Game #130: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
Location: Friend’s House in Baltimore
Vs. Sigarda Host of Herons
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.