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Standard on Mar 28

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Finally getting back into constructed play, I assembled the following 5-color control deck to bring to battle this weekend:

Obviously based on Nassif’s deck, but tweaked with some singletons that I like. I’m not exactly sold on 4x [Broken Ambitions][1], so I replaced two with the miser’s Negate and [Remove Soul][3] which was good enough to catch some people by surprise. [Obelisk of Alara][4] replaces the second [Broodmate Dragon][5]; while it’s not as quick a finisher as the dragon, it has the added effect of helping to stabilize the board. It pretty much acts like a planeswalker, except it’s harder to remove.

During FNM this week, I played a prelim version of the above decklist that had -1 [Broken Ambitions][1], +1 [Mind Stone][6] in the MD, because I wanted more mana. My FNM results:

Round 1 2-0 win vs Bant Aggro

Round 2 2-1 win vs Monored Aggro/Burn

Round 3 1-1-1 draw vs 5cc (mirror)

Round 4 1-2 loss vs White Weenie

I punted that last round and kept a 2-land hand that didn’t have any ‘drifters or charms to draw into lands (should have mulled), but otherwise I felt the deck played great. I only got manascrewed once in 4 rounds, so I figured the 26 lands were enough and cut the [Mind Stone][6] for the 2nd [Broken Ambitions][1] when I sleeved up for the Saturday tournament.

Saturday, March 28, NG Galleria, the format is standard.

Round 1 vs U/B Faeries

Ah, the former scourge of the format, now reduced to a shell of its’ former self. In both games my opponent stalled on lands allowing me to bring a big enough mana advantage to take control and win.

2-0 games, 1-0 matches

Round 2 vs RGB Tokens

A roguish deck he has, though I’ve seen similar stuff before. I’m looking at Bitterblossominto [Marsh Flitter][8] into [Grave Pact][9] during game one. I have the [Esper Charm][10], but I refuse to take out the token-generator, instead using it to draw into sweepers. Eventually, Fallout and ‘Blossom take him down to eight and he’s in topdeck mode. I lay down the Obelisk and it’s over in two turns.

Game two he manages to get out a swarm early and I stall on four lands. I’m able to sweep once, but nothing beyond that.

Game three he mulligans to five and he remarks that his deck must know he’s already hungry (it was past one). He gets out an early ‘Blossom, but I go turn four Plumeveil into turn five [Wall of Reverence][12] and manage to get to around 34 life while his Bitterblossom had slowly brought him down to seven life. I laid down [Broodmate Dragon][5] and he offered the handshake.

4-1 games, 2-0 matches

Round 3 vs 5-color control

It’s a good thing I played FNM the night before, it means I now know how to play the mirror. During game one, I strip his hand using Liliana + Esper Charms, then I manage to resolve an Ultimatum, then the Obelisk takes him down to zero.

Game two I take an early lead on lands, then resolve Jace then take away a third of his library a few turns later. I milled something in the neighborhood of 14 lands, so it was really tough for him to recover; he was stuck on seven land while I had something like fifteen on my side. Land is awesome!

Side note: In that last game, [Cruel Ultimatum][13] was played three times in three consecutive turns!

6-1 games, 3-0 matches

Round 4 vs U/R Swans/Counterburn

No creatures, so my Plumeveils were pretty much dead. We were going draw-go for something like the first ten turns, but he had the annoying [Reliquary Tower][14] which allowed him to skip discarding whenever he missed a drop, so he had like a grip of ten cards or so and then he attempted to resolve Jace and started abusing +2 obviously planning to deck me. I bounced it once at his EOT, then when he tried to resolve it again, we went into a counter war. I let him the counter war and resolve Jace, but by then he was tapped out. EOT discard 2 from Esper Charm, then untap and play [Cruel Ultimatum][13], taking out what remained of his hand. I had my own Jace to take out his Jace, then I just took control from there.

Game two he starts with the Jaces again, but I resolve a Pithing Needle to end those shenanigans. I kept my Plumeveils in, assuming he would be boarding in creatures of some sort, and he showed me [Vendillion Clique][15]. We wiped away each other’s critteers with Fallout, then eventually I resolved Liliana, then pulled out the Obelisk to win the game.

8-1 games, 4-0 matches

Round 5 vs B/W Tokens

It’s my first time playing this matchup, so I’m not sure what to expect. In game one, I get hit with disruption – he has all four [Tidehollow Sculler][16]s come out against me. I waste my single Wrath against the first two and immediately regret it when he follows up with a Cloudgoat and a turn later, the third Sculler. I have four lands untapped and am at 9 life, with Fallout and [Celestial Purge][17] in my hand. If I let the Sculler resolve and take the Fallout, I can use the Purge to get it back, but then I’d take six from Cloudgoat and friends. I play Fallout with the Sculler trigger on the stack, taking out Scully and 3 soldiers at the same time, and RFG’ing one card from my hand permanently. I eventually lost the game and one of the bystanders told me that was a bad play, but from where I was sitting I just wanted to prevent as much damage as I can. No, the bad play in the game was wasting Wrath on the first two Scullers.

Second game I board in Infests, Wraths and the Scourglass. I keep a hand with Plumeveils, Infests and Fallout, but light on permission. He plays Finks into [Glorious Anthem][18] into [Ajani Goldmane][19] into 2nd Finks into 2nd Anthem, and soon I’m losing to 6/5 Finks. Not sure what I could have done here; I wasn’t expecting the Finks since I wasn’t really familiar with the BW decklist.

8-3 games, 4-1 matches

Round 6 vs RW (Boat Brew/Reveillark?)

I’m not sure exactly if this was Boat Brew or Reveillark, since I’m not familiar with the difference between the two. Game one he had early [Figure of Destiny][20]s, but was constrained by being stuck on two [Battlefield Forge][21] and a [Windbrisk Heights][22]. I take control easily with Plumeveils.

Game two, I see the Reveillarks for the first time and play poorly against it. I lose quickly.

Game three is exciting, he sets up some early damage then uses [Flamekin Harbinger][24] to bring out the first Reveillark. He starts setting up Reveillark and [Siege-Gang Commander][25] chains, and I have to basically sweep every turn or die. I go as low as one life (if he had a Mogg Fanatic in the graveyard) before he finally ran out of Reveillarks. End of his turn, I flash in Plumeveil, then untap and use [Esper Charm][10] on his [Oblivion Ring][26] which had taken my [Wall of Reverence][12], allowing me to gain four life at the end of my turn. From there I slowly climb back up, then draw into my [Broodmate Dragon][5] to take back the almost-lost game.

10-4 games, 5-1 matches

ROund 7 vs 5-color control

I’m 3rd in the standings, and the top 6 get Alara Reborn prerelease passses, so I figure I can draw in to the top six but my opponent, who is 4th thinks he won’t make it. So despite my being tired from the mental energy needed for my deck, I shuffle it up and go to battle.

Game one I stick Jace and actually manage to go off with the -10 ability, leaving him with tenish cards in his library. However at that time he resolves Broodmate Dragon and I have no defense against it, so I still lose.

Game two I board in Finks and Wydwen, planning to go aggro. He went with the same game plan, so we raced for a few turns, but eventually I managed to take out his lone attacker (Wydwen) and my Finks went all the way for the win.

Game three, we were low on time. He had boarded in [Sceptre of Fugue][27], but I didn’t even bother trying to get rid of them, instead going aggro to try to take him down before time ran out. I resolve Jace to keep from losing too much card advantage, but then he plays the second Sceptre. We go to time during his turn, and he resolves Cruel Ultimatum, leaving only Jace on my side of the board and him with five cards in hand. I untap and topdeck Lilandra then resolve her. He knows I can just tutor for Ultimatum to recover lost life and there’s no way he can win in the extra turns, so we get a draw anyway.

It later turns out that I was right; he still ends up in the top six despite the draw, and we both got free prerelease passes.

Final Record

11-5-1 games, 5-1-1 matches, finishing 3rd.

Pretty good performance. I actually only wanted to get in some practice before City Champs which is in April, so winning the prerelease passes is a pretty good plus. Frankly, I’m glad I was able to play all seven rounds without getting too tired. I had to come in at 7:30am at work so that I could get to Galleria by 11, so I only had around four and a half hours of sleep; despite that I was still able to pilot the control deck decently (most of the time), so I guess it’s really feasible for me to play control right now.

It looks Five-Color Control will be my weapon of choice in Standard, at least until Alara Reborn kicks in and we have to evaluate the metagame again. I need more practice against BW Tokens and RW decks though, as I’m still not very familiar with those matchups (they became prevalent during my short constructed hiatus). Not sure if I have time to play next week, due to some work activities next weekend, so this may have been my last practice session before City Champs!

[1]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Broken Ambitions

[3]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Remove Soul [4]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Obelisk of Alara [5]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Broodmate Dragon [6]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Mind Stone

[8]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Marsh Flitter [9]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Grave Pact [10]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Esper Charm

[12]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Wall of Reverence [13]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Cruel Ultimatum [14]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Reliquary Tower [15]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Vendillion Clique [16]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Tidehollow Sculler [17]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Celestial Purge [18]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Glorious Anthem [19]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Ajani Goldmane [20]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Figure of Destiny [21]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Battlefield Forge [22]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Windbrisk Heights

[24]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Flamekin Harbinger [25]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Siege-Gang Commander [26]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Oblivion Ring [27]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Sceptre of Fugue


Comment by Benj on 2009-03-30 13:29:50 +0000

Congrats on the great performance, and for winning the PR passes. Weird that you didn’t come across any Blightning deck… is the meta in Galleria really control-heavy?

Comment by roy on 2009-04-03 23:08:16 +0000

I think there were about 6 other people playing 5-color control. Faeries konti lang. Lots of R/W decks, even though I only faced one.