March 31, 2001
Saturday Night Type 2
The Battlezone -- Overland Park, KS
It was time once again for that weekly ritual known as Saturday Night-- the only chance I have all week to test my decks in any sort of competitive environment. I had been playing Sligh (Rachel.dec) for a few weeks now, and while I love the deck and wish to continue playing it, I also wanted to try out a few of the many ideas that are constantly percolating through my brain. I wanted to play something different.
To make a long story short, I decided to play white.
Those of you who have read my previous articles may remember that mountains love me, while plains hate my guts. This is not just a hasty conclusion built on the results of a few random matches, this is a principle that has been proven repeatedly over time and continues to be verified nearly every time I pick up a deck with plains in it. It is true that there are some white cards that do not hate me. Swords to Plowshares, for example, a card that I love for its splashability if nothing else. But that is neither here nor there.
One of the main problems I had with White, it seems, was its lack of effective targeted removal. The options of White creature decks as far as removal goes pretty much begin and end with Parallax Wave, which has never been a favorite of mine for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's relatively expensive (both in terms of price and casting cost, the latter being more of a consideration for me.) Secondly, it's more limited in scope than I would like. Thirdly, relying on a permanent to fill my removal needs has never been a favorite activity of mine. It is better if that permanent can do something useful in the meantime (Kris Mage, Ancient Hydra) or can at least be thrown at my opponent's head in a pinch (Seal of Fire.) I just don't like the Wave. I am sure it's a good card, but it hates me.
So why not add a splash color? Or two?
A decklist followed:
4x Defiant Falcon
4x Defiant Vanguard
4x Nightwind Glider
4x Thermal Glider
1x Rebel Informer
1x Tahngarth, Talruum Hero
4x Scorching Lava
4x Terminal Moraine
3x Urborg Volcano
2x Mageta, the Lion
2x Lashknife Barrier
2x Enlightened Tutor
2x Global Ruin
1x Sheltering Prayers
1x Harsh Judgement
1x Citadel of Pain
Should be 60 cards. When I originally conceived of the idea, I built it around Sergeants and grizzly bears, but then I figured out that the gliders were really much better and that Fresh Volunteers can start to suck really fast in the wrong situation. If I had Crusade, it might be different, but I don't. Anyway, at that point I decided to put in the Vanguards (replacing Flametongue Kavu) and the Sergeants became completely obsolete, so I decided to just start the chain with the 2cc searchers.
My sideboard was pretty bad and was largely dictated by what I had available to me. There are some random choices that will be removed as soon as I find something better. If you decide to work off this deck (God only knows why you'd want to) I would advise you to build your SB from scratch. Perish and Mageta are MVP's, though, so keep them.
The deck name was relatively easy to come up with. We all know that corruption is a good thing. Especially if you're a Rebel.
Round 1: Fransisco Arvelaros (G/W goodness)
"Cisco" is a nice guy and an excellent player. His deck had stuff like Charging Troll, River Boa, Fleetfoot Panther. Also Blastoderms, which I don't think I ever saw during our actual games. If you recall him from another tournament report a couple of weeks ago, his Blastoderms seem to like to hide when he plays against me. Lucky me, I guess.
First game, my deck works pretty much like it should. He uses Fleetfoot Panthers to good advantage, making me waste a few removal spells, but oh well. He gets in a few Cloaked attacks, but I manage to either Disenchant the Cloaks or remove the creatures they're on. Eventually it comes down to the fact that he has very little to block with in the air, as I am able to search out massive amounts of gliders and just win the damage race.
I side in Perish and Mageta, I think. I forget what I side out. Probably a couple gliders, along with some of my lower-end burn spells.
Second game is short with no highlights. It comes down to the fact that I have a bad draw and never get enough steam to have a real shot at coming back. He gets assorted fat creatures beating me in the head, and I decide to go on to the third game.
I draw Tahngarth in the third game. That is pretty much the whole story, as most of his creatures can't deal with that very well. I am constantly wary of him Waxing, so I don't use Tahngarth's ability except when absolutely necessary. He plays two Parallax Waves, but they both get Disenchanted, and I win the game with Tahngarth and a couple of gliders.
Why I won: I think that it is a pretty close match. He does get to bring in Armageddon, but I think I can deal with that in most cases. Then again, he is a good player and I am a scrub, so maybe I should just shut up…
Matches: 1-0 Games: 2-1
Round 2: Paul Ziegler (Machine Head)
This deck is my worst enemy. I cannot win. Why? Because my searchers get burned, the gliders get removed by whatever color they don't have protection from, and a Void for "3" probably wipes out my board and most of my hand. Sorry for the lack of highlights, but there's not much you can say about this round when one spell totally wrecks me both games… Losing to B/R beats losing to U/W, I suppose.
Why I lost: That damn card. Sorry if I sound bitter. He's a nice guy, but the match itself was too one-sided to leave me feeling good…
Matches: 1-1 Games: 2-3
Round 3: Cameron Heise (Counter-Rebel)
In the first game, I get my searcher on the board before he does, and that combined with me removing a couple of his early Rebels translates into a Rebel Informer for me and what seems to be a good position. From there it goes downhill… He Wraths and I am forced to stick the Informer on the bottom of my library (one of the few times I regret having no Sivvi.) I can't keep the pressure on and lose, badly.
In: Boil, Global Ruin and Mageta. Out: Thermal Gliders, and something else.
Second game: I keep a hand with a Falcon. That hand also has my Informer, but I have black sources and I cast it from my hand on the third turn. A couple of turns later, he Wraths (I have 2 mana open) and then drops a Sergeant, I think. He has one land untapped. I stare at my library and command it to deliver up a sideboard card… IMMEDIATELY. I untap, draw and there is Global Ruin. I cast it. Cameron has to read it and at first misinterprets it, as he sacrifices only a plains and an island. I explain that he gets to KEEP one of every basic land type. That little misunderstanding cleared up, I lay a plains and pass the turn. Despite him being stuck at 3 land for a couple of turns, and my forcing Mageta into play a few turns later, he is able to Wrath again and I am out of answers.
Matches: 1-2 Games: 2-5
Round 4: Daniel Perdue (Fires)
Daniel is another person I've run across before. If you remember from a previous tournament report, he got broken draws against Rachel.dec a couple of weeks ago. He got broken draws last night, too. Against Fires, I realize that I am not the beatdown, and I have to play defensively and wait for him to exhaust his threats. This works. Just not well enough. First game goes like this:
Daniel: Saproling Burst. Make tokens, attack with tokens and Blastoderm.
Me: Respond with Rout.
Daniel: Another Burst.
Daniel: Shivan Wurm.
Me: Shock your Bird. (Wurm gates itself)
Daniel: Bird, replay the Wurm.
Me: Fail to draw an answer in the two turns allotted to me.
I sideboard in Perish and Mageta, as per standard procedure, taking out some random Rebels and low-end burn spells.
Second game I draw two Disenchants. Unfortunately, he draws three Bursts.
Matches: 1-3 Games: 2-7
I don't mind losing… Daniel is cool. But I really feel like this is a match that I should be okay in. He got God draws, though. So it goes.
Time to draft. We decide to draft 7th Edition. I open a pack with a Nightmare in it and eagerly take it. From then on it's straight R/B for me. I draft what seems to me like a nice, aggressive deck with multiple Goblin Raiders, Foul Imps, and the like. Three Raise Dead, too. I play Eric Mattson the first round. Eric drafted R/U. In the first game, Eric demonstrates why none of the Lightning Elementals made it around to me. In the second game, he drops a friggin' Glacial Wall and locks up my entire assault while he pings me to death with a Prodigal Sorcerer and a Reckless Embermage. I suck, and I go home.
What will I play next week? I dunno. I'd really like to play this deck, with almost no modifications… I really think it has potential and I don't want to drop it after only one bad night. But Rachel.dec is also calling my name. We'll see.
Props to Battlezone and everyone who plays there. As a side note, if you want to see some pictures of the people I play with (and me), go to http://www.teamregime.com. While you're at it, sign the guestbook and have a look around.
Props to Wizards for making 7th Edition. This set is going to ROCK. I saw quite a few of the cards last night, and what I saw left me positively giddy. More on this later.
Props also to my Fallen Angel, Jackal Pup, and any Magic cards I may have forgotten.
No slops -- I don't care to give any.
People wishing to comment on this report should write to Spike@pojo.com. People wishing to get me fired from Pojo should write to MagicWebmaster@pojo.com.