It's that day of the week again; the one people around the world look forward to, and Magic players are no exception. Friday is once again upon us, and with it comes Friday Night Magic. Just as I had planned, Mono-Green Infect was my weapon of choice for last week. I was very excited about the reprinting of Rancor, and throughout the tournament the card went above and beyond my expectations when I drew it. Here is the list I decided to battle with:
The list is pretty simple with a bunch of four-ofs rounded out by three Gut Shot and 21 lands. The absence of Livewire Lash from the mainboard is because of Rancor. Livewire Lash and Wild Defiance act as repeatable pump spells (counting the two damage from Livewire Lash and a "pump"). They make it so you only need a few spells to turn any creature you draw into a one hit kill. The problem I always had with those cards is that their costs could slow down draws. You really only wanted one, maybe two, in each game.
While Rancor only gives +2/+0, it fills the same role by being repeatable and turning a creature into a one-man army. It is also cheaper than Livewire Lash, meaning that it can lead to turn 3 kills much more often. I decided to put Livewire Lash in the sideboard because in the control matchups I want as many ways to make one-man armies as possible to fight through removal.
I also decided to max out on the protection spells. Four Ranger's Guile and four Apostle's Blessing make fighting through removal and Vapor Snag very easy. Having eight cards that don't significantly pump my guys can occasionally create draws that can't kill my opponent (those draws are where Livewire Lash shines and Rancor doesn't), but the upside usually outweighs that. A notable card from M13 that I left out is Cathedral of War. Exalted is a sweet ability, but the fact that it comes into play tapped and only produces colorless can hurt the mana base very often. This deck needs green mana to win most of the time, and while I will still have a decent amount of Forests in my deck, I didn't want to lose to variance in a deck that already needs decent draws.
The sideboard is relatively similar to what most Infect sideboards look like, and I was really looking forward to trying out Pistus Strike. Unfortunately, I don't think I ever had a chance to board it in. Let's see how new list fared in FNM!
Round 1: Chris with Goblins - Win 2-1
I was on the play and started out with a Glistener Elf. Chris played a land and a Goblin Fireslinger and passed. He decided not to block, and I hit him for a point of infect. I followed up with an Ichorclaw Myr and passed. Next turn he played Goblin Arsonist and hit me for one with Goblin Fireslinger. On my turn, I decided to hold back the Glistener Elf and just attack with Ichorclaw Myr. I wanted to avoid getting two for oned by his Goblin Arsonist. He just took the one and went up to two poison.
Next turn he didn't play anything and attacked with Fireslinger again. I'm not really sure why he was attacking with Fireslinger this whole time, but everyone does things for a reason I guess. I attacked only with Ichorclaw Myr again and played a second Glistener Elf. On his turn he played a Goblin Chieftain and attacked for six. I took it all, and he sacrificed his Goblin Arsonist to a Goblin Grenade. The five went to me and the one went to my Ichorclaw Myr. This put me all the way down to seven life. I swung with both my Glistener Elves but only had a Mutagenic Growth to pump. I decided to hold it, and he untapped with Krenko, Mob Boss and killed me.
I went to six cards for game 2, and he wasn't very happy with his keep. I played a Glistener Elf while he did nothing. A Rancor quickly put him to three poison and then another Glistener Elf hit play. He once again did nothing, and I closed out the game with a Titanic Growth backed by Ranger's Guile.
Turn 3 kill count: 1
In game 3, he went to six and started with a Goblin Arsonist. I Gut Shotted it and played a Glistener Elf. He had no play on turn 2, but I played an Ichorclaw Myr and hit him for one. On turn 3 he didn't have a land and just played a Goblin Fireslinger. I put a Rancor on the Ichorclaw Myr and hit him for four. He decided to block the Glistener Elf, so I Mutagenic Growthed the Ichorclaw Myr with Ranger's Guile up. He went up to six poison, and I had both Apostle's Blessing and Ranger's Guile to win the game next turn. When he had no play and saw his fate, he extended the hand.
Round 2: Matt with Grixis Zombies - Win 2-0
For the first game, I was on the draw and went down to six cards. We both passed on turn 1, and he had nothing for turn 2 as well. I played an Ichorclaw Myr, and on his turn he played a Geralf's Messenger. I attacked with the Myr and cast Mutagenic Growth and Titanic Growth. He was already at seven poison, and his slow draw had me only at fifteen after he attacked. He played a Gravecrawler and another Messenger, but a Mutagenic Growth off the top put him away.
We both kept our seven card hands for game 2, and he started with a Gravecrawler. I decided to Mental Misstep it. This matchup is basically a race, and by shutting off his one-drop I could slow him down significantly. If he had another one-drop in his hand then it didn't do anything, but I think it was worth the risk. I played a Glistener Elf on turn 1, and he only had a Blood Artist. I could already tell that the Mental Misstep on his Gravecrawler was worth it. I hit him for three poison with a Mutagenic Growth and played an Ichorclaw Myr off an Inkmoth Nexus.
He had a Geralf's Messenger on turn 3, which dropped me to fourteen. On my turn I swung for two, and he went to five poison. I played another Inkmoth Nexus and cast Wild Defiance. He attacked and played another Geralf's Messenger, dropping me to nine. I played a land and animated one of the Inkmoth Nexus. I swung for three poison, and he blocked the Ichorclaw Myr with his Blood Artist. I cast Titanic Growth on Inkmoth Nexus and ended the match. This all seemed like a normal game for Infect, right? Well, here was my opening hand:
I wasn't sure if I should keep it, especially against a deck as quick as his, but it seemed decent enough. It got even better when I drew the perfect cards on curve.
Round 3: Will with R/W Storm - Win 2-0
Legacy specialist Will Nehlsen was on R/W Storm, a deck you may remember from this very column nottoolongago. I was on the play in game 1, and he mulliganed to six. He was busy messing around with random cards like Faithless Looting and Ichor Wellspring. I had a turn 2 Blight Mamba and a turn 3 Wild Defiance with two Mutagenic Growths and got him for eleven poison on turn 3.
Turn 3 kill count: 2
For game 2, we both kept our seven. Once again he messed around with irrelevant things, and I had a turn 1 Glistener Elf. I put a Rancor on it and hit him for three poison. I drew another Rancor, put it on the Elf, and then Mutagenic Growthed it to kill him for exactsies.
Turn 3 kill count: 3
Boy was he salty.
Round 4: Jesse with W/U Humans - Loss 0-2
I was on the draw in the first game and went down to six cards. My hand was creatureless and not very exciting, but I was hoping to draw out of it. He had a decently aggressive draw, and I never hit a creature.
In game 2, I had an Inkmoth Nexus on turn 1 and attacked with it on turn 2. I Mental Misstepped his first turn Doomed Traveler, but he had a Champion of the Parish and another Doomed Traveler on the following turn. He had a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben next turn and put me to fourteen. I played a Forest and a Glistener Elf and attacked for one again. He had a Mortarpod for my Glistener Elf and played another Champion of the Parish. His attack put me to seven, and I died on the next turn.
Round 5: Alex with G/R Aggro - Win 2-0
I was on the play, and he went down to six cards. His turn 1 Llanowar Elves met my Gut Shot, and I had a turn 2 Blight Mamba. He hit me with a Strangleroot Geist, which put me to sixteen, and I poked him for a poison. I played a Wild Defiance, and he decided not to attack with Strangleroot Geist. I used Apostle's Blessing to give my Blight Mamba protection from green and a Titanic Growth to make it lethal. He didn't have an answer, so we were off to game 2.
We both went to six for the second game, and his Birds of Paradise met my Gut Shot. He hit me with a Strangleroot Geist, and I hit him with an Inkmoth Nexus. He hit me for another two but didn't have a third land drop. I played a Glistener Elf and used Inkmoth Nexus to put him up to two poison. He put me to twelve with another attack and passed back again. I attacked with Glistener Elf and used a Titanic Growth to put him to seven poison. I played an Ichorclaw Myr and passed back. He decided to leave the Geist back to block, so I attacked with the team including Inkmoth Nexus. He blocked the Glistener Elf, and I used a Ranger's Guile to finish him off.
Top 8: Garret with G/B Ramp - Loss 0-2
The games took a while, but not too much really happened so I'll keep it short.
I was on the play for game 1, and I used a Glistener Elf and an Ichorclaw Myr to bring the beats. I had an Apostle's Blessing but no real pump spells to finish him off. I got him to six poison, and then he started making Beast tokens with Garruk, Primal Hunter. I was unable to draw a Titanic Growth to finish him off, and he eventually killed me.
In game 2, I mulliganed to six and started with a Glistener Elf. My hand consisted of just lands and a Ranger's Guile, and it never really improved. He played a Wurmcoil Engine on turn 5, and I never had a chance to get in any more points of damage. He used Garruk, Primal Hunter's ultimate ability and put me to negative 20 with his tokens.
Once again, my dreams were crushed in Top 8. The list was pretty good, but it definitely needs some work to make it tournament ready. Gut Shot was not very good for me throughout the tournament, which was probably because I didn't have Livewire Lash in the mainboard anymore. It was still a decent removal spell, but I would have rather it been something else. I'm not really sure what could replace it though. Rancor definitely made the deck a lot faster; the games I drew it usually ended in a turn 3 or 4 kill.
For tonight, I'm going to try a sweet brew by Travis Woo. It is a G/W Elves combo deck with a total of sixteen one-drop mana producers. I still need some cards for it, but I know enough people that it shouldn't be too much trouble. Hopefully I can get the cards in time for the tournament.
Good luck at FNM tonight, and I hope you choose to stray from the norm and play something interesting. Thanks for reading, and remember to keep submitting interesting ideas. I have yet to get to the user submitted decks, but that will be coming up soon. Happy Friday!
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