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"Casual deck better than net deck" shocker!
By Luke Twigger
"Casual deck better than net deck" shocker! That was the valuable lesson I learned at today's Type 2 tournament in Rainham, Kent (UK). Look at my results:

28-May, Control Black, won 1, lost 3
25-Jun, Fish, won 1, lost 3
23-Jul, Citadel Red, drew 1, lost 3
30-Jul, Genesis, won 3, lost 2

Want to know what the difference was? Well the first 3 decks, while not being card-for-card copies of decks I'd seen posted on the Internet, they were certainly heavily influenced. Whereas Genesis, for which there is a card listing below, is entirely my own work. So I don't know if it's psychological, pure luck or whether it's do with knowing how my own decks work rather than borrowing someone else's, but from now on, I'm going to play my own creations.

You may remember a green/black Genesis deck I mentioned on the Message Boards? Anyway, this is a mono-black offspring of that particular idea...

So without further ado, here's the decklist as I played it with commentary interspersed:

Infernal Genesis x3 - this was the whole raison d'etre of the deck, as it turns out, I hardly drew them and didn't play any of them, in fact I'm considering swapping them for something better! I might have to change the deckname then I guess.

Snake Basket x2 - trying to continue the theme of making lots of tokens, discovered during the last round that I'd been using these illegally as their ability can only be played as a Sorcery whereas I'd been using it as an Instant, oops, I don't think it had any bearing on the match results.

Fallen Angel x4, Phyrexian Ghoul x3, Phyrexian Plaguelord x1, Phyrexian Broodlings x3 - these guys form the backbone of the deck by giving you someone to sac all your tokens to either for creature removal by the Plaguelord or for extra damage by the rest. Fallen Angel has to get a mention here as MVP, she kicked ass in a big way!

Sengir Autocrat x2 - brought in at the very last minute this morning to provide extra token support, proved to be reasonably successful.

Death Pit Offering x1 - good if you can get it down early, bad if you get it late by which time you have an army or some 12/12 Broodlings

Avatar of Woe x1, Delraich x1 - if you've got 'em you might aswell use 'em :-) The Avatar might come out cheaply if you're lucky and Delraich can be brought out easily by your tokens.

Nether Spirit x1 - some more last minute tech, only saw it once and then it confused us because it got enchanted with a False Demise and we couldn't work out whose graveyard it went to after my opponent had it and then it died? Wasn't an issue during the match as we both had other creatures in our graveyard and we got a ruling on it afterwards to clear that confusion up.

Body Snatcher x2, Gravedigger x3, Haunted Crossroads x2, Victimize x2 - these are to bring back all the creatures that have been sac'd or whatever. Had lots of fun and games with Body Snatcher and Gravedigger but barely used Haunted Crossroads so I might swap those out.

Blood Pet x2, Dark Ritual x4, Peat Bog x2, Spawning Pool x2, Rishadan Port x1, High Market x1, Swamp x17 - not a lot to say about the mana stuff except I only have 1 Port so I use it.

Sideboard:

Thran Lens x1 - came in handy to scare off an Absolute Grace
Defense Grid x1 - didn't make any difference
Engineered Plague x1 - didn't use
Outbreak x2 - didn't use
Massacre x2 - didn't use
Fear x3 - brought in against non-black decks, helped a Ghoul go all the way
Ascendant Evincar x2 - brought in against non-black decks, never saw one though :-(
Bog Smugglers x3 - did well against the one black deck I played

So what do yu think? Hardly tournament calibre eh? More like the kind of thing for a casual game of multiplayer chaos with your mates while you drink a few beers and chill out? :-)

Anyway, on with the actual tournament itself.

Round 1, James with a Magpie-Counterspell Blue deck

Hmmm, James is a member of Team Madfish who are pretty damn good in our neck of the woods, not a good start to the tournament. Game 1 he just nibbles me down with Magpies and finishes me off with Morphling, not a lot I could do really, my second turn DPO had offered some hope but sadly it wasn't to be. I did have the pleasure of laying some cards and seeing the puzzlement on James' face as he tried to figure out what the hell I was playing :-) Game 2 was a lot closer, I got him down to 7 live before he stabilised and the board began to fill up with permanents. I think a Masticore and a couple of Magpies made an appearance on his side and he gradually whittled me down. Despite losing 0-2, I didn't feel too bad as I'd at least put up some semblance of resistance.

Round 2, Alex with an artefact-heavy rogue deck

Not seen a deck like Alex's before. He said he'd been away from the game for a long time and sadly it showed as he made a couple of unforced errors (forgetting to pay echo) and a couple of illegal moves (nothing too serious, he just took them back and we got on with the game). Game 1 I had a bizarre draw - 4 Fallen Angels and 3 land! I went slowly at first, got out a few small creatures I topdecked and then the Angel went to work, clearing my side of the board of creatures but handing out 13 damage in one turn to kill him. Game 2 was a bit slower but he had a bad draw and no answers in the end to my flying Angels. In fact, he didn't deal a single point of damage to me in either game!

Round 3, Chris with a Creature-Stealing Blue deck

Not good, Chris is another Madfish and another top quality player. Game 1 was surprisingly close, I got him down to 3 life in a long, drawn out game with lots of permanents on the table but in the end he squeezed me out. As we shuffled, I predicted that the next game would be just as long and that we wouldn't finish it in time, then my deck pulled a trick on me and I had a second turn Plaguelord with a full supporting class and I killed him double quick! I just sat their stunned saying "my deck's never done that before". We started the third, which we fully expected to be a draw as we only had a couple of minutes of normal time left, but he somehow managed a god draw or topdeck and ended up with two Morphlings in play who took me down to 0 life on the very last turn of extra-time :-(

I did discover a handy trick here, which is when he tries to Dominate or Treachery an Angel, you sac it to itself and his spell fizzles. Also works for Plaguelord, Broodlings and Ghouls. Of course using High Market is better if available.

Round 4, Steven with a Black deck

At last, someone without Islands! (Alex was running Islands and Counterspells in with his artefacts) Game 1 was over very quickly as I got stuck on 2 lands and Steven's Thrashing Wumpus minced me in double-quick time. Game 2 was Fallen Angel's revenge as she continually flew over to hand out a pounding, with some Bog Smuggling assistance, while Broodlings and Ghouls secured the defence. Game 3 was much more of the same, except that Fallen Angel did even more damage, no doubt helped by the feast of Serfs provided by a handy Autocrat.

Round 5, Jon with a Blinding Angel/ Parallax Wave deck

Game 1 was packed with bad plays and missed opportunities. Jon got 3 Mother of Runes down and Waved away a few of my creatures, but an 8 point Snake Basket (played correctly, it was Jon who pointed out the wording as I tried to sac it during his end phase) made sure I had enough attackers that it didn't matter who he blocked and he still died. Game 2 was over very quickly, he dropped an Absolute Grace, I kept on playing, hoping to pull my Thran Lens out but died before I could, then when I checked before Game 3, I discovered that I hadn't actually sideboarded it in, I could have sworn I did but there it was still in my sideboard, useless as anything. So of course it was only fair that I should get it in my opening hand Game 3 and I didn't look back from there, a Ghoul with Fear did the damage IIRC :-)

So there I was at the end of the tourament, 3-2 on matches, 7-6 on games and ended up in 5th out of 14. Plus the 2 games I did lose had been against top players (with Blue decks). With hindsight, if I'd played slower in the deciding game against Chris I might have lasted for a draw and maybe even made the top 4 playoff, but in some ways it's better to have kept my integrity intact and played in a sporting way as I did. Never mind, maybe next tournament I'll break into the top 4...

I had a great time and a lot of my enjoyment was due to playing "my" deck rather than the latest hot one off the Internet, a few of my cards were unusual enough on the tounament scene for people to wonder what they did or if they were even legal (yes, Fallen Angel is in the 6th Ed!).

Luke
Team Noname
http://www.geocities.com/team_noname/ (under construction)

luke_twigger@geocities.com

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