During the past couple of weeks, my white/blue weenie build has undergone extreme testing and some reformatting. I have participated in 3 tournaments since the last tournament discussed in my article, and of these three tournaments, two were very admirable finishes. The following are condensed reports and analyses for the three tournaments:
Tournament 1- Mile High Comics
Attendance - 50 people, including four friends and myself
The Decks – Most everyone there was netdecking, and the most popular builds were psychatog, blue/green, and red/green.
My Deck – Altered White/Blue weenie. I removed two lands for the fourth Patrol Hound and Aquamoeba
4 Stormscape Apprentice
4 Adarkar Wastes
Our judge (Bill!) gave us our first-round
Another relatively easy game. Mages locked down his key cards, and Glory/ Worship bought me the game.
U/G quiet speculation
This was, of course, another easy one. A turn two speculation for 3 Roar of the Wurms was nullified by a turn two Meddling Mage naming Roar of the Wurm; this is not uncommon, and almost always results in a game win, as it did here. Glory protected beatdown won me this game.
An opening hand that included one mana type (I forget which) caused me to lose. Hordes of green madness creatures ate me alive.
Almost exactly like game 1, this was very easy. A minor mistake forced one of my creatures to die to a Spellbane Centaur, but my opponent lost to more glorified creatures.
B/U/G quiet psychatog
In my opinion, this color combination of tog’ is the most powerful, but the build which uses quiet speculation for discarding Roars is apparently weaker than the one that uses Pernicious Deed. Because my opponent could not deal any damage (protection from black) or target my creatures (protection from blue), he lost this game.
My opponent did not catch on, and thus only sideboarded in one Pernicious Deed. This ended up killing him, due to early beats protected by Glory.
U/G Deep Dog
This was against my friend Stephen, who decided he would have a draw with me. The matchup was pretty even anyway, because he had Wonder and I had Worship. Regardless, this draw helped me to stay calm when I began to play my final opponent.
The power of rogue decks is incredible, especially when they harness the most unexpected and potent cards in their format; if it had not been for some simple errors, this match could have been won, though the matchup was even.
An early Gerrard’s Verdict gave my opponent the card advantage he needed to win. A constant stream of Chainer’s Edicts, Pernicious Deeds, and Vindicates destroyed my creatures. I stabilized at two life, but my opponent cast a living wish for a Plague Spitter. I tapped out even after he cast it, killing me two turns later. This game would have been won otherwise.
Quick, Deed–Dodging, Spectral Lynxes and Anurid Brushhoppers overwhelmed me. I had no time to stabilize, and was defeated.
This loss dropped me from the tournament, as we moved to top 8. I would have made it to the next round, but my opponents did worse than those of the other potential top 8 players, decreasing my score to out–of–range. I lost at 9th place. However, for a 50 person tournament, that is not awful.
Tournament 2 – Friday Night Magic
Attendance – approximately 15 people
The Decks – Mostly rogue decks dominated, some of which were extremely inefficient. Others proved to be quite powerful…
My Deck – The same as the one I used in the last tournament.
Our judge (Bill again!) assigned us our seats.
W/G phantoms – not exactly full of the most powerful cards available…
This was a horrible defeat. The deck showed unexpected power, in spite of the lack of white/green’s most essential creature – Anurid Brushhopper. This game would have been easy, were it not for an Armadillo Cloaked Beloved Chaplain followed by Worship.
After the end of this game, I knew that I could not possibly win the tournament. The only creature my opponent drew was a Chaplain again (of course) which he enchanted until it was… huge. That is all that needs to be known about that tournament… everything afterwards was downhill.
A rather weak deck overall, this did not fare well against me. Both games were shut down by quick Glorification. Meddling Mages named Obliterate (which he had), as it was his only way of defeating me. That is all.
I designed this deck for the kid who played it. Because of my good deed I lost two of the three games I played. Game 1 was a loss, as some mana mistakes cost me my creatures. Game 2 was easier, and glorified creatures backed by Worship won an easy victory. Unfortunately, Lack of creatures ended up killing me in game three.
Although this opponent was very strategic and intelligent, his skills as a deck creator were lacking. He lost both of the first games, in spite of my bad draws.
That tournament was the first time my deck failed. I realized that something was wrong; there was some design flaw. A strange thought crept over me. I went on Apprentice to look up cards as I always do when searching for solutions. This helped immensely. I located the card that my deck needed.
The power of madness cannot be denied. What madness lacks often is an efficient engine – as a very intelligent strategy writer put it, madness requires a “symbiote.” The fact of the matter is Patrol Hound is not as efficient a card as Merfolk Looter or Aquamoeba. Aquamoeba can destroy many of the efficient and useful creatures in type two by changing its power and toughness, and then activating Glory. Merfolk Looter generates immense card advantage over time, winning games because of its immense usefulness. Patrol Hound, I realized, is not as powerful as these two. It has no special feature, detracts from the deck’s mana curve by giving it too many two–drops and can be easily killed without assistance from Glory.
The ability to play a creature on the first turn and second turn with counter backup is very admirable. The ability to nullify one of your opponent’s most potent cards by casting Meddling Mage on turn two, then follow up with activating Glory on turn 3 is also very powerful. Thus, the best possible one casting cost discard creature, Tireless Tribe, has now replaced Patrol Hound in my build of White/Blue. This increases the potency of this deck’s mana curve, as can be observed in the above examples. I tested again against various tier 1 decks in Type Two; the results were even more solid than before. The tribe is far more powerful than I estimated.
While constructing my revised White/Blue build, I increased the efficiency of the sideboard. I added in Standard Bearers and Kirtar’s Desires in place of the Circle of Protections and Gainsays now that I knew what decks I would encounter in my local metagame.
Now that I knew that some of my opponents might use Worship, I added a maindeck answer to opposing White decks. The choice was complex, and required me to study all of my choices very carefully. However, in the end, I found that I was already playing it:
U Creature–Wizard 1/1
W Tap: Tap target creature
B Tap: Target player loses one life
By simply adding one Underground River, I could gain the power to defeat similar decks by forcing my opponents to lose one life. As a final addition, I replaced a Tireless Tribe with a third Worship, increasing the defensive qualities of my deck. All of these changes assisted me in the final tournament I will report on:
Tournament 3- Friday Night Magic
Attendance – about 17 people, including four friends and myself
4 Stormscape Apprentice
4 Merfolk Looter
4 Meddling Mage
3 Tireless Tribe
4 Circular Logic
4 Fact or Fiction
4 Adarkar Wastes
1 Underground River
4 Standard Bearer
4 Capashen Unicorn
4 Kirtar's Desire
Our judge (Ramsey) gave us our tables. I had to face off against my friend, Jonathan Tseng for round 1.
U/G/r Squirrel Nest/ Opposition
Jon missed important bird–drops, and lost because of several imperfect plays. He landed Opposition with one card still in hand. He cast Deep Analysis, tapping out. The following turn, I landed a Meddling Mage naming Squirrel Nest, and Worship. I eventually overran him with a horde of glorified creatures.
Like so many other situations, the one card that saved me here was Worship. Jon landed a Squirrel Nest, Opposition, and many of his creatures. However, minor play errors made it impossible for him to destroy all of my creatures. Jon made the mistake of only sideboading in one Rushing River, but unfortunately he never drew it; the time ran out.
U/R Counterburn with Mirrari
A bad opening hand hurt my chances of winning, but I won due to the amazing Worship. A play error caused me to lose several creatures to a forked breaking point (I had the Worship in play unfortunately, so it was pointless for me to sacrifice my creatures) but the game was won with relative ease.
Game 2 was much like game 1. Early beats with glorified creatures finished him off with unusual ease. He lost large amounts of card advantage by sacrificing burn spells to my creatures, which I responded to by activating Glory.
I had seen my opponent play before, and thus knew that I needed to expect Ensnaring Bridges, at least in sideboard. He opened with creatures which I countered. I landed a Tireless Tribe, pitched a Glory, followed up with a Merfolk Looter, Fact or Fiction, and then Meddling Mage. I had almost defeated him, and cast Worship, sealing the game.
I sideboarded in a single Capashen Unicorn. My opponent sideboarded in four Ensnaring Bridges and two Hull Breech (the numbers might be imperfect). I landed early beats, but he landed a Wild Mongrel, which prevented me from attacking for quite a while. I followed up with two Worships. Later, he tried to Hull Breech my Worships, but I countered one of his spells. I landed more creatures after a Fact or Fiction, then glorified them, attacking for about 10 damage. My opponent conceded.
U/G Deep Dog
I was mentally (not physically) exhausted, and thought that this matchup would be rather even. Stephen agreed to draw with me.
Overall, I would call this a success, as I placed first, and did not lose a single game. I am very pleased with my standing, and the remarkable progress my deck has undergone.
In closing, I would like to say that White as a color has become extremely viable in comparison to its former (pre-judgment) state. I expect to see an increased number of viable decks using White as a splash color in tournament scenes, even in comparison to the already obvious increased amount.
Next week, I will provide insight into the subject of the White/Blue control archetype, its various transformations, and possibly more tournament reports.
Copyright 2001 Pojo.com
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