May i ask why you playing drowned catacombs instead of darkslick shores ? im just curious about reasoning
I personally play only 1 Drowned Catacombs and 3 Darkslick Shores. There are a few lists on the guide that run the full 4 Darkslick, but I found myself commonly having issues with lands coming into play untapped in the late-game and wanted to avoid that if possible by throwing in a catacomb instead of the 4th darkslick. One thing to note, most of the other lists also run 5-6 island/swamps (including watery grave), while personally, my deck runs 8 (5 islands, 1 swamp, 2 watery graves). This means that my Drowned Catacombs is coming in untapped nearly every single time. I'm also a lot less black heavy on my casting costs. The link in my signature to my deck (in the visual view) gives you a nice idea of my curve and how blue heavy I am vs. how black heavy I am.
Edit: I realize now you were talking to FaeKeeler, but my comments still stand if you're interested why I use it too
You're at 2 life against a Burn opponent, who's finally run out of cards. It's your main phase turn 5 and you only have Creeping Tar Pit, Island and Darkslick Shores into play, and 2 Vendilion Clique, Spellstutter Sprite, Fatal Push, Bitterblossom and Mistbind Clique in hand. He's dealt 6 damage himself through the game. Choose your play. Is it still possible to win?
Could you win the game if I told you the top 4 cards in your library are (in this order) Bitterblossom, Creeping Tar Pit, Thoughtseize and Watery Grave and your opponent has Monastery Swiftspear, Monastery Swiftspear, Lightning Bolt and Boros Charm?
This is how I imagine it will play out. Unfortunately, we will loose.
Our T5: pass
Their T5: respond to draw with VC targeting them. If it is anything but a creature or a land cycle it (! you may choose not to find a card !), we would die to another burn spell. They could respond if its instant speed, but many actually forget (lucky for us the topdeck gods are in our favor). See MS, don't choose it. Let it resolve
Our T6: Draw BB. Swing for 3, OP on 11. Pass.
Their T6: same as T5. respond with VC see another MS, dont choose it. Combat we go down to 1, they castanother MS.
Our T7: Draw CTP. Swing for 3, Op on 8. Play CTP, pass.
Their T7: Draw LB. Combat, trade VC with Spear and FP the other. U,U/B floating. (If they would cast LB M2 we play SSS and win. time walk with MC before draw. Similarly for LB M1, just with a bigger margin trading with SS instead of VC)
Our T8: Draw Thoughtseize (what's the common abrev.?). Pass (we don't have any option at this point)
Their T8: Draw BC, combat: trade MS with VC, cast BC (which we can't counter) and maybe follow up with LB if necessary. They win.
Edit: Note: If we had a different land then CTP (something that enters untapped) it would change the situation and we would have won. That said I've always been on the edge with CTP, I rarely use it until late and it entering tapped T2 to T6 hurts.
Now against Tron, it's turn 3 and you feel safe on the play after playing Spreading Seas on your opponent's first Tron land and then him playing Blooming Marsh. He also has a Expedition Map into play. You have Creeping Tar Pit, Polluted Delta, Island, Liliana of the Veil, Mana Leak, Cryptic Command and Mistbind Clique in hand and Mutavault and Darkslick Shores into play. How do you sequence your next turns? I think this one needs no clues.
T3: PD->WG (-3 life) Lilly, +1 discard island. They have 0 tron lands so no threats next turn
T4+ I'll aim for a MC targeting MV in T5 unless I draw something more efficient. The cryptic is nice to guard T4 (just in case), I'd aim for discarding ML with Lilli unless I drew something less useful.
T6ish : MC targetting MV
T7: Probably CC ideally bouncing my MC to recast it and time walk him again unless something happens
Though I have to admit I'm not to good at solving these fuzzy games.
1: I misplayed this one the first turn and ended up trading Vendilion Clique with the first Swiftspear, which left me with nothing to press my opponent on board and without a second faerie to counter a Boros Charm/Lightning Helix/Eidolon with Spellstutter Sprite. Luckily, he drew a second Swiftspear and I managed to see the right lines of not trading with the second Vendilion, then countering Bolt with Sprite and pushing the Swiftspear, upkeep Mistbind Clique and deal exactly lethal the next turn. Had I done the right plays from the beginning I would have been exposed to just one turn of potentially being dead instead of 2. Sometimes Faeries is forgiving.
And your opponent is forgiving, too. He could have saved the LB for when you tap out for MBC or can cast two spells But then again Faerie isn't too popular, he might not know how to counter our stuff.
He should have waited to cast two spells in a turn, specially against a mana screwed blue player. Had he played well, he'd have won the game, but analyzing the plays, who should be blamed in case of a defeat: the mulligan to 5, mana screw, losing the dice roll and the "bad luck", or the misplay of blocking with Vendilion Clique and giving the opponent an extra turn?
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In my experience, loosing comes down to an accumulation of mistakes that cost you momentum and your opponent outpacing you. You said yourself it's often hard to find the single "mistake".
In the scenario you presented above I would probably blame CTP if I had lost. It's the one draw that changes a "safe" (knowing both draws) win into a defeat. So in this particular situation, it's either RNJesus or the decklist, because it could have been a different land. I can't influence probability [legally], so I would blame it on my decklist. It's the only thing I can improve.
However, this is not to say that there are many other situations where CTP is actually a very good draw and its just an odd match-up. Again one can blame it on the decklist, choosing Faerie in the first place, but it gets philosophical here.