Interesting Play of the Week #7:
Welcome to Snow Covered Swamp's Interesting Play of the Week. I have been playing MTGO a little bit and I just recently discovered that some bots give you free cards. Well, using those free cards I turned them into credits and managed to have a poorly built standard deck. When I say poorly built, I mean that it is actually fairly well made with the cards I was able to trade for, but will still lose to many of the other decks floating around. I could present a deck list but I feel it would save more space if I just presented the cards one-by-one as you read the game. So enjoy!
I draw my opening seven cards and have a Swamp, Island, Nephalia Drownyard, Naturalize, Ambush Viper, Darkthicket Wolf, Moan of the Unhallowed. I keep noticing three lands. Afterwards I do a double take. I probably should have mulligan'd that hand. 3 green cards, no green sources of mana. Well I'm on the draw, so maybe I can pick up the pieces. The game started off really really slow due to my starting hand.
T3: Swamp, Spellskite
T5: Swamp, Spellskite
T8: Nephalia Drownyard
T10: Shimmering Grotto
T11: Bloodline Keeper, resp. Mana Leak. End of turn, Ambush Viper
So now the game is really starting. I'm pretty scared at this point. My deck is mainly run of common and uncommons and here I am facing a pretty expensive deck. Bloodline Keeper is almost worth more than my whole deck combined. Almost. I swing with Ambush Viper and then cast Moans of Unhallowed. My current hand is: Darkthicket Wolf, Naturalize, Silent Departure, Island, Tribute to Hunger.
My opponent plays a Heartless Summoning. That's lovely. The last time I faced a Heartless Summoning deck I was at FNM and fought off 16 Wurmcoil Engines. Just... it's a card waiting to be abused, but being on the receiving end of it... oh man it's brutal. He Disperses one of my tokens away.
I draw a Ludevic's Test Subject. I like him. He's a cheap rare that can really go the distance in drawn out games. I swing with both my creatures not realizing he would just block my zombie with his Spellskite. Not like it mattered. He drops to 16. He tapped out his blue so now is my chance to hit Heartless Summoning. I cast Naturalize but he pays 2 life and Spellskite changes target to itself. I probably should have done that before combat damage and then Tribute to Hunger'd him. Could've gotten 2 more points in.
He draws and plays Rune-Scarred Demon, fetching something out of his library, and passes. draw an Island. I attempt to Silent Departure his demon but Spellskite changes the target. After Spellskite bounces itself, I cast Tribute to Hunger forcing him to sacrifice his Rune-Scarred Demon. Tricky. I swing for four. I tap out and cast Darkthicket Wolf.
He lays down Spellskite for free thanks to Heartless Summoning and then plays Sheoldred, Whispering One. Then he Disperses my other zombie token. Man... Sheoldred is brutal. I'm trying to stand my ground here but her sacrifice ability is difficult to keep up with. I play Royal Assassin and Ludevic's Test Subject. My hand is empty, maybe he'll be dumb and swing with Sheoldred so I can Royal Assassin it.
He brings back Rune-Scarred Demon and fetches something out. As for the Royal Assassin comment, I was right, Sheoldred did swing, but not without her Swiftfoot Boots first. He lays down another Spellskite. He only has 1 card in hand though. I put a hatchling counter on my Test Subject.
I sacrifice Royal Assassin now that Sheoldred has hexproof. I draw into a Swamp as I see the game dwindling away. I swing with Ambush Viper but he just blocks with Spellskite. He'll get it back next turn anyways.
Unburial Rights to get Spellskite out. I wonder why he's doing that if he has Bloodline Keeper in there. Sheoldred hits me for another 5. I basically tap out and put 3 more counters on my Test Subject. He's at four. C'mon 13/13 trample!
I sacrifice Ambush Viper. I really, really want to win this game to show that skill can prevail. A lot of people say "You're only as good as your deck." Well that's sort of true. But it takes good practice to learn to play your deck right too.
Heart of the Cards. I draw a Ponder. Okay, maybe the answer is on the top three cards of my library. Island, Island, Blind Zealot. Well Blind Zealot gets me another turn at least. Not good enough. I chose Ponder's second effect to shuffle my library. I draw a card.
Holy shit! I did it! Evil Twin! Screw your hexproof, Legend Rule! Swing my 13/13 go!
He quadruple blocks my Test Subject. No damage gets through, but he lost 3 cards. As lucky as I am, he topdecks an answer. He plays another Rune-Scarred Demon and fetches out a Doom Blade. Man. I draw another Royal Assassin. Still useless with the hex-proof boots, but better than nothing. At least the game is stalled. I mill him for 3 with Nephalia Drownyard.
I draw Trigon of Corruption and play it. Turns out Royal Assassin isn't useless. My opponent felt confident with just swinging with Rune-Scarred Demon anyways. I tap to destroy the demon but Spellskite changes the target. Rune-Scarred Demon is destroyed. I do a double take and look at the log. He can't change the target because Spellskite is untapped, making it an illegal target and therefore unable to change targets. Woo-hoo! Misplay! End of turn I Trigon his Spellskite
I draw into my second Evil Twin. I'm not about to copy Spellskite or Royal Assassin, so I just sit pretty and pass. He plays Grimgrin, Corpse-Born. He sacrifices Spellskite to Grimgrin to untap it, but before it's effect can go off, I use Royal Assassin again. He could have easily equipped the boots first and then Grimgrin'd it up. It's an empty field except for Royal Assassin. I put a charge counter on my Trigon and mill him for 3 since there's nothing else to do.
I draw another Shimmering Grotto. Lands are not what I need right now. I swing with Royal Assassin dropping him to 6. I play Vedalken Anatomist. That's one of my favorite combos. Royal Assassin + Vedalken Anatomist. I normally use Tideforce Elemental, but he's not in Standard any more.
He plays Necrotic Ooze. This time he uses his boots. Then using its haste ability and the activated abilities from Grimgrin and Bloodline Keeper, he taps to creature a vampire, then sacs gives a +1/+1 counter and untaps it. Rinse and repeat. He stops it at 7/6 though.
I thought I could do the same thing, so I play Evil Twin copying Necrotic Ooze. It doesn't work quite the same without haste. On his next turn he plays Rune-Scarred Demon, and fetches out another Necrotic Ooze, equips the boots to them and makes them both 16/15's. I have 15 life and no cards in hand. Evil Twin is my only blocker. Damn. I concede.
After re-watching the replay I probably could have taken four more life off of him by flashing back Moan of the Unhallowed. But he would still be at 2 life. Small misplay that wouldn't really have changed the course of the game.
Thanks for tuning in to the IPotW! We should be getting a web comic soon. Lolzor's been working on that.