Tournament was last April 12 2008 at NG Galleria, with 3 formats: Block, Standard and Extended. I played Standard again with minor changes to last week’s deck.
Sideboard changes: -3 Surgespanner, +3 Unsummon
Tournament report follows.
Round 1: Merfolk vs Monored Burn
Last week I managed to 2-0 against a burn deck but this time went against me. In game one I died due to taking 10 damage total from two Mudbutton Torchrunners that I should have just blocked early. Game two I managed to fight back, getting a nuts aggro draw that meant I only took 3 damage for the whole game. Unfortunately in game three I didn’t even manage to get one damage in, due to rapid Fanatic/Marauder attacks.
I’m not entirely sure how to play against the burn deck now. I seem to be at an advantage if I get into early aggro and force him to play as control. But not all hands can support that plan.
Someday I will gather statistics on how often I lose round one.
Games 1-2 Matches 0-1
Round 2: Merfolk vs UB Bitterblossom Control
Weird build, with Shadowmage Infiltrators which are generally frowned upon in the Bitterblossom heavy metagame. I lost game one somehow, I think to a mainboarded Sower. The only creatures I saw were Shadowmages, Venser and Sower. I assume some sort of Mannequin build and bring in Sowers and Unsummons in case there were some sort of fatties. He gets a slow draw in game two and I win off numerous turns of attacking for one.
In game three, he gets out an early Bitterblossom and a Loxodon Warhammer, pretty much bad news for me. I go full aggro to attempt to race the warhammer, but since he only has five mana I gain a lot of tempo by using Unsummons, Psionic Blasts and Sowers on whatever he equips the Warhammer to. It was lucky that he decided to be defensive, if he had tried to race me with the Warhammer I might not have won.
Games 3-3 Matches 1-1
Round 3: Merfolk vs UG Faeries
“Basta may island, good matchup!”
I actually didn’t know he was on Faeries in game one since all he showed me were two Goyfs. An army of Merfolk happily raced the two ¾ Goyfs. We had ten power, they had six. And he had an island!
I think I boarded in +2 Sower of Temptation -2 Sage’s Dousing. In general, if there’s no mass removal to be expected it’s safe to reduce permission.
In game two I start to see the Pestermites, Spellstutters and Mistbind Clique, and I don’t really gain much ground in the first three turns. On my fifth upkeep he attempts to Mystic Snake my Ancestral Visions. I Delay the Snake, draw into and play a fistful of merfolk and take him down to a meager three life in the next two turns. I show him Psionic Blast and he jokingly asks what the target is.
Games 5-3 Matches 2-1
Round 4: Merfolk vs Monogreen aggro
Game one he manages to flash in a Scryb Ranger. Then he gives it a Warhammer! He has large guys stalling the ground so I can’t win the race.
I go into a full control sideboard: +4 Rune Snage +4 Flash Freeze + 3 Unsummon +2 Sower of Temptation -4 Sage’s Dousing -2 Lord of Atlantis -4 Tideshaper Mystic -1 Ancestral Vision -2 Stonybrook Banneret. I don’t want that Scryb Ranger to resolve!
Game two he stalls for a long time before deciding to keep. His first turn was a forest without an elf, so I knew things were looking good. We make no plays on the first and second turn; third turn he plays Call of the Herd that I Rune Snag. Next turn he flashes it back and gets a 3/3 Elephant. I play Sower taking the Elephant, gambling with the tap out and hoping he doesn’t have the Scryb Ranger. He doesn’t, and I just back up those five points of power with permission to win the game.
Game three he holds on to a hand without an elf again, and I don’t even take any damage this time.
Games 7-4 Matches 3-1
Round 5: Merfolk vs Monored Burn
I sigh inwardly when I see who I’m paired with, since I already know he has a burn deck. Game one goes quickly, due to me having no answer to Mutavaults pumped by Lords of Atlantis. I board in Sowers and Flash Freezes. He boarded out Gargadons and Crushers, go figure. I lose game two to unrelenting attacks from Mogg Fanatic and Mutavaults.
Games 7-6 Matches 3-2
Round 6: Merfolk vs G/B Rock
Apparently my opponent kept a greedy hand – six lands and a BoP. I had him at ten life before he could even untap with four mana. He surveys the ten power worth of Merfolk on the board and scoops. We finish game one in under two minutes – the adjacent table hasn’t even finished shuffling yet!
Game two I board in Sowers and Unsummons. He gets a Troll down and a Warhammer equipped. I grab his other creatures using Sowers to chump-block and race him with 8-10 power of Merfolk and Conclaves. I dealt a total of 32 damage during this game, just enough to win.
Games 9-6 Matches 4-2
Round 7: Merfolk vs Monogreen Elves
Game one he gets out early Paragons, but I stabilize with a Sower on an Imperious Perfect with two +1/+1 counters. My merfolk eventually get big enough to bash through and I take game one, winning with 5 life remaining.
I board in Sowers + Unsummons + Flashfreeze again, basically the best Sideboard plan ever against green decks.
Game two and hold off on attacking early, instead building up advantage through permission and Adepts. Eventually I manage to have one Reejerey and two Lords join my last Adept, total of seventeen power worth of Merfolk on the board. He lays down more Elves to block, but I have three lords to his none, he has no chance and his sideboarded Hail Storm was surprising yet no help.
Final record: Games 11-6 Matches 5-2, #11
Slightly better record this time, the Unsummons really helped against the green decks. Still a bit disappointing as it means I won’t have a Prerelease pass for free this time around. I win two packs – rares are Mind Shatter and Notorious Throng.
Next: Shadowmoor Prerelease!