This week I took along a deck I called Clone Wars. The aim of the deck was to use cards such as Blood Artist and Falkenrath Noble which gain you 1 life and lose the opponents 1 life. Then to clone these using cards such as Phantasmal Image and Phyrexian Metamorph because these guys in multiples make it really difficult for opponents to kill you creatures. Then to win, either Black Sun’s Zenith, or Killing Wave, so that all of your creatures die at the same time, so all of the triggers stack at the same time. E.g. If there are 4 of the lose 1 life, gain one life cards out (Blood Artist or Falkenrath Noble) and one other creature. Then by killing them all at the same time, the opponent loses 20 life and you gain 20, because when one creature dies, there are 4 separate triggers causing the opponent to lose 1 life each. This happens for each of the 5 creatures, so the opponent loses 20 and you gain 20.
The reason I wanted to run this was because last week I ran my usual Zombies list, except I made it mono-black and added in the Blood Artists and the Falkenrath Noble. The all-stars last week were both of those cards. So I just decided I wanted more of them, so I put cards in which could copy them. They are just so good in multiples. That and the fact that Phyrexian Metamorph and Phantasmal Image are 2 of my favourite cards in standard. Also, life gain is really well placed in our FNM, as there is a lot of aggro at the moment.
I’m not going to do a full report, other than to say I went 3-1. losing out in the final to a UW control/Golems list, and losing out both times to a resolved Karn Liberated. There was just nothing my deck could do against Karn. However, I was very happy with the deck. I had the chance to stabilise in the last game with a Black Sun’s Zenith, which I was 1 mana short on being able to leave mana open to pay for the Mana Leak which stopped me. I beat a mono-red list, which the guy was a bit annoyed about, because I came out of nowhere to kill him by losing the full 20 life in one turn. Match 2, I beat turbo-fog, by hitting my opponent for over 40 life in one turn. Match 3 was against a Pod list, which I beat turn 4 on the play Something like T1 Gravecrawler, T2 2 x Diregraf Ghoul, swing for 2. T3 Geralf’s Messenger, swing for 6 (opponent on 10 life). T4 play blood artist, swing for 9, then Killing Wave for x=0 to win. He sided very heavily, beat me game 2 and then I won a close game 3. Final match lost out to Karn Liberated. My deck is very threat dense and is very good against the board sweepers such as Day of Judgment, but has no answer against Karn.
My reasons for posting today was to talk about blogging itself. I started writing for this blog in February and since then I have seen my results just get better and better. I think that blogging has really improved my deck building, as it really make you think about what you are doing with your deck, think about what went well, which cards beat you etc. I do genuinely think that blogging about my Magic playing has really improved my game. I feel like I am now one of the most consistent players at my FNM and since March have a 70% win percentage in all competitions, including GP Manchester and limited tournaments. I have not been worst than 2-2 since March and have only gone 2-2 once.
2-2 = Once
3-1 = Seven Times
3-2 = Once
4-0 = Once
6-3 = Once
That is a pretty good record in my opinion, considering I am playing a brew of my own and considering the diversity of the decks I have to play against. This is also including limited tournaments too. My top tips to anybody trying to improve their Magic would be these below
1) Blog about your Magic, it does genuinely improve your game. Or at least reflect on why you won/lost. Self reflection, as long as it is honest, is very important to improving at anything.
2) Know your deck well, that way you can play to your outs, you know what you need to win in various situations. This comes about by playing a deck quite a lot. I would suggest to do this, play a deck you enjoy playing.
3) Play carefully, think about what signs you are giving to your opponent and don’t rush, or allow your opponent to rush you. You should be in control and if you need 2 minutes to sit there and work out what to do, then do that. Just don’t do it all of the time.
4) Don’t just net deck the ‘best’ deck. Play a deck you enjoy playing with, some people like control, some like aggro, some like combo. Learn what you like and don’t like.
5) Use your life total as a resource. This is probably my number one game tip, as people generally are not very good at allowing their life total to decrease. I let a red deck get me to 4 life this week, because I knew that I could win the turn after. It was a risk, but a calculated one, as I knew he had one card in hand, and not enough untapped mana to play it.