Sunday, October 7, 2012

[JT] I'm Ba-ack! Now with more CGC goodness!

Well, after a few weeks' hiatus due to lack of laptop, I'm back with another CGC.  Hope you didn't miss me too much ;)  This week I think I'll stick to the Blender format just because I'm covering so much.  Are you ready for some smooth goodness?

Pulse 1) Return to Ravnica: Pre-Release

In my absence, we saw the dawning of RtR (and don't forget the rotation of Scars out of standard).  I attended the pre-release, and let me just tell you: it was a blast!

... ahem... <official/Azor-tone> The party of the first party (from here on, referred to as "me" or "I") filled in for her high honorable, Isperia during the days events. Upon opening the guildpack, found with in the contraband, were my bretheren, the Azor Elocuters, who joined my side, as well as a few other gold clad scrolls.

It was also discovered that the Dracogenius, Niv-Mizzet, was among those present, and was promptly incarcerated within the Azorius cell. The Izzet League did try thrice to reclaim their leader. After their initial wave, we of the Senate regrouped, and repelled their next two advances. Unfortunately, we were blind sided on our flank by two waves of unleased Rakdos Cultists.

I was, however, able to detain a member of the Golgari Swarm upon our retreat from the establishment, a shaman of the Deathrites.

In summary, detainees of the day:
Ash Zealot
Deathrite Shaman
Various scrolls of the lower class.

Authority-runed by the office of Supreme Judge Isperia
Copies filed at the archive of Azor, New Prav, Tenth District, Ravnica </Azor>
No seriously, R1: I almost Fillibustered an Izzet played, but Guttersnipe kept me from it.
R2: Ran out of Detain before I could get my Archon out against Rakdos
R3: Beat Izzet
R4: The most fun I had all day. Game one, my opponent plays the Conjured Currency and exchanges it with my tapped Archon. I Dramatic Rescue it at the end of his turn, Conjured Currency his untapped Hypersonic Dragon, and swing with it and one other flyer for lethal. Game 2, he tries to burn out my Lyev Skyknight, and I give it Hexproof with Mizzium Skin. He then swings with his Hypersonic, looking to kill the knight or banking that I wouldn't let it die and just letting the dragon through. I block, and give my knight Swift Justice (+1/+0, First Strike, Lifelink). Swing for game next turn.
R5: Kept a few hands I shouldn't have against Rakdos, but it was a close game. Game 3 I had him down to 5 life and I was at 20 or so. I ran out of Detain again and he was just able to overrun me (Chaos Imps can block. Who knew?). In hindsight I might have made a few wrong choices in blocks, but oh well.

Won two packs, which held Mana Bloom and Deathrite Shaman

I cannot wait to do the GateCrash pre-release...

Pulse 2) A First Draft

At FNM this week, we drafted RtR for the first time.  Pack one, I open up Rakdos Ragemutt, and nothing else really compared to it, so I picked it.  From there on, I was able to stick to Rakdos almost exclusively, and ended up with a pretty sic deck.  The Ragemutt put in some serious work over the three rounds, and was great for stabilizing when my unleashed creatures were crashing in every turn and I was open to the backswing

R1: I played the Rakdos mirror match... and we ended just as they were calling turns!  How does that happen?!  Anyway, I had the better removal (and maybe the better understanding of the guild as a whole) and won, 2-1.

R2: I played a Golgari/Selesnya mash-up that just could not stand up to my constant assault and life gain from the Ragemutt. Win, 2-0.

R3: Now THIS was fun.  The enemy had a Selesnya/Azorius mash up.  I'm on a steady pace of attack and life gain, until he drops a freaking Trostani, Selesnya's Voice and started gaining his life back.  We seriously dealt each other ~40 points of damage each before his tokens just swarmed me.  Game 2, I side in an extra removal spell, since there was no way for me deal with Trostani with Unleased creature once he put a Knightly Valor on her.  Game 2 and 3, a combination of Stab Wound and burn spells helped knock out Trostani, and without her life gain, his populate just could not keep up with the unleashed fury of the Cult of Rakdos. Win, 2-1.

Yes, readers.  For the first time since my very first draft, I won my draft pod!  On a less self-congratulatory note, RtR seems like SO much fun to draft, and I can't wait until the next one.  Unfortunately that will have to wait two weeks because next week I will be starting...

Pulse 3) The New Standard

As you know, we put a dear friend to rest this week.  On October 5th, 2012, Venser, the Sojourner passed and is no longer with us in standard.  I remember him fondly.  We laughed together, cried together, got destroyed by zombies together.  He will be missed....

...especially now with all the amazing Azorius cards with "Enters the Battlefield" (ETB) triggers!  It's such a shame, but at the same time it's a good thing; I would have hated to see Venser turn into a meta-game staple.  I just wish he was here to see all the great things he could have done, but I believe his spirit lives on.  What's that?  You want to know how I figure?  I'm glad you asked...

Ever since Avacyn Restored, I have been in love with Deadeye Navigator (if marrying a spirit was legal in my state, I would).  I tried out a Soulbond deck when Avacyn first came out, but decided to devote Scars-block's twilight months to Tempered Steel and Venser.  Now is the time for Navigator to have his day in the sun.  Here is my "Deadeye Control" deck (or is it "Dead Lock"? ...  Either way, it's neo-Venser.)

-Creatures (16):
Deadeye Navigator x4
Angel of Serenity x2
Lyev Skynight x4
Fiend Hunter x4
New Prahv Guildmage x2

-Planeswalkers (2)
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage x2

-Spells (18):
Detention Sphere x4
Feeling of Dread x4
Azorius Charm x4
Sphinx's Revelation x2
Think Twice x3

-Artifacts (2):
Azorius Keyrune x2

-Lands (23):
Hallowed Fountain x4
Glacial Fortress x4
Plains and Island x15

Redirect x3
Dissipate x3
Azor's Elocuters or Staff of Nin x2 (for a control mirror)
Purify the Grave x3
Oblivion Ring x2
Ghost Quarter x2

What I want to add:
Dungeon Geist x2-4
Jace, Memory Adept x2 (side?)
Geist of Saint Traft x2
Supreme Verdict x2-3 (side?)
Azorius Keyrune x2

So the main goal behind the deck is to Soulbond Deadeye Navigator to something with an ETB trigger and just machine gun the effect.  Being able to permanently exile a creature with Fiend Hunter soulbonded to Navigator sounds BEAUTIFUL (for those of you that don't know, if Fiend Hunter leaves the battlefield before his ETB trigger resolves, the targeted creature will be exiled permanently.  Once he leaves the field, his second ability triggers, and will resolve with no creature being exiled.  Then his ETB trigger resolves, exiling the creature)!  But wait... there's more...

Imagine the look on my face and the skip in my step when I was reading the RtR spoiler one night and find the ULTIMATE Deadeye Navigator partner...

She Fiend Hunter's three creatures???  And from graveyards as well???  Be still my beating heart...

Some other cards of note that I included are:

New Prahv Guildmage.  His second ability is just another way for me to lockdown what my opponent is doing, obviously.  The real reason I included him though was that he can give my Fiend Hunter flying so I can block with him, or my Navigator flying to beat face with.

Tamiyo, the Moon Sage.  I have plenty of ways to deal with creatures and other permanents in the deck, but as someone on The Mana Pool forums pointed out to me, utility lands (i.e. Kessig Wolf Run) might give me some trouble.  That is where Tamiyo comes in.  Not only will her plus ability lock down any permanent I need her to, but with all of the creature control, I might be able to get her to her ultimate, keeping my hand full of answers.

I will be taking this build, or as close to this build as I can (I might be short a Hallowed Fountain or something) to FNM this week, and will let you know how it does.  In the mean time though, feel free to give me suggestions, especially on the side board!  

Mmmmm... delicious.  Ok.  I'm going to end things here.  Next week I'll talk about how Deadeye Navigator performs.  I'll also hopefully have a new Group Therapy for you all.  I'm just waiting for Nyxiie to spill her guts (get on her about that, everyone!).  So, until then, sit back and sip the smooth concoction I just made.  It's Magically delicious.


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