So here's a couple more games with my Mayael deck.
In this first game, I'm up against Karador, Teneb, and Riku. I keep a hand with four mana and an Oracle of Mul Daya, which is a pretty fine hand, although I always feel awkward with an Enlightened Tutor this early. Of course I immediately draw into Primeval Titan, which is a very good one.
My opponents open with some staple artifacts. On my third turn, I have a decision to make...is it worth running out Mayael early?
I choose not to. I have two six-mana spells in my hand that I already want to play, so it's going to be a while before I get a chance to activate her, and in the meantime she'll just durdle around being vulnerable to removal spells. Pretty sure this is the right play.
I run out Oracle of Mul Daya and whiff. No ramp for me. Sad face. =(
Meanwhile, Teneb continues to accelerate, bashing at Riku with a ramped-out dragon and reanimating a Woodfall Primus, which takes out Riku's Parallel Lives. Karador is chilling with some random little sac dudes.
Naturally, Teneb beats me to the punch by playing his own Primeval Titan. Not what I like to see. (Fetches a bounceland + Bojuka Bog to exile Karador's graveyard.) My Recross the Paths reveals Sol Ring (I lose the clash). I leave it on top because I want the mana, but I'm not sure about that play. Maybe I just want to dig for lands.
Karador lets Riku put Spore Frog under Mimic Vat, an admittedly sweet combo. But it doesn't last long; Teneb thwacks Mimic Vat with a Harmonic Sliver.
I could be casting Enlightened Tutor at any point here, but I'd really prefer to try and draw into mana rather than tutoring something like a Sylvan Library just for value. I figure I'll save it and fetch a True Conviction or something when the timing is right.
I could run out Titan here, but I decide to hold it back. My reasoning: right now, Teneb is gunning for Riku. If I drop Titan, the crosshairs probably move to me, and it's not as if my own Titan will do much to answer his. So I go with the Omen Machine instead. I have a six-mana spell on top of my library, so I should at least get my mana back.
Riku flips a land off of Omen Machine and runs out the Chancellor of the Spires he revealed at the start of the game. Chancellor lets him cast Hallowed Burial out of my graveyard to wipe the board. See? I knew it was correct not to play Mayael.
Teneb is pretty far ahead on mana now, but at least he didn't fetch any sweet utility lands with his Titan.
He does, however, flip an Avenger of Zendikar off of Omen Machine, which is scary. He plays and sacs a Yavimaya Elder (and does not draw a card).
At this point Karador tries to draw a card with his Top and scoops up his cards in shame when it doesn't work. Quitter. But hey, Omen Machine, folks. =P
I drop my Lurking Predators off the Omen Machine and cast Primeval Titan, fetching Yavimaya Hollow and Mosswort Bridge (hiding Triumph of the Horde). Looking back, the Mosswort Bridge was sound, but Yavimaya Hollow seems sketchy--I don't really have enough colored mana to leave it up. I should have fetched a colored land. Note the Raging Ravine I currently can't attack with, and the Planar Cleansing I currently can't cast--it might even have been right to take a Jungle Shrine here. Another manland or hideaway land would have been defensible too. But not a colorless land.
Riku is just chilling, and Teneb has dropped a pretty scary Eldrazi Monument.
I get ranched by a million tokens and go to a precarious 8 life. I tutor up True Conviction. At this point, if I'd fetched a colored mana source with my Titan, I would have had an onboard kill by activating Raging Ravine and casting Triumph of the Horde. This misplay stings, of course, since I am dead on board unless 1. Teneb reveals a spell with Omen Machine and 2. my Lurking Predators reveals a flying creature.
Sadly, we'll never know what would have happened, since Riku drops his connection and, while waiting for him to return, I take a bathroom break. When I get back, I find that Teneb has scooped, Riku has failed to show up, and I am the winner by default. A little anticlimactic.
My top card was Twilight Shepherd, so I could easily have gotten there as long as his top card was a spell--if he didn't have anything in hand, the game might have been a coin toss. Oh well.
Every single game, I end up kicking myself for taking Insurrection out of the deck. I am putting it back in. Also, I am frustrated by these color issues, so I am cutting Haunted Fengraf for another Mountain.
When Avacyn Restored comes out, I'm looking to drop Magmatic Force and Greater Good for Gisela and Avacyn.
Greater Good keeps feeling super-awkward and I never feel like I have the time to cast it. Or else I cast it early and it gets destroyed before I play any big creatures, and I feel dumb. Or the reverse happens and I cast my big creatures first, only to have them get killed without giving me a chance to draw cards off them, and I feel dumb. Too many feel-bad moments. When it does work, it feels like win-more. Avacyn fills a similar anti-removal role and is much splashier.
Magmatic Force has been meh. It can be a fast clock, but it's just not very awesome. 5RRR is a tough enough mana cost that I never really want to spend a turn casting it, and when I manage to cheat him out he's always like "Meh, whatever." I'm excited to swap in Gisela, who is an awesome clock as well, but has a significantly bigger impact on the board.