|Posted on October 25, 2011 at 10:25 PM|
This past weekend Team Big Sexy wentout in force to tackle the almost 600 players at the Star City Games Open inBaltimore. Guys, what an event with alot of really cool players and a HUGE top 8 finish for our very own Joe Jancuk.
I went into this event,unfortunately not having put the time into play testing, with an Ali Aintraziinspired Esper control build that I had been having horrible success with at FNM. That being said I knew the deck wasbuilt to smash Solar Flare and the traditional Wolf Run deck and I thought that’s what a lot of the field would be. I could not have been more wrong, however was pleasantly surprised withhow well the deck performed.
Here is the build that I went into Saturday’s event with:
6x Island 4xSnapcaster Mage
1x Swamp PLANESWALKERS
1x DarkslickShores 1x KarnLiberated
4x GlacialFortress SIDEBOARD
4x IsolatedChapel 1x Dayof Judgment
2x NephaliaDrownyard 2x TimelyReinforcements
2x SeachromeCoast 3x SurgicalExtraction
3x Oblivion Ring 2x Flashfreeze
1x Blue Sun’sZenith 2xCelestial Purge
1x White Sun’sZenith
1x Army of theDamned
2x Day of Judgment
1x Tribute toHunger
3x Doom Blade
1x Go For theThroat
4x Mana Leak
4x Think Twice
Now I’m not really going to get intothe card choices too much or how we sideboard, I think a large amount of thatis self-explanatory, however I would invite you to read Ali’s article over atSCG Premium for some additional information.
I played 6 rounds at the open andthen dropped with a 4-2 record. Many of you are probably dumbfounded as to why this occurred when I could have still ground out into top 32. I feel Iprobably could have done this, but I could no longer Top 8 and I didn’t want to grind for 50 bucks. So I left and haddelicious sushi with my wife instead, boomshakalaka.
So round 1 I immediately got thrown against Solar Flare. Now his list was alittle different from others I had been seeing as he ran Grave Titan in hisdeck along with the Sun Titan/Phantasmal Image/Liliana package. After sideboard I just destroy this deck with Nihil Spellbomb and Surgical Extraction. With no graveyard their deck really doesn’t do anything that I can’t counter with my spells.
Round 2 I saw my first look ateventual Top 8 competitor Ben Sturtz’s Token Town deck. I was not prepared for Tokens or Infect forthis open (more on that later) so he got me in 3 games. In hindsight I just need so many board sweeps to have a shot here and early counters for the enchantments.
Round 3 I again saw G/W tokens but this time I had the nut draws every time. Turn 2 Mana Leak into Despise into Snapcaster/Mana Leak. It’s hard to come out of that alive for anyopponent. He also tried to reach a bit and I think he kept a questionable hand where he had no one drop.
Both Round 4 and 5, I saw U/B control variants. Now I won in both of these matches and I want to discuss why this occurred. The Esper build just has more threats then does the U/B variants. They’re basically running the same counter/draw suite that we are, but they’re trying to win via actual creatures (Grave Titan or Wurmcoil Engine and to a lesser extent Consecrated Sphinx) and in the case of one of these matches milling via Drownyard. Now my deck can win in one of 4 ways. A massive Army of the Damned,which I can flashback, a White Sun’s Zenith which can be used again, milling via Drownyard/Blue Sun’s Zenith, or a resolved Karn. Post board, we get some extractions and they lose the ability to dig via Alchemy or lost function on Snapcaster with the Spellbomb. I just feel if you’re going to play control right now, the Esper build is the correct way to go.
Game 6, my final game, I lost quickly to infect. Not too much I can do about triple Inkmoth or double Inkmoth.
Now in hindsight had I been able to prepare I would have taken the same 60 into the open but my sideboard would have been vastly different.
2x Day ofJudgment 2x Negate 2x Nihil Spellbomb
1x Black Sun’sZenith 2xFlashfreeze 2xCelestial Purge
2x Ratchet Bomb 2x SurgicalExtraction
I think that would have given me thereach to get where I needed to go. Another weird dichoto my though is what I mentioned in the opening. This deck performed very poorly at FNM. FNMs traditionally contain more aggro thanbig events like the Open and as such are a much more difficult atmosphere forthis deck. The list I would play for FNM would be much more drastic than this, with 4x Day of Judgment in the 60 and possibly some Ghost Quarters as well,but not sure if the mana base could handle the drop in basics.
I will continue to work on this build and feel that it is well positioned to provide a foil to the Wolf Run Rampand Solar Flare lists that are there (although in my opinion I think SolarFlare will see some decline) and with a few tweaks can stay competitive with Tokens and Mono Black Infect.
A note on the article series name change; recently I just see myself as a control player. I really have done acomplete 180 and I enjoy matches that make me think and challenge me to make acorrect series of plays. So as much asbeing a Timmy is my past, being a control player is my future.