Hello again! It’s been quite a while since I last updated my blog, for the past few weeks I’ve been more-or-less away from magic completely. Various holidays and such meant I missed out on 3 FNM’s in a row, including the monthly alt-format which was Modern this time. Which is not such a big deal, since I don’t have a competitive Modern deck anyway, hehe.
I’ve definitely been withdrawn though, since I got home I’ve taken every opportunity I can to play magic, 4/7 nights this week! I’ve enjoyed spellslinging with friends, something I don’t get to do enough of these days, and last night I made it along to FNM too. Just two hours beforehand I mentioned to my friend Dave Remon (who also blogs here at WWGB, see link) that I was bored of my GB Pod deck. So he offered to lend me UB control. Arriving at the store I quickly adjusted the deck and sideboard, and even managed to borrow a pair of Liliana of the Veil from another player!
Before we started I was told by another experienced player that UB Control was one of the hardest decks to play in standard at the moment, so I was a little concerned given I had no previous playing experience with the deck, but I thought “its a control deck (and not even a complex one tbh), how hard can it be!?”. Over the course of the night I actually found the deck rather easy to pilot. Sure, I probably wasn’t making optimal plays every time, and I definitely need to work on my Sideboarding (in general), but overall I felt like I got on really with this deck playing it out of the blue. The only problem I had were the games (and one entire round!) where I drew close to zero of my ~10 counterspells. Still, I had a great time playing with the deck, really enjoyed the night and had some absolutely fantastic games. See the bottom of this post for my Decklist and a brief round-by-round report.
As well as FNM I’ve been taking time to catch up with friends and play some casual magic, including EDH (unfortunately only 1v1 but its all good), in the past week. Dave has recently assembled an Experimental Kraj EDH deck (I’m sure he will blog about it at some point) so I’ve been helping him test that out facing it with all three of my decks (Lyzolda, Ulasht and Zedruu).
Playing with my Zedruu deck against just 1 other opponent is actually really fun! At one point Dave stole Zedruu with Beguiler of Wills. I used Volition Reins to regain control, but realising I was going to have to win by Milling rather than damage, Zedruu was drawing me too many cards (with Jace Beleren, Howling Mine and Temple Bell also in play). So to get around this I Oblivion Ring‘ed the Reins, and then used Spine of Ish Sah on my own O-ring to get the Reins back and steal myself a Contagion Engine! This is why I love EDH, it’s all about the epic plays… and using your own spells to 2-for-1 yourself, apparently
When I first blogged about my EDH decks I mentioned that Zedruu was the one I felt like I was having the most difficulty with getting it feeling “right”, in terms of being able to play politically. Politically Correct, if you will. With a number of additions since I now feel like my Zedruu deck is at a point where I’m really happy with it. I continuously update the deck lists of each of my EDH decks here on my blog as I make changes to the decks themselves. So if you would like to check out the latest version of my Zedruu deck it can always be found here.
Recent additions include Consecrated Sphinx (is there such thing as too much card draw?), Sensei’s Divining Top (it took me so long to acquire this card!) and Mindslaver (can you get any more political?). Just need to get together with more than one other person now in order to properly test them all out.
As always, thanks for reading! This post was more of a “catch up with what I’ve been up to” rather than having a specific topic as with my previous posts. I hope be back to some serious blogging soon, with more on EDH (I have a new deck idea in mind) and the evolution of my Horde deck. The next few weeks are hopefully going to involve a lot of magic for me, with the Manchester GP next weekend and of course the Avacyn Restored Pre-Release the week after!
My FNM report follows below for those interested. Until next time!
FNM Deck – UB Control
2 Conscecrated Sphinx, 3 Snapcaster Mage, 1 Frost Titan
Removal – 2 Black Sun’s Zenith, 3 Tragic Slip, 1 Sever the Bloodline, 3 Tribute to Hunger
Draw – 3 Think Twice, 3 Forbidden Alchemy, 1 Blue Sun’s Zenith
Counter – 4 Mana Leak, 3 Dissipate
Other – 2 Curse of Death’s Hold, 1 Ratchet Bomb, 2 Liliana of the Veil
4 Darkslick Shores, 4 Drowned Catacomb
2 Ghost Quarter, 2 Nephalia Drownyard
7 Island, 7 Swamp
Round 1 I faced Mythic red. Game 1 I was on the verge of defeat, and for some reason my opponent chose to restart the game with Karn Liberated. He seemed to think that Karn left himself in play (I’m unsure if this was a genuine mistake or just hoping I didn’t know the card. Fortunately I’d heard someone talking about the exact same situation just a couple of days ago or I may not have questioned it!). So in the end I went on to win Game 1. Post-sideboarding was a disaster for me though, this was the round I mentioned earlier where, having sided in all my counters, I saw no more than two of them (both Mana Leaks) all round! My opponent resolved Grafdigger’s Cage, Tumble Magnet and Koth of the Hammer and I had no way to deal with them. Game 3 was very similar, except my Ratchet Bomb was just a little too late to prevent Koth from going ultimate and taking the game. 2-1.
Round 2 was against a UB Vampire deck. Certainly not a finely-tuned version though, so the strength of my control deck made this round a pretty easy 2-0 win (partly helped by opponents mulligans in both games and mana screw in game 2, which is never fun for anyone).
Round 3 I faced Tempered Steel, but my opponent didn’t hit the god-hands and struggled to get much damage through under the weight of Black Sun’s Zenith and Tribute to Hunger. 2-0 here and not much else to say I’m afraid.
Round 4 was against a RG aggro (/infect) deck. Game 1 was quite close but I lacked any counter magic to stop the continual threats, Strangleroot Geist, Huntmaster of the Fells, Primeval Titan and Triumph of the Hordes (where the Infect danger came from). I was on 9 poison counters for a while and almost managed to stabilise, but it was closely fought.
Game 2 was the most incredible game I had all night. I was able to counter and Surgically Extract his Geists early on. However I was severely lacking in card draw and playing in near-top deck mode for the middle part of the game. A Huntmaster caused some serious trouble, until I managed to rip a Ratchet Bomb off the top, just in time! Stabilising myself on 3 life. My opponent went on to Green Sun’s for a Titan, grabbing an Inkmoth Nexus and Kessig Wolf Run. I’d already dealt with a couple of Nexus’ with Tragic Slips and a Ghost Quarter. I had no board and my opponent swung with the titan. I cast Tribute to Hunger, so in response he activated his Nexus. Fortunately I also had a Tragic Slip in hand! Hitting the Nexus and gaining 6 valuable life.
I cast a Consecrated Sphinx, but an opposing Mimic Vat meant I had to be careful. My opponent found one of his own Bird of Paradise under the Vat, which is no joke with a Wolf Run in play! Also it seemed I had Drownyarded a Increasing Savagery into his grave. So as he untapped, got a Bird token, cast Savagery on it and swung for 11 in the air. The bird fell to yet another Tribute to Hunger and I went back up to 20 life! With barely any library left and going close to time, my opponent conceded.
We agreed to draw game 3, which seemed like a fair result. And to be honest my head was reeling from the epic-ness of game two so I was glad to have a break lol.
Overall I had a really good night, and it felt great to be playing a completely new deck for once (all be it not one of my own design). I’m planning to play the deck again next week with a few tweaks. I have time to think more about the sideboard beforehand this time.
I think Sever the Bloodline is an incredible card right now, at least for my local metagame, so I’m going to run an extra one in the Maindeck over a copy of Black Sun’s Zenith. Having heard so much about the excellent card that Snapcaster Mage is meant to be I must say I was quite disappointed. I guess he is just better in decks with cards like Gut Shot and Vapor Snag. Still, its nice to have some of the versatility when it comes to recycling my removal spells.
Other than that there is not much more I’d change, although with possibly just 1 Liliana for next week im going to have a single Wurmcoil Engine step in to the empty slot. I almost hate myself for this, I’m sick of 6/6′s for 6 in standard. But I did feel like the deck needed another finisher, and since I have a Wurmcoil available it’s just too good to refuse.