Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Re-Evaluating How to Play Magic (or going back to square one)

Last Friday at FNM, after having been very frustrated at my results at the TCG Player event, I took a long hard look at myself, my play-style and decided i needed to either get better or get out.  First thing I decided was that I need to become more aware of the board state, and also read my cards.  These are two small details that can lead to big change.  I know it sounds really stupid to have to tell my/yourself to look at the board state and to read your cards, but its that simple.  If you aren't paying attention, you will miss out on something so minute that it could be the difference between winning and losing.  After close consideration I decided to stop running the ultra competitive decks for the time being, I really enjoyed playing the Aristocrats deck and the newest American Midrange was fun, but I feel that in order to hone my craft, I need to take a different approach, given that my FNM is not ultra competitive and most of the stuff run is low cost, kitchen table kind of decks.  So with that in mind, I built a new deck that started off as a mono red, but then decided to splash green and add two Domri Rade to the main board.  So here's a rundown of what I was running.  I don't remember what the original sideboard was, but given all the graveyard shenanigans that are going on at my FNM, I've already made changes

Main Board
4   Rootbound Crag
18 Mountains

4   Thundermaw Hellkite
4   Hellrider
4   Stromkirk Noble
3   Rakdos Cackler
3   Vexing Devil
4   Burning Tree Emissary
1   Boros Reckoner
2   Domri Rade

4   Bonfire of the Damned
1   Mizzium Mortars
4   Searing Spear
4   Pilar of Flame

4   Grafdiggers Cage
3   Ash Zealot
3   Boros Reckoner
1   Staff of Nin
4   Brimstone Volley

I think I need to change the sideboard up a bit, drop to 2 cages, and add in another Staff of Nin and then the fourth Ash Zealot.  I also think, if I'm going to run Reckoner, it needs to be at least a 2 of, if not 3 of.  Also was looking at Archwing Dragon in the 4 spot, since he's not targetable by sorcery speed removal...

So, What do you think?  Oh, I guess I should report how it performed...

Current Record

And here's the breakdown:

Round 1 - Naya Wolves, Game 1 he dropped a Wandering wolf and the dropped 2 rancors on it, but he couldn't keep up with the hellrider bonus damage.  Game 2 ramped into two Thundermaw Hellkites, Hellrider and a Burning Tree Emissary. 1-0

Round 2 - Bant Reanimator - This was a tough matchup, I had no graveyard hate, and once thragtusk hit, the extra lifegain was just too much for me to combat.  I did take out thragtusk with a searing spear, but he just reanimated and thats 5 more life, had a hard time getting ramped up to 5 and drawing a hellkite.  1-1

Round 3 - Orzhov Extort deck, this one went to  3 games, in game two I kept a 2 lander and didnt see more land until turn 5, extort can be very nasty (or very beneficial if your extorting).  2-1

Round 4 - The Aristocrats, this one also went to three, but sadly I never saw him drop a Falkenrath Aristocrat, but man those Skirsdag High Priests scare me, so they were handily destroyed before any shenanigans could go off.  I have to say looking at the top card with Domri really makes it nice, esp if you find that creature...  3-1

Only loss was to reanimator, and the sideboard has been modified to try to combat that.


  1. Couple of questions, did you get a chance to use Domri's 7 ability and did his +1 help you out a lot?

    You only have green for him and it doesn't really seem that needed. You could drop the Emissary and sub in a Lightning Mauler for it's soul bond. Pull Domri for 2 more Reckoners and then add/sub in 2 Blasphemous Acts (they work great with Reckoner).

    Other than that, it's a good deck. I have something really similar with a Boros flair so I'm already a fan. :)

    1. I was actually able to get the ultimate off in two matches, and the ability to look at the top card, did come in quite handy, esp when it was a hellkite and I could play it. But I also used his mid ability to clear the way a couple of times so there wasn't a chump. The only time I really needed the Emissary was when I was low on mana up front, but there were never used to cast Domri except once.

  2. Why only the 4 Rootbounds? I would run the Stomping Grounds as well. I hate having an uncastable card in hand.
    This deck would really benefit from using Domri a an engine instead of an incidental "goodstuff"

    This is what I would change maindeck if I could:
    -2 bonfire
    -1 Searing Spear
    -1 Pillar of Flame
    -1 Thundermaw or Hellrider
    +2 Domri Rade
    +3 Boros Reckoner - with Domri's fight ability this guy will almost always be a 2 for 1

    I'll see you Friday!
    (feel free to hit me up on gtalk anytime, i get bored sometimes at work)

    1. Do you agree with my sideboard tech? Saw a lot of graveyard shenanigans last week

    2. I do. If you run the Reckoners main then you open up 3 more slots in the board.

      Those 3 slots could be more graveyard hate (Ground Seal?)
      Or some more Mizzium Mortars for the boros/human decks.

      Just my thoughts...

  3. You should side board 2 or 3 Annihilating Fires too. Can't reanimate from exile.