Tuesday, June 30, 2015

[Standard] Narset try out Take Two

Link to the first try out

I did a lot of optimization on this deck. It is quite the grin and requires a lot of skill to play well, yet I was able to beat some of the almost competitive decks that unfortunately are played in Just for Fun.

Here is one of the early variations. It was good, but none of the spells I was playing were good to Rebound with Narset's -2 ability.

Raise the Alarm turns out to be a really good Rebound spell for Narset.

Over time with the use of lots of Scry I can draw more than one Prognostic Sphynxes and I can Void Snare a critter or two as well.

If my opponent does not have Deathtouch, Trample and Flying, I can stall with tokens while I hit with Prognostic Sphynx for the win.

By the time I drop my third Sphynx my opponent gives up.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

[Standard] Narset try out

Putting to use my new play set of Flooded Strand and two Narsets. This deck worked well after a little tuning. Those two Narsets make a big difference. If my budget allows it later, I may spring for the other two. I am ignoring Narset's -2 because there aren't that many spells in white or blue that are good to Rebound. I am thinking of trying out the -2 in a different build. Here, its all about the +1 and the ultimate.

Here is a game in which I was able to ultimate Narset. 

And after the ultimate my opponent is unable to case non-creature spells. That can suck for some decks, and this is one of them.

Here is a win just with Skulkers. Its great for a deck to have more than a single winning condition.

Link to tryout Take Two

[Standard] Ephara and Ojutai's Command try out deck

The only objective of this deck is to try out these two cards. Both are OK, but not great, at least with the cards I have at my disposal. Ephara wants a creature-heavy deck, something that blue is not the best color for, and Ojutai's Command is a four drop counters-spell that only works on creatures, like a more versatile and more costly Essence Scatter-which I which gets into Standard again.

I have optimized this deck a lot, but it is still a little weak. Frankly, it is much stronger if I take out the two showcased cards! Here is a winning game-there weren't that many. At least you will learn how these cards work, and this deck is optimized to last as many turns as possible, even against decks with lots of target removal.

Preparing for Origins

I like Narset, got me one to test it out. I am not sure if I will swing for a play set for budget reasons. There is an 'instants and sorceries in graveyard' theme in some of the Origins cards that have been previewed, and I like the Origins Jace. I also completed my allied color fetchlands.

Ephara and Ojutai's Command try out deck


Narset try out


Narset try out Take Two


Blue Black flyers


Friday, June 26, 2015

[Modern] Eldrazi Part 2 of 2

Link to part 1

This deck requires some learning. Once I figured out the best mulligans and the best combos, I was able to win more consistently with it. However, the deck is very weak to Path to Exile.

Here is a game I lost against white weenies.

I was able to take out the big threat with Ulamog.

But I lost my Eldrazi to Path to Exile.

I was able to cast It that Betrays... but it was too late.

I lose to my opponite's army of buffed up critters.

Here is a really fun game I won  in which I kept tutoring for Wurmcoil Engines.

Incredibly, I was able to beat a red deck. By now I have been playing this deck on and off for a week.

Wurmcoil Engine gained me enough life to overcome the burn.

I also won against a mono-black deck. In this game I also kept tutoring for Wurmcoil Engine.

Here I summoned another Wurmcoil Engine.

... and another! Maybe I should re-title this deck as my Wurmcoil Engine deck. It was definitely the MVP card of the deck.

[Modern] Eldrazi Part 1 of 2

This is a fun deck. It needs an early game to stall until Eldrazi can be dropped, and without them it can win with Wurmcoil Engines. Eye of Ugin is great to tutor the fatties in the deck.

Here is an early game before I made some substitutions. I lost against these hate bears.

It was close, but in the next turn my opponent swung for the win.

Here is a long game I won. I was able to drop an Eldrazi.

Here I establish a solid game presence.

I lost Ulamog but it cycled into my hand and I drew it again!

Here I use it to take out Karn. I won this game.

Link to Part 2

Saturday, June 13, 2015

[Modern] Splinter Twin Not Infinite 2 of 2

Click here for part one of this challenge.

At least by this late in the quest I am able to cast Splinter Twin. Here I lost against a very interesting Champions of Kamigawa block build. I kept losing my Wurmcoil Engines and my opponent kept stealing them.

3. I take the White/Black Theros Enchantment Creatures deck and make a White Black Red deck with Splinter Twin. I can ping for 1 multiple times, but just not enough times. I need to do this for 7 or 8 damage per turn late game, and not for 2 or 3.... that just isn't worth it. 

Occasionally I get lucky and win, but a good deck needs to be lucky more often than that!

I play against Flickerwisp and Restoration Angel and decide to add them to my build. I also added Mesa Enchantress for additional card draw.

But there are problems with Mesa Enchantress and Restoration Angel. The token generated by Splinter Twin does not double with Mesa Enchantress because it wasn't cast, and flickering a token with Restoration Angel kills it.

As an aside, I played with this version of the deck against a Land Destruction (LD) deck, and I completely get why LD is not a promoted strategy by Wizards... it is so NOT FUN!

Here is a deck I play against sometimes that I find interesting. Trasure Hunt with Reliquary Tower allows you to have a very large hand. 

In this version with Seismic Attack each land my opponent discards from the two Treasure Hunt draws hits me for 2 damage, and in this case, for the win (my loss).

In this game I got use Flickerwisp to recover a Grave Titan that my opponent's Olivia Voldaren stole... but it kept happening and I didn't have an infinite supply of Flickerwisp's. My opponent lost from bad plays, but they had the better deck.

I got to use Etched Champion with Cranal Plating a lot, but that's just my Tezzeret the Seeker deck. When I want to place Splinter Twin in my sideboard I know I have reached the end of this challenge, and it is time to put it on the shelf, along with the Tibalt challenge, and wait for new cards to help the build.

There are many decks that are one or two cards away from being viable and this is one of them. If Splinter Twin is not banned but the combo that makes it Tier 1 is (Pestermite and Deceiver Exarch) and new cards to help Splinter Twin are not issued, in my opinion Splinter Twin will go down to penny rare value. Maybe I will change my mind about that if and when I get to play with Blade Splicer in this deck... later.