Friday, December 23, 2011

IPotW #5

Interesting Play of the Week #5:

Hello and welcome to the Snow-Covered Swamp IPotW #5! These week I will be telling the match on a MTGO match I had; it was very close and worth sharing.

This game, like most games, started out slow.

I look at my starting hand which is: Mountain, Mountain, Mountain, Swamp, Swamp, Prodigal Pyromancer, Mortivore. With 53 cards left in my library there was only 17 lands left. I liked my chances and these are two pretty good cards so I kept it. Probably wasn't the best hand to keep though. Better than an average 6-hander... maybe.

Normally it doesn't matter, but sometimes you want your opponent to keep guard of what you "might" have in your hand. A turn one Swamp into nothing won't scare very many people, however, if you play a turn one Mountain and pass, people are expecting a Lightning Bolt/Burst Lightning, especially if they have turn 1 drop.

T1: Mountain
T2: Forest
T3: Swamp
T4: Mountain, Rampant Growth for Mountain.
T5: Mountain

My first couple of draws I got Blightning and Royal Assassin. Blightning is normally a turn 3 drop for me. But since my opponent's first spell of the game was Rampant Growth, I am expecting a Ramp deck. So the lower his hand size, the more likely he is to have to toss out better cards. So I decided to cast Prodigal Pyromancer instead.

My opponent lays down a swamp and Blightnings me instead. That was frustrating. I toss out Royal Assassin and a mountain. I draw a swamp, lay it down and play Blightning, fighting fire with fire. I worry because if he has a second Blightning I'm pretty much topdecking for the rest of the game. He tosses out a Swamp and a Rampant Growth, which was exactly what I didn't want: him tossing out lands and ramp cards when he has more cards in hand than me.

My opponent plays a Forest and plays Sprouting Thrinax, which is a very difficult card to deal with. He taps out and plays another Rampant Growth. (Must be his favorite card.) I draw a Mountain, play a swamp and cast Mortivore, who is a 1/1 thanks to me tossing out Royal Assassin. I'm not exactly going to swing into a 3/3 so I just end my turn.

He draws a Blightning and makes me discard my only card in hand, a Mountain. Then, resolves a Civic Wayfinder. He ends up passings his attack step and ends the turn. Without trample he won't get past a regenerating Mortivore. End of turn I ping him with my Pyromancer.

I take my turn and draw into a Shock. I pass because everything I have is on instant speed, and my opponent draws and swings with both his Thrinax and Wayfinder. I block the Wayfinder with Mortivore and tap my Pyromancer to finish him. Main phase two he plays another Wayfinder. I play a Mountain and pass. He swings with Thrinax and Wayfinder again. This time I block the Thrinax and Shock the Wayfinder, regenerating Mortivore. He gets his three 1/1 tokens which should be no problem since I have my Pyromancer. He resolves a Troll Ascetic, which is a annoying, but not exactly a problem with a 4/4 Mortivore on the field.

I blow up one of his Saprolings but I'm still in topdeck mode. I draw a Swamp again, and pass. I probably could have swung, but wasn't going to get any damage in with Troll Ascetic sitting there, not to mention I want to draw as many cards as possible at this moment, hopefully into an Inferno Titan. My opponent is also in topdeck mode, so it's not that bad as in 16 turns my Pyromancer can win the game, but he draws Nath of the Gilt-Leaf, so now I'm really, really in topdeck mode. He passes the turn and I destroy another Saproling.

I draw and get Cinder Pyromancer. That should shorten the clock significantly. If I don't play anything in my hand by my turn it will be discarded, thanks to Nath. So I resolve it. He draws a card but doesn't play it and passes his turn. I'm curious as to what he can't play when he has 8 mana on the field, but I just ping his last Saproling away.

I draw into Terror. Well, that's not very useful; I'm not going to cast it on my own creature and both of his are illegal targets. I guess I'm giving him a 1/1 elf token then. He plays a Forest and then a Farhaven Elf. That must have been the card he was holding, if he cast it I would just kill it with my Pyromancer. Well I'm still going to do that since nothing has changed. He passes his turn again so I kill Farhaven Elf with my Pyromancer and ping him with my other one.

I draw for my turn and huzzah, it's not a land but another Prodigal Pyromancer. It still won't kill the 4/4 Nath but he's definitely on a clock here. I tap Cinder Pyromancer for a point, cast it so it untaps and then resolve it to pass my turn.

He topdecks a Flameblast Dragon. Well that's pretty much game if he gets to swing with it. Five in the air and with 10 mana I'm looking at 14 damage to my 11 life. That discarded Terror is suddenly looking really good. He ends his turn and I kill his Elf token and ping him down to 13. Now there's no more tokens now so I can deal with his life total.

By sheer dumb luck I actually topdeck an answer to the dragon. I resolve a Nekrataal and kill it when it enters the battlefield. I thought I misplayed here and didn't swing with my now 6/6 Mortivore, turns out it wasn't a misplay, later. He topdecks a Shivan Hellkite and kills Nekrataal and Cinder Pyromancer. Had I swung with Mortivore I would have been open unless I blocked with my Pyromancers which would make me lose my only way to win.

Another topdeck for me. Banefire. I swing with Mortivore this time, he's at 10 life, so a 7/7 is going to do a bit of damage. He tapped out his green so he won't block with with Ascetic Troll, his Nath is keeping me in topdeck mode, and Shivan Hellkite is how he's going to win. He calculates my 2 damage from the Pyromancers and sees that he's going to survive the attack with 1 life as next turn the Hellkite will dispatch the Pyromancers with ease. He goes down to 3 life after the attack and I cast an uncounterable Banefire for 5, winning the game.

Although, if he had blocked, I would've had to use it on the Hellkite, keeping my Pyromancer's alive and he would be on a 5-turn clock, or more like four turns turn since they were untapped. And being on a clock in topdeck mode is not very fun.

Thanks for tuning into the Play of the Week (read as: topdeck of the week) from Snow-Covered Swamp! Make sure to tell your friends about us and come back on Mondays where we make up cards or just everyday for random cards.

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