Power and Toughness—Standard RB Aggro or “I wasn’t talking smack! George Costanza, that’s a compliment!” (TNM #4)


Hey Everyone!

TNM was extra strange this week. I ran this deck:

10 Mountain
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Searing Spear
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Knight of Infamy
4 Falkenrath Aristocrat
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Blood Crypt
4 Ash Zealot
3 Thundermaw Hellkite
3 Swamp
3 Rakdos Keyrune
3 Pillar of Flame
3 Mizzium Mortars
2 Cavern of Souls
1 Ultimate Price

3 Rakdos’s Return
2 Ultimate Price
1 Pillar of Flame
2 Olivia Voldaren
2 Zealous Conscripts
3 Duress
2 Appetite for Brains
R1 vs Rob “Bird Law” Kofsky’s GW Mid-Range

Rob’s the best. He’s efficient, professional, a tight player, and he’s got great hair. Sometimes he’ll laugh at my jokes. Everyone can do a pretty good Rob impression. Game one my hand is five lands, a Searing Spear, and an Aristocrat. I mull to six. My six is something like one mountain two Falkenrath Nobles, two Knight of Infamies, a Searing Spear, and something else. I play both Vampires and cross my fingers for lands, which does nothing and I never draw another land. Oops. When Rob gets me to a paltry nine life and I have no board presence I scoop.

Game two things go better for me and my evil hordes. Early on I cast Appetite for Brains and have no memory of what I took but knew if I kept killing his dudes he’d have a fist full of Rancor and nothing to do with them. I’m pretty sure this happens and I win. OH! And I cast an Olivia and stole his Restoration Angel. That was sweet.

Game three I have a pretty good board presence, a couple of Aristocrats, an Olivia, etc. and he’s got not much. Thinking I had enough to kill him (including a Spear in hand) I swing with everything but I was wrong as he’d gained three life a second ago and I got him down to one. He would kill me on the back swing. “Sometimes you’re the control player,” Rob says. It’s things like this that make Rob the successful bird lawyer that he is, a good friend, and an excellent Magic player. Had I held back (patience!) and attacked with a couple creatures, grabbed an Angel with Olivia, etc., I’d probably have been fine and won. I couldn’t get my brain past “kill him before he Thragtusks and then Restoration Angels his Tusk! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”

0-1 matches. 1-2 games.

R2 vs Mike Smith’s UB Deck

I played Mike a week ago or two weeks ago. We sit down and I say “so, I look like George Costanza on my business card, eh?” (my business card is designed to also be a MTG token card and various people at Twenty Sided use them) and Mike says “I wasn’t talking smack! George Costanza, that’s a compliment!” We both laugh and shoot the breeze about his impending move to Seattle and his excitement for it. Mike says he spent some time there when he was in the army and he’s got friends in the area. Game one Mike doesn’t hit me at all I super curve out casting as many fast low drops as I can. Mike plays some land. Game two I side out a Knight for a Pillar or something like that. I again curve out pretty sweetly and after three attacks Mike’s at three and I toss a Searing Spear at him. We chat some more and he says he just wanted to try UB to see if there was anything there and that it was to early without Watery Grave available. I agreed adding that the loss of Phantasmal Image kinda ruins that strategy. I wish him luck on his move, he says he’s not moving until after the new year and that he’ll see me around.

1-1 matches. 3-2 games

R3 vs Phil “Pelakka Wurm” Palama’s UR Guttersnipe Weird Deck

Phil requested we play test after TNM so he can show me his deck. This is a guy who almost won a tournament with a barely tweaked Event Deck bought right off the rack. He’s nuts. Turn one he plays Blistercoil Weird. RIGHT?!? WTF IS THIS?! Anyway, just more proof of how crazy he is. I have all gas in my hand and will probably kill him turn five which is one turn too late. Phil eventually casts a Guttersnipe and some burn to kill my dudes AND do two damage to me (or counter +2 damage, jeez) and wins off of attacking with his dudes, casting a spell to pump his Weird and do two damage to me. Really awesome. He’s nuts.

There’s some nerd banter in the room about getting various tattoos and Phil perks up, probably high on his game win. “You should get a tattoo of an ace on your forearm so you can have an ace up your sleeve!” someone exclaims. Instantly Phil tosses up “better yet get a Jace tattoo on your forearm so you could say you have a Jace up your sleeve!” Yikes! I high five all jokes that’re this bad. Boom. High five.

Game two Phil mulled to 5 five and I had a pretty sick hand.

Game three Phil mulled to five and I have a pretty sick hand. 2-1 matches. 5-3 games. We talk a little about how he has 21 lands and maybe that’s not enough. Most of his mulligans were because he had Desolate Lighthouse and no other source of mana. 22 or 23 is probably right I think. We’ll see what Pelakka Wurm comes up with next TNM. Crazy dude, crazy deck. Love it.

R4 vs Marcos Lopez’s UWR Flash

I apologize for forgetting Marcos’s name after asking for it so I could include it in this recap. He asks how I could forget the guy with the mole. I chuckle. He’s got a big mole above lip on the left side. “Right,” I say.

Out of the gate Marcos is crushing with Geists and other junk while my blockers (BLOCKERS?!?) are defenseless to his onslaught. I lose.

Game two he mulls a bunch and I have the nuts and he’s dead.

Game three I’m on the aggressive plan (as I should be) and smashing with some one drops. I get Marcos to seven and he starts gaining life back up to thirteen, down to nine, up to fifteen, and I cast Mizzium Mortars overloaded. I keep smashing until there’s nothing left to smash. At some point I Rakdos’s Return’d for two and he discards two lands so I figured I was free to smash forever. Win.

3-1 matches. 7-4 games.

Hugh asks me how I did tonight and I tell him 3-1. He shouts “how about you 4-0 one of these fucking times?!”

I open my six price packs and trade ’em all in (after I exchange my foil Overgrown Tomb to hugh for three regular Overgrown Tombs) for just shy of thirty bucks store credit.

Fettoblaster emailed me a new RB list just now that I’ll give a go in a Daily tonight. I’m on the train right now, booked a ticket for a Thursday to avoid MTGO maintenance Wednesday, ‘kept MTGO crashed yesterday so they’re doing it today. HA! LUCK! It’s the train ride version of mana screw.

Thanks for reading!

Matt “The Obliterator” Jones

4 Responses to “Power and Toughness—Standard RB Aggro or “I wasn’t talking smack! George Costanza, that’s a compliment!” (TNM #4)”
  1. Fettoblaster says:

    Woo, nice report. I’d like to see you keep better notes/recaps of the games with disparate mulliganing. Those are some of the most interesting games as the disadvantaged player is forced to squeeze their cards for every drop of value to try to regain the lost ground.

    I’m interested to hear how the different cards were for you. In particular, how was Stromkirk Noble and Rakdos Keyrune. I’m also curious about the absence of Hellrider, which seems to be an auto include with all those 1-2cc dorks who get outclassed as the games go long.

    • Matt Jones says:

      I’m gonna run RB again tonight during a daily and will write an article about it probably – as long as people aren’t getting too sick of me filling HOTC with Daily event articles. Right now I’m playing GW to very unsavory results but I’m eating pot roast for lunch, cooked by my mom, and it’s very savory. In summary, you win some and you lose some.

      • What’s the reasoning for playing this version over Gravecrawlers/Messengers? Also, if you are going to go base-red, have you thought about Hellhole Flailer? I’d expect it to be a better three than keyrune in a deck that wants to be aggressive.

      • Matt Jones says:

        I have been playing this version after playing the zombie version a few times and finding the mana base infuriating. I was always not able to turn 1 crawler due to a guildgate coming in tapped. So turn one I’d give them a time walk, and then play crawler turn 2 and a land, potentially another guildgate with my luck.

        I’ve since played the flailed version and like it a bunch 🙂

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