Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Building My Legacy pt.4

So I had to call a couple of audibles on Sunday morning just prior to the first SciFi Genre Sanctioned Legacy Event. I ended up with the following list, and sideboard. The most recent changes (from my prior development) are in italics.

Kavu Predator x4
Kird Ape x4
Knight of the Reliquary x2
Qasali Pridemage x4
Wild Nacatl x4
Tarmogoyf x4
Ranger of Eos

Invigorate x3
Lightning Bolt x4
Sensei's Divining Top x2
Swords to Plowshares x3
Punishing Fire x3
Umezawa's Jitte

Arid Mesa x3
Horizon Canopy
Ghost Quarter
Grove of the Burnwillows x4
Sacred Foundry
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Terramorphic Expanse
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Forest, Mountain, Plains 1 each.

Gaea's Blessing
Relic of Progenitus x2
Tormod's Crypt x2
Red Elemental Blast x2
Firespout x3
Vexing Shusher x4

The event went really well, and we were able to sanction the very first time with 11 players. The field was nearly as broad with 2 radically different Zoo decks, ANT, Eva Green, dredge, pox, goblins, burn, elves, mostly-white weenie?, and monogreen spirits?. My first round match up was Roberto Elves, and damn that thing is fast. I went down to the hoard in game one, and sided in firespout as a board sweeper in game 2, but it just wasn't enough. I think Pyroclasm, being a turn faster, will be better. I also need to find a way to control a morph trigger, and I was just coming up empty. Pithing Needle should be just the thing. Morph may not use the stack, but it is an activated ability. Turning off a win condition seems good.

My next match appeared to be a mirror Zoo match (which I later discuved worked more like a White Weenie deck), but used black instead of Red. I really never got a good feel for what the deck was intended to do, because I was able to get there in two, pretty fast both times. I was even able to steal the second win with what I've dubbed my "lifer suite". People just don't see that coming, and it gets the job done so nicely, when it goes off.

My third match of the day ended up being a bitter sweet victory. After getting pounded in game one, my opponent discovered he had presented an illegal deck, as 3 of his main deck cards were inadvertantly in with the side board, netting an illegal 57 card main deck. What happened next was a bit remarkable. My opponent called a judge, and reported his own error, when it would have been so easy, to have simply corrected it and moved into game 2. Now don't get me wrong, this was in no way remarkable because of who did it. This individual is not only a long time friend, and esteemed Magic colleague, but an all around stand up guy. No, what made this remarkable was seeing this level of integrity in a card game. Honestly, after the recent rash of DQ's at the pro level, I had really wondered if it still existed in the game, or if the "easy way" had simply won out, over the "right way". The judge issued a game two loss for my opponent, and we moved into game three with a win each. I am proud to say that I feel like I won the third game on the strength of my own pro play. My opponent had 2 mountains in play, and a grip of cards, I played a second land and tapped out to drop a Kavu. He ponded it with direct damage as soon as it hit the board. I responded by alternate casting Invigorate to save it. He was tapped out, so I figured, I had saved my threat, and pumped it at the same time. He responded to it with Fireblast dealing four, having sacked 2 mountains for the alternate casting cost. The 4 for 2 exchange was enough of a tempo gain for me to win out, as my opponent was unable to overcome the loss of 2 lands. While my win here cemented me into packs, I sort of hated to get the win on a play error.

My last opponent of the day was Crispy's Eva Green. What I didn't know was my deck was on his side. Now I know better then to sit around after a match and complain about how my deck crapped on me. Every case of mana screw is either a symptom of poor design or bad shuffle, nothing more. All I know is my sub-par mana base met Crispy's excellent disruption/LD package, they shook hands, turned around, and gave me the finger. Game one was mercifully over before I knew it. Being cut off from a color is bad, and having both your lands give your opponent life is worse. Game three was much longer, as I managed to stabilize three times, but it was never enough to put Crispy on his back foot, and he remained firmly in control through out.

A the end of the day my deck had done exactly what it was designed to do, steal enough wins to put me in packs. I also got some really good data on how my deck matches up against others. A couple of tweaks to my side board should greatly improve my ability to steal a win, maybe as much as 50%, but only time and testing will tell. I also continue to think that improving my mana base is the most immediate way to effect my win percentage, now 6-13. That still sucks, but it's vastly improved over my prior 2-8 record. Today's list had a domain factor of 71.4%, which is much higher them my starting point, but still clearly allowing opportunities to fail. One to two more fetch lands could push this concentration as high as 81%, and at a cost of about $25, could be just the short term fix I'm looking for. Of course, only a single Arid Mesa is still on my shopping list, and this probably isn't teh year to foil out DoMT, so I may have to look at for a more budget friendly option. Maybe I'll get lucky and crack an Arid Mesa out of the two packs I won, or at the very least it should be pretty easy to trade for, and it would have an impact on 3 of my 5 decks. Luckily, I can make the changes I want to my side board with cards I already have.

Gaea's Blessing
Relic of Progenitus x2
Tormod's Crypt x2
Red Elemental Blast x2
Pyroclasm x3
Pithing Needle x4

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