how to tame a dragon

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Post  Jason-admin on Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:16 am

How to Tame a Dragon
Jason Gulevich


Welcome guys, and girls, to my new bi-weekly update on all things magic! Right now there is a lot to be excited for in the world of magic. In just a few weeks we get modern as a new FNM format. In addition Starcity games IQ and TCG player IQ events start up again in January. And the last thing is I finished 4-0 at FNM on 12/21 in the first time for like 6 weeks. So basically I’m just gonna give you the info you can scroll to whatever you want to know more about.

So modern being a new fnm format. While I think this is awesome and couldn't be more excited I'm not sure it will really launch. We've been running modern on Wednesday night at Alluring Treasures and seriously it is harder to fire off than the legacy on Tuesday. Unfortunately people just don't have the cards and even when they do a lot of people have a ill conceived idea that modern is all about Jund or bust. Even so this is something to be excited about even if you don't like playing modern simply for the reasons it will stabilize the prize drop of standard cards when they rotate out. If they have any playability in modern their prices will be ok...just look at Vengevine. Again I'm super excited about it and I really do hope it works.

Now my FNM...on Monday I was convinced that Bant control was the best deck to be playing...however I realized that my ID card doesn't say Reid Duke. So for those of you who don't watch/listen to all the big tournament news. Reid Duke won the SCG invintational with Bant control going 9-1 in the top 8 and making everyone look like a scrub with the following list:

4 thragtusk
1 restoration Angel
3 auger of bolas

4 farseek
1 amass the components
3 supreme verdict
1 terminus
3 azoruious charm
4 think twice
4 sphinx's revalation
1 rest in peace
1 detention sphere
4 dissipate

all the traditional lands + 2 drownyard to win the games.

So while play testing the deck I really like it but it became clear of two things fairly quickly...we couldn't beat g/w humans/aggro or b/r aggro on the draw and on the play was still a hard fight. So I decided to play a black red aggro deck that would have a favorable match up vs. g/w humans or g/w aggro. So we started with this list:

2 knight of infamy
4 diregraf ghoul
4 gravecrawler
4 gerraf's messenger
4 falkenrath arisocrat
3 thundermaw hellkite
2 hellrider
2 blood artist

2 sign in blood
1 dreadbore
3 bonfire of the Damned
1 ultimate price
4 searing spear

4 cavern of souls
4 rakdos guildgate
4 blood crypt
4 dragonskull summit
8 swamp

this is the list I play about 3 weeks at fnm and we took to a SCG IQ. Finishing 3-1 and 3-2 respectability. All three loses were to “rancor men. Dec” so we made some changes to have a better match vs. that deck as it is the only deck in the format that is just as fast as us and hits maybe harder. So we decided the biggest weakness in the deck was way to much sorcery speed removal. So the following changes were made:

+3 victim of night
+1 sign in blood
+2 blood artist

-3 bonfire of the damned
-1 ultimate price
-2 knight of infamy


while bonfire is good vs. human/creature decks it is horrible if you are not casting other removal to stay alive till you can bonfire, and again its sorcery speed so you will still die to angel + paladin + rancor attack for 20 -.- stupid humans. And ultimate price doesn't kill the elephant and that guy is a beating vs. us. Knight was cut because it is yes ok vs. rancoring men it actually sucks if they have rancor..on a man...1 toughness doesn’t do a lot for soaking up damage. However on the other hand blood artist actually is ok vs. g/w humans and can allow us to win some games and put their deck in weird places.

Add in the victim of night because it is 1) instant and 2) kills most things that block us. While it is totally dead in the mirror match... it is still ok just to kill Thundermaw Hellkite.

So after those changes the match up seemed winnable and now was time to test it in the field at Alluring Treasures.

FNM report

Round 1 – G/w Humans played by Tyler

so I was pretty excited to play vs. the human menace at the shop right off the bat. And it went pretty much exactly as I wanted. I was able to use my 2/2 bodies and messengers to chump block and get in there with aristocrat and hellkite to win. I was also able to play successfully around rancor the entire game with victim and spear. Blood artist allowed for great tempo and awesome win con in the end with just “how much life you at?” “7” “ok sac my team deal 7” this was a pretty standard end to the games I played vs. tyler. It was nice to see tyler again though, he is a funny guy and overall the games were just a lot of fun.

SB plan was:
-3 sign in blood (don't want to lose life rather just draw live)
-4 grave crawler (can't block)

+3 bonfire of the damned
+3 vampire nighthawk
+1 dreadbore

2-0 in games

1-0 in matches

round 2 – G/w aggro played by Rich Newton

OK again I was happy to play this match just for testing purposes, but also because Rich is such a solid player I was super happy. Game one was super fast with things dying and being traded all over, he made a misplay in the middle of the game by trying to rancor a silverheart over a paladin, and while I normally agree with that move but not vs. BR because silverheart is such a beating by giving +4/+4 to a dude...turns off all my burn. We determined it probably wouldn't have allowed him to kill me anyways but it was definitely the wrong move for the turn. Game two was a lot less exciting as I just drew nuts and he well...drew lands I dealt with his few dudes and he scooped. Overall again playing Rich was awesome and I always enjoy his playful get competitive approach to magic.

4-0 in games

2-0 in match

round 3 – 5 color peddler played by Kenny Ivy

Kenny is an old friend and as he sat down he said “this is my least favorite match up” and it proved that way. Game one was super long for these two decks, I ended up losing to not seeing a red source until land drop 7. I also made a sloppy misplay here too, he had angel + unburial rights in yard and static-peddler bff combo on field. I had messenger, ghoul, and crawler attacking in. Kenny blocks the ghoul and tap shots messenger, I in response searing spear his static caster to remove deathtouch and get in for 4 putting him to 9. I pass turn and he reanimates angel with all the static-caster back killing my team and making me not able to play any dudes. The play here was to just let him do his thing and hope he rises the angel, end of his turn I can break up the BFFs with the spear and play double dragon from my hand to kill him easy. But instead I lost and play game two feeling pretty good about the match up. Game 2 and 3 were super fast, 2 I drew nuts and he was dead before the 4th land came into being and game 3 he was stuck on 3 lands but died turn 5 anyways.

Side boarding:

2 knight of infamy
2 blood artist
1 gravecrawler

2 slaughter games
2 underworld connections
1 dreadbore

6-1 in games

3-0 in matches

round 4- Grixis control played by Ben Lopez
Ben seems like a funny guy, never really get to hang out with him at fnm, I usually do seem up playing vs. his girl friend though every week. This match up was good again for me, a slow control deck playing only spot removal. Game 1 I was on the play and I'm pretty confident saying Grixis control just wasn't in this game, I took two damage from a shock and just overran him with vampires and dragons. Game 2 he saw lands and pillars with Oliva while I just saw messengers...and nothing he ran away with this game...also I was a baddy and left in victim of the night and died with two of them in my hand. Game three was like number 1, I think he pillar my crawler and messenger and than got blown away by high end firepower. After the match Ben laughed about how it was a big mismatch for the decks and he ended up getting 6 packs for going 3-1 on the night.

Side boarding:
2 underworld connections
3 appetite for brains
1 zealous conscripts
1 dreadbore

-3 victim of night (haha)
-2 blood artist
-2 knight of infamy

8-2 in games

4-0 in matches.

Overall this deck is insane and I always seem to forget that until I play it. I wouldn't make any drastic changes but I think I would cut the bonfire out of the sideboard. It only comes in vs. g/w humans and I'm not sure I like it even there. I suppose it is good early vs. lingering soul decks but thats why thundermaw hellkite is in the deck. Also not sure if I would play slaughter games anymore either in the board. Lastly I kinda think cutting a guildgate and a cavern for a mountain and another swamp would be better. Besides not casting messenger I really think the deck could use a mountain to keep up on red, while your early game is black heavy, your late game needs a lot of red so it can play a double red and leave up removal. Definably a sweet deck and it is one you really need to make sure you can handle...which good luck every taming a dragon.

Tournament updates:

the following are important tournament dates for those people interested at the shop:

December 30 -GPT Charlotte arcane lab in Merced, California

January 12 - Starcity games IQ at the black diamond games in Concord, California

January 19 – Starcity games IQ at arcane lab in Merced, California

Febuary 2 – Starcity games IQ at Gamer's Guild in Antioch California

Febuary 9 – PTQ Dragon Maze at Euromodia ( I think thats how you spell it) in Berkley California

Febuary 23 – PTQ Dragon Maze

March 16 – PTQ Dragon maze in Sacramento at great escape games.

Still working on find out info on the ptq on the 23rd.

Anyways that's all this week, I'll get better at writing these each week to or so after FNM. Best of luck and you all better learn to tame your dragons before they get the best of you.

Jason V. Gulevich

Posts : 265
Join date : 2011-03-17
Age : 33
Location : Tracy, CA

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