05/23/19 Match Reports
Another 0-2 drop event, but at least I got to go home and work on my Warhammer army, so silver linings I guess
1-2 vs Bring to Light Scapeshift. Game one, I got too aggressive with some counterspells and didn't have one for the Bring to Light + Remand line. Game two, I took advantage of the opponent missing land drops, so Cruel Ultimatum ended it. Game three ended with 3 lands on my side, 9 on his side, so pretty self explanatory.
1-2 vs Burn. This one was fun, even though it was quick and disastrous. I did get to resolve Cruel Ultimatum in game two though, forcing a game three, but the other two games were over real quick, putting an end to the night.
I've been having issues with hitting my land drops, or had hands of 6 land into a mulligan of 1 land 5 spells, but I don't know how I should go about fixing that. I think I just hit a bad run of variance.
I'm having some thoughts as to how to go forward in a post Horizons format, I'm not sure how things will shake out. I'm really hoping for some "fair" decks to take over, since that is where decks like Cruel Control can strive.
05/16/19 Match Reports
Summarizing the night in one word- Disappointing
1-2 vs Bant Spirits. Turns out Narset isn't great against Spirits, and if you don't draw any removal, you just die. I won game two with a Cruel Ultimatum against my opponent's slow draw, but lost both other games by just not drawing anything that would be good against them or could stop Collected Company. I probably should've just cut both Narset's after game one, but I wanted to test them and figured they'd help dig me to my board wipes. Maybe I should've left in a couple more counterspells, as I took out the Remands and Spell Snare for a pair of Dispel and a Collective Brutality. I figured the Dispel's would be enough, but not when you don't draw them.
0/2 vs As Foretold/Living End/Electrodominance. Also turns out, when you miss three land drops on a mulligan to 5, you lose game ones. You also lose game two's when you opponent top decks Electrodominance after you Cruel Ultimatum their hand away and they just burn you out.
I dropped after those matches, as I was getting fully and properly tilted. I did not have a single game where I kept a 7 card hand, and I think in total, three of the games involved me missing one or more land drops, leaving me struggling with high mana costs and few land.
05/08/19 Match Reports
0-2 Vs UW Control. This was the first game I had Narset on turn 3 and she did work. My opponent forgot about the static ability and threw a Serum Visions away. I did get wrecked by Dovin's Veto, which was frustrating. Game one, I had the quick discard into Narset plan, but hit the wrong cards to follow up, while my opponent used a Veto to stick a Teferi and closed the game. Game 2, I mulliganed to five, made two land drops over 5 turns, and had no chance.
2-0 VS GB Rock. This was pretty fun, but one sided for me. My opening hand game one was full of removal and, even after Thoughtseizing me, my opponent couldn't keep a threat around, giving me time to play Jace and take over. Game two, he missed his third land drop for two turns, with three 3 CMC cards in hand, which gave me time to draw into answers and a Cruel Ultimatum.
2-1 VS WB Midrange. Game one, I managed to claw back from 5 life facing down a Kaya, Orzhov Usurper by top decking a Cruel Ultimatum into Angrath's Rampage, leaving the opponent on empty. Games two and three just had me drawing lands in one and no land in the third ( I think I had every mana producing land either in my hand or on the battlefield in the one game).
0-2 VS Ad Nauseum. I lost both games due to having not enough interaction and pressure. I don't find this to be a good matchup at the best of times, as my deck is on the slow side of things and they get too much time to set up.
Notes- I want to add another Narset and at least one more discard spell. I was also not impressed by Angrath's Rampage any time I drew it, so I think I will go back to Dreadbore. It wasn't good in the midrange WB match, since they just had tokens to sac when I needed it to hit the Tidehollow Sculler, and when I'm aiming at the planeswalkers, I would just rather hit the specific one.
No event tonight (and there was no events the last two weeks due to store reasons). My next event will be after WAR is legal in Modern, so I've decided to add the changes I want to test.
First- I removed the Dreadbore for an Angrath's Rampage. I think Rampage is on the whole as good as Dreadbore in the matches that I want it for, plus it also gives a slight edge for the Boggles matches. It may be a little worse in creature matches, but I don't usually struggle with those too badly.
Secondly- I wanted to try Narset, Parter of Veils after seeing some of the work it's been doing in Standard and Legacy practice matches, and I think the static ability might put some good work in. If I'm correct, it shuts Dredge off if the opponent tries to Faithless Looting, plus it's going to be quite good against control or Phoenix decks, since they have lots of can trips.
Thirdly- I added an Inquisition of Kozilek as a third discard spell, as i would like some more interaction against combo and control, to clear the way for my big spells.
Deck Update 04/22/19
I decided to cut Dreadbore for an Angrath's Rampage- slightly more versatile, and usually I'm only casting Dreadbore with one planeswalker on the other side anyways. I want to test Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, as there are some rumblings that it might be good, but I don't want to cut Ral or Jace for it. I haven't figured out any cuts for the Liliana's Triumph I'd like to play in the sideboard. I'm thinking Collective Brutality, as I haven't really needed any of the effects on that lately. I also thought of testing Jace, Vryn's Prodigy in the sideboard over Niv-Mizzet, but I don't know if I want to pull the trigger on that yet.
Match Update 04/11/19
2-1 Vs Jund. Game one went fairly nicely, with Spell Snare and Remand keeping him from doing anything constructive. I landed a Jace, the Mind Sculptor with a Lightning Bolt open for the Bloodbraid Elf I knew he had in hand, and he cascaded into a dead Fatal Push. From there, things went south for him, with me closing it out with Bolt-Snap-Bolt and a Kolaghan's Command. Game two, he ground through my removal and two 5/6 Tarmogoyfs killed me while I topped decked lands. Game three, was some of the craziest magic I played. An early Liliana of the Veil stripped me of cards in hand, and he just had a land. He cast a Nihil Spellbomb (my graveyard had a Kolaghan's Command, Snapcaster Mage, Kalitas, and cantrips), the cracked it in my upkeep when I was empty handed. I drew Snapcaster Mage that turn. Two turns later, he has Bloodbraid Elf and a Raging Ravine with one counter, along with Liliana on 4 loyalty. I have 4 life to his 15, and exactly one turn to stay alive: Kolaghan's Command and Cryptic Command buy me time, but aren't much more than spinning wheels. I have to hit Cruel Ultimatum, the only copy left in the deck. I knock the top twice, empty handed, then flip: it's the Ultimatum! I had 8 lands out, so I get back the Snapcaster in my 'yard from earlier, draw a second Snapcaster Mage and a land. I play the land, pass turn, ready to take 5 from the Raging Ravine. He draws, plays a land, pluses Liliana (he had no cards in hand, I discarded one of the Snapcaster Mages), then hits with Ravine. I then draw a land and Snapcaster back the Ultimatum, drawing a Fatal Push, Jace, and Lightning Bolt. He hits me for six after minusing Lili to kill Snapcaster, then passes. From there, I do the Bolt-Snap-Bolt play with the Snapcaster I got off Cruel Ultimatum, and the game ends.
1-1-1 Vs Izzet Phoenix. Game One, he had a slow draw, and I took advantage of that with Thoughtseize on turn one and three thanks to Snapcaster. I had a Kolaghan's Command to kill a Phoenix and make him discard one turn, then I hit a Cruel Ultimatum to make him toss his last three cards, keeping him from returning Phoenixes easily. This was another double Cruel game. Game three, he landed a turn three Blood Moon, but took a long time to actually do anything. He won this game, but it meant we didn't have time to finish number three.
2-1 Vs Abzan Company/Vauetown. Game one, he kept a one land, Aether Vial Noble Heirarch hand, and played turn one Vial. I had gone first, so I just played a tapped Steam Vents to go with the untapped Darkslick Shores, passed, then he passed after playing the Heirach but not another land. I Fatal Pushed the Heirarch, the passed with another tapped land. He did get out a Knight of the Reliquary and a Tireless Tracker, then accrued 5 clues while I got stuck on three lands. I needed to topdeck removal, which I did, but things started looking bad after such a good start. He played a Scavenging Ooze, but neglected to use it on any of the three Snapcaster Mages in my graveyard, so when I cast a Kolaghan's Command when he tapped out to crack some Clues, I had targets. This slowly kept me in the game, as I was able to kill the 2/3 Ooze (I was so lucky he didn't eat any Creatures), and I clawed back to be able to live to 7 mana and a Cruel Ultimatum. I think this was a record night for casting Ultimatum. I won this off flashing the Ultimatum back again. Game 2, he beat me off a turn three Collected Company into Thalia and Tidehollow Sculler, keeping me off the Damnation in my hand. I was able to chain Cryptic Commands when I got to five mana, tapping his creatures and trying to draw to Anger of the Gods, but when I Snapcaster Mage-ed to cast Cryptic (tap and bounce Snapcaster), he had a Path to Exile to fizzle it and attack me to death. Game three, I kept three fetchlands, Damantion, Jace, Engineered Explosives, and Kalitas, then had no easy way to deal with a turn two Gaddok Teeg. I kept drawing lands and Snapcaster Mage, but on the last turn before I would die, I hit a Dreadbore to kill Teeg, then cast Explosives on three to crack it and kill a Flickerwisp and Eternal Witness. Time was called, and Jace couldn't get there fast enough. The opponent was kind enough to give me the match win though, which was nice.
2-1 vs Grixis Death's Shadow. Game one, they had an awkward hand, but got down to 8 really quick. They tapped out on turn five to cast a Gurmag Angler (only three lands and they wanted to keep a Thoughtseize in the yard), and had to doge me hitting a second red source- I had a Kolaghan's Command in hand, along with a Lightning Bolt, with a Snapcaster in the grave. I k-Commanded EOT to deal two and buy back Snapcaster, drew a fetch, then Bolt-Snap-Bolt ended it. Game two, my hand was very vulnerable to his discard and early Stubborn Denials, and a Gurmag Angler killed me pretty fast. Game three, we both ended up topdecking, but I hit a Ral, Izzet Viceroy against his Liliana of the Veil, then just raced to the ultimate. I succeeded and he conceded.
Notes: This seemed like a pretty decent build and I don't think I want to make any changes. I'm still on the fence about playing a second Remand over a third Spell Snare, but that's about it. i don't expect to change anything until WAR releases (I think I'll squeeze in either an Angrath's Rampage or a Liliana's Triumph)
Match Update 04/04/19
1-2 vs Jund Bridge-Vine. I won game one with the maindeck Kalitas, managing to untap and double Fatal Push on Bloodghasts. Games two and three though, Bridge From Below managed to overwhelm me. I didn't realize I could flash in Snapcaster and Fatal Push it in response to my opponent sacrificing an Insolent Neonate to counter the THREE copies of Bridge From Below, and that caused a lot of trouble.
2-0 vs Mono Green. This was a control player's dream. Thoughtseize turn one took the only creature in his hand, removal killed anything he played, triple Cryptic Command ended the game. Game two, he got stuck on one land after a mulligan to five, and I Remand-ed his spells each time ha tapped out for something.
1-1-1 vs Electrodominance Living End. Game one was a miracle. He got a turn five Living End off As Foretold, putting four Stripped Riverwinder and two Desert Cerodon into play. You would think this was the end- you'd be wrong. I had a Ral, Izzet Viceroy in play and kept using the +1, and managed to hit Cryptic the first time. Upkeep tap and draw, hit another Cryptic. Draw for my turn, plus Ral again, Cryptic on his upkeep, then hit the third Cryptic off the next Ral activation. From there, after dodging the possibility of counterspells (he played Remand in the deck, but didn't draw any), I ultimated Ral, and chained off enough spells to kill him. Game two, I sequenced a Nihil Spellbomb activation wrong, and an early Stripped Riverwinder made quick work of me. We ended up drawing game three, but I was wishing I left Lightning Bolt in my deck, as he was at three life on the last turn.
Note: I was originally playing Shadow of Doubt over the second Remand, but I never had a good spot for it, and sideboarded it out each time. I think currently Remand will perform a little better, though I might put Spell Snare #3 back in.
Match Update 03/21/19
2-0 Vs Affinity. I managed to keep his board clear of all the major creatures and to make game one go long. I did end up at 5, then had to dodge Galvanic Blast while resolving a Cruel Ultimatum (I cast the Ultimatum, he Blasts, I go to four to fetch a land for Negate and cross my fingers he doesn't have another. He doesn't). Game two, I have Fatal Push and Lightning Bolt to stop an Archbound Ravager onto Inkmoth Nexus, and then had to weather a few chip shots for one off a Blinkmoth Nexus, then ended the game with a Ral, Izzet Viceroy.
Lost 0-1 to Sultai Reclamation. I will say, I hate this Wilderness Reclamation deck. I've only played against it twice, but it is so miserable once they start to go off. I drew my copies of Terminate and Fatal Push, which do nothing, and my opponent started Seach for Azcanta-ing into Cryptic Command and a Nexus of Fate. There were some turns where I managed to do something relevant, but none of it added up to anything substantial. We didn't finish game two at all.
Drew 1-1-1 vs Scapeshift. Game one, I had some counters and discard for the early mana ramp, and he also didn't draw a green source for about 3 turns (why he kept a hand of two Valkuts as the only land is beyond me), and I got to double Cruel Ultimatum for the win. Game two, a sideboarded Carnage Tyrant ate my life total real fast. Game three went long, and with the final turn in extra time, I was two damage short of winning. Neither of us wanted to concede, so we drew.
Won 2-0 vs Grixis Death's Shadow. This was a new deck for my opponent, so he made some big misplays, and tapped out when in double Bolt range, so I took advantage of the situation. Game two went the same, except I needed to hit the second Bolt off a Search for Azcanta activation, which I did. Better lucky than good I guess.
I want to find something to help me out against the Sultai deck, as the local event is small enough that I'll end up facing it more. I probably have game after sideboarding, since I can get rid of some of the removal spells in favor of Dispels and stuff. I decided to switch the Inquisition out for another Thoughtseize, maybe that will help. I really need to keep myself from adding a Shadow of Doubt.
Removed the maindeck Nihil Spellbombs in favor of moving Kalitas to the main (another target for Kolaghan's Commands, and can pressure opponents if need be), as well as playing a third Spell Snare. I really like Spell Snare right now, as it counters most of the major spells in Phoenix decks (nothing better than hitting a Manamorphose when they try to chain off, plus it's an answer to Pyromancer Ascension which is getting popular. Removed one Collective Brutality from the sideboard so i could fit both Spellbombs back into the 75.
Match Update 03/14/19
Lost 0-2 vs Dredge. This was a disaster, not even the main deck Nihil Spellbombs could save me. The first spellbomb exiled a pair of Prized Amalgam, a Stinkweed Imp, and a Conflagrate, but he managed to reload the next turn with a Cathartic Reunion, and I ended up facing down three Bloodghasts. Game two, he started off really slow, working through a Ravenous Trap, but I ended up missing my sixth land drop for a pair of turns, so when I tapped out to Snapcaster back an Anger of the Gods (to wipe out two Bloodghasts and a Prized Amalgam, all of which were lethal), i wasn't able to cast the Nihil Spellbomb in my hand. He ended up dredging over 2 Faithless Looting off a Life From the Loam, and things snowballed from there.
Lost 0-2 vs Ad Nauseum. I thought this would be a good matchup, but I was wrong this time. Game one, I ended up ending the game with 3 removal spells in my hand and no interaction, so he got to combo off with no fear. After sideboarding out all my removal spells, I was one counterspell short, losing to double Pact of Negation on his combo turn.
Won 2-0 vs 8-Rack. Game one got close, but he was a little slow with the discard, and I managed to land a Jace, The Mind Sculptor and start re-growing my hand. A few chip shots with Snapcaster Mage over a few turns let me double bolt his face for the win. Game two, he took the draw, so I got to suspend an Ancestral Vision. He the Thoughtseize-d me, taking Snapcaster mage, then ran a Smallpox into a known Spell Snare the next turn. I played an Engeneered Explosives on one (for Shrieking Affliction and The Rack), then an Inquisition of Kozilek a turn later relieved a hand of double Death's Shadow, while he was still at 16 life! Needless to say, this match actually went pretty easy this time, as those dead Death's Shadows took the slots of discard and Rack effects.
Lost 0-2 to Sultai Reclamation. I was pretty frustrated going into this, so i didn't keep notes. It's going to be quick hits for this match; Game one, we both mulligan to 5. He makes more land drops than me, and draws all four Remands to stop any of my efforts to interact with him. Cryptic Command getting Remanded hurts my soul. He casts a Nexus of Fate and then untaps on the extra turn to cast Wilderness Reclamation and I'm just done. Game two, I get stuck on five lands while he gets almost double that out, and I lose every counter fight we start, then he lands a Wilderness Reclamtion into Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, then floats a bunch of mana, untaps, and Mystical Teachings for an Emrakul the Aeons Torn. I scoop them up and go home.
Last night seemed the perfect storm of difficult matchups, and I left the store feeling like I made an error even thinking of playing this deck. Not controlling enough to beat Reclamation, not aggressive enough to beat Combo, not enough graveyard hate for Dredge. If I cut creature removal for counterspells, I'll end up getting run over by creature decks next week. If I cut anything for maindeck graveyard hate, Dredge and Phoenix won't even show up. I'm going to make some minor adjustments, and hopefully things go better next time.
Match Update 03/07/19
Lost 0-2 to Mardu Pyromancer. Got turn 3 Blood Moon-ed game one, and the Scalding Tarns I started the game with couldn't fetch the basic Swamp to unlock the removal for his Pyromancer and Bedlam Reveler. Game two, I ended up fetching around Blood Moon, but ended up with Island, Swamp, double Watery Grave as my only lands, while I drew red removal. I didn't draw a red source soon enough and got beat down by Bedlam Reveler again.
Lost 1-2 vs 8-Rack. game one, I go Search for Azcanta going, and was able to stay out of Shrieking Affliction range, but games two and three, his early discard took my card advantage sources away and he got me with the Afflictions and Racks.
Won 2-0 vs Jund. This was a pretty cookie cutter match, but the opponent made some plays I didn't really think were optimal. I was able to keep the board clear and resole a pair of Cruel Ultimatums game one. Game two, Ral, Izzet Viceroy and a sideboarded Niv-Mizzet, Parun put enough pressure on him, and a Kolaghan's Command buying back the Niv and killing a Liliana of the Veil sealed the game.
Lost 0-2 to Mono Red Phoenix. This match started with me killing a Soul Scar mage after the opponent cast 7 spells and fizzled off, but then three lands in a row off the top gave him enough time to find and return some Arclight Phoenixes and kill me. Game two was over by turn 4, and was basically a bunch of bolts aimed at my face without me doing much at all.
Match Update 02/28/19
Went 1-2-1. Beat Affinity 2-1, drew vs Grixis Death's Shadow (very exciting topdecking in the extra turns), lost to Bring to Light Scapeshift 0-2 (fundamental misunderstanding of the deck, played scared of Valakut and used counterspells on stuff that ended up not mattering, need more practice with this match), lost 1-2 vs 8 Rack.
Made small card changes to test out a version similar to Matt Sperling's list from Twitter; -1 Swamp, -1 Opt, -1 Lightning Bolt, -1 Hieroglyphic Illumination, -1 Mana Leak, -1 Counterflux +2 Remand, +1 Thoughtseize, +1 Inquisition of Kozilek, +1 Cryptic Command, +1 Darkslick Shores
( https://twitter.com/sickofit/status/1099851965528305664 )
Match Report 02/21/19
1-2 vs RW Prison. Game one, I got turn two Blood mooned, which ended the game pretty much right away. Game two, I countered Blood Moon, K-Commanded a Chalice of the Void, then used Snapcaster and Lightning Bolt to quickly end the game. Game two, I got Boiled, which destroyed 3 of my four lands. That pretty much was the end, but I stuck around long enough to be hit with a Hazoret the Fervent.
2-0 vs Abzan Value Town (?). Both games were the same- lots of removal spells for early creatures, then Jace or Ral finished him off. Lingering Souls caused a little trouble in game two, but Anger of the Gods cleaned things up the turn before I'd die.
2-1 vs 8-Rack. The rematch from last week, and I came away victorious. Game one, a turn 5 Ral, Izzet Viceroy allowed me to get out of range of the Shrieking Affliction (I also kept lands in my hand), and once I ultimated, things ended real quick. Game two came down to the wire, but Leyline of the Void prevented me from flashing back Hieroglyphic Illumination to pull away from a pair of Racks. Game three, I had a turn one Engineered Explosives to deter any Rack effects, countered a Liliana of the Veil with Countersquall, and started racing with Snapcaster Mage. My opponent stalled out, not drawing any cheap discard, letting me slowly accrue advantage. A Jace, the Mindsculptor put the final nail in the coffin. Hieroglyphic Illumination was key in this match.
2-1 vs Jund. This was a match I'd always wanted to play more of. Game 1, I cast Kolaghan's Command a total of 4 times (drew both and kept looping with Snapcaster Mage), doing a better Jund impression than the opponent. I was able to burn him out with a pair of Lightning Bolts and a Cruel Ultimatum in short order. Game two, he came out ahead in the advantage game, and I had no removal left after deealing with 2 Liliana of the Veil, a pair of Tarmogoyf, and a Bloodbraid Elf. His Scavanging Ooze ended up getting through for the last damage. Game three was technically a draw, but he conceded so we both got prizes. It was back and forth, but he would've probably won if it went longer. I was the extra turn 5, and needed to hit exactly Cruel Ultimatum into Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push, but topdecked a land to go with the Bloodstained Mire already in my hand. The whole game had been trading resources, but I hadn't drawn any card advantage spells, so it was me with a pair of Snapcaster Mage and land in hand, against his 2 cards in hand, Scavanging Ooze, and Kalitas. Jund is fun to play against with this deck, almost as mentally engaging as Control.
Match Report 02/14/19
0-2 vs Jeskai Control. This match was a tale of mana and mulligan woes. Game one, stuck on two lands until turn 5, then get the third land bounced by Cryptic, then Teferi takes over. game two, mulliganed to 6, got valued out by a Search For Azcanta while I had drawn no counterspells or interaction.
0-2 vs Jeskai Control. This turned out to be almost an exact repeat of the first match. This time, I had kept a three land hand, missed my land on turn 4 and 5, then Jace, the Mind Sculptor came down for the opponent and made sure it wouldn't come back. Game two, I ended up drawing the 4 removal spells that are in the deck after sideboarding (1 Terminate, 1 Fatal Push, 1 Bedevil, 1 Dreadbore) and they were dead. I got burned out with a chain of Lightning Helix and Lightning Bolt and Geist of Saint Traft.
0-2 vs 8-Rack. This match was also miserable. I took the draw, and basically had my opponent strip away all my cards by turn 4 with a Thoughtseize into Wrench Mind into Raven's Crime plus Wrench Mind. Game two was just as bad, but slower. I had my counterspell stripped away by an Inquisition, then got hit with Smallpox, and a Liliana cleaned up the rest.
Tonight was a train wreck, and it's times like this I question how good this deck actually is, especially if I can't even pull out at least one game win. I noticed that, especially in the control matchups, I was behind in cards almost from the get go, as both opponents on Jeskai had multiple Hieroglyphic Illuminations to get them ahead. I've decided to drop the Shadow of Doubt in favor of an Illumination, at least to try it.
Match Report 02/07/19
2-0 vs Mono Red Prison. Game one, he got off a turn one Blood Moon on the draw, but had nothing to follow it up. I was lucky enough to have kept a hand with basic Island, Scalding Tarn, and Swamp, so I managed to not get stuck by the Moon as bad as I could've been. I played an unopposed Ral, Izzet Viceroy, which ultimated a few turns later to end game one. Game two, I mulliganed to 5, while my opponent mulliganed to four and kept a no lander. It ended just like anyone would expect, and the combination of Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Ral ended things.
2-1 vs Jeskai Control. This is always a back and forth matchup, and I'm never sure the best way to navigate it. Game one, I got the mana advantage on my side, and after multiple counterspell fights, managed to land a Ral, Izzet Viceroy, which my opponent tapped low on their turn to bounce with Cryptic Command. I untapped my huge amount of lands, and gave them a Cruel Ultimatum, with Spell Snare and Logic Knot back up against their two lands. It ended pretty quick after that. Game two, I mulliganed to 4 (three lands and Snapcaster), and while I managed to play a Jace on my turn 4, the opponent had a Snapcaster plus Lightning Helix, into Teferi to seal that game. Game three was much like game one, with me generating an advantage of about three more land than the opponent, and while he tapped low to start chunking me with Celestial Colonnade, I stsrted to draw the few removal spells I had left in my deck. A Fatal Push took down a Colonnade aimed at the Ral I played a turn before, and the game ended once I protected him enough to ultimate.
0-2 vs Affinity. This match is good for me on paper, but that means nothing once it actually begins. The opponent had a slow start, just a land turn one andthen on turn two, Darksteel Citadel, plays a Mox Opal into Onithopter then Etched Champion. I Logic Knot the Champion, play my third land on my turn, Spell Snare in hand for a Cranial Plating. he untaps, them plays a second Champion before I can Snapcaster back the Logic Knot. This Champion manages to do the full amount of damage, paired with a Plating that nuck through my counterspells when I tapped out for a Jace. Game two, I stumbled on my mana, drawing a UB source when I needed to hit a red land, and got run over with Anger of the Gods and Kolaghan's Command in hand.
1-2 vs Mono Red Phoenix. The first game ended almost immediately, with a pair of Arclight Phoenix turn two (Faithless Looting turn one, Gut Shot, Skewer the Critic x2) I almost couldn't believe it. Game two, I have double Collective Brutality to stem the tide turns two and three, fade a couple of topdecks from the opponent side, then rode Ral and Kalitas to victory. Game three, I get stuck on three lands, and Monastery Swiftspear paired with an absurd amount of burn ended the night.
Ral, Izzet Viceroy really shone in my matches tonight, with his ultimate mostly winning three games for me. The rest of the deck was performing pretty well all things considered, and i don't think I'd change anything quite yet, though if Burn continues to rise, I'm considering putting a maindeck Collective Brutality in the Shadow of Doubt slot.
Match Report 01/31/19
0-2 vs Goblins. I very nearly came back into it in game one, the opponent didn't have a lot of pressure, but I drew irrelevant counterspells instead of removal, and a pair of Mogg Fanatics got the last few points of damage in. It's very disheartening when you lose against a pair of 1/1s that you had no way of killing. Game two, he had a draw that managed to overwhelm my double Collective Brutality + Fatal Push hand, especially when I missed my fourth land for two turns. When I had to put myself to 5 life with a fetchland to cast Kalitas, my opponent flashed the Goblin Grenade in hand and we packed up.
1-2 vs Red White Prison. Game one, I Spell Snared a Chalice of the Void on one, and then proceeded to get aggressive with Bolt and Snapcaster Mage. I countered a Blood Moon and landed Ral, Izzet Viceroy, and the opponent scooped. Game two, I stopped a Rest in Peace, Chalice of the Void, and a Blood Moon, but died to Hazoret the Fervent and an Ajani Vengeant. Game three, since I didn't have a counterspell for Blood Moon, I elected to fetch out two basic Islands and a Swamp. Turns out, my opponent never had the Blood Moon, and I died to Gideon Jura with a Dreadbore, Counterflux, Kolaghan's Command, and Ral in my hand.
2-0 vs Shaman Tribal. This was the only match where it seemed like my deck was firing on all cylinders. I had removal and counterspells (he hadn't played a Cavern of Souls, so i got lucky there), and a Jace, the Mind Sculptor into Ral, Izzet Viceroy sealed the first game. Game two was a whirlwind of early removal as well, as i had taken my counterspells out for the Collective Brutality(s), Anger of the Gods, Damnation, and Kalitas (which seems super good when you can kill something right away, then on the next turn Snapcaster mage back the removal spell). I was originally worried about this match, as it seemed really fast, especially when Rage Forger comes down unopposed, but I got pretty lucky with it.
As a whole, it felt as though the deck itself was under-performing this time. I don't know how best to explain it, but the draws felt like they didn't line up. Against the Goblins deck, i would keep drawing counterspells instead of the removal I needed for the Mogg Fanatics. I know that's something that happens with any deck, any time, but I want to find a way to alleviate this. Maybe I need to mulligan hands more often.
Match Report 01/24/19
2-0 vs Izzet Spells. Opponent didn't play a single Arclight Pheonix all match, but had all the usual spells, so I may have gotten lucky. Both games were pretty typical, counter the Manamophose and faithless Lootings, Fatal Push and Terminate Thing in the Ice and Crackling Drake, pull ahead with a planeswalker. The opponent barely interacted, and a Kalitas in game two sealed things quickly.
0-2 vs UW Flash/Control. I kept a two land hand game one (Bloodstained Mire, Watery Grave, Terminate x2, Kolaghan's Command x2, Spell Snare) and didn't draw a third land until turn 5, by which time I was over run by a Teferi and Restoration Angel which blinked a Wall of Omens. Game two, while more interactive, slipped away after I drew 4 lands in a row, with my Cruel Ultimatum locked by Runed Halo. I should've mulliganed the opener in Game one, if I had known what the match up was.
0-2 vs 8-Rack. This went pretty quick and painfully. Opponent won the roll and choose the draw, then managed to start the discard right away, with Inquisition to take Spell Snare, then a Wrench Mind. Two Shrieking Affliction and a Liliana of the Veil later, I was dead. Game two went almost the opposite, with me playing Engineered Explosives on one first turn, then countering Wrench Mind. The opponent managed to stick Liliana of the Veil though, and with repeated Raven's Crime, took my remaining cards and beat me down with two Mutavaults. i had left all my removal in the deck, but didn't draw any. This was pretty much an unwinnable match, but I don't know what could've been done to improve on it.
2-1 vs UW Control. Game one, I managed to resolve a Cruel Ultimatum, which snowballed into a second one a couple of turns later, which then turned into Snapcasters flashing them back. I only resolved two though out of the four, as the opponent had Seach for Azcanta going, which got him some counterspells. He put up a good fight, but it got out of hand. Game two. he managed to stick Teferi and pulled ahead through my attempt to Hero's Downfall him. I scooped after the third +1. Game 3, was the best of the games. Draw go for about 7 turns, with an Opt here and there, and then counter wars over Teferi, Search for Azcanta, and a Heiroglyphic Illumination. The battles eventually culminated in me sticking Ral, izzet Viceroy, taking Cruel Ultimatum over Cryptic Command (I had 10 land with a Counterflux in hand). The opponent tapped out fort a Sphinx of the Final Word, thinking it was the haymaker he needed. I proved that there is always a higher power, slamming the Crule Ultimatum down. He conceded on the spot.
I never drew Shadow of Doubt over the night, but still think it is worth a slot right now. There was 3 Tron decks in the event, along with 2 Scapeshift/TitanBreach decks. The next change I'm planning is a swap of Hero's Downfall for Bedevil. I think the extra utility of snagging an artifact is good, plus it's pretty much the same difficulty to cast. I do want to try Heiroglyphic Illumination I think, as some sort of bulk card draw would be nice, it would help us keep up with the UW control decks, seems good against any attrition decks that might pop up with KCI gone. I've found that this build kind of plays a 1 for 1 game, rellying on strategic removal or counterspells, but can easily end up with fewer cards in hand than opposing decks. There's been many times I've had 2 cards vs the opponent's 4 or 5, and having to hope something good comes off the top.
Match Report 01/17/19
0-2 vs Bring to Light Scapeshift. Resolved Cruel Ultimatum and died to topdecked Bring to Light game one. Game two, opening hand had 4 spells, every draw step for the game was a land.
0-2 vs Mono Red Hollow Pheonix. Made game go late, flooded out and died to 4 Arclight Pheonix. Game two, died to quick Hollow One and Arclight Pheonix
0-2 vs RG Scapeshift/Through the Breach. Game one, had early counterspells, but died when we each started to flood out but the opponent had Valakut out. Game two, opponent got mana screwed on red, I Collective Brutality twice to to take his fixing spells, thinking I could draw a counterspell to interact with the Through the Breach, but didn't. He drew a second Through the Breach, and Primeval Titan and Woodfall Primus made quick work of me.
Overall notes: Angrath was as not as good as I would've liked. I drew him multiple times through out the night, but each time, even if he got a card from his +1, I ended up dying. It felt like there would always be a better card in that slot. Moving forward, i'm going to play a copy of Shadow of Doubt in that slot, as there is a lot of Amulet and Scapeshift variants in the meta locally.