How many of you actually have time for Friday Night Magic every week? I'm lucky enough to not have many career-related responsibilities at the age of 14 so I like to play FNM whenever I can. Typically I draft or play Standard sometimes Legacy depending on who else is playing. To the benefit of my dedicated readers that is all about to change. Starting as of last week I am going to play Friday Night Magic Standard every week for a currently undefined amount of time. I will play either something of my own concoction or something I find from a friend or Magic Online results. The decks I play will not be your ordinary run of the mill U/W Delver decks. I will do my best to play something crazy – or at least something outside of the norm.
Occasionally it may seem like my build is missing something important but keep in mind that this is usually not by choice. When trying to play a different deck every week it can be tough to get every card I need every time. Luckily I have some of the best friends possible and some extra store credit on this very website so I will do my best to get as much as possible for a deck that I want to play.
I plan to start off the articles with an introduction to what I played last Friday with a quick analysis of the list and where I found it. I will then give an overview of how the tournament went. Where I play FNM usually only has four or five rounds plus top eight so they won't be very long. I am by no means using it as a way to brag that I crushed my local FNM but instead as a way to show how the deck plays sometimes. As with most FNMs people like to play crazy decks so you might not always read about me playing against Tier 1 decks but you should still be able to get the information you need about the deck from the reports. Lastly I will finish the article with a sneak peek into next week's FNM or rather tonight's FNM as you will be reading this on Friday. Without further ado let's get into week one.
Since I was put in charge of this column last Thursday this list was more of a card scramble than others in the future will hopefully be. I have been playing RUG Infect for a while but it didn't play a lot of cards that are in the list above so some odd choices had to be made. Overall the list was not as bad as I thought it might end up being. Some last minute rescues and rummaging through boxes got it pretty close to where I wanted it to be.
This list also included a lot of new cards that I have been wanting to try out. The first interesting card I was trying out was Livewire Lash. I had played it in my past infect lists and deemed it much worse than Runechanter's Pike but this seemed like a good home for it and since I owned a couple I figured I'd give it a shot at redemption. Another interesting card was the single Artful Dodge. Between Inkmoth Nexus and Blighted Agent the creatures already have a decent amount of evasion and I figured that the unblockable may only be relevant half of the time.
The card that put it over the top was one you may have just read about: Livewire Lash. Not only would Artful Dodge be able to deal 4 damage with Livewire Lash on its own but it would ensure that the creature killed my opponent if it wasn't a Blighted Agent. It also acted as a +6/+6 and unblockable pump spell when Wild Defiance was out. The mana base couldn't always muster double blue but even doing it over the course of two turns is fine.
My favorite card I wanted to try that I never actually got to use was Corrupted Resolve. Originally I had Mana Leak in place of Negate and the aforementioned infect counterspell but that was only because I forgot Corrupted Resolve existed. Unfortunately I was only able to find one so Negate filled some of the other slots.
Round 1 - Jon with B/W/G Tokens
I lost the roll so I ended up on the draw for Game 1. Jon mulliganed to 5 and I kept my 7 of two Titanic Growth Mental Misstep Forest two Hinterland Harbor and Inkmoth Nexus. I was not ecstatic about this hand but it did seem keepable. Jon had some early aggression with Doomed Travelers and and Honor of the Pure. Right when I figured I could start killing him with the two Glistener Elf I had drawn he cast a Lingering Souls followed by a Midnight Haunting. I proceeded to draw a couple of lands and lose the game. Sometimes this deck just gets blanked by a bunch of flying tokens.
I decided that for sideboarding I wanted to focus on killing his tokens or swinging past them. Casting Mental Misstep on a Doomed Traveler will rarely help and Ranger's Guile does not do much. I thought about Naturalize to deal with his anthem effects but I feel that my guys will get easily outclassed with or without an anthem on the opposite side of the board.
In game 2 I kept a hand of Evolving Wilds Forest Island Apostle's Blessing Livewire Lash Titanic Growth and Unnatural Predation. This hand may seem bad due to a lack of creatures but I have learned over time that you actually draw a creature a large amount of the time. On turn 2 I drew an Inkmoth Nexus and played Livewire Lash. Meanwhile my opponent played a bunch of Doomed Travelers like last game. On the following turn I drew Ichorclaw Myr and started to go to town. I equipped Livewire Lash to the Myr and swung in giving it protection from white with the Blessing. I choose not to do anything else and put him to five infect. Next turn I was able to put it away with Unnatural Predation and Titanic Growth.
For the third game I kept Evolving Wilds two Hinterland Harbor Forest Ichorclaw Myr Titanic Growth and Apostle's Blessing. Not much happened this game. He kept a one land hand that never got there and he was dead on turn 4 when I killed him with double Titanic Growth.
Round 2 - Kevin with U/W Delver
Kevin is a good friend of mine so I knew he was playing Delver when we sat down. The first game I was on the play and I kept three Forests Blighted Agent Wild Defiance Mutagenic Growth and Island. This hand should be able to beat him if he doesn't have removal and I play around Vapor Snag. Luckily he didn't keep a very interactive hand. He started with an early Insectile Aberration and Snapcaster Mage. I Gitaxian Probed him on turn 4 and saw that he didn't have much going on so I attacked with Blighted Agent and Mutagenic Growthed it. He tried to Vapor Snag but I cast Mental Misstep. This put him to nine poison and he died on the next turn. He did flood out this game but the lack of interaction is what really mattered.
I still have yet to figure out exactly how I want to sideboard in the Delver matchup. Livewire Lash can sometimes be good but it is often too much of a mana investment against Vapor Snag and other removal. Apostle's Blessing protects from his removal and pushes through my creatures.
Game two I kept Ranger's Guile Glistener Elf Blighted Agent Titanic Growth Hinterland Harbor Evolving Wilds and Inkmoth Nexus. I'll be honest nothing really happened this game. He had Gut Shot Dismember Vapor Snag and two Snapcaster Mages. It took him a bunch of attack phases but he put me away before I could muster much of an offense.
Game three I kept a hand of Blighted Agent Glistener Elf Hinterland Harbor Forest Mental Misstep Ranger's Guile and Inkmoth Nexus. Neither of us did anything and I just played the slow beatdown game. Two Blighted Agents and an Inkmoth Nexus took their time but they killed him eventually.
Round 3 - Jack with Mono-Black Zombies
I was on the play and we both mulled to six. I kept Forest Evolving Wilds Glistener Elf Apostle's Blessing Blighted Agent and Wild Defiance. My notes for this match are kind of messed up but all I know about game one is that I had to fight through a Mortarpod before Wild Defiance did its job and killed him. Game two I kept Forest Hinterland Harbor two Glistener Elf Titanic Growth Apostle's Blessing and Unnatural Predation. Once again he had a troublesome Mortarpod but the way he ordered his removal spells and Mortarpod activations made it possible for me to defeat him. The first few hits were slow but Titanic Growth helped me take the last large chunk out of his poison tolerance.
Round 4 - Alex with G/R Aggro
I seem to not have many notes for game one but by the life totals it seems that I was on the draw and he raced me out on the last turn with a couple of Strangleroot Geists.
In game two I kept Hinterland Harbor Inkmoth Nexus Runechanter's Pike Ichorclaw Myr Blighted Agent Ranger's Guile and Wild Defiance. This game he got stuck on two lands for a while and I slowly beat down with my three creatures and a Mutagenic Growth.
Game three I kept two Forests Ichorclaw Myr three Apostle's Blessing and Titanic Growth. Kevin and I laughed about the fact that I kept this hand but I was all in. I used Ichorclaw Myr Titanic Growth and Apostle's Blessing to deal five infect. Then I did the same exact thing on the next turn and he died. Pretty simple right?
Round five I drew into the top eight. I wanted to play it out so I'd be able to show you guys more matches but it saved everyone else time so I agreed.
Top 8 - Zach with Mono-Blue Architect Delver
This was Zach's first time at our store and he told me he was having a great time. He was on a mono-blue brew of his that was basically a Delver deck but with Grand Architects and Wurmcoil Engines in place of the typical white cards.
For game one I was on the play and kept a hand of Island Forest Hinterland Harbor Glistener Elf Blighted Agent Unnatural Predation and Livewire Lash. He began bringing the early beats with a Delver of Secrets and a Runechanter's Pike giving it +5/+0. He had a Dismember for my Glistener Elf but my Blighted Agent remained unscathed. I soon had a Livewire Lash on it and in typical Livewire Lash fashion my opponent died shortly thereafter.
I'm not sure how I sideboarded for this but I think it was the same as U/W Delver.
In game 2 I kept Hinterland Harbor Titanic Growth Inkmoth Nexus Wild Defiance Apostle's Blessing Unnatural Predation and Blighted Agent. This game played out similarly to the previous one. He was able to kill my Blighted Agent but Inkmoth got in a few points of poison. He was putting me low with an Insectile Aberration and a Runechanter's Pike and then he found Snapcaster on Dismember followed by another Dismember for my Inkmoth Nexus.
I was still on three lands so I had a tough time protecting it with only one additional mana. I could have been in a better situation had I let the Wild Defiance trigger resolve before casting Apostle's Blessing but it was not something I had thought of at the time. He had a 6/2 Insectile Aberration after I played Ichorclaw Myr the following turn with me at nine life and him at four poison. I needed a couple of things to happen for me to win.
He needed to not get three instants or sorceries and I needed him to block with an X/1 or I needed an untapped land. He cast Thought Scour on his turn putting a Vapor Snag in the yard. Luckily he didn't draw another spell off of it and he put me to one. I drew a Forest for turn made the Myr big with Titanic Growth and swung in. With that I was off to top 4. I had also gotten the promo Acidic Slime my friend needed for his EDH deck.
Top 4 - Kevin with U/W Delver
There is really nothing to say about these games. I had a pair of mulligans to six followed by mediocre keeps. He had some good hands and early flipped Delvers and I was easily dispatched. If he didn't win that match he wasn't going to let me put his name in the article like a true friend of course.
Overall both the tournament and the deck performed really well. Livewire Lash was definitely a good fit for this list. Unfortunately due to my draws and matchups I didn't get to try some of the cool cards that I wanted to. Next week my deck will have Delver of Secrets in it but with red instead of white. A couple of weeks ago my friend Shawn and I decided we really wanted to play Noxious Revival and Thunderous Wrath and so it was born. It's not your typical #threesulfurfalls deck so hopefully good times will be had by all.
I'm trying to work on a better system for taking notes and hopefully I find an easier way since directly taking notes in a match is pretty difficult. If you have the time to play FNM is a fun experience and if you are playing it tonight good luck. Don't be "that guy" with U/W Delver. I definitely recommend this deck if you want to have some fun.
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