Game #191: Ayli, the Eternal Pilgrim

Game #191: Ayli, the Eternal Pilgrim
Date: 2016-03-01
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Mizzix of the Izmagnus; Horde of Notions; Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Result: Mostly fun Win.

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, Magic, Oath of the GatewatchvsMizzix of the Izmagnus (Oversized), Magic, Oversize CardsHorde of Notions, Magic, LorwynIsamaru, Hound of Konda, Magic, Champions of Kamigawa

I kept a 4 land hand, all of which entered the Battlefield Tapped (my Tainted field tapped for colorless the bulk of the game). I played Ayli on turn 3 and Sigil of the new Dawn on turn 4. Isamaru came out early and had an Umezawa’s Jitte, which spent most of the game on a flying double striker and got as high as 15 counters on it. Mizzix was ramping and Horde of Notions was color fixiing. I didn’t play another spell until turn 8, when my Rhox Faithmender got countered by Mizzix. I responded by Ashes to Ashes-ing Mizzix and Melek out of spite. I was down to 23 life, having been hit for 6 by the doublestriking Jitte-holder a few times.

Mizzix stole Isamaru. On turn 9 I cast Serra Avatar. I looked around to make sure it was good, and went to sacrifice it to Ayli when Mizzix said he was killing Ayli in response to the casting of of the Avatar. I rarely argue about timing and stuff, and I’m usually pretty chill about Takesies Backsies (though I did turn down the opportunity to take one earlier in the game), so Ayli died, but not before I shuffled my Avatar and went back up to 46. On turn 10 I played a Vizkopa Guildmage and a Nomad’s Assembly for 7. I was setting up to win via a Congregate/Guildmage next turn, but Isamaru cast rout, and my Assembly failed on the next turn. Mizzix was able to exile the Jitte, though Isamaru gained 24 life from it. Turn 11 I cast a Whip of Erebos and a Disciple of Griselbrand, and then someone Cyclonic rifted. Turn 12 I played down my Whip, Sigil and Disciple. Mizzix had 5 Bringers of the Red Dawn thanks to Horde of Notions and a Rite of Replication.

After a Windfall, I amazingly got my Serra Avatar back in hand, though I lost some good stuff. I replayed Ayli and started doubling my life (using Sigil of the New Dawn to beat Avatar’s shuffle trigger). Mizzix was doing Shenanigans with his army of bringers (and thankfully Ayli can’t sacrifice herself to herself). A Curse of the Swine was aimed at Horde of Notions board and followed up with a Contagion engine that gave Swine Flu to all of the pigs.

I doubled and redoubled up to 264, patiently waiting to get to 15 mana. I was amazed that there was nothing stopping me. I hit 15 mana on turn 15 which was enough to cast the Avatar, Whip in the Guildmage, activate it and sacrifice the Avatar to Ayli, putting me up to 528 and everyone else down by 264. In a game where everyone was playing really good stuff, and I only cast 3 spells in the first 8 turns, it was a fun surprise to win.

About the Deck: This deck was in the works as soon as I reconfigured my Vish-Kal deck to scavenge cards for a Karlov deck. Since that one was about incremental life gain, I had many big-gain cards left over. Ayli was announced, and I knew what I needed to do.

This one has a bunch of life-doublers, and the goal is to get a big life total and use it for value or for winning. As it was being built, I realized that it needed some token creatures to make use of Ayli’s second ability, so I rethought it a little bit.  It plays Boonweaver Giant and 2 combo auras (Shade’s Form and the other one), because I love Boonweaver.  It initially had a B/W allies theme to it, but there wasn’t room for that, and in building this one the rest of the cards that didn’t get used spilled over into a Selenia, Dark Angel deck that is nearly complete.


Game #186: Karlov of the Ghost Council

Game #186: Karlov of the Ghost Council
Date: 2016-01-12
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland, OR
vs.: Nath of the Gilt Leaf; Surrak Dragonclaw; Mizzix
Result: Fun Loss

Karlov of the Ghost Council, Magic, Commander 2015vsNath of the Gilt-Leaf, Magic, LorwynSurrak Dragonclaw, Magic, Prerelease CardsMizzix of the Izmagnus (Oversized), Magic, Oversize Cards

I had a 4-land hand and played Profane Memento on turn one, with Karlov coming out on Turn 2, followed up by Unspeakable Symbol, Greed (drawing more lands) and Obzedat. I built up a 10/10 Karlov and was swinging aggressivley.

However the Nath player made an infinite elf/mana combo with Sword of the Paruns or Umbral Mante and had a Skullclamp to dig for a finisher. Despite losing on turn 7 to infinite shenanigans, my deck did what I wanted it to be doing, so it was still fun.

About the Deck:  I took my Vish-Kal deck, which was a B/W big lifegain deck and refigured it as a medium life-gain deck built more around the general, then I took most of the small incremental life-gain cards and turned them into this deck (and set aside other cards for an upcoming Ayli deck to be about big-life gain).  It’s not a super original deck, as most Karlov decks seem to be about maximizing incidents of life-gain.  I do love Unspeakable Symbol’s synergy in this deck.

For the record, though, as Teysa Karlov’s #1 fan, I almost didn’t build this deck on sheer principle.

Game #169: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

Game #169: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
Date: 2015-05-13
Location: Family Game Store
Vs. Keranos, God of Storms; Karona (Lucifer); Captain Sisay; Lyzolda, Blood Witch
Result: Fun Loss

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Magic, Commander 2013vsKeranos, God of Storms, Magic, Journey Into NyxLyzolda, the Blood Witch, Magic, DissensionCaptain Sisay, Magic, Invasion10744945_10153296444478747_1509206168_n

I had a good land starting hand and played an early Crawlspace, Nihil Spellbomb and Maze of Ith. Lucifer ramped a lot and played Jenara, Asura of War and a Greater Good. Lyzolda smacked something with a Flame Tongue Kavu and played some discard rats. Sisay played a Karametra, Twilight Drover, and Nullmage advocate, which was scary to me as I had built up a Cloud Cover, Propaganda, and Dreamstone Hedron that I wanted to keep around. Keranos played an Akroma’s Memorial, and Karona played an actual Akroma, as well as a True Conviction and Light Within.

I made my move to try to win the game, casting Lim-Dul’s Vault and digging 35 cards down to find the second half of the Sanguine Bond/Exquisite Blood combo to try to deal with Keranos and especially Karona (who had a ton of life), but Karona flashed in a Pernicious Deed to blow up one of my enchantments in response to the casting of the other one. Sisay was hanging around at a miniscule amount of life, and Lyzolda played a Void for 8 to get rid of Akroma. I tried for a Storm Herd, but my tokens could do nothing against Karona who had played an Avacyn and Empyrial Archangel.

About the Deck: I know Oloro kind of gets a bad rap, but I did like the idea of playing a “creatureless” Oloro deck, where the goal is not to ever even cast the General (I know this isn’t original). I took the stock pre-constructed deck, pulled out all of the creatures and replaced them with other life-gain/life payment spells. It plays Test of Endurance, Exquisite/Bond, and Storm Herd as potential win conditions. There are almost no counter-spells and not too many board-wipes.

Game #84: Vish-Kal, Blood Arbiter

Game #84: Vish-Kal, Blood Arbiter
Date: 2013-12-04
Location: Family Game Store
Vs.: Wort, the Raidmother; Oloro, Ageless Ascetic (modified)
Result: Neutral to Slightly Unsatisfying loss

Vish Kal Blood ArbitervsOloro, Ageless AsceticWort, the Raidmother

Next game! I start the game with 2 lands.  I stay at 2 lands for the first 7 or 8 turns, only casting a short-lived Ajani’s Pridemate.  Of the cards I had in hand or drew in that span, all but three cost 3 mana (Mimc vat, Praetor’s Grasp, Mortify, Tainted Sigil, the Level-up guy that becomes 9/9, other cool stuff).  I was not pleased.

While I was waiting for my ‘turn 3’ Oloro had a Luminarch Ascension several times, despite Wort’s best efforts, thanks to Sun Titan and also an Avacyn.  I finally get to 3 lands, and play a Mimic Vat (no 2nd swampt to Praetor’s Grasp and hope for a Swords to Plowshares from Oloro).  Then Wort plays a spell that gets rid of Avacyin, but also costs me a Land (back down to 2 lands).  Eventually I get to 4(!) lands and play a Praetor’s Grasp (only getting Oblation), but by this time Avacyn is hiding under the Angel that gets a bunch of things back from the Graveyard.  I manage to get an active Blood Chief Ascension, but it gets Ashen-Ridered (I’m beginning to hate that card).

I cast Crypt Ghast. Wort turns all of her lands into 3/3 creatures and swings at Oloro, putting him at 6. Wort is at 1 life and I am at 12 due to Oloro deciding to split his attacks between the two of us the previous turn.

As I’m about to take my turn, Oloro uses a sac effect on his Ashen Rider (grrr) to exile my Crypt Ghast, so I scoop.

(Had I kept the crypt ghast, and thus had access to more than 4 mana, my next draw would have been a Sol Ring. Casting that with Extort would have killed Wort and dropped Oloro to 5. I could have then cast Unspeakable Symbol and extorted, putting Oloro to 4 and then paid 6 life to put 2 +1/+1s on Crypt Ghast and swung for the win, since Oloro was utterly tapped-out)

About the Deck (  this is not the most current list  )

This deck is mostly about gaining absurd amounts of life and then using that life to pay for awesome things. It has a tiny reanimation theme to make use with Vish-Kal’s abilities. It does play Mikaeus now, too.  I haven’t added in some of the new cards from Return to Ravnica, but I probably should. It probably also really wants stupid Gray Merchant, but I haven’t slotted him in yet either. it also needs more lands.  I like this deck, but it can be slow and doesn’t shuffle well for me.

Game #51: Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice

Game #51: Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
Date: 2013-08-21
Location: Family Game Store
vs.: Savra (GUILD)
result: fun loss

Trostani, Selesnya's VoicevsSavra, Queen of the Golgari

This is a non-guild Trostani life-gain deck. I played an early Ajani’s Pridemate and an Armadillo Cloak, which was Abruptly Decayed. Savra played a Korozda Guildmage. I played Healer of the Pride, Trostani and an Essence Warden, but they got Hexed. I played something with double strike and lifelink, but they were things that could by Sylvan Primordialed. Savra played a Necropolis Regent that got really big. I wasn’t having awesome luck with my draws. A doubling season hit the table, but I was able to Ray it from the graveyard. I died, 1 mana short of an entwined Tooth and Nail that would have won the game.

About the Deck: Tapped Out someday

This deck happened as a spin off of building Seton (and cards that didn’t make the cut when it was going to be partial Beast tribal, went on to become the core of Marath).  The goal is to gain a lot of life, and use life-gain triggers to enable win-condition creatures. It has the infinite Archangel of Thune/ Spike Feeder combo in it, and is the first deck I ever put a Tooth and Nail in (though not the first deck I cast it with).