Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Building my Legacy pt.3

Since last we spoke, I have had a pretty remarkable run of trades. I've been able to pick up a full set of Groves (I actually had one! Who knew?), a Windswept Heath, had an Invigorate donated to the cause. (Good looking out Crispy), a Ghost Quarter, and picked up two Arid Mesa from JD.

Not only did this allow me to reduce the size of my shopping list, but the unexpected Mesas allowed me to drop the Horizon Canopy and Reflecting Pool from my deck. These were both suboptimal cards for me, primarily because they don't have basic land types. The last few weeks of testing have really driven home to me just how critical domain components are to my deck. The Arid Mesas has driven my domain concentration from 55% to 64%. Since roughly 1/4 of my deck cares about domain qualities, this should translate into a few more wins, and greater deck consistency.

While I'm on the subject of my land base, I really have to say that the land destruction sub-theme has been very underwhelming to this point. It has also become clear just how much better Wasteland is for my deck over Ghost Quarter. Since Ghost Quarter is really only viable in Extended, I've decided to drop 2 copies from my build, and replacing them for the time being with Terramorphic Expanse. This pushes my Domain concentration to 73%, which is maxed out as long as I run the Grove combo, and a minor LD package. My hope again is that the greater consistency will allow me to steal a few more games.

I have also come to realize that having six 3-drop creatures in addition to the Invigorate, is way to much. Invigorate clearly adds a tun of synergy, and I think Knight of the Reliquary makes a good late game finisher, but Kitchen Finks looks to be a side board piece at best. Unless more Zoo decks begin to present in the meta, I'm not convinced it will earn it's slot even there. In either case, I really need to find a main deck replacement that doesn't cost as much as Goyf. My top contenders are;

Whooly Thoctar
Keldon Marauders
Watch Wolf
Tattermang Maniac

Each of these creatures is above the power curve, and fitting with a zoo deck. The maniacs have a real advantage of casting either of R/G, which solidifies my first land drop, away from white mana, unlike a solid runner up, Savannah Lion, which stretches my mana base towards white very early. On the down side, it must attack each turn, and dies to virtually everything, which is bound to create some bad situations, since defenders choose their blockers, instead on me, making this bad removal in many cases.

Watch wolf is another good choice, but I feel like it competes with Pridemage for a GW 2 drop. Pridemage provides the same on board power by way of the exalted trigger, with the added benefit of a usable exalted trigger as soon as it hits the board, and it's sac ability is so relevant. I just feel like Watchwolf creates the opportunity to make the wrong choice in the game, and just doesn't earn it's slot.

Keldon Marauders is a solid 5 damage spread across 2 triggers and and attack phase. It's a great card, but it just feels more at home in a burn deck. It is particularly vulnerable to paths, since it likely nullifies the one attack phase.

Then we have Whooly Thoctar, which is were I started in the first place, and may well be were I end up again. This is still a three drop, but puts a very real threat on the board. My hope is the the combined 5 power on the board forces my opponents play enough, more so then the combined power of the 2 incarnations of the Kitchen Finks, and ultimately off sets the life gain. One thing I know is Kitchen Finks is not getting it done, so it's time to try something different. Maybe old whooly is the way to got for now. At any rate, this is a temporary measure until I'm able to pick up Tarmogoyfs.

Since I'm on the subject of Budget, I guess this is as good a time as any to talk about a bold budget move for the 2010 year. I'm going to go with a zero budget! That's right I'm going to take what I have and attempt to go infinite. This has always been my goal in Magic, and something I was able to accomplish the last time I played the game, but I never really had a time table for it this go round. So now I'm going to put my theories to the test, and see if I can continue to play Magic without investing any new funds into it.

I've recently made arrangements to secure my current shopping list through trade, and secure enough cash to ensure I can get un/common playsets for the next year with no outlay. This will certainly mean less events over the next year, but I'm honestly tired of chasing "the next big thing" in Standard, and Extend is a virtually irrelevant format, unless you are trying to qualify for the Pro-Tour. Legacy, as odd as it may sound, looks to be my best low budget option. There I can invest in cards once, and virtually never have to worry about them going down in value, or rotating out of the format.

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