Had some interesting games last night at draft. I had a pretty sick double overcome RG deck with tons of 2-3 drops, and ended up playing against a scarab god deck in the finals. Game 1 I'm on the draw (boo!) with a solid hand. He plays a khenra eternal, I play an initiate's companion with 2 more 2-drops in my hand and a hooded brawler, figuring that if he thinks he's going to race me, I can drop 2 2-drops on turn 3 and be in a very strong position.
Then he plays cartouche of ambition. RRRRRRREKT. I have to trade my hooded brawler, he's up to 26, I draw a million lands, he draws scarab god, game over.
Game 2 I'm on the play. I've got initiates companion (I boarded out of some of my 1-toughness creatures, but companion I felt was good enough to leave in), with an open fire, khenra scrapper, and tenacious hunter also in my hand. I play the companion into a khenra scrapper, he plays nothing into maurauding boneslasher(lol the name is screwed on mtgs so I have to typo it to make autocard work...) on t3 and goes to 12 on my t4.
I've got the tenacious hunter in hand and the mana to cast it. But I've also got the open fire (which he has not seen), and if he has that cartouche again he's going to kill my companion and then all-but-force me to trade with the hunter, leaving me with only the scrapper on the field, and him at 16 life. I could take the 4 rather than trade and swing back with the hunter, but I have no tricks or removal at hand to kill a 4/4 (or in the deck iirc).
I decide to pass the turn with the open fire up rather than play the hunter. He plays the cartouche, gets RRRRRREKT, and the game ends quickly in my favor.
In retrospect my decision was slightly better than I first thought, since he also gets fairly rekt if he just plays another creature (especially a zombie) and passes turn, since I can most likely leave him with no blockers again (though I could also do that on my t5 after playing the hunter t4).
What would you do in this circumstance? Play the hunter, the best line in a vacuum? Or hedge against the cartouche?
I did end up winning game 3 as well - it was very close, I managed to eke out the last bit of damage unblockably before he could totally take over the game with the scarab god.
Playing around spells you know your opponent has and which will completely wreck you is generally a good plan. Doing it when it doesn't cost you much except tempo and when you have the chance to actually gain value is kind of the whole point of the game.
Unless I had good reason to believe my opponent has the Cartouche in hand, I would continue with my deck's game plan by playing the Hunter, because it need a bunch of creatures out for good value out of Overcome. While the Companion and Scrapper make for a 2 turn clock, there are just so many ways for the opponent to stop it, not just the Cartouche. (Companion and Scapper can hit for 7 damage per turn by exerting and untapping the Scrapper, and it seems, that you have missed out on 2 damage.) After the Cartouche came down, I would not block the 4/4 lifelinker with the Hunter yet, again, because Overcome needs creatures. From your description, your deck should provide the creatures and possibly the Overcome for a 3-4 turn clock even in this case. And you still have the Open Fire.
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