This week I'm trying something a little different. First, I'm playing Burn, an uncommon choice for me, but perhaps more importantly, I'm changing the format for these videos and trying something new. This week, I'll be doing commentary over recordings of matches I've already played, and I'm very interested in feedback on whether you prefer this method. The deck I'll be playing is based on Matt Sperling's deck from the Top 8 of Pro Tour Magic 2015, but I've made a few changes. I'll be playing:
First, a two player queue to warm up:
I wanted to change up my creature removal to deal with larger creatures, and I wanted answers to Whip of Erebos. I decided to bring in Magma Spray over Shock because I thought it might be important to exile my opponent's creatures.
Lesson learned, for those of you who are just reading the text and not watching videos, do not sideboard the way I did in this matchup.
Next up, a Standard eight player queue:
Not really sure what was going on with the replay there--having issues with the “go one action forward” button. Ideally, MTGO will start working better someday. Anyway, relatively straight forward game 1 against control. I had a lot of burn, but my opponent had some counters and discard, and I drew a little too much removal and died to Sphinx's Revelation.
Some people don't maindeck Searing Blood. If I had any burn spell that could target my opponent instead, I'd almost certainly win that game, but I don't think there's enough UWx Control to justify cutting every card that's bad against them.
For game 2, I sided:
I wasn't sure if my opponent would have Archangel of Thune because he was Esper rather than U/W and I didn't want dead cards. Having seen Archangel, I decided I should have more answers to them and cut 3 Shocks and a Lightning Strike for 4 Chained to the Rocks.
I'm not sure what my opponent's alternatives were, but I doubt bringing in Nightveil Specter against Burn is very good. Yes, I have some creatures that it might be able to block, but it doesn't really matter as a threat, and my draws often won't depend on creatures. When they do, I have plenty of removal for it.
Slight misplay there, but I managed to draw just well enough to escape with a win.
My thinking here was that I wanted to make my opponent's creature removal bad, since it's most of how he can interact with me. I'm not sure that Skullcrack is a better cut than Shock, but I want to be able to kill Pack Rat and Lifebane Zombie when I have to.
I'm not going to bother showing a video of the second game. My opponent mulligans on the play. I keep Mutavault, Boros Charm, Searing Blood, 2 Sacred Foundry, 2 Mountain on the draw, which is a little land heavy, but I value Mutavault pretty highly. My opponent proceeds to mulligan to two and concedes before starting the game.
That felt like a premature concession from my opponent, but I was in a pretty good spot.
Chandra's Phoenix matches up poorly against Nightveil Specter, Tidebinder Mage, and often Cloudfin Raptor. I like Skullcrack as an answer to Master of Waves in theory (which kills Master of Waves if it blocks, by stopping protection from preventing the damage), but in practice, I don't really think it's good enough to keep around for that. Eidolon of the Great Revel is too symmetrical here.
That game was pretty crazy and about as close as it gets. Satyr Firedancer is a really big deal.
Moving forward, I think I'm interested in trying more Chained to the Rocks in the maindeck, but I don't think I like playing four Chained to the Rocks and four Searing Blood, since that seems like too many cards that rely on my opponent playing creatures. I also don't like Magma Spray after that experience in the first match. I think it's too important for cards in this deck to be able to damage the opponent, and the enchantments give me enough ways to exile creatures anyway.