Power and Toughness—15 Minutes Before Bringing It Up

Male Student: [Annoyed] I’m getting a little tired of this.

Dr. Peter Venkman: You volunteered, didn’t you? We’re paying you, are we?

Male Student: Yeah, but I didn’t know you we’re gonna be giving me electric shocks. What are trying to prove here, anyway?

Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m studying the effect on negative reinforcement on ESP ability.

Male Student: [Aggravated] Effect? I’ll tell you the effect is, it’s pissing me off!

Another Sunday, another Mad Men, another article to write. Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy are on before just Mad Men, but there’s a half hour we ignore before 10pm because American Dad is one of the worst shows that’s ever existed. Three Amigos was on channel 11 or something, which we watched that for a second,  and then talked about the three women that’d been found living, abducted, in a Cleveland psychopath’s house. I also told Jen how good the Red Band trailer for This Is The End, which is hilarious.

Anyway it’s sexist and nasty as usual, but what isn’t, right? There are two companies that have merged on Mad Men and crazy things are going on. The one thing I noticed is that Ted Chaough has my favorite painting in the series, formerly of Roger Sterling’s office, hanging in his new digs. This website says it’s by Bridget Riley. She’s good.

I played this deck on Friday night and 0-2 dropped after 3-0’ing the early draft (got the win in the finals split in a six person pod having drafted Esper Ramp into Big Dudes):

2 Sire of Insanity
4 Angel of Serenity
4 Grisly Salvage
4 Thragtusk
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Somberwald Sage
3 Lingering Souls
4 Unburial Rites
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
2 Arbor Elf
3 Mulch
1 Gavony Township
4 Woodland Cemetery
3 Sunpetal Grove
2 Godless Shrine
4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple Garden
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Cavern of Souls

1 Sire of Insanity
2 Loxodon Smiter
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Centaur Healer
2 Rhox Faithmender
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Tragic Slip
1 Purify the Grave
1 Sever the Bloodline
2 Acidic Slime
1 Abrupt Decay

On Saturday I decided not to go to Kings Games and play in a Grand Prix Trial. The idea of sitting in a store with less than twenty sides, playing frustrating matches against gods know what. Instead I played in the Saturday Standard event at Twenty Sided Store. I put Jund together because I really wanted to play Sire of Insanity and have it be the card of my dreams.

The deck (looking at it now I realize I didn’t quite have it right, but whatever):

2 Sire of Insanity
2 Mizzium Mortars
1 Dreadbore
1 Rakdos's Return
1 Rakdos Keyrune
4 Thragtusk
3 Bonfire of the Damned
2 Tragic Slip
4 Huntmaster of the Fells
3 Olivia Voldaren
1 Liliana of the Veil
2 Garruk, Primal Hunter
4 Farseek
2 Putrefy
2 Ground Seal
1 Abrupt Decay
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Woodland Cemetery
2 Kessig Wolf Run
3 Rootbound Crag
2 Dragonskull Summit
4 Blood Crypt
4 Stomping Ground

1 Deadbridge Chant
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Rakdos's Return
2 Vraska the Unseen
2 Pillar of Flame
2 Tragic Slip
2 Liliana of the Veil
2 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Ground Seal
1 Duress

I went 1-3 against these people (not in this order):





I got a little bit of happiness out of beating Nick, getting some revenge from his slaughtering me the night before. Nick and I mostly play MTG, lately, I think, to laugh our asses off at our own jokes.

Directly after I beat Nick, Jonathan smashed me with all red cards in a way that made Nick proud. Mike finished me off with the deck I should’ve been playing. This one:

2 Sin Collector
4 Grisly Salvage
3 Angel of Serenity
3 Thragtusk
4 Restoration Angel
4 Unburial Rites
3 Fiend Hunter
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
4 Arbor Elf
3 Acidic Slime
3 Mulch
2 Sunpetal Grove
2 Godless Shrine
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Temple Garden
4 Forest
2 Cavern of Souls
3 Isolated Chapel
2 Woodland Cemetery

1 Sin Collector 
3 Voice of Resurgence 
2 Obzedat, Ghost Council 
2 Deathrite Shaman 
1 Thragtusk 
2 Garruk Relentless 
1 Sever the Bloodline 
1 Acidic Slime 
2 Abrupt Decay

Even so, it’s really the same deck. The same games. I don’t know how not to whine right now, other than writing for the Twenty Sided Blog where I don’t actually get to whine and have to be positive. I’m super bummed that I don’t get to test a deck on Tuesday for Standard and then update it for FNM. It’s FNM and then a Saturday Standard tourney or, more likely in the future, I’ll be going to PTQs when they happen again regularly, with Monique, Rob, and whoever our fourth is. I love these trips to bigger tournaments with more Planeswalker Points handed out, and thoroughly enjoy the time with my traveling crew. This cuts out a day of Standard at Twenty Sided when it used to not do so. I’m caught between points, more competitive play, and playing in my home and native land.

I can’t help but miss the days of a more spread out Magic week, where I don’t have to play back to back days, build up insane frustration, think about quitting Magic, sometimes more seriously than other times.

I’ve rebuilt my Legacy deck into a darker formation and have been testing it and having fun…as long as I don’t play Christian’s turn two kill deck.

3 Deathrite Shaman
2 Scavenging Ooze
1 Batterskull
4 Green Sun's Zenith
2 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Qasali Pridemage
4 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Gaddock Teeg
4 Thoughtseize
1 Scryb Ranger
1 Umezawa's Jitte
2 Birds of Paradise
4 Mother of Runes
1 Sylvan Library
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Dryad Arbor
2 Horizon Canopy
4 Windswept Heath
1 Forest
1 Plains
3 Wasteland
1 Maze of Ith
1 Karakas
1 Scrubland
3 Savannah
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Bayou
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Cabal Therapy
1 Engineered Plague
3 Enlightened Tutor
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Zuran Orb
2 Abrupt Decay

I don’t know what to play in Modern. Maybe Li has some ideas for me? It seems these eternal formats offer more hope than the black hole for cash that Standard has become in my life.

Bobby Kennedy just got killed on Mad Men. Jen always goes to bed so fast after the show ends, almost never waiting for me, which hurries me through my articles, but maybe in a good way. Sometimes things need to come to abrupt conclusions.

Lots of love, and thanks for reading,
MTGO: The_Obliterator

PS – Brendan, below, defeated me with Stolen Identity twice, and, after a frustrating two days of Magic, I threw my deck in the garbage and left the store. How unassuming this board state looks! I have a Bloodfray Giant! He has a Frilled Oculus. Soon he was to have two cloned Bloodfray Giants of his own. FRUSTRATING! To be fair, the day before I beat him on turn five of time in the round with Teysa. Payback sucks! AH!


9 Responses to “Power and Toughness—15 Minutes Before Bringing It Up”
  1. Li Xu says:

    Patrick Sullivan’s 5c Zoo:

    I would ditch the Might of Alaras for Path to Exile, gives you game against manlands like Colonnade and Tar Pit. Ideally the game won’t go long enough that they can be aggressive at all, much less with manlands, but you never know. Removal is better than a pump spell.

    Standard Zombies:

    Replace the Thrill-Kills with Blood Scriveners. One draws you cards when your hand is empty (which it always is) and another is a 2/3. Also, resist the urge to rip apart your Rakdos Guildgates.

    • Matt Jones says:

      These decks look good, Li. I’ll try both this week and I’ll take your advice re: Path to Exile. If this cold doesn’t keep me down I’ll see you at Modern this evening.

  2. Li Xu says:

    I think there’s also something to be said about the way you approach certain matchups. Like that one hand that was four lands, Huntmaster, Farseek, and some other spell, you pitched it because “Huntmaster would just get countered anyway.” You can’t corner yourself thinking that I’ll always have counterspells just because I play Islands. In fact, my deck only plays three: two Dissipates and one Essence Scatter. If you’re on the play and Farseek on T2, I won’t even have my third land by the time you can cast Huntmaster.

    Mentality is huge, this much I learned from Street Fighter. When I was just learning the game, I was afraid to take risks against top players because in my head, I always thought that they’d sniff them out and punish me for them. I’d play really defensively and wouldn’t be able to execute my game plan. But nowadays I’ll take risks just to gauge whether my opponents are skilled enough. Even against players who are legitimately better than me, I try to be the one setting the tone for the match, not the other way around.

    • Matt Jones says:

      I make good and bad decisions along these lines. Part of not practicing enough, I think. There were times when you’ve though I played recklessly, playing into an obvious Supreme Verdict (you said) when I thought it was being bluffed (it was), and then smashing for the win. So, good/bad, it’s conditional. I do let my hatred and fear of counter-magic rule my play decisions at times. It is important to keep this in mind. Sad/emo thoughts from life creep easily into my MTG play. I will try to keep an even to posi attitude. Thanks, Li!

  3. Brendan McNamara says:

    My new goal in life is to have one of our draft matches actually end up in the blog.

  4. Monique Garraud says:

    Ever get a chance to board into Deadbridge Chant while playing the Jund build? If yes, how’d you like it?

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