Tear up FNM!
Those are the words my friend said to me as we walked into my local gaming store. I would like to consider myself a competitive player; I may not be the best, but I'm pretty good. So for me, winning FNM is a pretty cool thing.
Now, my friends and I had been playing fun decks for the past few weeks. We really had no chance of winning, but when we walked into the store this week we were told that they were going to be drafting Onslaught after the tourney. This kind of sucked because we hadn't brought extra money to draft, so we needed to win our packs.
The original plan was that I was going to run the worst Mirari's Wake deck ever made (it focused around Blaze), but now I really needed a good deck. So I went to the box-o-cards. As I was looking through it, I noticed three Zombie Infestations sitting next to each other. I thought to myself,"No one here is ready for it; everyone is running U/G madness and/or a rogue deck with the exception of a few people." So I decided to make an UZI deck. I got out my cards and put together this little beauty.
2 Polluted Delta
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Darkwater Catacombs
4 Underground River
3 Zombie Infestation
4 Innocent Blood
3 Circular Logic
3 Cunning Wish
3 Force Spike
3 Deep Analysis
Now, I realize that this isn't the best UZI deck but it is what I had with me. I've never really played with this deck before, but I have played against it and I knew how it worked. All my main deck choices are pretty much normal, but I have some odd choices for my sideboard. I had Chain of Vapor in there for one sole reason: I saw someone putting together a R/B Reanimator deck earlier. I used Divert mostly because I needed to fill a slot, but I realized that this could be really good if an inexperienced player tapped out to play Haunting Echoes on me or something of that sort. Insidious Dreams is so unbelievably good that I can't believe every Standard combo deck doesn't use this.
So now I had a deck that was good enough to win FNM. Now I just had to pilot it correctly. The tourney is round robin, so I can lose a match - maybe even two - and still go to top 4, since we had very few people there on this particular day.
Round 1 vs. R/B Reanimator at our feature match table (we tape it and this is where everyone that isn't playing is watching)
I was happy about this pairing, as I feel that I brought enough sideboard hate that he didn't stand a chance.
Game 1: This game started off fast with him playing a turn 1 Duress and stripping me of a Standstill (over three island, two Circular Logics, and a Cunning Wish). I draw a Polluted Delta, play it, and say go. He plays Burning Wish for a Buried Alive. I draw and play Zombie Infestation, then counter every way he has to reanimate things and make zombies with the extra land in my hand. I win.
Game 2: I brought in four Duresses, hoping to get rid of his hand destruction seeing as how that's the only way he can possibly beat me. The first play of this game is a turn 3 Standstill, which he breaks with a Buried Alive that I Force Spike (best card in the format). The game goes slow until he gets a Buried Alive through (fetching Anger, Symbiotic Wurm, and Phantom Nishoba). He plays Stitch Together on Phantom Nishoba and swings for seven, putting me at thirteen and him at twenty-seven. At the end of his turn I Cunning Wish for a Chain of Vapor and sent it packing back to his hand. I played Zombie Infestation and said go. He tried to Stitch Together his Symbiotic Wurm, which I responded to by wishing for Coffin Purge and removing it and Anger. Next turn I play Upheaval, floating 1B. He scoops.
Games 2-0 matches 1-0
During this time, I go watch my two friends play their matches. One of them is playing boring old U/G Madness; the other, his version of Tight Sight using Time Stretch for infinite turns. He was winning his games, but was doing so very slowly. His opponent scooped the first game after infinite turns, which he used to make infinite beasts with Beast Attack. the next games, he got rocked by speed elves.
Round 2 vs. R/G/W AstroGlide
I was playing against an experienced player, but both he and I knew he stood no chance whatsoever.
Game 1: Not much to say; the only spells he got through were two Astral Slides. I sent two Exalted Angels and three Mystic Enforcers to the graveyard via counter magic. He did nothing until I played Upheaval floating 1B, then he scooped.
Game 2: Same as game one, except he didn't even get Astral Slide out. He went for the win when he played two Lightning Rifts after I tapped out to play a turn 4 Deep Analysis, but I just Cunning Wished for Insidious Dreams, putting the exact amount of land and the Upheaval and Infestation on top of my deck, then and grabbed them using Compulsion. He lost.
Games 4-0 Matches 2-0
I was really happy about this. I realize that UZI is really fun to play, but it sucks to get paired against it (it's so boring). And I have a good chance of winning boosters. My U/G madness friend is now getting rocked by the speed elves. And my Tight Sight friend is beating mono red into the ground (I heard Ravenous Baloths beat mono red. who knew?).
Round 3 vs. U/W weenies without Opposition
I was playing against a very inexperienced player, who was telling me how cool it would be to counter a Counterspell.
Game 1: The game started slow. Both of us mulliganed twice. He went first and neither of us had a play until he went turn 3 Divine Sacrament; I let it through. He went turn 4 Divine Sacrament, turn 6 Glorious Anthem - which is all he got through, since I countered all of his creatures. Now I had an Upheaval in my hand, but I hadn't been able to draw into a Zombie Infestation yet. On his turn he played a Commander Eesha; this was a problem, as I had just drawn my Zombie Infestation but it couldn't block him
I make a dumb play, going for Cunning Wish - and instead of grabbing a Circular Logic, I get a Ghastly Demise. On his turn he attacks and I try to Ghastly Demise but he Counterspells my Ghastly Demise (if only I had gotten the Circular Logic and countered while he was tapped out!). He proceeded to beat me down with a 7/9 creature-shrugging beat stick.
Game 2: This was a little better. If you can picture a turn 1 Force Spike his Suntail Hawk and a turn 2 I Standstill which no one breaks until I Upheaval, you can see how I win the game.
Game 3: The last game and he goes first; I don't like that. But this was the ideal game, where I stalled and countered everything he cast, until turn 10 when I Upheavaled, followed up by Zombie Infestation and he scooped. (again, I used Insidious Dreams to get my Upheaval and some land).
Games 6-1 Matches 3-0
I'm into the top 4. I'm guaranteed packs to play in the draft - so I'm happy. I check on my buddy playing Madness, and he's beating a mono-red deck. and I walk over to my friend playing Tight Sight, his opponent is scooping to infinite turns. I learn that I am the only person undefeated. I also learn that my friend playing Tight Sight is also in the top 4.
Semi-Finals vs. R/B/G Beatdown
Game 1 We play for a little while and I have grip of Counterspells so I feel safe. He Wishes for Jeska, Warrior Adept, and I foolishly let Jeska through. He attacks with her, so I make a zombie and block.
About now, my madness-playing friend realizes that I always get confused by Jeska's ability's and he yells,"You idiot! Jeska has first strike, not trample!"
So my Zombie dies and he continues to beat me down to seven with the Warrior Adept until I finally double block it. He works a Grim Lavamancer through using Duress, and Grims me out. Onto game 2.
Game 2: This was boring, I counter every creature he plays except for a morphed Blistering Firecat, which I Smothered. I played Zombie Infestation followed by Standstill. and every time he broke the Standstill I would draw a counter for whatever he played and another Standstill. I beat him down with two Zombies.
Game 3: This game was draw-go for both of us until at the end of his seventh turn I Cunning Wished for Insidious Dreams to get Upheaval for the win.
Games 8-2 Matches 4-0
My friend had made it into the finals, so I am going to play against Tight Sight - which is a really good match-up for me.
Game 2: Same as game 1 except that I only counter three Future Sights, and he Mental Notes one away.
Games 10-2 Matches 5-0 So if you guys have ever considered playing UZI at your local FNM, go for it. It is fun (for you, anyway) and also you stand a really good chance at winning.
For those of you who are wondering, I ended up having to leave early so I couldn't even play in the draft. It kind of sucks... But I still won FNM.