"If football is a religion then Friday is a day of worship." Not sure whose quote this is but I think it opened the movie Friday Night Lights, a great film by Peter Berg, about the importance of football to a small Texas town.
I bring it up because last Friday I went to the Lakeland comicbook store to check out Friday Night Magic. There were almost 30 people there. That's huge for a smaller venue and town. FNMs back home in Chicago, upwards to 80 people, two tournaments, usually Standard and Limited. I guess Magic is becoming a religion to some folks and Friday is a day of Worship (pun intended :D).
Five rounds of Standard play is pretty tough, you usually have to win out early to get close to packing. This did not happen for me.
Before I get to my whack decklist and FNM quickie report a little backstory to the week.
I've been extremely stressed out at work after my co-worker quit and she hasn't been replaced. That was three weeks ago. I'm basically doing two jobs for one. So finding a new job has been the highest priority for me. As well as my family. I love spending time with my son and wife. And we love to explore Florida since it is so new to us. That being said, Magic has fallen by the wayside for me. But I was jonesing big-time. I was fiending. I was like a smoker who quit cold turkey going on three days. I need to play. I needed my fix. So I made plans to do so.
The early stress began the week before when some big projects rolled into my department. And trying to send out resumes and finally getting my website designed has taken its toll. I never really touched my decks enough to build what I really wanted to build. And I played last Wednesday with Mike in order to test. But the testing wasn't good for me since the outcome was, I still had no deck for Friday. Needless to say I tried to relax and have fun with Magic, one of my greatest pastimes (another pun).
It wasn't relaxing at all.
I blogged about a new Metalcraft Red Deck Wins a week or so ago. I actually traded up for all the cards I needed for the deck. But I didn't run it because I never had ample time to put my deck together. I basically tweaked an existing Red Deck Wins from previous Standard to Scars Standard.
Here is the decklist:
Goblin Guide x 4
Ember Hauler x 4
Plated Geopede x 4
Elemental Appeal x 4
Zektar Shrine Expedition x 4
Lightning Bolt x 4
Searing Blaze x 4
Staggershock x 4
Arc Trail x 4
Arid Mesa x 4
Scalding Tarn x 4
Terramorphic x 2
Mountains x 14
Cunning Sparkmage x 4
Goblin Ruinblaster x 4
Basilisk Collar x 3
Tectonic Edge x 2
Forked Bolt x 2
Explanations of the deck are as follows: Its a piece of crap. It lost EVERYTHING in the rotation and I cried a little on the inside, every game. AND the only addition from Scars was Arc Trail x 4. Arc Trail is the best 2-for-1 in the deck. It does its job to gain an advantage. Anyways, it does have some explosive starts, which I'll get into with a brief report.
The sideboard was garbage and I thought of only playing against Tier 1 decks, which I never played against. One problem with rotation is that everyone is playing something different. The other problem is that at an FNM, not a PTQ, people play rogue decks like crazy. So it is hard to board in every match up.
Round 1: David (I think) with UW Mimic Vat
Game 1: I get Goblin Guide and beat face. He gets land that helps him a ton. He rips Wall of Omens. Damn. I swing with GG, he blocks and I toss an Arc Trail at the wall and a point at him. I play a Shrine and landfall once. He plays a white deer SOM card that blinks my Shrine. I lose the counter. He plays Mimic Vat and starts blinking my stuff with the white deer. Gideon comes down for him. He stabilizes and I lose big time.
I board in 13 cards. Sparkmage combo and land destruction.
Game 2: I GG turn 1 again. He is stuck on land for a while. I kick a Ruinblaster and kill a Colonnade. I stick a Tec Edge and blow up a Glacial Fortress. He sticks Kor Firewalker x 2. I think I can Sparkmage race him but it doesn't happen. Wurmcoil Engine and Mimic Vat is dumb good. He sticks a Venser and I scoop. Damn.
Round 2: Albert (I think, newbie compared to me :\ ) with Midrange Kor Equip deck (VERY budget)
Game 1: I go Goblin Guide swing. He goes Kor. I go Geopede and swing. He doesn't block. He goes Kor again and passes. I go Arc Trail both your dudes. Double landfall and beat with the team. He goes equipment and passes. I go double Landfall and Elemental Appeal for lethal.
What possesses me to side in Sparkmage I have no idea.
Game 2: I get a Shrine going and Sparkmage combo early. I kill all his dudes. He gets extremely low on life and stabilizes with a Day of Judgement then sticks Conqueror's Pledge. Damn. He's at one and has taken two turns to beat me down to 8 then sticks a Armament Master (if he's equipped your dudes get +2/+2 I think). It comes down to me needing to rip 1 of 16 burn spells or an Elemental Appeal after drawing nothing but land for 3 turns. He's at 3 life. I slam the card down and its a Cunning Sparkmage. I lose. Damn.
Game 3: I go first and set up Shrines and kill his guys with all my burn so my GGs and Geopede can go the distance. He DoJs and I'm behind again. I stick a Sparkmage with Collar out and he takes a Journey to Nowhere. I do the math and begin doming him with my burn. He goes down to 2 life. I'm in top deck mode. He still has half a grip and drops 6 soldiers and commences the beating. I draw nothing but land again but hold onto it in case I need to landfall with Searing Blaze or load up a Shrine. It comes down to me needing 1 of 16 burn spells. I draw and slam down the land and lose again.
He wasn't the strongest player but it definitely shows how weak Red Deck Wins has became. I think I played it right but just didn't have that jump that old Standard RDW gets. I regret not playing something else. I don't scoop though and continue playing.
Round 3: I play Albert's brother Russell who commented the picture of my brother in my binder looked like Barack Obama. I wasn't mad definitely wanted him to cry.
Game 1: He plays some discard stuff with the new 2cc Megrim in play. I get down to about 14 by the time I dropped tons of burn on his face and beat him with 7/1 Hasty Tramplers.
Game 2: See previous game.
Russell is a nice guy and we spend the last 45 minutes of the round (yes, I 2-0'd him in 5 minutes. No joke. Even Edward, the judge, was like, "Damn!") playing for fun. I wreck him with Mass Polymorph but to be honest his deck doesn't really do anything. He has no bombs to make a mid-to-late game impact. Grave Titan or Wurmcoil Engine should be in his deck. Consume Spirit as a finisher as well. I told him my thoughts.
Round 4: Some Noob playing Green/Black Infect (no sleeves and his deck is as tall as mine)
Game 1: He gets stuck on two forests and plays some equipment. I go GG, Geopede, Shrine and swing for lethal by turn 4.
I side in nothing because I really don't know what he is playing.
Game 2: He gets some equipment and infect guys that I 2-for-1 with Arc Trail. The game goes pretty fast and I'm 2-2 in five minutes.
We spend the rest of the round (another 40 minutes) playing for fun. I wreck him with Mono-Green Aggro and Mono-Blue Metalcraft. He plays his "Legacy" Merfolk and I play my LEGACY Affinity that I blogged about. I never have to get the Thopter combo to win. He just doesn't block my relevant dudes and dies. We play 6 more games before the round is finally over.
Last Round 5: John (I think. I really need to remember these guys' names) playing Mono-White Metal. I traded him 1 of my extra Steel Overseers and a new art Swords to Plowshares for a Ratchet Bomb earlier. So the running joke of the round was him saying he'd kill me with my own Overseer.
Game 1: He drops 0cc dudes and Glint Hawk. The new best turn 1 in Standard. I GG swing and give him no land. He plays double Steel Overseer, which are his bombs. I 2-for-1 with Arc Trail (best card in SOM). That signals phase 3 of the game where I beat him down while he has no removal.
Game 2: This game get ridiculous. He gets early artifact dudes and a Tempered Steel but has only a Glint Hawk as I proceed to destroy all his guys. All the while I have two Shrines with a landfall counter each. I want to slow roll the Shrines while I hold onto an Arid Mesa and Elemental Appeal. I kill his dude, drop my Mesa, double landfall, make two 7/1s and then cast the Appeal for the third. He takes 21 damage by turn 4.
We spend the last part of the round (another 35 minutes) playing fun games. I rocked my Mono-Blue Metalcraft and won two games I had no business winning. Very nice guy and I wish him the best at States that is going on today.
3-2 by the end of the night. I'm just happy to have a winning record although it is against lesser opponents. I did have a lot of fun and traded away bombs I wasn't using for tons of cards I will use. I did get my fourth blackbordered Mishra's Factory too!
Next time I just have to be more prepared. After States we'll have a better idea of what the Tier 1 decks are and what the metagame is.
I don't know when the next time I will play FNM. But I had a great time despite a horrible start.