Does everyone know what time it is? Adventure time! Once again, it is the day where many of us bunker down at the local game store to battle with some cardboard. You may have noticed a lack of an FNM article last Friday. I ran into a small issue, and the result was no article for last week. This will probably only happen once in a blue moon if at all, but these things happen. As for last week's FNM, I am on vacation in Florida so I wasn't able to play. I had a couple of options for this article, but I decided to try out something new.
For the past week or so, I had been messing around with an updated version of the R/W Storm deck I played a few weeks ago. Thanks to Krenko's Command, I felt that the deck could take more of a mono-red direction. I didn't actually get a chance to do any testing with the new list, but as you know I have some experience with the archetype. The upside to mono-red is that your mana is smoother and creates fewer awkward situations where you don't have the appropriate color that you need. The downside is that you lose some sweet cards like Origin Spellbomb, causing you to play with bad cards like Memnite. You also automatically lose to Curse of Death's Hold, though you only had a couple of outs to it in R/W anyway. R/W is probably the correct version, but I wanted to see how a mono-red version would work out. It also allows for some sweet sideboard options like Koth of the Hammer or a Krenko, Mob Boss Goblin theme.
Anyway, because I couldn't make it to FNM, I decided to try having someone else play the games with my deck and take notes. Good friend and Legacy specialist Will Nehlsen was up to the task since he owns most of the deck anyway. He's been trying to foil out most of the R/W version. For reference, here is the list that he played with. There were some cool sideboard things I wanted to try out, but card availability was an issue.
There are some important things to note with the list. The first is that I realized after the fact that it probably wants four Inkmoth Nexus. That card seems like it can fill a lot of roles that the deck misses at times. Another important thing you should know is that this list plays a lot of experimental cards. The original version played Memnite, which I hated, but I wanted to try it out again. Increasing Vengeance and Wild Guess are some new toys that seem pretty cool. Out of the sideboard, cards like Koth, Krenko, and Hellrider let you transform into more of an aggro deck. While I would typically like more than just a few cards in a transformational sideboard, it still shows the different ideas this deck can play with.
Round 1: Matt with Grixis Control - Loss 1-2
To start off game 1, Will went to five cards and kept:
Will hit his land on time and started casting a bunch of Krenko's Commands. The Grixis player tapped out for a Grave Titan, and Will used the pair of Battle Hymns he had drawn to combo off on the guy. A couple spells and a Burn at the Stake later, his opponent was down to a large negative life total.
For game 2 and game 3, Will's opponent sided into a near infinite amount of counterspells and what seemed like a full set of Curse of Death's Holds. Two Curses later, Will was in the 0-1 bracket.
Round 2: Daniel with B/W Exalted - Win 2-1
In game 1, Will kept this opening hand:
Daniel had a very good start curving out with Duty-Bound Deads and a plethora of other exalted creatures. Will was getting ready to combo off with Past in Flames, but Daniel had too many exalted creatures and was able to finish off Will one turn too early.
Will's opening hand for game 2 was:
Daniel started off very quickly and was threatening to kill Will on turn 5, but a Past in Flames and two more Battle Hymns made it so Will was able to combo off just in time. A Burn at the Stake for 21 had them going to game 3.
For the final game, Will had a hand that consisted of a bunch of Goblins. A large grouping of Krenko's Commands and Kuldotha Rebirths made enough Goblins to punish Daniel, who was lacking black mana for most of the game. Daniel died at the hands of nine Goblins before he could get his foot in the door.
Round 3: Mike with Infect - Win 2-1
This was Will's starting hand for game 1:
In game 2, Will had another Gobo-centric hand (do you like my new word?) with a couple of Gut Shots on defense. Turns out that Mike kept a shaky hand, so the Gut Shots got him. A couple turns later he fell to the Goblin horde.
Will's opening seven for game 3 was mediocre, so he went to six. His six-card hand contained:
He hit a land right away, and the Wellsprings turned into a few Kuldotha Rebirths. Mike was stuck on two lands and a Spellskite as his only creature. He either needed a land for Wild Defiance to try to kill Will with the Spellskite or a creature with infect. Neither came quickly enough, and Will used two Memnites and a few Goblin tokens to win the match.
Unfortunately, this was a shorter FNM for Will than usual. In round 4 his opponent had to leave, so he conceded to Will. Then Will drew into Top 8 in round 5.
Top 8 - Zack with Mono-Blue Delver - Loss 1-2
Will's opening hand for game 1 was:
Zack flipped two Delver of Secrets early while Will worked on building up an army. On turn 4, Zack tapped out for a Talrand, Sky Summoner, which gave Will a crucial opening. He used the Infernal Plunge and Burn at the Stake to deal the fifteen points needed to put Zack to zero.
Games 2 and 3 went basically the same way. Will's first Kuldotha Rebirths met Mental Missteps, and the few tokens that did resolve met Gut Shots and Snapcaster Mages on those very same Gut Shots. Zack eventually landed a Talrand both games and took over to win the match.
Overall, the deck seemed to have performed well. I do believe that the deck needs white to be playable in a diverse metagame. That doesn't mean that I have to abandon the transformational sideboard plan, but it might not work out when the deck contains white. I plan to put some work into this deck on Magic Online, and I'll keep you guys updated on how it does. For next week, I might do an article on a B/W Smallpox deck that I tried out a week or two ago. Now that I have access to M13 on Magic Online, I look forward to trying a whole plethora of new brews out. Look for not only more FNM articles, but some videos along the way too.
I also want to let you guys know about a new project I've started working on. I've always been interested in the mostly Magic Online format Pauper. What I've started doing is watching replays of matches from an assortment of Pauper Daily Events and recording what decks beat what. I plan to use this information to get win percentages for each deck as well as a matchup percentage for different decks. Once I get enough information, which will take at least two months, I plan to do an article on everything I learned. I might even do it in conjunction with StarCityGames.com's Pauper columnist, Alex Ullman. I've been talking with him a lot recently and getting a real grasp on the format.
Anyway, thanks for reading another installment of "Thank God It's FNM!" I've really enjoyed a lot of the decks readers have submitted, and I look forward to digging even deeper into them to find some sweet brews. If my plane lands on time, I should make it back for FNM tonight, and hopefully I'll have something interesting to play. If not, next time you'll be reading about B/W Smallpox. See you next week!
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