Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another dose of #MayaelFTW

Before playing, I made a couple changes to the deck.

First, I took out It That Betrays for Baneslayer Angel. Last time, I complained that It That Betrays basically, well, sucked. I was planning to swap it for Ulamog, but did you know Ulamog is like 23 tickets? Yikes! Screw that! So, Baneslayer Angel. My initial impression of her was that she's a little too small to be exciting, but on further reflection, she is a pretty solid body. I like lifelink a lot, and flying + first strike is good on defense. I can imagine plenty of scenarios where I'd be happy to see her. So let's give her a shot.

Second, I took out Reliquary Tower for Slayers' Stronghold. Since I took out Greater Good, I don't really have enough card draw to justify Reliquary Tower. I still like having something to combat opposing Howling Mine-type effects, but it's the weakest land in the deck right now and I didn't want to cut a spell. Stronghold interests me; I'm not sure how good it is and I think it deserves some testing.

So anyway, in this game I mulliganed a one-lander into this hand, which has some ramp, a tutor, and a sweeper. If I whiff on lands it could slow me down, but I think it's a good hand.

I've never played against an Endrek Sahr deck before, but I think it's safe to assume that Sen Triplets is a control deck and The Mimeoplasm is a reanimation deck.

I draw into a Krosan Verge, which is a nice one. The lands keep rolling off the top for me, which I'm pretty happy about. Meanwhile, The Mimeoplasm is doing pretty well with a Splinterfright and Oracle of Mul Daya, while Sen Triplets has a Top and a Mystical Tutor fetching Idyllic Tutor, and Endrek Sahr is relatively land-light but making up for it with a Sol Ring.

Sen Triplets fetches Land Tax with the Idyllic Tutor, and Endrek kills the Oracle with a Nekrataal. I cast Enlightened Tutor at end of turn to fetch a Swiftfoot Boots, since I can play Temple of the False God to cast Mayael and Boots and equip her in the same turn.

Enter one (1) Ooze Shapeshifter commander, copying Oracle and getting counters from my Eternal Dragon.

Sen Triplets drops a Mimic Vat, Endrek Sahr casts his commander, I cast Darksteel Ingot (leaving up Mayael), and then The Mimeoplasm cycles Decree of Pain, which seems odd to me since it only kills Nekrataal and Endrek Sahr. But whatever.

Then Sen Triplets casts Swords to Plowshares on the faux Oracle.

...and plays a Consecrated Sphinx, which draws four cards before getting Shriekmaw'd. I rip a Gisela off of Mayael, which is awesome! I agonize a little and decide to attack The Mimeoplasm, but maybe that's wrong. Remember that Sen Triplets has ten cards in hand, but some of them are from Land Tax so it's not as if they're all business.

I move the boots to Gisela. She is way more important to protect than Mayael. If she stays on the board, I'm just going to win. Mayael is good, but Gisela is what you Mayael for.

The Mimeoplasm re-casts its commander, copying Acidic Slime to destroy my boots. See, if I hadn't moved them, that would have been a Shriekmaw killing my Gisela.

Then it plays Fleshbag Marauder. I Mayael in response, revealing Terastodon. I destroy The Mimeoplasm's bounceland (keeping it off of double-green), Sen Triplets' Mimic Vat, and my own Plains so that I can sac the elephant. These might be the wrong targets, I dunno.

So then Sen Triplets plays Personal Tutor for Damnation, then does some durdly stuff with Rings of Brighthearth and fetchlands and Crucible of Worlds. Endrek follows up with Harvester of Souls, and I play Quicksilver Amulet to sneak in this Moldgraf Monstrosity in response to the sweeper, teehee. The Mimeoplasm mills an Ulamog with Splinterfright, which kills the Splinterfright of course. It musters a Syphon Mind and a Veteran Explorer and passes.

Naturally, the Sen Triplets cast Damnation, but I respond with Moldgraf Monstrosity and come away mostly unscathed. Ha! I could have tried to Mayael into Avacyn, but that would have been way too greedy.

I think I targeted the wrong things with this revived Terastodon, but I'm not sure what the correct play would have been. Probably to not hit any of Sen Triplets' stuff and just kill them instead on the attack.

Endrek follows up with Beseech the Queen for Thran Dynamo, casting it and tapping it to play Cloudstone Curio, which is a dangerous card. Could lead to any number of combos. I have no idea what, specifically--maybe something with Priest of Gix or whatever--but I can tell that it's dangerous.

I attack Sen Triplets with Gisela to put them at 1, and The Mimeoplasm with Terastodon to put it at 7. Sadly, said Mimeoplasm has a Black Sun's Zenith for 9 to wipe the board of angels and elephants. Sen Triplets reply by casting Future Sight and Jace and going off, hitting me with Bribery to steal my Avacyn, Angel of Hope.

By the way, I really don't want to play this Timesifter into an opposing Top. That seems bad. 

Another Fleshbag Marauder kills Avacyn, and Endrek starts trying to go off with Cloudstone Curio, playing Puppeteer Clique to get back Terastodon and blow up some stuff, sacrificing the Clique to Persist (and bounce Terastodon back to my hand) and bring back Avacyn, which finishes off the wounded Sen Triplets.

I spot an opening and decide to go for it. I cast Planar Cleansing, blowing up Endrek's trinkets and The Mimeoplasm's blockers. Then I activate my Raging Ravine and Treetop Village and swing at The Mimeoplasm for exactsies! This takes up my whole turn, of course.

Endrek plays a Tutor Demon and more trinkets, and I try to Terastodon them for value, but he has a Go for the Throat; I suddenly regret giving him an extra 9 power.

He has enough gas in his tank to leverage my stumble into a victory, building on the momentum with two more kill spells for my blockers in order to finish me off in two combat phases. Fair enough.

Gisela continues to be absurdly good. Swiftfoot Boots is still impressing me, as is Moldgraf Monstrosity. Manlands did well in this game too, allowing me to deliver a killing blow on an otherwise empty board.

On the other hand, Vagrant Plowbeasts is feeling more mediocre now that I have Avacyn and Spearbreaker. I'm thinking maybe two of that effect is enough. Plowbeasts is at a much lower power level compared to the other two, so I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up on the chopping block soon.

I couldn't work up the nerve to play Timesifter at any point. I put it in the deck because I thought it would add some silly variance, but maybe I'm too risk-averse to run it. The potential downside is enormous, after all.

I played another game, but even though there were some interesting decisions in it, I don't want to do another full recap today, so I'll just show one screen:

This game was a perfect demonstration of the power of Blazing Archon against mono-green. With a Baru, Fist of Krosa tribal Beast concoction, norbert88 had only one out to it in his entire deck (Beast Within). Despite a Genesis Wave for 26 and a mind-blowingly enormous squad of trampling dudes with Ravenous Baloth to gain life, he was just stone dead to my one Archon. I even gave him an extra turn by miscounting my damage with Kessig Wolf Run and putting him at 1 life instead of dead, and misplaying earlier by clicking through my combat instead of pumping with Wolf Run so I could play Avacyn off of my hideaway land (which would have put him at zero outs for a complete lockdown).

Blazing Archon is very good against mono-green.

It was also a good game for Primeval Titan, which got lots of activations and went a very long way towards getting me the win. As usual, one of the best cards in the deck. (Timesifter, incidentally, was dead in this game as well.)

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