Saturday, November 12, 2011

Geist in the Shell

Tonight I had a chance to hit up FNM since the effing debacle Mono-Black Infect turned out to be. I'm not really a fan of Innistrad but there have been some definitely powerful cards from the set. Although the "Horror" theme has turned me off from the set, it is hard to deny how crazy good a hand full of cards are.

One of the sickest cards from Innistrad is Geist of Saint Traft. 6 power damage for 3cc is pretty damn good. I remember when 5/5s for 4 was good but the power creep has gotten way out of control. The upside to the card is minimal casting cost to power ratio. The downside is the 2/2 Hexproof can be blocked by a number of creatures and just die. I think this card is one of the most powerful cards from the set and decided to sleeve it up in my deck.

I couldn't help myself with this card. I initially thought I wouldn't buy into them but Snapcaster Mage is the real deal. And if it takes a turn the same direction Dark Confidant or Tarmagoyf went then I could profit pretty good here. Snapcaster is seeing multi-format playability so it is a card to watch out for. If you pack one make sure to hold onto it for a while. It is the only card from Innistrad that will hold it's value.

I stopped by Armada Games and traded tons of Modern cards, odd foils and extras to get the cards I needed.

Based on these two cards I was able to wiggle them into my UW Ghost Blade deck that uses Midnight Haunting and Timely Reinforcements as Squadron Hawks. It still has Swords of Feast and Famine and Gideon Jura to steal tempo and add a clock. Snapcasters mixed with the token spells can really play havok against any deck.

Here is what I played:

Snapcaster Mage x 4
Geist of Saint Traft x 2
Sun Titan x 2
Gideon Jura x 2
Midnight Haunting x 4
Timely Reinforcements x 1
Think Twice x 4
Mana Leak x 4
Dissipate x 3
Dismember x 3
Oblivion Ring x 3
Day of Judgement x 2
Seachrome Coast x 4
Glacial Fortress x 4
Ghost Quarter x 2
Islands x 8
Plains x 8

Flashfreeze x 4
Day of Judgement x 2
Oblivion Ring x 1
Dismember x 1
Spellskite x 3
Timely Reinforcement x 2
Mental Mistep x 2

ROUND 1: Dude playing Red Deck Wins
Game 1: He gets an early Furnace Scamp which gets in for 4 damage. I get a Geist with a Sword of Feast and Famine and its over pretty quickly. Red can't do anything versus Geist save blocking it since all its spells are targeted.

Game 2: This is a long drawn out game that I just a total of 3 Timely Reinforcements to keep myself in the game. I comes down to the wire as he smashes away with 2 Chandra's Phoenixes. I eventually get a SoFaF out and start closing the game out. Gideon finishes it off.

1-0 / 2-0

ROUND 2: Ian playing Naya-Pod
Ian is one of the players I befriended at Lakeland CoC when I first moved to Florida. He is a very solid player and has come a long way since I first met him. I know this is going to be a tough match.

Game 1: Ian gets a very early jump with Birds into Blade Splicer and Viridian Shaman over the course of three turns. He is on the beat down plan. I'm on my back foot the entire game in search of a Day of Judgement. I am very color screwed with all plains and a Ghost Quarter and NO blue sources. When I do get a Seachrome he blows it up with Acidic Slime. I stick a Sun Titan and Geist but he plays Phyrexian Metamorph to copy Titan and gets Splicer back. I get run over handedly.

Game 2: This game is in my favor when he doesn't get a turn 1 mana dude. I get an early Geist on the beatdown plan, stick a Gideon to steal tempo, hit a Midnight Haunting and SoFaF to finish out.

Game 3 is an epic game that brings up to time. The game is very easily matched for most of the game. I am able to stall with two Oblivion Rings, some counter magic and some Spirit Tokens doing some work.  Snapcaster shenanigans also help stall until I can get a Gideon and Geist online. All the while his board is so developed with his ramp dudes like Solemn, Viridian and a Pilgrim. At one point in the game he plays a Geist Honored Monk that I quickly O-Ring but the flying spirit tokens get some work done with him in combination with Kessig Wolf Run. I stall for a while with Gideon, he Acidic Slimes the O-Ring to get back his Geist. I have only 1 of  my 4 Day of Judgements to get me out of this mess. I untap and draw. It's a Day of Judgement. I restart the game. We both tank for a number of turns but any threat he plays is almost lethal with his Kessig out. At this point I'm semi-stabilizing with some Spirit Tokens but he rips a few small guys that get in with the help of Kessig then closes it out when Elesh Norn drops. It was an epic fucking match and I do not mind losing to a friend and a good player.

1-1 / 3-2

ROUND 3: Felix playing RWU Burning Vengeance
GAME 1: This is a very interesting deck that runs on Burning Vengeance and Flashback spells like Think Twice, Desperate Ravings, Forbidden Alchemy and company. He uses a white card that taps down two guys and flashbacks to tap two more for only 2 mana. This card steals so much tempo and is cheap to buyback. This game I run on all cylinders with early Tokens, a Sword and Gideon on consecutive turns to close it out.

GAME 2: This is a good game as well but this time he gets the early Geist of Saint Traft, which I didn't see in the first game so I didn't sideboard accordingly when I basically took out all my creature mass removal. I am able to stall for a while with Token and Snapcaster tricks but I'm too low by the time his Burning Vengeance comes online and he finishes me off.

GAME 3: This game is a very heavy control game that gets just out of hand. We are countering anything and everything. Back and forth with Negates, Dissipates and Mana Leaks. I get Spellskite early which helps with Token tapping tricks and Burning Vengeance triggers. I am able to over run him with my Tokens, Snapcasters and I stick a Sword. I get him extremely low and just fucking misplay like a motherfucker. I have another Spellskite in my hand but am playing around Day of Judgement, which I saw from him in the previous game. I don't want to overcommit to the board but had I played the second Spellskite I could have splitting up his two Burning Vengeance triggers between the pair of Skites and left them both out to do work. Because of this huge misplay he is able to kill the first Skite, I play the second and he repeats the process. After the Skites are out of the way I play a Snapcaster for a Midnight Haunting to try and over run him. His tricks are too great. I get him to 1 life and he sits there digging for outs as I draw nothing but land for a million turns. We do get into a counter battle over Snapcaster  which he wins but that's all I have. He eventually uses three Flashback spells over three turns to bury my life in a gazillion Burning Vengeance triggers.

This was a very well fought battle and he deserved to win. After this game I realize that my deck has some problems beyond the mid-game because there isn't enough spells to dig and there isn't enough threats. 2 Titans and 2 Geists just isn't enough. This will cause me to really change my deck up.

The other epiphany I gleaned from this match was that Burning Vengeance is legit. I actually have a UR Vengeance deck because I didn't like the 3 colored version. But Felix's white splash for 4 of Geist, the tap spell and Day of Judgements is very good. I may try this build out since mine Vengeance deck needs a lot of tweaking.

1-2 / 4-4

ROUND 4: Tylor playing BG Pod
GAME 1: Tylor is a good kid and despite his very comedic and humorous guise he puts on during game play, he is a very solid player. I've played him before and he plays very tight and sees a lot of angles in a game. His Pod deck gets rolling early and he drops a Thrun which fucks my world. But for some reason he can't get Pod online, I countered one and O-Ringed the other. I eventually use Gideon to steal temp and Geist to close it out.

GAME 2: This game is similar to the previous game. He does get an early Beast Within on my land but I use it to beat him down pretty low. In combination to all his use of Phyrexian Mana he kind of in trouble. I get some Timely Reinforcement dudes to buy some time. He uses Skinrender to kill one and I O-Ring the Skinrender. Tylor sticks Thurn but Pods it for Slime to hit my O-Ring to release Skinrender and kills my last token. I play Geist and he Pods slime for Massacre Wurm. FML. I Day of Judgement. He draws and passes. I play Sun Titan and get back Geist. At 4 life he topdecks a Grave Titan and runs it out in hopes that I'm a terrible player and forget that Geist's 4/4 Angel token has flying. Admittedly I'm a horrible fucking player but I do not forget and win on the next crackback.

2-2 / 6-4

I ended up 500 which is fine with me. The matches I lost I played my fucking heart out but just mad slightly poor decisions on the decision tree that cost me both my game threes. I realize that I just do not play enough and my skills have very much waned over the last year. The last few years in Chicago I was probably playing the best Magic I have since I took down a PTQ a decade ago. I may not be the best player but I know how to play well. If I played with a group consistently I'd probably be a lot better. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying I'm not as good as I once was.

Quick aside...this is just a fucking game right? Why do these fucking douchebags talk shit to complete and total strangers. During my last round the dude sitting next to Tylor, a friend of Tylors, was watching our game and just talking some shit about my play, e.g. not tapping Gideon when I swung in, saying Snapcaster for a Midnight Haunting is a bad play, etc. At one point I'm just like, "Dude, I don't know you," and gave him this pissed off glare. He shut up after that. This guy was just having fun with Tylor because they are friends but he just came off as a huge fucking dick-bag and I didn't appreciate it. Like he is all high and mighty about Magic because he plays a lot of FNMs. Until you fucking win a Pro Tour  you ain't shit. Its just FNM. Don't be a douchebag. Just have fun and don't take it so seriously. Nobody like a critic especially when unsolicited. Just don't do it and not during someone else's gameplay. Ass.

Rant over.

I will tweak the shit out of the deck and see how it rolls next time.

Peace out my ninjas.

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