The good news: I haven’t been able to make it to Tuesday night Magic at Montag’s since December, so I was pumped to be able to go back to it. The bad news: no time to really brew, so I just picked up CawBlade. Boring, yes, but so good… Here’s the list I played:
I still run Day of Judgment main because I expect a majority aggro in my local meta and relatively few mirrors. If I were to take it to a PTQ or something I’d probably swap the Days and Divine Offerings.
8 players, so four rounds of Swiss cutting to top 4.
Round 1: Parker, playing Puresteel Paladin
Parker’s a regular I’ve played many times, though he doesn’t often play Standard. I had no idea what to expect when we started but I won the roll and took a hand with 2 Mana Leaks and drew into a third pretty early, so I was able to mostly keep the pressure off, though he did get one whack in with a Paladin equipped with a Sword of Body and Mind, which I had some trouble with since I couldn’t bounce it with Jace. I finally killed it and a germ token on a Batterskull with Day, and was able to recover faster and bash back for the win. I boarded in the additional Day and of course the two Divine Offerings. I know I boarded out Jace Beleren but I don’t remember what else. Game 2 I got both Jace and Gideon out (felt like pre-NPH Caw there for a bit) and got help from him being land flooded and carried that one pretty easily.
1-0 matches, 2-0 games
Round 2: Paul, playing mono-Black
I was 0-2 the last two tournaments against this particular deck, first with CawBlade and then with BantBlade, so I really wanted this one, but my expectations were low. I ran out a turn 2 Spellskite, then on turn 3 I Preordained. I saw two Colonnades, and I know how badly Caw wants land, but I decided to send them both to the bottom and I topdecked a Mystic. I cast it (fetching Sword of Feast and Famine) and he tried to Disfigure, but I redirected to the Spellskite and he was still stuck on one 1 land, so he just scooped. I boarded in the Divine Offerings (for his Swords and Lashwrithes), the Dismembers (for his Phyrexian Obliterators), Gideon, and of course the two Purges. Game 2 I took a two-lander that had a Preordain and mostly blue spells, but I got stuck on those two land, missing both turn 3 and 4 land drops, and was just too far behind to get back in it. I got beat down by a Bloodghast that I couldn’t keep dead or even slowed since I was under 10 life. Game 3 I was able to get a Sworded Hawk going, and he was a little light on land, and the Hawk carried the day.
2-0 matches, 4-1 games
Round 3: Chris, playing RDW
Chris has been around a lot lately, but I haven’t played him before, though I knew he was playing RDW. Game 1 was a disaster, turn 1 Guide, burned my turn 2 Mystic, Elder, then second Guide, and I just could not keep up and died holding a handful of too-slow blue spells. Game 2 was much better, I opened with two Day of Judgment, and got 3-for-1 both times, then followed with Linvala, which I was able to equip with Sword of War and Peace, and that ended it with me at 11 life at the lowest point—a comfortable win. Game 3 was a more drawn out, and I did get down to 5, but I managed to stop the bleeding with Gideon, then Jace, then a Batterskull. I was just lucky that he didn’t topdeck a couple more burn spells before I could get the beastly skull fired up, but it only took a couple turns of Gideon+Batterskull both swinging.
3-0 matches, 6-2 games
Round 4: ID
I was the only undefeated, so I drew in. My opponent was taking a chance by doing so, but the other 4 2-1s all played, so he was seeded #4, and me #1, so we still got in our match.
3-0-1 matches, 6-2 games
Semis: Joey, playing UB Tezz
Joey also doesn’t play that much Standard, but his deck was really, really interesting. Tezz, lots of artifacts, 4 Phyrexian Metamorphs, and… Phylactery Lich. The coolest play I’ve seen in a while was Joey in an earlier round with a Metamorph on the board, having copied a Lich in play and putting the counter on itself. Very tech! (Though I just read Oracle on the card and it turns out that’s not a legal play. Hmm.) All three of these were very long games. I got a turn 2 Mystic into SoFF, but he copied the Mystic to get a Darksteel Axe. I got a Batterskull, and he copied it… twice. He got a Tumble Magnet, which kept my own Sword off him. When he got Tezzeret and made the Axe a 5/5—nice play—I was in trouble, and he got more counters on Tezz and was able to ultimate him for 16, and I couldn’t get back in it from there. I really didn’t know what to sideboard, and decided to board in a lot: the Offerings, the Emeria Angels, the Purges, the Sphinx, and Gideon. I struggled with what to take out of after the two Days and decided that Batterskull was just dangerous, so I took it out. That meant I could take out a Mystic, too, and then I was stumped. I finally took out two Preordains, which is dangerous, but I wasn’t sure what else to do. Game 2 went pretty smoothly as I got Jace out on my turn 5 and had one blue open for the Pierce, which caught his Tezz, and that was enough of a lead that I carried it. At one point I had an Emeria Angel out that he copied with a Metamorph, but I had an Offering for it. He managed to make a bird token, but I bounced that with Jace, but he was able to go for the Angel’s throat before I could make any tokens, though. I still pulled it out anyway. Game 3 was another epic. He came out with turn 1 Inquisition and saw that I had two Pierces in my opener. He played around them really well, and got two Spellskites on his side and then used Tezz to make one of them a 5/5, but I was able to kill Tezz with a Hawk and an activated Inkmoth. I had Jace, but couldn’t bounce the big Skite because of the second, and then he got a Lich, ugh. I had a handful of Hawks, though, and was able to chump and get a Gideon. I had Gideon send everyone over, blocked one of the 5/5s with a Hawk and Gideon took 5. I bounced Lich with Jace, which of course got redirected to the 0/4 Spellskite, and then I used Gideon to slay the 5/5 Skite. I swung back with a Colonnade and Gideon next turn, then just chumped the Lich until I could fly over for two more hits with the manland. I was at 4, so it was pretty tight. It was a great match that could easily have gone either way, and I have to say I really really liked the deck a lot. It would get blown out by Creeping Corrosion, I’d think, but who plays that?
4-0-1, 8-3 games
Joe, who was also playing UW CawBlade (but was the only other one playing it), also made the finals but wanted to leave so we agree to a split before we finished the semis.
I’m going to miss FNM at Montag’s this week because I’ll be in Minneapolis, but I plan to play at a store there. I’ll either hit up Monster Den, Dreamer’s, or Universe Games since they’re all about the same distance from my parents’ place (bringing my kids up to visit their grandparents). If anyone has any thoughts on this, please share! (I’m @SunByrne on twitter.)