So I went to the SCG Open in Columbus this past weekend. Generally, playing control decks during the first weekend / big event of a new Standard (even with nothing rotating out) is difficult because you cannot tune your answers to the exact threats present in the meta. For me, though, I’ve been playing BW Control almost exclusively for the past 6 months and didn’t feel comfortable playing something new. I knew spirits and humans would be all over the place (Bant Company and White Weenies) so I adjusted my BW Control list to have more instant-speed removal (in the form of Murder) and tried to retain the ability to answer enemy planeswalkers. I also added two Oath of Liliana because, when cast on curve, it’s pretty crazy. Below I’ll cover the changes I made and what my plans are for EMN (even though my plans are odd). Continue reading
I’ve been absent from posting for a while. Quick update before I talk about my EMN experience. I went to GP Minneapolis with BW Control and made it to day 2 (at my first GP!). I had a great time and all of my opponents were good sports (or I’m just positive enough that I ignored any negative stuff they threw out there). I ended day 1 at 7-2 (and I had no byes, so I played all 9 rounds). On day 2 I punted two matches in a row which left me feeling so crappy that I never came back from it. Still, it was a great experience and the people I traveled with were insanely fun and I can’t wait to head out for another GP.
Okay, on to EMN. I only played two prerelease events (out of the 6 my store hosts most prerelease weekends). I played at the midnight event (12:01am Saturday) and the full rounds/cut to top 8 event today. My midnight pool was absolute garbage. It included things like Harmless Offering, Ulvenwald Observer, Stitcher’s Graft, Prized Amalgam, Avacyn’s Judgment, and Geier Reach Sanitarium. While several of these cards are good in the right shell, I didn’t have the support for any of them. I had a good amount of madness pay off cards but Geier Reach Sanitarium was literally the only playable discard outlet I opened. I had Prized Amalgam but only one other card I could cast / put into play from my graveyard and little to no real zombie support. I had Harmless Offering but, as you might expect in sealed, nothing worth Donating to my opponent. I ended up trying a GB Delirium deck with limited delirium enablers and no delirium bombs. I went 1-2 (our midnight prerelease is only 3 rounds but only pays out to 2-1 and 3-0 players).
Today’s full round tournament was another story. My pool was absurdly good. I opened my box and saw Ulrich was my promo. I jumped the gun a bit and started imagining my sweet GR Werewolf deck. It turns out I only opened about 3 other werewolf cards and none were fantastic. However, I also opened a Thalia’s Lieutenant, a Thalia, Heretic Cathar, a Emrakul’s Evangel, Odric, Lunarch Marshal and a bunch of good G/W humans (including Hamlet Captain, Sigardian Priest, and more). I went 3-1-1 (IDed late to help a friend – but beat him when we played it out for fun after the ID) and only lost to flooding so hard that I drew 3 creatures, 1 spell, and 12 lands in one game. The deck was absolutely bonkers.
I think EMN is a really fun set to play in sealed but (based on my admittedly small sample size) it feels a lot like you either hit insane pools of cards or get totally screwed because the difference in raw power between the good and mediocre cards feels incredibly large. Also, based on it being played against me, the Ironclad Slayer + Dead Weight / Choking Restraints combo is frustratingly good.
Hope you enjoyed your EMM experience – feel free to share!