Time to wrap up the last Kaladesh/Aether Revolt friendly league, with the
Nissa, Vital Force deck from last week. I also decided to try out some videos for Stage 3. The videos are of me discussing a replay, so let me know what you think of that format! Let's get to the last two stages...
here to jump past the intro.
Introduction to Article Series
With this series, I'm aiming to go through the friendly add-a-pack leagues and give readers a chance to give feedback and hopefully gain some insight. I'll likely vary where I break in the article, and sometimes will ask for community feedback as to how to integrate a new pack before playing more matches. Here is a list of previous entries in this series.
I'll also include a value of the pool and pack, and might do some EV calculations (i.e. how much is the add-a-pack league worth). While it won't be true EV, it will be a real world application, which should highlight some of the variance you'll expect to see.
Generally, I will do text write-ups, not videos. There may be times where I do include videos, but I will still include a write-up as well. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how to improve the series!
Friendly League 6 Stage 2
So, as we left out, I opened a decent pack with my rare as
Trophy Mage was a shiny foil. And here is my deck that I used for Stage 1:
The issue I had with the pool at the start was the general inability to use Red or Black as they were not deep or have any bombs. The pack didn't add anything to those options, with only
Alley Strangler and Welder Automaton as options. The blue did become interesting with the pack, particularly because using Trophy Mage to fetch Lifecrafter's Bestiary is sweet. However, White is still my best, and I don't think I have the pool to pair Blue with White. So, it's just about the Green and White. This pack offers:
Of these, I 100% want to fit
Lifecrafter's Bestiary into the deck, and possibly Ghirapur Osprey, Mobile Garrison, and Caught in the Brights. At this point, I have so much enchantment removal that I doubt I'll add a second Caught in the Brights as it is already fairly weak. Generally, I have found Mobile Garrison serviceable, but my creature count is on the low side, so I am unsure of how well it will work. There were times in the first stage where Renegade Freighter went uncrewed for lengths of time, so adding to that problem seems unwise. On that note, I might add Ghirapur Osprey just to up the creature count.
As for what to take out, the
Prophetic Prism was easily the worst card in my deck in the first stage, so that is an easy swap for Lifecrafter's Bestiary. Without revolt, both Countless Gears Renegade and Deadeye Harpooner were largely underpowered. So, picking between them to add a second Ghirapur Osprey is easy, since they are both mostly vanilla 2/2s, so I keep the cheaper one.
Here is the finished Stage 2 deck:
Match 1 vs. EazyE: Black Red 2-1
I start with a no-lander, so I mull into Game 1: Ninth Bridge Patrol, Nature's Way, Bastion Mastodon, Monstrous Onslaught, and land. My opponent gets off to a speedy start with Augmenting Automaton and Aether Poisoner. I get the patrol down and use Nature's Way to kill the poisoner. My opponent adds Thriving Rats and Quicksmith Rebel. I get a Walking Ballista down for 4, but misplay. I should have immediately used it to kill the servo attached to the rebel and to kill the automaton. However, thinking I will block and then ping, I pass and my opponent only loses the servo, but at least doesn't add anything to the board. My opponent has brought me to 6, and then adds Gremlin Infestation to the mastodon I played. With no way of removing it and staying alive, I concede.
Sideboard: I bring in Decommission because if they play Gremlin Infestation on a non-creature artifact, I have very little chance of removing it.
Opener is Game 2: Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Verdant Automaton, Thopter Arrest, Ninth Bridge Patrol, and land. I lead with the automaton and bestiary while my opponent leads with Thriving Rats and Aether Poisoner. Luckily, I get down Highspire Artisan to make a servo to prevent the poisoner from making servos for my opponent. Instead, my opponent makes the rats a 3/4 and swings with the poisoner anyway, which I trade the servo. They play and pop Implement of Malice, making me lose a Forest. When I attack with my automaton into their freshly played Defiant Salvager, they block, despite my open 4 mana. So I pseudo skip my turn to pump the automaton. My opponent attacks, bringing me to 12, then adds Wayward Giant. So, I use Revoke Privileges and Thopter Arrest to clear their board. Unfortunately, they have Perilous Predicament, so they respond by clearing my board. I add Reservoir Walker and they add Thriving Grubs and Gremlin Infestation. I finally play the Walking Ballista I've had in hand for quite a while and shot down the grub. They respond with Lathnu Sailback. In reply, I play Nissa, Vital Force, and then Revoke Privileges on their blocker, swinging my opponent down to 3. They draw and concede.
Sideboard: Now that I've seen a less lopsided game, I realize Impeccable Timing is likely to be very good against this opponent.
I keep a somewhat risky opener of Game 3: Highspire Artisan, Decommission, Impeccable Timing, and 4 Forests. The game's first play is an Implement of Malice, which makes me discard one of those ample forests, and my opponent follows it with Thriving Rats. I forgo playing anything and pass, so that when my opponent pays 2 energy, I can kill the rats with Impeccable Timing. Turns out that was a strong plan, because my opponent had no follow-up. I add Lifecrafter's Bestiary, and surprise surprise, it gets tagged with Gremlin Infestation. However, I am not concerned this time because I have Decommission! I even shortly thereafter draw Reservoir Walker as further cushion. My opponent adds Thriving Grubs after I add Renegade Freighter. After I add Bastion Enforcer and crew, the enforcer meets its Cruel Finality. I add Highspire Artisan to keep back the grubs, but my opponent has Chandra's Revolution and then attacks me to 8, 6 after the infestation trigger. I add Bastion Mastodon, but that meets Battle At the Bridge. I crew to allow blocking. When my opponent attacks, I quickly offer up the trade. I get Aetherstream Leopard down and finally Decommission the infestation. I see a new card from my opponent when they play Demon of Dark Schemes. Luckily, it kills no creatures and my opponent has no energy. So, I just use the freshly drawn Thopter Arrest on it, over the Revoke Privileges I've had for a while, and play a Verdant Automaton. My opponent has been hellbent for a while, and because of the bestiary I am several cards up. So, I quickly turn the game around, using Revoke Privileges on Aether Poisoner and Skywhaler's Shot on Brazen Scourge. Even with a Daring Demolition from my opponent, I have lethal on the board and they concede.
Match 2 vs. WolfKnight281: Green Black Revolt 1-2
Again I start with a no-land, so I mull into Game 1: Dawnfeather Eagle, Countless Gears Renegade, Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Revoke Privileges, and 2 Forest. While not ideal, if I can hit a third land, the bestiary will hopefully let me scry into better cards and more lands. My opponent leads with Renegade Map, Woodweaver's Puzzleknot, and a turn 3 2/3 Narnam Renegade. My opponent also adds Aether Herder while I wait for land (having discards Monstrous Onslaught to hand size). On turn 5 I hit a Plains and can Thopter Arrest the herder before any servos start up. My opponent passes without playing anything and I get a fourth land, so I play the bestiary to try and get back into the game. My opponent then decides to add Lifecraft Cavalry as a 4/4. I play Bastion Enforcer to attempt a trade, but my opponent has Prey Upon and then Lifecrafter's Gift to bring me to 3. I use Revoke Privileges and play Highspire Artisan to try and stay in the game. My opponent attacks and then uses Rush of Vitality to gain life, I guess? I wouldn't have killed his creature, and it didn't have trample, so I am completely unsure why they would play that here. I play the Countless Gears Renegade finally, drawing into Revoke Privileges, which I use on the 2/3. My opponent responds by using Renegade's Getaway, which again I am confused by, but I guess it gives them a servo. My opponent cracks their puzzleknot and makes a 4/3 Greenwheel Liberator. I add Renegade Freighter and Druid of the Cowl. My opponent uses Natural Obsolescence to get rid of my vehicle and I chump their 4/3 with my servo and then they adds Servant of the Conduit. My engine is getting going, and I play Consul's Shieldguard, drawing Ninth Bridge Patrol, playing it and drawing Prey Upon. Next, my opponent adds Yahenni, Undying Partisan and then swings with everything, which lets me eat the servant while I chump with my renegade, then take 2 from Yaheeni, going to 1. I add Dawnfeather Eagle, which lets me Prey Upon to kill the 4/3 liberator. My opponent hits a land, and so I take advantage to play Reservoir Walker and Nissa, Vital Force. My opponent draws, and then concedes.
This is an interesting game because there was a fairly strong inclination for me to concede when I was at 3 and my opponent had a 3/4
Narnam Renegade and 6/6 Lifecraft Cavalry. I decided to keep playing as I wasn't dead on board, but luckily my Lifecrafter's Bestiary was able to get me enough value to turn this around--the game was at point 30-3 in my opponent's favor.
I keep Game 2: Consul's Shieldguard, Druid of the Cowl, Ghirapur Osprey, Renegade Freighter, Skywhaler's Shot, and 2 Plains. My opponent starts with Narnam Renegade and Servant of the Conduit while stuck on lands. I start with Druid of the Cowl and then promptly use the removal on a Rishkar, Peema Renegade. My opponent follows up with Aether Herder and I respond with Consul's Shieldguard. My opponent attacks into my Shieldguard with the herder, so I don't block and go to 11. I play Revoke Privileges and Renegade Freighter, and end of turn, my opponent plays Lifecrafter's Gift, making his Narnam Renegade a 3/4 and his servant a 4/4. When I attempt to trade my vehicle for the deathtoucher, it gets hit with Natural Obsolescence. I continue to draw land, and then add the Ghirapur Osprey to the board. When I double block the servant, my opponent uses Renegade's Getaway to keep it alive. I draw my second non-land of the game (out of 7 draws), which is Thopter Arrest to hold the deathtoucher. My opponent hits Augmenting Automaton and I chump block the 4/4 while at 5 since I know they play Rush of Vitality. I get Caught in the Brights to play on the 4/4, but I have to chump block the automaton because they attack with the 2 servos as well, if I don't block the automaton, I will die to the 3 pumps they have mana for. I hit another Revoke Privileges to hold the automaton, but the servos bring me to 1 and I don't draw Highspire Artisan to save myself, falling to the herd of creatures.
I keep Game 3: Ninth Bridge Patrol, Reservoir Walker, Druid of the Cowl, and lands. My opponent again leads with Narnam Renegade. I start with Druid of the Cowl and Ninth Bridge Patrol while my opponent plays a 2/1 Greenwheel Liberator and Rishkar, Peema Renegade. We trade the druid and the liberator. My opponent adds Augmenting Automaton and when I play Reservoir Walker, it gets hit Natural Obsolescence. I use Monstrous Onslaught to get rid of the automaton. My opponent passes, and I add Lifecrafter's Bestiary--then end of turn they cast Lifecrafter's Gift. They cast Yahenni, Undying Partisan and attack me down to 3. I reveal a Revoke Privileges, but I scry it to the bottom as that isn't enough here. I then draw a Plains--and concede as there is no way out at this point. This game I had 9 lands in 14 cards.
Overall, this match is quite disappointing as I came back from mana screw in the first game to win, but then got super flooded in games 2 and 3.
Match 3 vs. discover: Blue Green Counters/Energy 2-1
I keep Game 1: Verdant Automaton, (Ghirpaur Osprey), Thopter Arrest, Monstrous Onslaught, Dawnfeather Eagle, and 2 Forests. I start with my automaton and osprey while my opponent starts with Skyship Plunderer, Scrounging Bandar, and Thriving Turtle. I pass in the hopes of using Skywhaler's Shot, on the thought that my opponent would move a counter to the flier, but they do not, choosing instead to add it to the turtle, but not attack. I do use the shot on the Maulfist Revolutionary they play, but that makes the cat monkey a 2/2 again, and the turtle a 2/5. At this point, I realize my next choice is a mistake, in hindsight. I played Lifecrafter's Bestiary, while I probably should have used my Thopter Arrest to get the Skyship Plunderer to stop counter shenanigans. My opponent plays Prey Upon to kill my flier, and I follow with Dawnfeather Eagle. My opponent passes and I use Monstrous Onslaught to kill the cat monkey. I chump block the turtle, then trade my eagle for an Aetherstream Leopard, and my opponent follows with a Hinterland Drake. I draw Druid of the Cowl, then use the bestiary to draw into Nature's Way, which I use to kill the plunderer. I chump the turtle with the druid, then my opponent adds a second Hinterland Drake. My draw is not something that lets me live, so, I concede as I cannot play enough blockers.
Sideboard: I bring in
Impeccable Timing as it seems useful against the swarm of fliers.
I open with Game 2: Highspire Artisan, Impeccable Timing, Monstrous Onslaught, Ninth Bridge Patrol, Renegade Freighter, and 2 Plains. I keep this largely because the artisan will stop a good number of his attackers. Luckily, I draw a Forest and start filling the board, and my opponent starts with Scrounging Bandar. I add the freighter and my opponent adds Maulfist Revolutionary. I pass without playing anything, save a Plains so I can kill the cat monkey. Fortunately, my opponent does not move any counters so I get the full kill, while a Prey Upon eats my patrol. My opponent is stuck on 3 Forests going into turn 5, so I use Revoke Privileges on the Maulfist. My opponent whiffs on land, but adds Aetherstream Leopard. I play Druid of the Cowl and Highspire Artisan, making a servo, then crewing the freighter and attacking. My opponent hits their fourth land, and plays Irontread Crusher. I crew up again, and then use Monstrous Onslaught to kill the leopard. My opponent follows with Hinterland Drake and Prey Upon (with Maulfist Revolutionary) to kill my druid. I play Dawnfeather Eagle and crew with its ability on the stack, then swing for 6 with the freighter and 2 with the servo, bringing my opponent to 2. They add Aether Swooper and Skyship Plunderer, which at least empties their hand. I play Bastion Mastodon and pass the turn. Unfortunately, my opponent hits another flier, adding Aether Swooper number 2. A turn of nothing happens, then I hit Revoke Privileges, which I play on the drake, and my opponent crews the crusher. At this point I can force the trade with my eagle, assuming they double block with the plunderer and the untapped swooper. I can also sacrifice the freighter to get in with the servo and deal 1 more damage, which would bring my opponent to 1.
I decide to offer the eagle, and oddly, my opponent chumps with just the
Skyship Plunderer. That means if nothing changes, they can no longer kill the eagle, nor crew the crusher. Regardless, my opponent draws, then concedes.
Starter is Game 3: Bastion Mastodon, Highspire Artisan, Nissa, Vital Force, and lands. My opponent mulled and kept a 2 Forest hand. My opponent discards Lifecrafter's Bestiary to hand size--I cannot imagine this is the worst card in their hand. The bestiary provides so much value and advantage, so I find this choice quite odd. On turn 5, they hit land 3 and play Daredevil Dragster. With an empty board across from me, I play Nissa, Vital Force on turn 5, but leave back the land to prevent the dragster from hitting. My opponent adds Aetherstream Leopard, which I kill with Nature's Way, making an easy 5 attack. I follow up with Verdant Automaton. I have 3 lands in hand, and all my opponent adds is another Aetherstream Leopard, so I ultimate Nissa, Vital Force to start getting more cards, and I follow it with Bastion Mastodon. Turn 8, my opponent hits Island, and then plays Riparian Tiger. I use Revoke Privileges on the tiger, which crews the dragster, which I then kill with Skywhaler's Shot. I then swing in for 9, bringing my opponent to 4. They draw, then concede.
Alright, 5-1 is strong, hoping for the 8-1. Here is the Kaladesh Pack:
Outcome $0.15 + 30PP
Excitedly, I got the 15¢ pack!
Deadlock Trap is a decent card, but I don't have a lot of energy, so I am unsure if I would want to run it. This pack really has nothing that would draw me into a different color combination, but it does present a few options for Green White. Wispweaver Angel is a strong top end, and does provide some small value with the flicker. I also am really happy to see Glint-Sleeve Artisan, as it is just better in every way over Bastion Enforcer. Narnam Cobra is also a pretty decent replacement for Ninth Bridge Patrol, which isn't a strong card. Beyond that, Ornamental Courage, Woodweaver's Puzzleknot, and Refurbish are all possible in some decks, but none particularly fit well here.
With that, here is my final stage deck:
One other note is that I decided that I preferred going up in mana, as adding the angel brought up the curve, and it was already questionable at 16.
For this stage, I am using videos, which are just me going over the replays. I am trying this out over recording while I am playing, as this provides more flexibility in making the videos for me.
Match 1 vs. gannoncd: Grixis Implements 2-0
Match 2 vs. RECKLESSREILLY: Green Red 2-0
Match 3 vs. GrizzVet Green Red Splashing Ajani Unyielding 0-2
A 7-2 record is good, though I do wish I hadn't drawn so many lands in the final match and pulled out an 8-1. Let's look at the final value:
200PP + 40PP + 30PP + 30PP + $3.56 = 300PP + $3.56
240PP + $3.56 + $1.83 = 240PP + $5.39
Outcome 60PP + $12.69
- $5.39 = 60PP + $7.30
Walking Ballista I was able to pull a decent amount of profit out of this sealed, which is always a big plus.
Let me know what you thought of the videos, as I haven't recorded any in many years. I'd be interested to know what people think of the video of a replay instead of a at-the-time recording.
Join me next time with the first Amonkhet Friendly Sealed!
As always, I appreciate comments and suggestions!
xger21 on MTGO