zaterdag 14 juni 2014

The end of Mono-Red aggro

It`s been almost 3 years that I have been playing competitive Magic now (since the middle set of the Innistrad Block) and ever since I have been playing (bar in the occassional Limited format) Red.

Mostly mono red, sometimes coloured on the sides with some black... which is odd because in my `youth` and kitchen Magic gameplay, I always played Mono Blue.

But while the results are always around the midfield with the aggro deck, I`ve finally made the transition and at the FNM this weekend, I played... BLUE together with some Black.

A homebrewn, bar 2 sideboard cards, Block deck, it has a few possible win conditions, but it won`t be that fast of games as I usually played the past years, and it definitly won`t be so no brainer style.

1. Ashiok: screw his deck a bit with the exiling, and if able attack him with the big beasties

2. Phenax, God of Deceit: if I can stall the game and get him out, I might be able to mill the opponent to smithereens.

3. Daring Thief / Pain Seer: the early game for damage, attack with both, then Triton Tactic the Thief to exchange a big beast from him for the tapped Seer.  Pass the turn and hope he draws something high cost to burn himself as the Seer untaps.  Or get his mana dorks and plants over to my side and ruin his ramping for the green based decks like Naya and Jund.

4. Last resort is just attack attack attack with the flying Sphinx...

The deck is build around mostly toughness 3 creatures in an effort to protect Ashiok, and I don`t care to make Phenax a creature, it is his passive ability I`m after to start milling.  The rest is all kinds of removal and what I always loved in Magic: the sheer irritating dispel, counter, bounce shannanigans of Blue.

It will be taking a while to get used to the deck (and moreover, the non attacking) as it`s main goal is not to aim at winning by reducing him to 0, but by either milling him out, or let him scoop in desperation as I grab his bigger beasties.

And now I can go back and think about the Blue deck I really want to build: a big Kraken like gimmick...

And so we took to the field of battle with this homebrewn deck, unexperienced in piloting it...

... and it showed on the FNM.

The first game I was up against Timo and a Black White Orzhov deck.  I made a big booboo in round 1 and handed him the game.  In the second round, I couldn`t get out of my starting block as my Thiefs where very rogueish, so a 2-0 loss was my share.

Round 2: Bye and watched Spain - Holland

Round 3: a Monoblack aggro deck.  Losing the first game to mana screw stayng stuck on 3 lands of the wrong colour, game 2 didn`t go much better.  I was in the race for a while, but then removal wreaked my board and I went down, another 2-0.

Round 4: The finalround was against Green Blue Kiora.  I needed to go to extreme measures in the first round and attacked with three Pain Seers on 5 life left... and only a single card behind that could insta kill me.  Guess what I pulled.
Round 2 the deck fially got in his `mode`, and I grinded him out with his own creatures, securing the first round win for the deck.  But in the decider game, I had one turn to few or I would have milled him out, but now I had been beaten down just to much by a... friggin` Skylasher.

Never the less, price support went well though, as I did secure that FNM promo of Dissolve by the dice roll process, first rolling a 19 (a bloody three way tie) followed by a 20 and taking along the card.  And the booster support yielded a Prophetic Flamespeaker.

 Anyhow, 4 points to the Planeswalker Points tally.  Now I wonder what saturday will be bringing.  Next time I`m going in with the all blue I`m brewing up, then to evolve my current three decks into a single one: Red Blue build around the God of Storms, lots of scry beasts like the Sphinxes, Omenspeakers and a heap of Burn supported by the red satyr...  But first things first...

... Saturday Standard

Went just as bad, if not even worse.  I lost each and every game, and bar one with dry 0-2 numbers...

Well, I can`t say this build has been a success, but do I state it as epically failed?  No.

One the one hand, it`s biggest problem is the win condition, that is TO situational, and the other problem I had is the local metagame.  Out of 27 decks today, 16 where mono aggro.  Not even that long ago, my mono red was more of an oddity then a mainstay, and the deck couldn`t cope with all that violence.

Maybe with some fine-tuning it would be playable, but I`m not going to break my head over it though, instead I`m going to start building my Kraken deck and give that a few runs for it`s money before deciding what i`d be playing at GP Utrecht, depending as well a little on what is coming out in M15.

Only time will tell, I`ll keep you all posted.


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