green Aggro

There are times in which I don't feel like doing anything. It's usually because I don't feel well and that unfortunately happens more often than I'd like. I try to ignore that but it is quite difficult because one of the main reasons while I feel like crap is that because my brain does not really work the way it usually does. I'm forgetful (I forget something almost immediately) and I can't think straight and I can hardly concentrate. Playing Magic in this state is VERY difficult and for someone who likes to play control it's quite a bad condition to play in.

So I decided to try something simple that could work if I pilot it feeling like this. 'Simple' usually means an aggressive deck and red or green based. In this case I put together RGw aggro for modern and was prepared to try it at some 'bigger' tournament. Before it I needed though to learn how to tap those creature to attack and come up with a version of a deck that would actually work. I wasn't sure if such a deck could work in modern environment. I do not follow modern scene (or any other) and wasn't sure if an aggro deck can beat well...whatever deck is being played. I was usually encountering Twin, Junk midrange, Grixis Delver and Burn decks but no creature heavy decks.

On the screenshot above should be the version I played in the 'big' weekend modern tournament (EDIT: I played with different fetchlands IRL). At first when I started trying the deck out on MODO I used to run Rancor but that card seemed really horrible. Usually my opponents discarded one of my Rancors. I did not have time to play them. It was always better to play a creature or a burn spell. In some cases Trample is a good thing and +2/+0 can help but Rampager is simply a better card. I also tried playing Lightning Helix and Boros Charm main deck but I did not like either of those cards. In the end I decided to try out Atarka's Command and Mutagenic Growth (after I tried playing 2x Vines of Vastwood - this is one of my favorite cards even though it is not blue^_^ - and 1x Rancor). The commands showed to be good. I'm not sure if higher number is what I would want in the deck because when I usually have two commands in my hand I was just frowning at them. I wanted to replace Mutagenic Growths with Vexing Devils because those can deal some damage or get a card from my opponent. The Growth does not usually do that. It either deals more damage (2) or kills Tarmogoyf/Tasigur/Siege Rhino but it costs me 2 life and two cards. On MODO I have Stony Silence in my sideboard but the local meta does not really call for it so I have few slots open. I decided to play 3 Combusts because Siege Rhinos and Deceiver Exarchs can be annoying. I keep Dismembers in because some creatures cannot simply be killed with Lightning Bolt or Combust but I could imaging playing without them. Teeg was kind of straightforward, Helix against other aggro decks or burn decks. Vines of Vastwood is quite useful in many matchups but one needs to be quite wary about the number of green sources on the table.

At the tournament I lost in the finals due to my own mistake. I needed to play two green spells (Vines of Vastwood and Ghor-Clan Rampager) but I did not have enough green sources to play it. I was to tired to figure this out and fetched for Sacred Foundry instead of Temple Garden (which is not a land I normally need on the table..). This lost me the game and I lost the last game as well because my 1/1 Experiment Ones against Jace, Architect of Thought are not really that good^^ and soon I was facing Tasigur.

A week MODO account is not active anymore for some reason which I might find out on Monday. I wanted to draft KTK-FRF. Those packs are pretty cheap and the format is better or at least it seems to me. I certainly had more fun with KTK than DTK. So I headed out for the LGS to participate in two FNMs. No Khans for me thus, but I hoped it might be fun. Last time it actually was but most probably because I played UB crappy deck with 5 bombs.

The first FNM was DTK-DTK-FRF draft. I payed for it and hoped to have some fun at least. My mood was very sour when I came in so I hoped that it would get better.

I first picked Den Protector not knowing what the card costs. Next I was wondering what card to pick because nothing green was any good. I picked Sprinting Warbrute. During the first pack I was mostly picking green and red cards. In pack two though I was being sent many red cards and in FRF the red cards were simply better. Unfortunately I did not manage to pick enough cards to be mono red and had to play some green cards. I could have played 2x Aerie Bowmasters and Dragonloft Idol (keep Protector and Guardian) but I did not feel like it and kept the few green cards there to wreck my deck^_^ (it was rather the forests being very bad...). I wasn't really giving it much thought and sleeved it up. (thinking that I do not have spare sleeves so I unsleeved my RGw modern deck just to find out few minutes later that I actually had those spare sleeves with me^_^)

In the first round I played against the decks biggest enemy UW with 0/4 creatures, lifelink creatures and other annoying cards^^. I tried to win by running around those creatures but sometimes I just miscalculated lost the game because my creatures died. I knew that if I would have waited for a while I would have most probably won. But that was too difficult for my sleepy brain. In the next round I tried to concentrate a bit more and to actually deal those twenty damage in a better way (and not fail because of 4/4 lifelink dragon, Honor's Reward and a simple lifeland). I played a creature after creature and waited for Volcanic Rush or Magmatic Chasm. It came and with one single attack I managed to win. In the second game I managed to deal the last 6 damage with the help of Temur Battlerage (on Conifer Strider). Without Goblin Heelcutter I would have hardtime getting the damage through though...

In round 3 and 4 I was more cautious and it worked out even though it meant that I had to stare at the board for quite some time to figure out which creatures I want to dash or which I just want to play.

There were 9 people for the type 2 FNM. I managed to beat my opponent within six minutes so I said that I would play if I would get little bit of time to put my Atarka red together. It seemed that there were actually many red decks. I played against one in the first round. It was mono red deck and it was me managing to win somehow. I did not really see too many Goblin producing cards except Goblin Rabblemaster so I decided not to really side in Arc Lightning and instead put in Searing Blood that helped me get rid of a creature and deal additional damage to my opponent. That worked out and I won. In the second round I played against mono blue devotion deck. I wasn't really sure what my deck would do against Master of Waves so I just tried to win sooner than this card would come into play. In one game I stared at bunch of tokens and two Master of Waves. Thassa wasn't helping either... In the second game I was fast enough and won before I could encounter Master of Waves. In game three I kept a mountain, a forest and 5 one drops. It wasn't the best hand I would want and was afraid that I would lose because of that forest but fortunately in two turns Wooded Foothills showed up and I was saved and could play two more Monastery Swiftspears and those 4 creatures dealt lethal damage the turn later supported by Atarka's Command.

Round 3 I was certain to sideboard in Roasts. I played against Abzan aggro. My opponent had no idea that I would play something aggressive like atarka red so he kept a very slow hand. He was lucky though because I did not manage to draw a second land and then I was facing Siege Rhino. Dromoka's Command + Abzan Charm on Siege Rhino killed me. In game 2 I kept 4 lands not really caring how the game would go but it went well. I played token generating card after another and was glad that my opponent does not have two sources or black. When he finally played few creatures and started to be a threat I killed him with Atarka's Command. (and two stokes in my hand, those I saw only twice during the tournament hm...).

In the final round I played against mono red (the token version). After the first game I knew that I have no idea how to play against this deck so I expected to lose the match. Race, be defensive, try to kill as much creatures as I could, no idea...? Even though I sided in 3x Arc Lightning (I also sided in Searing Blood) none showed up and my creatures happily died to it twice (my mistake). I forgot to kill Monastery Swiftspear once and I could have saved my goblins by playing Atarka's Command but that did not come to my did but it was already too late^_^. I still could have won. All I needed was one burn spell or a creature with haste/dash. I drew three lands and my opponent drew bolt, land, bolt and won the game thus. But I guess that's how it is^^.

After this tournament I have no idea how to sideboard to keep the deck working but it was quite fun (as much as it can be fun playing almost mono red deck). Sometimes counting the damage for one or another scenario was a pain (I'm not the fastest in figuring out what damage can get through if this or that happens, I usually just play Wrath of God not to bother myself with that^^). But I usually came to the right conclusion and won. But adding stuff like 'lightning berserker has 'haste'' to the equation was also quite difficult (I needed to deal 9 damage but saw only 8, but then hopefully I realized that Lightning Berserker has a dash cost, costing one..). My brain is still asleep as I type this so I hope this whole post makes at least a bit of sense^_^. Anyway playing this deck is not as straightforward as it might seem to some people.

I won this FNM and I wasn't even aware of this. So I got some packs and another (most probably useless) promo... In those packs I opened another Den Protector and someone told me that it costs around 8 bucks so it wasn't that bad^_^. It payed for my entry for both tournaments more or less. Now as I was checking my Planeswalker Points (because I already forgot against what and whom I played so I needed to refresh my memory) I earned a new achievement - Play 6 FNMs in a row (If I won't count FNM Master twice that I earned today as well).

And now I really should go regenerate because it is almost dawn and I promised to come to the upcoming EDH tournament starting in few hours (not playing RG though if I participate...)

EDIT: o_O I can see the sun...!