Friday, November 18, 2011

Interesting Play of the Week #1

Welcome to Snow Covered Swamp's first Interesting Play of the Week!

Today's decks feature Lolzor's Modern Combo vs. my Blue/Black Archenemy Control.

Here's how the opening turns went.

L: Island. Swing for 1. Main phase 2: Bloom Tender.
L: Island. Freed from Real on Bloom Tender. Response: Counterspell. Lolzor thinks abouts tapping Bloom Tender in response to play Mana Leak, but tapping it would only give G, not GU yet because Freed from Real has not yet resolved. Lolzor curses as Llanowar Elves is not Birds of Paradise.

Lolzor resolves a Mindshrieker. End of turn I cast Ghastly Demise on Mindshrieker. Lolzor responds by milling the top card, only to be disappointed with a land. The stack resolves and Mindshrieker dies.

In the next couple of turns, Lolzor resolved another Mindshrieker. In case you wondered how his combo deck worked, take a look at Bloom Tender and Freed from Real. Mindshrieker is one of his win conditions. I end up resolving a facedown 2/2 Mischievous Quanar, stopping his Llanowar pings, but not his Mindshrieker.

Luckily, for the next four turns Mindshrieker only reveals lands off the top of my library. Many of which I needed (Dreadship Reef, Drowned Catacomb) because I was still missing my second black mana in the game. **

Finally on my draw step I get my second black mana, and Hideous End Lolzor's Mindshrieker. Lolzor responds with Ranger's Guile. Short on mana, I use the last counter on Saprazzan Skerry and sacrifice it to morph Mischievous Quanar, copying Hideous End and re-targeting Mindshrieker. Lolzor responds with Lightning Bolt, targeting Mischievous Quanar, which he dies--but his effect has already gone on the stack. The stack ends up resolving, Mischievous Quanar dies, Mindshrieker dies and Lolzor loses two life, then both Ranger's Guile and the first Hideous End are countered due to lack of targets. Luckily, my Bloodchief Ascension got a counter for the loss of Lolzor's life, but it was my first damage all game.

I end up drawing Dead Ringers killing Lolzor's Bloom Tender and Llanowar Elf. The battlefield is empty. Neither Lolzor nor I have any creatures left to play. We end up drawing for several turns with no avail. I end up casting a couple of creatures--Royal Assassin and Guul Draz Assassin--but their fates are quickly met with Mana Leak and Fireball. (Bloom Tender + Freed from Real + Fireball--in case you missed it.) Lolzor ends up resolving an Invisible Stalker and begins to slowly ping at my health.

The game ends up going really late as I finally have enough storage counters on Dreadship Reef to hard-cast Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, destroying one of Lolzor's lands. (I normally don't hard-cast it. As an Archenemy deck I usually wait for Introductions are in Order.) This normally spells "gg" but on Lolzor's turn he casts Freed from Real on Ulamog. Tapping him at the beginning of my turn. At this point Lolzor has pinged me down to 6 life.

Ulamog was kind of my only answer to Lolzor's removal, so he had to be my ticket to win. I end up drawing Black Sun's Zenith and casting it for X=7, turning Ulamog into a 3/3 and Sickening Shoal him, exiling Royal Assassin to send Ulamog to the graveyard, reshuffling him into my library and getting rid of Lolzor's Freed from Real--also destroying Invisible Stalker in the process.

On my next turn I Diabolic Tutor to find Ulamog again, and re-cast him. Lolzor takes his next draw and concedes revealing that he did not have an answer to a second Ulamog.

Thanks for tuning into Snow Covered Swamp! Come back daily for a Random Card of the Day as we talk about how good (or how bad) a card is!

** - in one of our previous games, Mindshrieker milled four cards, revealing: Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Royal Assassin, Summoner's Bane, and Black Sun's Zenith. 11 + 3 + 4 + 2 (X is considered zero when not on the stack.) = +20/+20 until end of turn. Mindshrieker was a 21/21 and swung for lethal. (I tried to use Leyline of Anticipation to flash in Tideforce Elemental, but forgot it doesn't have haste, so I was unable to tap Mindshrieker as we entered the combat step.

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