Game #130: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Game #130: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
Date: 2014-05-18
Location: Friend’s House in Baltimore
Vs. Sigarda Host of Herons
Result: Win!

Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Magic, Commander 2013vsSigarda, Host of Herons, Magic, Avacyn Restored

I had a chance to play a few games with a friend of mine in Baltimore while our significant other’s were visiting Babies. Derevi had just gotten finished, and I really watnted to give it a try. He was playing an Enchantress build with Sigarda (Because he didn’t like Krond’s mana requirements). I started with 3 lands and the Quest that gains counters when things tap, and untaps things when active, but he stuck Quiet Disrepair on it. I played Keeper of the Nine Gales, and a few other creatures, and he played Sigarda with an Ethereal Armor, and then had at least two other guys of 4/4 or greater – Elderwood Scion and a Rust something-or-other.  However, he wasn’t drawing enchantments and was just flooding with land.

I tried to use tricks to have my Wake Thrasher and Gustcloak savior kill off Sigarda, but I didn’t calculate for first strike, and it ended up costing me the wake thrasher. I had a Finest Hour in play and I would make use of it and a Strionic Resonator when I could.

I had to resort to Derevi tricks to stay alive though, having only small-ish creatuers. S he was able to hold 3-4 of his creatures at bay each turn via her alternate casting cost, a Strionic Resonator and an Unbdender Tine, then blocking a final creature to die and be reborn again. I did this at least 3 times. Then I was able to drop Kruphix and draw an Arbiter of the Ideal, which, along with the Gustcloak Savior and Finest Hour was getting me multiple free new Enchantements (drawing me cards off of Eidolon of Blossoms).

Eventually I drew what I was looking for: Vedalken Plotter. You see, I’d been holding a Sorrow’s Path in my hand for several turns. I played the Path, traded it via plotter for a forest and swung with several tokens. I was able to stack the triggers of the ones that got through to tap and untap Sorrow’s Path enough times to wipe his board clear of creatures. One more untap/tap was enough to kill him.

I won the game because of Sorrows Path. I restate: SORROW’S PATH won me the game!

Had he drawn more enchantments (and thus cards, as he had an Eidolon of Blossoms, too) and few er lands, the game could have ended very differently.

About the Deck (no TappedOut yet)

Derevi started being built when I saw Arbiter of the Ideal.  I already had a tapping/untapping matters deck (Sygg, River Guide), but it was also tribally themed, and sphinxes didn’t fit.  I started working on the deck, but didn’t really finish it until recently, and in waiting, also added a Constellation sub-theme to the deck.   It’s not designed to be a Lock deck (like some people do with Derevi), but that doesn’t mean I won’t use the commander’s ability to keep myself alive for create openings.

Mostly I try to create value out of untapping things (like Inspired cards), or tapping things down  (for Palliation Accord bonuses).  I’m also happy because it gets to play reconnaissance, which is one of my favorite cards of all time, AND Gustcloak Savior.

The other trick of this deck is that it’s All Permanents. No instants or Sorceries.  When I first started thinking of playing Derevi  (even before the Sphinx), I considered making it a Primal Surge deck. The sphinx (plus Freed from the Real and a Paradise Mantle), let me do that in a Permanent way (also as a 3 card combo, which is more fair than a 1-card combo).

The Rest of the Afternoon

This game was a long one. normally when I play with this friend, we get 8 or so 1v1 games in (and I lose 6-7 of them).  On this day we only got in 3 games.  I’ll write about Game #131: Skeleton Ship  soon.  I also played  Vorel of the Hull Clade (which was just my Momir Vig deck with a swapped General and a few card updates.   I won that game as well, but it took forever.  I couldn’t get cards to win, despite having an Everflowing Chalice with 256 counters on it, but was finally able to pull it off.

One thing awesome that happened is I was able to use both Death Mutation (stolen via Pirates) AND Aether Mutation  to save myself in this play session.

Game #82: Krond the Dawn Clad

Game #82 : Krond the Dawn Glad
Date: 2013-11-12
Location: Family Game Store
vs: Karador, Ghost Chieftain; Prime Speaker Zeganna

Krond the Dawn-Cladvs.Karador, Ghost ChieftainPrime Speaker Zegana

This was a “Farewell Tour for Karador as well.  While Balthor is my most played-against general,  Prime Speaker Zeganna is the general I’ve faced the most different decks, this being the 6th different PSZ deck I’ve played against.

I start with a very forest-y hand, and a cluestone allows me to play an Umbra Mystic.  Karador starts loading up the graveyard with a hermit druid (this should have been a sign), and Zeganna has an early Fathom Mage.

I start loading up a Yavimaya Enchantress with Keen Sense, Daybreak Coronet, Pollenbright Wings and such. I get a few swings in before a Sylvok Replica gets rid of the Daybreak (man, I miss Community. Is it October 19th yet?).  Zeganna has a baby Jace and a Deadeye Navigator and Arcanis and a Reliquary tower and is drawing butt-loads of cards. Karador now has Greater Good.

Zeganna uses the Monstrosity Kraken to tap down my good stuff (including an Ethereally Armored Krond). Then uses Jace 4.0’s ultimate to grab Sheoldred and my Bear Umbra (we’d already killed one Bear Umbra) immediately thanks to the ever-adorable Gilder Bairn, and takes a really really LOooooooooOOOoooong time to do it. I start to untap, thinking it’s my turn finally, but that was still the first main phase, so there is also attacking and sorting through a 30+ card hand to be happening.

All I really want to do in this game is swing once with Krond so that I can exile the Reliquary Tower and not let PSZ have a 35 card hand, but that isn’t going to happen. I sac Krond to Sheoldred so I can re-cast him.  Then the board gets big and messy when Karador Twilight’s Calls at the end of my turn and kills us all with many ridiculous triggers from the 25 or so creatures that come into play.

This one was less fun than the last one, but I’m glad Karador got to retire at the top of his game.

About the Deck (tappedout coming someday)

This was the deck formerly known as Uril, which I took apart because I got bored of it. Krond is cooler because he doesn’t have Hexproof and doesn’t need to be overloaded with Auras.  I didn’t lose much by cutting red from the deck (and gained back an actual Taiga and Plateau).  Cutting red also let me make it a bit more Enchantress-y.  This deck has a lot of similar cards to my Bruna deck, but they feel very different to play.

Wizards needs to make a 5-color Archon Legend so I can make an Archon tribal deck. (Or I could just keep building different Karonas)

Game #32 : Bruna, Light of Alabaster

Game #32 : Bruna, Light of Alabaster
Date: 2013-07-09
Location: Friend’s house in Duluth
vs: Lorax, the Siege Tower; Varolz, the Scar-Striped; Ashling, the Pilgrim
Result: Neutral Loss

Bruna, Light of AlabasterVS.Doran the Siege Tower

Varolz, the Scar-StripedAshling the Pilgrim

A Tundra, an Island and an Expedition Map seemed like a good way to start.  Playing the risk, instead of playing smart, I expedite a Serra’s Sanctum.  It proves to be a mixed blessing.

Varolz gets off to a big start with a ton of acceleration and a Deadbridge Chant.  Doran hits the board, and brings Sorin, of Innistrad to make tons of vampires.  Ashling starts to get big.

I’m able to get a Rayne, Academy Chancellor on the board and give her a Spirit Mantle and Curiosity for some card-draw (and to make my Sanctum useful.  I also put an Arrest (or something like it) on the Hunted Horror that seems like it wants to only attack me.    Then Fleshbag Marauder gets rid of Rayne.

Sorin and Ashling’s Chandra get into a battle,  Sorin makes a Vampire, Chandra pings-and-redirects damage to Sorin (Chandra eventually wins, getting up to almost 12 counters).  The game starts to slow down.  I’m able to start building a board position (Auramancer, Umbra Mystic, with Indestructibility,  Lucent Liminid, Totem-guide Hartebeest), but am leery of trying to play Bruna without some means of protecting her.

Then Doran drops Emmara Tandris, Squirrel Nest and Earthcraft, and we know we are nearly doomed.  Ashling and Varolz team up to try to do some tricks with killing and Volrath’s Strongholding an Eternal Witness to get back a Krosan Grip, but Infinity Squirrels are made in response to the EW trigger. Varolz Scoops (which kills one of my enchantments, knocking my mana down… but it didn’t end up mattering).  I pass, and many Squirrels clobber us.

About the Deck:( )

Bruna does a certain thing — getting the Auras on her — and does it well.  This deck is mostly about that, but it’s not just “power out Bruna ASAP and Win on Turn 7.”  I actually like to play it in longer games because I’ve always loved moving auras around on creatures ( Autumn-Tail, Kitsune Sage, would be a general of one of my decks if that were allowed).  There are a bunch of “Auras and Enchantments Matter” cards in the deck.

Yes, it does play Steel of the Godhead, and it has Corrupted Conscience in there (despite my general abhorrence for Poison, that spell can also function as removal), but there’s no Eldrazi Conscription in there, because it’s just too dumb and obvious in this deck.   It also  has Enchanted Evening/Aura Thief, but it’s more of a pocket combo (if I happen to draw into it, which I never have).

I especially love sacrificing Flight of Fancy and bringing it back with Bruna.