Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Night Magic 16/8/20013

FNM @ Games Haven

Just a quick update on yesterday's record. Basically I pushed on with the same Boros Champs deck with a few minor editions to the main board.

-1 Thalia
-2 Doomed

+3 War Falcon

This was to give me a few more evasive bodies to give greater early pressure. The event went really well for me as I went 3-0 to grab August's FNM Promo as the prize! 
Sweet art!

Learning from my past was a night where i really got used to the tempo and amount of pressure to enforce upon my opponents. I was pleasantly surprised by the deck's performance as I went up against tough match-ups ( with rgds to play style ) and really piloted it well this time. This was probably the first FNM that left me with the feeling that I was in the game...

Round 1 VS UWR control (2-1)
Game 1: Had a good curve and good pressure...and played it as long as I could before finally folding to drawing engine. Was pretty neat as we traded back and forth for 30mins.
Game 2:  Draw into lands and the early pressure from champion and thalia forced him to wrath the board...allowing me to resolve a burning earth with threats in hand. A second burning earth and he folded.
Game 3: Kept a single land hand with champ, thalia, kog and sublime. Figured that being on the draw...i might have the time and chance to draw into lands. I did and kept the early pressure. On t4, with thalia and champ already on the board...I played sublime to bait his hand ...having drawn Burning Earth on the draw step. He duly played Supreme Verdict on 5 mana, allowing me to resolve burning earth again. From there on, a single fiendslayer paladin wrecked havoc.

Note: Just like my previous commentors suggested...learning how much is enough pressure is the key to this deck.

Round 2 VS Naya Midrange (Keibler?) (2-0)
Game 1: Saw a curve into sublime... and boom!
Game 2: Rinse and repeat. Braving the elements paved the way as i disregarded 2 Hellkites.

Note: We had a few board states where we simply stared at each other. However, slayer stronghold with a first striker proved to be painful...and brave the elements was an all-star here.

Round 3 VS 4 Colour CC (2-0)
Game 1: An early champion into thalia gave alot of pressure again. Baiting his wraths and playing threats into slayer stronghold won the game for me as he simply lack enough answers.
Game 2: Early pressure...into burning earth. Ray of revelation came in and we traded back and forth for a long period of time. Things looked bleak as nephalia drownyard brough me down to 8 cards. However, my opponent was sitting on 3 life and one card in hand...( was worried it was a Thragtusk )...I drew into KOG...swung with exalted status and he revealed a land in hand. 

Note: All stars for the night
1. Burning Earth
2. Fiendslayer Paladin
3. Thalia

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wear and Tear at Games Day

Gamesday M14 @ Sun Island Cafe 11/8/2013

After the National Day break, it was back to playing magic! I decided to continue using Boros Champs..and added in a pair of : 
Awesome artwork!
There were a number of cards that I anticipated using this against...namely:
1. Pesky enchantments like detention sphere and oring
2. Ratchet bomb
3. Assemble the legions

So I hitched a ride from my buddy, got down to the shop...and within the first 5 minutes...went into the top 8!! So free loot due to a lack of players! This however, turned out to be my only joy of the I went into a horrid 0-3 placing! Added in to the fact that I was waylaid by a really irritating spectator.    ( note to self: Goodbye Sun Island) 

And reporting as usual:

Game 1 (1-2) : vs B/W Blood Baron Zombie midrange
Round 1 saw me stalled on a single land for 5 turns...despite pulling into 2 champions of the parish. Wasn't long before I was simply crushed by the zombies.
Round 2 saw a singular fiendslayer paladin take the game, riding on 2 slayer strongholds!
Round 3 saw the arrival of blood baron...and without any real sort of answer, my early pressure slowly dissipated and fizzed.

Game 2 (1-2): vs U/W control
Round 1: turn 2 terminus, turn 4 verdict into aetherling.
Round 2: curve into sublime - game.
Round 3: a series of azorius charms, celestrial flare, verdict and aetherling ended the game.
My sideboard was starting to feel really shaky. Burning Earth was not so stellar...

Game 3 (1-2): vs B/W/G tokens
Round 1: between thragtusk, advent of the wurm and intangible virtue..i was given the smack down!
Round 2: curve into silverblade and win!
Round 3: collective blessing resolves with a whole load of spirit tokens, VOR and thragtusk on board.

To sum it up, I had really horrid match ups today. Blood baron is something my deck cannot deal with at all cost ....and the same can really be said of aetherling. The sideboard tech of burning earth also pales when the meta decides to avoid going the tri-colours route. This has really prompted me to consider these two cards. In addition...I appeared to land flood at times..perhaps cutting 24 lands might be the proper call? Time to return to the drawing block!

At the end of the reports are to aid in my development as a competitive player. While the match-ups were fierce...I personally felt that I was relying too much on a sb plan B of burning earth to overwhelm my opponents. The meta in Sun Island was fundamentally very different to that in Gameshaven...and I ultimately didn't prepare myself. In addition, my inability to read decks that I hadn't come across cost me dearly...and U/W control returns to give me nightmares!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Return to Magic! Boros Champs!

Joe the Superstar.
Hi all from little Singapore! It's been slightly too long since my last foray back into magic. Honestly, it had quite a bit to do with myself being lost around a myriad of decks. Ever since the rotation of Honor of the Pure and Hero of Bladehold, it's been hard to find a white weenie/human deck that has buttered my interest. I have spent quite some time with naya blitz, bant hexproof and Joe here...

It was pretty solid fun times until a certain beast trampled through the jungle and laid its turd across the format:

And games just went on and on....and aggro really didn't seem to cut it so well. I found myself playing around with the naya colours for burning tree emissary...but never really felt like I stood a proper chance with the nut draw.

So after a bit of dwindling...and waiting...and feeding on Craig Wescoe's latest concoctions...(and M14 came along!)...what really got be excited was the arrival of the white power ranger.

That's right...I'm looking at you JUND.

And to top it off...M14 threw in a blind obedience on a scepter! 
Gotta love the art here!

Hence, I have been taking the time to brew some mono white human themed decks..but they never really had the reach nor the staying power. Splashing red for boros charm and some burn seemed like a good idea and I was having mixed success with a boros homebrew that ran the whole range of humans. Still it wasn't there yet.... until...this:

Boros Humans by Craig Wescoe
Finished 5th - 8th Place at 2013 World Magic Championship

Main Deck

Banisher Priest
Champion of the Parish
Doomed Traveler
Fiendslayer Paladin
Knight of Glory
Silverblade Paladin
Sublime Archangel
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Creatures [29]
Brave the Elements
Searing Spear
Spells [7]
Clifftop Retreat
11 Plains
Sacred Foundry
Slayers' Stronghold
Lands [24]
Deck Total [60]

Banisher Priest
Brave the Elements
Burning Earth
Fiend Hunter
Nearheath Pilgrim
Rest in Peace
Sideboard [15]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

Now this is the real deal!! The master of white weenies returned with a vengence and I was itching to run this immediately. Craig posted a great deal of information regarding the playstyle of this deck against the current meta and you should check it out!

And sometimes the alignment of the stars makes a deal with real life and its responsibilities....I found myself with enough time to join a local tourney on Saturday at Gameshaven! So I sleeved up the deck...had a few warm up matches with my students..and into the battle i went!

Casual Saturday Tournament @ Games Haven 3/8/2013

Game 1: VS Esper Control (2-0)
Round 1 went relatively smoothly as I simply curved into Thalia and Sublime. A miracle terminus ( as always...) took my board on turn 6 and left him 1 life. On my turn,I cast Thalia from my hand and ate a Syncopate...he was tapped out. With 4 mana open, I took the game by casting a doomed traveller, followed by activating Slayer's stronghold. Craig was right about the land.
Round 2 basically ended with a curve into Burning Earth. From there, it felt really unfair and there really wasn't much he could do without an answer for it.

Game 2: VS Bant Aggro (0-2)
Now this was a rather bad game for me. Was it a bad match up? I couldn't be too sure. Basically I got beat down on both rounds and drew either into lands...or couldn't keep up with his race. Between VOR, Loxondon Smiter and Selesnya Charm...i had a major headache!

Game 3: VS Vampires (2-0)
Took both games on the back of knight of glory and fiendslayer paladin. Despite having the stomkirk noble on T1 in round 2, he just couldn't deal with a post-board hand of 2 banisher priests and 1 fiend hunter.

Game 4: VS Grixis Control (2-1)
Now this was an awesome match up.
Round 1 saw me beating him down to 4 health, only for him to recover with Far and Away. I drew into lands and he drew in drownyards and jace...basically ending the game for me.
Round 2 saw him drawing into lands instead...when i curved into Sublime and she survived long enough to steal a was clear he didn't have removals and I went for the kill.
Round 3 was the most hilarious game of ping pong ever. He struck me early with a duress and discarded my Burning Earth. At that moment, it didn't look promising as he had also pillared an early Thalia. 

"It seems like another one of those days... the dark powers wresting control from the forces of goodness!" remarked my opponent.

I needed an out...took my turn, unkeep -draw....into:
Not once...but top decked...TWICE!
With two burning earths on the field...I took a gamble and raced him with only a silverblade on board. He stared me down with a snapcaster, I parried an attack by casting Brave the Elements on mr shiny horse and my opponent duly concede...since all his lands were non basic.

And that ends my report for my return to competitive magic! Pro tip: Watch out for Burning Earth tech... it really really hurts.

Thanks for reading!