|Posted on October 25, 2011 at 10:50 PM|
Something like this past Saturday was the starcitygames.com Baltimore open. For about a month or so, I was planning to play Solar Flare. Itested a lot with the deck and I felt really good about it. I didn’t miss a top 8 at Collector’s Corner FNM since I built Solar Flare, but something didn’tfeel right as I was preparing for the open. Generally, I had good luck against Wolf Run, even though that is the odds on least favorable match up on my part. I hadn’t lost to it in testing or tournament play. My main concern with the deckwas weenie decks. I kind of went to tilt the Friday before the open, as in top8, the deck under-performed immensely. Despite my 2 Day of Judgment and 2 Timely Reinforcements (3 of each post board) the weenie deck in top 8 smashedme hardcore.
The previous couple days, I had been talking to recent Top 8 competitor and co-team member Joe Jancuk about Mono Black Infect. If you have read my previous article, you know how insane I was over Lashwrithe and the Mono Black archetype. The rough loss the previousnight with Solar Flare (and the fact that I wasn’t going to the open originally) convinced me into the quickest audible ever. I didn’t have most of the cards for MBI, but I got the majority minutes before the open started. My list was pretty much cut and dry with a lot of similarities with Joe’s. There were a few differences, the one major being my lack of Whispering Specter. I think if I had this card, the deck would have performed a lot better than what it had. In its place, I had Necropede – only because that was the only alternative available for me. That was kind of bad. It didn’t bother me a lot.I just boarded him out all the time, but it was pretty bothersome having a deadcard in my list compared to a Mind Sludge on a stick.
My list was something like this:(
4 Phyrexian Crusader
4 Plague Stinger
2 Skitheryx, the Blight Dragon
2 Contagion Clasp
1 Tumble Magnet
1 Nihil Spellbomb
3 Liliana of the Veil
3 Virulent Wound
2 Doom Blade
1 Tribute to Hunger
2 Victim of Night
2 Tezzeret’s Gambit
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Virulent Wound
3 Black Sun’s Zenith
1 Tribute to Hunger
3 Phyrexian Vathmother
Needless to say, the deciding factor in my losses was the lack of Whispering Specter, but no game I lost was a complete blowout. My end result was 2-2 drop. I could have kept going, but I felt like I still needed to work with the deck for it to be at maximum potential. My losses were grindy matches against U/B control andWhite Weenies, the later of, I feel, shouldn’t have happened (I’m just bad atmulligains).
Round 1 was the White Weenies matchup. Game 1 I keep a slow 7 card hand: No Virulent wound, 1 or 2 two-cost removal spells, and a couple of guys. My opponent is onthe play, and turns 1 and 2 slams down creatures like Champion of the Parishand Elite Vanguard. I draw lands. And draw some more lands. I deal with somecreatures and eventually swing at him with a Lashwrithed Plague Stinger. He Oblivion Rings my Lashwrithe, and shuts down my next turn kill, and I don’tdraw anything helpful for the rest of the game. Game 2... I keep a hand that isall about Clasp: 2 Clasp, 1 Crusader, Virulent Wound, lands. I’m on the play,land go. He plays Champion, the passes. I play another land. Go. He goes toplay a guy, I Virulent Wound Champion. His guy resolves, passes. I clasp the guy on my turn. Go. He plays another 1 toughness guy. I slam down Crusader on my next turn. Let the clock begin. Heplays some more guys, and I top deck more removal and eventually Lashwrithe forgame. Game 3… I keep another bad 6 card hand. Something like: Tribute toHunger, 2 Plague Stinger, Lashwrithe, Skitheryx, lands. He draws GUYS and Honor of the Pure. Beats me down before I can do anything. I lost this one 1-2... 0-1
Round 2 was pretty fun. MBI mirror match. We make basically the same plays for both games. At one point we had a Phyrexian Crusader stare-down for like 4 turns until I drew a Liliana. I equipped a guy with Lashwrithe to win both games after back and forth removal wars. I think I had a little more removal, andt hat’s why I had the slight advantage. He was playing a slower, Hand of the Preators build, which seems less good to me. Anyway, 2-0 this guy… move on toround 3. 1-1
I don’t remember round 3 that well. Oh yeah. I played against Wolf Run. This was apretty simple match. Game 1, I keep a hand with Virulent Wound. On the play I kill his BoP, and play a Plague Stinger. He reaches max 3 or 4 lands as I resolve more guys and beat his face for game. Game 2 went pretty much the sameway. He was on the play, turn 1 Bop. Sadly, not Virulent Wound this time, land go. Plays Rampant Growth, my turn again. I Clasp the Birds, then pass. He misses land drops for the next few turns. I resolve a guy and Lashwrithe to win 2-0... 2-1
My fourth round was the most grindy, annoying shit I have ever experienced in a Standard Open. It was even worse than Caw-Blade mirrors. I’m playing against U/B control. Game 1, I play guys, he kills them. Flashes snapcaster for neat blocks on Crusaders, kills more of my guys, resolves 2 Sword of Feast and Famine. I lose. Thinking back, I made a huge play mistake with a Tribute to Hunger that could have gotten me the game. I had a Virulent Wound for the Snapcaster he played in response to my spell. Unfortunate, but that’s why I need to practice with decks instead of walking into tournaments with less than 3 hours of testing. Game 2. I have him digging for blockers and removal for like 6 turns after he kills some of my guys and I resolve 3 Lashwrithe. I pull this one of, because… what are you gonna do about 3 Lashwrithe? Game 3, he turn 3’s a sword, turn 4’s a guy and equips, turn 5’s a sword and equips. I got stuck on 2 lands until turn 4. I lose in an upsetting manner, 1-2… 2-2-drop.
Overall I loved the deck I ran. It was dumb amounts of fun to play, and still pretty fun when I lost too. I wish I had gotten more testing in before-hand, but I was generally satisfied with my playing and how I took hold of games so well.Despite the losses, I had a good time and am looking forward to smashing face at FNM for the next few weeks, and possibly even the next couple big tournaments.