Friday, December 30, 2011

The Japanese Know What's Up

Last week at FNM I took a version of the Worlds winning Wolf Run deck to a winning record. The reason I like this iteration of Wolf Run because 8 maindeck Titans seem good. Here's what I played.

Primeval Titan x 4
Inferno Titan x 4
Solemn Simulacrum x 4
Phyrexian Metamorph x 2
Viridian Emissiary x 2
Rampant Growth x 4
Sphere of the Suns x 4
Incinerate x 4
Slagstorm x 4
Devil’s Play x 2
Beast Within x 2
Inkmoth Nexus x 4
Kessig Wolf Run x 3
Mountain x 2
Forests x 6
Rootbound Crag x 4
Copperline Gorge x 4
Ghost Quarter x 1

Ancient Grudge x 3
Acidic Slime x 2
Beast Within x 2
Arc Trail x 3
Surgical Extraction x 3
Ghost Quarter x 1
Thrun the Last Troll x 1

Major differences in my version versus the Worlds deck are my choice in spot removal, the tutor package or lack thereof, and the inclusion of Metamorphs.

The spot removal that the Japanese winner, I forget his name nor do I feel like looking it up, was Galvanic Blasts and Shock. I understand this choice because he can react to turn 1 drops on his own turn one. I have no real reason running incinerate other then I prefer to deal 3 damage rather then 2. I do understand that 1cc vs. 2cc is a world of difference in Magic but I stand by my decision to run Incinerates. In hindsight there is nothing that I really need to kill at 3 toughness versus 2 toughness, meaning I should probably rock the 1cc removal spells. I suppose in the future, knowing my metagame, Arc Trail is a better inclusion because it is a great 2 for 1. I will look to that. With Humans, RDW and Illusions in  my shop, I think Arc Trail may be a better fit. But I do love the instant speed of Incinerate. I will need to explore this if I continue to use Wolf Run at the Grand Prix.

My lack of Green Sun’s Zenith is two fold. First off, it can’t tutor more then half of my creatures. Primeval Titan and Viridian Emissary are my only targets so I felt it just wasn’t worth the 2-3 slots. Plus, I really hate 1 maindeck Birds of Paradise. That just seems like an auto Gut Shot for a tempo loss and two cards (if it is tutored out early). Instead I preferred consistency in getting turn 4 Titan. I added Emissaries for extra 2 drops to help having early action.

You may think Phyrexian Metamorph is an odd card to have in a Wolf Run deck. This may be true but I think it is a great inclusion. This card is an allstar for me and is ALWAYS value. It basically acts as Titans #9 and #10. Not only that but it can copy Solemns for value or opposing threats. It has even helped me Legend rule out pesky cards like Geist of Saint Traft. Bringing in Acidic Slimes from the board (probably should have 2 maindeck as well), Metamorph really shines by stealing lands and tempo, especially in a mirror match. I like this card so much it might be a 3-of in the near future.

Let’s see how I faired at FNM.

ROUND 1: Tim playing Jund Wolf Run
This was a tough matchup versus a good young player who is also a Level One judge.

Game 1 comes down to getting a Primeval Titan out first, which I do.

Game 2 he Despises my Primeval and Memoricides it a few turns later. He gets a Grave Titan out and has the Doom Blade for my Inferno Titan.

Game 3 I don't get early ramp and he does. He gets Primeval out first and I die to a Wolf Ran Inkmoth. FML

1-2 / 1-2 / 0-1

ROUND 2: Nathan playing GW Tokens

Nathan is the guy that ran me over last FNM with Humans. I do not treat this match lightly like I mistakenly did our last meeting.

Game 1 I come to find out he is running Tokens instead of Humans. I play accordingly. This game isn't good for him since I have maindeck Slagstorm x 4 which I hit two of in the processes of having a total of three Inferno Titans in play thanks to Metamorph.

Game 2 isn't any better for him after I side in all my Arc Trails and Slimes for his Intangible Virtues. It goes rather quickly off a Wolf Ran trampling Primeval Titan FTW.

2-0 / 3-2 / 1-1

ROUND 3: Unknown playing Mono-Green Stompy
This is a new player who only started a few months ago. I feel bad about this entire match.

Game 1 he plays mana dudes and aggressive green guys which I sweep away with Slagstorm. I land an early Inferno Titan and go to town. I dome him with a total of 3 Incinerates to finish it off.

Game 2 I have 3 Inkmoth Nexuses (or Nexi?) in hand. Based on Game 1 I keep and hopefully race with Poison, which I end up doing in consecutive turns.

Like I said. I felt bad about his match.
2-0 / 5-2 / 2-1

ROUND 4: Unknown playing RDW

Another sorta noob who has been play for a while but never competitively until recently.

Game 1 I am mana light with only 1 ramp spell and all Titans. He runs me over quickly to 5 with little red dudes before I can stabilize. He runs out of gas and I get a Titan kill.

Game 2 isn't even a fair. Its like he brought a knife to a gun fight. I Turn 4 Primeval and set up for an Inkmoth kill. He never had a chance.

2-0 / 7-2 / 3-1

ROUND 5: Adam playing Solar Flare
Adam is what I like to call a Ringer. In a room full of FNMers, Adam is a dedicated grinder and plays on the PTQ circuit up at Armada as well as Phoenix and Coolstuff Inc. He is a very good player. Smart and calculating. Until now I've never played him before.

Game 1 I get rolling with early ramp and dome him with a few Incinerates while he has no action until a Rune Scarred Demon hits the board. He has answers for my Primeval and Inferno Titans but the damage has already been done as I was able to get all 4 Inkmoths out and just poison him with smart attacks. I get him to 6 poison by the time he lands Elesh Norn which I Beast Within. He Unburial Rites Elesh which I Metamorph Legend kill. I have him to 1 poison by the time he Phantasmal Images for Spellskite which effectively shuts me out of a very hard fought game. 

Game 2 my opener is Kessig, Inkmoth, Forest, Inferno x 2,  Primeval and a Devil's Play. I ship it back because of no Red mana and no ramp spells. In hindsight I should have kept. My next 6 are no lands. My 5 I keep with 3 lands, Solemn and Metamorph. Considering I am short 2 cards I do particularly well. He doesn't just roll me over this game. I am able to get my game plan going of attacking his lands with Beast Within, Acidic Slimes and Metamorphs which I effectively do until I can get Inferno Titan out. One play I go to Metamorph a Slime and he Doom Blades my Slime to force me to copy my Solemn. After I stick Inferno he Day of Judgements. I draw 2 cards off of my Solemns into, not kidding, two more Inferno Titans. I play the first Titan. Then the second and get him fairly low on life before my world breaks open. He Go for the Throats one of my Titans. Then he flashes back Unburial Rites for Sun Titan chaining in Phantasmal Image copying Sun Titan getting back Snapcaster Mage for Doom Blade effectively killing my team in the process of building his own. Seems good. I have two outs that haven't shown up yet, Devil's Play. I have enough mana to kill him as well. He flashes me the Dissipate and I scoop.

0-2 / 7-4 / 3-2

Turns out to be the best match I had all night even though it resulted in a loss. I feel like playing better players makes me a better player. I told him I was going to Grand Prix Orlando to check out side events. He urges me to play in the main event. I say, "I'm not good enough to play in a Grand Prix anymore." He says otherwise. Those kind words have fired me up enough to prep for Grand Prix Orlando. We'll see what happens.

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