A bit more realistic testing

So Monday turned into a very late night that I have not recovered from yet.  Or perhaps I’m just having issues sleeping in general again.  Or it may be the swatch of homework sitting at home for me that I just can’t seem to concentrate on. No matter what I feel like crap.

But hey, at least Monday was a good night.

First let me lay out the deck list I was using.

Prime Speaker Bant

Creatures                                                                                Sideboard

-4 Loxodon Smiter                                                                -3 Feeling of Dread

-4 Restoration Angel                                                            -1 Negate

-4 Thragtusk                                                                         -2 Rest in Peace

-1 Sigarda, Host of Herons                                                -1 Dissipate

-2 Prime Speaker Zegana                                                   -3 Geist of Saint Traft

-2 Angel of Serenity                                                            -1 Oblivion Ring

Spells                                                                                     -2 Supreme Verdict

-4 Farseek                                                                            -2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

-4 Azorius Charm

-3 Selesnya Charm

-2 Detention Sphere

-2 Supreme Verdict

-3 Sphinx’s Revelation

Lands

1 Forest

-1 Cavern of Souls

-2 Gavony Township

-3 Hallowed Fountain

-3 Hinterland Harbor

-3 Sunpetal Grove

-4 Glacial Fortress

-4 Temple Garden

-4 Breeding Pool

So that is the deck.  Right now it is very basic and close to what everyone else is playing Prime Speaker Bant wise.  I have been trying to figure out if there is anything main board that I need to change in order to fit me better, but so far it seems to fit me just fine.  I feel like the sideboard will constantly need to be changed in order to better fit the current meta, but that is pretty easy to do and test.

I guess the thing is that I’m looking for a deck that acts consistently with how I play.  Prime Speaker Bant so far has done that.  It feels really weird to not need to switch a deck around, but it is indeed what has happened.

The first match I played against was a Dega Reanimator deck that was pretty awesome!  Lots of big guys that he didn’t mind getting rid of just to use Unburial Rites on later.  It was nice to play against something slightly different that still provided a good challenge to me over all.  I was able to really think about what I really need to play and what order it needed to be done in to make  sure I didn’t fall behind.  I lost, but I put of a fight and saw a lot of room for improvement play wise as well as how some interactions worked that I would not get to see otherwise.

I also learned a lesson regarding Feeling of Dread.  I would play it, have it sitting in the graveyard and have a fantastic plan for using it again!  It was so good in my mind!  Until I realized multiple time I would leave a Sunpetal Grove or Temple Garden up with like, Gavony Township.  The flashback is one and a blue, not one and a white.  That game really got it into my head and it was somthing very important to do, even though it was just a sideboard card.

Second game of the night was another rogue type build that someone had just wanted to play for fun, which was great.  although, the issue is that I don’t really remember what it was.  I know looking at my notes that the games were quick enough that I don’t have enough to even put it together.  I just don’t think I ever reached a point to stabilize the board in my favor and instead kind of got stuck in this cycle of just getting run over and chump blocking with Smiters.  After he won 2-0 for the round we played some fun games against another deck he had which really allowed me to get some more longer games in and see how I stacked up against mill.  Straight mill I kind of overrun, but for the most part, so does everyone.  Control with Mill as a win con…well, that is different and we will get to that a bit later.

The third game is one that sort of stung.  My opponent was playing a Jund type deck and just couldn’t keep going.  It was very much a game where until around turn four no damage was done and none was done to me until turn nine-ish.  By that point I had plenty online to stablize with if he did start to do anything with me.  He eventually was able to start climbing back up as well with Thragtusk, but at that point I was just much faster and able to take things or bring back my own Thragtusks.  I eventually won with a life of 24.  The second game went similarly only I was really able to get the Resto, Thrag, Angel of Serenity Combo off.  Multiple times.  So despite his ability to get the Thragtusks out and try to threaten me with the normal Jund guys, I would Detention Sphere, Supreme Verdict and get some guys back, or any number of things.  I think I also got a Zegana off in this mix with Angle of Serenity on the field, so that just even put me farther ahead.

There is something in this game above that happened this week as well with another individual that I would like to talk about in another post sometime this week that I want some opinions on.  I don’t know if it is me or what, but it is just continuously eating at me.

At this point of the evening I was 1-2.  There was no way I was in contention for the gift certificate prizes that are given out at the store, but I was in Top 8 due to all the drops and it being nearly 10:30 pm.  Top 8 gets a pack.  I may as well stick around and just play, right?

Last match was pretty epic.  It was another Jund deck, but this time more Reanimator in nature.  And by that I mean steal things from my graveyard.  The first to games don’t even matter.  It was an exchange of creatures and killing things and bringing them back all over the place.  The third Game was the cake topper.  I won despite him using Rise from the Grave on my Sigarada.  However, that was about the only answer he had at the time.  He was able to Dissipate a few things, but I had enough creatures around to just come right back.  I ended the night 2-2 and while that isn’t the best I learned a lot of how the deck interacts with more competitive decks and how I respond to more competitive people with it.

The next Monday was much better.  It was only 3 rounds which means it was over before midnight and a lot of people there practicing for the WMCQs were around.

My first match up was against a RDW that attempted to not let me stabilize.  We went three games and of note was a misplay by me with a Selesnya Charm to create a Knight to block rather than use it to exile the Thundermaw Hellkite he laid down.  Despite this massive miss play I was still able to hold out long enough to Angel of Serenity his Thundermaw and bring back some things from my graveyard that would help me in the long game.  I was also able to hit off Gavony Township and make Thragtusk larger, which is always a good thing since it would then take two Searing Spears just to kill him rather than him and his child.  Second game I lost due to him just getting an awesome draw.  I was able to hold out quite a bit longer then most people would against RDW, but it wasn’t enough when your just drawing lands.  Third game he would have won if it wasn’t for the fact that he laid out two Boros Reckoner and I was able to wipe them out with a D-Sphere.  With them gone I had an Ash Zealot and Stromkirk Noble to worry about, but they were quickly taken care of with Loxodon Smiters or Zegana.

So i beat the RDW and was mildly proud of myself.  Well be covering this with that other deck in another post though.

Second match-up was against Naya Blitz.  It was another time where I thought I was going to lose miserably.  However, I was rather surprised.  I was able to play around a lot of things.  I made sure to quickly have the mana on line and be able to return Flinthoof Boar to the top of his deck.  Then when he had a couple out through what ever means I Detention Sphere’d them.  I would be aggressive with the attacking while still keeping my ground guys open for blocking.  The second match was similar, but it when a bit longer, but I was able to stabilize long enough to do the damage needed to end it.

At this point I’m 2-0.  For the first time ever I’m vying for first place.  I was a littler jittery.

My last match was a control mirror.  He was playing Esper Control, which I now have identified as a problem.  Our first game took 45 minutes and almost a whole page of life totals in my notebook.  He ultimately won out due to Nephalia Drownyard and putting me in the box of playing Zegana or not.  The second game I had him down life wise, but Blind Obidence put me behind as did two Nephalia’s.  I lost, but came in second for the night, which was a pretty awesome thing in itself for me.

I’m now trying to really think of how to better match up against Control Mirror’s because I just didn’t have all the answers I needed in the last match.  I’m not sure if the answer is shifting to a more control deck or being able to use soemthing like Psychic Spiral to maximize them milling me like that.  I know I need to practice some more against Bant and Esper, but I am feeling more comfortable against most of the other architypes out there.  I have some testing arranged for this weekend and hopefully I will see some more standard Reanimators and perhaps even The Aristocrats.

Author’s note: Sorry the Sideboard section is wonky.  I’m devising tables, but wanted to get this up too >.<

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4 responses to “A bit more realistic testing

  1. Neat deck. I just started learning Magic literally a few weeks ago, and I have already faced this deck archetype (and I lost horribly XD). Kudos to the lone Forest card in there. *^*

  2. You saw my Bant Zegana deck as well right? What did you think? I personally think the mana creatures help out in accelerating your cards (2nd turn Smiter, 3rd turn Verdict if you need it, 4th turn Garruk, 5th turn Angel of Serenity or faster depending on how many mana creatures you drop). While I don’t think you need 8, I think a playset of Arbor Elf or Avacyn’s Pilgrim would help out. They are good with Gavony Township as well. I also don’t know how I feel about Feeling of Dread either. I think if you’re getting slammed by a fast aggro, just drop a Verdict and clear the board. If you do end up running with mana creatures, you could probably cut the lands to 24 as well, which would give you more space for something else. What do you think? I’d be interested to see what other changes you make to it in the future. I went 2-0-1 with my Bant Zegana last week, so things are looking up!

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