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By: goat314, William Kirkwood
Nov 09 2011 1:42pm
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"I'm a glass case of emotion!"

Anchorman, 2004

So, I really wasn’t planning on writing an article this week.  I did get to judge the PTQ event this past Saturday, which was an interesting experience.  Judging has been a rewarding experience, although a bid harder than I had thought.  Those tournaments are long with not much downtime, I couldn’t imagine being a grinder and doing that on a weekly basis. 

I had worked a pretty brutal schedule over the last week, and slept through a lot of the day on Sunday, including the Daily Event and the Redskins “game”.  At about 8:30 pm on Monday, a clan mate starts making chatter about the Daily Event.  I decide to humor him and hop in the queue, knowing that a DE isn’t going to fire on Monday night at 10:30.  At 10:40, the queue is at 14 and I am waiting for it to cancel.  Imagine my surprise when a game loads up and I’m playing with my Toolbox again.  So that said, the videos are replays because recording from 11:00 to 1:00 wasn’t feasible.

No real need for a deck tech this week, the only change I made to the list for the tournament was removing the singleton Buried Ruin and adding a third Batterskull.  I do like the utility that the Buried Ruin gives, but opted to increase the consistency of the deck with another Batterskull.  That said, on to the games.

Round 1 vs visualarts playing Oath

So round one is my worst matchup.  I get a nut draw game one, and win without seeing anything more than Force of Will and Thoughtseize.  I don’t know that I am playing.  It could be Oath, Gush, Snapcaster, or whatever so I opt to not sideboard for fear of sideboarding badly.  Game two, I get blown out pretty badly.  Game three ends in an interesting scenario, where I’m now convinced I made the wrong play.  I explain it in detail in the replay, so I’ll leave it at that.  Visualarts did go on to 4-0 the event, he was obviously on top of his game that evening, so congratulations to him.  0-1.

Round 2 vs NosferatuStuff playing Mono Black

This match started off very ugly, about four turns in I had nothing but a Phyrexian Revoker sitting in play.  Unfortunately for my opponent, he didn’t have or didn’t draw a significant clock and I was eventually able to resolve a couple golems and win the game.  Game two is pretty awkward, I find myself beating him down with Metalworkers with a Chalice set at two.  He plays a couple Mishra’s Factories and I respond by finally playing a Goblin Welder and a Chalice at three.  Finally, I draw my buddy, Batterskull, followed by a second shortly thereafter.  B’Skizzle turns the tide of the game, and I am victorious.  1-1

Round 3 vs Sn0_man playing Dredge

I must say, I’m ashamed to post game one from this match.  My opponent made two pretty bad misplays which should have lost him the game.  When the second misplay occurred, I mistakenly thought he had fixed his play error and I conceded.  As the message went up, I realized his mistake and was bouncing off the wall that I had just scooped to a game I had won.

The first misplay occurred when I attacked with a Metalworker into a single Zombie Kitty token.  He has two Bridges in the Graveyard (One was exiled during mulligans) and twenty life.  There is no reason at all, ever, ever, ever, ever for him to block my Metalworker and exile his two Bridges, but he does it. 

The second misplay is basically the entire last turn and a half.  He has the previously badly behaved Zombie Cat token, two Naromoebas, and three Bloodghasts in play, 12 cards in his library, Dread Returns, and Elesh Norn in his graveyard.  I have Batterskull and Revoker in play and five mana available.  There is no reason to do anything other than Dread Return the Elesh Norn and wreck my face with two ‘moebas and Zombie Cat.  Instead he starts dredging for the last Bridge.  He draws his last card in his Draw Step, but does have his lone Bridge in the yard.  He can still win at this point.

What he does is sacrifice the two moebas and a ghast and return Flame-Kin Zealot.  I don’t realize it here, but he now cannot win on board because he needs more hasted creatures.  I make the mistake of not doing the math correctly, or, more appropriately, not allowing him to just finish making mistakes.  When I see the blue rectangles go up for the second Dread Return, I assume that the Elesh Norn will kill me and concede.  But the Elesh Norn can’t kill me and I realized it far too late.

Had he returned the Elesh Norn first, then sacrificed three zombies for the Flame-Kin, he would have attacked for exact lethal damage.  However, all of this should have been avoided by not dredging in the first place.

Games two and three are very similar.  Both draws are gifted with a Leyline, mana, protection, and a fast clock.  Easy enough match win after throwing away a game one gift.  2-1 and playing for the money.

Round 4 vs ImpinAintEasy playing Bant Fish

I really just wanted to prize split this match.  There’d been too many ups, downs, lefts, rights, and bad plays and it was getting pretty late.  I felt a bit awkward about offering the split and he didn't offer, so we played.  First game, he mulligans to five cards and I have a nice aggressive hand.  I end up making a mistake and not playing a Thorn of Amethyst and getting wrecked by a big Knight of the Reliquary and a couple Stifles.  Ouch.  I sideboard in Triskelions and Duplicants and try to fix the mess I created. 

Game two, I have fast mana, two Phyrexian Revokers, and a Shield of Resistance.  I add a Trinsphere, Goblin Welder, and Metalworker to the board and win via weenie beatdown. 

Game three sees some early disruption plays by the fish deck.  Eventually, I am able to create a board with Metalworker and Goblin Welder in play and a Wurmcoil Engine in my hand, while my opponent has only a Savannah in play and 4 cards in hand.  My opponent plays Grim Lavamancer, which would force me to Weld a Revoker back into play on my turn.  Instead, I channel my inner LSV and top-deck Triskelion and take control of the game.  Next turn, he counters my Wurmcoil Engine and I simply weld the Mana Vault into the Wurmcoil Engine and take the game home.  3-1.

The Good

I’m pretty happy with the threat density and consistency of the deck.  I think that the three Batterskulls and two Wurmcoil Engines are the right complements to the Lodestone Golems.  It was nice to get a good tournament result despite some bad play.  I feel like the deck really shined despite its pilots efforts.  I feel that says a lot for the construction of the deck and I am pretty proud of that.  I didn't ever miss the Buried Ruin when I saw a Batterskull.  Although, there were probably moments where I would have traded a Batterskull for a 3rd City of Traitors.  Not enough to outweigh the moments where B'Skizzle took it to the hizzy, though.

The Bad

I’m not happy with my sideboard plan against Oath, so I’ve added two Jester’s Caps and may go to a third.  I’ve never actually had Jester’s Cap do anything amazing for me when I ran it previously, but I’m willing to try it again to try to solve my Oath problems.  This seems to be the last riddle I need to solve.  The solution could be Tangle Wire or perhaps I just need to reassess how I play out the matchup.  If anyone has any suggestions, I’m more than open to them.

The Ugly

If your opponent has made fatal misplays, allow him to continue to make misplays until the end.  My temper and emotions really got the better of me throughout the event and led to misplays and even conceding despite having a winning board position.  This isn’t exactly a news flash to me, I’ve always been a "suppress my anger until I throw my mouse" person.  I don’t have aspirations of being the Magic Online World Champ, but I do want to improve as a player, and I am going to have to handle all of my emotions much better to accomplish that.  It’s certainly easier said than done, but hopefully that concession will serve as a reminder in the future.  I know I’m not going to forget it any time soon.  

Thanks to everyone for reading and watching.  

Stay classy everybody and thanks for stopping by!



Fun article, and thanks for by Westane at Wed, 11/09/2011 - 13:48
Westane's picture

Fun article, and thanks for making want to go home and watch Anchorman again!

R1: Visualarts is so good! by GainsBanding at Thu, 11/10/2011 - 21:40
GainsBanding's picture

R1: Visualarts is so good! He mopped the floor with me in that event. I haven't seen black discard in Oath in a while, but he uses it really well.

R2: You probably should have gone turn 1 Welder against a deck that want to put stuff in your graveyard, just to turn his strategy into an advantage for you. But that guy's deck was pretty weak, so it didn't matter.

R3: I think that guy was new to Classic and a pretty inexperienced Dredge player. I beat him round 1 due to his misplays. Hopefully he'll see your videos and see some strategies for the future. You gotta start somewhere.

R4: I don't really have any comments for this one, good work.

Usually I don't like replay articles, but you made really good use of stopping and starting the game. It was great to hear your thoughts about all the different lines of play and what you did / could have done and what ended up happening.

Wow, you still have a land line!

I do too. My gf is a retired by Paul Leicht at Thu, 11/10/2011 - 22:24
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I do too. My gf is a retired phone company "pioneer." so it is actually cheaper for us than cells would be. Also slightly less annoying when outside. :)

There are a few reasons for by goat314 at Thu, 11/10/2011 - 23:18
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There are a few reasons for the land line lol.
1st: I have DSL, and the price difference is negligible.
2nd: My Cell phone area code is 386 (Daytona Beach), my wife's is 908 (NJ), and we live in Atlanta. The local number makes it easier when we order Chinese food ;-)