A little over two weeks ago, I made the decision to split my Mac’s hard drive to run Bootcamp (I tried to run Parallels as well, but that just ran incredibly slowly). Something I’ve been pretty against for some time, I told myself I’d wait to run MODO until there was a version for OSX – well, it’s 2017 and that doesn’t exist yet. Wizards of the Coast needs to get their shit together with that.
In the few weeks that I’ve had MODO, I’ve played in a dozen or so leagues pretty quickly. That’s the real benefit to playing on Modo, you can get quality matches and gather data in a shorter amount of time. This allows you to play test cards without waiting for your store’s local event each week. A secondary benefit is higher quality opponents with better decks, I didn’t mind and somewhat enjoyed using Cockatrice. That said, people join the queues knowing who you are and then load their deck full of hate cards instead of something they’d actually play in an event.
Due to the increased amounts of games, I was quickly able to see things that were and weren’t working in my deck list from EE6. Below you will see how it shifted to what I ran this past weekend.
Modo has a lot of plus sides and some serious downsides, such as the terrible interface and UX, but one of the things for me is the “feel bads” vs. “run goods”. I’ve recently started recording all of my match data and it will eventually lead to data based decisions about things in my deck. What it’s done so far is record variance in Magic, for example, I lost eight straight die rolls last week. I also went 1-3 DROP in back to back leagues, but I also went 5-0 in one too. For the most part, I tend to get mostly 4-1s and 3-2s but I feel the highs and lows are exaggerated when playing online.
Because of this I almost played Miracles at Star City Games: Worcester this past weekend. I seriously considered it, but after some thought, it felt a bit like giving up. I own Miracles and have played it in tons of local events, in terms of playskill – I’m past proficient. Playing it over TES in a large event feels like the Standard mentality of “just play the best deck”, which isn’t something I want out of the format that only has seven to nine large events each year. I’d rather take my chances resolving Ad Nauseam.
- 4 Burning Wish
- 4 Infernal Tutor
- 4 Brainstorm
- 4 Ponder
- 4 Gitaxian Probe
- 3 Cabal Therapy
- 3 Duress
- 1 Empty the Warrens
- 1 Ad Nauseam
SCG: Worcester Decklist
- 4 Burning Wish
- 4 Infernal Tutor
- 4 Brainstorm
- 4 Ponder
- 4 Gitaxian Probe
- 3 Cabal Therapy
- 3 Duress
- 1 Empty the Warrens
- 1 Ad Nauseam
Playing through Eternal Extravangza VI and the monthly Mythic Games, I began to feel my mana base was stretched thin trying to support both Pulverize and Reverent Silence. The cards were both solid and I used them both in events, but I found myself wondering, at what cost were they worth it? I had definitely lost games opening up hands of Badlands and Bayou. With tracking data and playing on modo, this became much clearer to me. While these cards were fine, they needed to leave in order to have a more fluid and consistent deck.
You’ll notice a lack of Surgical Extraction in my sideboard, I was using it as a way to combat RB Reanimator and to an extent Miracles. I’ve given into the idea that if a matchup is that bad, don’t bother trying to fix it. RB Reanimator is just a terrible match and I don’t want to be wasting sideboard slots on it to make it a slightly increase my abysmal win percentage. I was using Surgical Extraction against Miracles as a way to mess with them once they went to activate Sensei’s Divining Top to draw a card (mid-combo), stop Snapcaster Mage and to exile all copies of Force of Will, Flusterstorm or Counterbalance. It was fine, but overall, not necessary.
I changed my approach to the Miracles matchup. I’m no longer trying to grind them down, I’ve found that with TES, it’s almost playing into their hand. Instead, I’m looking to land a quick Xantid Swarm and just combo-kill them when I can. Recently, lots of unique counter spells have been the trend. I’m talking about cards like Invasive Surgery, Spell Snare, Spell Pierce, Pyroblast and Hydroblasts. These have been paired with pretty standard cards out of blue-based decks like Counterspell, Flusterstorm and Force of Will. In order to combat these, I’ve looked to Xantid Swarm. It’s a reasonable option against Miracles, 4c Control as well as a bomb in the Sneak & Show matchup!
The last addition, is a second copy of Empty the Warrens in the board. This is not for Miracles, this is for Delver of Secrets decks, Death & Taxes and Chalice of the Void decks to help find faster ways to win the game.
In between my EE6 Decklist and my list from SCG: Worcester, you might’ve read my article where I talk about a “win-condition-less” list. I played that list a ton, what I found was that I missed Empty the Warrens too much. While being able to safely reveal cards down to two life from Ad Nauseam was fantastic, I definitely lost more games where I couldn’t just dump Goblins into play on turn one with an Infernal Tutor.
Trip to Worcester & The Events
The drive to Worcester went by very quickly, lots of thinking on the lone four-hour drive. I couldn’t help but to be excited to spend a weekend with my friends: Royce Walter, Sam Roukas, and Devin Reilly. Honestly, I think I was more looking forward to eating at the Armsby Abbey twice in one weekend – that place is pretty great.
The two Legacy events both had fairly respectable numbers! The Legacy Open had 750 people and the Classic had 158 players.
SCG: Worcester Main Event
Round One: John Cronin with Aluren
2-0 | 1-0
Round Two: Nicholas Maggiore with Nic Fit
4-0 | 2-0
Round Three: Jadine Klomparens with Grixis Delver
I likely lost this match because I didn’t do an obvious play, but a play based on a gut feeling. I had a resolved Cabal Therapy on the stack and my choices were Stifle or Spell Pierce (I knew about this from a very early Gitaxian Probe). Through the course of the game, it would’ve made sense for her to Spell Pierce a few spells but instead she hard cast Force of Will. I had a feeling that she Brainstormed away the Spell Pierce. I named Stifle so she couldn’t counter my Empty the Warrens from my hand. Her hand was Pyroblast, Spell Pierce and a land. On her turn a Cabal Therapy happened and I lost the game from there.
5-2 | 2-1
Round Four: Christopher Patalano with BUG Delver
7-2 | 3-1
Round Five: Karim Badrudin with Dark Bant
I lost game two because I took an aggressive line, my opponent had one unknown in hand and nothing else. I went to go jam Ad Nauseam but lost to Daze. I could’ve taken a slower Past in Flames line that would’ve won, especially considering it was the only card in my opponents hand and all he had was lands and Noble Hierarchs.
9-3 | 4-1
Round Six: William Moore on Abzan Stoneblade
11-3 | 5-1
Round Seven: Kyle Dorgan with Aluren
11-5 | 5-2
Round Eight: Billy Joe Whipple with Sneak & Show
13-6 | 6-2
Round Nine: Jim Berberian with Lands
Games two and three, my opponent had turn 1 lock piece plus turn 2 Marit Lage. That’s how you lose to Lands.
14-8 | 6-3
SCG: Worcester Legacy Classic
Round One – Tommy Kersler with 4c Control
Game One: I win this game on the back of three Cabal Therapy, the first one was blind naming Force of Will. Which revealed: Snapcaster Mage, Engineered Explosives, Ponder, Pyroblast, Force of Will and Balefux Strix. On the following turn, I Cabal Therapy again after Tommy’s Ponder, naming: Snapcaster Mage. He now has a Counterspell in hand. My third therapy leaves Tommy defenseless. Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish, Dark Petition, Burning Wish and Tendrils of Agony.
Game Two: On turn four, Tommy leaves one mana open and taps his other mana for creatures (three cards in hand). I have enough to combo off with Duress back up and I decide it’s time to go! Dark Ritual, Duress, Tommy casts Invasive Surgery on Duress. Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor? Force of Will.
Game Three: Tommy has an early Thoughtseize paired with a Surgical Extraction, I cast Gitaxian Probe and look at: Force of Will, Ponder, Ponder and Brainstorm. I spend the next few turns looking for a discard spell, Tommy uses cantrips to get Deathrite Shaman and Leovold, Emissary of Trest onto the battlefield. I’m then hit by back to back Hymn to Tourach, at this point I pick up my cards.
Round Two – Ryan Fleisher with 4c Control
Game One: I don’t have great notes on this game, I remember that I cast an early Duress to discard a Force of Will. Then I needed to save mana, so I had to Cabal Therapy and then go off the following turn. My choices were between two known cards: Snapcaster Mage or Leovold, Emissary of Trest I decided that Leovold, Emissary of Trest wasn’t scary game one, but Snapcaster Mage into the Ponder in his graveyard could find him a Force of Will. On the following turn, I push all of my cards into Ad Nauseam and it resolves.
Game Two: Ryan’s start is turn one Thoughtseize, turn two Thoughtseize and Deathrite Shaman, turn three Leovold, Emissary of Trest. From there Ryan attacks, uses Deathrite Shaman and Lightning Bolts me to death over the next few turns.
Game Three: I start off the third game with Ponder, shuffle, play Lion’s Eye Diamond and pass. Ryan casts a Thoughtseize and takes my Ponder (attempting to cut me off of mana), draw Lotus Petal for turn and then cast Gitaxian Probe: Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Lightning Bolt, Kolaghan’s Command, Snapcaster Mage and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I draw Rite of Flame, cast it, Lotus Petal, Infernal Tutor (sacrificing Lion’s Eye Diamond), Empty the Warrens. Then flashback the Cabal Therapy that was discarded to Lion’s Eye Diamond, forcing Ryan to discard his pair of Brainstorm.
Round Three – Thomas Smiley with Deathblade
I watched Tom face Devin in the first round, Tom’s deck was full of some pretty interesting choices like Stifle.
Game One: Tom has a first turn Deathrite Shaman, second turn Stoneforge Mystic, third turn Leovold, Emissary of Trest. I cast a Cabal Therapy, which discards a pair of Force of Will. Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Lotus Petal, Burning Wish, Past in Flames, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, Burning Wish, Dark Petition, Empty the Warrens.
Game Three: Tom mulligans twice. I start off with a Gitaxian Probe that reveals: Daze, Daze, Stoneforge Mytic, Force of Will and Flooded Strand. From there I cast a Ponder and pass. I draw, play a land and pass on my turn. Tom hits his second land and plays Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull. I draw, play Lotus Petal and Xantid Swarm. Tom thinks for a moment and allows it to resolve. Tom draws, casts Brainstorm, then Ponder for a shuffle and passes (missing his third land drop). I draw, attack and Burning Wish for Past in Flames. Tom draws, plays a third land and passes. I attack and cast Ponder, which has a Brainstorm and Ad Nauseam. Play Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Brainstorm, sacrifice the artifacts and Ad Nauseam.
My Ad Nauseam is absolutely terrible. I’m forced to stop at six life, play my Lion’s Eye Diamond and pass. Batterskull enters the board and I find myself at one life. Tom thinks and main phases a Vendilion Clique, taking my Dark Ritual, but I draw the fourth Lion’s Eye Diamond off of it. I draw, attack (Xantid Swarm dies) and from there: Infernal Tutor (revealing: Rite of Flame), Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish, Dark Petition, Dark Ritual, flashback Past in Flames, Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor and Tendrils of Agony.
Round Four – Leslie Young with Sneak & Show
Game One: Leslie wins the die roll and he immediately slams a Griselbrand on the table. I put an Underground Sea into play off of the Show and Tell. Untap and decide to play my land for turn, which is a mistake. I laid a second Underground Sea, because I thought there would be no way my opponent would ever Force of Will a Rite of Flame off of a Lotus Petal. I was wrong. If I held the land, I could’ve played a second Rite of Flame, Dark Ritual and Ad Nauseam from hand. Instead, my opponent was able to attack me and draw seven more cards. My opponent casts another Show and Tell putting Sneak Attack into play. I drop another land.
I cast Rite of Flame, my opponent immediately casts Force of Will. Attacking the mana is certainly a strategy, if you’re trying to bottle neck storm long enough to swing with a 15/15. But I don’t think it’s better than counter spelling a business spell or something a little more powerful. Dark Ritual, Ad Nauseam. (resolved)
Game Two: This game is a little different. It’s much slower, I have a bunch of mana and Infernal Tutor, but no protection in my opening hand. We end up in a board state where Leslie has five untapped mana and uses Force of Will (Alt. cost) on a Duress. I decide at this point that I think Leslie has Flusterstorm in hand and that I’m going to take the risk of sacrificing my board to a 15/15 if I can win next turn, I play a pair of Lion’s Eye Diamond and two Lotus Petal. Leslie draws and passes. I draw a second Duress and cast it. Leslie allows it to resolve, for the first time I see Leslie’s hand: Flusterstorm, Flusterstorm, Island and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. In hindsight, I think I should’ve played Infernal Tutor here and then Ad Nauseam. Even if Leslie uses Flusterstorm I can pay and have a mana left open.
Instead, I pass and then kill him the next turn with four mana floating.
Round Five – Nicholas Malatesta with Elves
I actually was supposed to face Nick years ago at a previous SCG: Worcester, I wanted to play the final round to be the only person to X-0 a swiss of the old Star City event structure. He convinced me otherwise and I lost to Erik Smith in top 8.
Game One: It’s an interesting game, Nick has a first turn Deathrite Shaman off of Bayou. I cast a Gitaxian Probe: Forest, Nettle Sentinel, Quiron Ranger, Quiron Ranger and Heritage Druid, I then immediately follow up with Cabal Therapy. Nick can’t really use Deathrite Shaman for mana, so he starts eating my graveyard and deploying a single threat every turn. I have in hand: Burning Wish, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, Chrome Mox, Rite of Flame and Duress. I feel a sense of urgency, I decide the only way I’m winning this game is if Nick draws poorly the rest of the way and I swarm him with Goblins. I vomit 14 Goblins on the board.
Nick plays a few blockers, I draw Infernal Tutor, attack and then cast it for Burning Wish. I only have two lands and a Chrome Mox (Imprinting: Duress), I’m hoping to draw mana so I can Grapeshot on the following turn. Nick uses Deathrite Shaman to gain a few life on the end step, lays a few blockers (up to 5 now). I draw Brainstorm. Cast it and draw: Ponder, Lion’s Eye Diamond and Bloodstained Mire. I put back Burning Wish and the land. Lion’s Eye Diamond, Ponder and sacrifice the Lion’s Eye Diamond for red. Burning Wish for Grapeshot. I clear everything except a Deathrite Shaman. From there, the game has been won.
Game Two: Nick opens with Thoughtseize and then the following turn a Cabal Therapy. Shortly after, a Null Rod. I spend most of the game playing lands and drawing Ritual effects. I draw an Abrupt Decay for Null Rod, but I’m getting dangerously close to death. I have two draw steps to find a business spell. I fail and take a Craterhoof Behemoth to the face.
Game Three: I mulligan and put to the bottom off the scry. My hand is: Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Bloodstained Mire, Polluted Delta, Brainstorm and Dark Ritual. I lay the Polluted Delta and the two artifacts, think for a minute about how I’m going to use this Brainstorm. I want to maximize my ability to kill and I decide that if he plays a Cabal Therapy, I want to quickly say okay – not to give away that I have it. If he has a Thoughtseize, I would then obviously respond. On Nick’s turn, he casts Cabal Therapy and names Infernal Tutor. I use Polluted Delta to thin my deck slightly on the end step, draw Lotus Petal for turn and cast Brainstorm into Burning Wish, Burning Wish and Infernal Tutor. The game then goes as follows, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, sacrificing my artifacts and Ad Nauseam.
Round Six – Phill Stroud with ANT
Game One: Phill starts off with a Gitaxian Probe, Polluted Delta for Underground Sea and Ponder. My hand is: Gitaxian Probe, Burning Wish, Brainstorm, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Rite of Flame, Ponder and Chrome Mox. I draw a Gitaxian Probe for turn, I fire both of them off and draw Lotus Petal and a land. I cast Brainstorm into Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor and a land. Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Rite of Flame, Burning Wish and Tendrils of Agony.
Game Two: Phill plays a Misty RainForest and passes. I draw and decide if he has Flusterstorm, he’s got it. Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor and Ad Nauseam. They all resolve.
Phill had a second turn kill.
Round Seven – Cosmo Kwok with Food Chain
Game One: I cast a Gitaxian Probe and see a slow hand that doesn’t interact with me. Lay an Underground Sea, Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, Burning Wish and Empty the Warrens. I attack twice and the game is over, however, if Cosmo had Eternal Scourge instead of Misthollow Griffin I would’ve lost.
Game Two: Cosmo has an early Deathrite Shaman and a pair of Surgical Extraction in hand as well as Force of Will and Misthollow Griffin. Cosmo navigates the game well, exiling all of my discard spells with his pair of Surgical Extractions. I spend my time trying to build up to multiple business spells, but eventually lose to Deathrite Shaman.
Game Three: I start the game by trying to resolve Empty the Warrens. Cosmo plays a Blue Elemental Blast on my Rite of Flame to slow me down. He hits me with a Thoughtseize and denies me of a Ponder. I attempt to Empty the Warrens again, they’re soon met by Engineered Plague. I soon follow up with a Xantid Swarm… and another Engineered Plague happens. Cosmo spends most of the game without a clock, he eventually lands a Baleful Strix that deals me three or four damage. In that time, I resolved two Burning Wish. One for Past in Flames and another for Dark Petition. I build up to a pair of discard spells and leave him with just Baleful Strix and Blue Elemental Blast in hand. I cast Brainstorm and place Dark Petition on top of my library, cast Ponder and break the two Lion’s Eye Diamond I’ve had since the Empty the Warrens tokens and cast Dark Petition for Ad Nauseam. It’s a pretty bad Ad Nauseam and I stop at three life.
The plan is to use Past in Flames at this point. Cosmo draws, plays Baleful Strix, lays a land and then a Leovold, Emissary of Trest. I draw and cast Infernal Tutor (Revealing: Dark Ritual), Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor (Revealing: Dark Ritual), Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Past in Flames, and then cast spells up until I’m ready to Tendrils of Agony. I have six mana floating so that I might be able to win if Tendrils of Agony is hit by Mind Break Trap or Flusterstorm. If it’s countered, the plan is to play two discard spells, Burning Wish and Grapeshot.
I decide that with Cosmo being at twelve life that eight copies targeting him is the right number. He draws his eight cards, no Flusterstorm or Mind Break Trap. Using his last mana, Cosmo casts Brainstorm. He misses.
Round Eight – Sam Miller with Death & Taxes
After analyzing my breakers along with Royce, we both feel as if we cannot draw into top 8. By some weird chance, I was paired against the number one seed – Sam Miller. He’s excited to draw in, but I’m prepared to play if we have it. I ask Sam nicely if he would be willing to concede, he’s likely to be in the top part of the bracket anyway. He does the nice thing and agrees, which I am very thankful.
Royce against better judgement also decides to draw in. He’s convinced that he’ll end up in 9th place, instead, it’s the two of us facing off in the first round of top 8.
Top 8 – Royce Walter with ANT
Weirdly enough, the last time Royce and I played each other was at SCG: Worcester a few years ago on camera in the storm mirror. We were both undefeated at the time, except now, he’s playing a different storm deck.
Game One: I mulligan. This game is a slog of discard spells and cantrips, while we each have a Lion’s Eye Diamond on the table. I’ve gone through a pair of Gitaxian Probe, two Ponder, Infernal Tutor and Brainstorm. I draw a second Brainstorm and pass. Royce casts a blind Cabal Therapy, I Brainstorm in response and draw: Cabal Therapy, Lotus Petal and Brainstorm. I keep Cabal Therapy as the sole card in my hand and Royce names Lotus Petal! I untap and force him to discard the Cabal Ritual I knew about. On the following turn, I felt like it was time to try something and if I fail to kill him, I could always cast a discard spell. I play Burning Wish, break my Lion’s Eye Diamond for three red and cast Past in Flames with no mana floating and only a Lotus Petal for mana.
I plan on using the Gitaxian Probes to hit a land, so I can use Infernal Tutor to find Lion’s Eye Diamond, but things go way better than I could’ve expected. The first Gitaxian Probe draws Dark Ritual! I cast it and then Infernal Tutor for Lion’s Eye Diamond. I break the Lion’s Eye Diamond for blue and then cast the last Gitaxian Probe from my graveyard and draw my third Lion’s Eye Diamond! I immediately break it for red and cast Ponder and find Burning Wish. From there, I cast a few more cantrips to get up to fourteen storm (which is also his life total) and cast Burning Wish. Royce picks them up.
Game Two: I mulligan. Royce starts off with Tropical Island, Lotus Petal and Infernal Tutor (Revealing: Lion’s Eye Diamond). He lays both of them on the table and passes. My hand is: Polluted Delta, Rite of Flame, Burning Wish, Cabal Therapy, Lion’s Eye Diamond and Lion’s Eye Diamond after my mulligan. I draw a second Cabal Therapy for turn, I have a strong hunch that Royce has a second Infernal Tutor and that’s what I name with my Cabal Therapy…and I hit! I play both of my copies of Lion’s Eye Diamond and pass. Royce plays a Duress and takes my Burning Wish. I play a Cabal Therapy. Over the next few turns, we each play a few cantrips and discard spells. I get to a place where I just need to draw a red source and I win the game. Chrome Mox! Exile a Rite of Flame, cast a Rite of Flame, Burning Wish, Dark Petition and Ad Nauseam.
Top 4 – Sam Miller with Death & Taxes
Sam had knocked out Miracles, which I was happy with. I’d rather take my chances against Death & Taxes than Miracles.
Game Two: I kept a slow hand of: Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire, Bloodstained Mire, Abrupt Decay, Abrupt Decay, Cabal Therapy and Infernal Tutor. It’s not a great hand and I was punished by a first turn Mother of Runes. I was able to kill a single hate creature, but I managed to draw too many lands and sort of did nothing the entire time. We’re off to a third game.
Game Three: My opening hand is: Chrome Mox, Swamp, Rite of Flame, Burning Wish, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Brainstorm and Cabal Therapy. My immediate action was to cast Cabal Therapy, in hindsight, it lost me the game. It resolved and I named Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Sam’s hand consisted of: Ethersworn Canonist, Ethersworn Canonist, Plains, Karakas, AEther Vial, Stoneforge Mystic and Flickerwisp. He plays a Plains into Aethervial. I draw Dark Ritual, play out my hand and make ten Goblins. I eventually lose the game due to too many blockers (I used Cabal Therapy to discard Batterskull).
In the moment, the Cabal Therapy play seemed right – however, it wasn’t. Here’s why:
- You don’t really gain anything from casting it, would still need a great top deck in order for it to be relevant
- If you don’t draw anything relevant for turn, they now have a higher chance of discarding the named card on the second turn
- If you draw Dark Ritual, you can create an extra storm, which would’ve been enough to win the game.
- If you drew a blue card, you could’ve cast Brainstorm off of Chrome Mox and it’s an additional card to put back
- If I had drawn Gitaxian Probe for turn, the Cabal Therapy would’ve been insane
The only benefit is additional information on if it’s best to immediately flashback Cabal Therapy for value. But even then, you’re not supposed to. How you lose this game is by not allowing Batterskull to hit the table, if you flashback Cabal Therapy, you’re providing an out for the opponent (assuming you made twelve Goblins instead of ten).
If I had beaten Sam, I planned on messaging him to compensate him for being an incredibly nice person and conceding me into top 8. After defeating me, Sam won the entire thing! Congrats to him.
Totals & Stats from the Legacy Classic
- Games & Record: 16-8 | 8-2
- The Die Roll: 2-5
- Mulligans: 3
- Turn One Kills: 3
- Ad Nauseam Wins: 7
- Past in Flames Wins: 4
- Empty the Warrens Wins: 4
- Natural Storm Wins: 2
Changes & Closing
One thing that has been clear is that the 4c control matchup is not easy. After talking with a few other storm pilots over the weekend, I’m going to try two copies of Carpet of Flowers in the sideboard for it as well as Delver of Secrets decks. The thought process is that they’re generally a pretty slow deck and that you can beat them by having recursive mana that allows you to throw a lot of haymakers without expending resources. It’s also an enchantment, which means it’s not easy to deal with outside of Abrupt Decay and that their discard is a little less effective. I’m not completely sold on this one, but I’m going to try it over the second copy of Empty the Warrens and a Xantid Swarm. The second Empty the Warrens was fine, I really only used it a few times. I could see myself sticking to this plan in the future. I didn’t miss Surgical Extraction at all and Xantid Swarm was good for me all weekend.
One thought has been running through my head, with all of these unique counter spells running around from 4c Control, Delver decks and occasionally Miracles – I can’t help but wonder: Is Cabal Therapy losing value?
The card is incredibly good, especially with Empty the Warrens. That said, guessing Invasive Surgery or Flusterstorm is a shot in the dark. Yet 4c control decks run both, sometimes Spell Snare too. I can’t help but wonder if we should be playing four Duress or even something else.
Overall, it was a great weekend. Saw some friends, ate great food, and my good friend Sammy “Old Man Miracles” Roukas top 8’d the Legacy Open. I was just happy to be playing Legacy all weekend, it didn’t hurt that I dodged Miracles for nearly twenty rounds as well.
Next up? Grand Prix: Las Vegas!
Until next time, keep storming!