(This week was brought to you by The Boondock Saints (again) and Office Space (again). Yeah, I tend to watch the same movies over and over. I also listened to Devin Townsend's “Terria.”)
As I mentioned last week, I am definitely going to France in a couple of weeks for the World Champs. Because of this, I figured I should actually perambulate my arse out the door and this weekend and turn up to the wee free Extended tournament Tall Mike was nice enough to run. But of course, before I would do that, I decided I would check out the Magic Online Extended Premier Events to see what decks happen to be all the rage this week now that the Release Events are over. This is what I saw.
Wow, I dunno, but this feels like the longest week of Release Events ever. What does a guy have to do to get the results around here? I mean, I'm certainly not desperate enough to enter an eight-man queue, just in the hopes that I beat or get beaten by some hot new tech or something. Because all of the matches in a queue tournament are hidden, the most you can see is three other decks, and I just don't have the time to hunt around in that haystack for needles with the lights off, know what I mean?
Thankfully, the first Standard Event in what seems like an Ice Age is scheduled to start in a few hours, and an Extended one is just under a day away. However, these events were a long way away from that most disadvantaged vantage point during the weekend, so I had no hope of getting my paws on any results or deck ideas to go on before Mike's tournament.
Naturally, I did what any player would do in this situation and built a deck that they know at least worked once and would hopefully still work now. In this case I chose Boros Deck Wins because it doesn't just plain keel over to new silver bullet cards like Sudden Shock (lol Psychatog) and / or Krosan Grip (lol Isochron Scepter).
The actual list I threw together needs some work, but I'll revisit that later on. For now I'll post the one I actually played to fool those people who just scan articles for decklists without reading what the author has to say about it or their favorite pets or some weird Anime show you've never heard of or would want to.
For starters, the Sac Lands were wrong. Eight lands that fetch Mountains and only two that get Plains? Please, not even close. It probably should have been six and four, because otherwise you're guaranteeing four pain just to drop a Soltari Priest on turn 2. Other than the lands though, I was mostly happy with the maindeck, although I could be convinced that the Dragons would need to go in favor of the fourth Priest and the fourth Sudden Shock. Still, I do like the Dragons in many non-combo match ups.
The sideboard was terrible. Well, I guess not terrible because it did have some of the important stuff like Kataki and the Sudden Shock, but the Flametongues were pooptacular and definitely should have been some kind of anti-combo card instead of yet another creature control card.
Oh, and the basic lands were Snow Covered because they were the first basic lands I came across while digging through my box to find some.
The tournament itself was a small and casual affair. I felt a little bad at first while I tore apart a couple of kid's creature decks with Grim Lavamancers and Lava Darts, but eventually I floated into the brackets where other people were playing decks of a similar caliber to mine. While we were the minority, it was still good practice to smash the wee White men up against some other Actual Extended Decks. The only one I lost to in the swiss rounds was a Dragonstorm deck, which is why I know that sideboard needs to some anti-combo lovin', possibly Pyrostatic Pillar or something. The Dragonstorm was ridiculously effective, killing me on turn 3 in game 1, and after mulliganing to a no-land hand in game 2, killing me on turn 4. Not only was it a turn 4 kill, but I was on the play and I managed to destroy a land on both turns 3 and 4, to no avail.
I don't have a list for the Dragonstorm deck sadly, but I do have one for the other deck that beat me on the day. After I crushed it in the swiss rounds with a Sudden Shock offthetop I ran out of luck in the Top 8, and was in turn crushed by a Life From the Loam fueled Psychatog. The interesting thing about this list is the Dual lands it runs, easily giving access to four colors of mana. If this is anything to go by, I assume the deck could go ahead and splash the fifth color as well, now that we have all three Ravnica blocks feeding bountiful mana into the format.
The guy playing the deck admitted that he would have had a few problems with Leyline of the Void, and promptly proceeded to lose in the semifinals to a very similar deck, but complete with Leylines of its own in the sideboard. It just goes to show that while Sudden Shock is exceptionally good against Psychatogs and Wild Mongrels and Arcbound Ravagers, those decks still pack a hefty left hook to the jaw.
As far as getting my stuff together in Extended, it's a start at least, and with any luck the next few weeks should fill in the rest of the gaps for me leading up to the big event. Last year the two weeks leading up to Worlds held a heap of important information for those competing, and I don't plan on missing any of it this year.
But best intentions and so on, so you never know. For instance, last week I committed the cardinal sin of misquoting the Big Lebowski. I dunno, maybe I should have watched it again first, or at least Googled the screenplay to make sure I had it right, but I didn't and now I'm paying the price of shame and humiliation upon myself and the next three to four generations of my family.
It was suggested in the forums that I pay some kind of penance by doing more Price Guide shenanigans, and I admit that it wouldn't be a bad idea in the continued absence of Standard (and Extended waah, waah) results. However, instead of doing the full price recap, I'm going to expand on the initial pass-over I did last week on Time Spiral cards. They are what's most interesting right now, whereas that old Ravnica nonsense will just be sitting there not changing in price at all, just like it always does!
(grumble, grumble, grumble…)
I won't bother with the explanation blurb this week, but the price on the left is what you can expect (on average) to get for the card, and the price on the right is the price you can expect to pay. The prices in parenthesis are last week's prices. Easy peasy, right?
Lotus Bloom 2-4 (---)
Plague Sliver 1-2 (1-2)
Ancestral Vision 2-4 (4-6)
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir 2-4 (4-6)
Draining Whelk 1-2 (---)
Lightning Angel 2-4 (---)
Spectral Force 1-3 (---)
Magus of the Scroll 2-4 (3-5)
Serra Avenger 2-3 (3-6)
Flagstones of Trokair 4-6 (---)
Psionic Blast 6-7 (9-11)
Soltari Priest 3-4 (---)
Tormod's Crypt 1-4 (2-5)
Serrated Arrows 1-2 (---)
Gemstone Mine 3-5 (---)
So hopefully from that you can see why I often tell people to avoid buying cards on Release Week. Those prices were considerably inflated and are definitely showing obvious signs of coming down there. The only one I fully expect to climb back up is Teferi, but that might not be until after Worlds. I mean, I could be completely wrong about the guy, but he certainly seems like a beating to me.
And finally, as promised, a slightly newer version of the Boros deck I posted up there somewhere. If I suddenly slip into a coma tomorrow and don't wake up until ten minutes before the big show in Paris (and someone has thoughtfully flown me over there whilst in said coma) I would be more than happy to play the list below. However, I suspect there is much tweaking to be done between here and there. For instance, the Pillages might be better served as Cryoclasms, and there may need to be some Disenchants in the sideboard somewhere.
- 1 Fledgling Dragon
- 4 Goblin Legionnaire
- 4 Grim Lavamancer
- 4 Savannah Lions
- 4 Soltari Priest
- 3 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
But hopefully there will be no coma for me, because I still have to sort out my Standard deck as well, and bugger trying to fit two weeks of replays in at the last minute. Man, I had better do a draft or three while I'm at it too.