Played in Magic 2015 Game Day over the weekend. I basically don’t want to do anything other than overload Mizzium Mortars repeatedly for the rest of my life so I played Mortars plus mana guys again. I have been unhappy when I’ve maindecked Xenagos, the Reveler in Jund Monsters in the past, so I ran him in the sideboard. The only new M15 card I played was a one-of Soul of Shandalar. I only cast it once all day and it immediately drew a removal spell, so I don’t have much of an impression on that guy yet. Small tourney, just four rounds with a cut to Top 8.
I love the Game Day full art cards and of course I always want to win the champ playmat, but this time around the prize pool also contained a big ‘ol Nerf Garruk axe. It was both very silly and very cool – I definitely wanted that axe!
Jund Monsters (2014-08-09)
Round 1 vs Esper Control: I win game one by trying to measuredly dole out individual threats to avoid overextending into a board wipe. He does have strong spot removal such as Hero’s Downfall, so even Stormbreath Dragon is easy enough to answer. A 4/4 Scavenging Ooze eventually kills him when he runs out of removal.
Game two, I believe I had the tools I needed to win but I made a mistake in not aggressively trying to kill/contain an early Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. He eventually used the Ashiok to play an exiled Courser of Kruphix that provided a hardy blocker and let him play lands off the top. I needed to recognize that you cannot just leave a planeswalker around to activate turn after turn but I missed my window. The game went very long and eventually he ultimated Elspeth, Sun’s Champion with several soldier tokens in play. We moved to game three with only a few minutes on the clock and we timed out to draw the match. (Record: 0-0-1)
Round 2 vs Bant Tokens: This was kind of a random assortment of cards, but maybe it did something sweet if you let it. It appeared to be token generators (Raise the Alarm, Heliod, God of the Sun, Hornet Nest) plus Jalira, Master Polymorphist. Hornet Nest seems like a pretty good card, but Stormbreath Dragon don’t care. (Record: 1-0-1)
Round 3 vs UW Control: Game one, I get an early Domri Rade all the way up to ultimate and snap off the emblem. I did have to trade a Mutavault for one of his Mutavaults that tried to knock Domri off of ultimate, but I happily threw the manland under the bus in that situation. With the emblem out, my creatures were all pretty nuts and I took game one. Game two, opponent missed his third land drop for multiple turns, even after cycling an Azorius Charm. It was a bit absurd, I assume his deck had 26+ lands but that’s how it goes sometimes. Meanwhile, I actually got to cast a few spells. (Record: 2-0-1)
Round 4 vs Junk Midrange: ID into Top 8. (Record 2-0-2)
Quarterfinals vs Black Devotion w/Green: Game one, I have two Stormbreath Dragon in my hand so I’m formulating an aggressive gameplan. However, I make a fatal mistake. I played a Stormbreath Dragon and attacked him down to 16. He had a follow-up Hero’s Downfall for the dragon. On my turn, his board is a single Pack Rat but not enough open mana to activate it. I can either cast my second dragon or I can sorcery-speed a Putrefy to kill his Pack Rat. I chose to cast the Stormbreath Dragon and he moved in on Pack Rat, overwhelming me.
Always kill the stupid Pack Rat if you can.
Game two, he’s got some Pack Rats in play and I can either overload Mizzium Mortars or cast a Sire of Insanity (he has 3 or maybe even 4 cards in hand). I debated this for probably too long. On his next turn, he could make the Pack Rats into 4/4s. I think if Sire of Insanity had 5 toughness instead of 4 I might have disastrously chosen to cast the Sire thinking, “Well, I can block a 4/4 with this…” which is just stupid but that’s what I was thinking. Thankfully I made the right choice and overloaded Mizzium Mortars to kill all his rats. He doesn’t have anything next turn, but gets in with a Mutavault. My next draw is another Mizzium Mortars. I cast the Sire of Insanity and we both lose our hands. He finds a Desecration Demon but I’m able to feed it some creatures while my Sire and a couple elves attack.
Game three, he has turn one Thoughtseize and sees that I’ve kept a hand light on threats but dense with removal. He kind of groans and takes one of the two Putrefys I was holding. I’m able to kill everything he plays, Putrefy this, Dreadbore that, etc. I have the dorkiest of dorky creatures attacking, like an Elvish Mystic chipping in turn after turn. I’m ticking up a Domri Rade but not finding any of my monsters. Instead, I find additional Elvish Mystics and attack in with these silly 1/1’s. He starts blocking with Mutavaults, which gives me an opening to kill the lands with sorcery-speed removal post-combat. After several turns of this, I’ve pulled too far ahead and I get the win.
Semifinals vs Junk Midrange: This deck was sweet. He had powerhouse cards like Blood Baron of Vizkopa and Archangel of Thune, and also some sweet tricks like Chord of Calling for Hornet Nest. Game one, he has two Underworld Connections going and just buries me, not particularly close. Games two and three both hinge on me resolving Rakdos’s Return for his whole hand and him never recovering.
Rakdos’s Return is the truth.
My pal Chris had won his semifinal round on the other side of the bracket and came over to observe games two and three of my match. And by “observe” I mean “savagely critique my embarassingly bad decisions.” I mean, I fully deserved all of the abuse; I was making some pretty loose plays. Multiple turns, I’d have one or two good options available and I’d somehow fish around for a third, worse option and make that play instead. Fortunately, my deck forgave me while my opponent’s deck failed him and I took the match.
One thing that is interesting about playing with Courser of Kruphix is that if a relevant card is revealed on top of your deck – as an example, I had a Mizzium Mortars revealed at one point in this match – it can singularly hook an opponent’s attention and they might quit thinking much about the other cards in your hand. If you happen to have a second copy of a revealed card already in your hand, that’s another twist. They’ll have to play something into that first copy, after all.
Finals vs Black-White Aggro?: Chris and I meet in the finals; I’m not even sure what his deck was. I know he had Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Ajani, Caller of the Pride and black lands. We decided to just chop up the pot and go home. My previous opponent had accidentally left the store with one of my Courser of Kruphix (probably under a Banishing Light) so I had a 59-card deck at this point anyway, haha. I was able to score the Nerf Garruk axe, because I am a very serious individual who unironically desires Nerf axes. Axen?
Now I just need to build a fireplace, above which I can mount the axe.