Off to battle I went with my red white deck of unsurmountable speed.  I know, that’s a big word for me, but I figured why not try and make my deck sound better than I anticipated it would be.  To be honest, I didn’t really like my cardpool, not when I compare it to what I had at the pre-release.  But that is my first problem.  I’m comparing it to my previous sealed pool and I can’t do that. I have to look at this with fresh eyes, and so with a bit more analysis I went into my first match.

I had ten cards I could cast on turn one, six cards on turn two, one on turn three, and so forth.  Sounds like I have a good curve.  I have nine humans to abuse with the pegasus, I have five heroic creatures with XX spells (bestow and otherwise) to be able to trigger them, including some pretty cool combat tricks (coordinated assault is cute).  And I have a removal suite that can range from the little guys to gods.  Maybe I didn’t have such a bad pool afterall.  But there was only one way to find out.  And that was to take it into the field.

So my first opponent for the week was Robert who was playing a Blue/Green deck.  His seeded pack was Green and so he had the Nessian Wilds Ravager in his pool and he was boasting a bunch of fliers.  And he also had the Legendary Kraken.  I had a feeling that my little army was in for a big fight.

Nessian Wilds Ravager

Match one started with me on the play, dropping a Priest of Iroas, into his island.  Then I swung for one damage before dropping a Priest of Iroas.  He presented a second land, played  an Kiora’s Follower – Game Day Promo passed.  I swung in with both my guys and he blocked the priest.  Unfortunately for him they planned a Coordinated Assault and the follower fell.  He played a third land and passed, to which I responded by hitting him again uncontested and then played out an Akroan Phalanx.  His next turn saw another land and another pass.  I swung in again and he flashed a Horizon Chimera in, which would explain his lack of tapping, but unfortunately for him I held my mana open and had a Lightning Strike to answer that threat.  He sucked up the damage before I played a Cavalry Pegasus and he scooped.  Game one down.

Game two started with him having to mulligan down to six on the play and starting with an island.  I played a plains and put down a Nyxborn Shieldmate, by far one of my favourite commons of this set.  He played down a forest and like deja-vu he played down Kiora’s Follower again.  My second turn met with a mountain and a bestowed Nyxborn Rollicker to make my shieldmate ⅔ and swung past the Follower unblocked.  His next turn played down an Ordeal of Thassa on his Follower and swung in for three.  This is when I almost started to panic, until I drew into a Lightning Strike.  I swung simply and did my damage, leaving all my mana open.  He took the bait and declared attackers, which forced the Lightning Strike out of my hand to a combat trick I wasn’t expecting.  He played Retraction Helix on his own creature and responded by bouncing it back to his hand, ending combat and playing it back out.  But at least the bounty was gone.  By my next turn I was ready to swing again but this time he blocked.  Then I played another Akroan Phalanx to end my turn.  He played a land and passed.  I drew, played a land, attacked and the Phalanx met a Voyages End, only to be played out again.  This same thing happened the next turn, except after I played the Phalanx again I played a Pegasus that was met with an Annul, all the while whittling down his life.  Unfortunately this was where things started to look bad.  He finally had enough mana out to throw down his Nessian Wilds Ravager.  I knew I couldn’t let him destroy one of my guys so I let him have the counters and stared down a 12/12 hydra.  Not the most pleasant thing in the world to say the least.  I went to my turn, and played an Akroan Crusader and passed, knowing that nothing I would be able to do would get past the Nessian.  I needed him to attack with it and I could crack back to hopefully finish him off.  Which is how it played out with a little bit of a twist.  After he attacked with the hydra and dropped my life total down he played a Thassa’s Emmisary, nearly foiling my plans until I drew into one of my two Revoke Existence’s.  I cleared the way and swung in to bring him to within an inch of his life before playing down a Favored Hoplite just to make sure that I had more than one chump blocker back in case he had any tricks.  He drew up but couldn’t find an answer and said “good game”.

Revoke Existence

First match of the league in the books and I felt good.  Not entirely confident in the deck just yet.  Always found I had more mana than I needed and I am thinking about dropping one mana for another combat trick.  But I can still be happy being off to a good start.

I also took the time to look over Roberts pool and noticed that he went the wrong way.  Even with all of his blue control he had more in black with Hero’s Downfall and Asphyxiate, along with Pain Seer, and a Reaper of the Wilds.  I convinced him to maybe try out Green/Black for next week, might be a better challenge.

~ Gerald Knight