Went to the RtR game day this weekend, really hoping to win the playmat. Unfortunately, it was not to happen but I had a great time with a good, fun deck. I went and had to decide whether I wanted to play UWR control or Jund. Jund was missing a couple of copies of Thragtusk and maybe a Huntmaster. Decided after playtesting with a new player and having the Emblem from Tamiyo, the Moon sage that the UWR deck was the one for me. The main drawback being that we only had 40 minutes per round. Anyway, on to the report.
Match 1 was against the new guy who I had been helping out before we started. He bought 3 decks with him and sat down opposite me with an unsleeved UW ‘control’ deck. He then, after time had started, went and bought sleeves and proceded to sleeve up this deck. After this, he decided that the deck was too big to shuffle and that he should use his Vampire deck anyway. I was not at all impressed, maybe 10 minutes had gone into the 2 of us sleeving up his 100 card deck and then he didn’t use it anyway. But it was his first tournament so I didn’t make a big deal. Anyway, absolutely crushed his deck. Detention Sphere netted me 2 Vampire Nighthawks and I killed him with 2 Azorious keyrunes and then an Entreat the Angels for 9. Game 2, he mulliganed and didn’t really play anything of note.
Match 2 was against Lewis, a good player, certainly one of the better ones from Stafford. He was running Esper Control with Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and Lingering Souls and this meant we had very interesting games. We both were running Tamiyo and Jace 4.0 so had to be worried about the Legend rule and I knew he would be running sever the bloodline. It was during these games that I realised that the weakness of my deck was that most of my actual win-conditions were creatures and that every time I got one of my win conditions on the board, it died. Whether that was Entreat the Angels, Isperia, Supreme Judge or Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius. I struggled to beat his because I’d dig until I got a win con, play the card and then by the time I wanted to attack it had died. Keyrunes were excellent here though. Sideboarding was very interesting, I really was not very prepared for this style of deck but my sideboarding obviously worked as I took a good game 2 to tie it up at 1-1. Time was called and we finished 1-1, but I conceded it to allow my opponent to stand a chance of winning overall. His deck had cards like Augur of Bolas which I had not considered and I think he learnt quite a lot from my deck, picking up a few ideas.
Match 3 was against Selesnya. After 2 very close games, carefully using my life total as a resource I won 2-0. Cards such as Azorious Charm were excellent against various tokens and the board sweepers were also excellent. The populate deck really struggled and I capitalised, even though my life total was quite low in both games this is a good matchup for my deck. So far the deck had been fun to play, with lots of tension and not too many miracles. Was 2-0-1 at this point (even if that wasn’t true officially).
Match 4 was against the deck I had been sat next to during the previous round a pretty terrifying looking Jund deck concentrating on removal. Game 1 was not a tight affair. Stole the game with an Entreat for 3 on T5 and 2 turns later my opponent was dead. My opponent sideboarded 11 cards in and I spread out my win conditions as much as possible, trying to stop my opponent from shutting me down with Slaughter Games which I knew he was running. I even surprised myself by removing Entreat the Angels. This ‘next level’ play I was quite proud of, as I had sideboarded for a card I expected my opponent to bring in. With a more diverse selection of threats we played out game 2, but his slaughter games stripped out most of my ways to win, including Tamiyo and Entreat the Angels. Being Jund, he had removal for individual creatures. I conceded with about 25 cards left in my library but with only 1 threat (a single Niv Mizzet). Time was short so we went to game 3. I re-sideboarded into the maximum number of Entreat the Angels, thinking my opponent might sideboard out of the Slaughter Games if he realised that I had sideboarded out my Entreats. I only had 5 minutes left. We played super quickly and had a great game, the key moment which surprised my opponent being when I used Niv Mizzet to hit him for 3, rather than kill his attacking Thragtusk. I had done the maths and worked out that if he didn’t have a removal spell for it (he’d used 2 x Dreadbore previously in the game) then he would be exactly dead 2 turns later with my Niv Mizzer, and I would be left on 2. This was exactly how it worked out, with me flashing back Feeling of Dread to tap his creatures on a key turn and allowing me to kill him with exactly lethal. This round showed me how little instant speed removal I had, his Rakdos Keyrunes were excellent against me, as my Terminus and Mizzium Mortars were not good. This is something I hope to address with the next version of the deck.
Overall I was very happy with the deck. I had zero testing, it was full of random 1-ofs which I thought would be cool, rather than necessarily being good. The deck seemed to play out extremely well. I was expecting a very aggressive field but it was much more midrange than I expected, which made a few of my cards less useful than they normally would be. However, considering I built the deck with no knowledge of the meta etc I feel that it went very well. The deck needed a little less removal and a few more win conditions which is something I will work on. Anyway, in all of its glory here is my UWR Control deck.
3 x Azorious Keyrune
My next post is hopefully going to be a break down of which cards were good, which were bad and what I am doing next. I have an extra Jace now which is great.