Game #21: Skullbriar, the Walking Grave
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs: Prime Speaker Zeganna;
Nicol Bolas Grixis Combo; Savra, Queen of the Golgari (guild
Result: Unsatisfying Loss
Having just come off the most fun game thus far, I was pretty psyched to play this game, even if it meant playing against Grixis Combo (if the General has only been cast once in the deck’s existence, it doesn’t get to be the deck anymore), and I have a pretty decent starting hand with 2 forests a Scute Mob, a Slitherhead and a Bond Beetle. I lucked into a Swamp on the 3rd turn, and was psyched to get Dornenschädel rolling with an extra +1/+1 counter to start with, but Combo looks over, ponders for a moment as I’m about to tap mana for a second spell and says “Spell Crumple.” That was pretty much the end of my fun.
All I had were two 1/1s, which for the next several turns (where I wasn’t drawing lands) I just swung at Combo with my tiny guys out of spite (even when Savra, who had a really buff board position, was tapped out). Eventually I got a 4th mana and cast a Forgotten Ancient.
Zeganna (who was Olivia in the previous game) had a bunch of evolve stuff AND a Cloud of Faeries AND a Deadeye Navigator. I considered shipping 8 or so counters to his Fathom Mage.
I eventually got a Carrion Feeder with a Sadistic Glee up to 9/9, and took care of Combo’s Consecrated Sphinx with a Vraska, the Unseen (the turn after Combo countered Savra’s Vraska, the Un, Seen, but then a Deadeye/Palinchron was dropped, infinite blue mana was made, and Combo said… “now I have infinite mana, but I can’t win this turn… ha ha. Lighthouse Chronologist, Level Up 8 billion times.” And that was it for me.
I packed up my cards while the Chronologist was explained to Zeganna, who then said “Hey, want to play a different game?” Another player had arrived, and there was only 45 minutes left, which isn’t enough for a 5 player game (Combo said, there’s time if we all try to play fast and play fast decks… I laughed inside of my head).
I ended the evening learning how to play some sort of Greek-vs.-Norse-Gods-but-they’re-all-scantily-clad-anime-chicks game, that was actually pretty fun. I don’t know if we played it right, but I guess I won.
About the Deck (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/dornenschadel-plus-one/)
This one’s pretty simple. Turn Skullbriar sideways and pump him up. Plenty of sac-outlets so he doesn’t get bounced or tucked, and plenty of graveyard recursion so that he can go to the ‘yard instead of the command zone. There are a few other +1/+1 counter tricks. I can’t remember if the Devoted Druid/Quillspike combo is in the deck currently (despite what it might seem like, I’m not anti-combo… just anti “I will combo out in one of two ways every single game”).