A few interim games, or How to Stop Worrying and Not Detest Time Stretch

Since I’m still waiting for a few last pieces to finish of Nahiri, I didn’t play any new decks this week, and I probably won’t play anything but Tiny Leaders over my holiday break. However, I did play in 4 pretty fun games last night using decks I haven’t played in a while.

Game 1:  Isperia, Supreme Judge Vs.  Daretti, Scrap Savant and Grimgrin, Corpseborn.

I had just updated Isperia  (a UW Aggro Tokens deck) with a few cards from C14 (and removed Propaganda) and was excited to play.  I got to do tricks with Reconnaisance an Inspired guys to make tokens,  and I managed to, for only the 2nd or 3rd time EVER, pull off a Planeswalker Ultimate (Tamiyo).  I had to use an overloaded Cyclonic Rift AND keep a Stonecloaker (that ate an almost-goblin-welded Spine of Ish-Sah) on the board to make it happen.   Then, because the cards were falling my way, I Windbrisk Heights out a Cathar’s Crusade.  I never actually used the Tamiyo Emblem until, whoops, I drew Time Stretch.     Normally I hate Time Stretch, and this is the ONLY deck (of 130+) that I even have it in, and it’s ONLY in it because there’s no “You get another attack step” spells in UW and ONLY because I have no way to tutor for, duplicate, or recur it… except, I now realize, by a Tamiyo Emblem.  Luckily I had the board state to win the game in place and there were people waiting who wanted into the next game.   It felt dirty… but it kinda felt good.

Game 2: Atheros, God of Passage vs.  Daretti, Grimgrin, Gisa, Sisters of Stone death

This one wasn’t as clearly epic for me, but it was pretty fun, and was back and forth.  Grimgrin, had Lazav (who really should be the commander) out and had lots of decisions to make.  I had Atheros and few other enchantments and a Serra’s Sanctum.  At various times I also had a quite large Nighthowler in play.  My one sweet move involved playing Opalesence to make a non-creature Atheros into a 3/3 so I could bestow a +24/+24 Nighthowler on it and kill Gisa outright.   This game went on pretty long, I may or may not have had the ability to win, but it was past 8 and another player had shown up 30 minutes prior, so I voted to concede so we could split into two groups so that the new player got some time in.

Game 3: Kresh the Bloodbraided vs Gisa, Teneb

Gisa rolled over us pretty good.  I cast Kresh twice (up to 9/9 and 12/12) and had a Deathgreeter and Mortician Beetle (and a Trident) onthe board, but Gisa had tons of Zombies and Teneb was Mana screwed.  This gave us time to play a 4th game.

Game 4:  Kaalia of the Random vs Gisa, Rafiq of the Many

Gisa played a first turn Mana Crypt, followed up by Liliana of the Dark Realms (which got to Ultimate) AND Forcefield AND Gauntlet of Power AND Caged Sun (Yes, his swamps tapped for BBBBBB), however he took the Crypt Damage repeatedly (which made me think of this Dusters comic, except he’s not terrible).  Rafiq came out and was quite suited up, and chipped away 2 points at a time against Gisa.  Kaalia came out and dropped a Dragon of some sort,  then a Grinning Demon,  and then an actually pretty good Malfegor (that wiped the other two boards), then a Nefarox. I cast and morphed an Imperial Hellkite to get a dragon that could cast Fireballs (to get through the Forcefield), but by this point Gisa was at 4 (almost entirely of his own doing)… his hand was Phyrexian Arena and Graveborn Muse, and his next draw would have been… Whip of Erebos.  It was 9, and I was able to get enough attackers through to get past a flying suited-up Rafiq.

I had a lot of fun in these games, and got to do things with decks that I hadn’t done before (honestly, the night was a win for me as soon as I got to get Tamiyo’s Emblem… even if I didn’t really use it (and actually opted NOT to use it when my Valor died)),  so thanks to all involved (if you’re out there reading)!

Game #128: Kruphix, God of Horizons

Game #128: Kruphix, God of Horizons
Date: 2014-05-07
Location: Family Game Store
Vs.  Balthor; Sisters of Stone Death;
Result: Fun Loss

Kruphix, God of Horizons, Magic, Journey Into NyxvsBalthor the DefiledSisters of Stone Death, Magic, Ravnica

I was super excited to play Kruphix, who is easily my favorite of the new Gods.  I had a 4 land hand and a Cold Eyed Selkie to start out.  Early on I Plasm Captured  a Boundless Realms by the Sisters, which got me mana and prevented his ramp (temporarily. Eternal Witness exists).

I had a number of ways to draw cards, and a Triumph of Ferocity.   I had to Momentous Fall Kruphix for some added value in response to a Toxic Deluge that would have killed it anyways.  Balthor had Necropotence out and I had a Greater Good.  I got threatening with a Masumaro, a Multani and a Prime Speaker Zeganna (for 19).  Balthor Popped and caused trouble.  Sisters cast Boundless Realms (for 16), and was using Ink-Eyes and Chainer to steal things from people (but also hurting his life total).

It was close to over, so decided to take a risk.  I had most of my deck in hand, with somewhere between 15-25 cards in my library.  I knew that one of them must have been a Labratory Maniac (since I hadn’t drawn it yet). I sacrificed Zeganna to Greater Good and hoped I didn’t just kill myself (I didn’t have the mana to throw down Abundance.

I counted out 19 cards and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw 2 left in the library.  I looked through my hand… No Lab Maniac!  On my turn I cast Worldly Tutor to find the Maniac (who was on the VERY bottom of the library) and drew it. I cast it, but I still had to jump through some hoops to draw 2 more cards that turn. I went to draw via some spell, and Lab Maniac was targeted to die in response. I had responses, but ultimately I didn’t have enough to keep up and he died and I lost. (it may have been a Phyrexian Plaugelord flinging bodies it the Maniac)

In hindsight, I wonder if I still had enough creatures on the table and still had the Greater Good to try to draw more.  Hmm… maybe I could have won this one.  Either way, my deck did exactly what I wanted it to do: draw a ton of cards and have dudes get huge because of it AND I almost won via an Alt-Win.  And it’s Simic.

About the Deck (Tapped out some day)

The goal here is to draw a lot of cards.  The deck is pretty much team  ‘Maro  (though at the time it didn’t have the original Maro in it!), and the idea for it started when I was building Soramaro (and wishing Masumaro could also be the general of that deck).

I thought about  Edric just for the colors, but then, on a glorious day, Kruphix was spoiled and I got really excited.   It’s got Multani, Soromaro, Masumaro, and pretty much every other “gets bigger” based on cards-drawn-or-in-hand creature EXCEPT Psychosis Crawler… This deck wants to win in the Red Zone or by Lab Maniac, so life loss is out of the question (plus my Vorosh, the Hunter deck already does that trick).

The deck also plays Enter the Infinite (but not Omniscience… why would I want to make my creatures smaller?) but it’s only to set up an alpha strike, or to support Lab Maniac.  I like this deck even more than Karametra.

The Rest of the Night

I played Lord of Tresserhorn and his Zombie Crew, but it didn’t work out all that well, or at least it wasn’t memorable.

The next game, since it was a Simic night, was Experiment Kraj (newly outfitted with some recent stuff).  That game just sort of fell into  an early Illusionists’ Bracers/Horsehoe Crab/Wirewood Herald craziness. Also I got to use Jodah’s Avenger to make Kraj Double Strike and Shadow.


Game #124: Sedris, the Traitor King

Game #124: Sedris, the Traitor King
Date: 2014-04-02
Location: Family Game Store
Vs. Balthor; Sisters of Stone Death
Result: Neutral Loss

Sedris, the Traitor King, Magic, Shards of Alaravs.Balthor the DefiledSisters of Stone Death, Magic, Ravnica

This was the very first time I even did test draws with this deck (which meant I had to reshuffle twice before I got a hand with any land). My hand had decent lands, but not decent color distribution. Sisters of Stone Death played an Urborg, Balthor a Deserted Temple and some kind of tutor. I drew a Demonic Collusion and was pretty pumped. I hit land drops and mana rocks and was ready to cast it on turn 4, pitching two decent creatures for Buyback to search out a Prince of Thralls, and then cast it again the next turn pitching the Prince and another good creature. At this point I had both Cold Storage and Voyager Staff in hand, so I grabbed Salvaging Station, all set to cast Sedris next turn and start playing Unearth tricks.

Then Balthor cast Withered Wretch and a Candelabra of Tawnos and had ninety bajillion mana and a Grey Merchant and Geth and all sorts of silly things. A Memory Jar actually helps me a bit, putting some unneeded lands and big fatties in the grave yard, but there wasn’t much we could do. Sisters cast the Join Forces ramp spell and I got a bunch of lands. I cast Life’s Finale, helping Sisters get Massacre Wurm, RuneScarred Demon and Hythonia, in his yard for impending Balthor activations, but Balthor just cast Yawgmoth’s Will and re-cast his graveyard instead using Pontiff of Blight to Extort Sisters to a stone death and me to 3. On my turn I cast Sedris, unearthed a Dead-eye Navigator and blinked it, just because. Then I died.

The deck did what I wanted it to in terms of draws, spells and graveyard. Withered Wretch was just too good.

About the Deck:
This deck started as being a UBR Zombies deck using cast-offs from building Tymaret and adding blue, until I remembered that I already had one of those in Lord of Tresserhorn. So it became more of a load up my graveyard/your graveyards unearth/reanimate deck. It’s different enough from my Mimeoplasm deck to be fun. I don’t usually like self-milling, but it’s fun in this deck. As big finishers I like Dragon Tyrant and Prince of Thralls.

The Rest of the Evening:

We started the night playing Mono Black (Balthor vs. Nefarox vs. Shauku the Endbringer).  I had some decent Cleric animation and reanimation and was poised to do pretty decently, but Shauku (a creaturless deck) was able to hang on and use Sanguine Bond and the gain-life Tower to kill us off.

After Sedris I played Melek, Izzet spell-copier guy vs. Balthor and Sisters. My happy play in that game was to double cast a Stolen Identity (getting a matched set of Caged Suns) AND a drake and elemental token. I don’t remember who won that one.

I ended the night playing Teysa #1 against Balthor and Karona. Karona did laps of the table but mostly pounded herself and Balthor. Balthor didn’t have a great board or graveyard, and I had a pretty decent selection of card draw, token creation, sac-outlets, mana and reanimation, so Balthor scooped for time.

Game #123: Nemata, Grove Guardian

Game #123: Nemata, Grove Guardian
Date: 2014-03-36
Location: Family Game Store, Savage Mill, MD
vs. Sisters of Stone Death; Nekusar the Mindrazer
Result: Fun Loss

Nemata, Grove Guardian, Magic, PlaneshiftvsNekusar, the Mindrazer, Magic, Commander 2013Sisters of Stone Death, Magic, Ravnica

For the last game of the evening, I decided to try out this recently thrown together deck. I had a good land hand, plus some ramp spells and an opening play Essence Warden, followed by a Pendelhaven Elder. I paid into the Join Forces ramp spell that Sisters of Stone Death played. Nekusar had an early Anvil of Bogardan and was soon also playing his general and two other draw-into-damage guys on us. I continued to have rad draws though and was able to un-morph a Thelonite Hermit after playing Doubling Season, with a Cradle on the table. Sister’s had an Urborg and a Mana Reflection, I had some enchantment/artifact removal and a lot of choices. I decided to kick out the Anvil because I didn’t want an extra draw and discard, and Nekusar was the bigger current threat.

Thanks to Urborg, my Spreading Algae had a lot of targets, but I should’ve put it on Cabal Coffers instead of trying to limit Nekusar even more. I had a pretty strong board presence and my life was high and played my General with enough mana to make another 10 saprolings. I had 8 that could attack (they were 2/2 thanks to the hermit) and decided to swing at Nekusar, he asked if I was just going to kill him, but I was honest and said that I hadn’t intended to use Nemata to pump my guys (because I forgot about that power) so he just took the damage. He played an Overloaded Cyclonic Rift before my next turn came around. Looking back, I could have killed off Sisters that turn (both of them, if there weren’t an impending rift).

I was able to come back from the Rift though and actually restored my entire board state (minus the general) thanks to 1-drops and the Cradle (Spreading Algae on Coffers this time around, but it was also vesuva-ed). Pendlehaven Elder saved my non Saprolings from a Cycled Decree of Pain. Then Gorgons played Hythonia and went Monstrous in one fell swoop. Nekusar was attacked and taken out of the game. Then Sisters played a Twilight’s Call that, thanks to some massive discarding caused by Nekusar, set up a Gray Merchant/Nim Deathmantle soft combo that basically destroyed me. The best part: I had given him the GM for his deck, only to have it destroy me.

About the Deck (no TappedOut yet)

This is Saprolings and Fungus Matters green.  It’s got the doublers and most of the ways to make Saprolings, also most of the Thallids.  It also plays a few Mold or Algae based cards. Mold Adder and Spreading Algae (thanks to ubiquitous Urborgs) are smart and thematic (and possibly tasty) meta-game choices. I picked Nemata because she was always my favorite Treefolk.  This deck was one that was just one that I decided to throw together.

The Rest of the Evening

Two other games were played before this one.   The first game I played creatureless Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts against Balthor, Sisters of Stone Death, Sakashima and Sidar Jabari (Knights),  I had a good start, but scooped after Sakashima took 20 minutes to play through 5 straight extra turns without a win condition, and then generated 5 more extra turns. I was bored.  The rest of the table stuck it out though on the assumption that if boring blue hadn’t won by then, it probably wasn’t going to  (I had hoped to just start a new game).  That game went on for a lot longer (a 6th player had shown up), one another player died, we started another 3 player game (the first one was actually won by the Knights!)

The second game of the night was Sisters, Purpuros (goblins) and I played my Karador “everything costs 3cmc” combo deck.  I had a good start, but Sisters of Stone Death had a ridiculous start and we just got dead from it.

Game #122: Kiki-Jiki, the Mirror Breaker

Game #122: Kiki-Jiki, the Mirror Breaker
Date: 2014-03-19
Location: My apartment
vs.: Balthor; Karona
result. Neutral loss

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Magic, From the Vault: LegendsvsBalthor the Defiled Karona, False God, Magic, Scourge

Kiki-Jiki was another new deck for the evening. It had played well in fish-bowl tests, and I wanted something a bit stronger after the loss Tymaret suffered.  I had a 3 land hand, with a few things I could cast and lots of good 4 drops.  I did not drop my 4th land on time.  Balthor, again, had an early Urborg and Bazaar, followed by Liliana of the Dark Realms.  Karona hit an early Vraska and Hythonia the Cruel.

I managed to sac a Skirk Prospector to get a 4th mana to cast a Keldon Champion that took out Vraska, but I didn’t have mana to pay the Echo (I hoped Balthor would bring him back). I drew a 4th land finally an played an Avalanche Riders to kill the Urborg. Next turn I played a Rage Forger.

Balthor was down to a low life total, but he Beseeched for a Gray Merchant to solve that problem, and then a huge Balthor-activation did bad things to all of us (and brought back the GM.  Mikaeus was involved also).  I finally hit 5 land (there are 39 in the deck) and cast Kiki-Jiki just to say I did.  I copied the Rage forger (giving  KJ and the original Forger a +1/+1… Synergy!) and then died to massive zombies (I was at 1 life anyway).  I had Thornbite Staff in my hand.

About the Deck (Tapped out someday)

This deck was going to be All-Creatures, but I decided to let Mr. KJ have a suit (Darksteel Plate), some gloves (Illusionist’s Bracers), and a cane (Thornbite Staff) because he is a classy goblin.  He also got a hat (Skullclamp) but he is un-classy and lets other people wear it.   It used to have a Zealous Conscripts in it, more to steal stuff than to infinite combo, but I decided to take it out because it was too obvious. Instead I put in Felhide Spirit Binder (because Shaman and copying).    I decided to keep the Thornbite staff because it needs at least a 3rd card to go crazy and because I really enjoy the card.  I know a lot of people hate Combo decks (which this one very much is NOT meant to to be) so I adopted the policy of always carrying a Steamflogger Boss with this deck and asking if anyone is opposed to the existence of the Staff; if anyone protests, Staff is out and Boss is in.

The Rest of the Night

Seton vs. Balthor vs. Pheldagriff.     Balthor died really fast when all of my creatures became Primal Crux (thanks to Phelda’s Mirrorweave) making the one that I swung with 70/70.  Then all creatures named Primalcrux got bounced.  I was able to replay everything (druid’s make Hella Mana), but I died due to hippo influx and Suture Priest (and a repeatedly cast Seht’s Tiger that kept my multi-kamahled Hippos from ever hitting).

Prossh vs. Balthor vs. Arcades Sabboth:  I stared the game   Kobold-Gaea’s Cradle-Sol Ring, and played an early Prossh, but Noxious Ghoul effectively ended any hope at kobold swarm. I could make tons and tons of mana, but had nothing to do with it.  I think Balthor crushed us.