Ransac once again goes to yet another tournament: pt. 5

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Ransac, May 27, 2009.

  1. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    I'll be honest... I did not plan on playing in a tournament today. I was out on the far east side of town to meet with some students that I might be studio voice-lessons to for a month. Long story short, the meeting didn't happen (due to some bs nonsense) and I drove back to town a little miffed. I happened to be driving on the road the card shop is on and I decided "Eh. I've got my deck. I'll give it a go."

    Creatures
    Anathemancer x4
    Ashenmoor Gouger x3
    Boggart Ram-Gang x4
    Goblin Outlander x3
    Hellspark Elemental x4
    Mogg Fanatic x4

    Other Spells
    Banefire x1
    Everlasting Torment x2
    Flame Javelin x4
    Incinerate x3
    Terminate x4
    Volcanic Fallout x3

    Lands
    Mountain x9
    Auntie's Hovel x4
    Graven Cairns x4
    Sulfurous Springs x4

    Sideboard
    Chaotic Backlash x3
    Deathmark x3
    Infest x3
    Spiteful Visions x2
    Smash to Smithereens x 2
    Hell's Thunder x2

    I really liked not having Blightning in the deck. Tapping out on my turn really should either A) Create a permanent that deals damage or forces my opponent to deal with it OR B) Burn for the win at the end of the game. Blightning does not accomplish A and rarely accomplishes B, so I'm fine with leaving it out of the deck. I decided to give the x4 Anathemancers a try and moved the Hell's Thunders to the Board (turns out my deck was 61 cards last Friday). In the board, I removed Sygg in an effort to gauge how useful he really was or if he just cluttered the deck. So I added Smash to Smithereens in their stead to deal with the random junk I usually see.

    Round 1: Lee playing 5-Color Blood
    1-2: Unfortunately, I don't recall much of this match. I do recall that in game 1, he had a Kitchen Finks out when I had him down to 5 and, after chumping with him, Cruel Ultimatum in successive turns. Game 2 was my typical good start and I manage to burn him out by turn 5. Game 3 was my own fault for not mulling away a 2-land hand, not seeing a third until turn 4. The tempo is not in my favor and I can't outrace his Broodmate Dragon.

    0-1, 1-2

    Round 2: Travis playing Mono White Beatdown
    2-0: Travis is playing a rogue white deck that runs a number of R/W hybrids, though no Figure of Destiny present tonight. Knight of the White Orchid, Knight of Meadowgrain and Balefire Liege all get burned/terminate before any shenanigannery happens. A 3rd turn Everlasting Torment showed up in both games and he can't really recover, though he was close in game two when I ran out of cards after I cleared the board with a Fallout. The two of us traded "Draw-Land-Go" for 4 round before I draw the Javelin for the win.

    1-1, 3-2

    Round 3: Raven playing GWU Something
    2-0: This is the 4th time I've played Raven in the 6 tournaments I've played here and I'm 1-2 going into this match. As usual, she's playing Borderposts instead of non-basic lands, but I expected this and mulled down to six to pitch away a 2-Anathemancer hand. I manage to burn her out right after she dropped Finest Hour with some gold, Exalted guy that fetches Auras (of which she had none of...). Game two was the nuts draw as I Fanatic, Outlander, Ram-Gang, Javelin, etc. for the win.

    2-1, 5-2

    Round 4: Some Nice Guy playing 5-Color Blood
    2-1: This guy sat next to me in round 1 while I lost to the other 5-Color Blood deck. Game 1, I keep a pretty stacked hand with only two lands and that's I all I see. Game 2, I get a fairly slow hand, but after mulling to 6, the only land he sees all game are 3 Reflecting pools. Game 3 was a bit better for us, although he had to mull to 5 and couldn't recover from the lack of card-advantage. Consequently, I kept another stacked 2-land hand in Game 3 and drew the important 3rd land on the first turn.

    3-1, 7-3

    Round 5: Another Nice Guy playing Transmuter
    2-0: This guy is playing with a Transmuter/Sphinx of the Steel Wind/Other Sphinx deck, but it's pretty slow (three consecutive Arcane Sanctums to start Game 1) and I burn him out without much trouble. Game 2 was a little trickier due to a land heavy draw for the first few turns, but I sided in some Smash to Smithereens to keep the way clear. A lethal Banefire puts the ending stamp on this tournament.

    4-1, 9-3, 3rd place

    1st place went 5-0 and 2nd was the other 4-1, who ended up being the only guy who beat me. I'm really liking the feel of the Sygg-less, Blightning-less beatdown as it rarely lets my opponent sit back and get comfortable with their own strategy. They always have to worry about extra damage coming through.

    Okay, I'm sleepy... night.


    Ransac, cpa trash man
  2. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    I just noticed you have only 21 lands. That's very little. You need to get to three mana by turn three, and you need a lot of mana to unearth Anathemancer or play your valuable sideboard cards. Play cards with a lower CC in your SB and main deck or add some land. I'd suggest cutting 2 Gougers (or Ram-Gangs (or Terminates, but that won't really lower the mana requirement), whatever you're happy with) for the 4th Outlander and a mountain.

    Read this.
  3. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Looking back at the previous four tournaments showed that last night was an oddity. Out of the previous 20 matches, I had only lost 1 game due to a lack of land. Last night, I lost two games, though one of them I mentioned was my own fault for not mulling the hand away for 6. You know, typically I agree with what Stark has to say. The land base was something that did irk me for a while, but the only spells that I care about for a high casting cost in the main are a potential game ending Banefire and an unearthed Anathemancer. If I haven't won the game at the time I should be playing them then my deck is losing anyway due to the lack of Demigods, which are only not being played due to a lack of availability. Additionally, I have surprisingly found that the world isn't over for me if I have to mull to six,especially when on the draw, as I have won several games thus far due to a correct mulling of a low hand. If my deck works the way it's supposed to, I'll still have cards in hand when I burn them/smash them out.

    He makes a good point about the low land base and having Chaotic Backlash in the board. However, the smarter answer here may be not playing the Backlashes given the current build of this deck. I highly value the increased rate of drawing into more damage and playing one spell a turn at this point.

    He also makes a good point regarding Hellspark Elemental, but at this point (against a slower deck) I can't imagine a better progression of turns than Fanatic, Hellspark, Ramgang. Redcap is an interesting idea for the deck, but once again I don't own any.

    I think I agree with you on this... perhaps I'll take you up on the suggestion of -2 Gougers for Mountain/Outlander. I may go one further on that, seeing as how that would leave me with only 1 Gouger. This would give me a need for Incinerate or Fallout #4 and fix the 3-of problem we had mentioned before.

    But, again, I disagree with Stark on the land. His deck runs 24 lands, which is grossly too much for a burn aggro deck with no main deck card costing higher than 4 (save for Banefire. His deck runs Demigod, too). From reading his other articles, I know that he highly values Anathemancer (which he should), but I disagree that that one card should manipulate your whole board (especially in the meta- that I play in where a number of player try to get by without non-basics).

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  4. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    He also runs Figure of Destiny, s his deck needs more mana to begin with. You really need the cards you board in, so you have to make sure you can cast them. This makes Deathmark so very good (I assume), because you can always play it.
  5. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    The fact that I don't run Figure of Destiny (due to lack of availability) makes running Hellsparks and Outlanders a good choice, I believe. Stark makes the point that running Hellspark over Outlander was a bad move due to all of the first strikers in White, but he does run the FoD. The positive of dropping a FoD in this deck would be that I don't have to use the cards in my hand to deal damage. I can just pump and get a few more points into the mix. The DOWNSIDE is the bullseye on his head during the mid-game should you pump during your own turn before combat damage goes on the stack. I'd much rather either drop an additional threat or keep mana open for the EOT smack for 3-4.

    Death mark is very good, though I've had some problems drawing it. I'm thinking a 4th in the SB would be a great idea. As much as I hate the idea of taking Chaotic Backlash out of the SB, maybe +1 Infest and +1 Deathmark will be fine... although that's an awful lot of non-damage removal and adding 4 Infests (with their BB) may mess up my spell playing potential considering I'm playing no Swamps.

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  6. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    I wouldn't call running a creature like FoD with a bullseye a downside ;) I wasn't questioning your creature choice either, only their CC. You don't have FoD, and Hellspark seems like a very good choice. I mentioned FoD because he's a mana whore, so then you'd need more land. You might get away with running 22 lands.

    Instead of the 4th infest you could run the 4th volcanic fallout. It doesn't kill BFT, but is good against everything else. Infest doesn't even seem so great against BFT either. Run terror?
  7. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Stupid school computers....

    I went to another tourney last Friday and typed up the thread for it on Sunday.... only to have my school computer log me out while typing it and not retain the info went I clicked on "back." Suffice to say, I'd rather not type it out again, but here's a jist of my lackluster 2-3 performance.

    Took out the Gougers, but in 1 Mountain, 1 Outlander, 1 Incinerate.

    Round 1: Raven again, playing RGW 5 power matters. I manged to sweep her 2-0 this time and it helped when I actually drew into the Deathmarks I sided in.

    Round 2: Ron playing BW tokens. This was a slaughter. I managed to win game won, but only because he didn't draw land no. 2 until turn 4. Even then, it ended up pretty close. I lost due to me forgetting (twice) that Ajani gives vigilance.

    Round 3: Evan playing Jund Blood. I didn't think I'd have this much trouble with the deck, but his Kitchen Finks and Primal Commands kept him out of burn range.

    Round 4: Robot playing UWG something. Not much about this matchup. It's basically a lot of defense. I never saw the win condition, but Ram-Gang is awesome against a Wall of Denial. ;)

    Round 5: Chris playing GW Tokens. This was another Slaughter and another 0-2 loss. Dauntless Escort + Overrun makes me cringe.


    That's all for the tourney. I have managed to acquire 4 Demigods through various trading and I'd like to take a go at fitting them in the deck. Since this is now the case, I'm looking to increase my land count to 24. While keeping in mind that I still don't have FoD, what would you guys recommend?


    Ransac, cpa trash man

    Round: 3
  8. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    I can't see how you can loose from the tokens deck between the volcanic fallouts and the infests.
  9. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Ajani and Glorious Anthem help to stymie the effects from Infest and VF. Damnation needs to be reprinted...

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  10. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Damnation is hardly a budget card ;)

    Doesn't Everlasting torment help your bad matchups? You could run the other two in your SB. Instead of Infest you could run Firespout I guess.

    You could also take your deck a different route with the Cascade elf. I read about a deck yesterday, very similar to your deck. It cascaded into Sygg and did three damage with the hasty elf.
  11. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Including Bloodbraid Elf would all but require adding Maelstrom Pulse to the deck. And yes, Damnation is hardly a budget card. But, adding Damnation over spalshing green would be cheaper when you consider the pulse and the non-basic lands to fix the mana base.


    Ransac, cpa trash man
  12. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Maelstrom Pulse doesn't do damage, neither does Damnation.
  13. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Very good observation... but neither does Infest... DAMMIT! This is a tough cookie to crack.

    I've been playtesting the deck with the Demigods in it, taking out my mainboard meta-hate (Outlanders/Everlasting torment; they're in board now) to add get the extra land needed and let it function like a typical R/B aggro deck I'm gonna have to re-evaluate the uses/timings of some of the cards in the deck now, i.e. Flame Javelin, Incinerate.

    I'm not liking the land heavy burn deck in this current incarnation. Stark recommends 24 lands for his Demigod build and I'm not enjoying the inevitable flood. Maybe a second Banefire in the main would be good?

    As much as I love playing Demigods, I think I like my previous versions better.

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  14. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    If you have more mana, you can put it in more expensive burn spells. But I think you're right when you say you don't like this many lands. What's appealing about the deck is the low curve and the cheap spells. I don't see how Demigod (despite how cool the card is) fits in. Sure, it dodges counterspells, but that's not your worst matchup. The other way the card is good is if you can dump multiples in your yard, but you can't do that either.

    And yes, Infest sucks because it doesn't do damage. You're only running it because of BFT, but with 4 pyroclasms, volcanic fallout and 3 to 4 Everlasting Torments shouldn't that problem be solved?
  15. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    I don't run pyroclasm, though I probably could in place of Terrors/Terminates.


    Ransac, cpa trash man
  16. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Apparently lightning bolt and duress are coming back in M10 to help you :)
  17. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    :)!!!!!!!!!!


    Ransac, cpa trash man
  18. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    You want to start talking about rebuilding your deck after M10? There are some nice cards in there. I sure hope you already got bolts and duress, perhaps even Ball lightnings? I think it's time to trade your Demigods... budget concerns ;) Burning inquiry (plus unearth!) and Sign in blood (also direct damage!) makes your deck a lot more stable.
  19. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    I've been thinking about M10 and have come to the following rationalizations.

    Lightning Bolt: Easy 4-of that replaces Incinerate's spot.

    Duress: I don't even run Thoughtseize in my deck so adding Duress to the main seems a little odd. Duress may be a Sideboard card.

    Ball Lightning: What does this replace? I took the Gougers out a while ago AND have managed to borrow 4 Figure of Destiny's from a friend. Is this card just better than Hellspark Elemental? If so, then this ups the number of three drops in the deck (Javelin, Ram-Gangs, Anathemancer, Fallout).

    Burning Inquiry: I dunno... Goblin Lore would've been a no brainer, but losing three cards at random AND letting my opponent draw as well seems pretty bad.

    Sign in Blood: I will definitely make room for it in this deck.


    On another note: I recently replaced the terminates with terrrors and found room to throw Magma Spray into the deck.


    Ransac, cpa trash man
  20. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Hm, I'm not sure if Ball Lightning is better than Hellspark Elemental. They're just different cards. 6 damage is a lot, and it's a lot tougher to block all that damage than the measily 3 of Hell's thunder. But unearth is pretty good against control. With Burning inquiry you could build around unearth, sounds like a cool strategy to me. It's the random discard that makes this card good.

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